Lightning Trapper Saboteur Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

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Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

Introduction

Trap builds have been very powerful for long time now. They have decent clear speed, while also excelling at boss killing. Lightning Trap Lightning Trap shoots lightning projectiles in a nova when triggered. This trap has great base damage and critical chance, it also has increased critical strike chance against Shocked enemies. The only problem with the skill is that you will have to invest into some Pierce to smooth out the clearing of the build; this can be as simple as picking up Piercing Shot node on the passive tree. Lightning Trap is the clearing tool of this build.

Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap is your big cooldown trap, a very powerful trap that destroys tougher foes. It also gains increased critical chance against Shocked enemies, the same way Lightning Trap does. This is why using Vaal Lightning Trap Vaal Lightning Trap against bosses is very important, since it leaves Shocked ground, which allows you to Shock even endgame bosses.

Overall, the Lightning Trapper Saboteur is a type of build that specializes in throwing very hard-hitting lightning-based traps in order to clear maps and kill strong bosses. The build can also achieve a respectable life pool, while also relying on defensive mechanics like Mind over Matter, Acrobatics, and Phase Acrobatics for the additional dodge chance.

Build Summary

The Lightning Trapper does not require any initial investment; it can even be played as a league-starter. As most other spell-based characters, damage mainly scales from gem levels, unlike attack builds where it is more gear-dependent.

Early on, just the gem levels will carry your damage needs, as long as you run on a 4-Link at least. You should focus on getting gear pieces with life and elemental resistances. For endgame, well rolled rare items will be mostly what you want to look for. There are no “big-ticket” items that the build needs in order to work.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great boss killer
+ Decent clear speed
+ Very versatile when it comes to map mods

Cons

- Lacks life sustain if you do not make a good use of the Pyromaniac ascendancy node

Playstyle

Offensively, you throw your traps on the ground, which are then triggered by enemies that step on them. You would obviously want to aim into monster packs while throwing traps or predict their movement in order to damage them. Positioning can be key in trapper builds and you should take advantage of that.

Defensively, you should be killing monsters before they even have the chance to get to you. The Born in the Shadows ascendancy node will Blind all nearby enemies, which will improve your survivability by a great deal. A respectable life pool along with an effective Mind over Mater will let you tank most hits. Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics both provide a good amount of dodge chance against attacks and spells.

For Playstyle, keeping your distance and luring monsters into your traps is what the build is all about. You should save Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap charges for tougher rare monsters and bosses, immobilizing them with Bear Trap Bear Trap and Shocking them with Vaal Lightning Trap Vaal Lightning Trap, which will prove to be a great setup for tremendous single target damage output.

Passive Tree

This is the endgame passive skill three of the build.

For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Tinkerskin Tinkerskin
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Rare Weapon
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

The Lightning Trapper can be leveled by using traps since level 1, and it is a great choice for a league-starter.

Leveling Trees

This is what your passive skill tree should look like before you start investing into critical strike nodes.

For passive tree pathing, you should go for Expeditious Traps first, then head to Clever Construction. Once your traps are immune to damage you should pick Piercing Shots, which will allow you to drop the Pierce Support Pierce Support gem. Then you should pick Hasty Reconstructions and Acrobatics, along with some life. At that point you are ready to head to Mind over Matter.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Lifesprig Lifesprig will fill your damage needs early on.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use Explosive Trap Explosive Trap in Lifesprig Lifesprig.

At level 4, you should add Bear Trap Bear Trap for the additional utility.

At level 8, your Explosive Trap Explosive Trap link should look like this.

  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap
  2. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility.

At level 12, you can finally transition to your signature skill. Replace Explosive Trap Explosive Trap with the following Lightning Trap Lightning Trap link.

  1. Lightning Trap Lightning Trap
  2. Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support
  3. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  4. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

By level 16, your Lightning Trap Lightning Trap should look like this.

  1. Lightning Trap Lightning Trap
  2. Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support
  3. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  5. Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support
  6. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

At level 24, you should add Wrath Wrath for additional damage.

At level 28, you should add a Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap gem setup, this will improve your single target damage by a great deal.

  1. Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support
  4. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

No regeneration is a pain to do, and almost impossible to deal with when you need to kill a tough boss.

Conclusion

If you like luring your enemies into their death, the Lightning Trapper Saboteur is definitely a build you should try out. The build has the survivability and damage to do endgame encounters.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build gets an indirect buff via changes to how Shock works.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. Not much has changed for the build and it still remains very solid.

  •   

    Revisited and updated the passive skill trees, Gem and Gearing sections. The build still works as intended and is very strong and budget-friendly.

  •   

    Updated passive skill trees.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Synthesis 3.6.

  1. Posts
    1

    were cwdt

  2. Posts
    1

    If you don’t mind me asking, why get Assassination and other critical strike chance tree nodes if using controlled destruction support?

    I’ve probably missed some mechanic, but wouldn’t Controlled Destruction negate any benefit of +global critical strike chance and +critical strike multiplier?

    Edit: sorry, figured it out. Controlled Destruction just removes base critical strike chance, it doesn’t make it impossible to crit.

    Thanks for making this build!

    Edited by daboross on December 18th, 2019

  3. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    976

    On 18/12/2019 at 4:17 AM, daboross said

    If you don’t mind me asking, why get Assassination and other critical strike chance tree nodes if using controlled destruction support?

    I’ve probably missed some mechanic, but wouldn’t Controlled Destruction negate any benefit of +global critical strike chance and +critical strike multiplier?

    Edit: sorry, figured it out. Controlled Destruction just removes base critical strike chance, it doesn’t make it impossible to crit.

    Thanks for making this build!

    Hey, sorry for the delay of the reply and I am glad you’ve figured it out by yourself. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support provides a great multiplier to Spell Damage while the downside is easily mitigated by a single 1-hand with a 100%+ Increased Critical Strikes for Spells or something like that.

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