Lightning Trapper Saboteur Build Guide (PoE Synthesis 3.6.)

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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.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree, Bandits, and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Shadow – Saboteur)

  1. Perfect Crime
  2. Chain Reaction
  3. Pyromaniac
  4. Born in the Shadows

Perfect Crime is the first step you should take in your ascension as, it will provide you with a decent amount of damage, along with the possibility for your traps to trigger an additional time. Chain Reaction will improve your single target damage potential by a good deal, since it allows a single foe to trigger multiple traps at the same time. Pyromaniac provides very handy elemental ailment immunities, great life sustain mechanic, and it also reduces the mana cost of your traps by a 25%. Born in the Shadows allows you to utilize the Blind aura your character gains via this ascendancy node. Blind essentially halves enemies’ Accuracy Rating, which reduces the chance you get hit by their attacks by a great deal.

Passive Tree

This is the endgame passive skill three of the build.

As in most critical-based builds, we recommend investing into critical nodes after level 60. Before that, focus on picking up life and trap nodes.

Bandits

For this specific build we should help Alira in Act II. The critical multiplier, flat mana regeneration, and 15% all elemental resistances are stronger than the 2 passive skill points.

Pantheons

Major: All major Pantheon powers can be beneficial for the build, although Soul of Solaris is probably the best choice in general. To fully upgrade the Pantheon, capture The Gorgon in Sulphur Vents Map, Jorus, Sky’s Edge in Temple Map and The Infernal King in Caldera Map. In order to do that you need to have Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular map, then just kill the map boss and give the captured soul in the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Minor: Same as major Pantheons, all minor ones are useful for the build. We recommend Soul of Ryslatha for the better uptime of your life flask. Capture Gorulis, Will-Thief in Infested Valley Map to upgrade this minor pantheon.

Gems

Vaal Lightning Trap Vaal Lightning Trap is your main skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap is mainly used in order to boost your single target damage by a great deal. Bear Trap Bear Trap is used purely for the utility; it helps you pin down a target, which will then be nuked by your damaging traps. For mobility, use Shield Charge Shield Charge and Flame Dash Flame Dash, or if you choose to play with two Daggers, use Whirling Blades Whirling Blades instead of Shield Charge. Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire provides a big multiplier to your spell damage for a short duration, which is great when you need to boost your damage and nuke bosses fast.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Vaal Lightning Trap (6-Link)

Vaal Lightning Trap Vaal Lightning Trap shoots a nova of lightning projectiles when triggered. The vaal version of the skill leaves Shocked ground; keep in mind that your lightning traps have better chance to critically strike against Shocked enemies.

  1. Vaal Lightning Trap Vaal Lightning Trap
  2. Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support
  5. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  6. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support

Lightning Spire Trap (4-Link)

Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap is a powerful lightning trap with a cooldown, this is why it should be used wisely. Most of the time you would want to immobilize the enemy with Bear Trap Bear Trap, throw Vaal Lightning Trap for the Shocked ground, and then throw all the Lightning Spire Traps you have. This skill combo is very strong when encountering tough enemies.

  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

Shield Charge (3-Link)

Shield Charge Shield Charge can be used all the time for extra mobility. The following link will give you the Fortify buff every time you hit an enemy with the skill.

  1. Shield Charge Shield Charge
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Other Gems

Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire can be activated right before your traps get triggered, this will give you a big boost to your damage for a short duration. Wrath Wrath can be used in Essence Worm Essence Worm in order to keep your mana pool non-reserved. Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity will help out with mana issues. Flame Dash Flame Dash will improve your mobility even further. Bear Trap Bear Trap is a great utility addition to the build, this trap will help you keep your target in place.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources. The build is very budget-friendly and can be played as a league-starter. There are no mandatory unique items. Tinkerskin Tinkerskin is a great addition to every trapper build. Essence Worm Essence Worm will help you keep your mana pool non-reserved, which is great when you consider that you are using Mind over Matter.

Helmet

A well rolled rare helmet will outclass any unique in the game for this particular build. For enchant, look for “Lightning Trap pierces # additional Targets” or “Lightning Spire Trap has #% increased Skill Effect Duration”. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
  4. Socketed Spells have #% to Critical Strike Chance (Shaper Suffix; for Lightning Spire Trap)
  5. Maximum mana (at least 50)

Body Armour

Tinkerskin Tinkerskin is a good choice for trap build, but not particularly great in this one, simply because we choose to use Acrobatics, which halves our Energy Shield. Loreweave Loreweave is a great choice. Cloak of Defiance Cloak of Defiance can also be used with this build. Besides that you can use a well rolled rare body armour. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 100)
  3. Spells have +#% to Critical Strike Chance
  4. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)

Gloves

Well rolled rare gloves are best in slot. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Attack Speed (for faster Shield Charge)

Boots

Look for well rolled rare boots. Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots should be used if you choose to fight tough endgame bosses. For enchant, look for “#% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven’t Crit Recently”. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 70)
  3. Movement speed (at least 25%)
  4. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)

Belt

A well rolled Stygian Vise Stygian Vise is best in slot. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Lightning Damage (Metallic Fossil)
  4. % increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)

Amulet

Look for a well rolled rare amulet. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 60)
  3. Maximum Mana (at least 50)
  4. % Increased Spell Damage
  5. Global Critical Strike Multiplier (at least 25%)

Rings

Wrath Wrath can be socketed in Essence Worm Essence Worm. The other ring should be a well rolled rare. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 60)
  3. Maximum Mana (at least 50)
  4. % increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)
  5. % increased Lightning Damage (Essence of Wrath)

Weapon

The best weapon for the build is a well rolled Dagger. Daggers provide implicit global critical chance, which applies to your traps. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. % Increased Spell Damage (at least 40%)
  2. % Increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 90%)
  3. % Increased Attack Speed (at least 15%)
  4. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier (at least 25%)

Shield

A well rolled shield is best in slot. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 90%)
  4. % Increased Spell Damage (at least 50%)
  5. Maximum Mana (at least 50)

Flasks

Diamond flask is mandatory in every critical-based build; this is a good flask to have Curse or Freeze immunity on. Divine Life flask should used as Instant or half-Instant along with Bleeding Removal suffix. A mana flask can be utilized, since the build uses Mind over Matter, Lavianga's Spirit Lavianga's Spirit is a great endgame choice for this flask slot. Quicksilver flask can be used if you prefer to run around instead of using a mobility skill. For the last flask slot we recommend running a defensive utility flask like a Basalt, although you can go for even more offense with The Wise Oak The Wise Oak (in that case, make sure your lightning resist is the highest). Make sure you have Bleeding, Curse and Freezing immunity on your flasks.

Jewels

There are no mandatory jewels for the build. Clear Mind Clear Mind can be used if your mana pool is non-reserved. Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Wrath Wrath mods can provide a lot of power to the build, but can also get very expensive.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Damage
  3. % Increased Projectile Damage
  4. % Increased Trap damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Maximum Life (at least 35)
  2. Maximum Mana
  3. Flat damage added to spells

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 the following link in Lifesprig Lifesprig.

Explosive Trap Explosive Trap

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
  •   

    Updated passive skill trees.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Synthesis 3.6.

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