Poison Blade Vortex Assassin Build Guide - The DoT Machine (The Forbidden Sanctum 3.20)




  1. I added an extremely lategame unkillable god version in the FAQ. Might be worth looking into but if you’re not comfortable with the build yet, I’d recommend you to stick to the general guide.
  1. If a guide says it was updated for a specific challenge league, you can be assured it was actually passed through & adapted for that specific patch. You might encounter PoB’s which are outdated but that is either because you’re looking at a Path of Building that was released before the contributors of this program got around to patching it or leveling tree, which hasn’t changed. You can be assured that you can just follow that iteration of the Path of Building without any issues. However, should we wait to push our guides until the program received its final update, we’d never be able to get you this content before the league hit.


Poison Blade Vortex Blade Vortex had been rising in popularity because it was incredibly broken at some point in the past! It has now stagnated at the point where it can be considered one of the most popular builds, yet no longer something completely busted. The reason for this is that it combines really good clearspeed, very high survivability on an ascendancy that offers a lot of QoL in its movement speed, and conditional effects that are really strong.

Because Blade Vortex Blade Vortex inherently has a lot of “hits”, it makes for an incredibly reliable way to apply a lot of poison stacks very fast. This makes it very suitable for a build that relies on stacking a lot of poisons on enemies to scale damage. We will be providing a build that offers a very good balance between clear, boss damage & survivability. Whereas there definitely are ways to increment either of those aspects, we felt that the build was strong enough in all those aspects to get away with being balanced between all of them.

Build Summary

You probably all heard or saw a Poison Blade Vortex build before! You run around with a decently long-lasting Blade Vortex Blade Vortex, running through a pack and seeing it melt to your applied Poisons afterwards. Because of the time it takes for the Poisons to be applied and whittle the enemy down, you will need a decent amount of tankiness to be able to not die in those 2-3 seconds the enemies live.

The main mechanics you need to understand are Duration and amounts of Poisons stacked on the enemy. As there is no limit to the amount of Poisons one can have running on an enemy, and getting Poison duration really helps your (mainly single target) damage. Therefore, Assassin’s Noxious Strike is really important to keep up as much as we can. We do this by using a fast hitting Poison applier such as Blade Vortex. Because our Poisons last longer, eventually we will be getting to 40+ Poison stacks on an Enemy making them take 40 times the damage they would with a single stack!

Now, since you are a Blade Vortex Blade Vortex build, you’ll have to be rather close to the Enemies at all times. This also implies you need to stand next to bosses or circle around them a decent amount of time to do maximum damage as you want to stack up your Poisons. Therefore, it is mandatory that we build a decent layer of defenses.

This build guide, when followed correctly, will offer you the most tanky Assassin you will have ever played! You can reliably hit over 6000 Life while having mechanics like “55% Spell Block if you haven’t blocked Recently”, “40% Less Damage Taken if you haven’t been hit recently” and tons of Evasion paired with some Spell Supression. This means the character will rarely actually be hit to begin with, after which if it gets hit takes 40% Less Damage with a really high Life Pool. Hence, it is surprisingly hard to die on this Assassin.

Lastly, the main reason why this build is so attractive is its cost. A 6-Link Kintsugi Kintsugi will cost you about 6,5 to 7 Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs and the entire build will be 10! This means that if you were to run a 5-Link, the build is basically free! Kill all bosses on a relatively tanky build with really respectable clearspeed on a budget? That sounds like something we all want, right!?

Pros and Cons


+ It’s incredibly cheap for a build in this category of power level

+ Incredibly easy to get going & upgradable as you go

+ Viable in all scenarios – Solo-Self Found & Hardcore

+ Very fast gameplay because of Assassin


Damage isn’t instantaneous, monsters will always live 0.5-2seconds

A lot of people already have played a lot of Blade Vortex Blade Vortex and are a little bored of the skill

Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths

Blade Vortex Blade Vortex‘s mechanics changed a little after the release of the Unleash Support Unleash Support. Since Unleash gives you 3 Blades every time its fully charged, you now don’t need Mana to cast 10 Blades all the time which frees up a lot of Mana. You will notice that your blade upkeep isn’t too important when running through mobs in maps and that you’ll only really care about this when you are hitting a Boss. Even then, hovering at around 9-10 is very easy and you’ll get the hang of it really fast!

After explaining how to keep up your Blade Vortex Blade Vortex, I’d like to talk about the layering of defenses this build offers. So, first of all, because you play an Assassin you get to use Mistwalker which gives you Elusive. Elusive is a buff that grants 15% Dodge & Spell Dodge as well as 30% Movement Speed but decays over time. We can keep this up permanently if we want through Withering Step Withering Step as it resets the Elusive and makes it so you get a fully charged buff every time. This comes at the cost of a movement skill though as Withering Step consumes movement skill charges and makes it so you will never have a charge. IF we opt in to that playstyle, you will gain that juicy damage avoidance a lot more frequently which obviously is really nice.

Next up, if you can somehow get a jewel with Corrupted Blood immunity and therefore run an Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline, you can get up to 205% Movement Speed on the build, which makes you incredibly fast and makes it easier to avoid all incoming damage mechanically. However, should you not manually Dodge or roll an avoid in game, worry not, you’ll have 6000 Life and a 40% Less Damage taken multiplier from Kintsugi Kintsugi & Wind Dancer which makes it that you will not get one shot almost ever.

Lastly, through Replica Mistwall Replica Mistwall, you alternate Spell & Physical avoidance through Spell Block and chance to Avoid Physical Damage. All of this layering makes you incredibly obnoxious for enemies to kill. Obviously, if you stand still in a Legion or in a Sirus storm, no build or build guide will ever be able to keep you alive!

Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links

You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.

If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a Tree through the PoE website for you. Do note that PoE’s website does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.

More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.

Passive Skill Tree, PoB & Gem Links

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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

Gear Summary / TL;DR

A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.

Gear, Jewel and Flasks Breakdown

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem
Amulet Impresence (Chaos) Impresence (Chaos)
Chest Kintsugi Kintsugi
Gloves Slink Gloves Slink Gloves with high Life, Spell Suppression & Resistances
Boots Two-Toned Boots with 30% Movement Speed, Spell Suppression, high Life & Resistances
Belt Stygian Vise Stygian Vise or Leather Belt Leather Belt with high Life Maybe Resistance or Flask Modifiers
Rings 1x Vermillion Ring Vermillion Ring – Life and Resistances – Attritbutes & a Circle of Nostalgia Circle of Nostalgia
Weapon 1x Cold Iron Point Cold Iron Point
Shield 1x Replica Mistwall Replica Mistwall

Questions & Support

I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.

If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.


Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will be providing you a way to level up with Blade Vortex Blade Vortex. If you are looking for the most optimal way to level a character to maps, we refer you to the following guides.

In order to level this build as a Blade Vortex Blade Vortex build you need to make your way to level 12 to be able to use the gem.

Getting to Brutus & Merveil

For starters, create a Shadow in whichever league you want to start. Optionally, you can create a Scion and kill Hillock quickly to be able store the Onslaught Support Onslaught Support it gets from running Tidal Island. Shadow can’t access this gem otherwise until Act III. Make sure to store the Onslaught gem and swap back to your Shadow to start leveling.

You will want to start out by buying an extra wand from the vendor. On top of that, pick up a Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine as a quest reward. After you’ve run the Mud Flats, you’ll proceed to kill Hailrake in the Tidal Island with Stormblast Mines.

From there on, you’ll be able to pick up your first Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask and an Orb of Storms Orb of Storms from your quest rewards and perhaps a Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support from the vendor. Your main Orb of Storms Orb of Storms and Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine links should look something like this:

  1. Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine
  2. Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support
  1. Orb of Storms Orb of Storms
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

Note For those of you who don’t know how Orb of Storms interacts with Lightning Skills: Orb of Storms hits an additional time if you stand in it and cast lightning spells. So you want to drop your Orb of Storms in the surroundings of a pack and throw 1-2 mines to proc it faster for the best damage.

After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support to your Orb of Storms Orb of Storms link and if you can afford to buy another one you can also add one to your Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine link.

Level 12 and Onwards Setup

If you enjoy the playstyle of Orb of Storms Orb of Storms you can really keep doing this until you are done leveling and even beyond as it is the best leveling setup available right now. However, assuming you’d more enjoy the Blade Vortex playstyle, at level 12 you can setup your Blade Vortex Blade Vortex. You will play Elemental Blade Vortex until after you’ve finished Normal Lab though!

  1. Blade Vortex Blade Vortex
  2. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  3. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  4. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support (optional)

On your road to Labyrinth, you want to be picking up a Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder, Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots and should you get a 4th link Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support instead of the Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support is ideal!

Time to Poison

When you finally made your way to Normal Lab and have finished you will need to pick up Noxious Strike. Combine this with a Coralito's Signature Coralito's Signature and the nodes Fatal Toxins and Toxic Strikes and you should be getting your Poison Chance up!

Make sure to swap out your Heralds to Herald of Purity Herald of Purity and Herald of Agony Herald of Agony now.

  1. Blade Vortex Blade Vortex
  2. Chance to Poison Support Chance to Poison Support OR
  3. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  4. Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support


I want to invest more currency into the build, what do I do ?

You can find an extremely durable high end character in this PoB()

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