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POE 3.21 Shadow Cold Dot Trickster League Starter Builds, Easy & Quick

This is a guide for a Cold Damage over Time Trickster build for Path of Exile 3.21. The build is meant to be a strong league starter that can progress quickly through the game. The build utilizes Vortex and Cold Snap for damage and uses Ghost Dance and Evasion for defense. Here is a detailed guide on how to build this character from scratch.





POE 3.21 Shadow Cold Dot Trickster League Starter Builds, Easy & Quick



The Cold DoT Trickster is a powerful build that can clear endgame content quickly and efficiently. Its primary focus is on cold damage over time effects, such as Vortex and Cold Snap, which allow the player to deal consistent damage while remaining mobile. The Trickster class offers a variety of defensive bonuses, such as increased evasion and energy shield recovery, making it a durable build that can handle tough encounters.


Strengths & Weaknesses

  • + Excellent clear speed
  • + Good survivability
  • + Can handle most endgame content
  • + Easy to gear
  • - Limited damage scaling
  • - Can struggle with physical damage mitigation
  • - Not the fastest boss killer


Levelling Process

The build can be started with Freezing Pulse and Frost Bomb until level 12 when Vortex becomes available. From there, Winter Orb and Vortex can be used until Cold Snap is unlocked at level 16. At level 28, the build can use Vortex and Cold Snap as the primary damage-dealing abilities. For levelling, prioritize cold damage and spell damage on gear and try to get a +1 to cold or spell damage wand or sceptre. Regarding support gems, aim for a four-link setup of Vortex - Controlled Destruction - Hypothermia - Elemental Focus.



In the early game, look for gear with plus one cold or spell damage or cold DoT multiplier. Cold damage and AI multiplier are a great start for this build. Elemental damage is also useful. Focus on life and resistance to survive. This build does not rely on any unique, making it a great self-sufficient build. In the mid-game, you can pick up Obliteration for mapping, but it won't boost damage output significantly. In the end, game, look for dream gear that will be expensive, such as Rime Gaze. However, focus on getting a helmet with physical mitigation for hardcore play.


Here is a recommended gear list for the build:

  • Weapon: A +1 to Cold Spell Gems wand/sceptre or a great spell damage wand/sceptre with cold damage over time multiplier
  • Shield: A shield with high life, spell damage, and spell critical strike chance
  • Body Armour: A high life and resistances rare body armour or Skin of the Loyal
  • Helmet: A rare helmet with life, resistance, and energy shield or a rare helmet with the "Nearby Enemies take Chaos Damage" enchantment.
  • Gloves: Rare gloves with life, resistance, and increased spell damage
  • Boots: Rare boots with life, resistance, and movement speed
  • Belt: A rare belt with life, resistance, and an increased energy shield
  • Amulet: A rare amulet with life, resistances, and increased cold damage over time multiplier
  • Rings: Two rare rings


Defensive Strategies

This build utilizes the Trickster ascendancy and Ghost Dance to provide defense. Ghost Dance gives three charges of Ghost Shroud, which you lose when you hit but recover an energy shield equal to 3% of your evasion rating. You can recover significant amounts of energy shield with a 30,000 evasion rating (or 45,000 with a Jade Flask). This build also provides energy shield animation and spell suppression while at full energy shields.


Passive Skill Tree

The passive skill tree for the Cold DoT Trickster builds focuses on increasing cold damage, damage over time, and energy shield. 

Cold Dot Trickster Builds Tree

The tree focuses on life, evasion, and energy shield nodes. The build also takes Ghost Dance and Escape Artist for added defenses. Lastly, the tree takes some spell damage and Cold Damage over Time nodes to increase the build's damage.



The Trickster ascendancy provides many benefits for the Cold DoT Trickster build, including additional damage over time, energy shield recovery, and movement speed. The recommended ascendancy path is:

  • Patient Reaper: This node provides additional Energy Shield, life, and mana recovery, as well as increased damage over time.
  • Ghost Dance: This node grants you Ghost Shrouds, which help recover energy shield and provides additional Evasion Rating.
  • Escape Artist: This node provides additional movement speed, increased Evasion Rating and Energy Shield and reduces the damage you take while moving.
  • Harness the Void: This node increases damage over time and provides an additional Energy Shield.



Kill all bandits for the two skill points.



In conclusion, the Cold DoT Trickster is an excellent league starter build that can handle most endgame content. While its damage scaling is limited, it makes up for it with excellent clear speed and survivability. The build can become a top-tier performer in Path of Exile with the right gear.

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