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[3.12] PoE Heist Trickster Essence Drain Shadow Cheap Build (PC,PS4,Xbox,Mobile)

PoeCurrencyBuy Date: Sep/11/20 05:40:09 Views: 9944

Are you are looking for a build can start with a very low budget? Do you hate too many deaths and want to mapping more safely? Just try it PoE 3.12 Shadow Trickster Essence Drain Build. If you are not familiar with ED, please check the Leveling Guide section carefully!

[3.12] PoE Heist Trickster Essence Drain Shadow Cheap Build (PC,PS4,Xbox,Mobile)

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Pros & Cons

  • + Fast mapper
  • + All endgame bosses viable, including deep delve bosses.
  • + Hardcore viable
  • + Cheap, clear upgrade path. Shaper 3EX, uber elder 8EX.
  • - Single target lacks, you are not oneshoting bosses.
  • - You are a meta slave
  • - Performs really poorly in the timeless domain
  • - Requires heavy swaps for HoGM (but can actually do it)
  • - potentially clunky 1-2 playstyle (altho very fast)


Skill Tree

Ascendancy: Ghost dance - Escape artist - Patient reaper - Prolonged pain

Pantheon: Soul of Lunaris and Soul of Shakari

Bandit: Kill All (recommended)

Passive Tree & PoB

t16 viable setup: https://pastebin.com/zz1Rzjf4

2-4Ex - 6500ehp - 520k ED dps + 900k blight dps

All content setup: https://pastebin.com/Mc8bpMwG

10-15Ex - 7500ehp - 1M ED dps + 1.2M blight dps

Endgame setup: https://pastebin.com/kTRvetrj

100Ex - 8600ehp - 3M ED dps + 4M blight dps

PoE Heist Trickster Essence Drain Shadow Passive Skill Tree






Gems Setup


Essence Drain - Swift Affliction - Void Manipulation- Empower - Controlled Destruction - Efficacy

There is no variation when it comes to essence drain. You should push for a 6l as soon as possible and buy a level 3 empower. If you only have a level 1 or 2 empower but you have a 6l, you should use Decay support instead


Vaal Discipline - Malevolence - Enlighten - Flame Dash

You should put your auras in your helmet because vertex gives +1 level of socketed gems. This means you will only need a level 3 enlighten instead of 4. It will also give a slight damage and ES boost by leveling your auras more.


Contagion - Increased Area of Effect - Intensify - Faster Casting

If you use an es base gloves, you should put your Contagion setup here for ease of coloring. Intensify and area of effect supports are mandatory to make contagion's aoe massive. Faster casting is a nice quality of life boost.


Wither - Spell Totem - Multiple Totems - Increased Duration

I recommend placing a 3l wither totem here. Don't use blight totems, it's lower range, worse hinder and takes a jewel slot. It's a noob trap. Wither doubles our damage against anything that stands 2 seconds in the wither circle, it should be used against endgame bosses.

For your 4th socket, if you do not have aspect of the spider on a piece of gear, you should use flesh and stone in sand stance: Flesh and Stone

If you have aspect of the spider, you have a free socket.

You should put a Phase Run inside. In your skills bar, bind phase run to your left click button to trigger it automatically when you start moving.

Body armor

Vaal Blight - Controlled Destruction - Efficacy - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Infused Channelling

Here you have some choice. For more damage, the best option is blight:

A CwdT setup is also viable with the following gems:

CWDT - Summon Stone Golem - Spirit Offering - Enfeeble - Steelskin

If you do not have aspect of the spider on a piece of gear, you should use flesh and stone in sand stance


Gear Setup


Price scale: Budget - Expensive

Titan Greaves

+19 to Strength
+71 to maximum Life
+38% to Cold Resistance
30% increased Movement Speed
6% chance to Dodge Attack Hits
+20% to Fire and Lightning Resistances

Two-Toned Boots

Regenerate 2% of Life per second if you were Hit Recently

+12% to Cold and Lightning Resistances

+84 to maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
6% chance to Dodge Attack Hits
Unaffected by Desecrated Ground
Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
+18% to Fire and Cold Resistances
+20% to Fire and Lightning Resistances

MATATL's boots with up to 6% attack dodge are hard to beat. They always come with 30% movement speed. Try to get life and resistances on top of the dodge/MS mod. A bad pair of boots with just MATATL's prefix and some life will be good enough for uber elder, don't stress it too much.

To try to minmax them, you should try to get t1 life and as much resistances as you can. The two-toned boots shown here are a great example of this.

ENCHANT: Movement speed or Regeneration. I prefer movement speed.


Price scale: Budget - Midrange - Expensive

Cane of Unravelling

+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
+47% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
22% increased Chaos Damage
2% increased Cast Speed per Power Charge
+2 to Level of all Chaos Spell Skill Gems
Gain a Power Charge after Spending a total of 200 Mana
Regenerate 2 Mana per Second per Power Charge

Short Bow

+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
+38% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier

Maraketh Bow

10% increased Movement Speed
Item sells for much more to vendors

+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
+34% to Damage over Time Multiplier
18% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
+40% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplie

This is the only piece of gear you must invest in for endgame bosses. While the rest of items you wear can be 2 chaos trash, this one is important!

If you are on a budget, get a 4-5 links Cane of unraveling.

You should upgrade to a 6L one to clear red maps and conquerors.

Your endgame weapon should be an ED BOW and soul strike for better energy shield sustain. While you can usually get a 6l cane after a few weeks in a league for ~1ex, the shortbow shown here will be around 5ex to craft, and the maraketh bow around 10ex.


Price scale: Budget - Expensive

Sorcerer Gloves

Adds 4 to 6 Physical Damage to Attacks
+74 to maximum Life
+41% to Fire Resistance
+34% to Lightning Resistance
+19% to Cold and Lightning Resistances

Fingerless Silk Gloves

16% increased Spell Damage
Item sells for much more to vendors

+16% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Adds 1 to 23 Lightning Damage to Attacks
+245 to Accuracy Rating
Culling Strike
+70 to maximum Life

If you are on a budget, life and resists will do all content. If you have a bit more to spend, elder gloves with chaos multiplier are great.

ENCHANT: Of SPITE. Chills enemies around you when you get hit. awesome. Of LIGHT is also a somewhat decent choice but almost never actually triggers.


Price scale: Budget - Midrange - Expensive

Martyr's Crown

Blight has 30% increased Hinder Duration
+196 to maximum Energy Shield
Reflects 5 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
+5 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
Pain Attunement

The Vertex

+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems have 50% reduced Mana Cost
279% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+38 to maximum Energy Shield
+28% to Chaos Resistance
Enemies Cannot Leech Mana From you

Hubris Circlet

40% increased Essence Drain Damage

Item sells for much more to vendors

+61 to maximum Energy Shield
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
110% increased Energy Shield
+28 to maximum Life
+18% to Fire and Cold Resistances

Vertex is very cheap and difficult to beat! +1 gems allows us to have an additional level on enlighten as well as slightly boosted auras. It also gives the most ES out of any unique helmets, and also provides a lot of evasion. Best in slot, unless you obtain some truly insane rare hubris circlet. Martyr crown's is a good 1alch unique if you don't have access to vertex for some reason. I killed uber elder with it, it works. Just get high Energy shield to synergise with your ascendancy: Escape artist

Vertex can be beaten with a properly crafted rare. It is difficult to break 300es with more quality of life (750 eva and +1 gems), so Vertex is the go to helm as long as you can't afford a very well crafted rare hubris circlet.

If you have 20+EX to throw at a helmet, check out the crafting section below. A rare crafted helm will be 16% MORE damage overall and slightly more es, but slightly less evasion.

ENCHANT: 40% Essence drain damage.

Expensive, don't bother if you don't have the currency.

Body armor

Price scale: Budget - Midrange

Kintsugi (5L)

118% increased Evasion Rating
+66 to maximum Life
+30% to Fire Resistance
20% less Damage taken if you have not been Hit Recently
50% increased Evasion Rating if you have been Hit Recently

Hyrri's Ire

+49 to Dexterity
216% increased Evasion Rating
25% increased Chill Duration on Enemies
Adds 126 to 176 Cold Damage to Bow Attacks
10% chance to Dodge Attack Hits
10% chance to Dodge Spell Hits

Hyrri's ire is best in slot. It has insane evasion, giving us 500 flat ES from our ascendancy.

The dodge and spell dodge are also really cool, allowing us to reach dodge cap. Perfect form is an other option, but does not offer as many benefits as Hyrri's Ire. I'll go over it in the "popular alternatives" section.

If you are on a budget and cannot afford hyrri's ire, Kintsugi is a very nice chestpiece that only cost a couple chaos. It synergises very well with the dodge/evasion mechanics of this build and will prevents oneshot mechanics, especially on bosses. After playing with both for a while, I can however confirm that Hyrri's ire is still the superior choice when it comes to real endgame.


Price scale: Budget - Expensive

Two-Stone Ring

Your Temporal Towers have 25% increased Effect

+16% to Fire and Lightning Resistances

+18 to maximum Energy Shield
+72 to maximum Life
4% increased maximum Life
+21 to maximum Mana
+9% to Fire Resistance
+41% to Lightning Resistance
+1 to Minimum Endurance Charges

Two-Stone Ring

Your Freezebolt Towers fire 2 additional Projectiles

+16% to Fire and Cold Resistances

+147 to Evasion Rating
+93 to maximum Life
4% increased maximum Life
+16% to all Elemental Resistances
Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
18% increased Damage
+1 to Minimum Endurance Charges

Life, resists. The usual. Try to get +1 Min endurance charge if possible, it is a massive survivability boost!

The temple mod gives up to 6% increased maximum life on top of the t1 roll. It is a bit more expensive than just flat life but well worth the cost.

3 Minimum endurance charges is our way to generate endurance charges.


Price scale: Expensive

+30 to Strength

+16% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
+58 to maximum Life
+34 to maximum Mana

39% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+1 to Level of all Chaos Skill Gems
+1 to Minimum Endurance Charges

Again, aim for life, resists, and an endurance charge. You may also minmax it by having a chaos multiplier elder mod and/or +1 gems level, but that's way more expensive. Just get life and resistances to start.

Once again, I cannot stress how good +1 min endurance is for a single suffix if you are rescapped already.


Price scale: Budget - Expensive

Has 1 Abyssal Socket
Grants Level 20 Aspect of the Spider Skill
+97 to maximum Life
18% reduced Flask Charges used

Has 1 Abyssal Socket
+117 to maximum Life
12% increased maximum Life
19% reduced Flask Charges used
Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
20% increased Damage
+20% to Fire and Lightning Resistances

Stygian vise with an onslaught jewel. On the belt itself, life and reduced flask charges used. This is a good spot to put aspect of the spider.

Tip: If you already have an other source of onslaught (on a bow most likely), you may get 2% dodge instead on the jewel!


Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching

Quality: +26%
Recovers 1512 Life over 3.00 Seconds
Consumes 15 of 45 Charges on use

50% reduced Amount Recovered
135% increased Recovery rate
50% of Recovery applied Instantly
Immunity to Bleeding during Flask effect
Removes Bleeding on use

Chemist's Quartz Flask of Heat

Quality: +26%
Lasts 5.00 Seconds
Consumes 22 of 60 Charges on use

10% chance to Dodge Attack Hits
10% chance to Dodge Spell Hits

24% reduced Charges used
Immunity to Freeze and Chill during Flask effect
Removes Freeze and Chill on use

Chemist's Aquamarine Flask of Warding

Quality: +26%
Lasts 6.30 Seconds
Consumes 11 of 40 Charges on use
20% chance to Avoid Cold Damage from Hits

Creates Chilled Ground on Use

22% reduced Charges used
Immune to Curses during Flask effect
Removes Curses on use

Chemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline

Quality: +20%
Lasts 4.80 Seconds
Consumes 15 of 50 Charges on use
40% increased Movement Speed

23% reduced Charges used
28% increased Movement Speed during Flask effect

Classic flasks setup. Aquamarine is a 4uses flask with a belt mod, and synergises very well with the build (chills, damage avoidance). It also lasts 6.30 seconds, giving a total uptime of 25 seconds. It is basically always up, even on bosses. I would consider this better than a basalt. Witchfire brew is a must have, insane damage boost.

If you don't like the aquamarine setup, you may use a jade flask for additional evasion, a basalt for additional physical damage mitigation, or a sulfur for more damage.


Rare jewel: aim for LIFE at all costs, then any damage source that affects you, like in any other build.

Spreading rot is good to apply wither faster early on. For as long as you use blight on random rares or unique mobs, you should use this. When you feel like you're killing everything that isn't an endgame bosses requiring you to place wither totems, you should stop using this jewel.
A good rare jewel with life and damage will do better against bosses. Once you get enough damage for non bosses, swap it out.

Green nightmare is a good option in the late game, as it gives frenzy charges on kill and a bit of dodge chance to reach cap without flasks. The 3% it gives puts us at 64% flat, which goes up to max only with conditional dodge sources (elusive, flasks, pantheon...).
Don't forget dodge as increasing returns for each point you get, so you really want to reach that magic 75% cap.

Transcendent Mind gives very good damage for all non allocated intelligence in radius. We have 80 non allocated int near the witch start, this is why pathing in this area looks a litter weird. This is at the cost of mana recovery rate, but we use energy shield instead so we are not affected by the downsides of this jewel.

Brutal Restraint of deshret Transforms the keystones in radius to Wind dancer. Wind dancer is absolutely amazing, preventing you from oneshots and being up most of the time because of the high avoidance of this build. It also empowers ghost shrouds by 20%, and makes Lunaris pantheon and Steelskin proc very reliably, not worrying of oneshots before they proc.

Watcher's eye is really expensive, but pretty cool. The mod you are looking for is "damage over time multiplier while affected by malevolence". Due to the price, this should be one of your last upgrades. It boosts your damage by around 7% compared to a normal rare jewel. Due to the price, it should be one of your last upgrades.

10% chance to gain Elusive on Kill
25% increased Elusive Effect

No witnesses is a notable found on small cluster jewels. It grants elusive chance on kill, and is a massive clear speed/defenses boost. It is almost mandatory.

Flow of life

24% increased Damage over Time
4% increased maximum Life
Regenerate 0.6% of Life per second

Exposure Therapy

+10% to Damage over Time Multiplier
+30% Chaos Resistance against Damage Over Time

Flow of life and Exposure Therapy are notables found on medium cluster jewels granting chaos damage over time multiplier. These jewels are the best damage possible on a cluster jewel, cost little points and grant some life. They are the best cluster jewels you can get. You want one medium jewel with at least a jewel socket. More information in the cluster jewel section below.

Unique jewels placement

Green nightmare

PoE 3.12 Shadow Essence Drain Trickster Jewels Placement

Brutal restraint of deshret

PoE 3.12 Shadow Essence Drain Trickster Jewels Placement

Cluster jewels

PoE 3.12 Shadow Essence Drain Trickster Jewels Placement

Spreading rot

PoE 3.12 Shadow Essence Drain Trickster Jewels Placement

Reminder that you should only use this early on.

Transcendent mind

PoE 3.12 Shadow Essence Drain Trickster Jewels Placement




Leveling Guide

Level 4-12

Grab blight in act one after killing hillock. Try to get a 3link setup with the following support gems:

Blight - Arcane Surge - Infused Channelling

All these gems are purchasable from Nessa in act 1 after killing Hillrake and getting a quicksilver flask.

Skill tree: 4-12

Level 13-24

Essence Drain - Void Manipulation - Controlled Destruction

Add a 3link essence drain to your setup, to boost singletarget. You should still pretty much only be uising blight, as it still clears well.

Kill all bandits to get 2 passive skill points.

Try to pick up rare items that makes you reach 75% elemental resistances. Chaos resistance doesn't matter.

At this point, you might start to have a few alchs worth of currency to spend, consider buying these cheap uniques:

Lifesprig, Goldrim, Wanderlust, Crest of Perandus

Skill tree: 13-24

Warning Following this leveling tree requires a few respec points. Keep the points you gain during the campaign. 

Note that the selected cluster on the top right should be no witnesses, not trap and mine damage.

Level 25-31

At the start of act 3 (level 24), you gain access to a plethora of good gems, and 4 link items.

You should use the following auras:

Malevolence, Discipline, Purity of Elements

Only use purity of elements instead of discipline if you lack elemental resistances. You should not need this gem, but it's better than no resistances at all. If you struggle with mana sustain, deactivate discipline and only keep malevolence active.

At level 24, you also gain access to bane. Bane is much faster and smoother than blight, and will be your main skill from now on.
Setup a 4-links bane with the following gems:

Bane - Despair - Controlled Destruction - Swift Affliction

Bane deals massive damage and will carry your clear for the rest of the acts. You should only be using blight on tougher targets, and add an ED cast on bosses with a lot of health.

Skill tree: 25-31

Warning Following this leveling tree requires a few respec points. Keep the points you gain during the campaign.

Level 32-60

At this point, you may want to try using ED + contagion. For this, you will need a 4links with the following gems:

Contagion - Increased Area of Effect - Intensify - Faster Casting

That said, low cast speed means it'll be clunky, and I personally much prefer using bane. Leveling the gems, even in offhand, is however a smart move.

since you are using ES and not mana to cast your skills, you should replace Arcane Surge in your blight setup by Efficacy

As soon as you aquire Spreading Rot, socket it near pain attenument to let your blight apply wither.

At this point, you should have 3 damaging setups:

  • Bane, that has great aoe clear and applies despair.
  • Blight, that you only use on tougher targets and gives infusion and wither.
  • Essence drain that deals good additionnal damage for singletarget situations.

Skill tree:32-60

Warning Following this leveling tree requires a few respec points. Keep the points you gain during the campaign.

Level 60-Early endgame

At this point, you should be nearing/at blood aqueducts.

You should try to obtain a 5-links body armor for your ED, with the following links:

Essence Drain - Void Manipulation - Controlled Destruction - Efficacy - Swift Affliction

The best would be to get a 5-links Kintsugi, but at this point, any random rare will do just fine.

Drop bane, and make sure you have your 4-link contagion setup to combo with ED.

Your next upgrade should be a Cane of unravelling, 5 links if possible. It will carry your damage in early maps just fine.

Now is also a good time to do merciless labyrinth, before you kill Kitava. If you are not at leaguestart, try to get a Vertex helmet, to massively boost your energy shield, evasion and auras. This item is usually somewhat expensive during the first few weeks of a league, and drops to a few chaos after the first rush to maps. Any helmet with decent ES will do just fine.

[link: vertex]

Skill tree: 60 - Early Endgame

This skill tree is a trimmed down version of the final tree for level 71.

You should be reaching to mind over matter last, to only take it when you have enough energy shield (>1500). This usually happens when you equip Hyrri's ire.


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