As each new PoE league rolls around, many players ponder over the next league starter they’ll be rolling out with. Unsurprisingly, many builds top the charts each league – but the Contagion, Blight & Essence Drain Trickster is one of the few builds to constantly appear on the list ever since it fist became massively viable back in Synthesis. And that’s why today we’ll be covering this build in detail to help you plan out the best possible league starter for the new Heist PoE league.
It’s no secret that Path of Exile offers players practically limitless opportunities to mold the build that caters to their personal favorite style of play.
Unsurprisingly, such a broad and monolithic feature can be tough to wrap your head around if you are new to the ARPG scene. After all, there are a lot of things to learn when starting out, such as how PoE currency works, or how to make the most of the PoE trade market in order to advance your character towards the end-game.
Now, if PoE builds are an obfuscated concept, or you want to try something new to wipe the floor with your enemies – this short guide on the Essence Train Trickster build may be worthwhile to check out.
Below, we’ll give you a rundown on this build, what makes it tick, and how you can put together your very own Contagion, Blight and Essence Drain Trickster in order to carry yourself through the PoE Heist league.
A Quick Overview Of This PoE Build
What we can tell you straight off the bat is that the combination of Essence Drain and Contagion can certainly be a deadly one.
You will get to enjoy fast clear speeds, easy mapping, lots of currency gains, and high experience gain if you approach this PoE build in the correct manner.
The reason behind its high clear speed comes down to the Path of Exile build being able to take Monolith away from mobs, which gives you a huge upper hand as you start to run juiced up T16 shaped maps.
It’s also very handy for you to run this build from the start of the league since you can actually pick everything up for a relatively dirt-cheap price over the first few days. And what’s more, it will last you right through to the end-game and beyond with next to zero additional currency investment!
Now, if that’s not enough – then its ability to wipe out anything in a satisfying manner with some of the coolest visuals around should get you excited to want to pursue the Essence Drain and Contagion trickster build.
But Why Go With The Trickster Of All The Shadow Ascensions?
This boils down to the fact that the Trickster aspect has the ability to enhance the effects of Essence Drain even further, so you can expect to take down even the strongest of mobs with devastating ease, all the while racking up a load of experience.
The Downsides To Playing ED Contagion Trickster
Despite all these fantastic traits, there are a few downsides to this particular PoE build.
For example, there is the aura known as Allies Cannot Die, which stops Contagion from making the most of the Essence Drain Trickster setup.
Additionally, you’ll have to deal with the fact that it doesn’t inflict burst damage, nor does it scale as well as other top tier PoE builds when it comes to single-target damage on bosses.
The Contagion + Essence Drain Trickster Build Playstyle
This Path of Exile build plays out in a way that you can damage enemies in a relatively large area with a spreading effect.
For example, when a single enemy is affected by Contagion, the degenerative effects of Essence Drain then spread on death to affect groups of nearby enemies. The spread area is actually pretty darn huge, and you can even expect it to surpass a number of screens from time to time.
Introducing Vaal Blight in this build then adds a debuff that deals lots of extra chaos damage over time. This can prove to be fatal to tankier enemies if you are struggling to overcome those. Additionally, the situation can also be improved with the Despair curse, which makes enemies less resistant to chaos damage. And finally, throwing Temporal Chains into the mix allows you to deal with any ranged enemies in the blink of an eye.
This Path of Exile Essence Drain Trickster build is great for a touch and go playstyle. And to get the most out this mash-up, you are going to need to execute Essence Drain and Contagion as close to each other as possible, as if you were pulling off a combo attack in a fighting game for example.
Once you have done so, you can use Despair on anything that remains alive post initial burst.
As mentioned earlier the one area this build struggles in is single-target damage. It’s just not quite as effective with this Path of Exile build compared to others, but thankfully we’ve got Blight to play a key role in single-target damage, which is especially nice in situations where bosses are concerned.
The Gear You’ll Need For This Build
The gear that you select is often subjective, but if you want a gear setup from the PoE trade market that offers a powerful yet affordable approach and doesn’t impose on your currency budget too much – then the following options should be considered.
Amulet – Impresence (Chaos)
This is a great amulet to use, as it increases your attributes and chaos damage.
Head – Hubris Circlet
Chest – Hyrri’s Ire (Alternatively – Perfect Form)
For the head and chest, a combination of Hubris Circlet and either Hyrri’s Ire or The Perfect Form will further buff up your dexterity, making you a formidable force.
Boots – Any Decent Dexterity Base Rare
Gloves – Silk Gloves
Weapons – Dual Opal Wands
If you want to further increase your dexterity, then you should opt for a rare pair that boost this stat. You can then boost your spell damage when picking out your gloves and weapons respectively.
The Gems You’ll Need
If you’ve played any amount of PoE, you probably have a pretty good idea of what gems we will be using for the Essence Drain Trickster build. But just in case, here are our suggestions for the gem setup you should run into the endgame.
First and foremost, having Essence Drain as your 6-link is the best way forward, though it is rather limited by what support gems you link up.
Meanwhile, you’ll also be using Contagion and Vaal Blight, which will have more supports to further enhance their power.
The support gems you should consider include the likes of Empower Support, which can support any skill gem. You are looking to enhance your gems, of course, so using damage supports such as Efficacy and Controlled Destruction Support can be very handy, as can Swift Affliction and the Void Manipulation Support gem.
Contagion should see you focusing on covering bigger areas, using Increased Area of Effect support. Efficacy Support can be useful here too as it was with Essence Drain. And there is also Faster Casting Support which can improve your non-instant spell casts, but the previous two mentioned work far better as a combo with Essence Drain. Finally, for the fourth slot, you should consider Intensify Support, which gives you more control over casting spells.
Finally, for Vaal Blight, you can once again run Efficacy Support. But, remember that we want to increase our single damage output as much as possible, so Infused Channelling Support can also be quite useful here. Additionally, you can buff up your attack and spell skills with the use of Controlled Destruction support for some extra oomph.
Ultimately, if you’re eyeballing a Path of Exile build that sees you clearing maps quickly, with rapidly spreading damage that wipes out entire screenfuls of enemies in one go – then the Essence Drain Trickster build is definitely one that you should keep on your radar.
There are a few alternative choices when it comes to the support gems and gear, but the options we’ve outlined above should be more than enough to get you stared for pennies to the dollar as a budget.
Now here’s the best part – whichever build-path you choose with the Essence Drain Trickster, you can still expect to wipe out anything that stands before you in seconds with this awesome combo. So racking up some decent currency, an amazing pool of items, and a level 100 character in the new Heist league should be a breeze!