PoD Perlite Elemental Martial Arts Assassin Guide

PoD Perlite Elemental Martial Arts Assassin Guide by weirdball



  1. Pros & Cons
  2. Viability
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Strategy
  5. Leveling Skills
  6. Early Ladder Gear
  7. End Game Skills & Stats
  8. End Game Gear
  9. Mapping
  10. Ubers & Dclone

1. Pros & Cons


  • The gameplay is fast paced, dynamic and satisfying; it feels like you're playing an assassin, (Kakashi anyone?)
  • 8 man red map viable
  • No problems with immunes because the build deals significant fire, cold and lightning damage
  • Insane single target damage which is useful against elites and map bosses
  • Tanky
  • Cheap (for now)


  • APM intensive (Stretch and warmup your hands and wrists before a big map)
  • Melee
  • Smaller aoe compared to some builds

2. Viability

  • Leveling: Yes
  • Early Ladder: Yes
  • End Game: Yes
  • Hardcore: ? (I did complete hell baal with it in HC)
  • Uber Trist: ?
  • Dclone: ?

3. Abbreviations

Fists of Fire = FoF
Claws of Thunder = CoT
Blades of Ice = BoI
Cobra Strike = Cobra
Dragon Flight = Flight
Dragon Talon = Talon
Cloak of Shadows = Cloak
Burst of Speed = BoS

4. Strategy

Charge-Up Skills

Bind: Right Click

  • Q – BoI
  • W – CoT
  • E – FoF
  • R – Cobra

Cycle between the 4 charge abilities as you right click enemies.

Reasoning: Charges expire after 8 seconds have elapsed. You want to keep 3 charges of each of BoI, CoT, FoF and Cobra at all times for maximum damage and survivability. The effects of the different charges are cumulative and are procced by using any charge up ability OR Talon. For example: If you have already 3 active charges of each of BoI, and CoT, and use Cobra, the Cobra strike will have fire damage, an explosion, a meteor, lightning damage, lightning bolts, and static field.

Dragon Talon

Bind: Right Click T

Use this ability on high health elites and bosses when you have 12 active charges.

Reasoning: Talon kicks 3 times in a row, and is one of the fastest attacks in the game at 6.57 attacks per second with only a small amount of attack speed. Each of the 3 attacks procs ALL cumulative charge effects.

Cloak of Shadows

Bind: Right Click S

Use this ability on cooldown, especially when you encounter a large amount of density, such as packs of ranged mobs like Quills or Horrors, or Unholy Corpses.

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Reasoning: By blinding enemies, cloak mitigates damage from large groups of ranged mobs (like Quills, Fire Archers, etc). It also prevents melee mobs from moving and surrounding you. It also increases your defense and reduces enemy defenses. It adds significant survivability and damage which justifies skilling into it. I like to use Cloak after using Flight so I can hit as many mobs with cloak as I can. An easy way to cast it on cooldown is to count three seconds from when the darkness effect lifts.

Dragon Flight

Bind: Left Click F

Use this ability to close the distance with mobs


Dragon flight will freeze all enemies hit by it. Each charge reduces the cooldown for Flight by .5 seconds so the more charges you have, the more often you can use Flight Once you have 12 charges you can Flight with almost no cooldown. Once you have max charges you can use this ability to oneshot and freeze dangerous enemies like Unholy Corpses, Council Members, or groups of closely packed mobs. Flight only incorporates the added elemental damage from elemental charges, not the other effects.

Move Only

Bind: Left Click D

Switch from Flight to Move Only when you need to enter a portal, pick up an item or walk away while cleansing.

5. Leveling Skills

  • 1 Dragon Claw
  • 6 Claw Mastery
  • 1 Fist of Fire
  • 1 Burst of Speed
  • Max Fists of Fire (only go to 10 if you don't want to respec)
  • 1 Weapon Block @ lvl 12
  • 1 point into cloak of shadows + psychic hammer for prereq
  • Max Claw Mastery
  • Max BoI or CoT
  • Max Cobra
  • Max BoI or CoT

I haven't gotten a chance to try every different configuration of skills but this worked for me. FoF is insane for leveling.

6. Early Ladder Gear

Helm: Lore Runeword

Chest: Stealth Runeword Armor / Smoke Runeword Armor / Treachery Runeword

Gloves: Anything with IAS and Martial Arts if you can find it

Belt: Blood Belt

Boots: Anything with Movespeed (Sander's Riprap is good)

Weapon: Pattern Runeword Claws

Offhand: Ancient's Pledge / Pattern Runeword Claws / Spirit Shield

Amulet: + Martial Arts skills

Rings: + Resist

Act 2 Defensive Merc

Helm: Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest

Chest: Duriel's Shell

Weapon: Rare polearm with cold damage, meleesplash and Shael

7. Endgame Skills & Stats


  • 1 Dragon Claw (prerequisite)
  • 1 Tiger Strike (prerequisite)
  • 20 Cobra Strike
  • 20 Claws of Thunder
  • 20 Blades of Ice
  • 1 Dragon Talon
  • 1 Dragon Flight
  • 20 Claw Mastery
  • 1 Psychic Hammer (prerequisite)
  • 1 Cloak of shadows
  • 1 Burst of Speed
  • 1 Weapon Block
  • 1 Fade
  • Rest into Fists of Fire

Note: Fists of Fire has significantly more attack rating than the other MA skills and so you can use it at a lower level. Not maxing any of the other charge skills causes a noticeable increase in missing when trying to use that skill.

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Enough Str / Dex for gear, the rest into Vitality. Keep in mind Natalya's Totem and Bartucs both give you Strength and Dexterity.

8. Endgame Gear

Helm: Natalya's Totem Bone Visage corrupted w/ 3os (must be upped to elite with cube recipe before slamming: https://pathofdiablo.com/wiki/index.php?title=Corrupting_for_Maximum_Sockets

Chest: Natalya's Shadow Loricated Mail corrupted w/ 3os

Belt: Verdungo

Gloves: +3 Martial Arts +20 IAS w/ 10 Life on Melee Hit / 10 Life on Ranged Hit (gives you life on hit from melee splash)

Boots: Natalya's Soul Boneweave Boots w/ 10 CDR (helps with Flight cooldown)

Weapon: Natalya's Mark Scissors Suwayyah w/ 3os

Offhand: Bartuc's Cut-Throat Runic Talons w/ 3os

Amulet: Metalgrid w/ +1 all skills (huge amount of attack rating, defense and all resist, all of which are needed)


  • Carrion Wind w/ 6% Physical Damage Reduction (twisters provide a lot of CC)

  • Raven Frost w/ 6% Physical Damage Reduction (AR and cannot be frozen is great to hold you over till you get Wisp Projector + Cham rune)

  • Wisp Projector w/ 6% Physical Damage Reduction (this will also help you do Uber Tristram)

Switches: Medusa's Gaze, Demon Limb, Call to Arms, Plague Runeword in +3 venom claw

Charms: Martial Arts Grand Charms w/ Life, Annihlus Small Charm, Hellfire Torch, Def/Life Small Charms, Resists/Life Small Charms (good for Uber Tristram)

Sockets: Melee Splash/IAS Jewel, Cham Rune, 115 worth of offweapon IAS for Decrepify (Shael Runes/15% IAS + Attack Rating Jewels), UM runes for resists,

A2 Defensive Merc Gear

This merc gives you a lot of much defense (as melee this is critical) and since your damage is mainly elemental, Infinity gives you more damage than Might from an A5 Merc would.

Helm: Vampire Gaze w/ 3os Ias/ED jewels

Chest: Fortitude (helps the merc lifesteal more, and have a huge amount of armor)

Weapon: Infinity (Enemy defense reduction helps you hit, and conviction gives you a huge damage boost)

9. Mapping

Unholy Corpses Unholy Corpses are the thing that have killed me the most while mapping. They live in Icy Cavern, Frigid Plateau, Musty Crypt, and Forgotten Desert. Use Cloak to prevent them from charging you then Flight to engage them so that you will freeze them before they get a chance to charge. Do not Flight on Unholy Corpses when they aren't blinded, unless you know the flight will hit them all because you could get charged by the ones outside of Flight's radius.

Decrepify this is a common map mod and also comes from Oblivion Knights in Frigid Plateau and Desecrated Temple. Getting 115 offweapon attack speed helps deal with this problem.

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Dim Cellar This is your easiest map, which is great because it has the chance to have a second map boss!

Frigid Plateau You get a lot of these and you can speed run them to farm red maps which I like to slam to get high exp/density. Watch out for the Unholy Corpses and Blunderbores, don't give them a chance to hit you.

Public Red Map Games I like to slam my red maps for high density/exp (50+/1000+) and simply make public games so I can get 8 man experience from these. Necromancer's Decrep, Barb's Battle Orders or Druid with Oak Sage can make life a lot easier in these. Always run easier red maps with a group to gauge how strong the group is before opening your best maps or maps with harder mods.

Dragon flight allows you to control the placement of your merc (it teleports with you) so you can apply Conviction aura much further forward than most characters can with their mercs. This is particularly useful in groups with Javazons, FoH pallies, Trapsins and Throw Barbs.

Burnt Forest Easiest of the Red Maps. Always use Cloak to blind the archers

Forgotten Desert Be wary of conviction and lower resist on this map. Kill Council Members and avoid hydras in order to keep your merc alive.

Ruined Citadel Be wary of conviction or Lower Resist on this map.

Musty Crypt The graves and barrels that serve as obstacles in this map coupled with the extremely dense mobs make this map super annoying as melee. It also has no guaranteed map drop and it has Unholy Corpses. Garbage.

10. Ubers and Dclone

Coming Soontm It's looking good though 😉 can easily kill dclone with a friend's BO

Thanks for reading my guide <3



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