Path of Exile

The Definitive Blade Trap Theorycraft

The Definitive Blade Trap Theorycraft

Hi everyone, this skill really tickled my fancy and I've been thinking about since the last few days. I had made several trees but today I got really bored so I edited the PoB files to create a pseudo Blade Trap (changed sweep to 670 added damage effectiveness with 0 added damage (assuming the trap hits 10 times while dual wielding, with lvl 20 effectiveness) and supportable by trap and made lvl 1 trap support it). Here are my ideas and findings.

General Considerations

Kind of a new archetype, this skill with the tags "AoE, Attack, Trap" lets you use attack damage and weapon scaling while benefiting from trap playstyle and trap nodes on the tree.


  • Can disregard attack speed completely.
  • No need to headbutt monster packs to deal melee weapon damage.
  • Bunch of crit multiplier and penetration stuff on the tree for the trap nodes, as well as bunch of elemental penetration. Dense tree.
  • Good trap clusters.


  • You're playing traps -> need to invest in trap throwing speed (or cast speed with Slavedriver's)
  • Still need to invest in accuracy.
  • If you want to branch out into DoT builds the tree quickly turns into soup.
  • You question yourself about why you're not playing a normal attack skill.

The first ascendancy that comes to mind is obviously Saboteur, but we actually don't care too much about the trap ascendancy nodes; Chain Reaction is good for inc. AoE only since we can't utilize any cooldown traps, and Perfect Crime's damage per trap is usually only useful for when you're stacking traps under the boss; reduced cost and chance re-trigger are rather good though. Summon Skitterbots is our bread and butter and whatever sub-type we're running we'll most likely be running it. Also Precision seems like a no-brainer as well for starting, but we can reconsider that. However Born in the Shadows, Pyromaniac and Explosives Expert nodes are absolutely bonkers and gives us really well rounded defenses and all-around useful offensive stats. We also start right next to Claw, Dagger and Trap nodes. Not being able to utilize attack speed might become a curse since bunch of weapon nodes have

Using traps, we can also utilize some niche jewels/gear: * Coated Shrapnel: This seems like a no brainer for getting fat amounts of added phys with very little investment. We'll explore this in various builds. * Replica Cheap Construction: Since we're not worried about the max # of traps too much (we can't set up fat stacks and detonate all ot once during combat like mines), this is a really cheap way of getting crit. * Tinkerskin: The usual; Tinkerskin gives us nice sustain on top of the Pyromaniac, and free Phasing. It's a rather nice stepping stone until we can get a gg crafted chest. * Slavedrivers: Again, really common in trap builds.

A last pointer is that since we're not the ones hitting/killing, we actually can't benefit from a lot of the stuff we would use otherwise.

  • Bear Trap is a uniqe tool we can utilize to boost our damage.
  • Siphoning Trap is a rather underrated tool we can utilize early in the game for a thick regen boost, it's actually very good.

Defensive Considerations

Unfortunately we are located in the part of the tree amounts of Health in the nanoscale. I'm not a big fan of zHP builds either so we will have to improvise. However keep in mind that I'm a softcore player.

  • I think Phase Acro/Acro/Wind Dancer combo is the default for Sabo. We get some nice regen and blind from the ascendancy, we can itemize in spell dodge for good all around mitigation.
  • We are an attack build! We definitely grab Whirling Blades/Fortify.
  • We can keep Vaal Grace in our back pocket for sticky situations.
  • We want either Kintsugi, Tinkerskin or Perfect Form for a unique chest. We want Spell Dodge in the rares.
  • We definitely want Can't be chilled/frozen in our boots (idk if they got nerfed).

Possible Building Directions


Since this is an attack, it can inflict bleed. However, it has some anti-synergy with Traps; we can't really utilize the Crit multiplier nodes from traps, fast hitting blades don't really benefit from bleeds (which makes Crimson Dance mandatory) and Bleed nodes and Trap nodes on the tree are far apart. If you're keen on trying it, here are some tips:

  • Go Ascendant or Deadeye. Ascendant Gladiator node has %20-25 increased Phys DoT iirc, and you can pick the second ascendancy to your own liking, Probably go Sabo to start on that side of the tree. Deadeye is good for the Rupturing node and you can zoom with tailwind. Marks are ok too I guess. Sabo isn't too bad either but scaling options are rather limited for us, and we can't utilize Explosives Expert to a good extent.
  • There are some good unique daggers like Sanguine Gambol and Mark of the Doubting Knight, might be good for early leveling.
  • Maybe you can work out some way of making it work with Daggers, if you're keen on that, good luck and godspeed.

Ascendant tree: (1.1m Shaper dps with a sanguine gambol and mark of the doubting knight) Deadeye tree: (850k Sdps with a sanguine gambol and mark of the doubting knight, not as bad as I thought since bleeds last for a short time but cba working on it more) (these can be vastly improved literally only items are those 2 shitty daggers and coated shrapnel)


Boy oh boy. When you see Coated Shrapnel you immediately want to go for poison, but in my opinion what made/will make this viable is the new crit ailment gem and Poison buff/rework. You see, since most of Pathfinder and Assassin benefits rely on you inflicting the poisons, they are of little use to us. We can't utilize neither the PF prolif or chance to inflict double damage poison, nor anything Assassin offers (apart from +%2 crit).

Sabo isn't so bad once again, but doesn't offer anything particularly helpful for scaling damage. Occultist has pretty good chaos damage scaling, along with Trickster. We can't utilize curseplosions for Occultist sadly but we still have 4 really good nodes we can take. Trickster is, well, tricky also because we can't utilize Patient Reaper, however, we can already get Tinkerskin for mapping sustain and we can fully utilize Harness the Void.

  • For Trickster, Harness + Prolonged + Swift Killer + Weave would be my choice. Trickster is particularly good because of the copious amounts of cast speed we get that can be converted into trap throwing speed, and Weave should prove useful with the newest mana changes.
  • We always grab the Shadow trap/{claw/dagger}/DoT nodes then we can either path northwest for wither or southeast for other poison nodes. Daggers have some nuts nodes on the tree though so in the meanwhile if you can grab/craft something nice may be a decent stepping stone or until you get Wasp Nest(s). You'll have to PoB it to see if they can beat crafted Heist claws though.
  • With Herald of Agony, poison passive nodes and Coated Shrapnels we can very easily cap poison chance at the beginning. Wasp Nests are a the default choice for our first big boy weapons, then we can craft some Heist chaos claws, and upgrade from coated shrapnels to some nice jewels/cluster jewels.
  • Since we already have some power charges and crit scaling from the weapons, we most likely want to go for Perfect Agony when we have enough crit with Ungil's Harmony, just check your PoB to see if it's a sizable damage increase.
  • Most likely want Malevolence in there, to grab all Malevolence, HoAg and Skitters might want to spec into % reduced mana reserved nodes on the tree, for which we're in the prime position for. If you grab both clusters you can grab Precision and maybe Vitality and pretend like you're playing aura stacker!

Trickster tree: (1.7m shaper dps with 2xWasp Nest, Impresence, Slavedrivers and 2xCoated Shrapnel, only atziri's flask up) Occultist tree: (900k sdps with 2xWasp Nest, Impresence and 2xCoated Shrapnel, no flask)

Elemental – Hit Based

This way we can utilize both weapon nodes and weapon pen nodes on the tree. In fact, we can get %31 generic elemental penetration just from the tree. Ideally we want a weapon with bunch of added ele and good crit. Shouldn't be hard to craft a decent one using a high crit base using some essences and bench crafting the crit on. Luxury mods would be EDWA and crit multi. I think we want a dagger or a sword (can't utilize claw implicits on traps), you'll have to PoB it and see which is better, I think the sword nodes on this side of the tree are a bit lacking. Coated shrapnel doesn't do much for us so the ideal would be some crit jewels or flat added abyss jewels.

  • Vulconus, White Wind, Hyaon's Fury and Rebuke of the Vaal should all be decent starter uniques. Hopefully Vulconus will be cheap since GGG murdered Inquisitor.
  • I'm personally planning on going Sabo with this but Raider would be a decent choice as well.
  • Can anoint Disemboweling or Blade of Cunning for swords, any generic crit or whatever for daggers.
  • Can grab Wrath or Anger. Anger is your best bet if you're going Vulconus. Herald of Thunder or Ice might be OK fillers but I don't know if their effects work since you won't be the one killing the mobs.
  • While other paths are starved for points, not as many good nodes for this path, so you can grab nearby extra nodes like True Strike, Throatseeker, Unstable Munitions etc. or go for some clusters when you have the currency.

Sabo PoB: (all conversion, flat ele etc. trees and item builds in here, 3-4-5m sdps with uniques)

Elemental – Conversion

What I just wrote above, but this time we're either utilizing something like Story of the Vaal or a crafted Anarchic Spiritblade instead of a flat ele weapon, (Might put Vulconus in this category as well) or just grabbing a Paradoxica and converting it old school. The reason I put this separated is because we can use Coated Shrapnel with these builds since its phys damage will be converted. Same considerations as above apply. For this, we can also grab some Warden's Brands for an early damage infusion since we don't give a FLYING fuck about the reduced attack speed.

  • I thought Hatred + HoAsh + HoP would be killer with this but my current PoB with Story of the Vaal shows me Wrath is better, so might not be the best path to take, maybe PoB a Paradoxica iteration and see if it's any good.
  • An increased crit + elemental mod paradoxica might be a cheap starter for this build since I don't know who else would want that.
  • Get a Hatred conversion watcher's eye, %40 mods on the tree and %25 cold convert from the gloves for a shitty Ice Trap cosplay (idk might be good). My money is on a GG crafted Anarchic Spiritblade though.

Full Phys – Impale

This is also a possibility, though I don't know if it's a good possibility. Since with 3.15 most of the power of impale got moved to passive nodes from the support gem, it's almost mandatory to go to the soutwest of the tree. At least we get some sick synergy from Paradoxica + Coated Shrapnel. I think both Sabo and Champion are possibilities. Apparently +1 impale and added damage from impales both work on mines (not the + armor though).

  • If you're truly feeling like a madman grab all Champion of the Cause, Charisma and Influence wheels together with Inspirational ascendancy node for %20 RMR and %68 aura effect for the fattest Pride of your life. (as far as I can tell all nodes are inc aura effect and not inc aura effect on YOU).

Champion PoB: (5m sdps, only items are 2xWell Rolled paradoxica, Ryslatha's Coil, 2xSteel Ring with top added phys rolls, 2xCoated Shrapnel. Only Diamond Flask on)

Closing thoughts


Likely want Trap Damage and Cluster Traps for any of these build paths. The rest obv depends on what you're doing: EDWA, Added Cold/Lightning, Immolation seems really good, Ele pen; Void manipulation deadly ailments etc for poison, Brutality & Impale for impale. Increased Crit will also be pretty good while using a unique on a hit build since they all have pretty lackluster base crits. Conc Effect also probably universally good if you can stomach the less AoE (might compensate with Chain Reaction). Hypothermia most likely good with all of them including Poison due to Skitterbots free chill. Damage on full life is also free damage if you're not using Slavedrivers.

PoB notes

NO GUARANTEE OF DPS BEING CORRECT ONCE THE GEM SHOWS UP Treat the numbers as an estimate. You might take more life if you desire, most of the trees are around %120 inc which is on the lower side. Also I couldn't be bothered with adding items with life or mana so don't be fooled if you see negative mana reservation (due to Precision flat cost) or 350 hp. When PoB is updated with the new gems just take out Sweep and Trap and put in Blade Trap isntead. I tried my damnedest to not pobwarrior but I might have missed a few things while just playing with the settings, lmk if anything's out of order.

And please DO let me know if you have any feedback, I'm by no means an experienced buildmaker and might have made some mistakes. If you have any questions you're always welcome to PM me on Reddit.


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