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Skill Gems & Passive Tree


Here are the best Skill Gems & Passive Tree for the Caustic Arrow Poison Ballista Trickster build that includes the Skill Tree Progression for Leveling, Midgame and Endgame.

Skill Gems

Use Slider to see Skill Progression

Gems are a fundamental part of your build. Getting the correct link setups before entering Maps and leveling those Gems as you progress through the Atlas is one of your main goals. This is how your Gem setup should look like before entering Maps:

Playstyle in Maps

  • Focus on placing your Ballistas down while moving, and having your Quartz Flask up at all times to phase through enemies.
  • Since you are a Damage over Time build enemies don't die instantly, so being able to rush through them while they die behind you saves you a ton of time. With a good loot filter, you won't miss any items or Currency.
  • Make sure that you keep up your Frenzy Charges, since you otherwise lose the buff from Snakebite. Always be full on charges!
  • Periodically activate your Mirage Archer, Vaal Haste and Enduring Cry!

Playstyle against Bosses

  • Focus on having your Ballistas up at all times. A lot of Bosses move, so make sure your Ballistas are not out of range or dead!
  • Always keep your Frenzy Charges at full stacks!
  • Always keep your Curses up. Temporal Chains and Despair together nearly double your damage!
  • Cast your Mirage Archer Support setup every 4 seconds, for maximum DPS.
  • You don't need to stand still, just let your Ballistas do the work while you dodge enemy attacks. This is one of the huge advantages these builds have, so use it!

Switching from Poisonous Concoction to Caustic Arrow

Poisonous Concoction is an incredibly strong skill that carries you through most of the game if you want it to. It doesn't need too much gear to work and is easy to play. However, somewhere around mid- to endgame you want a build that scales its damage more efficiently.

This is where Caustic Arrow Ballista comes in. If you want to know how your Gems have to look in order to switch, check out the Midgame Skill Setup above! In terms of gear, here is the bare minimum you need to start:

  • A Tabula Rasa as an easy 6-Link, since you need a lot of specific Support Gems.
  • A crafted Bow that looks similar to this: New Item, which is made by applying a Shrieking Essence of Envy on a Bow, preferably a Thicket basetype. Use Essences until you get a good mixture of mods, including any sort of Physical Damage, Attack Speed or Damage over Time Multiplier, then finish it on the Crafting Bench! (depending on what you are missing on the weapon after Crafting).
  • You need Snakebite Gloves and the Rain of Splinters Jewel.

Make sure that you respec your Passive Tree accordingly, and check your Accuracy and Gear for weaknesses after you change gear! For a more in-depth look, check out the Gear Progession section on the next page!


Poisonous Concoction Mechanics

Even though you respec out of Poisonous Concoction eventually, knowing how it works makes the first 70-75 Levels of your journey a lot easier!

Whenever you attack with Poisonous Concoction, you remove 2 Life Flask Charges, if possible. This makes you deal extra damage equal to a percentage of the Life that would've been recovered if the Life Flask in question was used. This means that the only stat that matters for your Life Flask is Increased Life recovered. An optimal Flask for this would look something like this: Saturated Divine Life Flask of the Cure.

This also means that Quality on your Life Flask matters A LOT! You can go up to 20% with Glassblower's Baubles.


Skill Tree Progression

Passive Skill Tree Progression

Cluster Jewel Setup:

Cluster Jewels are items you can insert into the outer Jewel Sockets of your Passive Tree. They extend the Passive Tree with extra Nodes, giving you extra customization options for your build!

For this build specifically, you want a 8 Passive (9 for budget) Large Cluster Jewel with % Chaos Damage. On top of that, you want a 4 or 5 Passive Medium Cluster Jewel, with % Totem Damage.

For more information on exactly what Cluster Jewels to get, check out the Milestones in the Gear Progression section!

Example of a Large + Medium Cluster Jewel