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Build Info & Playstyle

Last Updated: October 23rd 2023

Trial of the Ancestors 3.22

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Cold Dot Elementalist League Starter Build Info & Playstyle

Build Scaling


Creeping Frost, Vortex and Cold Snap are Cold Damage over Time Spell Skill Gems. Your offensive scaling focuses on increasing the following;

  • Increased Cold/Damage over time
  • Increased Elemental Damage
  • Removing Resistances (Exposure, Curses and Eye of Malice)
    • Increased Curse Effect to assist in Resistance removal
  • +#% to Cold/Damage over Time Multiplier
  • Additional Levels to Cold Skill/Spell Gems
  • Increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments (Scorch/Shock)
  • Generic Damage Increases (Frenzy Charges)
  • Auras (Malevolence, Hatred)
  • Pressing a whole Stash load of buttons to maximize damage. Realistically you just press each once on the boss and it's dead before you need to think more than that.

The Cold DoT Elementalist Build has an Elemental Damage absorbing bubble, but requires the following to increase its other defences:

  • Armour and Evasion from Gear, Flasks, Skill Tree and Determination, Grace and Defiance Banner.
  • Capped Elemental Resistances at 75%
  • 100% Spell Suppression
  • 100% Shock and Freeze Avoidance & 90% Reduced Effect of Chill.
  • 30% Chill effect on enemies and Bosses, causing them to become much slower
  • Corrupted Blood Immunity (from a Rare Jewel)
  • Cold Damage Leeched as Life (from Gloves)

The above defences grant the build solid mitigation against mapping and bossing content, but still requires you to move your character out of dangerous boss abilities or mapping situations.

There may be a point where you don't have enough Energy Shield to cast Hatred, or you won't have the additional Curse to cast Elemental Weakness yet. Just ignore them and progress without until you get further through the guide.

Build Info

Eye of Malice

The Eye of Malice is a great tool to further increase your damage. This Helmet requires you to be nearby enemies, which you always are because of the need to drop a Vortex on Bosses. When nearby, Eye of Malice increases their Resistances, which may be confusing until you realize that it increases negative resistances. If I increase your debt that's a bad thing for you, and if I increase a monsters negative resistances, that's a bad thing for them too! We also use this for it's Exposure inflicting modifier which allows us to change our Glove Implicit.

Stacking DoT

Cold DoT Elementalist is built around the concept of stacking DoTs. This build utilizes many different abilities which all stack together. It's important to use each ability on Bosses for optimal damage, keeping in mind that if you spam Creeping Frost it does not stack the DoT, but if you then cast a different ability like Vortex, Cold Snap and Vaal Cold Snap, those will all stack together since they're different sources of DoT.

Damage Shifting

To assist in Physical Mitigation this build utilizes a concept called Damage Shifting. This simply means that when using Cloak of Flame or Lightning Coil, a portion of the Physical Damage you take is instead taken as Elemental Damage which your Resistances then reduce. This is a great way to mitigate tons of Physical Damage very easily since every build will have at least 75% capped Resistances at all times.

Legacy of Fury

The Legacy of Fury Boots provide the build with a source of additional pack clear, which makes using Vaal Cold Snap feel great when you Shield Charge through the map. These Boots also provide a source of Scorch, which is an alternate Ailment that shreds Resistances even more making it pair very well with Eye of Malice.

Cold Snap

Cold Snap Causes an expanding area of Cold DoT at target location. If enemies die within it's Area of Effect it generates Frenzy Charges. Consume Frenzy Charges to bypass it's cooldown if you need, but make sure to not use all your Frenzy Charges up or you miss out on their 4% damage buff for each one you have.

Ailment Effect

As an Elementalist you have many different Ailments you're inflicting on enemies. One of many ways we increase our damage is through increasing the effect of these Ailments on enemies. Shock, Scorch, and Chill all have their effects boosted through the Passive Tree, your Anoint of Ash, Frost and Storm, through the Craft on your Amulet and the modifier on your Legacy of Fury.

Eldritch Battery

Eldritch Battery makes your Energy Shield a resource to spend alongside Mana. This is extremely helpful since it always recharges and allows you to no longer need a Mana Flask. There may be a point where you don't have enough Energy Shield to cast Hatred, or you won't have the additional Curse to cast Elemental Weakness yet. Just ignore them and progress without until you get further through the guide.

Ailment Mitigation

This build obtains near Ailment immunity through the Pantheon system and a 60% reduced effect of Shock Ring Craft combined with 40% reduced effect of Shock and Chill Crafted onto your Gloves. Simply take the Brine King Pantheon and upgrade it for 50% reduced effect of Chill and it's Immunity to Freeze.

Spell Suppression

Capping your Spell Suppression at 100% is mandatory to mitigate Spell Damage. Do this by obtaining high tier rolls on your Body Armour, Gloves, Boots and later your Shield. This ensures you always take 50% of the damage a Spell would normally deal.

Mapping Preparation

You're done with the Campaign and are ready to take on Path of Exile's Endgame. Priority 1 is capping your Elemental Resistances (75%) and having sufficient Attributes to continue leveling your Skill Gems. Use Essences you have gathered on any item that is not Magic or Rare already. Items with an open modifier slot can be crafted on. Head to the Crafting Bench and craft the Resistances you need and Life wherever else possible.

Map Modifiers to Avoid:

Copy and Paste everything RED: "non|s ac|gen|% ma|s rec|withe|re he|poss|r el" into the search bar of your Stash tab after rolling all of your Maps for your session. This highlights ALL maps that need to be re-rolled because of the bad modifiers bellow. Press Space + Shift while using Awakened Trade Macro to Save your Regexes and name them for future use and use to create your own Regexes. Otherwise, avoid the following modifiers:

  • Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
  • -#% maximum Player Resistances
  • Players have #% reduced effect of Non-Curse Auras from Skills


While mapping, cast Creeping Frost on packs in front of you, Cold Snap in the back of dense packs to generate Frenzy Charges and keep Vortex on LMB letting it clear what it can. When Vaal Cold Snap is full use your Movement Ability to put yourself in the middle of a pack of monsters and activate it, moving from pack to pack while it's active to quickly clear.


While bossing on your Cold DoT Elementalist Build, use each of your damaging abilities on the boss once and then cast your Elemental Weakness and Hatred. If the boss is still not dead, repeat casting Creeping Frost and Vortex, while maintaining Cold Snap (but not spamming it since it removes a Frenzy Charges if you don't wait for it's cool down.) Later on in the build you'll obtain a pair of boots that lays Scorched Ground underneath you while moving, simply walk on top of a boss to enable a massive Resistance shredding debuff, or move near them if using Legacy of Fury.

Farming Strategies

As a well-rounded character you should focus on the mechanics listed below depending on what level of content your character is currently capable of completing. Clicking the League Mechanics below takes you to either a full Explanation Guide or a detailed Currency Farming Guide based around maximizing your profits from that mechanic or content.

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