Seismic Trap Saboteur



The Seismic Trap Saboteur is a league start bossing specialist that excels in single target and can take on most endgame bosses on a moderate budget. It is a fairly decent mapper even though it is not the fastest build out there. You are a trap specialist throwing deadly devices on the ground while running and dodging everything coming your way.

Mid Game Gear Overview

Strengths and Weaknesses


Skills Breakdown

Seismic Trap

Seismic Trap is your main damage skill. Lay all your trap charges down on Bosses. While mapping, only throw one here and there to help out clearing the screen and take out tougher enemies like Rare Monsters.

Exsanguinate Trap

Exsanguinate linked with Trap Support is your secondary damage skill. Use it as a clearing skill for mapping and also as a filler skill when dodging attacks or waiting for your Seismic Trap charges to refill.

Utility And Auras

Keep the advised Aura gems active at all times and remember to reactivate them after dying. Flame Dash or Dash should be used whenever available to assist with movement.

Ascendancy Breakdown

The Saboteur is our choice as it offers many Traps bonuses and good defences.

  • Born in the Shadows grants a permanent and efficient source of Blind which is a great defence layer.
  • Perfect Crime grants additional damage for Traps, complemented by Chain Reaction for Trap Cooldown Recovery and Trap « Chain Trigger ».
  • Pyromaniac is our main source of recovery, granting us 10% Life Regeneration while also making us Immune to Ignite and Shock.

To learn how the Labyrinth works, feel free to consult our Labyrinth Guide!


When playing as Seismic Trap Saboteur your primary focus is to lay down your Seismic Traps and Exsanguinate Traps in good positions to maximize your damage output on the targets. The rest of the time, you're free to run around targets and surgically dodge attacks.


While mapping, Exsanguinate Traps become your main source of damage, spam them near targets and only throw Seismic Trap to help clear out very dense screens or tougher enemies.


Traps allow you to frontload damage (spend all trap charges at once to stack them) in order to create massive damage bursts, which makes the Seismic Trap Saboteur a great bossing character and single target character in general. When fighting a Boss, curse them with Assassin's Mark and let Seismic Trap do most of the work. Exsanguinate Trap is used as a filler while dodging and waiting for Seismic Traps charges to refill, it adds some secondary damage, kills small adds and keeps up the Perfect Crime Ascendancy damage buff.

Build Scaling


Seismic Trap and Exsanguinate combined with Trap Support are both Traps Spells dealing Physical Damage, hence they scale off of these stats mainly:

  • Trap Damage
  • Global Physical Damage
  • Spell Damage
  • Auras (Summon Skitterbots, Pride, Herald of Purity, Precision)

Since we have easy access to Critical Strike stats on the Passive Skill Tree, we also optimize around these stats:

  • Critical Strike Chance for Spells / Traps
  • Critical Strike Multiplier

Seismic Trap has very specific mechanics allowing for more damage scaling: By default, the trap releases a set of 5 waves every 0.9 seconds for a total duration of 3.5 seconds. This lets us scale our Seismic Trap damage even further:

  • The interval of 0.9 seconds between each set of waves is reduced by your Trap Throwing Speed.
  • The Skill Effect Duration increases the duration of the trap, letting you reach more wave releases if you hit a breakpoint.

This leads to this formula:

The result is rounded down. This allows you to get an estimation of the actual number of wave releases, but there might be imperfections in some scenarios due to server ticks affecting duration. The best way to tell how many ticks your Seismic Trap releases is to throw one into your Hideout and count them manually.

Beware that Trap Duration does not directly increases your damage nor the actual duration of the trap, it only affects the duration before the trap activates. It is an interesting stat to take to reduce the activation time of your Traps for gameplay smoothness, but not a requirement.


The Saboteur has access to a wide variety of defences on its gear and passive Skill Tree, the following defences are our focus:

  • Evasion and Armour from Gear, Flasks and Skill Tree
  • Capped Elemental Resistances at 75%
  • 100% Spell Suppression
  • Freeze Immunity
  • Corrupted Blood Immunity

The above defences grant the build solid mitigation against difficult to avoid one shots and unavoidable ailment deaths, but still position it firmly as a ranged glass cannon reliant on excellent positioning and dodging.

Mapping Preparation

You're done with the Campaign and are ready to take on the Path of Exile Endgame. Priority 1 is to ensure your Elemental Resistances are capped (75%) and have 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 Resistances wherever possible according to what you need and Life wherever else possible.

Map Modifiers

Take note of the below modifiers as they should be avoided or run with caution when they appear on your maps:

  • Avoid No Regen and Less Recovery because your only source of recovery is Life Regen. Be careful even if you are confident enough that you can take care of these Maps with only your Life Flask.
  • Beyond is always problematic when progressing since Beyond Monsters are deadly and can easily kill you off guard.
  • Minus Global Resistances and Reduced Suppressed Spell Amount are modifiers you should always be looking for since they dramatically increases the damage you take.
  • Physical Damage Reduction is a no-go for tougher content since it reduces your damage output by a straight 40%.

Recommended Farming Content

The first step is to progress through the Atlas following our Atlas Progression Guide. As a mapping focused character you should focus on the mechanics listed below depending on what level of content your character is currently capable of completing. If you're struggling in higher tier content it is always recommended you go a step back and farm up more Currency and Gear. 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.


For information about what is the Pantheon and how it works, don't hesitate to consult our Pantheon Guide!

For Major Pantheon, select Brine King to gain Immunity to Freeze and Reduction of Chill Effect. This bonus is not baseline and needs to be acquired with a Divine Vessel.

For Minor Pantheon, select Shakari or Grukthul and upgrade it. The first gives you defences against Poisons and Chaos Degens while the latest grants you a more generic defensive layer. Both are good choices depending on your playstyle and the content you're running.

Skill Gems

Gems are an 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:

Early Game Gem Setup

This is how your Gem setup looks like as you enter Maps. You should have both Seismic Trap & Exsanguinate on 4-Links, your Movement Setup and your Auras Setup ready. Initially, you need to choose between Determination and Pride (either more defense or more damage). Quickly, you focus on getting a cheap 6-Link for Seismic Trap and Deerstalker for a pseudo 5-Link on Exsanguinate.

Use Slider to see Skill Progression
Mid Game Gem Setup

As you transition into The Devouring Diadem, you can replace Lifetap Support with Concentrated Effect Support on your 6-Link Seismic Trap. At the same time, you can add in Determination or Pride with some Level 2-3 Enlighten Support. If you went full offense with Pride and want even more, add Herald of Purity instead. You can change your Movement Setup to something smoother like Whirling Blades or Dash.

End Game Gem Setup

As you get expensive upgrades, Ashes of the Stars lets you add the last Aura you were missing. You can focus on getting Corruption Implicits, all Awakened & Alternate Quality Gems as well as all Level 21 Gems to pimp your Setup.

Skill Tree Progression

Key Build Info

The Skill Tree Progression is really straightforward up until obtaining Cluster Jewels. Some Late Game Upgrades such as Thread of Hope and Impossible Escape require some Skill Tree Tweaks.

One thing to check during ever point of your build progression is how many Seismic Trap ticks per Trap you have. As seen above, this tickrate scales with Trap Throwing Speed while Skill Effect Duration allows for longer Traps which may get you one more tick. Don't hesitate to throw a Seismic Trap in your hideout to check the numbers of ticks you currently have and if it is worth to go for more Trap Throwing Speed or if you can remove some.

Character Progression


Upon completing this guide you will have an amazing Bosskiller character with fairly decent capabilities of Mapping, a great "All-Rounder" character, able to deal with almost any content in the game. If you're looking for the next step of your Seismic Trap journey, you can transition this Physical Seismic Trapper into a Cold Conversion Seismic Trapper which is more expensive to build early on but has a higher damage ceiling allowing to wreak havoc on the battlefield even more!


Written by Chewingnom.
Reviewed by Palsteron.


Jul 9th 2022
Build Guide Created.