Home / Build / [2.6] CI Blade Vortex Shadow – Endgame & Uber Lab farm – (Assassin)

[2.6] CI Blade Vortex Shadow – Endgame & Uber Lab farm – (Assassin)

Intro & build description

One more good starter build for new leagues. Build utilizes CI also known as Chaos inoculation which is in a very strong state at the moment, therefore we can do all the game content with this build, including Shaper, Guardians and Uber Atziri. It’s easy to start this build out and just as easy scale it up for very high damage and survivability.

Build Pros

  • Good build to start in new league
  • Doesn't require a lot of investment to start it out; scales well when you have more expensive gear
  • Can do all content including Shaper, Uber Atziri, Guardians and run Uber Labyrinth
  • Hardcore viable

Build Cons

  • Can't do Hexproof maps; should avoid physical reflect maps as well
  • If you are new, transitioning into CI might be confusing

Passive tree(s) and Path of Building

Skill tree (114 Points)


Bandits Quest Choice
Kill all bandits

Ascendancy skill points

LabyrinthsSkill point choice
Labyrinth 1Unstable Infusion
Labyrinth 2Deadly Infusion
Labyrinth 3Ambush
Endgame LabyrinthAssasinate

Skill gem setup


Cast When Damage Taken Support (LVL 9)

Immortal Call (LVL 11)

Summon Lightning Golem (LVL 11)

You can have 4th unlinked socket to put Concentrated Effect Support gem to swap out Increased Area of Effect in boss fights

Body Armor

Blade Vortex

Added Fire Damage Support

Spell Echo Support

Controlled Destruction Support

Increased Critical Damage Support

Increased Area of Effect Support

Note: swap Increased Area of Effect out with Concentrated Effect Support for boss fights.


Arctic Breath (LVL 6)

Vortex (LVL 6)

Cast When Damage Taken Support (LVL 3)

Greater Multiple Projectiles Support


Flame Dash

Faster Casting Support

Decoy Totem

Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Support

2h Weapon


1h Weapon

Vaal Discipline

Increased Duration

Vaal Discipline

Have 2x Vaal Discipline for regen.

Offhand weapon / shield

Blasphemy Support

Warlord's Mark


Build uniques / Example rare gear

Tip: Click on the item to view it on PoE Wiki or to view similar rare items in poe.trade


Hubris Circlet

Prioritize Energy shield on your helm – look for at least 300 ES and some resistances.

Body Armour

The Beast Fur Shawl

Excellent body armor for this build – high energy shield, spell damage for Blade Vortex and increased area of effect.



The reason for choosing Facebreakers – they provide us with high crit multiplier.


Sorcerer Boots

Get boots with 30% movement speed and at least 150 energy shield. Resistances is good bonus but can get expensive combined with es and movement speed.

As suggested by Mannou, try to get “0.6/0.5% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently” enchantment on the boots, it helps a ton.

Left Ring

Two-Stone Ring

Look for as much Energy shield as you can find coupled with at least 60 total elemental resistance. Cast speed and intelligence is a nice bonus.

Right Ring

Essence Worm

This ring is absolutely mandatory for the build so we could run our aura setup.

After you pick up Charisma notable skill points (located under Vaal Pact on skill tree), you will be able to run your aura setup with Hatred, Discipline and Warlord’s Mark.


Citrine Amulet

Look for Citrine Amulet with as much energy shield as possible and with + to all attributes affix. Resistances or crit multiplier is a nice bonus.


Crystal Belt

Look for Crystal belt with as much energy shield as possible ideally coupled with some resistances. Until you get enough currency for Crystal belt, Chain belt is a nice alternative.

1Hand Weapon

Void Battery

Void Battery gives us crit, lots of spell damage and cast speed – all around great choice for our weapon slot.


Titanium Spirit Shield

Ideally look for shield with at least 400 Energy shield coupled with some resistances if you can get it.
At the beginning of new league 300-350 Energy shield ones should be pretty affordable as well.



On jewels look for:

1.) Increased maximum energy shield

2.) Increased critical strike multiplier

3.) Increased Spell damage

4.) Increased Physical damage

5.) Increased damage

6.) Increased Area damage

7.) Resistances and attributes if you have problems getting them on other gear pieces


Flask Setup

For our flasks we get:

1.) Kiara’s Determination (Mandatory item for the build – helps us with stuns, freezes and curses)

2.) Stibnite Flask with bleed removal ideally coupled with Surgeon’s prefix

3.) Taste of Hate if you can afford it

4.) Quicksilver Flask with increased movement speed affix (of adrenaline)

5.) Basalt Flask with Freeze removal

Feel free to share your thoughts/experiences/tips about the build in comments section below.

About gems

Always tries to keep up with the game, its ever-changing mechanisms and explain them in understandable manner.


  1. Why do you take controlled destruction and increased crit damage?

    • Controlled destruction gives us %more spell damage modifier, which is huge damage boost, bigger than we’d get with Incresed Crit Damage.

      • Controlled destruction means you can’t crit… then you have increased crit damage on the same skill. Makes no sense….. I’m wondering the same thing.

        • Controlled destruction doesn’t mean you can’t crit, it means you have 100% reduced critcal strike chance. I agree, wording in PoE is confusing to new players.

  2. Why the multiple +% life nodes when you also take chaos inoculation, which makes your like 1?

    • Jewel sockets next to ”Instability” and ”Melding” notables are great place to put Energy From Withing unique jewel which replaces increased life to energy shield. We will update jewel section.

  3. Where does this build get its leech from?

    • Life leech gem linked to blade vortex.

      • but in your guide i cannot see it linked

      • But you dont have any life leech gem linked in blade vortex

        • Builds are like guidelines, you are free to adjust them how you like them, I just put up how I am playing it, that’s all.

      • Erm… There is no life leech gem linked to Blade Vortex. At least it is not listed under the Body Armor gems. I believe the better response to this question would be that the life leech comes from Warlord’s Mark, which gives 2% to all cursed enemies. If the life leech gem is supposed to be used in this build I would suggest that you adjust the gems.

        Not trying to start an argument or anything, I am really enjoying this build and I appreciate you taking the time to make it!

      • So the gem setup for armour is wrong then? Which one should you drop to add life leech?

  4. I am using this build as a fairly new person to PoE, When should I get Ghost Reaver and Chaos Inoculation? Should I get some more of + Energy shield passives before doing it?

    • Chaos Innoculation builds can be confusing for new players – you should get Ghost Reaver after Chaos Inoculation – and yes, get as much Energy shield as you can before getting Chaos Innoculation. I’d recommend getting it around level 65 and before that playing build as a life/Energy shield hybrid.

    • What worked for me was basically; once I had double my life pool in ES, I pooled 4 points, then went CI and the three above it all at once. That was about 1.5k Life and 3k ES.

      I’m really new. I have about 40 hours played or so.

      Some other things I would look into getting for leveling are a cheap 5 link ES chest with 1 green, 3 blue, 1 red…

      Blade Vortex
      Controlled Destruction
      Increased Area of Effect Support
      Spell Echo Support
      Added Fire Damage Support

      …until you can buy a decent 6-link.

      Buy a fairly cheap wand with good spell damage OR good affixes, I went with Obliteration, Demon’s Horn… 2 blue, 1 red… you can buy Vaal Discipline for about 4 chaos each (I think) from poe.trade. Obliteration’s effect is actually really good with Blade Vortex, it procs fairly often in packs and helps diversify your damage further, which is something this build seeks to do in order to maximize ES gain on-hit and crush mobs as fast as possible to move to the next.

      Something I would say about Ghost Reaver is that even when I didn’t have CI, I found it useful because you can use a slower Life potion and gain shield at the same time which is actually mitigating more damage and averaging out to a cleaner overall health pool.

      • Yes, I got Ghost reaver once my ES was about the same as my Life pool. IT really did help as at that point I almost never dip below my ES and into my life. I will wait a bit longer then get CI and hope my first fight I don’t die 😀

  5. The Valyrium moonstone ring maybe can be a alternative for stun, in the place of Kiara’s Determination ?!

    • Yep, you can try how it works for you, but I’d still recommend some sort of stun immunity for CI build because you cannot use panic flask to quickly regain ES as life builds can.

  6. With Void Battery don’t you want 7 power charges up as much as possible? Unstable Infusion is no where near enough for me to get 7 consistent power charges, even with using a Deodre’s Elixer. I’ve used assassin’s mark instead of warlords which works fine, but then I have to replace added fire with life leech if I want leech, which is a big damage reduction. I’ve also tried power charge on crit instead of increased critical strikes, which also works fine but is also a damage reduction. Any tips on this issue? If only I could afford Skyforth :/

    • Yep, it’s recommended to have max power charges up as much as you can.. My suggestion would be to try Power Charge on Crit in place of Increased Area of Effect gem and getting your Blade Vortex to 20% quality (quality gives it more AoE) and see how it works for you.

      • Yea one of the first things I did was get a 20% quality blade vortex lol. I’ve been damage greedy using concentrated effect instead of Increased AoE most of the time, but I think you’re still right about that being the gem to swap out. Thanks for the tip!

    • Andrew S Hayton

      if you arent getting power charges you are doing something wrong. the ascendency skill points allowed for me to generate plenty , end game. i have the exact set up that is suggested here for gearing, and for my gems. i just got merc and uber lab done and hit lvl 77. can put up like 20k dps tooltip atm, and havent specced into several crit nodes yet and a a spell damage node. so with gear upgrades and those skill points i can see my dps going much higher.

  7. Its my first season and I’m wondering when should I put points into the passives? Is it good to put them early like vaal pact?

    • Hey! You should put points in the passive skill tree from level 1. For Vaal Pact – get it only when you have some amount of life leech, otherwise it would be wasted.

  8. What about the lab.. any enchants we should be looking for gloves/feet and helm?

    • For gloves or boots it doesn’t really matter, on helm look for %increased Blade Vortex Spell damage or Area of effect.

      • The mana and life leech if you’ve killed recently enchant for boots should be mentioned as well. Very strong.

        • Had been using this myself, don’t know why I didn’t mention it. Anyways, thank you for the suggestion, added it to the build.

  9. Hey, thanks for the build I have really enjoyed playing this. I have two questions: is 2x vaal discipline + inc. duration required for this build to work well? i heard that they nerfed vaal disc so it doesnt give us extra es anymore. And how much crit chance should I aim for to keep my power charges up? non crit has 10% to give power charge and every power charge increases crit chance..

    • Yes, they did nerf the extra ES on Vaal Discipline, but it still is one of the best ways to quickly regain ES.
      I can’t tell you specific number, just get crit wherever possible and stop when you have enough to keep Power charges up (It can get expensive though). Or use Power Charge on Crit in your gem setup – that will solve everything.

  10. How about going Noxious strikes and toxic delivery instead of ambush and assassinate if we are skipping void battery ?

  11. It might be an idea to swap out the 3 life and mana points, including Heart and Soul, for the 3 mana and mana regeneration nodes just beneath them. This way we get 24% max mana + 30% mana regen instead of 22% max mana and life we don’t need once we go CI?
    Just a thought, give me feedback on what you think.

  12. Hi, thanks for the build. Just started it and seems really interesting as a relatively new player to the game.

    Can you recommend any good gear for levelling this fast? I’m at level 36 with it atm and am trying to rush to where my first character is atm (76, doing maps). I have made about 100 chaos just playing through on the other character (not much but allows me to buy some stuff).

    I’m finding I’m dying a lot at act 4 but might be to do with resistances. Got myself a semi decent chest for ES that can do a few of the BV support gems. Got a facebrakers already from my old character.

    Can you also recommend where to be putting points early on? Just got warlords mark for life leech but not sure about Vaals pact. Just passive allocation in general as I’m pretty much just jumping to ES/life nodes atm!

    Sorry for the big amount of text lol. Cheers.

    • Hey. Was leveling myself using Blade Vortex 2 days ago – I did it easily by getting tabula rasa with 6 links to kill everything quickly. Get a wand with cast speed and spell damage and shield with as much ES as you can find and you should be able to survive by killing everything quickly 🙂

  13. Hey, i think we dont need physical and chaos damage at the start of the tree. We could safe one point and go through the two dexterity nodes. Or do we need the extra phys and chaos damage?

  14. Why Facebreakers for gloves? Wont Maligaro’s Virtuosity be better?

    • What if you put your warlord’s mark + discipline in the helmet with an elighten gem? Wouldn’t it be better than using it on the shield?

  15. What would be a good alternative to void battery?

    • Dagger with %spell crit and %increased spell damage (and %crit multiplier but can get expensive in combination with previous 2).

  16. Also, I have a question with mana. I have warlords and discipline with blasphemy supp and they take up most of my mana with essence worm equipped. Is there a solution to the mana problem? Or am I doing something wrong?

  17. Wouldnt Shadow and Dust gloves work better?

  18. why use warlord’s mark ?

    in build up power charge

  19. So how would i go about getting new gear as i already have most of the gear, what would i be able to upgrade for more damage

  20. Might have been talked about but at the Fangs of the Viper node wouldn’t you take the damage instead of +10 dex? Unless we really need the dex

  21. Hi really like the build, but why do you have the life nodes at the top of the tree when we have health set to 1? Is it just for 5% resistance, i would have thought these points would be better spent somewhere else anyone else found somewhere for them to go?

    • You would need to use an Energy from Within Jewel next to the power charge. This way all life will be changed to energy shield and also the life from heart and soul will change to Energy Shield. There is also another Energy from Within Jewel next to Melding in the Jewel Socket to change those node from Life to energy shield.

    • Yes, you are right, that was a mistake in tree.

  22. I’ve completed this build and run a dozen or so Ubers and some high tier maps. Some Uber’s I still can’t seem to do especially ones with the fire floor at third uber fight. I have two questions for this build. First is more of a general question, if I had all the currency I wanted in the game, what expensive improvements could I make on the gear? And the second question kind of a spin off from that, I just bought a 6link ilvl 84 Vaal regalia for crafting looking to get an 800-900 ES armor…do you think that will be more effective/better than beast fur? Or would u still recommend going beast fur? Thanks!

  23. Hey, just wanted to say great fun build, and have been messing with gear a little bit.
    So far for gloves, I’ve found that Shadows and Dust are way better than Facebreakers, just out-shine them in every aspect, same crit multiplier, more ES, has extra crit chance, and the rampage bonuses make going through maps a breeze.
    Also as far as Flask, a solid alternative for Taste of Hate I’ve found is Atziri’s Promise; the chaos resistance is kind of wasted, but the extra chaos damage is pretty substantial, and the extra life leech(es) is amazing in a bind.

  24. can’t we use vinktar flask for more leach ?

  25. why no all max lvl ????
    Cast When Damage Taken Support (LVL 9)

    Immortal Call (LVL 11)

    Summon Lightning Golem (LVL 11)

    Arctic Breath (LVL 6)

    Vortex (LVL 6)

    Cast When Damage Taken Support (LVL 3)

    Greater Multiple Projectiles Support

  26. What to change from vaal discipline, when i’m fighting with izaro in the maze??

  27. Just a thought. Shadows and dust are significantly better gloves for this build

  28. Why not Shield Charge, Faster Attacks and Fortify as Movement Gem instead of Flame Dash?

  29. What if you put your warlord’s mark + discipline in the helmet with an elighten gem? Wouldn’t it be better than using it on the shield?

  30. what if i don’t have a 6l
    how can a 5l work?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *