Home / Build / [PoE 3.12 Build] Vulconus Ethereal Knives Shadow (Assassin)

[PoE 3.12 Build] Vulconus Ethereal Knives Shadow (Assassin)

Intro & build description

With cluster jewels introduced, there have been added new mechanics to build your character around. This particular build utilizes Lone Messenger Keystone that you get from Calamitous Visions unique cluster jewel. It lets you build around 1 Herald skill, disabling auras and in turn increasing effectiveness of the Herald skill you are using. With auras disabled, we get freedom to use Mind Over Matter, making the build tankier than your usual crit build. Calamitous visions will probably be quite expensive early on, so you can easily just use Hatred in combination with Herald of Ash until you get the jewel.

Build Pros

  • Not overly expensive to start
  • Tanky, yet you can still expect damage of a crit build
  • Can do Uber Elder, and if you are skilled enough, Awakener as well
  • Ethereal Knives is extremely good clear skill, this build is no exception

Build Cons

  • Not the most beginner-friendly build, because it involves a lot of game mechanics

Passive tree(s) and Path of Building

[3.12] Skill Tree
Path of Building


Bandits Quest Choice
Kill all bandits

Ascendancy skill points

LabyrinthsSkill point choice
Labyrinth 1Mistwalker
Labyrinth 2Unstable Infusion
Labyrinth 3Deadly Infusion
Endgame LabyrinthOpportunistic

Skill gem setup


Cast When Damage Taken Support (LVL 1) - Linked to Immortal Call

Immortal Call (LVL 1)

Wave of Conviction (LVL 20)

Herald of Ash

Note: Make sure you have Herald of Ash unlinked

Body Armor

Ethereal Knives

Inspiration Support

Spell Echo Support

Elemental Focus Support

Controlled Destruction Support

Fire Penetration Support


Flame Dash (LVL 20)

Arcane Surge Support (LVL 6)

Faster Casting Support

Second Wind Support


Armageddon Brand

Combustion Support

Power Charge on Critical Support


2h Weapon


1h Weapon

Whirling Blades

Faster Attacks Support

Fortify Support

Offhand weapon / shield

Temporal Chains

Wave of Conviction

Summon Stone Golem

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


Crown of The Inward Eye

Really good offensive helmet for the build.

You could also consider rare helmet with high life and resistances if you have trouble capping them.

Body Armour

Rare Vaal Regalia

Look for 6-linked Vaal Regalia (Ethereal divination card is good way to get one).

Mods to look for – high life, energy shield, resistances.

It would be ideal to have 1 prefix open to craft “Gain #% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield” mod.


Asenath's Gentle Touch

Great gloves for the build, but pretty expensive. Only get them if you have no other upgrades to get.

Until then you could use rare Fingerless Silk gloves with high life, resistances and some extra energy shield.


Rare Boots

Look for rare boots with 70+ life, 30% increased movement speed and resistances on top of that.

Left Ring

Circle of Anguish

This build is stacking herald effect, so we need 2x Circle of Anguish unique rings.
They will be quite expensive, but you should focus on getting them rather quickly.

Make sure they have mod “Herald of Ash has 96% increased Buff Effect“. For second mod, you could look for “+x% to Fire Resistance while affected by Herald of Ash” – it would be huge help capping the resistances.

Right Ring

Circle of Anguish

Same as previously mentioned ring.


Rare Amulet

Look for rare amulet with at least 30% increased global critical strike multiplier, some life and resistances.

Good anointment would be “Dreamer”.


Rare Stygian Vise

Look for rare Stygian Vise with high life and resistances.

1Hand Weapon


We use this dagger mainly to convert our damage to fire, but it also has great damage mods. It’s a cheap item – wait for it to drop below 10 chaos and then get it.


Rare Dagger

Look for rare dagger with %increased spell damage and “+1 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems” mod. When you can, craft “Trigger a socketed spell when you use a skill”.


Jewel Setup

Calamitous Visions – this is a core item for the build to get Lone messenger keystone.

To use Calamitous Visions, you need a cluster jewel – get large cluster jewel with First Among Equals notable and make sure it has jewel socket node.

You also need 1 Thread of Hope jewel – get one with medium ring size.
Put it in jewel socket right above Devotion and allocate Divine Wrath, Divine Judgement and Divine Fury.

Build also uses Militant Faith timeless jewel – get Dominus variant and put it in socket south-west of Melding Notable, so it converts Pain Attunement to Inner Conviction.

On rare jewels look for:

1.) Increased maximum life / increased maximum energy shield
2.) Critical strike multiplier mods
3.) Resistances / Attributes if you are lacking any


Flask Setup

1.) Instant recovery Divine Life flask with bleed removal
2.) Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
3.) Diamond Flask with curse removal
4.) Basalt Flask with freeze removal
5.) Lavianga’s Spirit

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 recommend a build that requires a gem that costs 3 exalted as a league starter? besides that, you dont even mention herald of ash on this guide.

    • 3 Ex is pretty good for a starter build – you can farm that up in a few days. Besides, the build functions well enough without the expensive items, so you can start mapping and farm currency before you can afford them.
      Lack of HoA gem in setup was a mistake tho, thanks for letting me know.

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