Cyclone Cast on Critical Ice Nova Assassin Build Guide (POE Legion 3.7)
Cyclone, one of the most popular skills for melee POE builds out there, and with the launch of Legion and POE 3.7, it only became more so.With a rather simple concept, this POE build can take that idea and go to the moon with it. The more you pump into this, the better it gets, and the beauty of this build is that it’s very easy to gear for initial mapping, making it a pretty good starter build for any POE League.
This build is one of incredible power and potential, that feels capable with only a few core investments, but scales into a monstrously powerful end-game that hardly any builds can match. The reliance on Crit offers incredible damage scaling by combining Cold damage from Ice Nova with the already powerful Cyclone. And since Cyclone is fun to play for any POE player who likes melee, this is a great choice. The build offers a decent amount of potential on a modest budget, and can easily be used for an entire league from start to finish without issue.
Defensively this build offers a huge buff from both increased Physical and Elemental damage reduction via Armour and Resistances. The inclusion of utility skills like Phase Run and Vaal Haste can also help boost mapping speed and a bit of defense. Using other skills like Decoy Totem will also offer a bit of cautionary last-minute escape if you need it. Players will be most efficient if they learn boss fights and carefully consider their moves. Blinding Cycloning into bosses is a bad idea here.
You’ll find all you will need to construct this build down below. The guide assumes that you’re going all-out and are maximizing every aspect, but you don’t have to go that far at all to reach a point where the build is enjoyable. Even in the low 90s with less-than-perfect gear, the build runs Maps and Delves just fine. And it’s a great choice as a league starter build for any POE player. If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.
- Great clear speed
- Good boss killer
- Fun and fast
- HC viable
- Not the best leveling build
- Not the best for Elder/Shaper
Here is the Endgame Passive Tree
As in most builds, we recommend investing into critical strike nodes later, preferably after level 60. In the beginning, we focus on picking up life, spell and cold damage, Attributes, and raw physical damage. This way you can focus on leveling with just Cyclone and be fine for the first several acts. Once you have the levels and gear to support going cast-on-crit, respec for the tree that focuses more on scaling cold and crits.
Upgrade all of these.
Major God: Soul of Solaris
Soul of Lunaris offers great defensive options for mapping. If facing some bosses with lots of DoT, opt for an upgraded Arakaali.
Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul
Abberath offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage.
Allira is best for Resists and Crit, both of which help this build immensely.
Ascendancy skill points
Preferably in that order:
- Unstable Infusion
- Deadly Infusion
- Ambush and Assassinate
Assassin offers incredible bonuses to DPS through Crit Chance, as well as stable defensive and offensive options through Charge generation. The layering with our various gear options offers tons of flexibility in those areas as well.
Helmet: (From Best to Worst)
40% increased Ice Nova Damage
Ice Nova has +30% chance to Freeze
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
Damage Penetrates x% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
Commandment of Light or Frost.
You could also use these Corruptions on Gear:
Curse Enemies with Level (10–12) Elemental Weakness on Hit
(4–6)% increased maximum Life
(8–10)% increased Attack Speed
+1 Maximum Power Charges
Leveling General Tips
Efficient Farm Locations:
Act 1: The Ledge
Act 2: The Fellshrine Ruins
Act 3: The Docks
Act 4: The Dried Lake
Act 5: The Chamber of Innocence
Act 6: The Ridge
Act 7: The Temple of Decay lv1-2
Act 8: The Harbour Bridge
Act 9: The Blood Aqueduct
Act 10: The Ossuary
Avoid these map mods:
* Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
* Elemental Reflect
Be careful of these map mods:
* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attack should almost never crit you. Spell on the other hand can still hit hard.
* Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles
Scary mod on some bosses and monster types. Some monsters are still able to spam out too many projectiles to handle.
* Area contains two Unique Bosses
Your goal to survive this mode is a combo of extreme DPS and Life. The faster you can down the bosses, the less threat they pose.
* #% increased Monster Movement Speed / #% increased Monster Attack Speed / #% increased Monster Cast Speed
Some bosses are going to be too fast to hit effectively, meaning you’ll spend more time than you normally should kiting them. This combination with Temporal Chains is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
* Players are Cursed with Vulnerability
Negated during mapping with a Warding Flask, but not against bosses. Bleeds from bosses can kill you easily.
* Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains
I would personally avoid this on high-tier maps.
Final Skill Gem Setup
You’ll find recommendations for different attack skill setups for this build below. The basic buff and aura setups are down there too.
=== MAIN ATTACK ===
Cyclone -> Hypothermia->Ice Nova-> Increased Area of Effect -> Increased Critical Strikes -> Cast on Critical
=== SECONDARY ATTACK ===
Ice Nova -> Frostbolt -> Life Leech (All 3 socketed in Cospri’s Malice)
Vortex -> Bonechill -> Unbound Ailments
=== MOVEMENT ===
Shield Charge -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify
=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Cast When Damage Taken (Level 10) -> Immortal Call (Level 12) -> Summon Lightning Golem (Level 12) -> Vaal Haste (optional)
Herald of Ice -> Enfeeble -> Blasphemy -> Phase Run (optional)
Build Uniques / Example Rare Gear
In this section you will find all the suggested items for this build. We always try to include optional gear in our listing, or try your own assuming you get similar stat rolls. Aim for high-quality Rares if you’re replacing Uniques. The Minimum/Optional requirements listed assume you’re using Rares as a replacement for listed Uniques (where possible).
Life is super important for survivability, especially at endgame. Although be careful not to forsake too many damage mods for it or you won’t be able to kill mobs quick enough for your defenses to handle incoming DPS.
Armour is great for Physical Damage reduction.
Spell/Cold Damage is your primary DPS, get this in any way you can, as long as you don’t compromise defenses.
Resistances until capped.
Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier can help increase your damage a fair bit.
Cast/Attack Speed means that you simply attack faster the higher it is. This stat becomes vital for scaling overall DPS. Attack speed is great for Shield Charge to keep Fortify up.
One of the only required Uniques for this build is the Unique Cospri’s Malice. The other great option for this build in terms of off-hand is your shield. Lycosidae is the best option as it allows your Crits to apply constantly, and you don’t need to rely on some expensive Shaper/Elder Rare to get the damage application you need.
A Rare can work in this slot, although without some rather strong mods, it will be lagging behind a Unique option that’s much easier to obtain. Devoto’s Devotion can really help with clear speed for example.
90 Maximum Life
Attributes (Dexterity, Intelligence)
Reduced Attribute Requirements
There are several Unique options for this build, each offering slightly different options. Loreweave offers great DPS and is not too difficult to obtain Belly of the Beast offers another tanky option but with the caveat that you’ll want to run a Life Flask to give it the most impact. Tabula Rasa can carry you pretty far as well.
A high-end Rare can do really well with this build in a pinch though. You can go either for an Evasion base, as they have pretty similar stats.. If going the Rare route, prepare to get needed attributes on the chest in order to get more DPS from your Jewels and other Affixes.
There are several ways to further increase the effectiveness of a Rare here, but they will massively increase the currency cost, as a high-end Armour that fits these parameters would be Mirror-service-worthy.
- A +1/+2 Level to Socketed Gems Corruption is extremely useful if running a Rare.
- % Increased Effect of Auras on you is good too, that comes from Bound fossils.
- Getting Reduced Attribute Requirements can really help if you’re struggling with attributes. This can also free up other Affixes as you no longer need to waste them. This would allow you to further increase your DPS. Although getting this mod combination will be extremely hard, and will cost a lot of currency, so bank on just using a crafted affix instead.
- Getting a high, or possibly Legacy, Increased Life and/or Chaos Resistance roll really helps with survivability.
100 maximum Life
% Increased Maximum Life (Elder)
% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
Recover % of Maximum Life on Kill (Elder)
+ to Level of Socketed Support Gems (Elder)
% Increased Intelligence (Shaper)
Spells have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Shaper)
% increased Damage (Corruption)
Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. Since you;re primarily focusing on Cold Damage, you need several rolls that synergize with that. Elemental Damage is a good start, and by adding in Life and Resistances, pretty much any Rare offers a good stopgap solution.
Some will opt for the very cheap Cyclopean Coil to get all the Attributes they need, while also increasing damage a bit, although for this build it’s definitely not the best option.
70 Maximum Life
>14% Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed (Shaper)
Reduced Flask Charges Used
Increased Flask Duration
% Increased Cold Damage (Frigid Fossil)
% increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)
Check here for some Unique options, most useful while leveling. Atziri’s Acuity offers both a bit more defensive potential while also scaling your DPS a bit thanks to the added Critical Strike Chance. These are by no means needed for the build to function, just more of a convenience if you’re trying to squeeze every bit of potential out of the optimal version.
For a Rare, opt for Fingerless Silk Gloves for the extra Spell Damage. Use the following stats as a baseline for a Rare:
70 Maximum Life
Added Cold Damage to Attacks
Reduced Attribute Requirements
% Chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill (Elder)
% Global Chance to Blind Enemies/Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Blind (Shaper)
Rare boots with max rolled Life, Resists and Movement Speed are great as a generic choice, but you may find yourself a bit more prone to taking hits than you would like. This one is more of a personal judgment call. Here’s the basic requirements for Rare in this slot. Two-Toned Bootes are good here for the extra Resists.
70 maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)
% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
Once you’ve gotten decently into end-game, you may want to switch to a Unique that’s more tailored for the playstyle of the build.
Kaom’s Roots – This is an OK option for the Life and movespeed help, but you may be a little Socket-starved depending on your skill choices. I would say go for a Rare instead.
A Rare can work great here, but the best Rare is on which offers some Elemental Damage scaling, and it will not be cheap. Carnage Heart offers a decent starter Unique option for this build while leveling. The Pandemonious is your best-in-slot Unique, but will be a little expensive. A decent Rare with some of the following stats is of course another option.
50 Maximum Life
% Elemental Damage with Attacks
Crit Strike Chance
Cold Damage Leeched as Life
Chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (Shaper)
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)
Rare rings will likely work best here, Opal Ring or Steel Ring bases still offer tons of potential for Elemental Damage, so give those a shot.
If using Mark of the Shaper, you’ll want to opt for an Elder base to get that huge bonus to Spell Damage. You will want to have a Two-Stone Ring as a secondary in most cases for the extra Resistances. There are a ton Fossil and Shaper/Elder mods which can be useful here, check out this list. And if you’d like to search for a specific Fossil mod to find out what Fossil it comes from, go here.
This Mark of the Shaper ring allows for such insane DPS increases thanks to both Elder Rings and the summons on kill that there’s no question about it being the best Ring for this POE build.
50 Maximum Life
% Elemental Damage with Attacks
% Increased Attack/Cast Speed
Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Elder)
% Increased Cold Damage
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)
The Wise Oak – Grants Onslaught for extra damage potential
- Catalysed Eternal Life Flask of Staunching
- Experimenter’s Diamond Flask of Warding
- Experimenter’s Sulphur Flask of Adrenaline or Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
- Chemist’s Basalt Flask of Heat
You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.
One Jewel that is definitely required to make this build work is Frozen Trail. It should be placed in the socket just to the right of the Witch starting wheel. The intelligence mentioned in the tooltip does not need to be allocated, just within the radius of the Jewel, so as long as it is socketed in the correct position it will function properly.
Abyss Jewels that have a chance to gain Onslaught can also be used in a slot for a damage increase. Watcher’s Eye with buffs to Hatred or any other Auras you use can be really powerful. Rare Jewels will work just as well though in most cases, and be much cheaper.
Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:
- % Increased Maximum Life
- % Increased Spell Damage
- % Increased Cold Damage
- % to Critical Damage with Cold/Elemental Skills
- +# Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
- % Increased Damage
- % Increased Area Damage
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