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Path of Exile Coldfire Crit Caster Shadow Build

Hi guys, it's me again! a few hours ago I was still mulling over and trying to refine my Cold crit caster shadow. I decided, why not try a coldfire crit caster? after all, what can be more awesome than even more DPS and having the ability to freezeburn mobs and watch them burning in ice? hence, the production of the below build.

Skill Tree Progression
28 Points Approx Level 25, just before facing Normal Vaal Oversoul
44 Points Approx Level 37, just before facing Cruel Vaal Oversoul
59 Points Approx Level 48, just before facing Ruthless Vaal Oversoul [NON-CI]
59 Points Approx Level 48, just before facing Ruthless Vaal Oversoul [CI]
73 Points Approx Level 58, just before facing Merciless Vaal Oversoul
95 Points Approx Level 80, End-game build

Mechanics behind the build
According to this updated build, the multipliers are:
37% increased spell damage
80% increased cold damage
48% increased fire damage
15% increased elemental damage
24% increased projectile damage

Total increased cold damage = 37 + 80 + 15 = 132%
Total increased fire damage = 37 + 80 + 15 + 48 = 180%

The projectile damage will increase the overall damage by 24%

Example: If freezing pulse dealt 100 damage and your cold to fire damage converted 40% of cold to fire damage, the cold damage dealt would be 60 + 147% of 40 = 148.2 and the fire damage dealt would be 40 + 195% of 40 = 118 damage. Total damage dealt would be 266.2 damage.

The projectile damage bonus will then amplify that total damage by another 24%.

As the cold to fire gem levels up, and more cold damage is converted to fire damage, even if your base freezing pulse damage remains at 100, your total damage output would increase. Together with your healthy % of critical damage output multipliers, your total damage dealt can only increase.

In view of this, should I level the cold to fire gem?
It really is up to you. The higher you level the gem, the higher the percentage of cold damage that is converted to fire damage and your overall damage output. This is a double edged sword in that it decreases the chill/freeze time of enemies while at the same time increasing the dps/second of burning. Hence, the decision boils down to yourself. If you feel that the enemies are frozen for more than a sufficient enough amount of time and you want to kill them faster, go for it! Take note however that this is a strength-based int gem, hence you will need a decent str attribute to level and then use it. Thankfully, the str needed is not that high, with a level 15 gem requiring only 44 strength, which can be easily achieved by using a heavy belt/amber amulet or by investing a point into the easily accessible 30 str node near the CI node. Personally, because of the fact that you will have minions to tank for you, and a totem with ice spear anyway to chill/freeze mobs for you, I would say go for it! Level up your cold to fire gem as high as possible to increase your damage output!

Overall Gameplay
In this build, your main focus will be dealing tons of damage. Tanking is not your job, it is for your minions, hence they contribute to your survivability. That said, your own ability to tank should still not be neglected and with the ES nodes allowed in the build, it will be impossible for enemies to one-shot, two-shot or even three-shot you as long as you equip the right gear and have the proper resistances.

When I'm talking about the right gear, I mean mainly EV/ES chest, and the rest should be pure ES equipment. You have the option of going either dual daggers for the increased crit chance, or dagger and shield combo for the increased survivability and spell damage provided by the shield. I leave that up to you, although I will experiment with it myself and give my own feedback.

What Curses should I use?
If you want safety above all else: Enfeeble + Temporal Chains
If you want DPS above all else: Frostbite + Flammability
If you want a mixture: Temporal Chains + Elemental Weakness

Auras and Active Skills
Discipline, Clarity and Grace (optional). Discipline and Grace to take advantage of your increased evasion and energy shield % nodes and to help your minions tank a little more, and clarity to help in your mana regen. Remember not to level clarity up so high such that it ends up reserving your entire mana pool.

Blood Rage
You are CI, this is what makes you even more awesome! (sounds cliche I know :p) but yes, having frenzy charges up will increase your cast speed. So it's a must!

Main Skills
Your main DPS skills should all be cold-based spells. Why? Because cold-based spells are all auto-pierce, and your fire based damage will also be based on your cold damage anyway.

Your skills should include Freezing Pulse, Ice Spear and Frost Wall.

Frost wall is your defensive spell. Nothing more satisfying than walling off an enemy from you, be it ranged or melee, blocking their projectiles from you, and then freezing pulse them! (Yes freezing pulse goes through frost wall.) If you accidentally frost wall yourself and trap yourself with them, just use whirling blades and whirl through your wall! (awesome isn't it?)

Freezing pulse is your main DPSer and should be linked amongst others with your cold-to-fire gem, Lesser multiple projectiles, Faster projectiles (optional if you possess a quality freezing pulse, and should be replaced by Added Cold Damage gem), faster casting gem and an Increased Critical Damage gem if you are a 6L user

Ice Spear in my opinion is best when used for CC purposes and where possible should be linked with a totem support gem and a lesser multiple projectiles gem to help chill/freeze incoming enemies with a Faster Casting gem to aid its slow cast time and ensure for effective CC.

Dagger or Wand?
Inarion1986 wrote:

In almost any scenario the worst wand (+8% spell damage) outdamages the standard dagger (+40% critical chance). Sometimes even the high-crit daggers with +80%.
And wands with the highest modifier (+20% spell damage) are basically always the weapon of choice when it comes to raw dps-increase. (The 80%-dagger only starts to shine once you reach +250% or more(!) crit damage increase - this is pushed further if you also add more sources of +x% critical chance)

I calculated this all based on an (imaginary) spell base damage of 100, base critical of 6% and base critical damage of 150%. Then I separately increased first base damage, then +% critical chance from other sources and finally +% critical damage and compared the average damage with +8%/+20% wand and +40%/+80% dagger to each other.
I can provide tables and/or graphs if someone is interested.

Of course my calculations do neither account for additional benefits of chosing one or the other weapon (ranged normal attack vs. possibility to use whirling blades!) nor do they include any thoughts on secondary effects of a high critical chance (freeze/burn/shock) but do only look at raw damage increase. So if that is what you're looking for, please equip a +20% wand and a +15% shield... :)

However, a dagger does allow you to use whirling blades for extra mobility. If you decide to go for a wand wielding build, put a dagger in your swapped weapon slot so that when the time comes and you need to use whirling blades, just press X and your whirling blades hotkey :)

I want more of this/that, what should I do?
Feel free to modify the build yourself :

For more survivability
Take up the 30% increased energy shield from shield node above the frost walker node and sacrifice some increased critical damage/chance nodes. Also remember to include a ES-based shield in your equipment.

For more damage
You can always sacrifice a few increased ES nodes in favour of increased critical damage nodes. If you want to be a swashbuckling spellcaster with massive critical chance, go for a double dagger/wand wielding build! if dagger, preferably golden/platinum krises as they have the highest (80%) increased critical chance implicit mods.

Gameplay Video
Level 52 Coldfire Crit Cast Shadow

Current Gear [Mainly MF]

Of course, if at the end of the day you decide to just go for the conventional cold crit caster instead of the coldfire build, by all means go for it! Just remember to remove the cold to fire gem and respec the fire damage nodes.

Feel free to comment or suggest improvement guys! and hope this build helps you in your bid to have awesome fun in PoE!

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