This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
Trap builds have been very powerful for long time now. They have decent clear speed, while also excelling at boss killing. Lightning Trap shoots lightning projectiles in a nova when triggered. This trap has great base damage and critical chance, it also has increased critical strike chance against Shocked enemies. The only problem with the skill is that you will have to invest into some Pierce to smooth out the clearing of the build; this can be as simple as picking up Piercing Shot node on the passive tree. Lightning Trap is the clearing tool of this build.
Lightning Spire Trap is your big cooldown trap, a very powerful trap that destroys tougher foes. It also gains increased critical chance against Shocked enemies, the same way Lightning Trap does. This is why using Vaal Lightning Trap against bosses is very important, since it leaves Shocked ground, which allows you to Shock even endgame bosses.
Overall, the Lightning Trapper Saboteur is a type of build that specializes in throwing very hard-hitting lightning-based traps in order to clear maps and kill strong bosses. The build can also achieve a respectable life pool, while also relying on defensive mechanics like Mind over Matter, Acrobatics, and Phase Acrobatics for the additional dodge chance.
The Lightning Trapper does not require any initial investment; it can even be played as a league-starter. As most other spell-based characters, damage mainly scales from gem levels, unlike attack builds where it is more gear-dependent.
Early on, just the gem levels will carry your damage needs, as long as you run on a 4-Link at least. You should focus on getting gear pieces with life and elemental resistances. For endgame, well rolled rare items will be mostly what you want to look for. There are no “big-ticket” items that the build needs in order to work.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Great boss killer
+ Decent clear speed
+ Very versatile when it comes to map mods
- Lacks life sustain if you do not make a good use of the Pyromaniac ascendancy node
Offensively, you throw your traps on the ground, which are then triggered by enemies that step on them. You would obviously want to aim into monster packs while throwing traps or predict their movement in order to damage them. Positioning can be key in trapper builds and you should take advantage of that.
Defensively, you should be killing monsters before they even have the chance to get to you. The Born in the Shadows ascendancy node will Blind all nearby enemies, which will improve your survivability by a great deal. A respectable life pool along with an effective Mind over Mater will let you tank most hits. Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics both provide a good amount of dodge chance against attacks and spells.
For Playstyle, keeping your distance and luring monsters into your traps is what the build is all about. You should save Lightning Spire Trap charges for tougher rare monsters and bosses, immobilizing them with Bear Trap and Shocking them with Vaal Lightning Trap, which will prove to be a great setup for tremendous single target damage output.
This is the endgame passive skill three of the build.
For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.
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As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
The Lightning Trapper can be leveled by using traps since level 1, and it is a great choice for a league-starter.
This is what your passive skill tree should look like before you start investing into critical strike nodes.
For passive tree pathing, you should go for Expeditious Traps first, then head to Clever Construction. Once your traps are immune to damage you should pick Piercing Shots, which will allow you to drop the Pierce Support gem. Then you should pick Hasty Reconstructions and Acrobatics, along with some life. At that point you are ready to head to Mind over Matter.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Lifesprig will fill your damage needs early on.
If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.
Using Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.
In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.
At level 4, you should add Bear Trap for the additional utility.
At level 8, your Explosive Trap link should look like this.
At level 10, you should add Flame Dash for additional mobility.
By level 16, your Lightning Trap should look like this.
- Lightning Trap
- Multiple Traps Support
- Pierce Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Trap and Mine Damage Support
- Added Lightning Damage Support
At level 24, you should add Wrath for additional damage.
At level 28, you should add a Lightning Spire Trap gem setup, this will improve your single target damage by a great deal.
- Lightning Spire Trap
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Trap and Mine Damage Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
What map mods are impossible to do?
No regeneration is a pain to do, and almost impossible to deal with when you need to kill a tough boss.
If you like luring your enemies into their death, the Lightning Trapper Saboteur is definitely a build you should try out. The build has the survivability and damage to do endgame encounters.