Cobra Lash Poison Shadow Assassin Build Guide - Path of Exile 3.24

28.03.2024 - 15:59:58
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Cobra Lash Poison Shadow Assassin Build Guide - Path of Exile 3.24

Poison Cobra Lash Shadow Assassin Guide!

Table of contents:

> Basics

> Mechanics

> Playstyle

> Class, Tree, Pantheon, Masteries

> Equipment

> Flasks

> Skill Gems

Even though Cobra Lash is currently unpopular, it's one of my favorite skills in the game for two reasons: It's very good with poison (which is my favorite archetype), and it has some great clear potential. It might require some extra clicks for the single target, but there's just something magical about seeing the HP bar of the boss drop rapidly, even after we die (since our poisons are about 5 seconds long). Make sure to read the Basics/Mechanics sections to fully understand how Poison works in PoE!

Cobra Lash = Awakened Added Chaos Damage = Unbound Ailments = Nightblade = Deadly Ailments = Void Manipulation/Greater Multiple Projectiles to use in Path of Building

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Poison is the chaos-based, damaging ailment (type of a debuff) found in PoE. It deals chaos damage over time, and its damage is based on base physical/chaos damage of the hit that inflicts it. That means modifiers that affect strictly hit damage (like %Increased damage with hits) won't affect it in any way.

Poison is unique in the way it works, as unlike ignite or bleed, it can stack. Enemies can have an infinite amount of poisons on them as long as the server can handle them. As a drawback, poison has the lowest base duration of only two seconds. To counteract that, we use a plethora of different sources of increased poison duration - like the powerful Assassin ascendancy class.

Pros and Cons

+ Satisfying Poison Gameplay

+ Great Clear

+ Low Requirements

+ Uniques used are relatively cheap

- Offense focused

- Requires you to click buttons for bossing

Mechanics Used

· Chain: Cobra Lash has an innate bonus of +5 chains. Chain is well-known for being the best way to ensure multiple hits while clearing packs of enemies. When you hit an enemy with a chaining projectile, it will jump to another foe in their vicinity.

· Elusive: This buff is really unique in the way it works. It grants up to 30% movement speed and 15% chance to avoid damage from hits. However, the effectiveness of this effect decreases over time - and you have to wait until it hits 0% to be able to get it back to the maximum value. Our source of Elusive is the Nightblade support,

· Perfect Agony: This keystone causes ailments inflicted by our critical strikes to deal extra damage based on our critical strike damage multiplier.. It's great for this build, as we are close to critting with every attack.

· Wither: This is a staple skill for chaos damage oriented builds. When fully stacked, it makes enemies take as much as 90% increased chaos damage - which roughly doubles our damage. More on that in the gem section of the guide.

Useful Links and Path of Building

Path of Building: A powerful tool for planning/sharing builds. To have all info from this build compressed into one simple character sheet, use this link in the 'import' section.

Get Path of Building here!


With this build, you want to embrace the ‘cool guys don't look at explosions' type of gameplay. You jump into a pack of mobs, throw 1-2 attacks out and then move past them, as our powerful poisons should do the work.

Standing still in PoE is a death sentence. Many ranged enemies have deadly targeted skillshots which can easily be dodge by just a slight movement. This build somewhat struggles with life recovery in certain maps, so keep spamming your life flask whenever things get heated.

Try to attack and then use whirling blades/run out of the targeted attacks. For single target, try to look for openings where bosses are casting some long spell, which will let you quickly ramp up your poisons.

Map Mods

The worst mod you can find on maps is the ‘enemies have a chance to avoid poison/bleed' perk, which makes clearing packs a hassle.

There are other mods you should look out for (but they aren't nearly as impactful as the aforementioned one)

- Players have less life recovery

- Enemies have +30% to chaos resistance

Class, Tree, Pantheon

Passive Points

· Tree for level 100

The main version of the build

Import this link to Path of Building.


+50 to maximum Life

10% increased maximum Life, 10% reduced Life Recovery rate

20% increased Effect of Withered

20% increased Poison Duration

Precision has 100% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency

Skills Supported by Nightblade have 40% increased Effect of Elusive



The Ascendancy (subclass) used in this build is the Assassin. You unlock it after beating the first Labyrinth in Sarn (Act 3).

· Mistwalker (Normal): Great boost for our early game speed. Ensures that we can proc Elusive reliably.

· Noxious Strike (Cruel): Noxious Strike gives us a high (for early game) chance to poison, which smooths out our damage early into the character progression. For single target, we're nearly always gonna top out on the “poisons applied recently” (which is 4 seconds), making our poisons last twice as long.

· Toxic Delivery (Merciless): Increases our chance to crit against poisoned enemies and makes our critical strike poisons deal significantly more damage.

· Opportunistic (Eternal): This makes us take less damage while clearing content, but also gives us some protection against reflected damage and makes our single target damage 25% higher. It's definitely a nice point to pick for when you're looking at your last point to get.


· Soul of the Brine King: Prevents monsters from chain-stunning us. When upgraded, it also lets us avoid being frozen.

· Soul of Ryslatha: Passively recovers our Life Flask charges, which comes useful in extended single target fights.


+50 to maximum Life

10% increased maximum Life, 10% reduced Life Recovery rate

20% increased Effect of Withered

20% increased Poison Duration

Precision has 100% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency

Skills Supported by Nightblade have 40% increased Effect of Elusive


You can anoint your amulet by talking to Cassia, who can randomly appear in maps after you've finished the base game.

· The ideal anointment for this build is the Corruption notable, which makes our Withered effect 35% stronger, making enemies take much more chaos damage. If you can't afford the oils needed to anoint it, opt for Dire Torment or the Serpentine Spellslinger.

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Remember that armor and energy shield aren't really used in this build.

· Starkonja's Head is a really solid unique helmet we can use before we can afford a proper rare. Increased attack speed and critical strike chance that come in tandem with a sizable maximum life bonus? Of course we want to use it!

· Eber's Unification is a really interesting helmet choice. It comes in with a small amount of energy shield and mana - but the modifier we care about the most is the Void Gaze skill.

Void Gaze. Void Gaze has a 2 second cooldown and will activate whenever you use a skill, debuffing all enemies in front of you. The debuff lowers their chaos resistance by 20% - which is a massive increase to our DPS!

· Rare helmets are the premiere choice for late endgame. We really want to get a helmet with a nice HP bonus and the crucial enchant: Cobra Lash Chains 3 additional times, which increases both our single target damage and clearing capabilities. 

Mods you should look for on rare helmets are:

- +90 to Maximum Life

- +% to Elemental resistances








For endgame you want rare boots, as there are no unique items for this slot that help us in any way, shape or form. You might want to look into getting a base with %chance to Suppress Spell Damage.

Mods you should look for on rare boots are:

- 25% or higher increased Movement speed

- + or higher to Maximum Life

- +% to one elemental resistance

- +% to another elemental resistance


· The Embalmer - this pair of gloves is a godsend for league starts and early endgame. They let us gain access to a cheap 5link (as we can put our clear skill in them, which will then get supported by the Vile Toxins modifier that's innate to these gloves) while also giving us maximum life, poison duration and some flat chaos damage!

· Fenumus' Weave - this is undoubtedly the best pair of gloves we can get in (or on :p) our hands. They grant us a really powerful skill - Aspect of the Spider - which increases damage taken by our enemies and covers them in webs, lowering their movement speed. This item also greatly boosts our damage against enemies with the maximum number of webs on them (which is three, one is applied every second).

· Rare Gloves are definitely the cheaper endgame option for this build. They come in many flavors, but with more investment they heavily outclass any unique that this build can use.

In the endgame, dexterity based gloves are our prime choice.

Mods you should look for are:

- +70 or higher to Maximum Life

- +35% to one elemental resistance

- +35% to another elemental resistance



Body Armour

· Rare 6-link - this is probably what we intend to use for this build. We seriously struggle with getting enough maximum life from other sources, so getting proper body armor is important. Try to look for ones with at least +120 maximum life and 1 empty prefix, as you can then craft 8% increased maximum life/8% increased maximum mana onto it.

· Dendrobate - this unique body armor is a relatively cheap way of obtaining a ‘pseudo' 6-linked armor. It comes in with an innate support gem - skills socketed in this item are supported by the Lesser Poison gem, which lets us get a ‘pseudo' 6-link by only 5-linking our body armor. It also has some great poison-specific bonuses based on our attributes. Definitely look into getting it once you can buy it, and try to 5-link or 6-link it using Orbs of Fusing.




· Wasp's Nest - I cannot express how STRONG this unique is for this build. It's insanely potent for crit poison builds, as it has both high attack speed, high critical strike chance, chance to poison, accuracy and a LOT of added chaos damage. It's really tough to beat with a rare claw.

· Rare Claw with correct mods is the strongest weapon we can use for this build. Try to look for the Void Fangs base, as it has innate added chaos damage. The most important mods on your claws are:

- added chaos damage

- increased physical/added physical damage

- increased attack speed

- increased critical strike chance





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Rings are a great way to fix our elemental resistances.

· Rare Rings are what we use to fix our resistance, attribute and accuracy needs. We don't really pursue any other offensive mods on them. Try to look for rings with:

- +60 or higher to Maximum Life

- +35% to one Elemental Resistance

- +300 to accuracy

- preferably one more elemental resistance or attributes.

· Icefang Orbit is a really interesting unique ring. It makes us chill poisoned enemies, while also letting us shatter them on-kill, which prevents them from triggering their on-death effects (no more deadly porcupines!). However, it comes with a drawback - it makes us chilled when we are poisoned - which isn't that troublesome, if you craft the “Cannot be Chilled” mod on your boots.

· Circle of Agony - these rings come in many variants, so before you buy one - double check if it has the correct modifiers. This build wants them with those perks:

- Herald of Agony has % increased Buff Effect

- % increased Chaos Damage while affected by Herald of Agony






Rare belts are a great source of maximum life, so we only really want to use two bases - either the Leather, or Stygian belts. There aren't really any good poison-oriented mods found on belts, so instead we want to get as much raw life and resistances as humanly possible.

- + to Maximum Life

- +% to one Elemental Resistance

- +% to another Elemental Resistance


· Maligaro's Cruelty is a really neat amulet for this build. It's definitely a great budget option, as it provides us with various poison-related bonuses and a poison based charge generation system.

· A Rare Amulet is our go-to endgame choice. Try to look for amulets with these mods on them:

- +70 or higher to Maximum Life

- + chaos damage over time multiplier

- +% to global critical strike multiplier

- crafted added chaos damage to attacks





Flasks in Path of Exile are different from other games. Not all of them are made for regaining life and mana - a lot of them are more offensively oriented. This build's setup looks like this:

· Life Flask - eternal flasks are the highest level version of life flasks. They provide high life recovery, try to get one with a bleed/corrupting blood removal mod, as those are the deadliest ailments enemies can inflict on you.

· Silver Flask - grants us Onslaught, which gives 20% increased attack/cast/movement speed. When it comes to mods you look for on this flask, try any form of attack speed or ailment avoidance.

· Jade Flask - makes us dodge way more often and is our main source of Evasion. Look for the %increased evasion during flask effect mod, as it's really important for us.

· Coralito's Signature - this flask gives us extra critical strike chance and damage for poisons inflicted by critical strikes, but sadly, it comes with a drawback - it makes us take chaos damage every second while using it. To counteract that, look for Chaos Resistance on your gear/tree.

· Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline provides a high movement speed buff beneficial for both clear and dodging bosses' various skills.





Jewels are items socketable in Jewel Sockets found on the passive tree. There are two types of them: Regular jewels. We intend to use the regular jewels. A perfect combo of mods on these would be:

- increased attack speed

- increased maximum life

- +to chaos damage over time multiplier

Alternatively, you can search for jewels with increased poison damage, increased chaos damage, increased damage with hits and ailments with one handed melee weapons/with claws/while dual wielding.

· Watcher's Eye - this jewel can roll a lot of aura-oriented modifiers. We use Malevolence and Precision, so look for useful mods that are triggered by using these auras. Some of these are:

  • Increased attack speed while affected by precision
  • +(20-30)% to Critical Strike Multiplier while affected by Precision
  • +(18-22)% to Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence





Cobra Lash = Awakened Added Chaos Damage = Unbound Ailments = Nightblade = Deadly Ailments = Void Manipulation/Greater Multiple Projectiles

Cobra Lash is the main skill for this build. We don't really care about the ‘hit' portion of it, so we make sure to amplify the poison/ailment damage instead. Swap between Deadly Ailments and GMP for bossing and clear, respectively. A really strong upgrade is getting an alternative version of the Cobra Lash gem, which is Divergent Cobra Lash. Alternative quality gems change what the %quality of the gem does for the skill. Divergent CL increases damage dealt with hits/ailments for each remaining chain, buffing our damage significantly.


Weapon 1

Herald of Agony = Malevolence = Poacher's Mark

First two are our auras, which we want to have on ourselves permanently. Malevolence increases damage of our poisons, while Herald of Agony gives us a friendly minion, which becomes stronger the more poisons we apply on our enemies. It also gives us a small poison damage increase. Poacher's Mark is our Mark skill which we use for single target. These curses are really strong and permanent, but they're limited to one target at a time. Try to have Poacher's Mark at maximum quality (which is obtained by using Gemcuttter's Prisms on a gem), which will let us generate Frenzy charges on single target.


Weapon 2

Flame Dash = Whirling Blades = Fortify

Whirling Blades is our primary movement skill. We link it to fortify to get a small defensive boost while we hit enemies with it during clear. Flame Dash is our movement skill which we use for bosses, as it is an instant blink to a location (but it comes with a cooldown).



Immortal Call (3) = CWDT (1) = Blood Rage (20) = Withering Step (20)

This is our Cast When Damage Taken. Once we take enough damage, it will trigger the linked gems automatically. Immortal Call makes us take less physical and elemental damage. Remember to keep these two gems at a low level, since we want them to activate as often as possible. Blood Rage is an optional buff, which increases our attack speed and gives us some life leech. Withering Step is our main way of applying Withered debuffs while clear. It also resets our Elusive counter before it runs out, which is REALLY useful.



Plague Bearer = Increased Area of Effect ||||| Vaal Haste = Precision (10)

Plague Bearer is one of the hallmark skills for poison builds - it lowers our poison damage while in the ‘Incubating' phase, storing it in a counter at the top of your screen. When we click it again, it starts its ‘Infecting' phase, which depletes the counter and deals chaos damage to all enemies around us, killing any normal/magic mob which dared to stand around us. We support it with an increased Area of Effect to make it that much stronger for clear. Vaal Haste is a temporary buff, which grants us increased attack/cast/movement speed, which we use as an ‘extra damage' button for bosses or for clear. Precision is an aura which grants us increased critical strike chance and extra accuracy. It's REALLY important to keep it at level 10, which will let us have some mana left to cast our attacks/spells.



Wither = Spell Totem = Multiple Totems = Faster Casting

This is the Wither setup that nearly every chaos damage over time build has. We want to make sure that our targets are at maximum (15) stacks all the time - to accomplish that, we link this active gem to Spell totem and Multiple totems. That lets us lay down totems which will automatically apply the debuff to our enemies.


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