CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin - Path of Exile 3.24

28.03.2024 - 17:30:37
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin - Path of Exile 3.24

The new Transfigured Gems introduced by Grinding Gear Games in the 3.24 Necropolis League have really shaken things up in Path of Exile. That is because they are responsible for spawning new and incredible builds, as well as making unpopular classes make a resurgence in this league.

Having said that, the Assassin ascendancy class has not gotten love in the previous leagues, but it has now made a comeback - and a successful one at that.

If you are looking for a build that uses a Transfigured Gem to decimate map monsters and slay bosses like they are just mundane things, then read further. This is our build guide for the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin in Path of Exile 3.23 Affliction League!

Learn to Craft the Best Items for This Build


The CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin makes use of the Cyclone attack skill gem to trigger the transfigured version of Vortex. What makes this Transfigured Gem amazing is that it can deal incredible amounts of damage thanks to the interaction with another spell skill gem: Frostbolt.

You see, Vortex of Projection causes up to five Frostbolt projectiles to explode, dealing massive cold damage to nearby monsters. The resulting vortex deals cold damage over time, so enemies that do not die from the explosions will be eliminated by this effect.

So, what are the mechanics used in this build? The main one is the Cast on Critical Strike Support (aka CoC), specifically the "Awakened version". This particular support gem casts Vortex of Projection automatically whenever you land a critical strike using a supported skill. This is where Cyclone comes in.

The reason why Cyclone is used to trigger CoC is that it has a considerable area of effect. But more importantly, it has a very high attack speed, which causes Vortex of Projection to get cast more often than using any other attack skill gems in PoE.

Another mechanic that you need to be aware of is the cooldown recovery rate or CDR and how it should be aligned with Cyclone's attack rate.

Every spell in Path of Exile has a cooldown, meaning, you have to wait a brief period before you can use it again. Cooldown recovery rate is a stat that basically reduces the cooldown of your spells so that you can use it without waiting too long.

That said, the breakpoint you should be aiming for is 52% CDR. Why? Because this number is perfectly in sync with Path of Exile's server tick rate. In other words, if you have 52% CDR, the cooldown of your spells is exactly a single tick (or 33ms)!

So, how does attack speed factor into this equation? Attack speed affects the attack/trigger rate of CoC. Without getting too complicated on the math, you need to get a 10.1 attack rate if you have 52% CDR. This is so that both Cyclone and your spell+CoC are on the same trigger window to maximize efficiency.

When you have it sorted out, casting Cyclone will trigger Vortex of Projection immediately once it is off cooldown!

Now, you are probably asking how this build compares to others that use the Ice Nova of Frostbolts - another Transfigured Gem that was introduced in Patch 3.23. Ice Nova of Frostbolts can also work with Frostbolt projectiles. However, the reason why we've opted for Vortex of Projection for this build is that Ice Nova of Frostbolts has lower effectiveness of added damage, has a lesser area of effect when cast on the Frostbolt projectiles, and does not cause cold explosions like the transfigured version of Vortex.

Anyway, if you want to increase the damage of the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin, look for any of these modifiers on your gear:

  • Increased Cold Damage
  • Increased Spell Damage
  • Increased Critical Strike Chance
  • + to Critical Strike Multiplier
  • + to Maximum Power Charges


Even though there are a few mechanics at play here, the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin is actually pretty easy and straightforward to use.

Just simply look for packs of monsters when you enter a new zone or map and then use Cyclone. That's it!

When you encounter a monster that is tough to beat, use Frostblink once to apply an empowered Chill effect for more damage. More on this in the "Gems" section of the build guide.

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Because critical strike chance is important on this build, the ascendancy class you should use is the Assassin. That is because it has access to notable passive skills that improve your crit chance and Power Charges as well.

Opportunistic allows you to breeze through the campaign because you deal more damage against rare or unique enemies. This also acts as a defensive node because you take 20% reduced damage if there are at least two rare/unique monsters nearby.

Unstable Infusion increases your Maximum Power Charges by one. Early on, this notable passive skill allows you to gain a Power Charge reliably, though this secondary effect is no longer needed when you wear the mandatory unique items for this build.

Deadly Infusion amplifies the effects of Power Charges. When you take this ascendancy node, each Power Charge grants you a 5% critical strike multiplier, which is insane considering that having eight Power Charges is quite achievable on the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin. This notable passive skill also gives you a boost to your crit chance, making it easier for you to reach the cap.

Mistwalker is the perfect node to round out your notable ascendancy passive skills. This grants you the "Elusive" buff when you land a critical strike. This gives you a 15% chance to avoid all damage from hits and 30% increased movement speed. Take note that the effects of this buff wanes over time until it reaches 0%. Do not worry, this buff will immediately get activated again thanks to your insanely high crit chance.

If you have some PoE currency to spare, you can purchase the Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh jewels that have either "Ambush and Assassinate" or "Polymath" as the matching modifier.

Ambush and Assassinate provides you with a 40% increase to your critical strike multiplier against enemies that are on full life. Additionally, it causes you to deal 15% more damage to enemies that are below 50% of their maximum HP.

Polymath essentially gives you a huge damage increase and life/mana/energy shield recovery for each different type of Mastery you have allocated on your passive tree!


Notable Passive Skills for CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin


To make the most out of the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin, you need to have your critical strike chance, cooldown recovery rate, and attack speed all sorted out. Pay very close attention to CDR and attack speed. Make sure that your CDR is 52% and your attack speed (denoted by Cyclone's attack rate) is at 10.1.

Import your character in Path of Building (POB) so that you will know the exact values that these things are currently at.

Aside from that, there are unique items that are required for this build to work. That is why you should only try this if you have enough PoE currency.


The first of many unique items that you need to use for the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin is Cospri's Malice. This one-handed sword has a unique effect, where you trigger a socketed cold spell on a melee critical strike. Because of this, you will insert the Frostbolt spell skill gem here.

To help you achieve the 10.1 attack rate for your Cyclone, get a Cospri's Malice that has a 14% increased attack speed. While you are at it, look for one that has high cold damage as well.


Cospri's Malice


Since this build is a Power Charge-stacker, you will use the Malachai's Loop unique Harmonic Spirit Shield. When you equip this shield, you not only gain two Maximum Power Charges, but you also get increased spell damage for every Power Charge you have.

The Assassin, admittedly, is an ascendancy class that is not known for its defensive prowess. Hence, you should improve your survivability by looking for the right mods on your gear.

Having said that, Malachai's Loop is affordable, which means that you can corrupt it with a Vaal Orb for a chance to obtain either "5% Reduced Area Damage taken from Hits" or "8% of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Fire/Cold/Lightning Damage" without breaking the bank.


Malachai's Loop

Body Armor

This build is capable of dealing incredible amounts of damage. However, its survivability leaves much to be desired. Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can address this - one is by equipping the Lightning Coil.

With this unique Desert Brigandine, 50% of physical damage from hits is taken as lightning damage. Wait, if this body armor has a downside that reduces your lightning resistance by quite a bit, how can you rectify that? Well, by using the Topaz Flask, of course!

Since this unique body armor is relatively inexpensive, purchase one that has the corrupted implicit "+2 to Level of Socketed Duration Gems" or "+2 to Level of Socketed AoE Gems" to increase the damage output of your Vortex of Projection.


Lightning Coil


You only have several self-crafted pieces of gear on this build, which is why you need to make them count. That said, the helmet you are going to use is a self-crafted one with the Ursine Pelt as the crafting base.

Use Deafening Essence of Wrath (Lightning Resistance) until you get accuracy rating, evasion rating, life, and spell suppression.

For the implicit modifiers, use Grand Eldritch Ichors until you acquire "% Increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "% Increased Damage per Power Charge".

If you want to learn the ins and outs of crafting in Path of Exile, be sure to read our ultimate crafting guide for more info!

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Self-crafted Helmet


You can craft a good pair of gloves using an ilvl 85+ Slink/Shagreen Gloves as the base. Again, spam the gloves with Deafening Essence of Wrath until you get some good modifiers, such as life, evasion rating, chaos resistance, and spell suppression. Leave a prefix open so that you can bench-craft "+1 to Level of Socketed AoE Gems, 10% Increased Area of Effect".

In the endgame, use the gloves that you can obtain from the Temple of Atzoatl boss, specifically those that have the mod: "50% Increased Damage with Hits Against Chilled Enemies, +48% to Cold Resistance".

Anyway, there are some interesting implicit modifiers that you can roll on the gloves. Spam them with Grand Eldritch Ichors to obtain the mod "+% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "% Chance to Unnerve Enemies for 4 Seconds on Hit".


Self-crafted Gloves


To ensure that you have the effect of Endurance, Frenzy, and Power Charges up at all times, then you have to wear Ralakesh's Impatience. This also addresses the negative aspect of Malachai's Loop, where you lose all of your Power Charges when you have reached the maximum.


Ralakesh's Impatience


For the amulet, wear the Badge of the Brotherhood to complement Ralakesh's Impatience. Thanks to this thing, your Maximum Frenzy Charges are equal to your Maximum Power Charges. This translates to a huge damage boost since you gain 4% more damage and attack/cast speed per Frenzy Charge.

Remember Mistwalker? This Assassin-only notable ascendancy skill allows you to gain the "Elusive" buff whenever you land a critical strike. Well, the Badge of the Brotherhood enhances the effect of Elusive by 8% per Power Charge, making your enemies less likely to hit you as a result!

The beauty of amulets in Path of Exile is that you can anoint them with various notable passive skills that can benefit your character. With that said, the anointment you should put on the Badge of the Brotherhood is Disciple of the Slaughter (Amber Oil, Verdant Oil, Golden Oil) to amplify the effects of Frenzy Charge.

If you are going to use Frostbite to improve your damage output, you should anoint your amulet with Whispers of Doom (3x Golden Oils) instead. Alternatively, you can purchase a Badge of the Brotherhood with the "You Can Apply an Additional Curse" corrupted implicit mod.


Badge of the Brotherhood


The rings you are going to wear for the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin are two crafted ones using the Harvest Reforge Lightning option from your Horticrafting Station. This gives you a considerably high chance of rolling lightning resistance, which is crucial for your survival.

To improve your damage output even further, at least one of your rings should have the "You Gain Onslaught for 4 Seconds on Hit" synthesized implicit modifier.

Use the rings to address issues that you may still have on this build. Some of the modifiers to look for are chaos resistance, life, accuracy rating, fire/cold resistance, and global critical strike multiplier.

Leave at least one prefix open so that you can put "Non-Channeling Skills Have -7 to Total Mana Cost" from the Crafting Bench.


Onslaught-on-Hit Ring


There is only one belt that you should use for this build and that is none other than the Mageblood. You want permanent uptime of your magic flasks so that you won't run into problems with your mana, elemental resistance, ailment immunity, and survivability.

Because this unique belt is non-negotiable, you have to be willing to spend a ton of currency to get one if you really want to try this build out.




  • Topaz Flask
  • Sapphire Flask
  • Ruby Flask
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Progenesis

With the plethora of unique items that you need to use for the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin, there is no doubt that you have a hard time capping your elemental resistances. That is why you address that by using the trifecta of Topaz Flask, Sapphire Flask, and Ruby Flask to give you a huge boost to your lightning resistance, cold resistance, and fire resistance, respectively.

The fourth utility flask is reserved for the Quicksilver Flask to provide you with a much smoother mapping experience.

For the unique flasks, you actually have a few options to choose from. The absolute best-in-slot is, of course, the Progenesis. This is to help you last longer on the battlefield because it grants you a buff that is similar to Petrified Blood when used.

Now, the Progenesis flask is quite expensive. If you do not have enough currency to buy one off the trade website, you can use Taste of Hate to give you a slight increase to your offense and defense in the meantime. If you want pure offense, however, you can go for the Dying Sun for some additional projectiles instead.

Flask Mods

  • 14% Increased Movement Speed (of the Cheetah)
  • 55% Chance to Avoid Being Shocked (of Bog Moss)
  • 60% Increased Evasion Rating (of the Impala) OR 55 Chance to Avoid Being Stunned (of Tenaciousness)
  • 25% Reduced Mana Cost of Skills (Bench-craft)
  • Abecedarian/alchemist/Dabbler (prefix) for Increased Effect


Achieving a 52% increased cooldown recovery rate is vital to the success of the build. That is why you are going to get your hands on a That Which Was Taken unique jewel with CDR as one of its Charm modifiers. For the other three, you can choose any of these:

  • Skills Fire an Additional Projectile
  • (16-25)% Increased Effect of Your Marks
  • % Increased Effect of Onslaught on You
  • +% to Chaos Resistance per Endurance Charge
  • (14-20)% Increased Accuracy Rating if You've Dealt a Critical Strike in the Past 8 Seconds
  • 2% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if You've Killed Recently
  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier per Power Charge
  • Critical Strikes Have Culling Strike
  • Damage Penetrates % of Enemy Elemental Resistances
  • % Increased Area of Effect if You've Killed Recently

The Watcher's Eye is another unique jewel that provides you with some amazing modifiers. Here are the ones that we recommend:

  • Hatred

    • +% to Critical Strike Chance
    • Damage Penetrates % Cold Resistance
    • % Increased Cold Damage
  • Precision

    • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier
    • Gain a Flask Charge When You Deal a Critical Strike
  • Grace

    • +% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
    • +% Chance to Evade Attack Hits
    • % Increased Movement Speed

When you take a quick glance at the "Flask Mods" section of this build guide, you will see that one of the modifiers you need is "% Chance to Avoid Being Shocked". The reason why you need to have that flask mod is so that you can take advantage of Stormshroud. This unique jewel makes it easier for you to achieve full elemental ailment immunity, which is crucial for your survival.

As is customary for Power Charge-stacking builds in PoE, you should get Militant Faith (Dominus) so that the nearest keystone passive is transformed into Inner Conviction. By taking this keystone, you gain 3% more spell damage per Power Charge! For the explicit mods that should be on the Militant Faith jewel itself, go for "4% Increased Area Damage" and "1% Reduced Mana Cost of Skills" per 10 Devotion.

Then, grab a couple of Large Cluster Jewels (Cold Damage) and use Harvest Reforge Cold to get the following notable passive skills:

  • Blanketed Snow

    • Damage Penetrates 10% Cold Resistance Against Chilled Enemies
  • Sadist

    • 15% Increased Elemental Damage if You've Chilled an Enemy Recently
    • 20% Increased Elemental Damage if You've Ignited an Enemy Recently
    • 25% Increased Elemental Damage if You've Shocked an Enemy Recently
  • Blast-Freeze

    • 20% Increased Cold Damage
    • Freezes You Inflict Spread to Other Enemies within 1.2 Meters

Make sure that each cluster jewel has "Doryani's Lesson" on it so that you can leech life from your enemies as you deal damage. Only Blanketed Snow is common among these Large Cluster Jewels, which means that one has Blast-Freeze and the other contains Sadist.

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Now it is time to talk about the gems you are going to use for the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin. Unless you know what you are doing, the gems that will be highlighted in this section are pretty much set in stone.

Body Armor

  • Cyclone
  • Vortex of Projection
  • Awakened Cast on Critical Strike Support (lvl 8)
  • Awakened Cold Penetration
  • Awakened Added Cold Damage
  • Awakened Elemental Focus

This is your main gem setup for this build. Cyclone is the attack skill that will trigger the Awakened Cast on Critical Strike Support, thus automatically casting Vortex of Projection in the process.

If you are wondering how you can get Awakened Cast on Critical Strike Support to level 8, just attain max level and then get the Critical Strike Mastery: +3 to Level of All Critical Support Gems.

Always remember that your cooldown recovery rate should be at 52% and your Cyclone's attack rate is set to 10.1 to ensure maximum efficiency. Always look at your character's POB to get more accurate information about these stats.

Awakened Added Cold Damage and Awakened Elemental Focus should be leveled up to the max so that your Vortex of Projection will get plus two levels for even more damage.

Awakened Cold Penetration is there to greatly reduce the cold resistance of nearby monsters.


  • Frostbolt
  • Greater Multiple Projectiles
  • Greater Volley Support

Frostbolt is mandatory for this build as it has an amazing interaction with Vortex of Projection. To recap, every time Vortex of Projection is cast on your Frostbolt projectiles, the projectiles themselves explode to deal massive cold damage to nearby enemies.

Greater Multiple Projectiles and Greater Volley Support allow you to create more projectiles for use with Vortex of Projection.

You do not have to worry about manually casting Frostbolt because it is automatically triggered by Cospri's Malice.


  • Frostblink
  • Bonechill Support
  • Awakened Unbound Ailments

Frostblink is not only used for traversing the map quickly, but to also make your enemies a lot easier to defeat. Bonechill Support applies Chill to nearby monsters, causing them to take increased cold damage based on your Chill Effectiveness.

Awakened Unbound Ailments is a nice complement to Bonechill Support as this increases the chill effect by 69% at gem level 5.


  • Herald of Ice
  • Assassin's Mark
  • Mark on Hit Support
  • Steelskin

Herald of Ice is a great buff to add to cold damage-dealing builds like the CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin. This is because you have a chance of shattering frozen enemies, dealing AoE cold damage as a result.

Assassin's Mark increases your chance to land a critical strike on the enemy; not to mention that it gives you a bit of an oomph to your critical strike multiplier as well. What's more, this Mark skill allows you to gain life and mana each time you kill an enemy.

Steelskin is the preferred guard skill for this build primarily because you do not have a lot of armor to work with. But make no mistake, Steelskin is actually pretty good considering that you are immune to bleeding while it's active.


  • Zealotry
  • Divine Blessing Support
  • Vitality
  • Frostbite

Zealotry is an aura that gives you a boost in spell critical strike chance and spell damage. But, you do not have enough mana left to activate it permanently since they are already used up by the other auras on this build. Do not worry, you can still use Zealotry by linking it with Divine Blessing Support.

When you do that, Zealotry becomes a buff that you can activate, which lasts for roughly 11 seconds. Use it whenever you need to deal with bosses and tough monsters in Path of Exile.

Vitality helps with improving your survivability.

Frostbite is a great addition to the build because it reduces the cold resistance of cursed enemies. Keep in mind that this is a curse spell, meaning, you should only use it if you have the Whispers of Doom anointed on your amulet or the "You Can Apply an Additional Curse" corrupted implicit.


  • Hatred
  • Precision
  • Grace
  • Enlighten Support

Hatred is an aura that gives you a significant boost to your cold damage. Grace increases your chance to evade enemy attacks, so its inclusion is mandatory. Precision is there to help you attain a 100% hit chance.

Although Enlighten Support is needed to activate all of the auras mentioned above, you only need a level 3 gem, so you can save a ton of currency that you can use on other things.

Secondary Ascendancy

Three new secondary ascendancy classes have been introduced in the 3.23 Affliction League. However, you only need to concern yourself with one - the Wildwood Primalist.

The Wildwood Primalist gives you access to three sockets that you can use to insert Charms. These are items that provide you with a couple of useful modifiers, including increased cooldown recovery rate and spell suppression.

If you still lack CDR, the Charms are a great way to address that.

Passive Tree


Passive Tree for CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin


Cast on Crit Vortex of Projection Assassin

Final Thoughts

The CoC Vortex of Projection Assassin is an amazing mapper and an excellent boss-killer in Path of Exile. This build excels at killing even the most difficult pinnacle bosses in the game!

This build utilizes cooldown recovery rate and attack speed to great effect. Although you need to keep an eye on these stats to maximize efficiency, we promise you that it will all be worth it!

Anyway, the new Transfigured Gem, Vortex of Projection, deals massive cold damage. Its interaction with Frostbolt projectiles allows you to clear maps quickly. You could say that this build truly embodies the "Spin-to-Win" playstyle!

Although this build requires some pretty expensive items to work, every piece of gear you obtain feels like a worthy upgrade!

We hope that this build guide has provided you with the information you need to create this character. Be sure to bookmark this page, as well as our ultimate crafting guide, for future reference.

With all of that said, good luck on your adventures in Wraeclast, Exile!


+Utilizes the new Vortex of Projection to great effect

+Careful use of CDR and attack speed mechanics ensure that nothing can stand in your way

+Excellent map clear speed thanks to interaction with Frostbolt and Vortex of Projection

+Makes pinnacle bosses trivial

+Spin-to-win playstyle promises a fun and smooth experience


-Expensive to put up

-Only relies on evasion rating and elemental ailment immunity for survival

-Not billed as a tanky character

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