Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster - Path of Exile 3.24

28.03.2024 - 17:30:48
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster - Path of Exile 3.24

For a long time, Grinding Gear Games has not given anything substantial for melee builds in Path of Exile. Well, that is until the company introduced the new Transfigured Gems in Patch 3.23, then everything changed!

Although melee builds still cannot go head-to-head against ranged characters, they are now in a much better place compared to previous leagues.

Today, we are going to talk about a Trickster build that utilizes the transfigured version of Molten Strike. It is pretty amazing considering that you do not have to break the bank in order to feel its power.

If you are interested, then read ahead! This is our comprehensive build guide for the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster!

Learn to Craft the Best Items for This Build


The star of the build is the new Molten Strike of the Zenith, which is the transfigured version of Molten Strike. Unlike the original, this transfigured version requires you to use a two-handed sword. It does not have that added fire damage like the base version and has a slower attack speed and higher damage penalty. You're probably asking why you should choose this attack skill gem despite its obvious flaws.

Well, it is undeniable that there are multiple negatives here. However, all of those are compensated by the huge damage multiplier on the fifth strike.

You see, every fifth attack, the Molten Strike of the Zenith releases five additional projectiles and deals 800% more damage with hits and ailments! On top of that, if you increase the quality of the gem to 20% and raise that even further with Ashes of the Stars, you can get close to 1,300% more damage with the fiery projectiles!

If you are still not convinced, the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster utilizes the Energy Blade. This buff transforms your two-handed sword into an elemental blade that deals a ton of lightning damage. Since Energy Blade scales with energy shield, most of your equipment has the said defensive layer to maximize the buff's effect.

As you gain more PoE currency, you should get your hands on the Awakened Multistrike Support and the Nimis unique ring. When you combine all of these together, the Molten Strike of Zenith's fifth strike is the most damaging attack of this build.

It is so damaging, in fact, that it can make quick work of the pinnacle bosses in the game! Uber Maven? No problem. Uber Sirus? A joke. Uber Eater of Worlds? Is there anything that is more challenging than these? Nope! That is the power of the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster!

You can increase the damage of this build by looking for the following modifiers on gear and items:

  • Increased Elemental Damage
  • Increased Fire Damage
  • Increased Physical Damage
  • Flat Physical Damage
  • Flat Fire Damage
  • Increased Projectile Damage
  • Increased Energy Shield (due to Energy Blade)
  • Increased Attack Speed
  • Increased Critical Strike Multiplier


The Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster does not require any prior setup to deal damage. You just attack enemies and see them get destroyed on the fifth strike.

If you encounter tougher enemies, drop your Ancestral Protector totem to provide you with a considerable boost in attack speed.

Make sure that your Energy Blade is activated whenever you enter a new map. This build also utilizes the Blood and Sand gem. That said, use the Sand Stance while mapping and shift to the Blood Stance while taking on bosses.

Buy Cheap PoE Currency and Items


The best ascendancy class for this build is the Trickster. The reason is that it has a good combination of nodes that are just too tough to beat.

Polymath provides a "more" damage multiplier for every different type of mastery you have allocated on the passive tree. What's more, this notable ascendancy passive allows you to recover energy shield for each enemy you kill, which is quite helpful from a survival standpoint.

Escape Artist is a great node because it gives you a significant amount of energy shield based on your equipped body armor's evasion rating. Couple this with the Warden of the Maji and you get a ton of value just by taking this notable ascendancy passive skill.

Because you are taking the Ghost Reaver keystone passive for the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster, which essentially means that your energy shield cannot recharge by itself unless you leech some from your enemies, you should take Soul Taker for the third node. This not only gives you increased attack speed, but it also ensures that energy shield leech effects are not removed even if your energy shield is already filled. In other words, so long as you are attacking monsters, you are less likely to get killed!

The last notable ascendancy passive is a toss-up between One Step Ahead and Heartstopper. Both of them have distinct advantages, so you just have to choose which one you prefer.

One Step Ahead increases your action speed to at least 108% of base value. Conversely, your enemies have their action speed reduced to just 92% of base value. This essentially means that you move and attack noticeably faster than your foes.

Heartstopper is purely a defensive notable passive skill. Every 10 seconds, you take 40% less damage from hits and damage over time effects for a brief period.


Notable Ascendancy Passives for Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster


The Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is a relatively expensive character depending on how far you are willing to go with it. Fortunately, this build can work with some starter pieces of gear. When you have enough PoE currency, you can then buy the necessary upgrades one by one.


Interestingly, the weapon for this build is quite flexible in terms of what you can use. However, the only limitation here is that it has to be a two-handed sword for the Molten Strike of the Zenith and Energy Blade to work.

That said, you can craft a rare two-handed sword with physical damage, attack speed, and some accuracy. You can refer to our ultimate crafting guide to learn some useful information about how to craft your own pieces of gear in Path of Exile.

If you just want a weapon that you can purchase off the trade website and use immediately, then grab the Edge of Madness. This two-handed sword grants some physical damage and chaos damage. But, its main draw is that it raises the level of all socketed skill gems by one, which is great considering that you are going to put your gem setup for the Molten Strike of the Zenith into the weapon.


Edge of Madness

Body Armor

Although the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is not really an attribute stacker, it is still a good idea to have as many DEX and INT mods on your gear as possible.

Anyway, for the body armor, get an ilvl 86 Sadist Garb and spam it with Deafening Essence of Doubt (evasion rating) until you get another evasion mod, some energy shield, spell suppression, and elemental resistance. Leave a suffix open so that you can bench craft the "6% Attributes" mod.

The reason why you want the body armor to have a high evasion rating is so that it gets maximized by the Trickster's "Escape Artist" notable, as well as another notable passive skill from the Warden of the Maji, which is going to be discussed in greater detail later on in the build guide.

For its implicit modifiers, use Grand Eldritch Ichors to obtain the mod "11% Increased Maximum Energy Shield" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "14% Increased Effect of Non-Curse Auras from Your Skills".


Self-crafted Body Armor


For the helmet, acquire an ilvl 85+ Hubris Circlet since this INT-based helmet has the highest energy shield value among the other options. Use Deafening Essence of Woe until you obtain another energy shield mod, some INT, and elemental resistances.

Make sure that you have an open prefix so that you can put "8% of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Fire Damage" from the Crafting Bench.

After that, spam the helmet with Grand Eldritch Ichors to acquire "7% of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Chaos Damage" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "24% Reduced Mana Cost of Attacks".


Self-crafted Hubris Circlet


Since Energy Blade's buff effect scales with how much energy shield your character has, then it makes sense to roll some energy shield mods on your gear. One such piece of equipment is the gloves, so get an ilvl 85+ Fingerless Silk Gloves as this pair provides the highest energy shield value.

After improving its quality using Perfect Fossils, spam the gloves with Deafening Essence of Zeal (attack speed) until you get two energy shield mods, some INT, and another useful suffix.

Leave a prefix open so that you can add "43% Increased Damage While Leeching" from the Crafting Bench.

To finish the crafting project, use Grand Eldritch Ichors to get "Non-Vaal Strike Skills Target 1 Additional Nearby Enemy" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "3% Increased Damage per 100 Intelligence". Because these implicits provide a ton of value for the build, you can take things a step further and use a few Orbs of Conflict.


Self-crafted Gloves


Get an ilvl 85 Sorcerer Boots and spam it with Deafening Essence of Spite (INT) until you get a couple of elemental resistance mods. After that, put a veiled prefix so that you can get one of the better movement speed mods. You can refer to our comprehensive crafting guide to learn how to craft the Onslaught Boots.

Once you have the explicit mods sorted out, it is time to turn your attention to the implicits. Use Grand Eldritch Ichor to obtain the mod, "Gain 5% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage". After that, spam the boots with Grand Eldritch Embers until you get "5% increased Action Speed".


Self-crafted Boots


The best amulet for the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is, of course, the Ashes of the Stars. Even though this unique Onyx Amulet got nerfed in 3.23 Affliction League, it still provides amazing value to those builds that rely on gem quality to shine. And, what better way to improve Molten Strike of the Zenith than to use Ashes of the Stars, right?

The reason why this is great for the build is that it increases the level of all skill gems that you use by one. However, the amulet's main selling point is that it can increase the quality of all skill gems by up to 30%, which is truly insane, especially when talking about the Transfigured Gems!

So, if you are going to purchase the Ashes of the Stars from the trade website, make sure that you get close to 30% increased quality to make it count! Once you've acquired one, anoint it with Arcane Focus (Verdant Oil, Crimson Oil, Crimson Oil) first before you wear it. If you are wondering what it is, Arcane Focus is a notable passive skill that increases your maximum energy shield by 20% and gives you a slight bump to your INT stat (+10).


Ashes of the Stars


Do you know what's crazy about the Molten Strike of the Zenith? The projectiles this skill produces can take advantage of Nimis' unique effect, where projectiles return to you after reaching their maximum travel distance.

Why is that important, you ask? Well, it's vital to the success of the build mainly because you hit enemies twice thanks to the returning projectiles. What's more, when combined with Awakened Multistrike Support, your main skill produces a lot more projectiles as a result!



For the other ring slot, you are going to craft one using the Moonstone Ring as the base. This is because of its energy shield implicit modifier. That said, use Deafening Essence of Spite (INT) until you get a couple of elemental resistances.

Lock your suffixes by adding the appropriate metamod from the Crafting Bench and then use a Veiled Chaos Orb. Bench craft "+ to Life, Regenerate Mana" and go to Jun to unveil. You are looking for the mod, "Adds # to # to Fire Damage, Adds # to # Lightning Damage".

After that, bench craft "+30 to Maximum Energy Shield". If you still have an open prefix, fill it up using an Exalted Orb. That's it!



Self-crafted Moonstone Ring


Early on in the league, you can wear a self-crafted belt using an ilvl 85+ Crystal Belt as the crafting base. Spam it with Deafening Essence of Sorrow (DEX) or Spite (INT) until you get the elemental damage with attack skills mod, energy shield, and some attributes.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can leave a suffix open and use a Hunter Exalted Orb for a chance to obtain "12% Increased Attributes".

Now, if you love the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster so much, you can invest in a Mageblood to elevate the build to new heights!


Self-crafted Belt

Buy Cheap Divine Orbs


  • Diamond Flask
  • Jade Flask
  • Bottled Faith
  • Dying Sun
  • Borealwood Tincture

Although it is difficult to achieve 100% crit chance on this build, it is still a good idea to increase it as high as you can. That is why you should use the Diamond Flask to help you with that.

Jade Flask is a no-brainer because it grants a flat evasion rating that is scaled even further by your "% Increased Evasion Rating" mods on your gear.

The Dying Sun enables the Molten Strike of the Zenith to fire two additional projectiles, which is quite good when you combine it with Awakened Multistrike Support.

Bottled Faith is another unique flask worth getting. This thing creates a Consecrated Ground that increases your damage and crit chance against enemies that are standing on it.

Since you will be using the Warden of the Maji as your secondary ascendancy class, you have a couple of options when it comes to Tinctures. The first is the Rosethurn Tincture for that lightning penetration. The second is the Borealwood Tincture, which empowers your attacks to freeze enemies.

Flask Mods

  • 55% Increased Critical Strike Chance (of Incision)
  • 60% Increased Evasion Rating (of the Impala)


There are a couple of gems introduced in Patch 3.23 that can greatly benefit the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster. The Adorned is an interesting jewel as it increases the effect of corrupted Magic (blue) jewels by up to 150%. As to what Magic jewels you should be using, get your hands on some abyssal jewels that contain energy shield and DEX/INT modifiers.

Another unique Crimson Jewel that was added in the 3.23 Affliction League is That Which Was Taken. It can roll several charm modifiers that can either rectify some weaknesses of the build or enhance other things. Having said that, look for any of the following modifiers if you are going to buy That Which Was Taken from the trade website:

  • Skills Fire an Additional Projectile
  • % Increased Effect of Onslaught on You
  • Adds (8-12) to (18-22) Physical Damage if You've Dealt a Critical Strike Recently
  • (14-20)% Increased Accuracy Rating if You've Dealt a Critical Strike in the Past 8 Seconds
  • Melee Hits Have % Chance to Fortify
  • (6-8)% Increased Effect of Your Curses
  • (130-160%) Increased Critical Strike Chance Against Enemies on Full Life
  • (71-100)% Increased Critical Strike Chance if You Haven't Dealt a Critical Strike Recently
  • Projectiles Gain Damage as They Travel Farther, Dealing Up to % Increased Damage with Hits to Targets
  • Projectiles Have (14-20)% Chance to Be Able to Chain When Colliding with Terrain
  • Critical Strikes Have Culling Strike
  • Damage Penetrates % of Enemy Elemental Resistances
  • Gain % of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield

The Lethal Pride Timeless Jewel, particularly one that has plenty of "5% Chance to Deal Double Damage" nodes and at least one "10% Chance to Intimidate Enemies for 4 Seconds on Hit" node, works wonders for the build!

While not mandatory, you can acquire a Thread of Hope (Large Ring) so that you can save some passive skill points when getting the following notables:

  • One With Nature
  • Quickstep
  • Multishot
  • Primeval Force

Since you are activating a few auras on this build, why not maximize those buffs by adding a Watcher's Eye as well? Here are the mods we recommend:

  • Purity of Elements

    • % of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Cold Damage
    • % of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Lightning Damage
    • +% to All Maximum Elemental Resistances
  • Grace

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

    • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier
    • % Increased Attack Speed
    • Gain a Flask Charge When You Deal a Critical Strike

In this build, you have to use at least a couple of Large Cluster Jewels (axe/sword). This is so that you can fit multiple abyssal jewels on the passive tree. That said, if you are going to craft the cluster jewels yourself, then use Harvest Reforge Attack until you get these notable passive skills:

  • Feed the Fury

    • 0.4% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
    • 30% Increased Damage While Leeching
    • 15% Increased Attack Speed While Leeching
  • Fuel the Fight

    • 8% Increased Attack Speed
    • 0.4% of Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
    • 20% Increased Damage While Leeching
  • Martial Prowess

    • 20% Increased Attack Damage
    • 6% Increased Attack Speed
    • 15% Increased Global Accuracy Rating
    • 20% Increased Damage with Ailments from Attack Skills

If you are not comfortable with your crit chance right now, you can address that by adding at least one Medium Cluster Jewel (critical strike chance). Use Harvest Reforge Caster until you obtain Pressure Points and Quick Getaway. If you want more damage instead of movement speed, you can swap Quick Getaway for Basics of Pain.


There are only four equipment slots on this build that contain some socketed gems in them. That is because you are going to utilize a specific notable ascendancy passive from the Warden of the Maji. For this reason, the gem setups are tight and leave little to no room for flexibility. In other words, you can only swap one or two gems here and the rest should be left untouched.


  • Molten Strike of the Zenith
  • Awakened Multistrike
  • Awakened Elemental Damage with Attacks
  • Awakened Lightning Penetration
  • Energy Leech Support
  • Volatility Support

The bread and butter for this build is none other than the Molten Strike of Zenith. This transfigured version of Molten Strike deals significantly more damage, especially on the fifth attack.

It is complemented by the Awakened Multistrike Support. This support gem allows you to fire multiple projectiles on a single cast by repeating Molten Strike a few times. On the third repeat, the fiery projectiles deal 66% more damage, which is insane!

Awakened Lightning Penetration, Awakened Elemental Damage with Attacks, and Volatility Support all improve the damage of your Molten Strike of the Zenith projectiles.

Energy Leech Support is a great addition to this gem setup as it also increases your damage, notably when you are leeching energy shield from enemies.


  • Purity of Elements
  • Blood and Sand
  • Grace
  • Precision

Since the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is mainly an evasion/energy shield-based character, you should use Grace as a way to boost both.

Purity of Elements not only grants a sizable increase to your elemental resistances, but it makes you immune to elemental ailments as well.

Blood and Sand allows you to change stances. For mapping, use the Sand Stance as it increases the area of effect of the Molten Strike of Zenith's projectiles. When fighting against bosses, of course, use the Blood Stance for some extra damage.

Precision is there to address your accuracy issues. Once you have reached 100% hit chance, you can stop leveling it up at that point.


  • Energy Blade
  • Assassin's Mark
  • Mark on Hit Support
  • Enhance Support (lvl 4)

An important part of the build, Energy Blade is a buff that you should activate whenever you enter a new map. This spell skill gem alone is responsible for increasing your damage manifold. That is why it is imperative that you have it activated at all times.

Assassin's Mark is your only Mark spell for this build. What it does is it increases your crit chance and critical strike multiplier against cursed enemies. As an added bonus, you gain some mana when killing monsters.

As is customary for builds that use Mark spells, you should link Assassin's Mark with Mark on Hit Support so that the curse is automatically applied to rare or unique monsters when you attack them.

Now, when you raise the Energy Blade's gem quality, it reduces the amount of energy shield required to activate the buff. Hence, you will add a level 4 Enhance Support (coupled with Ashes of the Stars) so that the buff only decreases 32% of your maximum energy shield.


  • Leap Slam
  • Faster Attacks Support
  • Ancestral Protector
  • Dread Banner

Because the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is a melee build, you can utilize Leap Slam to great effect. You should link it to Faster Attacks Support to make the skill feel less clunky to use.

Ancestral Protector allows you to drop a totem that gives you 20% more attack speed when it is active. Use this whenever you engage with tough monsters or pinnacle bosses in PoE.

Dread Banner is an interesting choice for this build. Since Molten Strike converts a huge chunk of your physical damage to fire damage, that means you can capitalize on the former to enhance your killing potential.

For that reason, Defiance Banner impales enemies when you hit them, which can significantly improve your overall damage output.

Buy Mirror of Kalandra

Secondary Ascendancy

As mentioned earlier, the secondary ascendancy class of choice for the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is the Warden of the Maji. Remember the self-crafted body armor that has tons of evasion on it? Well, that is enhanced even further thanks to the Oath of the Maji.

Oath of the Maji essentially doubles the defenses of your equipped body armor, but only if it has no gems socketed into it. Now that you have come this far in the build guide, you know that this condition is satisfied without any hitch because you are not putting any gems into the Sadist Garb's sockets!

Of course, you will also take Coated Blade. This node allows you to coat your weapon with Tinctures to add some useful bonuses.

Detect Evil is not really mandatory for this build, though it is a welcome addition nevertheless. It marks rare and unique monsters on the minimap so that it will be much easier for you to spot them while mapping.

Passive Tree


Passive Tree for Molten Strike of Zenith Trickster


Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster

Final Thoughts

Grinding Gear Games has outdone itself by introducing the new Transfigured Gems in Patch 3.23. That said, the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is a pretty awesome build that is capable of downing even the uber bosses in Path of Exile.

Although it is not a fast mapper, it is still relatively efficient thanks to the many projectiles that this build is capable of unleashing.

This medium-budget build is one of the best in Path of Exile 3.23 Affliction League. You can even invest more PoE currency if you want to take things to the next level!

So, if you are looking for a build that can take down even the toughest enemies in PoE, then the Molten Strike of the Zenith Trickster is definitely one that you should try out!

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


+Amazing build that can take down even the uber bosses with ease

+Relatively efficient mapper

+Has good survivability thanks to high evasion and copious amounts of energy shield

+Can be enjoyed even with a 30 to 50-Divine Orb budget


-Requires you to be up close and personal with the enemy since it is still essentially a melee build

-Needs Warden of the Maji to synergize with the Trickster ascendancy class

Relevant Products

Share this content:

You must be logged in to add a comment

Click here to log in

Add a comment