Here, I will introduce a unique item called Frostbreath, which is the King of Trauma in Path of Exile 3.22.
I will take a closer look at what makes it special, how it works, noteworthy interactions, and more.
Melee, especially most strike skills, has been in a bad spot for the longest time. A major issue is the heavy reliance on expensive high DPS weapons for damage scaling. But this is about to change in a big way.
Trauma Support Gem
POE 3.22 patch Trial of the Ancestors introduces the new Trauma Support gem that enables support gems to gain a significant amount of flat added physical damage.
This takes a lot of pressure from gear and you need to have a top end weapon and buy POE Currency to be competitive with other skills and archetypes.
The added physical damage that can be gained from the Trauma Support gem can be scared to an extreme level by one unique item in particular, Frostbreath, a long forgotten maze that now has the potential to outscale any other melee weapon.
And this unique one-hand maze comes with an extremely powerful mod, “Attacks With His Weapon Deal Double Damage To Chilled Enemies”. This mod benefits massively from sources of flat added damage and is probably best known from another powerful unique weapon, Paradoxica.
Frostbreath has double damage from the weapons flat damage against chilled enemies and chilled can be guaranteed with the Mace Mastery. When combined with a large amount of flat added physical damage, which the Trauma Support gem can provide. It cannot only scare competitively with other weapons but has the potential to outscale any other weapon in the game.
And the best part is that this weapon is not gated behind some elaborate endgame boss or mechanic, but instead, can drop as early as Act 6 during the campaign and is usually quite cheap and highly available on the market. This means you can save a lot of POE Currency.
For SSF and Ruthless players, there is even a farmable alternative to this POE Item, Replica Frostbreath.
It comes with the same powerful double damage mod as the original but has a slight twist to it. Replica Frostbreath can be obtained from the courier display in the final reward rooms of Laboratory and Prohibited Library in Grand Heists.
Frostbreath and the Trauma Support may even be able to ring in a new melee era. The combination of high availability and extreme damage scaling are very strong arguments and could potentially convince many to give strike skills another try.
To better realize how this interaction works, we’ll have a brief look at how Trauma and the Trauma Support work as well as some examples.
Trauma is a stacking global buff with a duration that can be gained by the new Trauma Support gem or by Boneshatter. This buff does nothing by itself, but instead, interacts with skill and support gem and allows for extra layers of damage scaling.
The Trauma Support grants a flat amount of physical damage to supported skills per stack of Trauma whereas Boneshatter gains more damage per Trauma.
As just mentioned, Trauma is a global buff and can be gained by one supported skill and then be used by another. Both Boneshatter anti-Trauma Support come with a drawback. Per stack of Trauma, the wielder takes a flat amount of physical damage each time Trauma is gained. A high enough stack can cause a serious amount of self-inflicted damage when left unchecked.
This self-inflicted damage counts as a hit and can interact with other mechanics, like Cast When Damage Taken Support, the Vengeance skill, self ignite with Mokou’s Embrace, reverse self-chill with Call of the Void, and Winterweave and many other when hit and damage taken mechanics.
Scaling Frostbreath & Trauma Support
Now, let’s have a look at a few numbers of how Frostbreath scales with the Trauma Support gem.
A level 20 Traumas apart with a stack of 10 Trauma will on average at 175 damage and Frostbreath itself comes with around 150 if physical damage per second. And this sums up to 325 pdps, which then is doubled against chilled enemies and results in an equivalent of a 650 pdps weapon at the cost of one support gem.
A stack of 20 Trauma will already amass a whopping 1000 pdps, which is already completely insane for a one-handed weapon. And what about a stack of 40 Trauma? 1.7k pdps. And 60 Trauma? 2.4k pdps.
The damage output of Frostbreath with the Trauma Support becomes almost comical if sufficient resources are allocated into skill effect duration to extended time. Trauma stacks are active and attack speed to accumulate Trauma stacks faster.
With some serious investment, a stack of 100 Trauma can be eclipsed, not even factoring in self-curse Shenanigans with Temporal Chains. And the result would truly be monumental, a One Hand Maces with an equivalent of over 3.8k physical damage per second.
When Frostbreath, with its powerful double damage mod as paired with large amounts of flat added damage from the Trauma Support gem, it has the potential to outscale any other melee weapon in Path of Exile 3.22.
The high availability of this POE Item and ease of damage scaling with trauma could lead to a significant increase in its popularity and with it the popularity of many long forgotten melee skills.