2.3 Occultist Detonate dead AKA Purple death. HC/ATZIRI VIABLE

Hello and welcome to my very first build guide.

I've spent some time playing a new type of Detonate Dead build and been having a blast *literally* with it. Nothing is more satisfying than walking into a room and blowing it up with minimum gear and effort.

So if you love explosions you have come to the right place.

What has changed in 2.3 and where the f*ck have I been?
1. Consuming Dark deals less dps now. *Still viable after playtesting*

2. CI is a viable option.

3. New items to experiment with.

In short not much has changed. From what i've tested it still does all the previous content without any problems. No changes were made to the skill tree that I can see as of yet either. *Will keep updating this guide for 2.3 so don't worry*

As for me i've just had a lot of IRL stuff to deal with *Still am* but decided to get back into PoE with the new patch. I'm currently working on a necromancer version of DD so look forward to that + footage of the new endgame labyrinth.

The Necromancer journal.
Rather than make a new thread i'll link videos and some basic info here instead for now.

Here's a short video of my thoughts so far. *Rambly edition*


Second video can be found here:


( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Pros
Fun and easy to level/play.

No gem restrictions while leveling.

Low budget build.

Hardcore viable.

Atziri viable.

Reflect immune.

Lots of customization options!

Only one unique is mandatory.

Enough damage mitigation from your curses/auras and CWDT setup.

Clears maps fast and safe as long as you aren't reckless!

(◕︿◕ ) Cons
Curse immune monsters/maps are a pain.

You may need an Unset Ring for the extra socket.

"No regen" maps slow you down.

Detonate Dead needs a high level Desecrate.

Desecrate charges are a pain some times.

"Immune to Ignite" can be very annoying to deal with.


◞≼✾≽◟ The Core ◞≼✾≽◟
Everything about the Occultist just screams Chaos. We got Profane Bloom which works super well with the wand called Obliteration. (40% chance to proc rather than 20%) Malediction for the free extra Curse and damage boost + Void Beacon to make the enemies become vulnerable to Chaos Damage.

Grab Profane Bloom followed by Malediction and Void Beacon.
Obliteration is the only mandatory item in this build.

*̩̩✼ Playstyle ✼*̩̩
Put down Desecrate and curse the enemies with Flammability before using Detonate Dead. Once is usually enough to kill most if not everything in range. For bosses you'll most likely need a few more tries. I suggest getting a pair of high increased Fire Damage weapons as your secondary setup for those extra annoying encounters. Other than that you just Desecrate when there are no corpses nearby and just curse followed by Detonate Dead. Simple as that.

ᕙ། ◕ – ◕ །ᕗ The Numbers
The following stats are from my current skill tree and are subject to change.
Gear and jewels are not included.

218% Maximum Life.
52% Maximum Mana.
71% Maximum Energy Shield.
95% Mana Regen.
35% increased AOE.
38% Elemental Damage.
55% Increased Fire Damage.
15% Reduced Mana Cost.
50% Increased AOE Damage.
20% Light Radius.
1.8% Life Regen per Second.
14% Reduced Mana Reserve.
13% Increased Effect of Non-Curse Auras you Cast.
12% Increased Radius of Aura Skills.
55% Chance to Avoid interruption from Stun while Casting.
20% Increased Armour.
17% to all Elemental Resists.
20% Chaos Resist.
22% Increased Cast Speed.
5% Chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite.
5 Life Gained on Kill.
5 Jewel Sockets.

Occultist bonus passives

30% Increased Curse Duration.
Enemies can have 1 additional Curse.
Nearby Enemies have 25% reduced Life Regeneration Rate.
Nearby Enemies have -20% Chaos resist.
When you Kill an Enemy, for each Curse on that Enemy, gain 4% of Non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage for 4 seconds.

(•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑ The Damage
Detonate Dead deals base Fire Damage equal to 6% of the corpse's Maximum Life. On top of that it also deals 1100-3000 extra Fire Damage depending on the weapons and that doesn't include the Burning Damage or the other gems linked to Detonate Dead.
I can't think of a sane way to calculate its DPS. The stronger the monster, the stronger the corpse, the stronger the blast. That's all we need to know.

Profane Bloom is the scary part of the build. 40% chance when you kill your target that it will explode dealing 25% of its Maximum Life as Chaos Damage to surrounding targets. If the explosion kills an enemy it has another 40% chance to trigger a second blast. This process repeats each time something dies. Blowing up an entire room is by no means hard with just one Detonate dead. Any damage you've dealt can trigger it as long as it's a kill. That includes poison, chaos, burning, bleed and so forth.

Void Beacon further enhances Profane Bloom by debuffing everything around you for -20% Chaos Resist, indicated by a black aura on the enemy.

Molten Shell deals anything between 6000-15000 Fire Damage each time it triggers. Profane Bloom can proc from it.

Vaal Molten Shell is just a fun skill to use. Pop it while standing next to a boss while ranged minions are shooting at you for free extra burst. This explosion can also trigger Profane Bloom with ease.

Vaal Detonate Dead is another good skill to use. Pop it to blow up big crowds or bosses in an instant. This explosion can also trigger Profane Bloom.

Chaos Golem is just there for the extra damage mitigation. He gets a few kills here and there.



༺‿༻✧ Defence 11✧༺‿༻
Here's the recipe for survival. (❛ᴗ❛)

3 Endurance Charges = 12% physical damage reduction.

Arctic Armour = 13% less physical/Fire Damage taken.

Molten Shell = Adds up to 943 extra Armour during its duration. Doubled during flask effect.

Immortal Call = Immune to physical damage for about two seconds. It has a one second downtime.

Fortify = 20% reduced damage taken from hits for 4 seconds.

Enfeeble = Monsters deal 30% less damage to you along with less accuracy, critical chance/damage.

Chaos Golem = 4% additional physical damage reduction.

Your flasks and default Armour/Evasion and resists fill in the gaps.

What can/will kill you.

Either you get caught by a boss with a very heavy hand, such as Atziri or map dominus and simply take it rather than move away. *It's a tanky build but not THAT tanky*Awareness is key!

Don't open chests without identifying them first unless you want a freak accident involving something like Detonate Dead. It will ruin your day in Hardcore. Keep an eye on your positioning and flask chargers. You have very little natural health regen. So keep kiting when required. Latency and connection issues can mess anyone up so those don't really count as "human errors". Bad FPS can/will get you killed.

Auras, Curses and You
This is where our utility/survival comes from. Along with the standard Cast when damage taken - Increased duration - Immortal Call - Molten Shell setup we can mix and match our curses and auras as we see fit. I personally run with Blasphemy - Enfeeble + Arctic armour and Clarity with Flammability as my manual curse. If you feel confident in your survivability you can always switch Enfeeble for Flammability and use Elemental Weakness as manual cast for even more damage. Don't forget to level a Temporal Chains for those extra hard maps or for party play.

For more information about curses.

Stat priorities
1. Maximum Life.
2. Elemental Resists. 75% is the default cap you want in merciless. Don't worry about having a bit of overcap. It's good vs monsters that tend to curse.
3. Armour or evasion depending on your preference.
4. If you can get chaos resist without sacrificing any of the above stats then go for it.

ઈ◕ My Current Gear ◕❦

◞౪◟ My Current Stats ◞౪◟

Carcass Jack vs The Belly of the Beast
It all comes down to offence vs defence.
Carcass Jack gives more damage and increased AOE while The Belly of the Beast will net you anything between 300-600 more Maximum Life, armour, 5% Elemental Resists and 50% Increased Flask Life recovery rate.


Gem setup

-----------------------------------------Chest Armour-----------------------------------------

Order of priority: Detonate Dead - Concentrated Effect - Fire Penetration - Chance to Ignite - Increased Burning Damage - Rapid Decay. Use Life Leech as your 5th or 6th link if you have trouble surviving for some reason.


Order of priority: Cast When Damage Taken - Increased Duration - Immortal Call - Molten Shell It's possible to switch out Molten Shell for a golem or Curse but you lose Armour and burst damage in return.


Order of priority: Faster Casting - Desecrate - Less Duration - Lightning Warp. This is the movement setup along with Desecrate.


Order of priority: Blasphemy - Temporal Chains - Enfeeble - Arctic Armour. The Blasphemy Curses aren't set in stone. You can mix and match as you see fit.

---------------------------------------Weapons & Shield---------------------------------------

Order of priority: Summon Chaos Golem - Elemental Weakness - Flammability.

Order of priority: Enduring Cry - Increased Duration - Vaal Molten Shell. You can put something else instead of Vaal Molten Shell. It's up to you.

You can choose what 4 link goes where obviously. Just took my own gear and preference as an example.

For more information on links and trigger gem order: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Item_socket

Vaal Detonate Dead vs Vaal Molten Shell

Vaal Detonate Dead = Higher burst vs bosses.
Vaal Molten Shell = Makes you tankier and provdies more sustained damage. Pick the one that suits your playstyle the most.

You mainly want Maximum life + Fire damage followed by increased damage/Area damage.
Reduced Mana Cost of Skills/Increased Mana Regeneration Rate and Elemental Resists are good secondary stats for compensating your gear/passives.
Avoid Spell Damage as it does nothing for us!

The Ascendancy patch introduced a new set of mods that can be obtained through the labyrinth that are worth farming. I have yet to get any of the ones I want but i'll share my thoughts on which ones are good to get and why.

25/40% increased Detonate Dead Damage.
Detonate Dead has a 30/45% chance to detonate an additional Corpse.
Desecrate Creates 2-3 Corpses. (I'm guessing it means additional corpses)
20/30% increased Desecrate Cooldown Recovery Speed.
20/30% increased Enfeeble Curse Effect.
20/30% increased Flammability Curse Effect.
24/36% increased Arctic Armour Buff Effect.
20/30% reduced Arctic Armour Mana Reservation.

These are all good choices.
With additional
Desecrate corpses i'd run Vaal Detonate Dead instead of Vaal Molten Shell.
25/40% increased Detonate Dead damage speaks for itself.
Enfeeble/Flammability Curse Effects would be great for fights such as Atziri where manual Curses get reflected.
Arctic Armour Buff Effect = Less damage taken while Reservation = One more Aura.

According to the Wiki there are two or three of these skill-specific stats for every player skill, amounting to over 300 in total. Meaning if you get one of the stats on this list, keep it.

Cast Word/Edict/Decree of Flames on Hit.
Cast Word/Edict/Decree of Inferno on kill.

Flames is an AOE nova while Inferno is a single target skill that leaves Burning ground behind. Both scale well with our damage.

6/8/10% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently.
Adds 16-24/33-55/45-68 Fire Damage if you've Killed Recently.
Regenerate 1/1.5/2.0% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently.
0.4/0.5/0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently.
Damage Penetrates 6/8/10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently.
6/8/10% chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite if you haven't Crit Recently.

Out of the boot enchants I think the Elemental Penetration will be the best followed by the Life/Mana Regeneration ones.

For more information on enchantments: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Enchantment

Flasks and You
Here's a list of the flask mods you want to use. How you mix them is up to you.

My personal preferences

Seething Divine Flask of Staunching
Hallowed Flask of Heat
Hallowed Flask of Warding
Granite Flask of Iron Skin
Granite Flask of Iron Skin
Eternal Mana Flask of Adrenaline/Heat
Divinie Mana Flask of Adrenaline/Heat
Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
Atziri's Promise
Rumi's Concotion

Life Flasks


Seething = 66% reduced Amount Recovered + Instant Recovery.
Panicked = 25% reduced Amount Recovered + Instant Recovery when on Low Life.
Perpetual = (20 to 40)% increased Charge Recovery. (Apply to utility flask)
Chemist's = (20 to 25)% reduced Charges used. (Apply to utility flask)


Of Staunching = Immunity to Bleeding during Flask effect + Removes Bleeding on use.
Of Heat = Immunity to Freeze And Chill during Flask effect + Removes Freeze And Chill.
Of Warding = Immunity to Curses during Flask effect + Removes Curses on use.
My current flasks

Mana Flasks


Bubbling = 50% reduced Amount Recovered + 135% increased Recovery Speed + 50% of Recovery applied Instantly.


Of Staunching = Immunity to Bleeding during Flask effect + Removes Bleeding on use.
Of Heat = Immunity to Freeze And Chill during Flask effect + Removes Freeze And Chill.
Of Warding = Immunity to Curse during Flask effect + Removes Curses on use.

Utility Flasks


Perpetual = (20 to 40)% increased Charge Recovery. (Apply to utility flask)
Chemist's = (20 to 25)% reduced Charges used. (Apply to utility flask)


Of Iron Skin = (60 to 100)% increased Armour during Flask effect.
Of Reflexes = (60 to 100)% increased
Evasion Rating during Flask effect.
Of Adrenaline = (20 to 30)% increased Movement Speed during Flask effect.

Flasks you should avoid


Sapping = 40% increased Life Recovered + Removes 10% of Life Recovered from Mana when used.
Caustic = 60% increased
Mana Recovered + Removes 15% of Mana Recovered from Life when used.
Surgeon's = 20% chance to gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike.
Avenger's = Recharges 3 Charges when you take a Critical Strike.


of Fending = Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during Flask effect.
of Animation = Grants (40 to 60)% of
Life Recovery to Minions.
of Craving = 0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana during Flask effect.
of Gluttony = 0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect.

You do NOT want to use Sapping or Caustic flasks under any circumstances. They might seem good but the drain will mess you up most of the time. Anything that makes your Mana/Life regen worse is a bad idea.

Flasks that are situational

You use these depending on the map/mods you're up against. Extra Magic Find isn't bad either.

For more information on flasks: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Flask#Life_flasks


How I Leveled Up
As you won't be using your main skill Detonate Dead until cruel act 4/merciless you are free to level with any caster gems you fancy. Personally I used flame totem and fire trap along with Clarity until I got bladefall then continued using it until I reached level 56. The build starts to really shine after that.

Skill Tree Progression
30 points.
60 points.
100 points.
My current points.

Depending on how your gear is you can start dropping some of the nodes in favor of other stats. More mana regen on gear = less in the tree etc.
Always prioritize life nodes in Hardcore!

Bandit Quest Rewards
Normal - Oak for the +40 Maximum Life.
Cruel - Kill all for the +1 skill point.
Merciless - Oak for the +1 Endurance Charge or kill all for the +1 skill points.

(ง ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ)ง Good Leveling Uniques.


Doryani's Catalyst vs The Consuming Dark
After toying around with both weapons i've come to the conclusion that they are both good. Here are the Pros and Cons for each of them.

The Consuming Dark

Low level requirement.

Converts your
fire damage into chaos damage.

Deal poison damage instead of burning damage.

Curse/Ignite immune aren't a problem anymore.

Enables Whirling Blades + Fortify setup.

Better for Atziri.

More versatility.


Costs a lot more than
Doryani's Catalyst.

You need two of them.

Deals less damage vs things that aren't immune to

Vulnerability is the only "dps" Curse for poison.

Poison isn't as strong as burning.

Doryani's Catalyst

Cheaper than
The Consuming Dark.

Better vs Double Vaal and Trio.

Massive elemental damage boost.

Lots of curse support.

Built in life leech.

Good cast speed boost.


Higher level requirement than The Consuming Dark.

Lower damage vs Curse/Ignite.

Can't run Whirling Blades + Fortify setup.

Atziri Gem Setup

Here are the two gem setups for the different weapons.

Doryani's Catalyst

Detonate Dead - Fire Penetration - Concentrated Effect - Empower/Life Leech - Elemental Focus - Culling Strike.

The Consuming Dark

Detonate Dead - Concentrated Effect - Added Chaos Damage - Elemental Focus - Void Manipulation - Culling Strike/Empower.

Atziri and You
There are multiple ways to tackle Double Vaal, Trio and Atziri. However this is how I do each of them.
Double Vaal

This is a straight forward fight. Bright a Topaz flask and a Sapphire Flask of Heat to get rid of their chill in case of emergency and simply take down both bosses at the same time. You lower the risk of dying by making sure they don't enrage.*When one dies the other enrages*
Clear the adds to lessen the pressure and to refill flasks.


For Trio you'll need a staunching flask to remove bleeds. A Granite Flask is very good here as well as they all deal physical damage.
Start by killing A'alai. *The needler* She should die in about 2-4
Detonate Dead. Make sure to avoid the black areas on the ground and her AOE she leaves behind *Rain of Arrows* as it does a lot of damage.

Next you go for Y'ara'az. *Basically just chases you around and does
dual strike*

Kill the cycloner last.

Always be on the move!

This is the easiest way to deal with them. Keep clearing trash monsters throughout the fight to recharge your flasks.

Always be on the move!

For this fight you have a few options.
First I strongly recommend
Rise of the Phoenix for the extra maximum resist along with a Ruby Flask. A Topaz Flask is good to have as well in case you get hit by her lightning storm. You'll also want a staunching flask on one of your life flasks to counter her bleed.

Always be on the move to avoid her flame blasts. *Both the small ones and the huge double cast ones*
Flame Dash instead of Lightning Warp to move out of the way as it is faster and safer.

Because she is immune to
Ignite I recommend switching out Chance to Ignite for Elemental Focus and Increased Burning Damage for either Empower or Life Leech.
Keep in mind that during her split face some of them can be ignited.



Insanity fueled Map mods
Here's a few screenshots i've taken during stupid moments in deathless maps.

Double Merveil + Beyond Boss.

Path of Exile Wiki Links

Further Updated the guide with added Atziri section and weapon comparisons. All that is left is the video guide.
Last edited by Gamlos2 on Jun 21, 2016, 10:59:40 PM
Last bumped on Oct 11, 2016, 9:33:39 PM
I guess i'm feeling a bit daft this morning but, it says 1 unique is "required", which one is it?

I'm assuming Obliteration but am not totally sure.
Obliteration is the only mandatory unique in this build. :D *Added it to Build Mechanics*
Last edited by Gamlos2 on Mar 18, 2016, 3:39:53 PM
Trying this build, just started levelling. Hows the clear speed in end game maps? Is it just as strong as the other builds that are using trap to proc detonate dead? Just wondering if its going to be a turtle before I get there or not. :D Could always switch to a high endurance charge self-cast burning discharge build with pretty much zero changes in tree. Don't know which is optimal. Will report back later if I remember. Although I think for that Juggernaut (extra charge) or Elementalist (free prolif) would be ideal for Ascendancy class choice for discharge.

Editted to add that I understand you're working this build off of the effects of Obliteration and Profane Bloom, I'm just curious if single target is strong or not? I'd imagine this build clears packs just fine.
Last edited by Jaypoc on Mar 17, 2016, 3:58:47 PM
I made this build with Profane Bloom and the Obliteration wand in mind just for the ridiculous trash clear which is what maps 99% consist of.

It's also chaos damage which hardly anything has resists against. *And you lower it by -20% through Void Beacon*

The single target dmg also becomes insane for the very same reasons. *Blow up a whole pack on said boss and you'll see there's nothing left of him*

Without a pack it functions like a normal Detonate Dead build. You just gotta keep at it until bosses die. *With your secondary weapons purely for that as the wand does you no good 1v1*

A good example is when I fought Izaro earlier today I killed one of his generals next to him so he took that blow then followed up by detonating its corpse which burned 1/3 of his hp.

I personally don't roll with more than 3-4 endurance charges cause of my immortal call setup. *4 with oak if you choose it in merciless*

Elementalist would make it a normal burn build.

The chain explosions will make you grin every time.
Last edited by Gamlos2 on Mar 17, 2016, 4:33:50 PM
I suppose that realistically with chance to ignite gem and flammability even without a pack you're likely to ignite bosses/strong rares after 2-3 DD's anyway.. if they're still alive that should do well to kill them.
Jaypoc wrote:
I suppose that realistically with chance to ignite gem and flammability even without a pack you're likely to ignite bosses/strong rares after 2-3 DD's anyway.. if they're still alive that should do well to kill them.

You said this build starts to work after level 53 or so. What exactly around that level is the turning point? Just mob life starts to be high enough for DD to work? Is it that we need a 6l?
Jaypoc wrote:
You said this build starts to work after level 53 or so. What exactly around that level is the turning point? Just mob life starts to be high enough for DD to work? Is it that we need a 6l?

It's a combination of enemy level being high enough for Detonate Dead to hurt + you can start using Obliteration which requires level 52. Until then stick with some other spell. *Bladefall in my case cause I hadn't picked up fire damage nodes yet*

This build works with a 4L as well by the way. 5L is the standard I decided on cause it's cheap enough compared to a 6L.
Last edited by Gamlos2 on Mar 18, 2016, 8:06:29 AM
Im lvl 58, started using DD in merc ledge. It feels really good against huge packs / strongboxes and somewhat weaker against high hp single target that aren't surrounded by adds. Im using 6l (tabula) but I tried 4l and its not so great. Maybe with some gem levels and dual curse to replace fire pen with ele weakness.

Also I had hoped the profane bloom + obliteration would proc more. It feels about the same with/without obliteration. Big packs die in seconds. Small packs take a few clicks.

Edit to give you credit though. It does feel good to right click into a massive pack and watch the whole thing vaporize in a second.
Last edited by Jaypoc on Mar 18, 2016, 9:08:24 AM

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