[2.2] Occulist/CI/Crit/Brotherhood Blue Balls of Death

I was lucky enough to get the following two items during the challenge league, so I decided to make a build that revolves around them.

Call of the Brotherhood


Call of the Brotherhood is essential. The passive tree won't work without it. Bitterdream is optional, but I base a lot of my passive choices around the support gems it provides.

The build is based on taking ball of lighting and turning it into slow moving blue balls that we then pound the enemy in the face with until they die.

Why Ball of Lightning?

The mechanic of ball of lightning is a slow moving, piercing projectile that works by repeatedly zapping the enemies it passes with small hits. This is quite different from a projectile meant to do a single, heavy hit and this mechanic is what allows this build to work.

Call of the Brotherhood provides two key bonuses. One, it converts half of our lightning damage to cold, therefore giving ball of lightning both the ability to chill, freeze and shock. Two, it grants 100% chance to shock frozen targets, therefore any passives we take that boosts ourchance to freeze, by association, boosts our chance to shock. We also focus on crit, because crits will result in a 100% chance to freeze and shock.

Therefore, what ends up happening is the initial small hits from the passing of the ball of lightning apply freeze and shock, which then boosts the DPS of the following hits by 50%, in addition to immobilizing the target, resulting in more time the target spends within the radius of ball of lightning to thus receive more hits.

This setup also synergies perfectly with the bonuses from Bitterdream and from other skill gems choices like Herald of Thunder and Orb of Storms, all of which I'll explain in the skill gems section

Skill Gems and Links

Three Link Bitterdream with Ball of Lightning + Spell Echo + Slower Projectiles

This is a key setup and with it, our Ball of Lightning gets augmented with the following bonuses...

Lvl 20 Spell Echo
One ball is never good enough; they must come in pairs. Each ball also counts as a seperate cast, so they have their own internal CDs on the hits each enemy can receive.

Lvl 20 Slower Projectiles
This will increase the damage of each big, blue ball and slow their projectile speed down. Slower projectile speed means more hits an enemy will receive before the ball passes over them. This also decreases the overall range of your blue balls, but this is intentional, because of the limited range of Orb of Storms and Herald of Thunder

Lvl 1 Hypothermia
Grants 20% increased damage against chilled enemies, so the initial hits of the ball that chill the enemy will boost the dps of the following hits. Also grants a 5% chance to freeze, which translates into an additional 5% chance to shock.

Lvl 1 IceBite
Grants a 50% chance to grant a Frenzy Charge when killing a frozen enemy, which boosts our cast speed, making up for a lack of Faster Casting. Also, another 5% chance to freeze.

Lvl 1 Cold Penetration
More damage from the 50% of our lightning damage that is cold and more chance to chill and freeze

Lvl 1 Mana Leech
2% of your damage as mana leech, which helps a lot, because of how expensive your blue balls will be with all these multipliers

Lvl 1 Reduced Mana
Same as above. All of these multipliers drive up the cost of the blue balls, which this helps with.

Lvl 10 Cold Damage
More cold damage which, of course, scales up this build

You can also corrupt your Bitterdream to try and get the Vaal lvl 10 Faster Casting bonus, but I don't feel the need to do that. This build is mana hungry as it is, there is enough casting speed and you are rolling the dice on destroying your item.

Three Link Scepter with Orb of Storms + Blind + Knockback

This is your personal zone safety from which you are free to begin pounding the enemy unrelentlessly with your deadly blue balls. Any enemy that approaches it will be blinded (which is really really strong) and then knockbacked, hopefully further into the path of your blue balls so they receive even more hits per ball.

Four Link Chest with Herald of Thunder + Curse on Hit + Warlord's Mark + Assassin's Mark

With so much uptime on shock with this build, it translates pretty much to 100% uptime on Herald of Thunder's active buff, provided you keep feeding it a steady stream of trash mobs. Herald of Thunder's active buff will apply Assassin's Mark, which boosts our crit and damage, generates Power Charges and provides life and mana on death, and Warlord's Mark, which is primarily here for the Life Leech to provide us with a lot of sustain with Ghost Reaver and Endurance Charges .

If you get a 5 link, I recommend adding in Blind, so you have even more Blind coverage. I don't know what you would put in for a 6 link; this build doesn't even really need one, which I consider one of it's strengths

Three Link with Cast on Damage Taken - Frost Wall - Immortal Call

Immortal Call is self explanatory. Warlord's Mark provides a steady stream of Endurance Charges to feed it.

One of the weakest of this build and it's limited effective range is ranged mobs shooting projectiles. Since Frost Wall appears on top of the mob that triggered the CWDT, if you start taking a lot of projectile damage, it will cut off their LoS, giving you time to get closer and setup.

Don't use Frost Wall when fighting Izaro or Malachai; it will just get you killed.

Three Link with Lightning Wrap - Faster Casting - Reduced Duration

Another weakness of the build is getting surrounded, which Lightning Wrap deals with quite nicely. It's the best for opening Strongboxes, which is the #1 scenario in which you will get surrounded


Pure ES build, so Discipline scales very, very well with the passive tree.

Arctic Armor

Herald of Thunder and Discipline are a must have; Arctic Armor is a nice have. You can't take it until you take the Reserved Mana Reduction passives and even then, it will push your mana to the line of what is acceptable. But the chill application works really well with Bitterdream and the Fingers of Frost passive, primarily, because this build works by kiting backwards to draw mobs into your slowly moving, big, blue balls of death.

Ice Golem

Crit bonus is great. You can attach this to your CWDT, since it dies a lot, but keep in mind, that changes the link requirements to a Four Link with Two Red, One Green and One Blue. That is really hard to get off a pure ES item.

Skill Tree

Lvl 90 - 113 points

Since this is a ES build that uses all three gem colors, we spend a few points in big boosts to Strength and Dexterity, so gear rolls don't have to be very specific.

Two Keystones are Chaos Inoculation and Ghost Reaver.

123 points - Max Level

30 points - Leveling

Don't take cold damage increase until you hit lvl 20 and can use your Call of the Brotherhood

60 points - Leveling

Don't take the Strength and Dexterity nodes until it starts to become an issue. It probably will be an issue by the time you get there.

90 points - Leveling

I won't take CI until you have taken all the other ES nodes and the imbalance between life and ES from your gear gets so great that chaos damage becomes a real problem.



This is a ES build, so Vile Bastion and Wicked Ward are awesome and should be taken in Normal and Cruel.

It's also a crit build, so Forbidden Power is also awesome and should be taken in Merciless


Kill them all. Show them no mercy with your deadly blue balls. There is a lot in the tree that we want.

Nice to Have Uniques


This is what I recommend for your second scepter. It adds lightning damage to spells which scales with this build, increases casting speed which we don't take much of in the passive tree, reduces mana cost in a mana hungry build and applies Enfeeble to nearby enemies.

Since this build has limited effective range, mobs will be nearby. Enfeeble reduces their movement speed, increasing the time they are in the pathing of your deadly blue balls and increases the damage of those blue balls up to 80%

Shavronne's Wrappings

Awesome item for a ES build and even reflects lightning damage back to mobs. If you get this, you respec to get rid of CI if you want.

Shavronne's Pace

Another awesome ES item. Rainbowstride is cool, too. It's a dual wield build, so you don't have any block chance, but the 20% resists can help, since build can hurt when it comes to capping resists.


Cast Orb of Storms. Begin chugging those beautiful blue balls at enemies.

If you start to get overwhelmed, kite backwards to force more enemies into the path of your existing blue balls. Recast Orb of Storms. Begin pounding face with your blue balls.

If your energy shield is getting low despite your sustain, begin dodging until it starts to recharge, which won't be interrupted, thanks to Wicked Ward.

Slower Projectiles make the effective range of this build very low, so you have to get used to that and position yourself accordingly.


I don't make videos! Just imagine yourself pounding enemeies in the face with two giant blue balls and you'll get the jist of it.
Last edited by MadRabbitPoE on Mar 23, 2016, 9:55:39 PM
Last bumped on Nov 4, 2016, 6:26:03 PM
Changed the skill trees. They were actually old one's by mistake. Lightning damage scales better than elemental damage with the ring.
Hi MaddRabbit,

Not sure why your build hasn't garnered any replies but I just wanted to say it's been working amazing for myself. I made several minor adjustments to the gear, gem links, and tree but nothing major, just to make it more to my liking.

The first thing I noticed was how slow the projectiles go - just more noticeable than I first thought. I started to wonder if this build wasn't going to work out because I had to get so close to packs of mobs in order to get the balls to do damage.

That was when I discovered - very surprisingly - how tanky it is. I might go so far as to say it's the tankiest I've ever played. I'm running with about 6600 ES and another 1400 or so life.

Here's my Gear and gem links:

Here's my passive tree:


I'm still working on getting a better ring since I am 8 fire resist short. Then once I see what that looks like I will craft another affix on my amulet. I will either go for flat ES or crit chance.

I keep thinking I should squeeze in another aura running it off life but I think I like having a decent life cushion behind my ES. To be honest, my ES barely ever takes a hit and when it does it's barely noticeable.

My Empower and Enlighten still have a level to go (2 possibly if I corrupt it). I also have not begun working on any enchantments.

So, just wanted to thank you for inspiring me with this build. If you see anything in my gear/gems/passives that I could do better please let me know.
Biggest flaw I see is that you don't kill Alira for the Power Charge. It's much cheaper than getting Infused or Overcharge.

Also, Blast Radius is more valuable than Elemental Focus, as the increased area means more hits per ball. It also increases the size of Orb of Storms. Combined with Amplify, the 30% larger AoE radius means 69% larger AoE area!

And you can get some cheap jewel slots.

For leveling, I recommend using the Melding and Written in Blood nodes, then respec when ready for CI.

My planned final tree looks like this:

Been looking for a build to try, and going to give this one a try. though looking at your build, are you using the mace and sceptre together at one time?? was thinking maybe a shield, sceptre or the mace combo.
why not gmp?
dont have low speed clearing with only one projectile?
Skelevra29 wrote:
why not gmp?
dont have low speed clearing with only one projectile?

Ball of lightning doesn't need gmp as it damages everything around where the projectile passes which range can be scaled by AoE nodes + Inc aoe gem iirc.
Last edited by lukassid on Nov 4, 2016, 6:27:17 PM

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