[3.5] WINDS OF WINTER: Endgame-Optimized Low Life Freezing Pulse Occultist



Hello everyone! I'm tackle70 and I want to show you how you can have some silly fun pushing Freezing Pulse to its limits. Those of you playing Path of Exile for a while may remember my old Rainbownuke build (press F to pay respects to Mjölner). This is the build I have played as the successor to Rainbownuke.

TL;DR: This is not a meta build. The target audience of this build guide is players with exalts to spare who are looking to optimize a Freezing Pulse build for endgame content; specifically mapping. New players looking to play Freezing Pulse might be better served by one of the several other excellent guides out there, but feel free to use this guide as a goal to work towards.

Build Goals:
  • Achieve the fastest map clear speed possible with self-cast Freezing Pulse. If possible, rival the fastest meta builds.
  • Be capable of clearing all content in the game without difficulty, given that a player knows relevant mechanics.
  • Include as much magic find as possible.
  • Be sturdy enough defensively that I can be play while sleepy/zoned out/having a couple drinks/etc.

This Guide Is Written:
  • To players interested in pushing a Freezing Pulse build as far as it will go, with an emphasis on endgame mapping and Elder farming, which is the content I personally enjoy.
  • To present you with offensive and defensive options for building high budget endgame Freezing Pulse and give you my take on which is best
  • With the assumption that you can figure out leveling for yourself. If you have the exalts to make use of this Freezing Pulse guide, I assume you also have the ability to level a character to at least 80-85 on your own. If you need to ask for leveling advice, you need to be reading one of the other build guides.
  • To showcase what’s possible with Freezing Pulse[ and get you excited to play the game and maybe try out the skill!

Why Low Life instead of Life or CI?
On a budget, a Life or CI build will usually be stronger than Low-Life. However, Low Life is the most powerful way to make this build if you have access to the gear, and it also makes getting Magic Find more straightforward with Wondertrap for a free 100% rarity.

Build Pros/Cons

  • Good DPS that scales up to insane DPS with enough gear. Unbuffed ~1M DPS shaper DPS with good gear, ~2M shaper DPS with GG gear.
  • DPS for this build is just pure, raw, unconditional DPS. No conditional tricks (like 5 flasks up, or conditional debuffs on enemies) needed to get this damage, unlike many builds.
  • Top Tier clear speed for mapping. This build has a really nice combination of DPS, survivability, movement, and magic find.
  • Freezes almost everything in the game, including T15 bosses
  • Can run decent Magic Find without sacrificing anything while clearing up to T16 maps. 44% IIQ/100% IIR + Bisco's Collar possible in Standard. 16% IIQ/70% IIR + Bisco's Collar possible in leagues.
  • Can do all maps/map bosses/map mods except Elemental Reflect maps
  • Farms red Elder and Elder Guardians effortlessly.
  • Shaper is easy. Uber Elder is pretty easy if you know the mechanics.

  • This build is not budget friendly at all. There are more optimal ways to build Freezing Pulse if you are on a budget.
  • Freezing Pulse still has a couple clunky skill mechanics where it can get stuck in narrow doorways or on objects
  • Survivability is linked purely to the ability to freeze things, regenerate ES, and avoid damage. There's almost no mitigation. Righteous Fire Juggernaut, this is not. Surviving endgame bosses (T16 Guardians and others that cannot be frozen) requires knowing the mechanics and avoiding the damage. The big problem here is that sometimes this means you have to skip map bosses because the mods make it so that you cannot avoid the damage. For example, the Reef boss is normally a joke, but I skip it anytime it has an "Increased Area of Effect" modifier because it's too easy to die in the phases where the boss is immune.


With fairly GG gear, the build is pushing just under 2M shaper DPS. Around 2.5M shaper DPS with flasks.



Ascendancy & Class Choice: Occultist (Witch)
  • Take Wicked Ward, Vile Bastion, Void Beacon, and Forbidden Power.
  • Occultist is the only real choice here. Free power charge generation, 250 flat ES, Stun Immunity, tons of survivability with ES recharge on kill and uninterrupted recharge. -20% to enemy cold resistances as a bonus. You can get more DPS with Assassin or Elementalist variants, but I don’t think they are as good.

My almost-ideal Gear



I use these for map clearing:

And then I have the following swaps as needed. I swap in all of these for T16 Guardian clears and for high tier Elder guardian fights, but for regular T15 maps and below I only swap the amulet:

Required Gear:

Shavronne's Wrappings is required to run this build on Low-Life. It does not need to have a legacy Energy Shield Roll or be corrupt. Double-corrupt with +1 Gems and +2 Projectile Gems is the best possible gear piece for the build, but a single corruption of either is also very valuable.

Dual Void Battery is Best-in-Slot for this build. Get the best rolls you can afford. They’re better than mirrored wands if you use Precursor’s Emblem rings.

The Pandemonius is very close to being the Best-in-Slot amulet. Huge damage boost. Decent survivability boost also. A corrupted one with Cold Leech is nice for boss fights that don’t have adds.

Defensive Alternative

Presence of Chayula is the defensive equivalent of The Pandemonius. If you'd rather have extra Energy Shield than extra DPS, this is your go-to amulet instead.

Two First Snow jewels are mandatory

Energy From Within is also mandatory. Get a legacy one if you are in Standard.

Watcher's Eye is mandatory for the build.

Here's the top 4 rolls... try to get #1 and at least one of the others if possible:
  • 1) Gain (12-18)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity
  • 2) (30-40)% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge while affected by Discipline
  • 3) (20-30)% increased Energy Shield Recovery Rate while affected by Discipline
  • 4) (1.5-2.5)% of Maximum Energy Shield Regenerated per Second while affected by Discipline

There are other rolls that can be useful, but these are the big ones.

Watcher's Eye Hatred Note
If you happen to have one with a "+(1.2-1.8)% to Critical Strike Chance while affected by Hatred" mod, you might consider dropping Haste and running Hatred simply for that mod. You would trade off some movement and cast speed for a decent DPS boost when your Diamond flask is not up. I would not recommend sacrificing the defensive rolls above to get one, however.

Gear Slots With Options:

Headhunter is Best-in-Slot, and ideally you will get one with like this with the +All Elemental Resistances corruption. It's BiS not only because it's Headhunter, but because it happens to give massive Strength and Dexterity boosts. This saves you from wasting passive points picking up enough Strength and Dexterity.


A budget option, or an option to fix your resistances, is a decent Crystal Belt.

I don't recommend spending $$$$ on a shaper/elder belt or a high end Stygian Vise. Save your exalts and buy a Headhunter


Two Precursor's Emblem rings with Power Charge mods are Best-in-Slot. You want +1 Maximum Charges, Crit Multi, %ES, and/or %ES Regeneration.

You will have problems capping your resistances if you run these rings; I solved it by getting additional resistances on my jewels and by getting a corrupted Headhunter with +16 all res.


The more normal option is to run two rare rings with flat Energy Shield and any Resistances, Strength, or Dexterity you need. You will have to balance this with what Resistances, Strength, and Dexterity you are able to get on your Helmet/Boots/Gloves. Legacy %ES rolls are nice, as are the new master crafted % faster start of ES Recharge.

You might also choose to buy a ring with curse on hit Warlord's Mark for Endurance Charge generation and some leech if you think you need some additional defense.

Another interesting defensive option would be Shavronne's Revelation in the right ring slot for a lot of Energy Shield and Energy Shield regen, though you would have to solve the mana regeneration downside (Vaal clarity? Lavianga's Spirit?).

Helmet, Gloves, and Boots

These are the most straightforward rare items in the build. You want as much Energy shield as you can get, while balancing your gear so that your resistances are capped and you have sufficient Dexterity and Strength. Try to get at least +20 Movement Speed on your boots. Getting an open suffix for master crafting on each of these items is a HUGE plus so you can adjust your gear as needed over time.

NOTE ON BOOT ENCHANT: You really want a pair of boots with the "% of Damage leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently" enchantment. It's a huge improvement to quality of life while mapping because otherwise you have to manage your mana more actively with your flask. It's very close to mandatory. 0.4% or 0.6% will both be fine.

Magic Find Gear

In Standard League, these are your swaps for mapping with Magic Find:

In a Temporary League, you can run Item Rarity and Greedtrap instead:

other options

Goldwyrm are an option for boots, but I think the extra Energy Shield and movement speed on Greedtrap are better. In Standard, you already have so much item quantity that you benefit more from the item rarity of Wondertrap than even a legacy Goldwyrm

Aurseize or Sadima's Touch are options if you can manage to get enough defenses elsewhere to run them. I personally do not run them, as I couldn't sacrifice both boot and glove slots in my setup and maintain my defenses.

Ventor's Gamble with good rolls is an option on your rings if you want to make that work.

Two Remaining Jewels

You want to pick up any remaining resistances you need, and get as much crit multi as you can.

If you don't need resists, here are examples of excellent DPS jewels:

There are other interesting things you could do with unique jewels, like getting a Transcendant Mind for 2.8% of Energy Shield regeneration north of the Witch starting area. However, I still think two well rolled rare jewels are ideal. Your mileage may vary; feel free to experiment if there's a unique jewel that interests you.

Flask Setup

Mandatory Flask Types:
  • Diamond Flask (huge DPS, more consistent freezing)
  • Eternal Mana Flask (mandatory for many bosses without adds and for no-leech maps)
  • Quicksilver Flask (so slowwwwwww without it)

Mandatory Flask Suffixes:
  • "Of Heat" (get frozen = get dead)
  • "Of Staunching" (zero physical mitigation = all bleeds will kill you)
  • "Of Warding" (temporal chains and elemental weakness will get you killed)

Recommended Flask Types:
  • Silver Flask (gotta go fast)
  • Basalt Flask (physical damage tends to be more dangerous than elemental for this build)

I've tested so many different setups with flasks that I honestly recommend you just copy my setup. If you want to change something, the Basalt Flask is probably the weakest.

Main Freezing Pulse Link: Freezing Pulse+Spell Echo+Power Charge on Critical+Hypothermia+Cold Penetration+Empower

This will be your optimal setup if you have a +1 Gems Shavronne's Wrappings and a level 4 Empower. If you don't have that, and you don't have an Item Quantity gem, you can use Increased Critical Strikes instead of Empower. If you use a red slot and are in Standard, swap in Item Quantity for mapping; if you use a blue slot and are in a temporary league, swap in Item Rarity for mapping.

Movement Skill: Flame Dash

Flame Dash is a very nice movement skill and it also allows us to use Arcane Surge.

NOTE: Make sure you don't over-level your Arcane Surge; you want it to trigger on every use of Flame Dash.

Defensive Skills: Auras

Use one of your 4-Links for Vaal Discipline - Clarity - Enlighten - Blood Magic. You will probably need a level 4 Enlighten for this to work with level 20 Clarity. If you don't have one, use a lower level Clarity.

Use one of your weapons for Haste - Herald of Ice - Enlighten. Enlighten does not need to be level 4 here.

NOTE: Don't overlevel Haste relative to your Dexterity. It's the only item in the build with a high Dexterity requirement. Mine is level 18.

Defensive Skills: CWDT Links + Lightning Golem

A high level Cast When Damage Taken linked to Vaal Cold Snap and supported by Concentrated Effect and Bonechill provides a great offensive and defensive boost to the build.

You could opt to run a curse in this CWDT link instead of Bonechill + Concentrated Effect. I think it's going to be better as-is, but haven't tested enough. If you want to run a curse, I recommend Projectile Weakness; just don't overlevel it past your Dexterity.

A high level Cast When Damage Taken linked to Immortal Call and Increased Duration is mandatory for the build. This will save you from countless situations where you get hit with dozens of small to medium physical hits in a span of 1-2 seconds and die. The level/quality of the Immortal Call doesn't matter unless you are doing something to generate Endurance Charges, which I am not.

Put a Summon Lightning Golem in where you can

Being at least level 85 is STRONGLY recommended for playing this build.

Bandit Rewards
Help Alira to get a bonus to your Crit Multiplier, Mana Regeneration, and Resists.

Pantheon Choice
Major God: Soul of Lunaris (avoid chained projectiles is helpful)
Minor God: Soul of Shakari (very helpful to be poison immune)

Note About the Passive Tree
You can adjust the tree as you like to emphasize Energy Shield or Damage. I have tried to optimize for both on my suggested tree here, but your mileage may vary. If you don't have very good gear, you may need to invest more in Energy Shield nodes. If you want to go full glass cannon and invest 100% in Damage, you can do that too. And if you are lacking in Dexterity or Strength, you can pick up some of the +30 nodes as needed.

Basic Level 100 Tree

Basic Level 90 Tree

My Current Passive Tree @ lvl 97 (with Zealot's Oath because of my ring, and Frost Walker because I needed Cold Resistance). Don't blindly copy those details; they're bad unless you know you need them.
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
Last edited by tackle70 on Dec 22, 2018, 3:16:53 PM
Last bumped on Jan 19, 2019, 6:43:25 PM
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
standard build, let's move on
Video overview up. Will add a shaper kill and maybe some other videos as I get around to it.
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
Beautifully written.
freezing pulse is amazing for levelling.

2x tasalios sign + 2 tulborn + some additional power charges / duration + tabula

5k-60k dps throughout levelling
Sha0Kahnn wrote:
freezing pulse is amazing for levelling.

2x tasalios sign + 2 tulborn + some additional power charges / duration + tabula

5k-60k dps throughout levelling

Interesting thought. Maybe after I get a few more levels I will take a new character through maps with it and make some leveling advice if it works out. My impression last time I tried to level a build like this is that it's too dependent on having amazing low level ES gear. There's almost zero life nodes taken and %ES nodes don't do much when you just don't have very decent gear.
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
Last edited by tackle70 on Jun 9, 2018, 10:22:00 AM
I guess you meant lvl 70-90+

with these uniques freezing pulse will get you comfortably to at least lvl 60 tho I think
Another build of yours I enjoy.
Just did Guardians, Shaper, and Uber Elder

1st try deathless and pretty easy on Guardians and Shaper

1 death on Uber Elder because I was an idiot and ran into an elder ice shot + shaper ball at same time

Uploading vids overnight and will try again for a deathless Uber Elder

I'm not experienced or particularly good at any of the fights so I'm certifying this build as capable of all content without too much difficulty.
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
Last edited by tackle70 on Jun 19, 2018, 12:13:13 AM

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