[3.5] Caustic Arrow - How to melt maps with an Occultist - The guide

Last update: 06/12/18

Update: the tree change in 3.5 is a huge boost to this build (25% increase damage !)




Hi there Exile!

Welcome to my Caustic Arrow Occultist guide ! I had a great time playing it and manage kill all content, including some Uber Elder (not deathless cause I suck).

The concept:

You main skill will be Caustic Arrow (CA), a bow attack that fires an arrow dealing chaos damage and exploding in a caustic cloud. Your main DPS will be the cloud, dealing chaos damage over time.
CA benefits A LOT from level, meaning we want this gem level as high as possible ! (with good fossil craft and some luck you can reach lvl 30)

Pro/cons

+ Good map clear
+ Quite cheap to start
+ Good defense (11k ES + ES regen + ES recharge)

- Lack single target DPS

The ascendency:

We are going to play an Occultist :
- Void Beacon reduces the enemy chaos resistance, meaning your cloud will deal more damage
- Profane Bloom deals chaos damage, which synergise well with Caustic Arrow (CA)
- Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion will give you TONS of Energy Shield (ES), plus a great ES regen/recharge and stun immunity, making playing ES a blast !

The equipment:

Core Items
You will need a 6L bow with +3 lvl. The easier way to get it is to craft it :
- Buy a 6l white bow (with ilvl > 64 and ilvl < 83)
- Use Corroded - Prismatic - Metallic fossil on it until you reach +1 lvl to socketed gems and +2 lvl to socketed bow gems

(credit)

If you can, try to get the +3 bow and a Vicious Projectile as a 7th link




Other Items

For the rest of you stuff, you will focus on getting:
- Energy Shield (ES)
- Resistance
- Strength


With fossils, you will need a -9% chaos res helmet (% mana reserved is also nie to have)


You can used Dream Fragments against Uber Elder because you won't get enough flask to remove freeze during the whole fight.


flasks




The skills:

Main set up (bow)

Caustic Arrow
- Empower - Damage on full Life - Increased/Reduced Area of Effect -
Swift Affliction - Vicious Projectile

If you are rich enough to by a bow with Vicious Projectile, then you 7th link will be
Void Manipulation


With an empower lvl 4 and a +3 bow, you will reach CA lvl 28 !


Curse set up (helmet)

Enfeeble - Despair - Blasphemy - Enlighten


Your ascendency will allow you to curse hexproof enemy, Despair is a great damage boost while Enfeeble is a solid defensive choice. You can run Temporal chain, it's still a valid option.


Defensive set up
Cast when Damage Taken - Increased Duration - Immortal Call - Phase Run

Classic set up, this one will save you countless death from physical damage


Totem set up
Wither - Spell Totem - Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance

Wither will reduce the enemy chaos resistance and slow them.


Others gems
Flame Dash - Faster Casting

Vaal Discipline

Summon Chaos Golem


Passive Tree:


PoB:



Videos
Spoiler
My computer is not really good enough to record unfortunately, sorry ! If you really want a video, ask me on this thread, I'll see what I can do

Last edited by timotheba on Dec 6, 2018, 4:26:01 PM
Last bumped on Dec 12, 2018, 6:23:11 PM
If you have any question, feel free to ask !
I dont recommend anyone to play this build, especially as leaguestarter.

To do endgame you need one of these
.

You will go insane trying to roll them yourself and failing. Rolling vicious+2 is worse than six-linking.

But once you have a vicious+3 bow you are all set for all endgame.

Not without it tho.
Very Nice build! As a new player i have some questions!
If i want to use this build in the Betrayal league, what skill is the best for leveling?
Can i use Quill Rain before getting 6L + levels rare bow?


+ This build is viable to start maps with 5L bow setup?
Last edited by kisdjbug on Dec 1, 2018, 10:08:17 AM
cant wait to add multiple totems support to wither
"
Completed 1 ChallengeLarloch1821 wrote:
I dont recommend anyone to play this build, especially as leaguestarter.

To do endgame you need one of these
.



You don't need a Vicious Proj. bow for mapping, a +3 bow will carry you to T15. If you aim for Uber Elder, it will boost your damage by 50%.



"
kisdjbug wrote:
Very Nice build! As a new player i have some questions!
If i want to use this build in the Betrayal league, what skill is the best for leveling?
Can i use Quill Rain before getting 6L + levels rare bow?


+ This build is viable to start maps with 5L bow setup?


Caustic arrow is a very good leveling skill imo. Quill Rain is not that efficient for Caustic Arrow because you want +X lvl to gems and Attack Speed is useless for CA (clouds don't stack).
A 5L bow with +1 lvl to gem will easily be enough damage for white maps.

"
Completed 12 Challengesgefjunhel wrote:
cant wait to add multiple totems support to wither


Yeah me too ! Stacking wither will be sooo fast
Last edited by timotheba on Dec 2, 2018, 3:34:55 PM
I played slightly different CA build in Delve league I used this bow.



Which cost me 1.5Ex about 2 weeks into league.

I levelled with Essence Drain / Blight and switched to Caustic when I purchased the bow so can't comment on how the leveling with CA is but ED is very easy to level with.

Here's my character from Delve

https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Slappy_Cheese/characters?characterName=Hera_Decay

I was able to kill 2/4 guardians (Hydra + phoenix) with this setup. For Minotaur and Chimera I used a different character at T16 I did start to feel lack of damage but a +3 bow with lvl 3 empower was plenty for all t15 content.

I also played around with using toxic rain in a weapon swap 6L quill rain.

My build differed slightly (Malediction instead of void beacon) and thus I used impressence amulet and opted for triple blasphemy setup.




I found Vaal Blight pretty handy to use in the chest good for very deep in delve press the button and it deletes everything on screen.

One thing I would recommend is Dream Fragments I regret not using it as it forced me to run freeze removal flask. With Dream Fragments you free up flask suffixs and can probably run something like witchfire brew.
Last edited by Slappy_Cheese on Dec 3, 2018, 8:49:23 AM
"
Completed 13 ChallengesSlappy_Cheese wrote:


One thing I would recommend is Dream Fragments I regret not using it as it forced me to run freeze removal flask. With Dream Fragments you free up flask suffixs and can probably run something like witchfire brew.


Forget to add this to the guide, but I used Dream Fragments against Uber Elder because you won't get enough flask to remove freeze during the whole fight
I've played this build since 3.3 and i love it more and more. Even though since 3.4 the effect has been caustic GROUND and not CLOUD. Meaning you can't kill some flying mobs like the raging spirits of the skeleton boss, in Shore map.

But with Aoe to CA, i insta-kill all packs and seldom get even hit by anything.
Though i still can get one-shot pretty quick ^^ (looking at you, Porcupines!!)

For mobs, i use Inc AoE and Pierce, and i swap Swift Affliction+Conc Effect for bosses.

I always use Dream Fragments to get perma Chill/Freeze immunity.
I also got a nice Watcher's Eye that gives immune to Temp Chain while affected by Haste / Shock while PoL / Flammability while PoF.
+ with all the immunities we can get (chaos, stun, blind, maimed, burning grounds), it feels like you're playing some kind of ghost.

I've recently killed the Shaper, and now with the nice boosts with get in 3.5 to ES and DoT, i'm preparing to go Uber Elder.
PoB tells me that i'll go from 10,7k to 11k ES.
And the new Ascendancy Node, Withering Presence, should give me +40k DoT against Shaper. Very nice indeed.



My stuff :






IGN : Kokamoru.
Last edited by rahsaan on Dec 5, 2018, 8:00:37 AM
So that looks very, VERY promising in 3.5. New non-ailment chaos damage multipliers are outright ridiculous and if PoB is to be believed you're pushing 1kk dps here with new ascendency node.

That being said I wonder what's the quality of life here without a 2nd projectile and without piercing, especially in delve where you are being swarmed have have to hit things both close and far away from you. Also defense is not exactly the same as 95% evasion rate with Raider.

To what depth were you able to safely and deathlessly delve?

Also since the new ascendency node provides 60% chaos resistance have you considered going LL over CI for some additional auras, perhaps? Probably a bad idea, considering how chaos damage heavy incursion is and how mediocre Shavronne's Wrappings are, but still, kinda hate for 60% chaos damage to go to waste :/
Last edited by Emnelrith on Dec 5, 2018, 9:29:13 AM

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