[3.5] Occultist Vortex/Cold Snap ES/CI - Deathless and Safe Uber Elder and T16's

@ roselan

Awesome notes! Thank you so much for the feedback. I appreciate it!
glad to see the thread still active and with discussions on how to build vortex. many good points being made and different ways of building the characters to suit each personal preference and playstyles. some thoughts after playing both occ and trickster vortex, I would say occ has easier gearing options to hit a higher dps and higher ES pool, and clear speed is better if you spend some effort to make sure profane bloom always explodes. while trickster is better at QOL and recovery related specs. I would always suggest (when dps is sufficient to kill fast enough) - to dual wield obliterations for a faster clear speed (pair it with HOI to spread the explosions more). even with profane bloom, this would be faster as it doesnt require CWDT curses or blasphemy curses for profane bloom to proc.

to give some points of reference - occultist can get 1m shaper dps easily (just on vortex alone). going LL is very budget and you can get 1.5 to 2m easily. it becomes expensive when trying to push further than that (either ES/resistances, +1/2 gems chest, multimod wep, CDOT ammy/aul's/gloves/rings etc).

to be honest, you can clear many end game league content VERY comfortably with 1-1.5m shaper dps.

I did uber elder deathless with 800k shaper dps on my trickster - it was VERY comfortable, no real threats to ES (once you've mastered the fight sequences and mechanics). I believe there's no difference to occultist, save having to be a bit more defensive. I find trickster out performing when it comes to recovery and ES related defenses. in other words, if you have hit 1m shaper dps and have no priority to further that dps, trickster becomes a more convincing ascendancy - added layer of defenses with EV and very good recovery options for ES.
to add on to roselan's answer, go vile bastion. stun immune is huge, malediction is ok if you want more dps/clear (but looking at your dps I'd say you are fine). if you want even more dps at the cost of ES, go Shav's LL with a +2/+1 gem and drop Aul's amulet for a CDOT ES shaper amulet. a rime gaze with +2 seems tempting but I don't really care much for Vaal cold snap, it's main job is to apply the bonechill and act as a nice map clearer, but other than that I would rather get a vortex enchant. you dont need OOS to apply EE for most mobs, swap that for frostbite to get a better application of curse (instead of blasphemy/CWDT).

for phasing/onslaught, I usually get a jewel with % onslaught/phasing on kill, so that it frees up a quartz/silver flask. I personally go for phasing on kill so that I can use a silver flask - cinderswallow. and if you can, grab a "cannot be inflicted by corrupting blood" on your jewel so that you dont need to roll a bleed flask. since you are freeze immune, that means a lot of flask mods are open for you, such as running a jade flask of reflexes for added defenses, pairing a rumi's concoction with another flask that has iron skin (I would suggest a stibnite flask of iron skin) - this gives even more evasion, applies blind, and adds more armour.

lastly for shield, you could go CI LL with an atziri reflection, grab a cowards belt, and keep the high ES chest and Aul's amulet. all solid options. at this stage it's high end gearing and there are many ways to tune the character.

but I would say that 800k-1m shaper dps is VERY comfortable for end game content. for those who are new, this would proabably be your goal first before tinkering with the finer things in the build.

Thank you - more great insight and comments!

I finally got Trigger unveiled and crafted my own weapon which I think is also a cool part of the game.

My new tree -- adjusted with some of Roselan's great notes.


I now have 2mil Shaper DPS with Vortex DoT and still have 10.2k ES. And Yes, I really do like Vile Bastion also, it is a lot better QoL for sure and he was right Power charges are irrelevant.

Now, I am going to use your notes Sons and see about more cool adjustments! I really like the flask ideas and the other ideas as well. And for sure take a look at Low Life version! And maybe try out Trickster next.

Thanks again you two.
Last edited by Optio82 on Jul 3, 2019, 12:42:21 AM
if you want more dps, CDOT gloves are possible, also by shav's chest with +1 gem level corruption (or +2 duration/aoe). this frees up your aul's for a CDOT amulet. you can opt for an elder boots with increased duration to put your vaal cold snap in, and swap rime gaze out for vortex CDR/Dmg helm. also can consider atziri reflection for shield with cowards belt for LL.

I'd admit, you are very far ahead, and if dps is not required, go for QOL and clear speed. test out the dual obliteration wands on your alternate weapon swap. that'll accelerate your clear speed a lot. personal pref, I tend to run phase run - enhance - arcane surge - flame dash for mobility. I know of builds who run shield charge to get fortify. a chest with in built "supported by lvl 1 arcane surge" can also increase your vortex dps. I've also seen builds that utilize mark of the shaper ring and paired it with an elder ring for dps boosts. many options.

hope this helps, glad that you like the build :)
just took a look at your tree (via POE website). you have most of the nodes covered. I see you opted for more jewels - that is completely fine. if you have the bandwidth to tinker around in POB, try testing to see if you want the following:

(i) allocate 1 net additional SP to take the initial ES nodes from witch start by pathing through the ES nodes. (ii) retribution+amplify. (iii) spiritual aid. (iv) written in blood (2sp giving 15% ES). (v) elemental dmg + cold damage near frost walker (within MOTM radius). (vi) overcharged - personally I like this on my trickster (or occ too) - I run immortal call, nice synergy giving 70-80% phys reduction and elemental dmg reduction, and phase run will use the frenzy charges + frenzy charges give dps as well. (vii) zealot oath.

these are just points for your consideration, to see if any appeal to you :)

Un-doing Unnatural Calm and instead going Insightfulness & Written in Blood allowed me then to have more Mana overall--so no need to complete Sovereignty Mana reserve side of the wheel and then I can finish Influence node to buff Mal & Disc & Hatred; and then as you said Sons -- I can now grab the Cold damage and Ele damage 2 nodes inside Might of the Meek gem area.

That easily gets me over 2mil Shaper Vortex DoT DPS and still maintain a 10.3k ES and resists. With 150 mana to use.

I like the ideals for Arcane Surge on chest and the Elder boots and a different Helm. I will be looking out for those. Right now on POE Trade the prices of those sorts of items are super high and unreasonable.
glad to see the suggestions working out for you. of course those suggestions are for high end fine tuning, it's a chase goal to work for haha. that being said definitely not required to rush for those, slowly play and enjoy the game :)
Lots of great insights.

I've been playing without stun immunity (Vile Bastion) the whole 3.7 (in std, not in league but it should be roughly the same). For 99% of the content, it makes no difference in my opinion, but there are a few packs of mobs you have to be more careful to avoid stupid deaths. Spark skeletons, tentacles mobs (from Piety area?) and the projectile dudes from Alva missions (can't remember the names). They can sort of stun-lock and with rippy T16 mods, even with 15k ES, a death can quickly come. For bossing, things that I have to watch out are the Fire stuff from Phoenix guardian or Elder Crater boss or stuff like that. For delve, the sonar dudes can also be dangerous. Overall I would not recommend playing without stun immunity in HC, in SC, it depends how you value quality of life and a few deaths if not playing carefully.
On the other hand, it allows for Malediction which is such a strong ascendency, it adds a lot of damage (or damage & defense based on the additionnal curse you use) and you may consider stun immunity from gear instead. On my current setup Malediction provides +15% more dot dps / 25% more hit damage for instance. Vortex hits so hard most packs die from the Hit portion alone + explosion from Profane Bloom in T16.

I'm currently running Hatred, just because I have a WE with Clarity ES mod + Hatred increased cold damage. The clarity mod gives me 1.1k more ES. I'll swapped Hatred to Malevolence if I can get a clarity/malevolence WE or malevolence Aul (or both!).

I tried swapping Might of the meek to Energy From Within in POB to make use of Utmost Intellect since I have quite a bit of ints on my gear but I'm still not satisfied with the DPS loss (MOTM gives a lot of dps while saving skill points). There is also the option to use Enery From Within near Pain Attunement for the Melding wheel but it is also skill points intensive and with my current gear, I need resists on the tree. Still a good option though.
I'm having some issues with mana, I got some mana regen but it's still pretty bad. Any idea what I should do ?

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