[3.6] The "Ultimate" SOULREND / ESSENCE DRAIN Occultist Build. LEAGUE STARTER #1! > UBER Elder done!

Hello everyone!
Essence Drain Occultist / Trickster is a well known, solid league starter with countless guides existing! Let's take a DEEPER look into current state of ED and also find out how well new Synthesis gear and skills like Soulrend / Malevolance / Bane will work together!
Why "ULTIMATE"? Because it gives you FOUR different setups to play! From offensive to defensive, from poor newbie to rich expert!


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SOULREND vs. ESSENCE DRAIN...who is the winner? Also Talking about using Bane and Malevolence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6VxxP0cyNc
VIDEO BUILD GUIDE:
https://youtu.be/xAVgqoEskh0
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http://www.angryroleplayer.com/path-of-exile-builds/the-ultimate-soulrend-essence-drain-occultist-path-of-exile-3-6-build/
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In 3.6 update, a couple of new Chaos Skills appear, such as Soulrend, Malevolence and Bane. As well as older Chaos Skills get significant boost and revamps!
We will be using these skills in 3.6 to league start as well as deeper explore different combinations with a well-know Essence Drain + Contagion combo (as Soulrend and ED stacks and count as different sources of DoT).
Over last months i've been checking various sources on current Essence Drain situation as well as tried to squeeze max damage out of it. In this guide you will (hopefully) find the most comprehensive and detailed information on different ED setups!

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How does ED / Contagion combo works
Think about Contagion as a "fuse" and ED as a "nuke". You mark enemies with Contagion and then shoot ED projectile in a pack. They start melting and explode, proliferating chaos damage to nearby enemies, thus "chaining" DoT chaos damage.
Where damage comes from?
1) Damage Over Time
2) Non-Ailment Chaos Damage Over Time Multiplier (tree, crafted mods, etc)
3) Chaos Damage
4) +1-2 to Gem Levels (bow, staff, etc)
5) Curses (Despair, etc)
6) In the very last end-game form we will be reserving a part of our life with Blood Magic and some auras (Disipline + Clarity) and allocating Pain Attunement passive to give as 30% MORE Spell Damage while on Low Life (Low Life is <35% life)
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1) PROS
Spoiler

+extremely safe (2-3x defensive Curses, 12K+ ES)
+easy to league start (can run on Uniques with good sustain), if you are familiar with the game in general
+requires only 1 6-Link for end-game
+all mods, even no mana regen is possible
+no need for Wither totem (when you get Withering Presence ascendancy passive)

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2) CONS
Spoiler

-with ED+Contagion you constantly need to cast 2 skills. If you want to spam just 1 and zoom-zoom, this build might not be for you :)
-Not a fast mapper
-End-Game bossing takes a while
-Not super newbie friendly as you need some knowledge on playing life/hybrid builds and then transition to CI and eventually to Low-Life.
-Low-Life Chest (Shavronne's Wrappings) is usually very expensive at the start of the league

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3) Skill Tree Progression / Path of Building / Ascendancy / Bandits
For the levelling tree please watch the video guide and check POB!
Spoiler

Spoiler
Path of building (End-game +3 bow + quiver Balanced DPS setup. Levelling tress are here!):: https://pastebin.com/AJhxMJhA
Path of building (Cerberus Limb + Armour Shield HIGHEST DEFENSE setup):: https://pastebin.com/6By3Lkg3
Path of building (Highest DPS, lvl98, Aul's Uprising, Heretic's Veil, 3 Auras, 3 Curses setup):: https://pastebin.com/MJbF2J9F
For Ascendancy: Wicked Ward, Vile Bastion, Void Beacon, Withering Presence.
Bandits: Kill All

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4) Early Levelling Gear / Skills
Spoiler

Selling a blue wand/sceptre along with a CHAOS/POISON gem will result in a +1 to Chaos Gems weapon. Use this recipe early on!
Overall levelling Chaos build is as follows now:
1) Blight with Infused Channelling and Void Manipulation till 12.
2) Essence Drain + Contagion till 24
3) Bane / ED till 28
4) Soulrend / Bane till maps
5) Whatever mix you'll get used to till END GAME. Bane + Soulrend or Bane + ED, or ED + Contagion. Everything is good and depends on your personal preferences!
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Start levelling Contagion. Take Explosive Trap, Blight or Magma Orb and spell your way forward till Essence Drain at level 12 (after entering Merveil's Caverns in Act 1).
You can also use Blight with Infused Channelling and Arcane Surge in a 3L. Add Void Manipulation when its available. I personally used Blight till i got ED.
Then start using ED/Soulrend+Contagion (if you wish) till you get Bane
If you want levelling to be faster you can you use Storm Brand (from level 12) or Winter Orb (from level 28) till maps.
Nothing crazy here. Double Lifesprigs, Wanderlust, Lochtonial Caress




for early game i used Wither Spell Totem setup for bossing boost:
Wither Spell Totem 4L: Wither-Spell.Totem-Faster Casting-Inc.Area.of.Effect
Contagion 4L: Contagion-Arcane Surge-Faster Casting-Inc.Area.of.Effect
Essence Drain 4L: ED-Void.Manipulation-Controlled.Destruction-Efficacy
Soulrend 4L: Soulrend-Void.Manipulation-Controlled.Destruction-Efficacy/Greater.Multiple.Projectiles
Bane 4L (if you have 2 curses then switch Controlled Destruction for Enfeeble): Bane-Despair-Enfeeble/Temp.Chains-Void.Manipulation-Conrolled.Destruction.
Bane is incredibly powerful on it's own for an early game for trash mobs so you can add any ED/Soulrend gems to it if you have 5L or 6L.
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Overall it's up to you to decide if you wanna play as LIFE or just go ES from the very beginning. If you can't find / buy ES gear while levelling, then play life and spec into ES when you reach maps.
Zig has a nice video on how to transition to CI:

https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Embalmer
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Death%27s_Oath
Plenty of decent /cheap ES / uniques can be used while levelling:
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Cherrubim%27s_Maleficence
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Breath_of_the_Council
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Heartbreaker (great!)
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Doedre%27s_Malevolence
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Cane_of_Unravelling (great!)
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Allelopathy (great for CWC!)
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Steppan_Eard
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Rainbowstride
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Beast_Fur_Shawl
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Sin_Trek
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Rathpith_Globe
For helms:
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/List_of_unique_helmets#Energy_Shield_Helmets_.28Intelligence.29
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/List_of_unique_helmets#Energy_Shield.2FEvasion_Helmets_.28Dexterity.2FIntelligence.29
Vertex is my favourite so far. Heretic's Veil can also save you skill slot for Blapshemy and is required for max aura TOP DPS setup. Doedre's Skorn is fantastic for BANE.
Belts: Bated Breath, Stygian Wise with Fossil crafted %Chaos Damage, or Crystal Belt. Also https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Ascent_From_Flesh is a good starter.

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5) My Actual Gear / End-Game Skills
Spoiler

For now i am using this on standard league (mostly my hybrid Golemancer gear + 2 legacy rolled rings). This gives me 12k ES.


Aegis Aurora is the BEST shield for Occultist, unless you find 2500+ Armour shield with resits.

As soon as Synthesis starts i will be updating this section with actual league gear.
Essence Drain 5L: ED-Void.Manipulation-Controlled.Destruction-Swift.Affliction-Efficacy
Essence Drain 6L: ED-Void.Manipulation-Controlled.Destruction-Swift.Affliction-Efficacy-Empower.lvl.4
Essence Drain 6L (no Empower): ED-Void.Manipulation-Controlled.Destruction-Swift.Affliction-Efficacy-Decay
Blight CwC Soulrend 6L: Blight-Cast.While-Channelling-Soulrend-Controlled.Destruction-Empower lvl.4-Greater.Multiple.Projectiles/Energy.Leech (overall i do not recommend CWC because you have to be in melee range to channel and so, prone to all kind of damage in your face)
Soulrend 6L Bossing/Mapping: Soulrend-Swift.Affliction-Void.Manipulation-Controlled.Destruction-Efficacy-Empower.lvl.4./Greater.Multiple.Projectiles

Few good things to know:
1) Play as CI / Hybrid / Life before you get Shavronne's and then you can switch to Low Life. Check levelling trees in the first link for guidance.
2) Discipline Watcher's Eye is a QoL:

3)
with Discipline + Discipline Aul's Uprising is not a bad combo-wombo.
4) Rori's Lantern is another cool QoL to cheese mapping (enemies hitting you are UNLUCKY):

5) Energy from Within is usable in multiple places.

6) Mark of the Shaper + some Elder ES ring are a good cheap DPS option
7) Helm enchant is 40% Essence Drain Damage or some reduced Aura reservation
8) Get Vixen's Entrapment gloves for +1 curse

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Crafting Chaos Damage:
Spoiler
Jun / Aisling can unveil / craft global Chaos Damage on rings:

Helena can craft Chaos Damage on 2H melee weapons and 1H melee/ranged weapons:

Chaos multipliers can be crafted by Jun (no specific Syndicate member required):

Currently there are 4 best ways to play ED :
1) Betrayal +3 bow (harder to get now with lower Betrayal encounters) with Soulstrike quiver.
Spoiler

DoT damage scales dramatically high with +1 levels.
First you need to get a high i.lvl 6L bow, roll +1 with alts. Regal. Praise RNGJESUS, LE TOUCAN AND CHRIST WILSON. Drop Anull. Hope for +1 to stay. Multimod into this:

or this:

+2 mod can be unlocked from Catarina (Betrayal mastermind). Will take a while to get it!
add
. Here. You are done.
+2 also decent


2) Cerberus Limb + high armour Shield.
Spoiler

This is my favourite so far, as you can shield charge as well and have Fortify
It's also the tankeist of all! I reached 12k ES with hybrid gear and no Clarity Watchers eye with 2700 Armour Shield. Damage is also enough to do most content (all maps, shaper, etc).
2500 Armour shield will give you 500 ES (and 2500 armour shield is MUCH cheaper than a 500 ES shield)! The only problem here is 159 strength requirement, but can be mitigated easily with https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Astramentis.
You can use unique shields such ad these as well:

3) Spell Wand / Dagger + generic ES shield.
The most generic cookie-cutter way to play.
Spoiler

+



4) 2H Staff with +1 gems and +2 to chaos gems. This is another high DPS setup (as high as +3 bow), but also squishiest / slowest setup as you don't have a shield.
To craft staff you need a i.lvl 55 one, a bunch of regals and scourings, as well as several Exalts :)
You can get a cheap 5L staff using Flora's Gift cards (better just buy the staff for 1 alch lol!):
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Flora%27s_Gift
You can get a cheap 6L staff using Dark Mage cards (usually MUCH cheaper than buying 6L staff!):
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Dark_Mage
Demi made a great video on the WHOLE crafting process:

Staff examples:
Spoiler





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6) Flasks
Spoiler

Witchfire Brew
The rest are mostly defense/offence
Cinderswallow Urn with regeneration is also great!



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7) Pantheon Gods
Spoiler

Major: Arakaali / Lunaris
Minor: Gruthkul / Shakari

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8) Hardcore Viable or not?
Spoiler

Very HC viable

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9) FOR THE RICH GUYS
Spoiler

+1 Shavronne, +1 Curse amulet with something useful, like strength and ES.
500+ ES shields, 3000+ Armour Shields, +3 Bows. +2 Chaos Staffs
Aul's Uprising with Discipline:
Spoiler

Clarity + Discipline Watcher's Eyes:
Spoiler

Aspect of the Spider high ES gloves.
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Apep%27s_Supremacy shield.
Absolute GG Watcher's Eyes with Malevolence and Discipline:
Spoiler


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MORE VIDEOS:
Spoiler

T15 Reef (3.5): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn76Z4_PkCY
T16 Elder Iceberg (3.5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI55zQCwLnA
Shaper Super Easy Slacker Kill (3.5): https://youtu.be/O9Ar6G6vRRg
Minotaur, Hydra, tanking CHIMERA! (3.5): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97DSrjJjhlk
Uber Elder (3.5): https://youtu.be/1q0XFOEu4Qc

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FAQ
1) Can i do it as Trickster?
Spoiler

Sure you can. Just lower ES and same damage in most cases, faster for mapping though

2) What is the best unique shield for the build?
Spoiler

Aegis Aurora

3) How do you feel about SOULREND for bosses?
Spoiler

It works just fine till red maps and late end-game. For fast and deadly bosses like Elder/Uber Elder/Atziri/Hydra i strongly recommend Essence Drain. It will give you necessary mobility while doing damage.

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https://www.twitch.tv/angry_roleplayer
All builds: http://www.angryroleplayer.com/path-of-exile-builds/
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2143469
Last edited by Angry_Roleplayer on Apr 2, 2019, 4:33:27 AM
Last bumped on Apr 17, 2019, 4:09:59 AM
Why did you post this so early? It's clearly not finished.
Gear is not correct at all, like you said.
Passive Tree is for... Pathfinder?

Spoiler
Path of building: (ED+Contagion): https://pastebin.com/KJGT2t3z


????

Spoiler
8) Hardcore Viable or not?

Very HC viable

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9) FOR THE RICH GUYS

Crazy +1 arrow quivers. Corrupted Gear. GG Steel Rings with Chaos Damage


???

This "guide" is most likely a copy and paste from an irrelevant build, and is clearly far from finish. It is just a giant plug for your youtube and twitch channels.

A link to your Patreon should not be posted on the forums imho.
"
Fallen_Enigma wrote:
Why did you post this so early? It's clearly not finished.
Gear is not correct at all, like you said.
Passive Tree is for... Pathfinder?

Spoiler
Path of building: (ED+Contagion): https://pastebin.com/KJGT2t3z


????

Spoiler
8) Hardcore Viable or not?

Very HC viable

======================================================================================
9) FOR THE RICH GUYS

Crazy +1 arrow quivers. Corrupted Gear. GG Steel Rings with Chaos Damage


???

This "guide" is most likely a copy and paste from an irrelevant build, and is clearly far from finish. It is just a giant plug for your youtube and twitch channels.

A link to your Patreon should not be posted on the forums imho.

How about a chill pill and give me some time to edit everything from my template. I have 15 builds here.
https://www.twitch.tv/angry_roleplayer
All builds: http://www.angryroleplayer.com/path-of-exile-builds/
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2143469
Notepad is a thing.
Could at least do the basics on notepad before posting a template that has nothing besides your patreon on it.
"Ultimate" TBD
Checked video. Looks very slow to me.
Looking forward to what else you have for this build. I have been thinking of doing a very similar build, and then saw the ES drain in the passive tree, so going to end up changing all of that.

But glad to see an experienced player looking at the build, hopefully I can improve my build with what I see.
"
1) Can i do it as trickster?
Spoiler

Sure you can. Just lower ES and same / lower damage (less curses)


Haha. I was thinking Trickster was faster and did more damage while Occultist was tankier and added more curses.
Create a build without knowing Patchnotes/Skilltree. LeL Clickbait ftw. The only thing i learned here is: i'll never watch ur stream :)
Last edited by Headpipe on Mar 4, 2019, 10:46:48 PM
"
Headpipe wrote:
Create a build without knowing Patchnotes/Skilltree. LeL Clickbait ftw. The only thing i learned here is: i'll never watch ur stream :)

Let me give you very short summary on the patch notes:
1) Spells are buffed
2) Winter Orb and Blade Vortex are nerfed
3) Chaos Skills are buffed
https://www.twitch.tv/angry_roleplayer
All builds: http://www.angryroleplayer.com/path-of-exile-builds/
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2143469

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