[3.8] The Renaissance Witch. Do-it-all Occultist Support -- 9 auras, 4 curses, life-based

The Renaissance Witch - A Novel Take on Occultist Support
Have you ever thought about playing a support, but dismissed the idea for any of the following reasons:

-It's going to be a pain to level :(
-It looks so boring, I just run around with auras on!
-It's too expensive (I have to go low-life)
-Applying curses with Blasphemy is too dangerous, especially for a character with no leech/active recovery

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the support build for you!


TL;DR - Path of Building Pastebin/Character Profile
POB Pastebin
Character Profile (character name: YouShouldHaveSpecified)


3.8 Update
No changes! Ther may be some clever min-maxes available with Blight oils, but this guide is still 100% valid.

As the league progresses, any recommended changes/improvements that are specific to 3.8 will go here.


3.7 Update
This build is fully intact from 3.6! Somehow we managed to create an Occultist aurabot that uses Bane to apply curses, and still dodge the Occultist, aurabot, and Bane nerfs in 3.7. Aside from a slight reduction in Bane damage (which doesn't matter at all) you're good to go with this build for Legion League.


Overview
This is a highly active support build.

The Renaissance Witch leverages Occultist's Malediction/Profane Bloom and the new Bane skill to apply four curses without the need for Blasphemy or a wonky curse-on-hit-setup. It also uses Victario's Influence and mana reservation reduction to run 6-10 auras with a large amount of increased aura effectiveness. Lastly, it generates endurance charges with Enduring Cry and shares them with Conduit to provide some additional physical damage mitigation to your party.

By default, we run the following setup:

Curses
Enfeeble
Temporal Chains
Elemental Weakness
Assassin's Mark

Auras
Purity of Fire
Purity of Ice
Purity of Lightning
Haste + Vaal Haste
Anger
Wrath
Hatred
Clarity
Discipline

We have multiple flex slots for both curses and auras based on who you're supporting. Common swaps include:

Assassin's Mark -> Flammability/Frostbite/Conductivity
Elemental Weakness -> Despair/Vulnerability
Temporal Chains -> Projectile Weakness/Poacher's Mark (on bosses)
Hatred -> Grace (when more defense is needed or the carry doesn't benefit)
Discipline -> Determination (when supporting characters who use Blood Rage)
Discipline -> Zealotry


How Does This Character Stack Up Versus [insert other support build here]?
I'm not a support expert, but in my limited experience, you're a slightly worse aurabot than a dedicated aurabot, and a slightly worse curser than a dedicated curser. That said, you bring a TON of utility while only taking up a single party slot.

The most notable deficiency compared to traditional support builds is that you'll never match the sheer amount of ES a mana guardian can provide.


Why Life-Based?
Victario's Influence is too strong not to use, and dying to chaos damage sucks.

On a more personal note, my mechanics aren't good enough to play an ES-based character that can't leech to sustain, and has no flasks to heal through spike damage.


Leveling
This character is a breeze to level because Bane is busted.

You can level with any spell until level 24 -- I used Freezing Pulse, but that's simply personal preference.

Aside from how you path out of Witch start (take the spell damage nodes and respec later), you can basically use the endgame tree as your guide. Focus on the life and curse nodes, pick up Whispers of Doom by level 24, then grab a Doedre's Damning and switch to a 3-curse Bane setup (Enfeeble/Temporal Chains/Despair) + Malevolence. You can add in a fourth curse after Cruel lab, then switch to your support setup once you reach maps. Respeccing should only take ~8 refund points.


Itemization and Itemization Priorities
Once you reach level 68, you only need a few specific items to get off the ground:
-Victario's Influence (ideally 5-linked. Spend the extra chaos to get one with 15% aura effectiveness)
-Alpha's Howl
-Vixen's Entrapment
-Conqueror's Efficiency
-Conqueror's Potency

Your Bane setup applies three curses and goes in your boots, and your fourth curse lives in a single socket in Vixen's Entrapment.

Alpha's Howl holds your three Purities.

Victario's Influence holds your remaining auras. Early on, you'll only have the mana pool to run three - my recommendations are Anger, Wrath, and Haste. Most physical damage dealers run their own Hatred, so they'll get the most benefit from two entirely new auras (along with Elemental Weakness). As you invest currency into your character to reduce mana reservation, you can start to add additional auras as you can afford them.

Aside from the three unique pieces above, all your gear slots are rares, which frees you up to stack life and resistances.

Focus on the following priorities in roughly descending order:
-overcapped elemental resistances (with Purities active)
-30% movespeed boots
-about 50% chaos resistance (substantially less leaves you soft to Incursions in particular)
-good life rolls

From this point, your goals center around getting higher-level auras and reducing mana reservation. Rough priorities here:
-Level 21 Purities (will boost your party's max resists to 83%)
-Enlighten gems for your Alpha's Howl and Victario's Influence setups
-Level 21 Anger/Wrath
-a Shaper amulet with reduced mana reservation
-Anatomical Knowledge jewels with the "1% reduced mana reserved" corrupted implicit
-a fossil-crafted sceptre with "auras from your skills grant 2% increased damage to you and allies"
-better rares
-the big-ticket items: corrupted level 4 Enlighten gems, Alpha's Howl with a reduced mana reservation enchant, 6L Victario's Influence (with a few white sockets), Conqueror's Efficiency/Conqueror's Potency with reduced mana reservation corruptions


Gems/Links
Helm: Purity of Fire, Purity of Ice, Purity of Lightning, Enlighten
Body Armour: Enlighten, Anger, Wrath, Haste, two of [Hatred / Grace / Discipline / Determination / Zealotry]
Sceptre: Cast When Damage Taken, Immortal Call, Increased Duration
Shield: Phase Run, Increased Duration | Clarity
Gloves: Flame Dash, Faster Casting | Enduring Cry | Assassin's Mark (flex as appropriate)
Boots: Bane, Enfeeble, Temporal Chains, Elemental Weakness


Pantheon/Defensive Mechanics
We leverage the following defensive layers to avoid most scary situations:
-5.8k life, 1100 energy shield at level 92
-Level 20 Enfeeble/Temporal Chains with 79% increased curse effectiveness
-Level 21 Purities with >60% increased aura effectiveness, boosting max elemental resistances to 83%
-three defensive flasks to mitigate physical damage (Rumi's Concoction, Basalt Flask of Iron Skin, Stibnite Flask of Warding)
-three endurance charges along with Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call
-Phase Run, Flame Dash, Quicksilver Flask to reposition and avoid damage
-Freeze/Chill immunity from your Ascendancy
-Pantheons: Soul of the Brine King (stunlock immunity + stun recovery), Soul of Ryslatha (flask recovery on low-life)


Bandits
Kill all (duh)


Playstyle
Bane applies four curses on-cast in a large area. As you approach each pack, pop your defensive flasks, curse the monsters, and use Enduring Cry. Use Vaal Haste when it's up (or save for bosses as appropriate), use Phase Run + Quicksilver to keep up, and stick with your carries. Depending on your party composition, it may actually make sense for you to lead them instead of the other way around - by running ahead and casting Bane on packs, you mark them for death!


Don't You Run Out Of Mana?
No! Bane is cheap to cast because linked curses don't increase the mana multiplier, and you regenerate mana fast enough to spam Flame Dash when you need to.


What Can't This Build Do?
No regen maps are a pain due to your tiny amount of unreserved mana, but you can run them if you disable an aura and swap your Quicksilver for a mana flask.

Pretty much everything else is fair game assuming your party can handle it - you ignore hexproof, you have curse immunity on a flask, and you have good defensive layers. The most potent threat to you is big physical spike damage that you can't predict, usually from large amounts of offscreen projectiles. To that end, be wary of +2 projectiles maps (especially in Fragmented Memories and Incursions), maps with multiple physical-damage-boosting mods (generic damage, Vulnerability, monster crit chance/multi), and be vigilant with your flask use.


Hardcore-Viable?
I think so. I have several deaths in SSC, but most are a result of either a) learning how to properly play and position the character or b) pushing higher content with friends than I was geared for.


Video
(coming soon)


Update Log
2019.04.11 - Changed itemization to sceptre + shield with Vixen's Entrapment per some excellent feedback in the thread. As a result, the character gained the following stats compared to the previous iteration of the build:

-300 life, 600 energy shield
-6% block chance
-you and allies gain 18% increased damage

and gave up

-+1 gems on our Bane setup and linked curses
-a small amount of cast speed
Last edited by snowcrash7 on Sep 28, 2019, 9:48:07 AM
Last bumped on Oct 22, 2019, 9:01:54 AM
(reserved)
this is a good build <3
"
garamaganda wrote:
I like this. Annoing jewels with -mana reserv, but still.

I feel that... the mana reservation jewels was one of the things that put me off playing Scion support. That said, I'm currently only using 2 mana reservation jewels at level 92 and I'm running 9 auras -- compared to aurabot builds that need 10 or 11 of these jewels, it's not nearly as tedious.


"
Did u think about synthesized shield setup with +effect of any ele curse + fossil crafted wep with "Auras from your Skills grant #% increased Damage to you and Allies" ?

I decided on using a staff pretty early, but there's definitely room to explore 1h+shield setups with this build. The biggest tradeoff is that you limit your Bane setup to a 4L, so you're giving up a curse in exchange for some different buffs and more defensive utility. It's entirely possible that that's an overall stronger approach!
"
garamaganda wrote:
"
snowcrash7 wrote:

"
Did u think about synthesized shield setup with +effect of any ele curse + fossil crafted wep with "Auras from your Skills grant #% increased Damage to you and Allies" ?

I decided on using a staff pretty early, but there's definitely room to explore 1h+shield setups with this build. The biggest tradeoff is that you limit your Bane setup to a 4L, so you're giving up a curse in exchange for some different buffs and more defensive utility. It's entirely possible that that's an overall stronger approach!


Mm, u can get your curse limit back with [Vixen's Entrapment] gloves wich gives +1 curse limit and triger socketed curses on curse cast, so 4 curse placed at once just like with bane. Further more, u get free ring for hp/resists/etc and setup with 1h+shild i mention above :)


Yep, this looks likely better. I will experiment with this setup and update the guide once I get something in place.
What quality should the gems be? Thanks.
"
lldandmll wrote:
What quality should the gems be? Thanks.


I'd recommend just checking the quality bonuses on the wiki.

Bane's the most important one since it gives bonus curse effect to all linked curses, and I know Enfeeble/Temp Chains/Elemental Weakness all get effectiveness from quality, but the aura quality bonuses are usually just radius, so I wouldn't bother with those.
I'm really looking forward to playing this next league. I always play with my two kids and have never played a true support. With league emphasizing physical damage and the tankiness that goes with that this is just perfect to buff them and make things like equipment easier to max out not having to worry about resists as much while still being an active party member.

Thank you for posting it as a skeleton to build upon while we all wait on June 7 to roll around.
if i have a cwdt with warlock's mark in a non-glove socket setup.

will the triggered warlock's mark trigger the curses socketed in vixen's?

or does this counts as a double trigger and not work?
"
jeremy_u_s3 wrote:
I'm really looking forward to playing this next league. I always play with my two kids and have never played a true support. With league emphasizing physical damage and the tankiness that goes with that this is just perfect to buff them and make things like equipment easier to max out not having to worry about resists as much while still being an active party member.

Thank you for posting it as a skeleton to build upon while we all wait on June 7 to roll around.


Thanks mate!

I'm planning to do a proper 3.7 update to this build guide once the full patch notes are out, but based on yesterday's balance manifesto it should still be a strong option for Legion League. Low-life supports are getting gutted with the changes to Blood Magic/Mortal Conviction, but this build is entirely unaffected by those changes.

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