[3.6] Vortex Cold Snap LL Occultist 1.3 Million Shaper dps 11-13k ES

Hello, I'm just someone obsessed with Vortex Occultist from last league and wish to share my build. From league start as double curse CI occultist into a LL occultist.

Easy to go into CI at league start since occultist gives tons of ES.
Extremely tanky since ES recharge won't be interrupted by damage.
Immune to stun and freeze
Can focus on dodging and not thinking of when to stop and attack.

You will have to get up close and personal to cast vortex.
Betrayal npcs can 1 shot you in red maps until around 9-10k ES.
Clear speed is alright, other spells can clear faster though.
Elemental Equilibrium is around 30% of the DPS, when going in a party you have to coordinate builds or lose dps.

Vortex is a spell that spawns an aoe underneath your character when activated, that deals damage over time(DOT). Cold snap is a spell that let's you target place an aoe that deals DOT. Both cold snap and vortex have a minor cool down. Each spell is strong enough to kill a mob of monsters. Mapping consists of alternating between vortex and cold snap to kill packs of monsters, while using flame dash and phase run to help position your character for vortex. Bossing consists of overlapping cold snap and vortex along with other spells to activate elemental equilibrium and elemental overload. Vortex and cold snap both deal DOT, so you only go close to plant a vortex and then run around the boss room to dodge attacks.

For defenses, the build utilizes arctic armour, fortify, enfeeble, aspect of spider/temp chains, consecrated ground from zealotry/sulphur flask and Occultist's wicked ward to stay alive, along with dodging everything with flame dash/phase run.

Bad? map mods:
Temporal chain mods are rippy for certain bosses if you can't manage curse immune flask during fights like pit of chimera.
Ele reflect can be done, equip yuguls, run a immune poison flask. The initial hit of cs/vortex procs ele reflect but the dot aoe doesn't. It's all about planting a cs from a distance and using vortex as a barrier around you and have the enemies run to you. Slow but doable.
No regen can be done with a mana flask and relying on es recharge. Slow but doable.
No regen+ele relfect can be done and I have done it a 3 times, extremely slow but doable.

Gem Links:
Vortex-Efficacy-Elemental Focus-Controlled Destruction-Swift Affliction- Hypothermia/Empower/ConcEffect
Main DPS skill in order of most important, I find conc effect great for bosses but makes clearing packs annoying. Socketed in 6 link body.

Vaal Cold Snap-Bonechill-Hypothermia-Efficacy
Vaal cold snap, so you can cold snap + vaal cold snap + vortex a boss, also useful for entering an incursion to quickly kill groups of enemies to increase timer. Bonechill effect of cold snap applies to vortex. If can't find a place to equip another gem, efficacy can be removed and freed up.

Vigilant Strike-Increased Duration-Arcane Surge-Phase Run
Vigiliant strike + the vigil jewel to proc a 30 second fortify. Phase run as a movement skill to walk through enemies is helpful for moving around and planting vortexes in the center of packs. Keep arcane surge level to activate around phase run, arcane surge gives increase mana regen. Increased duration is QOL to let phase run stay active for 4 seconds nearly as long as it's cooldown and to give longer arcane surge buff. Vigiliant strike + vigil jewel is only used in red maps, in particular Betrayal NPCs and Guardians. Socketed in boots.

Immortal Call-CWDT
Lvl 3 immortal call and lvl 1 cwdt. Immortal call will cast itself when a certain amount of damage is taken prevent any damage for 0.4 seconds, great for emergencies like porcupine explosions.

Flame Dash Great movement skill for ledges and for flame dashing into packs of monsters. Phase Run-> vortex/Cold snap -> Flame Dash is the rhythm for going between packs of monsters. Socketed in a ring.

Having troubles getting double reds? like in league start? I just replaced vigilant strike and increased duration with IC + CWDT until I had enough chromatic and 2 color recipe from delve was unlocked. Vigiliant strike granting fortify is only really needed in red maps. increase duration just provides qol to phase run and arcane surge can be moved with flame dash.


Arctic Armour LESS physical and fire damage taken, enemies who hit you are chilled. Great defensive layer, really only matters for red maps when betrayal npcs start hitting hard and for fire damage bosses in maps.
Vaal Discipline Vaal skill gives emergency ES recharge, discipline aura gives more energy shield.
Malevolence gives MORE damage to damage over time spells.
Zealotry gives MORE spell damage %, provides a chance for consecrated ground when attacking rare/unique enemies, and increases critical chance of spells.
Hatred provides physical->cold damage conversion which shouldn't matter, since 0->0 is still 0 and MORE cold damage.

Enfeeble and Temporal Chains are curses, enfeeble causes enemies to deal LESS damage and lowers their accuracy and crit chance, while temporal chains slows the action speeds of cursed enemies. Blasphemy is used to turn them into auras.

Aspect of the Spider slows down movement speed of enemies and makes them take increased damage and is very similar to temporal chains.

Helmet/Glove links
If running double curses: IC+CWDT-Enfeeble-Temp Chains in a heretic veil. 4 link cold snap goes into gloves
If you don't want to run double curses. A rime gaze helmet is great to 5 link cold snap. Then you use gloves for IC+CWDT-Enfeeble+Blasphemy .

Shield Links:
When LL, place Vaal Discipline-Malevolence-Zealtry/Hatred in the prism guardian shield.
If not LL, discipline-arcane surge-flame dash in shield slot.

Sceptre Links:
Frost Bomb-Storm Brand-Increased Critical Strikes
Frost bomb causes a debuff on enemies for cold exposure, storm brand is placed ona ground and latches onto enemies to deal lightning damage, increased critical strikes increases crit chance.
If you do not have trigger socketed spells, run frost bomb and do whatever with the other two spots, make sure to not have EE specced until you get trigger socketed spells.
Frost Bomb-Flame Dash-Purity of Elements is what i used at league start until i got proper rings.


League Start:

For helmet you have choice of rime gaze or heretic's veil. Rime Gaze to place cold snap in there for 5 link, heretic's for easy double curses. Body armour is simply a 5 link ES chest, you alt regal then craftbench, or dense fossil then craft bench.Belt is bated breath, it's unlikely to get a better belt at league start. Also linked a multimodded belt, you can occasionally find magic belt in delve or in market for cheap, then regal benchcraft what you have, unlikely but possible, got that belt in the first week. For boots, you want a cheap boots with energy shield or sin treks since it's bis at league start until you craft better boots. For rings you want resistances then energy shield. For amulet you want +str and + dex and then resistances. For jewels you want +str&+dex then resistances if you still need, then energy shield and cold damage over time multiplier. For a shield, you want a cheap ES shield or get a cheap Apeps since you will be CI(poison immune) until you transition to LL.

Now weapon is situational. You ideally want an sceptre with "Trigger socketed spells when you use a spell" which is a crafted suffix and cold damage over time multiplier. A sceptre is necessary at red maps in order to use Vigilant Strike skill in order to get fortify, with the Vigil jewel it can last 30 seconds. So you want to find a wand or sceptre with cold damage over time multiplier and eventually find a sceptre that also has an open suffix to craft trigger socketed spells. Trigger socketed spells is to trigger EE/EO/shock for damage, you just use frost bomb manually until you get it.

Transitioning into LL/ My current gear:

Required gear:

Shavronne's wrappings is to make chaos damage go through energy shield. Prism guardian shield is necessary since this build runs many auras and having malevolence + zealotry/hatred + discipline which each reserve 50/50/35% into health makes using prism guardian the only option. An unset ring? Why? Because there are many gems and need unset rings. You can also remove increased critical strikes or efficacy in cold snap 4link if you need gem space but don't have unset rings.

Getting more ES:

You want a hubris cirlet with high energy shield rolls and nearby enemies have -9% cold resistance.
You take a high ilvl hubris, then use a dense+frigid fossil on them.
Or you can trade for one. Here's a link:
https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Synthesis/v4J09WfE change the es to 300/350 if you want more ES but costs in exalts.

A corrupted bated breath with Discipline increased effect is good. You buy high rolled bated breaths and then vaal orb them. Based off my math I needed 18% and high int and energy shield rolls to be around same energy shield as a multimod belt. Replace the armor in the placeholder belt with a +50es multicrafted belt(since i sold it away). Get a crystal belt alt spam for +50 es then regal 50/50 annul. Either an high es crafted belt, multimodded belt or corrupted bated breath. Crafted belts offer res and other affixes while bated breath gives that 50% recharge.

You want rings +strength, + maximum energy shield and resistances. You want to craft faster energy shield recharge on both rings, therefore you want both rings to have an open prefix. One of the rings have aspect of the spider which is a suffix. You can beastcraft it onto a ring/boot/belt/glove. Aspect of spider will replace temporal chains, letting you drop points from passive tree to use for more energy shield nodes.

For amulets, you go for increase es and maximum es, then strength/dex and resistances. When you finally have enough resistances/strength/dex from your other gear you have two choices.

Presence of Chayula for a 1k ES boost and +60% chaos resistance.
Solstice Vigil, it makes temporal chains mana reservation 0, you ideally drop enfeeble for temporal chains, so enfeeble+aspect of spider -> temp chains + aspect of spider and opens the possibility of using zealotry/hatred into you're character for more damage. So your character can use zealotry+hatred+malevolence for that 56% more damage. Personally 1.3 million dps is enough for me so I stick with chayula for more ES.

You want an energy within jewel to socket underneath pain attunement, gives 400+ ES if you grabbed the life/es nodes.
A watcher's eye with discipline/malevolence mods have useful aura effects. Leech aura is useless though. https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Synthesis/y9D00guR is what i used to find one.


Witchfire brew is nice to use.
Quartz flask for phasing is nice to have.
Basalt flask for more phys damage reduction is great.
Quicksilver flask for zoom zoom.
Mana/hybrid flask for no regen maps.
Sulphur flask for consecrated ground and very minor dps boost.

Immune to Curse, Ignite, Bleed are must haves.
Shock is optional but useful.

EE, EO, cold exposure, shock and how to trigger them for damage:

"Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a skill" is a suffix you can craft onto weapons when you use a skill in the game. In this build you have it socketed onto a sceptre. The gems socketed into it will help trigger EE, EO, cold exposure, and shock.

Frostbomb is a spell that applies an aoe debuff that gives cold exposure to enemies. Cold exposure is reduces cold resistance and won't stack with other sources of cold exposure.

Shock is an aliment that increases the damage taken from all sources. Attacks that crits and deal lightning damage will apply Shock, fire damage -> ignite, cold damage-> chills. Storm brand deals lightning damage and with increased critical strikes, means it will likely crit and apply shock.

Elemental Equilibrium grants +25% resistance to an element and -50% resistance to the other two elements on a hit. For example an enemy with cold, +25% cold - 50%fire/lightning. Hit an enemy with 2 elements, like fire+cold, +25% cold,fire and -50% lightning. YOU DO NOT WANT any "add cold damage" on any equipment. Then what about frost bomb. cold snap, vortex dealing cold damage? EE only applies on hit, the initial spawning of a cold snap/vortex will only apply cold EE, but then get overwritten lightning EE from storm brand, same with frost bomb, it will get overwritten by storm brand. Storm brand's each tick counts as a hit apply and overwriting the cold EE with lightning EE.

Elemental Overload provides a 40% more elemental damage buff if you crit in the past 8 seconds. Storm brand + inc critical strikes + zealotry will make sure it activates.

Passive Tree/Leveling/POB:


Contains a CI/Leveling tree and lvl 95-100 trees I have planned. You can always just remove some ES nodes for other nodes like more damage, aoe. I'm personally fine with a 22 vortex radius, but more aoe would be nice too.

Leveling is very simple, you go

1- you want ES, resistances and damages, grab CI when you have 5k es or more.
2-you want ES and resistances, mana regen, grab EE when you get trigger socketed spell for damages.
3- gives you ES regen, more es, resistances, EO for damages when you can proc it, double curses for yellow maps defenses. The mana reservation nodes are for assuming you're going double curses, if not those 7 points can be used elsewhere for more es or damage.

Take +30 dex/strength if needed

Wicked Ward->Void Beacon or Vile Bastion->the other-> Frigid Wake. Wicked Ward and Vile bastion really increases the ES needed to help go CI faster.

Arakaali for major and Shakari for minor. Reduces chaos damage, dots, if u stop taking dot damage you recover more ES like using a flask, IC proccing and most importantly immune to poison to free up a flask.

Pre LL/CI, whatever you think is good.

Kill all more points more power. Ailra is also good if struggling with resistances/crit, personally I run purity of elements while leveling until i get decent enough rings in maps.

Overall a very fun build for me. When reaching maps, brought a bated breath, rime gaze, 5 link into white maps. A heretic veil and sin trek dropped in maps. Ran purity of elements until I brought decent enough rings. Had two exalts drop in memories, sold some item drops and currency and brought a Shavs for 4 exalt. 6 linked in 15 fuses. Quarry farmed for a vorici rank 3 safehouse leader in safe house. Used a cold dot wand that was picked up, brought a magic sceptre of crafting for 30 chaos then regal multimodded. Obtained a trigger socket after learning about aisling research trick. Eventually traded for a fractured sceptre for 75 chaos for my weapon and then multimodded myself. The other expensive item is helmet, my first shaper kill then the shaper after first UE kill both dropped solstice vigils, sold both for 2 exalts each and then brought a 350 es helm for 4 exalts if that didn't happen, i would had brought a 200-300 es helm with near by cold for 50-90 chaos or craft one if I wasn't lazy.
Killed Uber Elder a couple of times, deathless twice, the rest were all one deaths. I think I did around 8-10 uber elders including betrayal league and still haven't seen a watcher's eye drop yet.

Edit: Forgot to mention map mods.
Last edited by Zenos456 on Apr 14, 2019, 1:07:32 AM
Last bumped on Apr 14, 2019, 12:49:39 AM

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