[On Hold] Bane Occultist - League Start/SSF Viable - All Content

Decided to put all my guides on hold for the moment. Thanks for your support if you've used this build or supported my content in the past.


This is a beginner-friendly, league-starter viable, solo-self-found viable, and comprehensive Bane Occultist guide. The leveling section in this guide is meant to take players with a fresh install or in a fresh league and get them into maps and started on a powerful character. Interested readers can find gear priority, stat suggestions, mechanics explanations, and a whole bunch of links that might be useful for newer players.

If you're new and want to get through the story and get off to a good start I recommend reading through the guide completely before starting.

Quick Reference:
Final Skill Tree

  • Bane - Despair - Swift Affliction - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Void Manipulation
  • Cast When Damage Taken - Unearth - Desecrate - Spell Cascade
  • Flame Dash
  • Cast When Damage Taken - Chaos Golem - Phase Run

Item Stat Priority
  • Weapon: Chaos Damage over time Multi > +Chaos Gems > Spell Damage/Chaos Damage > Cast Speed
  • Helm/Armor/Gloves/Belt/Boots: Life > Resists > ES
  • Rings/Amulet: Life > Resists > ES
  • Jewels: Life > Chaos Damage over Time Multi > % Damage > ES
Useful Links:
The Essentials:

The Wiki - Enter a Quest Name, Skill Gem, Support Gem, Unique Item to learn everything you need to know about it: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Path_of_Exile_Wiki

Path of Exile Trade - The official trade website. This game requires you to trade outside of the game but this is the site that's supported by the creators of the game. There is also poe.trade but you might as well use the official website if you're new: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade

Neversinks Loot Filter - A lot of items drop in this game and it can be overwhelming trying to understand what's important and what's not. A loot filter helps with that. To see what it is doing you might want to consider checking out filterblade.xyz and clicking around in there to see all the different things that are being included/excluded when you choose a strictness setting: https://github.com/NeverSinkDev/NeverSink-Filter/releases

PoE Lab - A website with not just links to the daily lab layouts but also some other links and guides: https://www.poelab.com/

Engineering Eternity - The gold standard for new player content. This particular playlist I've linked is his beginner series and is definitely worth the watch. I can vouch for how good this content is because it's how I learned how to play the game: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7GqFLebBU8inlrcqTZFXtIwP362XrdNe

Intermediate Tools:

PoE Trade Macro - Useful for trading once you get to maps. This helps you check the ranges on items or do cursory lookups of item value: https://github.com/PoE-TradeMacro/POE-TradeMacro

Path of Building - The game is essentially one big math equation when it comes to damage and this is basically a calculator for it. For people starting to ask questions like "What would be a bigger upgrade?" This is the tool for you: https://github.com/Openarl/PathOfBuilding

Advanced Tools:

Mercury Trade - When trading a lot of players this helps with kicking/inviting and automated messages: https://github.com/Exslims/MercuryTrade

PoE DB - Comprehensive website that can be tough to navigate but has all the info you could ask for. https://poedb.tw/us/

PoB: https://pastebin.com/PnY9aSa5

YouTube: New Video for 3.9 Metamorph League!

Full Playlist of all my videos related to Bane Occultist since the start of the guide!

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/thi3n

Update Log:
3.12 Updates:
  • Big curse changes in general but don't effect this build in terms of the content. It still remains a great choice as a league starter with the downsides of having poor boss damage. We'll discover how impactful some of the tree changes are in Heist as well as the new base types but I will not be playing this build this league.

3.11 Updates:
  • Played this build in 3.10 and it was great - will be a similar spot for 3.11 and some thoughts of adding Cluster Jewel options to the guide. Other than that the new Envy aura perhaps deserves a mention but no updates to the guide as of now.
3.10 Updates:
  • This build has survived the patch notes and may have some new toys to play with, with the new jewel sockets. I will be playing this build myself in 3.10 and will update the guide with my findings.
  • Second Wind added to Flame Dash as a not-necessary but nice-to-have support.
  • Removed tidbit about Illusory Warp from Star of Wraeclast (it now gives Frostblink!)
3.9 Updates:
  • Bane left unchanged by patch notes, potentially some cool mods coming our way and will keep an eye on if any of the new support gems.
3.8 Updates:
  • Global + Chaos Gems were added as parts of stat priority. No real anointment priority but doing something like Hexmaster could save some travel.
  • Final Skill Tree updated - leveling trees are unchanged.
3.7 Updates:
  • Fixed mention of Diamond Flask for Sulphur Flask
  • Shield Charge with wands!
  • This build was barely touched in this patch. Killed Uber Elder on a 5-link last patch and should easily be able to it this patch.
  • Removal of synthesized implicit mentions throughout the guide.

  • 1. Pros and Cons
  • 2. Gear
  • 3. Gems and Links
  • 4. Bandits + Ascendancy + Pantheon
  • 5. Leveling + Skill Trees
  • 6. Tips and Tricks
  • 7. Questions I've Answered
  • 8. Thank you + Other Guides

1. Pros and Cons
  • Beginner and League Starter Friendly. Virtually no gear requirements. Can be done on all rares. 4-link is enough to complete the story and progress into maps. Like all spells, the power comes from the level of the skill gem so progression feels smooth.
  • Never reroll a map. There is no combination of mods this build cannot do. Choosing from a Zana inside your map becomes matter of what layout you prefer.
  • Mind over Matter. Eldritch Battery. This particular combination allows you to get some good value from both health and energy shield on your items and a few specific nodes in the tree become super valuable when scaling both of these stats.
  • Not that many buttons to press. I list this as a pro because I can't be bothered to keep up multiple buffs, golems, and whatnot. This guide is supposed to be new player friendly. You have your Bane, Flame Dash, and... that's it. For newer players this really helps manage flask usage. Advanced players can work in supplemental skills or vaal auras but are not necessary for the build to function.

  • Uniques. A couple uniques really "turn on" this build for the endgame. Devouring Diadem and Vixen's Entrapment aren't 100% required to get this build off the ground but I will mention how some of the interactions of these items can make it easier to tackle the endgame.
2. Gear
In Depth Gear Explanation
Devouring Diadem. This helm really does a lot of work for the build. It saves 4 passive points from my current endgame tree by giving Eldritch Battery and also gives reduced mana reservation for gems inside. On top of that, the Feast of Flesh allows you to utilize corpse generation as a form of defense. Because this is a unique, good luck getting a relevant helm enchant. Luckily, none of the helm enchants are mandatory or fundamentally change the mechanics of the build. Before getting Devouring Diadem a generic rare will do the trick.

Stats to look for: Life > Resists > Energy Shield
Loreweave. The all-purpose Loreweave is great for this build. The maximum resistances 78 is the most important roll. After that life/attributes/energy shield are all nice to have. Pre-Loreweave any rare or generically strong chest like Belly of the Beast or Carcass Jack are fine but be careful for color requirements.

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Life > Resists > Energy Shield
Rare. Wands with Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time multiplier are great. A nice starter weapon is Cane of Unravelling and can be taken all the way to endgame. Shields you're really just looking for large defensive stats. It's worth noting that I encourage you to try out using a staff, dual wielding, and weapon/shield and seeing the pros and cons of each. I'll mention more about nodes in the tree in the 6. Tips and Tricks section later on. I would be remiss to not mention Bow/Quiver combinations as well. Currently this is capable of getting HUGE damage numbers with +Socketed Gems and great defensive options with quivers like Soul Strike. Min Maxers have some real options in the late game with weapon options.

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Life (if shield) > Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier > +Chaos Gems > Spell Damage/Chaos Damage > Resist (if shield)

NOTE: A Wand is a great spot to craft "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill". This will have exceptional synergy with Desecrate and Feast of Flesh (from the Devouring Diadem) mentioned later in 6. Tips and Tricks
Vixen's Entrapment. This glove really turns the defense of the build on and casts 2 defensive curses automatically when casting Bane. No glove enchant is particularly important but the one I like the most is the Reflection Enchant to create a mirror image that can prove useful for survivability. The spell damage implicit of Fingerless Silk gloves are also nice to have if you are using a rare.

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Life > Resists > Energy Shield
Rare. Stygian Vise is best in slot if you can get a good Abyss Jewel (more on this in the Jewel section below). The best endgame belt probably involves crafting with a Aberrant Fossil + Pristine and getting Generic Increased Chaos Damage and high life/resist rolls. I'm also a big fan of flask related rolls since resists can be grabbed on other pieces of gear and flask mods only appear on belts. I suppose Headhunter and Bisco's Leash should at least be mentioned for "speed clearing" but these are absolute luxuries and don't really take the build to new heights like they do for attack based builds.

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Life > Resists > Increased Flask Effect Duration/Increased Flask Charges Gained
Rare. 30 movespeed life and resists. Kaom's Roots are my personal favorite boots for Uber Elder because the Siphon slow that Elder does in that fight is only counted by Kaoms or being Juggernaut. Windscream/Windshriek are cool unique boots that can add some curse flexibility like adding in a Poachers Mark for mapping. A swap I like to do is to map with Windshriek (with my wither totem setup) and swap it out for Kaoms Roots for bossing. Also then swapping out Poachers Mark for Enhance

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Movespeed > Life > Resists > Energy Shield

NOTE: Enchants are pure luxury again, some of my favorites are Regen if you've been hit recently or either of the dodge enchants.
Rare. Great place to grab some offensive things like Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier since it's a fairly rare stat for the build. Some uniques that are interesting with the build: Star of Wraeclast, Solstice Vigil, and Aul's Uprising.

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier > Life > Resist
Rares. Great place to pick up life and resists to support any uniques that you're working into the build. Some uniques that are interesting with the build: Doedre's Damning, Essence Worm, Mark of the Shaper

Stats to look for (if you're using a rare): Life > Resists > Energy Shield
  • Quicksilver. A nice flask for moving around maps between packs.
  • Onslaught. Additional Movespeed and a little Cast Speed is nice to have.
  • Witchfire Brew/Basalt/Rumi's/Life Flask Witchfire is a decent damage flask for the build. The curse isn't relevant but it does give increased damage over time. Basalt is a great flask for physical mitigation and Rumi's is great if you're using block.

Look for Increased Duration and removal of Bleed/Freeze/Curse.

Rares. Nothing fancy here. Great place to plug in life/es/resist and Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over time Multiplier. For the ultra rich there exists the Watcher's Eye Prismatic Jewel which can give bonuses based on the aura you're using. Faster Damage over time with Malevolence is great but anything else could be worked into the build.

Stats to look for on Rare Jewels: Life, Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over time Multiplier, Energy Shield, Increased Damage (Damage over Time, Generic Damage, Chaos Damage, Spell Damage).
Stats to look for on Abyss Jewels: Life, Energy Shield, (Block if you are using a shield/staff), and any quality of life like onslaught on kill, phasing, or generic damage.

NOTE: Below is a list of sample gear I used along with what content I was able to do with that gear. These gear choices are not always optimal. As a content creator I will try things out if they are new or different or just for variety sake. Use these gear snapshots as possible inspiration and not as an end-all-be-all for gear choices. The above In Depth Gear Explanation has my recommendations for new players trying the guide.

3.6 5-Link Uber Elder Kill
Couple Item Swaps for Mapping -
3. Gems and Links
Bane - Despair - Swift Affliction - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Void Manipulation*

*NOTE: Consider Empower depending on what Path of Building deems appropriate for your build.
Other Curses
Temporal Chains - Enfeeble
  • These are the two premiere defensive curses. You want these in your Vixen's Entrapment gloves. Prior to getting these gloves you can socket it with Cast When Damage Taken but the effects won't be cast until you've taken damage.

Poacher's Mark
  • Absolutely not necessary but this luxury curse can be used while mapping for higher flask uptime. I like swapping this out with Enhance along with Windshriek boots for quality of life while mapping.
Malevolence. It's a more multiplier for damage.

Aspects/Arctic Armor/Clarity/Vaal Auras I really love Aspect of the Spider and Arctic Armor but I wouldn't call either of these mandatory. Watchers Eye modifiers like Mana Gained as Energy Shield (Clarity) or Dodge while Grace could dictate your other aura. Access to reduced mana reservation can be grabbed from the passive tree, an enlighten, or the Devouring Diadem helm.
Cast When Damage Taken – Unearth - Desecrate - Spell Cascade
  • Don’t overlevel your gems. This setup is for corpse generation for Devouring Diadem and you want it to cast when you take the least amount of damage possible.

Shield Charge – FortifyFaster Attacks – Blood Magic – Culling Strike
  • An extra layer of defense if you feel you need it.

Flame Dash/Lighting Warp/Illusory Warp/Frostblink
  • Try them all out and see which you like better.
  • It's just something to get over walls with. If extra links then Faster Casting or Second Wind is nice quality of life (also Less Duration and Swift Affliction for Lightning Warp).

Chaos Golem
  • Gives additional Physical Damage Reduction.
  • Can be annoying to recast and keep up so try having a high level Cast When Damage Taken. Culling Strike, Blind, and/or Increased Item Rarity are good ways to get more value from your golem.

Decoy Totem
  • Great utility totem used on all types of characters. Enemies that are taunted do 10% less damage to targets that did not taunt them.
Other Nice to Haves

Vaal Haste
  • For all the speed demons.

Vaal Grace
  • Great all around Defensive buff in sticky situations.

Quality Priority
Bane > Damage Supports (All give .5% increase) > Curses
4. Bandits + Ascendancy + Pantheon
  • Kill them All - if it's your first character of the league and you forsee resists being an issue, consider helping Alira and then using a Book of Reform after you get the resists.

  • Profane Bloom
  • Void Beacon
  • Withering Presence
  • Malediction

Alternatives: Profane Bloom is really the only mandatory node. If you go pure ES based then Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion are excellent.

  • Major God – Soul of the Brine King if without Kaoms Roots. Soul of Solaris if you have them.
  • Minor God – Gruthkul for mapping Yugul for Uber Elder
5. Leveling + Skill Trees
The below is a comprehensive act-by-act breakdown intended to introduce players off of a fresh install into the game. If you are an experienced player consider just looking at the target trees and skipping the in-depth breakdown. The target trees are not to be strictly followed, in fact there are more points in the target tree in case you are ahead of schedule on levels/passives.

If this isn't your first character here are some recommended uniques that will make the leveling process easier (Remember this is SSF and League Start viable so none of these are required at all): Lifesprig, Goldrim, Tabula, Wanderlust, Axiom Perpetuum, String of Servitude (all resist), Le Heup of All, and buying skill/support gems with quality ready to be socketed in!

General Leveling Tips-
  • When in doubt. Life it out. There's an in-general rule of about 300 life per act that I try and follow to see if I'm "tanky enough" to do lab, boss, etc.
  • The game is balanced around having max (75) of each resistance at all points in the game. If you are getting one shot and you don't know why - this is the reason.
  • Gearing is as simple as picking up some life and resists. I'll mention where to get the powerful 2 resist recipes while leveling. If you're in softcore I don't mind being stingy with upgrades. I like saving currency for maps so I'll use essences as a free Orb of Alchemy.
  • Coloring gear is easy based on what the stat requirements of the item is. An item that requires more int is more inclined to have blue sockets. Dexterity Green. Strength Red. Getting colors not of the stat are considered "off color". This guide wants a ton of blue sockets and a couple green/red.
  • In general with Bane it is really easy to overlevel because killing and entire pack is as easy as just dropping a Bane and running through. With a good loot filter you can keep running to the map objective while killing.
  • Speaking of filters, I recommend getting Neversink's latest filter, I use Semi-Strict or Strict while leveling.
  • I don't pick up Scrolls of Wisdom. You can vendor Orbs of Transmutation or Blacksmith Whetstones for Scrolls of Wisdom.
  • Rememeber the guide is just a guideline - consider taking more defense (Mind Over Matter) earlier if in Hardcore. Dark Arts and/or Wither Totems if more experienced. This guide is aimed at newer players at a league start.
Act 1-Target Tree
  • Get Blight quest reward.
  • Equip 2 wands as soon as you can (for spell damage) implicits. Buy a 3 link Blue-Blue-Green if available. Also check the vendor for Movespeed boots. Keep a lookout for Blue Gems on Gloves/Helm as well to later socket in Flame Dash
  • Link Blight with Arcane Surge. If you happen to have a Blue-Blue-Blue Wand link it with Infused Channeling later.
  • Useful Tip - the vendors will reset their inventory after you level up!
  • Another tip for early levels is to not use a Body Armor for a little more movement speed. Body Armors have a hidden implicit of reduced movement speed!
  • Grab The Coast Waypoint and head to the Optional Tidal Island Quest to get a Quicksilver Flask. Leave your Arcane Surge level 1. To do this - Right Click it instead of Left Clicking it when the gem appears on the side). More on why you want to do this in 6. Tips and Tricks.
  • Go to the Submerged Passage and kill the Deep Dweller for a Skill Point. (grab Contagion as your quest reward)
  • Link Contagion with Arcane Surge as soon as you can. NOTE: Contagion may look weak but it lasts 5 seconds. The playstyle will be to cast a Contagion and run past the mobs to keep moving towards the next pack. Later on when you get Essence Drain that is used for tough rares but most of the time you should be skipping them when possible. Blight at this point is your supplemental single target.
  • Make sure you do your Trial of Ascendancy in the Lower Prison.
  • Kill Brutus and grab Flame Dash and Void Manipulation. After you equip Flame Dash click on it in your bar and select the checkbox for "Always Attack Without Moving".
  • If you were lucky enough to get a Blue-Blue-Green it should be Contagion - Void Manipulation - Arcane Surge
  • Grab the waypoint in the Ship Graveyard and find the All Flame and return it to Fairgraves there.
  • Return to town once you reach the Cavern of Wrath and grab Essence Drain (doesn't need any extra links it's supplemental single target - if you have the links to spare go with Void Manipulation). An additional supplemental single target setup is Spell Totem - Wither This is not necessary and the colors may be a pain. Consider upgrading to the highest life/mana flasks from Nessa. Kill the Act Boss
Act 2-Target Tree
  • Keep a lookout for gear with Dexterity (generally an amulet) and still look for more Blue sockets.
  • Head right to the Old Fields and then to the Den to get your second Quicksilver Flask.
  • Keep heading right and Kill Kraityn.
  • Back to the Crossroads and head down to get the next Trial of Ascendancy in The Crypt Level 1.
  • Head left from town into The Riverways grab the waypoint and head up into The Wetlands.
  • Kill Oak and grab the waypoint in the Wetlands. Go back to the Riverways and head left to the Western Forest. 3 quests to do here 1) Kill Alira 2) The Way Forward (Thaumetic Emblem/Seal) 3) Weavers Chambers.
  • After killing the weaver get Controlled Destruction. You can also buy a Faster Casting for the supplemental Wither Totem setup I mentioned in act 1. Begin leveling it on an extra blue slot (maybe in your weapon swap). Once you get a 4-link you'll want to use this with your Contagion/Bane.
  • Head back to the Crossroads after doing all 3 quests in the Western Forest and head north.
  • Make sure you do your Trial of Ascendancy in the Chamber of Sins Level 2.
  • Head back to the Wetlands and open the entrance to the Vaal Ruins. Run through the Vaal Ruins and the Northern Forest to The Caverns (don't enter the Dread Thicket!). Run through The Caverns.
  • Consider upgrading to the highest life/mana flasks from Yeena. Kill the boss and make sure to grab the spell damage recipe in the room to the left.
Act 3- Target Tree
  • In act 3 look out for a 4-link that's Blue-Blue-Blue-Green. If you get a 4 link it should be Bane - Despair - Controlled Destruction - Void Manipulation if you get 4 Blue then consider using Arcane Surge until you can color it or find a green socket.
  • Head out of the sewers and hug the sides to enter to Crematorium. Make sure you do your Trial of Ascendancy here. Kill Piety and head back to town.
  • Grab Bane and buy Despair off of Clarissa. Also Grab Malevolence and begin using it as your only aura.
  • Grab the Keys from Clarissa and head to the Sewers. Grab the 3 Platinum Busts in the Sewer.
  • Run through The Marketplace and head to The Catacombs for your 5th Trial of Ascendancy.
  • After the trial head back to the marketplace and run through to the battlefront. Find the waypoint, head to the left of the waypoint to grab the quest item and head north to the docks.
  • At the docks there are two things to do: 1) Find the Sulphite 2) Talk to Fairgraves and grab the waypoint.
  • Head back to the battlefront. Head north again but to the east of the docks to get to the Solaris Temple.
  • Run through Solaris and talk to Dalia. Turn in your quests - grab the dex Amulet reward if you need the dex.
  • Head to the sewer and run to the left. Run through the ebony Barracks to the northwest. Kill Gravicious and head west to the Lunaris Temple.
  • Run through the Lunaris Temple level 2 and kill Piety for the Tower Key. The gem you get from Maroma does not matter.
  • Back to The Ebony Barracks and head east to the Imperial Gardens. Grab the waypoint head to the north west and do your last Trial of Ascendancy there!
  • Optional quest to do the Library to pick up Efficacy Support and Swift Affliction these will be great DPS gems for your final setup. If you don't want to do it now, you can wait until act 6 to grab them off Lily
  • Do your Lab. Update your flasks to the highest you can equip. Consider rolling a bleed removal flask. Ascend into Occultist.
  • Head back to the Imperial Gardens and go east to the Upper Scepter of God. Kill Dominus and proceed to act 4
Act 4 - Target Tree
  • Enter the town and go left to the Dried Lake. Kill Voll (and get the attack/cast speed crafting recipe) and head to the mine after.
  • Consider doing your first Delve after hitting sulphite to get the 2-3 Socket Recipe from the first Delve Node
  • in the mines level 2 take the extra time to find the Deshrets Spirit for a Skill Point before heading to the next level, Keep an eye out for any Blue-Blue-Blue-Green items or heavy int based items that you can use a chrome on to get 3 blue 1 green. (Items which require more Intelligence are predisposed to getting Blue sockets. Dexterity Green. Strength Red.
  • In the Crystal Veins grab the waypoint and go do either of the side areas. talk to Oyun and grab a Chaos Golem.
  • Head back to the Crystal Veins and head to the two side areas to kill the respective bosses of the area and grab the quest items from them.
  • Make your way through the Belly of the Beast and kill Piety. Kill all the mini bosses and harvest their organs.
  • Before the boss fight - update your flasks, turn in quest rewards. I like grabbing Multiple Totems for the supplemental Wither Totem setup. The supplemental wither totem setup could look like this at this point if you have the links: Spell Totem - Multiple Totems Support - Wither - Faster Casting
  • Kill Malachai and proceed to Act 5
Act 5 - Target Tree
  • After this act you'll be losing 30 resist.
  • Run through the Slave Pens (hugging the left) and kill the overseer to head into the Overseer's Tower.
  • Head through the Control Blocks and grab the Miasmeter on the way to Oriath Square (red X's on the ground let you know you're heading the right direction.
  • Run north east/east to the Templar Courts return to town to get an Onslaught Flask (I replace 1 quicksilver and press both Onslaught and Quicksilver together for more movement speed). Head back to Templar Courts and run in a clockwise circle to The Chamber of Innocence.
  • Run in a counter clockwise circle to kill the boss (grab the movement speed recipe on the way).
  • Head back through the Torched Courts after the fight to the Ruined Square. Here grab the Reliquary items to the south of the Square and the Sign of Purity in The Ossuary.
  • Head to town - update your flasks turn in your quest rewards (nothing important other than skill points). Head to The Cathedral Rooftop to kill Kitava. You will suffer a permanent -30 resist penalty. Consider crafting better gear with essences or using the crafting bench where you have open suffixes. This is a good time to learn about Item Affixes and what a Prefix vs Suffix is: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Item_affix
Act 6 - Target Tree
  • Head to the left in town and clear the Twilight Strand. This will allow you to buy any skill gem from Lily!
  • At this point I buy Cast When Damage Taken - Molten Shell and (in SSF I LOVE Increased Item Rarity support if I'm doing okay on damage and can sacrifice a link)
  • Also grab a Swift Affliction and replace Void Manipulation in your main setup. (continue to level Void Manipulation if you have a free green socket somewhere. Grab an Efficacy Support to start leveling as well.
  • If you have a Red-Red then link Cast When Damage Taken and Immortal Call together.
  • Run through The Coast and head to the Mud Flats (there's an Optional quest in the Tidal Island if you're looking for an amulet or belt upgrade).
  • In the Mud Flats kill the Queen to the east and head to the Karui Fortress in the North.
  • Kill Tukohama and talk to Sin to grab your first Pantheon Power.
  • Head to the Ridge, run through to the Lower Prison and begin your next set of Trial of Ascendancy (grab the double resistances recipe!)
  • Head up through the tower and kill the boss. Grab your quest reward and consider a 4 link that you might need.
  • Head to the Prisoner's Gate and kill Abberath for a Skill Point. Head into the Western Forest and The Riverways and get the waypoint there. Head north to kill The Puppet Mistress for a Skill Point (I like talking to Sin after this fight to switch into Soul of Ryslatha Pantheon). Head back to The Riverways and head east to the Southern Forest.
  • Run through the Cavern of Anger. Head to the Beacon (grab the life and mana crafting recipe there) throw the flag into the lit Beacon and head to The Brine King's Reef.
  • As usual - head to town and upgrade your flasks. Having capped cold resistance for this fight is nice. Talk to Sin after killing the Brine King for your first Major Pantheon.
Act 7 - Target Tree
  • Head into the Broken Bridge and do the Optional Silver Locket quest to grab a Sulphur Flask. I replace one of my Life Flasks with the Sulphur Flask.
  • Sulphur Flasks increase your damage and create consecrated ground.
  • Grab the waypoint in the Crossroads. Head south to the Fellshine Ruins and do your Trial of Ascendancy in the Crypt. Afterwards grab Maligaro's Map.
  • Head back to the Crossroads and head north into the Chamber of Sins. In the Chamber of Sin's place the map into the Map Device and enter Maligaro's Sanctum. Kill Maligaro and head to the Chamber of Sins Level 2. Do your Trial of Ascendancy here.
  • After this Trial you now have the ability to do your Cruel Lab.
  • After running through the Chamber of Sins and The Den. Go west in The Ashen Fields to kill Greust.
  • In the Northern Forest there are many quests to do 1) Head into the Dread Thicket and kill Gruthkul. 2) Also while in the Dread Thicket, collect the fireflies. 3) Optional In Memory of Greust quest for an amulet (it's on the way, and is a free rare amulet - I always do this one)
  • Head to the Causeway run through and grab the Kishara's Star for a Skill Point and then enter Vaal City. Upgrade your flasks. Run through to the act boss and kill Arakaali for access to Act 8.
Act 8 - Target Tree
  • I do my Cruel Lab immediately upon entering Act 8. In this lab you'll get rank 2 double resistances.
  • Head back to town - head to the left and make your way through the sewers to Doedre's Cesspool. Kill Doedre and grab the waypoint and Level 3 resistances recipe outside.
  • You can technically do either of the sides first - I like doing Solar before Lunar (head right from the waypoint).
  • In the Quay hug the edges to look for a skinny bridge to pick up the Ankh of Eternity. Help Clarissa with the Ankh for a Skill Point. Grab the Grain Gate waypoint if you see it before you meet Clarissa.
  • In the Grain Gate kill the Gemling Legion for a Skill Point (if you get lost in the Grain Gate follow the doors with dead bodies in front of them) and proceed to the Imperial Fields. Run through the fields and the Solaris Temple. If you see a door for Solaris Concourse do not take it. Head to the Solaris Temple Level 2 and kill the boss for the Sun Orb.
  • Head back to the Toxic Conduits and go left this time. Run through the Grand Promenade and head to The Bath House. There three things to do in here 1) Optional Wings of Vastiri (he sits in the middle of the map so you'll end up doing him anyway. 2) Trial of Ascendancy (also grab the flask duration recipe inside) 3) The High Gardens for a Skill Point Quest.
  • Proceed to the Lunaris Concourse and grab the waypoint. Head north of the waypoint to the Lunaris Temple and proceed to Level 2 and kill the boss for the Moon Orb.
  • Head back to the Lunaris Concourse waypoint and head south to the Harbor Bridge. Kill the Act bosses and Proceed to Act 9.
Act 9 - Target Tree
  • Blood Aquaducts is a very popular farming location because of Humility Divination Cards. Consider staying here and leveling for a while and gearing up. It's also a level 60+ Zone for those doing the Chaos Recipe.
  • Once in Highgate head right into The Decent and progress down into The Vastiri Desert where you'll be looking for the waypoint and the Storm Blade quest. There is an Attack and Cast Speed recipe by the waypoint as well.
  • Turn in the Storm Blade quest to Petarus and Vanja, talk to Sin, and talk to Petarus and Vanja again for the Bottled Cloud. Head back to The Vastiri Desert and head North East into the Oasis for another Skill Point Quest.
  • Head to the north west of The Vastiri Desert for The Foothills - grab the waypoint there. Head east of the waypoint for The Basilisk Acid (make sure to grab the Spell Damage level 3 behind the boss!)
  • Go back to The Foothills waypoint head west for The Tunnel. Do your Trial of Ascendancy (and grab the All Attributes rank 2 recipe). Proceed to The Quarry and grab the waypoint. Hug the sides to find the Trarthan Powder (The Refinery) and Save Oyun from Kira (Shrine of the Winds).
  • Head back to The Quarry. Talk to Sin and proceed to The Belly of the Beast. Run through The Belly The Rotting Core and Kill all three bosses, Kill the final act boss and Proceed to Act 10.
Act 10 - Target Tree
  • Head to the rooftop to Rescue Bannon. Head East in the Rooftop hugging the sides to get to The Ravaged Square. Hug the wall along the west to head into the Control Blocks and kill Vilenta for a Skill Point.
  • Head back to the Control Blocks waypoint but head out to the Ravaged Square and proceed north east to hit the waypoint. Head into the Ossuary for your Trial of Ascendancy. You can now do your Merciless Lab.
  • In Merciless Lab you get rank 3 double resistances!
  • Head east of The Ravaged Square waypoint to The Desecrated Chambers and kill Avarius.
  • Kill Kitava (you will suffer a permanent -30 resist penalty after this fight)
  • Head to the North in the Epilogue to get the Movement Speed rank 3 craft.
  • Check to see if you missed any passive points by typing /passives
  • Head into the Templar Laboratory to the east and grab maps from Zana - Welcome to the Endgame!
Endgame and Beyond - Final Skill Tree
  • Begin progressing through maps tier by tier. Buy maps that you don't have if you're in a trade league.
  • I like picking up Mind over Matter and Phase Acrobatics to get defense as soon as possible.
  • Begin getting upgrades for your gear.
  • Readers paying attention may notice that my final skill tree ends at level 86 and doesn't include anything for using a Shield, Staff, or Dual Wielding - I'll talk more in depth about gear options in 7. Questions I've Answered
Last edited by thi3n on Apr 20, 2021, 4:37:00 PM
Last bumped on Feb 1, 2021, 3:42:08 AM
6. Tips and Tricks
Mechanics of Bane
  • Applies a debuff to enemies in an area, which deals Chaos Damage over Time. Linked curses are also applied to those enemies. The debuff deals more damage and lasts longer for each curse applied this way.
    • Bane doesn't hit but applies a debuff and it does not stack, meaning it is not important to spam the ability over and over.
    • Area damage does not help Bane only the area of effect portion of skill gems like Intensify are taken into account.
    • Bane's damage bonus per curse applied is additive with itself. For example, a level 20 Bane linked with two curse will deal 94% more Damage.

Devouring Diadem.
  • Feast of Flesh consumes up to 10 nearby corpses and gives 400 life, 200 mana, and 400 Energy Shield per Corpse consumed.
  • Use Desecrate to provide corpses for this helm. With 10 corpses this is essentially a full heal every 5 seconds.
  • Cast when Damage Taken Desecrate or Desecrate linked to weapon with a crafted "Trigger a Socketed Spell when using a Skill" (internal cooldown of 5 seconds) has some great synergy with Feast of Flesh.
  • Desecrate linked with Spell Cascade creates even more corpses.

Boss Killing
  • Decoy Totem. Awesome for giving a target to a boss to use a big ability on. May be annoying to recast.
  • Soulrend. If you're swimmming in links Soulrend scales off of the same things we're doing for Bane. I have personally done all the content in the game without it but if you need an extra punch against single target then look for this.

Movement Abilities
  • Link your movement ability to Blood Magic! Mind over Matter is a great defensive Keystone but sometimes it can work against you. Getting all your mana drained when you're in a sticky situation can spell death if you can't get out. Blood Magic allows us to move and proc Fortify in the stickiest of situations.
  • While mapping, try and proc your fortify by using your movement ability on mobs on the outside of density. Not only is it great to keep moving (dodge projectiles) but gaining Fortify can mitigate the damage that you do take!
  • Conversely, don't always feel like you need to have Fortify up! Better than taking reduced damage is taking no damage. Use movement abilities first and foremost to dodge heavy damage!
  • Turn on your Always Attack Without Moving. This is great for using Shield Charge when you want to (Whirling Blades/Leap Slam already does this). Instead of your character running to the location needed by default it will immediately cast Shield Charge in the direction of your mouse.
7. Questions I've Answered
What about X Item? What About Y Support? What about Z Ascendancy?
I always encourage people to make the build their own. All of my guides are just that, guidelines. Take what is useful and apply your own ideas and create ways to make it work for your situation.
Why is your PoB different?
The PoB link has the latest time I've played the build. However, I play the build so much that I mix things up to just to do it. The main reason I try out different things is really to hammer home a point I made throughout the guide: Don't be afraid to try things and make the build your own!
What do I upgrade next?
This is a tough question that will be very individual for each person. In general it depends on what you're lacking. Damage? More links then more offensive stats. Getting one shot? Make sure you have capped elemental resistances and get more life/mana/energyshield (whichever stat(s) the build is using). Also make sure not to overlook any defensive mechanics that the build is recommending (Block/Acro/MoM/Fortify). Make sure you go into the 2. Gear section to see my stat recommendations on each piece of gear.
Staves vs Shield vs Dual Wield vs Bows
All weapons listed above really have their own merits and is tradition with my build I do encourage people to try out everything and see what works for them. For the unitiated I will talk a little about the pros and cons of each.

Staves - Overall the easiest option and gives you much more link/chest flexibility. I really like this option for beginners and the Cane of Unravelling is an outstanding choice for league starting. The nodes on the tree which support also give block and area of effect which are both amazing stats for this build.

Weapon/Shield - The while-holding-a-shield nodes on the tree are fantastic for the build and block is a really underrated form of defense. This is personally how I play the build because I like the flexibility of being able to get life/resistances on the shield and allowing for more greedy unique usage. (Love me some Kaoms Roots). The weapon of choice for this build is actually wands because of the Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over time Multiplier but you could argue for dagger/sword/scepters as they allow you to shield charge. Lots of options and unique choices with this as well.

Dual Wielding - My least favorite for the endgame as the nodes are a bit out of the way but I need to mention how great Dark Arts is for leveling. This wheel on the tree make Flame Dash feel amazing. Dual wielding might also be the highest form of DPS in the game if this next option didn't exist.

Bows - Big spenders looking for the links of a staff but then getting a free quiver of extra stats look no further. There exist insane bows intended to take gems that scale well with gem levels and bring them to new heights. Bane is a skill gem that benefits from levels. This option is for the ultra rich but needs to be mentioned for absolute min/maxers.
What would you do before Devouring Diadem?
There are a lot of ways to take the build in SSF before you get this item. I would probably try and do traditional MoM with Acro/Phase Acro. Grab a ton of mana nearby on the tree until then and work in an instant Mana Flask
Why are you life based? Don't you know Occultist is for ES?
This is meant to be a league start viable build and while ES (low life and CI variants) can be much more damage they are more expensive and harder to gear. I do encourage people to use the guide as a guideline and break off the beaten path and experiment.
Great choices for Bane. I do encourage people to try out different versions of the build. Currently here is my take on the difference between them.

Occultist - Hexproof curse application. This makes Bane a one stop shop. Other builds will likely need to run Soulrend or another spell when your target is immune to curses. On top of this, Occultist has a free source of wither application making it even easier to use. Less buttons, straightforward and my absolute favorite for a beginners introduction to Bane.

Trickster - So much quality of life. Free movement abilities, great damage over time synergy, and boatloads of cast speed for Soulrend. If you're looking for a completely different ability but scales in a similar way - consider taking the exact gear from this character and making a few tweaks for a Soulrend Trickster. A lot of concepts will apply.

Ascendant - What can't she do? Hexproof I guess. Cospri's Will is a way around that but ascendant is an interesting choice nevertheless. Some attractive sub-ascenedancies at first glance are: Occultist, Pathfinder, Hierophant. The real power of Ascendant comes from the flexibility she gets in terms of passive points, access to jewels, and the ability to start anywhere from another ascendancy start location.
8. Thank you + Other Guides
  • Thank YOU for reading! I appreciate the success stories in the thread.
  • Special shoutout to all the people who drop by and hangout on Twitch as well as my Followers/Subs!

Other Guides
Last edited by thi3n on Apr 29, 2019, 10:31:20 PM
in b4 3.7 nerf
Isn't Windripper Tornado Shot better than KB?
i heard bane is shit now

TN can you even explain what this skill is even good for?
Last edited by frawrst on Apr 19, 2019, 7:21:39 PM
good for map clearing but bosses die a bit slow. i dont think i will try shaper or guardians with this because of the slowness,i'm sure they would kill me before i could kill them

ps,you played this as a trickster so why is the guide an occultist?
Last edited by Lyutsifer665 on Apr 21, 2019, 12:11:50 AM
a well written guide as always thi3n, thank you:)
Hi thi3n,

The pastebin link for the build currently is pretty hard to follow in POB, because it looks like you have two sets of all the gear enabled. It's making it pretty hard to figure out what's what with the gearing and how it all works.

Also, the video guide (which I came here from) has EB/MOM listed in your example, but it's not in the pastebin. I'm sure I missed something, but not sure what?

Another thing, you mention the build being tanky and able to run everything and that's why you selected Occultist, but the pastebin shows the resistances only barely at 78% (not sure how you manage -res map mods?).

Thanks in advance for any help or clarification you can offer.
in b4 3.7 nerf
This is why we showcased the build on a 5-link against the current hardest content in the game.

good for map clearing but bosses die a bit slow. i dont think i will try shaper or guardians with this because of the slowness,i'm sure they would kill me before i could kill them

ps,you played this as a trickster so why is the guide an occultist?
This was not played as a trickster. I have a video of me killing uber elder on a 5-link. It wasn't super fast (around 3-4 minutes) but that's adequate for most players. You can use soulrend or essence drain or whatever you want to supplement single target damage if you want faster boss kills.

Hi thi3n,

The pastebin link for the build currently is pretty hard to follow in POB, because it looks like you have two sets of all the gear enabled. It's making it pretty hard to figure out what's what with the gearing and how it all works.

Also, the video guide (which I came here from) has EB/MOM listed in your example, but it's not in the pastebin. I'm sure I missed something, but not sure what?

Another thing, you mention the build being tanky and able to run everything and that's why you selected Occultist, but the pastebin shows the resistances only barely at 78% (not sure how you manage -res map mods?).

Thanks in advance for any help or clarification you can offer.
The helm gives you Eldrich Battery. Loreweave ignores -Max because it sets your resistances to 78.
Hi Thi3n, another great build!

Can I ask your opinion on soul rend vs bane vs storm brand (your other starter build) for mapping and bossing?

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