Stress Free PoE| CURSE HAPPY VORTEX |Use ANY Items|Easy/Relaxing Play|Easily Clears the Atlas [3.7]
WELCOME to my Curse Happy Vortex guide :)!
With this build Energy Shield will be your only "life" as you apply extremely strong curses on your enemies while watching them die in Cold damage over time. It'd be nice to watch the enemies die slowly in our DoT, but most of the time they just instantly explode. It's easy 1 button fun! The build will work really well no matter what you pick up for gear. Just pick up and play. (Oh, you'll easily clear the Atlas too.)
With all of my builds/guides I have two purposes:
1) I want players to enjoy the actual loot drop experience and be excited for EVERY drop.
2) I also want players that want or need a laid back PoE experience to have a way to clear the Atlas at their pace.
Why My Builds Are the Way They Are
Any Gear Works?
I love the concept of being able to improve EVERY item I have equipped. I also like to be able to just load a game and play...even one as complex as PoE. As I started making guides, I found that there were many people who also shared my preferences. So I design my builds to not require any specific items or mods to function. Obviously you need the basics like resists and health but you’ll only need your Gems and your Passive Tree for this build to function well. So you can use ANY items you want to take the character in any direction. Obviously the better the items, the better the build, but you don't need any specific items or mods for my builds to function well.
As the Guide Creator I’ll only be using rare items, just as a demonstration that you don’t need epic items to clear the Atlas. Please use any items you find/want.
My Physical Limitations
I deal with post concussion syndrome. Without getting all "doctor" on you, if I want to play a game for a good while and be able to function when I'm finished playing, I have to avoid many things in video games. I was surprised when I started making guides that accommodated my huge list of triggers that there were many that needed to play PoE the same way that I needed to. There was also a lot of people, though they didn't need to play a specific way, prefered the un-hectic experience I tried to create for myself.
Some examples of things that I try to avoid in games are:
- Fast or unpredictable movement on screen
- Quick and specific button presses at specific times (like flasks)
- Specific aiming/clicking with the mouse (the inventory on PC exhausts my mind)
- Bright flashes and busy screens
- Quick thinking and reacting
- And a billion other things ;)
The reason that I write this part isn't so that you feel sorry for me but to explain why there are certain elements of my builds that are not maximized in a way that the general community would typically maximize their builds.
As limiting as that seems, this game provides endless character building options.
So my build and guides are great for:
- New players.
- Players that don't like button mashing.
- Players that like playing with only one or two buttons.
- Players that like a relaxing PoE experience.
- Players with medical conditions (like epilepsy or those with with physical limitations that are restricted in how they use keyboards or mice…)
- Players that like the best builds ever made in the history of Path of Exile.
For the most part, my guides will all have the same playstyle: Move, cast once...move, cast once...move, cast once...
This guide is explained for those new to Path of Exile but layed out so the experienced players can skip to the good stuff.
*For those with similar limitations to mine, I can play this build on both PC and Console.
(Thanks Tagz for being my Wiki Explainer.)
The Guts (Gems/Gear/Tree/Attributes)
PoE restricts which gems are available to each class until Act 3. Until then you can get some gems for free from quest rewards, purchase some from specific NPCs in each town, or find them as loot.
There are two NPC's that sell all purchasable gems: the first one is Siosa in the Library in Act 3 (you have to do his quest first (the Library is connected to The Imperial Gardens)), the second NPC is Lilly Roth is Act 6.
*If I have a level next to a gem, stop leveling that gem at that level. For example, Cast when Damage Taken (Level 1). Don’t level Cast when Damage Taken beyond gem level 1.
5/6 Link - Main Skill (Socket in your chest)
-Vortex - Our main skill. It casts instantly which means your character won't get stuck doing an animation to cast it. Vortex has an initial Hit and then leaves a Damage over Time on the ground for three seconds. I only cared about the Damage over Time damage while making this build. I'm sure you know, but cold damage chills enemies (slows all enemy actions). (The cooldown on the skill sucks. But nothing you can do about it. I sure wish you could just hold the button down so it'd just cast once it's cooldown has passed...)
-Efficacy Support - Improves our Damage over Time and slightly increases Vortex's duration.
-Controlled Destruction Support - Makes Vortex deal much more damage at the cost of decreasing it's crit chance. That's ok though. We'll be critically striking with other skills (for Elemental Overload). For Vortex, more damage the better.
-Swift Affliction Support - Increases Damage over Time and decreases the duration of Vortex. It kinda cancels the extra duration of Efficacy.
-Arcane Surge Support - It sounds complicated but it's not. After you send a certain amount of mana you get increased damage and mana regen. This skill will basically always be on for us in combat. It's not something to focus on. You can ignore it and it will "always" be active. If it's not active, it's cause you're killing enemies too quick and aren't needing to use your skill often.
-(If you get a six link: Hyporthermia Support - Improves Cold Damage, chill effect, gives a chance to freeze...it's self explanatory.
4 Link - Curse #1 (Socket in any 4 link)
-Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1) - Automatically casts linked spells. Linked spells can't be self casted.
-Ice Nova (Level 8) - I have Ice Nova attached to Temporal Chains because it's a cold spell and I only want enemies that are close by to be slowed. I want enemies to get close to me quickly, then be slowed once in Vortex.
-Curse on Hit Support - Needed to attach Temporal Chains to Ice Nova's Hit.
-Use any curse you want. I use: Temporal Chains - Our curse that slows the enemy. With the cure improvements on the tree and with Curse on Hit and Temporal Chains at 20% quality, this skill will slow enemies by 68%. It's also my favourite curse :).
4 Link - Curse #2 (Socket in any 4 link)
-Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1) - Automatically casts linked spells. Linked spells can't be self casted.
-Arctic Breath (Level 8) - I have Arctic Breath attached to Enfeeble because I like that it's a cold spell that chills everywhere, is a projectile that can hit far away, does DoT, and is also an AoE.
-Curse on Hit Support - Needed to attach Enfeeble to Arctic Breath's Hit.
-Use any curse you want. I use: Enfeeble - Our curse that makes us harder to be hit by Attacks (not spells), take less critical damage, and take less overall damage too. Focusing specifically on the general damage mitigation of the skill, we'll be improving Enfeeble's base damage mitigation from 30% to 52.5%. This is our only source of Damage Mitigation...just FYI.
4 Link - Curse #3 (Socket in any 4 link)
-Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1) - Automatically casts linked spells. Linked spells can't be self casted.
-Cold Snap (Level 7) - I have Cold Snap attached to our damage curse (Frostbite) because it creates Frenzy Charges which can really increase our damage. (Our damage curse linked to damage charges.) I also like that it can hit anywhere, does DoT, and has an AoE.
-Curse on Hit Support - Needed to attach Frostbite to Cold Snap's Hit.
-Use any curse you want. I use: Frostbite - Our curse that makes enemies take more cold damage. It lowers enemies' cold resistance by 44%. We'll be getting this -44% to -77%.
3 Link - Extra Cold Damage (Socket in any 3 link)
-Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1) - Automatically casts linked spells. Linked spells can't be self casted.
-Frost Bomb (Level 10) - The pulses this skill does before it hits are great for this build. The pulses apply Cold Exposure (an extra -25% cold resists) and lowers the regen/recharge rate of an enemy's "life pool" (which is a big deal in DoT builds). The Hit of the skill uses Bonechill Support.
-Bonechill Support - A complicated read, even after going through the wiki. To make it simple, this skill gives a big boost to damage against chilled enemies. It doesn't have to be linked to the skill that's doing damage to apply it's damage bonus. So it's like a debuff, but GGG doesn't call it a debuff. So Enemies Hit by Frost Bomb will have Bonechill "applied" to them...and Vortex gets the benefits.
3 Link - Auras (Socket in any 3 socket) - This set doesn't need to be linked.
-Discipline - An aura that gives us more base Energy Shield and increases the speed that our ES recharges.
-Malevolence - An aura that gives us more Damage over Time. It also increases the duration of duration skills a bit but we only care about the DoT increase.
-Flame Dash - A movement skill to better survive panicked button mashing escapes ;). (Though a level 4 Clarity seems really good here too...)
***Note: If a skill has two triggers attempting to cast it, the skill will become inactive. Skills can only have one active trigger. So, for all the link that have CwDT, CoH, and a curse, both the CoH and curse spell will have to be outside the CwDT's requirement threshold (trigger range). So you'll only start seeing your curses applied once those gems require a character level of 39 or more.
Also, for our build, for the links with CwDT and CoH, gem order doesn't matter.
Remember that you won't be applying all three curses until you have unlocked the ability (from the tree and ascendancy) to have 3 total curses on an enemy. I just let them curse. I'm not concerned about it as I level. Everything will die quickly no matter what.
Short Version - ANYTHING YOU WANT! Seriously!
More Helpful Version
- Weapon - Anything you like.
- Shield or Second Weapon - Anything you like.
- Head - Anything you like.
- Chest - Anything you like.
- Hands - Anything you like.
- Feet - Anything you like.
- Amulet - Anything you like.
- Ring - Anything you like.
- Ring - Anything you like.
- Belt - Anything you like.
- Jewel - Anything you like.
- Flasks - Anything you like. I simply use 4 mana flasks (2 get rid of bleed and 2 get rid of burning) and a Quicksilver Flask that removes Chill/Freeze. I use Mana flasks because they get a lot more uses than other types of flasks before they are empty, not for the mana. Divine gets 6 uses, Eternal gets 5.
Gear with an Energy Shield base would be the obvious choice as ES is our life source. Something to note regarding ES on gear is that any increases to ES on gear only affect the gear the mod is on. So +36% to ES isn't increasing your entire character with 36% extra ES. It's giving the base ES of the gear an extra 36%.
Your goal on every single piece of armour is to get:
- As much Energy Shield as possible.
- Increases to Resists (Remember once you choose Chaos Inoculation on the tree, you'll be immune to Chaos/poison Damage.)
- Increases to Movement Speed (Typically boots only)
-(Mana regen always helps but isn't anything to go out looking for. Vortex's cooldown helps a lot with mana needs.)
Your goal on your weapon(s) is to get:
- Increases to Cold Damage
- Increases to Damage over Time
- Increases to Spell Damage
Remember that Vortex casts instantly so cast time is pointless for us.
*(As you progress through the game, don't forget to occasionally check your crafting bench to see which mods combine well with others, which of your favourite mods are Suffix or Prefix, etc.)
Here is a link of all the crafting options with the bench and where they unlock. (Ctrl+F some keywords to help you search the massive lists.)
The beginning of your first playthrough, or with SSF, can be hard gear wise. Hang in there, the good gear with the links you want will come. Don't waste your currency (orbs and fusings) on your items until you reach endgame. It might seem like you have a lot, but soon you'll see that it takes a lot of currency to get what you want on an item.*
An item filter is in the Media and Extras section. It will make looting a lot more relaxing for those that only want to pick up what's relevant to their specific build.
Passive Tree Explained
The skill tree is easy to understand:
You'll start as a Witch. We start as a witch because we want the Occultist Ascendancy (Subclass) and starting as a Witch is the only way to get there. We are going to be the Occultist for it's amazing Energy Shield perks and Curse Effectiveness. More on that in the Ascendancy section.
**Just follow the tree and take the nodes as they come. You'll find it quite naturally balanced. I suggest saving the East side of the tree for last. The South and North sides of the tree have nodes that are important to the mechanics of the build. The East is just damage and ES. The tree takes you to level 90 which will be easily achieved with this build. If you make it past 90, pick any nodes you like!
- Curses - This build focuses on curse efficiency which means we need the nodes that improve curse efficiency.
- Energy Shield - Our ONLY life source will be ES. So we not only focus on ES quantity but the speed in which it restores.
- Area of Effect - I opted to increase Vortex's Area of Effect instead of damage when given the convenient opportunity on the tree. I didn't go far out of my way for it though.
- Damage - Vortex has a Hit and Damage over Time component to it's damage. I only focused on the DoT damage of the skill while making this build. So Cold damage, Spell damage, Damage over Time, and Area Damage all impact the skills I've chosen.
- Jewels - Jewel slots are amazing. Jewels are items you can find that you can actually allocate on your tree. They can give almost anything from health, damage, resists...anything. We only have one jewel slot selected :(. I'd love to put more in, many other guides would. But I don't have the ability to have remember what each of my builds need if a decent jewel drops while I'm playing. And I don't have the ability to focus on 7 jewels per build are remember what I'm doing. So one is plenty enough for me .
Small Note: Don't forget about attributes. We’re short 6 Strength and 57 Dexterity on the tree. Easy to overcome, but good to know. You'll pass some nodes on the tree that give +30 to Strength or Dexterity. If you don't have items to cover what you're short in, feel free to select some of these as you pass them. You'll get respec points that will let you remove them later once you have better gear.
Now, feel free to modify this is anyway. This is just my preference for easy Solo Self Found.
Take your time to look at each skill as they come along. Some of the nodes are pretty dramatic.
Some quests earn you respec points in case you regret any decisions you made on the tree. You can also use Orbs of Regret for the same thing.
As you go through the game you'll come across Trials of Ascendancy. Starting in Act 3 you'll see their value. Once you have completed all 6 of the first set of trails, you'll get to attempt your first Labyrinth (lab). Good luck! Upon completion Choose Occultist. You get two ascendancy points per lab. There are four labs for a total of 8 points. (Redoing the same lab difficulty will not reward you with more ascendancy points if you've already completed it.)
You can spend your points in any order you like. My preference is as follows (defense first):
- 1st Two Points - Vile Bastion. You get ES regenerated per enemy killed Recently. Recently means within the last 4 seconds. The biggest part of this node is that you can't be stunned. How easy you are to stun is based on your life. We have 1 life. Chaos Inoculation characters get stunned ALL the time. This node is VERY important.
- 2nd Two Points - Profane Bloom. Has a chance to explode enemies upon kill. The explosion this causes can instantly clear a screen. My Favourite part is that enemies cannot be Hexproof. Hexproof means curse proof. So even if a map mod says that enemies are Hexproof, they aren't for you :).
- 3rd Two Points - Malediction. This one is busy. Every enemy we curse deals 10% less damage and takes 10% more damage, we gain short term bonus damage per kill, and we gain access to our 3rd curse. You'll have noticed that the path to this node also greatly increases the effectiveness of our curses. Once a boss hits us (and gets cursed with 3 curses via our CwDT links) their health goes down real quick.
- 4th Two Points - Void Beacon. Lowers the Cold Resist of nearby enemies (basically that's enemies on the screen) and slows their life regen down as well (which is huge for DoT skills like Vortex).
I know that saving the ability to put 3 curses on an enemy until the 3rd lab doesn't make sense to some, but going CI is pretty high risk. The safer you can make CI, the better (Vile Bastion). I still ran all three curses at once and just let the game pick which two curses would be applied to enemies until I did my final lab. It wasn't a big deal at all.
Choose any you like as they come across. There are no make or break options here.
The Minor God Soul of Abberath would probably be the only strong suggestion I make. To be CI and be unaffected by burning ground (which would prevent our ES from recharging) is pretty big. And personally I play with the Major God Soul of Lunaris. I just like the extra survivability the extra Movement Speed and Physical Damage reduction it gives.
Pastebin - https://pastebin.com/u5nCnXFQ - Pastebin for Path of Building. (Copy the link, open Path of Building, click on “New”, then click “Import/Export Build”, click “Import from Pastebin…”, paste the link.)
You'll get most of the attributes that you require to use your gems from the tree. You'll need a little bit of Strength and a bunch of Dexterity.
You'll Be Short:
Needing 57 Dex isn't lots, but it isn't small either. Keep your eye out for gear with Dex. Amulets can roll lots. Feel free to take the +30 attribute nodes if you're struggling to find gear to help you level. You can always respec in small amounts later.
From the Tree You'll Get:
Your Gems Need:
Media and Extras (Videos/PoB/URLs/Filter)
- Software: Path of Building - The character planner I use.
- Pastebin - https://pastebin.com/u5nCnXFQ - (Copy the link, open Path of Building, click on “New”, then click “Import/Export Build”, click “Import from Pastebin…”, paste the link.)
- Passive Tree coming soon on Path of Exile.com
- Video from 3.6 - 3.7's coming soon. Racecourse - My Favourite Map. I also made sure the map was "Hexproof" :). (Racecourse is a T14 at the time of the video. You'll notice my gear is Mediocre at best and my gems aren't even level 20, let alone 20%. (I guess the less maximized I am, the better the build seems ;).))
Also, feel free to checkout my broadcast channel. Mixer keeps the last 14 days worth of broadcasts. I post all my broadcasts on my YouTube channel. This is my Curse Happy Vortex playlist. I don't always play awake, but I'd rather play than not :).
3.7's Loot Filter.
It won't look legit but it is. Click the blue "download" button. Once downloaded, rename the file to whatever you like. Put the file in: Documents\My Games\Path of Exile. Once POE is loaded, hit "O" for Options, go to the "UI" tab, scroll to the bottom, and select your new filter from the drop down list beside "List of Item Filters". If it doesn't work, let me know.
This is a SSF filter, not a "get rich" filter (though I get rich enough by selling what drops anyway).
Loot Filter Details
- It's POE's Default filter dramatically reduced to only drop items that our character can use. I also sexy'd some drops to my favourite colours.
- It'll show all: league specific drops, Divination cards, currency, maps , and rare jewelry.
- It'll only show gems with quality. (Save the quality gems. You can trade quality gems adding up to a total of 40% to a vendor for one Gemcutter's Prism. You want lots of these as we will benefit from having lots of gems at max quality.)
- It'll show all: 5 linked items, 6 socketed items.
- It'll show all small gear/weapons that have a red, green, and blue socket linked (vendor for a chromatic orb).
- It'll show you only mana flasks, and only the highest level flask for the area you are in.
- It'll show all flasks with 10%+ quality. (Just like gems, vendoring 40% total of quality flasks gives you a Glassblower's Bauble. These improve flask quality and can make a big difference.)
- For the weapons, it'll show you all rare Wands.
- For armour it'll show all rare equipment that has only an Intelligence base. (This will save us greatly on chromatics but also give us some minor bonus defense. In SSF, when you find a new, sweetly rolled piece of gear, it's nice to make it work quickly, for cheap. We'll have enough Int. for all these pieces because of our tree and skill requirements. It's fun to Wisdom everything you find and implement new gear right away instead of needing to reorganize all your gear/links for one new item that dropped.) (I included chest pieces here in case you found an amazing chest worth your Orbs of Fusing on to 5 link...SSF is SSF...)
- For leveling you'll have the limited amount of rares listed along with any gear that matches the linked socket combos we want (any rarity). These appropriately linked gear will appear until level 68 which is when most of the highest end of our rares will start appearing. By then you should have the currency to hesitantly craft decent rares that come across your path to start the slow progress of replacing and improving your gear.
For New-ish Players (How I Play/Build Mechanics/Newbie Tips)
How I Play This Build/How it Functions in Gameplay
This build is really easy to play. Sooooo easy.
Quick Version: Move around and hit the Vortex button. Atlas cleared. True story. Everything else is automatic!
- Seriously, I know this is the detailed section, but that's all you do...cast Vortex and move around.
- Turn on Malevolence (bonus damage) and Discipline (bonus Energy Shield), then just run around and hit Vortex. :)
- Everything else in the build is automatic and comes from Cast when Damage Taken Support. We'll use three curses in this build and you can use any curses you want. They'll all be attached to low level CwDT gems...which means that if an enemy barely touches you (with a Hit, not Damage over Time), they'll be cursed with all three curses.
- The tree focuses on as much improvement to curse effects as possible so the suggested curses will dramatically slow, weaken in damage, and make susceptible to damage every cursed enemy.
- I only focused on the Damage over Time damage of Vortex, not the Hit portion of the skill.
Chaos Inoculation (CI)/Energy Shield (ES)
- This makes your Energy Shield your only life pool. (Little to no flask help.)
- As a result of choosing CI, there is a huge focus of ES recovery on the tree.
The playstyle of this build is simply cast once...move, cast once...move, cast once...move, cast once...;)
- Vortex's cast time is instant. So you won't even see your character make an animation to cast it. That's a huge survivability perk!
- I use Flasks to get rid of Bleed, Burning, and Frozen. I use my escape flask (Quartz or Quicksilver) to get rid of Freezing.
Build Mechanics Explained for New Players
Chaos Inoculation (CI)
Chaos Inoculation is risky and easy all at the same time. On a Life based character, Energy Shield (ES) is the first "life bar" of the health pool. When a life based character would take damage, the damage would first hit the ES. Only once the ES is used up would damage start hitting the actual health bar. Now on a life based character, Chaos Damage typically bypasses ES and goes straight to the life bar.
Selecting the Chaos Inoculation (CI) node in the passive tree makes ES our ONLY life pool...but makes us immune to Chaos Damage.
*Chaos Damage and Poison are kinda the same thing. Being CI, you'll be immune to both.
Some of the risks with this include the fact that flasks can't really help us restore ES like Life flasks restore life. There are a few exceptions but for the most part, CI means no "life" flasks.
One of the great things about CI, besides the immunity to chaos damage, is that there are lots of nodes on the tree that help the speed that ES recharges and regenerates...even decreasing the amount of time it takes for your ES to start restoring. In other words, your ES will almost always be regenerating at a rate that Life Regen could only dream of.
Damage over Time (DoT)
Damage over Time is a type of damage that doesn't Hit. Vortex has two stages that happen in quick succession. The first stage has an explosion that Hits enemies. The second stage is a 3 second DoT that is always cast around our character. I only focused on the DoT of Vortex when building this build. When an enemy is within an existing DoT skill on the ground, they will take damage.
I. LOVE. SLOWING. ENEMIES. So in this build, we're going to slow enemies. Why? Lots of good reasons...but the most important reason is: Because.
Path of Exile has multiple methods that can slow a character/enemy in two ways: 1-Slowing Movement Speed only, and 2-Slowing all actions (including movement speed). This build will focus on the two methods in the game that slow ALL actions of an enemy: Temporal Chains and Chill. These two methods of slowing can stack (to a cap of 75% total slow).
Chill - An elemental effect from Cold damage that slows all actions (movement, cast/attack speed) up to 30%. The % of slow (chill) imposed on an enemy is based on the total Cold Damage done to the enemy in one hit. So the higher the cold damage of an initial hit (not cumulative) the greater the "chill effect"...the slower the enemy is.
Temporal Chains - A curse that slows all normal enemy actions (movement, cast/attack speed) up to a base value of 29% but with investment can be capped at 75%. This build will have Temporal Chains slowing enemies at 68%. Chill will cap the rest.
I. LOVE. CURSES. TOO.
Curses are debuffs that you can put on an enemy. There are quite a few curses in the game, not all of them are beneficial to every build. In this build you can choose any three curses you want. I will be using: Temporal Chains which slows every action of the enemy, Enfeeble which makes the enemy deal less damage and Hit less often, and Frostbite which makes the enemy take more cold damage.
By default in POE, every character can only apply one curse per enemy. There is a node on the passive tree that increases this limit by one. We'll be getting it. There also only one ascendancy (subclass) that increases your curse limit by one. We'll be choosing that too. We'll also be increasing the effectiveness of our curses to their maximum achievable effectiveness.
A big part of this build are the three curses I have chosen. Curses can be cast manually as a spell that applies the selected curse to an area, or you can link a support skill called Blasphemy which will make the linked curses Auras that are always around you. We'll be "self casting" our curses automatically with the Cast on Damage Taken trigger support. We are going to have our curses as strong as they can be. That'll take some passive tree investment. Temporal Chains at its maximum default level slows all enemy actions by 29%. With the appropriate investment we can make enemies 68% slower with Temporal Chains (this skill cannot slow enemies beyond 75%). All other curses do not have a cap. Enfeeble, has a lot of great defense. It makes us harder to be hit by Attacks (not spells), we take less critical damage, and we'll take less overall damage too. Focusing specifically on the general damage mitigation of the skill, we'll be improving Enfeeble's base damage mitigation from 30% to 52.5%. Frostbite is pure offense. It lowers the enemies' cold resists make them take more cold damage. Frostbite normally reduces enemy resists by 44%. We'll be able to increase that to 77%.
Our curses will have full effect on all enemies that aren't bosses. Curses are 33% less effective against Area/Map bosses and 66% less effective against the Shaper and his Guardians. That's OK though. The rest of the build is good enough. :)
Some enemies can be hexproof...which means curse proof. One of our Ascendancy nodes makes it so no enemies can be hexproof. But until then, it's something to keep in mind while rolling maps for the Atlas.
***Just a heads up, the Tool Tip in game doesn't calculate curses in a matter that helps us: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2243603
Curse Math for Those that Care
Exposure & Lowered Resistances
One of the suggested curses I have in this build is Frostbite. It lowers the Cold Resistance of enemies so that they take more cold damage. If you chose to have the curse Elemental Weakness as part of your three curses, the lowered Cold Resists this skill provides would stack with Frostbite. In other words multiple versions of lowering resists stack additively with one another.
Frost Bomb is a skill that we use that inflicts Cold Exposure. Cold Exposure is essentially lowering the enemy cold resists by 25%. This is additive to Frostbite.
The difference to consider is that an enemy can only have one Exposure applied to them at a time. So if you inflicted an enemy with multiple sources of Cold Exposure, they'd still only have -25% to cold.
So Exposure does stack with skills that lower resists, but only one Exposure will stack at a time.
Make sense? Let me know if you need help.
Cast when Damage Taken (CwDT)
Cast when Damage Taken (CwDT) is a gem that automatically casts linked spells (not attacks) when your character takes a certain amount of damage. The lower the level of CwDT, the less damage it needs to cast its linked spells. The higher the level of CwDT, the more damage it needs to cast linked gems.
CwDT cannot support ACTIVE skills with a higher player level requirement than that of the CwDT gem itself. For spells to be cast by CwDT, the spell has wot be within the requirement level listed on the gem. As you level gems, you'll see that they all have certain player levels you have to be at in order to use them. CwDT does too. You'll notice in the CwDT gem description that it'll only cast spells under a certain requirement level. That requirement level goes up as CwDT levels. Linked SUPPORT gems have no boundaries and can be fully leveled.
The benefit to a high level CwDT at a high level is that we can have high level gems attached to it (Stone Golem). The benefit to a low level CwDT is that you can have spells being cast frequently. Good for utility spells (applying curses and such).
You can't manually cast spells that are linked to CwDT and within CwDT's gem requirement level.
For our build, the order of gems linked to CwDT does not matter.
Vaal skills are super versions of normal skills that have a duration and cooldown given to them. Vaal Discipline is the only one we're interested in. Early on in the game Vaal skills typically only drop in Corrupted areas (though as the game progresses you'll find them a little more often.) Corrupted areas can be randomly found attached to maps as a side area. Kill the boss inside these areas, loot their "stash", and hope you get the vaal skill you want.
Vaal Discipline gives you both the Discipline skill and Vaal Discipline in one gem. Both skills require their own key bind/button. You can use Discipline like usual but the Vaal skill requires you to kill enemies, or damage Rare or Unique enemies. Once the skill is ready to use, you can use the skill anytime. But remember, any loading screen in the game automatically resets the vaal skill and it needs to be refilled. So don't save it too long (boss arena doors don't have load screens (except for the The Lord's Labyrinth). Once the skill has been used it'll have a short duration where the skill can't refill.
Vaal Discipline gives you Energy Shield like drinking a life flask gives life:). It has a cast time, unlike any other skill we use.
Pros and Cons
Pro - As cheap as you want it to be! No specific mods or items required!
Pro - Perfect for new players. Easy to level, easy to survive, easy to kill, easy endgame, easy solo self found.
Pro - It clears maps quickly.
Pro - Chills and slows every enemy and boss to their max (even if they're hexproof!). Great for survivability.
Pro - Has great DPS:
- 5 link: 123'000 DoT DPS against the Shaper.
- 6 link: 170'000 DoT DPS against the Shaper.
*Remember, that's without any gear equipped and with the curse reductions the Shaper has.
Pro - Only one 5/6 Link. Easy links to achieve.
Pro - We're always moving = always avoiding danger.
Con - We’re short 6 Strength and 57 Dexterity on the tree. Easy to overcome, but good to know.
Tips for New Players
Loose Ends (Map Mods/Gem Locations/Bandits)
Endgame Mods to Avoid
At the end of the game, the levels (maps) you try and clear will have random modifiers (mods) allocated to them. There are A LOT of mods that can go on a map.
There is only one mod that we can't run: Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
Some mods will be inconvenient, but they won't be that bad to run. Once you get used to mapping, remembering the rolled map mods can be a HUGE difference maker on your survivability.
*Remember that Hexproof maps don't apply to us after the Profane Bloom Ascendancy node is chosen :).
You'll learn your personal preferences over time as well.
Quests and Gem Locations - Quick Reference
- I suggest doing every quest in the game. It doesn't take long. If you're too eager to get to mapping in the endgame, here is a link to all the quests that give Skill Points as a reward.
Bandits - With the Bandits in Act 2, I kill them all for the extra 2 skill points. You, of course, do what you like.
**Remember to prioritize. You may not be lucky enough to get the gear that'll let you play with all your gems as soon as they are available. So do what works best for you until the gear comes (don't be quick to sell your old gear in case something doesn't work out).
List of Gems in Order of Story Acquisition:
Drop Only - Level 24 - Vaal Discipline (Replaces the normal Discipline Gem)
Act 1 - Enemy at the Gate - Purchase - Level 1 - Arcane Surge
Act 1 - Breaking Some Eggs - Reward - Level 4 - Frost Bomb
Act 1 - The Caged Brute - Reward - Level 10 - Flame Dash
Act 1 - Siren's Cadence - Reward - Level 12 - Ice Nova
Act 1 - Siren's Cadence - Purchase - Level 12 - Arctic Breath
Act 2 - Deal with the Bandits - Reward - Level 15 - Kill Everyone - 2 Skill Points
Act 2 - Intruders in Black - Reward - Level 16 - Cold Snap
Act 2 - Sharp and Cruel - Reward - Level 18 - Controlled Destruction Support
Act 3 - Lost in Love - Reward - Level 24 - Discipline
Act 3 - Lost in Love - Purchase - Level 24 - Frostbite
Act 3 - Lost in Love - Purchase - Level 24 - Malevolence
Act 3 - Sever the Right Hand - Purchase - Level 28 - Vortex
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Reward - Level 31 - Efficacy Support
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 24 - Enfeeble
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 24 - Temporal Chains
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 31 - Hypothermia
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 31 - Swift Affliction Support
Act 4 - The Eternal Nightmare - Reward - Level 38 - Bonechill Support
Act 4 - The Eternal Nightmare - Purchase - Level 38 - Cast when Damage Taken Support (x4)
Act 4 - The Eternal Nightmare - Purchase - Level 38 - Curse on Hit (x3)
List of Gems in Order by Level:
Level 1 - Arcane Surge
Level 4 - Frost Bomb
Level 10 - Flame Dash
Level 12 - Arctic Breath
Level 12 - Ice Nova
Level 15 - Bandits - Kill Everyone - 2 Skill Points
Level 16 - Cold Snap
Level 18 - Controlled Destruction Support
Level 24 - Discipline (Vaal)
Level 24 - Enfeeble
Level 24 - Frostbite
Level 24 - Malevolence
Level 24 - Temporal Chains
Level 28 - Vortex
Level 31 - Efficacy Support
Level 31 - Hypothermia
Level 31 - Swift Affliction Support
Level 38 - Bonechill Support
Level 38 - Cast when Damage Taken Support (x4)
Level 38 - Curse on Hit (x3)
- There are two NPCs that sell all purchasable gems: the first one is Siosa in the Library in Act 3 (you have to do his quest first (the Library is connected to The Imperial Gardens)), the second NPC is Lilly Roth in Act 6 (Do her quest in Act 6).
Awesome. So if you have any questions let me know and I'll respond the best I can. Don't feel embarrassed. Ask anything you like. It's easy to miss/overlook details in the guide or on the wiki. Likely someone else wants to know the answer too :). (I likely won't have time to evaluate characters (sorry!) but I've listed in general what mods to look for on your items so you know what to look for and improve upon. Don't forget to check the Tips section if you're new too.)
Replies: Feel free to respond to other players' posts! The more that's out there, the more we learn. Please be kind, respectful, and theoretical (not a Know-It-All) when helping others out. I will happily respond to questions but please note that I have multiple guides and I'd like to respond to each equally. I’ll do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible but set your expectations that I'll respond to each guide once a week. I also need some time to play PoE ;).
My Other Guides :-)
I have a guide for each mechanic of the game that intrigues me. It also allows me to care about all kinds of drops no matter the character that I'm playing. Melee, casting, Energy Shield, Life...having a little bit of everything throughout all my guides has helped me learn lots about all sorts of items and values.
All of my Guides follow the same guidelines:
- Not needing any specific items or mods
- Easy/relaxing to play (one or two buttons)
- Atlas clearing
- Move, cast once...move, cast once...move, cast once ;)
Minions (Obviously): Stress Free PoE| SLOW MO ZOMBIES |Use ANY Items|Easy/Relaxing Play|Easily Clears the Atlas [3.7]
Righteous Fire (Awesome): Stress Free PoE| HOLY RIGHTEOUS FIRE |Use ANY Items|Easy/Relaxing Play|Easily Clears the Atlas [3.7]
Block Happy (Melee): Probably ready for 3.8.
Dodge Happy (Bow): Also probably ready for 3.8.
OH! Don't forget, to support GGG by buying a skin for all your favourite skills you use. They last forever, you look rad, and it keeps POE going too :).
Double OH! I make a new thread every league for every guide I do. So all the comments, questions, and answers you read are all relevant for this current expansion. (At the end of a league I post links in the previous guide to guide players to the newest rendition of the build.)
K. Done. Happy gaming :).
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Jun 18, 2019, 3:24:13 AM
Last bumped on Jun 18, 2019, 9:07:53 PM
on Jun 7, 2019, 4:03:17 AM
hello: am i missing something or am in the wrong place? when i looked at ur tree it is the same as it was in 3.6
on Jun 7, 2019, 4:18:37 AM
"Ha ha ha. Hey Kingx!
Good eye! I must have replaced the 3.6 Passive Tree with the 3.6 Passive Tree image ;). Thanks for pointing it out.
I've added the picture for 3.7. The Pastebin and picture will be correct. But the link to the skill tree on pathofexile.com won't be ready until after their website swaps to 3.7 (tomorrow).
on Jun 7, 2019, 4:33:00 AM
Love the guides and your explanations
This will be my first league (welp) am currently tossing a coin between this Vortex build and the SLOMO zombies (which I love after playing 2 days in standard)
Assuming i am a total nublet with an IQ just higher than a glass of water and all the reflexes of a stoned sloth... which is the easiest to level and to play to an average degree obviously I probably won't be regularly doing all the shiny shiny stuff like uber anything (other than a taxi)
so thought I would put the question out there :)
~ If it moves, kill it ~
on Jun 7, 2019, 9:04:30 AM
Love ES Occultist builds
Ill follow this one.
on Jun 7, 2019, 9:07:44 AM
well its me again. i just tried T16 for the 1st time, no probs with the mods, but when it comes to the boss not so good i tried 6 times to kill him with no luck,any ideas what i can improve on?
on Jun 7, 2019, 12:49:55 PM
Thanks again! You're very kind :-).
My Vortex guide doesn't get its main skill until level 28. So you'll be using other spells and casting more than usual (for this build) until then. And its survivability comes from constantly moving. With the zombie build you get the zombie skill right away. But they will die often enough until around level 28 as well. It's survivability also comes from moving around, but not nearly as much because enemies will hopefully be focusing on your minions. Both builds take you into the middle of combat. you just have different pros and cons to deal with once you're there. The Vortex build only uses flasks to get rid of ailments where has the zombie build uses flasks as its life recovery.
I'd say both are equal with their own respective pros and cons. Sorry to not help you make a clear decision ;-).
No matter which one you pick though, you'll be able to easily clear the atlas.
Sorry the answer wasn't direct.
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Jun 7, 2019, 3:02:45 PM
on Jun 7, 2019, 2:32:43 PM
I hope you like it! Let me know what you think!
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Jun 7, 2019, 3:03:03 PM
on Jun 7, 2019, 2:35:18 PM
Always a pleasure! :)
The T16 bosses are a world of their own. They hit crazy hard and have tons of mechanics that are intended to completely avoid. Here's the thing though, if your build can take you to T16s (especially if the mobs are a joke) then you most definitely have a build that can beat the T16+ bosses too. Don't worry, the issue isn't the player either. The issue familiarity. It takes time to get used to the boss battle mechanics (and each of them are very different). But once you get used to how the battles work, you'll rarely die.
I know it sucks to suggest if T16 drops are hard to come by, but I always suggest to try them out as white maps for now. No Extra Mods. You'd be surprised how deadly some mods can be in an unfamiliar battle. (The Phoenix can be BRUTAL with enemies/bosses rolling Increased AoE.)
So just try them out white until you start getting annoyed that you're dying even once. Then you'll find you know the battle well.
And great job getting to T16 and flying through the map! Don't be discouraged. GGG intentionally has a crazy difficulty spike. It just takes familiarity.
on Jun 7, 2019, 2:50:21 PM
Holy crap this was fast! Looking forward to playing this again on Legion :)
on Jun 7, 2019, 5:50:41 PM