3.12 headless headhunting without heads occultist (sort of beginner friendly , budget)

This build is a very unethical speed mapper. By utilizing various mechanics we are able to gain 80 second soul eater infinitely chaining vaal skills as well as just generally making anything with a duration on it last a really really really long time.
How does it work ?
By utilizing the unique zerphi's heart
We are able to gain a buff called soul eater for 20seconds everytime we use a vaal skill(note that the duration of soul eater is not refreshed if you activate another vaal skill during the effect of soul eater). While 20 seconds is impressive , we get to the aforementioned 80second duration with the use of self curse and temporal chains by stacking ALOT of curse effectiveness.
+Ridculous headhunter style clear speed
+Headhunter experience but without headhunter price tag
+nice shatter and occultist boom noises
+hipster build
+can use almost any spell or attack as your main skill
+a build with MASSIVE investment potential (the sky's the limit for investments!)

-cheap , but still expensive for beginners
-not league start viable as there are many semi-expensive uniques for the build to function
-squishy even with a ridiculous temp chains debuff amount (low ehp)
-low dmg without stacks (for bossing)
-playstyle is definitely NOT for everyone
-approximately a metric ton of not recommended/not runnable map mods

3.12 update
We breezed through the patch notes! remains to be seen whether the new assasin's mark is anywhere close to comparable on bosses. But all in all there are now more curse effectiveness nodes on the tree and temp chains itself also gives us more curse effect with quality. The slight nerf to skittering runes shouldn't matter. However I am yet unsure about how much shuffled node locations will hurt us. TLDR : Damage is likely lower vs single target , but much easier now to cap curse effectiveness.Build definitely survived the patch notes !

Required gear
The centerpiece of the build
how we "self curse"
How we mitigate the action speed slow from temp chains
Needed to reach the 275% increased curse effectiveness cap for temp chains without sacrificing anymore ehp than we are already doing.
On top of all the above we are also use 4 medium cluster jewels with curse effect to get ourselves to 269% curse effectiveness when the entire setup is applied, due to how linking gear works in the poe forums regrettably I can't link my jewels that I use, But know that you will want to have 6 passive cluster jewels with NO jewel sockets , with the dark discourse notable and "added small passive skills also have 25% increased effect" to reach the 269% curse effectiveness. Note that you can get to the cap of 275% but this will require the voices unique large cluster jewel to provide us with enough jewel sockets

Sample Gear

Slot by Slot explanation
The Divinarius Dagger is definitely the Star budget option. This dagger here will take you a long way until you find a good rare. Good mods to look for on a rare will be : %physical as extra chaos damage , +1 to the level of all (physical)spell skill gems , spell damage , spell crit chance and multi. Note that if you are using a shield in your offhand your main weapon can be anything one handed and not just a spell dagger(wands are the cheapest to roll).
If you want to use shield charge or just have more survivability in general , look for a rare with the same damage mods as on your mainhand rare and any life or res that you may want. I have not really found any unique budget options for a spell shield.
Not too many fancy mods are possible here , the temp chains enchant is almost mandatory , but apart from that just find a nice rare with life , resistances and attributes that you are missing. Best way to get one of these helms is to buy a high item level helmet with just the enchant on it and self craft the stats on the helmet.
A rare with life , res and attributes is what i recommend. However a tabula will be find if you are on an uber strict budget. The next upgrade is definitely an explosion chest. Which will definitely be the BiS.
There is no choice here , shackles is a mandatory piece of the build's core interactions. The only real upgrade you can get would be either a crit chance corruption or assassin's mark on hit allowing you to free up the blasphemy reservation for another curse (only if you have 4 max curses)
we are not Jugg so Kaom's root is again mandatory for the build to counteract the temp chains slow.Good corruptions are : any damage mods that are relevant and move speed
For rings look for rares with life and res . Beware you need a massive amount of attributes to reach the requirements of your gear and gems thanks to zerphi's so i recommend having one designated "attribute bank" ring. Other than that , opal base is BiS for rares for damage . And if you can afford to essentially drop a ring slot , the mark of the shaper/elder + shaper/elder influenced ring are BiS for damage .
once again zerphi's is the core item and there are no substitutions for it. The only game changing upgrade for this slot is the "you can apply an additional curse" corruption ,bringing your max number of curses to 4.(awakened curse on hit also gives you +1 max curse combined you can have FIVE curses !)
The magnate is my recommendation. Is a perfect substitution for headhunter before you get it. And is a huge lifesaver when trying to cover required attributes.Use attribute catalyst if you need even more dex and str. If you somehow managed to cap your attributes without the magnate. A rare leather belt(more hp)or stygian vise(more damage) with the usual life,res , strength is recommended.Otherwise just use the magnate until you can slap on that headhunter.
All of the unique flasks are practically BiS,Bottled faith can be used but is definitely not necessary and way too expensive , the only real slot you can switch out is the bismuth flask,I would recommend sin's rebirth or wise oak if you do.
Once again I apologize for not linking the jewels as unlike the rest of the gear I can't link jewels equipped in the passive tree.So instead have this wall of text

Cluster jewels
The idea here is to have 2 large cluster Jewels linked with 2 medium cluster jewels each. The actual stats on the large cluster jewels are not really relevant, just look for any with 8 added passives and 2 jewel sockets. For the medium cluster Jewels look for 6 passive 5% increased curse effectiveness bases. The mods you want are dark discourse and "added small passive skills also have 25%/35% increased effect"(note due to rounding down maths in poe getting 35% effect is no different to 25%). I STRONGLY recommend self crafting these jewels as they are very niche and probably very expensive/hard to buy/find.Any secondary mods like extra attributes , ele res , life etc are also nice but not necessary.

Other Jewels
I use an ek threshold jewel as ek is the skill I decided to use,but rares with life , appropiate damage mods , missing res , missing attributes.
Apart from threshold jewels I am also using the conqueror's potency jewel to boost curse effectiveness by 4% , is not mandatory but is a nice increase to have . The closer to 275% the better.
I am also using the unique jewel inspired learning to get my fill of mini hh action. This is very point intensive and not necessary but is very fun.

In order to counteract the hinder slow from the dark discourse notable (yes the hinder added to our curses is also reflected by shackles) , you NEED a cannot be hindered modifier on any of your jewels . I recommend getting on y our threshold jewel if you are using one . or just any random rare jewel.In addition silence is a huge issue due to how the build works , so cannot be cursed with silence is also a good jewel corruption to look for.

Gems and links

6Lchest-insert your damage skill setup.

example for ek : ek - pierce - crit strikes - crit damage - controlled destruction - spell echo

3L - Vaal clarity
- increased duration - portal/any utility skill you want
note that if you are a spell build vaal clarity is realistically the only way to sustain mana during soul eater (due to massive cast speed increases) , as such you NEED vaal clarity to have a base duration of 20+ seconds to have mana for the entire soul eater buff duration.bonus points for it being exactly 20 seconds long which will give you a good indicator of how long soul eater lasts.

- Assasin's mask- blasphemy - golem or gem levelling slot
note that if you got assasin's mark on hit via a ring or a gloves corruption you can switch this to any other curse blasphemy setup(given that you also have 4 and not 3 max curses that you normally get with the build) or even zealotry with enlightened level 4 .

4L move skill (please for the love of all that's unholy might , use something with 0 cd and scales with atk or cast spd)

example whirling blades setup - whirling blades - faster attacks - fortify - maim

4L CoH
- Herald of thunder- Herald of Ice - Curse on hit - temporal chains
Note that Herald of Ice is not mandatory but is really nice for shatters.
If your selected skill can't really make use of Herald of thunder , make sure to have the curse on hit setup on your movement skill instead. Though I would highly recommend using Herald of Thunder as it automates the curse on hit process and makes gameplay much smoother.

Bandits and ascendancy
Bandits-kill all
ascendancy- occultist : profane bloom - malediction - Void beacon - forbidden power (yes in this order before anyone asks)

Dealing with certain mods
I didn't actually think this part was going to be necessary , but following some users dming in game about it , I thought to include a little something extra.

Corrupting blood:
This is a type of bleed debuff that is usually far more dangerous than normal bleeding hits , most common within bloodline magic packs (tho not exclusively limited to). As such is it definitely necessary to have an unbleed flask to remove/ become immune to this dot/debuff.
This can be rolled on any of your non-unique flasks. Alternatively , a more expensive but ultimately better version of dealing with this problem is to get a jewel with the corrupted implicit "cannot be afflicted by corrupting blood" . Keep in mind that this is often very expensive and rare to buy on trade. So I recommend simply buying Jewels that you use in bulk and vaaling all of them to get this.

Many guides such as mine, will have PoB links, which is usually a thing that semi-experienced to vetaran players will skip straight to as really the PoB gives you most of the necessary information about the build. However the PoB I linked is not my character game ,but rather a very budget setup during the early concept stages of the build. So as such , certain things like unbleeding flasks , unique choices , jewel choices etc will not be accurate to the build. Please use the details from this actual forum guide until I update the PoB link to a more updated version of the build.

Notes for playstyle/How to play

1. Kill a few packs and get your vaal skill ready
2. activate vaal skill (which triggers soul eater)
3.Kill many things get many stacks
5. enjoy the madness
6.slowly and sadly pickup your loot as you watch your funtime duration drain away.
7. contemplate life without this build
8.crippling mapping addiction.
9.nerfed by poe.
10.revive the build
11. kicked by poe servers for performing too many actions
12. kicked by poe servers for being too op
13. Become a sexy rock climber youtube man that plays video games very well.

Actually important notes:
MAKE SURE TO NOT CLICK VAAL SKILLS OFF COOLDOWN. While soul eater is active it will NOT refresh the duration by using vaal skills. Only use vaal skills when you are sure your soul eater is gone to ensure minimum downtime. Also using multiple vaal skills share the souls gained. Is not a huge issue but something note worthy if you decide to use something like vaal grace or haste.

Many Links
POB(not fan forked, you will need to manually reselect the cluster jewels and allocate the points. Damage numbers are for standard bosses and simulation of 100 soul eater stacks.):https://pastebin.com/vk3JZLz0

gameplay(section WIP!)
fan video (not me) of beach map clear :https://youtu.be/tBzA7NbWADE



Discord(coming soon)

Last edited by yugimoto177 on Sep 16, 2020, 8:54:56 PM
Last bumped on Oct 9, 2020, 2:04:28 PM
first to comment, fun build, if you havent got the monies to get
HH this is the build, build mine around 450c and have just about as much fun with the HH lamo
Last edited by y562565 on Jul 19, 2020, 5:09:14 AM
What skill setup do you recommend for leveling?
Last edited by deklan006 on Sep 24, 2020, 11:10:36 AM
Wanna try this, can u update the tree to 3.12?
I have the char built now, check my profile for a reference to use :)
The tree on profiles are still not up to date with the ingame equivalent, so an update to the POB would be amazing!

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