[3.13] Caustic Arrow/Death's Oath Occultist [Life based] [DoT Autobomber]

Introduction:
Death's Oath suffered in the last patches when they buffed the bosses and lost its viability. This is an attempt to create a fun build with a decent bossing skill.
Luckily Caustic Arrow and Death Aura like the same things: % DoT multiplier and % Chaos Damage.

The result is a very fun and dynamic build, without too much button mashing.
Content cleared so far with the build

All Conquerors on A8
Sirius A8
Shaper
Elder
Uber Atziri
Simulacrum (from wave ~18 and for bosses - shooting required, until then just running around)
T16 maps with any mods
Delve 300+
lvl83 Heists/Grand Heists - evasive char works really great for Heists


Play-style:
For clearing we have Death Aura which only requires you to run through the mobs. Don't be afraid to charge into a pack, just go where the monsters are and keep moving. Less stopping - less chance they will target you.

For hard Rares and Bosses we have Caustic Arrow which lets us keep range and deal decent DPS. Just shoot and run around.

Pros/Cons:
+ Easy map clearing for the lazy
+ Ranged DoT skill for bossing and harder rares
+ Capped Dodge, high evasion, 5k+ life (~6k theoretical max)
+ Can reach over 4M CA Sirius DPS + 500k Death Aura (in Dual Cluster setup)
+ High/Capped Chaos resist
+ Don't care about Hexproof mobs
+ Can do almost all map mods ("No Regen" maps need mana flask. Multiple damage mods are risky, but doable.)


- Can't face tank, requires movement and dodging attacks
- Expensive to Min/Max.
- Evasion/Dodge can be hit and miss (pun intended). You will die sometimes to damage spikes.


PoB:
3.13 PoB, my real gear, dual cluster - https://pastebin.com/GmrCDHqH
3.12 PoB, single cluster - https://pastebin.com/NfsTV6ju

Last update:
2021-02-14 - Updated gem/gear recommendations
Older changes

2021-02-02 - Added Inertia jewel for tons of Str (right above Herbalism)
2021-01-10 - Added alternative gems setups, POB updated
2020-11-30 - Published Life based Version and retired CI


How do we survive the degen from Death Aura

Withering presence - +60% Chaos res
Soul of Arakaali (Thraxia) - +25% Chaos res against DoT
Tree - 40% (if you have enough from gear and using Intuitive Leap it can be lowered to 12%)

This brings us to positive 65% res. We need 11 more from gear (our max is 76%).

Gear:
The Vertex - 24-30% Chaos res / Geofri's Crest/Legacy - 20-30% Chaos res
Maloney's Nightfall - 12-16% Chaos res
Impresence - 17-23% Chaos res

Additional damage reduction:
Soul of Arakaali - 5% reduced Damage from DoT
Soul of Shakari - 5% reduced Chaos damage taken

With capped Chaos resists, and the above pantheons, we get degen of -150/second

Life regen:
+2.1% from the tree
+1.2% from medium clusters
+50% increased if stopped taking DoT recently - Soul of Arakaali (Queen of the Great Tangle)

Bottom line - we don't even notice the degen


Defenses

75% (capped) Attack and Spell dodge
Wind Dancer - 20% less damage taken of you haven't been hit recently, +20% more evasion if you have.
High evasion - 50% to 70%+ depending on your gear and Wind Dancer status (if you were hit recently)
Dealing damage even if you are stunned or frozen
Life recovery on kill
All resists maxed including Chaos
Viridi's Veil with 2 magic rings - Hexproof, no extra damage from Crits, Damage from hits is unlucky


Mana management

Caustic Arrow on 6L costs 37 mana.
For comfortable mapping (bossing actually), balance available mana to be able to shoot at least 3-4 times.
Try to get "Non-Channelling Skills have -X to Total Mana Cost" on both rings and balance "Reduced mana reserved" points on the tree.


Map Mods

Try to avoid:
Multiple damage as Fire/Cold/Lightning mods
Player Dodge is Unlucky
No Regen

Without Viridi's Veil:
Crit mods
Player cursed with XXX



Gear - TLDR




Gear explained

Best way to start gearing is to get an Inertia jewel, Hidden Potential jewel, Viridi's Veil, 2 Magic rings, Gloves, Belt and Quiver with Life and Res.
Aim to replace the Quiver and Gloves with Rare with DoT/Chaos DoT multi and Belt with Chaos damage (all Hunter influenced).
As a rule of thumb, 25% Increased damage from Hidden Potential is equivalent to ~9% DoT multi.

Armour:
Death's Oath - Required.

This gives us the Death Aura which is a Chaos DoT that damages all enemies around us.

6 Sockets. No links required. 3B,2G,1R.
Or if you manage to get one with 4B,2G (or enough white sockets to accommodate for these colors)
Getting the colors right is the hardest thing for this build.
Getting the socket colors

There is an easier way (than using Chromatics) using Crafting bench and alternating socket number until you hit the right color.

This may cost lots of Jeweler's orbs, but it will safer than hoping to hit the right colors using Chromatics.
You will need all the socket number recipes from delving.

Using crafting bench craft 3 sockets and color them all blue.
Craft 4 sockets.
If hit Blue/Red - Craft 3 and then 4 again.
If Green - continue to craft 5.
If hit Blue/Red - Craft 4 and then 5 again.
When you have 3B/2G, you can craft 6 and its almost guaranteed to hit Red. If not, just repeat 5/6 again.



Weapon:

Crafted bow with:
+1 Socketed gems
+2 Support gems
% DoT multiplier
% Chaos DoT multiplier

There are cheaper options with only some of the options, but this one would be our endgame bow. Luckily its easy to craft when you can afford it.
Crafting +3 Bow

Base: non-influenced 6 link bow.
Best bases are Reflex/Steelwood/Maraketh for movement speed / Synthesized with +1 gems or chaos damage / Enchanted with relevant mods.
We will have enough Dex from the tree for Maraketh.
Damage on the bow is irrelevant, but the speed is important. Aim for a bow with 1.4-1.5 attack speed.

Easiest would be to get iLvl 50 6L Short bow from the Porcupine card.
iLvl 82 for highest DoT multiplier.
iLvl 68 for Tier 2 multi
iLvl 50 for a 6 Link with Tier 3 multi (starts at 44, but you need the 6L)
Higher iLvls only add more mods to the pool, so its counter-productive


0. Read and understand the whole process
1. Alt/Augment for +1 Socketed gems(prefix)/DoT Multiplier(Sufffix) or just the suffix
2. Regal and hope for a suffix. Otherwise back to step 1. Can also try Beastcrafting "Remove prefix, add suffix"
3 (optional). If you now have 2 suffixes and a junk prefix you can craft "Suffixed cannot be changed" and Scour.
4 (optional). If you only got the DoT multi - you can now craft "Cannot roll Attack modifiers and Exalt for a guaranteed +1 Gems.
5. You should now have +1 gems/dot multi/another suffix.
Craft "Can have 3 crafted modifiers" - 2Ex, +2 Support gems - 2Ex, chaos dot multi - 4C




Quiver:
Life/Resist, Penetrating base recommended.
Penetration will help with when you have an enemy that blocks your target.
Work towards a quiver with DoT multi/Chaos DoT Multi (Hunter).
Additional arrow is very welcome to increase the AoE of CA. It will not increase damage.


Helmet:
Currently best in slot is:

Several good unique options depending on your budget:

First 2 have Chaos res which will help you with degen. Viridi and Vertex are the best option when using Enhance+Awakened Blasphemy+Enlighten.

In general, "30% increased Despair Curse Effect" enchant is better than "-9% to Chaos Resistance", which better than +1 to gems.


Enchants

30% increased Despair Curse Effect (best option)
40% increased Caustic Arrow Damage
Withering Step inflicts 3 additional Withered Debuffs - helps clearing
Withering Step has 30% increased Elusive Effect - more Dodge


Gloves:

Life, Resists and work towards Chaos DoT multiplier.

Boots:

Atziri's helps us cap for Spell dodge.
Other options are viable and give more damage (Blood dance with frenzy charges or Bubonic with abyss jewels), but at the cost of less spell dodge.

Amulet:

BiS - Impresence (Chaos) give more damage and free Despair.
Grace Aul's for free Grace instead of Blood and Sand.
Malevolence Aul's is also an option
Astramentis if you lack Str and don't use Inertia jewel. It will limit the auras you can use. Disable Despair in this case.
Rare option would be an amulet that gives you Str, Life and Life on kill. Plus resists you may need.
It will limit the amount of Auras you can use.
Useful influenced options

Shaper:
Reduced mana reserved (82)
Chance to get Power/Frenzy/Endurance charge on kill (68)

Elder:
Increased Area of Effect (68)
Projectiles Pierce an additional Target (68)
Chaos DoT multi (68)
Additional Physical Damage Reduction (83)

Hunter:
Chance to get Power/Frenzy/Endurance charge on kill (68)
Chaos DoT multi (68)
Items and Gems have reduced Attribute Requirements (68)
Malevolence has reduced Mana Reservation (75)
+1 to Level of all Chaos Skill Gems (82)
+1 to Level of all Dexterity Skill Gems (82)
+1 to Level of all Intelligence Skill Gems (82)
Projectiles Pierce an additional Target (68)

Warlord:
Additional Physical Damage Reduction (83)
Increased Area of Effect (68)

Redeemer:
Reduced mana reserved (68)
Grace has reduced Mana Reservation (75)
Chance to Evade Attack Hits (75)
Maximum chance to Dodge Attack/Spell hits (68)

Incursion:
+# to maximum Life, #% increased maximum Life


Anointment

Max damage: Corruption - Crimson, Black, Black
Not far behind and also saves mana: Sovereignty - Silver, Silver, Silver



Belt:
Life and resists.
Work towards a belt with Increased damage or Increased Chaos damage (Hunter)


Rings:
If using Viridi's - Magic rings. Try to find a useful Synthesized base or use V
Life, resists and Str.
Try to get "Non-Channelling Skills have -X to Total Mana Cost" to help with mana costs.

You can use Despair on Hit ring, but it will only apply to hits from CA.

Jewels:


Prioritize life and resists until capped.
One of the jewels with "Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you" corruption
After that you can get Chaos DoT multi, Chaos damage, Area damage

Inertia right above Herbalism will solve all your Str needs (gives us 66-74 Str points).
Intuitive Leap saves a few points we can invest elsewhere
Transcendent mind gives us +24% DoT multi, which is a significant damage increase, better than the Watcher's Eye.
Watcher's Eye with DoT multi while affected by Malevolence
- second best DPS jewel, but most expensive.
Thread of Hope (Large ring) for additional Aura effect - more damage.

See the tree in POB for location. Those are not required, but recommended.


Cluster Jewels:

For Large cluster, Misery Everlasting is the best DPS option for us.
Other skills to go with it are Unwaveringly Evil or Wicked Pall (prefixes) and Unholy Grace (suffix).
For Medium clusters, Brush with Death allows us to easily recover life when mapping and Flow of life gives us both damage, Max Life and Life Regen. Get at least Brush with death.
We don't use small clusters since they are not as efficient as regular jewels.

Until you can get life recovery from cluster jewels, you can path to Hired Killer nodes on the tree.
Farming the Cluster jewels

Large cluster jewel mods require only level 50 iLvl and can be farmed in Blood Aqueducts
Medium cluster jewel mods which we are looking for require lvl 68, which corresponds to tier 1 maps.
Until you get those, you can use Chaos DoT or DoT jewels with Student of Decay and Exposure Therapy, which require only iLvl 50 both and provide damage and chaos resists.

Alternative medium cluster is Aura effect with Replenishing Presence (has life regen), First Among Equials (Aura effect), Sublime form (Grace reservation and Resists), Stalwart Commander (increased Grace effect), Master of Command (requires iLvl 68).

Trade Links

Large - https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Heist/LKJ36VBFn
Medium - https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Heist/QZdEklRuw


Flasks:

Forbidden Taste instantly recovers all of our life and the Chaos degen we completely ignore due to high Chaos resist. Plus we get more 10% more Dodge.
Alternative or in addition to Forbidden Taste, is a Divine life flask with Bubbling or Panicked prefix.

Get Bleed and Freeze immunity on flasks. Curse immunity is also recommended if not using Viridi's Veil.

Despair from Witchfire is not affected by any increased effects we have, which is why we opt for a separate gem setup, which we significantly buff.
Equivalent to Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Reflexes except the Despair curse




Skills

I post the endgame target Awakened gems and gems with lvl 21.
None of those are "required" and the benefit is relatively small, but it all adds up eventually.

Bow 6L:

All of the support gems get +3 levels including Empower, which in turn buffs up Caustic Arrow.

You can replace Concentrated effect with Efficacy for a slightly larger puddle, with some DPS loss, but I found it unnecessary.


Upgrade priority

1. CA lvl 21
2. Empower lvl 4
3. Awakened gems and Concentrated effect lvl 21


Chest (no links required):

Unfortunately there aren't many support options for Death Aura.
Arcane surge is there only to give Duration tag for other support gems and can be lvl 1 for all we care.
For more AoE, you can replace Efficacy with Increased Area of Effect for ~25% damage loss.
Less duration quality doesn't matter, only level. The rest - upgrade to Awakened and level 21 gems when possible.

If you manage to get one with 4B,2G or with white sockets - replace Less Duration with Awakened Increased Area support.

Gloves:


If you have enough mana, add Dread Banner for additional enemy accuracy reduction.


Alternative to Flesh and Stone if using Aul's


Helmet:


Despair gives us significant damage increase and reduces enemy Chaos resists. Together with our ascendancy, that's -50% enemy chaos resist, and negative res multiplies damage.
Enhance give a nice boost to Increased damage part especially in a +1 gems helmet.

Anomalous Withering Step with Enhance lvl 4 and and +2 Viridi's will give us 13 Withered stacks instantly. I bind this to the movement button, so I don't need to think about it.


Boots:

Support with Second Wind, Faster Attack or Faster projectiles per your personal choice

CWDT setup




Wither Totem setup is redundant with Anomalous Withering step, but can be used if you don't have that

Can be used on bosses to quickly get to 15 withered stacks. Cast twice before engaging the boss to put 3 totems and refresh during the fight.



Other:
Aspect of the Spider
Slows enemies and increases our damage.
I recommend to craft on the Gloves with the other auras
Do NOT craft it on the Bow as it will get increased mana multiplier from Swift Affliction!

Use Skitterbots until you can get the aspect, for similar effect (slow from chill and more damage from shock)



Pantheons

Major - Soul of Arakaali
Most important upgrades:
- 25% Chaos Resistance against Damage Over Time
- 50% increased Recovery rate of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over Time Recently - very useful since we get DoT from Death Aura and Forbidden Taste

Minor - Soul of Shakari for reduced Chaos damage taken
For Minor god you can use other options
Garukhan, Ralakesh or Ryslatha can be useful



Bandits

Kill all for 2 skill points.
They all have something that may help us a little, but we get more from skill points.


Ascendancy

1. Void Beacon - -20% enemy Chaos resist
2. Withering presence - +20% Chaos DoT multi, +60% Chaos resist and Wither nearby enemies
3. Profane Bloom - Curse Hexproof enemies and Explode on death
4. Malediction - Increased effect of Curses and Malediction (make them deal less and take more damage)



Suggestions and corrections are welcome.



------------


CI version. Retired.
Spoiler


Pros/Cons:
+ Easy map clearing for the lazy
+ Ranged DoT skill for bossing with no channeling

- Can't face tank, requires dodging on bosses (a.k.a. knowing the fight)
- Porcupines
- Cannot be scaled to crazy numbers like some builds


PoB:
https://pastebin.com/Ebd9HSrs


Why?
Spoiler

I fell in love the Death Oath due to sheer lazyness and this is the second league I have a DO char.

Obvious choice until now was 1h/shield, dual wield or a staff, but they dont give us a strong single target (except staff perhaps).
2h weapon gives us a decent 6L skill and more DoT damage than the best 1h possible.

True that the shield is a sizable chunk of ES, but Soul Strike is close and helping with faster start of recharge.




Video:
Spoiler


Gear:
Spoiler

You will need to get a decent amount of Strength and some Dexterity from gear.
Easiest way to get started is to get Astramentis and replace it when you get your stats elsewhere. Most of the recommended starter uniques can be replaced by rares, so you can balance both attributes and resists.


Armour:
Spoiler
Death's Oath - Required.

6 Sockets. No links required. 3B,2G,1R.
Getting the colors right is the hardest/most expensive thing for this build.
There is a relative cheap way using Crafting bench and alterating socket number until you hit the right color. I can add more details later if needed.

You can also opt to skip the Death Oath completely and just get a high ES chest, but then you might as well go for a Caustic Arrow specific build.

Weapon:
Spoiler

Crafted bow with:
+1 Socketed gems
+2 Support gems
% DoT multiplier
% Chaos DoT multiplier

There are cheaper options with only some of the options, but that would be our endgame bow. Luckily its easy to craft when you can afford it:
Spoiler

Base: non-influenced 6 link bow with low dex requirements.
Reflex bow/Synthesized/Enchanted are all good if you can afford.
Easiest would be to get iLvl 50 6L Short bow from the Porcupine card.
iLvl 82 for highest DoT multiplier.
iLvl 68 for Tier 2 multi
iLvl 50 for a 6 Link with Tier 3 multi (starts at 44, but you need the 6L)
Higher iLvls only add more mods to the pool, so its counter-productive


0. Read and understand the whole process
1. Alt/Augment for +1 Socketed gems(prefix)/DoT Multiplier(Sufffix) or just the suffix
2. Regal and hope for a suffix. Otherwise back to step 1. Can also try Beastcrafting "Remove prefix, add suffix"
3 (optional). If you now have 2 suffixes and a junk prefix you can craft "Suffixed cannot be changed" and Scour.
4 (optional). If you only got the DoT multi - you can now craft "Cannot roll Attack modifiers and Exalt for a guaranteed +1 Gems.
5. You should now have +1 gems/dot multi/another suffix.
Craft "Can have 3 crafted modifiers" - 2ex, +2 support gems - 2ex, chaos dot multi - 4c





Offhand:
Spoiler

No options here. Get high ES roll

Helmet:
Spoiler



All 3 options are decent, but Heretic's Veil has 12% reduced reserved mana for socketed curses and built-in Blasphemy, so I build around that one.

Rare helm - look for high ES/Resists, -9% chaos resists, Reduced mana reserved, +2 socketed aura/curse gems.

Gloves:
Spoiler


We will not be using Blight, but these gloves give reasonable ES, Chaos damage and Area of effect.

Rare gloves - look for high ES, Chaos DoT multi



Warning! I saw reports that glove enchants might interfere with Totems. Not sure if limited to certain enchants or might have been fixed, but we don't get any benefit from there anyway.


Boots:
Spoiler


Rare boots with ES/Speed/Resists.


Belt:
Spoiler

Bated breath is a great fit for the build.
Another option with some resists, but less ES and damage:


Rare belt - look for Crystal belt with high ES/Resists, Chaos Damage


Amulet:
Spoiler

Astramentis until you get attributes elsewhere

Rare with ES/Str
If you manage go get enough attributes elsewhere - Impresence (Despair) or Aul's (Malevolence)


Rings:
Spoiler

Rare with ES/Resists/Str, to fill the requirements.

Jewels:
Spoiler


And rare with ES/Resists

Cluster Jewels:
Spoiler


Flasks:
Spoiler


Note: Despair from Witchfire is not affected by any increased effects we have.




Skills:
Spoiler

Bow 6L:

Caustic Arrow lvl21 and lvl4 Empower is great if you can afford them
For the rest of the supports 21 is not a huge increase.
Awakened gems are always nice.
You can replace Concentrated effect with Efficacy for larger area with some DPS loss, but I found it unnecessary.


Chest:

No links required. Arcane surge is only there to provide Duration tag for other gems.

Gloves:

Wither totems allow to quickly stack 15 withered stacks for more damage.

Helmet:

Flesh and Stone and Temporal chains are our defensive layers, along with Dread banner which reduces enemy accuracy.
Malevolence for damage.

Boots:

Dread banner reduces enemy accuracy
Discipline for ES

Withering step I bind to the movement button and always cast while clearing.
Gives 6 withered stacks for more damage and Elusive buff for evasion. Canceled when you use any other skill.
Flame dash cool-down is shared with Withering step, so keep that in mind. Can be replaced by Frost Blink/Blink Arrow/Dash per personal preference.


Ascendancy:
Spoiler
1. Vile Bastion - Regen on kill is helping us survive when clearing
2. Void Beacon - -20% enemy Chaos resist
3. Withering presence - 20% DoT multiplier and auto-Wither
4. Profane Bloom - curse Hexproof enemies and enemies explode on death, helping with clear


Last edited by f4ward on Feb 19, 2021, 10:26:08 AM
Last bumped on Feb 23, 2021, 8:34:11 PM
reserved
Last edited by f4ward on Dec 4, 2020, 5:29:25 PM
Seems nice, I actually started my project of a CI DO Occultist a week ago. Why? cause Occultist is an underused Ascendancy unless you play temp chain stacking or vortex.
After 2 days playing and testing with DO only, I tried to add a second 6-link for some better single target, mostly only needed on end game bosses. I went also with a Bow+ES Quiver and a Caustic Arrow setup for bosses.
So far I did all Content with it.

My Gear so far is pretty ok I would say, still need to find some ways to improve the build even more.

https://pastebin.com/Ue9ukPuB


before switching to a bow setup I used


a bit juiced T16 Summit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcJJs-y7Rg0

Sirus A8 kill:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlwDUj6ezfw
Last edited by xXx_Kamikaze_xXx on Dec 7, 2020, 3:10:07 PM
Spoiler
"
Seems nice, I actually started my project of a CI DO Occultist a week ago. Why? cause Occultist is an underused Ascendancy unless you play temp chain stacking or vortex.
After 2 days playing and testing with DO only, I tried to add a second 6-link for some better single target, mostly only needed on end game bosses. I went also with a Bow+ES Quiver and a Caustic Arrow setup for bosses.
So far I did all Content with it.

My Gear so far is pretty ok I would say, still need to find some ways to improve the build even more.

https://pastebin.com/Ue9ukPuB


before switching to a bow setup I used


a bit juiced T16 Summit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcJJs-y7Rg0

Sirus A8 kill:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlwDUj6ezfw


Impressive. I had similar setup, although slightly more budget oriented, before switching to Life and evasion.

Don't really see points for improvement :)
Looks great I'm doing it for flashback :D thanks
"
MartynZero wrote:
Looks great I'm doing it for flashback :D thanks

I see you progressed nicely, have fun with it :)
Update with current Ritual gear:


Intertia jewel above Herbalism solves Str needs (along with Impresence). No Str from other gear required.

New helmet with 2 magic rings gives us tons lots of defense.

4 magic items grant us 100% increased damage with Hidden Potential jewel.

Unless you have a DoT multi or Increased damage over 25% on an item, it's better to have a Magic item in that slot, as long as you can balance your Resists.
Last edited by f4ward on Feb 10, 2021, 10:51:03 PM
Hi, just wanted to say thanks for the guide. Always enjoyed deaths oath as an RF like chaos build and CA seems to work much better than blight/ED as a single target complement. Really like the new helmet too but stopped at 3 magic items, rings + belt. Very enjoyable build imo!
"
shybe wrote:
Hi, just wanted to say thanks for the guide. Always enjoyed deaths oath as an RF like chaos build and CA seems to work much better than blight/ED as a single target complement. Really like the new helmet too but stopped at 3 magic items, rings + belt. Very enjoyable build imo!


Thank you, glad you are enjoying it :)

I eventually dropped to only magic rings, since I got decent gloves and belt.
And I also went for dual cluster setup, see the POB for more info if interested:
https://pastebin.com/URqrfBdA
Hey there, I've been following this build for the past days. Just wanted to share my experience running the build as a casual player.

Mapping is fun, everything pops. Bossing, comfortable 2mil Shaper DPS. Easy Sirius A7, on my way to A8. Btw, will swap to Thicket Bow later (bcs of current boot).

My Current Gear:



My POB:

https://pastebin.com/FWuyF6Ni

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info