[3.13] Immune and Tanky: CI Soulrend/Bane Occultist [Starter, Cheap, End-Game Viable, SSF, HC]
New post updated from the previous version.
Jump right into it with PoB: https://pastebin.com/DZ1BiCLi (complete with differnt tiers of gear and trees to outline leveling and end-game)
With pretty limited investments this build will have:
• Faily easily 8k ES and 5k ES recharge and more
• Immunity to most CC (chill, freeze, stun, (maim/hinder))
• Immunity to bleeding
• Immunity to all chaos damage
• Higher maximum elemental resistance (78F, 78C, 79L)
• Respectable chaos damage, which bypasses enemy's energy shields
• Insane defensives and relaxing playstyle
with numbers scaling nicely with more currency investment. You can start this build with a few EX (or even less/SSF), but also spend hundreds to get a lot tankier (or deadlier).
➕ Overall very Tanky
➕ Relaxing, Brain-Dead Playstyle
➕ You can mostly ignore many game mechanics
➕ You can run all map modifiers besides no regen (without a mana flask)
➕ Very good map clear damage considering all the EHP you get
➕ Can facetank lots of damage if you started recharging ES recently
➕ Scales well with investment
➕ Viable in SSF, only limited by Unique Item and Cluster Jewel aquisition
➕ Viable for HC
➖ You trade in damage for your health pool, there are faster builds out there
➖ The build does not focus on single target damage, thus bosses can get a little grindy
➖ You're not immortal, just very beefy
➖ Managing mana/mana regen can get a littly tricky sometimes
Updates since 3.6 (for previous players)
Since Occultist's 3.7 nerfs (and some other reasons) I just didn't even try to update or try out this build, but with the recent buffs of Occultist it is very much worthwile to revisit this, so for all previous players of the build here's a quick summary of what changed since 3.6:
• Some skill gems changed
◦ Soulrend no longer links Unleash (afer consideration, research and playtesting I concluded it's just better without it)
◦ Steelskin is used instead of Immortal Call since IC does not scale very well in this build especially considering the changes made to it, greatly reducing the Strength requirements, leaving space for other mods on gear if possible
◦ Flame Dash now actually has a useful link added with Second Wind
• Damage is much higher now with the changed Occultits ascendancy and some extremely powerful Cluster Jewels added
• We're dropping some rather far away skill wheels etc. and add cluster jewels in place, this mainly has a negative effect on mana as some nodes for it were dropped, but a positive effect on everything else
Links and Videos
PoB pastebin: https://pastebin.com/DZ1BiCLi
Outdated Video Build Guide (3.6):
Outdated Quick Showcase (3.6):
I'm leaving those videos in here for reference, most points are still valid, but it's currently 7 versions behind! I'm not planning on updating those unless there really is an extreme demand which I do not anticipate.
The build's main spell is Soulrend, dashing out CDoTs in all directions, and combined with Bane enables a very relaxing brain-dead playstyle, in the same vein as totems or brands. You have slowly moving homing projectiles to which you can actually walk alongside, and clear some single mobs or tough mobs with Bane.
The posted lower tier items should prove it is very much playable without spending much currency. I'll leave those links here, showing how far you can get with little investment, I can easily run red tier maps with almost no gear.
The only actual core item that is slightly expensive is Apep's Supremacy, which you can basically rush to get a lotof quality of life - increased maximum elemental Resistances, bleeding immunity and faster ES recharge start!
The build is viable for SSF: while aquiring matching cluster jewels and some uniques is much harder in SSF, it's still possible to play without them, but with less effectivity obviously. Usually most of the uniques used in the build are commonly dropped, only the Apep's has to be farmed very targeted.
The build is also viable for HC: It's really just the numbers I can promote, the build is very tanky, and doesn't spike a lot. I'm really no HC player, I never made it trough the campain deathless because well I'm just never fixing my resistances in the campaign, and being a careless idiot, etc. It speaks more about me than the build, but for what it's worth: This is the only character I can kill Act 10 Kitava deathless with... LOL.
3. Skill Tree
PoB pastebin: https://pastebin.com/DZ1BiCLi (with different trees to outline leveling and end-game)
Example Gear Set
That set cost me about 10 EX in total, it nets ~ 11.3k ES with 6.5k recharge.
Example Gear + Gearing details and decisions
Please refer to the PoB for example Budget and high-tier gear.
For the main hand you'll want a wand with two important mods:
• +#% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
• #% increased Spell Damage
• +#% to Damage over Time Multiplier
which sometimes is undervalues by sellers in my experience and can really cramp up your damage if you get manage to get it.
You'll want to get those stats as high as possible, there are other mods that are worthwile (e.g. delve full-life, crafted chaos damage, etc.), but those are the main focus, you can basically ignore other mods.
Here we'll want a Apep's Supremacy.
You'll want to rush to this item as soon as you drop an Exalted or gathered enough chaos, it enables you to ignore bleeding, and adds +3% to all maximum Resistances trough permanent self-poisoning and gives you up to 50% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge. You can play without this item (especially if playing SSF), but especially the faster recharge start is so valuable this should be your main focus after getting your resistances fixed.
Until you can buy yourself one - or make one yourself in the temple- just run any ES shield.
REMEMBER: You have to run a anti-bleed flask instead of a anti-shock flask until you get it!
Dead simple, just a high ES chest, my current one is pretty bad and not even 6-linked, you'll want to go for 700+ ES.
You're off best if you do not count the resistances you might have on this slot, since the higher tier chests will not have any on them to maximize ES, or you might have issues adjusting your resistances as soon as you get a good chest if you're looking to upgrade this slot.
For this slot you want to get rare boots with acceptable ES and resistances, disregarding movement speed they are not too expensive.
If you're rich, you'll want ES + resistances + movement speed.
Since it is the easiest gearing option, I've decided to drop the movement speed and used this:
This is a pretty simple slot, you'll just want as high ES and high resistances as you can get for your budget. If you're rich, you can go for elder gloves with the "+#% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier" mod on top.
This slot is pretty much like gloves too, just pump up ES and resistances as high as you can. If you're rich, you can try to get the "Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance" mod plus the mentioned citeria.
If you can get an enchantment you'll want to run
Soulrend deals #% increased Damage for a damage boost.
or the cheaper option:
Malevolence has #% reduced Mana Reservation for quality of life i.e. a bigger mana pool (soulrend eats mana).
For the belt you'll want to run a Bated Breath, it provides quite some ES, the very comfortable 50% increased Energy Shield Recharge Rate mod, and a little bit of damage on top. By far the best option for a very small price. The only way you can improve this slot is really a mirror-worthy stygian vise, so this slot is pretty much fixed.
For this slot you'll mainly want to get
• +# to maximum Energy Shield
• #% increased maximum Energy Shield (easily crafted)
and additionally go for
• +# to x Resistances (s)
• #% increased Spell Damage (if you can)
• +#% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier (if you can)
The ES provides some good boost to your health pool, you might need soome Strength to run the Steelskin setup, but since you also benefit from Dexterity and Intelligence + all is a very worthwile mod to have here.
You can also switch resistances and attribute mods from the amulet to the ring if it suits you.
On one slot you'll need to run Dream Fragments, because this will prevent you from getting frozen (which would happend all the time as your life pool - which will be 1 - determines this chance).
The maximum mana is very useful, and the resistance is naturally lovely as well. The only way to replace this with something else is with some wicked boot mods on top of the usual stuff mostly.
For the second ring you'll want a high ES, high resistance ring with the crafted mod #% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge.
This slot is very nice to get last when gearing as you can fix your resitances pretty nicely with a ring.
Best (aka. only) damage flask for chaos damage over time builds like this one.
More damage + burning removal (which you need for ES, because DOTs prevents recharge).
Curse removal, very much needed for mapping.
Grants you tons of evasion rating, which scales well with the Stibnite Flask(s) and the Dexterity you get from the tree natually or from items, as well as shock immunity which prevents those damage multipliers on you.
REMEMBER: You need to have bleed immunity here instead of shock immunity if you don't have an Apep's Supremacy.
Simply the best option for movement speed, you can switch the mods natually if you prefer another movement flask.
A side note on the anti-curse flask:
The effect of a Stibnite Flask is entirely useless most of the time, since Witchfire Brew already covers that, but having a lot of usages on your anti-curse flask is very comfortable, so keep that in mind as an alternative.
You can naturally also change the prefixes of all flasks (especially if you don't have any currency), but Chemist's is a community favourite for a reason. Do not change the suffixes (expect the Dousing if you have no Apep's) as they are needed.
The normal Jewel and The Golden Rule enabels self-poisoning, which grants you +3% to all maximum Resistances from Apep's Supremacy.
On the normal jewel you'll need the #% change to poison on hit mod unless you want to spend a skill point for it on the tree which is really not worth it usually.
In addition you want to get up to three of those mods:
• #% increased Chaos Damage
• #% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
• #% increased Damage
• #% increased Damage over Time
• #% increased Area Damage
• #% increased Spell Damage
• #% increased Spell Damage while holding a shield
• #% increased maximum Energy Shield
• #% increased Energy Shield Recharge Rate
• #% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge
The Golden Rule is very cheap, so you can easily add more CC immunity by using one with a corruption implicit. I personally prefer main immunity over hinder immunity, because it feels more impactful. If you don't care about that, an increased damage implicit is also fairly cheap. You can completly ignore the explicit roll as the armor increase does absolutely nothing.
For your third gem slot you want a Abyss Jewel with +# to maximum Energy Shield and #% chance to gain Onslught for 4 seconds on Kill.
This is one of the best ways to get onslaught without using a flask for it.
Getting good rolls on this jewel is kind of expensive, and higher rolls on the onslaught mod will feel very smooth, but diminsh with higher pack size maps. If you can get any other useful mods, go for it, but there is nothing too worthwile on abyss jewels besides stasts and resistances.
The last Jewel you migh consider is pretty expensive, if you can fit it in, you'll want to take a look at a Watcher's Eye with
#% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge while affected by Discipline.
Those are expensive per se, and if you are insanely rich you can look out for one with the additional mod +#% to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence and Gain #% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity, but those combos historically costed about 30+ ex.
The tree is aimed to support a full cluster jewel tree with 1 Large, 2 Medium and 2 Small Cluster jewels. Cluster jewels are "volatile" in nature, you cannot consitently plan them exactly as they require diffent amounts of skill points to level, so be aware of this.
NOTE: There are no requirements to cluster jewels besides the notables they should have. Any mod that grants something to small nodes in the cluster jewel can obviously be very useful, but this has to be planned individually. E.g. resistances or attribute requirements can be fixed via cluster jewels, and simple things as damage or flat ES are just a plain plus.
While leveling (well, up until 100 really), you may want to switch some things around, e.g. putting a small jewel into a medium node, or only skilling one medium socket, etc. The PoB example is just an optimal setup for Level 100. If you can get those jewels early on (mainly if you have currency from a previous character), the cluster nodes are generally better than most of the tree nodes - core functionality nodes aside -, so you might consider prioritizing that.
Large Cluster Jewel
The large cluster jewel is the least important one stat-wise, but it enables you to use more medium and thus small jewels. You want to get any jewel that has
• Added Small Passive Skills grant: 12% increased Chaos Damage
and two notables.
Optimally you want "Unholy Grace" and "Wicked Pall", but there are other notables that are almost as good, so don't focus on that exact combo too much. Try fiddling around in the PoB with the different notables and see what you can get for your budget.
Medium Cluster Jewels
The medium cluster jewels is where the damage really kicks in. Get a base with either of those mods:
• Added Small Passive Skills grant: +4% to Damage over Time Multiplier
• Added Small Passive Skills grant: +4% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Be careful you only consider those, there are other bases that give cold or fire DoTMult, and you have to avoid those, don't make that mistake.
For notables you want both "Brush with Death" and "Exposure Therapy", optimally both on two jewels, but that can be expensive, so if you're short on currency consider getting only one of them (and a different node if you can), but getting at least one "Brush with Death" node is worthwile focusing on, it gives you 1% ES recovery on kill, wich is a sweet added layer of defensive abilities.
Small Cluster Jewels
Small cluster jewels are simply flat ES nodes boiling it down.
Get two jewels with "Energy From Naught" if you can and if feels like you have your 3.6 Occultist ascendancy nodes back again. Depending on how well your percent increased ES is, those two nodes can amount to up to about 1k added ES in about.
There is also "Spring Back" which is lovely and adds some faster recharge, but it's slightly worse purely ES-wise.
Additional Cluster Jewels
There is another alternative tree in the PoB that uses another cluster jewel tree. It is slightly better damage-wise, you probably lose some ES if you can't get added ES on the clusters, and you also lose some elemental resistances, so keep that in mind if you switch to that.
5. Gem Links
Soulrend + Void Manipulation + Efficay + Controlled Destruction + Swift Affliction + Greater Multiple Projectiles
All the links besides GMP are just staight up damage boosters, and GMP is needed for map clearing. If you're feeling funny, you can switch GMP for Greater Volley, it's worse for wide clearing, and better for narrow clearing, so overall worse, but has the projectile multipler.
If you have a 4/5-link drop a damage gem (don't drop GMP), you can take the last gem listed here and remove it until you can add it into a higher link once you get it. While leveling you might consider just dropping the last gem of which the color you're missing to keep it simple. Consider leveling missing gems in your second weapon slot until you have a full link so those particular gems don't fall behind in level too drastically.
Bane + Despair + Arcane Surge + Enfeeble (or Temporal Chains)
This spell is used to
a) clear single mobs hiding behind obstacles (because you don't want to shoot 30 Soulrend projectiles and hope it comes out of hiding - Bane has direct targeting)
b) help killing tougher enemies like rares or bosses when a single Soulrend DoT isn't enough.
b) apply curses, Despair if you can't keep your Witchfire Brew up, and the defensive Curse to help with bosses mostly.
The Enfeeble (or Temporal Chains) is a defensive tool, which will make fighting bosses a lot more comfortable.
Since those situations occur pretty frequently I've linked the arcane surge in here, which will not equal 100% uptime, but suffice IMO.
Drop the defensive curse while you don't have Malediction skilled (you want to skill Malediction last, so you start mapping with a single-curse Bane).
Malevolence + Discipline + Clarity + Enlighten
Those are your auras, with discipline being the most important. It boosts your life pool a lot, and enables you to run a powerful Watcher's Eye.
The clarity will proof useful as soulrend eats a lot of mana and regen is your only option to keep it up.
Malevolence is a nice damage boost, which you can drop until you can buy yourself a lvl 3 or 4 Enlighten; a 3 will work, but mana might be tight sometimes and running no regen maps becomes really unpleasant.
I have not yet found a perfect level for clartiy, but having about 200 - 400 Mana unreserved is pretty nice when playing soulrend, so be careful to not overlevel it, as you'll have a hard time casting anything if you do. In 3.6 I ran a 3 Enlighten and level 16 Clarity, which worked pretty smoothly.
Cast when Damage taken + Steelskin + Increased Duration
A defensive setup that grants you a mitigation shield for a short period of time, which is very comfortable and makes you even tankier.
You can level this as high as your strength allows you to (mind the level requirements of CWDT!) since your life pool will be very high anyways.
Flame Dash + Faster Casting + Second Wind + Portal
This is your movement skill, and it has a space for a Portal gem. I have no other recommendation instead of the Portal gem, but jank in what you fancy, this setup is not build-defining.
Chaos Golem + Minion Life + Meat Shield
The Chaos golem grants you physical damage reduction and adds some more other target for enemies to attack, which will also taunt sometimes via the Meat Shield, which is a nice bonus IMO; if(!) you have enough strength you can also run a flame golem for increased damage if you feel like doing that instead.
6. Intermediate Gearing Help
Essentially this section is to cover some common problems while you don't have all items "required" in the build.
I don't have XYZ yet, what do I do?
Maxed out resistances on my gear
There is literally nothing more important than maxed out elemental resistances. Disregard everything if you still need to get them fixed, even if an item has no modifiers other than resistances that will help you, it's better than running around without maxed resistances. You may even triple your ES instead, but avoiding the "multipler" of damage due to uncapped resistances you get still tops it. Be wary of this, no matter how tanky a character is, without resistances it's useless and will put you off playing altogether.
Chaos Inoculation skilled yet
Don't rush it. Until you are safe to skill it, run a life flask, having that little extra EHP might save you from dying sometimes. Starting at about 4k ES you can consider skilling it, and with 6k ES you have my offical GO to skill it and never look back on life again.
Depending on the league's prices and the price fluctionation, it might be hard for you to get the item, but it's not bad. Run any shield really, as long as it has ES (maybe also some spell damage) and replace it as soon as you can. I usually don't even buy one until I get Apep's and just run a random rare I dropped (this is very much the fate and only real crux of playing this in SSF). But remember: don't consider the resistances you might have on this shield if you're buying gear for the other slots!
Abyss Jewel: Don't worry at all, it's not required for the core mechanics and you can get it at any time you can.
Normal Jewel: If you're trying to get a very good jewel befor you get the slot or something similar, you can skill a node called "Chance to Poison with Spells" right under CI to bridge it.
The Golden Rule: If you're missing this one, you probably don't have anough currency for a Apep's Supremacy, so don't worry, you only need them in combination.
The large cluster jewel is usually the cheapest one, so you mostly won't have too much of a problem, but if you want to spend skill points, but have no cluster jewels, there's a section in the PoB that skill some alternatives to bridge until you can get them.
7. Personal note ❤️
"Hello everyone, after years of playing other people's builds, this league I dediced to do a build completly myself and I'm quite happy with the results, so here is my very first "probably-not-perfect" build for anyone interested.
What I wanted to do was play the new chaos skills and create a tanky ES character which also can clear most - if not all - content, and I think it worked out pretty well."
Since this is my first build guide, I'd very much appreciate feedback, what you'd like to see added, etc.
If you actually read all of this, thanks a lot, please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts or questions. Cheers!
Last edited by Tarekis on Feb 20, 2021, 7:12:03 AM
Last bumped on Apr 8, 2021, 9:22:30 AM
on Jan 26, 2021, 11:21:17 AM
Gonna try this. At the moment im lvl 44 and where white mobs go down nicely, any yellow mob requires 4-6 casts of soulrend? it is 4 linked atm.
on Jan 28, 2021, 7:07:34 AM
Happy to hear. :) At 44 soulrend should scale good enough to be used, Bane is better while beginning leveling tho, maybe give it a try and use Soulrend later, leveling always is kind of iffy too because you have only small parts of your tree and gear, especially with spells as they scale with level only. To be fair, I usually skip every mob that doesn't die in two hits while doing the campaign, it feels way faster to level.
on Jan 28, 2021, 11:39:27 AM
Last edited by Rick_ASAnchez on Feb 4, 2021, 4:11:56 PM
on Jan 31, 2021, 5:30:01 AM
Hi, glad you're trying out the build, and I'd like to clarify those points a bit for you.
Clearing maps works fine, but don't expect it to be as fast as some of the "purely" damage-focused builds, this build balances over-average on defensives. I had absolutely no problems with any red maps, and I beat conquerers and shaper/elder without a problem either, I personally have not yet fought Sirius because I was rather inactive the last few leagues, so I can't answer this truthfully. I'd be surprised if you had major problems tho.
There's obviously no general rule here as bosses differ vastly, but generally leaning to the 30 seconds side. Against shaper/elder/sirus/whatever you probably have to expect something leaning to the 5-minute side, but well, that's generally leaning there if your build is not a specific bosskiller.
The reason is that the build has no specific single target mechanics, so (as many other builds) you just use your general 6-link to fight bosses, and help it with refreshing Bane on them as added offensive/defensive bonus.
The "grindyness" stems from this being a DoT build mainly; people that are not used to non-stacking (not sure if stackings except poision exists TBH) DoT skills might percieve it a such because they are used to doing damage with hits, the DoT mechanic just feels much different. Disregarding any multipliers the base duration of the Soulrend DoT is 0.6 seconds, so even if you could cast every millisecond you'd only do a fixed amount of damage, as you can just refresh but not reapply the DoT before the 0.6 seconds duration. Once you spam Soulrend on a mob with high HP (e.g. any mapboss that doesn't die in 10 seconds) you can see that behaviour in their HP bar, it just goes down a certain speed, and that's just your max DPS.
As mentioned before I cannot talk about Sirius (yet), but the others have been no problem for me, I mean I usually just stand in any attacks bosses throw on me until I spiked a bit. Once you get a feeling on how to utilize the Wicked Ward mechanic (you started recharging recently) you are very very safe. Besides a lot of other defensive mechanics which will very certainly help additionally, recharching ~60% of you entire ES pool per second after about 1.2 seconds of not taking damage is extremely powerful, if you are not one-hit and are recharging you mostly just cannot die really, so if you do not take two heavy spikes back to back (under ~1.2 seconds delay) you're pretty much safe. There are only very few (maybe only situationally even) stronger EHP upkeep mechanics than this, and AFAIK constructing those are way more expensive.
This might be an overstatement, but it's generally a difficulty. As an occultist caster you have no other (effective) way of maintaining your mana pool but to use regen. And that's the "problem" with Clarity, there's no correct level to put it at, because it much depends on how much mana you get from gear and INT, and thus how much you can reserve, and then there's also the point where you can get an Enlighten Support which will enable you to also run Malevolance additionally (or Discipline if you decided agains my recommendation), which is also different depending on the Enlighten's level. All in all it's just annoying, it's not really a problem.
In Maps with these mods it's difficult to play, you sometimes will just have to wait until you can cast again, and that puts you in a weird situation, the only way to counter this is to run a mana flask. I personally just don't run those map modifiers unless I really have to.
Last edited by Tarekis on Jan 31, 2021, 10:49:03 AM
on Jan 31, 2021, 7:52:51 AM
Thanks for the answers , if i have any other question i will ask later .
on Jan 31, 2021, 1:20:31 PM
hey dunno if i missed it somewhere in ther but,what lab buffs you would aim for ?
Last edited by dalaraz on Feb 1, 2021, 7:57:39 PM
on Feb 1, 2021, 7:54:06 PM
Do you mean ascendancies or lab enchantments?
Ascendancies are in the PoB, you can see the progression by switching the trees.
Enchantments essentially just matter for the helmet, that is listed in the forum post, a Soulrend or Malevolence enchantment is what you want. Boots and Gloves are pretty much dependant on your preference, it's just mostly min-maxing, if you can get an enchantment, fine, but modifiers matter way way more. For boots you can either get some added damage or movement speed on some conditions, obviously stuff that is already covered (e.g. stun avoidance) makes no sense.
on Feb 2, 2021, 5:44:45 AM
Last edited by Rick_ASAnchez on Feb 4, 2021, 4:12:10 PM
on Feb 3, 2021, 1:49:44 PM
Prefixes on Body Armour should always be ES mods, so a normal base does the job generally. Crusader or Shaper deliver some worthwile suffixes, like ES recovery rate or increased Int, but just getting a iLvl 86+ 6L influenced base to craft on is expensive (2 EX at time of posting), let alone rolling 3 T1-T2 ES prefixes AND useful influence suffixes. If you have that kind of money you can check the PoB "Perfection" Gear Tier and search for something like that, if you don't just aim for a 700+ ES Chest, you can always go lower or higher depending on your budget obviously. If you want to deal with the aboslute annoyance of ever upgrading it, you can also look for resistances on it, but be warned, if you ever have a lot of currency and want to go for a 800+ chest or whatever, consider that getting similar resitances is near impossible, so you need to upgrade your whole gear at once.
No, I did not test it, I prefer a Portal. I suppose the shared cooldown blocks it, this thread seems to agree it does. I encourage you to be creative here, it's not really required to run the build and only slightly alters it anyway, I mean jank a Chance on Flee in there if you like it? I don't think Fortify works with Flame Dash tho.
Hope I was of help again ;)
on Feb 3, 2021, 4:18:08 PM