2.1 Conta/Ess Drain = The Purple Puragu : cheap and effective Atziri killer/mapper (SC/HC)

My 2nd guide after my early open beta explosive arrow Witch. Keep in mind that it's a short guide, from a new self found character in a fresh league, at least at the time i write this. I'll try to update the guide as i get new gear or ideas to share how it feels in the late game.

20/12/15: Updated gear/stats
21/12/15: Dropped a Bino and did a quick review of it.
29/12/15: Added a small RF version here

RF no guide gear+tree+video



Introduction: I was really happy when contagion got announced as i love skills that spread and the chain reaction playstyles. I reached lvl 70ish before realising that contagion alone would not bring me really far as the damage is really low. I knew that Essence Drain was the key to the build but i thought that having to use 2 separate skills to make the build viable was boring.

I stopped playing the character for a few days but decided to give it another try because i was not satisfied. What a wonderful idea ! The combo is way more fun than i thought it was, and the moment i discovered the Poison support gem was the epiphany i waited for \o/

I HATE trading so this char is 90% self found except for the chest i had to buy to replace my 4L/tabula. It's a BUDGET build, with nothing fancy, no uniques so far but i think it's the easiest time i ever had to kill Atziri as early in a league while being able to safely play ANY maps mods. With a few small tweaks it's perfectly suitable for Hardcore.

Offensive Stats (lvl 19 ED)


Defensive Stats

Current Gear and Gems


NERFED IN 23/12 PATCH: Bino is not that good anymore and poison, even if still strong doesn't perform as well as before, so the next sections might be outdated !

Just dropped this and did a few maps with it. I also removed some HP/ES just to be able to try Fatal Toxins. Clearly a BiS item for me instantly.
For tight packs you dont need contagion anymore. The poison spread i small but incredibly strong.When you hit a pack that has contagion, several mobs will die fast thanks to the poison spread and thus, increase the speed at which the plague destroys everything around.
Fatal Toxins is INSANE for single target.On top of that, when mobs are really grouped up, the DoTs from ED/Conta seem to stack with the poison one !
And on top of this, this item is also a massive QoL improvement. All the times you cast contagion ans toss an ED that got interrupted by a small ennemy in front of the pack, the bino will kill the small rebel and poison the pack behind it to start the plague spread.
TL;DR : Bino is not requiered at all and is slightly underpowered for raw damage but it's an overall really good weapon.

The Poison:

As a lot of people ask about the poison/bino, I will try to explain why i choose to use this weapon for mapping and how the poison will react with ED.
I might be wrong on some points as it's a new mechanic for me but from what i saw happening, i think i get the rough idea of how it works.

Poison damage is based of the initial hit. It is, according to the wiki 10% of the initial hit per second for 2 seconds. This damage is then modified by the DoT damage on the tree/gear, the chaos damage and the poison damage."If poison is applied by a projectile, then its damage is also modified by the Projectile Damage stat." In the case of the spread from the Bino it MIGHT (really not sure about this point) be affected by area damage. It is also improved a LOT by the support gem itself becaue of the bonus it gains from levels.

Where Poison becomes insane (as if a quad deeps wasn't enough) is that it STACKS !!! Skill effect duration will become really effective as it will help you stack more instances of poison.For the sake of exemple for the bino spread let's say that my Poison DoT damage is 100.


You hit mob 1 once, with a 1k Essence Drain hit resulting in a 100 poison dot damage.The Bino then spread the poison dot to 2 and 3 for the same amount of damage(2 and 3 won't take ED degen as we don't use contagion in this exemple). Mob 4 will take 200 Poison damage as it will receive the dot from both mob2+mob3 instances. Mob4 will then spread the 200 dot to 5 and 6 making 7 take 400 poison damage per seconds. Note that in this exemple, Mob4 is too far from 1 to directly take the Bino spread from it, and too far from 7.

Is it enough to give up contagion ? No, unless the mob pack is really tight as the Bino spread is tiny compared to Contagion. It is a matter of getting used to know what pack is tight enough so we don't have to cast Contagion.
Contagion remains king for trash clear, as you will sometimes trigger chain reactions that will clear several screens of mobs(if you follow it becaue it stops being calculated if it's too far from your position) with a single Conta/Drain combo cast.
However, the bino poison spread will sometimes give you an insane boost of damage from its spread. Voll on dried lake won't like taking all the poison instances from its adds at once for exemple ^^.

Just as i finnish writting this, Bek posted a lot of Q&A regarding Poison : https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1528287

I didn't try as i don't have access to this kind of gear in temp league, but a +3 chaos gem staff can out damage a shield/wand combo i think. Empower would become a must in that case i guess.
If you have some jewels from a poison arrow build the can fit here but you need to adapt the tree to receive more slots. A jewel with prog dmg/chaos dmg/inc dmg/dot damage quad stat would be simply crazy as it would decuplate all instances of the skill.

Gems by order of importance:

Chest :

For a brutal single target setup, like if you plan to try uber Quad Boobs, replacing Slower Proj by Added Chaos Damage support is a good idea.

Essence Drain will be your "proliferation" trigger. The dot damage will be increased by the void/decay/controlled destruction gems. It's When you add Poison that the Single target damage becomes ridiculous. For Atziri on a 4L, replace one of the 3 first supports by Poison to DoT her to death.
The "perfect" chest would be either a carcass jack for the radius for contagion or the cherubim malevolence for the chaos damage. I'll try them if they drop.

In a different scenario, an empower gem lvl 3/4 could replace slower proj or even poison for mapping. A +3 poison gem staff is also an alternative but i can't vouch for that until i test it myself or do the maths.

4L for Contagion:

Contagion is nothing more than a special curse that will act as burning prolif was. If you run slower proj on essence drain, cast ED then cast contagion before the bullet lands and let the magig happens. Contagion doesn't need DoT damage booster in my opinion as it will never be usefull as a main source of damage unless you farm lower areas for cards or whatever. This spell is especially useful for the adds during the trio boss. For hard and resistant mobs, Abyssal Cry will make the coffee and give you a gigantic boost and will trigger a chain reaction that will deform the screen when everything blows up.

3L for Wither:

I'm using it on a totem because why not but to be honest this skill doesn't make a huge difference unless you can cast it before you start spamming ED. The poison stacking of ED will make way more damage than Wither.

3L for auras:

You can choose to add Vulnerability if you get some aura reservation reductions on the tree or Enlighten Gem. Clarity can also help you free some points on the tree.

The rest of your slots will be filled by fluff like cwdt + golem + IC or portal and whatever you want.

Current lvl 90 Tree



Note that the mana nodes got necessary for me only after getting my 6 link. I will remove them as soon as i get better gear with regen.

Fatal Toxins might be a really good investment. I sadly didn't know the poison gem when i built this char so it's a little too far from my route right now but i'm highly considering respeccing some stuff to get them, seeing how powerful poison dot is.

Bandits: I killed everyone in every difficulties.Helping Oak may be better in normal as someone stated but my choice is just a personnal preference so please don't consider what i did the best way to deal with the tugs.

Explanatory Drawings:

I'm really famous for my MS Paint skills and a friend begged me to do some drawings for the build so here we go:
If you want me to help you design your website or whatever you need, feel free to PM me.


The reason why i have 3 legs on the drawing is yet to be determined...


-SUPER cheap, no uniques needed, self found.
-Safe and fast Atziri finger in the butt, curse her and she doesn't curses you :)
-Doable on a 4L
-Decent hybrid HP/ES pool.
-All around you is temporal chained, thanks to Blasphemy.
-Can do ANY map mods, reflect immuned because chaos damage rocks.


-Essence drain is a bit clunky because it doesn't pierce naturally, unless you invest a gem or skill points.
-More than one finger is needed to make the combo efficient.
-No secondary defense at this stage like block or armor.

Quick Playstyle explanations:

If you have Slower proj on your Essence drain, cast it first then cast contagion on the mob pack before ED lands. Aiming Essence Drain can be a little tricky at first as it's slow and doesn't pierce.
Abyssal Cry is only usefull for really resistant ennemies like golems. It can also be useful if some boss spawns adds around him like Voll or during Atziri add phase.
Keep in mind also that even if you don't need abyssal cry to kill the pack, it might be a life saver for some ennemies like the explosive spikes chikens. Abyssal Cry will destroy the body like cold shattering so these shits won't explode with spikes making them super safe to frag.

Levelling and progression Tips:

You can level with the ED/Conta combo as soon as you get the gems( that's what i did as it was my very first char in the league and i like to play the skills as soon as possible). However, I really started to enjoy it when i got the aoe radius nodes and also the 50% duration on the tree. These nodes combined let you do really big spreads. Normal difficulty also have a huge lack of mob density to trigger the spread to extreme levels. For a maximum efficiency i'd recommend trying to group up mobs before casting the conta/drain combo simply because the bigger the packs are, the faster you will clear the screens.
If you're not comfortable playing the combo right from the start, i think Blade Fall might help you as you grab the physical damage nodes at the beginning.
I won't provide any exemple levelling trees because i think everyone as their own preferences but for me rushing the AoE radius and the duration was a correct choice, even though i neglected the defense aspect which is obviously not recommended for HC.


Loosy exemple of some atziri room clear. While it's not a safe method for HC players, it's fun for me.

Atziri Dual Vaal kill:

Atziri Trio boss kill

Atziri kill:

Maker of ZeeL's Amplifier.
Last edited by Kagari on Dec 29, 2015, 10:26:48 AM
Last bumped on Mar 7, 2016, 8:32:54 AM
Added videos, and i consider the guide finnished but lmk if you need more explanations.
Maker of ZeeL's Amplifier.
I've been building something very similar to this. Thanks for putting this guide together.
IGN: BusinessCasual
enwot wrote:
I've been building something very similar to this. Thanks for putting this guide together.

Thanks ! Please let me know if you have any interesting ideas or if you found some effectives setups. I dropped an added chaos gem and i'm levelling it to see if it can replace one of my support for single target essence drain setup.
Maker of ZeeL's Amplifier.
What gem would you drop on a 5L Carcass Jack and do you think the Build is still viable with 5L?
Melchior1988 wrote:
What gem would you drop on a 5L Carcass Jack and do you think the Build is still viable with 5L?

On a 5L, i would remove slower proj. Poison could also be removed but it helps a lot for single target that i think it's more useful to keep it all the time unless you're not lazy like me and prefer to swap the gem during the fights.

And yes, as i said the build i completely viable on a 5L. I played until lvl 82 on a 4L without any troubles except a poor single target damage. Atziri is doable on a 4L i guess with ED/Decay/Poison/Void.
Maker of ZeeL's Amplifier.
Thank you very much for the informations =) i just started an new toon and well see how it goes.
Essence drain is a bit clunky because it doesn't pierce

i just tried it and it pierced for me, did they change it?
SirKalkanor wrote:
Essence drain is a bit clunky because it doesn't pierce

i just tried it and it pierced for me, did they change it?

I should have said this better. The bullet CAN pierce but you need to invest skill points or a support gem to do so. I'll rephrase this :)
Maker of ZeeL's Amplifier.
Cool guide, I've been playing my first ever self-made build and ended up with a lot of similar stuff, but never thought of using the poison support gem. Currently only running a 3L for my ED; but should be able to get my hands on a 5L pretty easily.

I wanted to ask you about your thoughts on why you are getting as many area effect nodes. I feel like contagion has enough radius with an increased area of effect support gem to hit most monsters in a group, and as you are saying , the damage of contagion doesn't really matter, so i feel like the "increased area damage" nodes are a waste of skill points.

I guess area of effect still boosts the blasphemy-temp-chains which is nice.

This is the build i ended up wtih, would be cool to hear if you have some thoughts on mine vs. yours.



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