[2.2] Low Life Tri-Curse Poison Essence Drain Occultist - Uber Viable, 10k+ ES, 40k+ DoT dps

Hello and welcome to my Low Life Tri-Curse Poison Essence Drain guide!

I decided to write this guide after several people asked me about my build. This was my first build in the Perandus league and I'm currently level 95 in softcore. This is without a doubt the strongest build I have played so far. I managed to kill Uber for the first time and keep facerolling maps of all tiers.
This guide is pretty indepth but you can skip the Mechanics section if you're only intrested in gear and tree. Enjoy.



Achievements of the build

* has cleared all endgame maps including the Vaal Temple Map and Core Malachai with damage mods
* Atziri on day 2 of the league
* deathless Uber Atziri

Pros

* super tanky and 100% HC viable
* Enfeeble and Temporal Chains cripple all enemies
* reflect immune
* easy Atziri on a 4L
* Uber viable
* can clear all maps with almost all combinations of mods
* seriously, you can run crazy hard maps (vuln + double extra damage + crit)
* can be played as hybrid or CI until a Shav's is acquired

Cons

* weak in parties due to the mechanics of Contagion and Essence Drain
* struggles in curse immune maps



Defense


Stats

Without Flasks



With Flasks




This build combines several layers of defenses to become incredibly tanky:

- high effective health pool with 10k+ ES
- Enfeeble + Temporal Chains with Enhance
- Arctic Armour
- Fortify
- high ES regeneration
- uninterruptable Energy shield recharge
- highly synergistic flasks

High ES

Using Energy Shield instead of Life as health pool comes with the drawback of not being able to use Life Flasks. However it is much easier to get huge amounts of ES compared to life. Properly geared this build has no trouble reaching 11k ES and more. But even with only 8k ES this build is very safe.

Energy Shield recharge and regeneration

Because this build has no leech and no access to life flasks it relies on energy shield recharge and regeneration to stay healthy. The keystone Zealot's Oath makes life regeneration apply to energy shield instead. This comes in handy because the main damage spell Essence Drain has the property to "regenerate 0.5% of debuff damage as life". With ZO this regeneration effect also applies to ES. The regeneration effect from ED is no joke, the effect stacks for each enemy affected by the debuff. On larger packs 2-3k ES regeneration per second are pretty standard.

Energy shield recharge on the other hand starts automatically after you haven't taken any damage for 2 seconds. Base recharge rate is 20% of your maximum ES per second. The rate can be increased by passives and items. This build gets a total of 130% increased energy shield recharge rate which results in a total of 46% of your maximum ES replenished per second during recharge. This recharge is interrupted when you take damage, the Occultist Ascencandcy skill Wicked Ward however makes it so that damage doesn't interrupt energy shield recharge if recharge began recently. This means for 4 seconds after recharge began you will regenerate 46% of your maximum ES per second regardless of damage taken. This makes you close to invulnerable for the duration.

A quick note on Righteous Fire: While you might think that it would be easy to sustain Righteous Fire with that amount of regeneration, you are sadly mistaken. Because RF is a constant degen you will never get to recharge ES and the regeneration from ED is somewhat spiky and a lot slower on single targets. There are ways to make this work but I don't think Occultist is the way to go.

Curses

This build uses a tri-curse setup on Blasphemy which turns Curses into Auras. The three curses used are Temporal Chains, Enfeeble and Vulnerability. Temporal Chains and Enfeeble cripple most enemies to the point where they do not pose a threat at all. With the right passives, enchants and gems it is possible to reach the 75% slow cap on normal monsters. The details are explained in the mechanics section.

Flasks

With flasks up my character currently has 14.5k Evasion, 43% physical damage reduction, 55% block and 12% spell block. This, combined with the smoke cloud from the Stibnite Flask and the curses means that most enemies won't even hit me. If you manage to not get hit for 1.6 seconds, energy shield recharge begins and you have 4 seconds of almost invulnerability, enough to neutralize all threats.

This is what white mobs do to you with this setup (dicking around with lvl 68 devourers):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sUuqnurDSQ




Offense

Stats



- 40k Essence Drain DoT
- Poison
- Profane Bloom explosions
- Vulnerability
- 20% Chaos penetration

I'm currently sitting at 40k DoT dps from Essence Drain, which is spread to nearby enemies by Contagion. In addition to the regular DoT from ED this build also uses Poison which scales amazingly well. The details of damage calculation and scaling are explained in the mechanics section. But to put it short, Poison roughly doubles single target dps.
To further increase AoE damage the Occultist class comes with a built in Abyssal Cry: Profane Bloom has a 20% chance for enemies to explode on death, dealing 25% of their life as chaos damage. This leads to chain reactions that can blow up whole packs of monsters.



The Occultist Ascendancy Class

Spoiler


The Occultist Ascendancy seems to be made for ES based builds that rely on curses and deal Chaos damage. There are so many goodies on that tree. I will go through them in the order that I picked them up and say a few words on why I chose them over the others.

Void Beacon

Nearby Enemies have -20% Chaos Resistance

This is the only source of chaos penetration other than the Scion Occultist passive. The wording is somewhat strange - one might even say wrong - because it should say "Nearby Enemies have -20% TO Chaos Resistance". This means if a monster has 50% chaos resistance it will have 30% resistance while affected by Void Beacon.
Penetration is a great way to increase damage. There are actually not too many chaos resistant mobs in the game right now, so for the majority of encounters this increases total damage by 20%. Pretty crazy for one node. For resistant mobs it's even more. If a monster has 50% chaos resistance and you deal 100 chaos damage, you will actually deal 50 damage. With Void Beacon you would deal 70 damage instead of 50, that's 40% more damage.

Profane Bloom

Cursed Enemies you Kill have a 20% chance to Explode, dealing a quarter of their maximum Life as Chaos Damage
Enemies you Curse take 10% increased Damage


This is a built in Abyssal Cry and it's so satisfying. This can result in a chain reaction where you kill one enemy and half the screen explodes. The damage is scaled by all increases to chaos damage. The 10% increased damage taken is nice but it's additive to Vulnerability and Wither so it's actually not that much.

Note: Profane Bloom is bugged right now. Enemies that are affected by Contagion and Essence Drain do not spread Essence Drain when they explode. This can be quite annoying at times, so you might want to choose another node instead until this is fixed.

Wicked Ward

+100 to maximum Energy Shield
30% increased Energy Shield Recharge Rate
Energy Shield Recharge is not interrupted by Damage if Recharge began in the past 4 seconds


Without a doubt the strongest passive on the Occultist tree. Flat ES and recharge rate are nice but what really takes the cake is the uninterruptable recharge. Once it starts the only way to get killed is a oneshot.

These are the passives that this build uses, the others are inferior in my opinion.

Malediction

Enemies can have 1 additional Curse

That's nice I guess but you can get one additional curse from Whispers of Doom and one from gear so it's not really necessary. Since this build doesn't deal any non-chaos damage, the second part is useless.

Forbidden Power

Useless to non crit builds.

Vile Bastion

1% of Energy Shield Regenerated per second for each Enemy you've Killed in the past 4 seconds
Immune to Stun while on Full Energy Shield


This one is really nice and certainly worth considering. In my opinion it's not really needed because you regenerate so much ES already by using ED with Zealot's Oath. Also it doesn't do anything in bossfights. The stun immunity on full ES is pretty nice, you could probably get away with not using Eye of Chayula. Although it opens up the possibility of getting stunlocked. If you don't want to take Profane Bloom you should pick Vile Bastion instead.



This got pretty long

Spoiler


Essence Drain and Contagion

Essence Drain and Contagion were added to the game with patch 2.1 and brought along some interesting new mechanics. First let's break down what these skills do and how they interact with each other.

Contagion is a chaos spell that deals damage over time to all enemies in the area of effect. When an enemy dies while affected by Contagion it spreads the debuff to nearby enemies. By itself this spell seems pretty lackluster because the damage is mediocre at best when compared to other spells. Scaling the damage is for the most part pretty useless because that's not what this build uses it for. It is first and foremost a utility skill to proliferate the debuff of the main damage spell, Essence Drain.
Essence Drain consists of two phases. The first phase is a projectile and the second phase is a damage over time debuff. Whenever the projectile hits an enemy the debuff is applied. When an enemy is affected by both Contagion and Essence Drain, both debuffs will be spread to nearby enemies. This means that you don't need to invest into things like GMP to get AoE coverage. Usually one cast of each Contagion and ED is enough to obliterate large packs of monsters. The important thing here is however that one monster needs to die first before the damage is spread to surrounding monsters. This mechanic sadly makes the combination of Contagion and ED a lot worse in party play. While you easily explode the whole screen in two casts while solo, that Voltaxic LA Ranger probably already killed the whole pack by the time your ED damage would spread to the remaining monsters. Allies cannot die totems and rares are also quite annoying because of this mechanic, you have to actually hit the totem with the ED projectile in order to
damage it which sometimes is not easy when it's surrounded by enemies. Luckily with 50% pierce from the support gem hitting the totem gets much easier.
The ED debuff also heals the caster for 0.5% of the damage it deals. This is huge because on large packs you can easily get the debuff to spread to 20 or more enemies and the healing effect stacks for each enemy affected by the debuff. Perandus boxes are a breeze with this because you will regenerate between 1.5-3k HP per second. The keystone Zealot's Oath converts this to Energy Shield regeneration.

Now let's take a closer look at the skill gem and the keywords it is associated with. Essence Drain has the keywords Projectile, Spell, Duration and Chaos. As I mentioned above, ED consists of two phases. The keywords apply to both of these phases. Because the projectile part doesn't have a duration, modifiers to duration only affect the DoT. Additionally the gem mentions that "modifiers to spell damage also apply to this skill's damage over time". This is not trivial because damage over time, no matter the source, is generally not increased by spell damage (when delivered by a spell like Righteous Fire) or attack damage (when delivered by an attack like Caustic Arrow). This is an interesting mechanic because it affects ALL damage over time effects caused by the skill, even poison which generally doesn't scale with spell damage even when inflicted by a spell. Bex explained this behavior here:

"
There are four "categories" of damage - the different kinds of damage calculation can happen. They can't overlap and all damage has to be exactly one of them. Those are Spell, Attack, Secondary and Damage Over Time.

Spell damage does not mean "damage dealt by a spell", it means damage which uses the "spell damage" pipeline. It is not possible for something to be both spell damage and damage over time.

It is possible for a special stat to cause some modifiers to apply to multiple "categories" of damage - such as Crown of Eyes. Contagion and Essence Drain have a stat that makes "spell damage" modifiers behave as "spell damage or damage over time" modifiers. This means for those specific skills, poison applied by their hits will benefit from those modifiers, because the skill has that stat.


What the gem doesn't mention is that modifiers to projectile damage also apply to this skill's damage over time. Even though ED doesn't behave like a projectile after the initial hit has caused the debuff it still benefits from increases to projectile damage. You might argue that this is only fair because the larger the hit, the larger the resulting damage over time. This is however not the case. The damage of the DoT is independent of the initial hit's damage, they just happen to scale off the same damage modifiers.



Poison

This build uses the unique dagger The Consuming Dark to poison enemies. The poison mechanic was overhauled in patch 2.1 and made poison based builds very strong. In this section I will try to explain the mechanics of poison and clear up why it is so good.

How poison is inflicted

To poison an enemy you need to hit it with a spell or attack that has a chance to poison. Only physical damage and chaos damage can poison. There are several ways to get a chance to poison, there is for example the Poison support gem which gives supported spells and attacks a 100% chance to poison enemies. There are also several nodes on the tree for this purpose, Adder's Touch for example gives crits with daggers a 30% chance to poison. This build uses the dagger The Consuming Dark. The line Your chaos damage poisons enemies translates to a 100% chance to poison for hits with chaos damage.
The keyword "hit" is important. Spells that do not hit cannot poison. This is important because Contagion does not hit and can therefor not deliver any "on hit" effects. This means while Contagion spreads the ED debuff it doesn't spread any poison. To spread poison you would have to use Bino's Kitchen Knife.

Why it is so good

As a general rule in Path of Exile, damage over time effects of the same source do not stack. This means if you spam Essence Drain on a boss he will take repeated damage from the projectile portion but he will only be affected by one DoT. Poison is an exception to this rule and that's one of the things that make it so powerful. If your chaos damage can poison then each cast of Essence Drain applies a new stack of poison. This means that poison naturally favors fast hitting attacks and spells, which Essence Drain is not. However poison still increases the single target damage of this build by a massive amount because poison just scales so well with all the stuff that also scales ED's damage.

How the damage is scaled

The base damage of poison is 10% of the initial hit's damage per second over the span of 2 seconds. Right now my Essence Drain hits for an average of 8.2k chaos damage. 10% of that doesn't seem like very much. But this is where the insane scaling of poison comes into play. Because poison is a damage over time debuff that deals chaos damage it benefits from all stats that increase chaos damage, damage over time and - if inflicted by a projectile - projectile damage. As I mentioned above in the special case of Essence Drain poison damage also scales with spell damage. The great thing is that this build already uses these exact same stats to scale ED's damage. This means poison gets to double dip on all these modifiers.
Here is an example with numbers:

Say you use a level 20 Essence Drain. At level 20 the projectile deals an average of 291 base damage per hit and say you have 100% increased Chaos damage from tree and gear and you support ED with a level 1 Void Manipulation (20% more chaos damage). The damage is then calculated as follows:

Initial hit = (291*2)*1.2 = 689.4 dmg

The base poison dps is 10% of that

689.4*0.1 = 68.9 damage per second

But now this poison base damage benefits from all the increases to chaos damage again. So instead of 68.9 dps you deal

(68.9*2)*1.2 = 165.4 dps

Your ED DoT dps would be

(809*2)*1.2 = 1941.6 dps

This means in this fictional example just one stack of poison results in a 8.5% increase of DoT dps. This number goes up as you add more damage multipliers because poison double dips on all of those.

If we take my actual damage as an example you can see the real strength of poison. As I mentioned above my ED hits for an average of 8.2k that puts me at 820 base dps for poison before any increases from gear or supports. As a comparison, the base DoT of a level 20 Essence Drain is 809 dps. With all damage increases and multipliers each stack of poison adds roughly 30k dps before curses/wither/profane bloom, there is simply no way to get that much damage anywhere else.

As I mentioned earlier, the stacking mechanic of poison synergizes well with fast consecutive hits. Because this build uses a relatively slow spell it would be hard to get more than three stacks of poison on an enemy in the 2 second base duration before the first stack expires. Instead of casting the spells faster another option to increase the stack size is to simply make the poison last longer. For this purpose this build gets 50% increased skill effect duration from the passive tree and uses temporal chains, which is a pseudo more multiplier to the duration of the debuff. This conveniently also lets Contagion and Essence Drain last longer.

Curses

A huge part of this build are curses. In fact it uses three of them with and turns them into auras with Blasphemy. Curses are vital for defense, that's why curse immune maps are very dangerous to run. The build gets 40% increased effectiveness of curses from the tree, so it can overcome the 60% reduced curse effectiveness on unique bosses to some extent.
Blasphemy is a huge buff to quality of life because you don't need to run complicated curse on hit setups that decrease you clearspeed. Keep in mind that Blasphemy reserves 35% of mana for each curse linked to it. Curses on Blasphemy are also subject to the curse limit. By default a monster can only be affected by one curse. You need items and passives to increase this limit to three.
With the reduced mana reservation passives and the mana reservation reduction from Heretic's Veil it is possible to support these curses with Enhance at level 4 it adds an additional 24% quality which is pretty crazy given the awesome quality bonuses for Temporal Chains and to a lesser extent Enfeeble.

Temporal Chains

The first and most important curse is Temporal Chains. Temporal Chains slows enemies' movement, attack and cast speed and makes effects like DoTs expire more slowly. This is huge for defense as well as offense. Most enemies barely move while under the effect of a 20 quality Temporal Chains with Enhance and 40% increased curse effectiveness. This is the first gem you should get to 20% quality.

Enfeeble

Enfeeble is the second defensive curse and greatly reduces the damage, accuracy and crit chance/multi of affected monsters. Combined with flasks this means that most enemies can't even hit you.

Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a purely offensive curse and the third curse in the tri-curse setup. It makes enemies take increased damage from damage over time effects. Increased damage taken works like a pseudo more multiplier and is additive to other increases in damage taken (Profane Bloom, Wither). Increased damage taken from DoTs is the same at all levels, leveling the gem only increases the radius and the physical damage monsters take which is irrelevant unless you party with someone who uses physical damage.

Projectile Weakness

Projectile Weakness makes enemies take increased damage from projectiles. This sounds good on paper, because I said earlier that ED's DoT scales with projectile damage. "Increased damage taken from projectiles" DOES NOT WORK for Essence Drain's DoT. It only increases the damage of the initial hit.
I did some tests, below you can see the result of a single cast of an unsupported lvl 21 ED on merciless Voll with different curse setups. Vulnerability is the clear winner over Projectile Weakness:




Stun and Stun avoidance

Stun is a problem that all low life and CI builds have to deal with. Because the stun threshold is based on your maximum life you are more likely to get stunned by a hit when your maximum life sits around 1200 compared to a life based build with 6k life. While you have any energy shield to protect your life you have a 50% chance to ignore stuns. This is helpful but not enough, especially because this 50% chance to avoid stuns is rolled seperately and not added to other sources of stun avoidance. On this build stun is extremely annoying. Because Essence Drain has a relatively long cast time and stuns interrupt casts, forcing them to begin their animation from the start it can take super long to actually get out a cast if you don't take care of stuns.
There are several ways to go about this. There is a boot enchant that grants 60% chance to avoid being stunned for 4 seconds after you have been hit and a crafted mod for helmets that grants 20% stun avoidance. I chose to use the unique amulet Eye of Chayula which grants stun immunity. It can be corrupted to get "enemies can have an additional curse" as a new implicit mod. This, in my opinion is the most elegant solution for this build because you take care of stuns and free up a ring slot.






Skill Tree, Leveling and Bandits

Bandits:

Normal: Skillpoint
Cruel: Skillpoint
Merciless: Skillpoint


Finished lvl 97 tree
https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAABAMBAAMeA-4FtQ0fDXwOSBB7ES8RUBGWE20UCRV-GDwYVhhqGYoabBqNGo8bJRzcHU8dvh3ZH0Ei6iL0Jogo-isKM4c1uTwoQYdDVEkTSVFJsUuuTm1SKVKvVeBXyVgHWFpbJlxAXGtd8mf8adhsC20ZbWxwu3WedoJ4L3vXfOV88H6hf8Z_-4LHhEiExYfLiEKJ4I8aj0aP-pEHkx-TJ5uhm7WcMpy-na6hL6XEpwinK6ebtAy1SLcwuJO7Tbv8vSe-Or6KwcXDOsNtyAzK088V18_ZW9sa3V_fit-w5ljndOjW6QLquutj6-7sGO-I8NX0cfba98H31_k3-ej7CQ==


For leveling I suggest going hybrid until you get high enough level to spec into low life. There is also the option to go CI at some point but I won't get into that because I haven't tested it and it's way more gear dependent. Without leveling uniques normal can be quite the pain because you get almost no damage from the tree. You can level with any spell you like, I chose Spark but Firestorm is also a good option. I suggest switching to Essence Drain in cruel.


Level 31 tree
https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAABAMAAAQHBx4I9A5IEVARlhhqGyUdTyL0LR81uTpYSVFLrkyzVcZYB2pDbAttGXgvfOV_xoPbkyeVLpuhpyusmLzqwFTZW9-K37DpAvDV99c=


At level 31 you should equip blasphemy with Temporal Chains and Enfeeble or Vulnerability.

Levels 32 through 70 you should pick up life/ES and damage nodes as needed, it really depends on the gear you have. Take the level 85 tree as a rough guideline to save respec points.

Your Ascendancy priorities should be Void Beacon -> Profane Bloom -> Wicked Ward.


Level 85 tree
https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAABAMBAAMeA-4NHw18DkgQexEvEVARlhNtFAkVfhhqGYoabBqPGyUc3B1PHb4d2R9BIuoi9CaIKPorCjOHNbk8KEGHQ1RJE0mxS65ObVKvV8lYB1xAXGtd8mf8adhsC20ZbWxwu3WedoJ4L3vXfOV88H6hf8aCx4RIhMWHy4hCieCPGo9Gj_qRB5MfkyeboZu1nDKcvp2uoS-lxKcIpyunm7QMtUi3MLiTu027_L46vorBxcM6w23IDMrTzxXXz9lb2xrdX9-K37DmWOd06NbpAuq662Pr7uwY74j0cfba98H31_k3-ej7CQ==


Once you are low life and have Wicked Ward I strongly suggest picking up Essence Surge asap, it's amazing.




My Gear



Gear Recommendations and stuff to look for


Helmet



Heretic's Veil is BIS for this build. It lets you use three Blasphemy curses on mana with only 16% reduced mana reservation from the skill tree. While you miss out on the 10% curse effectiveness from a 20% Blasphemy you can use Enhance to give up to 24% quality to Temporal Chains and Enfeeble. In addition it has decent ES, some Evasion and gives two additional levels to the curses. The only downside is that there are no resists on the item.
The ideal Enchant is 20% increased Temporal Chains Curse Effect. Enfeeble effectiveness is also nice but honestly... take what you can get.

Body Armor



It's a low life build so Shavs is a must. Hitting the right colours requires some chromatics, with Vorici's 1G option it's 379 on average. The ultimate BIS would be a corrupted Shavs with +1 to level of gems.

Shield



Either a rare shield with lots of ES and resists or a Rathpith Globe. With a rare shield you will achieve much higher ES totals than with a Rathpith but the spell damage and spell block makes up for that. With Rathpith and Rumi's I'm at 55% block / 41% spell block. If resists are an issue (and they very well might be) a rare shield can make up for a lot. If you are lucky or rich enough, the ideal rare shield would also have a spell damage roll in addition to 500+ ES but that's mirror territory.
A third option is a Prism Guardian. This allows you to run Grace and Clarity on life but you will lose a ton of ES.

Boots



Rare boots with lots of ES and resists. Since this build uses Whirling Blades for movement, movement speed isn't as important (also takes up a prefix slot). The regeneration or movespeed Enchant would be nice here.

Gloves



Rare gloves with lots of ES and resists. Nothing more to say here, gloves with 150 ES are quite cheap.

Belt



Belts can roll up to 55 strength from the explicit and up to 35 strength from the implicit if you use a heavy belt. You need at least 114 strength for lvl 21 Blood Magic, even more if you want to use a high level Rallying Cry so your belt should have strength on it. Other useful stats are ES, resists and reduced flask charges used.

Weapon



The Consuming Dark, it's BIS. If you want to start a discussion that Redbeak is better because it has more damage on it, please read the Mechanics section. You can use a dagger with 24% increased attack speed in your second weapon slot to get faster Whirling Blades.

Amulet



Eye of Chayula makes you immune to stuns. I covered stun and stun immunity in the mechanics section, in my opinion it's such a huge quality of life improvement that I would not choose a rare amulet over it. There are other ways to get around stuns but this is the simplest way to do it. Ideally you get a corrupted Eye of Chayula with enemies can have an additional curse. This frees up a ring slot but unless you're lucky with vaal orbs it can be quite expensive. I paid 10ex for mine.

Rings



If you don't have a +1 curse amulet you need to use Doedre's damning to get the third curse. Other than that look for rings with flat ES, resists, Mana, Mana Regeneration and stats. Ideally one of these rings would be an unset ring where you can put a Golem or Rallying cry. This way you can run a CWDT setup and a battle cry/Golem.

Flasks



With this flask setup you will reach up to 15k Evasion and >50% block. Coupled with the blind effect from the Stibnite Flask and Enfeeble nothing will hit you. Instead of the Basalt flask it's possible to run a Taste of Hate (probably even better but I haven't felt the need to invest into one). One Mana flask is necessary because otherwise you can't sustain spamming Essence Drain on single targets. Be careful not to use a Mana flask with the "Caustic" prefix or you will kill yourself.

Jewels



Put Energy from Within into the jewel socket near Pain Attunement, it will transfom the Melding cluster into a pure ES cluster.

Stats to look out for on rare jewels:

- increased maximum Energy Shield
- increased chaos damage
- increased spell damage
- increased spell damage while holding a shield
- increased projectile damage
- increased damage
- increased damage over time
- attributes
- resists (if you're not capped otherwise)




Spoiler

Auras and Curses:



This goes into the helmet, supported by a level 22 Blasphemy.


Note: To be able to run this you need a level 21 Blood Magic. Otherwise you need to use the unique quest reward jewel Conqueror's Efficiency and a level 18-20 Blood Magic.


Essence Drain



Listed in order of priority. There is an argument to be made to use Slower Projectiles over Rapid Decay because Rapid Decay comes with 15% reduced duration. I personally dislike super slow projectiles.

Contagion



Movement



Wither Totem


This creates a totem that spams Wither. If you want to use a CWDT + Immortal Call setup, drop Faster Casting.

CWDT



I put this in for uber and against boom boom porcupines. It's not really necessary in my opinion. Since you won't have endurance charges the IC duration is a measly 0.6 seconds. You can leave IC at level one, CWDT can be level 20 so it doesn't proc all the time.

Rallying Cry



This is a great utility skill that gives increased damage and mana regeneration. No need to link it to anything, I will put this into an unset ring once I get my +1 curse amulet.

Vaal Skills



The health pot for ES builds. Sadly there are not enough free sockets to link it to increased duration.



The clearspeed alternative to Vaal Discipline. I personally don't use it. Mind the dex requirements.



I use this for Uber exclusively. It creates shocked ground around which increases damage.


TL;DR

- ED + Pierce + Controlled Destruction + Void Manipulation + Rapid Decay + Empower
- Contagion + inc. AoE + Faster Casting
- Temp Chains + Enfeeble + Vulnerability + Blasphemy (helmet) + Enhance
- Discipline + Arctic Armour + lvl 21 Blood Magic



My first Uber run (deathless, with lvl 2 empower):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKFkO1DoURw

Regular Atziri:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDZMvh4LGVA

Twinned Abyss with Vulnerability:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45XjNfRLYD0

Twinned Palace Dominus -16% max, 104% extra cold, shocking ground, poison on hit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehPquwn-TuM

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

To do list:

- formatting and stuff
- add Atziri strategy
- map mods
Last edited by klinolol on Apr 29, 2016, 6:13:01 AM
Last bumped on May 4, 2017, 1:50:25 AM
*reserved*
I'm playing this build on HC after seeing klino use it, currently level 90. Works very well so far, enjoyable to play. I only ever so slightly adjusted a few nodes, I pretty much run the same tree.

Been trying hard to get myself a +1 curse chayula, but no luck yet. I'm actually still running dual curse only because at the moment I can't get rid of all the res on the second ring, but I'll look into it.

Either way, this is very fun to play and I really enjoy the trio of contagion, ED and consuming dark making your ED poison. The very nature of the build lets you deal damage while dodging stuff and running around, so that alone already makes it a lot safer than many other builds.

I have not picked up Profane Bloom for now because of a bug where it doesn't correctly spread ED when exploding, so I went with Vile Bastion for now which is a hefty amount of ES regen. Unfortunately the part about not being stunned is moot since you use a chayula of course - once the bug is fixed I'll switch over.

Just wanted to drop in and mention how much I appreciate klino's build. Can only recommend giving it a shot, it's very fun once everything comes together.
nevermind, found the answer to my question
IGN: hyrenfreak
Last edited by hyrenfreak on Apr 4, 2016, 11:19:15 PM
Awesome build, I'm having a blast playing it.

I do have a question though. I just lucked out and chanced Skyforth, and like a dog chasing cars, I don't yet know what to do now that I have them. I'm probably making a new character to use them on, but in the meantime I was wondering if they could improve this build?

You lose a bit of ES and the resists on the boots, but you free up the amulet slot.
I was also considering dropping Zealoth's Oath, going over to Sovereignty and adding an extra aura by running AA on mana instead. Maybe haste? Not sure if that's even worth it.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Skyforth are pretty bad for this build because of the stat "you have no life regeneration". The build relies heavily on regeneration via ZO so that's kind of counter productive. The regeneration from Vile Bastion shouldn't be negatively affected by using skyforth so it's an option to pick up that node and ignore the regeneration from ED (bad idea imo).

If you were to use Skyforth you would obviously drop ZO because it wouldn't do anything. If you want to pick up another 50% aura instead of AA I would lean towards Grace. Haste is a pretty bad aura for most builds, this one included.
Skyforth boots are very bad for a lowlife essence drainer, because they negate a major feature of the main skill of the build, the life regen from the damage over time component. It's a lot better you use rare resists boots with tons of ES, or Rainbowstride. Or even Brinerot Whalers if you have no resistance issues and want to go for more offensive boots.

The build does not need any more auras. Disci + AA + 3 blasphemy curses are more than enough.

Glad to see another good ED build here, I played the life version in Talisman as a Scion and I considered it very strong, safe and funny, and with Ascendancy it's even better.
My lowlife Essence Drain Ascendant: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1627803
Last edited by djnat on Apr 5, 2016, 12:12:28 PM
what would you reccomend cutting out for a 5l vs a 6l shavs?
Empower is the the 6th link. The build is perfectly fine with a 5l.
I cobbled together a ED + Contagion build a few weeks back and I'm feeling the sluggishness of 25k DoT at T9+ maps. I'd like to transition to this eventually, but it seems like quite the investment. Any tips on how I can immediately shift more of my talent points to ES/Damage? 20Q gems? Consuming Dark?

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