[3.8] Death’s Oath Occultist - Death Whisperer(CI) Updated regularly

Progress Video

Videos from [3.0]

Original Video explanation - https://youtu.be/GT80rMSUAgo
Tier 1 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/PTKQec1abgw
Tier 2 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/0v6CFG985_s
Tier 3 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/qBlFeGsu5mE
Tier 4 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/uoSytQowmjA
Tier 5 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/XB6lwyiwfHg
Tier 6 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/NH9CgKrK444
Tier 7 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/O56k3J87jro
Tier 8 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/5sh_BUgBhIQ
Tier 9 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/aVT5sdClbGY
Tier 10 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/h0ZrFh1_s9s
Tier 11 Boss Kills - https://youtu.be/yzsHk3iMwjE
Tier 11 Bazaar Map - https://youtu.be/amyuC-9JDco
Tier 11 Chateau Map - https://youtu.be/5LZQbpobto0
Tier 11 Precinct Map - https://youtu.be/6cWjTjxLLkY
Tier 11 Torture Chamber Map = https://youtu.be/bIQevdc4OEc
Tier 11 Underground Sea Map - https://youtu.be/NFcEJlo1nrw
Atziri Kill - https://youtu.be/ftw9TcK-hq4
Uber Lab Full Key - https://youtu.be/8Qm-8TrGYDc
Random PvP - https://youtu.be/oK5nDREE-fA
Untainted Paradise - https://youtu.be/jR5jBr3mSfA

Videos from [3.2]

Build Mechanics

How to get the correct socket colors on your armor!

For this build to work you need to equip Death’s Oath Astral Plate.
With the release of 3.0 it now grants the Death Aura skill which does 450 chaos damage over time. In 3.6 this damage was increased by 25% to make the base damage start at 562.5 Chaos Damage Over Time.
The First version is for Increased Area setup, the second one is for More Damage setup. (whichever you want)

This damage is increased by


-%Increased Chaos Damage
-%Increased Damage Over Time
-%Increased Area Damage
-%Increased Effect of Non-Curse Auras
-%Increased Damage
-+% to Chaos Damage Over Time Multiplier (Previously - Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier)
-%Increased Minion Damage (This will only apply if you have the Spiritual Aid Notable Passive)

Skill Gems

Death Aura


Arcane Surge provides Deaths Oath with a "hidden" duration tag allowing it to benefit from both Swift Affliction and Less Duration.
You can run this setup with the first four gems, Swift Affliction will not work without Arcane Surge. You can get 6 off colors easier with the socket crafting method, There is a video above explaining how.
If you prefer more damage and don't care as much about screen wide coverage leave the last socket red and insert Less Duration

(Vaal) Blight

Place in Glove slot with Essence of Delirium Craft for 30% more DoT With +1 to AoE skills Bench Craft, Can also be placed in Helmet with +1 to AoE skills Bench Craft (I prefer Bane in the gloves slot)


Place in Glove slot with Essence of Delirium Craft for 30% more DoT With +1 to AoE skills Bench Craft, Can also be placed in Helmet with +1 to AoE skills Bench Craft (I prefer Bane in the gloves slot)

Aura Setup

Primary Auras

Place within a shaper crafted shield that Has Socketed gems have 10-15% Reduced Mana Reserved.

Aura Curse

Will most likely be placed in primary weapon spot, which leaves an open slot for Withering Step which shouldn't require any supports.

Movement Skills

Phaserun will be... Phased out in 3.8 and replaced with Withering Step(When Gem Becomes Available) This is due to Withering Step providing nearly identical effects as Phase run however it will also provide 6 stacks of wither in addition to the Ellusive defensive buff.

Used Primarily for gap crossing but generally not needed for normal gameplay.

Utility Minions

Consider linking Minions with Minion Life Support or use
as an additional damage buff when you aren't using Withering Step
With Golem Commander being one of our earlier points to grab, this node allows a second Golem and buffs their effect on us by 70%, if you don't like stone Golem you could use Chaos Golem for the Physical Damage Reduction

Passive Skill Tree


Early Game Level 35/45 (1 ascend)

These first levels will have us crawling towards both the Shadow and Templar regions. Make your Way to Hex Master First then to the other side of the tree for Spiritual Aid followed by grabbing Golem Commander (You should have Access to both Golems by then.)
Essence Extraction is grabbed to make easy elemental ailment removal flasks so you'll no longer need a freeze/burn/shocked flask. Keep in mind this doesn't make you immune, it just removes what ails you.

Level 62 - CI


This is when you'll put the armor on. I've taken the liberty of grabbing the 2 +30 Strength Nodes because we're still leveling and probably don't have the Strength required from items yet. This phase of leveling sees us grabbing 3 of our chaos damage nodes as well as grabbing a few of the bigger Energy Shield nodes.

Level 85 - CI


By 85 We can wear almost any piece of gear with level restrictions, so we're refunding out of the 2 +30 Strength nodes as well as finishing the trek through the Shadow area grabbing the Chaos node in addition to some Energy shield, extra damage increases and 2 jewel slots.

Level 100 CI

The level 100 tree sees us grabbing the rest of our jewel slots giving us 8 in total in addition to grabbing Utmost Intellect which grants a hefty Intelligence Bonus.
In addition to this we've also dropped Hex Master because we will mainly be using blight for single target, Bane is still nice for quickly killing off something as it does the damage of several stacks of blight instantly but not worth 3 points we can use elsewhere just for a bit of area.
We've also dropped Essence Extraction Because most people don't like mana potions for some reason, however a nice utility flask that grants immunity is better later on.
If you already have some really nice Jewels I'd suggest grabbing some of the jewel slots earlier.



(Abyss Eye - Hypnotic Ideally) x6

Primary Stats Max ES (35-50) +Strength (12-16)
Secondary Stats Increased Damage Over Time while holding a shield, Increased Damage if you've Killed Recently, Life Regenerated while moving, Chance to Phase on Kill, Increased Movement speed
A few examples of decent eyes and jewels until you get perfect ones.

Watchers Eye
Malevolence with 18-22% Chaos Multi(Think this is changed to DoT Multi?)
Clarity with 12-18% of Mana gained as ES
Uber Version - Pick One

Discipline with 20-30% increased recovery rate of ES
Malevolence with 15-20% Increased recovery rate of ES/life
Discipline with 30-40% Faster Start of ES Recharge

Vitality with 20-30% increased recovery rate of Life (Doesn't affect PoB, so probably doesn't work?)

Also a nice possible option to look for:
Malevolence - Unaffected by bleeding

Bandit Choice


Kill all bandits, bandits is bad people.



3 and 4 are interchangable, Profane Bloom will likely make for an easier mapping experience until you get Uber Lab completed.

Suggested Potions

You'll want a flask that does one of these situational removals the base of the flask doesn't matter too much though I prefer Quicksilvers and Sulphurs due to increased movespeed and increased damage. They're also easy to get 3 uses out of.

You'll Definitely need one of these with reduced charges used or + Max charges

Unique flasks

Use this if you want to save a skill point (would require constant uptime)

Use this if you want to save 1-2 gem slots
The curse doesn't receive benefits from curse effect or anything else

This flask and it's upgraded version will increase the damage of your Vaal Blight

This flask will give you amazing recovery while running through maps

Current Gear

3.6 Synthesis

3.4 Delve

Previous League

Pantheon Choices


Whatever you feel like, these are entirely situational and have little impact on game play.
However the Soul of Abberath and the captured soul will make burning ground and ignite maps smoother to play in because these would generally interrupt our ES Recharge.

Complete List of FlasherCatcher Builds


Death's Stomper - Death's Oath Berserker https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1990590
Death Whisperer - Death's Oath Occultist https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1966637
Death Alpha Hunter - Death's Oath Necromancer https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1987818
Storm Chaser - Charged Dash CWC Glacial Caster (featuring Rippling Thoughts) https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1987921
Last edited by FlasherCatcher on Sep 6, 2019, 4:55:36 AM
Last bumped on Mar 11, 2020, 6:12:14 PM
Updates to the Build/Guide


2/28/2018: Revamped the build guide(Things like gems, potions, gear, passives, ascendancies, pantheon,and so much more has been looked over and edited for the better). This is a buff.

3/1/2018: Added Obvious use of Enlighten for curses and auras to make gameplay functional until you have an Impresence. (Yes I should have thought of it sooner.)
General spelling and organization of tags. Might have fixed punctuation as well.

3/10/2018: Edited out Hybrid version (bad idea is bad).
Added Tier 5 Map Videos (see below).
Updated Current Gear to League Character.
Added comments about belts because Bated Breath is better.
Removed Pantheon choices (they're mainly situational anyways)
Edited Ascendancy progression.
Thinking about reworking skill trees slightly.
Thinking about adding a starter build. (could use input - I'm thinking FP until SR until DO)

3/11/2018: Added Deathless Atziri video
3/20/2018: Added Previously asked questions section to hopefully help new players with questions that might have already been answered.
3/23/2018: Removed Increased effect of curses from the build, while this is nice to have it ultimately doesn't result in too much of a difference against monsters that can actually hit you hard.
I've opted for more energy shield down by templar, in addition to filling out the Unnatural Calm wheel.
This also gives us an additional jewel socket so we can place Spreading Rot here, and replace the one by the Melding wheel with an Energy from Within for an extra 15% energy shield!
These changes have been made to both the leveling and end game build!
8/26/2018: Finally removed the not safe for beasties comment from a few leagues ago >.>
12/5/2018: Gutted the Death's Assault minion build.
Removed Conc Effect suggestion from Blight (It didn't do anything).
Arranged tree for more optimal damage, Energy Shield and Jewel Slots (7 instead of 4)
Updated Build guide for 3.5
Updated PoB for 3.5
Dropped down to one curse for 3.5
Running Vitality, Discipline and Clarity(Doesn't need to be max level) Might have space for a fourth aura.
Awaiting new crafts to update best in slot jewels.
Still running Wither to force the wither effect from Occultist passive.
Almost up to 200k Death's Oath Damage with my eh standard gear.
5/28/2019: Remembered I had an update log, adjusted build guide to include Bane and a few other things before 3.7 launch.
6/5/2019: Made adjustments to the level 100 CI tree for Patch 3.7.0.
Made sentence structure and organizational changes throughout guide.
Finally Added potions to the suggested potions section
Added Synthesis league gear section.
Added examples to the jewel section.
Removed Perfect gear text wall, due to it being unlikely to be created because of outdated information.
Added a smiley face somewhere for giggles =)
Adjusted skill layout, awaiting 3.7 to link additional skills and possibly remove a few.
Edited title to reflect 3.7 usage.
9/5/2019: Changed all skills trees to use the new 3.8 skill tree.
Adjust skill gem layout, currently wait for Withering Step in game to link to build.
Finally changed the Ascend picture.
Title changed to reflect 3.8
Eventually I need to redo this entire guide

!!Previously Asked Questions!!

Q: In your CI tree, why not go for Pain Attunement? Does being on 1 life permanently not activate it?
A: Correct with CI you are always at 1/1 life which will always and only count as full life. You can however achieve 0/1 life (but then you are dead).

Q: I have another classic beginner question: how on earth do you go up to 160(Think they meant 180) strength to equip Death's Oath? That's a massive amount of strength for a witch build
A: Beginning you should grab both of the +30 strength nodes by the witch which will give you +60 and another 40-50 from the armor. Which leaves needing to grab another 70-80 strength. You can get this between 2 rings and an amulet easily enough. You can also grab a pair of boots or gloves with a decent amount of strength on them and then put Death’s Oath on, and then remove the strength item for a higher ES item.
A2: Another Option is to use the Unique Jewel “Efficient Training” This converts Intelligence within it’s radius to strength. This option isn’t as preferred as the prior option however it is incredibly easy to do compared to it.

Q: Is Lightning warp usable here?
A: You can totally use Lightning Warp if you prefer, however it requires Less Duration, and Faster Casting to feel like a really smooth movement skill. Ideally you would be faster with just a 50-70% Quicksilver Flask.

Q: Thanks for the great build. How do your other death's oath builds compare to this one?
A: Currently I feel this is my first (because it is) and true love (I’ve put a lot of effort behind this). The damage and survivability are far superior in this specific build. The Death’s Stomper uses Abberath’s boots which makes it unique in its own way, while Death’s Alpha Hunter uses the Scourge Claw for fun wolf times. These two builds haven’t been updated to 3.2 but I might find some time soon I hope. (New job is really keeping me busy.)

Q: Have you tested faster casting in Death's Oath? I'm not sure if there's been confirmation one way or another, but the aura has a cast speed and seems to do damage more in a pulse manner than a true dot.
A: Faster Casting won’t have any effect on the skill it is either on, or off. In general Damage over Time skills do a certain about of damage over a certain amount of time. In Path of Exile the only way to increase or decrease the time applies to ignites with certain unique items, causing them to burn slower or faster. As of 3.2 There are no items that have a DoT speed up effect.

Q: Does Faminebind belt would be a good choice for your build ?
A: In short no, it won’t be a good choice of belt for the build. In long, it might be a great way to level quickly, however I’m not sure how large of an area the degen from the belt is. Also this is a Talisman League item, so it isn’t easy to come by usually.

Q: How about Abyssal Cry for faster clearing?
A: Having to constantly cast Abyssal Cry would likely be slowing you down more than speeding you up. You’re always causing Chaos Explosions which do fine.

Q: Could you explain the Efficacy/Arcane Surge/Less Duration interaction, and explain how you figure this stuff out?
A: Efficacy was always supposed to work with Death Aura, however due to a bug in 3.0 it wasn’t working as intended. However, adding Arcane surge to a skill gives it a hidden duration tag, similar to how it works with other skills. Less Duration and Swift affliction usually work with most skills that have a duration, hidden or otherwise.

Q: Also, will enduring cry (life regen) work for early level survivability? Will Enduring cry work with the zealot keystone?
A: Yes, Enduring Cry will apply the life regeneration to your ES. This effect only lasts for .75 seconds unless increased with duration increasing passives/skill gem, which could boost it to almost 1.95 seconds at max (longer for berserker but we aren’t grabbing any of these nodes so it will likely only last a second, granting you around 3-400 es regen every 4 seconds.

Q: "Death Whisperer" - means that you are using Whispering Ice..
A: Or.... Maybe it means you're whispering death and has nothing to do with a staff >.>

Q: Why do u run vitality?
A: level 20 Vitality gives 1.65% base life regeneration. With our 54% increased aura effect, this is increased to roughly 2.5% life regeneration. While it isn’t a huge amount it’s still enough to keep you alive most of the time while waiting for recharge or stacks of Vile Bastion to add up. Also with Watcher’s eye you can get flat life regeneration which is incredibly nice.

Need to find more questions in thread, reading this over it seemed rather short.

Last edited by FlasherCatcher on Sep 6, 2019, 4:27:46 AM
Neat idea, didn't even see the change to the chest piece in 3.0

To be honest, I wanna try this out! Adding to the listing.
I also noticed that your gloves . I saw that the death's oath aura cannot be affected by more than 3 skill gems according to the wiki. Would you consider linking more of your gear or jewels for others that wish to follow your guide / progress?

Hot Flashes: poeurl.com/bPZT
Balance: poeurl.com/btzp
Shocking EleHit: poeurl.com/bZXo
Last edited by Kwitch on Aug 22, 2017, 6:41:51 PM
Awesome thanks! I've been having a really great time with this build so far, but trying to expand to other less known builds to try to shine some light on other fun ideas!
Atziri kill uploaded, you can check it out up top or here! https://youtu.be/ftw9TcK-hq4
How about using Ebers Unification for Void Gaze triggering? -10% chaos ressistance when you use a skill to enemies... also what about Atziri Flask and 2% chaos dmg leeched as life? That works only on hit or? Doesnt apply to chaos over time damage?

Seems like a fun idea, might give it a go for next character :D
Eber's Unification would work for starting out However we're already losing a lot of ES from using an armor chest. I haven't seen the skill yet though so I might need to buy one and see how well it performs. However for atziri flask, 2% leech would be great and it would probably replace warlords mark however I don't have one of those yet either if the uptime and performance is better than warlords mark I don't see a reason to use that anymore
Uber Lab video uploaded! Also testing whether or not I even need the leech from WLM and Ghost Reaver. If not then we can just run Temp Chains or Enfeeble and save 2 skill points!
yea if Atziri could work you could theoretically remove 1 added curse from the tree and replace it with 20% effective curse node cluster underneath Mana Hp regen near scion, cluster i 1 point away that you should level or save somewhere. I really like the idea, tinkering with the concept of also maybe using a scion Occultist/Trickster for 50% increased life regen recovery on dot kills and easier branching for life regen nodes. Also are you being frozen with ES setup without axioum?

Have you thought about using Winterheart amulet? 20% life regen when frozen, with trickster thats like 30% and I also need like 4 points to get to unweavering, doubt I will be having much evasion anyway.

Either way I am sure I will go one way or another and give you some feedback, really like the idea of the build as Death Oath build is something I have been wanting to do for a long long time. xD glad it got revamped finally.

Also I see you are struggling with ES pool, thats why I am thinking of maybe doing a Hybrid build with Life/ES and Esh's Visage for Chaos does not bypass ES if not on low life or mana. A lot of theorycraft behind this one, thanks for providing some structure to the substance :D needs more tinkering for sure, but the concept is awesome!
Last edited by dezignedelic on Aug 24, 2017, 10:07:03 AM
Hey Definitely welcome! I know 6.5k es currently at level 89 isn't a huge amount, once I get the last couple of es nodes I should be close to 7.5k. Dropping down to just vulnerability would definitely save me 3 points, in addition to dropping ghost reaver. Going scion is an interesting idea, I'm currently play/testing with a champion to be a bit more tanky and as a life base (currently in the process of rerolling while I work on a different build concept) The ultimate reason I went as an Occultist though is Void Beacon(reduces enemies chaos dmg by 20%) and Profane Bloom(20% chance cursed enemies explode - Cursed enemies take 10% increased damage). However Vile Bastion and Wicked Ward help a bunch with general clearing and a quick step out to recharge and then run back in with 4 seconds of recharge.

In regards to the being frozen and stunned part I generally run with an eye of Chayula as well as a dream fragments ring, go figure I took it off and was then killed by Haast. I'll most likely drop the second curse and run a purity of elements from now on for ele weakness maps.

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