[3.3] CI Wandcultist - League starter - Fast mapper - Guardians on a 5L - Shaper down

Introduction / Why Occultist Wander?: (feel free to skip)
First of all, I like Witches. If you look at my profile (it's open), you'll see many different Witch builds, and only 1 exception, which is my HoWA ST Scion.

With Ascendancy rework, I've decided to start Bestiary with a Witch, but also start with a fast build. ED/Blight is a pretty decent starter for Occultist, but I hate how clunky it is. I've therefore decided to go with a Wander, utilizing Profane Bloom explosions, going CI for Damage on Full Life goodness and much easier time getting high amounts of eHP, compared to life based wanders.

While slightly lacking in terms of movement speed (Pathfinder/Raider/Deadeye builds have 15% more movement speed), the ease of gearing, high eHP values (easy 7-8.5k+ ES if you take more ES nodes and rare Regalia) and Profane Bloom explosions allow Occultist to be competitive. Damagewise, I think Occultist is capable of higher dps then Pathfinder, Raider and Deadeye, due to using Damage on Full Life gem instead of Slower Projectiles, and ability to take more damage nodes (since we don't need that many ES nodes on the tree). Also, since ES is far from being meta, ES based gear is very cheap in the League, and if you are playing Standard, there is some really overpowered gear you can buy.

To reitarate,

- Damage on Full Life provides higher multiplier and better accuracy at long range then Slower Projectiles.

- ES gear is cheaper then life gear. Thunderfist, Rainbowstride, Crown of Eyes, 5L ES chest, rings with ES, are all much cheaper then life based gear, especially early in the league.
Also, jewels with damage + ES are a lot, lot cheaper then similar jewels with life.

- You can reach higher eHP going ES, rather then life. I had comfortable 4.5k ES when similar wanders in my guild/friend list had only 3k life when we reached lower tier maps at the league start.

- You have more points to spent on taking damage/jewels instead of chasing life on the tree.

- Even with VP, you still have out of combat/emergency sustain (uninterruptible recharge).

- Also, Vile Bastion provides alternative means to replenish your ES pool so you can comfortably run less recovery and no leech maps.

- Chaos explosions and extra AoE with Forbidden Power allow easy "one-tapping" of monster packs.

- Your curse applies to Hexproof enemies.

- Unfortunately, this higher defensive and offensive power comes at a cost of not being able to use the movement speed buff from Queen of the Forest, so your movement speed is slower then a regular life based wander.

- Leveling is tough without leveling uniques. Having leveling uniques or trading for them is pretty mandatory, so if you hoard a 10-15+ alchs and chaos by the time you reach maps, you might need to use some of it to get gear upgrades, even if just for leveling you're going to throw away later.


Maze of the Minotaur


6L Beast Fur Shawl:
Chimera with +1 Barrage enchant.

5L, Uber Lab and Ele Weakness gloves:
Maze of the Minotaur

5L, no Uber Lab, regular gloves:

Pantheon, Ascendancy and Bandits:
- For Major, you want Arakaali, and use it in conjunction with Blood Rage and CwDT Immortal Call to trigger the bonus.
- For Minor, there are multiple options, from movement speed boosting Garukhan, to more tanky options like Tukohama or Gruthkul. Pick whichever you personally prefer.

Wicked Ward -> Vile Bastion - take those first since they will help you greatly switching into CI, even on a budget. Vile Bastion's stun immunity allows us to take Arakaali pantheon, which coupled with Blood Rage gives us 50% increased ES recovery, which is amazing. Flat ES is also super strong, allowing us to use many uniques without compromising our ES too much. Regen on kill is also very helpful when mapping.
Forbidden Power is great due to increased damage and slight increase in AoE, helping with our clearspeed.
Profane Bloom is taken last, since you want to use both Wrath and Discipline. This doesn't leave you much room to run Blasphemy aura, so Profane Bloom will not cause any explosions when mapping. You can use CwDT curse, but it's unreliable when clearing. However, if you can afford either Elemental Weakness gloves or Impresence amulet, this nodes is an absolute beast for mapping speed.

Alira for crit multi and resistances. If you can afford good jewels/equipment, then taking 2 points and another jewel socket will be a better choice.


A rare wand with crit chance, crit multi, increased spell/lightning damage and flat elemental damage is going to be your top pick. Piscator's is a good starting wand if you cannot afford a good rare. Do not overpay for super high flat damage on your rare wand - I bought mine for 10c, and it outperforms many multimoded tier 1 flat lightning damage wands on poe.trade that are listed for a few ex. Second wand was bought for 25c and provides me with over 15% more dps then total perfect Piscator's.
Finding OP wands can be made easy using my poe.trade links in bottom section, using Path of Building and appropriate browser extenstion.

Absolutely amazing dps boost and some okish ES. Also, super cheap.

With KB socketed in them, it is effectively a 5 link. Increased shock duration greatly helps to shock the trash, increasing their damage taken by up to 50%. Even super early in the league, these gloves are quite cheap. I bought mine on day 2 for 7 chaos, but few days into the league they cost 1c. Elemental Weakness corruption usually costs 1-3 ex, I bought mine 4 days into the league for 1.5ex, and colored it for around 45c (cost of Vaals/Chromes and service cost).

Anything with movement speed, good ES and resistances. Rainbowstride is another super cheap unique,
that doesn't cost more then 5c during first 1-2 days of the league, and later can be bought for 1c.

There is multitude of body armours that we can choose. Incandescent Heart gives some extra elemental protection and 12-15% more dps with good rolls - it also allows you to save 2 points on leech nodes, since you only need to take the minor mana leech node.
Beast Fur Shawl gives less of a dps boost, but provides a lot better sustain (leech, regen) due to its increased ES recovery, which is very, very strong.
If you are on a budget, any rare armour will do, and the linked rare is what I've been using for the first 9 days of the Incursion .
A high rolled Vaal Regalia, especially with either % increased Crit chance with attacks (Elder mod) would be BiS.

A rare shield with resistances and good ES is what you want. This one cost me only 3c on 3rd day of the league.

Added lightning, increased elemental/lightning damage, Crit multiplier (amulet), ES, resistances. Nothing out of the ordinary. Try to either get an amulet with %ES or with a space to craft it, as it is the most important mod in my opinion along with Crit Multiplier.

Stygian is of course the best. But if you can't get one for a good price, use either Crystal or Chain belt. Resistances, ES, Elemental damage are all the stats you need.


You want 1 Quicksilver flask of Adrenline for that movement speed boost, and a Diamond flask for increased crit chance. Other then that, use what you can afford. Dying Sun would be the best dps boost for Barrare, Vessel of Vinktar with either penetration or added flat lightning will also be really strong but you need to work out a way to gain Shock Immunity, which means one less unique flask, or no "of Adrenaline" suffix on your Quicksilver. Atziri's Promise/Wise Oak/Silver flask are also decent options.


The jewels aren't anything special, you want either attack speed, crit multi, lightning/spell damage,
ES, or flat damage on Abyss jewels. Make sure you grab at least one jewel with "Blind enemies on hit", as it is a great defensive boost. Poacher's Aim is also a decent choice for improving your clearspeed.
These jewels cost under 10-15c each, apart from Foul Sight that cost me 1ex.


This is how your 6L should look like in the end game.

Kinetic Blast:

Standard "budgety" KB setup.
However, you can use KB/Ele Damage/GMP/Pierce if your damage is high enough. This lets you drop Poacher's Aim jewel for some stronger Abyssal jewel. Chain also works decently in this case. If you are looking for curse corrupted gloves, get RGGB colors instead of RRGB.


CwDT 1:

Apart from Golem, this is a free slow for bosses. You can use Vortex instead of Cold Snap, but I find CS better due to bigger AoE, extra Frenzy charge generation and less clutter on the screen compared to Vortex.

CwDT 2:

Standard Immortal Call setup.


Emergency Vaal Discipline (should be built in since 3.3), dps boosting Vaal Haste, movement speed boosting Smoke Mine (or Phase Run). You really want all 3 of them linked together with Increased Duration for maximum efficiency, but coloring might be hard - I recommend using Vorici socket trick.

Make use of Blood Rage for the extra ES recovery with Immortal Call and Arakaali Pantheon.

Spare sockets?
- You can use Decoy totem or Spell Totem with Summon Skeleton for extra distration vs bosses.
- You can use the spare sockets to level extra gems for profit.
- You can use Vaal Lightning Trap for extra dps vs bosses.
- You can use Tempest Shield + Culling strike in a CwDT setup.

Leveling and Passive tree:

Leveling tips (gear/gems/tree):
1. You want to level with spells first. Get that 1 point spell node by Witch start, we will use it later anyway. Freezing Pulse is great early on.
Pick up both Herald of Ice and Herald of Thunder when you are able.
A) If you want, you can level with wands at level 12. Go straight towards Tempest Blast (22 point tree), and get following uniques:
- Storm Prison wand.
- Prismweave belt.
- Karui Ward amulet.
- Ondar's Clasp or Lochtonial Caress gloves.
Pick up Power Siphon and link it with Added Cold and Added Lighting.
B) If you cannot afford these leveling uniques super early in the new league, pick up Arc and continue leveling with spells. In this case, go towards Shadow area first (22 point tree) and level as every other spell build until you decide to convert to wands.

2. In act 3, pick up Elemental Weakness (which you will self cast for now), Wrath and Discipline gems. Use Wrath and Herald of Thunder.
For uniques, you might want to get:
- Lioneye's Paws (these are cheap but good) or Wake of Destruction boots (these are great but more expensive).
- Le Heup of All ring if you can afford one, this one if you prefer damage.
- Thief's Torment ring if you can afford one, this one if you prefer survivability.
- Sacrificial Heart (Incursion amulet) is a big dps gain at this point, usually they are cheap.
37 point tree.
This is a good time to switch to wands and get some leveling gear if you haven't already. Also, try to add another dps link (so look for a 4-link) to your Power Siphon, do Siosa quest if you have to and get Elemental Damage with Attacks gem, for example.

3. Use Blasphemy Elemental Weakness and Wrath once you get access to Blasphemy gem in A4 (or got it from Siosa in A3). When you pick up Pierce gem, see if it provides you with better clearspeed then Added Cold gem. Get Ice Golem as well.
See if you can fix your starting nodes, get Arcing Blows and Coordination notables (47 point tree). Then start to make your way towards Vaal Pact.
For uniques, you might want to have a look at:
- Doedre's Scorn, for its amazing base ES and damage.
- Zahndethus' Cassock provides you with some damage, but also a lot of ES at this level.

4. Pick up Poacher's Aim for killing Utula and socket it by Melding cluster. Remove your Pierce gem from Power Siphon, and use either Immolate or Innervate gems in it's place.
Once you get to Ballistic Mastery node, pick up adjacent jewel spot and buy Static Electiricity jewel to put in that area (62 point tree).
For uniques, you want to look into getting:
- Rainbowstride boots, for a great overall budget package.

5. When you get down to VP and leech nodes, get Ghost Reaver first, then CI second, and make sure you have at least 2.5-3k ES before switching. This can be achieved early (lvl 60) with Rainbowstride, Doedre's Scorn, Vile Bastion ascendancy and some more ES on rest of the gear (72 point tree -> 77 point tree.).
Once you take those mana leech nodes, try to switch away from Power Siphon and try out Kinetic Blast, it has a much better clear but due to its mana consumption cannot be used early (unless you have Thief's Torment ring). Once you pick up CI, run Wrath + Discipline and use self cast curse on bosses or CwDT curse setup.
IMPORTANT: Use your own judgement on when to switch to CI - if you ES is lower then your life, you might want to upgrade your gear first and make sure you have Vile Bastion ascendancy node.

6. After CI transition, start filling out nearby dps nodes (and jewel sockets if you can get even mediocre jewels). Your tree should look more or less like this around level 67-70: 86 point tree.
For uniques, you should get Crown of Eyes, Thunderfists, Piscator's (or a nice rare wand, and Moonsorrow if you are on a budget). Plan in advance your resistances since Crown of Eyes will reduce your fire res, so you might need to finally swap out Prismweave belt for a rare with high resists, and also get plenty of them on rings/amulet.

7. Later, just grab Foresight, Path of Savant and Throatseeker nodes (97 point tree.).
Afterwards, it's all up to you, and there are multiple good nodes and areas on the tree. You can take Point Blank for bossing, Wandslinger is also good for dps, Melding for extra survivability, you can get Harrier and Quickstep for more movement speed, you can take Instability for +1 Power charge and more spell damage with it (and 2-point jewel socket next to it), or even take Heart of Thunder/Alchemist/Unnatural Calm branching off from Instability.

Other tips:
- Do Siosa/Library quest to get all the gems that you missed/cannot buy as a Witch. Remember to level all the gems you will be using later in your alternative weapon swap. For example, it is a good idea to level extra Added Lightning, Discipline, Damage on Full Life and other gems in your weapon swap.
- Only switch to wands once you take Tempest Blast and either can afford some basic attack oriented gear (Karui Ward or Prismweave) or have a 4 link.
- Get either Iron Rings or any rings/amulet of your choice with added damage. It isn't hard to find rings like these 2 when leveling:
You can also craft flat damage on your jewelry with Elreon.
- You can always check pastebin section below for my gear/tree when leveling if you are looking for inspiration. Keep in mind that all of that is league starter gear, so I couldn't afford to spend currency on all the best gear when leveling and most of it was SSF (apart from few uniques). I also made a mistake of forgetting to pick up Poacher's Aim in act 5, so I'm was using Pierce instead of better gems.

TL:DR Budget leveling:
Storm Prison wand.
Prismweave belt.
Lioneye's Paws or rare boots -> Rainbowstride.
Life/ES + Resists on body armour and other pieces.
Rare rings with flat added damage and resists.
Karui Ward -> Sacrificial Heart.

All this gear, including uniques, can be bought relatively early even if you didn't drop a lot. You might need to convert some Alts/Fuse into Alchs or Chaos to trade as they are preffered.

TL:DR Twink leveling:
Storm Prison wand.
Prismweave belt.
Doedre's Scorn
Wake of Destruction -> Rainbowstride.
Karui Charge amulet -> Sacrificial Heart.
Tabula Rasa body armour.
Thief's Torment ring.

My Incursion progression:
Keep in mind my leveling was a bit off, for example I completely forgot about the Pierce jewel, and didn't get Prismweave till very late.
18 - 290 life / 140 es / 260 dps https://pastebin.com/J8Re6T8A
24 - 370 life / 140 es / 360 dps https://pastebin.com/twy8YSd9
28 - 420 life / 210 es / 660 dps https://pastebin.com/c0HYkxQ7
32 - 600 life / 240 es / 1080 dps https://pastebin.com/dvsUFP6U
39 - 930 life / 800 es / 2320 dps https://pastebin.com/4iPK2B4f
46 - 1030 life / 1101 es / 6270 dps (4900 without Incursion gloves) https://pastebin.com/S9WbCPj3
53 - 1080 / 1479 es / 7900 dps (6300 without Incursion gloves) https://pastebin.com/Bk07rL6N
CI and KB switch:
59 - 1080 / 3150 es / 7800 KB dps (6700 without Incursion gloves) https://pastebin.com/auLWgpZm
64 - 1 / 3300 es / 10300 dps (9050 without Incursion gloves) https://pastebin.com/Gna12gVQ
67 - 1 / 3600 es / 21900 dps https://pastebin.com/j2bC4bmR
76 - 1 / 4300 es / 45000 dps https://pastebin.com/zCZpVPMe
82 - 1 / 5100 es / 61600 dps https://pastebin.com/gFBXtb5a
87 - 1 / 6950 es / 85300 dps https://pastebin.com/BsZCBSy0
90 - 1 / 7200 es / 170000 dps https://pastebin.com/MWwtTV5A

Additional leveling tips by Vatinas (3.2):
Vatinas wrote:

The problems you describe are indeed issues while leveling, but can be avoided "quite" easily.

Concerning the stuns/CI, the stun threshold is indeed based on your life, which does make you vulnerable to them. However, your second ascendancy, Vile Bastion, makes you immune to stuns while you have energy shield - which is, almost always when you're leveling if you're using ES gear - as well as ES regeneration per second depending on the number of enemies you've killed recently. On top of your first ascendancy, Wicked Ward, which prevents your ES recharge from being interrupted if it started recently, and with the two huge ES bonuses (100 from Wicked Ward, and 150 from Vile Bastion), it makes your ES pretty buff, and immune to stuns. It is recommended to take CI after those two, and once you have somewhat decent ES (which shouldn't take long). Before that, keep your HP :p

As for Ghost Reaver, this is my first CI build with an attack skill, so my first time playing with it, but I took it quite late (at lvl 70ish), because 1) While you don't have Vitality Void/Vaal Pact, your leech is pretty low, and 2) ES recharge is halved by Ghost Reaver. And since ES recharge is pretty strong from Wicked Ward, it's fine playing without Ghost Reaver while leveling, and just running around waiting for your ES recharge to start (again, while leveling).

For the mana regen, the Crown of Eyes has a bit on mana leech on it, but it's indeed not enough to sustain. The first solution is to use a Thief's Torment ring while leveling ; the life gained on hit is useful early, but useless as you get more ES, but the mana gained on hit is insane, and basically makes you immune to being out of mana.
However, around the end of the story, you'll start to need some other rings (perhaps with ES and resistances), so Thief's Torment is more of a leveling item. Also, you might not be able to afford it (a few chaos), or just don't like it. Then, a second solution is to not reserve all your mana (I played with only Wrath, or only Discipline depending on the situation, for most of the game), and keep a top-tier mana flask (with the Catalysed mod if needed - 50% increased regeneration rate). The third solution is to go to the bottom of the tree quickly, and take the hybrid life/mana leech node, which will be enough to sustain your mana.

Hope that helps!

Poe.Trade browsing tips:
These are my personal searches that I use to find my upgrades. Most likely they are far from ideal, but they are good enough for me, so if you are a person who needs help with it, chances are, it will help you too.
Remember to tweak the numbers in search boxes to suit your needs/budget!
Jewels - budget
You can find more jewels if you remove Energy shield requirement. Just increase the values or other mods you are looking for to compensate.

Rings - budget

Crafted life is included in the search since you can always remove it for %ES craft.
Amulets - budget

Shields - with Spell/Lightning damage
Shields - with higher ES/Resists

Wands - updated
With those, pay special attention on free available suffixes or prefixes to craft. Attack speed as a suffix, and spell damage as a prefix. With those, it's best to use Path of Building to compare it to your current wand, as there are too many variables for me to list them all. Most of the wands in this search will be comparable to average rolled Piscators, but, some of them will stand out to be +15% better then total perfect Piscator's.

Some browsers allow extensions that let you copy items from poe.trade to Path of Building directly. It's an amazing tool to have for super fast "before you buy" comparisons.
I'm using this one for Google Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/poe-trade-copy-to-path-of/dfieikfjcjekajhabkpjoffobdlillli?hl=en

https://pastebin.com/bTEmJZtZ - lvl 53
https://pastebin.com/QuT1V80u - lvl 64
https://pastebin.com/hRF8Wevq - lvl 76
https://pastebin.com/yaj5JzHJ - lvl 87
All above during first 4 days of the league.

https://pastebin.com/MJh3gvun - lvl 48
https://pastebin.com/4iWdspg7 - lvl 64
https://pastebin.com/6B2sHYzN - lvl 66
https://pastebin.com/9stjXYy6 - lvl 72
https://pastebin.com/8Xc4NDn6 - lvl 76
https://pastebin.com/9TLRR2bs - lvl 84
https://pastebin.com/xd6KJg5J - lvl 89
All above are during first 5-6 days of the league.

Hundreds of ex worth of gear:
https://pastebin.com/tVit0yt8 - lvl 99, retarded (still imperfect) level gear, no legacy gear - 9k ES + 4 million Shaper dps.

Budget gear:

My most up to date PoB is awailable in the next section. Alternatively, just import my character.

"My gear in X League" section:

My gear in Incursion:

I would upgrade a lot more if I had a chance to play. Unfortunately Monday->Friday of the first week I am doing (at the time of writing) 12 hour night shifts which didn't leave me with enough time to get ahead during first week.

Can gain 700 ES if I replace Heart of Storm with Unnatural Calm.

My gear in Bestiary:




Pretty much got bored of Bestiary after around 2.5 weeks in, so I won't be updating the gear section. I'll still be active in the thread answering questions, but tbh, Bestiary sucks, and I don't want to be playing Standard.
Obvious next stop upgrade would be Dying Sun and boot Enchant. Possibly next round of upgrading jewelry and later the shield.
My build guides:

Taking a break from PoE, catch me up in Warframe: https://www.warframe.com/signup?referrerId=5b625847f2f2eb0ea0750322
Use above link for free booster when you sign up! :)
Last edited by Bristoling on Jun 29, 2018, 3:13:03 PM
Last bumped on Oct 8, 2018, 8:37:10 AM
My build guides:

Taking a break from PoE, catch me up in Warframe: https://www.warframe.com/signup?referrerId=5b625847f2f2eb0ea0750322
Use above link for free booster when you sign up! :)
Do you reckon this would be viable in HC at all, mind you i'll be playing with an aurabot support.
If go a bit more ES heavy on the tree and pick a rare Regalia with higher ES instead of unique, then yes, definately. When in maps, you pretty much are guaranteed to have not only leech and high eHP, but also passive regen from Vile Bastion.

Get a Guardian support with you, and even with a unique armour (300-330 ES) you can get up to 10k very easily.

The most dangerous part is when you are just transitioning into CI, but if you are playing hardcore, and decide to go with an ES build, I assume you already know what you are doing :)
My build guides:

Taking a break from PoE, catch me up in Warframe: https://www.warframe.com/signup?referrerId=5b625847f2f2eb0ea0750322
Use above link for free booster when you sign up! :)
very nice build bro, im a big fan of witch too can i swap crown of eyes for another helmet with + 1 barrage very hard to search crown of eyes with +1barrage :(
You can use any rare Hubris or even a unique like Vertex, but I have no idea how much would that be. I'm looking for CoE myself at the moment, haven't seen one yet. Probably I wouldn't be able to afford one yet seeing as I'm still 2-3 ex away from getting a 6L.

I like CoE for the ease of gearing, since you can use a lot bigger range of shields/jewels with spell damage, and get some extra free damage from wand implicit mod and Coldhearted Calculation on the tree. With that being said, you can use other helmets, but finding good gear on a budget is going to be a little bit harder.
My build guides:

Taking a break from PoE, catch me up in Warframe: https://www.warframe.com/signup?referrerId=5b625847f2f2eb0ea0750322
Use above link for free booster when you sign up! :)
Last edited by Bristoling on Mar 14, 2018, 5:13:17 PM
Can this build clear all content including end game bosses?
I've killed Pheonix, Chimera and Minotaur multiple times using just a 5L and no Dying Sun, so yeah it is capable of killing end game bosses. I'm currently sitting on 52 Shaper Guardian kills (split between Chimera, Phoenix and Minotaur).

Haven't tried Shaper due to enourmous rng with his loot which isn't worth it for me as I don't believe I'll get a lucky flask/sword drop, but I think I could do it. Shaper is a lot easier imo then Guardians with map mods.

Due to how I set up my Atlas it's unlikely I'll face red Elder unless I help out someone, but yellow Elder and his guardians was super easy.
My build guides:

Taking a break from PoE, catch me up in Warframe: https://www.warframe.com/signup?referrerId=5b625847f2f2eb0ea0750322
Use above link for free booster when you sign up! :)
Last edited by Bristoling on Mar 17, 2018, 8:24:49 PM
Hey, I'm really enjoying the build, though leveling wasn't the smoothest. What are all your sources of movement speed? Do you just rely on your boots and quicksilver flask, or is there something else? How much movement speed do you reach with quicksilver up, and anything else you use, not including Vaal Haste?
My current boots and tree gives me 52% movement speed at this point. I'm at 122% with Quicksilver of Adrenaline, 142% with Silver flask on top, and 172% with Smoke Mine as well.

I'd say Quicksilver flask of Adrenaline is super important for clearing fast, Silver is also very useful, Smoke Mine helps when backtracking but with general clear I prefer having it off because I'm not used to moving this fast and missclick items way too often :>
My build guides:

Taking a break from PoE, catch me up in Warframe: https://www.warframe.com/signup?referrerId=5b625847f2f2eb0ea0750322
Use above link for free booster when you sign up! :)

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info