[3.6] WINDS OF WINTER: Endgame-Optimized Low Life Freezing Pulse Occultist

3.6 Changes TL;DR
  • Build has roughly twice the damage and 5-10% more ES than 3.5. It should feel a LOT better with average gear and it feels broken now with GG gear.
  • Drop Haste and Herald of Ice. Run Hatred + Zealotry (one on Mana, one on Blood Magic). You will probably need to lower the level of your Clarity on Blood Magic
  • Passive tree significantly reworked. Here's the new suggested tree.
  • Hatred watcher's eye with +crit chance is now insane. Get an ES/clarity and Crit Chance/Hatred Eye if you can.
  • Added a section to the guide discussing options for building this on a budget, before you can afford the expensive items



Hello everyone! I'm tackle70 and I want to show you how you can have some silly fun pushing Freezing Pulse to its limits. Those of you playing Path of Exile for a while may remember my old Rainbownuke build (press F to pay respects to Mjölner). This is the build I have played as the successor to Rainbownuke.

Build Goals:
  • Achieve the fastest map clear speed possible with self-cast Freezing Pulse. If possible, rival the fastest meta builds.
  • Be capable of clearing all content in the game without difficulty, given that a player knows relevant mechanics.
  • Include as much magic find as possible.
  • Be sturdy enough defensively that I can be play while sleepy/zoned out/having a couple drinks/etc.
  • Be able to do everything in the game well. Single target, AoE, clear speed, bosses, magic find, etc. No significant weaknesses or awkwardness.

  • This Guide Is Written:
    • To players interested in pushing a Freezing Pulse build as far as it will go, with an emphasis on endgame mapping and Elder farming, which is the content I personally enjoy.
    • To present you with offensive and defensive options for building high budget endgame Freezing Pulse and give you my take on which is best
    • With the assumption that you can figure out leveling for yourself. There is nothing special about leveling a self-cast Freezing Pulse Occultist. Level like you would any Occultist spell caster.
    • To showcase what’s possible with Freezing Pulse[ and get you excited to play the game and maybe try out the skill!

    Why Low Life instead of Life or CI?
    On a budget, a Life or CI build will usually be stronger than Low-Life. However, Low Life is the most powerful way to make this build if you have access to the gear, and it also makes getting Magic Find more straightforward with Wondertrap for a free 100% rarity.

    HELP! I Don't Know How to Level to get to this build!
    Check out this guide over here. You will level as any generic ES based spell caster. If you don't have a Shavronne's Wrappings yet, you will play with Chaos Innoculation and maybe a Tabula Rasa for a while until you can acquire a Shavronne's Wrappings.

    I'm poor, can I still play this build?
    Yes. You don't need 500 exalts of gear for this build to be powerful. The gear in this guide is what you can work towards, most of it isn't absolutely required. Shavronne's Wrappings is necessary for Low Life, and dual Void Batteries are so strong that they are borderline mandatory, but you can definitely get into maps just fine, long before you acquire those items and start ramping up the build's power level.


    General Thoughts
    DISCLAIMER: This is my *best guess* for your priorities on gearing this build starting from zero in a league. I am not speaking from recent experience, as I've been in Standard only. Take this for what it's worth, and don't follow it rigidly if it isn't helpful.

    • 1:Farm yourself a Tabula Rasa. and two First Snow jewel
    • 2: Acquire some basic Energy Shield gear - which can include a Shield so you can survive farming early maps. I would probably start out with a dagger/shield and only go dual wielding after I had two Void Batteries. Get an Energy From Within as well.
    • 3: Using the Chaos Innoculation keystone, your Tabula, and your basic leveling Energy Shield gear and weapon, farm for currency until you are able to afford the three core items: 2x Void Battery and Shavronne's Wrappings. I would probably get the Void Batteries first, then the Shavs, but I'm not 100% confident that is best.
    • 4: After getting the three core items above, work to acquire better Energy Shield gear. Try to get up to at least 5000 Energy Shield before moving on to other expensive purchases below.
    • 5:Farm for the remaining expensive pieces of the build, in whatever order you choose: two Enlighten gems (do NOT run Empower in a temporary league until you have a +1 Shavs... as below, use Energy Leech instead), The Pandemonius, a good Watcher's Eye, good rare jewels, and continuing to keep an eye out for stronger ES gear.
    • After you have acquired decent ES gear and all the core unique items, then farm for the luxury items like Headhunter, Unnatural Instinct, a corrupt Shavronne's Wrappings, and Precursor's Emblem, etc

    Specific Thoughts, with Path of Building Links, for Leveling & Mid-Budget
    Here's a super budget temp league Path of Building link:


    • >500k shaper DPS
    • 5700 Energy shield
    • capped resists
    • ZERO expensive items; total budget around 120 chaos (EDIT... Didn't realize Energy From Within is expensive right now because it's a dirt cheap item in standard league... Just ignore it if it's too expensive and take a couple extra ES nodes in its place)
    • I just found all this gear on Synthesis league on poe.trade. Everything except the Tabula Rasa was found for 10 chaos or less.
    • NOTE HOW DIFFERENT THE PASSIVE TREE IS. The optimal tree for crappy gear like this is much different from the optimal tree for GG gear.

    That should be a decent start to farm white and yellow maps until you could get the expensive gear upgrades.

    Here's what the above build would become when adding Shavs, two level 3 Enlighten jewels, two Void Batteries, a Pandemonius, and a Watcher's Eye with a ES/Clarity mod:


    • >1M shaper DPS
    • 7300 Energy shield
    • NOTE on Strength and Resists in the Path of Building: You'd have to adjust the rare items to get some more Strength and a little more resistances. I didn't spend the time adding new items for this, but looked on poe.trade and there are rings/boots/jewels that could do this all for 10c or less. No expensive rares required.
    • Some expensive uniques but nothing crazy like Headhunter
    • Worth noting... this is fairly close to the power level of the build I had in 3.3 when I did the Uber Elder fight, recorded above.

    Build Pros/Cons

    • Good "Jack of all trades" build. This build has a really nice combination of both single target and AoE damage, survivability, movement, and magic find.
    • DPS that scales up to insane DPS with enough gear. Unbuffed ~2M DPS shaper DPS with good gear, ~4M shaper DPS with GG gear.
    • DPS for this build is just pure, raw, unconditional DPS. I got sick of looking through build guides claiming millions of DPS in Path of Building but then you find out that it's only under super specific conditions. With this build, there are no conditional tricks like flasks or Frost Bomb or any other nonsense that people use to artificially inflate Path of Building numbers. The DPS you see with this build is the DPS you get. All the time.
    • Top Tier clear speed for mapping.
    • Freezes almost everything in the game, including T15 bosses
    • Can run decent Magic Find without sacrificing anything while clearing up to T16 maps. 44% IIQ/100% IIR + Bisco's Collar possible in Standard. 16% IIQ/70% IIR + Bisco's Collar possible in leagues.
    • Can do all maps/map bosses/map mods except Elemental Reflect maps
    • Farms red Elder and Elder Guardians effortlessly.
    • Shaper is easy. Uber Elder is pretty easy if you know the mechanics.

    • As a "Jack of all trades", this build is also master of none. If you want to specialize in something very specific (farming a specific boss, or pure pack clear speed while ignoring bosses, going maximum magic find, etc), you should probably find a more specialized build.
    • Can get expensive to fully gear
    • Freezing Pulse still has a couple clunky skill mechanics where it can get stuck in narrow doorways or on objects
    • Survivability is linked purely to the ability to freeze things, regenerate ES, and avoid damage. There's almost no mitigation. Righteous Fire Juggernaut, this is not. Surviving endgame bosses (T16 Guardians and others that cannot be frozen) requires knowing the mechanics, avoiding the damage, and killing the boss quickly. Sometimes this means you have to skip map bosses because the mods make it so that you cannot avoid the damage. For example, the Reef boss is normally a joke, but I skip it anytime it has an "Increased Area of Effect" modifier because it's too easy to die in the phases where the boss is immune.


    With fairly GG gear, the build is pushing just over 4M shaper DPS. Around 5M shaper DPS with flasks.



    Ascendancy & Class Choice: Occultist (Witch)
    • Take Wicked Ward, Vile Bastion, Void Beacon, and Forbidden Power.
    • Occultist is the only real choice here. Free power charge generation, 250 flat ES, Stun Immunity, tons of survivability with ES recharge on kill and uninterrupted recharge. -20% to enemy cold resistances as a bonus. You can get more DPS with Assassin or Elementalist variants, but I don’t think they are as good.

    My almost-ideal Gear



    I use these for map clearing:

    And then I have the following swaps as needed. I swap in all of these for T16 Guardian clears and for high tier Elder guardian fights, but for regular T15 maps and below I only swap the amulet:

    Required Gear:

    Shavronne's Wrappings is required to run this build on Low-Life. It does not need to have a legacy Energy Shield Roll or be corrupt. Double-corrupt with +1 Gems and +2 Projectile Gems is the best possible gear piece for the build, but a single corruption of either is also very valuable.

    Dual Void Battery is Best-in-Slot for this build. Get the best rolls you can afford. They’re better than mirrored wands if you use Precursor’s Emblem rings.

    The Pandemonius is the Best-in-Slot amulet. Huge damage boost. Decent survivability boost also. A corrupted one with Cold Leech is nice for boss fights that don’t have adds, but not necessary.

    Defensive Alternative

    Presence of Chayula is the defensive equivalent of The Pandemonius. If you'd rather have extra Energy Shield than extra DPS, this is your go-to amulet instead.

    Two First Snow jewels are mandatory

    Energy From Within is also mandatory. Get a legacy one if you are in Standard.

    Watcher's Eye is a massive power boost for the build.

    Here's the top 5 rolls... try to get #1 and at least one of the others if possible:
    • 1) Gain (12-18)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity
    • 2) +(1.2-1.8)% to Critical Strike Chance while affected by Hatred
    • 3) (30-40)% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge while affected by Discipline
    • 4) (20-30)% increased Energy Shield Recovery Rate while affected by Discipline
    • 5) (1.5-2.5)% of Maximum Energy Shield Regenerated per Second while affected by Discipline

    There are other rolls that can be useful, but these are the big ones.

    Gear Slots With Options:

    Headhunter is Best-in-Slot, and ideally you will get one with like this with the +All Elemental Resistances corruption. It's BiS not only because it's Headhunter, but because it happens to give massive Strength and Dexterity boosts. This saves you from wasting passive points picking up enough Strength and Dexterity.


    A budget option, or an option to fix your resistances, is a decent Crystal Belt.

    I don't recommend spending $$$$ on a shaper/elder belt or a high end Stygian Vise. Save your exalts and buy a Headhunter


    Two Precursor's Emblem rings with Power Charge mods are Best-in-Slot. You want +1 Maximum Charges, Crit Multi, %ES, and/or %ES Regeneration.

    You will have problems capping your resistances if you run these rings; I solved it by getting additional resistances on my jewels and by getting a corrupted Headhunter with +16 all res.


    The more normal option is to run two rare rings with flat Energy Shield and any Resistances, Strength, or Dexterity you need. You will have to balance this with what Resistances, Strength, and Dexterity you are able to get on your Helmet/Boots/Gloves. Legacy %ES rolls are nice, as are the new master crafted % faster start of ES Recharge.

    You might also choose to buy a ring with curse on hit Warlord's Mark for Endurance Charge generation and some leech if you think you need some additional defense.

    Another interesting defensive option would be Shavronne's Revelation in the right ring slot for a lot of Energy Shield and Energy Shield regen, though you would have to solve the mana regeneration downside (Vaal clarity? Lavianga's Spirit?).

    Helmet, Gloves, and Boots

    These are the most straightforward rare items in the build. You want as much Energy shield as you can get, while balancing your gear so that your resistances are capped and you have sufficient Dexterity and Strength. Try to get at least +20 Movement Speed on your boots. Getting an open suffix for master crafting on each of these items is a HUGE plus so you can adjust your gear as needed over time.

    NOTE ON BOOT ENCHANT: You really want a pair of boots with the "% of Damage leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently" enchantment. It's a huge improvement to quality of life while mapping because otherwise you have to manage your mana more actively with your flask. It's very close to mandatory. 0.4% or 0.6% will both be fine.

    Magic Find Gear

    In Standard League, these are your swaps for mapping with Magic Find:

    In a Temporary League, you can run Item Rarity and Greedtrap instead:

    other options

    Goldwyrm are an option for boots, but I think the extra Energy Shield and movement speed on Greedtrap are better. In Standard, you already have so much item quantity that you benefit more from the item rarity of Wondertrap than even a legacy Goldwyrm

    Aurseize or Sadima's Touch are options if you can manage to get enough defenses elsewhere to run them. I personally do not run them, as I couldn't sacrifice both boot and glove slots in my setup and maintain my defenses.

    Ventor's Gamble with good rolls is an option on your rings if you want to make that work.

    Remaining Jewels (up to 4)

    You want to pick up any remaining resistances or Dexterity/Strength you need, and get as much crit multi as you can.

    I highly recommend adding a Unnatural Instinct jewel north-east of the Witch. It's incredibly strong.

    There are other interesting things you could do with unique jewels, like getting a Transcendant Mind for 2.8% of Energy Shield regeneration north of the Witch starting area. However, I still think two well rolled rare jewels are ideal. Your mileage may vary; feel free to experiment if there's a unique jewel that interests you.

    Desirable Jewel Corruptions
    Try to get the following Jewel Corruptions:
    • Cannot be Cursed with Silence
    • Corrupted Blood Cannot be Inflicted on You
    • 1% Reduced Mana Reserved (try to get two)

    Flask Setup

    Mandatory Flask Types:
    • Diamond Flask (huge DPS, more consistent freezing)
    • Eternal Mana Flask (mandatory for many bosses without adds and for no-leech maps)
    • Quicksilver Flask (so slowwwwwww without it)

    Mandatory Flask Suffixes:
    • "Of Heat" (get frozen = get dead)
    • If you don't have a Jewel with "Corrupted Blood cannot be Inflicted on You", then you need a flask "Of Staunching" (zero physical mitigation = all bleeds will kill you)
    • "Of Warding" (temporal chains and elemental weakness will get you killed)

    Recommended Flask Types:
    • Silver Flask (gotta go fast)
    • Basalt Flask (physical damage tends to be more dangerous than elemental for this build)

    Cinderswallow Urn is a great flask to use, if you have sufficient space to fit it in. The Instant ES recovery on kill is a huge defensive boost.

    Main Freezing Pulse Link: Freezing Pulse+Spell Echo+Power Charge on Critical+Hypothermia+Cold Penetration+Empower

    This will be your optimal setup if you have a +1 Gems Shavronne's Wrappings and a level 4 Empower. If you don't have that, and you don't have an Item Quantity gem, you can use Energy Leech instead of Empower. If you use a red slot and are in Standard, swap in Item Quantity for mapping; if you use a blue slot and are in a temporary league, swap in Item Rarity for mapping.

    Movement Skill: Flame Dash

    Flame Dash is a very nice movement skill and it also allows us to use Arcane Surge.

    NOTE: Make sure you don't over-level your Arcane Surge; you want it to trigger on every use of Flame Dash.

    Supporting Auras

    Use one of your 4-Links for Zealotry - Clarity - Enlighten - Blood Magic. A level 4 Enlighten will help a lot with being able to level Clarity. Use as high a level Clarity as your life pool can fit.

    Use one of your weapons for Hatred - Vaal Discipline - Enlighten. Enlighten is helpful at level 4 but you can get by with a level 3 if you have to.

    Cast When Damage Taken Support, Lightning Golem

    A high level Cast When Damage Taken linked to Vaal Cold Snap and Projectile Weakness, supported by Bonechill. This is a great offensive and defensive toolkit for the build.

    Note on Curse Choice
    If you run Projectile Weakness, make sure you don't overlevel it relative to your Dexterity. It's the only item in the build with a high Dex requirement.

    You could also run a defensive curse if you prefer, like Enfeeble or Temp Chains.

    A high level Cast When Damage Taken linked to Immortal Call and Increased Duration is mandatory for the build. This will save you from countless situations where you get hit with dozens of small to medium physical hits in a span of 1-2 seconds and die. The level/quality of the Immortal Call doesn't matter unless you are doing something to generate Endurance Charges, which I am not.

    Put a Summon Lightning Golem in where you can

    Being at least level 85 is STRONGLY recommended for playing this build.

    Bandit Rewards
    Help Alira to get a bonus to your Crit Multiplier, Mana Regeneration, and Resists.

    Pantheon Choice
    Major God: Soul of Lunaris (avoid chained projectiles is helpful)
    Minor God: Soul of Shakari (very helpful to be poison immune)

    Note About the Passive Tree
    The passive tree got much more complex to min-max in 3.6. I recommend using Path of Building and checking what is most optimal for your particular gear setup, as it might be slightly different from mine. Note also that you should only take Zealot's Oath if you have some form of life regen on gear and/or tree.

    Level 98 Suggested Passive Tree
    The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
    Last edited by tackle70 on Mar 19, 2019, 12:15:38 AM
    Last bumped on Mar 20, 2019, 11:06:13 AM
    The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
    standard build, let's move on
    Video overview up. Will add a shaper kill and maybe some other videos as I get around to it.
    The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
    Beautifully written.
    freezing pulse is amazing for levelling.

    2x tasalios sign + 2 tulborn + some additional power charges / duration + tabula

    5k-60k dps throughout levelling
    Sha0Kahnn wrote:
    freezing pulse is amazing for levelling.

    2x tasalios sign + 2 tulborn + some additional power charges / duration + tabula

    5k-60k dps throughout levelling

    Interesting thought. Maybe after I get a few more levels I will take a new character through maps with it and make some leveling advice if it works out. My impression last time I tried to level a build like this is that it's too dependent on having amazing low level ES gear. There's almost zero life nodes taken and %ES nodes don't do much when you just don't have very decent gear.
    The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
    Last edited by tackle70 on Jun 9, 2018, 10:22:00 AM
    I guess you meant lvl 70-90+

    with these uniques freezing pulse will get you comfortably to at least lvl 60 tho I think
    Another build of yours I enjoy.
    Just did Guardians, Shaper, and Uber Elder

    1st try deathless and pretty easy on Guardians and Shaper

    1 death on Uber Elder because I was an idiot and ran into an elder ice shot + shaper ball at same time

    Uploading vids overnight and will try again for a deathless Uber Elder

    I'm not experienced or particularly good at any of the fights so I'm certifying this build as capable of all content without too much difficulty.
    The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
    Last edited by tackle70 on Jun 19, 2018, 12:13:13 AM

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