[3.9] WINDS OF WINTER: Endgame Low Life Freezing Pulse Occultist | All Content | Magic Find | $$$$

3.9 is basically the same as 3.8 for this build.

Upgrade your existing supports to Awakening versions as you can (Cold Pen, Spell Echo, Controlled Destruction).

Watcher's Eye will be a lot harder to get, so that's a nerf. Presence of Chayula will be better than Panedmonius for you if you lack a Watcher's Eye with +ES/Clarity mod.

I'm dealing with a lot of IRL stresses for the next 9 months; I might not be available to answer questions.

You can inspect my character to see what I'm currently doing with tree/gear. If you see me running the "Withering Presence" Ascendancy node, that is specifically to have the +60% chaos resistance for the Sirus fight; I find the fight much easier with capped chaos resistance.

My current (as of 1/23/2020) Path of Building, experimenting with Summon Skitterbots and manual cast of Frost Bomb (I think this setup is better; requires min/maxing your reduced mana reservation though)

3.8 Update (UPDATED 9/17/2019)

- No major changes if you are playing Occultist; just a couple minor tweaks on passive tree to get the new power charge nodes north of Witch
- Take "Disciple of the Forbidden" instead of Dark Arts.
- Mana is not a problem with level 20 Clarity and the few Mana nodes on the tree
- We already ran a mana flask before for no leech / no regen maps. Do the same now.
- Tranquility is the ideal notable to anoint on an amulet. If you are playing dual-curse Occultist, Charisma is equally good, since you can just get the 4% reduced mana reserved north-east of Scion start, and you save a bunch of passives and don't have to buy an Intuitive leap.

Here's the Path of Building I settled on for Delve Variant in 3.8 (note the gem & tree differences):

I think the above is pretty close to min-maxed for Delve. I believe the Delve floor, with perfect gear, would be around 1200, with comfortable left/right farming at around 1000.

- I'm going to play as Assassin for 3.8 just to change things up. It's not a better version, because it will die against bosses where you start at zero power charges, but it has a lot more move speed for faster map clears.


Occultist is going to be just fine. It will be as good as it was in 3.7. It's still probably the strongest min/maxed version of the build. No reason to play another class unless you just want to try something different

7/27/2019 Update
Learned a lot about optimizing this build as I delved down to 1000, and I have updated the guide as follows:
  • Projectile Weakness should be run on Blasphemy. It's much stronger
  • Running Malediction instead of Frigid Wake allows use of dual-curse in Delve, which is necessary, and is still good with just 1 curse in maps
  • Both the normal and Delve variant are now included below. They are easy to switch between - it costs 7 respec points to swap between the two and the only gear difference is that you need an Intuitive Leap for the Delve version.
  • Timeless Jewel (Militant Faith) Added.
  • I'm trying out Seven-League Step as my magic find setup boots instead of Wondertrap for a while. I'm wondering if the move speed is just better

3.7 Update
ES got nerfed pretty hard and Occultist got gutted.

Occultist is still the best ascendancy for this, as it still helps the most with improving survivability and mechanics for this build. However, Trickster would be roughly as good; it's not different enough that I want to test it, but it might be *slightly* better or *slightly* worse - you'd have to test it to know. I put a link to a Path of Building Trickster variant under "Explanation of Core Build Choices" below. My gut is that it's like +5% raw numbers for -5% mechanical consistency. And I'll choose mechanical consistency over numbers.

The build is still really strong with GG gear, but now, unless you have really good gear, this build is a glass canon. It lost about 20-40% total ES compared to 3.6, depending on your exact gear and passive tree.

Updated the guide to include updated links and path of building, to clarify a bit more the philosophy behind this build (so you know if you ought to try playing it), and to clarify a few mistakes I've seen people make.

old patch changes

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


3.8 Delve 1044 testing Righteous Fire for extra DPS

3.7 Delve Depth 1024 + Argus (Gehennix) kill

3.7 Aul Kill (depth 684)

3.6 Uber Elder Kill


Hello everyone! I'm tackle70 and I want to show you how you can have some good 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.


You should see how well your own goals match this build, before deciding if you want to try it or not

GOAL: Which League?
  • Standard

Temporary leagues, hardcore leagues, and solo self-found leagues do not appeal to me at all. I don't like playing games where all my progression gets reset, and it would take you a million years to get gear like this in SSF.

GOAL: What Content is This Build Designed For?
  • All Endgame Maps
  • All Endgame Bosses & League Content (Uber Elder / Delve Bosses / etc)
  • Deep Delving (depth 1000+)

GOAL: What Content Is Ignored?
  • Leveling
  • Uber-Lab

GOAL: Time and Currency Investment Into the Build
  • I want a build that I can play for 1000+ hours. Level it to 100 and keep playing a long time
  • I want to invest $$$$ into the build, with opportunity to farm and use GG chase items. 1000-ish exalts expected investment.
  • Chase uniques are preferred to mirrored rares; I don't like mirroring rare gear, because it's a bad investment long-term, since GGG constantly power-creeps rare gear.

To Accomplish These Goals, We Need a Build With:
  • High Mobility and AoE DPS (for fast map clears)
  • High Single Target DPS (bosses, deep delves)
  • Decent Survivability (deep delves)
  • Good Magic Find (need to finance expensive upgrades, and playing 1000+ hours on a build without magic find feels bad)

Everything in this build is designed around achieving the above goals. IF YOU HAVE DIFFERENT GOALS (like playing in a temp league) YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE THINGS IN THE BUILD ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN NEEDS, AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO PLAY A DIFFERENT BUILD ENTIRELY


Low Life (instead of Life, CI, or Hybrid)
Low-Life allows for maximum DPS, and gives the option of free 100% IIR (increased item rarity) from Wondertrap or 14% IIQ from Greedtrap. So, it’s the perfect choice for this build – high DPS provides good clear speed and ability to delve, and provides an easy source of Magic Find. The only real downside to Low-Life is that it is very expensive, because you rely on expensive uniques (Shavronne's Wrappings) and need several expensive gear pieces to provide enough Energy Shield to survive. But this build is not made with a tight budget in mind.

Occultist is not a very strong class in 3.7, but it’s still the strongest ascendancy for this build. It grants a power charge, some ES regeneration, and some nice curse bonuses.

Freezing Pulse
In my opinion, this is one of the best all-around spells mechanically. It has great clear potential AND decent single target. The ability to freeze things also makes it a very defensive skill. Our goal is to have a jack-of-all-trades endgame build, and Freezing Pulse is a fantastic jack-of-all-trades spell.

HELP! I Don't Know How to Level to get to this build! I'm poor and don't have Void Batteries or a Shavs... What do I do?
Go play another build. Seriously. I don't say that to make you feel bad, but this is not a build that is new player friendly. And it's definitely not meant to be played on a budget under 10 exalts.

If you aren't sure how to level a character, or farm to buy items valued between 1 and 10 exalts, you should be playing something else.

Build Pros/Cons

  • Excellent "Jack of all trades" build. Really nice single target and AoE damage, survivability, movement, and magic find. It's expensive, but it never feels bad to play.
  • No conditional tricks needed for max DPS (flasks/etc). Max DPS. All the time.
  • Great map clear speed (60-180 seconds/map depending on layout etc)
  • 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.
  • Farms Shaper and Uber Elder easily, as long as you know the mechanics
  • Can delve pretty deep when well geared. Can farm around depth 1000-1100 with my gear.

  • 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 can probably find a more specialized build.
  • Expensive
  • 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 or delve bosses with bad mods that make avoiding damage impossible
  • Because of ^^ above, the build struggles to kill Delve bosses deep, unless you are so skilled that you can avoid 100% of their abilities. Depth 684 Aul (without any damage mods) is my current record.

Ascendancy & Class Choice: Occultist (Witch)
  • Take Vile Bastion, Forbidden Power, and Malediction
  • Occultist is still the best choice, even after heavy nerfs, with stun immunity, up to 10% ES regen, free charge generation, and hefty bonuses to your curses

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 and are mandatory. 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 & Deep Delve 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.

I found switching to Presence of Chayula mandatory below about Delve 800 in order to stay alive.

Two First Snow jewels are mandatory

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

Watcher's Eye with a "Gain (12-18)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity" mod is a massive power boost for the build and is almost mandatory. It adds about 750-1000 ES to the build depending on your exact setup.

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) (20-30)% increased Energy Shield Recovery Rate while affected by Discipline
  • 4) (30-40)% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge 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 (e.g. some of the Zealotry mods), but these are in my opinion the top 5.

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 three Power Charge mods are Best-in-Slot. NOTE THAT YOUR RINGS ARE MEANT AS DEFENSIVE ITEMS... A %ES per power charge mod is MANDATORY if you are using these.

I REPEAT: DON'T WASTE MONEY BUYING CRAPPY PRECURSOR'S EMBLEM RINGS. This is a chase unique that is only good with %ES along with +Charges and/or +Crit Multi.

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.

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.

A Helmet with high Energy Shield and +1 Power Charges implicit is best-in-slot and very highly desirable.

Magic Find Gear

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

Tested these for a while and I like them better. I'd say the choice depends on your play style and loot filter: if you don't like picking up rares, the move speed is best. If you do like picking up rares, run the Wondertrap. And in a temp league I'm pretty sure Greed Trap is best.

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 am running a legacy 23% Sadima's Touch in Standard, but only because I'm level 100 and don't mind an occasional death. My resistances are not capped with them equipped.

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

Remaining Jewels (up to 4)

For the Delve variation
You will likely want one of these if trying to fit 4 auras + 2 curses in the Delve variant below:

Get a Militant Faith jewel with the "Dominus" roll, so that you can use the Inner Conviction Keystone for 3% more damage per power charge. It's OP OP. I placed my jewel North-East of the Witch to convert the CI keystone:

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

I recommend adding a Unnatural Instinct jewel north-east of the Witch. It's not OP anymore, but 14% movement speed is nice, and it's still an OK amount of damage.

There are other interesting things you could do with unique jewels, like getting a Transcendant Mind for 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 Flasks:
  • Cinderswallow Urn (incredible defensive boost with ES recovery on kill; onslaught is nice
  • Enduring Eternal Mana Flask (solves 100% of mana problems)
  • Quicksilver Flask (so slowwwwwww without it)

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

Recommended Flasks:
  • Diamond Flask (good DPS boost, especially with mediocre gear)
  • Dying Sun (feels good in big open maps)

My almost-ideal Gear



I use these for map clearing and only swap in the "real" gear for hard bosses (like Uber Elder):

NOTE: I spent roughly 1150 exalts acquiring all this gear. Please don't try to copy my setup on a budget. Start with more modest gear and work your way up. The build still feels really good on a 20-30 exalt budget. Just not crazy OP.


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 & Curses

For General Play and Mapping... Most of you should look here

NOTE: If you do NOT have multiple level 4 Enlighten gems, you will need an additional 4% reduced mana reservation node on your passive tree, or otherwise adjust this setup to what you can actually run.

Use one of your 4-Links for Hatred - 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.

Blood Magic MUST BE LEVEL 20 OR 21

Use one of your weapons for Zealotry - Vaal Discipline - Enlighten.

Use another of your 4-links to run Blasphemy - Enlighten - Projectile Weakness.

I use the 4th gem slot here for my Summon Lightning Golem

Dual Blasphemy Curse setup for Deep Delves

I found adding Enfeeble incredibly helpful below depth 750. Here's my Delve gem setup:

Blasphemy - Enlighten - Projectile Weakness - Enfeeble

Vaal Discipline and Clarity swap - the Blood Magic auras are now Hatred - Vaal Discipline - Enlighten - Blood Magic

And the mana auras are now Zealotry - Clarity - Enlighten

In this setup, I put my Summon Lightning Golem into one of my 3L, replacing Faster Casting in the Flame Dash link.

Cast When Damage Taken Support, Lightning Golem
I have come to like this CWDT setup. Run it at high level:

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.

With the Delve variant of the build, you can go full-DPS and run Projectile Weakness + Frostbite. The damage output is nuts with that setup but I had a hard time not dying a bunch in Delve 900-1k when I tested it.

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 since 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.

Misc. thoughts:
  • I don't recommend taking Wicked Ward. Too much downside. But you can try it if you want
  • My tree is more optimized for DPS than ES, but you could change it up if you wanted and optimize for more ES. My instinct is that would feel worse, since freezing everything is how you stay alive
  • If you are level 85 or 90 and wondering what 10 points to save for last, it doesn't matter too much. Just make sure you get all the Jewel slots and Power Charges.

As of now, Path of Building cannot include Timeless Jewels. So, there are 2 points missing in the Path of Building links (one for the jewel, one for the Inner Conviction keystone).

Also, note that it's pretty easy to switch between the main build version and the delve variant. If you have all the gear, it costs 7 regrets to respec between them.

Path of Building Link, Passive Tree - MAIN BUILD VERSION

Path of Building (up to date as of 7/27/2019, patch 3.7)

Level 100 Passive Tree

Path of Building Link, Passive Tree - DELVE OPTIMIZED VARIANT

Path of Building (up to date as of 7/27/2019, patch 3.7). Currently farming between Delve 1000 and Delve 1100 with this setup and gear.

Level 100 Passive Tree
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
The 82nd character to hit Delve 1000 in Standard
Last edited by tackle70 on Jan 23, 2020, 9:29:37 AM
Last bumped on May 6, 2020, 9:32:11 PM
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
The 82nd character to hit Delve 1000 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
The 82nd character to hit Delve 1000 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
The 82nd character to hit Delve 1000 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
The 82nd character to hit Delve 1000 in Standard
Last edited by tackle70 on Jun 19, 2018, 12:13:13 AM

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