[3.3] CI Caustic Arrow by Paige | SC/HC | Immortal | Guardians/Shaper/Uber | AFK Uber Labs | T17+

Build Highlights:

  • Occultist is OP: Free stun immunity, crazy AoE explosions, great ES nodes
  • AFK Uber Labs
  • Easy 8k+ ES
  • 3800+ ES Recharge per second
  • Cheap non meta uniques, gems & gear
  • Mirage Archer is an option, it does most of the work & attacks off screen
  • Extremely tanky, giving you room for a lot of mistakes/laziness in combat
  • Easy T17+ clears
  • ES Recharge delay of 0.70 or less seconds
  • Can run all map mods, except for no regeneration.
  • Tons of room for gear progression, this build will keep you busy for a long time
  • Softcore & Hardcore viable



This build is centered around AoE clear speed with CA, shoot once, and continue moving. We also have insane amounts of defensive layering such as, high ES, ES recharge, very low ES recharge delay, ES on kill, high ES regen and being evasion capped. It can clear all content in the game as I've shown already through videos/streaming but no CA build is going to be able to compete with broken meta skills as far as single target damage is concerned. If you want something broken that's overpriced, going to get nerfed and that everybody is playing, this isn't the build for you (in fact, none of my builds are for that audience) as I do not get any enjoyment out of playing builds like those. Thanks.


Trickster Version:



Q: Should I use your Trickster version or your Occultist version of this build?

A: The purpose of the Trickster version was to make something basically immortal that was still able to clear all content, albeit, more slowly than most other builds. The purpose of this Occultist version is to make use of the new & improved Occultist, which ends up giving us anywhere from a 33-40%+ overall DPS increase to CA & ED. You may notice a few small tweaks throughout the guide that will help improve our single target damage. Also, for people who were complaining, Occultist has free stun immunity. (:

Q: Why don't you use Mirage Archer?

A: Mirage Archer is still a viable option to run linked with Caustic Arrow, however, outside of speed clearing maps, it doesn't do much for us single target wise. I felt that we have enough clear speed with CA alone to be able to sacrifice Mirage Archer.

This feedback is based on my Trickster version of the build, however it's essentially the same setup, just higher damage.

Shiverful wrote:
Currently playing in AHC. Lv81; 8k+ ES; 11K CA for the price of 25C. Doing up to T6 easily, because I haven't had any higher tier yet.

It works.

Barzhal wrote:
Very nice build guide. I haven't tried caustic arrow since warbands, I'm loving it now. Spent about 6 ex total for the 3 six-links and impresence, the rest of the gear I got for a song. I'll have to check out your stream some time. Thanks!

PiX3L wrote:
So I just hit 71 on the build thought id share my gear and my progress so far.



So I enjoy leveling as my build and seeing the progress, depending on the build its not near as fast or as smooth as BV. But this build wasnt bad.

Damage and & Clear kick in at 36-40, had a 5L Silverbough that helped till I got to my current bow, then flipped it for 30c :). You are kind of squishy during the 40-65 tabula/before CI stage, but nothing some kiting cant fix.

Now that I am 71, sitting at 6.1K ES without my Uber Lab (typing this while sitting in global 820 and without Watchers eye.

my CA is sitting at 17K with my under leveled gems still, and without the Damage nodes near CI.

As for Blight vs ED. I leveled with ED till 71, but the gloves are not bad... The blight skill/jewel combo play style plays well with CA and Mirage archer, as well as the skill duration. Im sure ED has more top end DPS, but Blight cant be far behind based on how it feels. Plus it has to be mention for a cheap alternative, mine is 1 ES off from perfect and it was 2c...

with the blight setup aswell it freed up my chest for the aura/curse setup, eventually in the future would like to switch out Enlighten for Vaal Discipline if I get enough mana or regen.

Also another not since I dont enjoy weapon swaps, my helm and boot gem setup. I managed to somehow 4 Off color my helm, I decided to put in my CWDT in here. Still needs futher testing as i have not made up my mind about Phase run vs Vortex or auto cast golem vs high level golem.

Boots is standard wither totem but i took out duration for Blink arrow as I am socket starved.

The only thing I feel like I could improve atm in the short term is more strength, i could save 4 points if I could find some Str on my Helm or boots. I could give up a Ventors but I went all in on this character so I need it to farm, and I am greedy, such is a Ventor's life.

Also special thanks to Paige for the well formatted and made guide, and the help with the 6L on my chest <3

QuaDmg wrote:
So I managed to get this chest:

and I can't even begin to describe how broken the 'Recover #% Energy shield on kill' is...
It's just too good. I'm now comfortably doing T13 maps (didn't get any higher map drops yet).
I'm thinking about changing from the Blight gloves to a 6-link ED setup for more single target DPS, although I have to say that I just love the slow that Blight provides and the fact that I don't have to weapon swap.
Once I go into Shaper guardians I'll try to make some videos and share with you guys. White and yellow Elder is a joke.
As a side note, the only expensive gear was the Impresence amulet (1ex), the bow (88 chaos and 24 chisels, lucky me, I know) and now the 6% ES on kill armour (60 chaos, lucky again I guess).
I usually have alert filters set up on poe.trade for upgrades.

eXanoobis wrote:

Running red maps easily, single target is great, mirage archer is great, curses are awesome!
Have yet to try guardians and shaper, but I don't think it will be too hard, especially when I upgrade to shaper chest, other gear to have life regen, and the missing gems.

And also Impresense gives so much damage that I recommend it to everyone thinking on what to upgrade next. If you have nice survivability go for Impresence!

Thanks for the nice build :)

iSlimBeef wrote:
thanks for an amazing build!

Emek wrote:
also your guide is amazing, legit, i play a ton of builds through out the league, usually taking them to or around shaper then calling it quits and playing another one, you including poe trade search links on all of your items is next level. i'm not saying no one does that, but not a lot of people do, and it was extremely nice. tyvm

boudboa wrote:

I've been playing this build and never felt that tanky before.

Not only you've got an ehp > to most life based builds.
On top this build give huge regen and last but not least, you are ranged.

Clear speed is really nice and most bosses just melt.

Best build I've been playing so far!

Tanks OP!

Barzhal wrote:
As a follow up on my experience still playing the build - I too was having problems with stun when I started mapping. Now as level 91 and my curses have leveled (using enfeeble) and a jade flask with 100% extra evasion and a stibnite I am getting hit pretty infrequently. I'm bumped up to 60% chance to evade with the flasks in addition to the additional accuracy drop on enemies with enfeeble. I can pretty comfortably do almost all t15 content including abysses.

No - CA clouds do not stack. In fact I've been regularly running slower projectiles over mirage archer for the extra damage (just more clicking and you use more mana). It will stack with other sources of chaos damage though such as ED.

Overall lots of fun. The build really does shine though as gems level and you can more safely engage at close range.

Oh as a side note even though I haven't seen anyone mention it - I found it extremely useful to have an ignite/burning removal flask. Burning, especially with the frequent mod enemies ignite you on hit was a real bitch for ES recharge. This small addition has helped a lot surprisingly.

BluMetal wrote:
Anyway - thank you so much for the ideas this build gave me ;) Finally found my Trickster to be useful again :D

Another great build. Thanks Paigey. The survivability is totally nutty. Great aoe clear too. Did uber lab at 72 like it was nothing.

lol this guy:
mazzopi wrote:
HC Viable
you're funny

this build is squishier than a soap bar in a prison bathroom

Doing it wrong

maugli2 wrote:
Hi :)
I got 36 challenges lvl94 and almost BiS gear in less than a month using Purely THIS build. Maybe the safest one I have ever played!!
So I'm just here to say a Big Fat Thank You!!

shaleya wrote:
Thank you for this build. It is just amazing to play. I couldnt take hand off, to individualize this build a bit to me.

first my gear:

i took a Evasion/ES Chest to take advantage from "Escape Artist". Also i went for Heretics Veil, so i can run with 2 Curses, Disciplin AND Grace. (with some Mana reservation nodes in passive tree)
So my defenses are a lot of Evasion (66% on lvl 83 without flasks) and 6k ES.

Also i went for Some Evasion/ES Nodes in Ranger direction.
Here my passives :

I can easily run Guardian Maps although my gems are still lvl 19 and i have to run my +2 bow, cause my +3 is still not 6linked. (no luck this league. got not a single 6 link on my own and i use every fuse on my own). The regain of ES (6% from chest and 2% from Escape artist) is awesome.
Its also fun to run Lab. Just ignore traps and Izaro is no Problem either.

Next Target is to 6 link my Chest with a additional defensive setup, cause i do not use Essence drain that often. maybe i go for an additional bow in second slot. lets see.

But!!!!! I just thank you for many fun hours to play this build.

Skillywilly wrote:
Loving the build so far, im playing in HC so I went Escape Artist. And felt like I should share my thoughts on equipping.

If you go Escape Artist you should equip Hyrri's Ire, provides almost 500 ES with best rolls and its dirt cheap. Also you get 10% dodge as well as 10% spell dodge. With Atziri's Splendour you could get about 700 ES, so pretty much the highest ES chest in the game.

culpahble86 wrote:

Awesome build! You really feel immortal.

Ravisandesu wrote:
This is a wonderful build! Amazing league starter and you're right, there is just so much that you can upgrade to keep pushing this build to the max. I'm also using Allelopathy gloves with Blight for single target. I much prefer it's AOE when I'm clearing breaches/harbingers, and the damage is amazing with the jewels.

One thing I have to comment on is the levelling section of this guide. DO NOT try and a level with blade vortex. You need a good amount of leech/mana regen in order to sustain with it and it just feels bad without it.

100% just level this build as ED Contagion. Just follow the same tree, only taking life nodes as you go and picking up all the damage nodes early. It feels amazing, it's easy and all you need is a couple +1 chaos gems wands that you can craft at lvl 3.

Contagion is enough to clear by itself until Blood Aqueducts but ideally you use essence drain to speed things up a bit.

For a great video, follow RaizQTs video on ED/Contagion leveling until Kitava


NightRain19 wrote:
Nice build. Leveled to 100, killed uber elder. It was fun.

Introduction/Build Mechanics
The main idea going into this build was to create something very tanky, with good DPS and fast clear speed. And at the same time, something with a very high item progression ceiling, meaning you can put 100s of hours play time into this build and still manage to find upgrades. As with all of my builds, I strive to use non meta uniques & skills, which means gearing out for this build will be a lot more efficient & cheaper compared to following a few of the meta builds everybody is playing.

A huge chunk of our defenses come from the fact we pick up Zealot's Oath which allows Life regeneration to apply to our Energy Shield regeneration, coupled with the fact we take Vile Bastion from the Occultist ascendancy tree, this further enables us to reach an absurd amount of ES regeneration fairly easily, we also take advantage of Consecrated Ground just to top it all off.

Now let's talk damage. You may have tried my Trickster version of this build and thought the single target damage was a little too low for your liking, so why would you try this version? Well, the answer is, Occultist will give us roughly a 33%+ overall DPS increase for CA & ED compared to the Trickster version, with very little, if any sacrifice for defense.

You may be thinking to yourself, "I've played Caustic Arrow before, what makes it so much better now?" Well, there is a "new" unique amulet which is very powerful, Impresence all very useful stats, but then you add to the fact that this amulet gives us a "free" curse + Blasphemy combo? Speaking of curses, there's a "new" curse that buffs this build even more, and that is Despair.

Now, with all of that being said, hopefully I've piqued your interest, so let's get into the build.


Note: The only required item is Soul Strike. However a Impresence will provide you with a large DPS boost.

My Gear




The best in slot weapon for us will be a +3 gem bow. You can do fine with a +2 gem bow, or even a +1 gem bow, just keep in mind that Caustic Arrow damage scales very significantly as it levels, meaning your main goal in terms of increasing your damage output will be finding a decent +3 bow ASAP.

Other stats on the bow are beneficial as well, Increased Damage Over Time, any resistances you may need & Attack Speed are all nice rolls to have on your bow.

The end goal for this build would be a +3 (or simply +1 to Gems for ED) bow crafted with a Essence of Delirium for the Decay on hit mod.

If you are funded you can weapon swap to a separate "+1 to Gems" bow for ED, this will roughly be a 20-25% single target DPS increase. Keep in mind ED is not specifically a bow attack, so a "+1 or +2 to Bow gems" roll will do nothing for ED.

Path of Exile Trade Link



This quiver is extremely powerful for our build, and is required. It is as cheap as 1 alch currently on Incursion league. You do not need to have a corrupt "Adds an Additional Arrow" in order for this build to work, however it will increase AoE & clear speed.

If you're weapon swapping ED for single target boss fights, you will need another one of these quivers as well. Additional arrow is not required for the ED weapon swap setup.

Path of Exile Trade Link


Body Armor

This is going to be a very important slot for us because of some new mods that released in 3.1 (Shaped/Elder mods).

What you're going to be looking for here is just as high ES as you can possibly find & then whatever resists you may need to fill.

If you have a lot of currency, finding a shaped body armor with Recover #% of Energy Shield on Kill & #% of Energy Shield regenerated per second along with high ES & any resists you may require, will be best in slot for us.

Path of Exile Trade Link



As far as our helmet goes, it's fairly straight forward, you'll be looking to fill in any missing resists you may have, and looking for as high ES as you can possibly find.

Other beneficial stats would be Life Regeneration, Accuracy & Increased Rarity.

Path of Exile Trade Link



Rings can be a little more complicated. You'll want to be looking for a high energy shield roll, resists & Dexterity and/or Strength roll. This build early on can be very Dex & Str hungry, you can always sacrifice some passive points to pick up a few +30 attribute nodes, but ideally you'll want to solve most of your attribute problems via high rolls on your rings or other gear.

Ideally you'll want to find a ring with the rolls mentioned above, and then also have an open Prefix slot so you can master craft #% Faster Start of Energy Shield Recharge.

Path of Exile Trade Link



Impresence is the best in slot amulet for this build. Besides the obvious stats that are amazing, a "free" Despair + Blasphemy combo is ridiculously powerful and really helps take our damage to the next level.

Path of Exile Trade Link

If you can't afford the above mentioned amulet, you should be looking for a rare amulet, preferably an Onyx/Jade/Amber Amulet with high Energy Shield, high #% Increased Maximum Energy Shield and any missing Resistances and/or attributes, this will ultimately depend on what you need.

Path of Exile Trade Link



Here you'll be looking for high Energy Shield, Resistances, and any missing attributes you may require. Attack Speed is also a nice bonus roll to get on your pair of gloves if at all possible.

Path of Exile Trade Link



Here you can get away with a Crystal Belt for more ES, however a Stygian Vise is going to be best in slot. You're looking for a high Energy Shield roll & Resistances.

Eventually you'll be looking for either Increased Flask Charges Gained, Reduced Flask Charges Used or Increased Flask Effect Duration roll on your belt.

Path of Exile Trade Link



For boots, we'll be looking for any base, 25-35% Movement Speed, high Energy Shield, Resistances & missing Attributes, anything else is a bonus.

Path of Exile Trade Link


Witchfire Brew is very strong, just like the Impresence amulet, it too gives you a "free" Despair curse aura, however we mostly use this for the Increased Damage over Time it gives us, and also the very nice Creates Smoke Cloud on Use effect.

Path of Exile Trade Link

A Dying Sun flask will increase clear speed, but it's not required. If you're using Mirage Archer, it also benefits from this flask.

Path of Exile Trade Link

You can use a Basalt Flask for extra Physical Damage mitigation.

Path of Exile Trade Link

A Sulphur Flask is highly recommended, not only for the 40% Increased Damage effect it gives us, it also creates a patch of Consecrated Ground upon use, greatly increasing our Energy Shield regeneration.

Path of Exile Trade Link

I also run a Jade Flask for more physical damage mitigation. Evasion is a nice stat to roll with as an ES build, since ES stops recharging when you get hit, so the more you are able to evade, the more often your ES will be recharging.

Path of Exile Trade Link

As for the last flask, it's really up to you. I recommend a Quicksilver flask to help zoom around maps a bit quicker. You will need a "of Heat" mod on whatever you choose for your last flask.

Passive Trees
Please visit the "Leveling" section of the guide to view 10-80p leveling skill trees.

Kill All for 2 Points


Credit to: The Legendary Racer Throzz

Because this build is CI, it's strongly recommended that you level as a Life build first, and then switch over to the CI version once you've completed act 10. The passive trees below path in a similar area of the main build, just picking up life nodes and other useful nodes for leveling, however following these trees will require you to spend some Orbs of Regret to fix your tree once you switch to CI.

Leveling Passive Trees

Title: Lazy Caster Leveling

Suggested Gear: For easy leveling get Tabula Rasa, Asenath's Mark, Lochtonial Caress, Wanderlust & Lifesprig.

Quick Links for Path of Exile Trade: Tabula Rasa, Lochtonial Caress, Wanderlust, Asenath's Mark & Lifesprig


Spark - Onslaught | From level 1 to 8

Spark - Onslaught - Added Lightning Damage - Added Cold Damage | From level 8 to 12

Blade Vortex - Onslaught - Added Lightning Damage - Added Cold Damage - Added Fire Damage | From level 12 to 18

Blade Vortex - Onslaught - Controlled Destruction - Faster Casting - Added Fire Damage | From level 18 to 31

Blade Vortex - Onslaught - Controlled Destruction - Faster Casting - Added Fire Damage - Increased Duration | From level 31 to 38

Blade Vortex - Spell Echo - Controlled Destruction - Increased Area of Effect - Increased Duration - Added fire Damage or Onslaught | From level 38+

Gems and Links
In most cases 20 quality gems will always slightly increase something, as will level 21 gems. You should slowly start working towards getting your main 6L gems 20Q/21L whenever possible.

There are two versions, "Budget Links" meaning you don't have a second +1 gem bow to swap to & dedicate to ED. And "Normal Links" which means you have a second +1 gem bow to swap to & dedicate to ED.

Gems are listed in order of importance, so if you're running with a 5L, you will be dropping Empower.

Budget Links

Bow (Caustic Arrow)








Body Armor (Essence Drain)

Normal Links

Bow 1 (Caustic Arrow)


Bow 2 (Essence Drain)








Body Armor



This build will require a Careful Planning jewel placed right beside the Alchemist node at Witch start in order for us to achieve a fairly high Dexterity requirement. Keep an eye out for corrupted versions which can offer you immunity to Corrupted Blood, or other ailments which will let us roll our flasks a little differently.

Watcher's Eye with these exact Discipline rolls will be better than any other jewel available, however currently these can run you anywhere from 5-10 Exalts.


Abyss Jewels

This is the type of abyss jewel you'll want to be socketing into your belt. Obviously you'll want Damage over Time & high Energy Shield, the last two rolls are up to you (view a list of all possible rolls HERE). I'm a big fan of getting free Onslaught, and the fourth roll was something I had to take just because that's all that exists on this league currently, but dodge chance is always welcome.

PoE Trade Link


Regular Jewels

Ideally for your regular jewels you'll want to have % Increased Maximum ES, Damage Over Time, and Projectile Damage (Projectile Damage increases Caustic Arrows cloud AoE damage) or simply % Damage for increased ED damage. The last roll is up to you (view a list of all possible rolls HERE).

PoE Trade Link

1: Wicked Ward

2: Vile Bastion

3: Void Beacon

4: Profane Bloom

You could potentially drop Vile Bastion & take Malediction if you feel safe enough & want slightly more damage.


Helmet Enchantments

Defensive Option: 20-30% Increased Temporal Chains Curse Effect.

More Map Clearing Damage: 25-40% Increased Caustic Arrow Damage.

Potentially Faster Map Clearing: 8-12% increased Caustic Arrow Area of Effect.

More Single Target Damage: 25-40% Increased Essence Drain Damage.

A Mediocre Enchant: 20-30% Increased Essence Drain Duration.

The Worst Enchant: 20-30% increased Caustic Arrow Duration.


Boot Enchantments

Defensive Option: Regenerate 1-2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently.

A Second Option: 8-16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently.


Glove Enchantments

Glove enchants are extremely minor overall, all other stats should be prioritized before a glove enchant.

The Best Option: Commandment of Light. "Deals a portion of your main hand damage in an area around you and creates Consecrated Ground, causing you and your allies to Regenerate Life."

  • Soul of Lunaris
  • Soul of Tukohama

Additional Information
For general map clearing, I run Pierce on my 6L Essence Drain instead of Void Manipulation. Once I enter a boss room, I switch back to Void Manipulation. The main idea of this is so I'm able to ED some of the annoying bosses that can get crowded in between trash mobs, like if you're doing the Abyss breaches. Then vs regular map bosses where it's generally just you and the boss, you can run Void Manipulation for more single target DPS.

Recently I've been playing with weapon swapping to a +1 bow linking ED with it, which ended up giving me roughly 25% increased single target damage on ED, the basic idea while bossing with this setup is keeping the boss under your Caustic Arrow cloud, keeping your Spell Totem + Wither up at all times, and then maintaining ED. If you have time in between, try and avoid incoming damage and keeping Caustic Arrow up on adds & add spawn points.

“No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’ve contributed to creating, no matter what’s happening, you are always doing the best you can with the understanding and awareness and knowledge that you have.”

Last edited by OhhPaigey on Aug 12, 2018, 9:47:10 PM
Last bumped on Dec 5, 2018, 1:38:29 PM
Last updated: June 17th, 2018.

Update log:

  • Updated all poe.trade quick links for items, converted them all for Incursion league, and moved them to the official Path of Exile Trade system, as poe.trade is severely broken this league.
“No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’ve contributed to creating, no matter what’s happening, you are always doing the best you can with the understanding and awareness and knowledge that you have.”

Last edited by OhhPaigey on Jun 17, 2018, 6:14:22 PM
“No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’ve contributed to creating, no matter what’s happening, you are always doing the best you can with the understanding and awareness and knowledge that you have.”

Nice off meta build! Looks like a lot of fun! May give it a try soon, been looking for a CI build to offset all the Chaos Damage monsters in Incursion league. Will report back once I give it a go. Thanks!
Neehan wrote:
Nice off meta build! Looks like a lot of fun! May give it a try soon, been looking for a CI build to offset all the Chaos Damage monsters in Incursion league. Will report back once I give it a go. Thanks!

Good luck. :)
“No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’ve contributed to creating, no matter what’s happening, you are always doing the best you can with the understanding and awareness and knowledge that you have.”

So any HC variation, or you just "THINK" your SC version will work for HC as well?
Shamatix wrote:
So any HC variation, or you just "THINK" your SC version will work for HC as well?

It has for many people already.


I think you get the idea, considering most of these are exact copies of my Trickster & or Occultist version of the build.
“No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’ve contributed to creating, no matter what’s happening, you are always doing the best you can with the understanding and awareness and knowledge that you have.”

Last edited by OhhPaigey on Jun 18, 2018, 7:57:35 PM
Any video update for occultist? Uber shaper Elder atziri etc? that would be great thanks.

Kinda sad I thought the single target has been buff I'm a fan of caustic build but the single target are just bad cant even kill boss at incursion temple always time limit.

Even with +3 bow and +1 bow the single target are auwful in other builds the boss only last sec in this builds it last facking minutes no offense.

Anyway improve single target?
Last edited by popotm on Jun 19, 2018, 8:13:46 AM
I like it so far. Since I tried it[your build] out last league as Trickster, it meant that I ditched my ED Trickster for this league, and was excited to try out as an Occultist. Your guide is very thorough, but maybe update leveling guide, as it doesn't synergize with the progression tree, but seems to synergize with an earlier CA/ED build, rather than BV that you suggested.

It is so smooth, that I am using a normal armor piece, a 4 link Silverbough. Since I am a pretty slow player, I will report back on my progress, and perspectives from a much lower budget.
Quick question.. currently ~ lvl 40 just leveling with RoA and sacrificial heart and some other random gear (ssf). At what point did / do you suggest switching over to CA and start using it with decent damage? I see the leveling mentions 38+ but not really 'here's a good time to switch'?

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