[3.5] Immortal Incandescent Heart/Apep's Sacrifice BV/CI Occultist

PoB: https://pastebin.com/n6TdhGVn

Uber Elder Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDPBYGg3cDM (Incursion league)

1. Intro

Hello everyone this is Jessica with another guide. Seeing how BV Elementalist really took off leaving occultist behind prompted me to write this guide especially that BV Occultist has its own unique advantages over Elementalist. Mainly being more or less immortal while also having a respectable damage (~1,8+ million). This one is the tankiest characters I've ever played in the game which makes it a smooth choice for mapping and an exceptional endgame boss killer, especially vs. Uber Elder. Here is a list of defenses that this character can get:

Completely absorbs 25% of elemental damage (which in practice is +6% to all Max resistances) thanks to Incandescent Heart

In addition to that has natural Max resistances of 78%/78%/79% thanks to self poison from the Golden Rule and & Apep's Sacrifice combo

120%+ faster start of ES recharge (basically less than a second)

10k ES and 6.5k es recharge per sec (thanks to bated breath & skill tree)

Immune to all chaos damage (because of Chaos Inoculation)

Immune to bleeding (because of Apep's Sacrifice)

Cannot be stunned, up to 30% additional es recharge per sec, es recharge isn't stopped by damage - all of this from Occultist Ascendancy

Cannot be chilled, Cannot be frozen (because of Dream Fragments)

10% less OVERALL damage taken - Malediction Occultist ascendancy

30% physical damage taken as cold damage (with 84% cold res from apep and taste of hate + Incandescent Heart absorption this basically means that we nullify 30% incoming physical damage)

Runs 2 curses AND has space for Hatred, Herald of Ash, Discipline and Clarity

Now a big warning: This is an expensive build. You will need a lot of fairly expensive items to make it work. Minimum budget to even start doing this build in a temporary league would be around 20ex.

2. The items

Body Armour

Body armour is of course Incandescent Heart. Thanks to the combo with Chaos Inoculation keystone it allows us to absorb 1/4 of all incoming elemental damage which is pretty spectacular. In addition Incandescent Heart has also a good amount of energy shield, a fair amount of damage in form of extra chaos damage and saves us a node on the tree (light radius).

Off hand

We're using the new Incursion unique Apep's Sacrifice. Honestly this shield is amazing: thanks to combo with the Golden rule it gives us +3% to Max resists, immune to bleeding, has itself a really good amount of es, gives us extra chaos damage and on top of that up to 50% faster start of es recharge?? Pretty busted ok.

Main Hand

No surprise here - a shaped stat stick is the best choice for BV. There are two choices here: either swords or scepters, you should be aiming for a good shaped sword as this is going to be our main hand and Shield Charge speed is based partly on attack speed of the weapon. The downside is that you need to get up to 210 dex to be able to equip it.


The new incursion mod with 10% phys taken as cold damage is super good - together with taste of hate you can basically nullify 30% of physical damage. But even without that any decent 220+ es rare helmet with good resistances will do just fine. BV damage enchant is a good idea too.


Bated breath has been made for occultist ascendancy. Way too much es / es recharge in a single item. You should also get a decent corruption on it - skill duration is the best one for bv but there are plenty others to chose from like crit multi or resistances for example.


I've been trying to figure out this slot of a while but I think Sin Trek just fills too many holes in general. 30% ms 180es, +60 to stats and it's rather cheap to find one with a good enchant (+% to attack/cast speed). If you can find better rare ones go for it but it's not going to be easy to beat this.


We're using curse on hit gloves to activate Malediction bonuses and save mana reservation for hatred / herald of ash. A good pair of ES gloves with resist / stats should do. Virtually any curse you can get on gloves is good: Temp chains/Enfeeble are good defensive options, Vulnerability/Ele Weakness are good offensive options.


First ring we're going to be using is another curse on hit item just because the ascendancy allows us to have 2 curses on monsters - it would be a big waste to not make use of that. All the curses you can get on a shaped ring are good but Assassins mark is the best one because of power charges and increased damage with crits. Craft 20% faster start of es recharge on this ring too (leo 3 craft).

A sidenote: obviously if you can't get either a good ring/gloves with curse on hit you WILL have to remove hatred and/or herald of ash and use blasphemy with at least a single curse. It's not the end of the world but hatred and HoA give us a lot of damage so you like really don't want to get rid of them.

Second ring is going to be Dream fragments because this build is very chill/freeze vulnerable. In addition you get extra mana, a lot of mana regen (very important for BV),some cold resists and a decent amount of ES if you get the corrupted one.


This is the slot where you should fill in whatever you're missing - be it resists, stats, damage, energy shield. etc. etc. And if you're not missing anything in particular and you're rich get a shaped amulet with gain % of physical damage as extra elemental damage mods.


We're going to be using a few different jewels.

First of all: The Golden Rule and a rare jewel that has a chance to poison on hit. BV has a fast hit rate and even with a small chance to poison on hit we will poison basically at least once every 2-3 seconds. The golden rule reflecting the poison will make sure we're poisoned basically all the time giving us +3% to all Max resistances from Apep's Sacrifice.

Pure talent is good in this build as we're connecting 3 classes: shadow that gives us dps boost, Witch that gives us mana regen and scion with a stat bonus.

You should also use a rare jewel with onslaught chance on kill as this build has no other source of onslaught and 20% to ms, attack speed and cast speed is too good too pass.

Last but not least we're going to be using a Watcher's Eye. 2 best mods are obviously clarity with Es bonus and discipline with faster ES recharge. A jewel like this one is pretty rare so if you can't get it just get a single one with clarity ES bonus (couple ex) or double with discipline es recharge and for example Hatred damage (fairly cheap).


Sin's Rebirth is the 1# flask for us to get because it provides a lot of chaos damage while also making us immune to Ignite which is VERY IMPORTANT as ignite stops ES recharge and stopping es rechage not something we want to ever happen. Also has smoke cloud and uses low charges/stores 3 uses as well. So good.

Taste of Hate is another amazing flask - not only it makes us basically absorb 20% of physical damage (we get 84% of Max cold resists with it active on top of absorbing another 25% cold damage) it also gives us a really good damage boost. Basically a must have.

Atziri's Promise is here just for pure dps. 35% extra chaos damage is top notch.

2 remaining flasks are going to be a Diamond flask with CURSE IMMUNE (seriously get curse immune, It's a must have) and a move speed flask of course for fast shield charge.

3. Skill links

Vaal Blade Vorex + Increased critical Strikes + Effiacy Support + Controlled destruction + Increased Duration + Crit Multi

This is the general setup vs. t16 maps/temple. The last 2 links are fluid and I change them frequently deepening on what I'm doing. If I am doing lower tier maps (>T15) I would change Crit multi to Increased Area support. If I am doing bosses like Uber elder I would change Increased duration to Empower and Crit Multi to concentrated effect.

Hatred + Herald of Ash + Discipline + Enlighten

All of the main auras we use. Discipline is an obvious choice for Occultist. Hatred and HoA are both a lot of damage and we're basically cheating a little by having two "free" auras because we get our curses from curse on hit items. However if you don't have a curse on hit ring / gloves you will need to use a curse + blasphemy instead of hatred/Herald of Ash. You can fit up to 2 curses if you're removing hatred and Herald of Ash.

Orb of Storms + Power charge on crit + Arcane Surge + Increased Duration

Orb of storms can generate us power charges vs. bosses and arcane surge on cast and increased duration makes sure both orb and the surge last much longer.

Shield Charge + Faster Attacks + Fortify

This is our movement skill of choice also fortify generator.

Immortal call + Cast when Damage Taken + Increased duration

Basically a 0.7sec of immune to physical damage when we get hit. Sounds like not too much but really it does makes difference actually. If you have warlords mark as your curse of choice this is going to last much longer with endurance charges.

The last 4 link is more or less a spare one. You should put clarity in there and the last 3 gems you're free to choose what's convenient for you. I use portal + faster casting and purity of ice (versus uber elder).

4. Ascendancy, Skill tree, Bandits & Pantheon

Ascendancy: Occultist (duh)

1st - Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion

This is why Occultist is #1 ES ascendancy. +250 flat es, stun immunity, es doesn't get interrupted, 30% es recharge per sec when mapping. Do I need to say more? OPOP.

2nd - Profane Bloom and Malediction

Profane Bloom is our version of Impulsa - it has better damage with 25% vs. 10% of impulsas and on top of that it's chaos damage. it also makes our curses apply to hexproof enemies.

Malediction packs a lot of stuff in it. First of all we receive 10% less overall damage and deal 10% more damage - yes the good modifiers (the total multiplier ones). On top of that we get better curses & can apply an extra curse and get a bunch of extra chaos damage. SeemsGood.

Skill Tree:

Bandits: We go alira to fill in resists and get some extra crit multi & mana regen.


Major god - Soul of Arakali for extra energy shield recharge (very good versus Uber Elder in particular because there is a lot of damage over time in that fight). Also we kinda have to take it because it lessens shock effect and reduces its duration and we don't have any other anti shock measures in the build.

Minor God - Soul of Abberath - 50% reduced ignite duration, nuff said. This saves our ass when Sin's rebirth is not up.

5. Uber Elder Guide


This is without a doubt the hardest fight in the game at the moment. Still it's a fairly manageable fight if you can dodge everything and do the right moves. It is a structured fight that consists of several stages.

First of all before you even start a fight get 20/20 purity of ice because you will need that Max cold res and over-capped cold res too. Some people like to get kaom's roots vs. Elder slow attack too but in general it's not needed.

Stage 1.

In this stage you encounter Shaper & Elder in the middle of the arena. When the fight starts you will notice that the Elder has a shield around it - that means he's invulnerable. First you will need to dps Shaper down to 3/4 life and when that happens the shield will move over to him and you will be able to deal damage to the Elder. Once you get him down to 3/4 life too Stage 1 will conclude and both Shaper and the Elder will become invulnerable.

Stage 2

In this stage the Elder will summon 4 portals on top of the map that spawn mobs. Your priority is to kill the bigger tentacle-like mobs because they spawn a dangerous permanent degen around the arena. The elder won't perform any more attacks on you however you will need to dodge all the Shaper attacks which will be either the Laser or 4 balls. After around 22 sec the portals will disappear and that will conclude stage 2.

Stage 3

In this stage you need to again first dps Shaper down to 50% life and after that dps the Elder down to 50%. When that happens they will both become invulnerable again and this time Shaper will open the portal and start spawning his mobs. This is a chill phase because the mobs spawned aren't dangerous and you will only need to dodge Elder's attacks which are pretty harmless/dodge able on its own.
After the portal is closed you will need to dps Shaper down to 25% of his life and after that the Elder down to 25%. When that happens Stage 2 will repeat once more with the Elder opening the portals and spawning the mobs.

Stage 4

Once the portals close both Shaper and the Elder will be vulreable to damage. However you should kill Shaper first as the Elder wont die unless Shaper is dead first. After they're both dead the fight ends. Congrats!

6. Ending Notes

Thank you for reading this guide. If you have any questions or suggestions just ask<3

My builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2255805
Last edited by JessicaSc2 on Dec 10, 2018, 8:27:18 PM
Last bumped on Dec 8, 2019, 2:30:39 AM
Hey there,

We know this build is quite famous played under Waggle's belt.

But it's good someone actually make a guide about it, i hope you gave credit to the original owner of the guide itself.
Myufumi wrote:
Hey there,

We know this build is quite famous played under Waggle's belt.

But it's good someone actually make a guide about it, i hope you gave credit to the original owner of the guide itself.

I've done some changes here and there but overall yes this is like 90% his build. I've been playing this build for around a month now, got to know it pretty well and and haven't seen a guide on this forum yet so thought I'd do it myself especially that the build is really top notch.
My builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2255805
Last edited by JessicaSc2 on Aug 8, 2018, 8:34:08 PM
I've also been playing a similar idea, though I didn't take it nearly this far. The Dream Fragments and Golden Rule is a great idea which I should probably work into mine. I'll admit mine is a bit of a homebrew of things and as a result likely has quite a few flaws but functions on similar principals. I've just wanted to make a stat stick + IH build ever since abyss league and when I got an Apep's I decided how was the time to try.

I haven't done Uber Elder on the character, though I did mess around with some guardians, red elder, etc and things felt mostly smooth minus freeze (haven't played ES since something like 2.0 so I kinda forgot how awful chill/freeze can be).

Also, did you try Hypothermia, if so, worthwhile or no?
(edit) answered my other question.

Here's my character in its current state.

It's very likely, that Baited Breath + Dream Fragments is stronger than the setup I'm running. I'm also not sure that Ghost Reaver was the best idea... too used to when it used to be great with Vaal Pact (which was when I last played ES haha).
Last edited by Tenkiei on Mar 5, 2019, 1:33:44 PM
how did you level?
Any chance of adding a section of intermediate gear while working toward the end game items listed? Also around what level would you suggest switching to CI? (I've never played a CI character before).

I've been looking for a guide for BV Occultist for a while because the ascendancy really appeals to me so I was happy to see this guide pop up :)
Interested in hearing your thoughts on potentially working ghost reaver into this build. Could add and additional defensive layer for only 2 points might not feel needed but could be worth trying with the upcoming Delve league and the infinite scaling that brings.
Interested in hearing your thoughts on potentially working ghost reaver into this build.

ghost reaver nerfs the shield recharge sadly:(. Might not be the best idea with a build that focuses on the shield recharge. Ghost reaver is probably better for some sort of attack skill es leech builds.

Any chance of adding a section of intermediate gear while working toward the end game items listed? Also around what level would you suggest switching to CI? (I've never played a CI character before).

how did you level?

I did level with a different build (freezing pulse - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2172980) however from what I've heard blade vortex leveling is super easy.

I will add a section with intermediate / budget items soon.

I am curious about one thing, why aren't you using Damage on Full Life?
Also, did you try Hypothermia, if so, worthwhile or no?

Hypothermia is useless vs bosses because we wouldn't be chilling them much. Damage on full life would be a great idea if not for the fact that it works only with attack skills.
My builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2255805
Last edited by JessicaSc2 on Aug 13, 2018, 3:24:13 PM
What are your thoughts on the new support gem? (Wither might help do more damage on bosses.)

Thank you for your help! ^_^
Mastagarwar wrote:
What are your thoughts on the new support gem? (Wither might help do more damage on bosses.)

Thank you for your help! ^_^

Might be a good idea, however this build is obviously more or less dead/inaccessible in Delve due to Apep's sacrifice not being in the game save for a few copies from the altar.
My builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2255805

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