[3.8] A CI/LL Tri-Curse Herald of Agony Occultist [Deathless Uber Elder, League Starter]

Welcome to my guide, exile!

Changes in 3.9

No big changes!

Quick introduction

This build is created to be pretty well-rounded. It has good clear, great survivability, and really strong single target.

The Agony Crawler is a very interesting minion coming from the gem Herald of Agony. It follows you around, and has three attacks: one melee attack, which it basically never uses, one projectile attack similar to split arrow, and a barrage of explosive projectiles. It was designed to have decent damage without requiring investment in any minion nodes, so since this build is focused on it and thus takes minion nodes, it yields an amazingly strong and quick little guy.



Uber Elder, deathless (with Dream Fragments)

Other Uber Elder runs
Uber Elder, in Hardcore (by bdy)
Uber Elder, LL version (by Akathriel)
Uber Elder, deathless (by bhwung)
Uber Elder, deathless (by Xyrm)
Uber Elder (without Dream Fragments)


Shaper Guardians
Hydra, by Xyrm
Chimera, by Xyrm
Minotaur, by Xyrm
Phoenix, by Xyrm

Delve at depth 600, by Xyrm
Vaal Temple
T16 Elder Atoll




+ Good clear
+ Good single target (Elder, Shaper and Uber Elder down)
+ Great survivability, with over 10K ES, three curses, and very quick start of ES recharge
+ Cheap to get started - all required uniques are cheap, and ES gear is on average cheaper than their life counterpart
+ Can do all map mods
+ No need to worry about resummoning your minion, he's invulnerable to damage and summons/unsummons itself
+ Fun to play ("It's like a minion build but not boring" ~ Rockell)
+ Can take everything down up to Shaper without heavy investment (I'd say on a 1 or 2 ex budget), and can take down Uber Elder with some further investment (a faster start of ES recharge Watcher's Eye is almost mandatory)

+/- It's a minion build, which feels clunky to some people and relaxing to some others

- The Agony Crawler doesn't have a perfect AI, and will sometimes get stuck behind walls, altough this can be solved by having a Convocation gem (now that it's instant cast, it's confortable to use)
- Requires one six-link for HoA, and one for sustaining poison - you can play with a five-link for your poison setup, but you'll only have two curses
- Off-colours can be hard to get on chest (4 green 2 blue)


Tl;dr: Path of Building


IMPORTANT: Read the notes in PoB (upper left corner, right next to "Import/Export")


Why Occultist? Why Rain of Arrows?


Why Occultist?
The Occultist is a very strong and well-rounded ascendancy, which perfectly fits this build for different reasons.

Since this is a CI build, the two ES ascendancies of the Occultist, Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion, provide a lot of flat ES, ES regeneration while mapping, and most importantly the effect "Your ES recharge cannot be interrupted if it has started recently". With the notable Essence Surge in the skill tree, the quiver Soul Strike, and perhaps a "Faster start of ES recharge while affected by Discipline" Watcher's Eye, the ES recharge can start in less than a second, and then be uninterrupted for 4 seconds - all thanks to the Occultist ascendancy.

This build uses curses, in order to defend ourselves, increase the Crawler's damage, and smooth out its clear, and the Occultist ascendancy is perfect for curses. It provides the ability to curse Hexproof enemies, an extra curse, a lot of curse effect, the debuff Malediction which basically means that cursed enemies deal 10% less damage and take 10% more damage, and finally huge quality of life for clearing, the explosion of cursed enemies, which allows the Crawler to one tap entire packs.

Why Rain of Arrows?
This build is stacking defensive layers to be able to live through almost anything, and applying curses reliably and from a safe distance is vital. Rain of Arrows is great to do just that: you can shoot it from a screen away and hit every single monster of a pack before they even see you, and without needing any kind of pierce or chain to do so.

There is one huge drawback to this: accuracy. Without Resolute Technique, we have around 70% chance to hit, which dramatically impedes our Virulence stack sustain, that is to say the Crawler's damage, which is why we spend five skill points to grab it. However, this isn't too much of a loss: because the nodes on the path are strength nodes, which are needed to use a high level Damage of Full Life support gem, and because we already grabbed pretty much all the interesting nodes in the skill tree (all important minion nodes, and all the accessible ES nodes).

However, if you prefer playing with spells anyway, Ball Lightning is a popular choice. I find it less smooth to play than Rain of Arrows, but feel free to try it out for yourself and see which playstyle you prefer!


Build mechanics

Offensive mechanics


This build relies on the Agony Crawler, from Herald of Agony, to deal damage. In order for it to appear and to deal damage, we need to apply poisons on enemies. There are multiple ways to do so; for instance, another build uses Molten Strike (link coming soon). I chose to use Rain of Arrows, for multiple reasons. First, it hits a lot of enemies, and allows us to be at 40 virulence stacks, the maximum, almost permanently. It can also hit bosses multiple times, which means it can be used to sustain Virulence against bosses (more on that in the "Boss mechanics" section). Finally, Rain of Arrows is used to apply three curses, and the fact that it can hit whole packs without the need of some piercing is crucial.

As for the Crawler itself, he follows you, which means you can poison and curse a pack and then walk to it, it'll be dead by the time you reach it. If you're running a map with a tricky layout, you can use Convocation to avoid those awkward situations where the Crawler is stuck behind a wall.

There are two reasons why the clear is smooth. First, enemies are cursed, and the Profane Bloom ascendancy means enemies have a chance to explode (yes, even when killed by minions!). So basically, kill a few mobs, and the whole pack explodes. Then, one of the curses used is Projectile Weakness, which both increases the damage of the Crawler's ranged attacks and makes the Split Arrow-like attack pierce. Those two mechanics combined allow the Crawler to destroy entire packs with one attack, including eventual rare mobs, with a satisfying chaos explosion.

One last detail: we use Added Fire Damage support on the Crawler. As a result, about 32% of the Crawler's damage is fire, which is why we use Elemental Equilibrium to inflict a 50% fire res reduction on enemies. In order to do that, we use a ring, an amulet, or a Searching Eye jewel that adds cold or lightning damage to attacks, amounting to a 13% more damage multiplier.

Defensive mechanics


As mentioned before, the build is played CI, which means a huge EHP pool to avoid usual one shots. There are different ways to sustain ES, the one we are using is recharge: after some time without taking damage, ES will start recharging.

With the Occultist ascendancy, ES recharge can't be interrupted for 4 seconds after starting, and we are stacking ES recharge rate (skill tree, Bated Breath, small nodes in the Occultist ascendancy) and faster start of ES recharge (notable Essence Surge in the skill tree, Soul Strike quiver, Watcher's Eye or rare jewels). I am currently at 154% faster start of ES recharge.

Furthermore, Rain of Arrows is a quick and reliable to curse enemies with Enfeeble and Temporal chains from far away, and Projectile Weakness means you knock enemies back.




There are a few key uniques to this build, but they are all really cheap (unless you choose to go LL instead of CI, in which case you need Shavronne's Wrappings).

Quill Rain

Quill Rain is an important part of the build, providing us with the necessary attack speed to stack Virulence without needing to invest in attack speed at all. The high attack speed does not bring any mana issues, since Quill Rain grants a bit of mana gain on hit, and Rain of Arrows is essentially in a three-link (RoA, Poison, Curse on hit).

High budget: crafting a rare bow

If you have money to invest in the crafting of a bow (around 7 to 11ex depending on your luck), it can amount up to 30% more damage. Here are the steps to craft the best bow:

1. Get an elder thicket, grove, or short bow. Item level 80.

2. Use perfect fossils on it for at least 28% quality. This helps six link it later.

3. Spam alterations for "socketed gems are supported by level 20 Vicious projectiles".

4. Use a Regal Orb on the bow.

5. Annul the mods you augmented or regaled, leaving only vicous projectile. If you annul the Vicious Projectiles mod, go back to step 3.

6. Once your bow is rare/yellow and has only vicious projectiles on it, you craft Cannot Roll Attack mods. Then you exalt and hope you hit a prefix, which can only be "+1 to level of socketed gems". If you hit a suffix, you exalt again and hope to hit the "+1 gems", and if you hit a suffix again you exalt once again and you will get the prefix of +1 gems. Luck can save you 3 exalt here if you hit +1 gems on your first try and have no suffixes on the bow.

7. If you got lucky and exalted a +1 gems on your first try in step 5 then you skip this step. If not then you have to get rid of all the suffixes. Craft Prefixes Cannot be Changed and scour orb the bow. This leaves you with a rare bow that has only two prefixes. Those are +1 to socketed gems and vicious projectiles.

8. Now that you have your bow with two mods on it you craft Can Have Multiple Mods on the bow. Followed by attack speed. Followed by +2 to Socketed Support Gems. Followed by Minions have 25-28 increased attack speed.

Thanks a lot to gjmine09 for figuring out this crafting process and letting me quote him in the guide!

Soul Strike

This is the first and main reason we use a bow to apply poisons. 80% faster start of ES recharge, what more is there to say? It provides incredible survivability, both while mapping and while bossing.

Trade site links
Any Soul Strike
Soul Strike with 115+ ES

You should have enough attack speed, even without a good roll on this. For comparison, the difference between a good and a bad roll is 4% AS, and Quill Rain alone gives 100%.

Bated Breath

This belt is basically the best in slot for all ES recharge builds. It gives a lot of ES, as well as a lot of ES recharge rate - it overcompensates the ES recharge rate reduction of Soul Strike.

Trade site links
Any Bated Breath
Bated Breath with good implicit & explicit rolls

This item should be cheap, even with the really good rolls demanded by the second link.

Shaper's Touch

This item is not necessary, but it's a nice alternative to make body armour colouring easier. The idea is that those gloves are very cheap with the Temporal Chains on hit (around 10c, and around 20c tops with four linked sockets), that that corruption frees one socket in the body armour, and if you replace Temporal Chains with a blue gem, the colours become 3G3B, which is pretty easy to get (125 chromas at the crafting bench).

The reason why we choose Shaper's Touch and not rare gloves is that since we have some decent strength (since we need to use a lvl 20 damage on full life), these gloves grant decent ES, and good ES gloves with temporal chains on hit are more expensive.

Also, if you feel like those gloves grant enough accuracy and you feel like you sustain virulence easily on bosses, you can consider playing without Resolute Technique, although I would not recommend it.

Dream Fragments

Like Shaper's Touch, this item is not necessary, but the immunity to Chill and Freeze makes the Uber Elder fight so much more comfortable. I highly recommend it.

In all other slots, you can use unique items you like or rare items, but there should be nothing too expensive.


There are two unique jewels that are interesting to us. First is a Watcher's Eye with the mod 30-40% faster start of Energy Shield recharge while affected by Discipline. This jewel can be a bit expensive (around 1ex), but is definitely worth the investment. However, you can very easily play without it and clear about all content.

The second is The Golden Rule, which reflects poisons you inflict back to you. Since we are CI, we are immune to chaos damage, so take no damage from poisons, and self-inflicted poisons add a stack of virulence, which doubles the virulence you gain. This makes stacking virulence against bosses very easy.

In other jewel sockets, rare Ghastly Eye jewels with flat ES and minion attack speed amount to about 2% more damage per jewel, which is a lot. Minion attack speed is much better than added physical damage for the Crawler.

Trade site links

Low Life (LL) version

As an alternative to CI, you can go LL and play with Shavronne's Wrappings.

The point is to be able to use your life to reserve mana for the aura Hatred, which grants a lot of damage to the Crawler. However, you will have lower ES (the maximum ES a Shav's can have is 351; for comparison, you can get 500 ES chests for a few Chaos), and getting a 5L/6L Shav's is more expensive than getting a 5L/6L rare chest.

In a nutshell, CI is tankier and cheaper than LL, but LL has more damage.
It's up to you to choose what you prefer!

About the body armour's colours

The colours can be tough to get, regardless of you going CI or LL: in both cases, you need 4G 2L on a full-int chest.

If you're using a Vaal Regalia (194 int required), it takes on average 765.1 chroma, and the most efficient way to try it is by guaranteeing 3G with Vorici.

If you're using a Shavronne's Wrappings (180 int required), the average is 754.7 chromas, again with 3G with Vorici.

If you don't have the currency to get the four off-colours, you can run 3G 3B. Simply replace Temporal Chains with Despair. Projectile Weakness makes the Crawler's attacks pierce, so it's mandatory, and you will still have Enfeeble to... well, enfeeble enemies. Plus, a portion of the Crawler's damage is converted to chaos damage, so Despair will grant a nice damage boost until you can get 4G 2B.

If you really feel like you're already tanky enough, you can keep Despair instead of Temporal Chains, but I highly recommend the latter, especially if you're playing LL.

Another alternative is to use the skin of the loyal, which will give you decent ES and delivered with whatever colours you want, or Atziri's Splendour, which (depending on the rolls) can have decent ES, and is "tri-coloured" (every colour is as easy to get as the other). If you buy an Atziri's Splendour, make sure the explicit rolls are ES (possibly hybrid), and not armour or evasion rating.

About Helmet enchants

There are two helmet enchants for the Crawler: reduced mana reservation and two additional projectiles. The mana reservation reduction isn't enough to use another aura, and I really feel like the Crawler doesn't need any additional projectile, so I wouldn't invest in it.

This makes the search for a helmet very flexible. You can ignore helmet enchants altogether and just look for a helmet with good ES and the resistances you need. Otherwise, there are several utility enchants that come in handy:

- Increased Immortal Call Duration (34% Merciless Lab, 36% Eternal Lab)

A longer Immortal Call means it's easier for your ES recharge to start.
More precisely, Immortal Call supported by a level 20 Increased Duration support lasts 0.66s, and with 150% faster start of ES recharge, the ES recharge starts in 0.8s, which means that there is a 0.14s period where physical damage can still prevent your ES recharge from starting. With the 36% duration enchant and a lvl 20 Increased Duration, Immortal Call lasts 0.8s, which means that when Immortal Call is triggered, your start of ES recharge cannot be delayed by physical damage, which is incredibly useful for clearing, as well as bosses with a lot of physical damage (e.g. Minotaur, Chimera, ...). Personally, if you can get it, this is the enchant I would go with.

Here's the math if you care about that sort of things:

First, here's how you can get to 150% faster start of ES recharge:
* 15% from Essence Surge in the skill tree.
* 80% from Soul Strike.
* Up to 40% from a Watcher's Eye.
* Up to 20% from an Elreon crafted ring.
With all perfect rolls, you can get to 155% with one Elreon crafted ring.

Now, if you have "r% faster start of ES recharge", here's the curve giving the delay before the ES recharge starts:

The formula is "delay = 200 / (100 + r)". For r = 150%, the delay is 0.8s.

Regarding the Immortal call duration, the base duration is 0.4s, and a level 20 Increased Duration grants 64% increased duration. So the duration with the gem only is 0.4 * (1 + 0 .64) = 0.66s, and the duration with the gem and the helmet enchant is 0.4 * (1 + 0.64 + 0.36) = 0.8s.

- Increased Enfeeble/Temporal Chains Curse Effect (20% Merciless Lab, 30% Eternal Lab)

Further increasing the effect of your curses is a very good way to make you even more tanky, but these curse effects on Hubris Circlets (the best base for ES helmets) can be a bit expensive, but are worth it.
It is not worth it, in my opinion, to invest in Projectile Weakness curse effect; it would further increase your damage versus non-bosses, who already get one shot by the Crawler, and would not make a noticeable difference on bosses.

- Rain of Arrows has (10% Merciless Lab, 15% Eternal Lab) chance to fire an additional sequence of arrows

Makes it even easier to sustain Virulence versus bosses, but not many people sell Hubris Circlets with that enchant. Can be nice to get if you can, but not life changing in any way.

- Increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Chaos Golems (75% Merciless Lab, 100% Eternal Lab)

More physical damage reduction is always welcome.

Aul's uprising?

Yes! But it's very expensive, or at least, the ones we need are expensive. Look for any aura that would be useful for the Crawler, mostly Hatred and Haste. Other auras like Wrath and Anger could be useful, but would definitely not be worth the investment (unless you loot it, then why the hell not :) )




This is the gem setup for Herald of Agony:

Damage on full life does apply to the Crawler's attacks (confirmed by PoB). Since the Crawler is immune to damage, it will always be full life. Concerning Vile Toxins, the Crawler doesn't deal any poison damage, but we poison enemies, which makes the Crawler deal up to 45% more damage against enemies affected by 9 poisons. It provides a nice damage boost against target we poison a lot, i.e. in single target.

If the Crawler feels slow, or if you feel like he often gets stuck behind walls, you can also use Minion Speed support to make him more reactive.

Note on level 21 Herald of Agony
Virulence grants several buffs per stack to the Crawler, one of them being attack speed. It goes from 2% at lvl 1 up to 3% at lvl 20, and at lvl 21 it goes up to 4%. That means that the overall attack speed buff from virulence increases by 33%, which is huge. In PoB, a lvl 20 gem displays around 750K dps, and with the lvl 21, it's over 1M. Plus, quality is useful on HoA, but
not mandatory (it's minion movement speed), and there are cheap-ish lvl 21 gems (I bought mine for 1ex mid league), so it's a valuable late game upgrade.

For Rain of Arrows, this is the setup:

The Poison Support gem, along with the HoA buff, puts us at 80% chance to poison, which is more than enough. As for curses, the order of priority is Projectile Weakness > Enfeeble > Temporal Chains. Projectile Weakness removes the need for a Pierce support gem, freeing a socket, so it's the one mandatory curse!

A six-link Herald of Agony reserves a lot of mana, so we only have the mana for another aura. Of course, we use Discipline:

Note that, in order to use both Herald of Agony and Discipline comfortably, you'll need to either have a lvl 3 Enlighten on Discipline, or take the 4% reduced mana reserved node near Chaos Inoculation.

For the Golem, you can use either a Chaos or a Lightning golem. I started out with a Lightning golem, but I found I was always at maximum virulence anyway, so I opted for a Chaos golem to try and compensate the fact that we have no armour.

For mobility, Blink Arrow linked with faster attacks is perfect.

In the Cast when damage taken (level 1) setup, Immortal Call is used to allow the ES recharge to start more easily, and Phase Run for invisibility / mobility.

For the other gems, feel free to use whatever you like using (Fortify setup, golem in another, high-level, CwDT setup, ...)

The following is an optional setup for single target, if you struggle to sustain Virulence with Rain of Arrows (see next part for more details).




Alternatively, after cruel lab, if you already have good ES gear and want to improve your clear, you can take Profane Bloom before Vile Bastion, but unless you really feel tanky enough already, I would still follow the order in the picture.



Kill them all.

Easy choice: the only bandit worth helping on some builds is Alira, and since we do not profit from the crit multi, the two skill points are what we go for.




For each God, (almost) all stats are useful, but the crucial ones will be marked in red.

Major gods

My favourite major god. Damage over time is fairly common, and is problematic for all ES recharge builds. Reducing it is useful, but having more ES recovery after its end is often life-saving, especially versus Uber Elder where damage over time is everywhere.

A good alternative to the soul of Arakaali is that of the Brine King in case you're not using Dream Fragments; enhanced with the soul of Nassar, it halves the effect of chill on you, and chill is always a huge issue on CI or LL builds, especially versus Uber Elder.

For delving, the usual soul of Lunaris is also a great choice.

Minor gods

The soul of Abberath is almost mandatory. As mentioned before, damage over time is a huge problem since it prevents the start of ES recharge, and ignite is fairly common - there is even a map mod that makes all hits ignite you, and one where burning ground is everywhere. This God completely negates the effect of burning ground, and halves the duration of all ignites, and makes mapping and delving much more comfortable.


Boss mechanics

The Crawler is a big boi, he attacks whoever you hit automatically; all you need to worry about is surviving, and sustaining Virulence. I can't really help you for the "surviving" part, but I can give you a few tips for the "Virulence" part :)

For bosses you can hit a lot, which is basically all bosses except Shaper/Uber Elder, Rain of Arrows should be enough to keep you above 38 Virulence at all times (remember that the maximum is 40). However, I found while trying Uber Elder that my Virulence was often near 30/35 (trying to check my Virulence actually killed me a lot, hehe), so I started using Barrage linked with Poison, Lesser Poison (to reach 100% chance to poison) and Faster Attacks. It allows me to stay above 38 virulence, even against Uber Elder. However, I found Rain of Arrows to still be much more comfortable to use, so it's up to you!

Since you don't need to hit every single arrow of Barrage and still have high virulence, you can shoot from a safe distance, and it should still allow you to keep high virulence.

A last note: if you struggle to sustain virulence, you can swap out Temp Chains for Mirage Archer during tough bosses, it will make your life easier. Another possible replacement for Temporal Chains is Withering Touch, since a part of the Crawler's damage is converted from physical to chaos.



Before starting
There are some gems you'll need that aren't given as quest reward and can't be bought as Witch. Therefore, you will need to get the following gems before starting. For each gem, I noted where you can get it in the story and as which class, but remember that if you have a character that has access to act 6, you can buy all gems from Lilly at act 6 after clearing the Twilight Strand, as well as in act 10, or after completing Siosa's quest in act 3.

If you're starting the league with this character and don't have access to these, you have two options: you can level up with your prefered minion skill (zombies + skeletons/raging spirits), or you can try to ask in global if someone with the right class can buy those gems for you. People are usually nice and very helpful, but do as you prefer :)

Gems to grab before starting
‣ Lesser Poison support [lvl 1] (on the Twilight Strand as Shadow)
‣ Pierce support [lvl 1] (on the Twilight Strand as Ranger)
‣ Rain of Arrows [lvl 12] (after killing Merveil as Shadow/Ranger/Duelist)
‣ Herald of Agony [lvl 16] (after killing Fidelitas and saving Helena as Shadow/Ranger/Duelist)
‣ Poison support [lvl 31] (only obtainable from Lilly or Siosa)

It is not a gem, but I recommand you buy a Quill Rain before starting. More links are available in the Gear section, but if you're too lazy to scroll (I know, I'm like that too), this is a quick search to get yours. :)

Gems & key gear

You can start leveling by using minions, starting with zombies at lvl 2. Then, when you get raging spirits (after the Mud Flats), you can actively summon those while your zombies take the damage for you, as well as skeletons if you prefer (after killing Brutus).

At level 16, you can equip Herald of Agony! You can equip your Quill Rain to use Rain of Arrows + Lesser Poison as well as your Herald of Agony + Pierce (+ Minion Damage/Minion Speed/etc.). The agony crawler will carry you all the way to the end game. At level 24, remember to grab Discipline.

As for curses, the order of priority is Projectile Weakness > Enfeeble > Temporal Chains. Projectile Weakness removes the need for a Pierce support gem, freeing a socket. To apply your curses, you can:
- Curse on hit with Rain of Arrows if you have the sockets (the priority is Rain of Arrows > Lesser poison/poison > Curse on hit > Curse gems).
- Self cast them if you don't.

Skill tree

Start by grabbing Lord of the Dead (minion damage and life) and Arcane Focus (ES & ES recharge rate) just next to the start of the Witch tree. Then, go the right side, then down to the start of the Scion, and grab Foresight. You can then grab Gravepact, to the left, and go up to Spiritual Command.

(If you want more early minion damage and less ES, you can skip the part about going near the Scion start and go straight left from Occultist's Dominion and refund the points later)

Then, go up near Avatar of Fire (don't take it! Just go near it), then down toward Resolute Technique. Now you won't ever miss your shots! That means more poison, so more virulence. If you feel like you miss too often while leveling before Resolute Technique, you can use an Additional Accuracy support gem on Rain of Arrows.

After that, go up and grab Whispers of Doom, allowing you to apply two curses (you should hit that point a bit after you get the curse gems). You can then curse enemies with two curses, which should be enough. (If one curse is enough for you, you can grab it later). Then go left toward Redemption and Spiritual Aid. If your zombies die too often, you can grab Sacrifice or Righteous Army and refund it later. The rest is pretty much completing the skill tree according to your own preference.

Life or Energy Shield?

It's up to you! Although I really really recommend starting out with Energy Shield, you can get a lot of effective HP really fast. But I'm just a guide, not a cop, so here are the recommendations for each version:

ES leveling
Always have some recent ES gear, especially body armour (unless you have a Tabula Rasa). ES armour can be bought from vendors, and an Essence of Woe will guarantee some ES on it and is very cheap (less than 1 alchemy for essences below lvl 60). On rings/quivers, I advice to look for as much elemental resistance as possible.

In the skill tree, go toward Essence Surge as soon as possible, it makes the ES recharge faster and happen sooner!

After your first lab, your ES recharge can't be interrupted for 4 seconds after starting, which will make your life a whole lot easier.

Useful uniques:

‣ Tabula Rasa (lvl 1): easy 6L. Around 15c. Here's a link to buy yours.
‣ Crown of Thorns (lvl 1): lots of ES as early as possible. Link
‣ Bated Breath (lvl 22): lots of ES & ES recharge rate. Link
‣ Shavronne's Pace (lvl 32): some ES and 35% move speed when you're on full life. Link
‣ Martyr's Crown (lvl 52): fated version of Crown of Thorns. Even more ES. Link

Life leveling
If you don't feel comfortable leveling with ES, you can level with life instead. Grab whatever life nodes you want to grab in the skill tree, and refund them later on.

Useful uniques:

‣ Tabula Rasa (lvl 1) ez 6L. Around 15c. Here's a link to buy yours.
‣ Goldrim (lvl 1): lots of resistances, 'nuff said. Link
‣ Meginord's Girdle (lvl 8): lots of life. Link



* Does the "40% less damage" from the Quill Rain affect the Crawler's damage?

No, it doesn't, it only affects Rain of Arrows' damage, which doesn't matter at all.

* At what level should I take CI?

I would recommend taking CI once you have taken the two ES ascendancies, Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion. Once you have those, you will have enough ES to say goodbye to your HP!

* The Crawler is kind of slow, is there any way to make it faster ?

There is! The first option is to use Minion Speed support instead of Vicious Projectiles. Another way to do so is to use Essences of Fear on jewellery, which grants decent minion movement speed.

* Why are we not using other minions, like zombies or an animated guardian?

Long story short: they would die. Since the Crawler is invulnerable to damage, we don't take any minion life or minion life regen nodes, so other minions have no life increase or life regen, and it is (in my opinion) not worth investing in defensive minion nodes just to have zombies (with our defensive layers, we don't need any meatshield) or an animated guardian (the buffs from any item we can give him would not be worth the skill points).

* Why not use Darkscorn to get "25% less physical damage taken from hits" instead of Quill Rain?

First, because I'm not sure of how the virulence sustain would be without the Quill Rain. I'm going to try it out in standard, and update the guide accordingly. Second, Quill Rain gives mana gain on hit, so sustaining mana would be harder with another bow; however, this can be worked around by using a jewel with mana gain on hit, if you want to try it out.

Edit: I tried using Darkscorn, and it's very hard to sustain Virulence versus bosses. It can be an option in a situation where 1) You're not killing a boss, and 2) You take a lot of physical damage, like deep delving, but apart from these particular situations, I would stick with Quill Rain.

* Why are your Rain of Arrows and Poison support level 3?

Simply because I happened to have lvl 3 gems in my stash when building the character, but level on these two gems doen't matter. In fact, it's important to have a low level Rain of Arrows, because the lower the level, the lower the mana cost.

* Are there any flasks in particular I should be using?

You should have at least one anti-freeze flask ("of heat"), one anti-bleeding ("of staunching") and one anti-burning ("of dousing"), but apart from that, not really. You can use a stibnite flask for a bit of evasion and blinding nearby enemies, or a granite flask for a bit of armour. But it's up to your personal preference, there is no "best in slot" flask for this build.



I want to thank the following people who helped me with the build:

* El Pakito, whose constant feedback about the guide helped me refine it, and who helped me answer the questions in the thread. Thanks a lot for all you've done!
* ReanK, who theorycrafted a similar build and who helped refine this one.
* bhwung and bdy, who allowed me to add their Uber Elder videos to the guide.
* Xyrm, for recording several of the videos in this guide.
* gjmine09, who designed the crafting process for the best possible bow for this build.

Thank you very much for helping me out! <3


Thanks to everyone who read the guide, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any question, feel free to ask on this post or to send me a message :)

I hope you all have a nice day!
Last edited by Vatinas on Dec 25, 2019, 6:46:09 PM
Last bumped on May 4, 2020, 1:20:14 PM


10/11/18: Updated the PoB with separate leveling skill trees.

19/11/18: Added a Low Life (LL) version (see the "Gear" section).

21/11/18: Updated the "Gear" section with trade site links.

26/11/18: Added the "Helmet Enchants" part of the "Gear" section.

02/12/18: Finished the complete writing of the guide.

05/12/18: Added a "Why Rain of Arrows?" section.

06/12/18: Added several videos recorded by Xyrm.

08/12/18: Updated the trade site links for the Betrayal league.

10/12/18: Added an "Ascendancies" section.

12/12/18: Added the Golden Rule jewel to the build. Thanks to Ashaze for the suggestion!

13/12/18: Added an FAQ section.

25/12/18: Added a part about crafting a high budget bow to the Gear section.
Last edited by Vatinas on Dec 25, 2018, 10:32:28 AM
I just recorded an Uber Elder video, it's up in the guide :) Not the cleanest kill, I made a lot of mistakes, but a kill nonetheless! Enjoy :)
Semms pretty cool ill be checking this out
Cool build!!! I got 14k ES, tanky, effective with 3 curses and i can kill uber elder easily
Thanks for build!
Last edited by JosephTri on Oct 16, 2018, 9:39:11 PM
How is this build doing in the delves? How high have you gotten it in them? Also is there any noticeable issues?
JosephTri wrote:
Cool build!!! I got 14k ES, tanky, effective with 3 curses and i can kill uber elder easily
Thanks for build!

I'm glad to hear it! :D

Siberian04 wrote:
How is this build doing in the delves? How high have you gotten it in them? Also is there any noticeable issues?

I've only been to depth 250 or so (because that's the deepest my mine is), but it's really good. Very safe due to the defensive layers, the Crawler kills entire packs in one shot thanks to Profane Bloom so it's fast. I'm planning on going deep with this build, see how deep it can go. I'll try to upload some delve video :)

As for the noticeable issues, I mentioned the Crawler AI that sometimes needs you to use Convocation. Apart from that, I can't really see any noticeable issue :)

Edit: Proximity shields are also annoying to deal with, but Convocation helps as well.
Last edited by Vatinas on Oct 17, 2018, 8:45:33 AM
I delved deep 500 and no issue. Build is very tanky to survive, i think we can go deeper 600
JosephTri wrote:
I delved deep 500 and no issue. Build is very tanky to survive, i think we can go deeper 600

That's awesome! I'm trying to push my delves to see how deep it can go. Keep us posted!
Finally got back into the Uber Elder mechanics enough to record a deathless fight, it's listed in the videos section :)

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info