[3.6] Emperor's Decay Brand Occultist

Build TL;DR:

Chaos DoT (Decay) Storm Brand with Shield charge and Brand Recall for clear, and Blight (+VRF) for single target. Single target setup subject to change.

Build currently completely outdated. But it's only been buffed so far. Going to update in the first days of 3.7.

3.7 changes:

Buffs. Nothing but buffs. There's only a few, but all of them mean MORE damage. Although some of them are tied to me considering Life (+ MoM) instead of going ES.

- Storm Brand now has a 130% MORE mult (up from 50%), which effectively acts as an additional 53% more multiplier compared to previously.

- Wicked ward is on the passive tree so now it's possible to take Void Beacon Without feeling bad about it (20% more damage).

- Shield Charge now works with wands. Alternatively:

- Try 2h + a movement skill that isn't shield charge. Arguably should've done that long ago. Why didn't I consider it before? No idea. Time to fix that.

If going Life:

- Self-DoT + Energy Leech Support should mean constantly receiving the better multiplier.

- Withering Presence.


Hi there! Thanks for dropping by. The guide below is partially still for 3.5, to be fully updated once I get enough footage and finalize my choice on what gem setups to actually go with. No nerfs, only buffs, managed to do a few t15's (don't think I'm ready for guardians just yet though). Still leveling gems, testing setups, but for a quick overview of the current state of affairs:


- character is Blighted_Branding

Basic Concept, Playstyle, Pros and Cons:
Its in the name - we use Brands to apply Decay to kill stuff. The amazing part is that we don't actually have to cast the brands - that's automated! To do that, a dagger like the one below is more than enough to get started.

If your dps feels lacking however, 4/5/6-linking the brands is obviously still an option. It's what I ultimately went with in 3.6 (so far, might go back to a good dagger if I get one). The downside of this (having to manually cast the brands) is largely mitigated by using Brand Recall. Linking it with Empower in our shield will in turn make sure that the Skill has virtually no cooldown.

With sufficient investment and proper timing, Brand Recall can allow for nigh-permanent brands - they should last for an entire map at least.
The playstyle is shield charge and go! Just press Brand Recall as needed, and mobs around you should melt, explode, and take those that still didn't melt yet with them in their demise. If something takes a bit too long to die in spite of that, channel Blight.

If something seems like you want to be far away from it (ahem, hordes of geared out Syndicate members), just go away - after dropping a brand in its proximity. The brand will fulfill its duty so long as you don't Recall it. Even if you do, it will still have applied Decay, which in many cases should be enough. If not, rince and repeat.
- Map-mod friendly. We deal chaos DoT, after all.
- Can deal damage from the other side of the screen.
- (open to suggestions)

- Currently feels kinda squishy still. Mostly me being unused to playing CI, and having kinda meh/garbage gear. (Also not really bothering with (actually using) flasks.)
- It is straight up worse than soulrend OR regular storm brand for most purposes.
- Playstyle (especially timing Brand Recall) took me some getting used to. Probably less of an issue with more spammable Recall.
- (open to suggestions)
There are no required uniques.

For boosting our damage Spreading Rot jewels are an obvious choice. I use two. They're cheap and can be obtained as a quest reward so they really shouldn't be an issue to acquire.

The only other unique I feel shouldn't be passed up on is Invictus Solaris (+gemlevel shield).

Allelopathy provide a dps stat in addition to a built-in blight, and given that I've opted to 6l my brands they're really good to have. Definitely wouldn't call them required though. And if I could afford to leave my brands 3/4 linked good rares would outperform them. Going to test this once I get more dps.

The Build: PoB, Skill Tree, Ascendancy, Gem Links...
WIP for 3.6
Tested content viability:
Current maximum (solo) Delve Depth: 200

Uber Lab (1 key run): not tried yet
Uber Lab (full key run): not tried yet

White maps: done
Yellow maps: done
Red maps: done

Atziri: done
Uber Aziri: not done yet

Shaper Guardians: not yet done
Shaper: not yet done

White Elder Guardians: done
Yellow Elder Guardians: not yet done
Red Elder Guardians: not yet done
Uber Elder Guardians: not yet done

White Elder: done
Yellow Elder: not yet done
Red Elder: not yet done
Uber Elder: not yet done

The videos are all from 3.5. Build is MUCH better now. On another note, seriously, just turn of your audio for those. Your ears will thank you.

Also, if one of the videos is not working for you, please leave a reply - I'll try to get it fixed.

On the same note, if you have any specific video requests, I'll try to get them done so long as I'm able.

With Automation:

Recordings of T11 and above maps should be up by the end of the week.
Feedback and suggestions on how to improve both build and guide would be much appreciated- I'll also try to answer any questions you might have.
Last edited by EmperorIzaro on Jun 5, 2019, 5:56:09 AM
Last bumped on Jul 15, 2019, 3:11:41 PM
I'm currently looking for a build with brands, and your take on it looks very interesting, looking forward to some more input from you end. I'm no pro or anything but if you need someone to help you out testing stuff lemme know i could level one myself and we could try out some different scenarios.

Really interested in your build, good work
Thanks! I'm currently trying to figure out the most ideal single target setup.

Issue atm is that if I weaponswap for ST, the brands vanish - meaning I lose my seeking area covering decay appliers. To fix that I'm now trying out how Blight feels like in a (so far) 4l chestpiece. (As to avoid weaponswap) Also really important is getting hold of a Fenumu's Shroud and Spinnerets for the ES regen, it should help make me feel less unable to take hits (goodbye, exalts I don't even have yet). Maybe swap to full life and/ or MoM and/ or EB, would have to sacrifice some damage in the process but eh.

Another thing on the to-do is looking into getting both ED and Contagion integrated. If at all it has to be both though, since I feel like investing into pierce just for the sake of ED wouldn't be worth it. And as one can see from how much dps I'm willing to sacrifice for automation, I don't really want to have to cast contagion myself. Maybe I can find a setup to automate the whole ED + Contagion deal. I'll have to test how reliable a low level cwdt + contagion setup would be (contagion for dealing with ads bodyblocking the boss and ganging up on me). Should be done testing later today. Will report back once done! (Worst case... I'll have to push one more button, I guess)

In the meantime, I'd very much appreciate if you could help find an optimal setup, so feel free to experiment. The build should be solid regardless, given that I have no real issues (syndicate and stupidity aside) in yellow maps with my current gear.

UPDATE: The devourning Diadem seems like it could be awesome! Freeeeeeeeeeee EB (and ES regen)! So many points saved! And MoM is a single point, so that's pretty nice.

UPDATE 2: The Aylardex is a better option (compared to Impresence, since with Diadem we can afford reserving mana for all our stuff) - also easier to get a +1 curse corruption on!
Last edited by EmperorIzaro on Dec 10, 2018, 6:34:43 AM
UPDATE 3: Updated the PoB
UPDATE 4: More Videos, updated PoB - will be posting more videos as I get material. Purchasing actually good gear aside (and maybe figuring out if ED + contagion is worth it vs another decay brand setup), I'm done.
UPDATE 5: Updated the whole guide.
Hi ive got a question.

which skill gems do you level up and to which level do you level them.
amdrag wrote:
Hi ive got a question.

which skill gems do you level up and to which level do you level them.

Thanks for asking! Guess I wasn't specific about that in the gem links sections. The description has been updated.
Hey you didnt say anything for ascendancies, its my first time playing a occultist so i have no idea on what i should focus first, sound like a great build im excited to get to maps !
Frozen_Goosy wrote:
Hey you didnt say anything for ascendancies, its my first time playing a occultist so i have no idea on what i should focus first, sound like a great build im excited to get to maps !

Thanks for the feedback! Added a working link to the online skilltree, including ascendancies (previous one was bugged for some reason), and also wrote out the ascendancy order. It's in the PoB/Skill Tree/ Ascendancy/ etc. section.
Last edited by EmperorIzaro on Dec 12, 2018, 11:44:15 AM

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