[3.5] CoCcultist BURST - barrage CoC [1.36M+ Dps, spell spam, calculations, beginner/cheap]

Message me in game if you have any questions:
"SquishyKunGottaGitGuD" in Betrayal.

Video demonstration of build, Tower T15 map:

How it works!
We use bursts of projectiles at enemies to 'target' them and when hit, our linked spells fire at them in order. We make up for quality of spell damage through sheer quantity.

Energy shield (ES) is ideal for this build as it gives a high health pool with the same mitigation as life, and occultist gives massive bonuses to ES. Occultist has two ES key nodes which give us 250 flat ES, which is about 1200 extra ES. Furthermore, we get stun immunity, 1% ES regenerated for 4 seconds for each enemy killed (huge regen for clear), and if you can evade a boss for 2 seconds to start ES recharge, you can get your ES to keep recharging regardless of damage for the next 4 seconds. Great recovery and extra ES. Next we get good damage, an extra power charge with damage and area of effect and an updated notable that gives 20% penetration for our cold and chaos added damages from bladefall and glacial cascade.

You don't use vaal pact?!
Correct. Vaal pact increases recovery by 20% normally to 40% (2x 20% life leech recovery). So we simply stack regen to about 10-15% (and an extra 30% when clearing mobs for 60% base recovery total!!!) and use normal life leech recovery rate for 30-35%. This is slightly less but it means we can avoid pathing 20+ points to pluto in exchange for a mere 5% extra recovery which would make our regen not apply at all. Regen also applies out without attacking so you can kite while taking hits without having to worry as much. But if everything fails we still can do something about it ... firstly, vaal pact AND leech can be crafted on an amulet for 4 seconds with a 12 second cooldown from the time of casting. Secondly, evade for 2 seconds to start occultist ES recharge. Third, vaal discipline for emergencies which stacks with everything!

Essentially recovery isn't an issue without vaal pact.

Barrage for burst fire
This is the core attack of the build, where we fire periodic bursts of projectiles that are skillfully timed. Each critical hit on an attack will proc a spell, and barrage fires 5+ projectiles after a wind-up per attack. 40% of the attack time is used for wind-up. We can time the cooldown of cast on crit to land on the wind-up of each attack to have an even, maximum proc rate. The maximum proc rate I have obtained for barrage is 5.5 casts of each spell per second, or 180ms cooldown.

Cast on crit
Each critical HIT on barrage will proc a spell as long as it isn't in cooldown. Cooldown time is 150ms, but realistically 180ms (... which I think might be due to the servers or my ping being 30ms? Hoping to get this clarified at some point).

Barrage build theory (math)
CoC has a 150ms cooldown (theory)
Barrage attacks over 60% of it's attack time, and is in wind-up for 40%. 5 base projectiles. Each projectile can trigger only one spell.
Spells: Bladefall and Glacial Cascade.

Using 6 projectiles (+1 from helm enchantment) we aim to trigger each skill twice per attack, with ~3 attacks per second.
Projectile 1: hits, crits, casts bladefall
2: hits, crits, casts glacial cascade, bladefall in cooldown
3: hits, crits, all skills cooldown
4: hits, crits, all skills cooldown
5: hits, crits, casts bladefall, GC in cooldown
6: hits, crits, casts glacial cascade, bladefall in cooldown
Pseudo 7: wind-up next barrage
Pseudo 8: wind-up next barrage
Pseudo 9: wind-up next barrage
Pseudo 10: wind-up next barrage, cooldowns recovered begin attacking again.

Thus, the shortest time between bladefalls/glacial cascade should be 150ms, which means a barrage time of ~300ms would be our maximum, or 3.33aps. In reality 2.8 aps is the maximum attack time for 4 casts on the specified setup.

Bringing the theory out of the books ... how to calibrate your CoC

Testing the setup to make sure you are attacking at the right time takes some time and you will need jewels with various amounts of attack speed and various levels of blood rage.
1. get jewels and have jewel sockets that can have them inserted, and the blood rage gems.
2. allocate "ancestral bond" so you deal no damage, only crits.
3. get frenzy and discharge in your skill slots if you use frenzy charges.
4. go to "the coast" in Act 1 and lure one monster to the waypoint. This is your test dummy.
5. enter various amounts of attack speed (look at your barrage skill +aps your character page, offensive).
6. increase the aps until you reach 4 procs for each barrage.
7. keep increasing until you reach 3 procs. This means 1,2 have procced, 5 was in cooldown and 6 procced. This is 1 point higher than your maximum permitted attack speed.
8. keep 1 point of increased attack speed below your maximum attack time. It doesn't make much of a difference but if there are slight movements of the target the timing of the hits can change, because a target moving towards you will reduce the timing between hits based on velocity, and if you are too close to the target this may cause a faulty trigger.

My notepad scribbles from testing if you want an example:
Four procs measurements, 1.5x 1.14 aps imbued wand, ~1.71:
Too high:
1.71, +0.71
Too high:
1.68, +0.68

Too high:
1.66, +0.66

Too high:
1.65, +0.65

1.64, +0.64

1.62, +0.62

Lowest so far, that works: ('2.7', 2.7018 aps
1.58, +0.58

Doesn't work:
1.57, +0.57

Doesn't work:
1.56, +0.56

Doesn't work:
1.54, +0.54

The result of a perfectly calibrated CoC, what you WANT:

- I use blood rage so I have it active with 3 frenzy charges from frenzy.
- Frost bolt and ball lightning have replaced my main spells so I can see and count exactly what is happening.
- My aps is on the character page and I can keep an eye on it so I can make sure I know the correct aps for the procs.
- My aps range was +58% to +64% for 4 triggers on 1 barrage at the right attack time.
- Change the jewels around to find the precise attack time for your weapon.

OK, so what spells should we be using?

When it comes to playing with CoC, it's all about picking your favourite poison. Pretty much anything works but some things work better in different builds. For this build we require TWO skills.

Bladefall (green) and Glacial cascade (blue): Physical base so we can use "#% physical gained as extra *****" which helps a lot, and hatred. This also shotguns to a degree, so for each spell a boss will usually take 2+ hits on each spell being cast (so multiply by two I guess... which is awesome!) Great AoE too. This is my recommendation. Furthermore because we have a lot of chaos and cold damage with this we get some nice synergy with the occultist node Void Beacon.

Arc (blue) and ball lightning (blue): pretty nice damage and shocks. Clears well. A well rounded choice. Use wrath instead of hatred.

Others ... pick up a tabula and give it a shot in the blood aqueducts!

Passive trees for progression:
Level 72:

Level 80:

Level 89:

Level 98:

At level 72 you can make the switch, before then level in blood aqueducts using blade vortex linked to increased duration, added fire/efficacy, power charge on crit and with hatred and herald of ash. Or you could use bladefall + added fire + controlled destruction + power charge on crit.

Obtain the wicked ward and vial bastion parts of occultist first to help with survivability. An example level 72 tree with points close within 21 (your respec points) of the level 72 CoCcultist tree is here:

Soul of Arakaali: reduced damage over time, reduced damage from shocks. 50% increased recovery rate of ES if you've stopped taking damage over time recently... this work with blood rage and immortal call, meaning when we take a hit and aren't taking damage over time already we will then regain ES much faster for a short period.

Soul of Tukohama: barrage requires us to stand in front of a target and attack them while still due to the burst nature of the skill. We gain up to 8% reduced phys dmg taken, and up to 2% life regen depending on how long we've tanked that targets attacks while still. My preference.

Soul of Ralakesh: a valid choice, reduces blood rage damage and other phys damage while moving. Makes us immune to blind which is very helpful.

Sustaining charges is easy!
If you require frenzy charges you SHOULD take frenzy charge duration so you have more time to kill the boss and run to the next mob without losing charges. Assassins mark and enough duration can be used to replace power charge on critical support as well. Sustain of charges simply means not losing charges and being able to get them from mobs. For shaper or elder pcoc + frenzy is ok, but it's up to you.

Dps? Do you even kill things?
Yessir. If you've calibrated it correctly you'll have 2 procs of each spell per barrage. Simply take you damage per hit out of PoB and do the calculation from there. For example:

My spells hit at least twice each. So x2.
My spells are cast twice per barrage.
My aps = 2.77, with 2 spells.
Glacial cascade = 52553.3 (46989.4 on bosses)
Bladefall = 69048.3 (58381.2 on bosses)
DPS = 2.77*2*2*(58404.2+75374.4) = 1,482,266
DPS = 2.77*2*2*(52220.8+63730.0) = 1,284,734 on bosses

Realistically, because of my effective crit chance on attacks my dps is about 92% of the above. So 1.36M and 1.18M DPS respectively.

And my gear isn't even maxed. With high end investment you can exceed 2M realistic dps, if you are standing in front of the boss and landing all your projectiles with your flasks and charges up.

Some fights require you to move so ye, don't go expecting the impossible when you need to be a long way away!

What about if I don't have enough barrage projectiles? What if I have cooldown reduction on gear?
I haven't got that far yet ... however I have some ideas for this.

For projectiles, you need to decide on which projectiles the spells are proccing on and estimate the attack time required for those procs. Then go calibrate in 'the coast' against a dummy. My brief working showed that 6 projectiles was best but I may have made errors and I'm planning to test 5 projectiles later. 6-7 projectiles would require dying sun flask which is terrible because that is a most glorious flask slot which could be dedicated to damage, our lord and saviour.

Cooldown changes simply means adjusting attack speed. But most importantly it gives us MORE damage because we can fire significantly faster! We can simply burst faster!

20% increased cooldown recovery = ~3.1 aps region.
35% increased cooldown recovery = ~3.5 aps region

^So you have an idea of what to test if you have the gear!

Note: tested on +19% cooldown, and scored +83% aps which is 3.12, so 3.13 is probably the key aps for 20%. Looks like you get the 30ms addition again (125ms+30ms).

My build:

Weapon, we want high crit, attack speed, multi and spell damage. Example NICE wand:

Armour, general high ES gear with accuracy, resists and other essential stats:

Body armour options, damage or survivability or cost:
Skin of the Loyal, it comes 6 linked, gives +1 gems (10% more damage), and effectively 300 flat ES, CHEAP.

Shavronnes Wrappings, low life 30% more damage, same es as skin of the loyal

High ES fossil crafted vaal regalia, upwards of 750 ES possible, doesn't add extra damage usually, but instead of 9.5k es you get 12.5k ... so it's nice for when not dying!
Example OLD es armour which would be equivalent:

Tabula! The budget option if you want to jump into this build right away.

Belt, high ES, resists, strength, cooldown recovery is FANTASTIC but optional, crafting bench has some nice suffixes too like regen.

Amulet, %ES, Gain physical as extra COLD (we are cold pen remember?), resists, accuracy and VAAL PACT suffix for crafting.

Rings, resists and accuracy, unique options add a LOT of damage.
-7 mana on a level 1 barrage gem means we don't need any mana leech.

Gifts from above, creates consecrated ground whenever we attack, lots of crit chance, lots of damage, lots of rarity ... and it looks slick as fk!

Mings heart, lots of extra chaos for minimal penalty ... can be corrupted for some really nice implicit mods. Very viable option if you can fit it in:

Discipline is 217 es ... so 20% = 43 flat es which still increases my es.

Jewels, key unique jewels greatly enhance the build but are by no means necessary to start:

Tempered flesh gives us 40% critical multiplier at our Templar jewel slot. 1chaos.

Transcendent mind, give 600 accuracy and 1.6% es regen at witch slot, 50c

Energy from within gives ~20% ES at witch/shadow jewel slot.

This is a special jewel for me. It gives the attack speed I need to reach the perfect point for cast on crit, some energy shield and some resistance that I need:

Completely optional but fantastic ... Watchers eye gives crit chance for easy crit cap, and discipline recovery rate increases the overall survivability ... multiple exalts if you want both on the jewel. Clarity extra ES is a good option to upgrade from discipline recovery rate, IF you can afford it lol.


This is my current flask setup.

Before hatred watcher's eye crit, I used:

Atziri's promise massively increases our damage by ~20% and gives some leech.
Quicksilver flask gives movement speed and bleed removal, which is used in conjunction with flame dash+faster casting.
Diamond flask is used to re-roll our critcal strikes to bring our effective critical strike chance up to 92% total. Because of how accuracy interacts with critical hits, our effective crit chance with diamond flask goes from ~82% to ~92% and this build drastically needs very high crit chance. Freeze immunity.
Jade flask adds some evasion which is nice on ES build, as well as curse immunity.

Cinderswallow is an interesting addition this league. By simply adding a bit of fire damage to your barrage you can ignite the enemy making them take more damage. The massive ES on kill keeps your ES full while slaughtering trash in maps. The % crit chance helps cap your crit too which is very useful early on ... and it's very cheap too this league!

Sin's rebirth gives huge DPS and removes ignite problems stopping automatic recharge OR interference with Soul of Arakaali Pantheon. Get this once your crit and survivability improves. The blind from stibnite amplifies the effect of your jade flask substantially.

Gem setup:

Main cast on crit setup, body armour:

Power charge on crit or increased critical strikes could potentially be exchanged for increased critical damage or hypothermia if your critical requirements are satisfied.
The spells are optional, but this is my recommendation and what I currently use.

Active effects, boots:

Blood rage and vaal discipline are linked to increased duration for quality of life.
Hatred increases our damage significantly.
Discipline gives a large amount of ES.

Supplementary skills, helmet:

Frenzy is used for frenzy charge generation and sustain on bosses.
Flame dash is a surprisingly fast utility that we can use to move around quickly in boss fights. Despite the cooldown and our lack of cast speed, the mobility is amazing.
The fourth slot can be used for pcoc potentially if you don't use it in your main links.

Golem, wand:

That golem gives essential accuracy and some crit so we need it to stay alive! Generic survivability nodes for golems are taken on the tree.

Cast when damage taken setup(s):
One: generic short physical immunity + chill enemies in melee range.

Two: warlord's for leech on enemies that damage you who you need recovery from, and for endurance charges to supplement immortal call. Bone offering for CONSUMING corpses of monsters that have damaging and remaining on death effects (porcupine spikes, esh lightning balls, etc). Frost bomb, chill and cold penetration if it hopefully hits the guy we want to hit.

My current gear at time of posting:

Path of building paste bin for my current character:
Version 1.4.121

The relevant buffs have been selected.

Budget tips for beginners:
- The tree and levels are important, level 80 is where it will start to come together.
- Starting dps should be around 500k, but it gets better. Low dps feels fine if you are get all the crits.
- skin of the loyal is cheap! Tabula is an option if you don't need the ES. You need the 6L.
- no need for expensive jewels
- 7.5k es is easy to get and fine for mapping up to T10
- nice dps, but you still need to do the calculations ... and your dps may be a bit low if you can't get 6 projectiles. Still sufficient for other stuff...
- fundamentally, you MUST get 91%+ crit chance, 80%+ barrage crit chance and with a diamond flask have >88% crit chance effective in path of building on barrage. This build feels TERRIBLE without near perfect crit chance.
- If you are willing to spend 60 regrets, you can level with Alleopathy unique gloves and blight. It's a similar build but gets upwards of 600k dps now and only costs ~10-20c to start.

Example gear for when you've just jumped into the maps:
(You'll be level 75 in blood aqueducts and ready to roll by the time you've gotten this less than 60c worth of gear!)
Cheap gear that's fairly easy to get, less than 30c. "Rainbowstride" could be substituted for those boots if you are on budget. ~30c

Jewels, the 3 essential. Transcendent mind is expensive so use "tempered mind" (1c) until you get one, because you really need that accuracy. ~5c

Cheap flask setup ... use beastcrafting to get mods. ~5c

A wand like this with crit (>8.8) and attack speed (>1.68) lets you start working on the build right now. You can get a way better one for 5c! ~1c

Jewellery ... this is a bit tricky because you need to get resists where you haven't got it on other gear. Maybe you'll need to drop your unique ring if you are really tight ... or run purity of elements or a bismuth flask? Play around with it in path of building but generally don't expect to pay more than 15c here. ~15c

Thanks for reading!
Last edited by RichardFox on Jan 6, 2019, 12:42:12 AM
Last bumped on Jan 5, 2019, 6:49:41 AM
Thoughts on Skyforth instead of PCOC, then maybe having a higher DPS support / another spell in there?

I've toyed with the idea of
so that you don't need accuracy. I've done this in a previous league on just a normal wander and it was very effective, but not sure about coc, but it could be paried with global blind % on gloves.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
My builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1641740
My 6link collection: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1656425
AvocadoCake wrote:
Thoughts on Skyforth instead of PCOC, then maybe having a higher DPS support / another spell in there?

I've toyed with the idea of
so that you don't need accuracy. I've done this in a previous league on just a normal wander and it was very effective, but not sure about coc, but it could be paried with global blind % on gloves.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

I've considered those previously and they're suitable ideas. However there are some things to consider...

For skyforth, true, you can use hypothermia which gives 16% more damage or so. But the best boots have cooldown on them and that's 10-16% more as well and they can have more than 100 extra flat es, but they cost more. However you still might want to go for skyforth even with tonnes of ex because if you have 20% cooldown on belt as well, then it can be hard to get the required maximum aps for 35% total cooldown reduction, in which case using skyforth lowers the aps requirement while giving the same damage with slightly less ES. You can also go buy leech skyforth too so you don't have to farm cruel lab for it (which sucks lol, i haven't got it yet). My current boots as an example:

Secondly, that amulet is a good idea in theory but in reality we want as much effective crit chance as possible and it requires the foe to be blinded. If you can blind the enemies you hit from a screen a way with good sustain on that then that amulet would be ideal. I don't know how to do that... so I can't recommend it. It would be a viable gear swap if you have a 'super high dps' full gear swap for U Elder or similar where you can sit on the boss and stibnite/blind them, but otherwise it might be hard. Also, the Multi/ES/%extra cold amulet usually gives quite a significant amount of dps so it's a little hard to say if going from 91% -> 95% crit chance actually gives more dps if you have the right setup. Essentially, I'm against it because I don't know how to get ranged blinds continuously. Good if you use cyclone instead of barrage though!

Edit: I didn't look at your wand closely, YES that is an interesting idea and it has synergy with barrage hitting a lot. It's definitely worth a try so I would like to hear how it goes. You still want some accuracy so you have 89%+ chance to hit lol.

Also, I'm posting a video tonight for this because I'm going to play with discharge on this character so you'll be able to see some gameplay. That build idea has a similar tree so I can just use 20? regrets and swap the gear sets to play both... probs won't go well coz discharge only gets 8.5k es lol.
Last edited by RichardFox on Jan 5, 2019, 2:22:32 AM
Hmm, that's a fair point about the boots. That's probably better than Skyforth, especially as I don't mind splashing the cash a bit. My belt is "only" 11%, so I don't think that's an issue yet

As for the wand, it's not a huge commitment either way as I'd need some accuracy anyway. I guess i'll just try both.
My builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1641740
My 6link collection: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1656425

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