[3.5] Cold Occultist Frostbolt+Vortex - FUN+CHEAP! (Life/MoM/EO/Cast on skill) 1mil+ DoT DPS

Hi guys! I'm tomato, haven't written a poe guide in a long time, so here's my new cold occultist using the synergy frostbolt+vortex have together.

Gameplay: (deathless)
T16 Chimera: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/365906977
T16 Hydra: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/366147434
T15 Shaped Plateau: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/365922037
T15 Tower: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/366147430
T14 Dark Forest: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/366147433

Uber Lab: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/365928380

more vids to come as I play around on it more.

I decided to make this build around Cold damage over time after theory crafting about many different versions of ignite builds and realizing cold had a wonderful little new modifier called +Cold Damage over time Multiplier!

Tomato Mike's Twitch channel


want to credit mathil for showing the interaction between frostbolt and ice nova, which is what inspired this build

Strengths and Weaknesses of the build


-Straight Damage Homie - melt maps and end game bosses on a REAL budget!
-Effective for all content in game!
-Crazy fun to play, you're covering your screen in maelstroms, how cool is that??
-Map mods no problem
-great survivability with smart use of flasks, quality those flasks up and take those witch flask nodes!
-Absolutely slap the sh*t out of It that fled over and over again!
-Interactive playstyle. this is not a 1 button and forget it spec like zzz RF. (I played alot of RF this league and made this build afterward to be the complete opposite.) You need to semi aim your vortexes on your frostbolt projectiles, the rest will auto fill.

-5.1k life + 1.1k mana pool unreserved means you can effectively be one shot through MoM if you aren't careful. I always make sure to phase into any encounter in the game. KEEP THOSE FLASKS PUMPIN!


Build mechanic introduction:


Mind over Matter + Quartz Flask + phase run + warlord's mark + ICE EVERYWHERE = you're pretty safe overall.

Reflect Damage

Dodge ele reflect, even though we're DoT main we do way too much damage to mess around with it.

Why the Occultist?

- Cold Damage over Time Multiplier
- 2x curses
- Can't be chilled or frozen (good for farming our boy uber elder, vid will be up as soon as i spawn him again)


Skill-gems and setups:

Damage setup:

6L- Vortex, Conc Effect, Efficacy Support, Controlled Destruction, Swift Affliction, Ele focus. -- dots, dots, and more dots.

I run conc effect for mapping and bosses, never swap it out especially with the syndicate effectively giving you a surprise boss encounter on every map.

THAT'S your vortex setup. Now let's talk about FROSTBOLT:

you'll want to socket your frostbolt setup in your gloves, get a pair with faster casting on them so you don't have to waste a socket on that. I went with Frostbolt - increased crit strikes (for eo) - Greater mult projectiles - hypothermia for some extra damage, hey why not.

That's not the end of your damage setup however, because you'll be using a "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill" crafted weapon. In this, I socket Vaal Cold Snap, Bonechill Support, and frost bomb, to really BUFF our dot damage. Cold snap procs bone chill pretty consistently, and frost bomb gives you -25% cold resistence penetration for your dot damage. Really upping the game!

You can check out my character Tomatofreezin for my budget setup. I've spent less than 2 exalts on all my gear, total.

Defensive Utility Setup :

CWDT (9) - Immortal Call (11) - Increased Duration (20) - Summon chaos golem (11)

Chaos golem gives you flat 3% phys reduc. definitely valuable in this setup.

Mobility & Utility:

- FLAME DASH, increased duration, arcane surge (lvl 6) - you should make sure your flame dash is setting off your arcane surge every cast. keep it low enough so that it does that.

curse setup
blasphemy - warlord's mark - enlighten - phase run

ideally you'll want warlord's mark on a ring, if you don't have 50 ex to throw around to find one that's actually usable, you'll end up settling for a chill setup like this.

"BUT tomato, that's only one curse?!" - ya ya, I know. Your other curse comes from your flasks, Witchfire Brew. Mega DoT damage + Despair, a lvl 21 curse that directly affects our cold dot damage. Those flask nodes in witch looking more interesting now, eh? :P


ASPECT OF THE SPIDER, get it on belt or boots. it's really nice for damage and it's pretty cheap to get a decent one.


Skill-trees & Ascendancy classes:

Ascendancy Class: The Occultist

Ascendancy Points: Void Beacon -> Frigid Wake -> Profane Bloom -> Malediction

PoB: https://pastebin.com/CLDnettX - i am FAR from optimized / perfect gear, like I said, i spent about 2ex on all my gear and then wasted 2 more ex buying and vaaling skins of the loyal trying to get a +2. The biggest damage boost you'll get in this build is getting your vortex as gem as high as possible. quality doesn't matter, you'll have plenty of Area of effect from the tree. Level as many vortex gems as possible and vaal them all. you need a lvl 21 base gem. from there, you are going for a +2 or +3 skin of the loyal end game.

Follow life nodes when building your character, level with freezing pulse until you get a tabula and a 3L so you can have fun with fb/vortex. never look back once you get those two items.


Bandit Quest Rewards:

kill all. or oak or alira. doesn't really matter. i prefer kill all for more passives.


Gearing and stat priorities:

Defensive affixes, in priority:

1. Life
2. Resists
3. Mana (Mind over matter saves your ass quite a bit
4. Int

Offensive affixes, in priority:

1. COLD damage over time multiplier
2. COLD damage
3. %increased Damage over time

My Current Gear:



Cold Damage over Time Multi
Cold Damage
Increased Life
Damage over Time

(pick 3 outta the 4, we're not here to drop exalts- get life and any 2 others)


Witchfire Brew. With flask nodes in the witch tree this thing will never be down when you're mapping.


Recommended unique items, in priority:

One Frozen Trail for more frostbolts + more speed on your frostbolts

Tabula / Skin of the Loyal (easy 6L, first big upgrade should be +1 gems tab or a skin). regular tab is 5-9c

could also use this helm for some budget damage. I bought a vortex enchant for 50c because hey why not. Didn't need it, but damage is damage. If you don't want to drop the chaos on that enchant, just use this helm and make up the life/resists on jewelry.

That's it! No more spending exalts on some crazy 6 linked unique. Chill, be budget, grind in a tabula's until you have the currency to vaal a few skins of the loyal.


Thanks for reading the guide. Hope you enjoy the build, I'll throw some more videos up SOONtm


Just want to thank blizzard for bringing me back to PoE via killing the diablo franchise. nah, I don't want to play an ARPG on my phone.

Last edited by wimpy_tuna on Jan 18, 2019, 10:08:01 PM
Last bumped on Jan 20, 2019, 3:58:22 PM
Added deathless hydra, dark forest, and tower videos!

bosses go down the hole
ended up swapping to ci, made downing uber elder a breeze, will update post w vids etc soon
deathless shaper, 1 death uber elder (shoulda been deathless, bad play), deathless gaurdians up on latest stream vid. will highlight/cut soon

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