[3.8] Zombies/SRS Occultist - HC SSF focused guide

Trying out your guide in SSF flashback, I've got a Mark of the Red Covenant and a Matua Tapuna and was just wondering if they're worth using post-acts. First month playing and first summoner style toon so no basis for comparison really, thanks for the input!
Hey OP, I enjoyed reading the guide .... thanks. But, this seems incredibly painful to level, play, gear (although I'm not a HC SSF player).

-The DPS seems really, really low.
- Zombie/SRS life seems low - how are they not getting wiped by T10 and up rippy monsters?
- It has no easy source of resists, no early damage, and no offensive synergy at all, so levelling must have been really slow and lucky to find the gear you need to take on harder content.
- Yes it takes advantage of the OP occultist + bated breath synergy, but some fights, dots, physical damages must have needed really fast fingers to stay alive. I don't think normal players could expect to reach lategame HC with this build.
- Apart from this one defensive synergy, there are no interactions here past just stacking raw stats and presumably grinding the hell out of it.

In short, I think you should be clearer exactly how much effort and luck followers of the guide will need, but also: Kudos for getting to 100 with this!
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Trev0413 wrote:
Trying out your guide in SSF flashback, I've got a Mark of the Red Covenant and a Matua Tapuna and was just wondering if they're worth using post-acts. First month playing and first summoner style toon so no basis for comparison really, thanks for the input!


Hey, glad you got interested. They're both helpful early on, but if you're able to comfortably sustain 20 Raging Spirits, then Mark of the Red Covenant probably isn't the best option anymore.

Additional levels for spectres while leveling are great, but I wouldn't use Matua Tupuna after the gem reaches level 16-17. You may happen to get a prophecy that allows you to upgrade it and then it can work in maps for some time in ssf.

"
grimlock9999 wrote:
Hey OP, I enjoyed reading the guide .... thanks. But, this seems incredibly painful to level, play, gear (although I'm not a HC SSF player).


Thanks for your time and let me try to clarify then :)

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grimlock9999 wrote:
-The DPS seems really, really low.


A lot of damage comes from Profane Bloom/Mon'tregul's Grasp explosions, but I think a focused attack on a single target isn't that bad either. While it's not a racing build, it can get through high tier maps. Not sure if you have seen the videos, but I understand it may not satisfy you. It comes from my approach to hc where I'm rather ready to play around positioning than outdamaging the enemies.

The current setup from the guide isn't optimal for the Shaper (I'm positive it can do it after some adjustments though) and I still haven't tried the Uber Elder with it, but it was never meant for those bosses.

[edit; June 13, 2019] The 3.7 version got some buffs damage-wise and actually is fine for the Shaper as it is. I'm guessing it can be smoother if you sacrifice some defenses and focus even more on the offensive side though.

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grimlock9999 wrote:
- Zombie/SRS life seems low - how are they not getting wiped by T10 and up rippy monsters?


Zombies greatly improve survivability of SRS. Spirit Offering improves survivability of zombies. To be fair, they are terrible at dodging, so the Syndicate encounters or maps with stacked damage mods and additional projectiles can be tedious. If they can get to enemies, they can take them down though. I don't know if you play hc, maybe I just play less dangerous content overall.

[edit; June 13, 2019] In 3.7 zombies can additionaly utilize Fortify Support and they don't sacrifice as much damage as before by doing so.

[edit; June 15, 2019] I totally forgot to mention it, but it's worth to point out that our minions also benefit from our defensive curses, which effects we empower as the Occultist.

"
grimlock9999 wrote:
- It has no easy source of resists, no early damage, and no offensive synergy at all, so levelling must have been really slow and lucky to find the gear you need to take on harder content.


I stressed out earlier in the thread that trying to level this up as a minion-only build can be cumbersome, so I proposed a path using Storm Brand and adding minions step by step. It doesn't take me much longer to take it to maps than ED/Contagion Trickster. It can do Act 10 Kitava with two four links no problem, I think I was level 64 the first time this league.

"
grimlock9999 wrote:
- Yes it takes advantage of the OP occultist + bated breath synergy, but some fights, dots, physical damages must have needed really fast fingers to stay alive. I don't think normal players could expect to reach lategame HC with this build.


Well, hard to say for the others. DoTs usually are barely an issue thanks to the amount of ES regen. You will notice physical damage from things like some Abyss monsters or devourers - you can't curse them or put minions on their way while they're invisible/under the ground. I haven't died to them yet though, Vaal Discipline helps a lot.

The thing that requires the fastest reaction I can think of is the lightning scream attack that some monsters in the Azurite Mine use. If it hits you while your recharge is up, it's not that big of a deal. Otherwise - you can't target them fast, so you need to get out of its way immediately.

[edit; June 13, 2019] In 3.7 I don't use Wicked Ward anymore, so those monsters from the Mine are even more dangerous.

"
grimlock9999 wrote:
- Apart from this one defensive synergy, there are no interactions here past just stacking raw stats and presumably grinding the hell out of it.


I'm not sure if I understand that part correctly. It seems to me that different defensive mechanics tend to interact with each other naturally. Like, our recharge can't stop after it starts, but it needs to start at some point - investing into evasion and temporal chains helps with that. Nevertheless, stacking ES is the ES thing and grinding gear is the ssf thing. But I think people tend to overrate how hard it is to start as a CI character.

[edit; June 13, 2019] Patch 3.7 brought some serious nerfs to the Occultist. I don't use Wicked Ward anymore, so I crossed out the fragment above, but the sentence still makes sense. Also, the transition to CI isn't as easy as before. I commented more on that in the first post. Overall, it's not the end of the world though.

"
grimlock9999 wrote:
In short, I think you should be clearer exactly how much effort and luck followers of the guide will need, but also: Kudos for getting to 100 with this!


Thanks :) The biggest problem I saw so far was setting up the Atlas for farming Mon'tregul's Grasp in ssf, so I'll elaborate on this. I think it's fairly smooth from there, but that's the build I've been playing most of the time, so it's quite hard to compare for me.
Last edited by Aeui on Jun 15, 2019, 9:16:31 AM
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I think people tend to overrate how hard it is to start as a CI character.


Thanks for responding. I'm not sure if I have the right temperament for SSF HC, but you've convinced me that I've overrated how hard CI is.
[June 12, 2019] The main part of the 3.7 guide is updated now. Some further changes regarding the leveling section are coming.

[June 15, 2019] One more iteration of small changes / adding details. Specifically, I described some swaps regarding the Shaper in the Gems and Links section.
Last edited by Aeui on Jun 15, 2019, 10:09:11 AM
Hi

i just try to play your build , i am lvl 38 now and arrived act 4

i am wondering my hp are very low (about 700 ) my shield is about 1000 with Discipline

if i don't want go for CI later can i still follow your build ?
"
Dreamkaster74 wrote:
Hi

i just try to play your build , i am lvl 38 now and arrived act 4

i am wondering my hp are very low (about 700 ) my shield is about 1000 with Discipline

if i don't want go for CI later can i still follow your build ?


Yeah, absolutely. The tree won't be that different. The Leveling section isn't updated yet and I see you picked a different route, but you can use the last link from there as a reference. I don't level up focusing 100% on ES - it's rather a hybrid build before I go CI, so you just need to stay that way. It's more about the gear, for maps I'd like to have at least 3000 life and 30%-40% chaos resistance.

As for now, it sounds like you have a fine amount of effective HP (life + ES) for your level. Early on I feel much safer prioritizing life though, so it can be recovered quite quickly with flasks (yours could use some upgrade btw). Then again, you already have Bated Breath, so I imagine it can be comfortable as well.

The Occultist doesn't get bonus ES anymore, so it's reasonable to consider using Mind over Matter for leveling. Remember that you need unreserved mana equal to at least 43% (~3/7*100%) of your life for this - otherwise you'll run out of mana before you die, so you may get locked without your movement skill available.

Good luck and watch out for Brine King at the end of Act 6, it's currently bugged.

"
Aeui wrote:
"
Dreamkaster74 wrote:
Hi

i just try to play your build , i am lvl 38 now and arrived act 4

i am wondering my hp are very low (about 700 ) my shield is about 1000 with Discipline

if i don't want go for CI later can i still follow your build ?


Yeah, absolutely. The tree won't be that different. The Leveling section isn't updated yet and I see you picked a different route, but you can use the last link from there as a reference. I don't level up focusing 100% on ES - it's rather a hybrid build before I go CI, so you just need to stay that way. It's more about the gear, for maps I'd like to have at least 3000 life and 30%-40% chaos resistance.

As for now, it sounds like you have a fine amount of effective HP (life + ES) for your level. Early on I feel much safer prioritizing life though, so it can be recovered quite quickly with flasks (yours could use some upgrade btw). Then again, you already have Bated Breath, so I imagine it can be comfortable as well.

The Occultist doesn't get bonus ES anymore, so it's reasonable to consider using Mind over Matter for leveling. Remember that you need unreserved mana equal to at least 43% (~3/7*100%) of your life for this - otherwise you'll run out of mana before you die, so you may get locked without your movement skill available.

Good luck and watch out for Brine King at the end of Act 6, it's currently bugged.



Hi , thanks for your quick reply , so i will go ahead and work into direction of MoM , and yes , my flasks need an update , that game is quite new for me , i started with PoE at this season , so a lot to learn , my highest char was an arc witch in Act 8

I love to play summoner / mages so only witch is suitable for me

"
Dreamkaster74 wrote:
my hp are very low (about 700 )


One more thing I just remembered - if you curse Doedre Darktongue in Act 4, she ignores it and gains bonus chaos damage, which bypasses your ES, so be cautious and maybe better not use curses against her at all.

[edit; June 23, 2019] I updated the Leveling section. It was the last planned update for 3.7.
Last edited by Aeui on Jun 23, 2019, 4:44:55 AM
So new to game and found your guide looking around at different builds. So far I love it. Very fun to play. Level 70 now and still have a lot to learn. Thanks for helping us all out.

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