[3.6] Konsta's 4-curse Bane + ED CI Occultist | starter | budget | tanky | good DPS

I'll be improving and updating this guide as I level with regular intervals. Feel free to look at my character (PallinRapsuttajaII in Synthesis) to get the most recent updates. You can also ask a question below or PM me in game.

Update 4, 2019/03/19: Updated tree, gear and text sections, added leveling tips
Update 3, 2019/03/15: Added current gear
Update 2, 2019/03/12: Updated passive tree, added leveling gear and item suggestions, minor tweaks
Update 1, 2019/03/11: Updated passive tree, added leveling trees, completely overhauled

Hello all! This is my league starter build for patch 3.6. The build is utilizing bane as clearing/damage skill and essence drain to boost the damage for bosses. In addition to solid damage, bane offers very nice defensive boost as it applies linked curses.

At the moment I'm lvl 91. The leveling progress has been very smooth, and the 5L bane damage - even with spell cascade - has been carrying the build easily in maps. I decided to link bane with spell cascade and the area is off screening mobs. Chaos explosion from profane bloom and huge AOE makes the build feel super nice to play

Pros and Cons
+Cheap, very well suited for league start
+Cheap to start
+Huge AOE
+Good damage
+Very defensive playstyle possible as spamming is not necessary
+Huge curse effectiveness with TC and Enfeeble and 10k ES makes the build really tanky

-Average clear speed due to mediocre movement speed
-Staff build, not many movement skill options available
-CI (ES) needs a bit patience and farming before entering maps

We're using 6L bane as our main damage and clearing skill. We apply 4 curses in total, 2 from bane and 2 from Vixen's Entrapment gloves which trigger automatically when using bane. The bane damage - even with 5L - should be good enough to clear end game maps up to T16. We use spell cascade for map clearing and switch it to controlled destruction when needed (only in guardians and up). Poacher's mark will also give us frenzy charges when mapping, increasing the mapping speed and damage.

In addition to 6L bane, we use 6L ED to boost our single target damage. ED is better than soulrend for us because due to short skill duration soulrend needs investment to duration and cast speed.


Defensively we're rocking CI with ~265% increased ES, Discipline, Vaal Discipline and of course enfeeble + temporal chains with huge added curse effectiveness. Malediction from ascendancy is further providing us 10% damage reduction, and the occultist ES nodes guarantee a nice chunk of ES and regen.

In total, we're gain following from curses:
-Bosses have 23% decreased action speed (temporal chains)
-Bosses do 35% decreased damage (enfeeble + malediction)
-Bosses have 25% less movement speed (Hinder)

The above is applicable to bosses such as Shaper, normal map mobs are nerfed even further! You can gain additional curse effectiveness by getting some quality to bane.

Imagine that the boss has to run you down (-48% movement speed), then starts attacking (-23% attack speed) and then hits (-35% damage). The curse setup makes the build super safe!

Path of building trees + ascendancy

Bandits: Kill All

LVL 94 Finalized tree: https://pastebin.com/SYHmfm5x

LVL 70 Tree - just after switching to CI: https://pastebin.com/LpZMRjzH
LVL 67 Tree - just before switching to CI: https://pastebin.com/2Aq3eFds
LVL 42 Tree - leveling: https://pastebin.com/yUnd23LB

Ascendacy order
Wicked Ward -> Vile Bastion -> Profane Bloom > Malediction

Gem links
These are listed in order of importance. Omit the last gems in the list until you have 6L

Bane > Despair > Efficacy > Spell Cascade (swap to controlled destruction for bosses) > Temporal Chains > Swift Affliction

Essence Drain > Efficacy > Controlled > Swift Affliction > Void Manipulation > Empower OR Decay

Flame Dash - Faster Casting > Arcane Surge (lvl 5)

Spell Totem > Wither > Multiple Totems Support > Faster Casting

Vaal Discipline > Vaal Righteous Fire > Increased Duration

Enfeeble > Poachers Mark (In Vixens Entrapment)


Gear in detail

The best item in slot would be to use +2 to all gem levels (and optionally +1 level of intelligence, AOE, curse or chaos gems) bow and Soulstrike quiver. However, since those bows are expensive (http://poe.trade/search/ayoyokoitokamo), we opt for using Cane Of Unraveling staff for the endgame. The staff provides +2 level of socketed chaos gems, DoT multiplier and some additional benefits.

If you need more ES from gear, I would recommend going wand + ES shield.

On wand, prioritize:
1. Non-ailment chaos damage over time multiplier
2. Chaos Damage
3. Spell Damage

On Shield, prioritize:
1. Capping Resists
2. ES

Body Armor
Rare vaal regalia with as high ES roll you can afford. On low budget, I recommend buying 5-linked vaal regalia and then crafting it with dense fossils.

1. High ES roll (600+)
2. Resists

Rare hubris circlet with as high ES roll you can afford.

1. High ES roll (300+)
2. Resists

Bated breath is really solid budget option. Even several exalt belts don't have much better stats.

Either rare boots with MS and ES or Sin Trek. Sin Trek has nice amount of ES and provides dexterity what this build needs

Vixen's Entrapment is a cheap and solid option. Allows you to autocast 2 more curses.

Rings & Amulet
This build needs ton of stats. Use rings and amulet to cap your resists and stat requirements. Additionally ES modifiers are plus but not needed.

My Current Gear (check character for changes)

Leveling Tips + Leveling Gear

When to take CI?
It is hard to decide when it is time to ditch the HP pool and go CI. Everyone has their own comfort point regarding the amount of ES before making the respec. However, my rule of thumb is that AT MINIMUM 5.5K ES is needed. Due to the high monster density in new content, I would recommend ~6K. Note that you should start with wand + shield setup to get more ES, and only switch to staff when you have enough ES without a shield.

ZiggyD has made excellent video about this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54FSnl_X274

Leveling gear

Doedre's Scorn

This helmet is definitely recommended. Adds a nice chunk of damage (bane is affected by the +2 level of curse gems) and has decent ES pool. Put your bane setup here until you get 5-link piece of gear.

Last edited by konstaonkuningas on Mar 20, 2019, 4:49:58 PM
Last bumped on Mar 25, 2019, 9:34:34 AM
And then u miss 1 ED and have to wait 5 seconds for another try...
No big deal. If the ED misses too often I can then remove the mod and use manual cast. Should be fine.
Why do you want to use ED without using Contagion? Is it really worth to take ED when it doesn't spread?
DatZwiebel wrote:
Why do you want to use ED without using Contagion? Is it really worth to take ED when it doesn't spread?

Yes it is! ED - especially after the buff in 3.6 - has very nice damage. Since we are not speccing into cast speed, the total DPS should in practice be better with ED than with Soulrend.

Edit: to clarify, we are using it as single target

The start has been really amazing, I will be posting update for the build as soon as I have time (tomorrow, probably)
Last edited by konstaonkuningas on Mar 11, 2019, 1:04:46 PM
Thanks for the guide. One question, you say in the gem links section to swap spell cascade for swift affliction for bosses, but one is a blue gem while the other is green. what blue gem would you swap spell cascade for?

What about using Soulrend instead of ED?
Flask setup?
gochan wrote:
Thanks for the guide. One question, you say in the gem links section to swap spell cascade for swift affliction for bosses, but one is a blue gem while the other is green. what blue gem would you swap spell cascade for?

Controlled destruction. Thanks for noticing the brainfart.
grumania wrote:
Flask setup?

The flask setup is very flexible, I will probably go:
-2 x Quicksilver

Note that chill/freeze removal is very important, as well as bleed removal.

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