[3.9] Paragon of Death CI Occultist Death Aura/Blight

This is my first build so I hope you'll go easy on me.

I've seen a trickster life version on the forums but I wanted to try playing with an Occultist since I wanted to roll with an Energy Shield CI build as I haven't played with one for a long time (last time was probably in Perandus or maybe slightly later).

So - why would you play this?
Do you like playing Righteous Fire but you've played it so many times you want a change?
You want to see your enemies fall to the ground by merely being in your presence?
Are you secretly a death fetishist?

If so - this is the build for you!

What is Death Aura anyways? It's a special skill provided by our mandatory item that we build around - Death's Oath. It works like Righteous FIre dealing damage around the character with an auralike effect. The difference is - it deals chaos damage.



A few notes regarding the tree - you can grab Hex Master if you want a little more curse effectiveness/aoe but since I only use a single curse from my flask I didn't think it is absolutely necessary but if you feel like you want to take it - it's not a bad idea.
You can also grab Whispers of Doom in order to use Temporal Chains but that would require dropping Malevolence from our setup - or getting Solstice Vigil which is pretty pricey or putting it in a CWDT setup. We are kind of starved for passives though so again - it's up to you to decide if you want to drop a few energy shield nodes to take it.

Gem Links

Swift Affliction - Efficacy - Void Manipulation - Less Duration - Arcane Surge - Inc Aoe/Conc Effect

Death's Oath works the same way as Whispering Ice for Icestorm does which means you don't need to link the sockets so getting a 6 socket Death's Opus is what you should do. This is also the biggest problem with the build as the optimal setup requires 5 offcolours which you can do yourself using jewelers on the crafting table or try to get lucky with chroms which is way easier said than done. Buying a chest like that can be rather expensive - around 4-6ex last time I checked and it's probably the biggest con of the build.
Using Arcane Surge adds the "duration" tag to Death Aura allowing it to benefit from Swift Affliction and Less Duration support gems.

Vaal Blight - Efficacy - Swift Affliction - Controlled Destruction

As an alternative you can also use Allelopathy gloves which grant you the Blight Skill and then replace Vaal Blight with Void Manipulation but this means we can't use Vaal Blight and this skill is just too awesome to pass up for me but if you feel like you don't want to use it - go with Allelopathy.

Shield Charge - Fortify - Faster Attacks

Our movement skill and source of additional physical damage reduction through Fortify

Stone Golem - Elemental Army - Minion life

You could use the golem in a CWDT setup but that would require either using a lower level or having a higher level of CWDT - I didn't want to do either so I selfcast the golem for additional life (or energy shield in this case) regen.

Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 11) - Steelskin (lvl 16) - Increased Duration

You can use whatever you preffer - like Immortal Call or Molten Shell but Steelskin feels best for me.

Vaal Discipline, Malevolence, Flame Dash, Portal

Our buffs - flame dash for moving across terrain and portal for... well - you know.
Vaal Discipline is very important - it makes you almost immortal save for oneshots for its duration.


Body Armour

No choice here - this build works around Death's Oath so we need to use it.
Getting 5 offcolours is not going to be easy tho' you can start with a 4-socketed one and work your way up.


As mentioned earlier you can get Allelopathy but I didn't want to lose Vaal Blight so I went with rare gloves - focus on Energy Shield and Resists.


Rare with as much Energy Shield, Resists and movespeed. Mine lack the movespeed unfortunately and this is probably the next item that I will change.


Rare with Energy Shield, Resists - same as boots minus the speed.


A couple choices - you can go with a Breath of the Council to start off and then transition into a rare One Handed weapon with Increased Chaos damage, Chaos Over Time Multiplier and/or Dmage Over Time.
Since we do lack ES compared to most CI builds as Death's Oath is an armor chest I decided to go with Ephemeral Edge - it adds a bunch of Energy Shield making us way tankier. If you feel like you need more damage and your survivability is fine, then stick to a rare damage weapon.


Rare with as much Energy Shield as you can grab - also resists.


You can start with Bated Breath - very cheap and gives decent ES. Has 0 resists though so you need to cover them elsewhere. Later on switching to a well rolled Crystal Belt will give even more ES with the possibility of having some ressists too.


Dream Fragments gives us a lot of Cold Resist and Immunity to Chill and Freeze which makes it a lot safer when opening storage boxes for example - not a mandatory unique tho' since you can simply have a flask with freeze immunity but I treat it as a quality of life item - I don't have to remember to actually use the damn flask.
Other than that - Energy Shield again, some resists and Strength. Death's Oath require a whopping 180 strength which is gonna be a high ammount for a Witch so you need to get that strength from somewhere.


Flat ES + %ES + Strength - the main source of our strength. Of course if you can get the strength somewhere else you don't have to get is here but it's easiest to grab it on jewelry.
As for annointments - early on you can annoint Beef for +30 STR if you can't meet Death's Oath's requirements. Later on I recommend Sanctity - it gives 20% armor, 10% maximum ES 1% life regen and 10 to STR and INT - every stat is good for us.

1x Spreading rot - Boosts our Blight
1x Energy From Within - Place it in the jewel socket on the left of the "Melding" Passive
2x Rare with
- Damage over time
- %ES
- Chaos Damage ovr time multiplier
- Chaos Damage


Rumi's and Basalt for Physical Damage Reduction - you don't have to use Rumi and you can get a regular Granite Flask instead.
Sulphur for additional Damage
Quicksilver for movespeed
Witchfire brew is very important - it not only gives additional damage over time but it also gives us a free level 21 Despair Aura which is our only source of this aura.
Make sure to have Immunity to Bleed and Ignite on your flasks - those two ailments will prevent your Energy Shield from Recharging unless you use Vaal Discipline.

Bandits and Ascendancy

Kill All - we are starved for Skill Points as it is - grab those additional two.

Ascendancy order - Profane Bloom -> Vile Bastion -> Void Beacon -> Withering Pressence

Profane Bloom will help with clear early on, Vile Bastion will make our Energy Shield a really potent defense granting a ton of Regeneration and Immunity to Stun.
Void Beacon and Withering Pressence grant more damage.
Last edited by werchiel on Dec 21, 2019, 8:22:18 PM
Last bumped on Mar 27, 2020, 12:31:23 AM
Passive Tree

One thing of note is that before going Chaos Inoculation make sure you have Wicked Ward and Zealoth's Oath


Soul of Solaris/Lunaris
Pick whichever you preffer

Soul of Tukohama
Additional Physical Damage Reduction and Life Regen while stationary - which is what you are going to be while channeling Blight - makes you even more tanky.


Since you can't equip Death's Oath until level 62 you have to level with a different skill - you can use any Chaos skill you want. I recommend starting with Blight, then Essence Drain/Contagion and finally Bane - if you have a Tabula or other 6-linked chest link Bane with - Despair - Swift Affliction - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Void Manipulation
At level 62 you can switch to using Death Aura and Blight as your source of damage.


Just a random Tier 8 map to show the playstyle

You will be dealing damage by shield charging into packs adding Blight for tougher fights and Vaal Blight for Bosses, Metamorphs and anything that required an extra little bit of burst damage.
You can facetank a lot with a combination of armor from Death's Oeath and Flasks (I'm at around 75% physical damage reduction while stationary), Energy Shield Regen (I'm at 387 while stationary with no monster around and it goes up thanks to Vile Bastion - you can reach upwards of 1100 Energy Shield regen with max stacks of VB making you very hard to kill) Wicked Ward/Vaal Discipline (which will give you over 3k ES recharge for a couple of seconds) which should make for a pleasant experience.

So that's is - let me know if you have any questions or recommendations and see you on the fields of death.
Last edited by werchiel on Dec 21, 2019, 8:08:16 PM
love this aura. But at 3.8 on the boss was not very, and now even more so. And I would love to play in this build. (sry bad english)
Single target is actually quite nice when you stack blight, it's also plenty tanky allowing you to stand there and stack it.
Just got 5 blue death's oath what gems should i use
You got perophane bloom, but you don't use any curse. What is the point for that? Won´tbe more usefull forbidden power or frigid wake?
survival is not enough. Googled, looked YouTube in general it's a shame - you start playing and the build is not able to pass the game normally.
Just got 5 blue death's oath what gems should i use

Efficacy, Inc Aoe, Conc Effect. Arcane surge won't really do anything on it's own. I'd say you should try fishing for more green sockets. Even a 4 socket Blue/Blue/Red/Green will do better (and should be pretty cheap) - in that case use Arcane Surge/Less Duration/Swift Affliction/Conc Effect
Sozou wrote:
You got perophane bloom, but you don't use any curse. What is the point for that? Won´tbe more usefull forbidden power or frigid wake?

The curse comes from a flask - Witchfire Brew. You could use a blasphemy/despair combo instead to have it all of the time but the flask does its job.
Last edited by werchiel on Jan 5, 2020, 6:02:15 AM
Well, how was anyone able to kill everything in this patch without swearing at the balance?
I am using slightly different version of the blight build.

"#% increased effect of Non-Curse auras from your skills" actually increases the damage of death aura because it's not actually a curse.

Luckily the nodes with this mode usually go in pair with reduced mana reserved so I can get all of them and run Malevolence, Temporal Chains, Enfeeble, Aspect of the Spider and Despair on Witchfire flask.

This is my PoB: https://pastebin.com/ZCsGZ7fY
It's just the template for the build and it's not taken from actual character.

My build is primarily focused on the death aura and not the Blight part. Allelopathy is just an optional item that can be replaced with a rare gloves for more ES.

The build usually have 6000-6500 ES with a descent gear but the shield can be replaced with a second dps weapon for ~100k increase in Death Aura dps.

The build should easily reach at least 200k dps on the Aura considering curses, malediction and aspect of the spider.

I am playing Death's Oath and Blight builds since the release of the Blight skill gem. If you have any questions you can reach out to me for a discussion.
Last edited by pri6ala on Jan 6, 2020, 7:16:38 AM

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