[3.14] ZaPwner's Crackling Lance Occultist | League Starter | Budget | Full Content | Fast Clear

Hello and welcome to the ultimate guide of playing an Occultist on Crack.

I made this build with a simple line of thought in mind, best described by the pictures below.


The amazing thing about this build is the following:
- it's ridiculously cheap for what it does (Sirus A5 with under 5ex gear, full content for under 20 ex)
- lightning fast map clear (see what pun I just did ? :) )
- it hits no hard wall - you will steadily ramp up damage and have power spikes all the way to end game content
- You will use several gem setups along the way, so you can have fun with different play style

- League Starter
- Full content
- Budget
- Hardcore viable ?
** I'm a reckless noob who never plays hardcore since I die 3 times at Hillock in act 1 and my favorite move is dash-into-angry-mobs-which-1-shot-me , so if a HC experienced player can provide a feedback on this that would be great (maybe with some changes towards more ES)
- SSF ?
** Not with current setup, since it relies on too many unique items. However, mark of submission is a pretty common drop, so a build variation around CI can be done for SSF.

- Over 8k ES + some decent block chance + 3k+ Arcane cloak + very long ranged provides great survivability
- Dirt cheap
- Full content viable, no hard wall during progression
- Extremely fast clear
- League starter
- Beginner friendly
- With some investment it becomes a boss melter

- cannot do elemental reflect maps
- needs more than 1 button to be used + timings and positioning
- leveling using stormblast mine might seem hard for some players


Intro and author notes

The build itself was originally meant to be an archmage build. While everything is peachy on mob clearing, when it came to bosses having a 1.3k mana cost spell wasn't an option, so I had to use lavinga's spirit all the time, and why bother to use archmage when the mana costs of skills are 0.
Transitioning into cast speed instead of archmage was very viable thou, and with the enormous mana pool there was no problem sustaining any cast speed, so here we are.

I consider the build itself highly recommendable for people on their first or 2nd league because of the following:
- very fast clear speed will allow you to get some currency easily
- no hard walls means you will be able to enjoy the content without being dependent on what you buy
- There are 4-5 unique items which will make the build full content viable, so no need to hunt for items with ideal affixes
- you are quite tanky. not dying from 1 shot is a very good way to learn the game mechanics
- since you are not melting bosses like a 700 ex Cyclone Slayer, you will be forced to learn the fights instead of going Leeeroy mode and hoping the 6 portals are enough
- there are 3 playstyles which will be used during the progression, and that will help expand the understanding of the game
- you can see the full game content with under 5 ex, so it's reachable with what currency you might get from drops, without the need of understanding the economy

This is one of the most satisfying builds I ever played, since it has the clear speed of a Barrage Deadeye and it's cheaper and more effective against end game content than a Detonate Dead Necromancer.

The only regret that I have was that due to the long queue times, I couldn't name my character Crackzilla since the name was already taken.... The shadow of regret lingers on me till this day.


PoB has different trees and gear for each stage of the game, so make sure you change your tree and items in PoB accordingly:

"Early Leveling (LV55)" Tree + "Early Leveling" items will provide a quick view on what to focus on during the acts leveling when you will go double wielding wands.

"Mid Leveling (LV80)" Tree + "Mid Leveling" items will show how the tree will change when you will transition to shield + wand (should be around 65-70).

"Breaking into Late Game (LV85)" Tree + "StartOfLateGame" items showcases the transition from SB mine + arc unleash to crackling lance on a 5L Ivory Tower + Prism Guardian.

"Late Game Ready (LV93)" Tree + "Late Game" items is the stage in the game when you will have all content accessible, so you are now just going for mix-maxing

"Level 100" Tree + "Ideal Lvl 100" are theoretical caps. The items in Ideal Level 100 are unachievable, but they can be used as reference for places where you can gain DPS when comparing with your current build.

As a last note: The PoB is set to "Sirus" DPS.
Current state has 12.5M Sirus DPS (26M Mob DPS), while "Ideal" theoretical cap has 23M Sirus DPS (52M Mob DPS).
So the build, with investment, can reach some juicy high numbers eventually.

Pob Link:



There is one little item that you need to acquire ASAP to make your gaming experience lightning fast:

Double corrupted mirror level perfectly divined HEADHUNTER!

Just kidding, you will need mark of submission (3 chaos in league start, 1 alchemy right now).

This will make your arc / crackling lance pop all mobs that you hit.
Take this ring ASAP.
You will keep it until end game min-maxed gear, since the curse which you will socket in it (conductivity) will benefit from 21/23 while also receiving bonuses from lightning / intelligence gem levels affixes.
Having "curse enemies with conductivity" on rings will still provide the pop effect, but you will lose quite a bit of DPS.

During leveling and up until red maps we will use dual wield / wand + shield coupled with stormblast mine and arc unleash.
Switching from dual wield to wand + shield will happen when you start mapping, since you will start to feel squishy while your dps will still be top notch.

Stromblast mine + orb of storms will perform very decently on bosses, including here low level conquerors, up until mid tier yellow maps.
If you want to see good players play Stormblast mine + orb of storms, here's a nice little video:

Long story short for SB Mine + Orb of Storms play style:
- place lightning spire traps (if boss has animation phases)
- place orb of storms on top of boss
- start stacking SB mines as much as you can
- detonate mines
- repeat
- tickle the boss with main skill every now and then

Arc unleash will prove very useful to fast clear the mobs.
Furthermore, the ring-around-the-rosie type of play used in ultimatums works wonders with arc unleash, so you will fall in love with it and regret when you will have to give it up.

Once we reach red maps, we will need to switch to the main build, so make sure you will have your 3 exalts worth of currency ready to acquire the necessary items.
The mandatory items for Late game are:
Ivory tower (5L) - 20c + 15c (league start prices)
Prism Guardian - 2.5 ex (league start price...last league I couldn't sell one for 15c, and this league it's 2 ex ... damn economy making my super cheap build expensive)

Mindspiral - 1c
Crown Of Inward Eye (well Rolled) - 60c (league start price)

If you lack currency you can opt to get a corrupted Prism Guardian with unaffected statuses, they usually come a bit cheaper.

Once you equip the 5L Ivory Tower you are ready to switch to crackling lance which has a different play style.
You can opt to keep using arc + SB mines but eventually you will start lacking the dps necessary to kill bosses fast enough, so start transitioning to get accustomed to the new playstyle.

End Game

End game we're going to use crackling lance (which even elemntalists don't use).

There are two things which make crackling lance good for this build:
- with high intensity it can kill bosses fast
- with low intensity it can kill mobs fast

So the idea is to keep a low intensity on low life mobs, and start ramping up intensity for the really powerful ones.
Regardless, once you fire a laser beam at a mob group, they will usually pop the whole group due to Profane Bloom.

For bosses you will need to know the fights, where you can position yourself and when the nuke phase will start.
So whenever you loose a boss fight and feel frustrated remember this:
- you need to know better the fight, and this build will allow you to better learn it
- this is a cheap build, it won't perform as well as a 200 ex - 700 ex build (so no Hi boss, bye boss for you), unless you invest 200 - 700 ex

We will aim for very fast cast speed in order to ramp up intensity ASAP, while also mitigate the mobility hit that spell echo gives us.

The preparation goes like this:
- cast Sigil of power
- cast Crackling lance to build up intensity
- boss is targetable -> cast arcane cloak (triggers arcane surge as well) and use your flasks -> nuke the hell out of him -> run around if he fires back

You will notice the damage ramping up fast on bosses, and the reasons are as following:
- you will have elemental overload after the first crit
- the boss will gradually get a higher shock, due to previous shocks ramping his received damage (furthermore ,if you have awakened spell echo, a double damage repeat will place a way higher shock)

As far as mob encounters go, remember you can shoot them off screen.
If you get by a difficult batch (eg: harvest spawns, legion monolith), stay at max range and fire in their direction. They will have the habit of lining up / funneling towards you.
Sutter-stepping will help with clear and keeping your intensity count low, since casting a wide-area crackling lance is more desirable for white / blue mobs. High intensity is useful for Yellow and Unique mobs.

During farming spam your arcane cloak since it will also trigger arcane surge while giving you some yummy extra 3k+ hp. You will have incredible mana regain during farming due to Mind Drinker, Cinderswallow urn and "Mana and Mana gain on killing blow".

Tips, Tricks and Mechanics:

The build excels at clearing, however big bosses might be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the fights.
Here are some tips to help you by:
- Watch youtube videos on how to down emperors, Sirus, Maven etc. You need to understand their mechanics.
- You have a very low life pool, meaning every hit will freeze you / shock you / ignite you. On Veritania / Sirus, don't dare go without boots with "cannot be frozen" affix. Keep a spare boots just for these guys. You can have the non-upgraded Rin prefix with "Arcane Swiftness" node to have an 100% freeze avoidance (make sure that map mods don't change this)
- On Baran tier 3-4 with the initial gear you will get 1 shot by the 3 overlapping attacks, because you will get shocked by the 1st one. Until you can nuke him fast enough you can use a "Cyclopean Coil" to be shock immune and you can replace your "Zealotry" with "Purity of Lightning". This will grant you good survivability which will aid you in the first phases
- The flasks for bosses and the flasks for mapping are different. On Sirus / Maven, use a wise oak and quicksilver flask of quickening instead of the defensive flasks. For extra umf you can also throw in a sulphur flask.
- The "Arcane Vision" node is a comfort pick useful for delve-ing or enclosed maps where you will be blind without it. On Boss fights and open space maps you won't need it. You can re-adjust your tree to get that 1 extra node benefit.
- You can use any additional nuke helpers for big boss fights, among which there is Lightning Golem, Flame Golem and Vaal Righteous Fire.
- You will want a "cannot be cursed with silence" tree jewel. You are dependent on spells for ES leech, mobility and survivability, so a 4 seconds silence will prove fatal.
- For Uber Atziri, you have the "Exposure Therapy" nodes close to your main tree. Respec to take that group, replace "Mark of Submission" with "Sibyl's Lament", take Yugul in your pantheon, and make sure you don't use any curses (you already removed mark of submission, also remove the elemental weakness triggered curse).

One downside of spell echo is that your character needs to cast two spells before moving, so using spell echo with low cast speed will make you feel immobile. That's why try to get your faster casting and cast speed nodes with a higher priority.

Remember you are always on low life and have a low life pool, so although you are stun immune, cold attacks will always freeze you for a long long time. So aim to have that Rin prefixes ass soon as possible.

We will place "Arcane Cloak" with "Arcane Surge" and "Increased Duration Support". With Divergent Arcane Surge we will actually have arcane surge up until the arcane cloak cooldown resets, so by spamming arcane cloak we're assured to have a level 20 arcane surge all the time, while benefiting from a 3k - 3.8k extra HP (plus bonus lightning damage) every 5 seconds out of 8.

Since we're going to spam "Arcane Cloak", we don't want a CWDT Steelskin setup, since it will prevent us from using our Arcane Cloak.

After all skills are placed, we will be left with a group of 4. The best use I found for that group is to use it on an archmage discharge, since crackling lance is directional, while discharge is omni-directional.
A 4 power charge discharge during arcane cloak hits quite hard and it can allow you to dash and kill mobs with proximity shield OR you can use it when you are getting surrounded and don't want to turn your laser towards the enemy.

As far as cluster passive goes, a lightning cluster jewel will provide the best dps boost. Look especially for the "Supercharge" passive. Take note that the "Lucky" modifier applies to non-critical hits, meaning that if you land a critical strike, even with elemental overload, you will deal less damage, so make sure not to max out your crit chance. Keep it at a decent level to get it fast but not too often.

Power spikes

There are several items that will increased your damage significantly and if you approach a build like me where I take it to the limit and upgrade only after that, you will want to know what to aim for.

1st power spike will be when you place your mark of submission with conductivity on you. You will start cruising through the mobs like it's nothing.

2nd power spike is when you will switch to shield and you will. Aim to get a +1 level to lightning gems shield and a +1 level to lightning gems and lightning damage to spells wand. This power spike won't be in damage, but you will become tanky all of a sudden. Get a Rumi's Concoction to go with it.

3rd power spike comes when you will move to the initial end-game setup with 5L Ivory Tower, Mind Spiral, Prism Guardian and Atziri's Foible with Mind Drinker anoint (it's cheap, get it, don't go for the top tier anoints, not worth the investment). Try to get your Large Radius Thread of Hope at this point.

4th power spike will come when you move to 6L. This will be expensive, I spent 5 ex on my 6L close to league start. Aim to get your first watcher eye around now so you improve your tankiness as well. Also you should get a Cinderswallow urn so you to help with your mana consumption. Aim to have your trigger socketed skills crafted on your wand. Try to move from Mindspiral to Crown Of The Inward Eye here if you didn't do it previously.

5th power spike will come when you place the awakened gems. Expensive and not very impactful with level 1, however Awakened spell echo, despite being expensive AF, will provide that double damage option which will increase your DPS greatly. Try to get your "No freeze" boots now so you can be unstoppable.

6th power spike will come when you will get your cluster jewels setup. The lightning cluster and the curses cluster will be the ones to aim for at the beginning. The ailments and mana clusters are to be aimed in the next power spike.

7th power spike will be when you will upgrade your gear to become good. Get a +1 to all intelligence gems and +1 to all lightning gem Amulet with some decent rolls and anoint "Arcane Capacitor". Get a +1 to spells or lighting skills gem with added lightning damage, and T1-T3 cast speed. A Crusader crystal belt will provide you with tons a good boost of energy shield. You should be able to clear all content now, especially if you have in your reserve a Bottled Faith and Wise Oak to use on the big bosses encounters.

Final power spike will be when you will be able to switch to Mark of the Shaper + Elder Opal Ring / Cerulean Ring. For this you will want to have "Curse enemy with elemental weakness on hit" on a corrupted pair of gloves while keeping the Conductivity on the wand. Ideally you will want an unveiled wand with the trigger skill.

Bandits & Pantheon

Kill All Bandits (they be evil)

For Pantehon I recommend:


In the order mentioned below take:
- Profane Bloom (for the incredible clear speed)
- Vile Bastion (so you don't need to worry about stuns anymore)
- Malediction (to help out with bosses)
- Forbidden Power (since anything else is useless anyway)


This build advertises itself as cheap, so the gear cost breakdown follows.
Please note that gear prices are according to the Ultimatum league.

Gear Cost

For some of the items I will place league-start prices and current prices, since it's also a league starter.

Like every build out-there, to maximize it's potential will inevitably become expensive. However having your maxed gear is not mandatory to clear everything.

Placing here the gear costs for building a character capable of full content.

Gear cost until maps

Mark of submission
League start 3-4c
Now 1c

Grand Total
League start 3-4c
Now 1c

Everything else use recipes and what drops.

Gear cost until red maps

Previous costs
League start: 3-4c
Now: 1c

Decent wand (+1 to all lightning gems and added Lightning damage to spells)
League start: 35 - 50c
Now: 20c

Decent titanium shield (+1 to all lightning skill gems, mana , life and energy shield)
League start: 20-40c
Now: 15c

Well rolled Rumi's Concoction
League start: 45 - 65c
Now: 20c

Grand Total
League start: 103c - 156c
Now: 56c

Everything else use crafting and what drops

Red maps and Sirus A5 gear cost (assuming we use Mindspiral)
LS: 138c-216c + 2.5ex-3ex
Now: 67c + 1ex

Previous costs
League Start: 103c - 156c
Now: 56c

Ivory tower (not 6L)
League Start: 20-30c
Now: 3c

Prism Guardian
League Start: 2.5 - 3 ex
Now: 1ex

5L prophecy
League start: 15-30c
Now: 8c

Grand Total
League Start: (138 - 216)c + (2.5 - 3)ex
Now: 67c + 1ex

Breaking into end game gear cost
LS: 288c-296c + 10.5ex - 17ex
Now: 237c + 6ex

Previous costs
League Start: (138 -216)c + (2.5 - 3)ex
Now: 67c + 1ex

6L Ivory tower
League start:5 - 7 ex
Now: 4ex

Watcher's eye (1 aura)
League start:2-5 ex
Now: 1ex

Thread of Hope - Large Ring
League start: 1ex
Now: 15c

Healthy Mind
League start: 15c
Now: 15c

Well rolled Atziri's Foible:
League start: 70c - 1ex
Now: 75c

Crown Of The Inward Eye (well divined):
League Start: 65c
Now: 10c
Now with Crackling Lance Cast Speed: 1 ex (won't count this, to be used as reference)

Grand Total:
League start: (288c - 296c) + (10.5 - 17) ex
Now: 237c + 6ex

For everything else, including the mind drinker cheap annoit (1 verdant 2 teals), just use drops, fossils and other crafting methods.

Gear affixes and Anoint

For a very cheap version you can go with Mind Drinker which will feel great for mapping.

As far as the ideal anoint, after you have your crown of inward eye, you will want to go for Arcane Capacitor to really pump up your DPS.

Cannot be frozen craft on boots (or freeze avoidance for the cheaper version)

Very desirable
+ 1 level to intelligence / lightning skill gems
Added lightning damage to spells
Increased Spell damage
Increased cast speed

Energy Shield
Maximum mana
Resistances (Including chaos)

Good and Situational
Life (life gets converted to ES due to Ivory Tower)
Strength (you will be attribute starved)

Can be bad:
Increased critical strike chance for spells
- Since "Supercharge" makes only non-crit strikes lucky, having too much crit chance will hinder your dps. You need to have enough to maintain Elemental overload, but not too much so you can benefit as much as possible from "Supercharge"

Watcher's eye:

Main skill:
Gain #% of mana as extra energy shield while affected by Clarity

Chance to recover mana when you use a skill while affected by Clarity
% of damage recouped as mana while affected by Clarity
Increased lightning damage while affected by Wrath
Damage penetrates lightning resistance while affected by Wrath
Increased cast speed while affected by Zealotry
Increased ES recovery per second from Leech while affected by Zealotry

Actual Gear

Leveling and pre-end game

This below gear is just for reference, the only important component is:

So some sample gear:

For leveling focus on getting life, energy shield and resistances as usual.

+1 level to lightning skills gems scale better than lightning damage to spells after level 40-50, so if you get a +1 wand (or craft it via recipe) you will keep it until end game.

Use essences to craft lightning damage to spell wands and vendor recipes with topaz rings.

End Game gear and Current Gear

Breaking into end game you will have a 5L and Atziri's Foible paired with Mind Spiral and Prism Guardian.

The armor enchant is not mandatory, and the Mind drinker anoint is cheap and very useful one.

Current gear status is:

This gear can be greatly improved, but this can only be done through farming, crafting and spending alot of exalts.

The ideal anoint would be "Arcane Capacitor", will update the gear once I get it.


On Maps you will want to be more defensive while vs Bosses you will want to pump up your damage.

Defensive flasks (to be used on maps):

Offensive flasks (to be used vs big bosses):

Flasks used in both:

You will always want a mana flask since low mana + a chaos hit = death.
Lavianga's Spirit feels great on the build, although it provides no useful affix.

As a side note, you will notice that I have no flask "of Heat" this is because I have boots with both chill and freeze immune.
"of Heat" flasks are mandatory, and until you get the cold immunity boots, I suggest getting even more than 1 flask with this affix.

Jewels and Cluster Jewels

No Stygian vise means no Abyss jewels, so that makes this section a bit shorter :).

As far as a tree jewels go, get one with "Immune to silence" ASAP:

For the build to be optimal you will require a Large Ring Thread of Hope and a Healthy Mind to be socketed in your tree (see PoB for the tree)

Watcher's eye affixes were described previously, but I remind that the Mana as maximum energy shield while affected by clarity is the mandatory one.

Finally we have the cluster jewels. At level 97 I went with a Large, two mediums and a small one. The setup can vary except for the large jewel.

Gem Links


Main Link 4L: Arc unleash

SB Mine 4L:

Orb Of storms + Lightning spire trap (4L):


Utility 2x2L or 4L:

Self Cast 3L:

Socketed in mark of submission:

End game

Main Link:

Arcane Cloak and Arcane Surge:

Trigger from wand:

Second Wind support spells (any 4 Link will do):

Auras (socketed in Prism guardian):

Bonus slots - archmage discharge for mapping

Lightning golem + culling strike(If your sockets allows it) + righteous fire for bosses

Socketed in mark of submission:

Last edited by ZaPwner on May 31, 2021, 5:44:31 AM
Last bumped on Jun 13, 2021, 3:06:02 AM
I will give it a try on my fourth character this league 😅
It sounds pretty good this build
BADMYN wrote:
I will give it a try on my fourth character this league 😅
It sounds pretty good this build

Try it, even if it's mid league the build is cheap and if you enjoy it can become a good option for a league starter.
Unless I'm missing something, MOM shouldn't work here. The wording is specific to life. The MOM effect would only take place once you no longer have ES to take dmg to.
CA_Jukes wrote:
Unless I'm missing something, MOM shouldn't work here. The wording is specific to life. The MOM effect would only take place once you no longer have ES to take dmg to.


Yes, you are right. My bad, I updated the PoB and guide accordingly.

MoM should be used up until we switch to late game gear which makes use of Life reservation.

Thanks for pointing it out.

where do we get power charges from?
sBrief wrote:
where do we get power charges from?

Forbidden Power ascendancy node.
ZaPwner wrote:
sBrief wrote:
where do we get power charges from?

Forbidden Power ascendancy node.

ohh, thank you, pob doesnt have that allocated btw, gonna test the build was getting one shotted yesterday but i think its cus im lvl 84 and have 6,9k ES, thanks for the build!
Updated the PoB.

Have several trees there, seems I forgot to place all skills in all of the trees :).

With 6.9k ES at lvl 84 you shouldn't get one shot that often. Maybe ease on the map mods.

Even at 8.7k ES you have the potential to get one shot if you go with monsters deal X as extra fire + extra lightning + extra cold damage, and you are cursed with elemental weakness.

But with arcane cloak you end up having 12k HP so besides big bad mods, only corpse explosions can 1 shot you.
Messing around with this build after finding it a couple of days ago, I have a couple of notes that ive observed following the PoB / checking some things

Crown of the Inward Eye is very competitive to Mindspiral, being a much larger DPS/ES gain but a Manapool loss, so only worse against strictly chaos damage sources, but at a ~10% overall DPS gain, freeing up the amulet anoint and +370~ES compared to your PoB gear, seemed like a good alternative especially when looking for the cast speed enchant.

It's also worth noting that when you have Arcane Swiftness, you don't need the high-cost Freeze immunity craft on boots, only the cheap 80% chance craft will suffice and you'll reach 100% freeze immunity between the two sources.

I've also opted for a slightly lower DPS from having a Conductivity On Hit ring so I can get more other stats and likely will pair it with an Ele weakness on hit ring in the other slot for more consistency of double cursing.

Void Sphere is also very underrated utility, which I'm opting to run instead of tempest shield in my Trigger wand, might sub tempest shield back in if I get the ele weakness ring sorted.

Cheers for the build guide :)
Last edited by Switchersaw on May 17, 2021, 7:01:11 PM

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