This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
Death's Oath provides a degeneration aura that deals Chaos damage to all nearby enemies. This skill is great for clearing and in combination with a strong single target skill like Blight can result in a balanced character. By using Chaos Inoculation you counter the downside of the Body Armour, which is indeed taking 450 Chaos damage per second for 3 seconds on kill. The Death Aura’s damage is scaled by socketing support gems in the Body Armour, which affects the skill itself; you only need to 6-Socket the chest and colour it to basically have a 7-Link Death Aura.
For this character we choose the Occultist Ascendancy class, simply because it has great synergy with Energy Shield and Chaos/Curse builds in general. This results in a very tanky character that has great clear speed and respectable single target damage potential.
The main problem you will encounter with the build is off-colouring your Death's Oath. For the perfect gem setup you need 3 Blue 2 Green 1 Red, which is essentially 5 off-colours. Besides that, other gear pieces can be very budget-friendly early on, with the option to invest more currency later on.
An Efficient Way to off-colour Your Body Armour
There is a more efficient/cheaper way to off-colour items instead of just spamming Chromatic Orbs. For example, if your Death's Oath has 2 sockets, 1 green and 1 blue, you can put on 3 sockets via the crafting bench. If the new socket that appeared is the one you need, you can proceed by putting a 4th socket. If it failed, you can simply use the crafting bench to put back the 2 sockets, which will remain 1 green and 1 blue. This method is not cheap in the long run, but is more efficient than using Chromatic Orbs and hoping you will get the 5 off-colours you need.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Fast and smooth clear speed
+ Has great defensive mechanics
- Not recommended for newer players
- Requires some initial currency investment
Offensively, when clearing, the build is basically a running simulator. All you need to do is just pass by monster packs and they will die via the Death Aura in combination with strong curses and Profane Bloom. Shield Charge is a very efficient way to move around; that movement skill will boost your clear speed by a great amount. When encountering a tougher foe, you can place your Wither totems and start channelling your Blight upon them, which will result in a respectable single target damage.
Defensively, you need to keep a few things in mind. As for every Chaos Inoculation character, utility flasks are a great form of defense, having good uptime on them will ensure you can take more damage without dying. The additional Energy Shield regeneration from Zealot’ Oath, Wicked Ward, and Vile Bastion will keep you safe most of the time.
For playstyle, Shield Charge into packs of monsters and they will die in a second. You will be able to take some hits here and there, since you will most likely have great Energy Shield pool and reliable amount of Energy Shield Recharge/Regeneration.
With this endgame passive skill tree you will have enough damage and survivability to tackle the hardest content. For keystone notables, we pick Chaos Inoculation and Zealot’s Oath. Besides them, we pick all the efficient Chaos Damage, Energy Shield, and Curse passive nodes.
For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Belt||Rare Crystal Belt|
|Weapon||Breath of the Council|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
Here is an example of an early passive skill tree prior to speccing into Chaos Inoculation.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.
If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.
Using Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.
In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.
From level 1, you should use Blight.
At level 4, you should pick the Contagion gem.
At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility.
At level 12, you can start using your signature skill, Essence Drain.
By level 16, your Essence Drain link should look like this.
By level 31, your Essence Drain gem setup should look like this.
- Essence Drain
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Void Manipulation Support
- Efficacy Support
- Swift Affliction Support
- Energy Leech Support
What map mods are impossible to do?
No Regeneration is rough, but doable.
The Death’s Oath & Blight Occultist is a Chaos-based character that excels at clearing content fast and smooth while also rendering enemies’ movement and damage potential via strong Curses.