Death's Oath & Blight Occultist Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

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Guide Format

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:

Introduction

Death's Oath 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 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.

Build Summary

The main problem you will encounter with the build is off-colouring your Death's Oath 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 Orb Chromatic Orbs. For example, if your Death's Oath 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

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Fast and smooth clear speed
+ Has great defensive mechanics

Cons

- Not recommended for newer players
- Requires some initial currency investment

Playstyle

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 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 Wither totems and start channelling your Blight 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.

Passive tree

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.

Gems

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.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Heretic's Veil Heretic's Veil
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Death's Oath Death's Oath
Gloves Allelopathy Allelopathy
Boots Sin Trek Sin Trek
Belt Rare Crystal Belt Crystal Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Breath of the Council Breath of the Council
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

The build can be leveled with Bane Bane, Essence Drain Essence Drain & Contagion Contagion, Soulrend Soulrend or any other skill based on your personal preference.

Leveling Trees

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 Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim 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.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa 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 Blight.

At level 4, you should pick the Contagion Contagion gem.

At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility.

At level 12, you can start using your signature skill, Essence Drain Essence Drain.

  1. Essence Drain Essence Drain
  2. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support

By level 16, your Essence Drain Essence Drain link should look like this.

  1. Essence Drain Essence Drain
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support

At level 24, you should add Malevolence Malevolence or Discipline Discipline.

By level 31, your Essence Drain Essence Drain gem setup should look like this.

  1. Essence Drain Essence Drain
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  4. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  5. Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support
  6. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

No Regeneration is rough, but doable.

Conclusion

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.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build still remains solid and is unchanged by the 3.9 patch.

  •   

    Revisited and updated passive tree for Blight 3.8. The build is still as solid as it was.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7. Improved Gem and Gearing sections along with replacing old passive skill trees.

  •   

    Build added.

  1. Posts
    7

    I am new here and it will be my first build, noob question: how am I supposed to use Breath of the Council and the Brightbeak? Yet along death’s oath requires 180str.

    Edited by VOidborn on August 4th, 2019

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    683

    On 03/08/2019 at 2:55 PM, VOidborn said

    I am new here and it will be my first build, noob question: how am I supposed to use Breath of the Council and the Brightbeak? Yet along death’s oath requires 180str.

    You should choose between Brightbeak Brightbeak or Brightbeak Brightbeak for the main-hand. Death's Oath Death's Oath itself gives a lot of attributes so you can easily achieve 180STR with passives and gear and then drop some once you equip it.

  3. Posts
    7

    Let’s say I take all the unique gears you listed above, and I am 62lv, I just can’t see how I am supposed to meet the str requirements. Death oath gives a lot of attributes but if I can’t wear it how can I benefit its attributes?(I did read your leveling guides and take the items as much as I can but the progress is kinda challenging at the moment; I have tabula rasa fully loaded as you suggested above, goldrim, wonderlust, bated breath, hrimsorrow gloves and reverberation rod, brightbeak, I am 36lv and I feel lost)

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    683

    On 04/08/2019 at 11:10 PM, VOidborn said

    Let’s say I take all the unique gears you listed above, and I am 62lv, I just can’t see how I am supposed to meet the str requirements. Death oath gives a lot of attributes but if I can’t wear it how can I benefit its attributes?(I did read your leveling guides and take the items as much as I can but the progress is kinda challenging at the moment; I have tabula rasa fully loaded as you suggested above, goldrim, wonderlust, bated breath, hrimsorrow gloves and reverberation rod, brightbeak, I am 36lv and I feel lost)

    Here is a list of things that can help you easily reach more than 200str by level 62:

    1. Ring – 30+ (x2)
    2. Amulet – 50+
    3. Meginord's Vise Meginord's Vise
    4. Shield – 30+
    5. Helmet – 30+
    6. Boots – 30+
    7. Belt – 50+
    8. Big Strength passive nodes – 30
  5. Posts
    7

    Thank you, I will keep those in mind while leveling to 62.

  6. Posts
    2

    Low level or high level arcane surge in the body armour? Also, can you explain the function of less duration in the body armour?

  7. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    683

    On 14/09/2019 at 9:38 PM, FisherKing said

    Low level or high level arcane surge in the body armour? Also, can you explain the function of less duration in the body armour?

    Hey, Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support adds the Duration tag to Death's Oath Death's Oath‘s aura, which allows it to benefit from Less Duration Support Less Duration Support damage.

  8. Posts
    2

    So it doesn’t matter if the arcane surge gem is lvl 1 or lvl 20 in the body armour? The only thing we gain from less duration is the more damage modifier, right? The effect duration stuff shouldnt matter? About Soul Thief in the passive tree, what does it apply to? It doesn’t work with the chaos degen aura from the body armour right?

  9. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    683

    On 17/09/2019 at 8:21 AM, FisherKing said

    So it doesn’t matter if the arcane surge gem is lvl 1 or lvl 20 in the body armour? The only thing we gain from less duration is the more damage modifier, right? The effect duration stuff shouldnt matter? About Soul Thief in the passive tree, what does it apply to? It doesn’t work with the chaos degen aura from the body armour right?

    Hey, the skill effect duration does not affect your death aura in any way indeed. We pick Soul Thief for the increased Evasion and Energy Shield, the build does not benefit from Energy Shield leech.

  10. Posts
    5

    Hey 1 sutpid question but i want to ask .. I play in SSF and got Death’s Oath and Spreading Rot jewel … Is that enought to run this build … Rest of items i “can” craft alone

  11. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    683

    Hey, you can definitely do the build!

  12. Posts
    5

    Excuse me for asking but did im suppposed to 6 link chest or not ?
    and 2nd Question why you scaled Spiritual Aid – talent were gives minion buffs ?

    Edited by Erch0 on October 28th, 2019

  13. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    683

    On 28/10/2019 at 8:00 AM, Erch0 said

    Excuse me for asking but did im suppposed to 6 link chest or not ?
    and 2nd Question why you scaled Spiritual Aid – talent were gives minion buffs ?

    Hey, you do not need to 6-Link the Death's Oath Death's Oath and that is the great thing about it. Spiritual Aid allows Minion damage to also affect us, Minion damage is very point-efficient in general and this is why we pick the nodes.

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