Death's Oath / Blight Occultist Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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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.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Witch – Occultist)

  1. Vile Bastion
  2. Profane Bloom
  3. Void Beacon
  4. Withering Presence

Vile Bastion provides stun immunity when you have Energy Shield, which is mandatory for every Energy Shield-based build. The additional way of sustaining your Energy Shield pool.

Profane Bloom smooths out and improves clear speed by a great deal.

Void Beacon provides a decent amount of offence.

Withering Presence provides a great amount of damage in the form of Non-Ailment Chaos damage Multiplier and the Wither stacks.

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.

Bandits

Considering the build does not benefit from helping any specific bandit we choose to kill them all.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris is what suits the build best. If something kills the build it is most likely going to be one shot mechanic, this major god power helps to prevent that from happening.

Minor: Soul of Aberath is very useful for every Chaos Inoculation build. Stepping on Burning ground stops your Energy Shield Recharge, which can be very annoying at times. With this pantheon you do not worry about it at all. Other minor gods can be chosen based on personal preference.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Death's Oath Death's Oath aura skill is used for clearing, and it should ideally be supported by 6 gems; for single target you should use Blight Blight. For mobility, use Shield Charge Shield Charge to move around and Flame Dash Flame Dash to jump over map terrain. Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline will provide a good amount of flat Energy Shield; its Vaal version should be used in sticky situations. Curses can be run on Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support in order to make enemies weaker and take more damage.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority (starting from the top left, going to the right on each row of the links), meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom (with the bottom right being the last). Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Death's Oath Death's Oath (6-Socket)

This unique Body Armour provides the Death Aura skill, which is affected by support gems socketed in the item itself. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support is used in order to allow your Death Aura to benefit from support gems that are tagged with the Duration tag. Against tough endgame bosses you can swap Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support with Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support.

  1. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  3. Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support
  4. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  5. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support
  6. Less Duration Support Less Duration Support

Vaal Blight (4-Link)

Vaal Blight Vaal Blight can be used on a 4-Link in order to deal additional single target damage.

  1. Vaal Blight Vaal Blight
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  4. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support

Flame Dash (3-Link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash will give you the additional mobility you need in order to jump over certain terrain and dodge lethal game mechanics. It will also provide the Arcane Surge buff with every cast. Make sure your Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support gem is locked at low level.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Wither (4-Link)

Wither Wither is a debuff that stacks up to 15 times and increases enemies’ Chaos damage taken by 6% per stack. This skill is cast by totems, with the following setup.

  1. Wither Wither
  2. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  3. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Curses

Depending on your gear and level you should use one or two Curses as auras via Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support.

  1. Temporal Chains Temporal Chains
  2. Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support
  3. Enfeeble Enfeeble

Shield Charge (3-Link)

Shield Charge Shield Charge will increase your clear speed and mobility in general.

  1. Shield Charge Shield Charge
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Other Gems

Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline should be your defensive aura. You should be socket-starved at this point, but if you still have a free socket you can make use of Phase Run Phase Run. Immortal Call Immortal Call can be used since you will have a reliable source of Endurance charges via the Overcharged passive node.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

Heretic's Veil Heretic's Veil will allow you to run stronger Curses with reduced mana reservation. A well-rolled rare Energy Shield Helmet will also do the work. For labyrinth enchant, look for Temporal Chains Temporal Chains or Enfeeble Enfeeble Curse effectiveness. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 250)
  3. Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance (Aberrant Fossil Aberrant Fossil)

Body Armour

The main idea of the build is using Death's Oath Death's Oath, which is irreplaceable.

Gloves

Allelopathy Allelopathy gives you a level 22 Blight Blight, which is essentially a 5 or even a 6-Link if you consider the two extra levels; the downside is that you will not have the Vaal version of the skill. You can also use well rolled pair of Gloves instead. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 100)

Boots

Steppan Eard Steppan Eard and Sin Trek Sin Trek are great unique choices. Well rolled boots should outclass them when you are ready to invest currency. For labyrinth enchant, look for Life&Mana Regeneration, Attack&Cast Speed or Movement Speed. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. % increased Movement speed (at least 25%)
  3. Energy Shield (at least 150)

Belt

Bated Breath Bated Breath is a great choice for the build. A well rolled Crystal Belt Crystal Belt or Stygian Vise Stygian Vise can also be very powerful. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield
  3. % increased Chaos Damage (Aberrant Fossil Aberrant Fossil)

Amulet

Solstice Vigil Solstice Vigil is a very good Amulet, although it can be expensive and you should not worry about it too much, since we do not really invest into Curses. Prior to it, use a rare Amulet instead. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield
  3. % increased Energy Shield
  4. # to Dexterity, Strength

Rings

Dream Fragments Dream Fragments will allow you to not worry about Chill and Freeze effects, which can otherwise be lethal to Low Life and Chaos Inoculation characters. Besides that, simply look for a well rolled rare Ring. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield
  3. % Faster start of Energy Shield recharge (crafted via crafting bench)
  4. # to Dexterity, Strength

Weapon

A well rolled rare Wand is best in slot when it comes to damage output, although it will disable your ability to use Shield Charge Shield Charge. Breath of the Council Breath of the Council provides a lot of Chaos damage. Other unique weapons like Brightbeak Brightbeak can be used for maximum mobility. The rare affix priority is:

  1. % to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
  2. % increased Damage when on Full Life (Pristine Fossil)
  3. % increased Chaos Damage

Shield

A well-rolled rare Shield is best in slot. You can try to roll one by yourself, use Dense Fossils on a Titanium Spirit Shield Titanium Spirit Shield iLvl 86. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (preferably 300+)

Flasks

Playing a Chaos Inoculation build allows you to use only utility flasks. Quicksilver flask is a good addition to your mobility, it should be rolled with additional Movement Speed. Stibnite flask creates a smoke cloud, which blinds nearby enemies, it should be rolled with Bleeding immunity. Basalt flask provides 15% physical damage reduction; it should be rolled with Burning immunity. Sulphur flask has a great duration, this is why it should be rolled with Curse immunity. Witchfire Brew Witchfire Brew can be used for the great amount of damage over time it provides. Rumi's Concoction Rumi's Concoction can be used for the additional Armour and Block Chance it provides.

Jewels

Spreading Rot Spreading Rot will augment your Blight Blight. A Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Discipline Discipline mods can provide a lot of defensive power to the build, at great currency cost though. You should prioritize Regular jewels over Abyssal jewels.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Energy Shield
  2. % to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
  3. % increased Damage Over Time

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
  2. Energy Shield (at least 35)

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 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

    Posts
    557

    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
    557

    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

    Posts
    557

    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
    557

    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.

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