Death's Oath Occultist Build Guide (PoE The Forbidden Sanctum 3.20)



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Due to the latest balancing changes, we do not recommend playing this build anymore, as it does not meet the high standards we apply to our guides in terms of fun and performance. We are leaving it up as a reference and it might be revived in a later patch.

Death's Oath Death's Oath grants a skill called Death’s Aura which deals chaos damage over time to enemies within a radius while also dealing self-inflicting chaos damage whenever you kill an enemy. As expected, this build plays similarly to one built around Righteous Fire Righteous Fire, just with chaos damage rather than fire. Since the build is completely designed around a very specific unique item it can work as a league-starter, but it will obviously require a small investment to obtain the Death’s Oath body armor. However, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this build unless you have proper experience with the game. The Death’s Oath body armor can be really difficult to color, which can turn expensive very fast. The build also lacks some single-target damage, which can make things quite difficult if you don’t have some halfway decent gear equipped.

Below, you can see the build in action from my YouTube guide. Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, and you should always refer to this guide to make sure you have the updated information.


In this section, I will outline the pros, cons, and general playstyle. This will help you to determine if this is the right build is for you!


+ Beefy – It packs a very comfortable eHP #, as well as mitigation, allowing it to function in Hardcore very well.

+ League Starter – The only somewhat mandatory item for this build is super cheap even during the first few days of a league release.

+ Clear Focus – The build utilizes pretty explosions to smoothly clear through maps at speed.


Minimal Active Play-style – Since our damage dealt comes from a passive aura around us and our single-target is from a DoT we leave on the ground, the playstyle isn’t very active.

Limited end-game boss damage – The build can smoothly run content like Sirus or Uber Elder, but the harder Maven Invitations will be difficult to tackle without putting in some heavy investment.


As the build is a chaos version of Righteous Fire it’s very minimal engagement. You’ll mostly just run through content letting your Profane Bloom ascendancy node explode nearby enemies. For single-target fighting, you’ll utilize Caustic Arrow Caustic Arrow in a 6-Linked bow.


Damage scaling comes from items that increase your chaos damage as well as damage over time. This build can be surprisingly tanky despite offering a low health pool of, on average, 5.5k-6k Life, provided you are able to efficiently stack chaos resistance from your items. Socketing the Timeless Jewel Glorious Vanity Glorious Vanity of “Xibaqua” will grant the Keystone passive, which converts 50% of elemental damage taken to chaos damage while also increasing your maximum possible Chaos resistance, greatly reducing your overall damage taken from Death’s Aura. In addition to dealing damage, curses you inflict on enemies will also slow them down and reduce the amount of damage they deal, greatly aiding in your survivability. You will also want to raise your Evasion rating with the help of Grace and relevant skill tree nodes.


The PoB community fork created by Localidentity is the only version being kept up to date, so make sure you have the correct version: PoB Community Fork.

Here’s the PoB for the build:

You can find more information about this build, along with gem links, on our dedicated page.

PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Link Page


A lot of the end-game gear can easily be crafted. For a general overview of crafting and to learn how to craft specific items, check out my crafting guides here.

You can read more details about our gearing recommendations on the dedicated page. You’ll find a summarized version below.

Gear Page

Item Slot Item Name/Mods Rarity
Head Heretic's Veil Heretic's Veil Unique
Amulet Impresence (Chaos) Impresence (Chaos) Unique
Chest Death's Oath Death's Oath Unique
Gloves Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Boots Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Belt Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Rings Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Weapon + level of gems Bow with DoT scaling modifiers Rare


You can read about the recommended Ascendancy, Bandit choice, and Pantheon Power recommendations for this build on our dedicated page.

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page


Since Death’s Oath isn’t something we can use till level 62, there are a few ways to level your build up to the point where you can. I much prefer to use the “Chaosslinger” leveling-style which I will outline in this guide of how to do.

The current meta of leveling through the Campaign Acts 1-10 is to go with a so-called Chaosslinger approach, using Spellslinger Spellslinger with a variety of Chaos DoT abilities and creating a very smooth leveling experience. Once you reach the stage of mapping, you can then switch to the normal self-casted approach.


Spellslinger Spellslinger is not available until level 24, and I would wait to use this strategy until you hit level 28 for Soulrend. The skills listed below are the ones I prefer to use until I hit level 8:

Once you reach level 4, you are able to purchase Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support. This is a great addition to Stormblast Mines for dealing single target damage. At level 8, you will be able to purchase Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support & Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support, both of which will be very solid to combine with both Stormblast Mines and Frost Bomb for clearing.

Stormblast Mines

  1. Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine
  2. Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support

Either one of these or both if you have a 4-Link:

  1. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  2. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Frost Bomb

  1. FFrost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 12, you will be able to enable Storm Brand Storm Brand and, later, you will be able to purchase Brand Recall Brand Recall, which will be very helpful as you are leveling through the early acts. Do note that you get some re-spec points from just doing the mandatory quests throughout the acts. With this in mind, you can deviate slightly from the recommended leveling trees and pick up some extra spell/elemental or Lightning damage early on. Brand Recall can be in any blue socket in your gear without requiring any links.

Storm Brand

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

In Act 2, you can pick up some better support gems for your damage output including:

Storm Brand

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support

Either one of these or both if you have a 4-Link:

  1. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  2. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Since you will be using skills all the way to level 24, we recommend running Herald skills, which are available to use during Act 2 after Chamber of Sins (level 16):

  1. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice
  2. Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder

In Act 3, we get to pick up some juicier Auras. We either keep our Heralds or switch to Wrath Wrath. Personally, I prefer to keep the Heralds.

Once you reach level 24, we can start using Spellslinger support to speed up the leveling process and will begin to start using our end-game abilities. We’ll need a trigger setup to generate Frenzy charges, and the links for this will be:

  1. Frenzy Frenzy
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

This leads us to the Chaos DoT abilities that we will be utilizing while leveling, of which I suggest using only two: Soulrend and Bane. If you feel you are lacking damage, you can always opt to add mana reservation nodes from the skill tree allowing for the use of more support gems. Below are the links I suggest for these two abilities. Make sure to use both abilities and add support gems only as long as your mana reservation allows for it. Do however prioritize the Bane & Despair links. Another thing to keep in mind is that Spellslinger doesn’t just reserve your mana, to trigger the supporter spells you’ll still have to pay the cost each time they trigger, so be mindful of your mana pool. Make sure you have a mana flask and, if necessary, you can remove a support gem to open up more mana.

  1. Soulrend Soulrend
  2. Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support and later Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  3. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  1. Bane Bane
  2. Despair Despair
  3. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support

This will be used all the way to the point where we switch to the Death’s Oath approach.

For more general leveling advice, we recommend the following guides.


To guarantee that my guides are tools you can utilize to enhance your experience in Path of Exile, you may have questions. Please join the PoE Vault discord and they will attend to them as soon as possible.


As much as I love making build guides, it is very crucial in a game like Path of Exile that you play the game the way you enjoy playing it. With that said, if you’ve made any tweaks to the build compared to what I’m showing in this guide I would love if you’d posted it in my discord! It’s an effective way to show other approaches and it helps me grow as a build guide creator!

I hope you found the build guide useful and I wish you all many Divine Orb Divine Orb drops!


  • 3.20 The Forbidden Sanctum Changelog .2* Updated Ascendancies to reflect the 3.20 changes (Name change & descriptions)

  • 3.20 The Forbidden Sanctum Changelog:* Caustic Arrow changed to Vaal Caustic Arrow

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