Herald of Agony / Crawler Occultist Build Guide (PoE Delirium 3.10)

Vvckd

89


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

Here we are looking at very interesting and different skill. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony summons a Crawler based on how many times you have poisoned an enemy recently. The Crawler gets stronger and faster the more poisons you apply. Each poison is a stack of virulence, each virulence stack is a flat amount of physical damage and percent attack speed for the crawler. In order to build around that skill the main thing you have to focus on is keeping virulence stacks as high as possible. Virulence stacks cap at 40, and the more stacks you have, the faster they fall off. Essentially keeping them above 35 is not easy.

The build is tailored to excel at the harder content of the game. Profane Bloom is immensely powerful in any build that struggles with clear speed, especially this one. By going Occultist you can also manage go for at least 10k energy shield pool with ease; you also do not worry about stuns, and the sustain via Wicked Ward and Vile Bastion is incredible.

Build Summary

Overall it is not expensive to play a build like this, the only mandatory thing is the specific jewel that adds chaos/physical damage to spells, which is very easy to obtain. Basically you only need the Hypnotic Eye base, which you can roll yourself. For the build to be playable in maps you need to invest no more than 30c. The unique body armour The Coming Calamity The Coming Calamity is the best choice because of the 2 additional levels to herald gems and more importantly, no matter how many support gems you apply to Herald of Agony Herald of Agony it always reserves 45% mana, which also lets us run Discipline Discipline. The other things to look for early on is elder gloves with the “Socketed gems are supported by level # Poison” and the unique ring Dream Fragments Dream Fragments, which solves all our problems with being frozen and chilled.

The skill chosen for poison application is Ball Lightning Ball Lightning. Due to its mechanic you can apply multiple poisons with a single cast, which is exactly what we are looking for. The only thing that we need to work on is to make it possible for such lightning based skill to apply poisons. In order for a skill to poison, you need to know two things. First, only chaos and physical damage can poison, and the second thing, you need chance to poison. In order to make Ball Lightning deal chaos or physical damage we socket a single Hypnotic Eye abyssal jewel with a specific mod that adds physical or chaos damage to spells. Now that Ball Lightning deals the type of damage we need in order to poison all we need is poison chance. The way this build acquires poison chance is via an elder based gloves rolled with the mod “Socketed gems are supported by level # Poison”. This simply allows you to socket Ball Lightning in your gloves and have 60% chance to poison simply by being supported by the Poison Support Poison Support. Herald of Agony gives you additional 20% chance to poison with hits while active. At 80% chance to poison it is more than enough to be playable. If you want to improve the chance further you can look for 5% chance to poison on jewels, preferably combined with percent energy shield. The build also specializes heavily in applying strong curses via curse on hit setups.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great for endgame content
+ One of the best sustains in the game
+ Very easily obtains huge energy shield pool

Cons

- Relies on minion AI
- Can feel clunky to some people that are new to the skill

Playstyle

Offensively, your job is to curse whole packs of monsters to make sure they will explode via Profane Bloom when hit by your crawler. Passively you will trigger Flesh Offering Flesh Offering when hit via Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support setup. Cursing enemies with Projectile Weakness Projectile Weakness is essential, this lets your crawler pierce while also using a bigger damage multiplier than Pierce Support Pierce Support.

Defensively, great energy shield pool combined with the Occultist’s sustain proved time and time again it is very hard get kill. The nature of the build lets us run only defensive flasks which make you not even feel most hits, or just block them instead of taking the damage at all. Zealot’s Oath makes use of some life regeneration you have here and there, and also applies the life regeneration you get from your Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem to your life pool instead. Well optimized character will also be running highly effective Temporal Chains Temporal Chains and Enfeeble Enfeeble, which makes enemies very weak and slow.

For Playstyle, you should keep your distance whenever possible. Use Ball Lightning in order to keep up virulence stacks and curse enemies. Against single targets, keep in mind once your energy shield has started recovering recently you can tank some hits while spamming Ball Lightning for maximum virulence stacks. Use Vaal Discipline in sticky situations. Shield Charge should be used all the time to move around, instead of running.

Passive Tree

Here is an endgame version of the passive tree.

For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.

Passive 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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheons Page

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

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.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest The Coming Calamity The Coming Calamity
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Crystal Belt Crystal Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Heartbreaker Heartbreaker
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

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

The build can be used from level 16, by using Quill Rain Quill Rain in combination with Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows for very fast poison stacking. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony will easily carry all the way up to level 53, when you should equip The Coming Calamity The Coming Calamity and socket the gem in it.

Leveling trees

Before transitioning to Chaos Inoculation.

Useful Leveling Uniques

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 resistnaces, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Use Quill Rain Quill Rain with Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows and Lesser Poison Support Lesser Poison Support in order to accumulate large amount of poisons as early as level 16. Here is the gem setup you should have for Herald of Agony Herald of Agony at level 16:

  1. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  4. Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support

This setup can easily carry you to maps. Just make sure to put The Coming Calamity The Coming Calamity and socket the herald into it at level 53.

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 the following link.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

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

At level 16, you can start obliterating the leveling content by using the following gem links. At this point you need to be wielding a Quill Rain Quill Rain. At this point you should also add Blink Arrow Blink Arrow for additional mobility.

  1. Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows
  2. Lesser Poison Support Lesser Poison Support

Herald of Agony

  1. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  4. Maim Support Maim Support

At level 18, your Herald of Agony Herald of Agony link should look like this.

  1. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  4. Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support
  5. Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support
  6. Maim Support Maim Support

At level 38, you have access to Curse On Hit Support Curse On Hit Support, which will slightly change your game play. At this point you ascend into Occultist – Profane Bloom. This allows you to start running a curse on hit gem and drop Pierce Support Pierce Support from the Herald of Agony Herald of Agony link.

  1. Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows
  2. Poison Support Poison Support
  3. Curse On Hit Support Curse On Hit Support
  4. Projectile Weakness Projectile Weakness

This allows you to start running a curse on hit gem and drop Pierce Support Pierce Support from the Herald of Agony Herald of Agony link.

  1. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support
  4. Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support
  5. Maim Support Maim Support
  6. Vile Toxins Support Vile Toxins Support

FAQ

The build looks like it needs a lot of investment and specific items, is there an easier way to start playing it?

In the beginning, all you need is 4-Links Quill Rain Quill Rain. With this setup you can build around Herald of Agony Herald of Agony at level 16 and you will destroy the leveling content. At level 53 you can put your herald gem into The Coming Calamity The Coming Calamity and this will be more than enough damage in order to progress through the endgame. Here are the following two gem setup links you need in order to start playing at level 16:

Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows
Lesser Poison Support Lesser Poison Support

Herald of Agony

Herald of Agony Herald of Agony
Pierce Support Pierce Support
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support

Conclusion

This build, even though heavily improvised, turned out to be very fun to play while also end game viable. The play style feels very good, the character is insanely hard to kill. Managing to tank Shaper’s slams and other heavy hitting mechanics feels great. You can run most map mods except for no regeneration, even though even this is manageable.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The Herald of Agony received a slight nerf, which is easily compensated by the addition of Cluster Jewels.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build remains as solid as before for both clearing and bossing.

  •   

    Revisited and updated passive trees for Blight 3.8. Herald of Agony managed to dodge the nerf hammer once again. The build even got buffed via the Grave Intentions and Ravenous Horde passive nodes, which allow your Agony Crawler to gain Unholy Might and Onslaught, and this results in a tremendous damage gain.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7.

  •   

    Improved Gem and Gearing sections.

  •   

    Updated passive skill trees.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Synthesis 3.6. Recent changes to Convocation and Ball Lightning are practically a buff for the build.

  •   

    Made the playstyle section more descriptive, and improved the gearing section by providing more detailed recommendations.

  •   

    Reworked Gem Link and Gem Progression sections for improved visibility

  •   

    Changed gem link priority and some recommended items for better efficiency.

5
  1. Posts
    4

    The cast speed on the ball lightning is so slow how do i speed it up

  2. Posts
    4

    These daggers can eventually be corrupted for “Adds # to # Chaos damage” in order to drop the mandatory Hypnotic Eye jewel. You cant use that corrupt because its only local not for ball lightning

  3. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    Hello Dontbejello, sorry for the huge delay. As long as you have The Golden Rule The Golden Rule unique jewel you will not need a lot of cast speed to sustain decent amount of poison stacks with Ball Lightning Ball Lightning. Things like Silver Flask, cast speed on the passive tree & Spiritual Command will help out though. As for the chaos damage corruption, I am not sure if its local but you might be right, I will test it and change it later if needed, thank you for the feedback.

    Edited by Vvckd on March 20th, 2019

  4. Posts
    21

    I wanted to do a build of each! One more flashy than another! Thanks to these guides I had my first character in end game content!
    Thank you! Thank you!

  5. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    Hehe Fezao, glad you are having fun.

  6. Posts
    11

    Hi I’ve just started playing and was following your guide but I’m a little confused. Your occultist which is witch. How do we use a bow?

  7. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    On 09/04/2019 at 11:59 PM, null said

    Hi I’ve just started playing and was following your guide but I’m a little confused. Your occultist which is witch. How do we use a bow?

    Early on we use Quill Rain Quill Rain in order to inflict poisons fast, which keeps our Agony Crawler strong and fast. After that we transition into Ball Lightning Ball Lightning.

  8. Posts
    11

    Thank you, by the way your set up rocks. Only been playing few days I’m on ps4. Trying to get the colours right on chest Proper pain. And I don’t know how to craft yet but google is a help. If you don’t mind ok to hit u up if I’m stuck

  9. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    On 10/04/2019 at 6:16 PM, null said

    Thank you, by the way your set up rocks. Only been playing few days I’m on ps4. Trying to get the colours right on chest Proper pain. And I don’t know how to craft yet but google is a hel

    If you don’t mind ok to hit u up if I’m stuck

    If you’re talking about crafting the colours on The Coming Calamity The Coming Calamity I’d recommend using 1 or 2 off-colour recipe on the bench and hope for the best. That is how I crafted multiple 4-5 off-colour Calamities for my hardcore characters.

  • Posts
    11

    Ok thxs 4 da heads up will look at that have a fantastic day bro

  • Posts
    11

    Bet place on our tree for energy within jewel please…. an image be great if you can post one ty

  • Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    On 11/04/2019 at 3:46 PM, null said

    Bet place on our tree for energy within jewel please…. an image be great if you can post one ty

    Hey, you can have Energy From Within Energy From Within in several places, but we recommend placing it next to Melding.

  • Posts
    3

    Hello,

    First of all many thanks for your guide!

    I have a question concerning the Hypnotic Eye jewel. Do we have to put it in a white socket of one item or I misunderstood?

    In this cas any white socket is OK (no constraints of links or category of item)?

  • Posts
    3

    Sorry I meant in a abyssal socket.

  • Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    On 12/04/2019 at 3:32 PM, Gadget said

    Hello,

    First of all many thanks for your guide!

    I have a question concerning the Hypnotic Eye jewel. Do we have to put it in a white socket of one item or I misunderstood?

    In this cas any white socket is OK (no constraints of links or category of item)?

    Hypnotic Eye jewels are Abyssal jewels that can only be put in Abyssal sockets on gear or jewel sockets on the passive skill tree. White sockets’ main purpose is to allow you to socket any kind of gem in this specific socket, it has nothing to do with Abyssal jewels. Feel free to ask anything else that comes to your mind, good luck!

  • Posts
    3

    Thanks for your quick answer!

    Yes I knew that I corrected in my second comment.

    The think I do not know is if in this build the Hypnotic Eye jewel can be placed into the skill tree or into a item with abyssal socket (without any difference)

  • Posts
    11

    So newb question… what items come with abyssal socket that is viable for this build?

  • Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1224

    On 12/04/2019 at 6:24 PM, null said

    So newb question… what items come with abyssal socket that is viable for this build?

    For this build specifically, there are no unique items with Abyssal sockets that are really viable. You can craft abyssal socket on rare items via Fossils but that is very expensive. You do not really need Abyssal sockets on gear for this build, just get a Hypnotic Eye with physical or chaos damage added to spells and socket it on the passive tree. The main purpose of the jewel is to make your Ball Lightning Ball Lightning deal a type of damage that can poison(only chaos and physical damage can inflict poisons, other damage types can too but it gets complicated), so you can stack up your Virulence stacks with this particular skill.

  • Posts
    11

    Fantastic brother top man. Appreciate the quick reply. Have a blinding weekend :)

  • Posts
    11

    Sorry for so many questions only been playing a week so all a tad overwhelming atm… what skills do we have active in our tray. I ask bc some of mine have an exclamation mark on them and when I hit corresponding button ie triangle, square, circle, x, nothing happens. Do these actually have to be active.. the ones that have a ! Next to them are…. immortal call and flesh offering.. kind regards :))

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