Low-Life Blade Vortex Occultist Build Guide (PoE Delirium 3.10)

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This build is not updated for the current patch, but we have evaluated it and we consider it to still work as intended. You can try it out, but you may find slight differences between this guide and the current game state. Although viable, this build is not considered strong enough to be an optimal play choice during this league.

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

The Low-Life Blade Vortex Occultist is a caster-based character that uses Energy Shield instead of Life, specializes in Spell Critical Strikes and applies multiple strong Curses. The build also achieves great survivability and sustain via Energy Shield Leech on the passive tree in combination with Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support.

The build can be very efficient even on a budget, once you farm up some currency you can choose to invest into things like Shavronne's Wrappings Shavronne's Wrappings in order to transition into Low-Life, which allows you to pick Pain Attunement for 30% extra overall Spell damage.

Build Summary

The build does not require any items in order to work and can be a great league-starter. Once you can afford some more expensive gear pieces, you can start looking for Heretic's Veil Heretic's Veil, which will help you better utilize your Curses. Shavronne's Wrappings Shavronne's Wrappings will allow you to reserve a portion of your Life in order to be Low-Life all the time and benefit from Pain Attunement. Void Battery Void Battery has great synergy with the build, simply because we reach 6 Power charges by default.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Fast and smooth clear speed
+ Has great defensive mechanics
+ Great league-starter

Cons

- Energy Shield / Low-Life builds’ gameplay feels different than others and may not suit everyone’s playstyle

Playstyle

Offensively, keeping 3-4 blades spinning will be enough to explode monster packs via Profane Bloom. Once you face a stronger foe, stack up your blades and activate Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex for maximum single target damage output.

Defensively, the sustain of the build feels great. The Energy Shield Leech in combination with Vile Bastion will keep your Energy Shield full most of the time; once you get hit hard you can recover by using Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline. Strong defensive Curses like Temporal Chains Temporal Chains and Enfeeble Enfeeble are utilized via Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support.

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 Leech in order to survive.

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 Spell damage and Spell Critical modifiers, Energy Shield & Energy Leech, and Curse passive nodes.

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 Heretic's Veil Heretic's Veil
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Shavronne's Wrappings Shavronne's Wrappings
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Sin Trek Sin Trek
Belt Bated Breath Bated Breath
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Void Battery Void Battery
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

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

The build can be easily leveled with its signature skill as soon as you can equip the gem at level 12.

Leveling Trees

Here is an example of an early passive skill tree prior to going Low Life.

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 the following link.

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

At level 4, you can add Frost Bomb Frost Bomb for better damage output.

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility.

At level 12, you should replace Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse with your signature skill, Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex.

  1. Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex
  2. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  4. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  5. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support

At level 16, your Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex should look like this.

  1. Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  4. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  5. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  6. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support

At level 24, you should pick up Enfeeble Enfeeble, Temporal Chains Temporal Chains and Discipline Discipline in order to level up the gems.

At level 31, you should ascend into Normal Labyrinth and pick up Profane Bloom, at this point you should reserve a portion of your Nana via Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support in order to create a Temporal Chains Temporal Chains Curse aura.

At level 38, your Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex should look like this.

  1. Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  6. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

No Regeneration is rough, Reflect mods and Cannot Leech should be avoided at all costs.

Conclusion

The Low-Life Blade Vortex Occultist is an Energy-Shield-based caster that utilizes very strong Curses, which renders enemies helpless. The character deals great amounts of Spell Critical Damage and its Energy Shield Leech allows you to out-sustain a lot of incoming damage.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build got an overall buff via the addition of Blade Blast.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build remains unchanged and solid.

  •   

    Revisited and updated several item recommendations along with passive trees. The build works as intended and is still very solid.

  •   

    Build added.

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  1. Posts
    2

    Excited to try this build, i love CI builds and blade vortex offers a nice farming playstyle. how is it on the meta bosses in 3.9 ?

  2. Vvckd

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    On 18/12/2019 at 7:29 PM, Ghost47 said

    Excited to try this build, i love CI builds and blade vortex offers a nice farming playstyle. how is it on the meta bosses in 3.9 ?

    If you are well-geared you will have enough single target to deal with anything.

  3. Posts
    1

    I’m confused. When I open the skill tree, it has neither CI or ZO, yet you point those two out as notable keystones. Is this a mistake or am I missing something?

  4. Vvckd

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    On 19/12/2019 at 4:36 PM, Migeil said

    I’m confused. When I open the skill tree, it has neither CI or ZO, yet you point those two out as notable keystones. Is this a mistake or am I missing something?

    Hey, you should only have CI, the build reaches very good ES sustain via Energy Shield Leech and Vile Bastion.

  5. Posts
    3

    How do you sustain two curses and discipline ? For me that is 105% mana reserved. What am I doing wrong ?

  6. Vvckd

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    On 22/12/2019 at 9:09 AM, ridemypwny said

    How do you sustain two curses and discipline ? For me that is 105% mana reserved. What am I doing wrong ?

    Hey, the Discipline is ran on your Life via Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support. This puts your character at Low-Life, which is the main idea of the build. In order not to die to chaos damage we are using Shavronne's Wrappings Shavronne's Wrappings. The two curses are then ran on your Mana via Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support.

  7. Posts
    3

    Hey, thanks man ! Playing SSF so getting Shavs is tough but I’ll still give it a try ;) Playing really smooth so far.

  8. Posts
    3

    Hey, thanks man ! Playing SSF so getting Shavs is tough but I’ll still give it a try ;) Playing really smooth so far.

  9. Vvckd

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    On 23/12/2019 at 12:37 PM, ridemypwny said

    Hey, thanks man ! Playing SSF so getting Shavs is tough but I’ll still give it a try ;) Playing really smooth so far.

    Hey, going Low-Life in SSF can be problematic indeed. Other two items that will allow you to do that are Coruscating Elixir Coruscating Elixir and Solaris Lorica Solaris Lorica, so keep an eye for those.

  10. Posts
    2

    Where does the boss damage come from? I’m just not getting it. In yellow maps with a 5 linked Vaal Vortex (Couldn’t afford a 6l Shav’s so had to settle for a 5l), Pain Attunement constantly procced due to reserved hp with Discipline + Blood Magic, then for weapons I’m running a Heartbreaker (Can’t afford Void Battery) and an ES prio shield with (admittedly not a lot) of spell damage. I’m clearing packs fine, don’t really have any problems getting through maps, but bosses, especially things like conquerers and metamorphs, just take AGES to die. My passive tree seems fine and I don’t think I’m really missing any big damage from there, except for some curse efficacy nodes – any idea what I could be doing wrong? Thanks

  11. Vvckd

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    On 25/12/2019 at 6:47 AM, aaprobot said

    Where does the boss damage come from? I’m just not getting it. In yellow maps with a 5 linked Vaal Vortex (Couldn’t afford a 6l Shav’s so had to settle for a 5l), Pain Attunement constantly procced due to reserved hp with Discipline + Blood Magic, then for weapons I’m running a Heartbreaker (Can’t afford Void Battery) and an ES prio shield with (admittedly not a lot) of spell damage. I’m clearing packs fine, don’t really have any problems getting through maps, but bosses, especially things like conquerers and metamorphs, just take AGES to die. My passive tree seems fine and I don’t think I’m really missing any big damage from there, except for some curse efficacy nodes – any idea what I could be doing wrong? Thanks

    Hey, the build does not have the most stellar single target output for sure but it should do the work just fine, even in red maps. Getting a Void Battery Void Battery is kind of a big deal. Once you acquire that and pop up your Vaal BV you should start dealing considerably more damage. Another thing you can focus on is proccing Profane Bloom as much as possible on adds around tough single targets like Metamorphs. Providing a link to your PoE profile would allow me to give you some gearing / passive tree tips if you want.

  12. Posts
    2

    Ah, guess I interpreted the “boss killer” tag as meaning the build is… a very strong boss killer. I’ll figure it out.

  13. Posts
    1

    Hey, I really like this build, but i also got problems with bosses, to little damage, and i get oneshot from time to time. Anyone got any tips to up my defence or dps?

    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/astaro/characters
    (char:surgnuller)

    6766 ES
    43k avg dmg on bladevortex with flasks/charges up.

    thx

  14. Vvckd

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    On 26/12/2019 at 6:54 AM, astaro said

    Hey, I really like this build, but i also got problems with bosses, to little damage, and i get oneshot from time to time. Anyone got any tips to up my defence or dps?

    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/astaro/characters
    (char:surgnuller)

    6766 ES
    43k avg dmg on bladevortex with flasks/charges up.

    thx

    Hey, your gear looks solid. At this point you should have no issues with Crit Chance, in this case you can replace Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support with something like Inspiration Support Inspiration Support or Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support. Getting a level 21 gem will also help out with DPS. When it comes to survivability you can get a bit more ES on things like Shield and Helmet.

  15. Vvckd

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    On 26/12/2019 at 2:11 AM, aaprobot said

    Ah, guess I interpreted the “boss killer” tag as meaning the build is… a very strong boss killer. I’ll figure it out.

    Hey, bossing is not a DPS race and even some very high DPS builds cannot do bosses if they do not have enough utility and survivability.

  16. Posts
    1

    Hi, how do i use discipline with CI as it is used with blood magic support? or am i supposed to reserve it with mana alongside Temporal Chains and Enfeeble on my helmet?

  17. Vvckd

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    On 03/01/2020 at 3:28 PM, Ryule said

    Hi, how do i use discipline with CI as it is used with blood magic support? or am i supposed to reserve it with mana alongside Temporal Chains and Enfeeble on my helmet?

    Hey, you should spec out of CI when going Low-Life.

  18. Posts
    2

    sorry about that, where is the rest of the gem links? I have a lot of space left for creation and I suck at that … could you also include a link to pob? recreate the build in it with the items and links, it would be great … Thanks

  19. Vvckd

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    On 05/01/2020 at 4:47 AM, kevinichigo said

    sorry about that, where is the rest of the gem links? I have a lot of space left for creation and I suck at that … could you also include a link to pob? recreate the build in it with the items and links, it would be great … Thanks

    Hey, for now we are heavily invested in keeping the text guides updated. For now we do not create PoB links but if you provide a link to your PoE profile I’d be glad to help you further.

  20. Vvckd

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    On 06/01/2020 at 3:00 PM, enjie said

    hey I love playing blade vortex, i was playing it back in 2.4 and just restarted.
    could you take a look at my character and tell me what i can improve? Id like to run more auras and dual void battery but not sure..
    For now i plan on getting a headhunter belt and lvl 4 enlightens +lvl 21blood magic to run an additional aura or so..
    thanks!
    http://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/enjie1337/characters

    Hey, character looks good, you can definitely replace your Belt though. You can also get better Rings.

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