The Whispering Ice Occultist Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Vvckd

1


Introduction

The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice unique staff has been in the game for long time, although it has several problems when building around. The staff essentially introduces a new spell you can use in order to deal damage, called Icestorm. In patch 3.6 Icestorm got buffed by reducing its cast speed from 1 second to 0.75 and its Critical Strike chance got buffed from 5% to 6%. This makes Icestorm much more viable than before.

With The Whispering Ice unique staff we aim to get as much Intelligence as possible in order to scale the skill’s base damage; we also choose to go for Critical Strikes, since Icestorm’s Critical Chance is decent. Playing an Intelligence-stacking build has great synergy with having a lot of Energy Shield, which is why we choose to go Chaos Inoculation. Since we are using a staff we lose some Energy Shield from the Shield slot, which is why we choose the Occultist ascendancy class; this class also provides the best Energy Shield sustain mechanics in the game, an easy way to sustain Power charges and smooths out clear speed with Profane Bloom.

Build Summary

In order to get started, you only need The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice; it is super cheap since no one uses it. The other great thing about this staff is that you do not need to 6-Link it, all you need is to 6-socket it with the right colours and all the support gems you put in will affect the Icestorm spell. When it comes to the other items, we mainly focus on good amounts of Energy Shield and Intelligence. Overall, the Whispering Ice Occultist can be very cheap to start and has the room for improvement when you collect some currency.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Budget-friendly
+ Great survivability

Cons

- Mediocre clear speed/mobility

Playstyle

Offensively, casting Icestorm once or twice will be enough to clear packs of monsters. When it comes to boss killing, you should use all the free time you have to spawn Icestorms, which will last longer and deal more damage depending on the amount of Intelligence you have. For mobility, you should use Flame Dash Flame Dash.

Defensively, Icestorm’s chilling ground is a great defensive mechanic. The great Energy Shield pool in combination with Wicked Ward, Vile Bastion, and Energy Shield Leech will allow you to tank immense amounts of damage. Arctic Armour Arctic Armour can provide additional damage mitigation. The build can also make use of Mind over Matter.

For playstyle, you should cast while moving forward, in a sense you need to “pre-cast” the Icestorm wherever the mobs will be when you pull the aggro, so by the time they start chasing you they will enter the Icestorm and die. Bosses that reposition fast will be kind of annoying to deal with, since you will not be able to stack a lot of Icestorms for maximum damage output, but are still manageable.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Witch – Occultist)

  1. Vile Bastion
  2. Profane Bloom
  3. Forbidden Power
  4. Malediction

Vile Bastion improves Energy Shield sustain even further, gives even more flat Energy Shield and makes you immune to stuns while you have Energy Shield, which is very handy since you would have to deal with Stuns otherwise.
Profane Bloom will allow you to bypass the Hexproof monster mod and will smooth out your clear speed via the Chaos explosions.
Forbidden Power will increase the value of your Power charges by a great deal and will make their sustain way easier.
Malediction allows you to use a second Curse along with providing a lot of additional damage.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree we recommend. We mainly focus on Energy Shield, Energy Shield Leech, Cold Damage, Intelligence, and some efficient Area of Effect, Staff and Critical Strike nodes. The two main keystone notables we pick are Chaos Inoculation and Zealot’s Oath.

Bandits

For this specific build we should help Alira in Act II. The critical multiplier, flat mana regeneration, and 15% all elemental resistances are stronger than the 2 passive skill points.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris is very good when it comes to raw damage reductions. When this pantheon is fully upgraded it is best in slot for this particular build.

Minor: Soul of Abberath is good in every Energy-Shield-based build for the immunity to burning ground.

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 have killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Icestorm is your signature skill, which is gained by The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice; you simply need to 6-socket the staff in order to effectively run a 7-Link. For mobility, use Flame Dash Flame Dash. For auras/buffs you will need to use Discipline Discipline and Clarity Clarity, and you can also run Arctic Armour Arctic Armour once you have great mana sustain.

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.

The Whispering Ice (6-socket)

The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice provides the Icestorm skill, which is what this whole build guide is about. Choosing to self-cast the skill can be hard on our mana pool, since the skill has high mana cost by default and running it on 7-link can cost a lot of mana. We mainly deal with this problem by stacking a lot of Intelligence and mana, along with running Clarity Clarity. We recommend one link that works great for both single target and clearing.

  1. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  2. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  3. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support
  4. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  5. Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support
  6. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support

Note: For the last support gem you can even experiment with Mana Leech Support Mana Leech Support, Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support, Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support, Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support, Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support, Efficacy Support Efficacy Support, and Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support.

Flame Dash (3-link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash will give you the ability to reposition quickly and gain the Arcane Surge buff with a single cast. Make sure to keep your Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support at level 4 or lower in order to be triggered every time you cast Flame Dash.

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

Other Gems

Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem can be used for some additional offensive power. Decoy Totem Decoy Totems can be used in order to keep enemies in place while you are raining down Icestorms. Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline, Clarity Clarity, and Arctic Armour Arctic Armour should be used in the endgame. Steelskin Steelskin can be used for additional damage mitigation.

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. All you need to get started is the The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice unique staff, simply 6-socketing it will allow you to bypass the threshold of 6-linking items, which most builds struggle with. Besides that, you should look for items with great amount of Energy Shield and Intelligence.

Helmet

A well rolled Energy Shield helmet is best in slot for the build. When it comes to enchantments from the labyrinth, you should look for any Discipline Discipline or Arctic Armour Arctic Armour enchant. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 250)
  3. # to Intelligence (at least 40)
  4. Nearby Enemies have -9% to Cold Resistance (Frigid Fossil)

Body Armour

Well rolled Vaal Regalia is the best in slot chest piece, preferably Shaper-based. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 500)
  3. # to Intelligence (at least 40)
  4. % increased Intelligence (Shaper Suffix)

Gloves

Well rolled Energy-Shield-based gloves are best in slot. You should also look for a corrupted pair with Curse on Hit in order to make use of the Profane Bloom ascendancy node. Prior to corrupted gloves you can also use Asenath's Gentle Touch Asenath's Gentle Touch. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 100)
  3. # to Intelligence (at least 40)

Boots

As other items, well rolled rare Energy Shield boots is best in slot. Inya's Epiphany Inya's Epiphany are also great choice, since they provide % increased Intelligence. Steppan Eard Steppan Eard and Sin Trek Sin Trek can also be used. When it comes to labyrinth enchant, look for Leech if you’ve killed recently or Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve killed recently. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. % increased Movement speed (at least 25%)
  3. Energy Shield (at least 150)
  4. # to Intelligence (at least 40)
  5. % increased Skill Effect Duration (Elder Suffix)

Belt

Bated Breath Bated Breath is a great choice for the build. Cyclopean Coil Cyclopean Coil provides a good amount of % increased Attributes. A belt corruption you should look for is “% increased Intelligence”.

Amulet

The Amulet slot can be one of the most powerful and currency-consuming gear piece you can have. Prior to a well rolled rare Amulet you can use Astramentis Astramentis. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. # to Intelligence (at least 70)
  3. 1% increased Damage per 15 Intelligence (Shaper Prefix)
  4. % increase Energy Shield

Rings

Dream Fragments Dream Fragments should be used for the Freeze and Chill immunity. An Elder or Shaper-based ring with Curse on hit can be used based on the Curse you prefer, this will also allow you to use regular gloves instead of corrupted ones for the Curse application.

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield
  3. # to Intelligence (at least 40)
  4. % Faster start of Energy Shield recharge (crafted via crafting bench)

Weapon

For the weapon slot we are using The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice.

Flasks

Playing Chaos Inoculation build allows you to use only utility flasks. Considering you mainly rely on running for mobility Quicksilver flask is mandatory for the build, it should be rolled with additional movement speed. Quartz flask provides additional dodge chance and Phasing, which will allow you to run through monsters. 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. The Wise Oak The Wise Oak provides additional Cold penetration if your Cold resistance is the highest.

Jewels

There are no mandatory jewels for the build, although we recommend having Emperor's Wit Emperor's Wit and Emperor's Mastery Emperor's Mastery; do not focus on the too much early on, they will probably be expensive. Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Discipline Discipline and Clarity Clarity mods can be very handy but also expensive.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Increased Energy Shield
  2. Intelligence/Attributes
  3. % increased Area Damage
  4. % increased Cold Damage
  5. % to Critical Strike Multiplier with Cold Skills
  6. % increased Cast Speed while wielding a Staff
  7. % increased Spell Damage
  8. increased Critical Strike Multiplier for Elemental Skills
  9. increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
  2. Energy Shield (at least 35)
  3. % increased Cast Speed if you’ve dealt a Critical Strike Recently

Leveling

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

You can start using The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice since level 33, and it has enough damage to carry you through the leveling content and smoothly transition into mapping.

Leveling Trees

This is an early version of the passive skill tree. We pick some life nodes before transitioning to Chaos Inoculation, then the life has to be respecced.

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

At level 16, you can pick Arctic Armour Arctic Armour for additional defense.

By level 18 your your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link should look like this:

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  5. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  6. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

At level 24 you can pick up Discipline Discipline for additional defense.

Finally, at level 33 you can equip The Whispering Ice The Whispering Ice. You should drop your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse and use Icestorm instead.

  1. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  2. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  3. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  5. Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support
  6. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support

Note: At level 38, you should replace Efficacy Support Efficacy Support with Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support.

FAQ

What are the weak points of the build?

The Whispering Ice Occultist has mediocre clear speed, but compensates with the extreme single target damage potential against static targets.

What map mods cannot be done with the build?

Elemental Reflect and No Regeneration.

Conclusion

The Whispering Ice Occultist is a very unique Cold self-casting build. It specializes in calling down very strong chilling blizzards in order to shatter enemies into pieces.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated passive tree for Blight 3.8. The build got a decent buff in the form of new Power charges node called "Disciple of the Forbidden".

  •   

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

  •   

    Build added.

  1. Posts
    1

    Hi,
    which is the gem setup for this build beside for the described whispering ice and flame dash?

Please log in to reply.

Close
Close