Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (2024)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (1)

Welcome to the dark void.

In this guide we'll utilize the Dark Pact skill into means of brutal destruction.
This is a self-cast crit build which can be easy to play and is unique by structure.

The build is up to date for 3.21 and was viable for all versions since Arch Nemesis.

Overall Performance (1 to 10):

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Endurance: 4 (around average)
Map clear efficiency: 9 (very high)
Single Target damage: 8 (very high)
Budget: 6 (mediocre)

Ascendancy: Occultist

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1. Void Beacon.
2. Withering Presence.
3. Profane Bloom.
4. Unholy Authority.


Pantheon:

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Major: Arakaali or Brine King. I preferred the Brine King.

Minor: Ralakesh or Shakari, or Abberath - it is a personal choice. We aim to negate either Ignites, Burning Ground, Bleeding or Poisons. I chose Abberath because of the anti-burning ground which you can't otherwise avoid. Of course we're adjusting Flask effects based on this choice.

Both of them fully upgraded.

Bandits:

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Kill them all.

Gear and Sockets:

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Jewels:

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Unique Jewels:

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Dissolution of the Flesh - Mandatory for this build.

Forbidden Flesh and Forbidden Flame (with the Forbidden Power ascendancy). This is very cheap and will help you a lot for the crit cap and additional AoE.

Militant Faith with Dominus (Inner Conviction) - a lot of damage boost. Try to take one with bonus to AoE damage and Resistances. We put this in the socket right above the Witch starting point.

Rational Doctrine - Relatively expensive and not mandatory but an awesome way to boost your damage.

Cluster Jewels:

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We need two Large: A Chaos base with 8 points. Has to have: Wicked Pall, Touch of Cruelty and Unholy Grace.

Other Jewels:

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We will have a place for 3 Rare jewels. We rely on them mainly for boosting Life and resistances. You can look for additional Crit chance and Crit multiplier.


Flasks:

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Generally, we're not using Life flasks at all - only for utility.
I am using a crit + onslaught flask for dmg boost on bosses and a movement speed flask for better clear speed through maps.
Life is naturally recharged if we haven't taken dmg for 1-2 sec. You can use 1 Life flask as a panic button in bad situations but it won't be necessary.
Rumi's Concoction and Overflowing Chalice are a personal choice. I recommend them for a light gameplay without thinking about flask charges.

Detailed build description:

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Disintegrating enemies only by spamming Dark Pact doesn't need much explanation but I'll make sure you know the mechanics. These mechanics are also explained in my previous guide for Blood Sacrament here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3323266.

You just run around and one-shot everything, including very difficult rare monsters. The spell has a very small cast time so you will barely feel your character stopping to cast it. Let's look more into detail:

Damage scaling:

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There are two main things for damage scaling: Life and Criticals. We aim to stack up as much Life as possible through gear and jewels. Equally important is to get your critical chance to the maximum and stack up multiplier. Overall DPS is between 5 million and 20 million on pinnacle bosses based on gear investment and your choice of curses.

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Rational Doctrine.

This jewel has three very interesting interactions:
-Provides Profane Ground proc on crits if intellect is your highest attribute;
-Provides Consecrated Ground all the time while stationary if your highest attribute is Strength.
-The effects of these grounds linger for 4 seconds after their targets have been affected.

You could aim to adjust both Strength and Intellect to be equal so you get both effects. Consecrated ground won't have too much effect on you but it's cool.

Defenses:

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The defense is based mainly on two things: Damage and Petrified Blood.

-As it is said - the best defense is our offense. This may make you feel uncomfortable but it's true and after some time playing the build, you will see for yourself.

-Petrified Blood, socketed into the Essence Worm ring, is our other line of defense. Speaking for itself, it provides a lot of damage absorption. Very important thing to know is that the Life lost over time from this skill is completely overhealed by the Life Recharge we have from the Eternal Youth Keystone. You can read the skill tooltip until you understand how it works. Anomalous quality recommended.

Eternal Youth vs Dissolution of the Flesh vs Petrified Blood

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It is important that this part is understood by the player. Even if you directly copy the build, it is recommended to know how it works.
Dissolution of the Flesh makes so that the game won't consider your character taking Damage and the Life will be Reserved instead of Lost. This works perfectly with the Recharge mechanic and Petrified Blood. Petrified Blood will absorb some of the damage taken below 50% Life and then your Recharge will overheal the degen part from Petrified Blood. Life Recharge will not be paused from the degen effect of Petrified Blood.
The reservation from Dissolution of the Flesh disappears after 2 seconds of not taking any damage. You may somehow try to get Evasion on the gear even though it won't be much but will increase the chance for you not getting hit within 2 seconds until the Life Recharge starts.
This whole thing may feel weird but unlike my previous build on the Blood Sacrament, there's no danger to be suddenly killed within the cast time of the spell simply because you're not reserving nearly all your Life to cast it - you're just sacrificing some. Note that the sacrifice won't trigger Life reservation since it's not considered damage.
If you die, it's simply because you took too much damage. You just need to keep an eye of how much life you reserve by taking damage from monsters. It takes practice to feel the monsters around your character so that you don't spam at just any moment but rather when you have a clean shot. Skill has a lot of damage potential so continuous spam for mapping is unnecessary and not recommended.

Uniques:

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We're using 5 unique gear pieces:

-Two Void Batteries. This is mandatory for nearly all builds that use Power charges. It's perfect for our build. It's also cheap.

-The Skin of the Lords with the Blood Magic keystone is a great way of boosting the base damage of the spell since it boots its level. Of course socketing Empower is a must.

-Essence Worm is another mandatory part of our gear. It is the perfect place to put your Petrified Blood skill.

-Crown of the Tyrant gives our character another big chunk of up to 175 Life, and weakening nearby enemies with additional -10 to their resistances. It also gives a slight bonus of added damage.

-Double Impresence with Despair and Punishment is best in slot.

Rares:

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Rare items are planned to boost our Life and help with resistances.

The Skill:

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Dark Pact is a skill preferred by few people due to its mechanics and interactions. Most of the builds with it are using Skeletons for safer encounters. But using skeletons is a bit boring and requires at least two casts if you are to eventually clear your screen. This bothered me too much and I went around the self-cast version.
The skills does a mediocre base damage + additional damage based on the Life of the 'sacrificed' unit - whether that's your skeleton or your character. If using skeletons, it would chain so that it explodes from several skeleton units. The good thing about the self-cast is that your hits will do a lot more damage if you're using your own Life. Further increasing the gem level with the unique armour proved a very good idea.


Links explanation:

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Helmet: Currently empty. You can put any gem there. Must be a white socket so that you can benefit from the added Chaos damage.

Gloves and Boots: We socket our Curses, making them auras. Feel free to use Empower since it won't increase the Reservation - it's set to 0 because of the amulet. We only need one 4L for the Curse auras so unless you find Gloves with # to level of socketed AoE/Aura gems, etc, it won't matter where you put the Curse auras...

Armour: We put our Dark Pact setup here. It's a crit build so we use both crit gems for chance and multiplier, along with the Empower, Void Manipulation and Power Charge on crit. The Power Charge on crit can be exchanged for an Awakened Added Chaos damage - it will be a great damage boost but only if you find another good way of generating power charges. Please note that the ascendancy (which we obtain from the Forbidden Jewels) Forbidden Power uses mana to generate power charges and we spend 0 mana since we don't use and don't have any.

Additional links:
-You can put one or two defensive setups in the rest of the items...
For example Frost Wall + CWDT or change the Steelskin with Enduring Cry and then use the defense setup of CWDT + a guard skill (Immortal Call or Steelskin);
-Vaal Righteous Fire supported by Increased duration for some additional Spell damage on burst for bosses. Definitely not mandatory but it will help with around 20% more dmg for approximately 7 seconds on use.

5 Keystones:

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-Blood Magic: Big boost to our Life. We acquire this from the Skin of the Lords. Generally, it does not matter if it makes our skills reserve Life instead of Mana since the only thing we have with reservation is socketed in the Essence Worm;

-Iron Will: Provides additional Spell damage;

-Pain Attunement: Petrified blood makes sure that we don't Recharge more than 50% Life so we benefit from this keystone all the time;

-Eternal Youth: This keystone works in great synergy with the Dissolution of the Flesh jewel.

-Inner Conviction: We get this through the Militant Faith jewel on the Hex Master keystone.


Masteries:

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+50 to maximum Life

+25% crit multiplier against Unique enemies

+3 to level of all Critical support gems

10% more damage to enemies that have Energy shield


Gameplay:

Leveling:

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The easiest way to level with this build is with Blight, Soulrend, Bane.
After completing the campaign you can adjust your gear to make it work. The skill allows you to play efficiently at lower levels or you can play it on skeletons if you find it satisfying enough.

Mapping:

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Nothing special - just running around spamming the skill. Your best friend is doing damage. Your Profane Bloom will help a lot with the clearing. Level up to get more and more passives on the tree, as well as benefit from all the dmg/defense penalties for monsters.


Budget:

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Weapons: Any roll Void battery is around 15c - can get to 1~3 divines with nearly perfect rolls;

Helmet: Around 1~2 divines - depending on the Life roll. Finding one with additional Power charge or % Life corrupted implicit will be very expensive;

Armour: Skin of the Lords has proved very expensive this league (3.21) but fortunately for us, the Blood Magic variations are the cheapest ones for 1d or so.

Boots and Gloves: Get them with as much Life as possible. Avoid getting synthesized Gloves since we need to put useful Eldritch implicits on them.
Both Boots and Gloves I have were around 3~4 divine orbs each;

Belt: Usually cheap - around 2 divines for a very good Leather or Stygian. You can get a high-end Stygian with % life and flat Life + resists for around 8~12 divines;

Amulet: Double Impresence with Despair + Punishment is around 5~12 divines. You can start with a normal Impresence for 40c;

Rings:
-Essence Worm does not roll any mods and is literally 1c. Just change the socket to Red for the Petrified Blood;
-The rare ring helps with more Life and resistances. A good ring is around 1 divine;

Jewels:

-Watcher's Eye: We do not use any. We do not have auras;

-Forbidden Jewels: with Forbidden Power - approximately 5 divines for both jewels.

-Dissolution of the Flesh with maximum Life roll is around 1 divine;

-Rational Doctrine was very expensive last league - around 20 divines. Fortunately, in Crucible it's around 5-6 divines. The jewel is not mandatory but has interesting interactions that will boost your damage/crit;

-The Cluster jewels are around 2 divine orbs each;

-The rare jewels should have maximum Life in any form (flat or %) and you most likely will have to get some with resistances to fix them up. Price may vary between 5c and 1d...;

Skill and Support Gems: We do not need many gems. Most expensive are Empower L4 as well as the 21/20 gems and any Awakened gems.
Total budget on gems can vary between 1d and 10d.

OVERALL BUDGET: between 15 and 50 divine orbs.

Pros and Cons:

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Good:
-Simple gameplay;
-Low-to-medium budget;
-Really good damage;
-Does not require specific items that are expensive;
-Maps with Reflect don't matter;
-Maps with no Life regen or reduced Aura effect don't matter;
-Unique.

Bad:
-Takes time to get skilled even though it seems easy af;
-Scaling up Life/Damage can get expensive;
-Not a build for Hardcore.

Videos, Screenshots and Links:

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Videos:

Screenshots:

Links:

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PoB: https://pobb.in/AsAE3OWX2dCi (Full tree at lvl 100)


Ideas and Alternative options:

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-This is a variation of my previous build for Blood Sacrament: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3323266. Unfortunately, it is hardly possible to achieve a comfortable gameplay with the Blood Sacrament although it is still 100% viable, just with reduced damage due to Reservation issues;

-Getting more evasion through gear or other sources would help you for the Life recharge since evading damage will make sure the recharge delay is efficient;

-You can use Rathpith's Globe instead of one of the Void Batteries to help you with critical chance scaling but it will sacrifice an additional 10% of your life on top of the 9% that you sacrifice already - and this is for each cast. Definitely not recommended, especially for boss fights;

-Since the Dark Pact is also considered a Nova spell, the unique ring Astral Projector allows you to cast it from distance making your build safer to play this way but you're losing the potential of having bonus Life on that ring slot.

P.S. This post will be updated every now and then.

Last edited by fostaa on Oct 8, 2023, 2:53:10 PM

Last bumped on Oct 4, 2023, 9:43:35 PM

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (2)

Posted by
fostaa
on May 8, 2023, 2:16:38 PM

Quote this Post

rational doctrine is such a busted item tbh, especially for chaos hit builds, glad to see more people are using it. I've always thought that dissolution dp is significantly weaker than skeleton dp though, because you lose the 500% more damage multiplier from chain, except it feels smoother to map with.

side note, some of your gear appears to be missing skill gems

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (3)

Posted by
auspexa
on Jun 17, 2023, 3:42:26 PM

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (4)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (5)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (6)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (7)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (8)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (9)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (10)

Quote this Post

"

auspexa wrote:

rational doctrine is such a busted item tbh, especially for chaos hit builds, glad to see more people are using it. I've always thought that dissolution dp is significantly weaker than skeleton dp though, because you lose the 500% more damage multiplier from chain, except it feels smoother to map with.

side note, some of your gear appears to be missing skill gems

Investment into Minion life and life regen is too damn high and it's not worth it. Especially not for a smooth build. The "more damage if using your own life" is not just a compensation.
P.S. I don't really have any gems in the gloves. I just haven't come up with any idea for a sufficient defensive setup.

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (11)

Posted by
fostaa
on Jun 18, 2023, 8:12:01 AM

Quote this Post

"

fostaa wrote:

"

auspexa wrote:

rational doctrine is such a busted item tbh, especially for chaos hit builds, glad to see more people are using it. I've always thought that dissolution dp is significantly weaker than skeleton dp though, because you lose the 500% more damage multiplier from chain, except it feels smoother to map with.

side note, some of your gear appears to be missing skill gems

Investment into Minion life and life regen is too damn high and it's not worth it. Especially not for a smooth build. The "more damage if using your own life" is not just a compensation.
P.S. I don't really have any gems in the gloves. I just haven't come up with any idea for a sufficient defensive setup.

personally recovery has never been a problem for me, I have a good amount of regen and overleech. the mid budget skelly version can reach about 100 mil pinnacle dps and be quite tanky at the same time, there's not really much investment besides a bunch of passive points and a 4L.

but yeah, it's not as smooth as the self-hp version, though I've yet to see a self-hp version that can do 100% delirious and simulacrum deathless. would love to try if someone can manage to create it

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (12)

Posted by
auspexa
on Jun 18, 2023, 1:42:06 PM

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (13)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (14)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (15)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (16)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (17)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (18)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (19)

Quote this Post

I've been playing auspexa's build. Agree that skelly build is cheaper to build than self target e.g. you get more dps for same budget.
I think the self target with dissolution is probably tankier ( see goofy goober YouTube) but with lower dps.

I wonder if self target assassin would be better, and aim for suppression.

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (20)

Posted by
kokodai
on Jun 24, 2023, 12:51:20 AM

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (21)

Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (22)

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Witch - ★🩸 Dark Pact Occultist 🩸★ - Forum - Path of Exile (2024)

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