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Bane Occultist Starter Build

Bane Occultist Starter Build

One of the best Starter Builds with insane mana efficiency of Skills

Bane Essence Drain
Occultist Build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
October 27, 2021
-Build created
December 14, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.20
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Bane Occultist is a great league starter - it's cheap, doesn't require any expensive and specific items, is capable of dealing with the endgame content, and is easy to understand and play. It's a life-based Occultist build that deals mostly Chaos DoT through Bane and Essence Drain - Bane is a highly mana-efficient Spell, it inflicts linked Curses upon the enemy, and for each, the damage is increased by 40%, the Curses itself have their effects magnified. Occultist is an easy choice since you can apply an additional Curse via your Ascendancy, and it synergizes well with Chaos Damage. You can inflict extra Curse by taking Whispers of Doom from the Passive Skill Tree, and if your budget allows for it, the maximum number of Curses can be increased further from your gear. Essence Drain is used for bosses, and combined with Profane Bloom it provides smooth gameplay.

It's a Life build with a noticeable Energy Shield and Evasion Rating, your Chaos Resistance is very high, and due to the weapon you're using - a two-handed Staff, it has a high Block Chance too. Elemental Ailments avoidance and Armour play a small role in your defenses too. to increase your damage look for Chaos Damage and Damage over Time, your Bane linked with Curses will deal enough damage to carry you to the red maps with a mediocre build. Link your Bane with Curses such as Despair, Punishmen, Temporal Chains, or Enfeeble. Single Target Damage is great due to Vaal Blight and Wither Debuff stacking, and the curses themselves obviously help you immensely.

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1. Gameplay

Use Essence Drain and Bane to kill weaker enemies that come in great numbers, these will die rather easily and explode on death. Use Blight and Bane for more vital opponents - Bane Spell has a very low Mana Cost so you can use it rapidly to deal even more damage. Vaal Blight is a Spell to use on bosses - it slows them down, deals a lot of DoT, and Hinders enemies. For Auras use Malevolence, Clarity, and Arctic Armour. Use Flame Dash as a mobility Skill, and your Guard Spell could be Steelskin. 

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • great defenses, large ES Pool, high Chaos Resistance, Block Chance, and Evasion Rating
  • Excellent clear speed, thanks to Profane Bloom
  • the build is an excellent league starter
  • upgrading the build gets expensive really fast


3. Leveling tips

Before Act 3 you won't be able to use Bane, until then you should use a substitute Spell, it can be any Spell you're comfortable with, for example - Arc. Your initial Skill Tree won't consist of any specific nodes, just the plain Life, Spell Damage, and other such stats. Around Act 3 when you can choose Bane as a Quest Reward, start investing in Chaos Damage and Damage over Time. Use Essences such as Essence of Envy or an Essence that'd amplify your Elemental Damage. You can also use Vendor Recipes.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Frostbolt setup
Arc Arc - Lightning Spell that chains off of the enemies you hit, great for clearing the first three acts.
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - It grants you more Spell Damage, Mana Regeneration, and Cast Speed.
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - Adds Lightning Damage to your Hits, a really efficient Support Gem.
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - Increases Elemental Damage, Critical Strike Chance, and reduces Mana Cost of Skills.
Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - One of the best Movement Skills for casters.
Arcanis Brand setup
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - Increases your Lightning Damage and creates Lightning Storms.
Clarity Clarity - Use Clarity for faster Mana Regeneration.
Vitality Vitality - Vitality Regenerates Life each second.


Killing all three Bandits for two Passive Skill Points is the best option, but consider helping Alira for Mana Regen, Crit Multiplier, and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

25 Points Skill Tree
Pick up Maximum Life and some Spell Damage

61 Points Skill Tree
look for more Maximum Life, allocate Whispers of Doom, more Chaos Damage, and DoT


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - Ring to increase your Damage and Resistances.
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - Helmet to increase your Elemental Resistances substantially.
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - For cheap six, fully-linked, and white-colored sockets.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Doedre's DamningDoedre's Damning - A cheap Ring that allows you to apply an additional Curse.
+(20-30) to maximum Mana
+(5-10) to Intelligence
+5% to all Elemental Resistances
+5 Mana gained on Kill
You can apply an additional Curse
WindscreamWindscream - Another cheap piece of equipment to increase the maximum number of Curses.
(50-80)% increased Armour
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
50% increased Area of Effect of Hex Skills
20% increased Movement Speed
You can apply an additional Curse

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

111 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
119 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: Soul of the Brine King: You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Abberath: 60% less Duration of Ignite on You


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Bane setup
Bane Bane - Bane is a low-Cost Spell that applies all the linked Curses on opponents dealing increased Damage over Time for each Curse.
Despair Despair - A Curse that reduces Chaos Resistance.
Punishment Punishment - Cursed Enemies take much more Damage when low on Life, and Debilitates them as they Hit.
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - Lowers the Action Speed of opponents and increases the Curse Duration.
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - Increases Spell Damage at the cost of Crit Chance, DoT can't Crit anyway.
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - DoT deals more damage and lasts longer.
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Flame Dash is one of the best Mobility Skills, it allows you to quickly relocate.
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - Keep it at a level no higher than 6 so that you will gain Arcane Surge with a single use of Flame Dash.
Steelskin Steelskin - A Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take for a short while.
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - Stores an additional Charge for Flame Dash.
[UTILITY] Vaal Blight setup
Vaal Blight Vaal Blight - Used to Hinder bosses, reduce their Movement Speed, and deal Chaos DoT to them.
Withering Step Withering Step - Used mainly to apply Wither debuff on use.
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support -Increases Area of Effect for Blight.
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support -Linked Spells deal more Chaos Damage, but no Elemental Damage.
[UTILITY] Essence Drain setup
Essence Drain Essence Drain - A Projectile that deals Chaos Damage over Time and regenerates your Life based on the Damage you dealt.
Empower Empower Support - Increases the Level of Essence Drain to deal even more damage.
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - Less Duration for DoT, but the damage is increased.
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Clarity Clarity - Clarity regenerates your Mana at a faster rate.
Malevolence Malevolence - With Malevolence you can deal more Damage over Time with increased Skill Effect Duration.
Grace Grace - Pick Grace for more and increased Evasion Rating.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Linked Spells Reserve less Mana. You can alternatively use Determination Determination for more Armour.

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5. Gear Setup

For a weapon use Cane of Unraveling or Cane of Kulemak with better stats. The latter is obviously harder to find thus more expensive Staff, but it has a higher potential of being a direct upgrade compared to the former. On your Rare gear look for Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and to increase your Damage - Chaos Damage and Damage over Time. You can craft some affixes to lower your Mana Cost of non-channeling Skills if Essence Drain gets too expensive. You will need to find some Strength if you want to have Steelskin at the highest level.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS, Life, and ES to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Gem Level of Chaos Spell Skills
  4. Chaos Damage and Damage over Time
  5. Chaos Resistance
  6. Strength
  7. Spell Damage
  8. Mana Regeneration Rate and reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  9. Spell Suppression Chance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - A regular Helmet with high Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances is good enough for a start, later look for one that reduces nearby enemies' Chaos Resistance.
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
+60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Chaos Resistance
Evasion Rating
Spell Suppression Chance
Crown of the Inward Eye(Helmet) Crown of the Inward Eye - Crown of the Inward Eye is quite a popular choice for a helmet, that's because you should have a relatively lot of energy shield and mana which results in more damage, and it also increases your defenses like evasion and armour, energy shield, and life. all of it is useful in this build.
333% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(9-21)% increased maximum Life, Mana and Global Energy Shield
Transfiguration of Soul
Transfiguration of Body
Transfiguration of Mind
Helmet enchantments:
Bane or Essence Drain enchantments
Cane of Unravelling(Weapon) Cane of Unravelling - Cane of Unravelling is a cheap Staff that increases your Chaos Damage over Time, regenerates Mana, grants Power Charges, and most importantly, increases Level of all Chaos Spell Skill Gems.
+20% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
+(40-55)% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
(20-30)% increased Chaos Damage
2% increased Cast Speed per Power Charge
+2 to Level of all Chaos Spell Skill Gems
Gain a Power Charge after Spending a total of 200 Mana
Regenerate 2 Mana per Second per Power Charge
Cane of Kulemak(Weapon) Cane of Kulemak - An alternative to Cane of Unravelling. Before making a purchase, check if the Staff would be better compared to the one you already own. It has Three Veiled Mods, the ones to look for are: 
increased Chaos Damage, Chaos Skills have increased Skill Effect Duration, increased Spell Damage, Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier,  Damage over Time Multiplier.
+20% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
(60–90)% increased Unveiled Modifier magnitudes
Veiled Catarina's Prefix
Veiled Suffix
Veiled Prefix
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - There's nothing game-changing you can get there, just a lot of Maximum Life and other basic defensive stats. You could also get Hunter's Prefix for an additional Curse.
Min. requirements:
110 Maximum Life
+60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Energy Shield
Spell Suppression Chance
You can apply an additional Curse
increased Maximum Life and mana
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - An excellent option for a Body Armour; it's a cheap item with a lot of stats that would benefit your character greatly, but a good Rare Body Armour could outmatch it.
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
(40-50)% increased Area of Effect
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - A pair of Boots with high Elemental Resistances, Maximum Life, and Movement Speed should be sufficient.
Min. requirements:
+70% Total Elemental Resistances
60 Maximum Life
25% Increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Evasion Rating
Spell Suppression Chance
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - There are not many offensive affixes that could fit your needs, a pair of gloves with high Maximum Life and Resistances is all you need.
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
+80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
Spell Suppression Chance
Socketed Gems Deal more Damage over Time
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - A Belt that has a lot of Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances is fine, you can craft some additional mods such as increased Damage or additional Strength.
Min. requirements:
100 Maximum Life
+100% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
Maximum Mana
rare amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - As is the case with your other rare items, get as much Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances as you can, then you can focus on seeking Chaos Damage over Time and an increased Level of Skill Gems.
Min. requirements:
60 Maximum Life
+70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of All Chaos / Intelligence Skill Gems
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
increased Chaos Damage
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - Good for most builds, and this one is no exception. It's definitely too expensive, save it for the finishing touches.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
(5-10)% increased Experience Gain of Gems
(10-20)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
+(20-30)% to Quality of all Skill Gems
Recommended Anointments:
Heart of Darkness
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Get yourself a Ring with a lot of maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, and if you're struggling with Mana - craft a mod that would reduce the Mana Cost of Skills.
Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
+70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
increased Spell Damage
Evasion Rating
Energy Shield
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Look for Increased Maximum Life and the stats you lack, Attributes, or Resistances. If you need damage look for Spell or Chaos Damage, and Damage over Time.
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Chaos Damage
Damage over Time
Chaos Damage over Time
Spell Damage
Elemental Resistances
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence is the single best mod you can get on this rather expensive Jewel.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Transcendent Mind(Jewel) Transcendent Mind - Allocate it near Instability for more Damage over Time.
-1 Intelligence per 1 Intelligence on Allocated Passives in Radius
+3% to Damage over Time Multiplier per 10 Intelligence on Unallocated Passives in Radius
3% increased Mana Recovery Rate per 10 Intelligence on Allocated Passives in Radius
2% reduced Mana Recovery Rate per 10 Intelligence on Unallocated Passives in Radius
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - It's an optional addition to your build to increase your Damage, look for a Chaos Damage base with the notables listed here.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Wicked Pall
1 Added Passive Skill is Touch of Cruelty
1 Added Passive Skill is Unholy Grace
1 Added Passive Skill is Unwaveringly Evil
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - You can look for a base that would increase your Damage over Time.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Brush with Death
1 Added Passive Skill is Exposure Therapy
Small Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - Misery Everlasting increased Despair Curse Effect and the Duration of all Skills.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Misery Everlasting
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - Flask to grant you extra Armour and additional Chance to Block Spell and Attack Hits.
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Forbidden Taste(Flask) Forbidden Taste - If your Chaos Resistance is high enough, use this Flask for Life Recovery, Phasing, and a chance to Dodge Attack and Spell Hits.
+10% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Recover (75-100)% of Life on use
25% of Maximum Life taken as Chaos Damage per second

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Jade Flask with random ailment immunity
  2. Life Flask with random ailment immunity
  3. Quicksilver Flask with random ailment immunity
Forbidden TasteRumi's ConcoctionLife FlaskJade FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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