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Black Zenith Winter Orb Occultist Build

Black Zenith Winter Orb Occultist Build

Winter Orb build that uses Black Zenith Gloves to boost its DPS with a little trick to not fall into its high Cooldown

Black Zenith Winter Orb
Occultist Build

Updated for Patch 3.22

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Guide notes
September 27, 2022
-Build created
Build Overview



Boss DPS:



Winter Orb is not a popular Skill as it requires you to constantly stop and Channel it to keep your damage up. Black Zenith Gloves are rarely seen too, as they introduce Cooldown on the Socketed Skill setup. You can, however, combine these two items to create a decent build with auto-aim. By socketing a Channeling Projectile Spell Skill in these Gloves, the cooldown will not apply as long as you keep Channeling it. It would make you stand still in one place, so that's why you will need the Cast While Channelling Support Gem linked to a mobility Skill that in our case is Lightning Warp. The damage of Winter Orb, despite being Supported by basically one Gem, will still deal tons of damage because Black Zenith provides it with 150% more Damage and 4 more overlapping Projectiles. You can also Corrupt these Gloves - with a lucky outcome, these can increase the Gem Level of Winter Orb by 4. We have selected Occultist due to the extra Power Charge and AoE with Forbidden Power, Cold Resistance Reduction with Void Beacon, more Cold Damage, Freeze Immunity, and Damage reduction with Frigid Wake, and Vile Bastion to prevent Stuns and to never run out of ES, which plays the role of Mana in this build. All of these are very important.

Winter Orb can Shotgun enemies with its Projectiles, as these are in normal conditions fired in a sequence, not all at once, as is the case here. We mentioned Lightning Warp - a mobility Skill that teleports you but keeps you Stationary while doing so. We can expand on this Stationary mechanics with Ralakesh's Impatience Boots to have all the charges always up. This is followed by Malachai's Loop for more Maximum Power Charges, Tulfall Wand to take advantage of added Cold Damage with no downside, and Badge of the Brotherhood with Inner Conviction to benefit from Power Charges, which we can get up to 11 of. We use other Unique items too, leaving us only with a Ring and Belt that are of Rare Quality. The build is fast after allocating the Window of Opportunity, and it also has high damage. The defenses of this build are not particularly high - it mostly relies on Evasion, reducing enemies' Accuracy, Spell Suppression, low Block Chance, Frigid Wake, and Freezing your opponents. Physical Damage mitigation can be gained from the Soul of Tukohama and a bit of Armour sourced from gear.

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1. Gameplay

Channel the Winter Orb, it will automatically seek enemies and cast Lightning Warp wherever your cursor is. While Channelling this Skill, you can use two other Skills, they won't interrupt your Channelling. These are Frostblink - which you can use when Winter Orb is on Cooldown, and Vortex - which is to be used to apply Curses and Bonechill. Other Curses and a Guard Spell will be Cast automatically with the CwDT setup. For Auras use Grace, Hatred, Herald of Ice, and Dread Banner linked to Generosity Support. One of your Auras, Zealotry, is a Blessing Aura that you can afford due to Eldritch Battery.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • it uses a lot of unique items, most of which are affordable
  • has quite a good damage and clear speed
  • plays like an Autobomber build, there are very few buttons to press
  • relies mostly on Evasion and Suppression with almost no Armour
  • limited upgrade options


3. Leveling tips

As this build requires a very specific set of items to work, you will have to use a completely different build to level up. We suggest our Witch Leveling Guide using Cold DoT. Follow it up until you're level 80 or so. You need a developed Passive Skill Tree and all four Ascendancy passives to attempt this build.


you should kill all three Bandits for two additional Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

29 Points Skill Tree
Start with Runebinder, Brand Damage, Cold Damage, and Maximum Life.

77 Points Skill Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Reservation Efficiency, Cold/Brand Damage, and start going to the right, it's where you will spend most of your Points. It's also where Dexterity is, which you will need.


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

118 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
118 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Void Beacon
  2. Frigid Wake
  3. Vile Bastion
  4. Forbidden Power


Major God: Soul of Arakaali: 10% reduced Damage taken from Damage Over Time

Minor God: Soul of Tukohama: 3% additional Physical Damage Reduction per second you've been stationary, up to a maximum of 9%


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Winter Orbs setup
socketed in Black Zenith
Winter Orb Winter Orb - Winter Orb, when socketed in Balck Zenith will behave differently - it will Fire its Projectiles all at once in all directions. It allows you to deliver damage faster as the Projectiles can shotgun a single enemy. It has a 4-second Cooldown, but it only applies if you stop Channeling, you can keep Channeling it indefinitely and it will never apply.
Lightning Warp Lightning Warp - When linked to CwC it bypasses its Cast Time, making it a relatively fast movement ability. Using it won't render you non-stationary, which is crucial for this build. You can use the Phantasmal one for even less Duration.
Cast While Channelling Cast While Channelling Support - As you Channel Winter Orb, you will also cast Lightning Warp with high frequency. It allows you to move around while also being Stationary. Get the Awakened version if you can.
Power Charge on Critical Power Charge on Critical Support - It grants you 4% more Damage per Power Charge, and 20% increased Crit Chance.
[UTILITY] Hexes setup
Vortex Vortex - With this Skill you will apply Curses and Bonechill, which will cause your opponent to take increased damage. The best part is, it's an instant Cast Skill and you won't have to stop Channeling Winter Orb to Cast it.
Hextouch Support Hextouch Support - It will apply linked Hexes on Hit.
Frostbite Frostbite - Frostbite lowers the Cold Resistance of your enemies.
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - It lowers all Elemental Resistances of your enemies, including Cold Damage.
Punishment Punishment - Enemies that are on Low Life, which is less than 50% of their Maximum Life, will take increased damage.
Bonechill Bonechill Support - Vortex applies Chill to enemies so that they will take increased Cold Damage.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Grace Grace - Grace adds and increases your Evasion Rating making you more likely to avoid Attack Hit Damage. In this build, it's better than Determination because of Dread Banner and Enfeeble.
Hatred Hatred - Hatred, in this build, grants you more Cold Damage.
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - Adds Cold Damage to Attack and Spells while Shattering Frozen enemies, enhancing your clear speed.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Linked Skills Reserve less Mana.
[UTILITY] Zealotry setup
Zealotry Zealotry - Zealoty increases your Spell Crit Chance and grants you more Spell Damage. You will also create Consecrated Grounds during boss fights.
Divine Blessing Divine Blessing Support - Zealotry is a temporary Aura that won't reserve Mana but has a high Mana Cost. You can afford it with Eldritch Battery.
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Zealotry has a lower Mana Cost.
[UTILITY] CwDT setup
Steelskin Steelskin - Steelskin is a Guard Spell that stops Bleeding and absorbs a portion of incoming damage. You should use Immortal Call Immortal Call instead if you have other ways to stop Bleeding since you have three Endurance Charges at all times.
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - A Mark that causes your target to be more likely to receive a Critical Strike that will have an increased Crit Multiplier.
Enfeeble Enfeeble - Lowers Damage and reduces the Accuracy Rating of affected enemies.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Linked Skills will be cast automatically after taking a certain amount of damage.
[UTILITY] Dread Banner setup
Dread Banner Dread Banner - It is used only to lessen the Accuracy Rating of nearby enemies. It's less, not reduced, which scales well with Enfeeble or Grace.
Generosity Generosity Support - You don't need any other bonuses from Dread Banner other than the one mentioned already, so you might as well just increase this effect by up to 45%.
[MOBILITY] Frostblink
Frostblink Frostblink - It's another instant Skill that you can use to move around when Winter Orb is on Cooldown. It will keep you Stationary.

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6. Gear Setup

The build uses a lot of Unique items. Some of them are mandatory, others simply overshadow any other possible option and it would be foolish not to take them. Because of this rigid gear setup, it may feel like there is no room to improve this build further, but to our benefit, there are a lot of Corrupted Implicit mods that you can use on your cheap items. Rare Ring and Belt should give you no Maximum Life at all. Instead, seek Resistances, mostly Lightning Resistance, and Attributes, mostly Strength. You can obtain two Extra Maximum Power Charges from the Skill Tree, one with Anointment, two from a Unique Shield, one from Forbidden Power passive, one from a Helmet Corruption, and the last one can be gained from a Synthesised Rare Ring. That's 11 in total. There are also expensive Tattoos that you may want to include for more Projectiles.

Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Elemental Resistances
  2. Gem Level of Winter Orb
  3. Strength
  4. Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  5. increased or added Elemental, Physical, or Cold Damage with Spells
  6. Critical Strike Multiplier
  7. Critical Strike Chance
  8. Cold Penetration
  9. Chaos Resistance
  10. Power Charge-related modifiers
  11. increased Area of Effect and Area Damage
  12. reduced Skill Effect Duration
  13. Spell Suppression Chance
  14. Armour
  15. Evasion
Eye of Malice(Helmet) Eye of Malice - With Frostbite, Elemental Weakness, Void Beacon, and Exposure you can reduce the Resistances of your enemies by a lot, and with the Eye of Malice's mod that increases their Resistances by 50%, these will be further lowered instead if that's already a negative value, which it is. It applies Exposure and grants some Fire and Cold Resistances. You can also Corrupt it for a chance of getting +1 to Maximum Power Charges.
(400-500)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(20-40)% to Fire Resistance
+(20-40)% to Cold Resistance
25% chance to inflict Cold Exposure on Hit
25% chance to inflict Fire Exposure on Hit
Nearby Enemies have 50% increased Fire and Cold Resistances
Helmet enchantments:
Winter Orb enchantment
Tulfall(Weapon) Tulfall - It adds a lot of Cold Damage to Spells and increases Cast Speed, which has an impact on Eye of Winter. You cannot lose Power Charges so the downside does not apply. You can Corrupt it for up to 10% Elemental Penetration which would be the best outcome.
Adds (14-29) to (42-47) Cold Damage to Spells and Attacks
(10-20)% increased Cast Speed
Gain a Power Charge on Killing a Frozen Enemy
Adds 50 to 70 Cold Damage to Spells per Power Charge
Lose all Power Charges on reaching Maximum Power Charges
Gain a Frenzy Charge on reaching Maximum Power Charges
Malachai's Loop(Off-Hand) Malachai's Loop - The most important modifier is the one that grants you +2 to Maximum Power Charges and increases your damage per Power Charge. Normally you would constantly lose a lot of Power Charges to balance out this powerful addition, but in our case, this downside does not apply.
(10-15)% increased Spell Damage
(210-250)% increased Energy Shield
+2 to Maximum Power Charges
20% chance to gain a Power Charge on Hit
(12-16)% increased Spell Damage per Power Charge
Lose all Power Charges on reaching Maximum Power Charges
Shocks you when you reach Maximum Power Charges
Utula's Hunger(Body Armour) Utula's Hunger - We have used a lot of Uniques with no Life Modifiers already, so you only need a Belt and a Ring with no such modifiers to benefit from up to a 1000 flat Maximum Life from Utula's Hunger. Having 5 blue sockets here is very difficult if relying on Chromatic Orbs - try Corrupting it or using Vorici's Research table.
(60-100)% increased Armour
Recover (1-3)% of Life on Kill
(30-40)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
+(700-1000) to maximum Life if there are no Life Modifiers on other Equipped Items
Ralakesh's Impatience(Boots) Ralakesh's Impatience - It fixes all your Charges to always be at their highest possible count. It's a core element of the build as you will not lose or gain Charges anymore.
+(15-25)% to Cold Resistance
+(15-25)% to Chaos Resistance
30% increased Movement Speed
Lose all Frenzy, Endurance, and Power Charges when you Move
Minimum Endurance Charges equal to Maximum while stationary
Minimum Frenzy Charges equal to Maximum while stationary
Minimum Power Charges equal to Maximum while stationary
Black Zenith(Gloves) Black Zenith - It is where you will socket your Winter Orb setup. These Gloves are designed for a very powerful Projectile Spell setup that you can cast only once every 4 seconds, but in our case, the Spell is a Channelling one, and you can continue Casting it indefinitely if it's uninterrupted. Winter Orb is the only Channelling Projectile Spell Skill in the game so it's the only option to exploit this feature. You can Corrupt them for modifiers like extra Level to socketed Duration, AoE, or Projectile Gems, extra Crit Chance, and some Hex on Hit, such as Temporal Chains.
(12-16)% increased Spell Damage
Socketed Projectile Spells deal 150% more Damage with Hits
Socketed Projectile Spells have +4 seconds to Cooldown
Socketed Projectile Spells fire 4 additional Projectiles
Socketed Projectile Spells fire Projectiles in a circle
Socketed Projectile Spells have 80% less Skill Effect Duration
(140-180)% increased Energy Shield
Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Find a Stygian Vise with no Life mod on it, but a lot of missing Resistances and Strength instead. Lightning Resistance is the most valued type of Resistances as other Uniques grant you none of it.
Min. requirements:
+80% to Elemental Resistances
50 Strength
Optional affixes:
various Flask modifiers
Darkness Enthroned(Amulet) Darkness Enthroned  - It's probably a better choice for a Belt if you have a pair of good Abyss Jewels. You can socket such Jewels with extra Maximum Life on them here, the Utula's Hunger will still grant you the Life bonus.
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
(50-100)% increased Effect of Socketed Abyss Jewels
Badge of the Brotherhood(Amulet) Badge of the Brotherhood  - This Amulet extends your Maximum Frenzy Charges limit from 3 to up to 11. That gives you a lot of Cast Speed and more Damage. It's by far the best Amulet.
+(16-24) to Dexterity and Intelligence
(7-10)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills per Frenzy Charge
(7-10)% increased Effect of Elusive on you per Power Charge
(20-25)% chance to lose a Frenzy Charge when you use a Travel Skill
(20-25)% chance to lose a Power Charge when you gain Elusive
Your Maximum Frenzy Charges is equal to your Maximum Power Charges
Recommended Anointments:
Anathema(Ring) Anathema - You're stacking a lot of Power Charges, and you can benefit from a lot of Curses, so this Ring makes a lot of sense. It extends your Maximum Curse Limit to be equal to that of your Power Charges, granting you some Cast Speed at that.
+(15-25) to maximum Energy Shield
+(30-40) to Intelligence
(10-15)% increased Cast Speed
(10-20)% chance to gain a Power Charge when you Cast a Curse Spell
Your Curse Limit is equal to your maximum Power Charges
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - One Rare Ring will be used to fix your Attributes and Resistances. All you need are Suffixes and one open Prefix to Craft Mana Cost Reduction, so you should consider wearing the Cogwork Ring, as it hosts 4 Suffixes and 2 Prefixes. Remember you don't want the Maximum Life mod.
Min. requirements:
50 Strength
Channelling Skills have -# to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+1 to Maximum Power Charges (Synthesised Implicit)
added Cold Damage per Frenzy Charge
Chaos Resistance
Rare Jewels(Jewel) Rare Jewels - You won't use a lot of these Jewels - one or three at most. These should give you Maximum Life, Attributes, and Resistances that you lack. For Damage, seek Critical-adjacent mods, added Damage to Spells, or increased Cast Speed. These can be found on Hypnotic Eye Abyss Jewels, and socketed in your Belt.
Recommended affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Elemental Resistances
Maximum Life
Critical Strike modifiers
increased Cast Speed if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Added Spell Cold Damage
Militant Faith(Jewel) Militant Faith - You want to turn your Hex Master into an Inner Conviction Keystone with a Dominus-flavored Militant Faith. The downside does not apply, it simply gives you 30% more Damage, it's like a Pain Attunement.
Carved to glorify (2000-10000) new faithful converted by High Templar Dominus
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Templars
<two random mods of devotion>
Warrior's Tale(Jewel) Warrior's Tale - It can be socketed near Infused to enhance nearby Tattoos. The Tattoo worth improving is the Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga which grants you an extra Projectile, two with this Jewel. You can make it four with two Tattoos, some more Skill Points spent, and by putting this Jewel near Perfect Agony.
100% increased effect of Tattoos in Radius
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Your Auras are Grace and Hatred. Gace can get you some defensive mods, while Hatred can be used for more DPS - most Hatred mods are excellent.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - Dying Sun adds extra Projectiles to your Skills, increases AoE, and makes you take less Fire Damage. It's by far the best Unique Flask for this build.
+50% to Fire Resistance
20% less Fire Damage taken
(125-150)% increased Charges per use
(60-40)% less Duration
(10-20)% increased Area of Effect during Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Effect
Rotgut(Flask) Rotgut - Rotgut gives you a long-lasting (around 30 seconds) Onslaught. It will consume your Frenzy Charges, but you won't lose them. It can be replaced with a regular Silver Flask with a Suffix for the reduced effect of Curses on you.
40% increased Movement Speed
50% chance to gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike
(30-50)% increased Duration
Consumes Frenzy Charges on use
Gain Onslaught for 3 seconds per Frenzy Charge on use

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Jade Flask with an increased Critical Strike Chance
  2. Diamond Flask with increased Cast Speed
  3. Life Flask with instant Life Recovery and Bleed immunity
  4. Silver Flask with Reduced Effect of Curses on you (by at least 50%, combined with Consecrated Ground from Zealotry it's 100%)
Dying SunRotgutDiamond FlaskLife FlaskJade Flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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