Games Marketplace - Odealo
0.00 25 (Click on the icon to view details)


Caustic Arrow/Death Aura Occultist Build

Caustic Arrow/Death Aura Occultist Build

Occultist build that specializes in dealing Chaos Damage over time with Death Aura and Caustic Arrow

Caustic Arrow/Death Aura
Occultist build

Updated for Patch 3.18

The Best Crafty Guides by Odealo

Guide notes
August 19, 2021
-Build created
March 31, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
May 31, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.18
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Caustic Arrow and Death Aura from Death's Oath Unique Armour are some of the best Chaos DoT skills in the game. Death Aura is a skill very similar to Righteous Fire, it creates a damaging field around your character that deals DoT to surrounding enemies. It makes you take quite Chaos Damage as you kill enemies, so naturally, you will need to heavily invest in Chaos Resistance. The simple way is to take Chaos Inoculation, but it's really inefficient. The more common approach is to accumulate a lot of Chaos Resistance and Maximum Chaos Resistance from items and Skill Tree. Your Final Chaos Resistance should be between 80% and 90%, making you practically immune to it. With such investment in Chaos Resistance and Chaos Damage over Time, the best option for the Active Skill is Caustic Arrow. Normally it will be used against bosses and other, more powerful enemies.

It's a Life build with a high Chance to Suppress Spell Damage. Your life can in the later stage of the game reach 5k with a lot of Armour. Withering Step, Curses, Cluster Jewels, and high Chaos Resistance provide you with a lot of survivability. Occultist Ascendancy is undoubtedly the most preferable, Void Beacon and Withering Presence are practically made for this build, Profane Bloom will immensely help will clearing maps, and combined with Meladiction, your Curses will have a devastating effect. If you played Toxic Rain or a similar build previously you will have no problems getting used to this one, you can even re-use a lot of items, especially Cluster Jewels which are really important. The most important offensive stats are Chaos Damage over Time, while for survivability look for Maximum Chaos Resistance and Maximum Life.

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds right over here Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List


1. Gameplay

The gameplay consists mostly of running into a pack of monsters and killing them instantly via Death Aura combined with Profane Bloom which causes an explosive chain reaction. Caustic Arrow is a secondary Attack, reserved for dealing with tougher opponents. Whitening Step is one of the mandatory Skills as well - it not only grants Phasing and Elusiveness but also applies a few stacks of a debuff that makes opponents take more Chaos Damage. Dash or Flame Dash are used as a mobility skill to quickly dodge attacks. All the Curses will be cast as Auras via Blasphemy Support making it really smooth to play build.

Odealo is a secure trading platform for MMO gamers. Here you can buy, sell, and trade PoE Currency for real cash.


2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • good Single-Target Damage 
  • great Clear Speed
  • high Armour with a decent Life Pool
  • Death's Oath does not require linking
  • Very few buttons to press
  • Can get Expensive later in the game


3. Leveling tips

We recommend equipping Hidden Potential Unique Jewel and exploiting its early-game potential a bit, just two Magic items are good enough to make it worth allocating. Use Magic items with one or two useful mods such as Maximum Life or Chaos Damage, but be mindful that some unique items could be useful too. Leveling might be tricky since you obviously can't use Death's Oath until you start mapping. Combine Spellslinger Support with a Chaos DoT Spell such as Bane, Despair, and Efficacy. Invest your Passive Skill Points in Maximum Life and Chaos Damage or Damage over Time. Switch to Caustic Arrow and Death Aura only after your Chaos Resistance is around 80%.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Spellslinger setup
Bane Bane - one of the best Chaos DoT Spells, it has a unique property of applying linked Hex Curse without Hextouch Support
Despair Despair - the Curse that lowers Chaos Resistance of your Opponents 
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - increases your Spell Damage and Damage over time for linked Skills
Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support - It Reserves your Mana but allows you to cast Linked Spells with each Wand Attack, it's extremely Mana efficient
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - use Flame Dash or a regular Dash for better mobility
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - spend Life instead of Mana on your Flame Dash
Utility Gems
Malevolence Malevolence - the Aura that's going to be used in this build, it increases the DoT you're dealing


You should kill all the Bandits and take two more Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

30 Points Skill Tree
take Deep Wisdom and Arcanist's Dominion, go for The Jewel Socket put Hidden Potential there, go for Cruel Preparation, and Atrophy for Damage

69 Points Skill Tree
pick Growth and Decay, then allocate Wasting, Hunter's Gambit, and Herat of Darkness

Recommended leveling items:

GoldrimGoldrim - one of the richest in Elemental Resistances Helmet that's also cheap and available since level 1
+(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)
Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - grants high bonus Movement Speed and extra Mana Recovery mechanic, making it one of the best leveling boots in the game
+15 to Dexterity
+15 to Intelligence
(100-150)% increased Evasion Rating
15% increased Movement Speed
(5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
10% increased Movement Speed for you and nearby Allies
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - using Tabule with Spellslinger Support might be problematic due to Mana issues, it's still a good Body Armour nonetheless
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

100 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include two Cluster Jewels nor Glorious Vanity)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Void Beacon
  2. Withering presence
  3. Profane Bloom
  4. Malediction


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 Gruthkul 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Death Aura setup
these gems don't have to be linked - Death's Oath 
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - reduces your AoE, but in return increases the Death's Aura damage
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - your Damage over Time is now much deadlier 
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - Death Aura itself won't be able to give you Lifetap Buff but to fix that you should use Lifetap Support on another skill as well - a mobility Spell such as Dash is the best candidate since you're naturally using it to move all the time. The Lifetap Buff stays on and affects your Character, even if it comes from a source that's not linked to your Death Aura
Less Duration Support Less Duration Support - since Deat Aura has a Duration tag, you can use this Support Gem, it reduces the Duration but boosts the Damage, of course, the duration won't be reduced, the Aura stays on at all times no matter what. for greater Area of Effect, use Area of Effect Support increased Area of Effect Support instead.
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - it gives you more Damage over Time, which is exactly the statistics you rely on
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - increases your Chaos Damage and reduces Elemental Damage, it's fine since you don't deal any Elemental Damage
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Malevolence Malevolence - with Malevolnece as your Aura you will deal more Damage over Time
Determination Determination - one of the best defensives Auras, use for more and increased Armour
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - these minions will Chill and Shock enemies which is somewhat helpful
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the Mana Reservation cost of Malevolence
[UTILITY] Molten Shell
Molten Shell Molten Shell - a Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take from Hits for a short time
[UTILITY] Defiance Banner
Defiance Defiance Banner - As you have a lot of Amour, you can use this banner to increase the amount of it even more. It reduces critical strike chance for nearby enemies.
[UTILITY] Blasphemous Curses setup
Despair Despair - Cursed enemies have significantly lowered Chaos Resistance and take more Damage over Time
Enfeeble Enfeeble - nearby enemies deal less damage and have less Accuracy Rating, great for survivability
Punishment Punishment - with this Curse, enemies surrounding you will take more damage as they are low on life, also when hit they'll deal less damage and move slower
Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support - To activate all three Curses as Auras you will need not only Malediction but Whispers of Doom as well. Prioritize Despair, then Enfeeble, and leave Punishment as the final upgrade. Without enough Reduced Mana Reservation on your Skills just stick to two Curse/Auras possibly with Enlighten
[DPS] Caustic Arrow setup
Caustic Arrow Caustic Arrow - Caustic Arrow is an Attack that leaves a Caustic Ground upon landing, enemies hit by the Projectile take Chaos DoT as well
Empower Support Empower Support - Caustic Arrow scales really well with Gem Level, use Empower Support to increase it
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - use it to deal more Chaos Damage
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - Caustic Arrow deals more Damage on impact as a projectile, but the DoT effects of this Attack are increased as well
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - increases Damage over Time
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - reduces AoE and increases Area Damage
[Mobility] Dash and Withering Step setup
Dash Dash - Dash will be your main mobility Spell, it's overall great for Characters with no Cast Speed. Flame Dash is fine too, it's very similar.
Withering Step Withering Step - Grants Phasing and Elusive Buffs. Phasing allows you to move through enemies. The Skill additionally applies Withered Debuff on enemies
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - mandatory Support Gem to generate Lifetap Buff that's used in your Death Aura setup, it makes you spend Life instead of Mana on linked Skills, keep it at level 1

On Odealo dozens of sellers compete for your attention. Buying PoE Currency here guarantees the best prices, prompt delivery, and the best quality of service


5. Gear Setup

The build is similar to other Chaos DoT builds, except you put much more emphasis on Maximum Chaos Resistance - with Death's Oath you take really a lot of Chaos Damage. All the recommended unique items, except optional Jewels, are cheap. Your most expensive purchase will be probably a Rare Bow with few mandatory mods to increase your damage. 180 Strength are required to put on the Death's Oath, and 155 or more Dexterity depending on what Bow you're using. Look for Chaos Damage, Damage over Time, and of course Maximum Life.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Chaos Damage and Damage over Time
  4. Chaos Resistance and Maximum Chaos Resistance
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - If your choice is to wear a Rare Helmet, the reason for that should probably be Maximum Life, Resistances, and reduced Chaos Resistance for nearby enemies.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
reduced Reservation of Skills
Chaos Resistance
Viridi's Veil(Helmet) Viridi's Veil - With two Magic Rings you'll have greatly increased survivability, Rings offer a limited choice for useful mods anyway so you might consider it a valid choice, the Gem Level and Elemental Resistances are both useful affixes
+(1–2) to Level of Socketed Gems
(120–160)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(15–25)% to all Elemental Resistances
Damage of Enemies Hitting you is Unlucky while you have a Magic Ring Equipped
You are Hexproof if you have a Magic Ring in right slot
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes if you have a Magic Ring in left slot
Helmet enchantments:
Despair Curse Effect
Bow(Weapon) Rare Bow - A Hunter-influenced Rare Bow is the best option. Look for the obligatory +1 Level to Socketed Gems and as much Chaos Damage over Time as you can afford. You can also try crafting three mods (one for meta-crafting) if you're confident your remaining mods are good enough.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
60% increased Chaos Damage over Time
Optional affixes:
+#% to Damage over Time Multiplier
+2 to level of Socketed Support Gems
increased Damage over Time
Attacks with this Weapon Penetrate #% Chaos Resistance
Quiver(Weapon) Rare Quiver - look for a Quiver that's influenced by Hunter for it has a chance to increase your Maximum Chaos Resistance by 2%, other that you should seek Maximum Life, Elemental Resistance, and Damage over Time mods
Min. requirements:
60 to Maximum Life
30% Total Elemental Resistances
+2% to maximum Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
Death's Oath(Body Armour) Death's Oath - The core piece of equipment. It grants Elemental Resistances, Attributes, Maximum Life, and other stats, but the main reason for it is the Death Aura - it's an embedded skill that is activated as you equip the Armour and all the sockets are "connected" to it already, so you don't have to link it.
+(8-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
Grants Level 20 Death Aura Skill
+(40-50) to all Attributes
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
(180-220)% increased Armour
+(60-70) to maximum Life
1% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
You take 450 Chaos Damage per second for 3 seconds on Kill
Gore Footprints
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - movement Speed, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances are the most important mods, you don't have to worry about any other stats
Min. requirements:
25% Movement Speed
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Apothecary Gloves have useful implicit that increases your DoT, you should get a respectful amount of Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances here
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Damage over Time
Rare Belt (Belt) Rare Belt - Hunter's influence allows you to have even more Maximum Life and increased Chaos Damage, but it's also one of the best places to look for Elemental Resistances
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
increased Chaos Damage
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
maximum Life %
Impresence (Chaos)(Amulet) Impresence (Chaos) - one of the best Amulets - it grants a lot of DoT, Chaos Resistance, and Maximum Life, it reduces the cost of your Despair Curse-Aura and provides you with Maddening Presence - enemies near you deal less damage and move slower
+(10-16) to all Attributes
(30-40)% increased Damage over Time
Adds (17-19) to (23-29) Chaos Damage
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(17-23)% to Chaos Resistance
Despair has 100% reduced Mana Reservation if Cast as an Aura
Gain Maddening Presence for 10 seconds when you Kill a Rare or Unique Enemy
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - if you can invest in enough Mana Reservation Efficiency, allowing you to use all the Auras without Impresence, this is undoubtedly the best in the slot amulet for this setup; mainly due to the massive bonus to Despair effectiveness via the bonus Quality
+(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:
Ring(Ring) Rare or Magic Ring - Use Iolite base for Damage and Vermilion for more Maximum Life. If you have Viridi's Veil you'll be able to choose only two mods - we recommend it to be Maximum Life, Resistance to some Element, or a Crafted mod. Chaos Damage, Attributes, and reduced Mana Cost of Skills are the second most useful affixes to look for.
Min. requirements:
70 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Chaos Damage
Damage over Time Multiplier
+1 to Minimum Frenzy or Endurance Charges
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - getting 7% increased Maximum Life is probably the most important mod, you cal also try your luck by corrupting it - it's one of the few ways for a completely Corrupted Blood immunity
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
increased Chaos Damage
increased Area Damage
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - choose Xibaqua variant and transform your Keystone Pain Attunement into Divine Flesh - it grants you more Maximum Chaos Resistance, half of Elemental Resistance taken as Chaos Damage, and renders your ES useless. It's exceptionally good for builds with really high Chaos Resistances and little to no Energy Shield.
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of Xibaqua
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Transcendent Mind(Jewel) Transcendent Mind - put it near Instability Notable for the best effect, it will give you a lot of DPS and it's really worth investing in
-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
Hidden Potential(Jewel) Hidden Potential - If you're using Viridi's Veil and two of your Rings are Magic, not Rare, you can pick this Jewel for 50% increased Damage
(20-25)% increased Damage for each Magic Item Equipped
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - the only important mod is the one that grants your Malevolence increases Damage over Time Multiplier
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - if you want to Min-Max the build go for two Large Cluster Jewels with the 8 nodes and the Notables called Misery Everlasting, Unholy Grace, and Wicked Pall
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Misery Everlasting
1 Added Passive Skill is Unholy Grace
1 Added Passive Skill is Wicked Pall
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - to further upgrade this build take some more of these Cluster Jewels which increase your survivability and DoT
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Brush with Death
1 Added Passive Skill is Flow of Life
1 Added Passive Skill is Unwaveringly Evil (one is enough)
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewel - Born of Chaos is a Notable that increases your Maximum Chaos Resistance by 3%, needless to say, it's extremely powerful
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Born of Chaos
Forbidden Taste(Flask) Forbidden Taste - The downside of this Flask that regenerates all of your Life on use, grants you a Chance to Dodge Hits, and Phasing is negligible
6% chance to Dodge Attack Hits
6% chance to Dodge Spell Hits
Recover (75-100)% of Life on use
8% of Maximum Life taken as Chaos Damage per second

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Experimenter's Silver Flask of Stauching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Dousing (immunity to Ignite)
  3. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  4. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
Quicksilver FlaskSilver FlaskSulphur FlaskForbidden TasteLife Flask

Odealo is one of the biggest Path of Exile marketplaces. It allows regular players to buy, sell, and trade PoE Currency with the use of real cash. 


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

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.

Path of Exile Affliction League Marketplace