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


Poison Detonate Dead Occultist Build

Poison Detonate Dead Occultist Build

Detonate Dead Build for Occultist with full Chaos Conversion and ramping up Poison Damage

Detonate Dead
Occultist Build

Updated for Patch 3.18

The Best Crafty Guides by Odealo

Guide notes
July 04, 2022
-Build Created
July 07, 2022
-Added gameplay video
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Detonate Dead is a very popular Skill for any Witch's Ascendancy. We've already covered the Necromancer and Elementalist versions of it. The advantages of the Occultist Ascendancy are obvious at first glance as it's the class specializing in Chaos Damage, which you will deal. It uses an Anomalous version of Detonate Dead Skill Gem which converts Fire Damage to Chaos Damage, but the Quality has to be high - it takes around 33% Gem Quality to convert all of your Damage. To create Corpses - your ammunition - you will use Corpsewalker boots which create corpses with every step, and Cyclone, linked to the Cast-when-Channeling Detonate Dead. It results in a very smooth Melee-like playstyle. The Detonate Dead's damage scales up not only with the general Elemental Damage but also with Corpse's Maximum Life. You won't need to Summon Specters with a lot of maximum life as was the case with other Detonate Dead builds, the Hit Poison scaling is not efficient enough to justify sacrificing Gem Sockets. During boss fights, you will spawn tons of these Corpses, which will inflict Poison upon an enemy, which stacks up indefinitely. It's an important distinction, as other Classes use Detonate Dead to cause Ignite, not Poison. This is not the case in this build.

It's an Energy Shield build with Chaos Inoculation, meaning a complete Chaos Damage Immunity for the character. You will be able to reach around 6k of ES. Other defensive aspects of the build are high Armour Rating and capped Block Chance with Glancing Blows. With Purity of Elements, you're also completely immune to every Elemental Ailment. By using Aegis Aurora and Melding of the Flesh it's also possible to reach very high Maximum Elemental Resistances. Every Witch's Ascendancy has some good keystones for this build, you can borrow one of them via Forbidden Jewels - Necromancer's Corpse Pact is especially good. As for Occultist's Keystones, you will benefit from Void Beacon and Withering Presence for a massive Chaos Damage boost. Profane Bloom is the clear speed tool to make enemies explode on death, dealing Chaos Damage. With Malediction, you're able to apply an extra Curse and reduce damage taken. The build is very simple to play as it requires you only to Channel Cyclone, all the other Skills work passively or are automated. It's one of the more expensive builds to fully blossom, the Unique and Rare Items are very expensive.

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


1. Gameplay

The build uses Cyclone to cast Detonate Dead at a fast and consistent rate, Corpses are generated via Unique Boots at an equally steady frequency, so it all feels very smooth. Molten Shell should be the Guard Spell, and for a movement Spell you can use Flame Dash, but that's optional. There are a lot of Mana-reserving Spells, be sure you have a source of extra Mana Reservation Efficiency. These are Determination, Discipline, Purity of Elements, Malevolence, Herald of Agony, Tempest Shield, Defiance Banner, Clarity, and Aspect of the Spider. Curses can be applied via Ring's Affix or Hextouch with Reckoning as your Block Chance is 75%. One of the Curses must be Despair, the other one/ones you can choose are Punishment, Temporal Chains, and Enfeeble.


This video was recorded on a level 95 Occultist with 85% All Resistances, 60k Armour, and Mageblood equipped - making it one of the tankiest and most expensive builds we ever made. It was simply perfect for Wave 30 Simulacrum, and was able to take down most of the content - Uber Bosses takes quite some time though

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

  • Deals consistent and high damage
  • great defenses, can be molded to accommodate many defensive mechanics
  • very good clear speed thanks to the Profane Bloom
  • very expensive


3. Leveling tips

Definitely start as a Life build with Chaos Damage Spell. For boss fights we recommend Blight - it's a DoT type Skill so it shares a lot of properties with your final form. For clearing use the combination of Contagion and Essence Drain. Ashes of the Stars require level 60, before that be sure you have Corpsewalker. It's the bare minimum for the build to work properly. At level 70 have ready Incandescent Heart with preferably six links. If you don't have the unique Amulet yet, the budget option is to equip Blackflame Ring and use regular Detonate Dead. Just be aware that this is no longer a Fire to Chaos conversion - it works only for Ignites and it's technically very different and you will not cause Ignites at all in the final form. Switch to Energy Shield and Chaos Inoculation after accumulating enough Energy Shield. It's a build that requires entering a pack of enemies first, so it might be late into the game before that switch happens. At first focuses on Maximum Life, Chaos Damage, and Damage over Time, to later implement Mana Reservation Efficiency, Armour, Block Chance, Energy Shield, and Chaos Resistance Penetration. Large Cluster Jewels can be socketed at level 54 and you should do so as these are very good even early on.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Blight setup
Blight Blight - Channeling Chaos DoT Spell which quickly ramping up damage. Use the Vaal version if you have one.
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - less Area of Effect but much more Spell Damage, it's a good deal
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - Efficacy increases Damage over Time and Skill Effect Duration
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - more Chaos Damage at a cost of the inability to deal Elemental Damage
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - less Skill Effect Duration, but more Damage over Time
Contagion setup
Contagion Contagion - applies a debuff dealing Chaos Damage, if enemy dies while affected, the debuff spreads to other nearby opponents
Increased Area of Effect Effect Increased Area of Effect Effect Support - increases Area of Effect so it will affect more enemies and have a better spreading potential
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - grants Aracne Surge for more Spell Damage and increased mana Regeneration Rate
Essence Drain setup
Essence Drain Essence Drain - Essence Drain deals Chaos Damage over Time and heals your character. It spreads alongside Contagion, use on enemies affected by Contagion.
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - inability to deal Critical Strike, but more Spell Damage, modifiers to Spell Damage apply to this skill's DoT which is another unique property of Essence Drain
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support
various gems
Despair Despair - the Curse that significantly lowers and causes them to take increased Damage over Time
Malevolence Malevolence - An Aura for you to use to deal increased Damage over Time
Flame Dash Flame Dash - a simple mobility Skills


Kill all three bandits for two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

28 Points Passive Tree
Take more Maximum Life, Chaos Damage, and Damage over Time

57 Points Passive Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Sovereignty Cluster, and the Large Jewel Sockets for Cluster Jewels


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - grants more Damage, Attributes, and Elemental Resistances, all useful
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 which grants you tons of Elemental Resistances
+(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 - allows you to six-link a setup from the start
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:

92 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster or Unique Jewels)
119 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: Soul of Lunaris: 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

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] Detonate Dead setup
Vaal Detonate Dead Vaal Anomalous Detonate Dead - To use this Spell it's required to have a Corpse, the higher its Maximum Life, the more damage you can deal. The Corpse explodes dealing Fire Damage, later converted to Chaos, and causing Poison.
Cyclone Cyclone - a rapidly-hitting Channeling Movement Attack - it is the best Skill to be used with Cast-while-Channeling types of setups.
Cast while Channelling Cast while Channelling Support - Cast the linked Spell around three times a second as long as you're channeling Cyclone
Cruelty Cruelty Support - Grants more Damage with Hits and a Cruelty Buff, it makes you deal more Damage over Time with the Skills linked up to Cruelty
Elemental Focus Elemental Focus Support  - Makes you unable to deal Elemental Ailments such as Ignite, but in return grants more Elemental Damage
Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support - Increased Ailments Duration, Damage, and Effect of non-damaging ones. Use it to enhance your Poison Damage.
[UTILITY] Reckoning/Shield Charge/Curse setup
Reckoning Reckoning - Reckoning is an Attack that you can't use, it's triggered automatically each time you Block a Hit. It requires a Melee Weapon.
Shield Charge Shield Charge - Shield Charge is a Travel Attack that is used here to move a bit faster and to apply linked Curse on demand.
Hextouch Hextouch Support - After you hit an enemy with one of the linked Skills it will apply one Curse from this setup with reduced Duration
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - This Curse lowers the Action Speed of an enemy - meaning lower Cast Speed, Attack Speed, and general movement. It also makes all effects expire more slowly, including Poisons (it may result in more DPS).
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Malevolence Malevolence - An Aura that increases Skill Effect Duration and the Damage over Time of your Skills
Determination Determination - adds and increases Armour, one of the most basic defensive mechanics
Discipline Discipline - adds bonus Energy Shield and increases ES Recharge Rate
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - increases Mana Reservation Efficiency for all linked Mana-reserving Spells
[UTILITY] Mana-reserving setup
Purity of Elements Purity of Elements - Provides a lot of Elemental Resistances and a complete Immunity to all Elemental Ailments such as Chill, Shock, Freeze, Ignite, or even Scorch, Sap, and Brittle.
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - increases Armour and Evasion Rating of the character while reducing Critical Strike Chance for nearby enemies
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - use it for an additional Spell Block Chance while holding a Shield
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support
[UTILITY] Clarity
Clarity Clarity - grants faster Mana Regeneration Rate, it doesn't have to be leveled beyond level 1
[UTILITY] Herald of Agony
Herald of Agony Herald of Agony - use it for more Poison Damage and increased the Chance to Poison, a big part of the build
[UTILITY] Withering Step
Withering Step Withering Step - Enhances the character with Elusive and Phasing while also applying WIthered Debuff to nearby enemies
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - a simple movement Spell used to dash and move faster
[UTILITY] Plague Bearer
Plague Bearer Plague Bearer - This Spell can be used to deal with smaller enemies surrounding you, it creates a damaging circular area around the character dealing Chaos Damage over Time, but activation requires incubating Poison Damage, which is released later.
[UTILITY] Molten Shell
Molten Shell Molten Shell - the Guard Spell to be used as the movement button, it prevents a portion of Hit Damage from reaching the character
[UTILITY] Despair
Despair Despair - This Curse should be applied automatically, for example via Ring Affix. It makes the opponent more vulnerable to Chaos Damage and Damage over Time.


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.


6. Gear Setup

The mandatory Unique Item is Corpsewalker. You will also need to find a way to increase the Gem Quality of the Detonate Dead Skill socketed in your Unique Body Armour, which might be problematic without Ashes of the Stars, but possible with The Consuming Dark instead. As for offenses, you're relying mostly on Poison Damage and Chaos Damage over Time, there are a few Unique Items you can source this specific damage from, such as Incandescent Heart. For better defenses, you can use the combination of Aegis Aurora and Melding of the Flesh, this way you will be able to cap your Elemental Resistances at over 85%. When choosing your Rare Items focus mainly on Chaos, Poison, or Fire Damage, increases in the Gem Level of Detonate Dead, reducing Mana Cost of your Skills, Energy Shield, and mana Reservation Efficiency. You will also need a lot of Dexterity to run Plague Bearer and Herald of Agony, and Strenth for Determination. With Melding of the Flesh, it will be required to have a lot more Elemental Resistances than normally. It's very hard to assemble the build, the overall requirements for it to work at maximum efficiency are extremely high.

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. to cap your Elemental Resistances
  2. Gem Quality for Detonate Dead for full conversion
  3. Maximum Energy Shield
  4. Gem Level of Detonate Dead
  5. Mana Reservation Efficiency
  6. Maximum Cold Resistance (if using Melding of the Flesh)
  7. Aspect of the Spider
  8. Minion's Maximum Life
  9. Lowering Mana Cost of Skills
  10. Chaos or Fire Damage
  11. Poison Damage
  12. Chaos Damage over Time
  13. Dexterity
  14. Strength
  15. Armour
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - It's a good place to get more Mana Reservation Efficiency as the Redeemer's Suffix and Eater's Implicit - up to 26% in total, but to actually use the Eldritch Orb, the Helmet cannot be influenced, it can be Fractured or Essence-Crafted. Other than that, look for Energy Shield, Resistances, and Attributes.
Min. requirements:
+300 to Energy Shield
+80% to Elemental Resistances
increase Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
Detonate Dead has a 45% chance to detonate an additional corpse
Rune Dagger(Weapon) Rare Rune Dagger - You need a Melee Weapon with increased Chaos Damage over Time, Fire Damage, Chance to Poison, and an additional one or two Gem Levels for Detonate Dead. A melee weapon is required to attack using Cyclone.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Spell/Fire Spell Skill Gems
50% Increased Fire Spell Damage
Recommended affixes:
+1 to Level of all Spell/Fire Spell Skill Gems
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Chance to Poison/Increased Damage with Poison
The Consuming Dark(Weapon) The Consuming Dark - If you're not using Ashes of the Stars, use this Dagger to convert the remaining Fire Damage to Chaos. It also grants a Gem Level of Detonate Dead, increased Fire Damage, and Chance to Poison.
40% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+1 to Level of all Fire Spell Skill Gems
+(20-40) to Intelligence
(40-60)% increased Fire Damage
30% of Fire Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
Your Chaos Damage has 60% chance to Poison Enemies
Aegis Aurora(Off-hand) Aegis Aurora - Grants you a lot of Maximum Cold Resistance, Energy Shield on Block, Armour, Energy Shield, and Elemental Resistances. Definitely use with Melding of the Flesh for the extended cap on Cold Resistance.
(300-400)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
+5% to maximum Cold Resistance
+6% Chance to Block
Replenishes Energy Shield by 2% of Armour when you Block
(10-20)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Incandescent Heart(Body Armour) Incandescent Heart - It's the only viable Body Armour, as it greatly reduces Elemental Damage Taken, and Chaos Damage dealt. An Armour perfectly suited for Chaos Inoculation builds with Chaos Damage Conversion.
(220-240)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(80-90) to maximum Life
(0.8-1)% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
Gain (10-20)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
25% of Elemental Damage from Hits taken as Chaos Damage
(20-30)% increased Light Radius
Light Radius is based on Energy Shield instead of Life
Corpsewalker(Boots) Corpsewalker - It constantly creates Corpses as you walk or use Cyclone. These have a chance to Spawn your Spectres at the same rate as Desecrate Skill.
Triggers Level 20 Corpse Walk when Equipped
(80-120)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
25% increased Movement Speed
(20-40)% increased Damage if you have Consumed a corpse Recently
For each nearby corpse, Regenerate 0.25% Life per second, up to 3%
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves are the main source of Elemental Resistances, be sure to gain a lot of them here. In addition, seek Energy Shield. It's a good place to craft in the Aspect of the Spider Suffix.
Min. requirements:
Energy Shield
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Damage over Time
Crystal Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Crystal Belt with Energy Shield and maximum Resistances is good enough, in addition to that, look for Attributes - Strength and Dexterity. We Recommend getting the Mageblood as the final upgrade of the build.
Min. requirements:
Energy Shield
+100% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Mageblood(Belt) Mageblood - the most expensive Unique item in the game, which is particularly good for this build when using Melding of the Flesh. You can easily get all the missing Resistances from permanent flasks with increased effect, on top of the extra defensive bonuses like Armour Rating, Spell Suppression, and more
+(25-35) to Strength
+(30-50) to Dexterity
+(15-25)% to Fire Resistance
+(15-25)% to Cold Resistance
Magic Utility Flasks cannot be Used
Leftmost (2-4) Magic Utility Flasks constantly apply their Flask Effects to you
Magic Utility Flask Effects cannot be removed
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - It's an expensive Amulet, but it ensures that all of your Damage is converted to Chaos, which is important. All the additional mods such as Reservation Efficiency and Extra Gem Level are extremely valuable.
+(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
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - A Rare Amulet can provide Resistances, Mana Reservation Efficiency for all Skills or the Specific ones you're using, up to two additional Levels for Detonate Dead Skill Gem, Attributes, Damage, and reduced Mana Cost of Skills.
Min. requirements:
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Fire Skill Gems
increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Discipline/Malevolence/Determination has increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
maximum Energy Shield
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Recommended Anointments:
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Get one Ring with Despair Curse on Hit, in general, these should grant you a lot of Elemental Resistances and Attributes. You can also craft the reduced Mana Cost of Skills, and you probably will need one with Gem Socket for one of your Skills.
Min. requirements:
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Curse Enemies with Despair on Hit
increased Fire/Chaos Damage
increased maximum Energy Shield
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Replica Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - increased Skill Effect Duration and Reduced Mana Cost of Skills are significant improvements to the build
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - you can socket one near Overcharge and Endurance Notables and gain access to the Glancing Blows Keystone
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Melding of the Flesh(Jewel) Melding of the Flesh - If your Maximum Cold Resistance is particularly high and you're able to withstand the reduction to Elemental Resistances, definitely use this Jewel to increase your Maximum Fire and Lightning Resistances too.
-(80-70)% to all Elemental Resistances
Elemental Resistances are capped by your highest Maximum Elemental Resistance instead
Impossible Escape(Jewel) Impossible Escape - The notables in the radius of the Imbalanced Guard Keystone are great if you're using Melding of the Flesh, you can gain additional 3% to all Maximum Elemental Resistances.
Passive in Radius of <<Keystone>> can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flame(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Forbidden Flesh - Get the Corpse pact Keystone, it's by far the biggest improvement to the build. It increases the Maximum Life of the Corpses, Chills and Shocks enemies, and grants Attacks and Cast Speed.
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - You're using Malevolence, Determination, Purity of Elements, Discipline, and Clarity. We recommend increased Damage over Time Multiplier from Malevolence and Clarity's reduced Mana Cost of Skills.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - Most of the notables that are found on Chaos Damage Large Cluster Jewel are good. Try to get at least one Touch of Cruelty and two Wicked Palls.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Touch of Cruelty
1 Added Passive Skill is Unholy Grace
1 Added Passive Skill is Wicked Pall
1 Added Passive Skill is Unwaveringly Evil
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - You can again go for the Wicked Pall or Vile Reinvigoration and Circling Oblivion, these are to be found on a Chaos Damage over Time base.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Wicked Pall
1 Added Passive Skill is Circling Oblivion
1 Added Passive Skill is Vile Reinvigoration
Small Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - You actually don't need any of the Notables, the most important are small nodes with 6% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills, you can even increase this effect by 35%.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Uncompromising
Added Small Passive Skills have 35% increased Effect
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - It grants you extra Chaos Damage, Chaos Resistance, and Life Leech
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Quartz Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Granite Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Quicksilver Flask with random ailment removal
  4. Basalt Flask with random ailment removal
Quartz FlaskGranite FlaskQuickilver FlaskAtziri's PromiseBasalt 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