Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist Build Guide - Path of Exile 3.24

28.03.2024 - 17:53:23
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist Build Guide - Path of Exile 3.24

In Path of Exile, a character that can finish maps within a few minutes is highly desired because you want to earn a lot of currency per hour. One of those builds that you can take from league start to endgame is the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist. Why is that?

Well, in this guide, you will learn why this particular build is so amazing when it comes to obliterating enemies in a poisonous explosion! So, without further ado, this is our guide for the 3.23 Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist!

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The Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist relies on three spells to slay enemies. The first is Bladefall - a physical spell in Path of Exile that prompts your character to rain ethereal blades from the sky. This got buffed in Patch 3.23 in that it now leaves a maximum of 40 lingering blades on the ground that are fired in six volleys (instead of five). Furthermore, each volley no longer reduces the damage of the falling blades, making the spell even deadlier than before!

The second important spell in this build is Blade Blast. What it does is detonates any lingering blades that are on the ground, provided that you are close enough. The resulting explosion deals massive damage to nearby enemies. In the 3.23 Affliction League, it received a notable adjustment where its base radius is now set at 1.5 meters, making its area of effect considerably larger without the need for support gems.

And lastly, Plague Bearer is another spell in the game that allows you to create a damaging poison nova around you. This is similar to Righteous Fire in that you just run around and see enemies die in an instant. When you toggle the spell again, it will enter an "incubation" period where part of the poisons you inflict (from the Plague Bearer itself and your other spells) increases the spell's "Plague" value. The higher this value is, the more damaging the poison nova becomes.

Now, if Plague Bearer's damage is contingent upon how many poisons you have inflicted upon your enemies, then how does it synergize with Bladefall and Blade Blast?

For this build, you will be using the Dendrobate - a unique armor that provides a level 10 Chance to Poison support to socketed gems. By socketing Blade Blast into this armor, your detonations will always inflict poisons on foes that are within the blast radius. Since you'll be deleting enemies with Blade Blast, you can inflict so many poisons that, in turn, heavily improve the Plague Bearer's damage!

Of course, you will be supplementing Blade Blast with Bladefall to ensure that it has a lot of lingering blades to detonate for massive poisonous explosions! Herald of Agony is also included in the build to boost your chances of poisoning enemies on hit.

You can improve the damage that you deal by putting these mods on your gear:

  • Physical Damage
  • Chaos Damage
  • Poison Damage
  • Damage Over Time (for Plague Bearer)
  • Cast Speed (for quality of life)
  • +1 to Level of All Skill/Physical Skill Gems


The Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist is really easy to play. You basically run around and cast Bladefall every chance you get. Then, once you've laid out enough lingering blades on the ground, activate Blade Blast to cause massive poisonous explosions that decimate almost every foe you encounter.

Keep an eye on the "Plague" value on the left-hand side of the screen. When it is at max, you can activate Plague Bearer and just run around the map. If you have played any Righteous Fire builds before, then this should feel almost the same!

When the Plague value is fully depleted, just use the Bladefall and Blade Blast combo again and then reactivate Plague Bearer once it is at maximum. That's it!

For your movement skills, you have Shield Charge and Flame Dash. For the most part, use Shield Charge to traverse the map quickly and Flame Dash for whenever you are in a tough spot.

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The Occultist is the preferred ascendancy class for this build and for good reasons. It has access to notable ascendancy passives that help improve chaos damage and ensure that your enemies explode when the right conditions are met.

For your first notable ascendancy passive, you will be taking Profane Bloom. This makes cursed enemies go boom, dealing a quarter of their max HP as chaos damage. This allows Blade Blast and Plague Bearer's effect to snowball, giving you the power to clear maps without breaking a sweat. The curse spell of choice for this is Temporal Chains. This is because it reduces the movement speed of nearby enemies significantly, giving you an easier time to bunch them up together for the kill. It is supported by Blasphemy Support so you don't have to worry about activating the curse manually to take advantage of Profane Bloom's explosions.

The second notable ascendancy passive you should take is Void Beacon. This effectively reduces the chaos resistance of nearby enemies by 20%. On top of that, it reduces the life regeneration rate of enemies by a whopping 100%, which means that the Plague Bearer's damage over time effect becomes more potent even when not at max Plague value.

Withering Presence is the third notable ascendancy passive for this build. This node is very useful when you begin your mapping journey because it gives you a considerable amount of chaos resistance. Not only that but in terms of offense, Withering Presence inflicts the "Withered" status effect upon your enemies, making them take 6% increased chaos damage from your spells. The "15% More Chaos Damage" part is quite significant because "more" modifiers in PoE are calculated multiplicatively rather than additively.

For the last ascendancy passive, you are going to take Unholy Authority. This enables you to apply Despair, which is another hex curse that greatly boosts your damage output. Additionally, Unholy Authority makes your hex curses affect even hexproof enemies. This means that Temporal Chains and Despair will work no matter who or what you are facing.


Occultist Notable Ascendancy Passives for This Build

Transfigured Gems

In Patch 3.23, Grinding Gear Games (GGG) introduced Transfigured Gems as a means of consolidating labyrinth enchantments, certain threshold jewels, and alt-quality gems. That said, both Bladefall and Blade Blast have received Transfigured Gems in the Affliction League.

Let's start with the Transfigured Gems for Bladefall. Bladefall of Impaling is a transfigured version of the original that does not leave lingering blades for you to detonate. Instead, the ethereal blades that rain from the sky have a chance to impale enemies on hit. Critical strikes also impale enemies.

Bladefall of Volleys works similarly to Bladefall of Impaling, except that each volley deals progressively more damage and has a higher chance to critically strike enemies that are hit. As you can see, both transfigured versions of Bladefall do not work with this build because the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist relies on the lingering blades that are created by the original version of the physical spell gem.

How about Blade Blast then? Blade Blast of Unloading and Blade Blast of Dagger Detonation have certain requirements to work. The former needs you to activate Blade Vortex, which is another physical spell that has no place in this build. The latter, on the other hand, requires you to equip a dagger to activate. Since you will be using wands for this build, you cannot use Blade Blast of Dagger Detonation.

While the Transfigured Gems mentioned above are great in their own right, their mechanics just work vastly different from what this build is all about. So no, you won't be using any of them if that is what you are asking.


What makes the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist amazing is that it can clear maps effectively even with just minimal investment. Of course, you can take it to the next level by spending more currency, but for the most part, you can enjoy the build without sinking tons of Divine Orbs into it.

While this build is a viable league starter, it does require you to have certain unique items. Fortunately, these items are quite inexpensive and you can purchase them early on from the trade website.

Main Weapon

To start things off, get your hands on a couple of Obliteration wands. Obliteration is a unique Imbued Wand that grants up to 40% of physical damage as extra chaos damage. However, the main reason why this wand is so amazing for the build is that it works like Profane Bloom - the notable ascendancy passive from the Occultist.

When you have two Obliteration wands equipped, you have a much higher chance of causing enemies to explode, dealing a quarter of their max life as chaos damage. While the resulting explosions still deal the same amount of damage, the increased chance of that happening helps your clear speed immensely!

For the endgame, you can use a self-crafted Heathen or Profane Wand that has "+1 to Level of All Spell Skill Gems." Since Bladefall, Blade Blast, and Plague Bearer are all spells, they gain great benefits from higher gem levels.

To craft the wand, you will first need to acquire an item level 82+ Heathen or Profane Wand. These wands are the preferred crafting bases because of their "% Increased Cast Speed" implicit.

Once you have obtained the wand, follow these remaining steps:

  1. Increase the quality of the wand to 30% by spamming it with Perfect Fossils
  2. Next, use an Orb of Scouring and an Orb of Transmutation to turn it into a magic (blue) item. Spam it with Orb of Alteration until you get "+1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems"
  3. Use a Regal Orb to turn the wand into a rare (yellow) item. Make sure that you do not have any suffixes. If the Regal Orb added a suffix, you have to YOLO and use Orb of Annulment to remove it. If it annulled off the spell skill gem mod, you have to repeat the previous step
  4. Once you have the rare wand with the spell skill gem mod, go to your Crafting Bench and add the following suffixes in this order:
    1. Can Have Up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
    2. Prefixes Cannot Be Changed
    3. Cannot Roll Attack Modifiers
  5. Then, go to your Harvest Bench (or Horticrafting Station) and use the "Add a New Physical Modifier and Remove a Random Modifier from a Non-Influenced Item." This part of the process guarantees the "+1 to Level of All Physical Spell Skill Gems"
  6. Go to your Crafting Bench and select "Remove All Crafted Modifiers." After that, put "Prefixes Cannot Be Changed"
  7. Complete a Betrayal Run with Aisling as the Captain of Research. This is so that you can put a veiled modifier on the wand
  8. When you have the veiled mod, do not go to Jun just yet. Head to the Crafting Bench and add "% Increased Critical Strike Chance." This is to block this type of mod from appearing during the unveil
  9. Go to Jun and unveil. If you have a veiled prefix, you should get "(60-69)% Increased Chaos Damage, Chaos Skills Have (13-15)% Increased Skill Effect Duration". If you have a veiled suffix, look for "+(24-28)% to Chaos Damage Over Time Multiplier"
  10. Head to the Crafting Bench one last time and put "Can Have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers," followed by "(46-50)% Increased Chaos Damage, Chaos Skills Have (11-12)% Increased Skill Effect Duration" and "(13-16)% Increased Chaos Damage"

If you have followed the exact steps above, you should have something like this:


Self-crafted Wand


During league start, you can use two Obliteration wands together. But, once you reach the endgame, you should equip a shield to improve your survivability. Now, you have two shield bases to choose from.

If you are gunning for that 100% spell suppression, you can use an evasion-based shield as a crafting base. However, if you want to obtain another spell skill gem mod, you should opt for a spirit shield, preferably a Harmonic Spirit Shield for that increased spell damage implicit modifier.

To craft the evasion-based shield, all you have to do is use Essence of Greed (Life) to get resistances, spell suppression, and even some DEX. Use the Crafting Bench to add any modifier you want. "Gain 8% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage" can aid in improving your damage, but the crafted mod is entirely up to you.

For the Harmonic Spirit Shield, instead of using essences, you will engage in Fossil Crafting. The two fossils that you will use to craft the spirit shield are Jagged and Aetheric Fossils for more physical and caster modifiers, respectively. Spam the shield until you get "+1 to Level of All Physical Spell Skill Gems." The other mods can be anything useful for the build, including resistances, some energy shield, and maximum life.


Self-crafted Spirit Shield

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Body Armor

The most cost-effective body armor for the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist is the Dendrobate. This unique Sentinel Jacket has a modifier that says, "Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 10 Chance to Poison." This mod provides a great chance that your Blade Blast explosions inflict poisons. As mentioned earlier, this synergizes really well with Plague Bearer, particularly when it comes to "incubating" poisons for maximum damage.

Another benefit to using the Dendrobate is that you have "% Increased Damage with Poison" if your current DEX is at least 300. You can achieve that easily by putting DEX mods wherever possible, such as the boots, amulet, rings, belt, shield, and jewels.

If you want your damage to skyrocket, you can opt for a self-crafted piece of gear using an evasion/energy shield-based armor as a crafting base. You can choose between Sadist Garb or Carnal Armour as these provide the highest evasion or energy shield values among the other ones. It is also worth noting that no matter what armor you use as a crafting base, it should have an item level of 86+ for a chance to obtain the T1 spell suppression mod.

Anyway, here are the steps to craft the endgame armor:

  1. Increase the quality of the armor to 30% using Perfect Fossils
  2. Spam the armor with Deafening Essence of Envy (Chaos Resistance) or Deafening Essence of Sorry (Dexterity) until you get T1 "% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage"
  3. Next, go to your Crafting Bench and put "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed," then use a Veiled Chaos Orb after that
  4. Head to Jun and unveil. You are looking for the prefix mod that says "(9-10)% Increased Maximum Life, (9-10)% Increased Maximum Mana"; OR "(30-45)% Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments", "(30-35)% Chance to Avoid Being Stunned"
  5. Once you are satisfied with the veiled mod, you can head to your Crafting Bench and add "(5-6)% of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Fire/Lightning Damage"
  6. Occasionally, using a Veiled Chaos Orb will add another prefix into the mix. But, if there is still an empty mod slot, you can use an Exalted Orb to fill it up
  7. Now that you have all of the explicit modifiers sorted out, use Grand Eldritch Ichors to acquire the mod "Malevolence Has (25-27)% Increased Aura Effect" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "9% Increased Effect of Your Curses"

Self-crafted Body Armor


The Devouring Diadem is a great choice when it comes to the helmet you can equip for the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist. This unique Necromancer Circlet has all of the mods that enable you to play the build comfortably, such as:

  • +1 to Level of Socketed Gems
  • Socketed Gems Have 25% Increased Reservation Efficiency
  • Trigger Level 15 Feast of Flesh Every 5 Seconds
  • (180-220)% Increased Energy Shield
  • 10% Chance for Energy Shield Recharge to Start When You Use a Skill
  • Eldritch Battery

If you have the Devouring Diadem, you will be socketing your primary auras into the helm. Eldritch Battery allows you to cast your active abilities without worrying about mana. The "+1 to Level of Socketed Gems" also works wonders for Temporal Chains and Malevolence.

Now, if you are still saving up a Divine Orb to purchase The Devouring Diadem, you can use a self-crafted evasion-based helmet in the meantime. Acquire a Pig-faced Bascinet or a Nightmare Bascinet if you can so that you can roll spell suppression. Since this is your starter gear, the item level is not too important.

Spam any essence of your choosing, though we recommend Essence of Greed (HP) or Essence of Envy (Chaos Resistance) to help improve your survivability. If you have enough, use these essences until you get "% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage."

To finish the self-crafted helmet, spam it with Eldritch Ichors to obtain "% Increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills" and Eldritch Embers for "% Increased Cast Speed."


Early in the league, you can equip Asenath's Gentle Touch for your gloves. This allows you to curse enemies with Temporal Chains on hit, meaning, every time you use Bladefall, you are assured that enemies have a chance to explode thanks to Profane Bloom. On the off-chance that they do not get killed by the Occultist's notable ascendancy passive, this pair of unique Silk Gloves make enemies you kill explode, dealing 3% of their life as physical damage.

To make the build feel less clunky, you can craft a pair of gloves with the mod, "Socketed Gems Are Supported by Level # Faster Casting, % Increased Cast Speed."

To do this, obtain an item level 85+ Shaper-influenced Dragonscale Gauntlets or any pair of gloves that has evasion rating on them. This is so that you can still have a small chance of obtaining the spell suppression mod to improve your defenses.

Then, follow the rest of the steps below:

  1. Increase the quality of the gloves to 30% by using Perfect Fossils
  2. Use Deafening Essence of Sorrow for that guaranteed DEX suffix. Spam the gloves with this essence until you get "Socketed Gems Are Supported by Level # Faster Casting, % Increased Cast Speed" and possibly the spell suppression mod
  3. Go to your Crafting Bench and put "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed" and then use a Veiled Chaos Orb
  4. Interact with your Crafting Bench again, but this time, add the "% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire/Cold/Lightning." This is to help prevent the mod you've added from appearing during the unveiling process
  5. Speak with Jun and unveil. You are looking for the mod, "+2 to Level of Socketed AoE Gems, (8-10)% Increased Area of Effect"
  6. When you have the mod in Step 5, go back to your Crafting Bench one last time and put "(24-28)% Increased Damage During Any Flask Effect"
  7. If you still have an open prefix at this point, use an Exalted Orb to finish the craft

Self-crafted Gloves


If you do not want to dabble in crafting and you just want a pair of boots that you can rely on, the Atziri's Step is a great choice. It is quite inexpensive, so you should have no problems getting it early on.

Of course, we at RPGStash always provide you with endgame options. That is why we will teach you how to craft a good pair of boots. Here are the steps:

  1. Grab an item level 85+ Dragonscale Boots for a chance to roll T1 spell suppression
  2. Increase the quality of the item with Armourer's Scraps or Perfect Fossils
  3. Spam it with Deafening Essence of Sorrow (DEX) until you hit T1 spell suppression. If you can hit "% Chaos Resistance," that will be great as well
  4. Go to your Crafting Bench and put "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed" followed by a Veiled Chaos Orb
  5. Head to Jun and unveil. You are aiming for the prefix, "(25-30)% Increased Movement Speed, (13-16)% Chance to Gain Onslaught for 4 Seconds on Kill." If this particular mod did not appear, you can either choose any of the movement speed modifiers or repeat Steps 4 and 5 to try again
  6. Go to your Crafting Bench and Add "+ to Maximum Life"
  7. Use an Exalted Orb to fill your last prefix slot (if the Veiled Chaos Orb has not filled it already)
  8. Use Grand Eldritch Ichors to obtain "(21-23)% Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments" and Grand Eldritch Embers to acquire "5% Increased Action Speed"

Self-crafted Boots


At the start of a new league, you can purchase a rare amulet with the mod, "+1 to Level of All Physical Skill Gems" from the trade website. Once you have enough currency, there are two routes you can take. First, you can buy the Replica Dragonfang's Flight, specifically with the mod, "+3 to Level of All Blade Blast Gems." This unique amulet also grants up to 10% increased mana reservation efficiency of skills, which should give you extra mana for your Bladefall and Blade Blast.

However, we recommend that you craft an endgame amulet that increases the level of your Bladefall and Blade Blast gems by two. If you are interested in making this one, here are the steps:

  1. Get an item level 85+ Jade Amulet for that DEX implicit mod
  2. Turn it into a magic (blue) item by using an Orb of Scouring followed by an Orb of Transmutation
  3. Spam it with Orb of Alteration until you get "+1 to Level of All Skill Gems"
  4. Use a Regal Orb and hope that you do not get a suffix. Otherwise, use an Orb of Annulment to remove it
  5. Put the following mods in this exact order:
    1. Can Have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers
    2. Prefixes Cannot Be Changed
    3. Cannot Roll Attack Modifiers
  6. Go to your Harvest Bench and use "Add a Physical Modifier and Remove a Random Modifier from a Non-Influenced Item." This guarantees "+1 to Level of All Physical Skill Gems"
  7. Next, go to your Crafting Bench and remove crafted modifiers. Then add "Can Have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers" again
  8. After that, put "(10-12)% Increased Area of Effect, (14-16)% Increased Area Damage" and "3% Increased Attack and Cast Speed"
  9. The last remaining suffix is for the Hunted Exalted Orb. This can roll about seven different modifiers, but the one you are looking for is "+(16-20)% to Chaos Damage Over Time Multiplier"
  10. If you want a safer approach, you can just use an Exalted Orb to fill the last affix and call it a day

Self-crafted Amulet

For the anointment, go for Toxic Strikes (Clear Oil, Amber Oil, Crimson Oil) to improve your chance to poison enemies on hit.


You are going to use one unique ring and another self-crafted influenced ring for the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist. The unique ring for this build is Ming's Heart. This unique Amethyst Ring grants you up to 60% of physical damage as extra chaos damage. You can use Noxious Catalysts to improve the chaos damage modifier as well.

The other ring you should equip is a self-crafted Hunter-influenced ring that has the mod, "Curse Enemies with Despair on Hit." Despair is a hex curse in Path of Exile that reduces the enemies' resistance to chaos damage by up to -30%. Thanks to the Occultist's Unholy Authority notable ascendancy passive, you can use Temporal Chains and Despair at the same time.

Crafting the ring is actually pretty easy. All you have to do is get an ilvl 80+ Hunter-influenced Iolite Ring (Chaos Damage), Two-stone Ring (Elemental Resistance), or Vermillion Ring (HP) to use as a crafting base, whichever you need for your character.

Since the Despair mod has a "Caster" tag on it, you can use your Harvest Bench's "Reforge Caster" option for a great chance of obtaining the desired suffix. All the other mods can be anything that you want; just leave a prefix open so that you can add "Non-channeling Skills Have -7 to Total Mana Cost."


Self-crafted Ring (with Despair Mod)


To maximize the Dendrobate's unique effect where you gain increased damage with poison if you have at least 300 Dexterity, you can craft a Stygian Vise using Essence of Sorrow. The reason why you need to utilize Essence of Sorrow is that belts in PoE do not roll DEX naturally, unless you use the said essence, of course.

If you want to craft a Stygian Vise that you can equip well into the endgame, follow these steps:

  1. Get an Item Level 84+ Stygian Vise and spam it with Deafening Essence of Sorrow until you get some resistances, attributes, and other mods that you need for your character
  2. Leave a prefix slot open because you will be using a Hunter Exalted Orb
  3. Now, there are only three possible prefixes that can roll when you use a Hunter Exalted Orb, but you should only be concerned with two: "% Increased Maximum Life" or "% Increased Maximum Damage." It is up to you which one you choose. Do you like to be a bit tankier or do you prefer increasing your damage to slay enemies faster?
  4. If there is still an open prefix, craft "+ to Maximum Life" or "% Increased Damage"

The beauty of the Stygian Vise is that you can insert an Abyss Jewel to improve your damage and survivability.


Self-crafted Stygian Vise

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  • Jade Flask
  • Granite Flask
  • Amethyst Flask
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Life Flask

The Jade and Granite Flasks provide you with flat evasion rating and armor, respectively. Amethyst Flask gives you an easier time capping your chaos resistance, which is particularly useful when you reach the red maps. Quicksilver Flask is mainly there to improve your mapping efficiency.

For the Life Flask, you want the "Bubbling" or "Seething" prefix so that a portion of your life is immediately healed upon use. In terms of suffixes, get "Assuaging" or any mod that gives you immunity to bleeding and corrupted blood.

For your utility flasks, aim to get the following affixes:

  • Prefix
    • Masochist/Flagellant
    • Chemist's
  • Suffix
    • 17% Increased Cast Speed (...of the Horsefly)
    • 60% Increased Evasion Rating (...of the Impala)
    • 14% Increased Movement Speed (...of the Cheetah)
    • 65% Reduced Effect of Curses on You (...of the Owl)

When you are comfortable without using a Life Flask, you can replace it with a unique flask that can benefit the build. The cheapest one that you can get is Atziri's Promise. This grants you up to 8% of physical damage as extra chaos damage during the flask's effect. You leech 2% of chaos damage as life as well, which is great for survivability.

If you want to go pure offense, you can get a Bottled Faith. This unique sulphur flask creates Consecrated Ground that increases the damage your enemies take by up to 10%.

Alternatively, Progenesis is the flask to get if you want to take hits without dying. This flask works a bit like Petrified Blood in that a portion of your damage from hits is taken gradually in a span of four seconds. This gives you plenty of time to recover HP. However, this is the most expensive unique flask on this list, so unless you have enough PoE Currency, you can go for Atziri's Promise or Bottled Faith instead.

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The good news is that there are no mandatory jewels for the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist. This means that you can just use any base or abyss jewels that you want and call it a day.

However, if you really like the playstyle so much and you want to improve various aspects of the build, then you can use some specific jewels.

The Watcher's Eye is pretty much a staple of most, if not all, builds in Path of Exile. Get one with any two (or three) of the following:

  • Malevolence
    • +% to Damage Over Time Multiplier (Best)
    • Damaging Ailments You Inflict Deal Damage% Faster
    • Increased Recovery Rate of Life and Energy Shield
  • Grace
    • +% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage (2nd Best)
    • +% Chance to Evade Attack Hits
    • % Increased Movement Speed

A Large Cluster Jewel with "12% Increased Physical Damage" as a base is good for the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist. Use Jagged Fossils in order to obtain the following notable passives:

  • Battle-Hardened
    • 35% Increased Physical Damage
    • 30% Increased Evasion Rating and Armour
  • Master the Fundamentals
    • 35% Increased Physical Damage
    • 35% Reduced Elemental Damage
    • +10% to all Elemental Resistances
  • Furious Assault
    • 25% Increased Physical Damage
    • 8% Increased Attack and Cast Speed

You have the option of including a couple of Medium Cluster Jewels as well. Use the medium cluster jewel with "12% Increased Chaos Damage Over Time" as the base. Then, use the "Reforge Chaos" option from your Horticrafting Station to get Septic Spells and Unwaveringly Evil. Eternal Suffering is also a good alternative to the latter.

  • Septic Spells
    • 5% Increased Cast Speed
    • Spell Skills Have +5% to Damage Over Time Multiplier for Poison
    • 20% Chance to Poison on hit with Spell Damage
  • Unwaveringly Evil
    • 30% Increased Chaos Damage
    • Chaos Skills Ignore Interruption from Stuns
  • Eternal Suffering
    • 25% Increased Chaos Damage
    • 50% Chance to Inflict Withered for Two Seconds on Hit if THere Are 5 or Fewer Withered Debuffs on the Enemy

That Which Was Taken is one of the unique jewels that was introduced in 3.23 Affliction League. What makes it a great addition to the build is that it provides you with four different modifiers that you normally only see in Charms. This thing can roll a massive list of mods, but here are the ones that we recommend:

  • % Increased Effect of Onslaught on You
  • (14-20)% Increased Effect of Withered
  • (6-8)% Increased Effect of Your Curses
  • (20-30)% Chance to Create a Consecrated Ground When You Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy, Lasting 8 Seconds
  • % Chance to Gain an Endurance Charge When You Are Hit
  • Cursed Enemies You or Your Minions Kill Have a 12% Chance to Explode, Dealing a Quarter of Their Maximum Life as Chaos Damage
  • % Chance to Hinder on Hit with Spells
  • Grants Armour Equal to % of Your Reserved Mana to You and Your Nearby Allies
  • % Increased Area of Effect if You've Killed Recently
  • Every 4 Seconds, Regenerate 20% of Life Over One Second
  • Gain % of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield
  • % Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • Regenerate % of Energy Shield per Second

If you want to take this build to the top, get a pair of Forbidden Jewels with "Commander of Darkness" as a matching modifier. Commander of Darkness is a notable ascendancy passive from the Necromancer tree that increases your damage and elemental resistances by 30%. Additionally, it increases your cast speed by 3%, which makes casting Bladefall smoother.


There are three main gem setups for this build. This means that there are only a few gems that you can swap safely without affecting the core mechanics.

Body Armor

  • Blade Blast
  • Void Manipulation Support
  • Deadly Ailments Support
  • Unbound Ailments
  • Increased Area of Effect Support
  • Empower Support (if using Dendrobate)
  • Chance to Poison Support (if using Self-crafted Armor)

Blade Blast is naturally a physical spell skill in PoE. However, it deals chaos damage when it is supported by "Chance to Poison" - either from the Dendrobate or from a dedicated support gem of the same name.

To improve the damage of Blade Blast, you add Deadly Ailments Support to grant it a "more damage with ailments" modifier. Void Manipulation adds more chaos damage, making Blade Blast explosions more potent. Unbound Ailments is a support gem that grants 19% more damage with ailments if you increase its quality to the max.

You want to extend Blade Blast's range so that you will always have an easier time detonating the lingering blades created by your Bladefall spell. That's why adding the Increased Area of Effect support gem makes sense.

Because spell skill gems work best the higher their gem levels are, Empower Support is the ideal last piece of the puzzle. When leveled up to the max and corrupted successfully using a Vaal Orb, Empower raises the level of your Blade Blast by three.

If you have the currency, be sure to purchase the "Awakened" versions of Void Manipulation and Deadly Ailments to get higher values.


  • Temporal Chains
  • Blasphemy Support
  • Malevolence
  • Grace

Temporal Chains has an interesting interaction with Blasphemy Support. When linked to the said support gem, Temporal Chains turns into an aura, which instantly slows enemies down so long as you are near them. This alleviates the need to manually cast the said hex curse, making your mapping experience a whole lot smoother.

Because Temporal Chains is now used as an aura on this build, it does require you to reserve 35% of your max mana to activate. That is why The Devouring Diadem is perfect for the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist since it gives you enough mana to reserve all of the auras without a hitch.

Malevolence and Grace are your primary auras. The former increases your damage over time multiplier, while the latter improves your evasion rating immensely. Now, if you do not want evasion rating as a defensive layer, you can replace Grace with Determination to gain a huge boost to armor instead.


  • Bladefall
  • Spell Cascade Support
  • Concentrated Effect Support
  • Unleash Support

Since you are using a self-crafted pair of gloves with the "Faster Casting Support" Shaper mod, the gems socketed into this piece of gear turns into a five-link setup.

Bladefall is the opening act. You want to be able to fill the ground with lingering blades easily, so you will use Spell Cascade and Unleash Support to help you with that. Both of these support gems make your Bladefall cast a few times with just a single click!

Concentrated Effect is just a bonus as it grants a "39% more area damage" modifier to Bladefall at level 20.


  • Shield Charge
  • Faster Attacks Support
  • Herald of Agony
  • Steelskin

Shield Charge is your primary movement skill. Link it to Faster Attacks Support to make the skill feel less clunky to use.

Herald of Agony increases your chance to poison enemies on hit. The Agony Crawler minion it summons deals additional damage to help you defeat enemies, especially when mapping.

For the guard skill, we've opted to use Steelskin because it makes you immune to bleeding when it is active. Even though it doesn't soak up a ton of damage like Molten Shell does, Steelskin has a relatively low cooldown, so you can have it up for most of the time.


  • Plague Bearer
  • Withering Step
  • Increased Area of Effect Support

Plague Bearer is part of the three-spell combo of this build. When used, it activates a poison nova that deals damage to nearby enemies based on the number of poisons it has "incubated" during its incubation period.

Withering Step has two uses. First, it grants you the Elusive buff, which gives you phasing and increased movement speed when it is active. Second, nearby enemies are affected by the Withered debuff, increasing the chaos damage they take from your attacks.

You want to make sure that you cover almost the entire screen, so you put Increased Area of Effect Support as well.


  • Flame Dash
  • Faster Casting Support
  • Defiance Banner

Flame Dash is another travel skill that lets you escape tough situations with a single click. It is supported by "Faster Casting" to ensure that it feels smooth when you use the skill.

The last gem slot is actually pretty flexible. You can use any gem of your choosing. The Defiance Banner is just there because you have enough mana to reserve one banner skill if you wear The Devouring Diadem. Defiance Banner gives you a considerable amount of armor and evasion rating, which is always helpful in terms of improving survivability.

Learn to Craft the Best Items

Secondary Ascendancies

In Path of Exile 3.23 Affliction League, you can take a secondary ascendancy that works on top of your main one (this being the Occultist). There really is no better option than the Wildwood Primalist because this secondary ascendancy class lets you equip three Charms.

Charms are new items introduced in this league that enhance the build in more ways than one. Refer to That Which Was Taken in the "Jewels" section of this build guide to learn which modifiers to look for.

Passive Tree


Passive Tree


Main Setup

Alternative Setup


The Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist is a fun and viable league starter to play. Although it uses some unique items, they are not that expensive, so you can purchase them within the first week of a new league.

This build can blast through maps with massive explosions thanks to Blade Blast and the poison nova created by Plague Bearer.

Bladefall is not clunky to use at all since it is supported by Spell Cascade and Unleash Support. Just cast it once and you should have a considerable number of lingering blades for your Blade Blast spell to detonate.

In terms of defensive layers, this build mainly uses evasion rating and spell suppression. Capping chaos resistance is easy thanks to the Occultist's Wither Presence notable ascendancy passive.

Once you have equipped the items outlined in this guide, you will have a really fun experience with the Bladefall Blade Blast Occultist for sure!


+Viable league starter

+See enemies explode in a poisonous explosion

+Plague Bearer makes quick work of the enemy

+Build does not feel clunky to use thanks to the support gems and items

+Can be taken to the top with enough investment


-Takes some time to get used to the playstyle

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