Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist - Path of Exile 3.24

12.04.2024 - 18:15:38
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist - Path of Exile 3.24

Penance Brand of Dissipation, a Transfigured Gem that was introduced in the previous league, has been quite popular in PoE. However, Grinding Gear Games made substantial changes to the gem itself in Patch 3.24.

So, this begs the question: Is it still viable for mapping and bossing? If you are interested to know, then read further. This is our build guide for the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League!

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This build utilizes the transfigured version of the Penance Brand called the Penance Brand of Dissipation. Unlike the base version, the bulk of its damage comes from the hits and ailments scaled by the amount of Energy the target has.

In Patch 3.24, GGG has essentially nerfed this skill to the ground. This was done because there were a lot of builds that utilized the Penance Brand of Dissipation over other skill gems in the game. But, who can blame them, really? It is that good in the previous league!

Be that as it may, the Penance Brand of Dissipation is still good. However, it is important to note that this is no longer a viable league starter because its power has been shifted into the endgame.

In other words, this build is still amazing, albeit you have to wear certain items to make it shine despite the heavy-handed nerfs implemented by GGG. Otherwise, its mechanics are virtually the same.

So, what are the adjustments that were made to this Transfigured Gem in the Necropolis League? First is the activation frequency. Penance Brand of Dissipation now activates every 0.75 seconds as opposed to 0.6 seconds. This can be addressed by putting as many "% Increased Cast Speed" mods on your gear.

Second, its effectiveness of added damage has been reduced by 15%, from 65 to 50%. Because of this, any flat sources of damage you add to it now provide a slightly lower amount to its overall damage.

Third, the transfigured version of Penance Brand now has a lower max damage at level 20 (288-432 to 231-347 physical damage).

And fourth, each subsequent pulse now deals 30% more damage with hits and ailments compared to 60% (hits) and 40% (with ailments) in the previous league.

On the surface, you can definitely tell that the build has suffered quite a bit, especially in the damage department. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to bring its power back to a relative level. These will be discussed later on in the build guide, so do stick around for more information.

Having said all of that, the damage of this Brand skill in PoE is still dependent on the amount of Energy the monster has. While the maximum number of Energy a target can have is only 20, you can reach that number much faster by attaching more than one Brand to the enemy. This is possible thanks to the "Runebinder" keystone passive.

Since the Occultist provides a ton of value the more Power Charges it has, the best thing to do here is to stack as many of the said charges as possible. If you have played some Power Charge-stacking builds in Path of Exile before, you will see familiar items, such as the Void Battery, Malachai's Loop, and Badge of the Brotherhood, to name a few.

The Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist also makes use of the Call of the Brotherhood unique ring. The Brand skill itself converts 50% of your physical damage to lightning damage. Call of the Brotherhood adds another layer of conversion by converting lightning damage to cold damage. You can improve the ring's conversion rate by using Turbulent Catalysts.

Now, to ensure that you deal the most amount of damage possible, you will be using some self-crafted gloves with the mod, "% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning Damage"Fortunately for you, we have a dedicated crafting guide so that you will learn how to craft the gloves yourself.

Because this build ultimately deals cold damage, which means that you have a chance of freezing enemies with critical hits, you are going to capitalize on that by wearing the Heatshiver helmet.

All of the gear, gem, and item interactions will be discussed later in the appropriate sections of the build guide.

Anyway, here are the mods to look for on your gear to improve the damage of this build:

  • % Increased Cold Damage
  • % Increased Lightning Damage
  • % Increased Spell Damage
  • % Increase Elemental Damage
  • % Increased Physical Damage
  • Added Physical Damage
  • % Increased Brand Damage
  • % Increased Area Damage
  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier


The Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist might feel clunky early on in a new league, but the mapping experience gets smoother as you get all of the necessary pieces of gear.

When you enter a map, you use Frostblink to search for monsters. When you encounter a relatively large group, you simply spam Penance Brand of Dissipation and see the enemies die within a few pulses!

For bosses, cast the Brand multiple times on the area where the boss will likely spawn. This is to preempt the damage, causing them to take bursty cold damage as soon as they are vulnerable.

You will maximize the Occultist's ability to apply two curses as well. The ones you are going to use are Elemental Weakness and Frostbite. For the most part, you'll have to manually use these curses on enemies for maximum damage. If that is too cumbersome for you, you can link them to Arcanist Brand. Use Arcanist Brand first and then the Penance Brand of Dissipation if you are going for this setup.

For the most part, you'll have to manually use these curses on enemies for maximum damage. If that is too cumbersome for you, you can link them to Arcanist Brand. Use Arcanist Brand first and then the Penance Brand of Dissipation if you are going for this setup.


The best ascendancy class that can utilize the Penance Brand of Dissipation really well is, of course, the Occultist.

Start by taking Forbidden Power upon completing the normal labyrinth. This gives you a significant increase in damage depending on the number of Power Charges you have. Forbidden Power becomes more effective when you reach at least eight Power Charges. With this build, it is even possible to achieve a total of 11 with enough investment!

By the time you finish the second labyrinth, you will have already acquired some of the unique pieces of gear for the build. Hence, you are going to allocate points to acquire Void Beacon. This is akin to Frostbite in that it, too, reduces the cold resistance of your enemies. However, Void Beacon's effect is permanent, which means that nearby monsters will always have their cold resistance decreased by 20%.

After that, you should take Frigid Wake after beating the third labyrinth. This node is great for both offense and defense. That is because it not only makes you immune to being frozen and chilled, but it also gives you more cold damage! Besides that, you can maximize the extra damage provided by Heatshiver because Frigid Wake has a 50% chance to freeze non-frozen enemies every four seconds!

The last notable ascendancy passive for this build is none other than Unholy Authority. This enables you to apply one additional curse on enemies, alleviating the need to put points to take Whispers of Doom on the passive tree.

If you have some PoE currency to spare, we highly recommend that you get the Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh jewels with "Heart of Destruction" as the matching modifier. This node gives you 30% more elemental damage if you have hit a unique enemy recently.

Take note that this is a "more" multiplier, which gives a substantial increase in your total damage output. If you want to recoup some of the power this build has lost due to the nerfs made in this league, then set your eyes on these jewels as an upgrade you can take later down the line.


Notable Passives for Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist


The Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist uses quite a lot of unique pieces of gear. The good thing about wearing unique items is that you do not have to deal with crafting equipment. The downside, however, is that it will be a bit difficult for you to cap your elemental resistances, especially since most of the items you are going to wear for this build do not provide a ton of fire/cold/lightning resistances.

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Void Battery provides a lot of value to the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist. For one, it raises the maximum Power Charges that you can have at a time by one. It also increases your crit chance and cast speed, which are mods that impact the Penance Brand of Dissipation for sure.

More importantly, this unique Prophecy Wand increases your spell damage relative to your maximum Power Charges. So, if you are able to attain at least eight Power Charges, you will definitely be a force to be reckoned with!


Void Battery


Malachai's Loop is the only offhand you should use for this build. It raises the limit of your Power Charges by two and provides you with a lot of energy shield to improve your defense.

However, this thing has a major downside in that you will lose all of your Power Charges when you have reached the limit. Do not worry about it. This will be rectified by another piece of gear, which will be discussed shortly.


Malachai's Loop

Body Armor

In terms of body armor, you have a couple of viable options to choose from depending on whether you want more offense or defense.

If you want the absolutely devastating version of the build, you should go for Dialla's Malefaction. This is a great body armor for the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist mainly because you gain bonuses depending on what colored socket you put your gems into.

For this build, you are going to take advantage of the armor's green sockets for that increased quality of socketed gems. But, it is worth noting that you will reserve one red socket for the Empower Support. More on the gems you will be using for the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist later in the build guide.


Dialla's Malefaction

If you want to be able to take damage without dying, a good alternative body armor for the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist is Utula's Hunger. This unique Majestic Plate gives you up to 1,000 HP if you do not have life modifiers on your other equipped items. You can benefit from the armor's unique effect because it is easy to satisfy the condition of that humongous HP bonus.


Utula's Hunger

The Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist can be built as an amazing mapper if you equip the Replica Restless Ward. This body armor increases your movement speed by 6% per Frenzy Charge. Since you will be using the Badge of the Brotherhood amulet, you do not have to worry about its "-2 to Maximum Frenzy Charges" downside.


Replica Restless Ward


The only self-crafted piece of gear is the gloves. The reason why you need to craft your own pair is so that you can convert all of your physical damage to lightning damage with the appropriate mods. Go to our ultimate crafting guide to learn how to craft these conversion gloves yourself.

If you want to improve your damage, you can use the Temple of Atzoatl Gloves that have the mod, "+(46-48)% to Cold Resistance, (30-50)% Increased Damage with Hits Against Chilled Enemies" as the crafting base. These can drop from the final boss.


Self-crafted Gloves


The disadvantage of equipping the Malachai's Loop unique Spirit Shield is that you will lose all of your Power Charges when you reach the maximum. Obviously, you do not want that to happen, which is why you are going to wear Ralakesh's Impatience.

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These unique Riveted Boots make it so that you always count as having the maximum number of Endurance/Frenzy/Power Charges. Because of this, you no longer have to worry about Malachai's Loop removing all of your precious charges!


Ralakesh's Impatience


Badge of the Brotherhood greatly increases your damage by making your maximum Frenzy Charges on par with your Power Charges. This is quite significant considering that each Frenzy Charge increases your damage and cast speed by 4%. If you have, say, 10 Frenzy Charges, that will be a 40% boost just by wearing this amulet!

A lot of people who play this build are using the Replica Restless Ward to make their mapping experience a whole lot smoother. This specific body armor only works best if you are wearing the Badge of the Brotherhood as well.

For the anointment, go for Infused (Crimson Oil, 2x Silver) for that "+1 to Maximum Power Charges".


Badge of the Brotherhood


Join the brotherhood! But seriously, you should equip a couple of Call of the Brotherhood rings so that you convert most of your lightning damage to cold damage. You want to reach as close to 100% conversion as possible, which is why you are going to increase its quality by using Turbulent Catalysts.


Call of the Brotherhood


One of the chase items in PoE, the Mageblood is the perfect complement to the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist. This gives you an easier time addressing issues with your elemental resistances and mana cost because it gives you a permanent uptime of four of your magic utility flasks.



Now, you might not get your hands on the Mageblood just yet because it is quite expensive in almost every league. That is why you are going to go for a self-crafted Stygian Vise for the time being until you have enough PoE currency to purchase a Mageblood belt.

Use Deafening Essence of Rage (Strength) or Sorrow (Dexterity) until you get a couple of elemental resistances, life, and other useful modifiers.


Self-crafted Stygian Vise


  • Granite Flask
  • Diamond Flask
  • Silver Flask (offense) OR Amethyst Flask (defense)
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Bottled Faith (Offense)
  • Progenesis (Defense)

With the nerfs made to Penance Brand of Dissipation in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League, it is now more important to lean heavily towards improving the damage of the build rather than bolstering its defense. For this reason, the only defensive flasks you should use are the Granite Flask or Bismuth Flask. Progenesis is still an option you can take if you have enough PoE currency later on.

Anyway, the Diamond Flask is a great way to help you reach 100% crit chance. This is mandatory since most of your damage relies on critical hits.

The Silver Flask grants you permanent Onslaught, meaning, you have increased cast speed and movement speed at all times. You can replace this with an Amethyst Flask if you are dying a lot.

Additionally, the Quicksilver Flask is all about accelerating your map-clearing speeds. Complement this by also taking the node that increases your movement speed during flask effect.

For the last flask slot, you have a few options. When you are still putting the pieces of the build together, you can use a Life Flask with the mod that grants you immunity to Corrupting Blood.

When you have some PoE currency to spend, you can take Bottled Faith to improve the damage of the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist even further. The Progenesis acts similarly to Petrified Blood, albeit for a temporary duration. This unique flask greatly improves your chances of survival, but do note that this is quite expensive to obtain. Still, it is a choice you can make in the endgame.

Flask Mods

  • 60% Increased Armour (of the Armadillo)
  • 17% Increased Cast Speed (of the Horsefly)
  • 14% Increased Movement Speed (of the Cheetah)
  • Regenerate 3% of Life per Second OR 25% Reduced Mana Cost of Skills (bench craft)


Adding a Watcher's Eye to any build in PoE is always a good idea and that is even more true for the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist. Purchase a Watcher’s Eye with any of the following mods:

  • Hatred

    • +% to Critical Strike Chance (Best)
    • Damage Penetrates % Cold Resistance
    • % Increased Cold Damage
  • Precision

    • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier
  • Wrath

    • % Increased Critical Strike Chance
    • % Increased Lightning Damage

Next, save some Poe currency to get a Militant Faith with the line that says:..."new faithful converted by High Templar Dominus". The reason why you need to get this specific Militant Faith is so that the nearest keystone passive is transformed into Inner Conviction. This gives you 3% more spell damage per Power Charge, so why not include it in the build, right?

Now, for the explicit modifiers on the said Timeless Jewel itself, you can go for area damage, elemental damage, or brand damage. If you are struggling with mana, you can opt for reduced mana cost of skills as well.

The Balance of Terror is another great addition to the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist. Purchase this unique Cobalt Jewel with these specific modifiers:

  • Gain % of Physical Damage as a Random Element if You've Cast Elemental Weakness in the Past 10 Seconds
  • Cold Exposure on Hit if You've Cast Frostbite in the Past 10 Seconds
  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier if You've Cast Enfeeble in the Past 10 Seconds

The Balance of Terror

If you have The Balance of Terror with the Enfeeble mod, then replace Frostbite with the said curse spell.

This build can greatly benefit from cluster jewels. Get started by acquiring a couple of Large Cluster Jewels (Cold and Physical Damage).

On the cold damage Large Cluster Jewel, use Harvest Reforge Cold until you get the following notable passives:

  • Sadist

    • 15% Increased Elemental Damage if You've Chilled an Enemy Recently
    • 20% Increased Elemental Damage if You've Ignited an Enemy Recently
    • 25% Increased Elemental Damage if You've Shocked an Enemy Recently
  • Blanketed Snow

    • Damage Penetrates 10% Cold Resistance Against Chilled Enemies
  • Random notable passive skill

The last notable passive can be anything as long as it is situated in the middle so that you can save a couple of points when allocating Sadist and Blanketed Snow.

For the physical damage Large Cluster Jewel, use Harvest Reforge Physical to obtain these notables:

  • Battle-Hardened

    • 30% Increased Evasion Rating and Armor
    • 35% Increased Physical Damage
  • Force Multiplier

    • 5% Chance to Deal Double Damage
    • 25% Increased Physical Damage
  • Iron Breaker

    • Overwhelm 10% Physical Damage Reduction
    • 35% Increased Physical Damage

If you like the thought of destroying your enemies with ease, then you better get at least two Medium Cluster Jewels (brand damage) and put them on your passive tree. That said, use Harvest Reforge Speed to get Grand Design and Remarkable.

  • Grand Design

    • 20% Increased Brand Damage
    • Brand Skills Have 10% Increased Duration
    • 10% Increased Brand Attachment Range
  • Remarkable

    • 8% Increased Cast Speed with Brand Skills
    • Skills Which Create Brands Have 35% Chance to Create an Additional Brand

Since you will be using several auras in this build, you might not have enough to activate them all. For this reason, you might have to put a Small Cluster Jewel (mana reservation efficiency) on the passive tree. Use Harvest Reforge Cold until you get the notable passive skill, "Spiteful Presence". This increases the mana reservation efficiency of Hatred by a whopping 50%!

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Apart from the support gems you will be linking to the Penance Brand of Dissipation and the auras that you are going to activate, this build leaves some room for flexibility in terms of the gems that you can use.

Body Armor

  • Penance Brand of Dissipation
  • Swiftbrand Support
  • Power Charge on Critical
  • Concentrated Effect
  • Empower Support
  • Increased Critical Damage Support

The main skill for this build is, of course, the Penance Brand of Dissipation. It is supported by Swiftbrand to significantly increase activation frequency, making your entire mapping and bossing experience seamless.

Power Charge on Critical, Concentrated Effect, and Increased Critical Damage are all support gems that further improve the build's damage output.

Since Penance Brand of Dissipation is a spell skill gem in Path of Exile, it greatly benefits from higher gem levels. Because of this, you are going to include Empower Support in the gem links as well.

Now, if you are wearing Dialla's Malefaction, most of the gems mentioned above should be inserted into green-colored sockets; with the exception of Empower Support, which you should put inside a red-colored socket.


  • Zealotry
  • Wrath
  • Vaal Haste
  • Enlighten Support (lvl 4)

This is your main aura setup. Wrath is a staple in lightning damage-based builds in PoE because it not only provides added lightning damage, it gives you more spell lightning damage as well. This also enables you to put a Watcher's Eye with Wrath mods on it for the maximum benefit.

Zealotry grants you a considerable chance to land critical spell hits on the enemy. When you increase the quality of the gem to 20% using Gemcutter's Prisms, you will get 16% more spell damage as a bonus.

Haste is an aura that allows you to enjoy increased movement speed and cast speed while it's active. The "Vaal" portion of the skill does the same, though it provides an even heftier boost when used! Since this build does not have a ton of DEX, only level this gem up to where the said attribute permits.

A level 4 Enlighten Support gem is included to make sure that you have enough mana to spare for your other skills even when all of the auras mentioned above are activated.


  • Herald of Purity
  • Precision
  • Vitality
  • Arrogance Support

You can boost the damage output of the Penance Brand of Dissipation in so many ways - one of which is by increasing your physical damage. Hence, you will activate Herald of Purity because it gives you 12% more physical damage at gem level 20. You can also corrupt this gem using a Vaal Orb for a chance to raise its level to 21.

Precision is activated as a means of increasing your crit chance. This is very useful early on when you do not have your hands on the endgame gear yet. Furthermore, Precision unlocks the ability for you to take advantage of a Watcher's Eye jewel with the mod that increases your critical strike multiplier when this aura is active.

You might be wondering why we have included Vitality in this gem setup. Well, that is mainly to give you enough life regeneration to mitigate Righteous Fire's downside. More on this interaction in a little bit.

Arrogance Support is special because it allows you to activate the auras above by reserving life instead of mana. Why is this important, you ask? Because then, you can take advantage of the Pain Attunement keystone passive, which grants 30% more spell damage when your HP is below 50%!

Thanks to this combo of gems, you will be below 50% of your maximum HP at all times!


  • Hatred
  • Divine Blessing Support
  • Righteous Fire
  • Summon Lightning Golem

When activated, Hatred grants you 18% more cold damage at gem level 20. On top of that, you get 25% of physical damage as extra cold damage to give more oomph to the Penance Brand of Dissipation every time it pulses.

Since the Wildwood Ascendancies have been removed in the 3.24 Necropolis League, you want to gain some spell damage through other means. That is why Righteous Fire is included in the build

At the max level, Righteous Fire gives you a whopping 39% more spell damage. If you're able to corrupt it and raise its level to 21, you get 40%! This is the reason why Vitality is added into the mix because RF drains your life gradually when it is activated. Vitality just makes it so that you can have Righteous Fire up for a longer period of time.

Summon Lightning Golem is another new change that you have to make in Patch 3.24 to improve your overall damage output. This golem grants you increased cast speed, which helps with the Penance Brand of Dissipation's activation frequency.

Bear in mind that the golem will die if you are fighting against tough monsters. Therefore, you have to resummon it often. We understand that this is cumbersome, but it is a sacrifice you have to be willing to make if you want to maximize this build's potential.


  • Assassin's Mark/Frostbite//Enfeeble
  • Elemental Weakness
  • Cursed Ground Support

Thanks to the Occultist's "Unholy Authority" notable ascendancy passive skill, you can apply two curses on the enemy at a time. That said, we have actually made some adjustments to this setup in the Patch 3.24 version of this build guide.

Elemental Weakness is always a staple because it decreases the elemental resistance of affected monsters to a considerable degree. Now, the second curse really depends on the circumstance.

Assassin's Mark is a great way to capitalize on critical strike damage. In fact, we'd argue that it trumps Frostbite and Enfeeble in terms of total damage output in the endgame.

However, you could also make the case for Frostbite and Enfeeble if you have The Balance of Terror jewel that has these mods on it.

So in short, use Assassin's Mark in conjunction with Elemental Weakness to get the most out of the build. Only change the said Mark skill if you have The Balance of Terror with Frostbite or Enfeeble as one of the mods.

Cursed Ground Support is an underrated support gem in Path of Exile. You see, this allows your hex curses to affect a wider area. Monsters who step on this area will be cursed until they step out of it. But, with the damage that you're dealing with the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist, they will have no time getting out of harm's way!

Bear in mind that you still have to cast the curses manually. The said support gem only makes it so that it affects even more enemies than usual.


  • Steelskin
  • Automation Support
  • Flame Dash

In Patch 3.24, you can no longer bind instant skills or actions on the left mouse button. This is due to the introduction of Automation Support. This new gem automatically activates the instant skills it is linked to, which in this case, is Steelskin.

Steelskin is the preferred guard skill for this build because you don't have enough armor to get the most out of Molten Shell anyway. Besides that, you do not have many Endurance Charges to enhance Immortal Call's duration.

Thanks to Automation Support, Steelskin gets activated every time it is off cooldown!

Flame Dash your travel skill for this build. You can replace it with Frostblink if you want to. Despite the fact that you have a shield equipped, Shield Charge is a no-go because you do not have enough attack speed to make it feel comfortable to use.


The Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist has suffered a lot of nerfs in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League. Not only does the spell skill gem itself get nerfed, but the removal of the secondary ascendancy classes plays a huge part in the build's reduced overall performance as well.

However, the good news is that the Tattoos have returned in Patch 3.24, so you can use some of them to gain great benefits. That said, here are the Tattoos that we recommend:

  • Tattoo of the Arohongui Shaman

    • 5% Increased Effect of Herald Buffs on You
  • Tattoo of the Hinekora Warrior

    • 3% Increased Maximum Energy Shield
  • Tattoo of the Valako Shaman

    • 5% Increased Lightning Damage
  • Tattoo of the Valako Scout

    • 10% Reduced Effect of Shock on You
  • Tattoo of the Hinekora Storyteller

    • +3% to Chaos Resistance

<h2 >Passive Tree

Passive Tree for the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist

Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist

Final Thoughts

The Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist is still great in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League, but you have to set your expectations. It is no longer as godlike as it once was. It can no longer melt uber bosses like they are mere creeps. However, the build still performs admirably well with enough investment.

If you still want to feel the power, you can spec and use items that give you more and more damage. Take note that this comes at the cost of reduced survivability, so you just have to account for that.


Other than that, do we still recommend the Penance Brand of Dissipation Occultist? Yes, of course! You just have to have enough PoE currency to make it feel better to use.

With all of that said, good luck on your journeys in Wraeclast, Exile!


+Incredible damage potential thanks to the transfigured version of Penance Brand

+Can defeat pinnacle bosses without breaking a sweat

+Great map-clearing potential

+Still awesome in Patch 3.24


-Playstyle is clunky at first

-Requires a lot of unique items

-Not a league starter

-Not as godlike as before

-Requires an even heavier investment due to the nerfs implemented in the Necropolis League

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