POE Witch Guide – Power Charge/Essence Drain Occultist [Starter Leveling]

Leveling as an Essence Drain Occultist build [Path of Exile]

NOTE: This GUIDE is for Beginners Only!

Keep in mind, leveling an essence drain build is neither weak or insanely quick. There are a few uniques that are amazing for leveling in most builds like Lifesprig driftwood Wand, there is no plus one chaos crafting recipe and this makes lifesprig a unique you want to pick up early as it will carry you until a 5 link item drop.

Goldrim leather cap though lack in life is perfect for managing resists until merciless difficulty where you need to start obtaining gear with higher defensive stats.

Wanderlust wool shoes have high movement speed at low levels, though can be replaced much sooner than Goldrim or Lifesprig.

Tabula Rasa simple robe is an all-star leveling item for most builds but for hardcore players they can get greedy and keep the sixth link while sacrificing defenses. Realize that you will need a higher mana to sustain the higher links.

A notable non unique leveling item is ELREON’S jewelry, these are rings and amulets from ELREON’S quests that give between minus 4 and minus 8 reduced skill costs make an early game casting have no mana cost whatsoever. Reaching Marvel’s caverns is the quest reward for the essence drain requiring level 12, keep in mind that any ‘degen based builds’ when you lack damage it can feel sluggish. I highly recommend buying a high quality essence drain 16% or higher and using gem cutter prisms to bring it to 20%, when you have the extra currency link essence drain with void manipulation into a life sprig. Keep in mind a couple sapphire rings as cold resists will make Marvel easier, the resist cap in the game is 75%.Link spell totem with wither to help for a single target damage.

The bandit choice in act 2 will be oak for the life bonus, the other bandits are no use to you. Chamber of sins has reasonable lightning damage so consider a topaz ring at level 16 you gain ENDURING CRY for endurance charges and you can use Arctic armor for extra defenses. Controlled Destruction can be linked to essence drain and void manipulation at level 18 while faster casting gets it linked with contagion to make the combo feel smoother. A second faster casting should be linked in the spell totem with our combination. Remember to keep your life potions up-to-date by regularly checking the vendors, you will want a remove bleed flask stanching suffix due to believes being very dangerous. It is best to be on a flask that doesn’t get replaced while leveling your Granite silver, Quicksilver or Sulfur flasks work perfectly.

Act 3 has many different elemental damage types, consider getting all three elemental resists to 50% as you progress through. The library has the key rewards unlocking Blasphemy, Slower projectiles, Poison, Rapid decay and Pierce though “Fortify Whirling blades” is great but your attack speed at this stage of the game will make it feel clunky. At level 34 link blasphemy with vulnerability curse for offense or enfeeble for defense then add a second one when you gain an additional curse on the build by dropping arctic armor.

Temporal chains is the best curse for endgame essence drain character but you do not gain value if you don’t have the consuming dark. For the poison link replace controlled destruction or void manipulation with Pierce on Lifesprig or simply put all four on a four-link if you find single target as weakened bosses replace pierce support gem with the poison support gem for the fight. This is where Tabula Rasa becomes strong if you have the ELREON’S jewelry to sustain the mana cost. Keep in mind as the 5 link gem is very important you will not need it for normal difficulty but you should try to acquire one as soon as possible and never go back to a four-link essence drain setup.

Must Have Items: