Content of the article: "Ice Crash Occultist – Boom or Bust?"
With the new changes to Occultist giving her generic cold damage instead of just DoT and power charges now giving % generic damage instead of only spell damage, the ascendency opens up to a wide range of cold builds that don't have to just be spells. Power charge stacking and staff nodes between the witch and templar give a metric crap ton of crit to staff attack builds, and there exists quite a bit of block for staves as well in the region (+ just a bit of reach for Glancing Blows). And the lovely thing about staff crits is with the Smashing Strikes node on the tree, you generate endurance charges with crits.
After picking up the three ascendency points (cold damage through Frigid Wake and power charges with Forbidden Power), the last pickup on your ascendency tree is pretty versatile. Profane Bloom (with a buff to a 40% chance for enemies to explode) can be picked up if HoI doesn't do it for you, otherwise Malediction provides a good bit of damage + defence (10% damage taken by enemies, enemies deal 10% less), or if you prefer to go energy shield and pickup Chaos Innoculation, Vile Bastion is always a solid node to invest into.
If you want to pick up some short investment nodes in the witch area, we can go back to the good ol' Crown of Eyes in the helmet slot to take advantage of 150% effectiveness of spell damage converted to attack damage (plus some life and mana leech in the helmet slot is nice). If you want to go and exert your attacks, warcry nodes start popping up just south of the big staff tree on the outer rim of the Templar region.
This is all to say, wait for patch notes and ctrl-f search "Ice Crash", but for now, I'll let my dreams remain dreams.
Edit: Alright, so I was bored and went ahead and specced a build out for it. It… actually kinda works.
Life is kind of lower than I typically like at 5500, but there is room to scale it. 20% less damage taken and the natural freeze from Occultist makes it a bit more tankier as well. If you wanted to sacrifice a bit of damage, you could add in a fortify gem to the main attack for another 20%. Even taking out the watcher's eye and ignoring the flasks (which won't be up at all times for bossing, so I typically leave them be), it hits for a million on just the first hit alone (assuming frost bomb is up and an exerted attack). Even without those the dps looks pretty decent. I'm no sure if Glancing Blows is worth the three points, but I've left it for now.
This would probably be kind of rough to level with, but maybe not since the main staff nodes are decently close. The main gear isn't overly expensive either. Probably a good starting point to continue working off of.
- 3.13 Build Concept: Tanky WoC Ignite Elementalist (wall of text warning)
- The Glancing Blows nerf makes sense
- [Elementalist] Shaper of Storm + Shaper of Winter will create some very fun builds.
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