Home / Build / [3.8] Frostbolt + Ice Nova Witch (Occultist)

[3.8] Frostbolt + Ice Nova Witch (Occultist)

Intro & build description

Quite recently Ice Nova was considered a bottom tier skill that almost no one used. With 3.5 and some cold skill overhaul, it got buffed with quite an interesting interaction with Frostbolt. It works as follows: You cast Frostbolt and while it is traveling, you also cast Ice Nova. Instead of casting around you, Ice Nova will cast on top of the traveling Frostbolt(s) you shoot – you can see how the interaction works in the video in gameplay section on the bottom.

Build also utilizes Focus mechanic introduced in 3.5 for great damage boosts.

Build Pros

  • 4 Curses for great defense/offense and Endurance charge generation from Warlord's Mark ring
  • Huge AoE
  • Doesn't require tons of expensive items to work

Build Cons

  • Rare staff craft can be a bit tricky

Passive tree(s) and Path of Building

[3.6] Skill Tree
[3.7] Skill Tree
[3.8] Skill Tree


Bandits Quest Choice
Kill all bandits

Ascendancy skill points

LabyrinthsSkill point choice
Labyrinth 1Forbidden Power
Labyrinth 2Profane Bloom
Labyrinth 3Malediction
Endgame LabyrinthVoid Beacon

Skill gem setup


Cast When Damage Taken Support (Level 9)

Immortal Call (Level 11)

Increased Duration Support (Level 20)

Poacher's Mark

Body Armor


Greater Multiple Projectiles Support

Curse on Hit Support


Slower Projectiles Support

Faster Casting Support


Flame Dash

Faster Casting Support

Less Duration Support

Arcane Surge Support


Herald of Ice

Curse on Hit Support

Elemental Weakness

Enfeeble / Temporal Chains

2h Weapon

Vaal Ice Nova

Spell Echo Support

Controlled Destruction Support

Faster Casting Support

Concentrated Effect Support

Hypothermia Support

1h Weapon


Offhand weapon / shield


Build uniques / Example rare gear

Tip: Click on the item to view it on PoE Wiki or to view similar rare items in poe.trade


Energy Shield Helmet

Look for ES base helmet with life and -9% to cold res of nearby enemies and a resistance or 2.

It’s fairly easy to craft a helm like that with 2 Socket resonator and Pristine + Frigid fossil.

Body Armour

Carcass Jack

Carcass Jack is an ideal chest armour for this build – gives us a lot of AoE and area damage as well.


Rare Gloves with Cast Speed while focussed

Look for rare gloves with high life, some resistance and craft “x% increased Attack and Cast Speed while Focussed” mod on them.


Two-Toned boots

Look for generic rare Two-Toned boots with high life, 30% movement speed and a resistance or 2.

Left Ring

Mark of The Shaper

Really great ring that synergyzes well with our other elder ring.

Until you can afford it, any rare ring with life and resistances will do just fine.

Right Ring

Elder Ring with Warlord's Mark

Look for rare Elder ring with Warlord’s Mark on hit mod. Another good mods to have on this ring would be life, resistances, mana, attributes you are missing.


Unique Amulet With +1 Curse Corruption

The priority for the amulet is to get +1 Curse corruption.

Great starting option would be Atziri’s Foible or you could get rare amulets with life and critical strike multiplier to corrupt.

If you have a lot of currency, you could buy The Halcyon with +1 Curse corruption, but that will cost you a fortune.


Stygian Vise

Look for rare Stygian Vise with life and resistances.
You could also craft increased damage mod on it using crafting bench.

2Hand Weapon

Rare Shaper Eclipse Staff

Staff is really important for this build and it is going to cost a bit of currency to get going.

First we need a Shaper Eclipse staff for 100% crit implicit. Next we need to get “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level x Power Charge On Critical Strike” mod on this staff. That’s pretty easy to do with just orbs of Alteration. After you got that one mod, regal the staff and multimod it. You could also try to use Orb of Annulment before multimoding, but only do that if you have enough currency to reroll it in case power charge mod is removed.

Mods to craft on it using crafting bench after multimoding:

chance to deal double damage while focussed,
gain x% of non-chaos damage as extra chaos,
cold damage to spells,
cast speed,
spell damage.

Until you can afford to craft yourself a staff like that, Pledge of Hands is an exceptional staff to use for this build.


Frozen Trail

We use 1x Frozen Trail jewel to increase the amount of Frostbolts we cast.


Jewel Setup

Look for a mix of abyss and regular jewels.

Mods for abyss jewels:

1.) Cold damage to spells
2.) Cold damage to spells while wielding a Two-Hand weapon
3.) To maximum life
4.) To maximum energy shield
5.) Resistances / Attributes if you are lacking any

Mods for regular jewels:

1.) Critical strike multiplier
2.) Critical strike multiplier with cold skills
3.) Critical strike multiplier with elemental skills
4.) Increased maximum life / energy shield
5.) Increased maximum mana / resistances / attributes


Flask Setup

1.) Instant recovery Divine Life flask with bleed removal
2.) Experimenter’s Quicksilver flask of adrenaline
3.) Diamond Flask with freeze removal
4.) Atziri’s Promise / Lavianga’s Spirit (if having mana problems)
5.) The Wise Oak


Here you can see the Frostbolt / Ice Nova interaction.

Feel free to share your thoughts/experiences/tips about the build in comments section below.

About gems

Always tries to keep up with the game, its ever-changing mechanisms and explain them in understandable manner.


  1. Given the Warlord’s Mark nerf in 3.7, is this still viable? Thanks.

    • Probably viable, you could build hybrid ES and Life. Spec into few energy shield leech nodes or/and use Energy Leech Support – it would work quite well I think.

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