[] Theorycrafting budget Bone Harvester vitality Cabalist


Every cabalist build I found (at least in the newest compendium and tagged cabalist threads) relies on Ravenous Earth, legendary sets and items so I wanted to make something that can work with easily obtainable greens, faction gear and self-found items that you will likely get during your normal/elite/ultimate campaign playthrough.

I think a picture will describe what I had in mind, when I created this build, better than a thousand words:

Grimtools link: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/wV1ePLzV

Disclaimer: This is a theorycrafted build so I actually don’t know how easy is to obtain some of those items, mainly rings and amulet. But the build should work even with random greens or faction stuff that has bonuses to used skills, vit damage or whatever stats you are currently missing. Tbh, only weapon is necessary.

How is it supposed to work:
Hold RMB (Bone Harvest) and randomly use every button in your skill bar whenever they are off-cooldown to stay alive, proc devotions and eventually kill everything near you. Keep Blood of Dreeg active and use Bloodthrister if you see your HP dropping.
Yes, this is piano build but it’s like piano for toddlers that plays nice songs even if you mash the keys randomly.

I stole it from one of @Nery builds because I couldn’t find any other way to get Scales of Ulcama, Rattosh, Wendigo and Dying God together. I don’t like Wretch here but I think it’s necessary.
I think it’s possible to experiment if you drop Wendigo or/and Scales. I wonder how more tanky version with armor devotions would work with all this life leech.

How this build actually works:
I actually don’t know because so far I’m around level 40 and I have none of those items except weapon and off-hand…
So far I kill things relatively fast and don’t die - even with cheap components, no augments, no resistances, etc. I farmed some devotions with the elite merit and now I’m rushing the campaign to unlock all factions, get basic gear from them and then I’m planning to move to elite.

So why not Ravenous Earth?
I actually started building cabalist with this in mind as my goal:

But even budget version of this build wasn’t “budget enough” for me.
Also, once I’ve got to ~35 level and started using RE I immediately didn’t want to play it any more. I just don’t like RE - it’s like opening hell’s anus to fart at your foes. I know it’s an awesome skill and RE cabalists are really good but I find Bone Harvest 100% more appealing…
I know it’s a stupid reason but I just can’t stand RE and I can’t imagine watching it for ~50 or more hours I will probably spend on this character.

Future and end-game:
I have no idea. This should be enough to complete ultimate (my wild guess) and I’m not planning anything more.
Maybe Blood Knight set with Morguul’s Mortality, Deathguard Blade or even 2h version with Nightbringer?

Then why are you posting this?
So maybe some kind and helpful souls will fix it if it needs fixing, make it better, offer suggestions and tell me what I can do with it next.
I’m not looking to be competitive, break SR or Crucible records - I just want it to be somewhat viable to complete all content and something to aim for, once I finish this budget version.

Thanks for help in advance.

Edit: updated the build based on suggestions by @Evil_Baka (fixed resistances and greens, bumped up DA considerably, boosted armour absorption, shifted some skills around, replaced head gear and belt).

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Have you considered using a 2-hander with the Korvan Reaping Halberd? Or a separate version alongside the Bonescythe one with it?

It’s worth making a note as well that to farm the headgear on any/all difficulties that you have to ally with Kymon’s Chosen at Homestead before selecting Necromancer as one of your masteries.

For some detailed build critique:

  • Your Defensive Ability (DA) is low. Ideally, 2700 should be the minimum end game characters reach. I recognise that your Infrequents lack affixes so offer plenty of avenues to pick some up and that you’re getting some OA shred from Blood Boil but it is worth mentioning and if possible, finding a way to raise this amount to make finding workable affixes for players that follow less stressful.

  • Shift some augments around so your Chaos resistance is at least 80%.

  • Try to push for around 95% armour absorption so your armour is as efficient as possible for mitigating Physical damage. Physical is by far the most dangerous damage type to deal with once you have the rest of your resistances sufficiently capped. A Scaled Hide or 2 are good for this and are easier to get a hold of for new players than Living Armour/Sacred Plating.

  • Points in Destruction seem like a waste as you’re not converting the damage and have low % damage modifiers and resist reduction for Fire/Chaos.

  • You may as well max Soul Harvest and Second Rite as they are big damage increases for Bone Harvest which is a core skill of yours here. Solael’s Witchfire at the moment isn’t doing much as you don’t benefit from the Chaos damage or attack speed.

  • A few points in Mark of Torment up to 4/10 or 6/10 are great and offer an excellent damage negation ability for tight spots.

This is how I’d change your skills around without changing your gear.


First of all, thanks for input.

Yes, but this would a big shift from original “plan” and, I’m guessing, it would require different devotions and equipment.

Big oof. I should probably change it, then. Playing without necromancer until Homestead and not using gear from Death’s Vigil and their level 40 augments would be kinda against the idea of “budget build” that relies on faction gear. Death’s Vigil provides decent boost when you get level 40 which is needed for AoM, imo.

You are right. I didn’t choose affixes. But I wasn’t planning to farm for greens and just use whatever I’d need at the moment since this build, in theory, should rely on self-found items and faction stuff. This setup is just a mere suggestion and “worst case scenario” if somebody won’t drop any usable legendaries during the playthrough (which is unlikely to happen).
I will try to shift things around, at least for those items that are easily obtainable.

Another oof. I changed the belt for cheaper one and forgot to switch augments to patch up chaos resistances. I will put the old belt back since it shouldn’t be hard to get (it was Lunal’Valgoth’s Waistguard) and reputation for Barrowholm can be farmed at the same time as the belt so it will be good time investment.

Noted. I’ve put more expensive components because I was able to craft them during my first elite playthrough on my first character so it shouldn’t be a problem for a player who reached ultimate.

I was planning to add Mark of Torment but this build is already a piano with 7 keys to press and I didn’t want to add another… I don’t fill like it’s absolutely necessary because I already have Ill Omen.
I’d save MoT for end-game builds - once you get some legendaries going which should save some skill points.
I will shift skill around, according to your suggestions.

But I’m wondering why did you change devotions bindings? I like Bat on Ill Omen - it doesn’t do much against bosses but it clears trash nicely and if boss spams a lot trash it makes it even better for me.

It should still be doable up to that point as solo Occultist I’d say. Occultist has a number of options early on to midgame that are relatively strong and should be capable of pushing someone to Homestead:

  • Bloody Pox and Wasting. Optionally with Fevered Rage for more damage. Damage taken back can be compensated with Twin Fangs, Blood of Dreeg and kiting. It’s often in Normal/Veteran that maxed Pox with it will kill things before they reach you and deal too much damage.

  • Dreeg’s Evil Eye and Blood Burst with Focused Gaze. Capable of dealing loads of Acid damage from the initial throw with enemies taking even more from the Poison as you kite around safely.

  • Sigil of Consumption. Decent damage and AoE with good survivability. If you opt for a Bloodsworn Scepter and/or Vampiric Bonewall, it becomes even more potent. Speaking from personal experience, I have crushed everything with Chaos Sigils starting on Elite with Lokarr’s set, Normal/Veteran up to level 30-40 would be a joke in comparison I’d imagine.

It’s fine for crowds but for single Bosses that don’t spawn adds, I don’t like how often Ill Omen is going to trigger Twin Fangs. Any skill that either can tick more than once per second or you can cast/attack with multiple times per second and in an AoE is a great bind for Twin Fangs. Which is why I set Sigil of Consumption to it. 2 Sigils down means you have more chances for it to proc even on 1 enemy. I think the cooldown and duration on it also raises the proc chance slightly but I might be wrong on that.

Bone Harvest on Rattosh is great. The cooldown on Bone Harvest raises the proc chance to 51% so you can often get your RR going quickly.

Curse of Frailty on Wendigo’s Mark isn’t ideal but it still allows you to blanket crowds in it and turn them into heal batteries.

Anything left in your skillset can go on Hungering Void. I just chose Siphon Souls to compensate for the health drain a tad.

Your aim should be something like that after beginner gears https://www.grimtools.com/calc/nZoQDJo2 with Blood Knight set, it’s a quick theorycraft without augments but seems low on stats like OA and DA so you need to compensate something to get that. Beronath is just filler and consistent RR applier. BH damage should be enourmous but again you need to balance the stats. Scales and Wendigo binded RE and MoT makes you immortal even with 2500 DA but again you need atleast 2800 OA and some more DA. Don’t focus on CDR, focus on damage. -0,5 sec less CD is worse actual damage.

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It’s definitely doable but can you get lv 94 on normal? Or can you side with Kymon’s Chosen on ultimate even as necromancer because you already sided with them on normal?
I don’t know if it’s worth the effort. Soulless Gaze might actually be better and you can side with Order on normal for smoother leveling.

The thing is, I don’t think Bat is useful on bosses anyway. But it doesn’t take a lot of time to swap it before more “serious encounters” so I’ll keep your setup in mind.

Thanks for suggestion but RE is absolutely a no-go. I just hate this skill and I don’t want to use it. Stupid and childish reason, but if I wanted to go with “meta build” I wouldn’t be creating this thread in the first place.
More melee oriented build looks interesting - dunno if it’s any good, though. Ritualist seems like a better match for it.

Once you ally with them on Normal once, you are free to select Necromancer for your second mastery and you can continue working with them for Elite and Ultimate. As for why they do lore-wise: Kymon’s Chosen detests Necromancers and have some words for you when you become one while you do their quests but when Elite/Ultimate comes around, they recognise your feats in helping them previously and are willing to accept you again if you continue to support them. Father Kymon even calls you a strange child of his from what I remember.

Any amount of extra leech is useful as you’ll generally be taking the most damage from Boss encounters. Bat especially is one of the ones in your kit that has a low cooldown and can be spammed. You want to capitalise on both as much as possible to keep you on your feet as much as you can.

Give it a try and see what you think.

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That’s actually a nice detail.
So it’s easier early game with Order vs slightly better lv 94 helmet. I actually finished AoM yesterday around level 45 and I don’t think it would be such a smooth ride without Order’s stuff.
But if I was using XP potions, I’d probably go with Kymon since Order’s gear quickly becomes irrelevant.

Well, as I said earlier - it doesn’t take much time to switch so I’ll probably do it when I encounter a boss that will be able to kill me. So far it’s smooth sailing and Bat is great against trash. I died once so far because my acid res is nothing and I stood in poison cloud like a dingus… Celestial Totem in East March almost killed me, too but it was my fault because I stopped casting Bone Harvest.
Today I’ll probably rush the rest of FG and move to Elite and we’ll how it will go… I’ll probably will have to hunt for some greens because my resistances are pitiful atm.
But I have Fiendscale Jacket waiting for me which has more than double armor compared to my current chestpiece so it should help quite a bit.

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Why? Don’t you farm the soulless gaze helm from the bosses spawned from the Barrowholm quest “the feast”? Or were you referring to a previous version of this build idea?

I was referring to the Death’s Whisper Hood that Master Ravok drops.

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That makes more sense yes thanks for clarification

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