[][Something Clever about Draining]: Vitality Drain Essence Oppressor (SR80, Controller Friendly)

With the new patch, here comes part 20 of my controller friendly build series: Vitality Drain Essence Oppressor.

With, I saw a lot of changes to Drain Essence. I thought that vit Drain Essence would be viable, and it is.
grimtools link. The MI prefixes and affixes are just the best I had, not what is theoretically optimal.

Playstyle: cast Judgment and Ill Omen, then stand and Drain Essence. Use Ascension when you feel like it, and Mark of Torment when you’re in danger.

Video proof of clear I died to trash on Shard 2. Oops.
Fight tips
  • Offense: make sure to constantly use judgment for its DA reduction. Crit is huge on this build.
    You can run out of energy, but potions will normally be enough to maintain it. When they aren’t, run away until your energy is back.

  • Defense: Drain Essence provides massive healing, so be careful when using judgment or Ill Omen, as they stop your Drain Essence. Save Mark of Torment for when you need it, and don’t be afraid to run the **** away. With Vire’s Might, Murmur’s Kiss (which I should have been using instead of Leap in the video, oops), and the new dodge, you can run away extremely well.


As usual, the resists are overcapped to deal with resist reduction on high SR.

Essential Gear:

  • Skull of Gul’Amash: provides important aether conversion, and other good stuff. Do note that the energy regen is important, so don’t use one with 61% regen even if it offers more damage.

  • Riftwarped Grasp: Pretty straightforward; huge OA, and big bonuses to Drain Essence.

  • Vigar’s Hunger: Avatar of Order reduces your damage by 30%, so don’t use it. Conduit of Undying Whispers with the right prefix still isn’t nearly as strong.

  • Abyssal Helm: Solid damage, energy cost reduction, and an important aether to vit conversion.

Stuff I’m pretty sure is best in slot:

  • Ascendant Source: There aren’t actually many options for vitality Drain Essence. Most Drain Essence weapons convert Vit [to something] or Aether [to not vit]. Chillwhisper Blade works as backup. (There MAY be a variant with Corruption of Gargabol and Uroboruuk’s Effigy, but I don’t have a Corruption of Gargabol to test. Without Cast speed, I think it’ll be inferior, but I can’t be sure.)

  • Signet of the Fallen: the cast speed is huge, as is the +2 to Decomposition. 10% vit resist reduction is obviously important too.

  • Voidheart: there isn’t anything with a good skill bonus, so the 10% vit RR is big.

  • Ilgor’s Eternal Vigil: the Drain Essence stuff is good, the +3 to Decomposition is huge, and if you’re lucky it will patch some holes in your defense.

  • Heart of Yugol: the aether to vit conversion makes this the best option, as far as I can tell.

  • Uroboruuk’s Mantle: casting speed, good resists, and key skills.

  • Serenity: Gives nearly as much damage as Uroboruuk’s Reaping or Meditation, and with more defense.

  • Arcane Harmony Leggings: “I know I’m probably the biggest fan of these, but I believe a build is only as strong as its weakest link, and without disruption protection you will really struggle against certain enemies. +84/126 spirit is great, and +84/126 DA is awesome as well. The resistances are good too. I don’t know why other people don’t use this as much as I do.” – me, on like 80% of my builds.

Other stuff:

  • Boneshatter Treads: you need slow res here, and this seemed the strongest option: OA, Pierce res, and bleed res are good.

  • Cord of Violent Decay: I probably should have gone with Crimson Lotus. A good Lunal’Valgoth’s Waistguard should be even better.


The way I do devotions is to start with full offense, then redistribute points into defense until I stop dying at my target SR. There is room for more defense, and possibly pushing higher SR as a result, but it would make the build boring.


  • Rattosh: Vit RR, and important life leech resist reduction.

  • Revenant: RR is key. Manticore is the option, but it doesn’t have cast speed, and its damage is the wrong element. It would go on Guardian of Empyrion. Judgment means you’ll have tons of skeletons at all times.

Not Core

  • Abomination: gives about a 10% damage increase, with good uptime, and some other important stuff. I’d probably try ditching this if I were trying to push SR85+.

  • Chariot of the Dead: the slow res is the key here, but other stuff is good.

Everything else should be pretty self explanatory.

Skill Choices
  • Drain Essence: the point of this build.

  • Harbinger of Souls: need that cast speed. You could try Master of Death if you want be tankier, but that’d be less fun.

  • Spectral Binding: RR, OA, Health.

  • Ill Omen: since this has no weapon damage, Bone Harvest/Soul Harvest scarcely increases your damage, and Ill Omen provides defense. I’m not 100% sure about how it applies the damage reduction, to be honest, but it seems to be the best way overall to proc Abomination.

  • (Siphon Souls): considered using this, but you don’t need the healing, and you get OA reduction from Decomp. It would be good for proccing devotions, but you don’t need it for anything.

  • Mark of Torment: get out of jail card. Should keep you safe for its entire duration.

  • Summon Guardian of Empyrion: gives RR. Normally great for proccing devotions, but you’re not allowed to put Revenant or Abomination on it. Sadness.

  • Judgment: gives great DA reduction, and with Heart of Wrath it’s amazing at proccing Revenant. I put several points in it to increase its radius.

  • Presence of Virtue: good stuff. The energy regen is important, although the health is excessive.

  • Resilience: might be worth a point.

  • Ascension: probably worth a point.

  • Vire’s Might: a lot of mobility for only 2 points. Could probably get by without it, but there aren’t great places to put those 2 points.


Put as much into Drain Essence/Hungering Reach/Decomposition as your energy can sustain. It’s a pretty strong build for levelling, since it has so much lifesteal.
For devotions, prioritize maxing XP for Rattosh.