Ancestral Warchief Ascendant Build Guide (PoE Legion 3.7.)

Vvckd

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Introduction

We are looking at one very solid build that uses totems in order to kill foes. The main idea behind the build is utilizing Facebreaker Facebreaker unique gloves. They give a huge multiplier to the flat physical damage you get from other sources, as long as you are not wielding a weapon. Wearing the gloves and stacking flat physical damage anywhere you can will result in huge damage output when using Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief totems. We choose the Ascendant because of the additional totem from Hierophant and leech via Chieftain. Vaal Ancestral Warchief brings great utility to the build, since it turns your immobile totems into leaping ones that deal even more damage. Picking Resolute Technique solves the issue of your totems missing their hits. Stacking great amount of physical damage means Hatred Hatred and similar effects are that much stronger. Herald of Purity Herald of Purity is great for the build, because of the flat physical damage it provides.

Build Summary

The foundation of the build is basically just the gloves Facebreaker Facebreaker. That is all you need in order to start. Try to pick a pair with higher roll since it does matter a lot. Other than that all you need is to stack flat physical damage on rings and amulet. Even a perfect pair of Facebreakers does not exceed 30Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs, so it is not that expensive. Helms like Deidbell Deidbell, Deidbellow Deidbellow are good options to start with. Abyssus Abyssus provides a lot of flat physical damage but makes you glass cannon. Other good sources of flat physical damage are the shield Great Old One's Ward Great Old One's Ward, Loreweave Loreweave and two Steel Ring Steel Rings rolled with additional flat physical damage. For flasks you can go with the usual Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise and Lion's Roar Lion's Roar. If you have the currency you can get Taste of Hate Taste of Hate too. Overall if you start the build with just badly rolled Facebreakers you can reach maps with less than 5Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs budget. Use Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa until you farm your way toLoreweave Loreweave.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ High endgame single target potential
+ Safe to play
+ Do not have to worry about reflect

Cons

- Totem builds might not appeal to everyone
- Average clear speed

Playstyle

Offensively, dropping one totem will be enough to clear a pack of monsters. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief bumps up the maximum totems to 4, which means for single target you can drop two average totems and two vaal totems for maximum damage output. Hatred Hatred, Herald of Purity Herald of Purity should be active at all times and offensive flasks when used properly improve damage even further.

Defensively, keeping your distance and letting totems do the work should feel safe. Additionally the life leech from damage dealt by your totems brings great sustain to the build. High life pool is easily obtainable.

For Playstyle, you should place your totems near monsters, keep your distance and let them do the work. When you get it, you can depend on the life leech via the Chieftain ascendancy. Use totems to block projectiles flying in your way. Keep in mind Ancestral Warchief is a melee totem, you should be relatively close to the totem for it to be active.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree, Bandits, and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Scion – Ascendant)

The reasons we choose Scion – Ascendant above Hierophant or Chieftain are the following. Hierophant specializes more into spell and critical/ Mind over Matter type of builds, all it brings to the build is basically additional totem and some totem placement speed. Chieftain on the other hand brings a lot of damage and tankiness to totems, along with leech, but you are locked into using just two totems. Combining the Pros of these two ascendancy classes is basically the Ascendant.

  1. Passive point
  2. Hierophant Ascendacy
  3. Chieftain Ascendancy
  4. Path of the Marauder

Hierophant brings the additional maximum totem which is a nice quality of life when it comes to clearing, and a big boost in single target damage. Picking Chieftain gives the build the sustain it needs in order to progress into harder content. Path of the Marauder lets you drop the starting points of Scion and save few passive skill points.

Passive Tree

Here is an endgame version of the passive tree. We pick some minion damage and attack speed because it applies to us via Spiritual Command and Spiritual Aid. The rest of the tree is basically life, damage, attack speed and totem nodes. Make sure you pick Ancestral Bond and Resolute Technique as early as possible.

Bandits

Considering the build does not benefit from helping any specific bandit we choose to kill them all in Act II.

Pantheons

Major: Even though every single major god can be used in the build, Soul of Solaris has a lot of raw defence power when fully upgraded and we recommend using it. Soul of the Brine King is also useful if you feel like stun is an issue.

Minor: Soul of Shakari is the recommended minor god. It brings poison immunity and more defence to chaos damage. Other minor gods can be used depending on personal preference.

Gems

Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief is your signature skill, it should ideally be used in a 6-Link. For mobility, you should use Shield Charge Shield Charge and Flame Dash Flame Dash. The usual Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support gem setup is used for defensive purposes. Hatred Hatred and Herald of Purity Herald of Purity provide a lot of offensive power to the build and should be active at all times. Rallying Cry Rallying Cry can be used for the additional damage and mana regeneration it gives when used.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority (starting from the top left, going to the right on each row of the links), meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom (with the bottom right being the last). Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Ancestral Warchief (6-Link)

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief is a very powerful melee totem. When placed, the totem slams the ground, dealing area of effect damage. When clearing regular mobs, placing one or two regular totems will be enough to kill a whole pack of monsters. When you encounter tougher foes use your Vaal totems in order to deal additional damage. The following link is universal and can be used for both single target and clearing.

  1. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

Shield Charge (4-Link)

Shield Charge Shield Charge is used in a universal 4-Link that is useful in many builds. Using Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support will allow you to charge around without having mana issues. Hitting enemies with Shield Charge will provide the Fortify effect for additional damage mitigation.

  1. Shield Charge Shield Charge
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support
  4. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Immortal Call and Enfeeble (4-Link)

As in many other builds, Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support is used for defensive purposes. Immortal Call Immortal Call will prevent deaths from consecutive physical hits. Considering the build does not utilize any other curse, Enfeeble Enfeeble is used in this setup in order to provide additional layer of defence. You should keep all gems in this link at gem level requirement 40 or lower.

  1. Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support
  2. Immortal Call Immortal Call
  3. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support
  4. Enfeeble Enfeeble

Hatred

Hatred Hatred adds additional cold damage, based on your physical damage. This specific build has a lot of physical damage scaling, this is why such an aura proves to be very effective.

Herald of Purity

This Herald of Purity Herald of Purity buff provides a great amount of flat physical damage, which is scaled to extreme amounts by using Facebreaker Facebreaker gloves.

Other Gems

Flame Dash Flame Dash can be used for additional mobility. Rallying Cry Rallying Cry can be used in combination with Deidbellow Deidbellow. You can also use a Golem gem, for damage use Summon Flame Golem Summon Flame Golem, for defence, we recommend Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem for the additional life regeneration.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources. Best source of damage for the build is jewelry with flat physical damage to attacks. Using a lot of Abyssal jewels with the same stat is important too. For survivability both Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast andLoreweave Loreweave will help out a lot.

Helmet

Here we have a few unique helmed options. Deidbell Deidbell and Its upgraded version Deidbellow Deidbellow are both a good choice for the build because of the great flat physical damage they give. Abyssus Abyssus gives insane amount of damage but makes you squishy. Rare helm can also be used. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)

Body Armour

Offensively, Loreweave Loreweave is the best choice. Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast brings a lot of tankiness to the build. Rare body armour can also be used. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 100)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Elder mod; Pristine Fossil)
  4. Socketed Gems are supported by Level 1 Maim (Serrated Fossil)

Gloves

Facebreaker Facebreaker is the obvious choice. Try to get a pair with 750 percent or higher roll. These gloves can be corrupted for additional mods:

  1. % increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Attack Speed

Boots

A pair of Bubonic Trail Bubonic Trail are best in slot for the build but can get very expensive, especially with two abyssal sockets. Instead you can use a rare pair of boots. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 70)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (20%)

Belt

Due to the power Abyssal jewels bring to this build we can either choose well rolled Stygian Vise Stygian Vise or Darkness Enthroned Darkness Enthroned. Before getting one of these you can use Meginord's Girdle Meginord's Girdle. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (at least 25%)

Amulet

Best in slot is a rare amulet with high flat physical damage roll. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  4. Gain % of Non-Chaos Damage as Extra Chaos Damage (Elder mod)
  5. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (at least 25%)

Rings

Same as the Amulet, we are looking for high flat physical roll. Make sure you choose Steel Ring Steel Rings due to the additional damage it brings to the build. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  4. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (at least 25%)

Shield

Here we have a lot of options. Tukohama's Fortress Tukohama's Fortress brings a lot of defence to the build, but also adds Blood Magic, which means you cannot run Hatred Hatred and Herald of Purity Herald of Purity. Great Old One's Ward Great Old One's Ward is a great choice because of the additional damage it provides. Other unique shields that can be considered are Lioneye's Remorse Lioneye's Remorse, The Surrender The Surrender and Kaltensoul Kaltensoul. Another option that is recommend is a decently rolled rare shield with crafted flat physical damage. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. +1 to Maximum Number of Summoned Totems (crafted via crafting bench, can be expensive)
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks (crafted)

Flasks

Quicksilver flask, preferably of Adrenaline for additional movement speed. Silver flask, since the character does not attack and kill by itself there is no easy way to gain Onslaught, this flask fixes the problem. Having the Hierophant ascendancy as a Scion will give you a weaker version of Mind over Matter, when you get hit late game you will lose most of your mana, this is why running a Hallowed Hybrid flask proves to be very useful. Basalt flask is a great defensive choice in every build, especially this one. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise; Lion's Roar Lion's Roar; Taste of Hate Taste of Hate – These three unique flasks bring a lot of damage to the build and should be purchased depending on the currency you have to spend.

Jewels

Spire of Stone Spire of Stone is a unique jewel that we recommend in every totem build. Besides that there is no other unique jewel that outweighs the power of abyssal jewels with flat physical damage to attacks and life. The Rare Abyssal jewel Affix Priority is:

  1. Maximum Life (at least 35)
  2. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks

Note: Besides these two mods you can improvise.

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

Leveling the build is very easy. Just buy a pair of Facebreaker Facebreaker gloves and level up to 28 using Sunder Sunder. Then you can start using Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief. Meginord's Girdle Meginord's Girdle combined with Herald of Purity Herald of Purity will easily carry you to Blood Aqueduct. Additional unique items that will make your leveling a breeze are The Deep One's Hide The Deep One's Hide, Deidbell Deidbell and Great Old One's Ward Great Old One's Ward.

Leveling Trees

This is where you should be when you start using Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief.

This is a passive skill tree prior to absolute endgame.

Useful Leveling Uniques

As you begin a new character there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. The Screaming Eagle The Screaming Eagle will help you reach level 28 with ease. Meginord's Girdle Meginord's Girdle will provide a great amount of damage when you start using Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief with a pair of Facebreaker Facebreaker gloves.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, your Molten Strike Molten Strike link should look like this.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 8, your optimal Molten Strike Molten Strike gem setup looks like this.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Maim Support Maim Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash, this allows you to save time by jumping over certain map obstacles.

At level 16, you should add Herald of Purity Herald of Purity. At this point you are also able to equip Facebreaker Facebreaker. This is why we recommend replacing your Molten Strike Molten Strike with the following Infernal Blow Infernal Blow gem setup.

  1. Infernal Blow Infernal Blow
  2. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  3. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

By level 18, your Infernal Blow Infernal Blow link should look like this.

  1. Infernal Blow Infernal BlowAncestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  2. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 24, you should add Hatred Hatred, this aura will improve your damage by a considerable amount.

At level 28, finally, you can transition from Infernal Blow Infernal Blow to your signature skill, Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief.

  1. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

FAQ

Is there any particular content the build cannot do?

The Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief Ascendant is great for all types of content. The extreme damage endgame will be enough to take down any boss while you also have a great amount of sustain via the life leech from Chieftain.

Conclusion

Overall a solid build that can be started with little to no investment. One of the stronger totem builds that feels very safe to play if you are into that kind of play style. In endgame scenarios the build has more than enough damage to deal with Shaper’s guardians, Shaper himself and even Uber Elder.

Changelog
  •   

    Updated passive skill trees for Legion 3.7.

  •   

    Improved Gem and Gearing sections.

  •   

    Updated passive skill trees.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Synthesis 3.6.

  •   

    Made the playstyle section more descriptive, and improved the gearing section by providing more detailed recommendations.

  •   

    Reworked Gem Link and Gem Progression sections for improved visibility

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  1. Posts
    1

    great guide but i have one question. im under the impression that totems arent minions so why use those skills that give minion upgrade is it just incase u use a golem?

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    188

    Hey Takashii81, totems are indeed NOT minions, but via the node on the passive tree called Spiritual Aid, all minion damage applies to you, therefore it also applies to your totems.

  3. Posts
    1

    Hi. pretty new to POE and was using this guide, just started syn league yesterday. I have a question. In section 5.1, the 4th gem you list as damage on full life support, but in section 7.3 at level 28 you list faster attacks support instead of the damage on full life. Which gem is supposed to be used in that 4th slot? Thank you for the guide and sorry to ask I just don’t know enough about game mechanics to know the answer.

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    188

    On 19/04/2019 at 5:14 PM, Leylan said

    Hi. pretty new to POE and was using this guide, just started syn league yesterday. I have a question. In section 5.1, the 4th gem you list as damage on full life support, but in section 7.3 at level 28 you list faster attacks support instead of the damage on full life. Which gem is supposed to be used in that 4th slot? Thank you for the guide and sorry to ask I just don’t know enough about game mechanics to know the answer.

    Hey Leylan, while levelling, you and your totems do not have enough Life leech and you cannot fully utilize, Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support, this is why you should use Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support instead, until you ascend into Cheiftain.

  5. Posts
    2

    Hi Vvckd, in the passive skill tree for this guide, what is the reason for taking the lower path to Spiritual Aid (via Redemption) instead of the higher path (via Righteous Army)?

  6. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    188

    On 07/05/2019 at 1:58 PM, Mooncup said

    Hi Vvckd, in the passive skill tree for this guide, what is the reason for taking the lower path to Spiritual Aid (via Redemption) instead of the higher path (via Righteous Army)?

    With Facebreaker Facebreaker builds you tend to lack Attack Speed in general, the Minion Attack Speed on the lower side applies to you via Spiritual Command. You can do both ways if you prefer the % increased Damage any ways, it is not that big of a deal.

  7. Posts
    2

    On 07/05/2019 at 6:59 PM, Vvckd said

    With Facebreaker Facebreaker builds you tend to lack Attack Speed in general, the Minion Attack Speed on the lower side applies to you via Spiritual Command. You can do both ways if you prefer the % increased Damage any ways, it is not that big of a deal.

    Ah! I had no idea SC applied to minion attack speed as well as damage! Awesome! Thankyou.

  8. Posts
    1

    Absolutely love this build. I really appreciate that you took time to write this guide. I have Three questions though.

    1- Where do I pull in elemental resistances? This build seems to call for lot of unique items that doesn’t have resistance lines.

    2- Is it better to use Tukohama’s Fortress or Kaltensoul + Hatred + Herald of Purity ? I really like the lines on Tukohama but not sure if I want to give up on Herald of Purity especially with Facebreaker on.

    3- If I do decide to take non-Tukohama route, will i be able to manage the mana loss? The Hierophant makes me take 8% of damage as mana and since Hatred and herald of purity takes up most of my mana…

    Again, Thank you for this awesome guide!

    Edited by AngryBAsian on June 20th, 2019

  9. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    188

    On 20/06/2019 at 4:58 AM, AngryBAsian said

    Absolutely love this build. I really appreciate that you took time to write this guide. I have Three questions though.

    1- Where do I pull in elemental resistances? This build seems to call for lot of unique items that doesn’t have resistance lines.

    2- Is it better to use Tukohama’s Fortress or Kaltensoul + Hatred + Herald of Purity ? I really like the lines on Tukohama but not sure if I want to give up on Herald of Purity especially with Facebreaker on.

    3- If I do decide to take non-Tukohama route, will i be able to manage the mana loss? The Hierophant makes me take 8% of damage as mana and since Hatred and herald of purity takes up most of my mana…

    Again, Thank you for this awesome guide!

    Hey AngryBAsian,

    Capping elemental resistances can be somewhat troublesome but easily manageable with somewhat decent gear. Taking the non-Tukohama route will ensure a bigger damage potential indeed so you should probably do that. When it comes to the slight mana problem, I found that running a Hybrid flaks helps by a great deal when you get hit and go out of mana.

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