Ancestral Warchief Ascendant (Facebreaker) Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

Vvckd

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Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

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.

Passive Tree

Here is an endgame version of the passive tree.

For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Deidbellow Deidbellow
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast
Gloves Facebreaker Facebreaker
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Steel Ring Steel Rings
Weapon Unarmed
Shield Great Old One's Ward Great Old One's Ward

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.

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
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build is getting a buff via new Totem nodes south of Duelist.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build was not affected by any major changes and remains as solid as before.

  •   

    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

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    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

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    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
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    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

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    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

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    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.

  10. Posts
    2

    Hi if i use 5 link armor then what u suggest what gem to get rid of

    Edited by TIEN on August 5th, 2019

  11. Vvckd

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    On 05/08/2019 at 5:38 AM, TIEN said

    Hey what weapon Should use in early and end game ?

    You can use literally whatever you want until level 16, then you can start using Facebreaker Facebreaker.

  12. Posts
    6

    1. Does Rallying Cry affect your totems without the Deidbellow?

    2. Would Enduring Cry with Deidbellow be a viable alternative for more survivability? (I’m on HC)

    Edited by symphony on August 29th, 2019

  13. Posts
    2

    guys, how stack Herald with Warchief? “Summon a Sentinel of Purity when you Kill an Enemy” < but damage only from warchief(((

  14. Vvckd

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    On 08/09/2019 at 10:43 PM, Rensonne said

    guys, how stack Herald with Warchief? “Summon a Sentinel of Purity when you Kill an Enemy” < but damage only from warchief(((

    Hey, we are using the skill purely for the additional flat damage it provides, which then is greatly scaled via Facebreaker Facebreaker. The Sentinels are not meant to be used at all with this build.

  15. Posts
    2

    On 09/09/2019 at 4:36 AM, Vvckd said

    On 08/09/2019 at 10:43 PM, Rensonne said

    guys, how stack Herald with Warchief? “Summon a Sentinel of Purity when you Kill an Enemy” < but damage only from warchief(((

    Hey, we are using the skill purely for the additional flat damage it provides, which then is greatly scaled via Facebreaker Facebreaker. The Sentinels are not meant to be used at all with this build.


    Thank u so much!

  16. Posts
    1

    Any way to get a pastepin for this I want to import onto path of building?

  17. Vvckd

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    668

    On 08/10/2019 at 7:57 PM, ALTF4REAPZ said

    Any way to get a pastepin for this I want to import onto path of building?

    Hey, unfortunatelly we do not create PoBs at the moment.

  18. Vvckd

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    On 17/10/2019 at 7:02 AM, chx said

    This is a wonderful guide. I am only at lvl48 but I have 11k DPS already. Some notes at this level (probably not so good much higher but right now they seem like a brutal option): The Belt of the Deceiver gives (15-25)% increased Global Physical Damage and can be had as cheap as 1 alchemy. The Brinerot Whaler Boots is another 20% increased Global Physical Damage and can be had for 1 chaos. Yeah you forego the armor on these but The Belly of the Beast (3c) and the Deidbell(ow) (the Deidbell is cheap, I saw it for 1 chromatic or 1 alch, the Deidbellow is expensive at this level) takes care of the armor just fine. The Deceiver belt also gives you resistance, life, and decreases damage taken from critical strikes not that you stand around for those but still, someone might get lucky :) Quite a thing from an item so cheap. With cheap rings and amulet maxing out resistance is not a problem.

    Hey, thanks for the kind feedback! Keep in mind your best stat is flat physical damage added to attacks, increases are also great but not as useful.

  19. Posts
    2

    Hi Vvckd

    Tx for this great build. Its so far my best Boss-Killer. And that without a weapon;)

    I played it first in HC (until death sometimes…) and also in Normal, because i wanted to see how fast and good it works on red maps.

    It works very good…

    TY and i will check your builds for the next season:)

  20. Vvckd

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    On 07/11/2019 at 10:52 AM, Rippi said

    Hi Vvckd

    Tx for this great build. Its so far my best Boss-Killer. And that without a weapon;)

    I played it first in HC (until death sometimes…) and also in Normal, because i wanted to see how fast and good it works on red maps.

    It works very good…

    TY and i will check your builds for the next season:)

    Hey, your kind feedback is really appreciated! Glad you like the build and have fun in the next league.

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