The Broken Build - Blade Blast Chieftain Build Guide (PoE Expedition 3.15)

TbXie

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Expedition League “Updates” & “Disclaimers”

While I generally put a lot of emphasis on updating all of my guides before a new league starts, I have decided against doing so at the moment. Many of the changes that came with PoE’s 3.15 Expedition league launch have pretty severe gameplay impact, which is incredibly hard to predict without having the appropriate software updated (like Path of Building). Therefore, I will give all my guides a pass and point out the obvious changes. Everything outside of this paragraph will stay untouched for 3.15 for now and will be updated accordingly over the course of the next weeks. This means that the information in this paragraph always supersedes anything written in the guide. Build updates will be prioritized in order of their popularity.

These are the changes I would undoubtedly make to this build:

  • Nothing at all actually – Get a Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn with Life% Recovery instead of its current version with all three sources of recovery.

Summary

Yep, Nerfed again. The question is, was it enough? Honestly, the math behind BB is not easy but I think it will be fine. Especially since all other skills also got nerfed super hard I assume blade blast won’t feel too bad. I however don’t think it’ll be an S-Tier skill anymore.

Introduction

With Blade Blast Blade Blast‘s release in 3.10 Delirium League, people initially didn’t think much of it. However, it was quickly realized that the skill really did outrageous damage. Obviously, because of the way the skill works, you would need to pair it with a generator. Blade Blast does exactly what is sounds like it would do. It blows up “lingering blades” which are to be created by other skills. There’s a couple of skills that would leave these lingering blades, but the most efficient and pleasant way of creating them is definitely Bladefall Bladefall. This means the build is a 2-Button-Build, meaning that your main skill requires another skill to work (think of combinations like Desecrate & Volatile Dead and Essence Drain & Contagion types of builds).

While that definitely isn’t comfortable for all players, the reward you’re getting for it is low-key obnoxious. The current state of the build puts it over 8,000 Health, 82% Physical Damage Reduction, 1,000 life regenerated per second, close to maximum Block & Spell Block with Life gained on block, Endurance Charges, some dodge and upwards of 40 million Shaper DPS. This most likely means it’s one of the strongest possible builds in the game, while being very obtainable on a reasonable amount of gear / currency and even in a SSF environment, if you play enough!

Other than your two-button mainskill(s), the build requires you to press a couple of other buttons to play it optimally. I guess one could argue that is the only downside the build needs you to deal with. Because of the way Chieftain works, you’re going to need to be generating Endurance Charges. Since you want this to be automated as much as possible, I’d argue going to Call to Arms is very efficient, as you can just move your Enduring Cry Enduring Cry to your Left Mouse button and forget about it all together.

Ideally, you also want to manually cast Immortal Call Immortal Call to keep Chieftain’s 15% More Damage buff up more consistently (read: permanently). In the guide’s gem links, I have linked it to a very low level Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support because I personally don’t like having to press a ton of buttons. If you don’t mind doing this, however, it is highly recommended to run a high level one and press it manually every 5 seconds. If you decide to do this, you can link it to Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support for super reliable uptime there as well!

Other than those active skills, the build uses a Trigger Wand to relieve pressure from gear and increase you damage output tremendously. Additionally, there’s a Tempest Shield Tempest Shield in there to get you a little bit extra block chance as well. Since the build runs an obscene amount of regeneration it also uses Righteous Fire Righteous Fire and Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire. This is where a lot of your overall DPS comes from as it gives a whopping 69% more multiplier to your damage!

Build Summary

Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Strong bosser with amazing clear
+ Requires no Uniques whatsoever to function
+ Therefore SSF & league start viable
+ High HP pool / Block Chance to make for a smooth playstyle
+ This is the “play it before it gets nerfed” type of build

Cons

It’s a horrible leveling experience as Marauders and Spells don’t go hand in hand
Pretty heavy on buttons to press (2 Button Build + Warcry, Immortal Call, etc.)

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

No Regeneration is incredibly annoying to run, as you’re relying on Life/Mana/ES regeneration quite a bit. If you insist on doing it anyway, you need to turn of your Righteous Fire. Otherwise Elemental Reflect is a no go.

Echoes of the Atlas Expansion Updates

While I am as baffled as anyone, it is my pleasure to announce that Bladefall / Blade Blast actually survived the Echoes of the Atlas Patch Notes! Sadly, Chieftain took a very minor hit in its Life Regeneration, but, since Harvest is coming back, that is completely undone by getting a 3-stat Belt instead of a 2-stat Belt! Honestly, it’s incredible how this build is still a thing as it sits pretty at 10s of millions of DPS, whilst remaining more tanky than a build should be at the investments that it has.

So, without counting on Harvest (meaning that most of the items are 2 or 3 stat items that are obtainable in a ridiculously small amount of time), the build remains the exact same. This means that it’s going to be so much more powerful and potent when the Harvest garden gets used to improve your gear!

Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths

As explained before, Blade Blast Blade Blast detonates Lingering Blades. These Lingering Blades are created by skills like Bladefall Bladefall, Blade Vortex Blade Vortex and Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives create blades that are detonatable for Blade Blast. The reason why Bladefall is the most efficient for us is because if works really well with Unleash Support Unleash Support and Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support. This is the most amount of blades one can create per cast, and thus makes for the most efficient way of creating blades and dealing damage.

Defensively, the build also packs quite a punch. Because of its nature and it being a Marauder, it picks up a lot of life naturally. Other than that though, it focuses on getting as much block as possible by using Glancing Blows. Because of the downside of that keystone, you’re going to get Life gained when Blocking on a Shield. This effectively reduces damage taken by around 60%. Other than that, the build has a reasonable amount of Armour, Dodge, and Physical damage Reduction. It most certainly is one of the tankier builds you will ever be playing.

Playstyle-wise I feel like it is very smooth and more importantly very forgiving. Mistakes don’t really get punished whatsoever on this build and the fact that you can say that about the build without it feeling like it has poor damage is its main benefit.

Optionally, if you want to enjoy the game like you have never before (or have before, if you’ve ever used this piece), this is the character that makes use of the Explody Chest. The reason why it uses it well is because of the way these Explosions scale. They do not scale with Spell Damage, but they do scale with Fire Damage for example, and this build only does Fire Damage so you might as well look for Fire Damage instead of generic Spell Damage. It also scales off of Elemental Damage rolls, of which you pick up a decent amount. All in all, the Explody Chest generally clears entire screens by itself without any help. It is an expensive item, however, and is not required whatsoever to play the build.

Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links

You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.

If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a PoePlanner for you. Do note that PoE Planner does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.

More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.

Passive Skill Tree, PoB & Gem Links

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.

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page

Gear Summary / TL;DR

A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.

Gear, Jewel & Flask Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet with High Life, Resistances and -9% to Fire Resistance
Amulet Rare Amulet with Life, +1 Physical Gems and Resistances
Chest Explode Chest piece with Maximum Life
Gloves High Life, Resistances and Dexterity
Boots High Life, Dexterity, Resistances and Movement Speed
Belt Stygian Vise Stygian Vise with High Life and Resistances
Rings Coral Ring Coral Rings or Opal Ring Opal Rings with Life, Fire Damage & Resistances
Weapon Rare Sceptre with Fire Damage, Spell Damage or +1 to Skills, Cast Speed and Trigger Mod
Shield High Life and Recover % Life when you Block

Questions & Support

I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.

If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.

Leveling

Even though we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will recommend you to use the standard leveling setups until after Act 5. Blade Blast Blade Blast just doesn’t function that well until you have all of your stuff going, especially on a Marauder, as you will have no damage nodes. For more information about leveling, we refer you to the following guides:

If you still want to go at it as a spellcasting Marauder, you will need someone who helps you with gems as most of these will not be accessible to you as a Marauder.

Getting to Brutus & Merveil

For starters, create a Marauder in whichever league you want to start.

Pick up an Explosive Trap Explosive Trap to start your journey and go to kill Hailrake and clear Mud Flats. Set up the following links after Mud Flats:

  1. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap

After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support to your Frost Bomb.

Level 12 and Onwards Setup

From level 12, after killing Merveil, you’ll be setting up for your road to level 28. You should be breezing through content at this point as these skills are really strong while leveling.

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support

At level 28, swap your Storm Brand Storm Brand for Armageddon Brand Armageddon Brand as it scales better with the passives you are picking up in the skill tree.

Questions

I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.

Changelog

  • Updated for Ritual 3.13.

  • Build added.

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  1. Posts
    8

    hey man i’m a little confused about evasion base boots and gloves since the tree is armor nodes and not evasion, isn’t this choice going to make the character a little squishy?

  2. TbXie

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    On 30/12/2020 at 10:59 PM, yvblake said

    hey man i’m a little confused about evasion base boots and gloves since the tree is armor nodes and not evasion, isn’t this choice going to make the character a little squishy?

    You need Dexterity on your boots which is only rollable on Evasion based boots. The thing is though that a single piece of Armour or Evasion on a build hardly matters. Even more so, investing in either is generally not super recommended and only done so on specific builds who kinda get a decent chunk of it for free already. You shouldn’t worry too much about the bases of your items, generally.

  3. Posts
    8

    i guess man and you’re probably right but it just seems weird to me (a very new player) to split the defenses since both the bench and essences can force dex to a str boots.

    anyway only thing i’m having trouble with now is getting a 5-6 link chest with good colors (ssf here). 4 link is good still but i have not tried t14 maps yet.

    thanks for the build dude it’s pretty fun and i sure do like to play a spell casting marauder.

  4. TbXie

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    On 31/12/2020 at 3:09 AM, yvblake said

    i guess man and you’re probably right but it just seems weird to me (a very new player) to split the defenses since both the bench and essences can force dex to a str boots.

    anyway only thing i’m having trouble with now is getting a 5-6 link chest with good colors (ssf here). 4 link is good still but i have not tried t14 maps yet.

    thanks for the build dude it’s pretty fun and i sure do like to play a spell casting marauder.

    The thing is, even with decent amounts of %increased Armour a pair of boots will in the most optimal non-influenced scenario have Movement Speed, Life & Life/armour Hybrid as its three prefixes since you would never trade off more life for more armour. Therefore, the best possible boots you’d ever be able to wear would have like .. idk .. Ballpark 300 armour.

    In a build that doesn’t scale %armour to deal damage (there’s a couple of those that exist), the most %armour you’re ever going to see is around 100. So, perfect boots in a perfect build (which is never going to happen) will add around 600 armour to your build. Very very negligable since you can get 4000 from your Chest, 2000 from a helmet, …

    You also can’t force 40 Dex on the Bench (and getting 30MS, 85Life, Some Resists with Dexterity essence is not something I recommend anyone to do, regardless of how much you play, letalone if you’re not playing too much) so you’d always require double suffixes which just loses you another suffix somewhere and isn’t worth it.

  5. Posts
    1

    Excellent build. Ran it HC SSF twice. 1st time died at 84 half asleep on a reflect map I didn’t notice as I was just spam running whites and killed myself. Made a second one to 90 and just yolo’d him into the most juiced up map I could make as I was done with the league. He lasted longer than expected.
    From my angle:
    Pros-
    Can take a beating and keep going strong
    Easy to gear, you can get a low level Darkwood scepter base in the early zones and alt spam it for +1 Phys gems pretty easily. Then around yellow maps I used the bench to add 60% spell dmg.

    Only big con I had was prox shields and …damn with the Flashback league mechanics, they were everywhere haha. Early leveling was slow too, but that was from being SSF, so I didn’t have the regrets pooled in stash to easily respec out of melee

    Thanks again for the wonderful build.

  6. TbXie

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    1401

    On 01/01/2021 at 9:58 PM, Wrong_Turn said

    Excellent build. Ran it HC SSF twice. 1st time died at 84 half asleep on a reflect map I didn’t notice as I was just spam running whites and killed myself. Made a second one to 90 and just yolo’d him into the most juiced up map I could make as I was done with the league. He lasted longer than expected.
    From my angle:
    Pros-
    Can take a beating and keep going strong
    Easy to gear, you can get a low level Darkwood scepter base in the early zones and alt spam it for +1 Phys gems pretty easily. Then around yellow maps I used the bench to add 60% spell dmg.

    Only big con I had was prox shields and …damn with the Flashback league mechanics, they were everywhere haha. Early leveling was slow too, but that was from being SSF, so I didn’t have the regrets pooled in stash to easily respec out of melee

    Thanks again for the wonderful build.

    Thank you!

  7. Posts
    7

    This is the most rewarding build so far for me! I had a great time taking me to white maps. For the first time I feel powerfull! :)
    I’m running this in SSF, and I guess I had RNG with me. Pieces falling in to place at a nice pace.
    Many thanks for the work putting this guide together!

    /KurtVresig

  8. TbXie

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    On 06/01/2021 at 10:38 PM, JHex63 said

    This is the most rewarding build so far for me! I had a great time taking me to white maps. For the first time I feel powerfull! :)
    I’m running this in SSF, and I guess I had RNG with me. Pieces falling in to place at a nice pace.
    Many thanks for the work putting this guide together!

    /KurtVresig

    Welcome

  9. Posts
    1

    Hi, TbXie.

    Gotta say, you’ve been really prolific with all of these build guides here, yet the quality of them hasn’t faltered at all. Will probably be counting on one of your amazing contributions here to get me through 3.13.

    About this build in particular, though, the explosion chest is a little hard to come by for a PoE pauper. Would the Bubonic Trail boots be effective at all in boosting clear speed in comparison?

    Thanks, and of course keep up the good work.

  10. TbXie

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    1401

    On 07/01/2021 at 2:16 AM, Bhitaker said

    Hi, TbXie.

    Gotta say, you’ve been really prolific with all of these build guides here, yet the quality of them hasn’t faltered at all. Will probably be counting on one of your amazing contributions here to get me through 3.13.

    About this build in particular, though, the explosion chest is a little hard to come by for a PoE pauper. Would the Bubonic Trail boots be effective at all in boosting clear speed in comparison?

    Thanks, and of course keep up the good work.

    Nah, Bubonic Trails really are nothing in comparison to Explody chest and honestly aren’t even the same thing to start from. The main reason why explody chests are this good is because they use the only wording that doesn’t specify that something has to be killed by not-the-explosion for it to work, making it so it explodes off of its own explosions.

  11. Posts
    7

    Maybe a dumb question, but what good are Call to Arms in passive tree do for this build? I can’t see there is any warcies?

  12. TbXie

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    1401

    On 08/01/2021 at 3:25 PM, JHex63 said

    Maybe a dumb question, but what good are Call to Arms in passive tree do for this build? I can’t see there is any warcies?

    There’s an Enduring Cry in the Gem Links?

  13. Posts
    7

    Ahh, that’s right. I was only looking in pob. Sorry :)

  14. TbXie

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    1401

    On 08/01/2021 at 6:58 PM, JHex63 said

    Ahh, that’s right. I was only looking in pob. Sorry :)

    No worries! PoB’s often stem from my own play (and I don’t like using a lot of buttons, I’d rather manually dodge – but that doesn’t mean it’s optimal ^^)

  15. Posts
    5

    yo im trying to make this build work but im 60 ex down and still dies right left and center on t14+ maps, is there a chance that any1 with a bit more knogleg than me coudt lend me some wisom and hopefully get it to work x’D

    here is a link to my char if that helps: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/lakridspiben/characters

  16. TbXie

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    1401

    On 09/01/2021 at 9:53 PM, meebz said

    yo im trying to make this build work but im 60 ex down and still dies right left and center on t14+ maps, is there a chance that any1 with a bit more knogleg than me coudt lend me some wisom and hopefully get it to work x’D

    here is a link to my char if that helps: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/lakridspiben/characters

    I see you went for a little more offensive approach without the Glorious Vanity. Your gear however looks fairly solid. What exactly is killing you though? It almost has to be a playstyle thing? Cause with this build, no monster should almost ever be able to hit you as they all die instantly? Are you dying to on death effects like Volatiles, Bearers, …?

  17. Posts
    5

    yea i think it was a playstyle isue, im rushing thrue all the maps now and im owm to try out a a8 sirus but the only problem i have left is the mana. i sem to always run out of it and when im out of flask charges im pretty screwed, is there a way to fix that? ^^

  18. TbXie

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    1401

    On 10/01/2021 at 4:59 AM, meebz said

    yea i think it was a playstyle isue, im rushing thrue all the maps now and im owm to try out a a8 sirus but the only problem i have left is the mana. i sem to always run out of it and when im out of flask charges im pretty screwed, is there a way to fix that? ^^

    You can fix that, but its incredibly highend gearwise. You’d have to get -9 on Rings & Jewellery and use a Replic Conqueror’s Efficiency as far as I can tell. The Mana flask should almost always be up though!

    Actually, maybe a Mana Gained for Each Enemy Hit by Your Spells mod on a shaper ring COULD suffice! I haven’t tried that though myself but if you get 3 mana per hit, and bladefall bladeblast hit a lot so that might actually be enough.

    If you end up testing it, let me know though so I can recommend it perhaps!

  19. Posts
    5

    sure think m8 thank yo so much for the help and the guide!
    even tho the sirus kill failed it wasnt the build but me messing up and pc studdering

    again tywm!

  20. Posts
    2

    Hey – I ran a poison version of this build (the Ghazzy one on this site actually) and a “+3 Mana gained for each enemy hit by your spells” ring solved this issue for me entirely. Given the nature of the skill it winds up procing a ton.

    On 10/01/2021 at 6:02 AM, TbXie said

    On 10/01/2021 at 4:59 AM, meebz

    yea i think it was a playstyle isue, im rushing thrue all the maps now and im owm to try out a a8 sirus but the only problem i have left is the mana. i sem to always run out of it and when im out of flask charges im pretty screwed, is there a way to fix that? ^^

    You can fix that, but its incredibly highend gearwise. You’d have to get -9 on Rings & Jewellery and use a Replic Conqueror’s Efficiency as far as I can tell. The Mana flask should almost always be up though!

    Actually, maybe a Mana Gained for Each Enemy Hit by Your Spells mod on a shaper ring COULD suffice! I haven’t tried that though myself but if you get 3 mana per hit, and bladefall bladeblast hit a lot so that might actually be enough.

    If you end up testing it, let me know though so I can recommend it perhaps!

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