Bladestorm Berserker Build (PoE Harvest 3.11)

Furty

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About the Author

Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, recent ladder results include finishing at Rank 5 on the Legion SSF League playing Essence Drain Essence Drain and the Betrayal League at Rank 186 playing Elemental Hit Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.

Author

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:

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links


Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers


Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Introduction

Bladestorm Bladestorm is a relatively recent addition to Path of Exile, first introduced in Patch 3.7.0 Legion League alongside the melee skill and Ascendancy rework. While on the surface it might not appear all that different from Cyclone Cyclone, there are a few key distinctions that make this skill its own. This build has not changed significantly in setup or power level in Patch 3.11 Harvest.

For starters, the interaction with the Blood and Sand Blood and Sand and/or Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone auras allow you to modify the way the skill works at a fundamental level. Similar to other skills, such as Lacerate Lacerate, the Sand stance is more geared towards clear, while the Blood stance can offer far more impact on lone and formidable targets.

Berserker also got a lot of attention from GGG, and received quite the facelift. No longer a feckless choice of Ascendancy, the new Berserker is a brutal beast that tears apart bosses and maps with savage glee. Boasting a unique Rage mechanic and built-in scaling mechanics, our Bladestorm Bladestorm Berserker has the potential to be both a league-starter and a late-game leviathan.

Build Assessment

Pros

+ Excellent single-target and bossing capability (up to 6M DPS in end-game gear)
+ Phenomenal league starter — functional on low levels of gear and links
+ Decent clear speed relative to average builds — not quite on par with top-tier skills such as Tornado Shot Tornado Shot or Essence Drain Essence Drain
+ Viable choice for both Solo Self-Found leagues and Hardcore
+ Unique feel that combines new game mechanics introduced in 3.7.0 Legion — Bladestorm Bladestorm and Berserker are recent introductions
+ Strong defenses — 203% Increased Maximum Life

Cons

Certain map mods are not possible or difficult to deal with (Physical Reflect, No Leech)
Slight ramp up time before maximum damage is achieved
Button heavy and requires constant “stance-dancing” to maximize damage (also a potential positive if you like active builds!)

Playstyle and Build Mechanics

Bladestorm Bladestorm is skill with a 360 degree area of attack. Unlike a similar skill that comes to mind (Cyclone Cyclone), Bladestorm Bladestorm is not a movement skill, and therefore you cannot move while casting it. It is also not considered a Channelling skill, and is unaffected by gems such as Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support. One of the upsides of this skill, however, is that it has two separate incarnations based on whether or not you are in Sand or Blood stance.

Alternating between Sand and Blood Stance:

Sand and Blood

The playstyle of this build is fairly easy to get a handle of in theory, but it does have a fair amount of button engagement that will keep your fingers and your brain busy. We use both the Blood and Sand Blood and Sand and Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone auras, and you will one of them on your bar to allow you to switch stances freely.

Bladestorm Bladestorm is a two part attack, but you only really need to concern yourself with the main component, which is when your player spins in place. This is the bulk of your damage. Using Bladestorm Bladestorm also creates a secondary effect, known as Bladestorms, underneath your character while it spins. You can have a maximum of three of these storms active at a time, and they deal additional damage and grant your character bonuses based on your current stance. This means there is some ramp up time before you hit peak damage on a boss, but only for a second or two at most.

Sand stance causes your bladestorms to travel forward, and standing in your bladestorms causes you to gain increased movement speed. We usually rely on Sand stance while clearing, as it offers the best speed as we move through an area. Blood stance is used when you have to deal with bosses or particularly dangerous Rares, such as Legion mobs, as it grants additional Attack Speed. Blood bladestorms are stationary, though this does not usually have any significant difference in feel.

To clear, simply Leap Slam Leap Slam into packs and Bladestorm Bladestorm. If your gear is appropriate to the content you are attempting, most packs should die more or less instantly, and you can immediately leap into the next set of enemies. If you encounter tougher targets, like the Syndicate or Legion Rares, you will want to switch to Blood stance in order to gain the additional Attack Speed while you are bladestorming.

Keep Blood Rage Blood Rage active at all times while you are clearing for additional damage and leech, as well as keeping your Frenzy Charges capped. There is no need to ever place your Dread Banner Dread Banner — we simply use it as a means of procuring additional chance to Impale as well as reducing the accuracy of enemies. Try to keep your Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem active whenever possible.

Cycle your chose Vaal aura as needed. We recommend using either Vaal Haste Vaal Haste or Vaal Grace Vaal Grace, both of which have a fairly high uptime. If you are familiar with the map layout, be sure to have your Vaal skills ready for the boss in advance.

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief is our damaging Vaal skill for significantly boosting boss burst damage. You can even bring out the normal Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief for even more damage on bosses that really need the smack down. You can use the Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief while clearing too, although things often die too often for it to be properly effective. It is a fantastic ally against aforementioned tough targets, however, and really brings the pain against Syndicate encounters and the like.

Passive Skill Tree

Click here to see our recommended Level 100 Passive Skill Tree.
For more details on the Passive Tree, skill acquisition order, and more, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page for in-depth information.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Gems

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

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

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

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items strike a balance between power and cost-effectiveness. If you want to explore more options for Gear (both budget and high-end), Flasks, or get more information on alternatives and specialty items, please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels, and Flasks page thoroughly.

Some example gear used by our character:

Gear Example

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Carcass Jack Carcass Jack or Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast
Gloves Rare Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves
Boots Rare Two-Toned Boots (Cold and Lightning Resistances) Two-Toned Boots (Cold and Lightning Resistances)
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Ring 1 Mark of the Elder Mark of the Elder
Ring 1 Rare Shaped Ring
Weapon 1 Rare Harpy Rapier Harpy Rapier OR Paradoxica Paradoxica
Weapon 2 Rare Harpy Rapier Harpy Rapier or base of choice

For in-depth recommendations for gear, flasks, jewels, and crafting advice be sure to read our Gear, Jewels, and Flasks page.

Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Leveling

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

Start out with Ground Slam Ground Slam, which you should use until Level 12, when Sunder Sunder can be acquired. Sunder is a fairly potent leveling skill due to its high base damage and ease of use. Your Sunder links, in order of priority, are:

  1. Sunder Sunder
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  4. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  5. Maim Support Maim Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

Just use what you can get until the gems become available — Maim Support Maim Support and Ruthless Support Ruthless Support are available very early, along with Onslaught Support Onslaught Support, but you will have to wait until Act II for Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support is an option in the meantime, if you are using a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa.

Blood and Sand Blood and Sand is available right at Level 4, and should be picked up immediately. Acquire Herald of Ash Herald of Ash and Herald of Purity Herald of Purity in Act II to help you level up. You can get Pride Pride in Act III after doing Lost in Love and drop Herald of Purity Herald of Purity.

You can acquire Bladestorm Bladestorm in Act III after defeating General Gravicius in the Sever the Right Hand quest. Bladestorm Bladestorm is viable as a leveling skill — feel free to swap it in immediately, although you may want to utilize some nodes or gems (such as Pulverise Support Pulverise Support) in order to maximize area of effect, and thus leveling speed.

FAQ

What Annointment Should I Use on My Amulet?

  • Offense: Blademaster typically provides the greatest overall DPS increase of any one notable.
  • Defense: Discipline and Training adds a decent chunk of additional Life.
  • Utility: Graceful Assault provides Onslaught for clear and bosses with adds, allowing you to swap out your Silver Flask Silver Flask. This has the potential to be the best clearing option but sacrifices bossing capability slightly.

I’m Struggling to Maintain Mana, What Do I Do?

Get % of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana on gear such as Gloves or Rings, or spec into some more Mana Leech on the tree.

What About Vitality Void?

Vitality Void is a great notable but not mandatory by any means. If you feel you need a little more Leech to bolster your build, this can be a great choice to open up a little more defensive potential. It is more of a matter of preference than of objective worth, or lack of.

How About Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart and a 2-Hander?

Entirely possible, but this build is not written for this configuration. Feel free to ask in the comments and we can give you advice on how to facilitate this if you desire!

Check out the rest of the guide for any additional information:

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links


Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers


Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

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  1. Posts
    8

    Will this be updated/viable for 3.8 Blight? Personally I cannot see any reasons why it wouldn’t work, but I might have missed something?

  2. Furty

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    On 05/09/2019 at 7:05 PM, Noceo said

    Will this be updated/viable for 3.8 Blight? Personally I cannot see any reasons why it wouldn’t work, but I might have missed something?

    Your instincts are correct, it will definitely be viable for Blight and it will be updated by 3.8 release.

  3. Posts
    2

    Thanks for this post Furty, as well as your articles for beginning players. I’m a first time player running a Marauder and discovered this build after lvl 20 or so. Surprisingly, I had followed most of your beginning recommendations for passives with two differences:

    1. A few skill points in, instead of progressing through Heart of the Warrior (right hand side), I went through Versatility (left hand side).
    2. I branched off to get Lust for Carnage

    Do either of these deviations have a significant impact on the efficacy of the build? If so, can you please elaborate why? Thanks for all of your help!

    Edited by Pesky on September 9th, 2019

  4. Furty

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    On 09/09/2019 at 12:12 AM, Pesky said

    Thanks for this post Furty, as well as your articles for beginning players. I’m a first time player running a Marauder and discovered this build after lvl 20 or so. Surprisingly, I had followed most of your beginning recommendations for passives with two differences:

    1. A few skill points in, instead of progressing through Heart of the Warrior (right hand side), I went through Versatility (left hand side).
    2. I branched off to get Lust for Carnage

    Do either of these deviations have a significant impact on the efficacy of the build? If so, can you please elaborate why? Thanks for all of your help!

    Hey there Pesky,

    It’s my pleasure to provide the guides and I’m glad you’re able to make use of them. With respect to the passives you touched on:

    1. You definitely want Heart of the Warrior. If you’re a less seasoned player it might not be clear to you, but most Passive Skill trees revolve around a similar concept — finding the most efficient way to path between as many Life (or Energy Shield as Chaos Inoculation) nodes as possible without hemorrhaging damage. Life is arguably the most important stat for this and many other Life-based builds, and Versatility doesn’t provide nearly enough to path through (3 Passive Points). You could invest two Passive Points for it in addition to Heart of the Warrior, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a pure pathing option.
    2. Lust for Carnage is not worth it either. For it to be worth “wasting” two points on two +10 Strength nodes it would have to be a pretty exceptional notable — if you want more leech simply take Vitality Void!

    To answer your question, no — neither of your choices will cripple the efficacy of the build. That said, I wouldn’t advise them either as there are better ways to achieve the same results. This league, for example, you could even annoint your amulet with the blight oils to select Versatility without investing towards it. You could do the same for Heart of the Warrior, of course, but I would definitely recommend the extra Life over a paltry amount of Accuracy and Critical Strike chance.

    Let me know if you want me to elaborate on any of this further, and good luck!

  5. Posts
    2

    On 09/09/2019 at 7:13 PM, Furty said

    Let me know if you want me to elaborate on any of this further, and good luck!

    Got it. I’ll work on respecting those. Thanks!

  6. Posts
    8

    I picked this as my 3.8 League Starter. So far I am loving it. Once I get a bit further with it, I will post a “review” of the build.

    But for now I have one question:
    Wouldn’t it be better to go for the jewel slot in the bottom left (near Blade of Cunning), rather than the one to the left (near Stamina). This would give you 8% increased melee physical damage and 8% ailment damage (bleed), instead of just 20 extra strength?

  7. Posts
    8

    Also, it appears that they added a labyrinth enchant in patch 3.7.4, improving the damage potential of this build even further.

  8. Furty

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    On 10/09/2019 at 7:37 PM, Noceo said

    I picked this as my 3.8 League Starter. So far I am loving it. Once I get a bit further with it, I will post a “review” of the build.

    But for now I have one question:
    Wouldn’t it be better to go for the jewel slot in the bottom left (near Blade of Cunning), rather than the one to the left (near Stamina). This would give you 8% increased melee physical damage and 8% ailment damage (bleed), instead of just 20 extra strength?

    You are … absolutely correct about that, I don’t know how I missed it. I think my 3.7.0 version of the build had both but I had to make room for a few new points — clearly I didn’t look hard enough at it. Glad you’re enjoying it so far!

  9. Posts
    3

    Hi

    First I’d like to thank you for making this excellent build guide. I am new to PoE so it really helps a lot!

    There’s however a few things I don’t understand so I hope you can explain it to me;

    In our Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support 4-link you say that only Immortal Call Immortal Call needs to be linked. Shouldn’t Blood Rage Blood Rage also be linked? And as far as I can tell Immortal Call Immortal Call will only last for 1 second without endurance charges. How do I build up these endurance charges so it will last longer?

    And is it really necessary to use both Blood and Sand Blood and Sand AND Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone? Seems to me that blood stance from flesh and stone will always be the best option?

  10. Posts
    8

    On 12/09/2019 at 1:25 PM, Trentsteel said

    Hi

    First I’d like to thank you for making this excellent build guide. I am new to PoE so it really helps a lot!

    There’s however a few things I don’t understand so I hope you can explain it to me;

    In our Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support 4-link you say that only Immortal Call Immortal Call needs to be linked. Shouldn’t Blood Rage Blood Rage also be linked? And as far as I can tell Immortal Call Immortal Call will only last for 1 second without endurance charges. How do I build up these endurance charges so it will last longer?

    And is it really necessary to use both Blood and Sand Blood and Sand AND Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone? Seems to me that blood stance from flesh and stone will always be the best option?

    You should cast Blood Rage Blood Rage manually. It will renew itself on kill, so you only have to re-cast it, if you haven’t killed anything within the last 10 seconds. Using Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support to cast it, would mean that you lose control over when to cast it, as well as it would mean that you would have to keep it at a lower level.

    The fact that Immortal Call Immortal Call only lasts a second isn’t much of a problem. It is there only to prevent you from occasional instant deaths (like porcupine explosions). So don’t worry about endurance charges.

    And regarding the auras, Blood and Sand Blood and Sand AND Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone, why wouldn’t you both? They don’t have a separate state (blood or sand), that is global. So either you are in blood stance OR you are in sand stance (and you get the benefit described in the aura). As a rule of thumb, sand stance is for clearing, while blood stance is for bosses/tougher packs.

  11. Posts
    3

    Thank you very much for explaining the skill mechanics Noceo. It makes sense now :)

    And I really had no idea that you could have both auras active at the same time, I just assumed that only one could be active.

    Edited by Trentsteel on September 12th, 2019

  12. Furty

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    On 12/09/2019 at 3:48 PM, Trentsteel said

    Thank you very much for explaining the skill mechanics Noceo. It makes sense now :)

    And I really had no idea that you could have both auras active at the same time, I just assumed that only one could be active.

    Just confirming everything that he said is perfectly accurate! You could link Blood Rage Blood Rage, but it wouldn’t matter either way, since it would be too high a level (Level 20) to be triggered by a Level 10 Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support.

  13. Posts
    3

    Thanks Furty :)

    I have one more question though;

    Is it essential to get acrobatics and phase acrobatics or would this also work well with just really high armor?

  14. Furty

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    On 17/09/2019 at 2:26 PM, Trentsteel said

    Thanks Furty :)

    I have one more question though;

    Is it essential to get acrobatics and phase acrobatics or would this also work well with just really high armor?

    It’s hard to Armour stack with Carcass Jack Carcass Jack and foils and the nodes near acro are pretty valuable anyways, so I wouldn’t recommend playing without it. If you want to do that then I would adjust the tree pretty radically and work a few extra endurance charges into the build as well.

  15. Posts
    1

    Hi! I have troubles getting gear, especially the harpy rapier, I wanna craft it but I dont know if I can do it alone,

    like do I need any recipes for it, or can I just get these orbs and fuse them all together

  16. Furty

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    On 27/09/2019 at 12:53 AM, Givanchi said

    Hi! I have troubles getting gear, especially the harpy rapier, I wanna craft it but I dont know if I can do it alone,

    like do I need any recipes for it, or can I just get these orbs and fuse them all together

    There are several necessary recipes, I recommend looking them up beforehand or enlisting a mastercrafting service if you don’t have them yourself.

  17. Posts
    2

    I’m having a lot of fun with this build, thank you for posting it! I have a question regarding the leech. Do you rely solely on your gloves for leech or are you obtaining it from another source? Thanks in advance!

  18. Furty

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    1284

    On 02/10/2019 at 1:58 AM, AsvaldBjornson said

    I’m having a lot of fun with this build, thank you for posting it! I have a question regarding the leech. Do you rely solely on your gloves for leech or are you obtaining it from another source? Thanks in advance!

    Blood Rage Blood Rage would be the primary source. If your damage isn’t high enough to cap your leech per second or you want to have a heavier leech build you can annoint/talent into Gladiator’s Perseverance and/or Vitality Void.

  19. Posts
    1

    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Eben45/privacy

    Help pls!

  20. Posts
    1

    Can I not do this build on ps4? I’m new to this. Played months before, but was lost. I’ve done some research and I think I hit that epiphany people talk about where things just click and you get it.

    Anyways, I want to do this build but don’t know where to get Blood and Sand. I looked at the wiki and I was supposed to get it after the breaking eggs quest. Finished that and there was no option as that for my reward. Sorry if I’m missing something.

    I hope you can still get the bladestorm build going even though I’m not on PC.

    Thanks for any help in this!

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