Earthquake Slayer Build Guide (PoE Legion 3.7)

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, Furty finished the Betrayal League at Rank 186 on the ladder playing Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.

Betrayal

Introduction

Earthquake Earthquake has seen its fair share of popularity in leagues past, and with a suite of melee buffs, reworks, and rebalances accompanying Patch 3.7 Legion, this is the perfect time to bring it back.

Earthquake Earthquake is an immensely fun and simple skill to use, and has a really comfortable relaxing style of play. When you use the skill there is an initial impact, dealing a hefty amount of damage, but after a slight delay the ground will erupt in an Aftershock that has a larger AoE and deals far more damage. Since Earthquake’s size can be easily scaled through the Passive Tree, this skill is a perfect combination of single-target capability and excellent clear.

One of the really nice things about Earthquake Earthquake is that it does not require any special gear to get rolling. Since the base damage is relatively high and most of the essential damage is obtained from the tree, this build makes an excellent candidate for both League Starting, Solo Self-Found, and Hardcore leagues alike. Even extremely cheap Uniques, such as Marohi Erqi Marohi Erqi, can be easily incorporated very early in the league to get you smashing apart content quickly.

There are a variety of ways to scale the build deep into the end-game, and that flexibility is another attractive reason to play the build. If you do not have the currency to fund “GG” Jewels or crazy weapons, well, that is just fine — you can be clearing up to The Shaper for no more than 10-15 Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs. If you are a player with some wealth to spread, however, you can take this build into the stratosphere, retrofitting it for Critical Strike and Multiplier and ripping apart bosses such as the Uber Elder with relative ease.

In short, Earthquake Earthquake is a real classic and a heap of fun to play, with no complex mechanics or expensive items necessary to get smashing.

Build Assessment

Pros

+ Great League Starter
+ High end-game damage with appropriate gear (~6.5m Shaper DPS)
+ Excellent clear speed
+ Perfect for SSF and Hardcore in addition to Softcore
+ Relaxed playstyle, great for all levels of player

Cons

- Can feel a little “slow” early on
- Scaling caps out earlier than some builds

Playstyle

Since Earthquake Earthquake is a two part attack, it grants the player a fair amount of flexibility and mobility for a melee build. You can slam and reposition before the aftershock even detonates, which actually grants more safety than you might expect, particularly against dangerous and quick enemies like the Immortal Syndicate.

Once you get used to the cadence of Earthquake Earthquake it makes clearing very simple and straightforward — Leap Slam Leap Slam into a pack of enemies, tap Earthquake Earthquake, and leap away. If the initial slam failed to kill all the enemies, you can be sure the aftershock will annihilate them.

Passive Skill Trees

Resolute Technique

This is our recommended Level 100 Passive Skill tree.

The Resolute Technique version of the build is the most straightforward version. It requires very little Currency investment to get off the ground (10-15 Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs maximum), deals high and reliable damage, and is very easy to get off the ground in any league. You will want to rush to Resolute Technique as soon as possible while leveling and respec your pathing later, if necessary, as it is an incredibly valuable keystone.

Critical Strike

This version of the build is much more costly, but scales better into the ultra-late game, and pummels bosses like the Uber Elder.

You should wait until you are at least in the 90s to retrofit your build to Critical Strike, as the build is spread pretty thin across the tree and there are not a lot of non-essential nodes. The unfortunate downside of this variant is slightly less Life, and you will need to find some Accuracy on one or two items as well.

Gems

The flexibility of this Earthquake Earthquake build begins in the gems. You can opt to run two 6-Links, for example, which greatly increases the single-target output of the build and allows it to smash apart bosses with ease. Alternatively, Hardcore or Level 100 minded players can run a single 6-Link, instead opting to incorporate Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart for that extra bit of beef.

Earthquake Earthquake is, of course, our main skill for both clear and bossing. Support gems are very flexible depending on your Passive Skill tree choices and priorities, and are discussed in more detail below. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief is exceptional for adding a steroid on our single-target damage and is a great means of applying Maim Support Maim Support. If you are running the build as Critical Strike, the Ancestral Warchief can even out DPS your main skill in proper end-game gear, dealing around ~4m Shaper DPS by itself.

As with many melee builds, Hatred Hatred, Herald of Ash Herald of Ash, and War Banner War Banner are our Auras of choice. Vulnerability Vulnerability adds additional damage, although it can be swapped out with a more defensive minded curse for Hardcore players.

Earthquake Earthquake 6-Link

If you are not familiar with the way Earthquake Earthquake works, reducing its duration as much as possible is key — it shortens the time between the initial smash and the aftershock. The goal is to reach one aftershock per smash for smoothest damage dealing and highest performance.

If you are using Atziri's Disfavour Atziri's Disfavour, you should socket your Earthquake Earthquake in the weapon.

Earthquake Earthquake Less Duration Support Less Duration Support
Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support / Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support

As you might expect, Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support is far superior for smashing bosses, while Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support boasts much smoother clear. You can opt to swap them in and out as necessary, although Concentrated Effect is not usually necessary for Map bosses in average gear. It is highly recommended, however, that you use Concentrated Effect for tankier bosses, such as Shaper Guardians and above.

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief 6-Link

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief can be used as necessary while clearing, but you should save some uses for the boss. The Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief itself does not need to be used, except for extremely tanky or long-lived enemies, where it should always be kept active in order to apply Maim Support Maim Support and grant you the Melee damage bonus. It also does absurd damage on its own when 6-Linked, sometimes in excess of your Earthquake Earthquake, especially if you have to move often.

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support
Maim Support Maim Support Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support

Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support 4-Link

Steelskin is a newly released skill but early indications seem to indicate that it will be more valuable for this build than the standard Immortal Call Immortal Call of leagues past.

Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 20) Steelskin
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem Vulnerability Vulnerability

Vulnerability Vulnerability can be swapped with Enfeeble Enfeeble or Temporal Chains Temporal Chains as preference suits.

Auras 4-Link

These sockets do not need to be linked.

Hatred Hatred Herald of Ash Herald of Ash
War Banner War Banner Blood Rage Blood Rage

Leap Slam Leap Slam 4-Link

Leap Slam Leap Slam Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support Fortify Support Fortify Support

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon

Ascendancy Choices

Resolute Technique/Standard

Resolute Technique

  1. Endless Hunger
  2. Brutal Fervour
  3. Headsman
  4. Bane of Legends

Critical Strike Stacking/Ultra-Late Game

Critical Variant

The order for these is relatively unimportant, as you should not play this variant until you are in the 90s regardless.

  1. Impact
  2. Headsman
  3. Overwhelm
  4. Bane of Legends

Deal with the Bandits Reward

Players utiltizing Resolute Technique should kill all and take the 2 Passive Points.

Critical Strike stacking players should switch to Alira.

Alira is also a good choice early on, especially for SSF and Hardcore, since the Resistances can be an immense help.

Pantheon Bonus

Major Gods

  • Soul of Solaris should be fully upgraded and is an exceptional choice for this build for both clearing and bossing.
  • Soul of Arkaali is a solid all-round choice, but is not as strong now that Immortal Call Immortal Call can no longer proc the increased regeneration.

Minor Gods

  • Soul of Shakari is an excellent all-purpose choice if upgraded, removing Poison as a concern.
  • Soul of Gruthkul adds a bit more defense to our clear and is the recommended default choice, especially if you have no upgrades.

Gear, Jewels, and Flasks

Armour

Chest

In many cases, a well rolled Astral Plate Astral Plate will be your best option and the cheapest to obtain. Prioritize these affixes:

  1. Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. % Increased Maximum Life
  4. % of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage (Elder Prefix)
  5. +# to Strength
  6. % Increased Armour
  7. +# to Armour

Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast is quite affordable and can be easily obtained on any league, even Solo Self-Found. The high survivability it provides combined with the relatively easy task of coloring it make it a very attractive option early in the league, and the strength of its Unique passive is strong enough that you never really need to upgrade if you do not want to invest in an Elder Rare chest later on.

Carcass Jack Carcass Jack is a relatively cheap item that provides good damage and allows you to use Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support without a huge loss in clear speed, or to have simply screen shattering Earthquake Earthquakes if you opt to use Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support. The only issue with this item is that the defenses are relatively mediocre, and you will also have to obtain 4 Red sockets on an Evasion/Energy Shield item (this is not that difficult, but is an inconvenience).

Atziri's Splendour Atziri's Splendour is not a very popular Unique, but it is actually a fair pickup for this build and allows you to easily deal with No Leech Maps. It is not as strong as a well rolled Rare, but it can be a decent acquisition if it is cheap.

Loreweave Loreweave is the best option for the Critical Strike stacking variant, offering great Elemental defenses, a sizeable increase in damage due to the Elemental Damage and Critical Strike, and a nice smattering of other stats to round it out. Coloring it is also very easy and convenient.

Helmet

A well rolled Rare helmet with an Armour base, such as an Eternal Burgonet Eternal Burgonet, is typically the best option for the Resolute Technique variant. Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. % of Physical Damage taken as Fire Damage (Signature Mod – Redblade)
  4. % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
  5. +# to Attributes
  6. % Increased Armour
  7. +# to Armour

If you are opting to use a Rare Helmet as the Critical Strike stacking variant, you should prioritize Accuracy on the Helmet as well.

Devoto's Devotion Devoto's Devotion is a great option for clear speed, arguably the best, at the cost of some damage. While this will not affect your clear at all, it will be a bit more noticeable on bosses such as Shaper.

The Formless Inferno The Formless Inferno can be a strong choice defensively, and easier to acquire than the Signature Redblade Mod, but its worth depends largely on its current price and how much Fire Resistance you have on your gear.

Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head is the best overall choice for the Critical Strike stacking variant, providing a nice helping of everything it needs — Critical Strike, Dexterity, and Attack Speed, as well as strong defenses.

Abyssus Abyssus can offer a massive damage injection for the Critical Strike stacking variant, but it comes at the cost of your defenses against Physical damage. If you are running Gruthkul in the Pantheon and have some Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage on your Chest (Elder), then you can mitigate some of the risks. This is a really fun item to absolutely slam things, but it is not recommended for Hardcore under any circumstances, and even on Softcore it is a much riskier choice than Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head.

The recommended Enchantment for this build is: 30% Reduced Earthquake Earthquake Duration. This enchantment makes a fairly large difference and is worth seeking out when you can afford it.

Gloves

A Rare pair of Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves is the ideal choice in most scenarios, even for the Critical Strike version of the build (mainly due to Accuracy being a Glove affix). Prioritize affixes as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Accuracy Rating (Critical Strike version only)
  4. % Increased Attack Speed
  5. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  6. +# to Dexterity
  7. % of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
  8. Adds # to # Cold/Fire/Lightning Damage to Attacks

Boots

A Rare pair of boots is recommended for any variant of the build. Two-Toned Boots Two-Toned Boots are particularly nice to help allow you to itemize more damage elsewhere, but any base will do. Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. % Increased Movement Speed (25%+)
  2. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  3. % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
  4. +# to Attributes (base dependent)
  5. % Increased Armor Rating
  6. +# to Armour Rating

Weapon

A Rare 2-Handed axe is the go-to option. Overall, you want at least 350+ DPS on your weapon to be at an “average” gear point. If you are Fossil Crafting a weapon you should always use an Elder or Shaped base (ideally a Vaal Axe Vaal Axe) due to their powerful suffixes. Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. % Increased Physical Damage
  2. Adds # to # Physical Damage
  3. % Increased Physical Damage / +# to Accuracy Rating (Stacks with #1)
  4. % Increased Attack Speed / % Chance to Deal Double Damage (Shaped Suffix)
  5. Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Maim / % Chance to Maim on Hit (Shaped Suffix)
  6. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Critical Strike version only)
  7. % Increased Critical Strike Chance if you Have Killed Recently / % Increased Critical Strike Chance (Shaped Suffix, Critical Strike version only)
  8. % Increased Attack Speed if you Have Killed Recently / % Increased Attack Speed (Elder Suffix)
  9. % Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (Critical Strike version only)
  10. % Increased Attack Speed
  11. % Increased Area of Effect (Elder Suffix)

There are a fair amount of crafts, particularly from the Immortal Syndicate, that we have not listed above, but you can usually easily fill in whatever you need at the Crafting Bench provided you have a weapon with high Physical DPS to begin with.

Axe

Atziri's Disfavour Atziri's Disfavour is the best Unique option available, and a great end-point for most players, all though there are [of course] much better Rares available, albeit at significantly increased cost.

Jewelry

Amulet

A Rare Onyx Amulet Onyx Amulet, or any Attribute base, is the best option. Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. Gain % of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
  2. % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  3. +# to Maximum Life
  4. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Critical Strike version only)
  5. % Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (Critical Strike version only)
  6. % Increased Global Physical Damage (Crafted)
  7. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  8. +# to Accuracy Rating (Critical Strike version only)
  9. Gain % of Non-Chaos Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
  10. +# to Intelligence / Dexterity (as needed)
  11. % Increased Cold Damage
  12. % Increased Damage (Crafted)
  13. Elemental Resistances

Rings

Rare Rings are the ideal choice for this build, with Steel Ring Steel Rings forming the highest damage and most desirable base. Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  4. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  5. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Critical Strike version only)
  6. +# to Accuracy Rating (Critical Strike version only — only needed on one ring)
  7. % Increased Damage (Crafted)
  8. % Increased Attack Speed

Mark of the Elder Mark of the Elder can also be an exceptionally potent choice if you use a Rare Shaped ring in the other slot.

Belt

A Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise is the best choice in all situations. Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  4. +# to Strength

Jewels

Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye Options

As with most builds that use classic Auras, a Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye is going to be your best bet in the late-game. This is not necessary at all for the build and was excluded from any of the damage stats and calculations, simply because it will not be a realistic acquisition for many players. All of the Hatred Hatred mods are fairly strong.

Standard Jewels

Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Physical Damage with Axes
  3. % Increased Physical Damage with Two-Handed Melee Weapons
  4. +% to Critical Strike Multiplier with Two-Handed Melee Weapons (Critical Strike version only)
  5. % Increased Critical Strike Chance with Two-Handed Melee Weapons (Critical Strike version only)
  6. % Increased Physical Damage
  7. % Increased Melee Damage
  8. % Increased Area Damage
  9. % Increased Attack Speed with Axes
  10. % Increased Attack Speed with Two-Handed Melee Weapons

Any other relevant stats are fine as well; take what you can get early on.

Flasks

Early Mapping

  • Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise
  • Lion's Roar Lion's Roar
  • Chemist’s Silver Flask of Heat
  • Chemist’s Basalt Flask of Warding
  • Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline

End Game

Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise can be swapped out for a Warding flask, based on your preference.

Critical Strike Version

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Leveling

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

You can level with practically any melee skill that is to your preference, including Earthquake Earthquake. As with virtually all melee skills, having strong weapons makes a very large difference in ease of leveling, and having several Uniques to upgrade to in advance is very helpful if you are not League Starting.

We recommend leveling with Sunder Sunder, as it is a fairly potent skill for leveling due to its high base damage, compatibility with axes, and early acquisition. Start with Ground Slam Ground Slam out of the gate, which you will use until level 12, when you can obtain Sunder from Nessa. Your Sunder links, in order of priority, are:

Sunder Sunder Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Onslaught Support Onslaught Support Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
Maim Support Maim Support 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.

Remember to acquire Herald of Ash Herald of Ash in Act II and Hatred Hatred in Act III.

Changelog
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