Glacial Hammer Berserker Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

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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

The Glacial Hammer Berserker dual wields Frostbreath Frostbreath Maces in order to deal immense amounts of Cold damage with melee attacks. The build has the ability to Freeze everything in its path and can be very budget-friendly early on. We choose the Berserker for the ascendancy class because we take a great advantage of the Rage mechanic and also solve our Leech issues along with gaining great amount of extra damage via Aspect of Carnage.

Build Summary

All you need for the build is two Frostbreath Frostbreaths along with one or two Winter Burial Winter Burial Jewels, which will allow you to drop Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support and use a damage multiplier instead. Overall, on other gear pieces we aim to stack as much Elemental damage with Attacks as possible along with added Cold damage. Since the build picks a great amount of Life on the passive skill tree we would easily reach over 6k Life.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Cheap to start
+ Very reliable Freezes

Cons

- Dies to Elemental Reflect

Playstyle

Offensively, you should Leap Slam Leap Slam into packs of monsters and shatter them with one or two hits. Against tougher foes you can augment your damage by using Frost Bomb Frost Bomb and Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief.

Defensively, most of the time you will freeze everything in your path without enemies even having the chance to strike back at you. Once you get hit you have a very reliable source of Life leech via Berserker’s Pain Reaver.

For Playstyle, you should recklessly leap into packs of monsters and Freeze them to death. Berserk Berserk should be used at full Rage whenever you need to mitigate more damage or deal a great amount of burst damage.

Passive Tree

This is what your endgame passive skill tree should look like.

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 Rare Helmet
Amulet The Pandemonius The Pandemonius
Chest Rare Body Armour
Gloves Southbound Southbound
Boots Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings 2x Rare Opal Ring Opal Ring
Weapon 2x Frostbreath Frostbreath

Leveling

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

The Glacial Hammer Berserker can be leveled with its signature skill since level 1. It might feel clunky until you are able to equip the two Frostbreath Frostbreath Maces at level 50, so we will provide a leveling section that uses Frost Blades Frost Blades instead of Glacial Hammer Glacial Hammer, since the skill is better for leveling overall.

Leveling Trees

This is the passive tree, which will get you through the leveling content.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

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.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

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. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should add Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector, War Banner War Banner and Frost Bomb Frost Bomb for better single target damage. Dash Dash will improve your overall mobility by a great deal. Your Frost Blades Frost Blades should look like this.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support

At level 8, your Frost Blades Frost Blades should look like this.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Leap Slam Leap Slam for additional mobility.

At level 16, you should add Herald of Ice Herald of Ice for additional damage.

By level 18, your Frost Blades Frost Blades should look like this.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  5. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 24, you should Hatred Hatred for additional damage.

At level 28, you can replace Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector with Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief.

By level 31, your Frost Blades Frost Blades should look like this.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  5. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

Elemental Reflect is impossible to do; you can do Physical Reflect without any issue since you fully convert to Cold. Cannot Leech is also problematic and should be skipped.

Conclusion

The Glacial Hammer Berserker is an attack-based melee character that excels at doing big amounts of Cold damage via swift attacks; the build easily freezes most enemies in its path and has a very responsive and active playstyle.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build gets an indirect buff via changes to Freeze and is even able to Freeze bosses.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build is unnafected by coming changes and performs as before.

  •   

    Build added.

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