Ground Slam Berserker Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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16


Introduction

The Ground Slam Berserker is a melee brute that excels in dealing tons of pure Physical damage with initial hits and makes good use of the Impale mechanic. For this particular build we choose to go with Resolute Technique and dual wield Axes, which is a very efficient way of scaling damage while it is also a very cheap method of doing so. Even though the Berserker is a frenzied savage that jumps into packs of monsters without caring about his own safety, we manage to reach a pretty respectable amount of survivability via a decent Life pool, great Life leech, having 6 Endurance charges all the time, and having the occasional situational damage reductions from Berserk Berserk and Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell. The Ground Slam Berserker can also Stun endgame bosses like the Shaper and Uber Elder with Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam.

Build Summary

The build does not require any initial investment in order to be played, which is why it is a good and reliable league-starter. Rapid Expansion Rapid Expansion is the threshold Jewel for our main skill, which should be acquired from the Death to Purity quest in Act 5. This Jewel provides us with a very reliable source of Endurance charges, along with increasing the angle at which Ground Slam hits, essentially increasing our area coverage. Even though you can use two of these threshold Jewels, you can choose to use just one depending on personal preference. Beyond that, having decently rolled physical Axes and Physical Damage, Attack Speed and Life on other gear pieces will be enough to deal with most game content.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed, responsive character that is fun to play
+ Cheap to get started; great league-starter

Cons

- Lacks single target damage if you are “under geared”

Playstyle

Offensively, you should Leap Slam Leap Slam into packs of monsters and rapidly dismantle enemies with Ground Slam Ground Slam; the Vaal version of the skill can be saved for tougher rares and bosses, it is a reliable way to stun any enemy. Blood Rage Blood Rage provides a decent amount of additional damage along with a very reliable source of Life Leech. Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief provides additional damage whenever needed.

Defensively, you must make sure your Fortify buff is always up. Defensive flasks like Basalt Flask Basalt Flask and Granite Flask Granite Flask should be used for additional physical damage mitigation. A Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell is a great Guardian skill choice for the build.

For playstyle, stunning enemies with Leap Slam and killing the whole pack with one or two Multistrikes of Ground Slam is what you should be doing. When you encounter tougher foes, you should place down your offensive Totem and stack up your Impales by attacking rapidly: the more you attack, the higher damage you will deal. This is why the first few attacks might feel weak but the damage ramps up very fast after that. You should get used to swapping between Blood and Sand stance whenever needed. Keep in mind that Ground Slam deals more damage to closer targets, so “hugging” enemies is beneficial for your damage output, whenever possible of course. Berserk Berserk should be used against tougher foes: it provides a great amount of damage output and damage mitigation, which allows you to stay in place and melt any enemy that dares to stay in your path.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Marauder – Berserker)

  1. Pain Reaver
  2. Crave the Slaughter
  3. Aspect of Carnage
  4. Rite of Ruin

Pain Reaver provides all the Life and Mana leech you will ever need, along with great amount of Attack Speed whenever you get hit along with greater Life leech effect whenever you get hit hard.

Crave the Slaughter gives you the ability to gain Rage, which increased your overall damage and speed.

Aspect of Carnage multiplies your overall damage by almost a half at the cost of taking more damage yourself.

Rite of Ruin turns you into a frenzied warrior that moves around extremely fast but takes some damage over time, which is easily mitigated via Life Regeneration and Life leech.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build. We focus on picking up all the efficient Impale and Axe nodes along with a decent amount of Life.

Bandits

For this specific build we should Kill All in Act II. The 2 passive nodes are more beneficial than the bonuses that bandits offer.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Lunaris is a great Pantheon choice for the build, as it provides important Movement Speed along with additional Physical damage mitigation.

Minor: Soul of Shakari – Poison immunity is always a good addition to a build. Other minor gods can be chosen depending on personal preference.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam is your signature skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. For mobility you should use Leap Slam Leap Slam. Blood Rage Blood Rage is an offensive buff that should be active all the time once you have enough Life Regeneration to sustain it. Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell provides great amount of on-demand damage mitigation. Dread Banner Dread Banner should be used along with Pride Pride and Blood and Sand Blood and Sand. Berserk Berserk is utilized whenever needed.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Ground Slam (6-Link)

Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam is an area of effect melee skill that deals damage to closer enemies; the Vaal version of the skill is a reliable way to Stun any enemy. We recommend one link that works great for both clearing and single target.

  1. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam
  2. Impale Support Impale Support
  3. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  4. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

Ancestral Warchief (4-Link)

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief can improve your single target damage output by a great deal, even on a 4-Link.

  1. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  2. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

Leap Slam (4-Link)

Leap Slam Leap Slam is your mobility skill which will let you dodge lethal game mechanics and make you more time-efficient in general. You will also gain the Fortify for additional damage mitigation whenever you land on enemies.

  1. Leap Slam Leap Slam
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support
  4. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Molten Shell (2-Link)

Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell provides great damage mitigation when needed; the skill must be activated manually for maximum efficiency.

  1. Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell
  2. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

Pride Pride, Blood and Sand Blood and Sand, and Dread Banner Dread Banner is your ideal buff setup. Blood Rage Blood Rage should be active all the time. Berserk Berserk should be used at full Rage whenever you need to mitigate more damage or deal a great amount of burst damage.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

A well rolled rare Helmet is best in slot. Any Ground Slam Ground Slam Helmet enchant is useful, “Blood Rage grants additional 12% increased Attack Speed” is also very useful. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (90)
  3. % Increased Maximum life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Nearby Enemies take #% increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Body Armour

A well rolled rare Body Armour is ideal, it can act as a psuedo 7-Link. Prior to it, you can make great use of Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast, Carcass Jack Carcass Jack, and Loreweave Loreweave. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (100)
  3. % Increased Maximum life (Elder mod, Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Socketed Gems are supported by Level 1 Maim (Serrated Fossil Serrated Fossil)

Gloves

Well-rolled rare Gloves should be used, there are no particularly powerful unique ones. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (60)
  3. % Increased Attack speed
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks

Boots

Well rolled pair of Boots is best in slot. Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots can also be considered. For labyrinth enchant, look for “% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently”. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (at least 20%)

Belt

A well rolled rare Belt can be very powerful for the build. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Amulet

A well rolled rare Amulet is best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks

Rings

Well-rolled Steel Ring Steel Rings can provide a great amount of damage. Considering the build does not utilize any curses you can also use a Curse on Hit ring with Warlord’s Mark, for example. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least around 50)
  3. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks

Weapon

Unique Axes like Jack, the Axe Jack, the Axe can carry you a long way. Your ideal endgame weapons are well rolled Rare Siege Axe Siege Axes, look for at least 350pDPS and at least 1.5 Attacks per second.

Flasks

Instant or half-instant Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask with Bleeding removal (of Staunching) should be used. Lion's Roar Lion's Roar provides a good amount of damage and defense. Other utility flasks like Basalt Flask Basalt Flask and Granite Flask Granite Flask should be used for the additional physical mitigation; having % increased Armour during flask effect on a Granite could result in a great damage mitigation via Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell.

Note: Make sure to have Bleed and Freeze immunity on your non-unique flasks.

Jewels

Rapid Expansion Rapid Expansion is the only mandatory Jewel the build needs. Having a Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Pride Pride mod for additional Impales can be very powerful, but expensive.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Increased Maximum life
  2. % increased Physical Damage
  3. % increased Physical Damage with Axes
  4. % increased Physical Damage while Dual Wielding
  5. % increased Melee Damage
  6. % increased Damage
  7. % increased Attack Speed with Axes
  8. % increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
  9. % increased Attack speed

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Maximum life (at least 30)
  2. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  3. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks with Axes
  4. % chance to Blind Enemies on Hit with Attacks

Leveling

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

The character can be leveled with its signature skill since level 1 and feels good to do so.

Leveling Trees

Here is an early passive skill tree that picks up all the foundational passive nodes needed in the beginning of the character.

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. Two of The Screaming Eagle The Screaming Eagle can easily carry you all the way up to Act IV.

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. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support

At level 4, you should add War Banner War Banner and Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector for additional damage. Dash Dash helps out by improving your mobility early on. Blood and Sand Blood and Sand should be only used accordingly to the your current needs (stay in Blood stance while fighting tough enemies and switch to Sand stance while clearing). Molten Shell Molten Shell can be used whenever you need the damage mitigation.

By level 8, your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam
  2. Maim Support Maim Support
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  4. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  5. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  6. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support

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

By level 18, your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 24, you should add Pride Pride for additional damage improvement. You should also replace War Banner War Banner with Dread Banner Dread Banner.

At level 28, you should replace your Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector with Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief.

At level 31, your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam
  2. Impale Support Impale Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Maim Support Maim Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 38, you are also able to make great use of Multistrike Support Multistrike Support and Brutality Support Brutality Support support. Your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam
  2. Impale Support Impale Support
  3. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  4. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

FAQ

What map mods cannot be done with the Ground Slam Berserker?

Physical Reflect and Cannot Leech should be skipped.

Conclusion

The Ground Slam Berserker is a swift melee dual wielder that decimates everything in his path. If you like the reckless barbaric playstyle this build might be for you.

Changelog
  •   

    Updated passive trees for Blight 3.8. The build is not affected by coming changes and plays out as before.

  •   

    Build added.

0
  1. Posts
    2

    Hi,

    What exactly is your setup for your gems please?

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 28/07/2019 at 8:20 AM, Woolroom said

    Hi,

    What exactly is your setup for your gems please?

    Please check out the endgame gem setups in the Gem section (5.0).

  3. Posts
    2

    I mean the links for the others gems.

    i don’t know if it’s clear.

  4. Posts
    1

    This is my second league. I’m going to give your build a shot. It looks interesting and isn’t locked behind mandatory items which like.

  5. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 06/09/2019 at 2:20 PM, Twottle said

    This is my second league. I’m going to give your build a shot. It looks interesting and isn’t locked behind mandatory items which like.

    Glad to hear that, hope you enjoy the character.

  6. Posts
    1

    I’m new to PoE, having a lot of fun with this build for my first character. Thanks for putting it up!

    Why do you recommend picking up the endurance charge passive skills? I tried searching through this page, and through the skill descriptions, and I don’t see anything that makes use of the charges. I’m skipping them on my character for now. Am I just missing something obvious?

    Edited by lettucemode on September 10th, 2019

  7. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 10/09/2019 at 5:57 PM, lettucemode said

    I’m new to PoE, having a lot of fun with this build for my first character. Thanks for putting it up!

    Why do you recommend picking up the endurance charge passive skills? I tried searching through this page, and through the skill descriptions, and I don’t see anything that makes use of the charges. I’m skipping them on my character for now. Am I just missing something obvious?

    Hey, I am always glad to see new players coming to Path of Exile, it is a great and fun game indeed. Rapid Expansion Rapid Expansion provides a great way of generating and maintaining Endurance charges in any situations, this is why we choose to invest in them.

  8. Posts
    1

    Is it possible to do elder with this build?

  9. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 03/10/2019 at 7:48 AM, teapartyboy said

    Is it possible to do elder with this build?

    You will have enough damage, as long as you know the fight and play well you definitely can.

  10. Posts
    2

    Hi,
    Thank’s for this build, following this and i’m now lvl 72 and it’s really fun to play.
    Got a question about :
    Unique Axes like Jack, the Axe Jack, the Axe can carry you a long way. Your ideal endgame weapons are well rolled Rare Swords: look for at least 350pDPS and at least 1.5 Attacks per second.

    Why Well rare swords are needed ? Thought this build is based on axes.

    Thank’s for your help and your build :)

  11. Posts
    2

    Hi,
    Thank’s for this build, following this and i’m now lvl 72 and it’s really fun to play.
    Got a question about :
    Unique Axes like Jack, the Axe Jack, the Axe can carry you a long way. Your ideal endgame weapons are well rolled Rare Swords: look for at least 350pDPS and at least 1.5 Attacks per second.

    Why Well rare swords are needed ? Thought this build is based on axes.

    Thank’s for your help and your build :)

  12. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 13/10/2019 at 6:41 AM, NrV_PoE said

    Hi,
    Thank’s for this build, following this and i’m now lvl 72 and it’s really fun to play.
    Got a question about :
    Unique Axes like Jack, the Axe Jack, the Axe can carry you a long way. Your ideal endgame weapons are well rolled Rare Swords: look for at least 350pDPS and at least 1.5 Attacks per second.

    Why Well rare swords are needed ? Thought this build is based on axes.

    Thank’s for your help and your build :)

    Hey, this is a typo, which I apologize for and will fix shortly. You ideally want two well rolled Siege Axe Siege Axes.

  13. Posts
    3

    I Have one question to this build, how are you supposed to wield the axe you shown because you do not get Dexterity, or am I wrong?

    Ty for you help

  14. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 02/11/2019 at 11:55 PM, Ziperderz said

    I Have one question to this build, how are you supposed to wield the axe you shown because you do not get Dexterity, or am I wrong?

    Ty for you help

    Hey, you can easily acquire Dexterity through gearing and the passive tree.

  15. Posts
    1

    Hi, which passive skills i should aim for after complete this skill tree?

    thanks for the guide, following that i could finish the game for the first time.

  16. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 19/11/2019 at 5:10 PM, Ghamantorr said

    Hi, which passive skills i should aim for after complete this skill tree?

    thanks for the guide, following that i could finish the game for the first time.

    Hey, I am very glad the build allowed you to progress into the game the way you did. After finishing the leveling tree, here is the endgame passive skill tree for you.

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