Ground Slam Slayer Build Guide — The Pulverizer (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, 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

Introduction

Ground Slam Ground Slam is one of the oldest skills in Path of Exile. Though it may be simple and straightforward, it is a ground-pounding classic that has a visceral heft to its attacks few other skills can offer.

Ground Slam

Patch 3.7.0 Legion was a melee renaissance. Ground Slam Ground Slam (and Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam) was one of many skills to benefit from this revival, and it has returned as a viable skill that can compete with some of the skills sitting firmly at the forefront of the current meta.

If you are looking to play a build with a bit of an alternative feel to the norm, our Ground Slam Ground Slam Slayer is certainly a different breed. If you have ever played an Earthquake Earthquaker, this build will bring back familiar, ground-shattering gameplay. Ever swing feels impactful and satisfying, and there’s no doubt Ground Slam is one of the most badass looking skills in Path of Exile.

Our Ground Slam Ground Slam Slayer is a do-it-all build with a decidedly different playstyle that aims to deliver one-punch knockouts to every pack you encounter. This is a burly build that can shatter maps, bosses, and monoliths — and it does it all in style.

Build Assessment

Pros

+ Very strong damage in end-game gear (20 Million+ DPS on Shaper)
+ Huge area of effect — cover the entire screen in spikes that erupt from the earth
+ Solid across the board defenses (214% Increased Maximum Life, 10.5k Maximum Life, High Armour, Leech, Permanent Fortify Support Fortify Support, Endurance Charges)
+ Unique feel compared with most melee builds — massive earth shattering slams, similar to Earthquake Earthquake builds

Cons

Somewhat gear dependent — late-game is vastly different from early incarnations
Ability usage does require some forethought — wasting your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slams can make certain situations more difficult

Playstyle and Build Mechanics

This is a satisfyingly straightforward build: Exile smash.

Okay, maybe there is a little more to it than that. One of the simple joys of this build is that there is no real confusion on how the build ticks, but you spend a lot of time optimizing the use of your skills, how you aim them, and your positioning itself. It is this “easy to learn, enjoyable to master” playstyle that makes this old-fashioned build such a delight.

Unlike Ground Slam Ground Slam’s days of old, there are no longer any problems when it comes to area of effect. With gems such as Pulverise Support Pulverise Support making their way into the game, we no longer have to sacrifice in order to see a huge increase in our effective range. Slayer is also a perfect Ascendancy to accent this with keystones such as Impact.

This build makes use of the Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God unique. By stacking large amounts of Strength, we can raise our % Increased Physical Weapon damage to absolutely absurd levels, about 1600% Increased in Low Gear (1000 Strength) and 2400% Increased in Top-End Gear (1500 Strength). By combining this massively increased weapon damage with Flat Physical Damage (Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks) we can compensate for the extremely low base damage of the staff, causing each Ground Slam Ground Slam to flatten the screen.

So how does one handle this beast?

Well, the basics of it are not that different than a standard melee build. Use Leap Slam Leap Slam to fly through the map and launch into the middle of packs. Ground Slam Ground Slam will generally mop up most enemies in a single swing, and your Shockwave Support Shockwave Support should take care of anything left standing, should you choose to use this gem.

The ways in which you make use of your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam charges is crucially important to success. This skill has absolutely massive area of effect, covering more than the entire screen in top-end gear, so it should be used to flatten as many enemies at once as possible. This skill excels at dealing with the Legion monoliths and feels best in open spaces. Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam does more damage than your regular Ground Slam Ground Slam.

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief are also used on bosses to facilitate even more burst. It is best to avoid using Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief while clearing, however, as we want as many of our souls as possible fueling our Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slams instead. The regular Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief should only be employed for especially tanky targets where you have a bit of time to breathe and position, such as Elder or Shaper. Be sure to keep Blood Rage Blood Rage active at all times for maximum damage and leech.

Passive Skill Tree

Click here to view our recommended Level 100 Passive Skill Tree.

There are a few things to note about the tree:

  • Save Jewel sockets for some of your latter investments. They are not worth 2 Passive Points unless you have nice Jewels lined up and ready to use.
  • Do not acquire Rampart until Fortify Support Fortify Support is part of your main link.
  • If you are not using Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God yet, there is no need to invest into bonus stat nodes such as Utmost Might.
  • If you are leveling with 2-Handed Axes or Maces — this is very common — instead of staves, invest into nodes that increase the damage of these weapon types instead (e.g. Pain Forger instead of Blunt Trauma). You can respec later on when you have the correct gear.
  • This build has a lot of Maximum Life — 214% Increased with all of our recommended nodes. You can opt to drop some of these nodes earlier on in the end-game, especially if you are not feeling threatened yet.

Gems

Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam is our main skill, and the only required 6-Link in order to make the build function in the end-game. We also use Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief to add some burst damage to our single target game.

Leap Slam Leap Slam is our main form of mobility, letting us get around the map as quickly as possible, as well as helping us to procure some additional Endurance Charges. Blood Rage Blood Rage adds leech and damage to all situations and can procure Frenzy Charges to speed up clear. A golem of choice — we prefer Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem — adds some additional distraction and stats.

The rest of our sockets are mainly occupied by auras. Pride Pride, Blood and Sand Blood and Sand, Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone, and War Banner War Banner are all able to be utilized with some help from Enlighten Support Enlighten Support.

With Kaom’s Heart

Vaal Ground Slam 6-Link

It is preferable to use a Level 20 Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam over a Level 21 Ground Slam Ground Slam. Level 21 Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam is quite expensive, but a very worthwhile upgrade.

Gems, in order of priority:

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

You can opt to re-order these depending on your gear. If you are playing on Hardcore, for example, you will definitely want Fortify Support Fortify Support in your 5-Link. You can also work Pulverise Support Pulverise Support into a 4-Link while leveling up if your damage is sufficient to one-shot packs.

There are a few additional options that should not be overlooked. We recommend getting a few White Sockets from Vorici on the Research arm of the Syndicate, which allows you to make some gem swaps to suit the situation. This is most helpful for dealing with Uber Elder and Shaper, as you can make use of gems such as Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support for a significant damage increase (about 25% over Pulverise Support Pulverise Support).

  • Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support is the main gem to take note of. It simply cannot be matched in terms of pure damage output, but is not worth using all the time due to the loss in clear. If you have at least one white socket, you could swap this gem in for bosses for a hefty DPS upgrade.
  • Shockwave Support Shockwave Support has the potential to be incredibly powerful, but requires you to work some % Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed in order to be fully effective. The best choice if you can make it line up with every Ground Slam Ground Slam. You would need at least 30% Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed, and preferably a little bit more due to server ticks, to facilitate this. Swap out Ruthless Support Ruthless Support if you manage to acquire the ICRS you need.
  • Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support is an alternative to Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support that requires no special colorings in order to swap in. It can also be used full time in place of another gem, such as Fortify Support Fortify Support, for a fairly noticeable increase in damage (about 10%).
  • Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support provides a large increase to clear speed in areas where you can take full advantage of it. This is particularly effective in open areas where you Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam gets full effect. We do not recommend this gem for general use, but it can be considered if you opt to go for 5 Red 1 Blue socket configurations and swap back and forth between this gem and Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support to suit the situation.

Vaal Ancestral Warchief 4-Link

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

Auras 4-Link

  1. Blood and Sand Blood and Sand
  2. Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Enlighten Support Enlighten Support (Level 3 or 4)

Leap Slam and Additional Auras

  1. Leap Slam Leap Slam
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Pride Pride
  4. War Banner War Banner

Without Kaom’s Heart

Vaal Ground Slam 6-Link

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

Vaal Ancestral Warchief 6-Link

This link will make your Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief a pair of absolute monsters — together they will do even more DPS than your Vaal Ground Slam Vaal Ground Slam.

  1. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  2. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  5. Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

Leap Slam 4-Link

  1. Leap Slam Leap Slam
  2. Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support
  3. Blood Rage Blood Rage
  4. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

Auras 4-Link

  1. Blood and Sand Blood and Sand
  2. Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Enlighten Support Enlighten Support (Level 3 or 4)

Additional Auras and Utility

  1. Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem
  2. Molten Shell Molten Shell
  3. Pride Pride
  4. War Banner War Banner

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon

Ascendancy

Ascendancy

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

Deal with the Bandits Reward

  • Default Choice: Help Alira for the Critical Strike Multipler and Resistances.
  • Late-Game: Kill all the Bandits for the 2 Passive Points. If you can use them to get a DPS notable or unlock a Jewel socket in the 90s, this choice surpasses Alira.

Pantheon

Major Gods

  • Soul of Solaris remains one of the supreme choices for defense when properly upgraded, preventing crit chains against your character and reducing rogue-wave elemental damage.
  • Soul of Lunaris is an option for a little extra movement speed and clear.

Minor Gods

  • Soul of Gruthkul is the best choice if you have not upgraded any of your Pantheon.
  • Soul of Shakari is recommended once you have upgraded it to provide Poison immunity.
  • Soul of Yugul is the best choice for Uber Elder.

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 section in its entirety.

Some example gear used by our character:

Example Gear

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Abyssus Abyssus (softcore) OR Royal Burgonet Royal Burgonet (hardcore)
Amulet Rare Amber Amulet Amber Amulet
Chest Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart
Gloves Rare Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves
Boots Alberon's Warpath Alberon's Warpath (18% Increased Strength)
Belt Rare Heavy Belt Heavy Belt
Rings Rare Steel Ring Steel Rings
Weapon Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God

Gear, Jewels, and Flasks

Armour

Chest

Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart is our recommended choice. If offers an unparalleled increase in Effective Life, which gives you the confidence to really get up in the face of enemies. This chest can take you to over 10k Maximum Life, a number usually reserved for Chaos Innoculation builds alone. A second 6-Link is also not necessary to take this build to extremely strong heights, which removes one of the significant downsides of this chest. Additionally, it is pretty easy to get your hands on Corrupted versions of Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart, as you do not have to worry about sockets or colours. Getting a version with 40-50% Increased Damage makes this chest very difficult to beat.

Carcass Jack Carcass Jack is a fairly strong budget option, especially before you are in the true end-game, as it will boost your clear and damage substantially for a relatively low cost. Unfortunately, we cannot take advantage of the Evasion due to Unwavering Stance on our tree, which dampens the usability of this chest once we are reaching very high tier Maps. The Life and Resistances are a nice bonus.

A Rare Astral Plate Astral Plate is the best possible option for damage, and offers competitive survivability to Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart. The main downside, however, is that it requires very specific stats, the combination of which are very expensive or difficult to craft.

Prioritize affixes as follows:

  1. +# to Maximum Life
  2. +# to Armour / +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Strength
  4. % Increased Maximum Life (Elder)
  5. % Increased Strength (Elder)
  6. Attacks Have +% to Critical Strike Chance
  7. % of Physical Damage taken As Fire / Cold Damage
  8. % Increased Armour
  9. Resistances

Helmet

Abyssus Abyssus is a realistic option for softcore leagues. Due to our high effective health and sizeable amounts of Armour, the downsides of this Armour are not felt as much as with average builds. The multiplier increase is enormous, it has a high amount of Armour, a large chunk of flat Physical damage, and a nice helping of Attributes. Enchants are also relatively accessible, which is a nice bonus.

A Rare Royal Burgonet Royal Burgonet is an alternative option that offers better survivability. This is the recommended choice for Hardcore, as Abyssus Abyssus can still put you in situations where a “rogue wave” amount of Physical damage can result in instant death. This is uncommon, due to the amount of defense at our disposable, but using a Rare reduces to this possibility to an infinitesimally low chance.

Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. +# to Maximum Life
  2. +# to Armour / +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Strength
  4. % Chance to Gain a Power Charge on Kill (Shaper)
  5. Nearby Enemies Take 9% Increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil craft)
  6. % of Physical Damage Taken as Fire Damage (Crafted)
  7. +# to All Attributes

Other unique options:

  • Devoto's Devotion Devoto's Devotion remains the king of clear speed, as it is for many builds, due to a huge Movement Speed bonus. As another nice plus, the Dexterity feeds into increased AoE from Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God, which is another natural increase to clear. The Attack Speed is not a huge plus for us, but this is a great choice if you want to reach the absolute maximum experience per hour with this build.
  • Deidbell Deidbell or Deidbellow Deidbellow is actually a fairly strong item for the early game and the leveling process.

Recommended enchantments for this build:

  1. 40% increased Ground Slam Ground Slam Damage
  2. 12% increased Ground Slam Ground Slam Area of Effect
  3. Ground Slam Ground Slam has a 24% increased angle

There is not a lot of point in investing in the Increased Angle enchantment, as you could simply use Rapid Expansion Rapid Expansion to achieve the same effect while saving up for the enchant that grants increased damage.

Gloves

A Rare pair of Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves is the best option, and easily obtained or crafted yourself. All the possible damaging stats are simply too good to pass up on. Prioritize affixes as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Strength
  4. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  5. +# to Armour / +# to Maximum Life
  6. % Increased Armour
  7. +# to Armour
  8. % Increased Attack Speed

Meginord's Vise Meginord's Vise is a solid unique option to get you going in maps, offering a nice chunk of strength, some Physical damage, and Life Regeneration.

Boots

Alberon's Warpath Alberon's Warpath is an extremely cheap pair of boots, and also the best choice for our build. Be sure to get a pair with the maximum Strength increase (18%). Most of the other stats on these boots are useless; an okay Armour roll, a passable amount of Movement Speed, and so on. These boots get better with increased levels of Strength.

A Rare pair of Titan Greaves Titan Greaves is also a good option, especially early on when your Strength levels are low. They also provide more survivability and Resistances, which can make them attractive even in the end-game.

Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. % Increased Movement Speed
  2. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  3. +# to Maximum Life
  4. +# to Strength
  5. +# to Armour / +# to Maximum Life
  6. % Increased Armour

Weapon

Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God is our weapon of choice. As explained in the Build Mechanics section:

By stacking large amounts of Strength, we can raise our % Increased Physical Weapon damage to absolutely absurd levels, about 1600% Increased in Low Gear (1000 Strength) and 2400% Increased in Top-End Gear (1500 Strength). By combining this massively increased weapon damage with Flat Physical Damage (Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks) we can compensate for the extremely low base damage of the staff, causing each Ground Slam Ground Slam to flatten the screen.

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This item encourages us to stack as much Strength as possible, which means we want it on every piece we can get. One of the other upsides of using this item is that there are some amazing Staff nodes on the tree that many players have forgotten about or flat out never seen. It has been a long time since Physical staff builds were any sort of meta, and they are often overlooked.

Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God has received a fair amount of attention in this patch due to the melee changes, particularly as a Cyclone Cyclone build, but it works just as well, if not better, for Ground Slam Ground Slam, as we do not need much Attack Speed to make the build tick. This leaves even more room to budget for Strength, Defense, and Flat Physical Damage.

There is not really any reason not to use Pillar of the Caged God Pillar of the Caged God, since it is extremely cheap, a very common drop, and can be obtained even on the first day of the league.

When you are heading into Maps, however, you may not have enough Strength to make full use of the item’s passive. If you are good about snapping up some cheap Uniques early on (Meginord's Vise Meginord's Vise for example) you may be able to use it straight away, however, if you are not finding it immediately effective, you could also opt to use a Rare staff (such as an Eclipse Staff Eclipse Staff. Simply get some % Increased Physical Damage, Flat Physical Damage, and any other damage stats you can procure, and you are good to go

Accessories

Amulet

A Rare Amber Amulet Amber Amulet is the best option for most situations. Ensure you get the highest possible implicit using Blessed Orb Blessed Orbs.

Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Strength
  4. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  5. % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  6. % Increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  7. +# to All Attributes

All of these stats are pretty excellent for this build, and relatively close in value. You should be able to pick up an Amber Amulet Amber Amulet fairly early and for relatively cheap that has Strength, Flat Physical Damage, and All Attributes. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier are both fantastic stats for damage, but they tend to run a little higher on cost, and can be saved for later.

If you have some money to spend, you can also look for Talismans with the % Increased Attributes implicit, and the same stat priority as listed above for explicit stats.

If your build is capped on Resistances and you have some money to spend, you can also consider using Eyes of the Greatwolf Eyes of the Greatwolf. This item can have 24-32% Increased Attributes, making it the highest single Attribute increase we can get. In order for this item to be worth using over a Rare with additional damage stats, however, the second stat also has to be strong. In order of priority:

  1. 48-72% Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  2. 80-100% Increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  3. 40-60% Increased Global Physical Damage
  4. 40-60% Increased Attack Damage

If you do not have one of these accompanying affixes, it probably is not worth investing towards this Rare and expensive item. The main downside of this item is that these combinations generally cost upwards of 20 Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs, and are therefore not realistic acquisitions for most players.

Rings

Rare Steel Ring Steel Rings are the best option due to their implicit. Make sure you are maximizing this implicit using Blessed Orb Blessed Orbs.

Prioritize affixes as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Strength
  4. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  5. % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Essence / Elder)
  6. % Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (Essence / Shaper)
  7. Curse Enemies with Level # Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark on Hit (Shaper)
  8. % Increased Melee Damage (Elder)
  9. % Increased Damage (Crafted)
  10. % of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana (as needed)
  11. % Increased Attack Speed

Belt

A Rare Heavy Belt Heavy Belt or Stygian Vise Stygian Vise are both viable options. The Heavy Belt Heavy Belt is generally cheaper, and much easier to get a well-rolled version, but the Stygian Vise Stygian Vise has higher potential top-end damage if you can afford a top-tier Jewel to socket it with. Make sure you are maximizing the Heavy Belt Heavy Belt’s implicit using Blessed Orb Blessed Orbs.

Prioritize stats as follows:

  1. [Uncapped] Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to Maximum Life
  3. +# to Strength
  4. % Increased Attributes (Elder)
  5. % Increased Maximum Life (Elder)
  6. +# to Armour
  7. % Increased Effect of Flasks on You (Crafted)

When you are starting out, try to get a Heavy Belt Heavy Belt with the core stats: Life, Resistances, and Strength. If you can also get Armour, this is a nice bonus. The Elder stats are nice to have but non-essential.

Jewels

Watcher’s Eye

The Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye is the literal “crown Jewel” and one of the last and most luxurious upgrades any build can make. Unfortunately, they can be extraordinarily expensive and an entirely unrealistic acquisition for the majority of players. For that reason, we left Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye out of all our DPS calculations, but if you have deep moneybags, you could push the build to new limits.

Prioritize them as follows:

  1. (40-60)% increased Attack Physical Damage while using Pride
  2. Your Hits Intimidate Enemies for 4 seconds while you are using Pride
  3. (8-12)% chance to deal Double Damage while using Pride
  4. 25% chance to Impale Enemies on Hit with Attacks while using Pride

Be aware that these mods can shift in value depending on your level of gear, though the Attack Physical Damage mod is typically far ahead of the others.

Unique Jewels

There are no required Unique Jewels for this build.

Emperor's Might Emperor's Might and Emperor's Mastery Emperor's Mastery are both excellent choices, however, the vast majority of players will never acquire these. The unfortunate reality is that compared with top-tier Rare Jewels, neither of these Jewels competes anyways. If you can get one very early in a league, however, they can be used for quite some time.

Brawn Brawn can be used early in your character development, and it is extremely cheap. We only recommend using one of these, and in the long term you will certainly want to replace it with a Rare Jewel.

Rapid Expansion Rapid Expansion could be used for league starting, leveling, and very early mapping, though it is a waste of a Jewel slot in the end-game.

Standard Jewels

In most cases, we use Crimson Jewel Crimson Jewels:

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. +# to Strength
  3. % Increased Critical Strike Multiplier with Two Handed Melee Weapons
  4. % Increased Critical Strike Chance with Two Handed Melee Weapons
  5. % Increased Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
  6. % Increased Physical Damage with Staves
  7. +# to All Attributes
  8. % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  9. % Increased Global Physical Damage
  10. % Increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  11. % Increased Damage

Any other helpful mods you can procure are perfectly fine compliments to a Jewel with Life and Strength.

Abyss Jewels

Murderous Eye Jewel Murderous Eye Jewels are actually very competitive, and can often be cheaper to procure. Depending on the stats and rolls, you might be able to get more damage out of an Abyss Jewel, though they are slightly behind when compared two top-end Jewels.

  1. +# to Maximum Life
  2. +# to Strength
  3. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Staff Attacks
  4. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  5. % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  6. % Increased Global Critical Strike Chance

Any other helpful mods you can procure are perfectly fine compliments to a Jewel with Life and either Strength or Flat Physical Damage.

Flasks

This is our recommended Flask setup. Feel free to swap out Flasks or Prefixes/Suffixes to suit your preferred style of play, as there are no real “mandatory” flasks for this build.

Flasks

  1. Seething Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask of Staunching
  2. Experimenter’s Diamond Flask Diamond Flask of Warding
  3. Lion's Roar Lion's Roar
  4. Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn or Sin's Rebirth Sin's Rebirth
  5. Experimenter’s Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask of Heat

If you can get your hands on a Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn with a Critical Strike veiled mod, you can drop the Diamond Flask Diamond Flask in favor of Sin's Rebirth Sin's Rebirth, and run three Unique flasks for more damage. You will likely have to skip Temporal Chains Temporal Chains maps, but this is an option for improving boss damage.

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.

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.

If you want to level with Ground Slam Ground Slam instead, follow the advised gem links in the guide. Leveling with staves is a bit difficult, but you could use The Blood Thorn The Blood Thorn and upgrade to The Stormheart The Stormheart later.

We recommend instead leveling using Axes or Maces, which are easier to obtain and itemize, both as Rares and Uniques.

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