Impale Cyclone Champion Build Guide (PoE Heist 3.12)

LunaWolve

90


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 Champion ascendancy from the Duelist class is one of the best choices when you choose to build an Impale Support Impale Support-oriented character. For this particular character we choose to dual wield One-Handed Swords and utilize a smooth progression towards the end-game state of this build, allowing you to easily follow along and build this character, based on your own budget limits and intent for it.

Build Summary

The build does not require any build-enabling items, but I will be listing a couple Unique items that definitely go in the “it is recommended to pick these up for improved QoL” list. The build itself is an amazing league-starter, as the barrier of entry is extremely low, but with the right investment and care, can easily tackle the entire game’s content, including delving, Uber-Awakener and Uber-Elder, as well as the highest of map tiers.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed
+ Great league starter
+ Extremely flexible build, allowing lots of customization
+ Very tanky, with options to increase DPS or survivability
+ Pure Physical means you don’t care about “Elemental Reflect” map mods

Cons

Not as fast as a zoom-zoom ranger build
Intelligence can be an annoyance to acquire on this build
Very expensive to max out, compared to spell caster or summoner builds

Playstyle

Jumping around the map using Leap Slam Leap Slam, stunning enemies with its guaranteed stun chance at full-life and then simply spinning inside of them with your Cyclone Cyclone represents the basic outline for your playstyle.

Keep up Blood Rage Blood Rage permanently, as it provides a decent amount of additional damage along with a very reliable source of Life Leech.

Place your Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief whenever needed (some specific Rare/Unique mobs or map bosses), as it provides a large amount of additional damage in a medium-sized radius around it. You want to use this in more stationary fights, rather than mobile ones.

You want to use your Enduring Cry Enduring Cry on-cooldown in most situations to keep up your Endurance charges. Thanks to the “Call to Arms” Keystone, the usage of the Warcry is instant, meaning you can even use it WHILE you’re spinning and it will not interrupt your attacks.

Use your Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell and Molten Shell Molten Shell whenever you’re about to jump into a pack of enemies. Try to dip out of combat if you run into a strong opponent and your Molten Shell Molten Shell is not up. Make sure to use it BEFORE you jump on the target, otherwise you might not get the chance…!

Lastly, you should get used to swapping between the Blood and the Sand stances whenever needed using your Blood and Sand Blood and Sand gem. Sand stance is for general clear in a map, as it provides a nice defensive layer and increased area of effect for your Cyclone Cyclone, while the Blood stance will provide additional damage to clear out remaining rare monsters or to kill bosses.

Passive tree

This is the Endgame Passive Skill Tree for the build.

We focus on picking up all the efficient Impale, Sword, and Crit nodes along the way, as well as a ton of health, some defensive clusters, such as “Soul of Steel”, as well as all the relevant Keystones (Call to Arms, Wind Dancer and lastly Point Blank: this one will later turn into Divine Flesh).

For more information including the Path of Building link and a few lower-level trees in order to have an easier time leveling, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.

Passive Tree Page and PoB link

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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheons Page

Gems

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

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 room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety to understand the choices made for the recommendations here.

Gear Page: Rare affix priorities and Endgame options

Our recommendations (Budget Options):

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet with decent Chaos/Ele Resists and Life
Amulet Rare Amulet with Damage and Life + Stats
Chest Carcass Jack Carcass Jack or Rare Body Armour
Gloves Great Old One's Tentacles Great Old One's Tentacles
Boots Atziri's Step Atziri's Step
Belt Belt of the Deceiver Belt of the Deceiver or Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Rings to fill out Resists and Stats
Weapon Rare Weapons or Ichimonji Ichimonji
Weapon Rare Weapons or Ichimonji Ichimonji

Leveling

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

The character can be leveled with its signature skill from level 28 onward and feels great to do so. There are no requirements (neither gems nor items) to start this character from level 1.

Leveling Trees

Here is an early Passive Skill Tree that picks up all the foundational passive nodes needed in the beginning of the character.

You will want to pick up all the nodes on the bottom and left side of the tree first, before you make your way over to the right side, towards the Wind Dancer keystone and the sword nodes in the Ranger area.

For more information about leveling trees, passive skill tree order, etc. make sure to check the mentioned Passive Tree Page and PoB link page.

Passive Tree Page and PoB link

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 Siosa in The Library in Act III Library, or Lilly Ross starting at Act VI, once you’ve completed the corresponding side-quest she provides.

For leveling setups, you have a ton of different options, depending on what ability you prefer to level with. Personally, I prefer Perforate Perforate as my main ability until level 28, but you can also go with Cleave Cleave if you prefer that playstyle.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Cleave Cleave or Perforate Perforate
  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 according 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 Cleave Cleave link should look like this, going down the list depending on how many links you have available.

  1. Cleave Cleave or Perforate Perforate
  2. Maim Support Maim Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  4. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  5. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 10, you should add Leap Slam Leap Slam for additional mobility. If you’re using Perforate Perforate, you may also pick up Intimidating Cry Intimidating Cry at this point, for added burst potential and damage.

At level 12, you can add Smoke Mine Smoke Mine for even more mobility, which will replace the Dash Dash you picked up earlier. Smoke Mine is the superior mobility skill, if you can get used to the 2-button teleport playstyle it provides. Keep in mind that the movement speed buff it provides stacks with your Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask.

At level 16, you should add Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone. If you’re using Perforate Perforate, you should also switch out your Intimidating Cry Intimidating Cry for Seismic Cry Seismic Cry, which will provide you with extra clear speed, damage and survivability, thanks to the knockback it provides.

By level 18, your Cleave Cleave or Perforate Perforate links should look like this.

  1. Cleave Cleave or Perforate Perforate
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Rage Support Rage Support
  4. Close Combat Support Close Combat Support
  5. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless 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 this point you should also replace your Cleave Cleave setup with the following Cyclone Cyclone link.

  1. Cyclone Cyclone
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support
  4. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

Starting at level 31, you should replace one of your Cyclone links with a Fortify Support Fortify Support.

FAQ

How to Deal with Mana Problems? The Skill Tree Does Not Have a Single Node of Mana Leech.

Having a single jewel with “% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana” will solve all your Mana problems, or this can also be rolled on Rings or Amulet.

Additionally, you will want to get yourself some “Channeling Skills have -# to Total Mana Cost” crafts on your Rings and Amulet. Acquiring a Rare Body Armour with the Warlord suffix “Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost” will make your Cyclone absolutely free!

What Map Mods Should be Avoided?

The build cannot do Physical Reflect and Cannot Leech.

Other rough, but manageable, mods are No Regeneration and “Enemies cannot be taunted”.

What Anoint to go for?

Either Heartseeker or Strike True. You will want to go for the highest critical strike multiplier you can find (and afford) on the tree.

What if I Have any Questions not Covered Here?

Feel free to leave a comment down below, join the PoE Vault Discord or try to catch me over on my stream to ask me directly.

Credits

Big thanks to Tenkiei for the help with this guide!

Conclusion

Get close and personal with enemies and slice them in half. The Impale Cyclone Champion excels at dealing Physical damage and makes great use of the Impale mechanic while maintaining very respectable survivability.

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  1. Posts
    1

    Do you have an example of an endgame geared character I could look at.

  2. Vvckd

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    On 14/09/2019 at 1:55 AM, Thedirtymo said

    Do you have an example of an endgame geared character I could look at.

    Hey, unfortunatelly not.

  3. Posts
    8

    got 2 questions

    first did you make a mistake in typing ? cause the guide starts out saying we are taking dual swords scaling crit

    then few lines down it says we use axes and the node that does not allow us to crit ?

    confused me shortly

    second and my main question is how much aoe will we have compared to the slayer build

    i wanted to play cyclone and always wanted to make a champion character but im not sure if the aoe does not change much from when you get the spell

    its one of the few things that always annoyed me being that the spell is super slow and kinda small so how will aoe look with this ascendancy and build ?

  4. Vvckd

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    On 17/09/2019 at 7:43 PM, poextreme said

    got 2 questions

    first did you make a mistake in typing ? cause the guide starts out saying we are taking dual swords scaling crit

    then few lines down it says we use axes and the node that does not allow us to crit ?

    confused me shortly

    second and my main question is how much aoe will we have compared to the slayer build

    i wanted to play cyclone and always wanted to make a champion character but im not sure if the aoe does not change much from when you get the spell

    its one of the few things that always annoyed me being that the spell is super slow and kinda small so how will aoe look with this ascendancy and build ?

    Hey, fixing the typo shortly, sorry about that. When it comes to the AoE, Slayer is better. In this build though we utilize Impale, which Slayer cannot do. This results in tons of physical damage, which is also cheaper to scale, the AoE should be enough any ways.

  5. Posts
    8

    yub got my champion to 68 by now and the aoe is not bad :)

    its a bit of a shame you cant really see when impale is helping you or not as in i cant tell if i just got good dmg or how much of it impale is actually doing for me

  6. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 18/09/2019 at 5:37 PM, poextreme said

    yub got my champion to 68 by now and the aoe is not bad :)

    its a bit of a shame you cant really see when impale is helping you or not as in i cant tell if i just got good dmg or how much of it impale is actually doing for me

    The more you attack, the higher number of Impales you will have. The damage is kind of “ramping up” in a sense, you should definitely feel it against tougher enemies.

  7. Posts
    8

    Hey I was wondering, on the skill tree on the bottom you have a set of skills which are meant to benefit fortify support gem (the names on the skills tree have when fortify is activated.) Is this a mistake?
    Another thing that I found useful is using a ring that removes some of the mana, since the skill cyclone costs 6 mana you can keep using the skill without worrying about mana, I found a ring with -8 mana use. Also I dont seem to have enough dexterity to use some of the buff gems such as discipline.
    Thank you for the great build though!

  8. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 21/09/2019 at 2:05 PM, SetneuF said

    Hey I was wondering, on the skill tree on the bottom you have a set of skills which are meant to benefit fortify support gem (the names on the skills tree have when fortify is activated.) Is this a mistake?
    Another thing that I found useful is using a ring that removes some of the mana, since the skill cyclone costs 6 mana you can keep using the skill without worrying about mana, I found a ring with -8 mana use. Also I dont seem to have enough dexterity to use some of the buff gems such as discipline.
    Thank you for the great build though!

    Hey, the Fortify nodes are picked because we have permanent Fortify from Champion and the nodes affect the Fortify effect, not Fortify Support Fortify Support. The -# Mana cost of skills got changed and no longer affects channeling skills, such as Cyclone Cyclone. When it comes to the last question I am sure you’ve misspelled something because you do not need Dexterity for Discipline Discipline and the build does not use this aura at all. If you have Dexterity problems you can solve them by picking some on the tree and equipping item bases that provide additional dexterity, such as Jade Amulet Jade Amulet. Thank you for the kind feedback, glad you like the build.

  9. Posts
    8

    oh thank you, sorry i only recently bought poe i didnt realise about the champion having fortify

  10. Vvckd

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    On 22/09/2019 at 7:04 AM, SetneuF said

    oh thank you, sorry i only recently bought poe i didnt realise about the champion having fortify

    Thats great to hear, always glad to see new people coming to this great game!

  11. Posts
    8

    what stats would a preferable divine life flask have? can you please list. thanks.

  12. Vvckd

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    On 25/09/2019 at 9:08 AM, SetneuF said

    what stats would a preferable divine life flask have? can you please list. thanks.

    Hey, I like to always roll my Life flask half-instant with Bleed removal.

  13. Posts
    2

    Hello, Vvckd! First of all, many thanks for sharing build guides, they are helping a lot. I am kinda new player, and the cyclone champ is sure fun to play! But I am somewhat confused with a couple of things, hope you can make them clear, please. So, here we go: you said here above that this build doesn’t use Discipline aura, yet the guide itself does mentioned using Discipline linked with Blood Magic Support. Well, I tried that and this combo leaves me barely with any life to go with, so should I just forget about it completely or are there any ways to make it work?

    Similar situation with Pride aura: it consumes too much mana to be usable at all. Or am I missing something?

    Now in regard of passive points tree: would you recommend spending a couple of points to get Cloth & Chain (Increased Evasion & Armor + 12% Elemental Resists) instead of, say, getting two +5% max Life points?

    And the final question for today: could you, please, give your piece of advice on leveling skill gems for this build in particular. E.g., Maim Support should be lvl 1 only and so on. Maybe there is already a general guide on gems leveling strategy or is it always build-specific anyway?

    Thanks!

    Edited by El Mariachi on October 4th, 2019

  14. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1759

    On 04/10/2019 at 7:02 AM, El Mariachi said

    Hello, Vvckd! First of all, many thanks for sharing build guides, they are helping a lot. I am kinda new player, and the cyclone champ is sure fun to play! But I am somewhat confused with a couple of things, hope you can make them clear, please. So, here we go: you said here above that this build doesn’t use Discipline aura, yet the guide itself does mentioned using Discipline linked with Blood Magic Support. Well, I tried that and this combo leaves me barely with any life to go with, so should I just forget about it completely or are there any ways to make it work?

    Similar situation with Pride aura: it consumes too much mana to be usable at all. Or am I missing something?

    Now in regard of passive points tree: would you recommend spending a couple of points to get Cloth & Chain (Increased Evasion & Armor + 12% Elemental Resists) instead of, say, getting two +5% max Life points?

    And the final question for today: could you, please, give your piece of advice on leveling skill gems for this build in particular. E.g., Maim Support should be lvl 1 only and so on. Maybe there is already a general guide on gems leveling strategy or is it always build-specific anyway?

    Thanks!

    Hey, I undestand how some things mentioned in the build guide might be confusing to new players and I apologize for that. The Discipline Discipline + Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support gem setup has only one purpose and it is to gain the Adrenaline buff. The Champion’s ascendancy node First to Strike, Last to Fall provides a very powerful buff called Adrenaline when you reach low life (<35%). By applying your Discipline aura, which reserves a large portion of your Life and then deactivating it you are able to go low life, which grants you the buff and you simply have it for 20seconds. This allows you to gain the buff before tough boss fights and quickly recover your life before heading into the fight. Pride Pride on the other hand is an aura that should be active all the time, it only reserves 50% of your maximum Mana; when you have enough damage and some form of Mana leech you should not have any Mana sustain problems at all. When it comes to the passive nodes question I’d recommend sticking with the Life instead of Armour, ES and resistances, since they are easily obtainable on gear. When it comes to level restrictions for the gems, I’d recommend leveling up everything as much as possible (except for Discipline Discipline).

  15. Posts
    2

    Appreciate your quick and complete answer, Vvckd! Yet I am still a bit confused regarding the Pride, Blood&Sand and Flesh&Stone combo: they reserve 85% of my mana (plus 10% for the Dread Banner atm), so I have barely enough to use Cyclone for a couple of seconds. But I am only at 40+ lvl so I assume the complete combo will be more feasible later in the game, right?

  16. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    1759

    On 04/10/2019 at 11:59 PM, El Mariachi said

    Appreciate your quick and complete answer, Vvckd! Yet I am still a bit confused regarding the Pride, Blood&Sand and Flesh&Stone combo: they reserve 85% of my mana (plus 10% for the Dread Banner atm), so I have barely enough to use Cyclone for a couple of seconds. But I am only at 40+ lvl so I assume the complete combo will be more feasible later in the game, right?

    Hey, if you are struggling with Mana simply run Pride Pride + Dread Banner Dread Banner. You are definitely low level to run them all.

  17. Posts
    8

    Hey,
    Could you please recommend what the best body armor, helmet and glove would be for this build? I don’t want to buy one that isnt good for the build.

  18. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 29/10/2019 at 9:30 PM, SetneuF said

    Hey,
    Could you please recommend what the best body armor, helmet and glove would be for this build? I don’t want to buy one that isnt good for the build.

    Hey, please check out the gearing section of the build guide. For each gear slot there is a detailed description and stat priority.

  19. Posts
    1

    I added a clarity gem and have .4% mana leech on belt. With a sliver of mana left works like a charm long as im hitting something. Just trying to figure out how to keep that with end game build. 84 now and just got belly 6l. I really lucked out on random drop and crafting links.

  20. Posts
    7

    No POB?

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