Impale Cyclone Champion Build Guide (PoE Sentinel 3.18)

LunaWolve

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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. Despite the nerfs in 3.13 and 3.15, the Ascendancy is still incredibly powerful for Cyclone and any other Impale Support Impale Support-oriented builds, it is simply not a must-have choice anymore. Since 3.15 however, we do not use the actual gem of Impale Support Impale Support anymore.

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

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

The build cannot do Physical Reflect and Cannot Leech.

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

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, as well as all the relevant Keystones (Call to Arms and Point Blank: this one will later turn into Divine Flesh).

Our full Gem Links, as well as more information including the Path of Building link and a few lower-level trees in order to have an easier time leveling can be found on our dedicated page.

Passive Tree, PoB & Gem Links

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

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 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 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. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    1737

    On 09/01/2020 at 8:30 PM, Hillgrove said

    No POB?

    Hey, we focus on keeping text guides updated and we do not create PoBs for now.

  2. Posts
    3

    Hi, fairly new to this game and decided on this as my league starter for this season. Works great and now that I’m getting towards the end game and starting to min-max and work on a final item build for it I have one question. Why siege axes? They arn’t the highest dps one handed axe base. I haven’t looked into crafting much yet so I don’t know if it has some affix’s the others don’t or what. Or is it a cost thing? Any info would be appreciated!

    edit – also looking at the skill gems, the build leaves room for 4 additional gems (if everything has max slots) I was wondering if you could suggest a way to possibly link some of these together? For instance maybe putting pride, blood&sand, Flesh&stone on the last 4 link with something that reduces mana required or makes the buffs themselves stronger? Not sure if those exist or not since I haven’t read through the skills or many other guides.

  3. Posts
    25

    On 13/01/2020 at 3:47 PM, Arcinium said

    Hi, fairly new to this game and decided on this as my league starter for this season. Works great and now that I’m getting towards the end game and starting to min-max and work on a final item build for it I have one question. Why siege axes? They arn’t the highest dps one handed axe base. I haven’t looked into crafting much yet so I don’t know if it has some affix’s the others don’t or what. Or is it a cost thing? Any info would be appreciated!

    edit – also looking at the skill gems, the build leaves room for 4 additional gems (if everything has max slots) I was wondering if you could suggest a way to possibly link some of these together? For instance maybe putting pride, blood&sand, Flesh&stone on the last 4 link with something that reduces mana required or makes the buffs themselves stronger? Not sure if those exist or not since I haven’t read through the skills or many other guides.

    Siege Axes have the highest base attack speed which is substantial for the build to stack up your impale stacks.

    You shouldn’t have 4 empty sockets if you follow the gem setup section closely unless you chose to play with Kaom’s Roots and leave a setup out on purpose.

    I have a different question for the build creator:
    I know the mana issue topic has already been touched but I wonder how I am supposed to make it work in ssf. Let’s say I play with all the auras and gems you suggested which leaves me with 507 mana reserved and 26 to play with (at my current level – 78). Cyclone costs 5 mana per channel. Needless to say that I am running out of mana instantly if I am not leeching, which happens frequently unless I time it perfectly to stop channeling my cyclone when a pack dies or boss becomes untouchable or something. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass to play like that. Even without dread banner it’s just not enough mana to smoothly spin around. Luckily I found a Praxis Ring and use it to reduce my mana cost to zero but the ring doesn’t really provide anything else in terms of defence or damage. Any suggestions for a ssf player to control my mana better without sacrificing too much offence?

  4. Posts
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    On 13/01/2020 at 6:18 PM, PilotLanguste said

    Siege Axes have the highest base attack speed which is substantial for the build to stack up your impale stacks.

    You shouldn’t have 4 empty sockets if you follow the gem setup section closely unless you chose to play with Kaom’s Roots and leave a setup out on purpose.

    Ok, so the siege axes part makes sense now. Also I did the math wrong, but its still 2 additional gem slots. The guide calls for a total of 22 gems (dont need banner after 100% impale chance). Max slots for a build is 24. So we have 2 empty gem slots, and a potential 4-link that doesnt benefit any of the gems in it, and a 3 link that just holds the gems as well. I was going to check and see if putting the Molten Shell and Discipline link together (filling in the last 4 link) but I dont think there is any benefit other than removing the mana cost of Molten shell. Plus the other 3 link. So to rephrase my question, is there 2 skill gems and a potential 4 and 3 link in addition to the ones already provided (i.e. leaving molten shell and discipline as 2 links and putting them in a slot with 4 max, and then taking one of the other non-linked gems and making it a 3 link) that would benefit the build/gem layout in anyway or is there just dead space?

    This is not considering koams since its not BIS.

    Also for the BIS rare armor are we just selecting the base item with the highest armor and using that to craft/buy the best things we can? or are we looking towards AR/EV pieces instead?

  5. Posts
    25

    On 13/01/2020 at 6:55 PM, Arcinium said

    On 13/01/2020 at 6:18 PM, PilotLanguste said

    Siege Axes have the highest base attack speed which is substantial for the build to stack up your impale stacks.

    You shouldn’t have 4 empty sockets if you follow the gem setup section closely unless you chose to play with Kaom’s Roots and leave a setup out on purpose.

    Ok, so the siege axes part makes sense now. Also I did the math wrong, but its still 2 additional gem slots. The guide calls for a total of 22 gems (dont need banner after 100% impale chance). Max slots for a build is 24. So we have 2 empty gem slots, and a potential 4-link that doesnt benefit any of the gems in it, and a 3 link that just holds the gems as well. I was going to check and see if putting the Molten Shell and Discipline link together (filling in the last 4 link) but I dont think there is any benefit other than removing the mana cost of Molten shell. Plus the other 3 link. So to rephrase my question, is there 2 skill gems and a potential 4 and 3 link in addition to the ones already provided (i.e. leaving molten shell and discipline as 2 links and putting them in a slot with 4 max, and then taking one of the other non-linked gems and making it a 3 link) that would benefit the build/gem layout in anyway or is there just dead space?

    This is not considering koams since its not BIS.

    Also for the BIS rare armor are we just selecting the base item with the highest armor and using that to craft/buy the best things we can? or are we looking towards AR/EV pieces instead?

    I guess you could buff your aura setup with either enlighten (mana reduce) or empower (+level). I personally use Portal in one of my free slots as a qol thing.

  6. Posts
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    Hi! Firstly thank you for the guide! Im going to go with this build as my first SSF play ever :) Ive done all my goals in trade league 36 challanges, 2 maxed out characters and my main character is Facebreaker impale champion and I love the skill cyclone. Good guide and well written and nice with a levling tree to see what to take first. TIme to start levling for me! :)

  7. Posts
    8

    One thing that came in my mind, Where do you get life leech in the final tree? There are in the levling tree but not in the final tree?

  8. Posts
    8

    Ok figured it out its from from ring with curse warlords mark.

  9. Posts
    25

    On 20/01/2020 at 2:40 PM, Hyde84 said

    One thing that came in my mind, Where do you get life leech in the final tree? There are in the levling tree but not in the final tree?

    Mainly through Blood Rage but you could also get some additional leech on your jewels relatively easy in ssf.

  10. Posts
    8

    Noticed the node that leads to gladiators persevrence gives alot life leech so its not only blood rage.

  11. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1737

    On 20/01/2020 at 2:40 PM, Hyde84 said

    One thing that came in my mind, Where do you get life leech in the final tree? There are in the levling tree but not in the final tree?

    Hey, thanks for the kind feedback. You can acquire Mana leech via Jewelry and Life leech via Blood Rage Blood Rage.

  12. Posts
    3

    Hi there, I was still wondering what kind of rare items we should be using to roll the base stats for this build? Just straight AR items or AR/EV, AR/ES? Any answer to that would be greatly appreciated since I’m kinda lost on how to proceed into the endgame with items.

  13. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1737

    On 26/01/2020 at 12:17 AM, Arcinium said

    Hi there, I was still wondering what kind of rare items we should be using to roll the base stats for this build? Just straight AR items or AR/EV, AR/ES? Any answer to that would be greatly appreciated since I’m kinda lost on how to proceed into the endgame with items.

    Hey, bases are not really a big game breaker so simply look for good rolls. Try to evade Energy Shield bases of course.

  14. Posts
    1

    Hey,
    I’m a new player and I was wandering : aren’t you wasting the added chaos damages on your wasp nest if you are using the rune that negates chaos damages (Brutality if I remember well).
    And another question. You are stacking so much attack speed, does it makes your cyclone hit faster. I mean the time between two tics of damages is reduced by attack speed?
    Thanks in advance.

  15. Posts
    1

    “Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build remains as solid as before, or even better, considering new Cluster Jewel notables.”

    Are you going to revisit the passive tree to include large cluster slots or is it not worth it?

  16. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1737

    On 21/03/2020 at 7:22 PM, Tachytelic said

    “Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build remains as solid as before, or even better, considering new Cluster Jewel notables.”

    Are you going to revisit the passive tree to include large cluster slots or is it not worth it?

    Hey, if you want to use Cluster Jewels you can easily pick a socket near Blade Cunning. The main notable I recommend looking at is Deep Cuts.

  17. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1737

    On 21/03/2020 at 4:58 PM, mattlerf said

    Hey,
    I’m a new player and I was wandering : aren’t you wasting the added chaos damages on your wasp nest if you are using the rune that negates chaos damages (Brutality if I remember well).
    And another question. You are stacking so much attack speed, does it makes your cyclone hit faster. I mean the time between two tics of damages is reduced by attack speed?
    Thanks in advance.

    Hey, you should not be using The Wasp Nest The Wasp Nest at all in this build. When it comes to the interaction between Cyclone and Attack Speed it does reduce the time between tics indeed.

  18. Posts
    2

    Perhaps I missed it, but do you have recommendations about anointments?

  19. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1737

    On 22/03/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kryyn Tosh said

    Perhaps I missed it, but do you have recommendations about anointments?

    Hey, you can look at things like Ambidexterity. The node provides a lot of extra damage.

  20. Posts
    1

    Hey Vvckd,

    I am wondering with the 3.10 update if you have any suggestions for which, if any, nodes to substitute for the cluster jewels? The closest ones are right above RT(3 skill points total) and to the bottom left of the Fortify nodes with Rampart (3 skill points).

    I temporarily have 2 SP in the Dex/Int nodes due to gem/gear requirements that I am hoping to reallocate later but until then I need them, so for me personally that’s -2 already at the moment.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Great guide!

    Thanks!!

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