Impale Cyclone Champion Build Guide (PoE Lake of Kalandra 3.19)




Due to the latest balancing changes, we do not recommend playing this build anymore, as it does not meet the high standards we apply to our guides in terms of fun and performance. We are leaving it up as a reference and it might be revived in a later patch.

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.

This build will struggle with ultra-endgame content, such as the Uber-Uber Bosses, High-Tier Maven Invitations or T17+ Maps, unless HEAVILY invested into. If you’re looking for an absolute endgame monster, you will not find it here.

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


+ 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


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”.


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


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.


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.


Big thanks to Tenkiei for the help with this guide!


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.


  • Updated for 3.19 Lake of Kalandra

  • Updated the Guide to Sentinel 3.18

  • Guide checked for 3.14 Ultimatum and deemed viable (no changes needed).

  • Updated (minor update needed only) for Ritual 3.13.

  • Build evaluated and deemed up to date for Heist 3.12!

  • Fixed some minor spelling and grammar mistakes.

  • Build is now maintained by LunaWolve, and has received a considerable rework and upgrade.

  • Revisited and updated for Harvest 3.11. The build lost some damage via the nerf to dual wield but after all it is still a solid choice and plays out as before.

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

  • Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The buffs to monster Armour hurt Cyclone in general but the new nodes for Impale and Armour penetration balance out this negative change for the build.

  • Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build got nerfed via the Cyclone changes. Impale remains the same on the other hand, which is surprising, considering how strong it is. The build is still very solid overall.

  • Build added.

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