Shattering Steel Champion Build Guide (PoE Legion 3.7)

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Introduction

The Shattering Steel Champion is a type of character that heavily specializes in doing great amounts of physical damage while also Impaling enemies; when the Impale debuff is applied, the target will take additional physical damage each time it is hit. The Champion ascendancy has great syngergy with Impale in general, allowing us to build full physical damage with the Brutality Support Brutality Support gem and mainly focus on taking advantage of it.

Shattering Steel Shattering Steel is an attack skill that requires Sword or Axe in order to be used. This attack fires projectiles in a cone in front of your character; when projectiles expire they deal area of effect damage; this essentially allows you to “shotgun” single targets. Shattering Steel also has 40% base chance to Impale, which allows us to take advantage of this mechanic too.

Build Summary

The build does not require a lot of initial investment and can even be played as a league-starter. For this particular build we choose to dual wield Swords; ideally two Grelwood Shank Grelwood Shanks, although there are multiple budget options before that. Prior to Grelwood Shanks, you can make great use of Scaeva Scaeva, Beltimber Blade Beltimber Blade or any decent rare sword with good pDPS (300+). The two additional projectiles from Grelwood Shank and Beltimber Blade are an amazing damage boost. For body armours, simple Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast can carry you all the way to endgame; Loreweave Loreweave is also a great choice. For other items, you can improvise and use certain unique items, you should mainly focus on capping resistances, acquiring flat physical damage via Steel Ring Steel Rings and decent amount of life everywhere you can.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Can be started with low amount of currency
+ Decent clear speed
+ Very good single target damage potential

Cons

- Cannot do physical reflect areas

Playstyle

Offensively, keeping up your Blood Rage Blood Rage and killing packs with one or two hits will be the majority of what you need to do in order to move forward. For single target damage, placing an Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector totem and striking as many times as possible in close range is what you should be doing. Stacking up Impales on tough bosses will result in great amounts of extra damage. Dread Banner Dread Banner in combination with the Shattering Steel Shattering Steel base chance and the Champion ascendancy will allow you to reach 80% chance to Impale.

Defensively, you will rely on great amount of armour for mitigating physical damage. This is achieved by using Vaal Grace Vaal Grace in combination with the passive keystone Iron Reflexes. The Vaal version of the aura is also very handy in sticky situations. You will also have a respectable amount of life leech to keep you healthy.

For playstyle, the Shattering Steel Champion is a tough, solid character that needs to stay aggressive for maximum efficiency. There will not be many things holding you back since you will have decent Life pool to rely on.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Duelist – Champion)

  1. Master of Metal
  2. Conqueror
  3. Worthy Foe
  4. First to Strike, Last to Fall

Master of Metal is the “bread and butter” of the build; this ascendancy node basically doubles the value of Impales for you.

Conqueror provides a decent amount of damage mitigation and some life regeneration.

Worthy Foe is another amazing ascendancy node; removing the possibility of your enemies to Evade your attacks essentially means you will not have to worry about your Accuracy Rating and Hit Chance at all, which is especially strong for critical-based builds like this one.

First to Strike, Last to Fall lets you Intimidate enemies, this essentially increases your overall damage done by 10%; you can also gain the Adrenaline Buff when you reach Low Life. There is a trick you can do in order to get the buff before tough boss fights: simply have an aura setup with the Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support gem; when you reserve a big portion of your Life pool, you will get the Adrenaline Buff and you are ready to fight (you deactivate the aura right after you’ve activated it).

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree you should aim for. You can drop some life nodes in order to pick more damage in the form of things like Razor’s Edge. The keystone notables we focus on are Iron Reflexes and Point Blank. Remember that Shattering Steel Shattering Steel is not tagged as a melee skill and does not benefit from melee nodes on the passive skill tree.

The Shattering Steel Champion achieves more than 200% increased maximum Life on the passive tree, which is more than most builds, which can easily result in more than 7500 hit points. We also pick all the damage nodes we will need in order to deal with the endgame.

Bandits

As in most critical-based builds, we recommend helping Alira for the additional 20% Critical Multiplier and +15% to all Elemental Resistances. This outweighs the two passive skill points that you will receive by killing all the bandits.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris is a great choice for the build, passively it provides a lot of damage when fully upgraded. To fully upgrade the Pantheon, capture The Gorgon in Sulphur Vents Map, Jorus, Sky’s Edge in Temple Map and The Infernal King in Caldera Map. In order to do that you need to have Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular map, then just kill the map boss and give the captured soul in the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Minor: We recommend the upgraded version of Soul of Ralakesh for most critical-based attack builds. The blind immunity proves to be very strong in certain situations, while the maim immunity is also helpful. The bleed mitigation is just another reason to pick this minor God power. Based on personal preference, other minor Pantheons can be used.

Gems

Shattering Steel Shattering Steel is your signature skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-link. For mobility, use Leap Slam Leap Slam. Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector can be used for better single target damage. Dread Banner Dread Banner will provide additional chance to Impale enemies. A combination of Herald of Agony Herald of Agony, Herald of Purity Herald of Purity, and Arctic Armour Arctic Armour can be used, based on personal preference and what you need for the particular content you are running.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority (starting from the top left, going to the right on each row of the links), 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 (with the bottom right being the last). 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.

Shattering Steel (6-Link)

Shattering Steel Shattering Steel is an attack skill that releases projectiles in front of your character. When the projectiles expire, they deal area of effect damage, this is why having additional projectiles added by several sources can result in the overlapping of different projectiles’ area of effect damage. We recommend one gem setup that works well for both clearing and single target damage output.

  1. Shattering Steel Shattering Steel
  2. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  3. Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support
  4. Impale Support
  5. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  6. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support

Leap Slam (4-Link)

Leap Slam Leap Slam will allow you move around very fast, and you will also get the Fortify effect for a short duration when you hit an enemy.

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

Ancestral Protector (4-Link)

Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector will augment your single target damage.

  1. Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  4. Maim Support Maim Support

Immortal Call (4-Link)

Immortal Call Immortal Call adds another layer of defence. These gems should be kept at level requirement of 40 or lower, except for the Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support gem.

  1. Immortal Call Immortal Call
  2. Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support
  3. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support
  4. Enfeeble Enfeeble

Other Gems

Dread Banner Dread Banner should be active at all times. Vaal Grace Vaal Grace is a great defensive addition to the build, especially when you consider that we are picking up the Iron Reflexes keystone notable on the passive skill tree. Herald of Purity Herald of Purity and Arctic Armour Arctic Armour can be used for additional offence and defence respectively.

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.

Early on, we recommend focusing on buying decent Swords along with Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast: these items will be best “bang for the buck” compared to other item slots.

Helmet

A well rolled helmet is best in slot, you can craft one yourself by using Pristine and Jagged Fossils. For labyrinth enchant, look for “Shattering Steel fires an additional Projectile”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
  4. Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)

Body Armour

Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast and Loreweave Loreweave are two of the best choices when it comes to unique body armours. You can also use a well rolled Elder-based body armour. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased maximum Life (Pristine Fossil; Elder Prefix)
  4. Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Elder Suffix)
  5. Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 1 Maim (Serrated Fossil)

Gloves

Well rolled rare gloves are a great option. When it comes to you uniques, you can make use of Tombfist Tombfist and Haemophilia Haemophilia. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. % increased Attack Speed

Boots

Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots are best in slot for the build. Remember that movement speed is not really necessary, since we will be mostly relying on Leap Slam Leap Slam for mobility anyways. For labyrinth enchants, 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 (at least 80)
  3. % increased maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)

Belt

A rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise is best in slot. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Projectile Attack Damage during any Flask Effect (Elder Suffix)
  4. % increased Global Physical Damage (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 (at least 50)
  3. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  4. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. % increased Global Critical Strike Chance

Rings

Two well rolled Steel Ring Steel Rings are best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

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

Weapon

Beltimber Blade Beltimber Blade and Grelwood Shank Grelwood Shank are two of the best unique swords for the build, you should be dual wielding two Grelwood Shanks once you have the currency to do so. Prior to them, you can use Scaeva Scaeva, Ahn's Might Ahn's Might or any rare Sword with at least 300 pDPS.

Flasks

Dying Sun Dying Sun can improve your damage output considerably, this flask adds additional projectiles to your Shattering Steel Shattering Steel. As in every other critical-based build, a Diamond Flask is mandatory, ideally you would want to craft “% Increased Critical Strike Chance During Flask Effect”, although this can get pricey. Divine Life Flask can be used in sticky situations, you should have it instant or half-instant with bleed removal suffix. For more defense you can use other utility flasks like Basalt, Granite, Jade, Stibnite, Ruby, Sapphire or Topaz. Make sure you have Bleeding, Curse immunity on your flasks; do not worry about Freeze, you will be immune to this Ailment once you wear the Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots unique boots.

Jewels

The Shattering Steel Champion does not require any unique jewel. Rapid Expansion Rapid Expansion can be used early on if you decide to level with Ground Slam Ground Slam. Regular rare jewels should be prioritized over Abyssal jewels. Ideally, you would want one corrupted jewel with the mod “Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you”.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Attack Speed with Swords / while dual wielding / with one-handed melee weapons
  3. % Increased Physical Damage with Swords / while dual wielding / with one-handed melee weapons
  4. % Increased Damage
  5. % Increased Projectile Damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Maximum Life (at least 30)
  2. Chance to gain Onslaught on Kill (at least 5%)
  3. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Sword Attacks

Leveling

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

We recommend leveling this build with Ground Slam Ground Slam, since Shattering Steel Shattering Steel can feel clunky until you gain additional projectiles from several sources.

Leveling Trees

Here is an example of an early passive skill tree that works for leveling with any weapon, allowing you to take advantage of all powerful unique weapons. After that you should be ready to transition into Shattering Steel and spec into Swords by following the endgame passive skill tree.

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. Simple unique weapons like The Screaming Eagle The Screaming Eagles and Story of the Vaal Story of the Vaal can carry you all the way up to Act IX Blood Aqueduct.

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

At level 4, you should add Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector and War Banner War Banner for additional single target damage.

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

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

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

At level 16, you should add Herald of Purity Herald of Purity and Herald of Ash Herald of Ash for additional damage.

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

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

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

The Shattering Steel Champion cannot do physical reflect. Every other other mod should be doable, except for the combination of the “No Regeneration” and “No Leech” mods.

Conclusion

The Shattering Steel Champion is a unique character that can be considered “off meta”. The build has great endgame potential, dealing only physical damage also bypasses enemy elemental resistances, which feels very good against endgame bosses.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated several sections for Legion 3.7. The build got a considerable buff.

  1. Posts
    12

    Hi!!!

    I have a question.

    “Remember that Shattering Steel Shattering Steel is not tagged as a melee skill and does not benefit from melee nodes on the passive skill tree.”

    Seen this why do we take some melee nodes?

    Edited by Fezao on May 22nd, 2019

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    188

    On 22/05/2019 at 12:21 AM, Fezao said

    Hi!!!

    I have a question.

    “Remember that Shattering Steel Shattering Steel is not tagged as a melee skill and does not benefit from melee nodes on the passive skill tree.”

    Seen this why do we take some melee nodes?

    Sadly it is sometimes impossible to pass them because getting through them is simply the most efficient way to path on the passive tree. They also increase the damage dealt by your melee totem so they are not completely useless. The only thing that does not work is Master of the Arena and Born to Fight’s increased melee damage, the small node near Born to Fight that provides melee damage does not work too. Nodes that increase damage with melee weapons do benefit Shattering Steel Shattering Steel though, even though the skill is not tagged as melee, you are still attacking with melee weapons, I know it can sound confusing but there are only 2-4 passive nodes on the tree that do not fully benefit the skill.

  3. Posts
    12

    Thank you for reply.

    Exactly I asked for Born to Fight…

    I imagined it to be the shortest route for those who really matter, I really liked this build!

    Thanks again!

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    188

    On 22/05/2019 at 2:14 PM, Fezao said

    Thank you for reply.

    Exactly I asked for Born to Fight…

    I imagined it to be the shortest route for those who really matter, I really liked this build!

    Thanks again!

    Thank you for the kind feedback!

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