Ultimate DPS Cyclone Block Berserker Build Guide (PoE Expedition 3.15)

TbXie

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Expedition League “Updates” & “Disclaimers”

While I generally put a lot of emphasis on updating all of my guides before a new league starts, I have decided against doing so at the moment. Many of the changes that came with PoE’s 3.15 Expedition league launch have pretty severe gameplay impact, which is incredibly hard to predict without having the appropriate software updated (like Path of Building). Therefore, I will give all my guides a pass and point out the obvious changes. Everything outside of this paragraph will stay untouched for 3.15 for now and will be updated accordingly over the course of the next weeks. This means that the information in this paragraph always supersedes anything written in the guide. Build updates will be prioritized in order of their popularity.

These are the changes I would undoubtedly make to this build:

  • Drop Bottled Faith – It’s garbage now. Replace it with a Taste of Hate if you can afford one.
  • Be very weary, Impale Support Impale Support is very much nerfed. It might actually be completely dead, but I need to check the numbers. Worst case, the build will do enough DPS without Impale too. Just replace it with any other support that does DPS!

Summary

Cyclone will be good. Berserker should also be great. I honestly don’t know if it’ll stay as strong with Impale being nerfed and if it’ll use Impale whatsoever, but I assume Cyclone will remain one of the better melee skills out there. I still very much like the Berserker – semi block oriented build and I recommend you give it a try.

Introduction

Cyclone, PoE’s most popular skill has many iterations, shapes, forms, preferences and whatnot. The reason why I personally like this Berserker iteration of it is because Cyclone Cyclone items generally are super contested. Because this build makes use of a Staves, which got buffed significantly a couple of patches ago, Other than a weapon, none of the items in this build are usually expensive. That is of course excluding min-max items like Bottled Faith Bottled Faith or a Helmet with “Enemies take increased Physical Damage” but even without those items this build reaches an amount of DPS that will just outright make fun of enemies when you are in their vicinity.

Now, since I wouldn’t want you guys to be scared of playing a build that “required” a Bottled Faith or a 15 Exalted Orb Exalted Orb Staff, I unequipped all of the gear & cluster jewels from the tree, making it a level 60 tree with no gear, whatsoever and I still had over * 2 Million Shaper DPS*. As we now have established that we do not require these items to function, we can talk about what this build brings when it is optimized for damage. Without going completely overboard and probably having gear worth about 50 Exalts, the build arrives at over TWENTY million Shaper DPS. This means that anything you walk next to and hold right-click on will die in seconds. Therefore, obviously, the build is not the tankiest of builds out there but it still brings a fairly reliable 5000 Health, paired with reasonable high Block and Spell Block Chance, an amplified Fortify, the less damage taken from Infused Channeling, Endurance Charges and the incredibly potent Berserk Berserk buff to fight off bosses!

This build has been played to level 100 multiple times by myself and other people that have vastly preferred Berserker over the likes of Slayers or Champions so while it definitely isn’t a Tank & Spank kind of build, it definitely gets you there. It’s one of my go-to bossers when I decide not to make something super meta for a league and has never let me down at that, just because of the damage it packs and the speed at which it melts them. Obviously, that does require you not to face tank their mechanics, as that could get you in trouble, even though you’ll kill them fast.

Build Summary

Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Strong bosser with amazing clear
+ Requires no uniques to function whatsoever
+ Therefore reasonably SSF-Viable
+ Sufficiently Tanky through Block, Life and Fortify

Cons

Optimizing it for maximum damage can be hard in SSF
Incredibly hungry for attributes
Feels a little weaker at earlier gearlevels

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

The only modifier I would personally avoid is Physical Damage Reflect. Sure, No Regen, Less Block chance and so on are annoying, but not worth rerolling a good map for.

Echoes of the Atlas Update

With how hard the current league has been hitting & how necessary certain layers of defense have become, I decided to rework the guide a little bit. This has introduced 2 major changes. First of all, a lot of the gear is even more minmaxed so you guys can exploit Harvest Mechanics accordingly & get better ideas / options as to how your very endgame gear should look. Whilst at super endgame levels, the build has lost a little bit of its damage, it has became quite a decent amount more tanky. I opted to completely finish off capping the block chance, which seems like a necessity now given how dense maps are and how unreliable Glancing Blows has become without a source of Life on Block when you’re not actually block capped. I threw in some different Flask choices to focus more on staying alive in things like Ritual, Valdo Harbingers, Beyond being on every map in Glennach, …

This leads me to the following conclusion : Even though I haven’t played the Build for a couple of leagues, through analyzing the current playerbase, my own Path of Building and experiences on characters I have been playing in Ritual, the build reaches a point where it should feel absolutely disgusting. Through the obscene movement speed from Berserk, the ridiculous damage from Staff-wielding Berserkers and the tankiness that Block, Fortify, Berserk, Armour, Endurance Charges, Flasks and Vaal Molten Shell provide you should be zooming through most of the content in the game!

Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths

So Cyclone Cyclone is the bread and butter of simplicity when it comes to playstyle. You just cyclone through the map while everything dies around you. Other than that, you’re making use of an instant Enduring Cry Enduring Cry to get you Endurance Charges which is bound on Left Mouse so it goes of automatically as you walk from pack to pack.

The Strengths of the build mainly lie in the fact that even on reasonably budget gear, it’ll absolutely decimate every single encounter you have meaning that you will never be in the fray long. To counter one-shots and offscreen damage that could hurt you it packs a surprising amount of defenses that no other Berserker build would generally bring. Lastly, it also doesn’t make use of Berserker’s Aspect of Carnage Ascendancy node to cheese itself to insane damage numbers while being a piece of paper. Usually, the 40% more damage is juicy to most people and hard to pass up on but I think that it’s a terrible choice, especially when you already have enough damage as is the case here. Taking 10% more damage is just not something you easily negate in todays state of Path of Exile so I highly discourage you to take this in almost any build late game.

One of the builds features is the fact that it chose to use Staves. Staves got buffed a lot recently making them very competitive to Axes or Swords for builds like Cyclone. Additionally, since very few people have picked up, they’re generally also a lot cheaper than their Axe or Sword counterparts. The main reason what makes them so good is that the nodes on the Passive Tree do ridiculous things for them comparatively to other bases. You’re easily getting to 100% Critical Strike Chance while picking up obscene amounts of Critical Strike Multiplier on nodes that are super efficient to get to. On top of all this, you’re getting free block and spell block from those nodes too! Honestly, enjoy it while you can, cause at some point, more people will realize how ludicrously strong they actually are!

The free block chance the build gets is being augmented by the Glancing Blows keystone. This basically makes you take damage only half of the time but instead makes it so you take a percentage of damage all the time instead of completely negating it on block otherwise. Otherwise it also runs a Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone which you are supposed to be running in the Sand Stance while clearing so it gets you another defensive layer on top everything you already get going for you. Obviously, on bosses, you always want to be in Blood Stance because you’re getting a ridiculous more damage multiplier from it and its just a press of the button. Talking about ridiculous more damage multipliers, the main reason Berserker gets to the damage numbers mentioned without picking up the 40% more damage in the Ascendancy is the Berserk Berserk buff. Berserk will obviously not be active the entire time, but honestly who needs 20M DPS while clearing trash, but when it is, on bosses it does last for about 6-7 Seconds I’d argue. In those 6-7 Seconds it gives you so much damage (again, 20M) that it is something you can’t be passing up on. Additionally, Berserk makes you take 19% Less Damage in the duration of the buff, which is another pretty serious layer of Defense.

Now that you got a grasp of numbers, I can safely tell you that when we throw all of those layers in a calculator (read: in Path of Building) it tells us that this Berserker is actually a surprising amount tankier than most people would give it credit to. The Maximum Hits he can take are around 50.000 both for Physical and Elemental Damage which is incredibly high for the Physical part especially. It’s safe to say that this wont feel like a paper build that only focused on damage though and you shouldn’t worry about it feeling like that, at all.

Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links

You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.

If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a PoePlanner for you. Do note that PoE Planner does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.

More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.

Passive Skill 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, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page

Gear Summary / TL;DR

A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Eternal Burgonet Eternal Burgonet with Life, Phys taken as Fire & Nearby Enemies take 9% Increased Phys Damage
Amulet Turquoise Amulet Turquoise Amulet with Crit Multi, Attributes, Life, Physical Damage & Resistances
Chest Elder Astral Plate Astral Plate with Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost, Life, Explode and %Life
Gloves Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves with Life, Accuracy, Attack Speed & Resistances
Boots Rare pair with High Movement Speed, Resistances and Life
Belt Leather Belt Leather Belt with High Life and Resistances
Rings Vermillion Ring Vermillion Ring with Vulnerability on hit, High Life, Attributes, Physical Damage and Resistances
Weapon High pDPS Crit Judgement Staff Judgement Staff

Questions & Support

I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.

If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.

Leveling

Even though we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will recommend you with a setup that should bring Cyclone Cyclone to maps in a fairly enjoyable fashion:

Since Cyclone Cyclone requires L28 you’re going to be playing some form of Melee Skill until that point. Make sure to swap out weapons for bases that are more fit to your current level as your damage will mostly scale off of your weapon while leveling.

Getting to level 28

Perforate I think is the strongest leveling skill at the moment. It provides some decent single target and clear while leveling. If you can’t afford a unique sword (or axe for that matter) try to upgrade your weapons to higher leveled ones as frequent as possible.

Perforate Perforate
Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 28, swap your Perforate Perforate for Cyclone Cyclone as it is much more fun to level with in general! From here on out, try to mimic as many of your late game gems as possible as they will all add something impactful to your leveling process!

Questions

I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.

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  1. Posts
    1

    Hello, i looked everywhere but i couldnt find anything about mana regeration, so i wanted to ask how to keep my mana?

  2. TbXie

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    On 09/12/2020 at 10:24 AM, xdcocos said

    Hello, i looked everywhere but i couldnt find anything about mana regeration, so i wanted to ask how to keep my mana?

    Minus mana cost chest piece

  3. TbXie

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    1401

    On 13/12/2020 at 8:15 PM, ToiletBurglar said

    Why do you use war banner instead of dread banner?

    If they are not dropped, both add similar damage. When dropped, War banner comes out a little ahead. Dread Banner however is not a bad alternative which also gets you the less accuracy. I would argue it’s close.

  4. Posts
    1

    This looks interesting for the Heist Flashback league in a few days. Do you have a skill tree that doesn’t include cluster jewels for a SSF League Start?

  5. TbXie

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    On 14/12/2020 at 3:39 PM, Mas7erYoda said

    This looks interesting for the Heist Flashback league in a few days. Do you have a skill tree that doesn’t include cluster jewels for a SSF League Start?

    Not really, but I’d argue you just want more life in that case. The most efficient nodes are already taken anyhow and if you SSF League Start, I’d argue you don’t need to delete Sirus’ etc so u don’t need the dmg

  6. Posts
    3

    Have you looked into the berserk node that adds 10 maximum rage? I’ve had to utilize it due to playing in the SSF delve event and it seems strong.

  7. TbXie

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    On 15/12/2020 at 2:39 AM, ToiletBurglar said

    Have you looked into the berserk node that adds 10 maximum rage? I’ve had to utilize it due to playing in the SSF delve event and it seems strong.

    The build generally is kinda pointstarved already. I assume you diverted into it as you didn’t have Clusters? Cause in that case, sure, there’s a couple okay notables. But with Clusters it’s not the most solid nodes you can take.

  8. Posts
    5

    Hi,

    I prefer builds that have excellent defense/mitigation, but with enough DPS for end game bosses. I checked this and some of your other builds on this site, and I am considering three for the coming 3.13 league. This build, the Herald of Agony Juggernaut , and the Detonate Dead Necromancer. May I ask you to rank them in terms of (a) defense without too much kiting, (b) killing end game bosses, and © delving?

  9. TbXie

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    On 05/01/2021 at 11:30 AM, ezhamad said

    Hi,

    I prefer builds that have excellent defense/mitigation, but with enough DPS for end game bosses. I checked this and some of your other builds on this site, and I am considering three for the coming 3.13 league. This build, the Herald of Agony Juggernaut , and the Detonate Dead Necromancer. May I ask you to rank them in terms of (a) defense without too much kiting, (b) killing end game bosses, and © delving?

    a

    Hoa Jugg
    DD Necro
    Cyclone

    b depends
    b speed
    Cyclone
    DD Necro
    Hoa Jugg

    b safety
    DD necro
    Hoa jugg
    Cyclone

    c
    hoa jugg
    dd necro
    cyclone

    but they’re all three good at delving

  10. Posts
    3

    Hey there again, do you think the buff to berserker coming in 3.13 will be a significant upgrade damage wise?

  11. TbXie

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    On 12/01/2021 at 3:33 AM, ToiletBurglar said

    Hey there again, do you think the buff to berserker coming in 3.13 will be a significant upgrade damage wise?

    Didn’t get to this guide yet but berserker looks nuts. Berserker DID NOT need a buff but it sure as hell looks like one! Answer to this post in about 24H and I should have my pre-patch-notes update ready and should be more conclusive

  12. Posts
    1

    with the buff to pain reaver would it make sense to drop blitz and flawless savagery completely and go pain reaver and aspect of carnage?
    pob does not update the 30% ias after hit from pain reaver and is (without the 30%) only 800k dps under your configuration.
    i think the leech provides some nice survivability (as long as you keep spinning this is :o) )

  13. TbXie

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    On 14/01/2021 at 1:42 PM, LiLaLuchs said

    with the buff to pain reaver would it make sense to drop blitz and flawless savagery completely and go pain reaver and aspect of carnage?
    pob does not update the 30% ias after hit from pain reaver and is (without the 30%) only 800k dps under your configuration.
    i think the leech provides some nice survivability (as long as you keep spinning this is :o) )

    I lost a DemiGod race once to Aspect of the Carnage so I’m incredibly biased towards NOT taking 10% increased Damage. The build also isn’t a top tier tank so I don’t think I’d do it. I’d probably rather take the thing before blitz than taking Aspect of Carnage.

    Sadly those things are mostly things you really need to playtest before being able to give you a conclusion and I obviously can’t do that before it eventually gets changed and the league starts :P

    I do think it CAN be good though – I like this change. So feel free to play around with it and get back to me about how it felt to you?! I’m interested to hear!

  14. Posts
    1

    Sorry if you covered this in the guide but i could not find it anywhere :( i am big dumb how do you get enough int to wield the staves?

  15. Posts
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    Newbie here, quick question

    You’ve got one of the Enlighten Supports listed as needing to be level 4, but the gem says it caps out at 3?

    What gives?

  16. TbXie

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    On 19/01/2021 at 1:44 AM, clydefrog7 said

    Sorry if you covered this in the guide but i could not find it anywhere :( i am big dumb how do you get enough int to wield the staves?

    I chuckled a little with the “Big Dumb” but you’re looking for Intelligence (and Dextreity for that matter) on your Amulet and one of your Rings. The gearing section explains that fairly well. Early on if you’re struggling to find that, pick up some 30 node(s) which you path next to.

  17. TbXie

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    On 19/01/2021 at 2:28 AM, Demogarose said

    Newbie here, quick question

    You’ve got one of the Enlighten Supports listed as needing to be level 4, but the gem says it caps out at 3?

    What gives?

    You can corrupt gems for +1 level! Enlighten 4 is a late upgrade though.

  18. Posts
    2

    Hi there new to PoE..i find your builds interresting..that said,why does your gem links in the build guide differ from the required colour of the gear pieces like,ex.the PoB states u need astral plate with 6 Red sockets..but build guide colour of gems needed doesnt match thanks in advance.noob here sorry for that.

  19. Posts
    1

    On 20/01/2021 at 7:01 AM, Behemoth299 said

    Hi there new to PoE..i find your builds interresting..that said,why does your gem links in the build guide differ from the required colour of the gear pieces like,ex.the PoB states u need astral plate with 6 Red sockets..but build guide colour of gems needed doesnt match thanks in advance.noob here sorry for that.

    Hey behemoth i think you can ignore the socket colors int he PoB items just get whichever color you need for the gem links in the guide ;).

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