[3.6] Shaper = Stunned, Tidebreaker Heavy Strike Stunner Build

Hello guys, this is a guide to my stun build created since the Legacy League. Centered around Tidebreaker and Heavy Strike, this is a solid build that can do all content and can consistently stun-lock everything including Shaper.

In this guide, the abbreviation "r.E.S.T." appears often; it stands for the "reduced Enemy Stun Threshold" modifier, a key concept for this build.

(Showcase of my collection.)

Updates for 3.6

Overall the build is slightly nerfed in this patch. However, new league experience may have been improved, as I expect a much lower price on life and attack based gears.

The bad news:

1. Hatred goes from 36% added damage to 25% added damage and 18% more cold damage. We lose around 5% DPS due to this change. The pure phys version won't be affected.

2. Slayer is getting a nerf, the leech instances will last a maximum of 5 seconds. This does not affect the Berserker and Ascendant version.

3. Tombfist is nerfed and no longer grants attack speed. This does not affect the Ascendant version.

The good news:

1. Curses will have higher effects against endgame bosses from 40% and 20% to 67% and 34%. This is a minor buff to the mixed damage version, and a greater buff to the pure damage version.

2. Blood Rage and Enduring Cry now have a lower mana cost.

3. Ground Slam now affects a maximum of 40 targets instead of 20.


Pros and Cons

My own Berserker character in standard has 7.7k+ life and 2.5M+ Shaper DPS (without activating Vaal skill or Banner; not counting totem damage and culling; no legacy or league specific items).


1. Stun-locks everything. Which means:
-fun to watch mobs getting stunned;
-takes no damage from stunned enemies;
-simple boss fights without needing boss knowledge;
-protects the whole party from dying;
-no need to dodge skills or chase fleeing enemies.

2. Solid offense and defense (7000+ life, 6-7 endurance charges). No problem killing any stun immune bosses.
3. Works well on a budget, does not require any luxurious or league specific gears.
4. Easy early league Uber Lab farming.
5. Hardcore viable.
6. A number of ascendancies, gears and gems to choose from.


1. Clear speed and mobility can be pretty good but not top tier.
2. Boss fights with multiple targets or have stun immunity (Uber Elder, Vaal Temple, Phoenix) cannot be face-rolled brainlessly. (You will need to use some brain to do these fights.)
3. Rely on leeching and stunning, so it's dangerous to play while lagging.
4. Weapon or gem swap is needed for maximum performance.

Why Heavy Strike

Heavy Strike deals 193% of base damage, 52% chance to deal double damage (threshold jewels and helm enchant), 25% r.E.S.T., 20% stun duration (gem quality) and 194% Damage Effectiveness. This skill has one of the highest stand-alone DPS, and is by far the best choice for a stun build.

Path of Building

Pastebin links to this build based on items I own (no legacy items); without activating vaal skills or banner; Shaper DPS.

As of now PoB doesn't recognize Ryslatha's Coil, which offers 23.6% more DPS to this build. My Berserker, for example, has 2.10M DPS according to PoB, but the actual DPS is 2.59M.

-Berserker version: https://pastebin.com/ksjbbYnw

-Berserker pure physical version: https://pastebin.com/NFEecDNg

-Slayer version: https://pastebin.com/QkccSy3u

-Ascendant version: https://pastebin.com/WcdUbWkR

*Ascendant shouldn't use Tombfist, it's used here only for a better parallel comparison.


Shaper video made by frawrst in patch 3.5; the original comment was posted in page 81 of this thread:

-Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6duOYnkvdYs&feature=youtu.be

Below are my own recordings recorded in patch 3.1. You can expect almost double the DPS shown in the videos due to multiple buffs since then.

1. Shaper kill (no Taste of Hate):

-Video: https://youtu.be/pynSggF4Q8g

2. Red Elder Kill:

-Video: https://youtu.be/CptScgaU3N0



We can choose from Berserker (Marauder), Slayer (Duelist) and Ascendant (Scion). This choice is down to preference; with good gears (several exalts), all 3 versions will be able to stun Shaper and do all endgame content.

Berserker has the highest DPS and stun capability, as well as high mobility. This ascendancy do have bad defense, but it can be covered by stunning everything around us.

Slayer offers many utilities like unending leech, melee splash, increased AoE, double stun, reflect immunity, etc. It offers a well-rounded experience to people new to this build.

Ascendant is as fast as Berserker, but with less DPS and no defensive drawbacks.


Aspect of Carnage
-40% more damage. Must-pick.

Crave the Slaughter
-Good boost to clear speed. Must-pick.

War Bringer
-Free instant life and mana flasks, very handy in many cases. This also allows us to spam warcry before boss fights to reach full rage stacks. Must-pick.

Pain Reaver
-Pretty useless; the only reason to pick this is for the mana leech. It's better to find mana leech from your gears, then you should pick the 2 small nodes (the small node leading to Pain Reaver + the small node leading to Rite of Ruin) instead of this notable.

Cloaked in Savagery
-Should not be considered.

Rite of Ruin
-This is a bad choice because the degen will no longer be manageable and Damage on Full Life cannot work anymore. Should never be considered.


-Good boost to clear speed and can be abused with the Writhing Jar; it's a must-pick.

-100% splash damage and increased AoE; it's a must-pick if you're planning to clear with Heavy Strike.

Endless Hunger + Brutal Fervour
-This is a 4 points investment for only 3 things: bleed immunity, 58% increased damage, and "life leech effects are not removed at full life". This is a solid choice especially when you're not well geared.

Brutal Fervour Explained

In this game, each hit produces an independent leech instance that leeches at 2% (affected by "#% increased life leeched per second") of max life per second; the duration of this instance is proportional to the damage dealt in this hit (affected by "#% of damage leeched as life"). Different instances stack but maximum leech rate cannot exceed 20% (affected by "+#% of maximum life per second to maximum leech rate").

So, we need to land around 10 hits to reach the maximum leech rate, which, in single target scenarios, is several seconds into the fight.

The problem here is that all the leech instances vanish when we reach full life. Let's imagine we leeched to full life and suddenly we are savagely hit down to 30% life. Now you really want to Leap Slam away, but after leaping away you're a melee character with 30% life and there are no leech instances on you.

With Brutal Fervour, when you leap away, you will still be leeching at 20% life per second (40% if Vaal Pact picked), you can see your life going up rapidly even though you're just retreating. This is a significant boost to our survival.

*starting patch 3.6, leech instances only last 5 seconds, making the during of Slayer leech much shorter.

-The stun duration is strong for boss fights and the guaranteed stun provides great defense while mapping. Also, the small node leading to Overwhelm offers 5% r.E.S.T. Good choice.

Bane of Legends
-Not too great as we already have 10% culling from the mace wheel, but it's still a good boost to clear speed.


-Enemies take 20% increased damage; Fortify; movement speed. It offers the most DPS out of all choices. Must-pick.

-Onslaught and movement speed. This is the best choice in my opinion due to excellent mobility.

Path of the Duelist
-Must-pick. Marauder start is a little better, and if Berserker is chosen you should pick Path of the Marauder instead.

-This is an alternative choice to replace Raider. It offers some DPS, life recovery speed (very useful), and infinite mana for Leap Slams.

Passive Tree

Slayer Leveling Tree (<60 level)
Berserker Level 95 Tree
Slayer Level 95 Tree
Ascendant Level 95 Tree

Debatable choices:
-Executioner: Mediocre node, can be replaced with whatever you like.
-Battle Cry: a good choice for Berserkers for the instant Warcry.
-Jewel sockets: skip jewel sockets that require 3 passive points if you cannot afford semi-decent jewels (3 good affixes) yet.
-Life nodes near Scion start: where your extra passive points should go to.
-Blunt Instrument: not recommended but is a choice for more damage.
-Amplify: handy AoE area increase.
-Mana Flows and Revelry: for early game mana sustain.

About Stun Mastery

Stun Mastery provides huge boost to your stun capability, I don't suggest picking it too early, but you will eventually need it.

The plot shows the effect of an additional 15% r.E.S.T. (from Stun Mastery nodes) at given total r.E.S.T. values. At 100% r.E.S.T., it's equivalent to having 30% more damage. Stun Mastery also gives 55% stun duration.

For Shaper stunning, it's even worth it to take the two stun duration nodes in the Stun Mastery Wheel. For our stun capability, the 45% stun duration is almost equivalent to gaining 45% increased attack speed.

About Vaal Pact

If you picked Brutal Fervour (Slayer), you may consider picking Vaal Pact, but it's not recommended.

1. Unless you have Brutal Fervour, Vaal Pact will disable Damage on Full Life while we are using Blood Rage.

2. Leech is not as reliable when you don't have Brutal Fervour. For detailed explanation, read about Slayer's Brutal Fervour in the Ascendancy choice section above.

3. Leech instances have a 5 second max duration. Picking Brutal Fervour may cause degen due Blood Rage while backtracking in maps.


Berserker: Oak.

Otherwise: kill all to take 2 passive points; Oak is also fine at high levels.


All 4 Major God choices are viable.

Soul of the Brine King is what I use the most; it offers great crowd control resistances and is really handy for mapping.
Soul of Lunaris offers good defense, it's another good choice for mapping.
Soul of Solaris is what I would switch to for certain boss fights (Izaro, Minotaur).
Soul of Arakaali is a must-have if you're running CWDT + Immortal Call setup.

Minor God should be Soul of Tukohama or Soul of Garukhan. The former for defense and the latter for mobility. Some other choices might also be good for certain bosses, like Sould of Shakari for Vaal Temple and Soul of Yugul for Atziri.


Sample Gears

Those are the gears I own in Standard. In my PoB page, I manually reduced my items to non-legacy versions.

-The corruptions and the Elder amulet are totally not necessary; see the Luxurious Upgrades section below for details.

Detailed Breakdown

In principle, we want to cap our resists, get as much life and r.E.S.T. as possible, and get one source of mana leech from our gears.

Core Uniques

This is the best weapon for stunning. Make sure you get close to perfect r.E.S.T. roll; a Tidebreaker with 440 pDPS and 30% r.E.S.T. is better than one with 450 pDPS and 27% r.E.S.T.

2 of these jewels basically means 40% more damage.

Optional Uniques

If you're clearing with Heavy Strike, Empire's Grasp is a must-have. Heavy Strike has 100% knockback chance, and without Empire's Grasp we will have to move after each attack.

-Else, you should consider Tombfist or rare gloves. You will knockback mobs without Empire's Grasp so be sure to not turn on "always attack without moving" for Heavy Strike.

-Tombfist should not be considered for Ascendant.

*Starting patch 3.6, Tombfist no longer offers attack speed.

*When fighting knockback immune bosses, for example Shaper, you can swap to a Facebreaker with Temporal Chains corruption, it's usually very cheap.

Generally the best choice; note that the fire damage roll is not important at all. A 6-link body armour is also viable.

*In case of a small budget, I recommend starting this build with Tabula Rasa. For details see the Budget Options section below.

We can live without it but it's best in slot. Prioritize a high r.E.S.T roll, followed by life and resist.

The best option in general. You can also get a rare helmet, but you will have a hard time finding the correct enchantment.

Ryslatha's Coil is the top choice as it offers around 23.6% more damage. A rare belt or Doryani's Invitation are also very good for stunning. Perseverance can be an option for map clearing, but not having any r.E.S.T. here can make stunning endgame bosses much tougher.

Rare Jewels

1st priority: life, attack speed with maces, stun duration, resists.

2nd priority: dexterity, physical damage with maces, attack damage/speed with two hand weapons, physical damage, melee damage, damage, attack speed.

Abyss jewels are not as good as ordinary jewels. Look for flat life, flat physical damage and attack speed, resists and conditional effects like gain Onslaught on kill.

Rare Amulet/Rings

You will want really high resists on your rares to cap your resists. Besides that, try to get high life rolls as well as:

-Mana leech. You need to have mana leech on one of your amulet/rings, it's mandatory.

-Dexterity. You want at least 111 dexterity, and you should aim for 155; it's best to find an amulet with dexterity implicit base.

*Flat physical damage. It's not important, so don't aim for it; it's useful but expensive.

Resist Cap

We get +1% maximum fire resist from the Barbarism cluster.

The absolute minimums you should have are 52%/51%/51%; this allows capped resists with 6 endurance charges. However, there is no guarantee that we will always have 6 endurance charges, so you definitely want more than these.

I recommend getting 76%/75%/75%, this allows capped resists without needing any endurance charges. You can also aim for 86%/85%/85%, this allows capped resists with 6 endurance charges in a Elemental Weakness map.

Rare Belt

Besides Ryslatha's Coil, a Stygian Vise (Abyss belt) can also be a good choice.

You want T1 r.E.S.T. (14-15%). Then focus on high tier life, stun duration and resist mods.

You might want to essence-craft your belt with either Loathing or Scorn if you feel rich.


Lion's Roar is a must-have and Atziri's Promise is a good cheap flask. Don't worry about Sin's Rebirth and Taste of Hate if you cannot afford those, Silver flask can be a good substitute.

The Writhing Jar can be useful for Slayer to proc Headsman ascendancy.

During mapping, you will want 2 magic flasks to deal with freeze and bleed.

Budget Options

This build scales linearly with item progression. You can start this build with leveling items and gradually reach its full potential with around 10 exalts (mostly for a Tidebreaker, Kaom's Heart and getting a 6-link). Here is an example of how to progress with this build:

1st stage. Now you have finished the story line. Get a Tidebreaker if you can; if it's expensive, buy Kongor's Undying Rage or Brain Rattler. Get a Tabula Rasa or a 5-link rare body armour. Get Redblade Tramplers if you can. Get a good belt of your choice. Get good amulet and rings with decent life and resist rolls; make sure that you have your resists capped. At this moment, you're still just playing a 2h-mace build and you should be able to at least do most white maps.

2nd stage. As you started farming currencies in maps, now you want to have the following items if you haven't already: Tidebreaker, Redblade Tramplers and Devoto's Devotion. You should decide on Empire's Grasp or Tombfist or rare gloves. You can also consider buying Lion's Roar. Now you should not have any problems with yellow maps and can start to challenge red maps.

3rd stage. Get a 5-link on your Tidebreaker, then save for a Kaom's Heart. You may get a Belly of the Beast temporarily (if it's cheap) while saving up for a Kaom's Heart. Meanwhile, watch the market and try to get a Devoto's Devotion with Heavy Strike 12% enchant. Upgrade your amulet and rings if your previous ones are poorly rolled. Now you should be able to farm most red maps.

4th stage. Get a 6-link Tidebreaker and put your previous 5-link Tidebreaker in your secondary weapon slot. If you feel rich, you can 6-link both Tidebreakers. Now I would say this build is complete, and you should be able to stun-lock and kill most endgame bosses.

5th stage. See the Luxurious Upgrades section. There is a small room for you to further optimize your build with luxurious items.

6th stage (non-existent). Most builds, namely projectile-based builds and crit-based builds demand very high-end Mirror worthy gears to achieve their full potential. It's common to see a Mirrored Opal ring providing 20-30% DPS boost to those builds. This is not the case for our build. With semi-decent items you will be able to do most content with this build.

Luxurious Upgrades

1. Effective upgrades:

-20% quality on relevant gems. Typically, it's around 1.3% more damage per gem. (Quality bonuses on some gems can be totally useless, check Wiki before making investments.)
-A 6-link Tidebreaker with 30% quality corruption; the former is equivalent to 31% more damage from putting in Maim Support, compared to a 5-link weapon; the latter is equivalent to 8% more damage.
-"Heavy Strike has a 12% chance to deal double damage" enchant on helmet; this is equivalent to 8.6% more damage.

2. Luxurious upgrades:

-Gloves: "Curse enemies with level # Vulnerability on hit" gives 3-4% more damage against Shaper/Guardians, around 20% more damage against trash mobs (significant clear speed boost); "+1 to maximum frenzy charges" gives 5% more damage.
-Redblade Trampler: "+1 to maximum endurance charges"; or a "16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently" enchant; or both.
-Kaom's Heart: any useful corruption; increased damage is probably the best one, but is also the most expensive.
-Sin's Rebirth and Taste of Hate flasks; equivalent to 11.4% and 7.2% burst damage respectively.
-"Gain #% of X damage as extra Y damage" Shaped/Elder mods on amulet; equivalent to up to 7% more damage.

3. You don't need:

-Lvl 21 Heavy Strike: only 1.2% more damage.
-Lvl 21 Support gems: only 0.67% more damage or less for each lvl 21 support gem.

Gem Setup

Tidebreaker 5L/6L, Single Target

Heavy Strike + Melee Physical Damage + Ruthless + Bloodlust + Damage on Full Life + [Maim or Stun or Multistrike] (6th link)

-Tidebreaker offers a 7th link: Level 20 Endurance Charge on Melee Stun.

-For the 6th link, Maim prioritizes DPS, Stun Support focuses on Stunning, and Multistrike is for those who're very well geared. Explanation given below.

*It's not a bad idea to use Ground Slam in single-target scenarios. It's not as good as Heavy Strike but you will free yourself from the Heavy Strike threshold jewels. Concentrated Effect is recommended for single-targeting with Ground Slam.

Support Gems Explained

1. Melee Physical Damage, Ruthless and Bloodlust are always good choices. Damage on Full Life and Maim Support are not so great but are good choices for the 5th and 6th gem slots.

2. Added Fire Damage or Faster Attacks should never be considered.


Multistrike Support is usually bad for your stun-locking business (I'm talking about Shaper and Guardians) if you are failing to achieve high enough damage and attack speed. However, when you're well geared to have a good amount of attack speed, Multistrike becomes better than Maim for our stun-locking performance.

Generally, it's safe to use Multistrike all the time on Berserker. For Slayer and Ascendant, you can use Multistrike, but you should switch to Stun Support or Maim Support for Shaper fight.

While mapping, if you don't run Empire's Grasp, Heavy Strike + Multistrike means the boss will be pushed away from you quite rapidly. So it's not really a good idea to use Multistrike against map bosses.

How is Bloodlust enabled

As long as we get some chance to bleed on hit, our totem (as well as Frenzy and Leap Slam) will apply bleed to the enemy.

We have 25% bleed chance from the Bloody Bludgeon wheel and another 25% bleed chance added to totem if Chance to Bleed Support is linked to Warchief. The Vulnerability curse also gives 30% chance to bleed; but against Shaper/Guardians, it's reduced to 10% due to reduced curse effect.

So our Frenzy and totem hits have at least 25% (+10% with Vulnerability, +25% with Chance to Bleed Support) bleed chance. This is more than enough to keep bleed up against enemies.

Will my Damage on Full Life work

As long as you have enough regen or leech (Slayer with Brutal Fervour only) to compensate for your life loss from Blood Rage and rage stacks (Berserker), you will be at full life and Damage on Full Life will work.

1. Besides Berserker, Damage on Full Life will always work unless Vaal Pact is picked without picking Brutal Fervour (Slayer).

2. Sometimes you see yourself at near full life with Blood Rage on, this is a display bug and Damage on Full Life is still effective.

3. For Berserker, you need to calculate your total regen and degen carefully. If you follow my setup strictly, Damage on Full Life will be active.

-Berserker has 6.2% regen from the passive tree; 6 endurance charges will offer 1.2% regen + 24% physical mitigation; Oak's bonus offers 1% regen + 2% physical mitigation; Aspect of Carnage causes 10% increased damage taken. This is 8.4% regen, 26% physical mitigation and 10% increased damage taken in total. We have 4% degen as physical damage from Blood Rage, which is 4% * (1 - 26%) * (1 + 10%) = 3.3%; plus 5% fixed degen from maximum stacks of rage, this is 8.3% degen in total. Because 8.3% is smaller than 8.4%, our Damage on Full Life will be active.

*Picking Blood Magic will completely disable Damage on Full Life.

How good is Stun Support

Our build aims to achieve 115% or 130% r.E.S.T., and with Stun Support, we gain additional 49%; this is equivalent to gaining 75.4% or 61.3% more damage considering our stun capability, respectively.

Since Stun Support offers no DPS, only use Stun Support (take out Damage on Full Life or Maim Support) in tough boss fights when you want to guarantee stun-locking.

Tidebreaker 5L/6L, AoE

Ground Slam AoE: [Ground Slam or Vaal Ground Slam] + Melee Physical Damage + Ruthless + Multistrike + Damage on Full Life + [Maim or Onslaught or Concentrated Effect] (6th link)

Heavy Strike AoE: Heavy Strike + Melee Physical Damage + Ruthless + Multistrike + Ancestral Call + Damage on Full Life (6th link)

-Tidebreaker offers a 7th link: Level 20 Endurance Charge on Melee Stun.

-This Heavy Strike AoE setup is exclusive to Slayers. It offers insanely high AoE damage and you should try it out.

-Berserker should clear with AoE skills like Ground Slam; it is a good idea to socket 1 threshold jewel for Ground Slam for increased angle. Other good options include Sunder, Consecrated Path, Tectonic Slam (and even Flicker Strike if well-geared).

-Ideally, you want to have 2 Tidebreakers for the single target and AoE setups separately. Else, you can just clear with Heavy Strike (Slayer) or Ground Slam (Berserker), which have great boss fight performances without compromising on clear speed. You can also do gem swap before fighting challenging bosses.

Leap Slam / Frenzy 4L

Frenzy + Fortify + Faster Attacks + Leap Slam

-Leap Slam with Faster Attacks and Fortify as our movement skill.

-Frenzy is used in boss fights to keep up frenzy charges and Fortify buff, as well as inflict the boss with bleed and Maim Support debuff.

*Frenzy greatly boosts our boss fight performance. However, if you really don't like the idea of using Frenzy, you may not run it and this build is now strong enough to stun-lock Shaper consistently without it.

Totem 2L

Vaal Ancestral Warchief + Maim

-This totem provides damage buff from Warchief, bleed to enable Bloodlust and Maim Support debuff for more damage. We should always keep the totem up during boss fights. Bleed is applied because we get at least 25% chance to bleed from the Bloody Bludgeon wheel.

-Vaal Ancestral Warchief offers good burst damage.

*In the Alternatives section below I recommended linking Chance to Bleed with Warchief. If Chance to Bleed is not used, make sure you get both bleed nodes from the Bloody Bludgeon wheel so you have 25% bleed chance.


Auras: Hatred, Herald of Ash

Buffs: Blood Rage, (Enduring Cry - Berserker only)

-For the pure physical version, swap out Hatred and Herald of Ash, then pick from Haste, Herald of Purity, Arctic Armour and Blasphemy.

*Besides Berserker, Enduring Cry may still be used in very special occassions (when fighting stun immune enemies) to sustain endurance charges.


Below are some suggestions to fill the extra gem slots:

1. Banner
2. Lightning Golem
3. Link with auras: Enlighten
4. Link with Warchief: Chance to Bleed Support
5. CWDT + curse
6. Portal
7. Unlinked Vaal Ground Slam

*Banners are especially effective for pure phys version. War Banner offers consistent DPS, which is good for map clearing and stunning; Dead Banner offers more boss fight DPS, but nothing else. Generally War Banner is a better choice.

*CWDT + Immortal Call is a viable choice. It synergies well with Soul of Arakaali Pantheon but has anti-synergy with Endurance on Melee Stun Support. This setup is not recommended because: 1. we are short on gem sockets; 2. we may rely on endurance charges to have capped resists in Elemental Weakness maps; 3. Against boss fights, once Immortal Call triggers we lose all the bonus damage from Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support. If you decide to run this setup you will want to pick Soul of Arakaali and you should not pick the 3 endurance charges in the passive tree.

*If Chance to Bleed Support is used, and if you're not playing Slayer: you can consider not picking the passive node in the Bloody Bludgeon cluster that offers 10% chance to bleed.

*The unlinked Vaal Ground Slam can be used as a forced emergency lock-down. It can be used as an interruption skill, notably good against Shaper's Slam, and (for example Chimera or Malachai's) channeling skills.

After setting up all the necessary gems, you should still have a couple of gem slots left; you can pick from the alternatives recommended above or run any gems of your preference.

6L Body Armour

The gem setup above is designed for Kaom's Heart, which has no sockets on the body armour. If you don't like Kaom's Heart and decide to use other chest, you will have an additional 6-link. Here are my suggestions:

1. You can put your alternative damage setup (single target or AoE) here.

2. You can put in a 6-link Warchief here.
Vaal Ancestral Warchief + Melee Physical Damage + Ruthless + Damage on Full Life + Maim + [Concentrated Effect or Chance to Bleed or Stun]
This way, you don't need the original 3-link Warchief on your other piece, and maybe you can splitting the Leap Slam / Frenzy setup.
Leap Slam + Faster Attacks + Fortify + Blood Magic
Frenzy + Faster Attacks + Fortify

3. You can put your Leap Slam / Frenzy setup here.
Leap Slam + Faster Attacks + Fortify + Frenzy + Blood Magic + Maim
Leap Slam + Faster Attacks + Fortify + Frenzy + Curse on Hit + Vulnerability
This way, you don't need the original 4-link Leap Slam / Frenzy on your other piece; view the Alternatives section above for some suggestions.

Pure Physical Version

You may choose to run Brutality Support instead of Maim or Damage on Full Life and deal pure physical damage with this build. Instead of Hatred and Herald of Ash, you will choose from Haste, Herald of Purity, Arctic Armour and Blasphemy + Vulnerability. You won't be able to use Sin's Rebirth, Atziri's Promise and Taste of Hate (you may pick up Silver flask). You can expect slightly higher DPS with the pure physical version when flasks are not considered.

The major advantage of the pure physical version is the utility from auras. Haste is nice for the speed; Arctic Armour provides some additional survival; Blasphemy + Vulnerability offers good clear speed. You will also free yourself from DPS flasks, which means more utility flasks.

The major drawback of the pure physical version is that you will lose a lot of burst damage from expensive flasks (Sin's Rebirth, Taste of Hate). You will also lose the nice AoE clear from Herald of Ash.

In general, do not run this version if:
1. you don't have a 6-link;
2. you like to pop 4 damage flasks at a time;
3. you like the extended AoE due to Herald of Ash;
4. you have plans to use Stun Support.

*You only need to swap gems to change between both versions. Therefore, you can always use one version for some content, then use another version for some other content.

Curse Discussion

Starting patch 3.6, rare/unique bosses take 67% and Shaper/Guardians take only 34% of curse effects.

For this build, Vulnerability can be a huge boost to clear speed and can be applied via glove corruption; it's the best choice overall. If you can't afford one, choose either CWDT or Blasphemy (or just don't run any curses). When using CWDT, defensive curses like Enfeeble can also be considered.

Warlord's Mark should not be considered.

*Against Shaper, Temporal Chains is also decent due to the prolonged stun duration.

More Tips

Stun Mechanics

Background Knowledge

1. If a hit's stun chance is less than 20%, the real chance to stun is 0%.
2. Stun chance is based on 200% * damage done in this hit / defender's effective max life.
3. Defender's effective max life is reduced by r.E.S.T.
4. Defender's effective max life is not affected by party scaling.
5. Base stun duration is 0.35 seconds. A Ruthless Blow has base stun duration of 0.8 seconds.
6. Stun duration is simply base stun duration * (1 + stun duration modifier).
7. Slow effects from chill and Temporal Chains prolongs stun duration. (The "cursed enemies are 29% slower" part from Temporal Chains affects stun duration, not the "other effects on cursed enemies expire 40% slower" part.)

Therefore, to land a stun, we need a combination of r.E.S.T. and high damage per hit. Then, to achieve stun-locking, we need a moderate amount of attack rate combined with stun duration.

*Usually attack per hit and attack rate are almost equally important. So, when deciding between the two, take whichever that provides higher DPS.

Defender's effective max life is their total life pool (before party scaling) multiplied by:
-If r.E.S.T <= 75: 0.01 * (100 - r.E.S.T.)
-If r.E.S.T > 75: 0.25 - 0.25 * ((r.E.S.T. - 75) / (r.E.S.T. - 50))

A plot to visualize the non-linear growth of r.E.S.T.

We can see that additional r.E.S.T. becomes less effective as we get more of it. However, stacking r.E.S.T. is still usually the most effective way to boost our stun capability.

Stunning Shaper

You should have around 115% or 130% r.E.S.T. with this build, depending on your belt choice (without Stun Support).

Where do I get this 115% or 130% r.E.S.T.

-Tidebreaker: 20-30%
-Endurance Charge on Melee Stun from Tidebreaker: 19%
-Redblade Trampler: 5-10%
-Skull Cracking wheel: 18%
-Stun Mastery wheel: 15%
-Heavy Strike: 25%
*Belt suffix: up to 15%, more if essence crafted
*Small node before Overwhelm ascendancy notable: 5%

Maximum total 117% or 132% (or 137% with Overwhelm)

With 115% r.E.S.T., defender's effective max life is reduced to 9.6% of their life pool, thus if we deal damage equivalent to 0.96% of the target's max life, this hit will have a chance to land a stun.

Life pool of endgame bosses according to PoEDB:
-T15 boss: 3M
-Uber Izaro: 4M
-Elder Guardians: 8M
-Guardians: 10-12M
-Elder: 16M
-Shaper: 20M

So, to possibly stun Shaper, we need 192k damage in one hit. To guarantee a stun on Shaper, we need 960k damage in one hit.

According to Path of Building, my Berserker's damage per hit is at 267k to 871k (slightly outdated). In PoB, chance to deal double damage, Ruthless Blow and Ryslatha's Coil are calculated improperly, and the real damage range is 90k to 2.5m. Thus, my high roll hits are more than enough to guarantee stuns on Shaper.

*Stun Support can make it easier to stun Shaper, while losing some DPS. Facebreaker is a good choice for Shaper fight, which offers 10% additional r.E.S.T.

Boss-fight Tactics

The general strategy is to cast Blood Rage, place totem near the boss, use Frenzy to reach maximum frenzy charges and gain Fortify (and meanwhile totem applies bleed and Maim Support debuff), then pop damage flasks and stun-lock the boss to death. If you're playing as Berserker you should also spam Warcry before triggering boss fight to gain rage stacks. You may use the boots swap trick below to gain up to maximum endurance and frenzy charges before the fight.

Boots Swap Trick

Swap on this pair of boots before boss fights to gain up to maximum endurance and frenzy charges; swap back to Redblade Tramplers before triggering the boss fight. Of course you won't want to bother applying this trick unless you're facing challenging bosses like Shaper.

Below are the only boss fights that require a brain with this build, and I'll share my experiences. Besides those bosses, almost all other bosses including Shaper, Elder and Uber Izaro can be killed brainlessly by just stun-locking them.

*Uber Elder: There're 2 bosses; we can only stun-lock one of them and the other will be firing skills at us. Stunning one of them does help a bit but you still need to learn the fight to be able to do this content. This build is not an ideal Uber Elder farmer.

Trio: This fight can be tricky. I found it easiest to use Ground Slam and kite the bosses; this way you can control which boss to be the remaining last boss. You can also stun all three and burst down two of them. The last boss remaining is stun immune, so kill the ranged female boss first, play carefully and take your time.

Uber Atziri: Atziri during the normal phase cannot be stunned so use Multistrike Support and play safe. During the split phase, run in circles and dodge the first Flameblast this way, then find the Flameblast clone and stun-lock her. Because of stun-locking no more Flameblast will occur and you can burst this clone down safely.

Phoenix: This boss cannot be killed just be standing still and single-targeting, as the adds will deal too much damage and we should kill those adds right after they respawn. I find it easier to use Ground Slam with Multistrike so we can keep killing the adds while DPSing and stunning the boss.

Minotaur: This boss is immune to bleed and stun. Usually I bring 2 Lion's Roar and 2 Basalt flasks and switch Bloodlust to Multistrike. It's also a good idea to bring Enduring Cry for endurance charge generation. We just need to face-tank for 10 seconds and we can kill the boss while standing in the stone circle. If you're not well geared you need move away from stone circles and play a bit smarter.

List of Stun Immune Bosses

1. Minotaur
2. Atziri
3. Rigward (seems no longer immune to stun)
4. Kitava
5. Argus
6. Trio

*The mirror held by Atziri is what makes her stun immune, so during the clone phase, all other 3 clones besides the one holding the mirror can be stunned.

*The final boss of the Trio fight is found to be stun immune. I haven't seen any official confirmation and am not 100% sure.

None of these fights are tough as long as you familiarize yourself with the boss mechanics or are well geared to rush the boss down with flasks.

This is the end of the guide. I will play the new league and keep the guide updated. I check this thread often, so feel free to leave comments down below if you have any questions or suggestions.

Simulation Code

Path of Building can't evaluate our stun capability, so I wrote this code to give a good insight into it by simulating different boss fights. The code tells us that against Shaper, this build can achieve:

-Over 99% stun up-time. This means that if Shaper just stands still for me to hit for 10000 seconds, there will be on average less than 100 seconds when Shaper is not stunned.

-Over 95% chance of perfect stun-locking. This means that if I challenge Shaper's each phase 10000 times, then there will be over 9500 times when Shaper is stun-locked from the beginning to the end.

*With tech choices like Stun Support, we can easily achieve higher chances.

*Results for T15 and Uber-Izaro calculations can be lower than they should, due to different resistances and curse effectiveness.

Here's my code written in Python. You can run the code directly from the repl.it link.

-GitHub: https://gist.github.com/ygshi/2e91faa17974c0fe016fe9bddfc3d73c

-Repl.it: https://repl.it/@ygshi0825/PoEStunSimulator3

Additional Info


03/18/19: Removed Loreweave recommendation.
03/15/19: Fixed the mistake that I didn't have a Murderous jewel in Tombfist.
03/06/19: Suggesting a Ground Slam only alternative. Updated simulation code.
03/05/19: Updated my items both in the guide and in PoB. Deleted Other Variants section, discarded the Champion version and migrated Ascendant version into the main Passives section.
01/23/19: Changed default belt choice to Ryslatha's Coil.
03/08/19: Patch 3.6 launched; some small nerfs.
12/07/18: Patch 3.5 launched; some significant buffs.
08/31/18: Patch 3.4 launched; some small buffs.
06/01/18: Patch 3.3 launched; some small buffs.
03/02/18: Patch 3.2 launched. This build was heavily buffed due to the Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support buff.
12/08/17: Patch 3.1 launched; some small buffs.
08/04/17: Patch 3.0 launched. Ruthless gem came out and made stun-locking Shaper possible with this build.
03/16/17: Build posted. Decided to post after I stun-locked a tier 15 boss to death.
03/03/17: Legacy League launched and Tidebreaker came out. I started leveling my first stunner.
02/20/17: Tidebreaker revealed. Build planning started.


During the creation of this build, I had wonderful discussions with Thorminathor and Lokiwider, which were crucial to the initial success of this build. I must also acknowledge all that responded with your questions and suggestions for your contributions to this build's further refinement.

Last edited by brightwaha on Mar 18, 2019, 6:18:07 PM
Last bumped on Mar 5, 2019, 6:54:37 PM
This looks really good, i would really want to try this out onece i finish farming my currencies
Just one thing, the belt Perseverance will completely disable if you have iron reflex, since your evasion rating became 0, but i guess it's still worth it since the other stats are just as juicy

Now im think to use champion and maximize the value of the belt, and wondering if armor+evasion build would ever work
751935736 wrote:
This looks really good, i would really want to try this out onece i finish farming my currencies
Just one thing, the belt Perseverance will completely disable if you have iron reflex, since your evasion rating became 0, but i guess it's still worth it since the other stats are just as juicy

Now im think to use champion and maximize the value of the belt, and wondering if armor+evasion build would ever work

Yes, the attack speed bonus from belt Perseverance will be completely disabled. I picked up this belt simply for the fortify and onslaught effect it provides (other stats are also pretty good).

Champion can work too, but I personally don't recommend. Unless you are going to put a 6L AOE skill on your body armour, you will need the melee splash that Slayer ascendancy provides (also 20% culling and some stun duration can be very handy).

As for armor+evasion build, I think it's viable, but you need to keep in mind: if you fail to stack a good amount of armor, it almost does nothing against large hits; evasion can still be effective without stacking too much of it. So I would suggest focusing on armor while grabbing some evasion if you can.

EDIT: If you're reading this, you should be aware that those responses were written in March, 2017. The build was very different back then and any information here can be very misleading.
Last edited by brightwaha on Feb 22, 2018, 4:02:04 PM

I was considering something like that as a Berserker. But I find that 200DPS is more than I anticipated. Can you list what did the biggest difference?
Sarik wrote:

I was considering something like that as a Berserker. But I find that 200DPS is more than I anticipated. Can you list what did the biggest difference?

Without any auras and buffs, my character has only 40k+ tooltip DPS. But there are a lot of factors that can add to it.

1. My tooltip DPS does not take into account the threshold jewels. From 2 threshold jewels and helmet enchantment, we can have 52% chance to deal double damage with our Heavy Strike. That is 52% MORE dmg.
2. 50% increased damage at 5 endurance charges (from Tidebreaker), and 20% MORE damage and 20% attack speed at 5 frenzy charges.
3. Onslaught buff (from Perseverance), Hatred aura, blood rage buff, and increased physical dmg while leeching.
4. From the Warchief totem, we will have a 18% MORE damage buff. Also the totem itself deals around 1/6 of our own dmg with only one faster attacks support. (If replacing Kaom's Heart with a 6L rare body armour, the totem itself can deal more than 10k. Then our total DPS can reach 300K.)

In maps, when buffs are up, my tooltip goes up to 120K. After manually counting the effect of threshold jewels it's already 18K (not counting warchief dmg). Remember some of my gears are 1c items and many of my gems are 19/0. So we can expect way more than 200K DPS with good gears.

My calculations didn't take into account the 20% culling from Slayer ascendancy. If you wish to count that, multiply the 200K by another 125%.

EDIT: If you're reading this, you should be aware that those responses were written in March, 2017. The build was very different back then and any information here can be very misleading.
Last edited by brightwaha on Feb 22, 2018, 4:01:44 PM
I play with bright often his build is fun and quite similar to mine, here is my tree for a berzerker version of this build. Clearing t13 maps solo with it.

Last edited by Thorminathor on Mar 21, 2017, 5:17:05 AM
Hey guy,

I link you my tree, for pretty much the same build :).

I was wondering if this works with a 5 link Tidebreaker?
if so what skill would you drop in the 6 link for it
here's my tidebreaker

Last edited by DiscoPug on Apr 16, 2017, 4:30:00 PM
Hey man, leveled this toon, 70 for now, but clear speed is like real slow, at least if you want to clear a lot of maps, would AoE improve this? any ideas on how to clear faster? I already have the slayer ascendancy.

DiscoPug wrote:
I was wondering if this works with a 5 link Tidebreaker?
if so what skill would you drop in the 6 link for it
here's my tidebreaker

Only 4 gems are necessary. First 3 are Heavy Strike, Melee Phy Dmg, Added Fire Dmg; the 4th link is Multistrike for dps or Stun Support for stuns. For the 5th/6th links, you can choose from Faster Attacks, Melee Dmg on Full Life or Weapon Elemental Dmg depending on your gears and encounter.

A 5 link Tidebreaker is good enough. You lose about 20% of dmg compared to a 6 link weapon, but everything else works well.

EDIT: If you're reading this, you should be aware that those responses were written in March, 2017. The build was very different back then and any information here can be very misleading.
Last edited by brightwaha on Feb 22, 2018, 4:01:14 PM

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