[ 3.3 ] Leech-based RF+Obliteration Slayer <ExtremelyCheap> Guardians/Uber Lab/Shaper/HC

Hi, I've been running this build since around breach or essence league and have had a blast with it. After being asked about my build while doing master rotations and lab carries, I figured I should make a write-up for it, so I hope you guys enjoy it too. The build has allowed me to reach my highest level on a character, and clear lots of content I had never seen before for a first time. Much of this is due to its extremely low cost and my complete lack of interest in trading. In terms of playstyle, the build is oriented more towards quick (and super lazy) mapping while being tanky enough to endure small lag spikes on rough content (this being the main reason why I called quits on HC leagues as you will see in the videos). It is extremely good at running Lab, and has no trouble with guardians. All this makes it a great choice for your first character of a season. Shaper was a bit tough to learn for me, but I managed to achieve my first Shaper Kill with this build (as well as seeing most other endgame content for a first time). The bright side is that being a Slayer lets you Cull Shaper at 20% life, so you get to ignore a good portion of his 3rd phase, which is far harder than the other 2. If I was able to do all of this, then you very well should be too. That said, I wouldn't recommend this build if >Shaper< is your sole interest, as other builds manage to deal with him better. I also cleared HotGM, but it isn't something I'd recommend attempting on HC, as it was very rippy. If you chose to do so, then you will need a scorching ray totem and a frostbomb.

Required Gear

That's all, lol.


So basically, you want to run through packs with Righteous Fire. Righteous Fire will clear out white and blue mobs easily, each having a 40% chance to explode for a quarter of their life from both Obliteration Wands. This damage is then amplified by your Hidden Potential (and other jewels), causing them to explode for enough damage to kill other white/blue mobs or cull them if they reach 20% or less of their life from the Slayer Ascendancy. This large damage then grants you life leech from either Warlord's Mark, or the Slayer's Overkill leech as to sustain RF. Since we're using monster's HP as the source of our damage to clear packs, this means that as we run into higher map tiers, a monster's increased HP pool will scale our damage with it, guaranteeing the same clear speed on all map tiers.

Leech Mechanics in Layman's Terms
tl;dr: Big hit = long leech duration, small hit = short leech duration.

Assume you hit a monster for 1000 damage, have 100% damage leeched as life, and a pool of 5000 health.

Each hit creates a life leech instance
Each instance regenerates at a maximum of 2% of your max life per second.
With 5000 health, this is a rate of 100hp/second
Since you hit for 1000, you have created one instance of 100hp/second that will last 10 seconds.

No matter how many instances of leech you create, you cannot leech more than a base of 20% your maximum life per second. (so 10 instances is enough in this example)

"%increased Life Leeched per second" will increase each of your 100hp/second leech instances without reducing the duration of each instance. (so this reduces the amount of stacks you need to hit cap)

"#% of maximum Life per second to maximum Life Leech rate" adds to the maximum life leech cap of 20% (so you will need more stacks of leech, but will regen more)

This build extends its leech cap to 29%. Vaal Pact can double this to 58%, and a Scion could further improve this up to 87%. Opting for Life Regeneration nodes in place of Vaal Pact can grant you up to 11.5% life regeneration for a total of 40.5% or 61.2% for a Scion. Leech stacks are created by the enormous explosions caused by Obliteration Wands, meaning that each leech instances will continue for ridiculous amounts of time, making it safe to run through maps without worrying about leech ending. Despite only having 75% fire resistances, Righteous Fire causes a degeneration of 22.5% life per second, which leaves us with much regeneration to second to spare.

Elemental Weakness maps are not a problem since we're overcapped.

Because the bulk of our recovery comes from leech, "No Regen" map mods are a breeze.

"60% less recovery" maps will leave us barely enough to run RF, given a slight degeneration which can easily be outdone by flasks.

Vulnerability maps will amplify the degeneration from Rightous Fire by 33%, to a total of 29.9% life per second.

Minus Maximum Resist maps can reduce resists by up to -12, leaving us with 63% natural fire resistance, causing Righteous Fire to degen for 33.3%. This is considerably less if you opt for a Rise of the Phoenix and the suggested Purity of Fire gem.

Sadly, "No Leech" map mod is the only map mod the Vaal Pact variant cannot run, due to obvious reasons. Hexproof is another mod to take into consideration. You will be able to clear the map, but will not be able to fight the boss since your life/mana leech comes from warlord's mark. The Life Regeneration variants will have a rough time, but could handle this content. Rise of the Phoenix and Purity of Fire go a long way in these situations.

Take into consideration that 'some' maps will have more than one of these mods.
*Pantheon Reductions were not taken into account in these calculations*

Gem Links
6 Link - Single Target (in preferential order)

While I do believe all of these to be subpar to dark pact, they have their own perks, but more importantly serve different playstyles:

Mixed Elements

This setup should deal slightly less damage than straight Dark Pact. While it is safer without Dark Pact's self-harm, it does root you in place while channeling. Elemental Reflect also becomes something to take into consideration. It should make gearing slightly easier as you can bypass any need of cast speed. Branch into Elemental Overload and grab Elemental Equilibrium.
dont use conc. effect until you have a 20 quality vortex or the AoE will be too small


You can use two of these if you're having trouble finding good jewels (or if you're just super early in the league). This would change your main setup to the following set of gems:

The damage output for this setup should be roughly the same. Like the elemental setup, channeling will root you in spot, leaving you vulnerable. Bypassing cast speed requirements should make this slightly cheaper, and grabbing two Spreading Rot jewels will make this even easier to get started with as it will replace two pricy jewels (at the cost of two %life mods)
Breath of the Council becomes a valid option with this gemset.

Flame Surge
I believe you can play this with either scorching ray and cwc or straight selfcast with spell echo. Kek_is_love has posted in-depth information regarding his Flame Surge setup on pages 8-10 of this thread. He claims it deals more damage than Dark Pact but is a bit more annoying to aim. If that sounds interesting to you,then I would heavily suggest you look it up.

Magma Orb

I believe the 6th link can be swapped for Slower Projectiles. I honestly have not done enough testing with this setup as it requires level 21 Magma Orb and an expensive +additional magma orb chains helm enchant to reach its full potential. The idea of this setup is to exploit the extra chaos damage from

allowing you to precast molten orb to stack damage before walking into the boss encounter for massive damage. Refer to other Gloomfang Magma Orb builds for more information.

4 Link - Righteous Fire

4 Link - Mobility

*Keep Arcane Surge at a level where it will trigger with a single cast*

4 Link - Auras

*You can use anything you want instead of Lightning Trap, or can just level a gem in it*
*An empower gem could help you get +1 fire resist*

Clearspeed Weaponset
3 Link

*CWDT Immortal Call is required to survive Porcupines or other physical damage spikes, flame golem can be swapped for whatever you want*

3 Link

*You only cast Blood Rage once, and it casts fast enough, so Faster Casting is not required*

Boss Weaponset
3 Link

3 Link

*This last 3-Link isn't really necessary, I just didn't have anything else to do with my spare sockets so I went with a little extra safety

Suggested Gear

I would suggest you go with the Life Regeneration Slayer endgame variation as it is the more well-rounded. The Vaal Pact Slayer is arguably stronger, but comes with more limitations. Scion/Ascendant versions have their own perks but feel clunkier to me. At the end of the day, you should play what feels the most fun to you.

Gear: Explained

These are the only items you will not swap out.

Carcass is possibly the best Body Armour you can aim for.

A well-rolled Blue could compete, granting 200~250 more total life at a loss of some damage and a good amount of Area of Effect. I'd argue in favor of Carcass nonetheless.

Grab a cheap 5-Linked white body armour and craft it for next to nothing to get you started.

A nicely rolled blue Leather Belt is ideal once you're dealing enough damage.

*I don't have a Headhunter, nor have I ever had one. We have enough resistances to afford using one, but I doubt I'll ever have the currency. It would be fun to test it, and I imagine it to be very good, but that's not a surprise, as HH is just great in every build*
-UPDATE: a good friend lent me his HH to test around with, check the extra mile section for details-

Any good pair of Blue Gloves will do.

Two-Toned Boots are your best friends, as they cover up your lack of resistances.

Just get some nice blue accessories with life and resists lol.

You want a nice pair of wands on your weaponswap for bosses. Keep in mind that blue wands get 25% extra increased damage each due to Hidden Potential. Some rare yellow wands will still yield more damage since they can roll higher increased spell damage as well as added flat damage mods. Added flat elemental damage to spells opens up to grabbing Elemental Equilibrium for one point, which would amplify your RF damage.

Apep's are great for starting out. These are best in slot as long as you have a 5-Link, as having a 6th link will increase the manacost by too much, forcing you to swap them out for rare/magic wands.

You ideally want to craft a helm with Essence of Horror for your Rightoues Fire, but can do just fine with a blue helm that has life and resists. I'll go over enchantments in the next section.

We're looking for 3-line jewels with these specific mods, as they are the only ones that will increase our Righteous Fire and Dark Pact, as well as Obliteration explosions all at once.

Feel free to drop a damage mod for extra resists/attributes if you need them.
*Keep in mind that Strength will grant you some free flat life*

Despite the nerf, this is a possibility for your boss weaponset. The life regeneration variant allows you to run Righteous Fire off of regen alone, enabling Righteous Fire for No-Leech and Hexproof maps as well as Shaper and other bosses. Saffel's Frame is also an option.

Although not required, Writhing Jar fills a couple niche uses. Ascendant variants will want to use this flask to keep up their 50% increased recovery by killing a recent target. This is also valid for the Slayer's 20% more damage, and allows you to kill the worms produced by the flask at the start of your map to initiate your leech via overkill.


Going the Extra Mile
Since the build is extremely cheap, you're actually able to farm efficiently and aim for otherwise unreal upgrades.

I crafted my helm by purchasing a pre-enchanted helmet and tossing an Essence of Horror on it. You generally want to hit high life and at least one resistance mod, allowing you to master craft a 2nd one. Mine had all suffixes used up, but I stuck with it because its single resistance mod was rather high. As far as enchantments go, Dark Pact Cast Speed will yield the most damage, but will also cause you to take more self-damage per second. This is relevant because we are not leeching instantly but rather relying on our total recovery per second to make up for Dark Pact's self-harm. That said, it isn't a very noticeable amount, and it is more damage. Cast Speed enchanted helms go for much cheaper than damage ones for some reason, feel free to grab either.

I tried using a variety of lab enchantments. The flat-out truth is that they all suck. Honestly, they're just terribly garbage, all of them. Creating Consecrated Ground when receiving a Critical Hit is pointless, at that point, you've either been 1 shot, or have spammed flask and moved the hell away from whatever hit you. Absolutely useless. Your clearspeed is fast enough where 'on kill' effects are irrelevant, and you're not a crit build, so 'on hit' enchants are the only ones that would make any sense. Most other Uber Lab enchants deal enough damage where all you're really achieving is putting yourself at the risk of getting one-shot on a reflect pack, and the 5 to 10 second cooldown makes them incredibly unreliable anyways. The only lab enchant that half made sense to me was getting "Word of the Tempest" on hit from Normal Lab so it doesn't kill you on elemental reflect, and then using it to trigger elemental equilibrium for your Righteous Fire on bosses since you're already pathing by it, but it all just sounded too convoluted. You don't use RF on Izaro or Shaper, so that would only be relevant for Guardians, and you'd have to play each fight perfectly as to not use any portals, since leaving an area gets rid of your leech stacks, and thereby denies you from using RF.

The conclusion is you're left with two choices - hitting a lucky "4% Increased Cast Speed" implicit from a Vaal Orb, or going with the more reliable option:

I'd suggest you keep your blood rage on an obliteration, and your wither totem on your weaponswap. This allows you to swap weapons to disable blood rage from draining your life. You shouldn't be needing your wither totem when using clearing and you shouldn't need blood rage when bossing.

As far as flasks go, Uniques are not very useful. I had a Dying Sun for a while, but we have enough increased AoE where it made little noticeable difference so I prefered going for a blue Ruby Flask instead and rolling them as to be able to remove anything that could RIP Me.

*Replace the Ruby, Basalt, and Sulphur Flasks in favour of more Instant Life Flasks according to specific Boss Encounters*

Well shit, a good friend lent me his HH to play around with. I wish I had more to say but it isn't really that special. HH is best in slot for just about any build if it comes down to clear speed, but I guess that's fine because "not OP because rare item". Jokes aside, HH is the best you can get if you want to get clearspeed. Beyond that, it feels like HH just puts you on a different layer of clearspeed than any non-HH build will not achieve. That said, it won't help you against single target/bossing at all, so I guess there's still that for blue belts?... meh.
An "Inspired Learning" Jewel can be used to simulate this effect at a lesser degree for a cheaper price.

A well rolled blue Stygian Vise with a good Abyss Jewel is a valid option if you can't afford HeadHunter (like all of us average players). Just scour any high ilvl Stygian you come across and craft accordingly. It's also worth noting that Elder belts can provide a valuable "increased life recovery" mod, but Shaped items is something I'd rather not get into.

Marble amulets are the best base type if you're going for a NON-Vaal Pact variant. Otherwise, I'd probably suggest a hybrid Dexterity/Strength base to help with the attribute requirements requirements while gaining a little extra life on the side from the strength.

Passive Tree(s)

*Kill all Bandits*
Generic 2H melee AOE (sunder) tree for leveling up to 55

Level 56 Start
I urge you not to attempt this, as quest areas have low monster level, which means low hp, which means low explosions, which means low leech. Plus you'll have to backtrack to find doors and eventually drop your leech stacks. To top it off, Kitava will be a nightmare. I would heavily advise you spec into the build only AFTER killing Kitava. On that note, my favored endgame variation is the "Life Regeneration Slayer".


Endgame Variations
Life Regeneration
Has up to 42.3% combined regeneration (29% leech, 13.3% regen)
237% increased life from tree before jewels.
+20% culling
+20% more damage if killed recently
+High AoE and Onslaught for Clearspeed
+Overkill Leech
+Can sustain RF off regen
-Least combined regeneration
-Loses 1 Jewel Slot

Vaal Pact
Has up to 58% leech per second.
230% increased life from tree before jewels.
+20% culling
+20% more damage if killed recently
+High AoE and Onslaught for Clearspeed
+Overkill Leech
-can't run 'No-Leech' maps
-can't run 'Hexproof' maps
-Least total HP


Tier 15 No-Regen Mod

Random Sextant/Shaped Tier 10 with high pack density and Beyond





T15 Beachhead

Uber Lab

Let me know if there's a specific map/mod you'd like to see me run.


You can get this build going as soon as you can equip the wands. However, you should not do this for Hardcore (or general play really), as it is extremely inefficient due to everything scaling along with monster life/level. I only tend to respec at 56 because I've played this game enough where playing a generic leveling build has become a chore that I want to end as quickly as possible. That said, you should really respec only once you've killed Kitava in Act 10 and have gotten at least 1 ascendancy, preferably 3 to start mapping.

So what can you do before you hit level 56? Well, I'm sure there's a large variety of options, but I wanted to test Charged Dash as it was a new skill and all. I had loads of fun with it, so all I did was stretch out to resolute technique, and get all nearby attack speed and generic two-hand weapon nodes I had nearby. I can't recall exactly what I ran for gems, but I believe it was herald of ash and hatred, and then Charged Dash -> Melee Phys -> Fortify -> AoE. You're probably better off with Sunder for now. You should probably use Hidden Potential for leveling regardless of you do though. Refer to the "Passive Tree" section for a generic tree, and the "Gear: Explained" section for tips on starting gear once you hit 56 and can equip the wands.

You want to grab your Ascendancy Points in this order:


What level should I swap into the build?
You can play the build from 56+, as soon as you equip wthe wands, but I'd recommend waiting out until ~68 (or whenever you decide to start with T1 maps for that matter). Specially if you're playing on hardcore. This is mostly because while you can run it since earlier, your damage per hit scales with monster level, so your leech stack duration will last longer the further up you are. Also, while doing quests/storyline, zones don't have as high a pack density, moreover, the map layouts can be a bit ass and have you backtrack a lot, so you could end up dropping your regen there and having to port back to town or wait until 1 life to turn off RF. An ignite-removing could help a bit if you choose to run it early, I ran it as soon as I hit 56 and didn't use a flask though.

How does it hold up in group play?
The way monster life (and monster explosion damage) works mechanically with groups is as follows:

More players in the same group multiplies monster's base life.
Explosions deal damage equal to a % of monster BASE life.

This means you will be doing 1 player damage while monsters have multiplied hp. You can play this in groups just fine, but the explosions won't chain off as effectively. Being in a group of 2 is perfectly fine, should feel almost the same as alone (even better if with an aurabot I suspect). I can play in a group of 3 people and still chain off just fine, having to cast dark pact on rares occasionally. I imagine this to be the limit for effectiveness though, going in a group of 4, 5, or 6 will work, but you won't get any off-screen explosions.

Do blue Jewels and Flasks count towards Hidden Potential?
Sadly no, Hidden potential only takes into account items in your character equipment panel, this means: Helm, Body Armour, Gloves, Boots, Belt, Amulet, Rings, Main hand, and Off hand.

What do you use Blood Rage for?
It's just there to generate frenzy charges, which each give a generic 4% more damage increase, so that's just a free 12% more multiplier from 3 charges to make explosions and RF deal more damage, making the build run smoother when clearing. This is why I chose to keep it on my obliteration wands, so that when I swap into single target for bosses blood rage turns off.

Wouldn't The Retch belt work with this build very well?
I'll try to keep this as short as possible. I initially thought the same, it sounded so thematically correct, that I actually saved up for own one. Sadly, it wasn't very good. Investigating how it worked lead me to the following: When you're not a slayer, leech stops when you hit full life, so no matter how much damage you deal, you'll only deal damage equal to your missing hp (and deal little damage with the retch because of this). Since instant leech was removed, your damage with the belt is always gated by leech caps (refer to leech section of the guide). The way the retch works here is that it checks how much you're leeching, and then deals that much damage to 'tagged' monsters. In our case, A scion can reach the highest leech peak, 87% of OUR max life per second. As for 'who' takes the damage, the belt looks at 'tagged' monsters, these are the monsters you hit with attacks, spells, or anything. It then goes ahead and deals damage to every tagged monster equal to what you're leeching. This works mechanically, because every time an obliteration explosion goes off, a monster would become tagged and they'd receive the damage over time, the problem is the amount. 87% of our max life, even in endgame, is less than 7k damage per second. A blue item will increase righteous fire and explosion damage by 25%, and since the amount of damage you deal is far greater than your life pool (even more so considering monster life explosions), this ends up being so much more (think of your damage tooltips or forum titles with 200,000 damage builds, or even 1 million). Not only is the damage increase very small, but the item is ridiculously expensive. It is also worth noting that the DoT doesn't do anything for us, while increasing the brunt of our damage is better since the harder we hit, the longer we leech for. In short, I think this item is absolutely dead as of 3.1

Final thoughts
Hi, I cannot guarantee I'll be very active on this thread, but will try my best to do so. I'd also like to thank user Kek_is_love who has done a phenomenal job theorycrafting and looking for different ways to push this build further. You can see his variants on pages 8-10, with an explanation to his changes along with a FAQ on page 17. Although I have yet to test these variations myself, they sound like a more optimal take on the build although losing the 'lazy' playstyle originally intended. He uses multiple gear swaps for different situations, be it efficient clearing or safer and stronger ways to handle bosses.

I personally believe the Life Regeneration variant to be the more well-rounded, being able to tackle most content, while Vaal Pact excels in different areas. I'm guessing the Vaal Pact variant will be the most popular due to the novelty of the keystone, which grants it a notably higher recovery per second.

I hope this has been helpful and wish you good drops and much fun!
Feel free to hit me ingame if you have any doubts and I'll try my best to help you out~
[3.3]Obliteration RF Slayer: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2013175
Last edited by lucksickle on Sep 6, 2018, 4:49:06 AM
Last bumped on Oct 11, 2018, 4:53:07 PM
[3.3]Obliteration RF Slayer: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2013175
Last edited by lucksickle on Oct 4, 2017, 10:04:45 AM
Damn it GGG! Get your gears together!
Come on bro, you can do it! I am waiting for the rest of the write up :)
■► It's a business. You won't get the full experience.
■► Yes, this is an addiction. This is a Slot Machine. I am addicted.
■► You won't be rewarded. There is no reward.
interesting build, im gonna try!
Last edited by BL4CKR00T on Oct 4, 2017, 10:36:43 AM
RIP dreams, I was hoping I'd make it into BOTW.
[3.3]Obliteration RF Slayer: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2013175
Dude this build is hilarious. Have you done all content?
Hi, thanks for your interest. It is a super fun build. I've yet to do Breachstones, Uber Atziri, Pale Court, and Perandus Mannor, but have done everything there is to my knowledge (not sure if I'm forgetting anything else).

My zana is at 7, and grinding her is taking forever. Also, Beachhead maps are ridiculously easy... I should probably upload a video of that.
[3.3]Obliteration RF Slayer: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2013175
Last edited by lucksickle on Oct 5, 2017, 4:12:17 AM
Could you upload guardians and shaper videos? Maybe Uber Atziri ^^
I can add Guardians for sure.
Shaper is a bit tough for me, I think I'm just not the best player/pilot, so a video of Shaper would look a bit underwhelming as I'd mess up and die most likely.
I haven't tried Uber Atziri yet.
[3.3]Obliteration RF Slayer: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2013175
Haven't had much time lately. Added Chimera and Hydra boss fights.
[3.3]Obliteration RF Slayer: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2013175

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