[3.9] Aspect of Carnage Ground Slam Berserker, Bosser, Fast, League starter

Feel free to ask questions or make suggestions so I can continue to update the guide.

Ground Slam is a large AoE skill, with a small close range area that does 50% MORE damage. This means it excels at both clear and single target. The high attack speed and damage of berserker allows for pretty fast clear speed and leap slam responsiveness which helps a ton with bossing. The build has really good damage, even on a small budget, and above average tankyness. This build guide is intended for budgets ranging from 0.5 ex to 15.


Screenshot taken in map. 50% more damage for closer enemies and impale (over double damage) aren't accounted for here, nor is the 40% damage from pride, 14% damage from blood and sand, or 10% damage from intimidate. It should be noted neither Shaper nor elder have any physical damage reduction whatsoever. I have vulnerability curse on hit gloves, which also doesn't show up here (34% more phys damage). The total investment in blight league for this character was 10ex:



- is a key point, or something to do/obtain
* is something to note


- Not many people play ground slam so items for it are relatively cheap
- Very fast mapper
- All content, bossing feels great
- Shaper and Elder have 0% physical damage reduction.
- Very budget friendly, good league starter. Scales well with investment.
- Tanky, especially with endurance charges up (not necessary), Tanked shaper slams.
- Very good damage, killed shaper easy even with 5link and 3c rare axes (Less than 0.5ex total investment)
- High life total, 6-7k+, exceptional life leech.
- Endurance charges on stun and frenzy charges on kill.
- Onslaught on kill
- Barely notice temp chains


- Cant run phys reflect or no leech. 60% less recovery can be tough in t16s depending on other map mods, just dont use blood rage and you should be fine.
- Aspect of carnage ascendancy makes us take 10% more damage
- Between blood rage and Rite of Ruin ascendancy we take self inflicted DoT
- Poor axe crit/accuracy nodes force us to use Resolute technique meaning that crit stats wont affect our damage (Dont worry, it still has lots of damage)
- Porcupines.
- Being melee for bosses requires a little more player skill.


- A lot more than average.
- Im NOT stating a number of how many millions of shaper dps this build has. Not because this build is weak (far from it), but because its not as accurate as people think, even for builds that dont have nearly as many 'hidden' multipliers (that PoB cant accurately calculate and so simply doesn't, making it look like your damage is lower). There is also the question of currency invested. I could tell you how much damage I got it to do when I put 100ex into it, but it would simply mislead you. What matters is that this build has way more than enough dps to be a strong character on a budget.



- This is the 3.9 Dual Wield Resolute technique impale tree. Kill ALL bandits. (Hard knocks and proficiency might be necessary to get the required int/dex, though should only need 73 total int for lvl 3 enlighten (which is our only blue gem.) This is without vaal pact so that the life degen isn't as severe.

3.9 Passive RT Tree (If you get past lvl 94, head towards steadfast, rampart, or vigour. Your choice.)

Lab 1: Pain Reaver
Lab 2: Crave the Slaughter
Lab 3: Rite of Ruin
Lab 4: Aspect of Carnage

The two additional jewel sockets I grabbed are to make sure I compensate for the 'hidden multipliers'. This includes things like impale, intimidate, pride, 50% more damage for close enemies with ground slam, etc. The reason that it doesn't show up on tooltip or why PoB chooses not to calculate is because it depends on the enemy. Not just their damage reduction, but also whether they are cursed, intimidated, how many impales they have on them and how much damage is stored in each impale, how long you've been standing near the enemy, how close they are etc. Since its near impossible to tell PoB all these things so it can calculate them properly, I simply put the multipliers on a jewel, and subtracted everything I get from pathing to the jewel onto the jewel. I chose 425pdps axes which for the average player is obtainable without too much cost. Note this is with +2 impale jewel.

IMPALE: (Mechanics Explanation)

- impale gives us more damage, but doesn't show up on the tooltip (The number when you hover over your skill on the bar). Once you go impale, you should go all the way, selecting the impale associated passives, equipping the impale support gem, and activating Dread Banner. Each impale wheel gives 20% impale chance (40% total), impale support gives a further 40% chance to impale, and dread banner gives 20% chance bringing our chance to impale up to 100%.

- Impale functionally stores a percentage of the damage from a hit, and releases that percentage of the impaling hits damage every hit (10% of the hits damage is stored, then for the next 5 hits that 10% damage is released 5 times adding up to 50% total at which point point that impale ends.) Without impale effect, this means that the first hit will not do any extra damage from impale, but proceeding to attack 5 more times will mean the first hit in the end did 50% more damage. Enemies can have several impales on them at once, with each hit releasing damage from all impales. This doesn't help much for low life enemies (They die too quick) but for high health bosses this is an effective 50% more damage multiplier for every hit after about a second of hitting the enemy. With impale effect this number can be much higher. (IT SHOULD BE NOTED ONLY PHYSICAL DAMAGE CAN IMPALE AND BE STORED)

- The impale support gem gives 60% impale effect with a lvl 21 20% quality OR lvl 20 23% quality gem. Dread banner gives ~20% impale effect. The impale passive nodes give a total of 30% impale effect. The combined total impale effect is around 110% effect. With the base effect averaging out to 50% more damage, this means impale instead grants ~105% MORE damage. It literally over doubles our damage

- The "Impales you inflict last 2 additional hits while affected by pride" mod on Watcher's Eyes brings the average damage increase from ~105% to ~147%. The difference between having no jewel then gaining +2 impale is ~20% MORE damage.

ARMOUR: (Mechanics and why it barely works):

(even with it being 3,000% more)


* In case it wasn't clear, Beserker is an ascendancy for marauder.
* Every town has a skill gem vendor. Usually they will be the one selling flasks and letting you trade currency for another currency. You have to do specific quests to unlock the ability to buy specific gems at this vendor. Clear the twilight strand in act 6 to unlock Lilly as a vendor for every skill gem for act 6 and onward.
* If you run out of scrolls, vendor orbs of transmutations. They sell for 4 scrolls each and have almost no use or value in endgame
* We are a pure physical attack build. we are looking for high physical damage axes as we level. if you feel any lacking damage its because you need a better weapon. As high physical damage axes can be rare, an axe and shield can be used for the first 2-3 acts. eventually the damage we get from dual wielding will make dual wielding ideal even with one subpar weapon.
* Use a mana flask the first 3-4 acts until you ascend.
* GO AHEAD AND USE https://poechecklist.com/#/passives IF YOU DONT KNOW WHERE THE PASSIVE QUESTS ARE


Use this link for trial locations in acts:

LAB 1: Level 33 zone. its ok to overlevel it so its a lot easier.

LAB 2: Level 55 zone.

LAB 3: Level 68 zone.

LAB 4: Level 75 zone.
The trials are found in maps randomly. Can find someone who is offering trials they found in global, or buy the dream trial prophecy to force a trial spawn.
- Trial of Piercing Truth
- Trial of Swirling Fear
- Trial of Crippling Grief
- Trial of Burning Rage
- Trial of Lingering Pain
- Trial of Stinging Doubt

ACT 1:

- The second you get to Lioneye's watch you should get ground slam as a quest reward from Tarkleigh for killing hillock. if for some reason you didn't get this Nessa should be selling it in her second tab for a scroll of wisdom. Level at least 2 ground slam gems unless you want to buy a high quality ground slam.

* Iron rings will give us a significant amount of damage early on. equip 2 of them. As you level the damage these rings give will be less significant and you should prioritize resistance rings around act 4
- After doing the medicine chest quest you should link onslaught support with ground slam and ruthless support for a 3link attack.
- Completing Breaking some eggs will give us Blood and Sand. level this gem.
- When you kill Brutus, grab leap slam from town. this 'attack' will be our mobility skill and should not be used to try to kill things.
https://poeplanner.com/ABMAACMAEwEAAA57jITEfuCeV-RRdn9QR-8OFCBfP5d5KCqLT5tqAAAAAAA= Act 1 tree (12 levels and 2 passives from quests)

ACT 2:

- After killing the weaver, you should unlock melee physical damage support, and faster attacks support. Support ground slam with both of these gems. (You'll have to buy from Yeena) Throw away ruthless and onslaught support. Buy another faster attacks support for your Leap Slam.
- After entering the vaal ruins through the tree roots, retrieve Herald of purity. This skill gives us a significant amount of flat physical damage to
attacks while leveling. It will reserve 25% of your mana when you activate it and should only need to be reactivated upon death.
* Herald of purity is no longer going to be used for the main build, but it is still great for leveling, since it makes your weapon matter less.

https://poeplanner.com/ABMAAD0AEwEAABt7jITEfuCeV-RRdn9QR-8OFCBfP5d5KCqLT5tqhVLZYa2Nz352rOoY9zJ82fjr891oZRRx2XwAAAAAAA== Act 2 tree (22 levels and 5 passives from quests)

ACT 3:

- Completing Lost in Love will unlock the pride aura. This will reserve 50% of our mana. if mana regen is a serious issue, you don't have to enable this yet. This will greatly increase our damage against nearby enemies.
- In the gardens, go to the side zone called the library and complete the quest to find the golden pages so you will unlock Siosa as a gem vendor. Buy fortify support and at least level it in a gem slot if you have no 4link. CAN WAIT UNTIL ACT 6 TO UNLOCK LILLY
* During this act you may find a 4link item. Having a 4link for ground slam is more important than any other stats the item might have. Put fortify support as the 4th link
* You can continue using a mana flask or just go do lab if your confident.

https://poeplanner.com/ABMAAFUAEwEAACd7jITEfuCeV-RRdn9QR-8OFCBfP5d5KCqLT5tqhVLZYa2Nz352rOoY9zJ82fjr891oZRRx2XyCB_JB0iGezfKcbpf3vg487HGFj4MuOlIAAAAAAA== (32 levels and 7 passives from quests)

ACT 4:

- It is in act 4 when I suggest you do your first Labarynth. Overleveling the labyrinth will make it significantly easier and will essentially guarantee a clear. The first lab is lvl 33. (Choose Pain Reaver), After you retrieve the mana leech ascendancy node, you should be able to reserve most of your mana.
- Around the end of act 4 you will unlock multistrike support. Replace faster attacks with multistrike for ground slam, throw that spare faster attacks support away or level it to sell to players. (I don't bother)

https://poeplanner.com/ABMAAG0AEyEAADN7jITEfuCeV-RRdn9QR-8OFCBfP5d5KCqLT5tqhVLZYa2Nz352rOoY9zJ82fjr891oZRRx2XyCB_JB0iGezfKcbpf3vg487HGFj4MuOlK8nxiR_EsUTQHnNugttMcZUWMaVRbpJDcAAAAAAA== (40 levels and 9 passives from quests, 1st lab done)

ACT 5:

ACT 6:

- Complete the quest to fully clear the twilight strand to unlock Lilly as a gem vendor for the rest of the story and 'act 11' town. Buy any gems you don't yet have that you'll need.

https://poeplanner.com/ABMAAIsAEyEAAEJ7jITEfuCeV-RRdn9QR-8OFCBfP5d5KCqLT5tqhVLZYa2Nz352rOoY9zJ82fjr891oZRRx2XyCB_JB0iGezfKcbpf3vg487HGFj4MuOlK8nxiR_EsUTQHnNugttMcZUWMaVZ-J0Cw7FCPqrlB7dGWnZFLBo-JhMHdZ_rvtkc5YrxbpJDcAAAAAAA== (50 levels and 14 passives from quests)

ACT 7:

ACT 8:

ACT 9:

- You can choose to farm blood aqueducts over and over again for humility cards (9 of which make a tabula rasa) This may take a few hours. Ctrl Click on the waypoint for blood aqueducts (FROM A WAYPOINT)to make a fresh zone to run

https://poeplanner.com/ABIAALkAEiEAAFl7jITEfuB2f55X5FFQR-8OFCCXeSgqi0-baoVS2WGtjc9-dqzqGPcyfNn46_PdaGVkUsGj4mEwd1n-u-2RzhRx2XyCB_JB0iGezfKcbpf3vg487HGFj4MuOlK8nxiRhmA26C20xxlRY1ivqW5yr5P_-O_AGm87eA218nJsbEY1kti9Mgl34wHchNlHfr02ZU2-p2BBY3AR1VeXQzHawS5T02907QUtTP9zZxbpJDf4X1_QAAAAAAA= (63 levels and 22 passives from quests)

ACT 10:

- You can do the 3rd lab before or after killing kitava. (Choose Rite of Ruin)
- After you complete act 10, type /passives in game to see what passive giving quests you missed in the story. Go back and do these quests.

https://poeplanner.com/ABMAAM0AEyEAAGN7jITEfuCeV-RRdn9QR-8OFCBfP5d5KCqLT5tqhVLZYa2Nz352rOoY9zJ82fjr891oZRRx2XyCB_JB0iGezfKcbpf3vg487HGFj4MuOlK8nxiR_EsUTQHnNugttMcZUWMaVZ-J0Cw7FCPqrlB7dGWnZFLBo-JhMHdZ_rvtkc5Yr6lucq-T__jvwBpvO3fjAdyE2Ud-vTZlTb6nYEFjcBHVV5dDMdrBdO0FLS5T0294DbXyNZLYvXJsbEYW6SQ3-F9f0Kdt4NgAAAAAAA== (70 levels and 24 passives from quests, 3 labs)

Look at the passive tree section for the final tree.


* You can click on the little boxes above each weapon slot in the inventory to bring up the weapon swap slot. Hitting X after equipping a weapon there will let you swap between weapons. Put 2 3 socket weapons or a 6 socket weapon in this slot so you can level 6 additional gems, rolls don't matter. It should be noted that you cannot use the gems in those weapons unless you have swapped to that weapon. We only do this to give those gems xp.

* Vendor a level 20 gem and one gemcutter's prism to get a lvl 1 20% quality gem. This only works if the gem is uncorrupted. Do this with all gems as soon as they hit level 20 (leave one high level ground slam). The damage loss will be very short lived as the gems will level very fast. DO NOT MAKE YOUR ONLY GROUND SLAM LEVEL ONE. YOU WILL REGRET IT. Level at least 2 ground slams so you can 20% quality ONE and use the other without quality for a while.

MAIN SKILL: (6link)

- [Ground Slam] or Vaal Ground slam. Vaal Ground Slam is great for stunning, but with onehanders the damage inst all that amazing. It is harder to get a high level high quality vaal ground slam than normal ground slam which is why I simply use the non vaal version. Quality on this gem gives 0.5% AoE and 1% Stun duration per quality. Strive for a 20% quality gem. I managed to buy a 21/23 ground slam for 5c because no one is playing the skill. The Ground slam portion of the vaal ground slam is identical to the normal ground slam gem.
* NOTE: The gem inherently gives up to 50% more damage for closer enemies so for optimal damage you need to be in their faces. That 50% more damage multiplier doesn't show in tooltip.

- [Melee Physical Damage Support]. Outright damage, first priority. Being pure physical this gem gives very significant damage. Quality on this gem gives 0.5% increased melee physical damage

- [Fortify Support]. Gives good damage and guaranteed permanent fortify. Fortify gives 20% less damage taken from hits) All the damage reduction we can get will make the build feel smoother for being in enemies and bosses faces. Each quality gives 0.5% increased attack damage.

- [Impale Support] 40% chance to impale and significant impale effect. The damage this gem gives wont show up on the tooltip But I assure you it is more damage. Quality on this gem gives impale effect, make 20 quality a priority. Make sure if your using this gem that you have the impale nodes in the passive tree and have dread banner active.

- [Brutality Support] 60% More physical damage, but makes it so we cant do anything but physical damage. The tooltip might go slightly down if you have alot of phys as extra chaos or elemental damage, but with impale, the loss is more than compensated for. Quality gives 0.5% increased physical damage.

- [Pulverize Support] ~60% Area damage and a significant amount of AoE. The tradeoff is 15% less attack speed. With pulverize support being buffed in 3.8, it became worth the attack speed penalty. Quality gives 0.5% increased area damage.

RESERVATIONS: (4 link and Standalone)


- [Flesh and Stone] Blind reduces hit chance by half, but with kaom's roots, we cant evade, meaning blinding enemies is functionally useless. Really the only benifit comes while in blood stance for the 16% increased damage taken by maimed enemies. If you have a lvl 4 enlighten you can try supporting this with maim support to increase your damage to nearby enemies even more (Maim support linked to flesh and stone increases the reservation) You'd either have to gain an additional socket or drop vaal haste.

- [Pride] gives nearby enemies increased physical damage taken if they are close to us, up to 39% at lvl 20. This damage is as effective as another link in our ground slam, but it wont show up on tooltip. This aura reserves 50% of our mana. Each quality gives 1% AoE, which helps if you need to stand farther away due to deadly effects.

- [Dread banner] We mostly use this for the 20% chance to impale and the impale effect. I tend to forget to pick the banner up after I place it, which means I lose this bonus, so I just always have it reserving mana. Placing the banner only really gives fortify effect which will make us only slightly tankier. This banner reserves 10% mana. Quality on this gem gives 0.5% effect of the banner

- [Enlighten Support] In order to fit the last (Blood and sand) aura we need an enlighten as we would have only 5% of our mana unreserved without it. A lvl 3 enlighten is perfectly fine, and quality on this gem doesn't matter (as it only makes it gain xp faster and lvl 3 is 'max').

- [Blood and Sand] Reserves 10% of our mana and gives us either 15% AoE or 15% more damage. The AoE difference with Sand stand is almost unnoticable, so staying in blood stance permanently is what I do. Feel free to try both. This gem (or dread banner) dont need to be linked with enlighten as long as the other is. This is the last priority aura, so if you have to drop one then drop this one. Quality gives cooldown recovery speed for switching between stances, which doesnt matter as you shouldn't be switching multiple times in succession


- [Leap Slam] With the changes to this skill in 3.7, it attacks faster and wont fail to attack if your cursor is too far away. Quality on this gem gives 1% stun duration, and levels give 1% stun duration and base damage. Neither quality nor level actually matter for this gem.

- [Faster Attacks] is absolutely essential for fast mapping as leap slam is the entirety of our mobility. Faster attacks is more leaps per second. Quality gives 0.5% attack speed each. A level 11 20quality faster attacks is the same as a level 20 with no quality. Make quality a priority.

- [Blood magic] This allows us to spam leap slam without taking all our mana which may prevent us from using ground slam. It also allows us to get out of danger when out of mana. We can even leech mana with this if we run out while in no regen maps. Level and quality both reduce the life cost of leap slam.

CWDT SETUP: (2 link)

- [Cast When Damage Taken Support] will free cast linked skills so long as the supported skill requires the same or lower level that the CWDT does. I have 7k life and so keep CWDT at lvl 14 (casts with just under 2k damage taken). I suggest a lower level for lower life totals, as the higher the gem the less often it will proc. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to the level requirement of both this gem and the supported one. Do not let the supported skill outlevel this or it will no longer free cast. Quality on this gem gives 0.5% increased damage with supported skills which does litterally nothing for us

- [Steelskin] I chose steelskin instead of immortal call because I dont want to lose my endurance charges while im mapping. only takes one perfectly timed hit to oneshot without endurance charges. Steelskin gives 70% damage reduction untill the total damage the skill shields against is consumed. I keep this at lvl 18 to get the most effect from my lvl 14cwdt, and at this lvl it shields against 1711 damage.

- [Immortal Call] Not all that bad if you dont mind having to constantly be running out of endurance charges. You could theoretically save it to manually cast too. Do whatever.

* Since we dont stack armour in this build, molten shell isn't worth it.
* Right click on the plus sign under the minimap to make the gem-up message go away. At the bottom of your inventory is that message should you choose to level it up again.


- [Vaal Haste] We only use this gem for the vaal version. Activating this skill will give 31% attack speed and 13% movespeed for 4 seconds without the need to reserve anything. It should be noted that the soul gain prevention of this skill is a cooldown on gaining charges, and other vaal skills share this cooldown, so generally you should save all vaal skills to hit at once. Spreading out when you use the skills means the others will take far longer to be usable again. Quality on this gem only gives area of effect meaning party members can gain this buff from farther away. quality doesnt change anything in any way for solo play. THIS GEM REQUIRES 155 DEX AT LVL 20.


- [Vaal Ancestral Warchief Totem] The vaal version of the skill gives 32% MORE damage, and the skill inherently can have 2 totems active. The skill being able to save 2 charges means we can hit this twice for 64% MORE damage for boss deletion. This skill shares soul gain prevention with vaal haste, but nothing prevents you from hitting both at the same time for absurd burst damage. I generally don't suggest you waste time casting the non vaal version of this skill.

- [Blood Rage] This should typically only be used for the map, although it will likely remain active when you enter the bosses arena. We mostly use this for frenzy charge generation on kill. If you don't waste time when you go into the arena then the frenzy charges should still be up allowing you to delete the boss. You can choose to hit this in boss fights where there are a lot of boss minions so you can retain your frenzy charges. The issue with blood rage is it takes 4% of your life per second which can really add up when you have to wait in-between boss phases.


- Between tombfist and kaom's roots there aren't additional gem slots in my suggested setup. As mentioned you can link maim support to flesh and stone.
- If your using rare gloves or rare boots and have extra slots you can fit a curse setup such as vulnerability, enfeeble, or temporal chains. However Tombfists with curse on hit enfeeble or temporal chains is a very good defensive bonus and usually less than 30 chaos. It should be noted that you can only apply one curse to an enemy, so you'll either use curse on hit implicit gloves OR something like orb of storms, cwdt, curse on hit, and your selected curse (only the orb of storms and CWDT need to be about level 1 to be free cast, the curse on hit and curse should be leveled to lvl 20.) You can choose to manually cast curses but this will significantly hurt the potential clear speed having to stop and cast.
- You can use vulnerability and blasphemy support to cast the curse as an aura in trade for reserving mana. You must use 4 socket gloves and drop vaal haste to do this. THIS ONLY WORKS IF YOU HAVE A VULNERABILITY IMPRESENCE (amulet).

- If you simply cant stand using portal scrolls you can drop vaal haste for this. Idk why some people love it so much


* Prioritize capping resists, and getting high life on items before worrying
about damage (with the exception of the weapons) High life total is the
single biggest form of mitigation (assuming res capped). 6k life should be
easily obtainable. You'll need roughly 110 dex from items alone unless you
want to let the dex gems stay a lower level.


JEWELS: (The only REQUIRED uniques, use 2)

- These jewels generate endurance charges, giving us some when we stun enemies (we will naturally stun lower health enemies because we hit so hard). The increased angle means instead of being a cone, it will expand to be a semi-circle that reaches even behind us. It wont increase the range. This is absolutely essential for our clear speed and defense

*Note that if you want to do Atziri, you need to take out these jewels so
you can ensure you only hit one Atziri image at once, unless you want to
oneshot yourself on the one holding the mirror.

- If you have exalts to spare, you can get a watchers eye with the "Impales last 2 additional hits while affected by pride" mod. This is 20% MORE damage for a single jewel socket in the tree. Additional Watcher's eye mods are "Chance to deal double damage with pride" which is 8-12% MORE damage.
* Note that the 40-60% increased attack damage while affected with pride has WAY less effectiveness because of our just shy of 900% increased damage. It will net at MOST 8% more damage, based on how much strength you have and the roll on the jewel. Admittedly this is still more damage than a rare.

- The 3rd jewel can be a rare with life, resists, and/or damage stats. Either a 'normal' jewel or eye jewel work perfectly well.

- For the socket in your tombfist, socket a murderous eye jewel. I suggest
flat life along with some damage stat like flat physical damage to attacks
or axe attacks. Resists are fine.


*Rare helmet with high life and resists, and maybe a dex or int roll.

*Starkonja's Head; has life, attack speed, and up to 70 dex potentially solving all dex problems. It just has no resists. It's commonly enchanted so even enchanted it should be relatively cheap.

- Enchant is by no means required (I dont use one) but 40% Ground slam damage or increased Ground slam angle (basically makes it a full circle around you instead of most of one) are good options.

- The temple mods "x% of physical damage taken as ______ (Lightning/cold/fire) damage" can be very useful for mitigating physical damage, as that 9-10% would have 75% damage reduction (from resists) applied to it. It's even a hybrid mod, coming with t1 res of the corresponding element.

- Using jagged fossils you can get the mod "Nearby enemies take 9% increased physical damage" Which acts multiplicitively with everything but intimidate from the tombfists (It's still basically 9% more damage) I suggest you focus more on getting resists but do what you want.
* Note this mod is a suffix, meaning its competing with resistances and stats for room on the item.


* Tombfist: These gloves have up to 6% life and an abyssal socket, Most importantly, it is corrupted frequently, So enfeeble or temporal chains curse on hit implicits are cheap. Vulnerability curse on hit gloves are usually a few exalts but are BiS for bossing as temp chains almost doesn't affect bosses such as shaper and uber elder. Socket it with a murderous eye jewel to intimidate enemies (which despite saying they take increased damage, it actually acts multiplicitively with your damage increases making it a 10% more damage multiplier)

* Rare with life and resists, with maybe some attack speed or flat phys damage depending on your budget. Even Spiked gloves with 20% implicit melee damage, some flat phys and some attack speed will not give you as much damage as tombfists will.


* Kaom's Roots: They give up to 200 life, and immunity to stun and freeze (even tho it states cannot be slowed below base value, this applies to freezes as 0 speed is below base value) A corruption implicit of %life is rather cheap as people tend to prefer + max charges, but either work well. I have boots with implicit 6% life. While it has no movespeed, that doesnt affect clear speed as the entirety of our movement comes from spamming leap slam which is unaffected by movespeed.

* Rare Boots: Life, resists and even some movespeed are fine if you really want the gem slots or movespeed. Be aware that Kaom's roots give more life than a rare can. You just have to be above 25 rage to be immune to stun, and you have to run a freeze flask.


* Belly of the Beast: High life and some resists. This is the ideal option for a mid range budget

* For super budget use a rare 5link (good through shaper) or a tabula rasa.

* Fossil crafted rares can give almost as much life total and more total resists than belly of the beast, and elder bases especially so with an elder 12% life roll, upwards of 125 flat life, and 8% crafted life. Fossil crafted chests got nerfed in 3.9, so belly of the beast will in most cases be better. This can be expensive to craft and more expensive to buy, especially if you want a ton of resists. Do NOT try crafting one of these chests on anything lower than ilvl 86, and its very highly suggested you get a 6link base before you craft it to give you less of a headache.
*NOTE: This rare chest I linked gives me almost exactly as much life as a 40% belly of the beast. If your chest has less life than this then belly of the beast will be better. (this chest is now legacy, but elder chests can still have more life than this)

Carcass Jack will give damage, AoE, some resists and a little life. I dont suggest you use this as the chest slot Is our biggest source of life, but its an option.


* Rare with high life and resists. Life or global physical damage are viable implicits, with a stygian vise being the best and most expensive (rare) option. (Gotta have a decent jewel in it too)

* Doryani's Invitation: The PHYSICAL version of this belt gives resists for each element, life leech, physical damage, and 25% reduced stun threshhold during any flask effect. Very good belt if you want more stuns, except it doesnt have any life.


* Rare with high life, and dex/int. Physical damage to attacks, global physical damage (fossil mod) and resists are all viable stats. Importance is to res cap and have enough stats to use the items and gems.

* Carnage heart. This unique amulet gives a ton of int and dex, and some all res, life leech and damage while leeching. Only bad thing about it is it doesn't give much life (only what comes from the 50ish strength) Cheap amulet until you can afford a better rare.

* Impresense: Life, flat physical damage, and 100% reduced mana reservation of Vulnerability (THERE ARE DIFFERENT VERSIONS, MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT ONE)


If I had to choose specific options, these are what I think are most useful

Utmost swiftness: 40 Dex and 8% increased Dex to solve dex problems

Ambidexterity: 50% main hand weapon damage and 20% off hand attack speed.
Master of Force: 20% physical damage, 4% chance to deal double damage, and 5% physical damage 'penetration'. This is probably the highest damage passive you can anoint.

Cruel preparation: 10% life and 5% all res
Herbalism: 10% life, 20% more life recovery from flasks, 20% faster flask recovery

Charisma: 8% reduced mana reserve and 6% effect of auras

Soul of steel: 1% max res and 5% physical damage reduction.
Vigour/Endurance: +1 endurance charge

It really comes down to if you want utility, damage, life, or damage reduction

* I want to note I'm not sure the cost for whispers of doom is worth it, being a pure physical build and thus only having vulnerability as a high damage curse


* Rare rings with life, resists, and if you can, damage stats. Steel rings are ideal and you can craft them using essences of contempt to have the implicit and a normal roll of flat physical damage to attacks. Buying good ones is generally pretty expensive. (More expensive than crafting)

* Thief's Torment. While this unique ring disables the other ring slot, it gives some all resist and A TON of life on hit. (each enemy hit gives life, a pack basically insta heals you) It also gives up to 16% quantity of items found which does mean more currency and items will drop. Without any life, this item will not give as much functional value as rare rings but it is an option should you choose to use it.



- Dual wielding has hidden bonuses a lot of players don't know about
* 20% MORE attack speed
* 20% MORE PHYSICAL damage (Note only phys is affected)
* 15% Increased chance to block attacks

- There are absolutely no penalties for the offhand when dual wielding, they both do full damage. Generally which weapon is in which hand wont affect dps, this is unless you have some kind of bonus that applies to only one hand specifically (Ambidexterity is an example, which we don't have unless you anoint)
- The attacks alternate which weapon is used for the damage scaling, so you have to attack with both weapons before you can attack again with the first weapon.

* Rare axes are ideal. Axes in general have more pdps than maces AND are picked up more making them cheaper. Flat added physical damage (Like from the ground slam gem or on jewelry) is more effective the more attack speed you have (Because its a fixed number added to every attack) Because you get to apply that flat physical more times a second. This is why one handed weapons give more dps than 2 handed even if each hit with a 2 handed weapon is harder.
* Because we dont care about accuracy or crit chance, we can exclusively use pdps (Physical DPS) as a measure of how good our weapon is. I killed The Shaper with 250 pdps axes which at the time were worth 2-4chaos (only a week into league). With a few exalts to spare you should be able to get 400pdps axes for around 2ex or less each depending on how far into the league it is.

- We dual wield for the attack speed it can give us. This is also the reason we choose axes over maces which tend to be slower. Swords, daggers, and claws don't work with ground slam. Maces have less damage available to them in the tree.

* Soul Taker: A relatively high pdps unique axe with no downsides and lets you attack if you have no mana. Overall not a bad choice until you can afford much higher damage rares.

* Jack, the axe: This is a very cheap unique axe with over 250 pdps. The trade-off is that it reduces our leech rate by 50%, so only ever use one, and aim to replace it quickly. Its only really worth getting the first 24-48 hours of a league where good axes dont exist yet.

- There is a neat pdps box in both poe.trade and pathofexile.com/trade. Simply filter for one handed axes and put the desired pdps in the box


- To calculate pdps, add the low end of the damage range and The high end of the damage range, then divide that number by two. example: (145+277)/2 = 211. That number is the average damage per hit. Just take the damage per hit and multiply by the attacks per second example: (211*1.2) = 253.2. That number is the pdps of the weapon (pdps is entirely calculated off of physical damage, but you can use the elemental damage range to get the edps (elemental dps))


- Life flask(s). You can either use a catalysed eternal life flask or a Bubbling divine life flask (Which heals less, but is instant) depending on preference. (I suggest eternal because we have so much life) This flask should have immune to bleeding as its the ailment that kills us the fastest.

- When your health approaches 7k+ life you should probably use a unique life flask which heals you to full. Forbidden taste can instantly heal you to full but then gives a 4 sec life degen as chaos damage which can get you killed. Blood of the Karui takes time before it actually heals you. Either work and have their trade offs.

- Lion's Roar gives up to 25% more phys multiplier for your ground slam. For bosses immune to knockback this is an incredible damage increase. The issue with this flask is that it gives knockback and you do less damage to farther enemies meaning you can actually lose damage for hitting the flask. This isnt necessarily bad tho as some enemies like red beasts can be very deadly in melee range meaning you can keep things at bay, using the flask purely for the defense the range gives. Overall a very useful flask although the build functions perfectly fine without it.

- A basalt flask gives 15% physical damage reduction which is very good as generally you'll die to mostly physical damage. You can put curse or freeze immunity on this flask. Note this flask can be used with Taste of Hate.

- Taste of hate is a very good flask. It gives 20% cold damage reduction, which is nice considering that both Elder and Shaper do predominantly cold damage for most of their attacks. With 75% cold resist, 20% cold damage reduction, and 20% of physical damage taken as cold, its effectively a 16% physical damage reduction flask. It also gives up to 20% phys as extra cold, which with brutality support doesn't matter. Can be expensive depending on how old the league is, and Lion's Roar I think has a higher priority.

- A quartz flask gives 10% attack and 10% spell dodge. This averages out to 10% damage reduction but it can take a hit that would have well over one-shot you and make it do no damage.

* Since we don't crit with resolute technique we don't use a diamond flask.


- I chose Soul of Lunaris and Soul of Gruthkul for the physical damage reduction they give.
- Soul of Shakari with The Immunity to poison unlocked is nice.
- Pantheon is entirely personal preference and matters little.


- Uber Elder: Keep going in circles around the edge of the arena, the bosses fire projectiles and doing this ensures you dont get hit often. During the portal phases hit your blood rage to get frenzy charges, Go in circles around the portal(s)
- Shaper: For some reason the boss in the second interphase likes to oneshot you if you aproach it head-on, be careful how you approach him. Shaper himeslf turns slow, and if your really close he'll prioritize a low damage melee attack. Run very close circles around him, dodge when necessary.
- Drox: Assuming you've grabbed an appropriate amount of physical damage mitigate, the only time he can oneshot you is if he does two slams back to back, and your standing in the overlapping zone. If you see a slam coming its a good idea to not tank if if possible, just to be safe.
- Baran: He does lightning damage. His slam wont kill you, but his overlapping circles can if you just stand still. Don't stand in the highlighted squares in the arena, they disable your leech and you will die. Hes probably the most annoying boss for melee.
- Al-Hezmin: I suggest the immune to poison pantheon upgrade (Soul of Shakari) When doing this fight. Don't stand in the middle triangle. run a lap if you need to dodge, stay on him if you can, he likes to dash away, stay on him when he does. Its his snakes that do the most damage. Grab some chaos res or a poison flask or something to make this easier, he does predominantly chaos damage.
- Veritania: The two attacks most likely to kill you are when: 1) She does a spin and spawns tornados that can shotgun. DO NOT STAND CLOSE TO HER. She'll say a line before she does it. 2) She channels ice spears that can stun and freeze if you dont have kaom's roots. walk or leapslam around when doing this so they dont hit you, they will kill you. She will say a line before doing this as well. Her storm can be outleeched, but you wont be able to see what she is doing, so be careful if you want to enter the storm.
- Sirus: The hardest part about him is moving his storms. He'll spawn a storm between phases that chases you, get it off him somehow then stand directly under him again and he'll move to the next phase and the storms wont continue chasing you. Once you phase him get very far away very fast, the storm instantly start doing damage and you'll probably die. The storms do alot of chaos damage, so getting some res helps (you dont need to be capped, ~0% is fine) If you don't know how this boss works, you will fail. Watch a youtube guide or something.


* We are able to attack so much faster with dual wielding axes (Especially siege axes) than with 2handed weapons. The dual wielding version will simply be more mobile. Because of how much faster we attack, we are able to apply our large amount of flat physical damage to attacks (flat physical not found on weapons) more times each second, and we get 20% MORE physical damage just for dual wielding. When it comes to a 2handed (non-legacy) rare weapon then dual wielding is simply better.

* 2handers have high damage per hit, making it easier to stun. Most of the stun threshold passive nodes worth grabbing are for MACES. Grabbing these nodes means you simply aren't getting as much damage from the tree. The only reason this would be beneficial is if you are able to stun-lock bosses, which gives an immeasurable defense due to the boss being unable to attack. (Mastermind and some other boss fights are immune to stun meaning this investment in those specific cases is wasted)


* Stunning has some complex math I literally don't care enough to try explaining here. As an over simplification, whether a hit stuns is based on how much of the monster's health was removed from a single hit and what type of damage it was (Physical damage naturally has a higher chance to stun). Reduced enemy stun threshold lowers the amount of life that needs to be taken from that hit for a stun to be applied.

* Only average damage PER HIT is important for stunning, game doesn't give a crap how much dps you have. Impale which is so much damage counts as reflected damage, not as a hit that can 'trigger' anything, so it doesn't contribute to stunning at all. For the purposes of stunning impale is useless.

* The challenge is to have enough damage per hit, combined with enough reduced enemy stun threshold, while being able to impale. Its because of that damage per hit that 2handers need to be used.

* No matter how you look at it, if you want to reliably stun lock bosses, you have to sacrifice damage. Being able to gain endurance charges through extended boss fights should make you tankier, which is the main reason for doing this. But longer boss fights give you more opportunities to screw up

* I couldn't warrant the damage loss to be able to reliably stun luck shaper.

If you did or didn't enjoy the build, please comment so I can know what to improve and other players can make a better decision as to play it or not.

* I dont mind answering questions in game, within reason.
Last edited by Ekule731 on Jan 5, 2020, 12:01:26 PM
Last bumped on Jan 28, 2020, 7:23:25 AM
Can you post the skills tree plz
Hey Ekule! Thanks for sharing your build! I'm kinda of a new player and have a question. Isn't getting a 21/23 vaal ground slam strictly better than a regular 21/23? I have the option to use the vaal skill but if we don't it's the same gem right? Thank you
Xibanga wrote:
Hey Ekule! Thanks for sharing your build! I'm kinda of a new player and have a question. Isn't getting a 21/23 vaal ground slam strictly better than a regular 21/23? I have the option to use the vaal skill but if we don't it's the same gem right? Thank you

Im not OP, but yes Vaal GS is strictly better at same lvl and same quality as regular GS

Vaal GS is pretty amazing overall, huge AoE, good dmg, guaranteed stuns

use it and abuse it!
Xibanga wrote:
Hey Ekule! Thanks for sharing your build! I'm kinda of a new player and have a question. Isn't getting a 21/23 vaal ground slam strictly better than a regular 21/23? I have the option to use the vaal skill but if we don't it's the same gem right? Thank you

The actual ground slam portion of the vaal gem is in fact identical to the normal version. If you would prefer to have the option to use the vaal version then yes the vaal gem is better.
Patrozor wrote:
Can you post the skills tree plz

I didnt realize there was a way to specifically link a clickable url when I made the initial build guide. It has been updated with the final suggested passive tree and passive tree states for different levels. Different viable versions of the passive tree are a work in process
Giving this build a try, don't really have any question atm, nice guide. Keep us updated on your progress this league OP !
Last edited by blaupe on Sep 9, 2019, 1:26:40 PM
Great guide, thank you for this! :)
Great guide. As I like ground slam I'll give it a try.

A question about watcher's eye:
Would the watcher's eye with "xx % increased physical attack damage" not be much stronger? This can go up to over 50 % extra physical attack damage which should be a big dmg boost.
I always wanted to do a ground slam build. And i will give this a try!
But since I have a really insane 2H Axe I wanted to ask if it would be possible to go for a 2H aswell. OFC with changes in the Passive Tree.

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