[3.21] Melee Frenzy Champion - Fast Tanky Bosskiller, 50k Armor 5M+ DPS
Welcome to my Melee Frenzy Champion. This build revolves around using the skill Frenzy and uses Impale+high physical damage to scale and attack/move quickly. The build is designed as a boss killer and should be able to deal with most bosses.
Here is your short introduction of your build, for what it is designed for and what it is capable of.
This build was born in 3.7.0 Legion, the melee league where it was, unfortunately, horrible at Legion due to it's nature. However, it has been able to take down the bosses during Legion and was competent at most other content during that time. Now in Crucible, the build has been recreated using the new items to get even stronger to take on the new bosses.
Pros & Cons
+ Fast and responsive
+ Good bosskiller
+ Relatively tanky
- Is melee, you have to take hits which may require different approaches for more difficult encounters
- On the expensive side if you do decide to go for the more endgame options
- Slow at clearing maps, bad AoE
- Gear dependent, not recommended as a league starter as it requires a critical mass of defense and damage to survive
We are using Axes for this build because we are using Soul Taker and as such taking axe nodes become a better option for us
Prioritize fast attacking weapons with high physical damage. An axe like the one above was bought for about 4c 1 week into the league. If we don't have Soul Taker yet just get a second one + Lifetap and proceed with the build.
For upgrades, just get better versions of the weapon above. Higher attack speed, higher pdps and possible Impale effect on an Elder Siege Axe.
We need an Armor base due to the Armor mastery for +1% max elemental resistance but also want Evasion as we scale it slightly better with our Frenzy Charge stacking. Also, we need a 6link so any garbage armor with resistances will do as we aren't speccing into Soul of Steel until later.
The above item was crafted via Essence of Greed spam and lasted all the way to the current one in the showcase (which was crafted via Fossil spam for Chaos Resistance). For an endgame piece a well rolled Triumphant Lamellar with +2 Maximum Resistances as well as Fortify on Melee Hit is ideal with explosion being optional.
A junk 4L corrupted gloves with +1 to Frenzy Charges is usable as a starter item to shore up our damage. Preferably it should have some form of token Life/Resistances.
The above gloves were bought for 4c early into the league solely for the +1 to Frenzy Charges. A synthesized pair like the one in the showcase for +1 to Frenzy Charges is much more easily rolled and acquired into something decent but the ideal item will be a pair of Warlord gloves with both +1 to Frenzy Charges and Culling Strike.
The ideal Lab Enchant will be Commandment of Force as it improves our low frontloaded damage/AoE and can also assist in stacking/proccing Impales on bosses.
Nothing special here, just use Darkray Vectors which is the best option for the +1 to Frenzy Charges as well as scaling Evasion Rating per Frenzy Charge.
Our ideal enchantment will either be 16% attack speed after killing recently to keep up the tempo when mapping or 2% regen when hit recently to shore up or defenses.
A well rolled Armor/Evasion helmet is ideal here with the Frenzy damage per Frenzy Charge enchant. Frenzy is pretty underused as a main damage skill so a decent base shouldn't be too difficult to acquire. Look for Life/Resistances here as usual.
Ideally we would have some kind of Elder helmet with Nearby enemies take 9% increased physical damage but that's pretty unnecessary and something like the one in the showcase is good enough
Any belt that gives us life/resistances is good enough.
Ideally we want some kind of better rolled Stygian Vise than the one above with a Murderous Eye Jewel rolled for Life, added phys and Impale Effect. Otherwise, just substitute with any belt that gives defences.
Impresence anointed with Frenetic is the best option here as Vulnerability helps to increase physical damage taken while Frenetic allocates the faraway Frenzy Charge near the Shadow area so that we do not need to spend points to spec into it.
A better option (shudders) will involve corrupting a full powered version for +1 curse (or rolling it on the chest) to reserve Temporal Chains/Enfeeble/Punishment as a second curse but this is severe overkill and definitely not needed.
Grab Life/Resistances here. Bonus points if the rings have Added Phys on them.
At the endgame, we aim to have 10 maximum Frenzy Charges to match our 10 minimum Endurance Charges from the tree and 3x Grand Spectrums. As such, a well rolled Precursor's Emblem or Synthesized Ring is ideal in this slot but is optional and very expensive to get.
This build allocates 5 Jewel slots naturally but requires 9 to become fully operational in the endgame. As such, Cluster Jewels are there for Run Through (which caps our Impale chance and gives us Impale effect) as well as providing more Jewel slots for us to use.
The above Jewels were crafted by buying the base then alt+regaling. You can choose to get a large amount of Chaos Resistance here as shown in the showcase for gear or aim to get more notables for more damage.
All of the Unique Jewels can be substituted for good Rare Jewels with Life and other useful modifiers. Only make the swap to 3x Grand Spectrum+Forbidden Flame/Flesh once all the items are acquired as the Grand Spectrums require Masterful Form allocated to function.
Main DPS Setup
Frenzy - Impale - (Awakened) Multistrike - (Awakened) Melee Physical Damage - (Awakened) Brutality - Lifetap
Do not play this build if you do not have a 6L armor. Especially early on, the build severely lacks damage and as such requires a Tabula or junk 6L to be used to shore up the early damage.
Frenzy - (Awakened) Multistrike - (Awakened) Melee Physical Damage - (Awakened) Brutality - Close Combat - Endurance Charge on Melee Stun/Lifetap
We do not use Impale support at the endgame since we are capping Impale chance with 2x Run Through cluster jewels and we are already stacking a large amount of Impale effect. Endurance Charge on Melee Stun should only be used with 3x Grand Spectrum + Forbidden Flame/Flesh for Masterful Form while Lifetap should be used if we still do not have a Soul Taker. Awakened Melee Phys and Brutality are notable at lv5 as they are our main source of Intimidate and Crush which can be applied very reliably given how quickly we are attacking enemies.
Pride - Herald of Purity - Arctic Armour
Flesh and Stone can be used in place of AA but I prefer Maim on AW/AP totems instead
Dread Banner - Blasphemy (lvl 6) - Vulnerability - Arrogance
Blasphemy level is kept low to keep the Int requirement of the build low at 70 (if a level 21 Vulnerability is acquired). We can hit 70 Int via getting max rolled implicit on Impresence and crafting 30 Int on a piece of gear.
CwDT (lvl1) - Cold Snap (lvl 7) - Vaal Molten Shell (lvl 10) - Lifetap (lvl 1)
Cold Snap slows faraway enemies hitting us while (Vaal) Molten Shell keeps us alive. Blood Rage can be used in place of Cold Snap but I don't fancy putting further strain on the current defensive layers in place. Lifetap is kept at a low level so the buff procs whenever the setup is triggered giving us more health restored by our flask.
Ancestral Protector - Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Multiple Totems - Maim
Ancestral totems are DPS boosts vs bosses as well as helping in clearing groups of enemies. Maim helps to debuff the enemies so that they take more damage. If Flesh and Stone is being used, replace Maim with a different gem like (Awakened) Melee Physical Damage/Brutality or something similar.
Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Culling Strike
Mobility + Culling. Also Leap Slam's stun helps buy a bit of time against enemies when you slam into them to hit them with Frenzy.
Most of the gear serves some specific purpose as Frenzy itself has several inherent problems that have to be solved. As such, I will explain how each piece of gear works to solve a problem with Frenzy.
Problem 1: Manacost
If you have ever played Frenzy, the first issue that comes up is the insane mana cost. With a base 10 mana cost whose rate of consumption ramps up as you continuously use it. The payoff, however, is that speccing into Frenzy Charges gives us a huge more multiplier to Damage and Attack Speed if we are able to sustain its continuous use. To counteract this downside, we are using Soul Taker to ignore the extremely large mana cost of the skill.
Budget solutions: Lifetap Support. We do lose approximately half a link worth of damage but since Soul Taker is prohibitively expensive this is an option until one is acquired.
Problem 2: Defense
Being melee, we are pretty much required to stand still and hit bosses/enemies. As such, we requite some form of baseline defense and mitigation layers to ensure that we can survive taking at least some amount of hits. To do this, we use a Cast when Damage Taken setup with Vaal Molten Shell to get a buffer as we approach a group of enemies while Vaal Molten Shell will act as a panic button if things get spicy. Additionally, as the build is stretched pretty thin due to the required pathing for Frenzy Charges, the life pool is much lower and requires mitigation to increase the overall EHP. As such, Fortify on hit on the Chest Armor as well as Maximum Resistances help reduce incoming damage while Arctic Armour helps reduce our damage taken while we are standing still and attacking.
However, do ensure that Chaos Resistance is capped or close to capped. Use an Amethyst Flask if required as the build's life pool is limited on the endgame version and a hole in the mitigation layers will ensure that any significant Chaos Damage is a death sentence.
Other Options: 3 Grand Spectrums are used in the endgame version with Masterful Form on Forbidden Flesh/Flame to grab 10 Endurance Charges for the resistance and physical mitigation while enabling the use of Endurance Charge on Melee Stun as a strong support gem option. This, however, is very expensive and should only be considered in the endgame.
Another option (especially early on) is to spec into a Fortify Mastery early on to gain easy access to Fortify. This is also possible on the endgame build if you do decide to shift points around into it.
The build also specs into instant leech mastery from the leech cluster, rounding up the trifecta of recovery via Instant Leech, regular Leech and regen with support from our life flask.
Arrogance Support on Dread Banner + Blasphemy
This may look weird if you don't know the interaction but we are abusing how Arrogance interacts with Impresence and Inspirational. As Impresence and Inspirational reduce the reservation of Dread Banner and Vulnerability to zero, we are abusing Arrogance here to get some free aura effect on them. This notably puts Vulnerability at 135% curse effect (if Anomalous) making it as strong as though it were selfcast and Dread Banner at over 60% aura effect with counteracts the -60% aura effect map mod ensuring the Endgame Impale chance is kept at 100% despite that mod.
Ascendancy Order: Master of Metal > Conqueror > Worthy Foe > Inspirational
Early Game Tree: poeurl.com/dRry
Our focus here is to get our Impale clusters up to enable it. Master of Metal is rushed as well so we can start scaling it up. Tribal Fury is also specced into relatively early to shore up our total lack of AoE.
Midgame Tree: poeurl.com/dRrx
Grabbing more life/damage/defensive layers.
Endgame Tree: poeurl.com/dRrw
This can be used while we still do not have the cluster jewels up. Just grabbing more damage/life on the tree. Poison immunity can be acquired via the armor/evasion mastery and if you feel more life is needed you can unallocate some of the QoL nodes
Endgame Tree (with cluster jewels): poeurl.com/dRrr
We require 2 Axe/Sword Large Cluster Jewels with Run Through. This will allow us to get all the required Jewel Sockets for the 3x Grand Spectrums+Forbidden Flame/Flesh.
First to Strike, Last to Fall > Inspirational - possible but you need to get reservation reduction to fit in everything.
Fortify Mastery - Just move 1-2 points around to get to the nearest node and allocate it. It's not bad especially early on when we don't have enough mitigation layers.
This build excels in 1 on 1 combat. As such, when faced with a large group of mobs that cannot be instantly dispatached, their numbers should be slowly trimmed down into a more manageable amount. If you are not careful, content like Incursion where multiple enemies can hit you from range at once can lead to a swift death, as can jumping recklessly into a group of enemies. Leap Slam can give you a little bit of breathing room by stunning all the nearby enemies, letting you start the process of trimming down enemy numbers while the Ancestral Totems (Especially Vaal Ancestral Warchief) can help trim down numbers and occupy enemies you are unable to immediately address.
Against bosses, if they do not do big hits that can oneshot you (eg. Shaper slam, Exarch oneshot, Redeemer tornado at point blank range), you can pretty much just sit next to them and hold down Frenzy. The build can easily take on their small hits with all the defensive layers and quickly shrug off their damage via the recovery layers.
I would recommend getting most of the Minor God Pantheons as well as Solaris/Lunaris as the Major Gods as both are good in different situations.
Lunaris is better in Maps where you will be jumping into large groups of enemies frequently while Solaris is better against Bosses where you will be fighting them one on one. I put Lunaris as default and swap to Solaris if I'm going for a bossing marathon.
Most of them can be justified easily depending on the content you are currently running. Here are the better ones.
Tukohama - my default go to as regen+phys mitigation while standing still gives us bigger leeway leading to more DPS uptime against bosses.
Shakari - MVP for early in the build as poison is a big problem while we do not have Chaos Resistance capped. Still usable in the endgame if there are bosses with large amounts of poison/chaos damage (eg. Hunter)
Abberath - I hate the Colonnade boss. Also very good against Searing Exarch.
Grukthul - Pretty decent sometimes in Maven's Invitation. Can give you a bit of breathing room.
Here I will list the map mods/bosses/content we have trouble doing, on a scale of slightly annoying to a death sentence.
Redeemer - I SHALL FREE YOU, MY ARENA GETS SO SMALL THAT YOU MUST EAT THE COLD DOT... Very troublesome. If you are unable to kill her quickly the arena getting smaller as the fight progresses will pretty much screw over your DPS uptime on her while the point blank tornadoes are straight up deadly to you. You probably need an additional Sapphire Flask for her as not killing her fast will necessitate standing in the cold AoE just to hit her. Avoid if possible. Death Sentence
Legion - Yes, the build was born in Legion. Yes it was extremely horrible at it. Just block it and move on. Annoying
Breach - Slightly better than Legion. However our lack of AoE means we struggle to get any significant amount of kills while being exposed to multiple enemies we may not be able to dispatch quickly making this dangerous too. Recommended to Block. Annoying
Delirium - Slightly dangerous. However, we struggle to keep up a high killcount just like Breach and Legion. However, it's still rewarding enough and the dangers can be mitigated decently enough that speccing into it should be fine. Be careful with this
Instant Death Tier
Phys Reflect - Unless you get reflect mitigation via Crucible just reroll it and move on.
Cannot be Taunted - Say goodbye to a huge chunk of your damage. Since our base accuracy is really bad and we have Taunt synergies on Champion this cuts our damage by at least 50% and opens us up to getting killed more easily. Not recommended to run.
Monsters Steal Charges - If you thought Cannot be Taunted was bad, this is even worse. The instant we get hit (which we are supposed to since we are melee) we lose about 80% of our damage (varies based on how many max FC we have of course) which will pretty much totally brick us. Avoid running.
High Danger Tier
-Max resistance - Our life pool is inherently much lower and due to our nature as a melee build we must expect to take hits. As such we rely heavily on mitigation layers like max res. This mod is very deadly to us especially if paired with phys added as element and makes the map pretty rippy. Overall not recommended to run except in special cases (eg. Chimera as he doesn't really do ele damage).
No Leech - This straight up removes one of our defensive layers. No regen is still doable since Regen is a more minor part of our mitigation but leech is by far the largest one as Molten Shell is worthless if our life pool is too low. Not recommended to run
Phys Resistance - We don't have overwhelm here since the mod sucks anyway and should be thrown into the trash. This makes the map annoying especially if paried with another annoying tier mod as the enemies have much higher EHP against us than normal.
Avoid Impale - Most of our damage actually comes from Impale rather than the base hit which means that this mod invalidates a large chunk of our damage. The map is still doable but the higher EHP of enemies increases our exposure to them giving them more chance to hit us.
Monsters gain HP as ES - Usually fine like the other mods in this tier. However, this mod gets really dangerous against phased bosses or if we are unable to keep up our uptime and let the ES recharge happen (like the Redeemer). Just note this mod and try to prevent the ES recharge whenever possible.
Most other map mods are meh and can be dealt with by the build anyway (eg. Hexproof removing our Vulnerability). Just note the combination of mods as some of the "lesser" mods combined with some of the above mods can make the map very miserable to run.
Currently under construction, more coming soon
Boss Kill Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qghG98LHrOs - Shaper Kill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udAHOTd4eXc - Sirus Kill
Last edited by Shroudless on May 17, 2023, 10:24:57 AM
Last bumped on May 17, 2023, 10:21:55 AM
on Apr 24, 2023, 7:27:55 AM
Reserved. Feel free to put any feedback below. Guide is still under construction and feedback is appreciated.
on Apr 24, 2023, 7:28:30 AM
Very manly build to be able to play true melee in 3.21 XD
on Apr 24, 2023, 7:44:33 AM
No Path of building links?
PoB link is up now.
on May 17, 2023, 10:21:55 AM