[2.5] Baelrog's Abyssal Cry Berserker - Send the whole screen to the Abyss with one attack.

Welcome! Feel free to ask questions.

RIP: As of 3.0 this build no longer works.


When Abyssal Cry was introduced into the game I immediately fell in love with it. The dark theme, the wonderful Boom it makes as enemies explode, dealing unreflectable chaos damage based on monster max life! Sounded too good to be true.. and it was, because at the that time (2.0) Chaos damage scaling was very limited. The disappointment was real. Fortunately the following patch (2.1) introduced more ways to scale Chaos damage - Void Manipulation, Poison, truly wonderful! So I gave it a go, but quickly realized that the 4 second cooldown was too long for it to be used as a main clear skill. Smacked down from my purple cloud of Abyssal destruction, I was forced to abandoned the skill once again.

Then Ascendancy came around the corner and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the Berserker's "War Bringer - 100% increased Warcry Cooldown Recovery Speed". All the pieces of the puzzle where there, this was it, the time had come for an Abyssal Cry build.

  • Build Mechanics

  • Spoiler
    The Concept: The build revolves around scaling Abyssal Cry's "Explosion deals Chaos Damage equal to 8% of the Monster's maximum Life" to exceed 100% of the monster's life as chaos damage, while using Abyssal Cry as a 4-link. This would leave a six-link for a single target skill, which could then be used defensive while also dealing high single target DPS.
    Gameplay plan was: Run in > Abyssal Cry > One-hit a mob > Whole screen explodes.

    Scaling the Chaos Damage: Scaling 8% to exceed 100% requires some planning. To accomplish this we need to make clever use of damage scaling. Using the following links: Abyssal Cry - Void Manipulation - Poison, allows for so-called double dipping. How does this work?: The Poison DoT deals 16% of the initial hit as Chaos damage, so if we scale Chaos damage the initial hit becomes larger. As a result the poison DoT will also become larger. Now, because the Poison DoT is Chaos damage, the +% Chaos Damage modifiers will apply a second time to the Poison DoT. The same is true for "X% increased Chaos damage", "X% increased damage", "X% increased Area Damage", 40% More Damage from the berserker's Aspect of Carnage and a few Frenzy Charges.

    +% Chaos Damage Sources: The nodes picked up at the north-east side of the tree give a total of 201% increased Chaos Damage. Using Breath of the Counsel and Jewels with +% Chaos Damage, +% AoE damage and/or +% Damage, the damage modifier goes up a lot higher (see below).

    Tread carefully beyond this spoiler, some minor math inside.

    • Pro's & Con's

  • Spoiler
    + Good Clear Speed.
    + Good Single Target DPS (300K up to 840K after 4 seconds).
    + Solid Layered Defenses (~3-4% chance to be hit with flasks up)
    + Incredible Movement Speed (Whirling Blades and Leap Slam)
    + One-shots most Bosses with adds.
    + Can reliably run the Uber Labyrinth.
    + Core items are affordable, the build even works well with 4-Links.
    + Can do all Map Mods (Some combinations can still be dangerous).

    - Maximum life is sufficient, but could be better (200% from tree, 5.7K life).
    - Has difficulty with Poison immunity (61 to 86% of single target DPS comes from Poison).
    - Vulnerable to Damage over Time effects (These can not be (Spell) Dodged).
    - Not an ideal league starter.

    ~ Utilizes the following defenses: Evasion/Dodge/Spell Dodge/Enfeeble/Arctic Armour/Fortify.
    ~ Vaal Pact - No Regen drawback is mitigated by healing through the War Bringer Ascendancy.

    • Skilltree & Build Information


    • Skill Tree: The final build uses 114 skill points (level 92).

    Normal Ascension: Crave the Slaugher
    Cruel Ascension: War Bringer
    Merciless Ascension: Aspact of Carnage
    Endgame Ascension: Pain Reaver

    • Gear:
  • The build worked really well with 1 exalt investment. Most of the gear I use is rare, the chest piece, amulet, weapon and a flasks are unique. Later I switched to Atziri's Step boots as well, but this is more an icing on the cake upgrade and only go for this if you got everything else sorted out. It is important to acquire a lot of Intelligence from gear in order to use a high level Enfeeble or Temporal Chains.

    + Weapons: Although any dagger, claw or sword with high attack speed would do, the best options are Dreamfeather combined with Breath of the Counsel. Attack speed is king, because most of the single-target damage will scale from the Added Chaos Support. This is all been calculated.

    Dreamfeather Because this build stacks evasion, which can go up to 66K (with potions, see stats below), Dreamfeather is an excellent main-hand option that also enables Blade Flurry. It has a very high attack speed (1.88), which is important for maximizing Added Chaos benefit. Furthermore, the Attack Damage bonus granted (~140%! at 65K) strongly scales the Added Chaos Suppport. I recommend using one with max attack speed, the physical damage is actually less impactful.

    Breath of the Counsel looks like its made for this build: +80% increased Chaos Damage. 40% increased Chaos Skill Effect Duration will increase the duration of all poisons, which is a significant damage increase. Finally, the 10% Increased AoE is also very noticeable. Very powerful weapon. Physical Damage roll is irrelevant, as it wont be used with BF, consider it a stat stick.

    + Body Armour: Perfect Form is absolutely the best option, because it provides free arctic armour and a huge bonus to Global Evasion Rating when you stack cold resistance. This in turn is translated to damage by Dreamfeather. Alternatively, a good rare evasion Chest or Lightning Coil could be good. Carcass Jack could also be considered, but its significantly less tanky (not worth it IMO).

    + Helmet/Boots/Gloves: For a long time I used high Evasion rares with Life, Resistances (Cold resistance on each piece) and Intelligence (for Enfeeble). Recently switched to Atziri's Step because of the spell dodge it provides.

    + Amulet & Rings: Hinakora's Sight is incredible for this build. This build stacks dodge and spell dodge, and this amulets adds an amazing amount. Also the Accuracy should not be discarded, it actually adds a lot of attack DPS. I also crafted an Elreon ring to ease up the mana strain from BF combined with high attack speed. This example is expensive, but you can get a simpler version for a few chaos. The intelligence on gear is needed for Enfeeble.

    + Jewels: The most important jewel is The Green Nighmare, which should be socketed in the slot directly below the Scion starting point. It gives an additional 9% chance to dodge and Frenzy charge generation on kill. The other 4 slots are filled with jewels that have double-dip modifiers, attack speed and resistances. +% Maximum Life would also be very good, but these jewels are incredibly expensive.

    + Flasks: With these specific Flasks up my evasion is 66K (32K without), 69% chance to dodge attacks, 66% chance to dodge spells. Blinded enemies have another 50% chance to miss. Witchfire Brew is used for the increased damage over time, 100% evasion and blind. Unfortunately, the Vulnerability is wasted because of the 1 curse cap. The +% Damage over Time isn't that significant though (it doesn't double dip), so a well rolled blue Stibnite would work just as well. Its important to roll the blue flasks with the Chemist prefix; this allows for 4 successive uses before emptying, if combined with the Arcane Chemistry node and reduced flask charges used belt suffix.

    + Gem Links: I find Blade Flurry convenient to use because it allows shift-click attacking, and the cumulative damage of the initial hits plus the release make Blade Flurry a good single target skill to initiate the AC chain reaction. Before 2.5 I used earthquake for this purpose, but with the changes where Decreased Durations Support's less multiplier applies to poison duration, this was no longer efficient. Another strong alternative would be spectral throw.

    1# Abyssal Cry Set-up:
    Keep Abyssal Cry at level 1. This will reduce the mana cost significantly and doesn't effect the damage. 20% Quality is recommended because the increased duration will affect the Poison duration.

    2# Blade Flurry Set-up:
    Blade Flurry is focused on single target damage to efficiently initiate the Abyssal Cry chain reaction (responsible for pack clearing). In addition, it has incredible boss-kill potential due to the poison double-dip mechanic. This also mean that the damage has to build up a bit while attacking a single target. Fortunately, standing still and unleashing DPS isnt much of a problem because the build is quite tanky, especially with flasks up. The gems are ordered by importance.

    3# Whirling Blades Set-up:
    Whirling Blades is amazing for general movement and triggering fortify.

    4# Aura Set-up:
    Because this build shifted from hybrid to pure Evasion as of 2.5, Grace is an obvious choice, backed up by Enfeeble. Enfeeble works very well with evasion because it lower accuracy, all types of damage and critical strikes chance and damage (less chance of being one shot). Temporal Chains would also be an strong alternative, as a hybrid offense/defense aura, but I prefer the decreased chance of being one-shot that Enfeeble brings. Arctic Armour is solid defense in combination with BF because channeling requires you to stand still, and its free with Perfect Form. Its important to stacking many defenses to compensate for Aspect of Carnage.

    Rest: Creative Space: Immortal Call set-up, Vaal Grace/Vaal Lightning Trap, Wither Spell Totem, Vaal Breach (to create monsters to blow up) are all good options.

    I personally use:
    Wither + Increased Duration + Faster Casting + Spell Totem.
    Vaal Grace + Increased Duration + Leap Slam

    + Bandits
    N = Oak (+40 Life)
    C = Kill all (Skill Point)
    M = Kill all (Skill Point) or optional Kraityn (+1 Frenzy)

    • Leveling Guide & Tips

  • Spoiler
    Skill Points while Leveling:
    Follow this Core Skill Tree while leveling. The leveling tree uses 67 skill points, which you should have reached at level 53, while at the end of Cruel. This includes 7 quest skill points from Normal (help Oak) and 8 from Cruel (Kill all bandits). Simply follow the pathing, and every time you come across a branch point, fill those in first before continuing onto the main path. After you finished the core tree, just focus on getting extra life nodes and Dodge nodes. Don't bother with Vaal Pact until you get the final Pain Reaver ascendancy node.

    You can use unique Brute Force Solution jewel in the first jewel socket you access, this will help you meet the Intelligence requirements on gems. You should replace this endgame as you get better gear with Intelligence on it:

    Gem Tips:
    Several core Gems you can't buy from NPC's as a Marauder, instead its easiest to buy these off other players. This concerns the following Gems: Poison Support x 2, Void Manipulation x 2, Grace, Enfeeble, Arctic Armour and Added Chaos. If you can afford it, get multiple Added Chaos, preferably with high quality, and level those in your second weapon set. In the end, when they turn level 20, you can corrupt them to hopefully get a level 21/20%.

    Leveling from 1 to 28:
    This is before you can use Blade Flurry. I recommend Sweep linked with Melee Physical + Added Fire + Faster Attacks. Great leveling gear to use during these levels consists of the following pieces:

    From 28 Up:
    At this level you can start using Blade Flurry linked with Melee Physical + Faster Attacks + Increased Area of Effect. If you do, I strongly recommend picking up an Elreon ring at this point (see below, a ring with -X mana cost of skills) or a Thief's Torment to help with mana cost. Its also best to upgrade your Karui Ward to Karui Charge (lvl 25). A good weapon to use with Blade Flurry is Lakishu's Blade (lvl 28). As soon as you reach level 31, start using Added Chaos. At level 47 you can upgrade to Innsbury Edge. This should be fine until you can equip Dreamfeather at level 66. Most of your damage will come from the Added Chaos Support.

    The Off-hand Weapon: As an off-hand during leveling, I would recommend one of the following: Lavianga's Wisdom (lvl 20), The Dark Seer (lvl 32), The Gryphon (lvl 32) or the more defensive Licosidae (lvl 11, Shield). These off-hands are purely for the global bonuses they provide, as they won't be used with Blade Flurry for attacking (wrong weapon types).

    When to go Abyssal Cry: After you finish the core tree and cleared the Cruel labyrinth for the War Bringer ascendancy node, you can start using Abyssal Cry to clear packs (this will require a four link). If it works well, you can replace the Increased Area of Effect linked to your Blade Flurry for Concentrated Effect.


    • Breach Gear & Stats - Currently Level 93 in BSC

  • Spoiler

    Stats at level 91: I calculated the Blade Flurry DPS at around 300K for the first second, up to 840K after 4 seconds, with Flasks up (95% of the time). This is including the poison damage and the 6 stack burst releases.


    + Prophecy Gear (2.3) - Level 92

    + Perandus Stats (2.2) - Level 91
    + Offense
    The damage numbers do not reflect the DPS added by the Poison Gem, which with my setup equals 123% of the initial hit while at 7 Frenzy Charges. Taking this into account my actual DPS is around 54700. This goes up by using potions, such as Atziri's Promise.

    + Defence

    + Gear

    • Video - Strand Map Demonstration (Perandus)

  • Spoiler
    Old Video from back in the Perandus days. Sorry for the poor quality, this is my first video ever recorded, so I'm a novice. My PC isn't the newest either. For me performance has gone down since than, so I don't think I will be able to record a new one without it looking like a slide show.
    Last edited by Baelrog on Jun 17, 2017, 11:48:07 AM
    Last bumped on Apr 19, 2017, 6:56:01 AM
    Reserved for more Crying
    Sounds like a very interesting build, I'll probably try this out. Would be really cool if you could add a youtube video of you clearing a map or just showing off how the build works.
    I've always wanted to make an Abyssal Cry build, and the Berserker nodes really seem like what this build needed, to get pushed over the top. Could you post your gear? Also, have you thought about 2xConsuming Dark and using Firestorm? It'd save a gem link (Poison on hit) and you might be able to get more life and damage if you didn't have to worry about weapon nodes, not to mention you could grab Templar + Witch AOE. You'd lose some Frenzy charges though.

    One last thought -- you could use the Arcane Chemistry notable and/or a Reduced Charges Used belt mod to get extra uses out of The Writhing Jar. Using both you can get down to 10.4 charges per use, so, 4 uses on full flask charges! (The game rounds down to 10.) Even just one of those two gives 3 uses (13.6=13 charges/use).
    builds: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1663570/
    @Ninami: Definitely, I would like to but I have never made a game recording before, so I will have to figure out how that works. Will look into it though.

    @ThatsSoGoodman: Using spells in combination with Consuming Dark could work really well, although I wouldn't go dual wielding those with firestorm. I don't think the investment is worth it for this build. Instead I would go for something like Essence Drain or Bear Trap to set it off. These skills are also pretty solid against lone targets with high HP. Although the use of Consuming Dark would indeed safe you a Gem slot, it doesn't really matter that much, because there aren't that many alternative Support Gems for the skill. One that jumps to mind is Rapid Decay or Item Rarity for some additional loot. Go spell would create for quite a different build, which would require a completely different skill tree.
    I chose melee, because I figured that to use Abyssal Cry effectively you would need to jump in the middle of packs and therefor I wanted to be quite tanky. The pathing I went for takes a lot of Armour, Evasion and Shield nodes. Its also a personal preference, I just prefer to play melee as a marauder.

    Arcane chemistry is a good suggestion, could be worth it. Its a 3 node investment, so not sure, because the rest of the nodes wont provide any significant benefit. And I think you really need more than 2 uses. Still might be worth checking out.

    Forgot about the rest of my gear, will upload it.
    Last edited by Baelrog on Mar 17, 2016, 5:14:11 AM
    Since it could be somewhat tedious to get the abyssal cry chaos damage above 100% do you think a Jewel like this one
    would work to get the damage up?

    Also if Abyssal Cry does 8% of maximum health, wouldn't a 100% chaos damage increase make it 16% of maximum health? Isn't that how damage multipliers work in PoE?
    Last edited by Ninami on Mar 19, 2016, 11:37:38 AM
    Yes, thats exactly how multipliers work. This is what I tried to explain in the build concept part of the guide, but I will expand on it a bit further.

    Eldritch Knowledge is indeed a jewel that scales Abyssal Cry very effectively. Unfortunately, the pathing doesn't really provide a jewel slot that has enough intelligence within the radius for it to be effective. Instead I recommend using rare jewels that have both "increased chaos damage" and "increased damage". With my current set-up I have a total of 118% increased chaos damage and 30% increased damage. This in combination with the frenzy charges, berserker more damage, void manipulation and increased poison damage (from the support gem) results in: 49% of maximum life and 69% of maximum life over 2 seconds (poison).
    Last edited by Baelrog on Mar 19, 2016, 1:21:31 PM
    Oh okay my bad! I'm still very new to the game so I didn't really understand the concept at first.

    I don't know if this is good enough to use but here's what I did with the Jewel.

    It's in total 60 Intelligence which means 30% Chaos damage which seems pretty good but I'm not sure if it's good enough to use. I'm trying to get better jewels to increase my chaos damage.
    No worries, I'll try my best to explain my view. Assuming your trying the same build, I don't think its really worth the point investment. You spend five nodes to gain 30% increased chaos damage, which is 6% per node invested. Of course you do gain other bonuses as well, such as some extra intelligence which is needed for curses such as Enfeeble and Vulnerability, but overall these nodes are rather weak for this build. Also, because this build doesnt use a lot of specific items, you can easily acquire the needed intelligence through items.

    Getting a rare jewel with +% chaos damage and +% damage is more efficient in my opinion:
    Last edited by Baelrog on Mar 19, 2016, 4:39:59 PM
    Yeah that sounds about right, I removed the jewel and all the passive points for it. Got 4 jewel sockets now tho with all +Area damage and +chaos damage jewels. Recently got the last Ascendancy points for the 40% flat damage boost and now I'm just killing everything! Very fun build so far. However since I'm playing softcore I changed my build for 2h, that's pretty much the only difference.

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