Stæk's 6 Ballista Squad 250k+ dps

I have always had a fascination with Pillar of the Caged God. The idea of getting so much of a single stat that it would seem wasteful on any other build and it working anyway has always appealed to me. My first character to 80 in Perandus league was a Pillar of the Caged God with 1350 strength, but I have done Pillar before. I needed something new. I made a Whispering Ice build, but i slowly got bored with it. I decided that I needed to make a build that stacked over 1000 dexterity, and I was lead directly to Iron Commander. I have not looked back.

While looking through Iron Commander build guides on the forums, I have found that nearly all have one thing in common. They nearly all believe that it is too much effort to get 800 dexterity. This is a gross underestimation of the potential of this build, so I decided that I would showcase my version with well over 1000 dexterity to silence all of the naysayers.

Skill Trees

Level 71

Level 81

Level 91 (Current Tree)

Level 100 Tree

15% extra life scaling 75% crit chance 57% crit multi

Interestingly, the build does not go too far out of its way for extra dexterity. While some of the pathing may not be as streamlined as other bow characters, the tree does not feel like as much of a skillgrimage as Pillar of the Caged god or Whispering Ice.

The build utilizes the additional arrow as well as the pierce chance and far shot from the Deadeye Ascendancy to greatly increase the damage of your ballistae. The Chieftan Ascendancy gives you life regen and damage while your ballistae are active as well as a large chance to ignite and a slight damage boost when you cull targes with frenzy.

The build gets a whopping 4.6% life regeneration, which while small compared to many marauder builds is a good bit of regen for a dexterity based bow build.

Four jewel sockets available for rare jewels add a large amount of customization potential for your gear and allow you to add a decent amount of dexterity and physical damage scaling to boost your damage or resists and life for survival. Two Fluid motion jewels are used for a potential of 130 additional dexterity.

43% all resist on the tree lessens the burden on gear allowing you to focus more on damage mods.

For bandits I help Oak in normal and cruel and i kill all in merciless.

Every single item in my build was either self found or purchased for 10 chaos orbs or less. I linked all of the items myself and i got a lucky corruption on the drillneck.

That being said, the gear cost of this build is likely to approach 5ex or higher when optimized, so it is not necessarily a budget build.

Current Gear

Gear Explanations

I would not use Rat's Nest for this build simply because it does not have dexterity. Starkonja's Hood or Devoto's Devotion would both be solid picks for your helm slot because of their high dexterity and attack speed. I am using Starkonja's because i scale crit and i felt the life was a better defensive boost.

Briskwrap is an absolute must if you are going to reach 1000 dexterity, and considering how cheaply it can be obtained the most difficult part will be 5 or 6 linking it.

The priority rolls for a good Iron Commander are: Phys damage = attack speed > totem life > totem placement speed

Drill Neck is not a required unique for this build. However, since Siege Ballista has an innate 100% pierce chance and you will have 100 % pierce chance on whichever secondary skill you use the damage lost to use a rare quiver would be rather large (approaching 25% of total damage).

For jewelry I have prioritized: physical damage to attacks = Dexterity > elemental damage with weapons > life = critical strike chance = resists
The reason i prioritize resists so low on my jewelry is that i gather a large amount on my tree and on my other rare gear.

For gloves attack speed, a high life roll, and a high dex roll are all almost necessary. Maligaro's Virtuosity are a viable replacement if you feel like you do not need the life or resists afforded by a rare pair.

Boots are similar to what you would look for on any evasion build except you want a high dexterity roll as well. Life / resists / move speed

While leveling i used a Perandus Blazon, however, when i found myself with an excess of dexterity i switched to a rustic sash with high weapon elemental damage and resistances.

Atziri's Promise and Taste of Hate are both flasks that would boost the dps of your ballistae, however, a well rolled jade and/or quartz flask are good options if you are clearing packs quickly enough anyway.

!!!!! You do not need perfect dexterity rolls on your gear. as long as you get moderately high dexterity rolls you will easily hit 1000 !!!!!


I would like to start by pointing out that 100% of the scaling on my tree is physical. However, because of the enormous amount of elemental damage that is added and converted from the physical damage, weapon elemental damage is an absolute necessity for the 5L.

My build does not utilize the Rain of Splinters jewel, but I still get three projectiles with the +1 Drillneck, so I do not feel it is necessary. All of these link setups are assuming a +1 drillneck. Without it you would use Rain of Splinters to have 4 projectiles.

This build will work on a 4L. The links you would use are: Siege Ballista - Physical Projectile Attack Damage - Pierce - Added Fire Damage.

The 5L is: Siege Ballista - Physical Projectile Attack Damage - Pierce - Physical to Lightning - Weapon Elemental Damage.

There are two options for a 6L on this build depending on if you go crit or not:

Siege Ballista - Physical Projectile Attack Damage - Pierce - Physical to Lightning - Weapon Elemental Damage - Increased Critical Strikes if you are going crit.

Siege Ballista - Physical Projectile Attack Damage - Pierce - Physical to Lightning - Weapon Elemental Damage - Added Fire Damage if you are a non-crit version.

A level 20 slower projectiles gem will give a higher tooltip than either of these options, but it will severely reduce the distance your ballistae can fire.

I personally recommend going crit if you are going to go through the trouble of 6-linking an Iron Commander or a Briskwrap as I am currently trying to do.


The rest of the links in the build are play-style oriented to what feels best to you. I use GMP/chain Arctic Breath on cwdt instead of immortal call. My second 5L is set up for Vaal Burning Arrow. With 100% pierce chance it can one-shot entire packs of monsters (just do not use it on elemental reflect maps).


Flame or Ice Golem seem like they would be almost interchangeable for the build as far as dps goes. Ice Golem will likely overtake Flame Golem at higher gem level, but i currently have a leveled Flame Golem and no leveled Ice Golem.

The leveling process is very much "hit level 32 and stack dexterity", so I will not go in depth on that.

This build is HARDCORE VIABLE. Even though it only gets 137% maximum life before jewels, the character was played to level 85 deathless, and I could easily still be deathless if I played more carefully.

The only map mods that I have avoided completely are Blood magic and No regen. The build could potentially clear a blood magic map, but I just don't feel like it.
Enfeeble + elemental equilibrium is a combination of mods to avoid as it makes your damage almost zero.
All other map mods and combinations are viable as far as I have seen.

The build has cleared up to t13 maps currently, and has been able to fully clear every map and combination of mods that I have been able to throw at it excluding the previously mentioned ones. This includes a temporal chains / elemental equilibrium / turbo boss excavation.

At this time I do not have any map clear videos because my computer would likely have an aneurysm if i tried playing and recording at the same time.

The build is easily Atziri viable.

This is the dps potential of the build with Taste of Hate Flask and no Atziri's Promise.
Using a Jade flask of Reflexes instead of a quartz flask will boost evasion.

There are still many improvements that can be made to this build. If you have any suggestions or constructive criticisms please feel free to leave a comment.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my build, and I hope you enjoy making your own!
Last edited by Stæk on Apr 29, 2016, 3:48:11 PM
Last bumped on Jul 14, 2016, 3:09:16 PM
is it possible using puncture and ballistaes did dmg on that debuff?????
Don't the ballistias have 100% pierce chance anyway? why use pierce at all

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info