[2.3] Fire EK Berserker (300k+ dps peak with chain, Vaal Pact, cheap to get started, now with video)


First of all, welcome to my guide for the strongest character I've ever played on Path of Exile! I'm not a native speaker, so please don't mind the mistakes here and there. It's my first guide, so any feedback about the content or the form is appreciated. But, before anything else, the deeps:

No boost (Herald of Ash + golem only):

Full boost (Herald, golem, frenzy charges, silver flask, vaal haste, elemental overload):

Yep, more than 320k (update: now 300k) dps without taking fire penetration into account! And there's still room for improvement!

Want to see it in action?

Precinct (T11)
Springs (T11)
Orchard (T8) with fire res & more life
I'm not a very good player, but it's enough to grasp the clearspeed level of the build

Why this build, why now?


Last league, I leveled a classical EK character using Roth's Reach and when I finally reached the level required to use a Pledge of Hands, it felt a bit meh, because the Chain gem has such a huge downside and yet is required to play EK at its full potential. Since then I've been trying to make an end-game EK build with roth's, but quivers really are lackluster for spellcaster. I thought about Blackgleam + Avatar of Fire for full fire conversion, but I saw no point to it.

Then GGG announced the Grand Spectrum which would make any elemental build scale amazingly well wherever you go on the tree, as long as you get enough jewel socket on the way. I also had a very pleasant surprise at the start of Prophecy with The Signal Fire which would make fire conversion even stronger! Berserker was a very straight-forward choice: more multiplier and mana/life sustain without relying on warlord's mark.


-High dps. Like, very high dps.
-Actual DPS: does not rely on frost wall for single target, or elemental conversion without elemental penetration to back it up.
-EK with Chain and high projectile speed gives godly clear speed.
-No expensive build-enabling unique.
-Vaal pact + Berserker natural leech makes for an insane amount of regen.
-Can do every map mod including reflect as long as you can leech (some combinations can be deadly tho).
-Strong scaling with a support player.
-For hardcore players, it's easy to give up a few offensive nodes/jewel sockets for life nodes.

-Off colors everywhere, but since Roth's reach requirements are low it's not too hard to get. A Tabula can work too.
-Even with mana leech form zerker, impossible to sustain uninterrupted cast. Then again, you'll destroy everything in 1 or 2 casts, and you really don't want to stay immobile against bosses, so it's fine. (update: now possible!)
-Uber trials with no regen and a bit of lag are painfull. Insanely painfull.
-Skill tree at high level rely a lot on jewels

What about gear?


The soul of the build, free chain, projectile speed, this weapon was designed for EK.

Fire conversion and free Added fire damage, yes please!

Life, projectile damage & speed: it's not mandatory to make the build work but it's definitely BiS. And it's pretty cheap. Take it.

Not required, but definitely useful:

High life, fire damage: aim for it as soon as you get a 5L Roth's reach with the right colors. Belly of the Beast is an option, but not nearly as strong.

The downsides are nothing for an Elemental Focus + Elemental Overload build, and the cast speed is really nice. Fire damage as well.

Cast speed, movement speed but the most important stat is mana leech: if you feel like you're OoM too often, go for it. If you're not comfortable wearing an amulet without life, go for a rare one instead or the next item:

A bit of life & res and 70% fire damage! May not be as good as 12-13% cast speed though, so a rare amulet is still an option.

Makes elemental reflect map much easier as long as your res stay capped.

The rest of the gear?
Rare items with life and res are fine. Try to get a helmet with EK enchant and boot with crit enchant to proc Elemental Overload.

My gear:

I can't get Roth's Reach colors right!

It takes about 500 chrom on average to get the right colors, which is not too much but it can get really expensive if you're unlucky. The easiest way to solve this problem is to get a Tabula, but you'll lose a lot of defences from the lack of stats on your chest piece.

An other solution is giving up on Roth's Reach and Chain and play Pierce instead, give up Added Fire Damage for the Pierce gem and get either a Quill rain for 100% extra projectile speed which means a far better range, or a Silverbough for +1 to all gems which means slightly better dps. Those 2 bows have very low requirements so rolling the right colors is a lot easier. You'll absolutely have to play with Projectile weakness for 100% pierce chance though.

The passive tree:


I can't recommand any tree to level as this build since I respec'd into fire EK at lvl 75, but it should be fine if you focus on the spell and fire nodes in the templar/witch area. Play any spell you want until lvl 24, then get a Signal Fire and a Roth's Reach with Avatar of fire, go for life nodes (especially scion's) if you don't feel tanky enough, go for damage nodes if EK damage are too low. Go for a jewel socket only when you have a good one to put in. Don't try to go for Vaal pact until you're confident your character will stay good without getting life or damage node in the next ten level.

My tree atm (lvl 86):
Here. Rare jewels are amazing for conversion builds, Grand Spectrum are even better but they are really expensive. The life is pretty low but there are many life nodes near the path, so my character will get much tankier in the next levels.
Bandits are Oak, Alira and Kraityn.
Update: with a few mana nodes, dps on bosses is a lot better!

Gem and aura setup:

Main setup:

5L: EK + Spell Echo + Elemental Focus + Fire Penetration + Controlled Destruction
Best support gems for this build, period.
6L: Added Fire Damage is better than Faster Casting, but both are decent. Added Fire Damage makes sustaining your mana easier, and you'll be able to swap it for Life Leech for reflect map. Faster casting also has a diminishing return the more cast speed you get.


-Blasphemy + curse is mandatory. If you want to go for a defensive one, Temporal Chains and Enfeeble are both very good choices. When it comes to offense, Projectile Weakness is by far the best, even though it may prevent your knives from chaining. An alternative is Poacher's Mark: it makes your flasks available more often and gives frenzy charge without the life degen of Blood Rage.

-Bloodrage if you don't get Poacher's Mark. The downsides of Blood Dance (no life and huge loss of cast speed) are far greater than a bit of life degen you'll instantly leech back on the next pack of mob you'll encounter anyway.

-Enduring cry can be used to gain a few endurance charges, but I'm personally too lazy for that.

-Herald of Ash: Decent DPS boost, you won't get the burn effect but it's still alright.

-Artic armour: Makes reflect and physical damage spikes a bit less scary.

-Purity of fire for elemental reflect map can be useful.

-Vaal Haste/Grace/Clarity linked with increased duration are all good, it's up to you to chose.

Try not to get more than 60-70% of your mana reserved though, EK costs a lot of mana (~90 on a 6L).

Other setups:

4L: Ice spear (lvl 1)+ CwDT (lvl 1) + GMP + Increased Critical Strikes
Will proc every time you take ~500 damage, Elemental Overload isn't reliable otherwise. Can also be casted manually.

2L: Lightning golem + CwDT
Golems die easily, but the cast speed boost is really good, that's the only way to keep it active.

If you happen to have a few more slot free, you can use one for Portal and an other for Blink Arrow.


Try to get Freeze/bleed/curse immunity on your flasks. One life pot is enough with that much lifesteal, the rest is utility. Doedre's elixir is a nice help if you ever get OoM and it will help keep your charges and Elemental Overload even for bosses (the damage from it proc the lvl 1 CwDT).
Update: change Doedre's for a ruby for Elemental Reflect map.

If you have any questions about the build, feel free to ask them on this topic, I'll answer them as much as I can. I know the guide isn't really beginner friendly especially since I don't have any leveling tree to show, but I really wanted to share my build. Remember that this char is only 1 week old and at lvl 85, there's still a lot of room for improvement.

The Mighty Squalazor :D

Update 1 (06/18/2016):
-Tree is slightly different (a bit less damage but far better mana sustain).
-Doedre's elixir can be changed for other flasks, especially for Elemental Reflect maps.

Update 2 (06/21/2016):
-Extra info about Roth's Reach colors and alternatives.
Last edited by Noisnamalark on Jun 21, 2016, 1:32:52 PM
Last bumped on Feb 27, 2017, 4:34:17 PM
Hi buddy, build looks really cool. Any vids?
I can barely play the game right now due to the performances issues that came with 2.3 for some players, I got most of my gear by trading. So no vids atm, but I'll be sure to add some as soon as GGG fix those issues.
Very nice build man :) Ill try it out on my 89 marauder on standard.
The build in Standard won't be as good as in Prophecy since you won't have the Signal Fire available. You should still reach a pretty high DPS though.
What does emberwake do / work in this build. Whats the interaction between elefocus / emberwake etc. Sorry I dont know what this unique does or how it works.

I mean doesnt elefocus completely neglect what Emberwake should do?

EDIT: I also fiddled around the tree a bit to get more life as HC player and the +1 max fire ress node.

Im seriously interested to try this full fire conversion ek :P
Last edited by TheCreatek on Jun 15, 2016, 8:36:14 PM
the build seems really cool just wanna wait and see some video to make sure :D
TheCreatek wrote:
What does emberwake do / work in this build. Whats the interaction between elefocus / emberwake etc. Sorry I dont know what this unique does or how it works.

I mean doesnt elefocus completely neglect what Emberwake should do?

EDIT: I also fiddled around the tree a bit to get more life as HC player and the +1 max fire ress node.

Im seriously interested to try this full fire conversion ek :P

Emberwake is good for the fire damage and the cast speed (10% is a noticeable amount, especially for a build not using faster casting support) without the drawback of low ignite damage (since you use Elemental Focus) and no crit multi (since you use Elemental Overload). It's a huge boost in offensive stats, and I can't think of any ring that would be better for this build. If you'd rather use a rare ring with life and res, go ahead, but it won't be as good imo.

About your tree, I don't think going for Celestial Judgement is a good call (6 points for 50% increased damage is meh) when you can reach other jewel sockets (that are basically ~40% increased damage for 3 points). If you don't want to buy more jewels, nodes near the shadow start are great for EK as well. Overall, it's a good exemple of what I meant by "easy to give up a few offensive nodes/jewel sockets for life nodes" :)

Still can't do any video of the build yet, but if you've already played an EK build, you know that 300k+ dps with chain is absolutely insane and will melt everything.

Also, about the mana issue, picking Righteous Decree + Dynamo for 4 points should make it possible to sustain uninterrupted EK cast. I'll do a lot more testing, including tests for leveling trees, when I'll stop having lag spikes.
How many chromes did it take you to get the off colors for Roth's Reach?
nvm you covered that already :)
Last edited by xeno_soldier on Jun 17, 2016, 11:00:24 PM

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