[3.0] The Warlord (Melee Crit Berserker, fairly beginner and budget friendly)

Do you love Melee? Do you love high DPS? Do you love high crit multi and leech? Do you love being able to do all of the endgame on a 1-2 ex budget? If yes, the Warlord is the build for you!

My current hideout-DPS looks like this, bear in mind I don't have the optimal gear yet. Also Berserkers get loads of damage from on-hit effects, which i can't show in my hideout.

The Concept
This build focuses on close combat fighting, dealing loads of damage and receiving loads of damage.
It is a Berserker, which means you gain lots of damage for the tradeoff of defences, which isn't that bad, really.
"What need have I for defence when my enemies are reduced to Ash and Splinters?" -Eldritch Battery

The passive Tree
The final tree will look like this:


Notable Passives Include:
  • Vaal Pact: Very nice node for a berserker. It makes your life leech instant, which synergises well with the incredible amounts of leech you will get. The removal of regen is a little drawback, but you should not have a big problem without it.
  • The Shadow claw wheel: Big amounts of critical strike chance and some multiplier. As we don't use power charges, it is very useful to scale crit with this
  • The Scion Life wheel: As we can't use a Belly of the Beast, this gives us a very much needed boost to our life pool.

Leveling Versions:

For your Bandits you want:
  • Oak (+40 life]
  • Oak (+16% physical damage)
  • Kill them all (+1 passive skill points)

For your 3.0 Bandits take Oak (+2% physical damage reduction and +20% physical damage)

The Ascendancy

  • 1st: Pain Reaver; nice leech, makes you able to sustain your mana without flasks
  • 2nd: Crave the Slaughter; attack speed in combat, movement speed when walking around, nice quality of life node
  • 3rd: Aspect of Carnage; a HUGE 40% multiplier to damage, at the cost of a bit of defence
  • 4th: Cloaked in Savagery; This node is just stupid. 100% of damage leeched means you instantly heal to full life whenever you hit an enemy, which makes you able to facetank things like the Shaper's Beam, utterly ridiculous. Also it provides a nice damage boost

The Gear

The Helmet
For your endgame Helmet, you want Abyssus, as it gives ridiculous amounts of crit multi and flat damage. Since a well rolled one can get pretty expensive, you can just use a rare Helmet with resistance and life, or Devoto's Devotion. Note that you will miss out on a lot of damage without it though

The Chest Armor
If you wear Abyssus, you NEED a Lightning Coil to mitigate the increased damage taken. If you don't wear Abyssus yet, wear either a rare chest armor, or a Tabula Rasa for leveling
Tip for a cheap 5 link: use "The Jeweller's Touch", it's a prophecy that usually costs around 30c

The Weapon
Since you are claw based, Touch of Anguish, the Swasticlaw, is a great weapon with nice crit and DPS. You could also spend lots on a rare claw, but it has to be pretty damn good to compete. For rare claws look out for the Imperial and Gemini base
If you use added fire damage as your 6th link/even have a 6 link, use Doryani's Catalyst in your offhand, otherwise dual wield Touch of Anguish
The great thing about Blade Flurry is that you can not use Maces, which makes your Doryani's a 'stat stick', buffing your damage without interfering with attacking
Death's Hand is also a good budget-option if you don't use Sin's Rebirth

The Gloves
Use rare Gloves with resistance, life and optionally attack speed
If you are incredibly rich/lucky, use Atziri's Acuity. That way you can drop Vaal Pact and use the points for damage or Life. Especially keep an eye out for the Spiked Gloves base, and high lighning resistence for Lightning Coil

The Boots
Use rare Boots with resistance and life. Keep an eye out for high lightning resistance, as well as the Two-Toned Boots base. Optionally you could use Death's Door for the Bleed immunity, but having too many uniques hurts your resistance

The Accessories
Use rares where you can. Look out for Life, Resistance and flat damage/weapon ele damage, in this order or importance. Keep an eye out for Two-Stoned Rings and Lapis/Agate Amulets, since this build is Intelligence-hungry
Alternatively you could use Le Heup of All for stats, damage and (fairly low) resistance

For your Belt you want a rustic sash to stack even MORE damage, following the usual pattern of resistance, life and flat phys/weapon elemental damage. Flask duration is also a nice convenience buff.

The Flasks
You want one flask with bleed removal, one with freeze removal. For the others, just go with damage flasks
Some especially good include:
  • Taste of Hate, for the phys mitigation
  • Lion's Roar, for the multiplier to physical damage
  • A diamond flask for crit chance

The Jewels
You want 3 damage mods, like +% damage and +% attack speed, as well as always a life roll. Use less damage mods if you run on a budget

The Enchants
  • Gloves: I like 'of Spite' the most, as it slows down nearby enemies. DON'T ENCHANT SPIKED GLOVES
  • Boots: I prefer 'attack and cast speed on kill', but you could also use 'stun avoidance on kill', since we have no other source of stun immunity. DON'T ENCHANT TWO-TONED BOOTS
  • Helmet: depends on skill, for Blade Flurry i recommend '+40% damage' or '+12% AoE'

The Gems

The main Attack
You want to use an attack that uses claws, but ideally not maces, because of your offhand. Because of that, Blade Flurry is once again one of the best skills you can use. Note that you could use any other claw attack in it's place, even Viper Strike if you feel spicy today.
If you don't have a six link, drop added fire. Use concentrated effect instead of AoE for bosses

The Movement Skill
Use Whirling Blades, it's the fastest one out there for you. Link fortify for extra protection. Since it's a 3 link, use one of your weapons

The Warchief
Ancestral Warchief is a huge bonus for single target damage, and it also multiplies your main skill damage by +16%, what's not to love? Socket this in either Helmet, Boots or Gloves

The Utility
You want a cast-when-damage-taken (Lvl 9) setup with Immortal Call and your Golem (Ice for crit chance). Link increased duration for longer protection. Level your active gems only to the point where they require Level 54 or lower. Socket this in either Helmet, Gloves or Boots

The Auras
You want Herald of Ash and Hatred to add big chunks of elemental damage, and the additional protection from Arctic Armor. Since this would use up all our mana, we need Enlighten(3) for reduced reservation. If you don't have it, either get the aura cluster near Vaal Pact, or drop Herald or Arctic Armor, depending on if you want more offense or defense. Socket this in either Helmet, Gloves or Boots

The Vaal Skills
You want a Vaal Lightning Trap to shock bosses, since that gives you another +50% multiplier to damage. You can now decide if you want offense or defense, Vaal Haste or Vaal Grace. Link these with increased duration in one of your weapons

This is my first build guide, feel free to give me feedback and ask questions. I will add footage of endgame bosses when i feel like recording fights with them. Stay sane, Exile!
Last edited by SpongeInABottle on Sep 10, 2017, 12:51:02 PM
Last bumped on Sep 10, 2017, 12:49:33 PM
Very nice guide, going to use it in 3.0 for sure.
Hi: this build are viable with daggers?? change the claw for Bino`s Kitchen..
paablooaaraam wrote:
Hi: this build are viable with daggers?? change the claw for Bino`s Kitchen..

yeah, probably. you should use the dagger wheel then, especially the crit side. keep in mind that costs a few more points. also bino's has lower attack speed, making it feel a bit worse
Last edited by SpongeInABottle on Jul 31, 2017, 4:07:24 AM
Hi, could you redo the skill tree on another website? Poeplanner seems to be down.
Phxenix wrote:
Hi, could you redo the skill tree on another website? Poeplanner seems to be down.

seems to work fine for me, maybe it just was down for the update
edit: yeah seems to be back up again, sorry then
Last edited by Phxenix on Aug 6, 2017, 1:49:43 PM
thx for the guide, I am currently lvl 52 and seems a good build so far. Lets see how it deals with the endgame. Nice guide!

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