[3.0] Sunder League Starter AND Finisher - All Content, Budget, SC/SSF/Xbox

Hi guys, Beerleague here with my first guide. I know many experienced players do not need this guide, but I continually get asked about my build by newer players on Reddit who seem unaware of how to build or play Sunder currently in 3.0. Also, there are a lack of guides to help newer players out when trying to figure out how to gear for the build on a variety of budgets. While there are a few beta content videos from some of our popular streamers, they do not seem finished to me and leave a lot for a newer player to mess up.

First of all, why Sunder?

Mostly because it is an excellent skill at all levels of the game. It excels with low end gear, but also can scale very nicely with a higher budget. In addition, I usually don't like to reroll a character until very late in the league (if ever), so I enjoy builds that can do everything.

Pros and Cons:


Can do ALL game content minus Uber Atziri (possible, but need to get rid of sunder in favor of a skill that doesnt name lock)
Easy to Gear
Quick mapper
SSF/HC viable
Can wear Biscos
Upgrades are clear and easy to shop for, no questioning your upgrades (probably the biggest strength for new players IMO)
Can run all but two mapmods
Very few uniques used, so easy to cap resists

Whole Screen AoE skills clear faster
Probably not a character you want to take to 100
While it does everything well, it does not do anything the best
Single Target is good, but not amazing
Vaal Pact in lab feels terrible

Getting Started:

Choose Marauder, the build also works well on Duelist or Ranger. Whichever of the three best fits you is fine. Marauder has the highest damage, Duelist is the tankiest and Ranger has the fastest movement speed. I would recommend Marauder as the damage that we get from the Berseker Ascendancy Tree helps shore up our biggest weakness, single target DPS.

Whichever character you choose, level up with the starting skill until 12, at that point grab Sunder either from a quest reward, or vendor in act 1. As you level up at the start, make sure to take leap slam for movement speed and link it to faster attacks as soon as you can to get movement speed that will ensure you clear the game at a decent pace.

As for Sunder, link it with Added Fire, Faster Attacks, Conc Effect and Melee physical in a 5 link item. If you have a 4 link, drop Melee Physical. When Multi-strike comes available to you, replace faster attacks with it. A 4 link is easily able to clear the entire 10 acts without any problems. Actually, I used a 4 link up until red maps this league.

Gear and Gem Setups:

I will define gems setups here in two sub-sets. The first is pre-end game on a budget (or SSF), and the second is end game with a larger budget after you have built up some currency.

Subset One-Pre end game - this does not require a 6 link, 4 or 5 is fine. This is to be used while gearing up. When you have a 6 link and solid rings and helm with INT, you can switch to the second build.


Main Attack (4-6 link Chest) - Sunder - Added Fire -Multistrike - Conc Effect - Melee Physical (Ruthless or Faster Attacks if 6 link)

Secondary Attack (3 link Main Hand) - Warcheif Totem - Maim - Faster Attacks

Movement Skill (4 link-gloves or helm)- Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Blood Magic - Fortify

Defense/Reactive (4 link - gloves or helm) - Cast When damage taken (level 10) - Immortal Call -
Enfeeble - Lightning Golem *Make sure to keep the skills at the same level as Cast When Damage Taken so they can proc.

Auras - (3 socket, does not need link in offhand) Hatred - Herald of Ash -Blood Rage


Your main priority here is HP. After HP, both resists and Flat physical damage are king.

*Side note, most of these are things I am linking from my stash. They are decent items that I used while leveling up. Don't pay attention to the b/o price, most of them haven't been relisted in about a week and are more expensive than they should be.


For your main hand, you want the highest Physical DPS (pDPS) you can afford. Soul Taker is an option now, as it is cheaper, but earlier on the league it was 100c minimum. Honestly, there are already many 320+ pDPS axes for under 10c. This is the most important peice for your DPS as everything will scale off of your physical damage.

For your offhand, Prismatic Eclipse is the best in slot. For now, we want 2 green, 1 red. If you have an extra budget, culling strike is very nice.

The attack speed can not be beaten IMO. There are many options out there, but that one is the best. For leveling, you can use anything that allows you to use whirling blades. Sunder only attacks with the mainhand, so offhand DPS is not important, only the global mods.


Kaom's Roots. Full stop. These boots save you a few passive points, provide a huge HP boost and allow flask freedom Get the highest HP you can afford. The best lab enchant, or corruption for us is either Attack and Cast speed if killed recently, or +1 Frenzy. Both are good. Budget ones can go for as low as 1c atm.


Leather Belt. Highest HP and resists that you can afford. Flask effects are nice additional effects.


Spiked Gloves. Again, highest HP and resists you can afford. Physical Damage is also nice, but gets expensive


Astral Plate (Belly is an option if higher budget, but Astral is easier to gear around). Yet again, highest HP and resists you can afford. Armor is a bonus. For buying, do not buy a 4 link. Minimum you want to buy is a 5 link. As of right now, you can get 95+ hp, and 100 all res on a 5 link for under 15c. You can also craft these easily. As I said above, a 4 link is all you need until red maps.


Any high armor base is fine. Highest HP and resists you can afford. INT is your eventual gearing need, but can be expensive.

(don't pay attention to b/o price, it should be like 1-2c at max)

Rings and Ammy:

Highest HP you can afford with added physical damage. Resists as needed. INT is your end game goal as well, but gets expensive.


Lion's roar is optional, but it is down to about 10-12C atm and provides a huge boost. Atziri's promise is also nice if you want to drop the quicksliver for it. Instead of the ignite removal, I would recommend poison removal.


%life is the main priority, after that, attack speed is best, but they get expensive if they have life and two to three damage mods. Life, one damage mod, and resists are also nice.

Subset Two- End Game - This assumes a 6 link chest piece, and INT on helm and both rings WITHOUT sacrificing a T1 HP roll. This is something that you can work towards and transition into as you get enough INT on gear. If you want to transition into this earlier, you can also keep your vulnerability at a lower level until you get enough INT to use it.


Gem Setups:

Chest 6 link - Sunder, Melee Phys, Multistrike, Brutality, Conc Effect and Main or Ruthless (Main is better for t15 and below, ruthless is better for guardians IMO, pob shows ruthless as the winner all of the time, but in lower content you one shot everything anything, so main tends to be smoother feeling in terms of DPS, but both are fine)

Gloves 4 link - Whirling Blades, Faster Attacks, Fortify, Blood Magic

Offhand 3 link - Blood Rage - Portal - Arctic Armor (need the three green on prismatic eclipse, nothing else good except portal for QOL)

Main hand 3 link - Either - cwdt-IC-lightning golem, OR for higher content Warcheif totem - Main (with ruthless in 6 link) and Herald of Ash in 3rd slot.

Helm 4 link - Blasphemy- Vulnerability and Either CWDT-IC for higher conent, or Warcheif totem and Herald of Ash.

Alternatively, if you do not mind gem swapping: For boss fights, Keep Ruthless in your inventory and swap Ruthless for Maim in your 6 link, drop herald of fire (does nothing for boss fights) and move Maim to your helm to link with warcheif. This is usually what I do, as it makes boss fights quite a bit faster. Again, 16 / shaper / breachlords only IMO. t15 bosses still die in just a few seconds anyway.

My Current Gear:

The gearing is quite similar to the first setup, but here we are min-maxing as much as we can. Getting a 400+ Pdps weapon is expensive, but will add a ton to your DPS. In this setup, 350+ is fine to clear shaper though. Rings, we want steel rings with INT rolls, T1 life, physical damage and res.

A belly would be better for the HP, but puts more stress on the res, and only adds around 400HP. If you have a 6 linked one already, it is probably BIS for the build though if you can get your resists in order.

Biscos is a must IMO. Any build that can run it would be doing a disservice to itself by not using it. For guardians I swap to a high HP/Phys/STR ammy to get my HP up to 8k

In this setup, I am hitting just shy of 800k pure phys DPS on bosses (no frenzy charges) with 8k HP. Again, like I said at the start, there are tankier builds, and there are builds that do more DPS, but this a good balance IMO.

For a rough budget for something like this:

8-10ex on the weapons (got the mainhand for 75c and divined it up, but that kind of deal will be hard to come by, offhand was 1ex) (prices on these will go down as the season goes on as well)
3-5ex on the Chest (bought it 6 linked)
2-5ex per ring (crafted one, bought the other for 2ex and slammed on the second res)
Biscos 1-10ex depending on how perfect you want it. Personally, I just pay for quantity, so 2-3 ex was enough.
2-3ex on the gloves (again, crafted, DONT need the accuracy roll, but makes the ones im wearing worth a bit more (have seen some for as low as 20c))
2-3ex on the boots
2-3ex on the belt (but can be much cheaper depending on res needs)
1ex on the helm (want an upgrade here with a good enchant, but its hard to find)

All in all, 30-35ex in gear. All self farmed (currency), no flipping, just selling drops and farming, farming, and farming some more.

At this point, I am considering being done w/ upgrades outside of a lab enchanted helm. However, usually currency burns a hole in my pocket, so a headhunter and a 450+ pdps axe will probably be purchased at some point.

This build can make currency just farming maps, or farming guardians, or shaper, or even just lab

Bandits and Ascendancy

For Bandits - Kill All (the two skill points are too valuable)

Ascendancy- Berserker - Pain Reaver - Crave the Slaughter - Aspect of Carnage - Aspect of Carnage - Cloaked in Savagery

You should not have any issues tackling lab as soon as you get access to it in each difficulty, especially now with the changes making non-uber lab much easier.

Skill Trees:

So, I have to preface this by saying that I fought with myself for a long time to not take Vaal Pact. Even going so far as to take many leech rate notes to help my sustain. That was a mistake. It is much better to take Vaal Pact as soon as you finish uber lab to take advantage of Cloaked in Savagery. Honestly I did not want to take it because the pathing to get there is pretty bad, but it is more than worth it.

Final, End Game Tree level 94:

If I was going to take this higher, I would continue to snag up life nodes that are close, there are still a ton left to take.

First 30 Levels:


Level 60:

Level 80 (or when uber lab is finished):

Gear Upgrades - A Clear Path

As I mentioned at the start, this build is very easy to upgrade and should not leave you wondering if a new item will actually be an upgrade for you or not.

For DPS, all we have to ask ourselves is, "Does it have higher physical damage (or pDPS for weapons). If the answer is yes, then it will upgrade your damage. If the answer is no, well, then keep looking.

For staying alive, the answer is obvious, but the same. Does it have more life (and res) than my current item. If yes, then upgrade, if no, then not. IMO, amour is bonus. It is nice to have, but not the first thing that I look for (in SC). If HC, then I would value things a bit differently.

For How to upgrade the build, I am going to try something a little different than most builds guides, If this is helpful to you guys, let me know.

I think a player can probably ask themselves these questions while gearing, if the answer is yes, move to the next question. If the answer is no, solve the problem (with a new item or items)

1. Are my resistances capped?
2. Do I have a 5 link (or better armor)?
3. Do I have a 300+ pDPS weapon?
4. Do I have t1 life rolls on every item
5. Do I have phys rolls on my rings
6. Am I wearing Biscos?
7. Do I have a 350 pDPS weapon?
8. Do I have a 6 link chest?
9. Do I have 20/20 gems or better?
10. Do I have enough INT to transition to the second stage of the build guide?
11. Do I have culling strike on my offhand?
12. Do I have steel rings w/ phys roll (keeping T1 life and INT)?
13. Do I have a 400pDPS mainhand?
14. Do I have a headhunter? :p

As this is my first guide, if you guys have any questions or feedback (or if you see something better as far as the build goes), please let me know. Also, if there is enough interest for videos, please let me know and I will try and record some runs with my potato.


As Requested, here are some tooltip pics:

In Hideout with Blood Rage and Flasks (no frenzy)

In Hideout, no buffs or flasks

Last edited by BeerLeague on Aug 31, 2017, 9:40:35 PM
Last bumped on Apr 27, 2018, 6:54:39 PM
One thing that I forgot to add to the original post was an answer to a question that I keep getting on reddit:

Why switch to pure physical, added fire and hatred give me more dps!

In game, you may see more dps on your character sheet, but the game is not good at calculating your real dps against mobs that have resists. Most mobs (and pretty much all bosses) have fairly high elemental resists to one or more element. By splitting your damage into 3 categories you will usually do less damage than just stacking one. Also, physical damage ignores all elemental resists. The only time your boss kill time will be slower is when the map mod is mob physical damage reduction.

Also, if you look at 'real' dps in something like path of building, this setup will net you a full 25% higher dps potential than the added fire and hatred. Even without vulnerability it's still higher, so immune to curse doesn't affect us too badly.

Finally, the reason that I suggest switching to this setup later simply has to do with the dps calculations on brutatility. It's an amazing gem, but at lower levels of physical damage, and lower map levels where the mobs generally have fewer resists, added fire will out preform.
What about Soul Taker for main hand?
We can use Haste, Arctic Armour and Vulnerability in a same time
without any manna issue (with Charisma). Also we no need Blood Magic for Whirling Blades.


Interfice Errorem Diligere Errantem
Good idea, as I noted in the OP, Soul Taker is an option for earlier on in the gearing process, but with with the ability to reserve another 15% of your mana, the flat dps that a rare axe will give you can't be beat. Even a 330pdps rare axe is going to beat out a perfect soul taker, and those can be had for as low as 20c.

For soul taker, I see it as much better option on gladiator, which gets the free aoe clear and doesn't need to slot herald of ash for general mapping like zerker does.
Spent a few dozen more ex to see how much dps I can push, gear in profile. Any questions, let me know!

Can you add some offense / défense pictures ? Because i would like to know whta is your dps and how much life do you have.

Cool guide. I had my build somewhat similar but was trying to stay away from Vaal Pact but I guess it doesn't really work without then.
What curses and auras are you running, besides vulnerability?
For the first question, I'll post some SS tomorrow when I get to to play, you can also check out my profile in path of building, it's set to public.

Tooltip is 112k (pob 510,000 without flasks or frenzy charges)

Life is 8,500.

As for the second question, yeah I was doing the same thing regarding Vaal pact. I tried to avoid it like the plague, and took a crap ton of leech rate nodes. In the end, that worked up until red maps but then the sustain just wasn't there because I wasn't leaching fast enough. With berserker, I feel VP is really mandatory. If you want to avoid using it, slayer is what you want to go for, but will need a 2h tree if that is the case.

For curses, while leveling in the first part of the build, I was using enfeebled linked to Cwdt. The auras were hatred and herald of ash. After I was geared for the full phys version, I went with vulnerability liked to blasphemy support, which also lets us use arctic armor as our defensive aura, and herald of ash to help our trash clear a bit.

I have been considering (if I can find one) dropping 30-40 (+?) ex on a +1 curse biscos, running both curses, dropping herald of ash (it's kinda bad anyway) and running both of them with arctic armor. That might be overboard though.
how much was the 450 axe?

also, damage on full life seems... really good? I haven't tested it out but it seems to be a really large power spike
Last edited by Logicalbombs on Aug 30, 2017, 9:48:51 AM
Axe was 15ex, but from what I've seen on poe trade, it was undervalued a bit.

As for melee damage on full life, it's a good gem, but we are constantly taking damage since we face tank everything and the damage it provides isn't up full time. Also, the gems that are already part of the 6 link are straight up stronger anyway. If we had an 8 link, it would probably be the 8th best gem however.

Also, another Q I've answered a few times on Reddit:

Q: why not faster attacks? It makes my tooltip higher!

A: yes, faster attacks makes your tooltip dps higher, but your actual dps goes down by 20%~ instead of using another red gem. Check path of building, or just go time your boss kills. Faster attacks will always provide less real dps.

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