[3.0] The Impenetrable Fortress - A Brand New Player's Budget League Starter 200k-500k MaxBlock

[3.0]The Impenetrable Fortress - A Brand New Player's Budget League Starter 200k-500k MaxShieldBlock

This will be my first ever guide. I wanted to showcase my pet project for this league before I go overseas next week. So if you have any questions. Ask them before my internet goes to the toilet! I started playing POE about a week ago.

And this is my only successful build that tears through T13 maps like pancakes. After 4 failed attempts at Endgame. It feels very satisfying to succeed! And comparing it to Shaper Killing Builds on the forums. I'm fairly confident you can tackle anything with this without much difficulty.

So, if you want to see a completely new player's viable build for endgame or just some ideas for your own. This is the place for you!

- 70% Max Block Attacks & Spells. 78% with Rumi or The Red Nightmare Crimson Jewel
- Up to 82% Physical Damage Reduction.
- Up to 50% Spell Damage Reduction.
- Can Run All Map Types (Including Physical/Elemental Reflect, No Leech, No Regen)
- Shaper and Guardian Viable. Comparable damage and survivability to other End Game Builds.
- Better DPS then lots of builds, 200-300k unbuffed/no-flask and you wear a shield.
- Can switch to Varunastra for Sunder. Blade Flurry DPS for Boss.
- Temporal Chains don't affect you. You cannot be frozen or stunned.
- You steal power, frenzy, and endurance charges from enemies making you stronger.
- You run into huge hordes of enemies, right up into their face and slaughter them.
- Can get geared up for Endgame in about 20 to 50 chaos, practically pennies.
- Lastly, you look like a badass tank. You don't need any cosmetics like other builds.

- Elemental Reflect + No Leech maps will feel slow.
- 5k hp is low for many boss fights.
- Poison is still a thing.
- Hard to cap resistances and get intellect.
- Not Hardcore Viable unless you dump a lot of nodes into health.
- Running Uber Lab Sucks with Vaal Pact. Luckily, you can take off Vaal Pact if you don't want it.
- Need constant face-planting to have good run speed. You get 4% run boost per block.

T12 - Corrupted Rare Crematorium 8-27-2017

Normal Atziri - 1st time I ever done it. 8-28-2017

Having Fun with Cyclone. 8-29-2017

PoE Planner


Build explanation:

Short Version
You run right in teh face of packs of enemies, doesn't matter how many there are, can be 1000 of them, which would kill anybody else. And get hit by 100 attacks all at once, and kill them using blade flurry.

You get a 8% damage boost per block or 80% if its a unique monster once you get your gladiator ascendancy 'Violent Retaliation.' If you block 20 attacks for example. You get 160% increase damage. Literally, face planting yourself into monsters makes you stronger.

Your skill tree is optimized to give you 200-300k flat damage with no flasks, no nothing. You slap them with your hand and you do a ton of damage. So you're already way ahead of most other builds in dps. Add all those attacks you block? Well, your out damaging ppl using two-handed six-link weapons on your cheap 4 link that cost 1 chaos to buy. Pretty, crazy.

You also have permanent 40% reduction to all damage every 4 seconds because of enfeeble (20% damage reduction) and Harbringer of Focus (20% damage reduction while channeling every 4 seconds) which you get from your shield. That's pretty much taking a granite flask and determination on your character every 4 seconds but without wasting any of the mana or flask.

If that's not a clear picture. 40% reduction is roughly 40,000 armor vs a 6,000 hit. So you're literally walking around with 40,000 armor every 4 seconds without wasting any nodes into armor. And your damage mitigation applies to both Spells and Physical Damage.

Put on top of that endurance charges, arctic armor, fortify, immortal's call. You are made to take hits from anything. Run maps at your leisure.

And you do this for 1/5 the cost. Gearing up for endgame at about 50 Chaos Orbs. So, while everyone is paying for 200k dps for top-notch gear to get the same damage as you and not die. You just did it in less then half of that and you do more damage then them. You can go straight to endgame once you get the gear and a good chunk of the damage nodes in the skill tree.

Long Version
Like many new players. I really didn't have a clue what I was doing. The idea behind the build was I want to be in their face, killing things, and not dying.

The first iteration of the build used 72k armor (grace, determination, iron reflexes) with 2k health using poison dot's to compensate for the low dps on a tank. That's pretty silly looking back, but many spells had a physical component so I could do up to T11 on 30k dps, but would die instantly to any pure spell damage like Piety boss's.

So I re-rolled using like 80 regrets and got the idea for the current build looking at The Unshattered Will Archon Kite Shield. This shield summons an invincible harbringer minion that gives you a passive 20% reduction to all damage every 4 seconds while your channeling. I'm like 20% reduction to ALL damage. Pretty much takes care of all that spell damage that ko'd me earlier.

And so I spent about 2-3 days learning how to upgrade my damage since it was abysmal to a reasonable level at least 150k.

Then spent another day or two to figure out how much health I'd need to feel comfortable. And I decided on 5k. Since you can reach 6k max hp with this build, without chest armor, but you'd lose at least 100k damage, which I felt was too significant since I knew from other videos the final endgame boss, The Shaper required much more then that to kill reasonably.

And thus I ended up with my current iteration. A physical crit based build. So, I then began to compare my build with other successful duelist builds, which at this time are mostly bleed builds or cyclone. I wanted to see if I could eliminate all their weakness's and gain all their strengths, mostly dps.

My thought was, if I learned what made popular builds fail at maps. I could avoid that failure for my build.

So the first thing I learned was that popular builds where terrible at physical reflect, because a lot of them did a ton of pure physical damage.

I wanted to avoid that so I converted my physical damage to cold damage using the Hrimburn gloves and took a few nodes to convert a further 20% physical damage as extra cold damage.

So physical damage is converted to elemental cold, making physical reflect maps a easy. And against Elemental Reflect or Elemental Resistant Boss's. You take off the gloves and you do those too without much trouble using your pure unconverted physical damage.

And against no leech/no mana which finished off the rest of the vaal/popular cyclone builds.

I decided to go claws. Which compared to swords/mace/axe. You have a 46+ health per hit on your weapon. So with flasks, no leech is manageable for you as well cuz you already block 70% of the attacks and only have to leech a small amount to gain your health back.

Also, the claw skill tree vs the sword/mace/axe tree already has leech on it. A lot of builds waste skill nodes to get leech, but we already have leech included. We practically have no wasted nodes on our tree which is why our damage is so much higher than many other melee builds who have to go out of their way 4-6 nodes to get leech.

And against a low block, low armor mod. I stacked all my physical mitigation into auras (arctic armor), curses(enfeeble), and channeling abilities(archon shield). And with at least 5k health. Those mods which would kill other max-block builds don't do much to you because of your mitigation. You can be practically be naked still get the same damage reduction. You just get tagged more often due to low block.

If you want a general comparison. A lot of builds include Granite flask and/or determination to buff their armor from 20k to 40k. This is about 40% physical mitigation for 6k damage. You literally get the same mitigation with just enfeeble and The Unshattered Will Archon, every 4 seconds which you can time because the buff happens as soon as you start channeling.

But your mitigation applies to both spells and physical damage unlike pure armor. Vastly superior in my opinion. And this is not including the 15% physical reduction from Arctic Armour, 10% Fortify, nor the 8% from the Pantheon, nor any endurance charges you gain from blocking from Bringer of Rain.

Essentially, we get great, highly efficient build and skill-tree that can do all content for pennies compared to everyone else.

Mandatory Gear:

Helmet - Bringer of Rain - 1 Chaos Orb

This helmet gives you an easy way to gain endurance charges (20% chance per block) and an easy 6 link, which is pretty much everyone's farming at like 50+ chaos for.

It's cheap. It's decent. And you have an extra chance to blind enemies, making it even harder for them to hit you through all your mitigation and 70% block. For 1 chaos vs 50+ chaos. It's a great league starter choice. No comparison.

Armor - Brass Plate - 3 Chaos Orbs

Really, this is for cosmetic flavor. Our Bringer of Rain Helmet renders all body armor we wear useless and red, but you still get to look pretty in it, even if it doesn't do anything.

Boots - Kaom Root's - 1 Alchemy Orb

If you are a new player like me. You won't know what stun is. It's an interrupt mechanic and you'll feel it all the time when enemies hit you. You'll be attacking through a swirling vortex spell and suddenly your attack is interrupted by a invisible attack. Honestly, stun feels as if your character lagged and you just stopped attacking.

I thought I was lagging, but once you put on these boots you are immune to stun. It makes you realize. Oh, so I was actually stunned. Not lagging. It so much easier to do constant damage. You'll never feel cheated or whacked up the head in any fight. It's either this or spend 4 skill points into Unwavering Stance. We want more damage. So we need those extra nodes for damage output. It also protects us against two very annoying things for all players.

Temporal Chains (20% slow movement) and Frozen. Yes, these boots protect you from being frozen because your movement can never be slowed. It's amazing. Never take them off.

Shield - The Unshattered Will Archon Kite Shield - 13 Chaos Orbs

The issue with getting Kaom's Roots and Bringer of Rain is resistance. You don't have a helmet or chest armor or boots that you can put resistance on.

You don't really have many places left for elemental resistance. This shield helps us do that with 22%+ to all resistance and gives us a passive 60% channeling damage boost with an added bonus of 60-70+ maximum life.

The channeling damage boost on this shield is not actually a 60% increase like it says in the text, you aren't getting some crazy damage added to your Blade Flurry. It's actually somewhere around 10-50k damage increase instead of like 100k. I'm not sure how that works, but that's what it reads in the damage calculator.

Also, the Harbringer Summon that you get from the shield, summons an invincible harbringer minion that gives you a buff every 8 seconds while your channeling that decreases all damage you take by 20%. The buff lasts 4 seconds. So, every 4 seconds you get the 20% damage reduction while attacking with blade flurry.

Think of it like gaining 20,000 armor every 4 seconds that also blocks spell damage. Cause that's pretty much what it is. Your pretty rock solid in terms of defense while using this thing. There is no good replacement for this shield.

Amulet - The Anvil - 1 Alchemy Orb

Well, honestly you need the 8% block that comes from this amulet because we min-max'd on our tree. We took almost zero useless blocking nodes unlike many of the other max-block builds. All nodes that gave us blocking had to either increase our damage or do something special.

I had to do some rough calculations to see if 8% blocking was worth it, and it's something like doubles our chance of getting hit twice. Its a 12% chance that an attack hit us twice vs 6% if we take the amulet. I rather go for that 6% chance something hits us twice. Sounds safer on paper. And with 5k health. Safe is good.

Rings 1c - 10c

You need resistance, accuracy, and life. Intellect on at least one ring is a must to use claws, because we aren't picking up any intellect nodes. But if you are having trouble, picking one intellect node on the skill tree isn't the end of the world. I made sure to get at least 30% chaos on one of my rings. You want your chaos resistance to be at least positive. Poison/Chaos damage really does kill you that quickly.

Belt 1c - 10c

We need life and resistance. Chaos resistance if you didn't get enough on rings. We got no helmet, boot, or body armor. You gonna have to scouring the very depths of poe-trade to patch yourself up to par.

Gloves 1c - 5c


You got a lot of choices here. We typically want Hrimburn for the physical to cold convert damage, but any rare with decent resistance, health, and damage will do here. Hrimburn just synergies best with our skills and allows you to do physical reflect maps easy. Also, you get to ignite enemies with cold damage. How cool is that!

Weapon 1c - 15c

Alright, so this is the make or break of the build. You need good claws to deal with the endgame, it can literally double or triple your damage. The good thing about claws is that they have a high intellect requirement, so nobody really uses them. Making them cheap for us.

Advancing Fortress. Super Budget Claw. This will cost you 2 Alterations Orbs. Hilariously, this will put you at 100k dps. You can probably do T10+ maps long as you don't mind taking a while to kill things, but it won't feel good. Helps you with blocking though, if you want to max out early.

Storm Razor. Good Claw. 8 Chaos Orbs. This will put you at 200k-300kdps. The modifier is important because notice that you get mana per hit with the claw along with life per hit. It helps with no mana regen, no leech maps, its important you get at least one back-up claw like this cuz while everyone can't do anything cuz they can't leech or regen mana. You'll literally get your attack's worth of mana back with every hit. No leech does nothing to you.

Touch of Anguish. Good Claw. 14 Chaos Orbs. A slight improvement on our previous claw. About 10k+ dps or something. It has a lower intelligence requirement 95 compared to 121 int which is important so you don't have to min-max as hard for the rest of your jewels/equipment with comparable damage. You also get to randomly freeze things and our cold damage gets a slight boost.

Jewels 1c-10c
Really, all you need is resistances if you still aren't max'd and intelligence to use your claws. Everything else can be whatever you want, but %life is always a good investment. You can spend as little or as much as you want here.


Only important flask is bleed immune. Keep rolling a bunch of orbs of transmutation on flasks till you get it. Bleed hurts. You don't want that. You do 200k dps without any damage boosting flasks. So unlike other builds. You can just slap people with your base attack and still do fairly good damage. Min-Max at your leisure. I'm also lazy and didn't want a build where I'm chugging things every couple seconds to kill things. All I need is health. That's it!

You can either kill them all or help Alira for the 15% elemental resistance + 20% Critical Modifier. I recommend helping Alira cuz min-maxing resistance is a pain in the ass. But if you are able to get all the resistance on rings and belt. The two extra skill points are slightly better in terms of dps.

We will be taking Gratuitous Violence for Cruel Lab to get the benefit of exploding bodies and faster clear for leveling. Versatile Combatant for 100% spell block for Merc Lab to help our survivability and Violent Retaliation for Uber Lab for 80% increase damage vs uniques when we block their attack.

This is why with 200k dps, we are actually looking at 360k dmg vs bosses cuz of Violent Retaliation Ascendancy. And about 500k once you fully upgrade your skill gems to 20% quality. You kill weak mobs fast, and bosses as fast.

You may also decide to take Outmatch and Outlast vs Gratuitous Violence. I believe you do more damage with Outmatch and Outlast, but its hard to tell because Gratuitous Violence gives you corpse explosions and increase 30% damage to bleeding enemies.

It's your preference on this one.

Skill Gem Links

Helmet - Green - Blue - Red - Blue

Blade Flurry
Elemental Focus
Elemental Damage
Concentrated Effect.


Blade Flurry
Elemental Damage
Concentrated Effect

Works also if your having a hard time getting the 1st arrangement.

Shield - Red - Blue - Blue
Cast When Damage Taken lvl 2
Frost Bomb or Purity of Elements (For Elemental Weakness)

Weapon - Red - Red - Green
Cast When Damage Taken lvl 11
Immortal's Call lvl 9
Hatred or Arctic Armour

Gloves - Green - Green - Red - Red
Faster Attack
Herald of Ice or Arctic Armour
Shield Charge or Leap
Ancestral Totem or Fortify

The only thing you need to be aware of here is Immortal's Call Cast When Damage Taken is there to prevent the dreaded double hit ko'd cuz you didn't block two big hits in a row.

For example, if you run into a pack of creatures and 5 of them clock you for 1,000 damage. You're immune to all physical damage for the next second or two, which can be like 6,000 incoming damage.

I find this incredibly useful to surviving when slamming my face into 20 monsters who all attack me at once. Literally, keeps your hp at a reasonable level most of the time if things get past your block. It's a must have in this build.

Leveling Guide
I can't give you a detailed leveling guide because I was totally new to the game when I was leveling up. I just ran around killing things till I got high level. All I can say is that you are going to need accuracy on your rings around level 40-50 because it'll be hard to hit things. Once you make it past a certain level you can just start equipping yourself as I listed in the guide.

Anyhow, that's my past week's worth of effort and study all boiled down to one thread post. I hope this helps anyone like me who has been trying to get their feet into the endgame. I'm very pleased, cuz ppl said I couldn't make my own build. Well, I win, boys!
Last edited by RPGlitch on Aug 30, 2017, 5:29:17 PM
Last bumped on Aug 28, 2017, 1:01:58 PM
Looks interesting, ill give it a shot. Which nodes did you go to first? I assume you grab the stuff under Duelist tree then grab all the life to the left then rush life, cold conversion, and leech on the right?
Last edited by memerdude420 on Aug 27, 2017, 5:08:14 AM
Correct, lol. All your resistance are on the left side and are the first thing you'll rush for. Life nodes aren't as important till you start doing maps. Mostly, because everything is easy to kill. It's not till the higher maps that, you'll need the extra health and to make things easy on yourself.

Even Vaal Pact was just a last minute consideration because I realize a few burst damage from boss's made me uncomfortable. I'll add a leveling guide. Just gotta recollect what I picked during my noob days, lol.
Last edited by RPGlitchy on Aug 27, 2017, 10:03:33 AM
How to you use BoR and Brass Dome ? Armors will be disabled with BoR...
coryu wrote:
How to you use BoR and Brass Dome ? Armors will be disabled with BoR...

He said for cosmetic purposes :)
"Good thing they nerfed the carto, it wasn't fun to find one in every map." - Haborym
Last edited by monkuar on Aug 27, 2017, 3:08:49 PM
monkuar wrote:
coryu wrote:
How to you use BoR and Brass Dome ? Armors will be disabled with BoR...

He said for cosmetic purposes :)

My bad :x I saw the long description, but didnt read it :x
Leveled till 28 with cleave then at 28 I switched to BF with ele damage, ele focus, melee phys, faster attacks, and conc. Swapping conc to inc aoe when I reach 38 and using that for the rest of the leveling.

Could run something like a Lycosidae + Claw to get the build started really early, switching to using advancing fortress claw at 46.

You could also just dual wield princess sabres and use whirling blades to move faster than shield charge till you hit 68 and then switch into the build when you can actually equip everything.

Gonna run a dual curse setup because I happened to corrupt this. Curse on hit with Ele Weakness + Herald of Ice and Cast When Damage Taken Enfeeble.

Also 2 questions:
1. Why did you not respec Gratuitous Violence into Outmatch and Outlast later on? We will pretty much always be full on endurance/frenzy charges.
2. Why did you go for ruthless support instead of ele focus on the bringer of rain? PoB reads a higher dps for ele focus support.
Last edited by memerdude420 on Aug 27, 2017, 8:09:06 PM
Hey! I'm happy ppl find the build interesting.

1. I decided against Outmatch and Outlast because Gratuitous Violence does on average in my opinion more damage to mobs and boss's. Any boss's adds you explode and add their 10% of their health as damage onto the boss, making it faster to kill them.

And you just randomly get frenzy charges by being yourself. I dunno why, or how. You just always got frenzy even without Outmatch and Outlast stealing it from random enemies.

Also, the second fear you have on high maps is corpse explosion. GV will clear at least half the mobs using explosions,(the rest of the mobs die to the explosions leaving bodies) making it more difficult for you to instant die.

You'll typically not encounter that situation often, but when your faceplanting into packs of monsters. You'll feel a lot safer cuz it's 2 or 3 corpse boom-booms instead of 5-6.

2. You are correct. The reason I didn't get elemental focus was because Bringer of Rain is a Dex-Str helmet. Which means it has a decreased rate to get Int-Skill gems when trying to randomly use chrome orbs.

I remember just wasting tons of chrome, even crafting the two blue using the bench, but not getting the right green and red nodes to finish the optimal gem set. So once, I got 2 Reds - 1 Green - 1 Blue. I was like....this is good enough. You are right though, so I'll try to put a note for that in the build.

Also, a video is up if you want to see this build action. I kinda goofed around a lot, don't have max lvl gems, and took my time, but you'll get the idea.

T12 - Corrupted Rare Crematorium

So, I did a bit of theorycrafting since memerdude420 made a lot of good points which got me thinking on how to clear maps quicker if we take Outlast and Outmatch as an option. Since, without GV our map clearing is much slower and undead mobs would be annoying (cuz they didn't explode, so they resurrect).

And actually, we could use flicker strike. As crazy as it seems, we could with a slight modification to our tree.

Poe Planner

Take the bottom left jewel socket next to all our resistances and use the Green Dream Emerald Gem which converts our cold/all resistance into frenzy chance per kill, which would be about 30% from the resistances on the tree. 25% chance of frenzy from Outmatch and Outlast, 25% chance to steal frenzy cuz claws, and 20% chance to gain per kill of frozen enemy from our weapon.

So, really we are as good or better than many flicker builds because we got 70% shield to block out damage mitigation, and we can switch to blade flurry to kill boss's with normal dps.

Only issue is that Green Dream is so expensive at 250 Chaos Orbs.

It's definitely not gonna be for a budget build, but if we have extra cash to spend. Perhaps, worth at least a test to see if we can make the build better.

So, with Varunastra we can use sunder and beat all the sunder builds cuz we do more flat dps. And now we can use flicker and beat all the flicker builds cuz we got shield block, tons of mitigation, and blade flurry to kill boss's.

I feel every time I look at my build, it's like.

'You have not yet seen my final form.' lol. It's time to go SuperSaiyan boys!
Last edited by RPGlitch on Aug 28, 2017, 1:03:25 PM

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