[3.0] The Unshaper | Crit Starforge Heavy Strike | Millions of DPS | Shaper in ~3:30

The Unshaper - Crit Starforge Heavy Strike Berserker



With the release of 3.1 we lose Vaal Pact, which makes Berserker much less desirable. Playing it as a Slayer is probably preferable now.

Hello there!

Have you ever felt like your build just doesn’t have enough single target damage output?
Are your pathetic little blade flurry builds just not MANLY enough?
Do you dream of hitting Guardians for a quarter of their life in a single strike?

If you answered yes to the questions above, I have a build for you!

The point of this build is to achieve absurd single target damage on a reasonable budget – we’re not using any mirror tier items. However, a 6-linked Starforge helps a lot.

This build is meant for running and quickly farming Guardians and Shaper. Other content is all possible, but can sometimes be annoying to run. Uber Atziri can be done deathless.

One question I forgot: have you ever felt like your sword is just too small?
And while we’re speaking of small swords, at this point I want to give a shoutout some friends and fellow guide creators:

Dark Pact Clearspeed Berserker
The New Fakener 2.6
The Freezerator

The New Fakener 3.0 Update

Video Showcase

Full Shaper Run 3:32

Minotaur (Boss)

Minotaur (Full Clear + Boss)




Uber Atziri Full Run Deathless

Disclaimer: This build is made for bosses, not mapping! In maps it plays like a slightly worse Terminus Flicker build. I ran 3 maps and uploaded the footage for comparison.
3 Shaped Racecourses (T11)

Build Theory Explanation | Interactions

The build revolves around the following items:

We use Starforge for the high physical Damage as well as enabling shock, and two Weight of the Empire jewels to give a chance to double the damage of our Heavy Strike.
Combined with over 500% critical strike multiplier, and the new Ruthless support gem, this gives us the possibility of dealing a up to around 2,5 million damage in a single hit.

Since we have such a huge single hit, we can reliably shock Guardians and Shaper, increasing our damage even more.

For clearing maps, we use a Terminus Est with Flicker Strike in our weapon swap. This works very well, as we are stacking crit and sword nodes already. We also have a frenzy gem socketed for sticky situations while flickering.

DISCLAIMER: If you do not feel comfortable with Flicker Strike, feel free to weapon swap to another Starforge with either Lacerate or Cyclone. Those will be slower, but safer than Flicker.

There is considerable RNG in the damage output, but even in the worst case scenario, all endgame bosses are obliterated within seconds.

Ascendancy | Skill Tree | Bandit


The preferred Ascendancy for this build is Berserker.

Berserker offers the following bonuses:
+ Reliable leech without spending passive points
+ Lots of physical attack damage and attack speed
+++ 40% MORE damage

- 10% incrased damage taken

Alternative: Slayer

Slayer offers the following bonuses:
+ Better mapping speed
+ Built-in stun- and bleed-immunity (not reliable with Vaal Pact)
+ less prone to reflect deaths
+ 20% Culling Strike (effectively 25% more damage)

+/- Allows you to drop Vaal Pact (can be very dangerous on Guardians and Shaper, not recommended)

--- less damage than Berserker
- has to spend passive points for leech

Slayer is a better choice if you want to start a league with this build, but Berserker shines in the endgame.

Passive Tree

Level 94

When playing the build at lower levels, try leaving the life/crit nodes intact and instead remove generic increased damage. The crit is very important to sustain Frenzy Charges on Flicker Strike.

If you feel like you need more life, feel free to drop some damage nodes and pick up more of it.


Choose Alira as your Bandit for 20% critical strike multiplier and +15% to all resistances.
You can also choose 2 passive points, but Alira is superior.


Brine King - it's important not to get stunlocked, especially as a Vaal Pact Berserker
Slayer can use Lunaris/Solaris depending on what content you're doing

Always Yugul to help with reflect

Pros and Cons


+ Insane single target DPS
+ Decent clear speed with Flicker Strike
+ Reliable stuns, even on guardians
+ Huge Hits
+ Big Sword
+ Manly


- Prone to reflect oneshots
- High increased damage taken, especially physical
- Knockback can be annoying on normal bosses, but Guardians/Shaper are immune



I would consider Starforge a neccessity for this build. Even if you do not consider the shock, it is VERY hard to beat, even with a mirror level two-handed sword.
The 6-link increased your damage by a lot, allowing you to skip shaper phases (barring bad RNG). You can get away with a 5-linked one.

Weapon Swap

In the weapon swap, we use a Terminus Est socketed with Flicker Strike. This is used to clear maps and trash on some bosses.

You can find many guides for Terminus Flicker on this forum, so I will not go too in-depth into it.

A 6-link is not neccessary at all, even for clearing T16 maps. If you do get one, consider socketing fortify to have it up 100% of the time while mapping. This helps against reflect.

Run another Starforge in Weapon Swap with Lacerate/Cyclone


You can use any of the heavy strike enchants. Listed in order of DPS gain:
12% chance for Heavy Strike to deal double damage
40% increased Heavy Strike damage
15% increased Heavy Strike attack speed

Any of them will be a great help for your DPS. As you can imagine, Heavy Strike enchants aren't exactly popular, so it might be hard to find one. Who knows, Heavy Strike might go mainstream?

There are 2 choices for a helmet:


Abyssus is the big ticket DPS item. However, it comes with the drawback of taking a lot more physical damage. This is especially noticable on Berserker.
The one posted has the maximum DPS possible. If you want to be more safe, focus on the % physical damage taken roll, not the crit multiplier.

I recommend using this for all bosses except Uber Atziri and Chimera.

Starkonja's Head

Note: this Starkonja's is not enchanted correctly. Get one of the ones mentioned above.

Starkonja's offers decent damage, critical strike chance, as well as up to 100 life.
Recommended for general mapping, Uber Atziri and Chimera.

Body Armour

I recommend using a Belly of the Beast. We socket our Ancestral Warchief in this item.
The 6-link is not required at all, 4 or 5-link will do fine.

Alternative: Kaom's Heart

If you want to drop your CWDT Setup, 4-link your warchief and lose the Frenzy gem, you can use Kaom's for more life. Not recommended.


Rare Spiked Gloves. Life. Accuracy. Open suffix for attack speed craft. Resists if possible.

Concerning Atziri's Acuity
Acuity is not worth it on this build. Rare gloves provide much more damage, while having more life. We path right by Vaal Pact, so there is no real reason to use Acuity. Better spend the currency on top tier amulets and rings.


Most of your resists can come from a pair of two-toned boots. Also get some life. Movement speed is a luxury, we move around with Leap Slam.


Cheap belt with lots of life and resists.

If you can fit it in:

(Get better rolls than these)
Belt of the deceiver offers a lot more damage through the intimidation aura.


Diamond is the best base, slightly better than Steel.
These are cheap rings. Sort out your Int requirement (or do it on your amulet). Flat phys is a luxury, Starforge provides enough. Life. Resists. Accuracy. Attack speed would be the absolute best.


Flat phys (not required). Life. Stats. Critical strike multiplier. Some resists if needed. Can also get accuracy.


Damage. Try to get a good roll. Knockback does not matter because Heavy Strike knocks back already.

Used only on Berserker. Triggers savage hit on yourself, granting damage, attack speed and 100% leech. Roll/Quality does not matter. Could be replaced with Basalt or even Sulphur on Slayer.

Life Flask for safety. Can easily be swapped out for a staunching Basalt Flask.

Silver Flask for Onslaught. Warding helps against map curses. If you do not intend to run curse maps, get ignite, shock or poison immunity.

Diamond Flask for critical strike chance (= damage). Also helps sustain your Frenzy Charges when flickering. Of Heat is essential.

(Immunties can be swapped between the magic flasks, obviously).


If you wish to drop Brutality and rely more on your flasks, remove the gem and swap in these two:

This results in slightly higher DPS when flasks are up, but lower DPS when down. Also makes it harder to fit in your immunities.


Always. Can get good corruptions to mix-max. These go here:

Rare Jewels:

ALWAYS % increased maximum life.

And two of the following, in order of importance (three if high budget):

Critical Strike Multiplier
Physical Damage
Attack Speed
Elemental Resistances

Note that you can use two-handed and sword-specific rolls, making your jewels cheaper.

poe.trade searches for jewels (Harbinger League):
Cheap (Life + 2)
Expensive (Life + 3)

Gem Links

All gems are listed in order of importance.

Main Weapon (Starforge)

Weapon Swap (Terminus Est)
Alternative 6th link for safety

Optional Weapon Swap (another Starforge)
Lacerate - Brutality - Melee. Phys - Crit Strikes - Inc. AOE - Multistrike/Faster Attacks (Preference)
Cyclone - Brutality - Melee Phys - Crit. Strikes - Inc. AOE - Faster Attacks

Body Armour

Maim has the highest priortiy because it also affects your Heavy Strike Damage.

Any 4-link

Frenzy is used for building Frenzy Charges on bosses, and if you run out while flickering.

Any 4-link

You can go for a higher level on the CWDT. 15% of your life would be a good threshold to aim for, as that's the requirement for a savage hit. I didn't bother.
Make sure Vaal Haste is a high enough level to not be triggered by CWDT. Increased Duration benefits both.

Any 4-link

Assassin's Mark for damage and PC generation. Ice Golem for critical strike chance and accuracy. Arctic Armour to counteract Berserker and Abyssus. Works while flickering.

Path of Building

Here is the pastebin for Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/6nFnq7SL

Thoughts on the configuration:
The config I put into this export is probably on the low end of realistic damage.

We are using
Full life (always, as long as you have no dots)
Have been hit recently, Have been savage hit recently (Doedre's Elixir takes care of it)
Enemy is maimed (from Ancestral Warchief)

We are NOT using
Shock (should be significant even on shaper, but not the full 50%)
Frenzy and Power charges (although Elxir gives 1 each)

The "realistic" DPS with Heavy Strike and Warchief is about 3,2 Million DPS on Shaper.
If we add charges and shock, it goes up to 6 Million DPS, but this is not a reliable number.

Uber Atziri

Uber Atziri is a tough one on this build. Here's what to do:

General Tipps
Skip trash, only refill flasks using Warchief
Be careful around chaos trash mobs
Bring a Basalt Flask instead of Doedre's Elixir (Dousing or Grounding)
Use Starkonja's instead of Abyssus (will reduce your damage by quite a lot, but with Abyssus Trio is pretty much impossible)

For Bosses:
Vaal Constructs are easy, just pop them one after the other and burst them down as they come up, enrage should not be a problem

Trio can be tough - try to kill the Tentacle grill first, with all flasks up. After she's dead, either facetank like a man or just play Warchief lite

Switch Ruthless for Multistrike gem (on Atziri only), so you don't oneshot yourself to reflect
Be careful on Atziri - if you have not been savage hit, hitting her for too long during her casts will kill you (reflect), bring a life flask
Do not pop all flasks on split phase, or you will run out. Just Diamond or Lion's Roar is plenty to end the split phase before the Flameblast goes off

Even after these measures, Uber is still hard, so don't underestimate the run!


Level as Dual Wield Sunder and respec once you start farming Guardians and Shaper.
You can also go Terminus Flicker as soon as you reach maps - work the Heavy Strike in when you need it for endgame.

Final Words

Thank you for reading so far!
Have fun if you decide to try the build!
Last edited by Xevosh on Jan 19, 2018, 3:47:44 PM
Last bumped on Mar 30, 2018, 12:17:52 PM
This looks interesting, good job. Could you please upload a video of a general map clear around t13-15 or similar? Even the trash up to a guardian would be good. Thanks mate.
nice and detailed guide! I played a lot as flicker, so. strong single target for my beloved skill is...very nice!
I've never really fancied a flicker based character, looks a bit random for my tastes but I might just have to give this a go.
I tried heavy strike crit hege staff last league with the jewels and it wasn't worth it - sunder actually scaled better for single target and clearing.
That was before the new supports though.
sick boss dps!

nice to see some different skills being used
I'm guessing cyclone works just fine for those of us that hate flicker strike?
Just one question:

Why Heavy Strike and not Vigilant Strike ? It should be better in every aspect to Heavy Strike. More dmg, free cant evade (you can drop all accuracy) and free fortify ?

I dont see you using bleed or sh*t like that ?
IGN: PojzonAbyss
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Vigilant Strike has a cooldown, and you need to expend an Endurance Charge to reset it. I don't have reliable generation for Endurance Charges, therefore Heavy Strike.

Also, Weight of the Empire jewels add a lot of Damage.
This looks damn awesome! I will try this build as my 5th character this league :D
But there is one that I worry about, how often do you died while mapping?
Berserker+Abyssus seems really dangerous..
Should I use other helm while mapping?
You can use Starkonja's in general mapping, you have enough damage.

Yes, the build is pretty dangerous to play, so it's not great if you want to level to 100 or play hardcore.

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