[3.0] The Honest Barbarian (Blood Magic, Starforge)

Welcome, Exile!

I'd like to present you the build I play in Harbinger SC.
It's super easy to play, it has pretty nice DpS, tons and tons of life, and it is quite survivable in any scenario, because we abuse Vaal Pact (like every Berserker should, enjoy while you still can!).

I wanted to try the new physical gems, and I wanted to push the blood magic keystone into lategame, as high as I can go (turns out I can go pretty high).

Gotta love vanishing dye mtx. ;)

So we have this setup:
*pure physical damage
*no mana
*no energy shield
*in your face melee
*big twohanded weapon

...that's why I call the build "the honest barbarian".
You cannot get more "Conan" out of this game.

The build is centered around two uniques:

Those have somewhat of a price tag, so it's not exactly 100% beginner friendly, but you can get away with lesser choices for most of the game's content. With the exception of late-lategame, any good rare twohanded Sword and rare chest with 100 life will do.


tl;dr - Path of Building

paste bin link
5L Cyclone, 6L Heavy Strike

Flasks and Warchief are unchecked, you can check them for more deeps.
Phase Run should remain unchecked, I heavily doubt this really offers 30% more damage all the time.



Level 94

1) Follow the path to Resolute Technique.
2) Grab Blood Magic and Mortal Conviction, do not take the stuff along the way.
3) Enter the Duelist zone, grab everything there.
4) Take the long journey to Vaal Pact, so you can allocate it once you finished your uber lab.
5) Jewel sockets last. First the sockets for 2 points, then the ones for 3 points.

Along the journey, when your damage feels a bit weak, grab the damage nodes, otherwise grab life, life, life.

Kill all.

Greedy: 40% damage before 100% life leech.
Safe: The other way around.

Brine King: Even though we cannot be stunned during Cyclone, I like the "cannot be frozen" part when the Brine King is upgraded.
Gruthkul: reflect protection seems to be quite useful.

Why Acrobatics?
Why not? As a 2h build that aims for Kaom's, we won't have any meaningful amounts of armour in lategame, so we may as well grab the 30% chance to dodge for 1 point.


Skill Gems

Main attack:
+Melee physical damage
+Increased AoE / concentrated effect
You can get away without fortify when you put it on your leap slam instead, but I find that very inconvenient. So I lower my DpS a bit, but constantly have it up without any worries. If you choose to do otherwise, add Ruthless or faster attacks as the 6th gem.

4L - Warchief
+Melee physical damage
I chose Vengeance here so this skill also gets 2 damage supports, but it's really up to you. You could also add a third link to your Warchief, like Maim.
Another option is to use Vengeance and Warchief for pure utility, with curse on hit and a curse of your choice.

4L - Cast when damage taken
+Immortal Call
+Increased Duration
I like Phase Run here. It lets you move through monsters, which is very helpful for Cyclone, you cannot get cornered. But don't forget to uncheck it in PoB, I highly doubt its damage bonus is very reliable. ;)
Note that Immortal Call duration is very short, but it's enough to save your life with this setup, in example when you hit a reflect rare.
Another choice would be Blood Rage to generate frenzy charges, but Blood Rage + Vaal Pact feels horrible, in my opinion. You can also stick in Vaal Haste or Vaal Grace, they will not be triggered automatically, but they benefit from increased duration.
Or you use a Golem, but my Barbarian wants to fight alone.

2L - Leap Slam
+faster attacks.

This leaves 2 more sockets you can use for whatever you want. You could turn Leap Slam into a 3-4L, give it Fortify and another utility gem like Culling Strike. Or you use the 2 remaining sockets for something else. I put my Vaal Grace here.

No Enduring Cry?
Barbarians don't cry. ;)

If you don't have a Kaom's Heart, you have 6 more sockets.
Feel free to do whatever you want, maybe turn your warchief into a 5-6L.
Or you can use the gem setup I use in "Endgame Luxury" in your chestpiece.

3.5 build: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299519
Last edited by Peterlerock on Oct 2, 2017, 2:43:33 PM
Last bumped on Feb 2, 2018, 5:53:00 AM
Gear Progression

This character is pretty easy and straightforward to gear because we can use a lot of rare items. It's enough to have mediocre resists on every piece, you don't need to shoot for super expensive triple high tier resist pieces.

1) Some cheap unique (5L on a super cheap rare chest)
2) Some 500 DpS rare/unique with a 5L
3) Starforge 5L
4) Starforge 6L
5) A second Starforge, see chapter "Luxury in Endgame"

1) Once you enter maps, always have 75% to all elemental resists.
2) Try to aim for high life rolls everywhere.
3) Try to get a bit of flat intelligence on your helmet or amulet, so you can use blue gems.
4) Try to get some chaos resist, poison ground can be quite annoying with Vaal Pact
5) Luxury: Cyclone enchant on helmet, attackspeed on gloves, movespeed on boots, flat physical damage on rings and amulet.
6) Kaom's Heart

1) Aim for 6-7% life on every jewel.
2) Attackspeed with swords is the best affix to scale DpS.
3) If you want more damage affixes, it starts to get really expensive, so I would settle for a resistance or some other minor bonus instead. It's really nice if you can find "chance to shock" on a jewel or two once you have Starforge, since physical damage can shock with that thing.

I do not recommend Belly of the Beast in this guide. I collect so much % life in the tree, the difference between a +100 life rare chest and a 40% belly is minimal.

In the current version, this belt is BiS for almost every build because it adds another "more multiplier" to our damage with intimidate:

This build is no exception, though a rare belt with high life and resists will also be fine.

Get freeze removal and bleed removal. Add immunity to curses if you can. Fill the rest with DpS.
I really like this setup:

With Vaal Pact, you don't really need a life flask, but I find it nice to have in some situations.


Endgame Luxury
When you have your Kaom's heart and your 6L Starforge, but still have currency to spend: Buy a second Starforge. A 5L is enough here, though a 6L would certainly be even more p.i.m.p. ... ;)

You can now do Press "x" for single target:

For maximum effect, use two Weight of the Empire jewels, one in the socket left of marauder start, one in the socket below duelist start.

This setup will more than double your killspeed against lategame bosses. And for any non-boss out there, even in t17, this 5L setup is more than enough, except 1-2 scenarios, like the ads of Chimera or the t15 beachhead map boss encounter: swap in concentrated effect then.

In case you're wondering: Do not put an active skillgem into the 6th socket of the 5L Starforge. It messes with the weapon swap skill allocation, you'll sometimes find your enduring cry (or whatever you put there) on your right mouse button instead of cyclone.


My gear

This is 9.2k life, ~100k Cyclone DpS unbuffed (basically on a 3L) and ~700k Heavy Strike DpS with all flasks up and warchief down.


Tips against specific content

Uber Lab:
Vaal Pact is horrible in Lab. So invest 1-2 regret orbs to remove it. Put the point into the .8% regen at marauder start, or just leave it unallocated.

Physical reflect and/or no life leech maps:
Just don't.

With the heavy strike setup, we simply delete her.
With cyclone, be careful in the split phase not to spin around too much and hit the one holding up a mirror. ;)

With Kaom's Heart, you can facetank everything Minotaur and Hydra do, unless you stack too many damage mods on the map.
For Chimera, the only dangerous parts are cloud phase (be quick) and the ads, though I can facetank them most often.
Against Phoenix, you need to dodge his AoE fire attack. Rest is pretty much facetanking, though I recommend to take your time to kill the little firebirds from time to time.

We have easily enough damage to keep Zana alive during the minion phase.
The rest is up to you and your mechanic skills. I bricked a couple sets until I finally understood what I have to do: dodge more, facetank less, this is the opposite of what I do in all other content. ;)

Uber Atziri:
Didn't try her yet. But I killed the Vaal trio in corrupted t16, and Atziri herself is, again, a very mechanical fight.


But I want even more Deepz!

The following chapter is by no means necessary for progression, you can clear all content without it.

Resolute Technique puts a limit on your DPS, that's the price you pay for the convenience of never having to bother with accuracy. Maybe you get level 21 on some gems, maybe you divine your Starforge to perfection, maybe you have t1 flat phys on steel rings etc.
But those are all minor increases in DpS, you'll reach some sort of "soft cap", with this build, it will be around 900k to 1 million Heavy Strike DpS in PoB with all flasks up, buffed by warchief etc.

If this somehow isn't enough for you, the logical progression is: we go crit.
This puts two new DpS suffixes into the mix, crit chance and crit multiplier, and a third suffix (accuracy) that you also need to adress a bit.
Because resistances are also suffixes, all those stand in each others way, so you need better resistances on your gear slots, which allows you to spend even more exalted orbs for gear upgrades. Hooray!

With the tree above, we are already sitting next to all relevant crit clusters:
*Disemboweling at the right of RT
*Fatal Blade and Heart Seeker near the ranger jewel socket
*Assassination in Shadow Start

However, you cannot just cut 13 points from the old tree (14 points for the crit nodes, -1 for RT), you'll need a new layout. The most efficient one is probably this:
Click me for a lvl 95 tree
This will cost around 40-45 orbs of regret if you do it correctly.

Then you add "increased critical strikes" to your Cyclone and Heavy Strike, you now use a Diamond Flask, and you buy a new amulet that not only has life and flat physical damage, but also crit multiplier, ideally even accuracy and crit chance (if you can afford).

My setup:

(Accuracy is handled via one ring suffix, that's 90% chance to hit)

You could also try to get all your resists without the helmet, and then use a Starkonja's or even an Abyssus (a bit suicidal, I wouldn't do that), but that was a bit too costly for me, I would have had to change too many gear slots.

Apart from the increased gear cost, you also pay with lower life.
Expect your life total to drop by around 10% (I went from ~9400 to ~8600 with the new tree).

What you get is some very spiky damage output, between "a bit lower than with RT" and "Holy shit, that boss just disappeared!".
No matter what you try, you will not get the consistency of a dagger or wand build, you will stay at around 40% crit chance, maybe 50% when you're really pushing it.
This also means that crit alone won't do too much for your DpS, it will maybe go up by ~30-40% (you lost a more multiplier support gem, some normal damage from the tree, and the chance to hit is no longer 100%).

But you get some crazy top end damage, when Ruthless, Crit and Weight of the Empire trigger at the same time (x2, x2, x4, that's "normal damage x16"!). What this allows you to do, is to click "target is shocked" in PoB. With such crazy damage per crit, you can consistently apply shock to bosses, including guardians. This new multiplier alone is worth taking the crit route.

Thank you for reading! Comments, ideas and critique are very welcome!
3.5 build: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299519
Last edited by Peterlerock on Oct 8, 2017, 6:29:07 AM
great build, I currently have 82 lvl and it is great :) I recommend !!

Hello I'm very good with this build, one question. In your Starforge-Cyclone you have 6S 5L which gem is best to put in an empty slot?

Last edited by LechiaGdansk on Oct 1, 2017, 5:22:49 AM
In case you're wondering: Do not put an active skillgem into the 6th socket of the 5L Starforge. It messes with the weapon swap skill allocation, you'll sometimes find your enduring cry (or whatever you put there) on your right mouse button instead of cyclone.

If you don't want to put a useless support gem in there just to level it, there's a couple options. The best ones are, imho:

Blood Rage to gain frenzy charges, though I really don't like BR degen on a Vaal Pact build. I tend to pick up a lot of stuff, and don't want to loose excessive amounts of life in this downtime from killing.

Enduring Cry to gain endurancs charges for phys reduction and longer Immortal Call.

A Curse: If you want another curse than Vulnerability, maybe Enfeeble or Temporal Chains, put it in here. Or put vuln in here if you don't trust your Witchfire Brew uptime.

Vengeance, so you can 4L your Warchief. Even an unlinked Vengeance will probably heal you for a substantial amount after you get "savagely hit".

A Golem of your choice. I'd probably take the lightning or fire golem for attackspeed or % damage.

...and, most luxurious option of them all:
Get a second 6L, and 6L your cyclone, too.
3.5 build: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299519
Last edited by Peterlerock on Oct 1, 2017, 5:55:13 AM
I'm also doing Starforge Cyclone with Berserker.. however, I've been doing my own thing, not following any single build in particular.

Here's the pastebin: https://pastebin.com/GGEGkuaY

Very different from yours. Thoughts?
[HSC] In-game Name: Sladverr (OR) Brutal_Dave
No mercy for the weak. No pity for the dying. No tears for the slain.
Hi Do you have any videos of this build? Especially for single target?
sladverr wrote:
I'm also doing Starforge Cyclone with Berserker.. however, I've been doing my own thing, not following any single build in particular.

Here's the pastebin: https://pastebin.com/GGEGkuaY

Very different from yours. Thoughts?

Overall, I have 1000 life more than you, and 30% dodge from Acrobatics.
You have the templar AoE instead, and bloodletting.

I guess the damage would be comparable if I also went for a 6L cyclone.

But I would never go back from my 6L Heavy Strike for endgame bosses.
I'm currently at ~900k PoB dps with Warchief, Flasks, intimidated, maimed, savage hit.

Also I don't have to swap gems for single target, I just press "x". That's Quality of Life deluxe version. ;)

About the tree:
I didn't want to take the way to VP through ranger start for several reasons:
a) I miss a sword cluster (Brutal Blade)
b) I miss several life clusters (Revenge of the Hunted, Herbalism, Thick Skin)
c) I miss flexibility: With my skilltree, you can super-easily respec into Brain Rattler (mace nodes + ele pen nodes at bottom right) or Disfavour (just take the 3 Axe notables), when you're bored after too many levels... Also there's some bleed stuff along the way I wanted to test, and the important keystones for Ngamahu if I wanted that (Iron Grip, Point Blank). ;)

ashaze wrote:
Hi Do you have any videos of this build? Especially for single target?

No. As I wrote in the guide, I'm playing on some very old potato, I cannot play and record reliably without the game stuttering, crashing, freezing.

Maybe I'll try to upload something later, but it's really just me holding down right mouse button, and you'll see the boss loosing big chunks of his life whenever weight of the empire and ruthless trigger combined. :)
3.5 build: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299519
Last edited by Peterlerock on Oct 3, 2017, 4:42:59 AM
Figured I'd give this a little whirl, I wanted a phys berserker cyclone build with vaal pact and I think this seems just the ticket ... at the bandits did you help oak or kill them all?
|I named him Waggleton P. Tallylicker |
|... I never got the chance to tell him |
|... he will be remembered.               |
NabeShogun wrote:
at the bandits did you help oak or kill them all?

Kill all.
Oak is definetly not worth it with Vaal Pact (no regen).
3.5 build: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299519
Just a couple updates:

I've crafted some sexy steel rings:

Unfortunately, the damage increase is super minimal, compared to my old ones:

I go from ~104k unbuffed Cyclone to ~108k (but traded the chaos res and ~200 life for this).
...that's probably not worth the insane price such rings would cost on the market, while my old rings cost me around 5-10 chaos each.


Also, I've removed inc AoE from Cyclone:

It annoyed me a tiny bit that I'm stacking ~60 extra int for it, on top of the Int for CWDT (the only other gem with an int requirement).
Not sure if removing inc AoE is the best idea, but now I'm even more of a true barbarian (no blue gems).

But, and that's maybe a big, big advantage for some readers:
I could now wear Bisco's (in non ele weakness maps), since I don't need a +int amulet anymore.


And I'm experimenting with this in my boots:

I think it's not reliable enough to proc onslaught, but it's fine for the moment.
I was never really using the vaal haste or vaal grace in there anyways.

3.5 build: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299519
Last edited by Peterlerock on Oct 4, 2017, 12:52:03 PM

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