[3.1] The Goddess Is Freed - Oni-Goroshi - Crit Vaal Pact Slayer

Welcome exiles. This is my first build guide (and if I'm honest, the first build I've theorycrafted and tested myself that actually kind of worked). I've tested this build solo self-found (though I play in the normal softcore leagues because I like the option of trading if I want and it's easier than migrating everything from SSF to normal). So the build will be fairly budget, though the sword itself will take a good few hours of grinding to obtain if you don't want to buy it.

0.0 3.2 Changes

I will be re-building this character in 3.2. Without any testing, it looks like taking Slayer is still the optimal path, but since they changed the order of leech nodes, Cruel Lab is now needed to have full sustain. Other than that, this seems relivately unchanged.

1.0 The Overview

- Are you looking for a flexible melee build?
- A reason to use a sword?
- A unique that you can reliably farm? (SSF)
- A satisfying shattering effect?
- A reason to actually ignite mobs again?
- Reasonable clear speed
- Practically Immune from Bleed, Chill, Freeze, and Stun? (Potentially Poison as well)
- Potential to clear most end-game bosses (still testing)

Well, this build may be for you.


+ Can run most map mods (though I would stay away from Reflect until after uber Lab and not run no/decreased regen maps altogether)
+ Budget or SSF friendly (only required unique is reliably farmable)
+ Reasonable clear speed
+ Flexible
+ HC Viable (be careful!)
+ Easy to sustain life & mana
+ Potential to be able to farm Atziri, Elder, Shaper, Guardians (I'm not a boss killer, so I can't confirm but in theory with mid to high tier gear it should be relatively easy)
+ Scales off of both Physical and Fire Damage
+ We use crit instead of RT like most Marauder/Duelist builds so shattering mobs is an option and a fun and satisfying one at that
+ The Goddess talks to you as you reach certain level milestones and story progression points!


- Lack of an off-hand does limit your options for passive tree scaling
- It's a sword. No Sunder for you.
- No Shield Charge. Must use Leap Slam or Whirling Blades
- Gear progression can become very expensive
- The hardest content is probably doable, but not necessarily on a budget (more testing required)
- You need to resist the urge to kill "that one last mob" if you don't want to be degening constantly

1.1 The Focus

We are focusing our build on this sword:

I've seen some commenters on Reddit believing it's only a leveling weapon, and while it is a solid leveling weapon, it scales very nicely into maps (though I've only tested up to tier 8, more testing to come as I grow my map pool).

The most notable benefit of using this sword is "Her Embrace" buff for 3 seconds whenever you ignite an enemy which gives us:

- Cannot Be Stunned
- 123% of Sword Physical Damage Gained as Extra Fire
- Unaffected by Burning Ground
- Immune to Chill, Freeze, and Ignite
- 20% Increased Attack, Cast, and Movement Speed

As you can see, this is a buff. This sword also gives us 40% accuracy implicitly, (70-90%) Increased Critical Strike Chance, and Adds 2 to 3 Physical Damage to Attacks per Level, meaning that at level 90 it will give us 180 - 270 Physical damage too. In addition to Her Embrace, the sword can be very powerful going into the endgame.

It also is a guaranteed six link when dropped so if you use a Tabula while leveling, you can get two six-links for leveling, or you can forgo the Tabula and use a more defensive chest while leveling. Up to you. I found that I didn't need the Tabula for a single target skill while leveling. Depending on the skill and setup you use to level with, one six-link is enough for clearning and bosses.

So I've outlined the pros of the sword, what are the cons?

There are 2 big drawbacks with this sword. The first is that it takes up both weapon slots so no Shield Charge for us. But what's more is that it doesn't count as a two-handed weapon so it doesn't scale with two-handed weapon nodes on the tree. And because we can't dual wield or use a shield with it either, we can't scale with those nodes either. So essentially we have to find damage nodes that have specifically to do with swords only, one-handed or general physical/fire/elemental nodes. Which there are plenty,

The second, a maybe more unique drawback is that while Her Embrace is active, you will degen 0.5% of your total maximum life and energy shield as fire damage per second per level. So again at 90, without any mitigation, you'll be taking 45% of your total life/energy shield as damage per second. Keep in mind that this is mitigated by fire resistance so at cap fire resistance you'll be taking somewhere around 34% (if I can math right) and your regen or leech will help you heal back the rest. I found that if you use this sword from level 1, it's not very noticeable to the point where you don't want to use the sword. But as you level it up it becomes far more annoying and you'll need to do something about it rather quickly.

We have a number of option to mitigate the debuff:

- Life Leech
- Life Regen
- Fire Resistance mitigation
- Life Flasks

I have chosen to go with Life Leech, though Regen is another very viable option. Though you'd not be choosing Slayer.

1.2 The Damage

This is the part you're all interested in right? How much DPS can this character do. Well it's by no means the hardest hitting or fastest character. But if that was the goal we'd all be playing something like EK Nova, now wouldn't we?

Damage Numbers

Cyclone Damage

Hideout, no buffs

Hideout, Herald of Ice + Hatred

Hideout, Herald of Ice + Hatred + Ice Golem + Ancestral Warchief Totem

Hideout, Herald of Ice + Hatred + Ice Golem + Ancestral Warchief Totem + Sin's Rebirth

Blood Aquaducts, Auras + Ice Golem + Her Embrace + 3 Power Charges

Blood Aquaducts, Auras + Ice Golem + Her Embrace + Onslaught + 3 Power Charges

Blood Aquaducts, Auras + Ice Golem + Her Embrace + Onslaught + 3 Power Charges + Sin's Rebrith

Blood Aquaducts, Auras + Ice Golem + Her Embrace + Onslaught + 3 Power Charges + Sin's Rebrith + Ancestral warchief

2.0 The Build

Gem Setup

Main Skill

You have a ton of flexibility with what main skill you use. I personally use Cyclone as it is one of my favorite melee skills in the game, but Reave, Blade Flurry, Molten Strike, Infernal Blow, Lacerate, or any other melee skill of your choice can be used. It's all up to you.

Frost Blades and Wild Strike are theoretically also viable, but as they scale differently than the other physical skills this build won't cover these skills.

Here is my set up:

Cyclone - Melee Physical Damage - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Maim - Faster Attacks - Increased Critical Strike Chance

Faster Attacks and Increased Critical Strike Chance can be replaced for two other gems of your choosing. Potentially Fire Penetration, Added Fire Damage or Increased Area of Effect could be more useful.

Secondary Skill

Because you have a free six-link in your weapon, you are free to link something else if your chest (provided you don't use Kaom's Heart). For me, I chose an Ancestral Warchief, though Ancestral Protector is an option as well. If you chose, you may also want your mob clearing skill in on six-link and your single target in the other.

However, because I play SSF, I have only linked a 4-link chest and don't want to use a Tabula in maps. So I use:

Ancestral Warchief - Melee Physical Damage - Ruthless - Maim

These are probably not the optimal links (I haven't played a Warchief Totem build for a couple of leagues), but I largely use the Warchief for the damage boost it gives you and as a distraction. I don't rely on it for clearing much. It's an added benefit to me.

Movement Skill

Because we have no shield, we cannot use everyone's favorite movement skill, Shield Charge. Which is unfortunate. However, you still have a choice on which skill to use; Flame Dash, Leap Slam, or Whirling Blades. As far as they are concerned, Whirling Blades is probably your best bet for clearing. It's the smoothest of the three, however, suffers in that you can't bypass low walls or jump from level to level. So the choice is up to you. I use Leap Slam, though Whirling Blades is most likely the best of the three.

Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify

If you chose to use Leap Slam, just replace Whirling Blades with Leap Slam and you're golden.

Auras + Curses

Because we utilize crit, we use Assassin's Mark as our curse. And we need a way to apply it that isn't... ugh... self-case. In this case, I chose to use:

Herald of Ice - Curse of Hit - Assassin's Mark

I also use Hatred as my 50% aura for the cold damage and the very nice shattering, coupled with Herald of Ice's area damage on shatter, it explodes packs with a very pleasing shattering sound.

Other auras you may want to consider:

- Herald of Ash for the fire damage. The drawback of this is that you don't get the AOE ice damage and you can't apply your curse with it. However, if you have a Shaper Ring with "Curse Enemies with Level (8 or 12) Assassin's Mark on Hit," then Herald of Ash may be more worth it than Ice. It will certainly help you with ignite and maintaining your Embrace buff without strictly having to rely on your crit chance.
- Blasphemy + Temporal Chains. If you get a number of various items or modifiers that allow you to apply an extra curse, using Temporal Chains should help you on the defensive side of things.


I use the usually CWDT + Immortal Call set up. You can link other gems to it like Molten Shell if you wish. Personally, I use:

Cast When Damage Taken (lv 9) - Immortal Call (lv 11) - Vortex (Lv 8) - Blade Vortex (lv 13)

Molten Shell is most likely better, however getting 3 red sockets on a pair of Evasion Gloves can be... difficult.


I know there's some controversy over using Golems. And if you're playing HC, I wouldn't recommend a Golem. The marginal benefit they add isn't worth getting killed over. That being said, as this I play in SC, and experience the game in SC, I use one.

Pick one:

Ice Golem - Inc Crit + Accuracy
Fire Golem - Inc Damage

Stone Golem does nothing for us as we use Vaal Pact. Lighting Golem's inc Attack and Cast Speed doens't help us much, but if you use a different skill where attack speed is a big benefit, consider it. Chaos Golem... who uses Chaos Golem?

Passive Tree

This is the part of the build I'm not so solid on, so if anyone with more experience with Path of Exile than me has suggestions on making the build better, please comment. But as far as my testing goes, the build is pretty solid. I just haven't optimized or min/maxed everything. But the build is good enough for how I play PoE. This isn't going to be second coming of EK Nova or anything. Keep that in mind.

This build is a little different in that we're not rushing for damage early. Oni-Goroshi's stats, six-link along with some mediocre gear can sustain your damage well enough. Instead, we rush for some life and leech to help us sustain our Embrace buff until normal lab where it will become far easier. And we can go for damage then.


Here we get the melee physical nodes off the Duelist start area and rush for Golem's Blood and Vitality Void. Pick up some of the mana leech nodes if you're struggling.

23 Passive Points

Here we start going for some sword nodes and a bit more life. We get both Razor's Edge and Blade Master as well as Juggernaut while we're here. Razor's Edge gives us one of the few places we can get Weapon and Unarmed Range on the tree, as well as 30% Inc Damage with Swords. The bleed chance and damage with ailments is negligible. We're not scaling the ignite damage, just the ignite chance. Again the ailment damage from this node is negligible, The rest is really good for us. And then more life with Juggernaut.

40 Passive Points

At this point, you should at least Endless Hunger. You'll be getting Brutal Fevor soon, so we go for a bit more damage and more leech. First, we go off towards Herbalism which gives us some more life, pick up Thick Skin on your way, and then get the lower half of the sword wheel there, with Fatal Blade. Once you have Fatal Blade, head back and pick up Hematophagy. This is nice because it gives both damage because we are almost always leeching, along with more and faster leech.

59 Passive Points

Now we get a bit more crit and life. Pick up whatever you feel you need first. We get Brutal Blade. The Block Chance is useless for us because we're not dual wielding or holding a shield, so, unfortunately, that's a lost stat. However, we get damage and attack speed, and the node leading to it give us a chance to poison. So we have a chance to poison and a chance to bleed. It's not significant since we don't scale ailments, but it's there. We also grab Fencing. We get Physical Damage along with the crit chance nodes leading to it. Heartseeker gives us +30% to the Crit Multiplier, but maybe more importantly, we get 50% increased Critical Strike Chance from the travel nodes. Grabbing Lava Lash doesn't increase our tooltip, but the 8% penetration and 54% increased fire damage with attack skills is nice. We also pick up Bloodless for some life. The fact enemies can't leech off of you is alright, but not the reason we go for this cluster. Getting Barbarism gives us both life and fire resistance which affects the degen from Her Embrace, but perhaps, more importantly, it gives us +1% to maximum fire resistance. Pick up Vaal Pact when you feel you can sustain it. You should be able to pretty easily after you get Brutal Fevor.

84 Passive Points

Finally, we get some more life and crit. Head up to the Scion life wheel and grab all the nodes. We also get Disemboweling, the crit circle opposite Resolute Technique. We go for the crit strike chance side instead of the multiplier. Grabbing these nodes help you crit way more often and I reccomend going for this first if you aren't starved for life. Otherwise get the Scion life wheel first. I'm not sure about the effectiveness of grabbing Strong Arm, but I went for it anyway. There may be more efficient ways to spend those points. Same goes for Heart of Oak. And also pick up 3 jewel sockets. With the Abyss League, good jewels are easier to find. More on Jewels later. There are a few more +3 jewels on the tree which you may drop Strong Arm and Heart of Oak for if you have some very good jewels.

Completed Build


Obviously is we're using Leech to mitigate the degen, we go with Slayer. That's a no-brainer. With the overleech and using various nodes on the tree (including Vaal Pact) to increase the speed of the leech effect, it makes life sustain so simple that you don't even notice Her Embrace's degen at all.

Normal Lab - Endless Hunger
Cruel Lab - Brutal Fevor
Merciless Lab - Bane of Legends
Uber Lab - Headsman

Go for the leech nodes first. I promise you will feel a huge difference once you have even your first 2 points into Endless Hunger in your sustain. Because you get the overleech effect so early comparatively, it helps a ton. Until you get that, when you get into level 20-30, you're going to have to use life flasks between packs to sustain your Embrace buff. Once you get Endless Hunger, as long as you're killing packs at a reasonable speed, your reliance on flasks to sustain Embrace becomes almost non-existent.

Then when you get Brutal Fevor, you never should notice the degen. Once you get this, you also don't have to worry about bleed either as you're immune while leeching, which should be 99% of the time. So while clearing with Embrace buff up you'll be immune to bleed, chill, freeze, stun and ignite. A pretty good choice I think. The only ailments you have to worry about are poison and shock.

Bane of Legends is nice for the cull, it makes labyrinth super easy, as you can basically cheese the last room as long as you don't get one-shot when he spawns. Which you shouldn't... The Onslaught buff in addition to Embrace buff is also awesome together as well with the increased movement and attack speed.

And finally Headsman. This is more a process of elimination for what you have left and while it's helpful, don't worry about doing uber lab to make your build viable. It boosts your damage by 20% and area of effect by 15% if you've killed recently, which in maps should be nearly always. And since reflect is much less threatening in 3.1 because it's gone from mobs and only a map mod which you can reroll, the reflect mitigation is a lot less important, though is a nice quality of life.

Impact may be useful if you're playing a build like Mathil's where having the free Melee Splash is useful, plus the increased 20% area of effect, but as this build largely focuses on area skills (unless you're playing basically Infernal Blow), it's not as useful as Headsman. The increased 5% AOE over Headsman isn't worth losing the 20% more damage multiplier.

And Overwhelm just isn't worth it in this build. You're not building around stun, so don't take it.


We help Alira. If you're using Cyclone, without some heavy investment in mana and mana leech, it can be hard to sustain mana early on so the mana regen is a nice quality of life early on. The resistances are nice, especially if you're playing self-found as good rare gear can be hard to find/craft. But as we crit, the +20% to crit multi is good. It would be nicer is it was crit chance though.

Oak is a potential option, though the regen is a lost stat because of Vaal Pact and 2 passive points may be better than the 2% physical damage reduction and 20% increased physical damage.

Kraityn just isn't really good in my opinion. 6% attack and cast speed is only good if your chosen skill relies heavily on attack speed, and as we get ample attack speed from Onslaught and the Embrace buff, along with some nodes on the tree, I wouldn't sacrifice Alira or 2 Passives for it. The movement speed is whatever, like attack speed, we get plenty from boots, Quicksilver flask, Onslaught and Embrace. Same with Dodge chance since we're not using evasion.

So either go Alira or 2 passive points. Either are good.


This is somewhat dependant on the map mods you're running. However, in general, you should be running:

Soul of Lunaris

- 1% Additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Nearby Enemy, up to 8%
- 1% Movement Speed for each Nearby Enemy up to 8%

Soul of Gruthkul

- 1% Additional Physical Damage Reduction for each hit you've taken recently, up to 5%


Soul of Shakari

- 5% reduced Chaos damage taken
- 25% reduced Chaos damage taken over time while in a caustic cloud
(What makes this worth it is the captured soul will make you immune to poison)

Because the Embrace buff makes you immune to almost everything, Brine King and Arakaali aren't as good as they are on other melee characters. You're immune to Stun, Chill and Freeze while Embrace is up, which are the biggest reasons you take Brine King. And the Damage over Time reduction from Arakaali isn't as helpful because you're immune to bleed while leeching which is almost always. And I don't think the chance to avoid lightning damage is worth it. And Solaris isn't really good while mapping because there's almost always more than one enemy around you. So by default, we go with Lunaris. Capturing Shock and Horror for Arakaali might make it more valuable, but if you haven't captured any souls, go with Lunaris.

As for minor gods, Ryslatha, Shakari and Gruthkul are the only reasonable ones for us, Though I run Gruthkul more of the time because it's the best for non-niche situations. Garukhan is okay, but 5% to evade attacks if you've taken a savage hit isn't that good in my opinion. Yugul isn't as useful anymore because of the reflect changes. Though if you want to run reflect maps, with Headsman and Yugul, running reflect maps might be fairly easy. Abberath is okay since you're always moving with Cyclone, though with Her Embrace you're immune to Burning Ground anyway. The only reason I'd run it is after capturing Mephod and the incrased movement speed on Burning Ground, but that's so niche that I wouldn't run it for day to day things. Tukohama is useless because we're always moving if you're using Cyclone. If you're using a channeled skill like Blade Flurry, it might be alright. Ryslatha is okay, the life flask recharge is nice, but I just don't run it over Gruthkul. Ralakesh is aimed at bleed which you're immune to. Shakari may be worth running over Gruthkul, especially if you have no chaos resistance, and capturing Terror would probably make it worth running over Gruthkul because you get to add immunity to poison to all the over things you're immune to.



Obviously, we run

This is the weapon that the build is based on. You can buy one or farm one yourself, though unless you don't have the currency or are playing SSF, I would just buy it. It took me a good 3 hours to farm myself. In order to get it to drop you have to kill an "uber" version of Hillock. I'm still sketchy on the details of exactly when he can spawn, but it accepted that the chance increases a lot at level 7, though I've heard that you can encounter him earlier, though it's very rare.

If you wish to farm this weapon, create a new character (I recommend Scion for Onslaught gem and movement speed on the passive tree) and run Twilight Strand until you get the Hillock. Kill him but do not enter Lioneye's Watch. You won't be able to encounter Hillock again if you do. Instead, log out, wait for ~1 minute and then log in again and it will reset Twilight Strand. Keep farming this zone until you encounter Uber Hillock which will be harder to kill than normal Hillock and is identifiable from the glowing green sword he has instead his normal one that he pulls out of his chest.

This sword is a guaranteed six-link, so all you have to do it recolor it for your chosen skill gems. It is also usable from level 1, so you can use it right away, which I recommend. The degen from Her Embrace is almost always sustainable if you rush for life leech on the tree. You will only need to use life flasks to sustain in between packs and before the 3 seconds is over. And once you get Endless Hunger, you won't need the life flasks much if at all.


Currently, I'm running a rare body armor with life and resistances. When you play SSF, sometimes it can be hard to cap your resistances and you take what you can get. Ideally, you'd probably run a unique like Belly of the Beast or Kaom's Heart.

Focus on:

- Life
- Resistances
- #% Additional Physical Damage Reducation (QoL)

Shaper/Elder Mods

- +# Level of Socketed Active Gems (QoL) (Shaper)
- +# Level of Socketed Support Gems (QoL) (Elder)
- #% Increased Maximum Life (Elder)
- #% of Physical Damage taken as Fire Damage (Elder)
- Recover #% of Maximum Life on Kill (QoL) Elder
- Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Elder)

Unique Options

Belly of the Beast the budget option. Kaom's Heart is probably the end game, best in slot, item and not necessary at all. A rare body armor will be fine. Even just a Belly will be. Carcass Jack might be an okay option as well.


Currently, I'm running a rare helmet

Focus on:

- Life
- Resistances

Shaper/Elder Mods

- Supported by Item Rarity (QoL) (Shaper)
- Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Elder)
- +# Level to socketed support gems (Elder)
- #% Physical Damage Taken as Fire

Unique Options

Abyssus is SC only. It's possible to run in HC, but I wouldn't advise it. Devoto's is for Cyclone specifically, but can be run on other skills. Best in slot for uniques is probably Rat's Nest. It gives us Attack Speed, Crit Chance and Movement Speed. All very important things in our build.


While Kaom's Roots are a really popular pair of boots at the moment, they're not as good on this build. We lose sockets and while that's not a huge problem, it does limit you in ways that I don't think is worth it. Plus Unwavering Stance isn't as good because we're immune to Stun most of the time anyway and Cyclone with no boot movement speed is... not fun in my opinion. Cannot be moved below base move speed is good for chill and freeze... which we're immune to 90% of the time anyway. So instead I'm going with a rare pair of boots as well.

Focus on:

- Movement Speed
- Life
- Resistances

Shaped/Elder Mods

- Unaffected by Chilled Ground (QoL) (Shaper)
- Socked Gems are Supported by Level # Fortify (Put movement skill here) (Elder)
- Unaffected by Shocked Ground (Elder)
- Unaffected by Desecrated Ground (Elder)
- #% Chance to Dodge Spell Damage (QoL) (Elder)

Unique Options

I don't think any of these really outperform a good pair of rare boots, but Gang's Momentum is a really interesting choice to go for. They give you decent movement speed, plus a (10-15)% chance to ignite which helps our uptime on Embrace buff, as well as increased damage against ignited enemies.


For this again, a rare pair of gloves will probably be the best, though I haven't crafted any myself yet. Ignore the trash roles on these gloves. But something like this with better rolls. Life, a couple of resistances and flat physical are all good mods to have.

Focus on:

- Life
- Resistances
- Adds # to # of Physical Damage to Attacks
- Adds # to # of Fire Damage to Attacks
- Adds # to # Cold Damage to Attacks (QoL)
- #% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life (QoL)
- #% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana (QoL)

Shaper/Elder Mods

- Socked Gems are Supported by Level # Faster Attacks/#% Increased Attack Speed (Elder)
- #% Increased Attack and Cast Speed
- +# to Melee Weapon and Unarmed Range

Unique Options

None of these outperform a good rare pair of gloves, however both Maligaro's Virtuosity and Hrimburns are reasonable choices. Maligaro's gives us Attack Speed and Global Crit Chance. Hrimburns are a more interesting choice as it adds flat cold damage, cold resistance, converts 50% of your damage to cold and maybe most importantly your cold damage can ignite. These are probably a more hipster choice, but has potential. Keep in mind these are Hrimburns, not Hrimsorrow, as Hrimsorrows doesn't let your cold damage ignite, which I think is the most interesting part of the gloves.


Rare rings and amulet are going to be your best bet. This is where you'll fill out most of your resistances. Getting yourself some Steel Rings and crafting Life and Resistances will be best. If you can get from flat Physical or Fire damage that will also be ideal.


Focus on:

- Life
- Resistances
- Adds # to # of Physical Damage to Attacks
- Adds # to # of Fire Damage to Attacks
- #% of Physical Damage leeched as Life (QoL)
- #% of Physical Damage leeched as Mana (QoL)
- #% Increased Attack Speed
- #% Increased Fire Damage

Shaper/Elder Mods

- Adds # to # Fire Damage to Spells and Attacks (Elder)
- Adds # to # Fire Damage against Ignited Enemies (QoL) (Elder)
- #% Chance to Ignite (Elder)
- +# Life Gained for each Enemry hit bt your Attacks (QoL) Elder)
- #% Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (Shaper)
- Curse Enemies with Level # Assassin's Mark (Shaper)
- Grants Level # Herald of Ice Skill (QoL) (Shaper)
- #% Increased Melee Damage (Elder)
- Grants levels # Herald of Ash Skill (QoL) (Elder)


Focus on:

- Life
- Resistances
- Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
- Adds # to # Fire Damage to Attacks
- #% Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
- #% of Physical Damage leeched as Life (QoL)
- #% of Physical Damage leeched as Mana (QoL)
- #% Increased Critical Strike Chance
- #% Increased Fire Damage

Shaper/Elder Mods

- Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage (QoL) (Shaper)
- #% of Fire Damage Leeched as Life (Elder)
- #% of Physical Damage Leeched ass Life (Elder)
- Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire (Elder)
- +% of Maximum Life per Second to Maximum Life Leech Rate (QoL) (Elder)
- #% Increased Movement Speed (QoL) (Shaper)
- #% Chance to Gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (QoL) (Shaper)
- Damage Penetrated #% Elemental Resistances (Shaper)
- Grants # Hatred Skill (Elder)
- #% Increased Attack Speed

Unique Options

There really isn't much that will be better than a well rolled rare ring/amulet. Carnage Heart and Le Heup of All aren't necessarily better, just different. Pyre, Bloodboil, The Ignomon, Darasso's Salute, Ungil's Harmony, and Bisco's Collar are also possibilities. Though again, not any better than a good rare.


Obviously, Headhunter is the chase unique. But the goal is to create a budget-friendly build. Currently, I'm running a Stygian Vice with Life and Resistances and a decent Abyss Jewel.

Focus on:

- Life
- Resistances
- #% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills

Shaper/Elder Mods

- #% Increased Maximum Life (Elder)
- #% chance for your Flasks to not consume charges (QoL) (Elder)
- Remove Shock when you use a Flask (QoL) (Shaper)
- +#% to all Elemental Resistances (Elder)
- #% Increased Attack Speed during any Flask Effect (Elder)
- #% Increased Melee Damage during any Flask Effect (Elder)

Unique Options

The Darkness Enthroned belt is really good if you have some good Abyss Jewels to put in it. It's probably best in slot if you have good Jewels. The fire version of Doryani's Invitation is reasonable. Belt of the Deceiver is also a reasonable choice.


As far as flasks are concerned, just life and utility flasks. I started out running 2 life flasks, a diamond, quicksilver, and basalt flask

The Diamond flask helps to up your crit chance when your power charges aren't up. Quicksilver for obvious reasons. Basalt for the physical reduction.

I'd look for freeze immunity, curse immunity, and shock immunity as suffixes. You may want to run Adrenaline on your quicksilver and Iron Skin on your basalt. Your diamond and life suffixes are up to you.

Unique flasks, the usual suspects like Taste of Hate and Atziri's Promise are probably good, though not necessary. Wise Oak will probably be one of the best Unique flasks you can have.

If you use this, make sure you either balance all resists or if you can't do that, have fire be the highest and lowest isn't too important.

Recently I just got this to drop in a Cells Map:

It boosts my damage by a huge amount and I've dropped the diamond flask in favor of it. However, as I said, a lot of these damage flasks aren't necessary to run the build. They are just nice to have if you happen to have one. Don't worry about spending 1-2 ex on a Sin's Rebirth.


Abyss League made jewels kind of stupidly good. (Not that they weren't before, but oh boy, they're even better now). The amount of good mods you can get on them is insane.

Currently don't have much in the way of jewel sockets (one in my belt, one on the tree)

As far as jewel mods go, look for murderous eye jewels with:

- Life/Resist if you need it (if not, don't bother with it, the damage mods are better in my opinion)
- Flat Fire
- Flat Physical
- Physical/Fire Damage added to Sword Attacks
- Inc. Attack Speed
- Inc. Crit Chance

There aren't really unique jewels that you need. Powerlessness for an extra power charge could be nice, but I wouldn't really drop a good Abyss jewel for it. Use it if you don't have a good jewel. Maybe Wildfire if you plan on using Molten Strike as your main skill.

My Gear

Change Log

- Swapped Diamond Flask for Sin's Rebrith
- Started using Gang's momentum. (Good rare boots are probably better, but these are nice on a budget)
- Optimized flask suffixes

3.0 Miscellanous

Lab Enchantments


This enchants largely depends on the main skill you're using. Cyclone, for example, doesn't have amazing enchants. They're decent but nothing like Arc or Barrage where the enchantment exponentially increases the damage. So if your skill has a very good enchantment get it. If not... Well..

The decreased Hatred or Herald of Ice mana reservation is okay. It's not bad. An enchantment supporting your warchief or movement skill isn't a terrible decision either.

Basically, if you don't have a GG! main skill enchantment, get whatever you want.


The % Life Leech boots are probably the best you can get. Added fire when you've killed recently, or increased crit chance if you haven't crit recently are also good. Leech is still king though.


Basically, anything you think will be helpful. Glove enchants are more quality of life rather than anything outstandingly good.

How It Works

Now that we've gone over the essentials of getting the build started. Here's how it works.

Your Embrace buff activates for 3 seconds when you ignite an enemy. Because we're going crit, you'll ignite an enemy every time you crit if you're doing any sort of flat fire damage. Because Oni-Goroshi only does Physical Damage and then modifies it by giving you extra damage as fire, that won't proc your ignite. Therefore you need to get some flat fire on your gear. It's easy to come by. A lot of Abyss Jewels have it, rings have it, amulets can roll it, etc. Just get some on a piece of gear.

Alternatively, you can run Herald of Ash to gain some fire damage and the ability to ignite.

Using the Herald of Ice, Curse on Hit setup we generate power charges to help up our crit chance and by extension, our ignite chance. We don't focus on scaling the crit damage or ailment damage really, though it's nice when you can. We use it to have the most uptime on our Embrace buff as possible. Granted Herald of Ash does the same thing, but if you use that, you won't shatter as much and that's fun!

Plus porcupines, detonate, and other effects that use corpses aren't as dangerous when you shatter. So bonus!

Why do we care so much about the Embrace buff? Well like I said it's a huge damage increase. The following images are outdated damage numbers. They're much higher now that I've gotten a few more passivevs and upgraded my gear. However, the percent differences are still relevent.

This is my unbuffed damage

This is my un-Embrace-buffed damage in my hideout with my Warchief totem and Ice Golem active

This is my damage with 3 power charges, Embrace and no Onslaught

That's nearly a 50k tooltip increase. And that doesn't factor in everything. Onslaught wasn't active when I took that screenshot. Keep in mind that tooltip isn't always the most accurate thing either. It doesn't factor in penetration well, And its reflection of Maim isn't the best either. But I get it. Tooltip DPS is everything!!!

All jokes aside, the Embrace buff is huge. And it's noticeable when you're clearing. So you want as much uptime as possible. Add in all the effects you're immune to; Stun, Ignite, Chill, & Freeze, and it makes it a really smooth map clearing character.

Leveling Tips

- As you have basically a free six-link from level 1 (like Tabula, but this thing actually has stats), you can use whatever your preferred leveling skill is. Personally, I think Molten Strike - Ancestral Call - Onslaught is amazing and got me easily and quickly to level 28 for Cyclone. You can add whatever supports you want, but those three are staple and those alone can level you to your main skill.
- Do Normal Lab as early as possible. I've said it before, but Endless Hunger does a lot of work for sustaining your Embrace buff. It's a night and day difference.
- Invest in Mana leech. If you're using Cyclone like me, you'll quickly find out that without it at level 28, it's almost impossible to sustain. Later you'll get enough to where you can spec out and only need the 0.4% mana leech node to sustain.
- Don't be afraid to pick up attribute notables if you need them. You can spec out later.
- Utilize Abyss Jewels. They're OP.
- You will notice the Embrace degen early. I won't lie to you about that. Use life flasks to heal through the degen and like I said, get Endless Hunger quickly.
- Use Leveling Uniques where possible:

Tabula isn't strictly necessary because of Oni-Goroshi, but can be nice if you want to use an Ancestral Protector/Warchief to buff your attack speed/damage.

Hardcore Viability

I'm not a hardcore player by any means. I've never really found it fun. That being said, this build is potentially hardcore viable though you'll need to run much better life gear and don't yolo/facetank as much as I do to make that work. Playing hardcore, it'll be even more important to get Endless Hunger early. I found that I didn't die once until I got to Innocence and that's just because I'm not super familiar with the mechanics and since I play SC, I don't really care that much about dying. Long story short, I yolo too much to be any good at hardcore. If you're an experienced HC player, I think this build is easily viable. You'll just need to resist the urge to kill "that one mob" when there are no others around because if you ignite the mob and don't have any leech stacked up, you're going to be declining a lot and quickly. Abysses at higher levels can be a bit scary as well, though that said, I've never died to one unless I was yoloing. Which you shouldn't do in hardcore if you want to survive.

tl;dr: It's hardcore viable if you're experienced. If you're not, I wouldn't.

What Still Needs Work

My build isn't perfect by any means. Far from. This is my first build that I've made and not copied from someone on the forums or a streamer. I'm still new at this despite my 1000+ hours in Path of Exile.

- Gear. I'm fully aware my gear sucks. And there may be good uniques that I missed and didn't mention. Those are the ones I thought were good off the top of my head. But it goes to show that if I can get this kind of DPS with gear as bad as mine, imagine where you can go with better gear. As I play mostly SSF, you work with what you can and ultimately you'll never reach the same level of capability as someone who trades. But the build is playable for SSF, which I think is an achievement.
- Passive tree. The tree isn't optimized for min/maxing and being efficient. I have always struggled with crafting my own passive tree and even here I took some pointers from other people's trees for similar builds. With changes of my own of course. So while the premise of the tree is good (I think), it could still use some work.
- Crit Chance. This build has pretty low crit chance for as much as I'm relying on it. Ideally, I'd like to get more power charges, but the closest one on the tree is 7 points away and not really worth the investment. Granted I haven't picked up Disemboweling on my character yet, so we'll see how it feels.
EDIT:Picking up Disemboweling makes your crit chance noticeably better. To the point where I'm criting most of the time and shattering nearly every pack and I could drop my diamond flask for a Sin's Rebirth.
- Path of Building. I will include a final Path of Building link soon. I'm still working everything out as far as a final build goes. One of the things about it is that it doesn't apply the Embrace buff. So the raw DPS on PoB isn't strictly accurate at first glance. If you're interested in what my PoB sheet looks like now:


- Videos/Pictures. These will be added as I get further into maps and maybe kill Aziri and Elder. I don't plan on trying Shaper, but if you are someone who does and uses my build, I'd gladly feature a Shaper video on the guide if you can manage to kill him with this build.

EDIT: So far I've killed 2/4 Elder Guardians as wall as Atziri. I would have recorded Atziri, but as I have little to no experience fighting her, I'm probably not the best person to show off (since I died like 3 times. But still, the build is able to take these bosses down no problem. Espeically if you have more experience than I do.


I hope you all enjoy the build. I know I have. It's the fastest I've gotten to lv 80 in any league. Minus the time it took to farm the sword itself of course, but even so, that only took a few hours. If anyone has any question or suggestions, please comment. I'll try to answer best I can. I'm not a master character theorycrafter or anything, but it is my build after all. Also, I tried to proofread as good as I can, but inevitabely there probably will be some mistakes. Please let me know so I can get them fixed.
- Filthy Casual w/ a habit of SSF
Last edited by DawnOfTheWolf on Mar 2, 2018, 5:40:18 PM
Last bumped on Feb 2, 2018, 9:10:03 AM
* Reserved for Future *
- Filthy Casual w/ a habit of SSF
I am currently doing this build with a few variations, and OMG is it EPIC!! A way to solve the Mana problem for me was to take Spirit Void, it practically makes u not need any Mana potion since you leech it all from mobs. The clear speed is okay but for the earlier levels using Rotgut makes it way better. For leveling, I took Ungil's Harmony instead of Carnage Heart to not sacrifice on health and just picked up an intelligence attribute along the way. Thank you for the build <3

P.S. IT's an FPS killer :3
Last edited by formotherrussia on Dec 30, 2017, 2:47:19 PM
Path of building link?
Have you ever considered a Bronns lithe uniques chest would beef your dps up but may lower armor for evasion

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