[3.1] Juggernaut sword and board molten strike, fast effective can be real cheap

This is a grelwood shank molten strike build, I use sword and board style, have basic 85% phys to fire conversion so I can use fire penetration against boss, this build is designed as a tanky lab runner and minotaur specialist, but it to my surprise turns out to be a pretty damn good mapper and an awesome boss killer, at the same time not losing the tankiness. The build can be really cheap, non of the core items is expensive, you can totally start the build with 10c budget even SSF, and slowly upgrade it, but when you put good money into the build the ceiling can be really really high.

18/01/13 updated gear, pob, tree and some description.

18/01/21 updated gear and according infomation

Noted: It's a while into the league, and people start to realize how powerful abyss jewels are, you can't really buy abyss jewels for cheap like earlier, 4 stat abyss jewel I bought for 5c would be costing 2ex more or less, I think we should all blame Mathil.

key points of the build


Non crit so Ele overload for big damage boost

Endurance charges and boosted fortify gives you great defense, especially against physical dmg

Molten strike hit hard and wide, also you shield charge real fast, a good map clearing machine


Many situational damage boost, momentum based character while mapping.

Molten strike too hot it might get nerfed next patch

items and gearing


It's a decent 270-300 phys dps sword for cheap, it frees two points (iron reflexes and point blank), it gives two extra projs and molten strike loves proj numbers, it has really fast attack speed, it's just all and all an awesome sword. And it's a elder guardian drop only item, so it won't be extra expensive and even if you play ssf you can still get it quite reliably.

There are many replacement sword you can use before you get a grelwood, ichimonji, dream feather, or just some plain fast swords with decent phys dmg would do.

Does it have to be a sword? Well it's kinda have to, daggers and claws are not passive route friendly to marauder, and maces axes are not that fast.


Dirt cheap, good life, good armour, most importantly is that 25% phys to fire mod being a fixed roll, 85% without Avatar of fire conversion is very good, allow us to use fire pen gem effectively and that is a very good boss killing support gem, if you really want you can get 100% conversion by using a watcher's eye jewel.


Start with a 4 red one blue whatever chest, switch to tabula rasa, then get a 6L holy chainmail and essence a high life roll, eventually use a 6L astral plate to get a lot of resistances. Tabula rasa, holy chainmail, astral plate all have divination cards.

helm and enchant

Mid tier life roll, high armour, fire dmg, this helm is also dirt cheap, best part about it is the situational freeze/chill immunity when you use a fire skill which molten strike is, because of that we get to use one extra unique flask.

Best enchant is still +3 molten strike projs, followed by molten strike dmg and ancestral protector bonus, shield charge attack speed is OK, but we are fast enough already. Since this is not a hot helm base, you need luck to find those items, better run lab yourself then.

boots and enchant

Kaom's roots is the best, because I chose endurance charge + fortify + accuracy as ascendancy, what I don't have is stun immunity and "slow immunity", kaom's roots here basically let me take all the juggernaut points, so good. But before you fix resists, a good rare titan greaves is always a good bet.

+1 frenzy charge corruption is great for mapping, as enchantments go, there are couple of good ones, leech, crit chance if not crit recently (for ele overload), fire dmg if you killed recently, attack speed if killed recently , penetration if haven't killed recently all good choices, it's pretty loose here.

gloves and enchant

Use a rare gripped gloves, life, resists, attack speed, flat phys/fire dmg and accuracy, the more the merrier, and don't enchant, simple.

belt and jewelry

Stygian belt with wed ofc, abyss jewel is too good not to use. If you can manage your life pool and resists, darkness enthroned is really the best.

Jewelries you would want the ones with wed, flat phys/fire attack, life, resist, maybe some attributes, pretty generic stuff


We get freeze immunity from helm, then we want bleed and curse immunity, ideally on a life flask and a silver flask, that leaves use three slots to use unique flasks, The wise oak, atziri's promise, dying sun, taste of hate, kiara's determination are all good, ofc if you want to be defensive, granite and basalt can never go wrong.

jewels and abyss jewels

wildfire x 2 of course

Watcher's eye is hard to get the right one, but when you get it it's so good. Gain extra% phys as fire is the best, then fire penetration, then fire conversion.

Abyss jewel is a great way to get flat damage increase, in this build, two abyss jewel with full dmg mods would be as good as anger, that is just insane, get the abyss jewels with phys/fire dmg to attacks, phys/fire dmg to sword attacks, life, oh and you really want one abyss jewel with "% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill", that will give you almost constant onslaught.

Ascendancy bandit and pantheon

why juggernaut

Endurance charges and fortify are great defenses, and you have 1000 accuracy, this is truly one of the best class for this style of playing, almost facetanking everything.


In the order you should take then

Unrelenting(endurance charges)
Undeniable (accuracy)
Unyielding (fortify)


Oak, or two points if you want.


Major gods

Brine king (can't be stun if you stunned recently)before you switch to kaom's roots, Solaris (phys reduction against single target) after. Upgrade them if you can.

Minor gods

Shakari (reduce chaos) mostly, Abbereath (reduce fire) or Tukohama (phys reduction while stationary) when needed

skills and links

Molten strike

Your main skill is molten strike, and this would be your main link.

molten strike + multistrike + ele dmg with attacks + ancestral call + ele focus

With ancestral call, molten strike is turned in to a very good aoe skill, your aoe coverage is actually much better than most aoe skills.

For the 6th link when you have a chest for it, you use chance to ignite,this gem gives more damage than added fire dmg as long as you have good source of flat fire attack damage even if you don't use that conversion shield, flat fire dmg which we get from anger and abyss jewels . Never use melee phys dmg to the skill, it will give you a big tooltip boost but it does nothing for your balls, balls are what matters for molten strike.

For single target, you switch out ancestral call and ele focus with fire pen and conc effect, conc effect is basically a must for bossing, not only you get better ball damage, it also restrict all your balls in a small drop area, effectively hitting the often big body boss many more times and significantly improves bossing dmg, fire pen on the other hand is good on one but not that effective against multiple bosses so switch or not according to the situation.

buff skills

herald of ash
blood rage
ancestral protector
flame golem
enduring cry

shield charge

One of the biggest reason that I went sword and board is because of shield charge is so much better than leap slam and whirling blades. Both of those skills rely on attack speed rolls combined value, which is not that much but shield charge scales off your weapon attack speed and movement speed, this build just so happen to use a pretty fast sword. Another thing is, shield charge is an aoe skill, you can hit enemies before they hit you, to proc fortify it's just so much better and fortify is a big part of this build, and also ancestral call is best used when you have a certain distance, shield charge just fits so well.

optional skills

Attention, already not using cwdt to trigger ele overload, this is kida pointless if you want to follow thru, it's a temporary measure, well I think still worth mentioning before you get the boot enchant, learn the mechanics not the posture.

From character example below you can see I use a EK cwdt to proc ele overload, it is not the best idea, but it keeps my ele overload going thru out mapping. Why EK you may ask, well I was think about cwdt cremation + desecrate, but I need to level conc effect gem and every build I played that needs gem switching I put the switching gem in glove's up right corner, it's just a QoL thing, EK happens to be a green gem spell that has 6% base crit. I did tested, cremation works about the same in mapping but so much better against bosses, but you need desecrate to create corpse sometimes.

Oh, and if you are thinking about volatile dead, just never mind, it's very shitty, the orbs have some kind of "idle time" and will not chase monsters in the beginning, when they start moving you already killed everything so what's the point?

Orb of storms is the most common method to proc ele overload, but for a juggernaut in a hard fight, you need to put down the protector totem, you need to shield charge to get fortify, you need manually warcry if you are not at max endurance charges, one less button push is always better.

example character

Currently lvl 90, this character is supposed to be a dedicated lab runner, so I don't feel the need to use expensive gears, except for the chest, never paid for anything more than 5c, I think in total I invested like 70c into this character, pretty cheap.

Updated, lvl 93, mainly running labs and do elder map completion challenges, boots and enchant done, belts bought for 15c, bless the rings to make all res balanced, for some reason someone selling that watcher's eye for 13c, ofc I bought it. 105k dmg per ball without frenzy charges and onslaught, which is most boss fights.

01/21 updated, switch to 6L astral plate with some decent chaos res, rebalanced resists, now at 102% even,with lvl 20 enduring cry, one use near any pack would instantly ele cap me, which is a QoL improvement one less thing to worry about during mapping

This is the upper ceiling I'm talking about


This is every piece of gear being 100% including abyss jewels and perfect anger watcher's eye at lvl 100, I move the resist around to get perfect balanced for wise oak, and I included a perfect rolled physical eternal sword if you want to see the ultimate damage. Basically you can boost your damage to each ball doing 248k dps with grelwood and 355k dps with 100% perfect eternal sword, and those numbers are against shaper, now multiplied by 7 or 9, DAMN. It's not likely anyone would ever achieve this, but it's fun to dream right?


I give up, can't upload to youtube what so ever.
Last edited by TravisL on Jan 22, 2018 1:22:50 AM
Last bumped on Feb 1, 2018 8:06:02 PM
I'm curious why you're pathing to Point Blank (and Iron Reflexes, if you really need to convert the couple hundred evasion rating you have), but don't take them.

Wouldn't a 400+ DpS rare sword get you better results than the 2 extra projectiles from Grelwood Shank?

You're also just 3 points away from avatar of fire, which would give you full conversion, and also would free up your shield slot for something with more life like lioneye's remorse, or a rare with better life, armor and resists...

As an example, you could remove the 4 points from the fortify wheel, and take AoF and Point blank instead.
Last edited by Peterlerock on Dec 31, 2017 4:34:05 AM
I'm curious why you're pathing to Point Blank (and Iron Reflexes, if you really need to convert the couple hundred evasion rating you have), but don't take them.

look at the sword description, you get point blank from it, you get iron reflex while stationary which is most of the combat, that's why.

Wouldn't a 400+ DpS rare sword get you better results than the 2 extra projectiles from Grelwood Shank?

I'm not even gonna compare damage numbers, a 400+ dps sword would cost 6-10 ex and you can't get one early in the league, this sword comes from elder guardian, someone would have it at day 1, and since every one kill guardians more or less, there will be a lot of it flooding the market. Not using a 400+ sword, is the same reason not using a 100% perfect mirror sword, you don't plan a build that way, you plan with the things you can get with minimum grinding.

You're also just 3 points away from avatar of fire, which would give you full conversion, and also would free up your shield slot for something with more life like lioneye's remorse, or a rare with better life, armor and resists...

AOF? Seriously? Taste of hate got cut in half, atziri's promise has no effect, and it's extra 3 points, which equals one abyss jewel, oh and abyss jewel with cold or lightning or chaos dmg a.k.a. the cheaper ones will also be "nerfed", it's very simple going into POB and try different options, the you'll see AOF is a must not have in end game, maybe early mapping when you don't have good abyss jewels and don't have a atziri promise. The reason that shield is good, is exactly because you shouldn't take AOF.

Last edited by TravisL on Dec 31, 2017 10:27:09 AM
How you can give to your build more dps?
there are some uniques you recomend?
This build is so good, i hope you will update it.
Why go all the way to Thick Skin? Scion life wheel is way more hp and the dexterity nodes wont be needed in almost all cases
Completed 36 ChallengesIcksi wrote:
Thick Skin? and dexterity nodes wont be needed in almost all cases

This is not one of those cases, with 30 dex on amulet, I got 174 dex, and blood rage requires 155. But that's not the main reason, the main reason is to travel pass iron reflex and point blank, if you get an upgrade rare sword and ditch grelwood shank, or doing the build before getting a grelwood shank, you will be needing those two key nodes.
Last edited by TravisL on Jan 12, 2018 9:06:23 PM
I'm seeing a lot of people using CWDT+Immortal call gem set up, why are you running the ethereal knives gem package and not a more defensive one?
I'm seeing a lot of people using CWDT+Immortal call gem set up, why are you running the ethereal knives gem package and not a more defensive one?

First of all, juggernaut gets so much from endurance charges, so if you choose to take endurance charge related ascendancy you should never use cwdt immortal call, manually use immortal call is fine but never do low level trigger

When I used it, it's for a more smooth elemental overload triggering, and I ditched that already, using a boot enchant for crit chance to do that, it's a temporary measure anyway, EK is not a good crit trigger like I said, cremation is the best option but against bosses you will need to link desecrate, I should probably change that entry
Last edited by TravisL on Jan 14, 2018 9:20:32 PM
Made a lab farmer version of the build with a few slight tweaks.

Terrible at clearing, but he's ok for lab and not terribly expensive.

The Gear (a few gems are missing because I am leveling them on other characters):


Tree at 92:


He was able to do an Uber 4 key run in 7 minutes with an okish layout. Not top tier like pathfinder, but really safe.

Basically I dropped crit for Resolute Technique. Dropped Herald of Ash and Flame Golem for Vitality and Stone Golem. I can basically walk through traps and take very little damage with 9 endurance charges.

Single target on Izaro is ok as well, he goes down relatively quickly. I just face tank him and don't really worry about being ported to other traps. With the belt I have perma Onslaught with Fortify, as well as being bleed immune with Death's Door. Roughly 850 regen while standing and 57k armor as well. CWDT Blade Vortex linked to blind and culling strike make for safe fights and a quick 3rd trial.

When league ends, I'll give him this to make him even more tanky:

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Testing this build out and so far it looks pretty good!

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