[3.6][HC][Cheap][Starter] Hank the Tank™ - The Manliest Man - Double Strike Champion

Status: Up-to-date. Addressed the Loreweave nerf.

Update sticky (read this!):

3.6 notes:

* Loreweave received a slight nerf***

Yeah, the Loreweave nerf really hurts. I might have made a bit of an understatement by saying it's only "a slight nerf".

It's actually 12% less damage taken compared to the previous 20% (75 > 78 and 75 > 80). Such a stupid nerf, really. They should have nerfed its offensive stats instead.

Overall, this means that Loreweave now only adds 12% more eHP vs Elemental and Chaos damage, effectively. E.g. a 5000 HP character would now have 5600 eHP (75% max res -> 78% max res = 12% less damage taken), as opposed to the previous 6000 eHP (75% max res -> 80% max res = 20% less damage taken). This also means that Physical damage is now a bigger priority again. This sucks.

It's still a good chest regardless, though I think that there could be some potentially better ones to choose from now.

* Nothing else changed

Hank is just as playable as before, with only a slight defensive nerf due to Loreweave taking a hit.

By the way, here's a useful site to show which mods you can craft with the bench (that I'm talking about in some cases): https://pvaass.github.io/poecraft/

Here's an example of the "perfect" amulet (based on http://poeaffix.net/):

P: #% increased Global Physical Damage
P: #% increased Damage per 15 Strength
P: +# to maximum Life
S: #% chance when Hit for double Armour effect *
S: #% increased effect of Fortify on You *
S: #% increased Attack Speed *

Most important

I will try to keep you posted.


This is Hank the Tank.

Before you go any further, make you sure you watch my League Start Full Guide video if you prefer to have pretty much all of the information presented to you. Also, before you post any questions or ask for HC info, check Mechanics - FAQ. Please read this!

Hank is the man you call when your friends make fun of you because you keep dying.
With Hank by your side, you will be the one laughing.

Hank is the man you call when someone needs to be carried through Uber Lab.
Not only can you laugh in Izaro's face, you can do so with style!

Hank is the man you call when you want to relax.
He will take the hits you don't want to dodge and he will shrug them off with ease.

A true man does not flinch when staring into death's gaping mouth.
A true man grabs his fate by the tails and shapes it the way he wants.

Play like Hank. Love like Hank. Be like Hank.

Feel free to stop by at my YouTube channel to subscribe for more content.

Only the finest motion picture for your viewing pleasure. Please take note that new ones may be added in due time (such as Uber Elder etc.). Thank you for watching!



FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions (read this before you post questions!)

Is this HC viable? Any tips for HC?

Yes, it is. Well, let me elaborate. There were a couple people who tried Hank in HC because they played exclusively HC (and others who just wanted to try it), and those players all reported that they made it past lvl 90 deathless.

I personally have never actually played Hank in HC, but I did play him in SC past level 90 with no deaths. And I'm not like your regular HC player (not even when I do play HC) that logs/portals out and I also try to run as nasty maps as I can to see what I call "the choke points". (I don't personally play HC because I find it too build limiting.)

And I should perhaps mention that I don't play anything lower than red tier maps. Ever. Unless I have to because of leveling or whatever. Why? Because everything else below feels too easy and I like a bit of a challenge.

That said, the first death I had with Hank was on the previous (worse) version against a legacy T15 Rigwald (in Standard after league end) with several damage mods. And the only reason I died was because I ran out of Anti-Bleed flasks and he got me in his wolf form. That was with the Bringer of Rain Cleave version (~15c budget), and when you look at some of my videos/pictures, you can see that Rigwald is now a complete joke. And that's mostly because of Bleed immunity. The only dangerous stuff in that map is the thingies he spawns.

Anyway, if you plan on doing this particular build in HC, I will tell you that Chaos resistance is absolutely mandatory. There's no way around it. It's just too risky to whirl around as you can do in SC, because one clip means you're dead (mostly talking about Chimera snakes here). You really should aim to get enough Chaos resistance to be capped at 80% (because of Loreweave), especially in the Betrayal league and against other dangerous content with high Chaos damage. Fortify and all that can't save you when you have -60% Chaos resistance.

Thing is, I know most of the stuff ingame dealing what damage, so I can actively avoid Chaos damage as I see it (in SC). However, you can still get surprised as I was in Delve, when you get suddenly "one-shot" by something that doesn't at first look like it would deal Chaos damage (Stone Golems and the EK ghosts, for example). On a sidenote, Doedre also deals extra Chaos damage (Rory from GGG mentioned this in a podcast). I have an alternate tree for you here that is suited better for HC to make it easier to cap Chaos resistance (a bit less damage): http://poeurl.com/b9el

Map mods you should avoid in HC:
  • less Life Recovery
  • no Regen
  • Physical Reflect (also in SC)
  • too many attack speed and damage mods on dangerous bosses (e.g. Guardians - the build is tanky but obviously not immortal; I can run seriously nasty maps, but I only do that in SC)
  • Elemental Weakness if you are barely resistance capped (don't rely on Anti-Curse flask and Endurance charges here - better safe than sorry)
  • any combination of Endurance charges + 40% Physical Damage Reduction + Monster Life (depends on boss, but this is an absolute NO-GO for Guardians - they will take forever to die, making it stupidly dangerous)
  • chance to apply ailments + added Cold (or against a Cold boss like Hydra) because Freeze can get you killed
  • penalty to maximum resistances (until you have a Loreweave)

Why Champion and not Jugg? Jugg is so much better.

Jugg has the problem that his kit revolves around Endurance charges. If you plan on building him the same way as Hank, you will be left disappointed by the lack of damage and off-screen deaths. Jugg is tanky, no doubt, but Nullifier kills him, Fortify is conditional and he's overall less reliable.

I've played several Juggs across the last couple leagues and I always find myself returning to Hank. The permanent Fortify + big Armour bonus is definitely the main selling point. The only real advantages Jugg has is that he's much better against Physical damage over time (to be fair, how much is there in this game?) and that he cannot get slowed.

However, thanks to a recent discussion I decided to recreate Hank as a Jugg for a comparison, and this is the result (right-click and open image in new tab for full resolution):

Let's see:

* Jugg is a little bit better against Physical damage

* They both equally mitigate Elemental damage

* Champion is a little bit better against Chaos damage

* Champion has 50% more DPS

Perhaps I should mention that this is vs a 17k Physical hit.

Both are level 95, have 80% Loreweave, Fortify and flasks up (including Basalt).

Jugg has 9 Endurance charges, Champion only has 3. I could skip some damage nodes to get 8 charges on Champion and still have considerably higher DPS.

Does that make it clear why this is a Champion and not Jugg?

Why Resolute Technique when Champion has Worthy Foe?

The second most asked question. I can understand why it's being asked, but it sometimes makes me scratch my head that people cannot see the benefit here.

Worthy Foe requires you to taunt enemies first. Enduring Cry has a 4 second cooldown as any other Warcry. Worthy Foe requires you to hit enemies first to apply the Taunt from it. This means that it takes a minimum of 2 hits to get 100% hit chance. Of course this depends on how lucky/unlucky you are with the Accuracy check.

But here's the problem. A Shroudwalker enemy or a Shrouded Shrine, hell, even an enemy with the mod "Evasive" can get you killed because your hit chance without RT or Worthy Foe is around 74%. Even worse when blinded. Because Accuracy and Evasion are entropy based you will eventually hit, but those first 3-4 hits against a pack can mean life or death.

Since this is not some crit build with Herald of Ice, you can't rely on the chain explosions to clear for you. I hope that finally settles it.

Why use Armour? Armour sucks.

This is defnitely the most annoying thing I keep hearing. It's mostly said by people who haven't actually played a good Armour build and just copy what someone else said.

While it is true that Armour becomes less effective against bigger hits, it's also very easy to stack without much investment and it certainly makes you tankier, as the most common damage you will receive in the game is Physical damage from basic monster attacks.

Armour is not something you build around on its own, the way it works doesn't allow for that. Once you understand that and know what to do with it, you'll see that Armour can actually be very nice to have.

How much Armour do you need?

The big Armour rule I will invoke here:

Armour has to be scaled with the content to remain useful.

You can't sit on one specific value (e.g. 15k Armour) and expect it to work the same for each encounter. That is not how Armour scales in the first place.

Here's a rough estimate on Armour values per map tier range (based on my own experience):

  • Tier 1-2: 10k-15k Armour
  • Tier 3-5: 15k-20k Armour
  • Tier 6-10: 20k-35k Armour
  • Tier 11-12: 35k-45k Armour
  • Tier 13-14: 45k-55k Armour
  • Tier 15: 55k-65k Armour
  • Tier 16: 65k+ Armour

This is roughly the amount of Armour you need to mitigate a reasonable amount of the Physical damage in those tiers. Don't take these for granted, they are just estimates.

Armour has diminishing returns as content scales up to a maximum, at which point adding more Armour does little to nothing. Quick example:

Going from 15k to 40k Armour is significant.
Going from 70k Armour to 90k Armour is not.

Why? Because Armour can only mitigate Physical damage up to a maximum value and never more than its own value divided by 10 (e.g. 50k Armour can never mitigate more than 5k Physical damage). If you are already fully mitigating up to its maximum, adding more Armour does nothing (depends on enemy damage, of course).

Let's talk about opportunity cost.

Since I'm still constantly getting messages and questions about why I do this and that, I figured I'd add this section to the FAQ to provide some clarity (and some relief for myself).

From a conversation with another player: I basically got asked why I use Thief's Torment when you could just use 2 Elder rings (especially when trying to stack Chaos res) and Mana on hit jewels.

First, yes, that'd totally work. The reasons why I'm not doing this are:

* It'd take a total of 7 passive points just to sustain Mana (2x jewel sockets á 2 points, Revelry for 2 points and Life and Mana Leech for 1 point = 7).

* 2 perfect Elder rings are ~66% as effective as a perfect Thief's Torment and good luck getting those, not to mention it's near impossible with Mana on hit. Get any lower tiers and you are at half the Life on hit and still need the extra passives to sustain Mana. Not to mention the cost involved.

* Thief's Torment has 50% reduced effect of Curses on you, which translates into 51% total res you can skip to be Ele Weakness capped in high tier maps (34 / 2 = 17; 17 * 3 = 51). Granted that the ring has roughly 2/3 of what 2 decent rings can roll. You can technically roll this mod on Shaped rings, but you'd need 2 of those and then you obviously can't have the Elder mods.

* Thief's Torment also adds item quantity, which increases your overall item drops.

* Thief's Torment can be used from lvl 30 onwards, making leveling a breeze.

* Chaos res is stupidly easy to get this league, that's why I'm Chaos capped for a couple chaos (heh) worth of gear.

To sum it up:

Opportunity cost is about evaluating the gains and benefits of doing X instead of Y and making a proper assessment of each option available. Option A may give X, but option B may give X benefit to Y greater extent and/or additional bonuses and thus both options have to be equally weighted based on circumstances. A winner is then decided by finding the sweet spot that gives the most for the smallest investment.

This is also why I changed the tree from the last version a bit, simply because I found an inconsistency (Life nodes) and fixed it.

Can this build do full key Uber Lab runs/carries?

Yes. Even easier now with Vaal Double Strike instead of Cleave, as Cleave made it difficult because of its AoE.

Not using a Loreweave here. It's just a 6L I found and crafted myself. Nothing special, at all. Tabula works just fine.

Izaro really is not a problem, traps and the Goddess used to be a bit annoying. Still, even the previous version was able to do full key runs and carries. This is now made trivial with Loreweave and Adrenaline in addition to everything else.

Is this a league starter? Is there a cheap version?

Of course. I don't advertise stuff that is not true.

A Tabula Rasa chest can carry you for a long time and turned out to be better than what I previously always used: Bringer of Rain.

The helmet can be used as a substitute if you want to really go lowest budget. For Lab itself it works just fine, for mapping I'd recommend the Tabula approach. You can farm the chest yourself if needed.

When I started Betrayal league I actually was using a Tabula up to T15 maps. It's still possible to use it in that tier, but there comes a point where the safety of a Loreweave just makes your experience so much better. Especially since corrupted maps really love to roll -max resistance mods.

Can this build do endgame content?

Yes, it can. Although I will have to add here that a lot of the damage comes from good jewels, so if you don't have them you might find yourself farming T15s in the meantime.

If you are skilled enough you can take on certain encounters with lower damage, as proven by my Shaper and Guardian videos. I already know the fights in and out, so they are usually not a problem for me anymore.

That of course is a different story for someone who encounters them for the first time. But Hank the Tank is pretty... tanky, heh, so it should certainly help you learn.

Where is the chance to bleed coming from? Maybe I missed it.

Why Loreweave and not Belly of the Beast? Belly gives more HP.

Simple Math


250 > 200 = 20% less


5k HP and a 20k Elemental hit

20000 - 75%
5000 -> remaining HP = 0000

20000 - 80%
4000 -> remaining HP = 1000

This means you'd need an HP pool of 6000 or an extra 20% more HP with a 75% max res build compared to a Loreweave to achieve the same mitigation.

In my case a Belly would bump my HP up to ~6800, whereas with a Loreweave I'm at ~6200.

Since Loreweave basically gives me 20% more HP vs Elemental damage (and also Chaos damage), I have an effective HP pool of ~7400 (vs Elemental and Chaos damage).

This is much better than the raw 600 HP a Belly of the Beast provides, even though that also applies to Physical damage. We are talking about a discrepancy of double the EHP vs Elemental damage.

Technically, if you weigh them against each other (600/600 vs 1200) they even out, yet Elemental damage is the far more dangerous one.

Loreweave also comes with flat Physical damage and attributes you want, but its main selling point aside from providing maximum resistances is the fact that your maximum resistances cannot be lowered because the chest overrides this. This makes any kind of reduced maximum resistances map mod trivial and also protects against certain encounters like Guardian of the Phoenix, who periodically reduces your maximum Fire resistance as the fight progresses.

The maximum resistance cap is also strong against bosses like Shaper, whose Frostbolts and Bullet Hell projectiles both penetrate 25% Cold resistance (don't be confused with maximum resistance reduction here, the Cold pen still applies, but instead of 75% it uses 80% as the base, which means those balls hurt 20% less than normal).

Specifically in the Betrayal league, stacking Chaos resistance up to 80% helps greatly against Tora and Aisling. Since Loreweave also raises the Chaos res cap to 80%, you basically take 20% less damage from their Chaos damage than you would with the basic 75%. It's that good.

Basic Overview
Let's start off simple.

This build stacks a bunch of Armour to mitigate Physical damage, has permanent Fortify to reduce damage taken from hits, comes with 80% max Elemental resistances and is immune to Bleeding (with higher budget). Bonus points for extra Endurance charges.

Mitigating damage is the build's primary goal, hence the name Hank the Tank.

Layering defenses to accumulate a lot of raw mitigation is not that hard and is in my professional opinion much better than any chance based forms of mitigation such as Block or Dodge (or for example some Dodge, Evasion and Block aka. scattered defenses). Granted that those nullify any damage taken by avoiding the damage altogether.

Block and Dodge both prove very effective on average, but they require a certain amount of investment to reach those levels and they can't protect you against the damage that manages to get through. This is why I don't leave anything to chance, hence why this build also uses Resolute Technique. This way I cannot miss attacks and thus allows me to focus on defense and offense. It's also cheaper to build than your regular crit build.

To easily stack large amounts of Armour, I use the Determination and Grace auras, coupled with Iron Reflexes and Unstoppable Hero's +1000 flat ER/AR, we get a lot of Armour for little investment. All Evasion Rating is converted to Armour, but I still have a flat 5% chance to evade attacks because hit chance cannot exceed 95% by default. This equally applies to enemies.

Because of this Blind comes in very handy to cut enemy hit chance in half, thus greatly increasing my chances of survival when being swarmed by enemies. Bringer of Rain will blind enemies on hit, but with higher budget you can substitute the same effect with a Watcher's Eye jewel, the mod of which is tied to Grace. You can also use a CWDT setup as I listed it in the gem section. This will allow you to blind enemies with a couple gem sockets worth of investment. They are not actually wasted, since there's not much else you could add that would benefit the build.

Said Watcher's Eye can also roll Reduced Extra Damage Taken From Critical Strikes, the mod of which is tied to Determination. This stat is very underrated and is simple in nature. It reduces enemy critical strike multiplier when calculating damage. -100% turns any crit into a normal hit. Since critical strikes are the sneaky one-shot candidates, it should be fairly obvious why I invest into that stat. Depending on your budget, you can nullify the Mana Reservation cost of Determination with an Aul's Uprising amulet. This allows you to run Herald of Purity or Purity of Elements on top.

If you use Purity of Elements and have a Watcher's Eye with the appropriate mod, you can then shift some Physical damage taken to Elemental instead, which is very good when coupled with an 80% resistances Loreweave as damage shift is processed before mitigation and thus allows your Armour to be more effective (Physical Damage Reduction aka. PDR has a cap of 90%). You can now achieve such an effect with the new helmet mods that you can bench craft (7% of Physical damage taken as Fire). You should not use both as overstacking damage shift can actually make you take more damage. Be careful with damage shift on builds that mitigate Physical damage.

Don't be deluded by the character screen listing your PDR rating. This is calculated against the hit of the basic white mob at your current level and means practically nothing.

Speaking of which, Delve has brought us a new belt mod that has a 20% chance to double the Armour effect. To my understanding this only means that for example, a hit that would be mitigated only by 40% can instead be mitigated by 80%, although the mechanics of this have not officially been explained to my knowledge. Still, this averages out at 20% more effective Armour, which is great for general Physical damage mitigation.

To further mitigate damage, permanent Fortify from the Champion's node Fortitude will reduce all damage from hits by 20%. Since I also use an Ichimonji and pick the corresponding passive nodes, this effect is amplified by 25% to become 25% reduced damage taken from hits instead. This of course stacks with all other sources of reduced damage taken such as from Conqueror, Endurance charges, Basalt flask etc.

Death's Door is a fairly expensive item that is very well worth it, though. It makes you immune to Bleeding, which Armour does nothing against since Armour only applies to hits and Bleed is Physical damage over time. This makes Lab a lot easier to run and turns bosses like Rigwald (stacks strong Bleeds while in wolf form) into clowns.

Now that you understand what makes the build tanky, let's shift your attention to offense.

The build is purely Physical damage based.

To further increase the base damage I use Abyss jewels with flat Physical damage and attack speed (and flat Life). In the case of Vaal Double Strike it also comes with base damage that is added when hitting bleeding enemies, which is why I invest into some chance to bleed nodes, which ironically are also better for damage anyway.

I invest into a lot of attack speed not only for damage, but also because I use a Thief's Torment ring for extra sustain. Since it grants Life on hit and Double Strike hits twice, coupled with Multistrike and high attack speed this becomes quite effective. Due to the high attack speed I also use Crimson Dance to stack 8 Bleeds on the enemy, which is simply put just bonus DPS and nothing more. Ancestral Protector and Multistrike both multiply your attack speed instead of just adding to it as passives for example do, thus necessary to reach very high attack speed (~18 attacks per second on this build).

Champion's First to Strike, Last to Fall node applies Intimidate, which increases the damage enemies take from hits made with attacks by 10%, which is effectively a multiplier to our total damage due to how damage taken works (you can roughly equate it to [total damage * 1.1]).

The Lion's Roar, Silver and Sulphur flasks are used for offense, but they actually also come with bonus defense in the form of added Armour and extra Life Regen. Look for important affixes that take care of certain afflictions, namely Curses, Freeze, Ignite and Bleeding. You want to have a flask for each scenario, but you can now take care of Freeze by crafting Cannot Be Frozen onto boots or by wearing a Brine Crown.

Master of Metal is a new node that gives us bonus damage by adding a chance to Impale to our attacks and also comes with bonus Armour.

In the Path of Building code I gave you I added in a workaround to try and simulate the benefits of said node. You can take a look at the unique Aquamarine flask for that.

I based my calculations on this reddit thread (for however reliable it may be).

I used to factor in high Physical damage such as Shaper slam (deals 17k) when I was determining which nodes to use and is also why I used First to Strike, Last to Fall. However, I've personally killed a fully buffed Uber Izaro at level 70 with Master of Metal and a Tabula and I can now say that either node works just fine.

For most map content you won't see much higher damage than 6k Physical damage, with maybe an exception being T16 Syndicate (?), I'm not exactly sure. Either way, this is why I now used 6k Physical damage as reference, and the amount of Armour we have for that is enough to mitigate most of that.

My initial stance on Banners was... not wrong, but perhaps too narrow-minded.

I've since changed my mind, the reasons being:

War Banner increases Physical damage enemies take, so that is pretty much equal to Intimidate we get from First to Strike, Last to Fall.

Inspirational makes Banners reserve no Mana, no matter how many Supports you add to them. Which is why I can link Increased Duration to it and it still reserves nothing but a gem socket. Which Righteous Fire would do as well if I were to use the old route.

Thing is, the hotbar switch action remains present, yet is optional. You can drop the Banner for added effect, or you don't. Just activate it like any other aura and switch back to the skill. However, since it reserves a slot on your hotbar (which is crowded), you will need to cast Blood Rage when starting a map and then swap in War Banner. Or don't and just activate the Banner once and forget about it.

The main reason why I switched to Inspirational is because the movement speed is nice, but most importantly: the damage is consistent and it gives you a slight heal button. Also comes as free bonus MTX.

This is basically it for mechanics. The build isn't very complicated.

More Intricate Explanations

To start things off, let me explain the difference between scattered and layered defenses and why I use the latter.

Scattered defenses is what I will refer to as small values of X mechanic that are theoretically layered when you simplify the term, but it's not actually layered defenses.

Layered defenses is what I will refer to as stacked mechanics with stacked values that mitigate damage in order.

A build with 30% chance to evade, 30/20% chance to block, 5000 Armour, 20/15% chance to dodge, 75/75/75 resistances, 5k Life and Arctic Armour is what I would call scattered defenses.

To be fair, the average/new player would be like:

"Oh, I got a 20% chance to dodge attacks and if that fails, I got a 30% chance to block attacks. If that fails, I got a 30% chance to evade attacks and if everything else fails, I still have some Armour and Arctic Armour to protect me."

If it's not that obvious to you, there's a lot of IFs in that thought trail.

I don't like IF, I prefer to have builds that are reliable.

In my case I'm stacking Armour, Blind, maximum resistances, reduced damage taken and so on. To show you what a layered defenses build looks like, let's get into detail:

Reduced Extra Damage Taken From Critical Strikes is what applies first.

This stat determines the extra damage roll from enemy crits. Since I'm increasing this stat, I can reduce the enemy's effective critical strike multiplier when damage is calculated. This is negated entirely after I've taken a critical strike because of the Solaris upgraded Pantheon. This means that, after I have taken a critical strike, all following enemy hits will be the same damage as any non-critical strikes. In the case of the Pantheon this is tied to the keyword recently, which refers to the last 4 seconds.

Chance to Evade Attacks is what is rolled next.

(I'm going to ignore that 17% chance to block attacks here because it's practically worthless.)

Chance to hit cannot exceed 95% (with a few exceptions), even though I have exactly 0 Evasion Rating because I convert it all to Armour. Which means I still have a 5% chance to evade. Enemy hit chance can then be cut in half with Blind, which is what I apply either on hit (Bringer of Rain or gloves mod) or when hit (Watcher's Eye jewel). This is useful against swarms of enemies to minimize average damage taken within a set period of time. This means that blinded enemies only have a 47.5% chance to hit me (possibly rounded down to 47%, not sure).

Damage taken as is rolled next.

Damage taken as is shifted damage that is processed before damage mitigation such as Armour. What this means is that any amount of Physical damage you can shift to another damage type will greatly help out your Armour to be more effective because the value after the shift is what is used for the calculation. In my case I have 10% of Physical Damage taken as Fire Damage (Purity of Elements Watcher's Eye), which averages out at 8% effective Physical Damage Reduction (PDR), but is much more valuable because that 10% is subtracted from the total value and flat PDR would apply towards the PDR cap (Physical Damage Reduction is capped at 90%, with the exception being Immortal Call).

Armour, Resistances, Endurance charges, Basalt flask and Adrenaline are applied next.

The Physical Damage Reduction from Armour must be calculated against the Physical damage hit (remember the 10% damage shift reduced that value), then the PDR from Endurance charges, Adrenaline and Basalt flask are added to that number. Armour has a maximum damage number it can mitigate and has diminishing returns. The shifted Physical damage is then mitigated by my Loreweave, as is any other source of Elemental damage. Loreweave also comes with the big bonus that my maximum resistances cannot be lowered by map modifiers and the like, which makes this an incredibly valuable and powerful item.

Fortify and Conqueror are applied last.

Same goes for any other source of reduced damage taken, for example upgraded Yugul Pantheon. Fortify applies to hits only, though. The buff is increased by Ichimonji and the corresponding passives, making it a final 25% reduced damage taken from hits. This is generic damage reduction, meaning the damage type does not matter here. Both Fortify and Conqueror are added against stuff like Vulnerability or Shock, thus they can cancel it out to some degree. Which is why Vulnerability maps and the like are no problem for me. The damage reduction reduces the final damage before it is applied to your Life. Less damage taken would apply after this, that's why I keep saying that Arctic Armour is not good for builds that already mitigate a lot of damage.

Some Math on that topic

Reduced damage taken is better than less damage taken because it's additive. Unlike damage dealt, where additive modifiers have steep diminishing returns, stacking that stat is actually many times better than having multipliers.

If I had say 25% Fortify and 2x 10% reduced damage taken vs 25% Fortify and 2x 10% less damage taken, it would look like this against a hit of 100:

Reduced + Fortify:

100 * (1 - 0.25 - 0.10 - 0.10)
55 damage taken

Less + Fortify:

75 * (1 - 0.1) * (1 - 0.1)
60.75 damage taken

Even if you had no mitigation to begin with, then less damage taken is still worse:


100 * (1 - 0.10 - 0.10)
80 damage taken


100 * (1 - 0.1) * (1 - 0.1)
81 damage taken

Multiplying modifiers have diminishing returns here, meaning they become less effective point-per-point as you apply more of them.

For reference, you can read this Wiki article if you want to know more about this subject.

  • 6k+ HP
  • 3k+ Life per sec
  • 80% max res
  • Fortify
  • 60k+ Armour
  • 300k+ to 1M+ DPS
  • 3-8 Endurance charges *
  • Blind

In order to get 8 Endurance charges you need to trade damage nodes for charges (e.g. Strong Arm and Duality) and wear corrupted Death's Door with the +1 Endurance charge implicit.

Path of Building/PoB code: https://pastebin.com/6QUUTnFG *
Better optimized with expensive jewels and a lvl 100 tree. Look at it as reference, NOT as the actual character you see in my videos.

Passive tree: 31 points

Passive tree: 51 points

Passive tree: 64 points

Passive tree: 95 points

Passive tree: 118 points

Leveling info:

In general you can skip the Fortify nodes at first if you start the league fresh because it will take you at least until Act 3 to get a Fortify gem (from the Library quest).

However, if this is your second character, you can use Cleave + its threshold jewel called Overwhelming Odds to get Fortify as soon as you get your first jewel socket without having to spend another gem socket. This is a great and safe way to level in HC.

You can also continue to use Cleave and the jewel until you finish Cruel Lab.

Duality and Strong Arm are some of the last damage nodes and I know they look juicy to grab, but you should prioritize Life and Attack Speed nodes first.

Attack speed not only scales Double Strike better, it's also a QoL thing as it adds general speed with your movement skills and makes you regain Life faster as you hit enemies.

Indomitable is often skipped early by people for some reason. You really should not do that. The node gives a lot of Armour and reduces enemy crit damage. Take it.


Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

That's the motto. If you don't have access to specific stats or mechanics, improvise a solution. For example, if you don't have a Watcher's Eye with Blind, then use a Blind gem linked to your Vengeance or use a Stibnite flask for the time being.

Speaking of which, you want to prioritize reduced extra crit damage taken on your Watcher's Eye (Determination mod). This one is more important to take care of enemy crits.

To be quite frank: a build guide serves as a guideline and isn't the law.

I'm not going to babysit you, either. I want you to figure some things out on your own. It's important to understand that this is a build guide and not a gameplay guide. Teaching important mechanics is ok, teaching you how to dodge certain spells or how to buy your gear is not my concern. I will give you pointers, that's it.

If you don't listen to my tips or ignore why I do certain things, don't come complain to me about it afterwards. Every change you make is on you.

  • Kill all

Pantheons: *
  • Solaris
  • Gruthkul

Fully upgraded.

  • Unstoppable Hero
  • Fortitude
  • Master of Metal
  • Conqueror/Inspirational (more defense/more damage) *

Conqueror is still worth taking on HC since it's generic damage reduction and also gives a bit more regen.

Gem links

6L: *
  • (Vaal) Double Strike
  • Multistrike
  • Maim (swap this for Melee Splash for clearing if using BoR)
  • Melee Physical Damage (drop this if using BoR)
  • Brutality
  • Ruthless (drop this if using BoR)/Melee Splash

Listed in order of magnitude.

  • Whirling Blades
  • Enduring Cry
  • Blood Magic
  • Leap Slam

4L: *
  • Cast When Damage Taken lvl 3
  • Punishment lvl 7
  • Blade Vortex lvl 9
  • Blind

You can ditch Blind + Blade Vortex if you got a Watcher's Eye with the Blind mod. This setup is used as a substitute until you get one. You can then use Cold Snap or Vortex for free Chill, or even any kind of Offering skill to get rid of corpses (useful for Delves to remove the exploding weta corpses).

  • Blood Rage
  • Increased Duration
  • War Banner

  • Grace
  • Determination
  • Ancestral Protector

  • Cast When Damage Taken lvl 1
  • Vengeance
  • Bladefall lvl 4
  • Culling Strike

Basic items

As mentioned before, you will want flat Physical damage, attack speed and flat Life on your Abyss jewels.

Thief's Torment is a core item because it's too good to replace. Even remotely comparable Elder rings with Life and Mana gained on hit are just impossible to get. Even with 2 perfect Life on hit rings they are still only ~66% as effective as a perfect Thief's Torment. Not to mention that the ring also comes with 50% reduced effect of Curses on you, which is really great against Elemental Weakness and Vulnerability maps.

Early League weapons

There are multiple ways to get decent weapons early in the league, most of which I briefly covered in my Full Guide video you can find at the top.

However, the easiest way is to constantly check your vendors for sabre type weapons. They come with high base attack speed, and generally roll Physical damage as opposed to foil type weapons that require higher stats and tend to roll Elemental damage.

Here's what I've been using on day 1 of the league for a fairly long time:

Good leveling items

Tabula Rasa is the leveling item because it gives you a 6L from level 2 onwards (if you already have one). It also serves as a budget option 6L substitute until you can get a proper one.

Very important note about Lakishu's Blade: It has reduced Stun and Block Recovery on it, which means that Stuns on you expire slower/last longer. This can get you killed when your HP is low compared to enemy damage and you get chain-stunned by mobs. I advise you to skip this item on HC for safety reasons.

Low(est) budget/starter items

Note: It appears some people got confused by the low budget item options. I will elaborate. Bringer of Rain and all other low budget items are the absolute low-end equipment. This is for people starting a fresh character to farm Lab with and who want to spend as little as possible. This is not a longterm solution and is also not intended for mapping.

Bringer of Rain is a good budget pseudo-6L (perhaps I should note that you are supposed to socket your main attack in there). You can also use Ahn's Contempt (reduced crit damage taken is very good here) and a Tabula. Either works, other helmets work too (Brine Crown is very underrated, but nobody will enchant that, so you will have to try yourself if you really want one). Fill out the rest of the slots with rares that compliment what you lack, with the main focus being Life and resistances.

My current gear in Betrayal League

Note: I have yet to get the Double Strike double damage enchant.

I have capped Chaos resistance, and so should you. Chaos res is super easy to get this league; the importance of which was emphasized by GGG with this fact. You cannot play this league with -60% Chaos res, unless you intend to use Hank for Lab only.

High(er) budget/my (now Standard) gear

IMPORTANT NOTE: Lightpoacher is only used here because of the Double Strike enchant. By itself this is not a good helmet. Only buy this if you got good jewels, in any other case it's better to invest into a good rare or a Brine Crown. The latter also prevents Freeze. Very underrated helmet.

Death's Door is a great pair of boots. Move speed, immunity to Bleed, extra Endurance charge and bonus resistances. Granted that its downside, namely the 50% increased duration of elemental ailments, can be a bit annoying because of Freeze and Chill.

There may be better options to consider in the future. Right now the only way to replace Death's Door is to get a corrupted Thief's Torment with the Bleeding Cannot Be Inflicted On You implicit (very hard to aquire). To counter Freeze and Chill you can also wear Kaom's Roots, although that means Blind becomes useless.

You can still push this higher if you want to invest more, for example by getting +1 Endurance charge Death's Door, immune to Poison Thief's Torment, Brine Crown with Double Strike enchant, etc. I didn't want to blow my own budget too much, so I settled with this.

Thanks for checking out my guide! If you have any questions or want to say a few words, feel free to leave a comment :)

Please do not spam me with PMs, because I hate to repeat myself over and over.

Proud creator of Hank the Tank™
Forum guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2087746
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)
Last edited by CaptainWARLORD on Mar 19, 2019, 12:01:58 PM
Last bumped on Mar 21, 2019, 7:06:57 PM
1# nice guide, depending on ascendency changes in 3.2 maybe starter for next season, good work mate!
Mekadrill wrote:
1# nice guide, depending on ascendency changes in 3.2 maybe starter for next season, good work mate!

Yeah, curious about the changes as well. I hope they don't change too much. Also, thanks!
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™
Forum guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2087746
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)
Hello. Nice build. I respect thief's t. ring + high as. Its feeling good but .. you said that izaro deal high phys dmg, well thats true but how u handle mods like essences + conduits ? Izaro on full key runs deal ele dmg too if he get essences. Cheers.
Hello. Nice build. I respect thief's t. ring + high as. Its feeling good but .. you said that izaro deal high phys dmg, well thats true but how u handle mods like essences + conduits ? Izaro on full key runs deal ele dmg too if he get essences. Cheers.

Tank it or dodge it. You don't have to facetank everything. But I don't see how it should pose any problems.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™
Forum guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2087746
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)
Hi! looks very nice, gonna try as league starter in 3.2 btw i'm gonna start to play in hardcore next league, wish me luck ! hahaha
Thanks for the build man! *cheers*
hmm funny build
u can add perfect form + brine crown, defend synergy > BoR and craft amulet with 15% increase fortify effect, also u can switch ring to kikazaru + 1 rare
Last edited by PQxEOKvFTD on Feb 17, 2018, 4:16:10 AM
PQxEOKvFTD wrote:
hmm funny build
u can add perfect form + brine crown, defend synergy > BoR

Yeah, you could. Which means you'd need a 6L, which defeats the purpose of the build.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™
Forum guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2087746
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)
Stun immunity+2k Base armour and Hit's can be evaded for taunted enemies...this build just got BUFFFFEEEDD!!...found my starter next league. Thanks
I'm bored....somebody pm me..:(
Last edited by Qyenoh on Feb 22, 2018, 1:48:33 AM
Qyenoh wrote:
Stun immunity+2k Base armour and Hit's can be evaded for taunted enemies...this build just got BUFFFFEEEDD!!...found my starter next league. Thanks

Indeed it did. Check out the new layout and let me know what you think :)

Should be easier to read and provide more info.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™
Forum guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2087746
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)

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