[HC] Righteous Fire Juggernaut, b*tch!


Juggernaut received an overhaul along with the majority of the ascendancies in 3.2. In making Juggernaut more survivable, they provided a strong base for a Righteous Fire character beyond the usual Guardian or Chieftain builds. For low-life, Occultist and Guardian are better choices; Juggernaut provides a better foundation for a league-starter full-life Righteous Fire character.

For the purposes of this guide, basic instruction will be provided. Advanced math and the like can be found on the PoE Wiki page, and since I am not a math wizz (never liked counting) I won’t be pretending to understand it. Also, lacking a few items, so I will provide my thoughts on the best leveling items as well as end-game items, and will link them when I possess them.

If you want a solid map runner that can do many things well, this is a good choice to begin with. If you have never run Righteous Fire before, this build is very forgiving, even in hardcore. You can recover from many mistakes, both big and small, simply by being a bit more reactive when you notice a mistake.

This is my first guide where I’m attempting to spruce things up with banners and media, so please forgive me! Comments on the build, testimonials, and thread set-up is appreciated! Just don’t be a dink.

+ High survivability thanks to a high life pool (206% from tree), high armor (250% from tree), high physical damage mitigation, high life regeneration (12.5% of maximum life from tree) and +8 to Endurance Charges
+ Seven jewel slots from tree
+ High damage potential, as Righteous Fire damage is partially based off of your maximum life
+ Immune to elemental reflect
+ Provides a solid, safe, and reliable league starter
+ Leveling requires cheap uniques to make work, and can be started at level 20; fast leveling if you do
+ Uber lab farmer
+ Farms trash like there’s no tomorrow
+ Radiant MTXs for Righteous Fire and Scorching Ray

- Getting to Righteous Fire can be difficult, as there aren’t a lot of damage nodes taken early on
- You will need to mule many of the INT-based gems until Act 3, when you complete Siosa’s quest
- Maximum effectiveness is determined by some endgame gear, which can be expensive
- Bosses can be a bit tricky, but will die at a consistent pace
- Can’t run no regen maps

Righteous Fire

The primary weapon of the build, Righteous Fire creates a ring of burning death around us. The ring deals damage to anything in it, as well as ourselves. Unlike most other skills, damage a bit interesting: not only do damage over time, burning damage, elemental damage, area damage, generic damage, and fire damage increases provide more damage, but our maximum life also boosts the killing power of the skill. Even though it is a spell, spell damage DOES NOT affect it. In more specific terms, think of it as a mobile Consecration, from World of Warcraft (and with the Divine MTX, it looks like that!), damaging anything that enters it.

Scorching Ray

Much like Righteous Fire, Scorching Ray is a damage over time effect in a line in front of us. As a channeled spell, in order to keep it going we have to hold down the key it is bound to (in my case, RMB). Not only does it deal damage, but it stacks a debuff on the enemy, reducing their resistance to fire damage and thus increasing the effective damage of both Scorching Ray and Righteous Fire. The total amount of the debuff can’t exceed 24% (or eight “stacks”). Scorching Ray’s damage can be amplified (or reduced) by modifiers to spell damage, burning damage, damage over time, fire damage, elemental damage, and generic damage.

We use Scorching Ray against rare mobs, as well as against bosses to increase our clear time.

Purity of Fire

Our first (of two) auras, Purity of Fire provides a boost to our fire resistance, while also increasing our maximum fire resistance. This means it becomes easier to control the degeneration effect on ourselves. Naturally, the maximum increase to natural fire resistance obtainable is 4% 9meaning we can have 79%); however, a lucky Vaal Orb can raise it to 5% (also the Empower gem), and if you get aura bonus nodes or jewels, it can increase it further (don’t worry about this, as we will not be getting those here). It also overcaps us in many instances, and so we will find it easier to cap our other resistances, making it harder for Elemental Weakness maps to bring our weaknesses below the maximum allowed.


Our second aura, Vitality provides a boost to our life regeneration by a percentage of our maximum life. Each level increases the maximum amount of life regenerated per second.

Summon Stone Golem

Stone Golem provides tow useful abilities. First off, it can taunt enemies off of us, increasing our ability to live thanks to not being the focus of the creature’s ire. It provides a certain amount of protection against a lapse in judgment, or a momentary Alzheimer’s moment. Second, it provides an increase in our life regeneration, though at a set amount rather than a percentage. This is still big, especially for early game survivability.

Decoy Totem

This is an optional skill to use, but I have found it far more effective than I expected. Decoy Totem will pulse, taunting targets to attack it. With respectable life, it can provide a huge amount of keeping your happy ass alive-ness, and is a preferable way to annoy things away from attacking you, coupled with the Stone Golem’s taunt. I recommend taking it, if you have a spot for it.

20 Points

40 Points

60 Points

80 Points

1-20: Mule a Magma Orb and Volley Support off of a Shadow character. This should take about five minutes total (complete the Tidal Island, and also get a free Quicksilver!). After completing Breaking Some Eggs grab Flame Totem as supplemental damage, and Decoy Totem to level. Take Chance to Ignite Support at level 8 and link it to Magma Orb/Volley if you can. At level 12, get your happy butt a Scorching Ray if you can (someone will likely buy it for you if you ask in Lioneye’s Watch local), or take Firestorm and level with that and Chance to Ignite. At level 16, you can use Herald of Ash (assuming you’re using Firestorm) to increase your damage. In any case, buy a Righteous Fire from Yeena. At level 18, see if you can get someone to buy you two Elemental Focus Supports to link to your active skills, and a Concentrated Effect Support as well. If you can get these, you can wait until Act 3 when you complete Siosa’s quest.

20 and Onward: Not much to say here. When you can, equip Purity of Fire and Vitality, and use them if you’re leveling with Righteous Fire (which you can start at around level 24, depending on how you do things). When you can, complete The Golden Pages for Siosa in the Library. This will give you Burning Damage Support, which you will want two of. At level 34 after completing opening The Mines via kill Voll and getting Deshret’s Banner, you can equip Summon Stone Golem, increasing life regen and giving you another taunt. At 38, get yourself a Cast When Damage Taken Support, then buy an Increased Duration Support (Act 3), Immortal Call, Flammability or Enfeeble (Act 3), and an Increased Area of Effect Support.

Unique Items to Level With

Generic Leveling Uniques:

Build-specific Leveling Uniques:

Springleaf: provides 3% life regeneration, plus another 3% if you hit low life. If you’re lucky, you can get the prophecy to change this into The Oak, providing life (and damage) if you want to level with Righteous Fire. Must-have for this option.
Abberath’s Horn: Cheap wand, increases fire damage. Effective early on.
Ashcaller: Another cheap wand that can cast Summon Raging Spirit on kill. Increases fire and burning damage, so effective for Scorching Ray and Righteous Fire.
Nycta’s Lantern: Another cheap weapon, it allows you to use Leap Slam and Shield Charge depending on your movement skill of choice. Socket Scorching Ray in this for +2 to it’s level.
Kikazaru: With two of these active, you can start doing Righteous Fire at level 24. It provides a solid amount of flat life regeneration, determined by current level. These can cost a bit (up to 3C early in the league). Even one can be doable, but you need to complete Normal Labyrinth to do so.
Shaper’s Seed: Again, another item needed if you want to level with Righteous Fire. Provides 2% life regeneration.
Wake of Destruction: Doesn’t do much, but it provides life on kill, which is good if you’re leveling with Righteous Fire. Not a necessity.

You may have noticed a lack of Tabula Rasa. That’s because we really want to have a chestpiece that provides armor for after Normal Lab.

Bandits: Help Oak (for physical reduction and life regeneration) OR kill all (for 2 points). I helped Oak.

Ascendancies: Unbreakable > Unflinching > Unrelenting > Unyielding

As this build is intended for hardcore play, I prioritize survivability over damage. Unbreakable provides a large amount of survivability in the form of life regeneration, reduced global damage taken, and doubles the amount of armor received from body armor (this is why we don’t take a Tabula with us). Unflinching provides guaranteed Endurance Charge generation, and because we don’t take Endurance Charge nodes until after we do normal lab, it’s pointless to take it before cruel lab. For merciless lab, we take Unrelenting for additional damage reduction per Endurance Charge, reduced elemental damage while at maximum Endurance Charges (which is the biggest threat to us), and Chaos resistance per Endurance Charge (BIG BONUS). Uber lab nets us Unyielding, which increases our damage per Endurance Charge as well as our AoE.

I don’t have everything just yet, but I’m going to provide recommendations and suggestions here.

Stat priority while gearing:

(Over)Capped Resistances > Life > Armor > Strength


A rare helmet with Essence of Horror crafting for 30% more elemental damage, as well as life and resistances. Armor is also a good choice, but you’ll probably need to go with a hybrid armor/ES to get 3B1R easier.

Enchantment: Righteous Fire damage is best, followed by AoE; Scorching Ray damage is also a viable option; Decoy Totem Life isn’t good, but it isn’t bad, either. If you can enchant and properly craft two helms, and your first one has Decoy Totem Life as an enchantment, feel free to use it until you get a damage one.

Links: Righteous Fire > Elemental Focus > Burning Damage Support > Increased Area of Effect/Concentrated Effect

Body Armor

Kaom’s Heart is BiS for the build, providing a lot of life and some fire damage. It lacks armor, though. Oh well!

Alternative: A rare chestpiece with high armor, life, and resistances. Alternatively, Kingsguard can provide longer-lasting Endurance Charges, and you gain life whenever they expire or are consumer (like with Immortal Call). It also provides a decent amount of armor, and some life.


Rare gloves with Essence of Insanity craft. You’ll want armor, life, and resistances.

Alternative: Wyrmsign: This is a fun one. If you have the resistances to pull this off, you can pretty much have permanent Rampage going, as you’ll almost always be at maximum Endurance Charges. Be careful, though, as you lose them all when Rampage ends. A fun meme item, I probably won’t use it.

Enchantment: Commandment of Flame is best.

Links: Leap Slam/Shield Charge > Faster Attacks > Fortify > Summon Stone Golem

NOTE: You don’t have to link Summon Stone Golem to Faster Attacks and Fortify, but it does help it survive!


Rare boots. Essence of Delirium craft allows for immunity to poison. Aim for resistances, life, armor, and movement speed.

Enchantment: Regenerate life and mana if you’ve killed recently is best; chance to avoid being stunned if you’ve killed recently is also a solid choice.

Links: Immortal Call > Flammability/Enfeeble > Cast When Damage Taken > Increased Duration

NOTE: You can max out Immortal Call, your curse, and Cast When Damage Taken. The amount of Endurance Charges we have and the rapid refill of them allows for extended uptime on the call.


My opinion is that Doryani’s Catalyst is BiS for the build, providing a lot of elemental damage (up to 132%) to the build. That being said, a good argument can be made that Doon Cuebiyari is a better option, as we will have, when all is said and done, over 450 strength and likely more, providing a minimum of 32% elemental damage, and another 50% globally to our damage. On top of that, Scorching Ray can be socketed in Doon, giving it the added benefit of Iron Will that the weapon provides, further increasing it’s damage potential. It’s personal preference at the end of the day for the user. Doon is also a lot cheaper, normally.

Links: Scorching Ray > Elemental Focus > Burning Damage


Rise of the Phoenix is the only shield you should run. It provides max fire resistance, life, and life regeneration. It’s also usually cheap. Literally, there is no other shield to use.

Links: Decoy Totem > Vitality > Purity of Fire


You will want one Kaom’s Way for the life regeneration, as well as +1 to Endurance Charges. Other than that, crafting an Opal Ring with a Deafening Essence of Anger will provide the most damage potential. Try to get life and resistances.


In general, a Marble Amulet crafted with a Deafening Essence of Anger provides life regeneration and fire damage. Aim for resistances and life.


A Stygian Belt is always a good option, and Stygian Jewels can provide a large increase in survivability with flat life and life regeneration. A well-crafted Leather Belt can also work as well.

A fire damage Doryani’s Invitation provides fire damage, strength, armor, and cold and lightning resistance. It’s usually cheap to get, so when you hit 68 it is not a bad option to consider until you get a better one!


Witchfire Brew creates a smoke cloud, allowing for greater survivability against slow-hitting attackers. It also increases your Righteous Fire and Scorching Ray damage, and if your enemies aren’t cursed, it creates a level 21 Blasphemy-like Despair aura around you during the duration. A must-have, and generally pretty cheap to get.

You will want at least one Eternal Life Flask, preferably a Catalysed one for quicker regeneration.

Other than that, at least one Quicksilver/ You will also want a flask to remove Bleeding (Staunching), Freeze (of Heat), and either curse removal (of Warding) or poison removal (of Curing).


Life > Burning Damage/Fire Damage/Damage Over Time/Area Damage/Generic Damage > Armor > Resistances

There’s no specific unique jewels considered mandatory for the build. Emperor’s Mastery provides some life and armor; Combustibles provides some damage potential. However, a Watcher’s Eye providing life regeneration while affected by Vitality can be a terrific addition to your arsenal. Sadly, the only decent option for Purity of Fire is to be unaffected by burning ground. However, the Eye is an expensive item, and should not be considered a necessity.
Last bumped on Oct 15, 2018, 1:25:12 PM

If you played this build and enjoyed it, please leave some feedback below!

Coming soon (hopefully!)

06MAR2018: Build added to the forums
What a point to play as Juggernaut, not a Cheif?
What a point to play as Juggernaut, not a Cheif?

Chieftain provides more benefit to a RF totem build, given that there's only really two notables that don't deal with totems and work with Righteous Fire. Self-cast, it's not as effective. Juggernaut, however, provides near 100% uptime on endurance charges, even after an Immortal Call proc, and can attain 7 charges before Kaom's Way (which is expensive), 8 with Way, 9 if you go with two of them. In short, it's easier to get to 9/10 charges with Juggernaut than it is with chieftain.

As stated, the intent is to provide a cheap league starter, that provides extreme survivability with respectable damage output. Chieftain, I think, is not the way to go in a situation like this, and because this is a HC build, it's important to give newer players and players who have never used RF before more chances to fix mistakes before they RIP, which I think Juggernaut does really well. Think of this build as "Baby's First RF".
trying the build. looks hc beginner friendly :)
What do you go for with jewels and pantheons?
while I didnt follow this guide its pretty much the same.
L89 currently on HC

Tanky, decent dmg and felt safe for most parts
elemental dmg is still something one have to be careful with.

highest I ever done on HC so it says something.
One thing you can consider is saffels frame shield. It gives 4% max res to all elements, making you that bit tankier against ele damage. Also for belts, an elder belt with increased life recovery acts as a MORE multiplier to your overall regen which is pretty op!
IGN: Raise_Ur_Donger
Last edited by demondied1 on Mar 8, 2018, 10:24:18 PM
your pastebin doesnt even work
cocob3llo wrote:
trying the build. looks hc beginner friendly :)

It is quite friendly. Sadly, I RIP'd at around level 88 to a Tul breach, with Tul in it. Sneezing at the worst possible time is a bad way to go. RIP juggernaut. :(

Jingzie wrote:
What do you go for with jewels and pantheons?

The usual for jewels: life > burning damage/damage over time/fire damage/area damage/generic damage. For Pantheon, there's no set decision on that. Go with what you prefer.

skjutengris wrote:
while I didnt follow this guide its pretty much the same.
L89 currently on HC

Tanky, decent dmg and felt safe for most parts
elemental dmg is still something one have to be careful with.

highest I ever done on HC so it says something.

I'ma call this a testimonial so I feel better about myself, thanks!

demondied1 wrote:
One thing you can consider is saffels frame shield. It gives 4% max res to all elements, making you that bit tankier against ele damage. Also for belts, an elder belt with increased life recovery acts as a MORE multiplier to your overall regen which is pretty op!

Rise of the Phoenix, period. You don't need to worry about your other resistances, and giving up the chance to block attacks is a big let-down. You may be tanky in terms of armor/HP, but blocking--especially when you're in melee range--is a big factor in living or dying.

rlad wrote:
your pastebin doesnt even work

Other people got it to work, and I just checked it. It works.

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