[3.2] Budget MS Champion Tank (Deathless Shaper/Elder)


I've played this game for a long time and made a lot of really bad builds. This is a pretty good one though, so I thought I would share it.

I started out the league with flameblast totems, and really enjoyed myself for once with the new Hierophant ascendancy. Once it became pretty clear that the new Atziri shield was going to be unobtainable, I started looking for something to play that took advantage of the new league economy, items and ascendancy classes. I didn't end up playing that build, but my guild-mate did while I ran aura support so that we could safely farm the highest content in the game.

Why Molten Strike?
Molten Strike has been consistently proven to have some of the best boss killing potential in the game while still maintaining a high clear speed ever since the addition of Ancestral Call. The number of projectiles that can be achieved via the threshold jewels, helmet enchant and Dying Sun also allow this build to generate life leech approaching pre-nerf Vaal Pact when paired with the Life Gain on Hit support gem.

Why Champion?
Normally, for this type of build, you would assume that Inquisitor has the highest boss killing potential due to the ability for it to ignore elemental resistances on critical trikes. That might be true if you have a high enough budget, but the new Champion class offers a second avenue to achieving the same damage on a much tighter budget when paired with one of the 3.2 fated unique items.

Champion also gives us a cheap alternative to Lycosidae when chasing 100% accuracy, 20% more damage to taunted enemies and great defensive capacity via its unique Fortify buffs, making it ideal for fighting bosses safely.

OK, how does it work?
At the core of this build, there are three required items. At the moment of this posting, the most expensive one can be had for 11 chaos.


Dreadsurge is the core unique of this build, it allows your fire damage to ignore enemy resistances similar to the inquisitor class, without any investment into critical strike chance. This is a new item in 3.2 and is insanely powerful for the price. So why is it so cheap? Because, by itself, the benefit of this weapon will rarely be active. It requires that you be ignited by enemy fire damage, only a fraction of the enemies in the game have the potential to ignite you.


Eye of Innocence is the item that will allow you to ignite yourself. It is currently the most expensive item required to make the build work at 11 chaos. Every time you ignite an enemy while wearing Eye of Innocence, you will take 100 fire damage. This fire damage can ignite you, allowing you to ignore enemy resistances for the duration of the ignite. Because you will be attacking so fast, you will always be ignited if you've hit something recently.


Mokou's Embrace, in addition to giving you a huge boost in attack speed while you are ignited, also allows you to ignite yourself more reliably.

What else do I need?
While none of the following items are required to make the build work, they are likely your best in slot options for balanced offense and defense on a budget. At the time of this post, the most expensive item can be purchased for 5 chaos.


While this weapon has been expensive in the last few leagues, it is very accessible now due to the addition of Torment to Zana's map mods for Bestiary. Lead Sprinkler allows you to achieve very high flat fire damage through strength stacking, something that this build does both for offense and the extra defense that stacking strength imparts.


Kaom's Roots are the most expensive of these items, currently priced at about 5 chaos. Because there are so many unique items used on this build, the addition an an item with high amounts of flat life helps to make up for the lost potential on so many other gear slots. These could be replaced by a good pair of rare boots if you are struggling to cap your resistances or want more damage from a pair of boots with a high strength roll.


Meginord's Vise is another great, cheap, item to use on this build. It gives you 100 flat strength, which scales your damage with Lead Sprinkler and gives you a decent amount of life. the 2% life regeneration is also welcome, as it helps to offset the degen caused by Blood Rage.


Fireborn is a unique jewel that will convert other damage types on the tree to scale fire damage instead. This works very well for this build because it is stacking large amounts of flat fire damage instead of scaling off of physical damage like many other attack builds.

What to look for on my gear?
Because of the number of unique items used on this build, you should prioritize resistances and life on your gear. After you've capped your resistances, think about getting as much strength as possible followed by elemental damage with attacks, flat fire damage, and increased fire damage.

The Skills
Molten Strike
Your main skill setup.
5-Link: Molten Strike, Multistrike, Ancestral Call, Ele Dmg. w/ Attacks, Conc. Effect
6-Link: Molten Strike, Multistrike, Ancestral Call, Ele Dmg. w/ Attacks, Conc. Effect, Immolate

For bosses, you can swap out ancestral call for Life Gain on Hit to make your character extremely hard to kill by anything other than high spike damage that one-shots you.

Auras & Buffs
You should always be running Herald of Ash for the damage and clearing boost that it provides. You can either run Grace or Anger as your aura, depending on the situation.

With Iron Reflex, Grace will provide you a lot of extra physical damage mitigation against bosses with high physical damage. Grace also works well against the traps in the Eternal Labyrinth.

Anger, on the other hand, gives you a fairly significant boost to your damage.

Other Stuff
Out of the golem options, Lightning Golem provides you with the most damage and utility from the increased attack speed it grants. Ancestral Protector gives you a huge damage boost against bosses for the same reason, either one of these could be linked with culling strike for extra utility.

Your only real option for a movement skill is leap slam, you could link leap with the Fortify support gem if you chose an alternate ascendancy branch instead of picking up Fortitude.

The Passive Skill Tree
The endgame, level 94 passive tree.
Path of Building code.
Character profile.

This is one of the strangest passive skill trees that I can recall putting together, but it works very well for this build. I highly recommend traveling through the Duelist area to pick up Vitality Void, Iron Reflex and Point Blank first. Following that, you should make your way up through the Scion life wheel and the Templar life nodes to grab Elemental Overload and Avatar of Fire.

The order in which you take your ascendancy points does not really matter all that much, although I would suggest you save Fortitude for last. You can drop Fortitude for any of the other two-point branches on the Champion ascendancy if you feel that the damage provided by those options outweighs the quality of life that permanent Fortify provides.

My Gear

Edit: I recommend you kill all bandits for the 2 additional passive points.
IGN: LepreTuggler
Last edited by LepreConMan on Mar 23, 2018, 2:06:56 PM
Last bumped on Mar 26, 2018, 2:24:15 PM
IGN: LepreTuggler
Any chance we can get a video?
WTB video.
Working on it, my guild-mate who is running the build isn't able to record so I'll have to follow him around and record most likely.
IGN: LepreTuggler
hi im not exp player can u show ascendancy and bandits?
For the bandit reward, kill all for the 2 additional points. This build travels a lot on the tree, so the extra points are useful.

For the ascendancy, choose champion.

IGN: LepreTuggler
looks really interesting:

3 questions:

1. how to level ? with MS from the early beginning ? or anything else ?
2. you wrote that you play it with your friend or to be precise your friend play it and you do support -> is this build ok on its own or need aurabot support ?
3. you did kill shaper/elder on your own or with aurabot support ?
1. You can use molten strike from the get-go, or play sunder if you prefer. You can start using lead sprinkler from level 28, and I highly recommend that you do.

2. The build is fine on its own, he's killed red-tier elder solo a few times now when I wasn't around.

3. I was only with him as support the first time we ran shaper, he's done shaper/elder without me since then. The only thing left to do on it is uber atziri and uber shaper/elder. He's tried uber atziri a few times but is having trouble on the trio which we need to come up with a solution for.
IGN: LepreTuggler
Trying this build out on HC. Level 70 at the moment and it is now picking up. I leveled up to mid 30s with sunder before switching to molten strike. The eye of innocence is a little pricey on HC right now but otherwise it is relatively cheap except for a 6 link. I did spec into the two hand damage nodes while leveling and respeced after switching to brutus lead sprinkler. Cool build.

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