[3.2] Debeon's Dirge Cyclone Champion - Red Maps on an Extreme Budget - Beginner Friendly

Do you like to deal damage while you move?
Do you love that sweet, sweet sound of corpses shattering?
Are you dirt poor?

I have the build for you! This is still a work in progress as I only have my test character to level 80 at the moment. I will periodically update the thread with new info and tweaks.

Current state of the character: level 80, only merc lab completed, level ~18 jewels. Most recent endgame progress: deathless clear of rare corrupt unid T12 Torture Chamber. Video!

Build Basics
This build centers around two uniques.

Debeon's Dirge

and the Cold Steel jewel.

Most cold cyclone builds go for a high physical damage weapon and tree and then convert that physical damage into cold damage. We utilize the stupidly high flat cold damage on Debeon's to skip the damage conversion on the weapon. We can then use two Cold Steel jewels to convert +phys damage on the tree directly to cold damage.

Why do we go this route? Because we're cheap. Seriously cheap. You can pick up a very good roll (>540 eDPS) Debeon's for less than 1 alch and 2 Cold Steel jewels for less than 1 alch each. That's it. All your other gear can just be life/res rares with some damage mods on jewelry and you're set to map. There are obviously better gear choices than simple rares, we'll get into that in a minute.

Defensively the build focuses on evasion + Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics while stacking up as much life as necessary. Chilling/Freezing everything we touch is also nice. The Dodge+Evade makes mapping with less than 5k life more comfortable than it should be.

Play style
The beauty of this build is we have many different layers of DPS buffs at our disposal. I'm going to break them up into buff 'tiers'.

Tier 1

Trash mobs. Encounter pack, leap slam into pack which procs Fortify/Unstoppable Hero, cyclone pack. Many mobs won't even require the leap slam, just cyclone through.

Tier 2

Slightly tougher mobs, magic/bloodline packs/rares. Leap slam to proc Fortify/UH, cast Abyssal Cry to taunt and proc Debeon's bonuses. Cyclone pack. If the pack is extra rippy then you can cast Abyssal Cry from safety before leaping in.

Tier 3

Bosses, red beasts, extra hard content. We use a Blood Magic+Blasphemy+any curse set up that we can quickly turn on and off to proc Adrenaline. Drop an ancestral warchief/protector, Abyssal Cry, Leap Slam, and cyclone. For most situations all four of these buffs are not required but we do have them all at our disposal.

My current setup:

Helm - Starkonja's is probably the best option. Devoto's is a nice choice as well. Try to get one with the cyclone damage enchant if you can afford it. Beyond that just grab a nice rare with life and resists

Gloves - There are basically two options here. Southbound and Hrimburn. While Hrimburn is actually more DPS it offers no life and is >5x more expensive than Southbond. You can grab a pair of Southbound for less than 1 alch and don't be scared of that can-only-kill-frozen-enemies mod. We'll be freezing and/or applying bleed to virtually everything.

Body Armor - Carcass Jack, Belly, QotF, etc. are good unique choices if you have the currency to get them. Otherwise a cheap life/res rare 5L/6L will do you just fine and not break the bank. Not sure if there is a clear best in slot unique armor for this build.

Jewelry - life/res/flat and % cold damage/crit/wed are all good. This build is starved on Int so getting a big chunk on your amulet is recommended.

Flasks - If you use Wise Oak make sure your cold resistance is the highest, Southbound helps a lot with that. A good Diamond flask is also a great addition for the build.

Gem setup

Main attack - Cyclone - gems in order of importance

Cyclone + Ele damage with attacks + Hypothermia + Ice Bite + Cold Pen + Inc crit damage/Inc crit strikes

The final link will depend on the rest of your gear, use whatever gives you the best DPS. You can even swap a Conc Effect in for bosses. There are special cases where Added Cold Damage looks like it could be better than Ice Bite or Cold Pen if you have another source of +freeze chance or -cold res respectively. Still running the numbers on this one.

CWDT Setup

Cast when damage taken(lvl 1) + Immortal Call(lvl 3) + Frost Bomb(lvl 10) + Increased Duration

Pretty normal CDWT setup, we just add in Frost Bomb for the cold res debuff it applies to enemies. Make sure you don't level the gems higher than I listed. We want them going off as much as possible. Inc Duration can be leveled all the way to 20.

Curse setup

Blasphemy + Assassin's Mark

Pretty straight forward, power charge generation and bonus crit. Will likely try a dual curse setup down the road with a cast on hit shaped ring and swapping Frostbite into the Blasphemy setup.

Ancestral totem setup

Ancestral Warchief/Protector + Faster Attacks + Chance to bleed + Conc effect

Pretty much just for bosses for some bonus DPS and bleed stacks since freeze will be less reliable. Still undecided on which is better between Warchief and Protector.


Leap Slam + Fortify

We need some way to proc Fortify to get the buff from our ascendancy. You could socket fortify directly into Cyclone but you lose quite a bit of DPS.

Misc Buffs - don't need to be linked

Blood Rage - Herald of Ice - Abyssal Cry

These are pretty straight forward. The Abyssal Cry synergizes VERY nicely with our ascendancy and will also proc the bonuses on Debeon's.


Blood Magic + Blasphemy + any curse

This link exists only to proc the Adrenaline from our ascendancy. Before bosses or any tough bit you can hit this curse which knocks you down to low life and then immediately turn it back off. This will proc Adrenaline giving you a huge buff for 20 seconds. You could save a link by just doing Blood Magic + an aura but the 'cast' speed on Blasphemy+curse is much quicker and easier to turn on/off in the heat of battle.

Ascendancy - Bandits - Pantheon


The Champion ascendancy offers us some great buffs for defense and offense. The order I took was:

Worthy Foe
Unstoppable Hero
First to Strike, Last to Fall

Worthy Foe is an amazing DPS boost for this build and also great quality of life since we can ignore the need for accuracy on gear. Unstoppable Hero gives some great defensive buffs AND a nice DPS boost as well. Inspirational may look tempting with the always up 35% damage boost but the perma-intimidate alone from First to Strike is more DPS even without considering Adrenaline. So the choice of ascendancies is obvious, the order can be moved around for personal preference.


Kill all...there's so many good DPS nodes we can choose from that it would be silly to not grab 2 bonus points


This is mostly up to preference/situation but I reaaaly like Arakaali for the 50% life recovery bonus. Since we're using Blood Rage and Immortal call we will proc this every time the CWDT setup goes off as the Immortal Call will stop the DoT from Blood Rage.

For the minor god I like Ralakesh

Skill Trees and leveling tips
There are a multitude of leveling guides out there for Duelists so I won't go into great detail. Grab the best two handed axe you can get your hands on and level using Molten Strike + Ancestral Call or Sunder until level 28. At that point you can switch to full Cyclone if you want.

Mana can be an issue so if needed you can grab the mana and life leech node just above Iron Reflexes whenever you need it if you don't have mana leech on your gear.

30 Point Tree

60 Point Tree

87 Point Tree <-This one is important

This tree assumes you are at level 66 and have completed all the skill point quests except for Act 10 Kitava. Once you hit level 66 you can equip Debeon's and never look back, but in order to do that you absolutely need to make sure your tree looks like this. As soon as you equip Debeon's you need to socket two Cold Steel jewels into the open sockets in this tree. You can also equip Southbound at this time too.

This was the easiest Act 10 Kitava kill I've ever had.

108 Point Tree (level 85)

As soon as I hit maps I like to make a beeline for Acrobatics/Phase Acrobatics for the extra survivability. After that there's a ton of different ways you can go. You have easy access to another jewel socket, another frenzy charge, plenty of life on the Scion life wheel still, a bunch of cold/elemental damage nodes in the ranger area, and a couple attack speed clusters. So go to town, there's no wrong answers here.

Last bumped on Sep 19, 2018, 8:34:40 PM
I did this during harbinger league on a berserker so I can vouch for the builds ability to do content. I did up to t16's. Didn't do shaper just because by the time I got there I didn't have time to keep playing.

As for some advice. I think both hrimburn and southbound are viable for the glove slot. Hrimburn for damage, southbound for more life. The damage difference between them isn't too much. Your biggest purchase, and in my opinion priority item, is the pandemonius amulet. Gives you cold pen, cold damage, and some extra survivability by blinding chilled enemies. Since you basically chill/freeze everything this is good for survival against beefy big bois. Tasalio's sign is also a ring to consider but I didn't end up using one. And since you're doing this on a champion perseverence is a belt to consider.

One final thing, the cyclone helm enchant you want is 15% more ASPD, it ends up being more DPS. 40% cyclone damage should be much cheaper to get if you're buying it though.

If I were to do this today I would do it on either a jugg or a champ because they allow you to go crit. Berserker is probably the way to go still for non-crit but I'm uncertain of the rage mechanic.
Last edited by Liquor on Mar 24, 2018, 4:06:26 PM
why mobs don't die?
Hi !

I try your build, but i've just 1 question, how do you do with your mana ? you don't use Blood magic in the skill tree, but your mana does not diminish during your video ^^
I think he takes one of the Mana/Life Leech nodes for sustain.
Probably :D
[Edit] I've the answer ^^" it's the assassin's marks link with the blasphemy support.

An other question => Why put Blasphemy Support in the Silken Hood ? Because it doesn't link with anything ...
Last edited by Onder0 on Apr 9, 2018, 5:03:41 PM
Nice build! I'm a new player to PoE although sunk many years in Diablo, but plan on using this build as one of my first few classes - currently running a Tornado Shot Ranger and doing pretty well but wanna give Melee a whack..( see what i did there ;P )

Why put Blasphemy Support in the Silken Hood ? Because it doesn't link with anything ...

He mentioned those gems as just being Misc Buffs which don't need to be linked, so it makes no odds the Blasphemy being there - although he could possibly just want to level another gem? :)
This reminds me an awful lot of my build i shared with Zizaran during harbinger using AW totems. Scaling them very similarly =)

This axe is hands down the most underrated 2hander and the possibilities are not as limited as one would think. So ill vouch too, but i would also recommened Hrimburn gloves, although there are room to improve here and ill happily take a deeper look and voice my thoughts later.

On a sidenote, in my build with Zizaran ive tested cyclone, icecrash etc, and cyclone just felt clunky.
To utilize the most damage out of the axe, you'd want to warcry and with cyclone, ideally you'd want to stop cycloning every four seconds to maximize dps output but that creates a clunky playstyle which isnt entirely enjoyable.

Fun idea though =)
So this might be a pretty dumb question - but why champ over slayer? Slayer generally seems like the cyclone king. Are the buffs to Champ that strong?

BC I love Debeon's art/3dmodel and ice shattering, I'm down to try this build. But I feel like I'll miss overleech, free onslaught, 20% cull. Champ's tankier, but I've never felt particularly squishy playing slayer for mapping and Ulab.

Yunojelly wrote:

On a sidenote, in my build with Zizaran ive tested cyclone, icecrash etc, and cyclone just felt clunky.
To utilize the most damage out of the axe, you'd want to warcry and with cyclone, ideally you'd want to stop cycloning every four seconds to maximize dps output but that creates a clunky playstyle which isnt entirely enjoyable.

I think this build has great potential in Delve since, if I understand it correctly, with the new instant casts you no longer need to stop Cycloning to Warcry.
Might try this as an Inquisitor to start out in Delve.

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