[3.2] Kitava's Chieftain :: Actually 1-Shot Packs!

Hello there you pretty people!


A good friend of mine quit this league after not being able to 6-link his Quill Rain for his new character. He spent around 3k fusings and got nothing, using up all of his other currency in the process. And to me he gifted his already 6-linked Kitava's Feast axe, which is one of the highest DPS physical axes in the game. And so I promised myself I'd honor this sacrifice and make a unique build that wouldn't use Flicker Strike, which apparently is an entirely new concept to the world. ;)



PoB-Pastebin [86]: https://pastebin.com/V0pTmVcy


Pro's and Con's

The Pro's:
- Melee Build
- No complexity
- One-shot packs
- Really tanky
- Fun fun fun!

The Con's:
- Melee Build
- Slow boss killer
- Can't run ele reflect
- It's a melee build

If we're honest, the current meta is governed by builds that kill everything off the screen. Running a melee build is crazy, but time and time was it proven that it is both possible and fun. I do not recommend this build if you're just starting out your second build and think about where to sink your excess currency, but if you want a satisfying experience *THWACK*'ing huge packs of mobs, this build is definitely for you!

Part I. - The Concept

We use Infernal Blow, which converts 50% of our Physical Damage to Fire Damage. The other 50% is converted by our Chieftain Ascendancy.

We use the Kitava's Feast axe, which grants us level 25 Melee Splash. This is why we actually one-shot packs! The overlapping of melee hits makes this possible and scales our damage immensely. You'll notice this especially when you try to hit singular enemies, as the damage will be much lower.

I use this setup:

The most important link here is Ancestral Call, as it allows us to spread the AoE from Infernal Blow far away. The killed mobs explode for 10% of their maximum life, dealing extra damage and chaining further killing blows. You'll see that in action in the video section.

So how do we scale damage?

- Fire Damage
- Elemental Damage
- Physical Damage
- Area Damage
- Raw Strength

We do not care as much about Attack Speed, but it does help with mobility (Leap Slam) and single target damage (Bossing).

Part II. - Required Gear


These are the core items for the build. We'll go through each one by one.

Kitava's Feast is one of the highest PDPS uniques in the game and enables this type of build. Besides the Melee Splash, it gives us a ton of survivability with the life recovery on kill. We cannot use the physical leech it provides, but the Ascendancy allows us to leech Fire Damage. And popping packs sets us back to full life.

Kaom's Heart is a staple item for any tanky build out there. The extra fire damage is nice, but we mainly use it for the flat +500 health it has. If you cannot afford a Kaom's, buying a Belly of the Beast can be a valid alternative. If you're going that route, you'd be best off with a 5-link that holds the aura setup with an added Empower gem for more OOMPH when hitting mobs. I prefer the extra health.

The Formless Inferno is a great tool of physical mitigation. It provides lots of Armor, and adds even more armor for our uncapped Fire Resistance. This build uses a Ruby Flask to increase the maximum Fire Resistance by an additional 6%, and the helmet makes the extra 50% not go to waste. The most important factor though is the 8% of Physical Damage taken converted to Fire Damage. This stacks with the 10% conversion from Ramako, Sun's Light, and lets us tank some big hits like it's nothing. The same Ascendancy node provides 100% fire resistance, so if you're wondering where we get it from, that's where it's at.

However, you can get more health and armor from a rare helmet. And the worst part: it has no 3D art! :o

Alternatively, use a well-rolled Abyssus. Be careful around physical packs and don't Leap Slam into them if you do. The increase to damage is significant.

Impresence, Fire gives us an extra curse to run with Blasphemy support, an extra 1% of life regeneration, a ton of fire damage and valuable stats. When I first doodled with the idea for this build, I was considering Xoph's Blood in its place, but Impresence actually is much better for this character.

I use Abberath's Hooves, but I do not think they're a huge requirement for the build to function properly. They give you an extra scaling to Fire Damage from building Strength, which allows us to stack Damage and Health at the same time. What's more, they help spread Ignites to nearby enemies, which makes building Endurance charges all the easier.

However, a rare pair of boots can give us more Movement Speed, more Resistances, more Strength and more Health. They're by no means a necessity, so pick according to own preferences.

My Current Gear:


What to look for in Jewels:

- Maximum life
- Strength
- Global Physical Damage
- Fire Damage
- Area Damage
- Attack Speed

Prioritize life and strength. Abyss jewels can be a nice addition with their flat damage mods. Try to get at least 35 life from those, else normal jewels are the better option!

Part III. - Gem Links


Damage on Full Life looks like a great addition on paper, but we run Blood Rage for Frenzy charge generation and do not have the Overleech from Slayer Ascendancy. So it's a no. You can switch out Added Fire Damage for Fire Penetration for higher tier maps.


Anger and Herald of Ash scale our Fire Damage exceedingly well. The free Flammability curse reduces enemy Fire Resistance by 40% and makes igniting them easier. No other auras do such a great job!


A simple CWDT setup with Flame Golem and Blood Rage for extra damage. I will probably switch out the Flame Golem for Molten Shell, as it provides extra survivability and more sources of Ignites and Fire Damage. Also, it looks great. :P


Leap Slam is the source of our Fortify buff. We add Faster Attacks and the Warchief Totem here for extra mobility and damage. You could argue switching Warchief for Protector, as in theory this would up our DPS by a margin, but the singular big hits are more important to the build. So Warchief it is!

Part IV - Rare Items


Those are my budget rare items I use right now. Listed by importance, we are looking for

- Resistances (mainly Lightning and Cold)
- Intelligence (total of 100 at least)
- Dexterity (total of 90 at least)
- Maximum Life
- Weapon Elemental Damage
- Flat Physical Damage
- Flat Fire Damage

Our gear does not give us the required amount of Dexterity and Intelligence, so this is where we have to find those stats. We need Intelligence for Flammability and Blasphemy support, Dexterity for Blood Rage and Faster Attacks. Try to get at least 40 life on rings and 90 life on armor / belt. This ensures we have enough survivability to tank the big hits.

Part V - Flasks

My current flask setup:

We need at least 3 non-unique flasks for Bleeding, Freeze & Chill and a Quicksilver Flask with lots of movement speed. I added an Atziri's Promise for the extra damage and leech.

In terms of Ruby Flasks, I plan to reroll it with Increased Duration and Curse immunity. Willh elp a ton with Temporal Chains maps.

I use an Instant Life recovery flask currently, but The Writhing Jar would be a great addition as well, especially versus bosses. The enemy worms it spawns add a ton of damage when they pop as well as grant you Endurance and Frenzy charges. However, we'd have to switch out Atziri's Promise for a new Freeze flask. I'm still experimenting here!

Part VI - Video Section

So we've come this far! If you're curious how the build looks in action, I recorded a coule videos to show the mechanics off.

Blood Aqueduct 2 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gtavZeSzoA
Haunted Mansion 2 minutes: https://youtu.be/PXXrxfEc1RY
Ultimate SSF ED Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606026/page/1
My Twitch: https://twitch.tv/artcrusader
Last edited by ArtCrusade on Apr 18, 2018, 5:30:37 PM
Last bumped on Jun 4, 2018, 6:28:01 PM
So.. I believe I found the perfect helmet for the build. The Formless Inferno grants us less total life, but gives us more armor and more importantly, converts an additional 8% from phys damage taken to fire damage which we still resist with 82%. Sounds about right to me!
Ultimate SSF ED Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606026/page/1
My Twitch: https://twitch.tv/artcrusader
So, after some planning ahead, I leveled the character and bought all the equipment. Currently sitting at level 72, uber lab done and only act 10 to be done to get into maps.

Gear (not final in terms of rares):

If you want to see the character in action, here's a quick example run of Blood Aqueduct madness:

Ultimate SSF ED Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606026/page/1
My Twitch: https://twitch.tv/artcrusader
Last edited by ArtCrusade on Apr 15, 2018, 8:46:55 AM
Please post progress. I'm interessed by this build
zj0ckez wrote:
Please post progress. I'm interessed by this build

Currently level 79. Things are clear enough for me that I decided to write the guide. Ready example above!

Will post more videos on mapping. ;)
Ultimate SSF ED Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606026/page/1
My Twitch: https://twitch.tv/artcrusader
Hit level 85 yesterday. Running around 1-shotting everything is a lot of fun! Still struggling a little with map bosses, but I am using a 5-linked Kingmaker and it's all splendid. Updated first post with current gear!
Ultimate SSF ED Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606026/page/1
My Twitch: https://twitch.tv/artcrusader
How's the survivability ?
which apparently is an entirely new concept to the world
This build is gonna be lit in 3.3 actually, since Infernal Blow will be buffed and have a lot more single target damage. We'll see how it goes!
Ultimate SSF ED Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606026/page/1
My Twitch: https://twitch.tv/artcrusader
Is Ramako that interesting? You are losing 16% more damage (a bit less, but close to that) and -8% damage taken (so the same damage mitigation than ramako) by not picking arohongui.

Also, a DW build instead of Kitava does much more dps. And I do believe melee splash on infernal blow is the past, not the futur (chance to ignite + ignite proliferation will do wonders, but it can't work with melee splash). Infernal blow ignite in 3.3 looks very strong.
Last edited by Keyen on May 16, 2018, 9:39:52 PM

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