[3.6] League Starter Righteous Fire Juggernaut (Life RF) leveling (video) guide

0.x New release details and updates
1. Introduction
2. Life RF and resources
3. Path of Builing
4. Credit
5. Video
6. Summary/tl;dr
7. Detailed leveling guide

0.x New release details and updates

[3.6] - No changes.

[3.5] - Ruby Flasks, which now give 20% fire damage reduction instead of +5 to maximum resistance. As such using a Ruby Flask to sustain RF while leveling is still acceptable, with slightly less effectiveness when you get 76%+ fire resistance.

Dual wielding nerfs hit our Sunder leveling. I recommend to still dual wield, you just need to keep up two weapons now. In the event you don't have two equal weapons, let's say you have a 50pdps and a 25pdps you're only losing 25% damage over two attacks and dual wielding gives you 10% more attack speed and 20% more damage, so that's better than 1h + shield. The case above is extreme and I don't think the difference in weapons you'll find/craft will be that big - especially up until level 36.

[3.4] - the level 87 skill tree is only different by 1 point. Shield Charge changes mean we just don't use Brightbeak or a high attack speed weapon anymore. We still use Shield Charge as the main form of movement, but with a sceptre. RF is now an instant skill which means we can cast it while moving or doing another action (small quality of life buff).

1. Introduction

A while before the 3.3 Incursion League path notes were released I decided I wanted to make a Life Righteous Fire (RF) Juggernaut early in the league - preferably as a league starter! I looked around the forums and YouTube for the best way to level an RF character and came up blank. All guides were either recommending to level twinked, or as Sunder until level 60+ and do a large respec.

On Friday morning the day before league start I still didn't have a solid plan and was going to fall back to Sunder or Ancestral Warchief. Luckily for me, I had lunch with my good friend Viperesque and we developed the following plan. I leveled as RF from level 36 at the start of Incursion league and it was some of the most fun, relaxed and enjoyable league start leveling I've done in Path of Exile.

This guide covers everything you need to know to start using Righteous Fire as a Juggernaut from level 36.

2. Life RF and resources

Juggernaut Life Righteous Fire was recently heavily popularised by PoEDan and Zizaran in 3.2 Bestiary League for their race for fist HC Uber Elder kill.

- Zizarn's video guide (good for mid-late item tips/prioritisation and twinked leveling)
- PoEDan's first HC Uber Elder kill
- rhah's forum guide
- PoEDan's profile (DanSkipsClassForPoE and DanJUGG)

My final build/character in 3.3

Some people have asked what the build looks like, so I've provided detail for my final 3.3 build.

My profile

Skill tree

Note, I currently have Unstoppable. This is only for Uber Elder. Please use Unyielding for all other content.

Items: I gave my Kaom's Heart to a friend - that's what should be in the chest slot. Again, this is my setup for Uber Elder, use a Brightbeak for normal map clear (as of 3.4, just use your normal damage weapon), and a Quicksilver flask over one of the Forbidden Tastes.

Please note, when I stopped playing the character at level 91, I had invested roughly 25 Exalted Orbs into my gear - do not expect the same gear exactly when you're starting to gear out your character early in maps. By no means should this dissuade you of the build, however - I found it to be powerful on very limited investment, and enoyable to scale up.

Budget/mid-tier options I used:
Helm - almost any Essence of Horror crafted helm (I made one myself).
Weapon - Doon Cuebiyari
Chest - anything with high life and you can get some resists to put less pressure on your other gear pieces/jewels.

I would highly suggest prioritising Kaom's Way rings, or The King's Path prophecy as your main first purchases. They really make the build tick.

3. Path of Builing

If you don't yet use Path of Building (PoB), you should! PoB assists with build planning and optimisation. You can find more information and a download link here.

Here is the PoB pastebin for the leveling trees in this guide: https://pastebin.com/M9G3jGAd (you can toggle between the different trees for progression in the bottom left).

4. Credit

The final build for this character should be credited to PoEDan and heavy inspiration for leveling methodology was taken from Aila. Aila was the first player to reach level 100 in HCSSF: Incursion flashback, Bestiary, Abyss and 10 Day Mayhem playing Occultist Hybrid RF. His leveling guide was translated by reddit user denunciator and can be found here.

5. Video

Please check out the video for this guide here. I go over the build, switching to RF process at level 36, and gameplay.

6. Summary/tl;dr

Use these trees: https://pastebin.com/M9G3jGAd

- Level as Ground Slam/whatever melee skill until 12
- Sunder from 12-35 (dual-wielding, Leap Slam from 16 for movement optional)
- Through Sacred Ground (A2 Crypt level 2) for regrets needed
- Kill all bandits
- Siosa for gems needed (A3 Library)
- Normal Labarynth for Unbreakable
- All skill point quests up to and including An Indomitable Spirit (A4 The Mines level 2)

RF transition:
- Max fire resistance (make sure you keep this up at start of A6)
- BBBR 4L Righteous Fire-Burning Damage-Elemental Focus-Concentrated Effect (can swap with Increased Area of Effect for clear later on if you have enough damage)
- Poacher's Mark (1)-Flammability-Blasphemy (leave Poacher's Mark at level 1)
- Shield Charge-Faster Attacks-Fortify
- Orb of Storms-Increased Critical Strikes
- Decoy Totem
- Flame Dash or Leap Slam
- 3x Sacred Life Flask (always have one running, upgrade to hallowed then divine, sapping if you need more life, get curse/freeze/bleed/shock removal)

7. Detailed leveling guide

Our objective for the leveling process is to move through the content as efficiently as possible while picking up experience and skill points. As this is a league start build, it contains no unique items or items you would need to trade from another player. For levels 1-35 we use melee attacks and switch to using righteous fire at level 36. I’ll assume you will complete all required storyline quests (skill point quests are considered required until Act 6). In each Act section, I’ll note any optional details as well as required optional quests.

Gearing your character for levels 2-35

For weapons use any two one-handed maces and axes (can be 1 mace, 1 axe whichever two have the highest damage) in your main and off-hand. It’s critical for the duration of levels 2-35 that we dual-wield as it gives us bonus attack speed, damage and block chance. To check which weapons have the highest damage, equip the weapon, mouse over the skill in your skill bar and compare results. The affixes you’re looking for on these weapons are added damage (physical preferred), % increased physical damage and % increased attack speed. IMPORTANT: you need to have two good damage weapons.

You should upgrade your weapons multiple times, so pick up new weapons often. If unable to find a magic or rare weapon with the right affixes, you can make one yourself by selling to the vendor: 1x white weapon (use your highest level base), 1x magic or rare Rustic Sash, 1x Blacksmith’s Whetstone.

- Boots: as much % increased movement speed you can get
- Helmet/Gloves/Amulet: Life/resists, any stats you need for skill gems
- Belt: early, Rustic Sash, later life/resists
- Body Armour: Life/resists, but don’t use one for a while until you get one with good stats as they reduce your movement speed by 3-5%
- Rings: early, Iron Rings are great for the added damage, later on you want to have access to resist rings with life
- Flasks: 1+ Quicksilver, life and mana flasks (upgrade these as you find higher level ones)

Similarly to the weapons, you want to be looking for upgrades to your other gear reasonably regularly. Prioritise movement speed boots, then your worst piece of gear.

Act 1

Quests: Mercy Mission for a Quicksilver flask.

After killing Hillock grab Ground Slam from Tarkleigh and check for boots with % increased movement speed. At this point, be on the lookout for any non-body armour with three linked sockets that are red/red/green or red/red/red (hereafter I will refer to linked and coloured sockets as RRG or RRR using B to represent blue).

At the start of our leveling, follow the 'sunder scaling' passive tree (remember to look at trees on PoB).

For levels 2-11, use Ground Slam as your main attack. It doesn’t really matter what you link with it, just try to make sure you have two support gems that work with attacks (eg. Ruthless, Added Fire Damage, Onslaught, Chance to Bleed, Maim). For example, use Added Fire Damage for damage, or Onslaught for mobility. Make sure to get Ancestral Protector to help with single target damage (boss fights) and Leap Slam to get over ledges/gaps.

Be sure to complete the trial of ascendancy in The Lower Prison as we need to complete normal lab before switching to Righteous Fire.

Pick up Sunder at level 12 and replace Ground Slam with it in your setup.

A1 checklist:
- Kill Hailrake and get a Quicksilver flask
- Complete both skill point quests (Dweller and Mariner)
- Complete the first trial of ascendancy in The Lower Prison
- 3 link Sunder setup, Ancestral protector, Leap Slam

Act 2

Quests: The Great White Beast, Through Sacred Ground, Kill all bandits.
It doesn’t really matter which way you go in Act 2, but I prefer right first. In Act 2 there are a couple of optional quests which are critical to our success for this build. Kill The Great White Beast in The Den for a second Quicksilver flask and after completing the Crypt trial of ascendancy, head to level 2 to complete Through Sacred Ground. You can use the Quicksilver flask now for more consistent movement and the book of regrets gained from Through Sacred Ground gives us enough respec points for our setup at level 36.

Act 2 gives us more damage in the form of secondary spells and more solid support gems for our Sunder. Level 16 offers Herald of Ash and Blood Rage. At level 18 you should update your Sunder setup with Melee Physical Damage (RRG or RRR are both fine). Also, you can pick up Faster Attacks for quality of life on your Leap Slam (don't level your Faster Attacks gem too much or you may have trouble with Dexterity requirements later on).

Sometime in Act 2, you'll finish the 'sunder scaling' tree and progress to the 'before respec (6regrets)' tree.

A2 checklist:
- Kill The Great White Beast for a second Quicksilver flask
- Complete both trials of ascendancy
- Complete Through Sacred Ground
- Kill all bandits
- Complete The Way Forward
- Herald of Ash aura enabled and Blood Rage equipped
- Upgraded Sunder setup with level 18 gems
- Upgraded main hand weapon (at least once)

Act 3

Quests: A Fixture of Fate for access to required gems.
(OPTIONAL) If you have spare sockets (don’t forget you can have space in your weapon swap) and currency required, you can pick up and start leveling the rest of the required gems for leveling once you’ve completed this quest. If you’d like to do this, look ahead to “The switch to RF” to see what you need.

Act 3 is where we first find items with four sockets, and therefore four links. Keep an eye out for BBBR as this is what we need to start using RF. Other useful combinations for us right now are RRRB or RRBG for our Sunder setup (add one of the previously listed gems or Faster Attacks). Other items we should be keeping an eye out from now until level 36 are: gear with high life and fire resist, sceptre with %increased fire damage or attack speed and a shield. If they meet the following colour combinations, that’s even better! BBG, RRG, BB, R, B/R (we will need these in addition to our BBBR at level 36). It may be useful to read “The switch to RF” to understand what you will need.

Similarly to Act 2, Act 3 gives us some more damage in the form of an aura. Pick up Hatred and use both auras.

From the middle of Act 3 elemental resistances become much more important for survivability. Here is where I’d swap out Iron Rings with no resistances or life for resist rings. You want to get as close to 75% in each resistance as possible. I'd suggest also picking up the Jade Amulet for quest reward, as you may start to struggle for Dexterity.

A3 Checklist:
- Completed A Fixture of Fate for Gems required
- Hatred aura enabled
- Completed the trials of ascendancy
- Upgraded main hand weapon (at least once)
- Begun looting gear needed for level 36

Act 4 (pre-switch) and Normal Labyrinth

Quests: None – although getting An Indominable Spirit before level 36 is a must.

Act 4 is where you hit level 36 and can switch to using Righteous Fire. As per Act 3, continue to pick up items to have as many options as possible to gear with when you're making the switch to RF. Critically, pick up as many Sacred and Colossal Life Flasks as you can.

The best time to do Normal Labyrinth with this build is level 35. Access via Act 3 town (The Sarn Encampment). PoeLab is the best resource for doing the Labyrinth. Head over there for current layouts, guides and other info. Upon completing the Labyrinth, ascend to Juggernaut and take Unbreakable.

- Level 36
- An Indominable Spirit quest
- Normal lab complete

The switch to RF

By now you should meet all of these criteria. Please confirm before proceeding:
- Through Sacred Ground Quest (Act 2 Crypt level 2)
- A Fixture of Fate Quest (Act 3 Library)
- Normal Labarynth for Unbreakable
- All skill point quests up to and including An Indomitable Spirit (A4 The Mines level 2)
- 'before respec (6regrets)' tree complete with 6 respec points available
- level 36

To proceed with the switch to RF, you need to also meet the following criteria.
- A full set of gear which gives a total of 75% (or more) fire resistance (including a sceptre and shield). Other resistances are nice to have and make the build much safer. The closer you can get cold and lightning resistance to 75% the better (equip gear and press ‘c’ to check your defensive stats)
- BBBR, BBG, RRG, BB, R, B/R linked sockets
- Three Sacred Life Flasks (these can be purchased from the vendor if you haven’t found them already or 3x Colossals can be traded to the vendor for a Sacred)
- NO added fire to attacks or spells on your gear. Added cold or lightning to attacks is a plus

It’s OK to spend some chromatic orbs to colour your gear and alchemy/augmentation orbs are recommended to get the most affixes on your gear as possible.

If you don’t yet meet these requirements, continue with the main storyline until you do. Here is an example of what your gear might look like at this stage (note, it doesn't need to be as good as the gear shown - watch the video for further explanation).

Once you meet the requirements, equip your new gear and ensure you have the following flask setup: Sacred Life, Sacred Life, Sacred Life, Quicksilver, Quicksilver (you may replace a life with a ruby if you’ve found one).

Equip the following gem link setups (some of these you can buy from the Act NPCs, for the ones you cannot, see Siosa in Act 3 Library):
- BBBR 4L Righteous Fire-Burning Damage-Elemental Focus-Concentrated Effect
- BBG Poacher's Mark (1)-Flammability-Blasphemy (leave Poacher's Mark at level 1)
- RRG Shield Charge-Faster Attacks-Fortify
- BB Orb of Storms-Increased Critical Strikes
- R Decoy Totem
- B/R Flame Dash or Leap Slam

Use your passive respec points to remove the Melee damage and a life node at the start of the tree. Check 'after respec' carefully before doing this, as you must be precise with the nodes you remove. Once removed, you can reallocate the points to completing the 'after respec' tree.

Sustaining RF, the low-level playstyle and next passive points

Sustaining RF with this setup is relatively straightforward – it’s done entirely through flasks. Killing/damaging monsters refill our flasks, Poacher’s mark gives us 100% increased flask charges gained (even at gem level 1) and we’re constantly moving. The number 1 more important thing to remember at this point while you’re getting used to the build is always have a Life flask ticking. I usually press RF, then press my Life and Quicksilver flasks simultaneously and Shield Charge around. This setup quickly and efficiently kills most monsters as you move past them. Unless you’re feeling starved for experience, I wouldn’t recommend spending much more additional time to clear stragglers.

The next three passive points you take are Elemental Equilibruim and Elemental Overload. These are both triggered by your Orb of Storms and combined give you an insane damage boost against rares and bosses. From here you should follow the 'continued progression' tree.

Keep up Fortify from Shield Charge and use Decoy Totem liberally in boss fights - it'll save your life.

Act 4-Act 10 (and beyond!)

From here it should be pretty smooth sailing. Use RF, use flasks, Shield Charge through the storyline.

Flasks: Upgrade to Hallowed Life Flasks at level 42, then Divines at level 60. When you have the currency, you want to use transmutes and augments/alterations to get curse/freeze/bleed/shock removal on them. Adreneline for extra movement speed is ideal on at least one Quicksilver flask. You can get the ‘Sapping’ prefix on a life flask if you need more regen (although be careful not to regen too fast, as the flasks will stop when you’re at full life). Once you've completed the main storyline (or even earlier) you want to ensure you have a Ruby Flask for more maximum fire resistance.

Other gear: Continue to upgrade your other gear pieces to give more life and more resists. It’s absolutely critical that once you begin Act 6 you’re able to keep up with Kitava’s -30% to your resistances (the same is true for after Act 10). Once you’re comfortable and have the gem slots you can add a 1L Scorching Ray setup for more boss damage (although it’s a bit clunky). Remember to ensure you have no flat added fire damage to spells or attacks on your gear, as this will lower your damage. If you’re in trade league get a Saffell’s Frame shield when you can wear it and Kaom’s Way rings ASAP (the prophecy is a good way to get them a bit cheaper).

From Act 6 until you’re level 70, I recommend to skip all non-essential bosses even if they give you skill points. Instead, rush to Blood Aqueduct and farm there until level 70. Once you hit 70, feel free to safely return to complete all outstanding quests and Cruel and Merciless Labyrinths.

Skill points: follow the remaining trees in the PoB. Once you have enough endurance charges and other sources of regen you can respect out of the flask charges points under Sion and additional curse cluster. Put these points in more life and regen nodes (as shown on the trees). At this point, stop using the curses and use Vitality and Purity of Fire. After the respec, work towards your final end-game tree. Remember to use the /passives command and compare against this to check if you have all your passive points.

Skill gems: As mentioned above, you want to transition to your end-game gem setup when you respec away from the flask and curse nodes. Ensure to pick up Enduring Cry for regeneration and endurance charge generation as well as maintaining RF, Shield Charge and Orb of Storms. Vitality and Purity of Fire assist with sustaining RF. Beyond the above, you can play around with the remaining slots to see what suits you best, or investigate one of the resources above.

Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you have any questions!
Last edited by systemplayerlost on Mar 5, 2019, 8:36:10 PM
Last bumped on May 4, 2019, 5:03:00 AM
24/08/2018: Updated to include detailed leveling guide and video.
30/08/2018: Updated for 3.4
05/12/2018: Updated for 3.5
Last edited by systemplayerlost on Dec 4, 2018, 11:54:08 PM
Seems very interesting, i'll definitely look this up in the next league. Thanks for the guide!
Interested in this for 3.4, would love an update.

EDIT: Would love an explanation on the dual cursing as well. I could theorize as for the reasoning, but from what I can see it pales in comparison to just running purity and vitality.
Last edited by Nickolai20599 on Aug 10, 2018, 5:43:56 AM
please add Tree build with other website lots can't see it with link :

Is this what AILA used in the flashback race? (correct me if wrong)
curious on how this leveling guide goes.
Nickolai20599 wrote:
Interested in this for 3.4, would love an update.

I'll update for 3.4 when we have patch notes, although I imagine the leveling method will stay the same.

Nickolai20599 wrote:
EDIT: Would love an explanation on the dual cursing as well. I could theorize as for the reasoning, but from what I can see it pales in comparison to just running purity and vitality.

The idea behind the curses is to use the two curses which help us sustain and run through content the most efficiently while leveling.

Flammability: allows us to clear most white and blue mobs while shield charging through them.

Poacher's Mark: gives 100% increased flask charges gained, ensuring our life and movement flasks are always filled. This gives much more survivability than Purity of Fire/Vitality at this stage of the game.
Archegaming wrote:
Is this what AILA used in the flashback race? (correct me if wrong)

Aila plays a similar RF build, but uses Occultist to have much higher clear speed (although sacrifices single target and late game boss-killing capabilities) and has energy shield as the main "life" resource. This guide is designed as a league starter method for players wanting to level as RF and play the late game boss-killer version using Juggernaut. If you check out the "Resources" section above, you can see versions of what the final version of this build looks like, and in the "Credit" section you can see Aila's profile and guide for his Occultist build.
Last edited by systemplayerlost on Aug 23, 2018, 3:10:29 AM
Awesome sharing, man, so awesome. Much appreciate it. I really like RF build, but always feel it's complicated to start with and even harder to improve it once reaching endgame. I'm not sure if it's too much to ask, but is it possible for you to make more guides to talk about or show the progress of your character how to reach the end game, please? For example, how to pick up or craft weapons for the later game, and etc.

Again, so great guide for lvling and wish seeing more for the progress too.
Going to try this out I think in Delve.

Thank you for taking the time to make this guide I really like the layout and detail for a still new player like myself.

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