[3.4] Berserker ground slam league-starter and guide to mitigating degen (all content)

This is a guide about how I went from never going above lvl 92 to hitting lvl 97 Berserker on Flashback Incursion and obtaining my first demi. This was done without aurabots, without headhunters, using only pure physical ground slam. I wasn't even aiming for anywhere near top 10 until I realized that nobody played Berserker. This class is now my favorite and will be what I start off with in Delve.

What to consider when playing Berserker:
You need to approach this class while taking into account the high degen and increased damage taken! I feel like most people don't which is why they have a hard time.

What this means:
First, if you normally play as a 6k life scion/duelist/ranger/etc... you need 10% more life. That means 6.6k life minimum. You can tell yourself, oh I will use the basalt flask or some other way of mitigating the damage but chances are, you already use that basalt flask on that 6k life scion/duelist/ranger.

Second, even if you have 6.6k life. You most likely can't completely negate the 15% degen from rage and blood rage, this means that you will absolutely INITIATE fights with LESS than your maximum life. That means if you have 6.6k life, you'll probably initiate fights with 5.5k-6k life. This is the equivalent of a 5k-5.5k life scion/duelist/ranger/etc... And THIS is where the most frustrating deaths occur.

I separated how to stay alive into 2 sections: Mitigating shortcomings and Increasing max effective life.

How to mitigate the shortcomings of the Berserker class:
1. Get more life. Simplify your build (I did so by going pure phys and bleed) and prioritized life/strength. Refrain from wanting too much out of 1 build (i.e. crit/dodge/high life/block). For example, I had 7k life wearing a tabula at lvl 85-90. You achieve this by stacking a ton of strength. At level 97, I had 8.9k life while wearing a loreweave. I hit 9.7k-ish with belly.

2. Get more leech. You look for ways to increase your max leech cap from the base 20% to 25% at least. That is equal to flat 5% life regen. You can achieve this by getting hematophagy OR getting an elder amulet with increased max life leech by 5%.

3. Get more regen. You can get regen on the tree first, then respec after getting a few items.
First, the elder amulet can also give %regen, so can elder armor. If you can get a good amulet with both regen and leech, hats off to you but don't forget that you also need to prioritize max life and strength. A top notch elder armor with max life, % to max life, % strength, regen is pretty difficult to get though.

With the new corruption affixes, you can aim for a corrupted helmet that has the 2% life regen implicit.

Stone golem gives a hefty 100-120ish flat life regen. This is almost 1.5% max life (assuming a 7-8k life build). I only state this because the helmet enchantment for stone golem can increase the buff by 150%. That means stone golem can give ~4% life regen total!
Vitality aura gives a flat % regen but in combination with the watcher's eye is absolutely crazy for negating the degen - too bad it's expensive as hell.

4. Increasing life recovery. This mod obtained from the elder belt gives a boost to both leech and regen. Arakali pantheon also works to boost leech and degen and is useful in combination with lvl 1 CWDT and IC. You can also get a watcher's eye with vit mod that increases life recovery.

Depending on the combination of increased life recovery, leech, %regen and max life you have, you don't NEED every source of regen/recovery possible. My end build only had the 5% max leech from the amulet and a minimum amount of regen on the tree with an elder belt. It was good enough to do double/triple T15/16 beyond maps and guardians/shaper/red elder.

Increasing effective max life:
1. Don't get hit. It sounds dumb, but from my experience... the only reason I die is due to either lag/glitches/crashes OR getting hit multiple times up close by the mob's melee hits because I'm a cocky prick thinking I'm big dog with over 9000 life.
You need to minimize getting hit, and 1 of them is by NOT leaping into a pack. You leap IN-FRONT of a pack or BEHIND a pack but DON'T leap into the middle of a pack.

2. Don't get hit pt 2. Increase your chance to evade using stibnite flask and jade flask. These two flasks literally increases your effective life ~70%, stibnite alone blinds nearby enemies giving you 50% more chance to evade hits. I use mainly magical flasks except a Karui's blood at most. DPS is absolutely not a thing when it comes to Berserkers. I took off the Lion's Roar because the knockback was more annoying than anything. This means NO Kaom's roots OR Unwavering stance.

3. Use your warcry to heal. Do NOT spam it for no reason. It is there and in combination with your Arakali pantheon and your other sources of increased life recovery to give a 33-50% instant heal button. That is FAR better than any healing flask OR leech. It is also the reason why boss fights with a berserker is ABSOLUTELY a joke. Do NOT use it in the middle of a fight just to get 5 more rage. Use it at the start of mapping to get at least 25 so that you are immune to stun or when the heal matters.

4. Stun. The build uses 2-handers with ruthless and ground slam / vaal ground slam which all have synergy for stunning enemies. If you are in a mob of beyond bosses, use vaal ground slam once for the ~2s stun and then use normal ground slam before using vaal ground slam again to maintain the stun. Ancestral warchief basically permastuns whoever it is hitting.

1st - Aspect of Carnage
Absolutely 1st due to massive damage boost
2nd - War Bringer
This is your heal, great for doing labs and having a little bit of a time-out during fights without worrying about no more flask charges
3rd - Crave the Slaughter
Quality of life for rage-nothing else
4th - Rite of Ruin
Absolutely necessary due to the mod cannot be stunned. Get it once you've obtain a few external sources of degen mitigation (elder amulet/boot or corrupted/enchanted helm).

Major: Arakali (the recovery is really useful combined with with warcry heal)
Minor: Shakari (to minimize degen and increase chances of Arakali procing)

Notable achievements:
Solo uber lab
Farm guardians
Farm shaper
Farm red elder (without Kaom roots)
Didn't get uber elder activated to try

With ~8k life and loreweave, most slams can't 1 shot you. If you accidently tanked a slam. Use warcry right away, leap away until the warcry is off cooldown before going back in. This works really great if you are caught by the elder and is why kaom's roots are not needed.

My end gear:

Note the corrupted ground slam threshold gem. Cannot be affected by corrupted blood. This is top priority and should be easily obtainable. It is also 1 of the reasons why ground slam is just a great league-starter and end game skill.
The red blade shield is basically a quality of life item so that you can quickly get the initial 25 rage so that you are immune to stun or to quickly heal during uber lab or boss fights after disengaging and dodging traps.

My major links:
Vaal Ground Slam - Melee Phys - Multistrike - Brutality - Ruthless - Maim
Ancestral Warchief - Melee Phys - Concentrated effect - Ruthless - Brutality - Bloodlust/Maim

Fortify-Leap slam-Faster attack-Enduring cry

CWDT lvl 1-IC lvl 1-Increased duration lvl 20-Blood rage lvl 7

CWDT lvl 20-Stone golem lvl 20

You don't need to go pure phys if you want to abuse shaper off-hand sticks. Additionally, you can socket concentrated effect or increased AoE to ground slam if that's your thing. I need to state that dual-wielding is, however, incredibly expensive for a high end 3-mod stat stick and a top tier main hand weapon. I went disfavor and 6-linked it myself. If you find a nice 2-handed mace, that works too. A corrupted Kongor's with a 15% increased physical damage implicit is beautiful (this was on incursion, not on flaskback).

Just a quick note. While multistrike does reduce each individual physical damage hit of ground slam, it DOESN'T reduce the individual bleed damage.
Thus, you want to maximize attack speed so that we can apply 8 ruthless bleeds as fast as possible. You will find that bosses absolutely melt using this set-up. Especially in combination with ancestral warchief.

Some league starter items:

I used Sinvicta's Mettle and Tabula until lvl 90.
Carnage Heart and Cyclopean coil weren't replaced around 94-95. Cyclopean coil is honestly amazing and really allow you to get some other useful flask mods such as immune to curse or more resistance for super capped. Again, Berserker works if you prioritize life and defenses. Being immune to ailments is absolutely a defense.
I never used Belt of the deceiver for this race. The belt is also good but the damage from intimidate is honestly a luxury and not vital.
I also never used haemophilia for this race since it didn't give any life. It is an option though if you don't want to use passives to get more bleed chance or have clearing problems.
If you do wear essence worm because you want an aura, grace is probably the best hands down, vitality if you have an awesome watcher's eye. I corrupted and ripped too many disfavors during the race to bother getting or playing with any watcher's eye.

Map mods to avoid:
Physical reflect.
Players have reduced life recovery.
Players cannot leech.
Players cannot regen (this ain't too bad) but basically makes it so that your fights are ALWAYS initiated below max life (fighting at 80% life effectively).

No more than 3 of the following (This is after taking into account Zana mod Beyond):
Increased monster life
Increased monster damage
100% of various ele damage added
Monsters cannot be stunned

Beyond is only added there because a combination of double Beyond, 50% more monster life, monster cannot be stunned is EXTREMELY dangerous. It's not impossible to run but an accidental abyss/breach can cause death.

This is the last path of building I saved: The jewels are outdated though and were replaced with better max life gems (see top).
I had to update PoB for Delve so it's kinda weird at the mid region between templar and marauder. You can access my passive tree through my character profile (Berserker: Lzuruha).
Last edited by BertStayerr on Aug 31, 2018, 12:27:30 AM
Last bumped on Dec 23, 2018, 9:33:09 PM
Can see all gem setup?
binidinni wrote:
Can see all gem setup?

My bad:

Apart from the 2 6-linked I mentioned.

There is:
Fortify-Leap slam-Faster attack-Enduring cry
CWDT lvl 1-IC lvl 1-Increased duration lvl 20-Blood rage lvl 7
CWDT lvl 20-Stone golem lvl 20
bandits? oak?
I’ve been following the build you’ve made and noticed just today that Lzuruha skills have been reset. I’ve also noticed that another character “Clondyke” is similar. Should I follow the passive tree from Clondyke?

Why Faster Attacks in Helmet, when it already is in the Helmet?
Could you use brass dome for more armor?
and where do you get youre leech
Last edited by Andreasj2002 on Nov 7, 2018, 12:38:11 PM
Andreasj2002 wrote:
Could you use brass dome for more armor?
and where do you get youre leech

You could use brass dome for more armor. Actually, Brass dome + Essence worm with determination and a watcher's eye determination is probably better than Loreweave for mitigating damage. The leach came from rare amulet with a life leach affix.

I've made a newer version of this build as my delve league starter which I will post. It basically did all content with a eHP of life and mana combined = 12.5k. At this point, red elder, uber elder cannot 1-shot you no matter what they do.
Last edited by BertStayerr on Nov 8, 2018, 12:40:12 PM
-don't know how to quote or delete reply
Last edited by BertStayerr on Nov 8, 2018, 12:39:54 PM
Your Berserker's Passive Tree is no longer allocated & I cannot find a way to view your tree.

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