[3.7] Dominating Blow Berserker - SSF / Beginner / League Starter


About the build:
A simple and straightforward build that can achieve a good balance between offence and defence, with very little investement. Ideal for new players and SSF. It's playstyle is that of a hybrid melee summoner, relying on both your damage and your minions.

Pros:
-Very versatile and easy to gear
-Good defences and damage (1~2M boss dps)
-Uber Lab farmer
-Can do all map mods
-Can boost party members


Cons:
-Average Clear Speed


Detailed Info:
Spoiler

Why Berserker and what changed from Juggernaut:
Dominating blow requires two things to work properly, good defences and good attack speed for reliable summoning on bosses. With the changes in 3.7, Juggernaut lost attack speed while at the same time, new defensive options have been made available for all classes. He is still viable and if you want to play Jugger, invest in attack speed instead of defences on passive tree.

The main benefit of the Berserker, is that he can now work as a hybrid summoner, meaning that he is not totally dependant on his minions to do the damage. This solves the main problem Jugger had in some bosses, where minions died faster than he could summon them, prolonging the duration of a fight, since his hit damage was low.

This version is focused on SSF, minion damage and defences. You can achieve much better attack dps, if you want to play that way.

Pros and Cons:

-Gearing:
This build needs no uniques and has no specific requirements from rare gear to work properly. It has room for chaos resistance and can be played with any type or style of weapon you want to play with, since it dosen't specialize in any. Two-handed, Dual wielding, One hand and shield, are all viable.

If you play in SSF, the only thing that might need some effort to craft, is weapons with both minion damage and physical damage (fossil crafting). Ofcourse normal weapons with good physical damage/attack speed can work fine, especially if you want to focus more on your own dps than your minions.

-Defences:
Instant warcry, increased fortify effect with fortify on main attack, endurance charge generation from both enduring cry and when hit, good physical reduction, high health pool and decent regeneration that can cover rage degen, can use bloodseeker for better leech. New defensive gems (flesh and stone, berserk etc.), minions can take aggro.

-Damage:
Dominating blow damage can vary depending on number of minions that are attacking and buffs they gain from mobs. The estimated dps is based on normal sentinels only, that you can summon on a boss.

-Map Mods:
Physical reflect will obviously hurt, unless your own damage is not good enough. You can have a set of weapons with minion damage stats and low pDPS for those maps.

For no life and mana regeneration, link your warcry skill with blood magic support.

-Party Play:
With lab enchant, you can have 2 rare sentinels up. You can also use rallying cry, along with the warcry bonuses gained from your ascendancy.


Trees and Leveling:
Spoiler

Tree:https://www.pathofexile.com/build/B4n5SW
PoB:https://pastebin.com/F6wpBAA0

With Herald of Purity:https://pastebin.com/381SZwiL

Tree and build variations:
You can make changes depending on how you want to balance between your own damage and your minions. You can specialize in a specific weapon type or style. A unique variation is unarmed with facebreakers. It may have higher damage potential, but less defensive options. It can be done with the same tree, but gear needs to be adjusted accordingly. Below, is the main idea and not an optimized version.

Facebreaker concept:https://pastebin.com/8DPHZgTR

ASCENDANCY:
-Aspect of Carnage
-War Bringer
-Crave the Slaughter
-Rite of Ruin

I would go with the above order.

BANDITS: Kill All

LEVELING:
Leveling is pretty simple. Use any skill you like with an appropriate weapon, until you get Dominating Blow. Once you get it, you can use any weapon type you want. Choose the ones that give you better dps on your attack, just make sure if you are dual-wielding, to pick weapons that can use the same movement skill.

As for the tree, go for Resolute Technique, Spiritual Command and Spiritual Aid first, so you can scale your damage and attack speed from minion stats.

After that, go for Art of the Gladiator and grab Battle Cry once you finish cruel labyrinth.

If you are facing mana problems early on, you can grab nodes like
Mana Flows or Righteous Decree and respec later, once you get some mana leech from gear.

Leveling trees are included in the PoB link above.


Gems:
Spoiler

6Link:
Dominating Blow-Brutality-Melee Physical Damage-Multistrike-Fortify-Maim OR Ruthless* (Boss) / Melee Splash (Clearing)

4Links:
Cast When Damage Taken (level 1) - Immortal Call (level 3) - Increased Duration - Vaal Haste**

Cast When Damage Taken (level 1) - Summon Holy Relic (level 10) - Flesh Offering (level 8) - Berserk (level 3)

3Links:
Whirling Blades - Enduring Cry- Blood Magic

Cast When Damage Taken (level 1) - Convocation (level 5) - Vulnerability (level 5)

No Links:
Pride
Flesh and Stone
Dread Banner OR War Banner
Berserk***

*If you are using Bood Stance, Ruthless gives a bit more dps. I prefer using Maim Support and Sand Stance for defensive purposes.

**Haste is not used as an aura. You can keep it on level 10 to lower dexterity requirements, or level 14 if you are using Bloodseeker or any other weapon with higher dexterity requirement.

***I'm using one low level berserk on CWDT for less damage taken while clearing, and one leveled as a damage boost for bosses.

Gem setup
Gem setup is pretty versatile. You can add Dash or a Golem or swap Vulnerability with Enfeeble if you want better defences. This setup is based on my personal playstyle.

Why not Herald of Purity?
Mainly because of mana and gem slot issues. You can use it if you invest in reduced mana reservation (tree or lab enchant), or use specific uniques (Essence Worm). Overall, it is a dps gain at the cost of some versatility.


Gear:
Guidelines

Helmet

Bone helmet gives a decent damage boost. Any type of rare helmet will do, if you want one with a specific lab enchant. If you are using Herald of Purity as a minion skill, you can slot it on a helmet with "+# to level of socketed minion gems".


Lab enchants are not necessary, but ones that give additional magic/rare sentinels are cheap to get. Any enchant that reduces mana reserved, can also be quite useful.


Belt

Stygian vise (for another jewel slot).

Belt of the deceiver is a very good unique option, both defensively and offensively. Intimidate gives a better damage boost than a good jewel, but a rare belt can give much higher life/resistances in combination with the abyssal jewel.



Jewels

Since we are playing as a hybrid, we have lots of options here. The ones that benefit us most, are Abyssal Ghastly Jewels and Cobalt Jewels.

Abyssal Jewels:
-Minions have #% increased attack/cast speed
-Increased Minion damage if you used a minion skill recently
-Minions deal # to # additional Physical Damage

-Maximum Life
-Minions have #% chance to Blind/Taunt on Hit with Attacks

Cobalt Jewels:
-Minions deal #% increased Damage
-#% increased Attack Speed
-#% increased Attack and Cast Speed

-#% increased maximum Life

If you are satisfied with your HP, you can skip it and just go for damage. Blind is very good if you want to run with Blood Stance instead of Sand Stance.

For alteration crafting early on, try with ghastly jewels for HP and one dps stat, or cobalt jewels for 2 dps stats.




Weapons

We have some good unique options here. Dual wielding The Scourge, gives a great damage boost and can be used for all content without the need to craft weapons.
Victario's Charity is better for minion dps (when frenzy/power charges are up) and good defensively, but we loose damage and attack speed on our main hit.
Using Bloodseeker along with The Scourge, is a better defensive option without taking a big hit on our own dps.

You can farm The Scourge from Pit of the Chimera Boss.


For SSF and weapon crafting in general, we can use any weapon we want. Claws are good for attack speed and life gain on hit implicits. Using Bound Fossils is the best way to roll minion damage on weapons. Crafted weapons can give a much higher dps boost than The Scourge. Ideally, we need:
-Good physical dps
-Decent attack speed
-Minion Damage
-Space to craft Minion Attack Speed or Damage on Bench.

You can also try your luck with Essence of Fear.


Rest

We look for rare gear with the following.

Defensive stats:
Life
Resistances
Movement speed on boots

Offensive stats (Rings, Amulet, Gloves):
Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
Attack Speed

We will also need any amount of mana and life leech on any item and intelligence and dexterity to meet gem/weapon requirements.


Flasks
The usual modifiers we need on regular flasks, are "Removes bleeding" and "Removes freeze and chill". You can roll those on life flasks. Some good options are:

Lion's Roar: Big damage boost for our main hit
Silver Flask: Damage boost for our main hit
Sulphur flask: Damage boost for our main hit and life regeneration
Topaz, Ruby, Sapphire flasks: Use those to lessen elemental damage taken.




Useful Uniques

Leveling:


Endgame:
*None of the below are needed. They are just options if you want to invest more.


Brass dome fits nicely because we can reach high HP with no bonus from body armour. It can be farmed from Maze of the Minotaur Boss.

The fated version of Kaom's Sign (The King's Path prophecy). A boost to our life regeneration, since we can have end charges up all the time.

Not the easiest unique to get. In case you get lucky, you can use Haste as an aura which is a nice boost for both you and your minions. Pride variation can also be used to open more options for the build (like herald of purity, aspect of the spider).

Videos:
3.7
Spend around 2ex so far (gear shown on Caldera video). Haven't done uber lab yet.

T12-Carcass
T15-Caldera
T16-Maze of the Minotaur

Last edited by Jdahl22 on Jun 22, 2019, 11:18:04 AM
Last bumped on Jun 28, 2019, 9:36:19 AM
Can i use The Writhing Jar ?
I did this build last league as gaurdian. Withering jars are a must for clear imo. I spammed them to keep minions up.
There are a lot of differences from guardian versions. Withering jar is completely unnecessary for clearing. The only situation that might come in handy is maybe in really tough boss fights with no adds to kill, or if you die and don't want to go back with no minions. The whole point is to build around tankiness so you don't have to worry about going melee to summon.
I am new to the game. I am confused if i am supposed to use any kind of minion or a certain type?
"
KliierQueen wrote:
I am new to the game. I am confused if i am supposed to use any kind of minion or a certain type?


Dominating Blow: An attack skill that summons minions on kill and on hit
Herald of Purity: A toggle skill that summons minions when you hit/kill with any skill.

If you want to try any other type of minion, you can.
Playing this in HC and love it so far. Level 83 and chugging along.

Had some issues with minion survivability, but those have mostly gone away with the leech node and gem levels. We'll see how well it keeps scaling (only through tier 5 maps now).

I went with Victario's Charity and I'm thinking of maybe pursuing Craiceann's Carapace as my goal chest. How valuable do you find the Aspect of the Spider (I'd be replacing it with Aspect of the Crab)?

Current Gear:
Aspect of the spider gives both offensive and defensive bonus. Also, more phys reduction is not probably needed for jugg. If I were to try HC, I would probably try to build around higher regen and higher health pool. So I would go with rare chest and probably more end charges, kaom's way rings etc.

Another option would be to try to balance more between main hit damage and minion damage, so with better leech you could try bloodseeker and scourge.

Edit: Added a high regen variation. Will test at some point and post results.
Last edited by Jdahl22 on Dec 21, 2018, 9:05:51 AM
I played this build on SSF HC. I got to level 92 and downed Elder, Atziri and the guardians. I enjoyed it a lot. Really picked up around 84 when I started stacking more health and increased my attack speed.
I played this build on SSF HC. I got to level 92 and downed Elder, Atziri and the guardians. I enjoyed it a lot. Really picked up around 84 when I started stacking more health and increased my attack speed.

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