[IN PROGRESS] [3.5] Phys. Cyclone [Juggernaut/Raider] | All Content | League Starter | Survivable

Shaper down as of 1/9/19.

I'm labeling this as in progress because I haven't actually completed all of the content just yet, but I'm deep into T15 maps without much issue with the gear I'm using. I'm just lazy. Eventually, once I complete everything, I'll just take off the in progress tag, post videos, and be a real boy like everyone else, but for now consider this a thread seeking critique while also giving a build. Any comments you have for this build are welcome as long as they're constructive. Expect changes as I progress further and start killing Uber Elder and Shaper.

First, an obvious shout out to @Vashseden's build. This build is directly based on that one, so needless to say, it wouldn't exist without it. Go take a look at it if you want a faster clearing, but squishier variant. A lot of the information in this guide will be directly from that one.

Thanks also to the Path of Exile Discord server. I was struggling a bit to find the proper balance of survivability and DPS for a while, but they helped me identify some power nodes to take (and reminded me I was undervaluing attack speed.)

Lastly, thanks to my friend, @ImmortalAria for helping clean up and further tweak the tree for me. We ended up squeezing even more survivability into the build with a minimal loss in damage.

Path of Building Link (Updated Jan 5th 2019 - Significant Changes)
Builds at varying point counts are available here. This also includes the gear I'm using. This Pastebin WILL be updated as my gear is. I will not be posting individual links for other tools unless expressly asked.

Videos (Coming Soon)
Yes. Soon.

Insane potential burst
Survivable (Max Leech + Decent Life)
Able to do almost every map mod in the game
Very fast clear speed
Respectable single target damage
Simple playstyle
Off-meta; upgrades cheap to get with the currency that drops through the campaign

Not super zoom-zoom
Struggles with No Leech maps
Not the friendliest for SSF, though can be managed; casters absolutely dominate here
Melee (yes, it's a con in Betrayal unless you're RF)

Why use this over Vash's?
Betrayal has some very rippy damage spikes in end game with the Syndicate and Vash's build sacrifices survivability for maximum damage. This can make breaking past yellow maps rather difficult without grinding out good rares, and potentially a nightmare for SSF. This build attempts to find the middle-ground between staying alive and making things dead.

Vaal Double Strike? (Originally answered by Vash)
It's a great supplementary source of single target DPS - the thing this build suffers at. Vaal Double Strike creates two clones per use and holds two charges by default. Linked to an Ancestral totem, it also does some damage on its own right. The damage is very significant when they're under the affect of both War Banner and Vaal Haste.

War Banner?
Only with Impresence (read the Gear section.) It is actually a legitimately great skill that I think has been underused during the league. It fits perfectly with this build, giving it the kick it needs to burst down single targets. Because its buff affects your Vaal Double Hit clones along with you, it plus Vaal Haste is a TREMENDOUS amount of burst that is hard to rival. It's also, obviously, insanely useful against Syndicate members at high level as their HP counts tend to be pretty bloated. This is the last piece of the 'delete bosses' puzzle that phys. Cyclone needed.

Don't only go for uniques. Find some rares as well. A good source of resists are Prismatic rings. Eventually you'll outgrow some of the uniques you'll start with anyway. Failing that, I take two jewel slots and highly recommend you use a Stygian Vise and Bubonic Trail. That's at least two Abyssal slots. You'll have more than enough opportunities to cap your resists on the cheap. Failing all of that, Purity of Elements over Haste/Grace will help.

The Pure Talent jewel is highly recommended in general for this build, and will help with your int issue a little bit. Wisdom of the Glade is also on the main path heading toward Acrobatics; feel free to dip into that as you need it.

Endurance Charges?
I opted not to stack them up. You can if you'd like, but I didn't find the need to. The damage reduction (And gain with Juggernaut) didn't seem worth the point allotment. 15% at base seems perfectly good to me. They also work great with Wyrmsign

No Leech maps?
Double up on healing potions and bring a mana potion. Don't use Blood Rage. These are going to be tough and are almost certainly not worth the trouble so I'd honestly just trade it for another map if you can/it's Corrupted. Scour it otherwise and start over if it's a valuable enough map.

DO NOT FORGET TO CRAFT CHEAP MODS ONTO YOUR RARES. Attack speed and crit are huge.

The only recommended starting item I'd have is Thief's Torment. It is a great source of early leech and will make the entire campaign near-trivial as long as you upgrade your other pieces. Getting to that point is already trivial since you'll likely be leveling Sunder, but I'll touch on that in the leveling section. If you're unable to get a Thief's Torment for whatever reason (SSF) then take the leech nodes near Vaal pact early, following the life/right side. The hybrid node is more than enough mana leech.

Another good item is Pure Talent. This is a good source of stats, and once we connect the Marauder and Duelist starting points, it starts getting even better. Eventually you will probably replace it with a jewel that gives better stats, but as a leveling jewel, it's quite fantastic.

Rotgut is an excellent flask for this build. Blood Rage will naturally be building you Frenzy stacks almost perpetually, allowing you to cash them in for a fairly long duration Onslaught. Your crit rate will keep the charges flowing so you can have near-perpetual Onslaught along with an almost assured 3 Frenzy charges while clearing. Feel free to swap it for something else if you get an Onslaught jewel.

The last thing I'd recommend to start is a Daresso's Salute. You can wear it early, it gives great sources of damage, and adds range to your Cyclone.

That's it. You really don't need anything else to get this build going other than a two-handed sword once you actually start using Cyclone. There are plenty of good ones to start with as well, including Terminus Est and Kondo's Pride.

Before then, just look for two-handed swords with good stats. Attack speed, crit chance and multiplier, physical (or global) damage stats, and so on. The rest of your gear should have a good mixture of life, resists, and damage stats. It's a very uncomplicated build to level with.

As for gear later on...

Starforge is huge. The ability to Shock just adds that much more damage and the other bonuses certainly don't hurt. This is probably the best weapon you'll find for the build.

An interesting option I've used for gloves is Wyrmsign. We have Endurance charges anyway, so we might as well leverage them in some way. Rampage is a great effect that gives you a very nice damage and movement speed buff along with some awesome killstreak rewards every tier. Read more about it here. I wouldn't base the build around it, but the gloves also give you some good life anyway. Besides: it's cheap.

If you can afford to spend a little bit more, Haemophilia provides a significant boost to damage, improving both map clear and single target. The way mobs pop on death also sounds a little bit like bubblewrap. The AOE of mobs dying also splashes onto the rares in the packs as well, making it much easier to just keep moving.

Tombfist would probably be your overall best option. An Onslaught on kill Abyssal gem is really nice and the jewels in general will also synergize well with my recommended boots option.

Bubonic Trail is an extremely good option for your feet, and if you intend on using a Stygian Vise in your belt slot (and you should) along with Tombfist for gauntlets, you will end up with a massive damage bonus from these.

Impresence is very cheap in the league currently, and provides a few amazing benefits. Making Vulnerability aura free is obvious, freeing up your mana for other things which I'll go into in the gems section. Maddening Presence is also a 10% straight damage debuff on the mobs as well as an additional 10% slow in a fairly large aura around you. Finally, it also provides solid stats.

If you're at this point, I assume you know what you're looking for, but in order of importance for stats: Life = Maxed Resists > Crit Multiplier > Attack Speed > Crit Chance > Global Damage > Phys Damage > Everything Else. Items with Cyclone specific modifiers are, of course, also nice.

Gear I'm Currently Using (And Why)


Starforge: Obvious. Probably the BiS weapon for this build. By far the most expensive item here. You can easily get away with a Hiltless for a long time (and probably just as easily clear Uber Elder with it,) but Starforge really turns this build into something else.

Devoto's Devotion: MS, AS, Chaos Resist. It doesn't have max life which is kind of a shame, but you can compensate in other slots. It's pretty cheap, but probably not 'just starting mapping cheap' so I'd probably recommend a Starkonja's, Peregrine, or similar helmet that gives attack speed at the very least.

Bronn's Lithe: I wouldn't call it close the BiS chest, but it's extraordinarily cheap for the amount of bonuses you get from it. Lack of good defensive stats is a big problem. Will likely upgrade this into a Loreweave or Carcass Jack. Both will result in a ~10% DPS loss in exchange for much more survivability. Considering that our damage is well above par as it is, this is a perfectly fine trade.

Impresence: One of the most pivotal items I've found for the build. It's extremely cheap this league, even with decent rolls, and essentially gives you room for another aura (or a Herald and a Banner, hmmm!) Probably one of the largest indirect DPS improvements you can get, and for less than 10c.

Bubonic Trail: Does the least for me on its own, but with two abyssal gems, it's starting to really be worth the slot. There are probably better boots, but none so cheap for the effectiveness.

Haemophilia: Yet another cheap item with a big impact on this build. While it doesn't impact your single target damage as much, it makes your clear speed absolutely ridiculous.

Stygian Vise: This was probably the second most expensive item and I'm pretty sure I overpaid, but the toughness stats were worth it along with the socket. Another 5% damage increase, among other things.

Rings: Probably my weakest slots at the moment. Can definitely do better than these, but for now, they gave me good resists plus a good chunk of life.


You need Cannot Be Frozen and Immune To Bleed somewhere. These are absolutely essential as this build doesn't have any passive form of it. As for the uniques:

Rotgut: Great speed item. While I have an Onslaught jewel, having an extra source when I absolutely need it is good. If you don't like the prospect of losing Frenzy charges (it won't exactly be for more than a second,) replace with something else.

Lion's Roar: Big damage increase from this. It has a potentially inconvenient property of knocking back things on hit and few things are immune to it, so you'll have to be careful with your positioning. That said, it can also come in handy if you need to get a boss out of damaging AOE and continue to smack down.

The cost of this build so far has been ~1ex/160c. For a build skipping well over the 1mil DPS mark on burst (PoBuilding doesn't factor the damage of Vaal DS clones,) being able to get that high while still being quite survivable is actually remarkable to me. The majority of that currency was for the Starforge and the belt. With substitutions, you can easily get very respectable performance for less than half of that.

This is what I mean by the build being able to scale very hard with gear. I think this is very easily affordable by the average person who just grinds out yellow maps and maybe does some mid-depth delving rather quickly. All of that, and this build certainly has far more room to grow.


All links are in order of importance, so keep that in mind if you don't have 5 or 6Ls yet.

Cyclone Links: Cyclone - Melee Physical Damage - Brutality - Increased Area of Effect (OR) Concentrated Effect - Maim - Damage on Full Life Support

Your primary link. Increased AOE should be your default 4L. Swap for Concentrated Effect on bosses or in areas where you feel like your damage is too low at the cost of radius.

Movement: Leap Slam - Fortify Support - Blood Magic - Faster Attacks

Leap Slam is the only movement skill that makes sense here. Blood Magic makes it effectively free - which is good since you'll be reserving most of your mana.

Auras/Buffs: Vulnerability - Blasphemy | (Vaal) Haste OR (Vaal) Grace OR Purity of Elements | Blood Rage | Herald of Purity (with Impresence)

Vulnerability is really good for map clear, but the 80% reduction against bosses kinda sucks. Also anything that's hexproof also sucks. Still, it's useful more than it's not, so it's a good curse to have as an aura.

For buffs, Haste is your DPS option, Grace is your defensive option and Purity of Elements is more of an early game 'my resists aren't quite there yet' option. Blood Rage gives you DPS and leech, but at the cost of life drain. With Vaal Pact, this life drain has no regen to counter it out of combat HOWEVER, the overleech bonus from Slayer will. Just mind your health and use your potions if need be. The drain isn't fast. Your buffs don't have to be linked. They just have to be slotted somewhere.

Herald of Purity gives flat physical damage and some inconsequential pets once you get an Impresence. It is one-hundred percent worth it. If you have the space, level it with everything else even if you can't use it immediately.

CWDT Procs: Cast When Damage Taken (Lvl1) - Immortal Call (Lvl3) - Increased Duration (max) - Frost Bomb (Lvl10) OR Unlinked War Banner

This is your survivability. The aura for Vulnerability ends up expanding very quickly, making the double curse strategy of Enfeebling things far from you eventually useless. Frost Bomb will help with the life regeneration on bosses. Once you get an Impresence, you should absolutely replace the Frost Bomb with an unlinked War Banner.

Ancestral Totem: Ancestral Protector OR Ancestral Warchief - Vaal Double Strike - Melee Physical Damage - Brutality - Maim

Protector is preferred because Attack Speed is king over flat damage for the most part for this build, but I'm not your mother. Read the FAQ above for Vaal Double Strike. Everything else supports the Double Strike clones + Totem.

Make sure Always Attack Without Moving is enabled for Leap Slam and Cyclone. This will remove the need for your character to path in proper range and the skills will go off as if you were holding shift. Ignore this for Cyclone if it's on your left mouse button (freeing a space for Vaal Haste/Grace) and hold shift instead.

Target directly next to your character when using Cyclone. This will use more mana, but it will also give you significantly more control on when you stop, freeing you to Leap Slam out of a mechanic or use another skill.

Speaking of leech, if you aren't familiar, leech in PoE is essentially an on-hit regen. You do not leech the life immediately, but rather, stack short duration regeneration on yourself per hit. This is why you will notice yourself regenerating life even with Vaal Pact after combat. Note that, strictly to POE's terms, it is NOT Regenerate and is accordingly not affected; Leech is a completely different mechanic to the game with its own stats.

If you run out of mana somehow, Leap Slam into some mobs for some quick leech.

War Banner, when held, is basically a smaller Vulnerability that goes through Hexproof. It also stacks with Vulnerability. It's good. Use it. Dropping it gives massive amounts of movement and attack speed through Adrenaline.

Against bosses that you know hit hard, use Vaal Double Strike before engaging even if there are no targets (hold shift.) This will still create the clones. Pre-cast your totem as close to the boss as possible. Once you engage the boss, you will not want to stop Cyclone unless you need to move out of a mechanic. You will need the leech.

Vaal Double Strike is one of the few skills in the game that snapshots; specifically, your buffs. Your clones will have your buffs at the time of cast. This means you have a simple opening sequence on bosses: Make sure Blood Rage is on you > Pre-cast Totem > Pop flasks > Vaal DS x2 > Pop Vaal Haste > Drop Banner > Cyclone until dead.


Help Alira. Going swords locks you into mostly being crit-based, so you'll want the multiplier. The resists are nice too. If you intend on homebrewing and moving away from swords, the passive points are almost certainly more valuable.

Pantheon is up to personal preference, but Soul of Arakaali for your major is always a solid choice. Choose your minor deity based on your needs and what you feel is hurting you the most.

Normal Lab: Str/Dex and Passive Point (Duelist Path)
Cruel Lab: Duelist Ascendancy: Slayer and Str node (Marauder Path)
Merciless Lab: Passive Point and Marauder Ascendancy: Juggernaut (Marauder Path)
Eternal Lab: Passive Point and Two Passive Points + Start at Duelist (Duelist Path)

Once you finish Eternal Lab, respec into the final build.


Leveling trees are included in the POB link at the start.

Pre-30, you will want to level as Sunder. This is based on the guide by /SilkySnow_ on Reddit which can be found here. It's been replicated here for ease of reading.

You will want to dual wield axes for leveling to 30 for a good balance of speed and damage. It will also let you use Leap Slam. Note that some of these recommendations assume you already have the gems through an alternative character. If you do not, don't sweat it - get them from your rewards and check the merchants as you complete quests. You will eventually be able to buy them. Gem recommendations are as follows:

Level 1: Cleave - Onslaught - Chance to Bleed - Ruthless
Level 4: Decoy Totem for bosses
Level 10: You can start using Leap Slam
Level 12: Replace Cleave with Sunder. If you have a Tabula Rasa to level with your gem link should look like this: Sunder - Onslaught - Chance to Bleed - Ruthless - Maim - Added Fire Damage
Level 16: Equip Herald of Purity and Blood Rage. Replace Maim with Melee Physical Damage.
Level 18: Replace Chance to Bleed Support with Concentrated Effect. Add Faster Attacks to Leap Slam.
Level 24: Equip Hatred. You'll be using two Auras from here so watch your mana.

This will take you to level 30. At that point, you can switch into most of the normal build and start replacing your auras.
Last edited by Trilkin on Jan 9, 2019, 1:52:37 AM
Last bumped on Jan 3, 2019, 5:35:10 AM

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info