[3.7] "Demon Spikes" Pillar of the Caged God, Ground Slam Slayer, 10m+ Shaper DPS, 9000+ life

This build is for those who love creating spiky explosions of death with massive area and damage. It is not a spastic attack speed build, with attacks so fast that it looks like the player is having a seizure. Attacks are slow and deliberate, hitting extremely hard, but without sacrificing clearspeed or effectiveness.

This build mostly revolves around vaal ground slam, which looks amazing and is truly a sight to behold when unleashed in the middle of a huge legion pack. Both ground slam and vaal ground slam skills were recently buffed and received large amounts of flat physical damage. This build combines this flat physical damage with the Pillar of the Caged God staff, one of the new lethal pride jewels, and some passive tree changes to achieve more damage and tankiness than was ever possible before.

The build further takes advantage of the new shockwave support along with cooldown recovery, resulting in what is basically a double damage modifier to attacks from a single support gem. With enough cooldown recovery and a max level shockwave gem, and also because we are focusing on slower attack speed and huge hits, the shockwave will occur on almost every Ground Slam or Vaal Ground Slam in an aoe nova with damage slightly higher than our base ground slam.

With maxed out items and buffed, this build is capable of having millions of shaper DPS, over 9000 life, 18,000 armor, full screen aoe range for vaal ground slam. It also features a molten shell and vaal molten shell setup, enough life regen to sustain blood rage, and a good amount of life leech. It clears content very quickly and can wipe full or nearly full legion spawns fairly consistently on any map tier. It can run every set of map mods in the game with the exception of a map that has both no regen and no leech combined. Even without amazing gear, it still has fantastic offense and defense.

One of the best aspects of this build is that it actually feels like you are playing an ARPG. Attacks feel meaningful and have an impact, which helps keep the playstyle interactive and fun and prevent the snooze fest such with lawnmower style builds such as cyclone. If you assault a pack of enemies and don’t time your skills, aim correctly, or react with flasks and defensive abilities, your effectiveness will suffer or you will die rather swiftly. Good luck!

Easy Stuff
2-way legion domain (Aura Setup #1, Good quality gear, used rage here to demonstrate faster clears without fortify, killed one of the generals in a single hit) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjU4GfuGCto
Tier 4 Strand Farming (Blood Stance (forgot to switch) Aura Setup #1, Medium Quality Gear) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifUxppB-0_0&t=12s
Tier 15 Map Caldera Boss (No flasks, No Warchief, Aura Setup #1, Medium Quality Gear) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAxtTIPKoFs
As you can see in this video my cooldown reduction is not yet aligned with my shockwave so my second hit has no shockwave proc.

Harder Stuff
4-way legion domain (Aura Setup #1, Medium Quality Gear)https://youtu.be/BqlIduqpRPw
Summit Tier 15 Crit and life Mods, Greater beyond demon spawned during legion (Aura Setup #1, Medium Quality Gear) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hrlxWtsAGo
Minotaur Guardian Tier 16 (No Warchief, Aura Setup #1, Medium Quality Gear) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqn4P7T3sLc
Phoenix Guardian Tier 16 (No Warchief, Aura Setup #1, Medium Quality Gear) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0mODT8NnMI

More Coming Soon!


This is our maxed out groundslam damage vs shaper

This is our maxed out vaal ground slam damage vs shaper, however it only holds three charges so the max is actually 10,858,077 damage

This is our maxed out shockwave damage that will proc if we use either Vaal ground slam or Ground slam. With full cooldown recovery we get 2 procs per second so the actual DPS on this is 4,246,628.

This is our 1 hit vengeance damage. We can add this as well if we manage to proc it during a 1 second interval when we are hit by an enemy.

Our overall damage figures are just over 10 million shaper dps with groundslam/shockwave and just over 15 million shaper dps with Vaal groundslam/shockwave. If we proc our vengeance it gets bumped up to over 13/18 million.

POB pastebin
Includes pure damage and other items plus passive tree. Will update later with a final version plus full resists.

Ascendancy Class
Slayer was selected here for the physical damage reflect immunity, fantastic damage output and crit, great AOE for clearing legions and maps, and finally for fantastic boss damage. A swap to the leech portion of the ascendency tree can also be made for more survivability if playing hardcore, or if you find that you are dying too much. Other considerations could be given to juggernaut or champion for the ability to become even tankier and harder to kill.

How to Play
We move around the map with either leap slam linked to faster attacks or Dash. Dash benefits from the cooldown recovery from our belt, boots, and both levels and quality on our skill gem to become quite fast but not quite as fast as leap slam. Between the two, dash initiates faster and repositions the character very quickly but it doesn’t perform an attack doesn’t stun enemies.

When we get near a pack of enemies, position so that ground slam catches the whole group in a single attack. Our shockwave skill will potentially hit any targets we might miss with our ground slam attack cone but usually the two have a similar skill overlap.

For a boss or particularly tough group of enemy rares such as a general pack found in a legion spawn, we use our Vaal Ground Slam ability to stun and hit essentially everything that can be seen on screen. For even more damage, we pop our flasks and ensure that the enemy we want to kill most is directly in the center of the Vaal Ground Slam for some rather obscene single hit damage that should one shot most things in the game.

Use flasks and Blood Rage to maintain a high health pool and when extremely dangerous enemies are encountered, use molten shell or even vaal molten shell for a pack of dangerous rares. These two defensive skills should provide a massive boost to effective health and allow you to tank almost anything that comes at you for a period of time. This build has enough innate life regen that you can sustain blood rage without leeching which makes for more stress free playstyle as well as better delve and labyrinth runs.

My Current Gear

Current Stats:

Weapon The Pillar of the Caged God staff is what makes the build come together and is also very cheap as a six link at the moment. To utilize its full damage potential we need a huge amount of strength. With my current gear, I have around 1350 strength but this could be pushed higher into the 1600-1800 range. At 1600 strength, we have 2560% increased physical damage. The base physical damage of this staff is very low though so we need to combine this huge percentage of increased physical damage with as much flat physical damage as we can on our gear. Crit multiplier also works wonders after we have already added in a good amount of flat damage. Additional intelligence can also be very useful here for increased aoe range but strength and flat physical should be our top priority in nearly all cases.

Helmet For our helmet we have three options
#1 Abyssus
This is the best choice for softcore as it gives us a massive dps boost, good armor, and some strength. With our high armor rating and molten shell to protect us, this doesn’t even really hurt our survivability all that much. It is still too dangerous to use for hardcore though.

#2 Devoto’s Devotion
This is the best choice for farming speed as it provides a fantastic movement speed boost and doesn’t reduce our damage significantly enough that we have to worry about not being able to clear packs in most cases.

#3 Rare Fossil Crafted Royal Burgonet
As a best in slot option for overall survivability (necessary for hardcore) while maintaining a great amount of damage we want a fossil crafted Burgonet with some of the following:
Life/Max life
Armor/Max life
Nearby enemies take increased physical damage
All attributes

Amulet A best in slot for our amulet is Eyes of the Greatwolf with 32% increased attributes plus either some form of damage such as crit multiplier or more increased life for survivability. The increased attributes stat gives us a massive boost to strength and also boost our dexterity and intelligence so we are able to max out our skill gems more easily and get some additional small boosts to attack speed and aoe from our staff.

Rings Ideally we want two steel rings that have the following in order of priority:
Flat physical Damage
Needed Resists
Crit Multiplier
All attributes

Body Armor For armor we also have a few options:
#1 Rare Astral plate (best choice overall)
This is a great choice for filling in resists while still providing a very large amount of life when min/maxed. With huge amounts of investment we can also get increased crit chance and other stats that will result in a large boost to our DPS. We want a rare astral plate with some of the following:
Flat Life
Increased Life
Increased Strength
Flat Strength
Chance to crit
Needed Resists
Increased Armor

#2 Kaom’s Heart (best choice for hardcore when unable to afford maxed astral plate)
This provides the most life overall but lacks in damage and resists. It is best combined with a helm that provides missing resists rather than an abyssus or devoto’s devotion

#3 Loreweave
This has a good amount of damage, decent life, and a nice boost to max resists but because it has no resists itself, a resist helm will likely be needed.

#4 Belly of the Beast
A good budget option to level with and start mapping with. Should be replaced when possible by one of the above.

Gloves We want rare spiked gloves with some of the following:
Flat Physical Damage
Needed Resists
Attack Speed
All attributes


Other Gear

coming soon

We need two life flasks, one with instant recovery and freeze removal, the other with increased duration and bleed removal. For our damage flasks, a lion's roar, diamond flask, and a cinderswallow urn or a dying sun.

Gem Setup
6link Vaal Ground slam - Brutality - Shockwave - Melee Physical Damage - Pulverise - Fortify
This combination for our main damage skill provides a well rounded balance of damage, AOE, and defense with the fortify support. Additional consideration can be given to concentrated effect or, increased area of effect for more or less AOE and increased single target damage for bosses. Rage, Ruthless, or Damage on full life support gems can also be considered depending on play style and need.

Aura Setup #1 5link + 3link + 2link(Enlighten - Blood and Sand - War Banner - Flesh and Stone - Maim) + (Enlighten - Blasphemy - Assassin’s Mark)+(Blood Magic + Precision)
This combination allows for our best legion and monster pack clear speed and efficiency. The power charges generated with the assassin’s mark ensure we crit everything for very large amounts of damage such that a single attack will kill all standard monsters it hits in one hit nearly every time. Also because we are able to kill dangerous rare monsters in a single hit in almost every case rather than performing an additional attack and leaving ourselves more vulnerable, this setup is rather safe. We swapped the precision to blood magic because it only costs us about 350 life and gives us a more comfortable amount of unreserved mana to use.

Alternate Aura Setup 6link + 2link(Enlighten - Precision - Blood and Sand - War Banner - Flesh and Stone - Maim) + (Enlighten - Pride)
This combination does much more damage in extended boss fights and if you have an alternate way to generate power charges, does the most damage overall, especially to close enemies. You will need a lvl 4 enlighten and you will need to reduce the level of precision to 16 or reduce the cost of your ground slam to use this setup effectively.

Movement setup 2link Leap slam + Faster Attacks
Allows us to move quickly around the map and stun enemies if they are at full life. It also allows jumping over some walls and is a great movement option overall. However, because our build puts less emphasis on attack speed, it may end up a bit slower than some builds for leap slam movement speed.

Alternate Movement Setup 1link Dash Use this if you prefer it to leap slam.This is especially relevant with both cooldown recovery boots and belt as it will make it quite fast to use.

Retaliation Setup 4link Vengeance - Brutality - Melee Physical Damage - Pulverize
Whenever hit by enemies, this has a chance to unleash a nova effect of damage around our character which hits extremely hard like the rest of our abilities. If bosses manage get off hits on you, this can be nice for burning them down even faster.

1link Blood Rage
For our Frenzy charges and lifesteal, this should be up all the time.

1link Vaal Molten Shell
To tank very dangerous enemies or situations. Vaal molten shell gives far more effective health than the standard molten shell which equates to around 14000 health with lion’s roar flask enabled.

1link Ancestral Warchief
For boosted damage on bosses etc. Probably not a necessary skill unless farming uber elder or timeless legions 5-way.

Character Appearance

Last edited by nater9999 on Jul 18, 2019, 10:58:24 AM
Last bumped on Nov 25, 2019, 9:35:37 PM
Passive tree added
Last edited by nater9999 on Jul 7, 2019, 10:47:41 PM
What about POB itself? Either I can't find it, or it's mising.

You got a really sick amulet, wanted to change it with something I could reasonably get, to compare.
Astramentis or a high strength Amber amulet are both good alternatives until you can find one like mine. I will add the full POB later this evening.
you don't bother with an attack speed weapon setup in offhand for leap slam swap?
Nah, but if you combined that with Devotos you could really push your clear speed. I don't mind slowing things down a bit to enjoy the flow of the game.
Modified the Cooldown recovery section. 75% is the desired amount rather than 100%.
I don't see other cooldown rec sources other than SW itself?
I don't have them personally yet but you can get 15 on boots and 25 on belt, both shaped. I am waiting for those magical ones with the 35% move speed! I will add this to the gear section soon! busy week.
Last edited by nater9999 on Jul 12, 2019, 8:59:44 AM
Added a 4 way legion fight

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