[3.7] Krovah's Berserker Frost Blades |In-Depth Guide| - Annihilates Legion, Shaper and Uber Elder
Full In-Depth Video Guide
For those who are more interested in a video breakdown of how to approach your gear, passive tree, pantheons, etc. I'd recommend taking a look at my in-depth video posted here:
[3.7] Path of Exile: Legion - Taking an In-Depth Look at Berserker Frost Blades
You can also catch me live streaming on Twitch.Tv/Krovah as I will be available to answer any questions you may have about Path of Exile, Frost Blades, and new builds!
In the hopes of making myself more accessible, you can also join my Discord Server here if you'd like notifications for when I'm streaming, uploading new content, or just want an easy way to contact me!
Introduction to Frost Blades
So, a little bit about what brought me here to Frost Blades and what I was hoping to achieve! Like a lot of us, I played Cyclone for a good portion of the league and was a little demotivated to play any other builds because I thought to myself
But I remembered how I used Frost Blades to level until 28, and how smooth it felt the entire way. It was possible that with the new changes, we could even push Frost Blades single target to the extreme.
So with about fifty Chaos Orbs to my name I set out to try and make this build something great and it did not let me down a moment of the way.
This build does NOT require a ton of gear, my current character and gear in Path of Building are to show the end game potential only! I did a much more broken down DPS explanation in the Path of Building section. I used crappy gear for 80% of my time with the build and did not struggle an ounce.
Pros and Cons
Incredible map / Legion clear speed.
Insane Leap Slam attack speed.
Exceptional elemental penetration = Shaper is a normal mob.
Single target DPS scales very well.
Works well on a low budget and scales well with investment.
Is a melee build, so top tier meta gear can get expensive.
My Current End Game Gear
If you're wondering "DO I NEED THIS?!" the answer is a huge, amazingly huge, "NOT EVEN CLOSE!" I'd really recommend skipping to the gear section of my video breakdown as I cover a lot of the alternatives closely there!
UPDATE: You may notice that my gear is no longer verified! Does that mean I hated the build? Was it not worth keeping around? Not even close! I loved this build with an absolute passion but I've really min-maxed it as much as I could! Now I'm working on developing more in-depth build guides that you can all enjoy!
Detailed Gear Guide *COMPLETED*
One Handed Foil Weapons
Alright so this is the fun part! There are a ton of ways to approach buying weapons, along with plenty of "hefty" break points where you will see prices skyrocket with just a difference of 5 pdps! Lets touch on the factors we want to keep in mind for the varying expense of your soon to be foil!
If this has crossed your mind, you're in the right place!
A lot of newer players will confuse DPS with P(hysical)DPS and E(lemental)DPS (which both are added up to give you just the total DPS). To give you an idea, a beautiful 100 pDPS foil with 500 eDPS with a total of 600 dps will give you the exact same value as a ONE CHAOS 200 pdps foil! That's right, 500 eDPS has the same value as 100 pDPS for our build! So to reach the high end 5 - 6 exalt 450 pDPS foils you would need a massive 1,750 EDPS on top of 100 PDPS!
So lets move on to how to acquire your weapons!
Wait! How are you searching for these weapons!?
Awesome question that I totally am not pretending to ask myself as I'm at work typing this out!
I've embedded an image below that shows how I narrow our search to one-handed swords, with at least 200 pDPS and 1.90 attacks per second! Sadly, there is not an option (as far as i'm currently aware) that allows us to narrow this search further to just thrusting weapons (foils) so to rectify that I have set it so that the sword MUST have a critical strike multiplier implicit!
Just Starting w/ Low Budget
If you're in this section, I'm assuming that you've either decided to use this build as your league starter or do not have a lot of spare currency to invest! I know that either of these options mean you're investing a lot into a build choice and I wanted to ensure you that I've put in dozens of hours on my guides to ensure that you are able to enjoy the skill the same way I have!
Now, you can easily obtain a 200 pDPS Jeweled Foil with 1.90+ attacks per second with only a chaos or two to your name! To do that, you can check out the link below:
Now, you'll see a ton of options! If you're wondering which ones are a good pick up and which are a less efficient choice, I really encourage you to not think too deeply into it just yet! There are two reasons for this!
1. If you're asking this question then it's more important at this stage that you invest your time learning other aspects of the game, as currently this is not a priority!
2. I promise that this is an in-depth guide to Frost Blades, I'd be insulted if you did not trust me to not only show but explain as well when it becomes more important! If you're thirsty for that foil knowledge, I'll realistically be covering what foils are worth purchasing over others in the High End Budget section!
Note: While yes, in the long run there may not be much of a difference at this stage I'd recommend that if you find a cheap foil with 200+ pDPS along with a strong flat added cold damage roll that you pick that one up as it will be a strong boost!
Middle Range Budget
Welcome to the middle range budget section! This is probably the most realistic starting point for a large portion of the players at this point in the Legion league, but if you're just working your way up to this point then even more reason to celebrate! Learning how to not only obtain but save currency to afford gear upgrades is a skill in of itself, don't let anyone tell you different!
Now enough patting yourself on the back, lets move on to the good bit! What exactly makes this section different than the low budget portion?
While cost is the obvious answer, due to the increased rarity of certain rolls to achieve a higher pDPS stat we can also begin to see more quality mods appear. I do not mean the quality craft, but mods that we can also benefit from such as hybrid physical / accuracy rolls. The quality mod here would be the accuracy!
So we actually have two different links here in this section, first is what I like to call the low-end of the middle range budget. Which we then follow up with the high range. I've sectioned it this way as in the next few portions the currency gap is going to be a bit larger, and I'd like to make your transition as smooth as possible.
Low-End of the Middle End Budget:
High-End of the Middle End Budget:
Why is there such a high price jump?
So, the only changes I made to the search filter here is I moved the minimum pDPS requirement from 300 pDPS to 350 pDPS along with a minimum of 1.95 attacks per second versus the 1.90 in the low-end / budget filters.
Unfortunately, this is where we begin to see the main and only real con of the build in my opinion. Foils are not only one of the absolute best bases due to sword nodes on the passive tree being exceptionally efficient, but their range is also a prime-time factor.
It's possible to find a "middle" ground in-between the low-end and high-end options, but you'll end up investing in a weapon that barely feels like an upgrade and I'd much rather you save your currency!
High End Budget
So, as a fair warning to all. You're starting to approach solid one-handed foil weapons here. During peak hours, the price may be 2/3rd of what you'll find during late hours where less people are online.
This is also the part where we not only take a look at the filters, but the various weapons for sale that you can encounter in these filters!
So, here you'll encounter a variety of weapon rolls and prices:
The general idea here is to scroll through the available items while weighing the pros and cons of each. For example, you may find one listed for 5 Exalted Orbs but has 440 pDPS. It has no crit, and it's already beast / quality corrupted. This means you're paying 5 Exalted Orbs for a static item, nothing wrong necessarily but you could find a sword with 420 pDPS with open suffix / affixes, and is not beast / quality crafted. This sword is 4 Exalted Orbs, but what I would do is put it into Path of Building and see what I can bring it up to.
Why is this something you should consider?
Well, it's possible that in this hypothetical scenario that with a 2 Exalted Orb multimod, 60 Chaos in Divines, and a beast craft corruption you could bring it up to a 470 pDPS weapon! I mean sure, you ended up paying 6.5 Exalted Orbs at the end of the day but it's possible that 450 pDPS weapons are sold at 6.5 Exalted Orbs and now yours is 8 Exalted Orbs!
Obviously the pricing and pDPS stats I've listed are all hypothetical, but it's worth considering these aspects to get the most bang for your buck.
End Game Budget
If you're at the End Game Budget portion I'll assume you either have played the build long enough to feel comfortable with purchasing a better weapon, or have avasted a large amount of currency due to other technical knowledge!
But just in case someone has a mirror drop in their first five minutes in Twilight Strand, I'll provide some links and explanation for why!
So, this is where things get a little wonky. In this filter, using a minimum of 480 pDPS with 6% base crit and 2.0 attacks per second, the cheapest item is 19 Exalted Orbs. If you only adjust the pDPS stat to 500, the price jumps to 50 Exalted Orbs. This is due to the fine tuning involved to reach these levels of pDPS, so every 5 pDPS could cost exponential ammounts!
So, we have a few options here! I know many of you might have run into my body armor and are wondering "Do.. I need this? You say you can invest into something more appropriate for my budget but will I still get the same results?"
I'll be honest with you, yes you will. There are several options available to us, and other ways we can gain these mods!
Before I begin with this breakdown, I want to express that I understand this thought process / concern entirely. So I will be personally taking each mod and breaking down its value / importance / alternatives so you can choose which is best for you!
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
So this is a complex mod to have on your chest in terms of the overall value. If you're not taking advantage of the elder ring / shaper ring combo then you essentially have three slots (amulet, and two rings) where you can pay 3 Chaos Orbs per to get a total of -21 to Total Mana Cost (-7 to Total Mana Cost x 3).
With all that on, this mod is not needed but it could still be useful as you'll have a zero mana cost attack which allows you to level your Precision further.
Luckily, buying a chest with this mod and decent life does not cost a lot.
( Basically, there is not a large substantial cost to using this mod when purchasing an item )
+# / +#% to Maximum Life
Haha alright this is one that you're definitely not going to want to pass up on. Life is a thing we sorta rely on to live.. and well we can't DPS if we are dead so if you have to skip every mod on a chest at least get life!
The +% to Increased Maximum Life is always a nice bonus but it can start to get expensive when you are trying to get all these mods in combination. For a lot of people, +3% - 5% increased maximum life is not worth an extra 3 - 8 Exalted Orbs.
#.#% of Life Regenerated per second
This is just an extra mod that happened to be on the chest, the life regeneration gained by this is minimal at best!
Attacks have +#.#% to Critical Strike Chance
So, this is an expensive mod to get on your chest, especially the tier one version which is 1.0% - 1.5%. This is an elder only mod which requires a high item level chest plate if you'd like to get the tier one version, which is why when you combine it with a solid life roll and -max mana cost then you'll end up paying a decent amount.
My recommendation is to find a simple chest with a few of these mods that is six linked, and then find an unlinked base with the crit / additional mods to six link in your spare time to try and minimize the initial cost.
You can also get up to +1% base critical strike chance as a corrupted implicit on your Tombfist gloves, if you find the mod to be difficult to obtain on your chestplate. It does mean you'll have to drop the elemental weakness implicit corruption but overall, it's better to crit as well.. if you don't crit then you won't benefit from all the critical strike multiplier bonuses you've obtained through your gear and passive tree.
You can apply an additional Curse
You ONLY need this craft if you are looking to use the "Curse Enemies with Level XX Elemental Weakness" implicit on your gloves and use an Assassins Mark shaped ring! If you have to choose between one or the other, please use the Assassin's Mark on Hit ring as you benefit much more!
This craft alone requires 3 Exalted Orbs and an open prefix on the body armor.
Labyrinth Helmet Enchants
You have a few options, actually not exactly a lot but the best one is going to be "Frost Blades deals 40% increased damage." Which overall, on my Path of Building calculations equals out to about 4 - 6% more damage overall so it's not a necessary requirement for sure!
Should I Fossil Craft "Nearby Enemies have -9% Cold Resistance?"
You can look at this fossil craft as a "Gain 9% Cold Penetration to Nearby Enemies" mod, but it essentially works on bosses only since to even hit them they need to be in range of your attacks which will be within the small radius of this mod. It's always beneficial to gain more elemental penetration, and it's relatively inexpensive to craft but it may take a bit for sure.
Any armor helmet with life, accuracy, and/or elemental resistances will be a solid pick up!
Short and sweet, it will be near impossible to beat Tombfists.
This is a fantastic question! I'll never encourage anyone to not ask that question because it's the only way in this complex game to get the answers you need or the results your crave!
I've been getting this type of question a lot, and Warnic who is a wonderful player asked it in the best way as shown below. Essentially, you can have all this stuff but.. how exactly is Tombfist better?
Warnic's Fantastic Question
Well, it basically rolls down to a few factors which I'll go into depth about in the image posted below but I do want to make a quick note here.
I did not take the Elemental Weakness implicit on my gloves into consideration what-so-ever. This is all assuming you pick up a pair of two chaos gloves!
My Response to the Question
If you really need the space for resistances, then of course use whatever you can get your hands on in the mean time!
So, this is actually a really free spot for us! I want to cover a few different options that you have available to you though, as you can benefit from a few hybrid movement speed crafts!
Our build uses mostly Leap Slam to travel through maps / content in this game. If you have no movement speed boosts, it will feel a little awkward to loot items off the ground though so I always recommend some type of movement speed roll.
If you'd like to have almost permanaete Onslaught (+20% Attack Speed, +20% Movespeed) while mapping, then the +X% Increased Movement Speed / +#% Chance to Gain Onslaught on Kill craft will be your best bet!
Another alternative (the one I took advantage of) is to swap out my Freeze / Chill Immunity flask with a Curse Immunity Flask and craft +X% Increased Movement Speed / Cannot Be Chilled on my boots. We have a large amount of anti-freeze chance through our Pantheons, Taste of Hate and large amount of cold reduction through elemental resistances.
I have not been frozen once since using this method, but your results may vary!
You can choose to use a Stygian Vyse if you want to take advantage of an additional Abyssal Jewel slot but it's going to be exponentially more expensive than even a Rustic Sash while trying to get an ample amount of resistances, life, and damage.
Oh man, the rings. The rings.. the rings.. the rings.
Just go ahead and open your digital Wraeclast wallet, pray you have exceptional credit with Vorici's Union Bank.
I would never do that to you guys, come on now!
I spent a huge, huge portion of my time on this build with some random ring that has six mods and two of them were useful to me (life / -max mana cost cause my chest was not.. not super great... yeah..)!
Use this slot to fill any needed elemental resistances, or if you've got those covered then find a ring with life, flat physical damage to attacks, maybe even attack speed or increased elemental weapon damage!
If you really, really want to min-max the build you can gain a large amount using the shaped ring + Mark of the Elder combo as it comes out to about 15% more damage (assuming we ignore the potential for having the Assassin's Mark on Hit mod on the Shaped Ring)
Alright, you've seen this "Curse Enemies with Level X Assassin's Mark on Hit" thing a million times, but why.. what is it?
Hey man, I asked that question!
Luckily a lot of people have! So, the curse "Assassin's Mark" is multi-layer buff for us as it increases the chance that an enemy is critically struck, and provides a chance to gain a power charge on kill!
Naturally, we have a cap of three power charges which total out to 120% increased critical strike chance (40% x 3 Charges). This, plus the natural +80% critical strike chance from the ascendancy node leading to Blitz will cancel out the negative -200% Critical Strike Chance provided from the Blitz buff!
Welcome to your free slot! This space is probably the single location I was not too sure what to do with, besides the generic "Damage, Life, Res" options.
For those of you who are interested in the Tul unique amulet "Pandemonius" I highly recommend you take a look at my section labeled.. well.. you'll know since it's right below this sentence.
How is cold penetration, chill, blind, and %increased cold damage NOT good!?
Alright, fair enough.. I can see why you would logically come to this amulet. It's been used in a lot of cold builds, Frost Blades especially before! The thing is, after the rework of the melee focused passive tree areas and other various changes, Pandemonius is no longer best in slot.. not by a large margin.
Please let me take the chance to explain why you'd be potentially gimping yourself with this item attached to your beautiful Marauder's neck.
I still don't believe you, also why do you use so many closed sections?
First, I really like to not flood people with information they are not interested in (like I am right now for 99% of those reading this) and also it is a lot cleaner.. I like clean code- I mean build guides.
Okay, first off lets discuss the elemental penetration since it's going to be one of the first out of three attractive stats here.
We already have the ability to gain a large amount of elemental penetration on this build, especially since we gain 30% (15% + 15%) through the two unique jewels that interact with Frost Blades and cost us a total of less than one chaos each.
Well, after those jewels, passive tree nodes, wise oak flask, watchers eye, etc we really start to just.. stack elemental penetration, leading to gaining reduce efficiency for all additional sources.
All in all, good stat? Hands down. Rest of them? Entirely, entirely useless. This is as far as I'm concerned a one prefix amulet.
To avoid going into major, unnessecary detail I'll do a short quip on each for why I believe this.
20-30% Increased Cold Damage is an addative increase in damage, witch ends up being a less than one percent increase to our damage (versus the massive gains from other potential mods of a normal rare amulet).
+35-40% to Cold Resistance is a standard mid tier roll on any amulet, just a themed mod here for the unique's flavor (Xoph has +Fire Resistance, etc).
Chill Enemy for 1 Second When- nope. Guys I promise you'll never NOT chill anything! Hypothermia, Frost Blades, crits!! We got that one covered already!
Blind Chilled Enemies on Hit is probably the one you had the most faith in but that's why Krovah the Frost Blades guy is here to ruin it! We already blind all enemies outside of our flesh and stone aura when it's in sand stance along with receiving it from our AoE monster Vaal Ancestral Warchief.
Even if we ignore all of that, we can gain 15% chance to blind through the Dazzling Strikes passive node segment. With such a massive amount of attack speed, it's essentially a permanent blind to anything you hit on top of other benefits. So, all in all.. another dead mod :(
If you're wondering what mods to look for, I'd recommend stats like attributes(int/str/dex), +# Physical Damage to Attacks, +#% Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons, life, and if you have space to spare then -total mana cost is a wonderful craft (prefix) along with critical strike chance and critical strike multiplier.
You have a ton of options here! The main jewels that I'd recommend are the unique jewel Tempered Flesh which goes on the left hand Jewel node. This will provide +65% Critical Strike Multiplier which is huge! It can be one of the largest damage bonuses from a single item outside of specific situations.
The next unique we use is +10%-15% Cold Penetration when using Hatred as it's actually more overall damage than the usually hearalded +1.2% - 1.8% to Base Critical Strike Chance when using Hatred mod on Watcher's Eye.
The rest should focus on:
+% Increased Maximum Life
+% Increased Attack Speed when Dual Wielding / Using Swords / One Handed Weapons, etc. Just want that attack speed!
+% To Global / Elemental / Cold / Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
Additional utility mods that could help your build are:
+1-2 Mana Gained for Each Enemy Hit
+# Intelligence / (Str/Dex/Int) + Intelligence
Your standard damage mods like:
+% Increased Damage
+% Increased Cold Damage
+% Increased Global Physical Damage
+% Physical Damage with Swords
+% etc, etc, etc, etc!
Path of Building w/ Leveling Trees
PoB: DPS Focused (11M Shaper DPS w/ 5K Life)
PoB: Life Focused (8.6M Shaper DPS w/ 6.3K Life)
Detailed DPS Breakdown
Currently the Configuration is set to "Mapping" level of reliability. I have left Vaal Warchief on as if you're like me when
you go to mess with the PoB you'll forget to enable it again.
WHERE DID YOU GET X CHARGES!? SCAM!?
- Power Charges: I crafted a "Curse Enemies with Level 12 Assassin's Mark" Shaped ring which provides Power charges.
- Frenzy Charges: Blood Rage provides Frenzy charge generation on kill.
- Onslaught: This is about an 8 - 12% chance from my boot craft.
- Is the Enemy Intimidated?: From our Tombfist Gloves socketed with a Murderous Jewel.
- Is the Enemy Chilled?: Frost Blades chills.. everything. Everything.
- Is the Enemy Blinded?: This is from our Vaal Warchief, and has.. basically zero effect on PoB due to
the Sand Stance from our Flesh and Stone aura. Since it basically "blinds" all enemies
outside of it's range, but the link is there to simulate when a boss is still right next to us.
That being said, feel free to disable it as it changes nothing!
I regularly map with Ruthless which is why it's set as my primary skill option here. When your gear is set up with two
foils (and a level 21 Frost Blades does help a little), you'll notice that you hit so fast (18 APS while mapping) that there is no need
for Ancestral Call.
As a quick note, I tried to provide separate stages for your expected Shaper DPS along with your expected
mapping DPS. In my personal opinion, the most accurate version would be "25 Rage, 20 Blitz" as it's the most easily
achievable option and is regularly available about 80 - 90% of the time.
Also, I emptied an entire jewel socket for this example excluding the two Frost Blade unique jewels and 14% Cold Pen
Watcher's Eye to help adjust it a bit.
Optional Defensive Change
Standard Leap Slam
Optional Defensive Change
Golem, Buffs & Auras
Ice Golem or Lightning Golem
Vaal Ancestral Warchief
Berserk, Blood Rage & Precision
Herald of Ice, Hatred & Flesh and Stone
If you're unable to use a Level 3 Enlighten, drop Flesh and Stone.
You may be wondering why we choose to go for Rite of Ruin over Blitz while leveling! I mean, when you crit you get a bunch of added physical damage right? It would be a huge boost!
You're not wrong there, and I personally find that around level 50 I'd rather have the Rage Support Gem with it's added physical and the fact it essentially doubles our amount of raged gained due to their separate limiters.
So, Rite of Ruin essentially gives us the following at fifty rage stacks
Which I find to be much more useful while leveling, since we don't have the crit needed to keep up Blitz stacks! Not to mention, the degen is nearly non-existent at this time.
Remember to use the leveling trees located on the bottom left hand corner of your Path of Building Client!
Level 1 - 10
Two Redbeaks are going to feel the best while leveling initially, you can use two of the claw uniques but the attack speed feels a little low for my taste.
Yes that's right, it's a pair of no-item-requirement gloves with a ton of flat added damage! You can create these by using a mix of two fossils (more fire / cold / lightning) on a low, low item level glove. Might take about 2 chaos worth of fossils and a few trys to hit the double damage but well worth it!
Life, damage, all in one package.
Goldrim is a ton of resistances, cant go wrong there.
The movement speed and damage to our projectiles will help with the "one hit move on" leveling!
[Work in Progress]
Six links from the get go are always a nice boost!
You can use these guys until you hit maps! They hit like a truck!
Before getting into the updates, I wanted to thank you all for being patient with me as I do my best to respond to each and every one of you! I work full time so sometimes it can take me a little bit to respond, but I always try my best to get back to you within 24 hours!
Update #1: July 11th, 2019
Update #2: July 18th, 2019
My other In-Depth Build Guides
Last edited by Krovah on Jul 24, 2019, 1:03:21 AM
Last bumped on Jul 23, 2019, 10:36:07 PM
on Jul 11, 2019, 12:11:39 AM
on Jul 11, 2019, 12:18:19 AM
I'll be giving this a go. I saw the video on reddit, and it looks like a lot of fun, and I've really enjoyed levelling with Frost Blades. Thanks man :D
on Jul 11, 2019, 4:50:15 AM
Amazing Build, very fun, good explained, gonna give a try this or next league for sure! keep the good work!
on Jul 11, 2019, 9:56:51 AM
Hey Shuffle! I'd totally recommend it, obviously I know since I went out of my way to try and highlight it's glory but it's a fantastic skill through and through! If you have any questions feel free to hit me up!
on Jul 11, 2019, 11:23:15 AM
Hey Rivir, thank you for your kind words!
on Jul 11, 2019, 11:23:55 AM
Update #1 Log:
Added an additional path of building pastebin that includes a more life focused end game tree. Currently the leveling trees still follow the DPS focused path but it's such a small adjustment that you should be able to at the very least see what nodes you could pick up while leveling until I can take the time to adjust those as well!
Next On the To-Do List:
Implement an extensive gear guide cheat-sheet, along with several gear "check points" on our path of building setup!
on Jul 11, 2019, 2:25:41 PM
Hi I just saw your build and respecced to see this, can I get some opinions on my gloves (cause POB keeps telling me that my current gloves are better and builds in general and how to improve it? And also for the ascendancies, POB tells me that aspect of carnage gives more DPS than triple rage.
Last edited by ricmond on Jul 11, 2019, 2:46:18 PM
on Jul 11, 2019, 2:44:36 PM
Do you think we can somehow implement the Soul Tether + timeless jewel combo into the build?
on Jul 11, 2019, 5:44:06 PM
I absolutely love Frost Blades, so to see an end game capable build, makes me want to try this, the only worrisome aspect of it is the degen you get from both blood rage and berserker. Do you learn to work around it easily? I hate having constant degens, even just with blood rage, but I have always worked around it in other builds, but watching your videos, when you aren't leeching your health drops pretty quickly.
on Jul 11, 2019, 5:55:08 PM