[3.13 UPDATED] JUST LIKE CAP! Pirate's Full Phys Shield Throw Berserker / Taskmaster Cosplay

Welcome to the second build I've ever published on the forums! I'll do my best to make this not a total trainwreck...

00. Notes on major patches
01. Introduction
02. Playstyle
02-b. The Uber Elder Fight
03. Pros and Cons
04. Mechanical Explanation
05. Gear
06. Gems and Links
07. Leveling Guide and Passive Trees
08. Path Of Building links
09. Ascendancy, Gods, and Bandits
10. Alternative ways to cosplay as Taskmaster
11. The Hardcore Section
12. The SSF Section
13. Timeless jewel discussions!
14. Media
15. What's Next?
16. Special Thanks
17. FAQ
18. Changelog

00. Patch updates!
3.13 Changes?!
Oh my god, Pirate is actually updating a guide?! SST and Rage-Blitz Berserker both got some nice buffs since I last played this build, so I dusted it off and made it my Ritual leaguestarter. Sirus down, stand by for full build update but in the meantime I've put a POB for the current build (lvl 91, which was where I was when I killed my first AL5 Sirus of Ritual) in Section 8 while I work on retyping the rest of this guide.

3.9 Changes?
THERE's that nerf to Impale I expected to see last league. I played around a bit in POB to come up with an elemental version of the build and then ran it quickly through the campaign, and it felt just as solid and fast as the physical version. I'll be remaking it (the full cold version) as my second build of Metamorph to try out Fork Plus and throw my findings on here when I can, shoot me a message if you want to try and figure things out alongside me in the meantime so we can compare notes!

3.8 Changes?

Here's what's different:
-Very minor nerfs to Flawless Savagery, resulting in about 2% less effective crit chance.
--BIG nerf to Crave the Slaughter, which by itself costs this build (and all other Zerkers, because War Bringer is trash) 12.5% of their total damage.
++BIG buff to Vicious Projectiles, 10% More damage across the board.

Overall, we should be slightly lower in terms of damage output (around 5% total damage lost). I still think this build is worth playing in 3.8 because nothing about the speed or tankiness got changed, but because POB can't calculate Timeless Jewels or Impale it's hard to say exactly how much damage we're losing.

Even with those Zerker nerfs the build will significantly outperform the Gladiator and Champion versions for raw DPS and general map clearing, but the gap has certainly closed and those options may be more attractive to you in 3.8 if you have a specialized purpose in mind (See section 10). Happy chucking!

01. Introduction
In a single sentence, this is a Life-based crit impale/brutality Spectral Shield Throw Berserker marauder.

The build is fast, tanky, and tons of fun, tearing through T16 maps on ultra budget gear (5L, under 1 exalt total). One of the strongest league-starters I've ever played.

02. Playstyle, aka "Just like Cap, now with more Blitzkreig!"
Throw a machine-gun barrage of shields at the strongest nearby enemy, ricocheting them through enemy packs and tearing screens of monsters apart with a fusillade of piercing splinters. Rip through maps with increasing momentum, ramping up faster and faster as you gain rage, blitz, and frenzy charges until you are a war crime on two legs.

Optional: throw up Molten Shell for thousands of extra effective hp, if it isn't automated via Cast When Damage Taken.

For bosses, breaches, abysses, syndicate, Legion monoliths, or whenever you feel like it: Pop Vaal Molten Shell and Berserk to become almost completely immune to damage while you're unloading some serious DPS. And when I say almost completely immune to damage, I'm talking about the gifs in the Media section below. Seriously, skip ahead to Section 14 for a sec.

02-b. Playstyle Part 2, aka "The Uber Elder"
This build took a little tweaking and a few practice runs to get the hang of the Uber Elder, so I figured it deserved its own mini-section.

For starters, I recommend switching your Pantheon to Arakaali + Ralakesh. You can easily tank elder icicles and shaper balls with regular molten shell and fortify, and VMS allows you to eat anything the game can throw at you, but those DOTs (elder's corrupted ground, void anomaly vortices, Elder's siphon, Shaper's beam, etc) are nasty because they bypass literally all of your defenses (block, armor, blind, fortify, and molten shell unfortunately apply only to HITS) and this build doesn't have a lot of natural health regeneration.

Also, note that because dodging doesn't feel quick enough without Rage stacks you have to very carefully choose when to utilize Berserk. I recommend using it just before the 25% minion/portal phase breakpoints; use those events to recharge your rage.

I used Slower Projectiles as Gem 7 for a little more punch, because it does not affect the chaining distance of the shield and that's where most of your single target damage comes from anyway. You can even chain the shields across the arena by deliberately targeting the invulnerable boss, but it took me two botched runs before my brain felt comfortable deliberately targeting an enemy I knew I couldn't hurt. Maybe I just need to get good XD

Overall, I WOULD recommend this build as a viable SC Uber Elder killer, but definitely would not recommend for hardcore players without significantly more gear investment.

03. Pros and Cons

+League-start viable; the only 100% required unique is the threshold jewel.
+Fantastic mapper on a budget! All of the uniques in this build are so off-meta that the POE community has forgotten they even exist, which makes gearing a breeze.
+Very strong at clearing Heist, Delve, Blight, Legion, and Ritual content.
+Absurdly tanky. Facetank shaper guardians and conquerors? Yes. Eat Shaper slams? You betcha. Faceroll 8-mod T16 Maraketh legion rares without even noticing that they're attacking you? You better believe it. Deliberately leap slam into the overlapping portion of an Atziri double flameblast just so you can laugh at her? The layering of block, blind, fortify, molten shell, and berserk gives this build some serious tankiness.
+100% HC viable (see Hardcore section).
+Very flexible re: map mods. Can't do physical reflect, but that's honestly it. I rolled a Minotaur with the worst possible mods for this build defensively (reduced armor and block chance) and could still facetank overlapping earthquakes.
+Great uberlab farmer, if you're one of those weirdos like me that likes that sort of thing...

-CANNOT DO ATZIRI. Not even normal Atziri. Don't try it, you will die at the split phase. Even if you take out the threshold jewel, you cannot reliably avoid hitting the mirror clone with the shards. Update: you actually can do this if you stand in the center of the clones and use the Fork gem to prevent all chaining and shards... but I still don't recommend this. At all.
-Not super console friendly. Aim actually matters with SST, so I can't imagine playing this without a mouse. But if you're super good at Helldivers and/or Geometry Wars, please give it a shot and let me know what you think because that's honestly some feedback I could use! :D
-SSF Viable, but certainly not SSF-friendly. I'll put more details in the section below, but the TLDR is that SST just doesn't feel good without the threshold jewel, and Divide and Conquer is not one of the jewels that you get in Act 5.
-Momentum-based, so the most ridiculously delayed phased bosses can be miserable experiences. T16 Eradicator was significantly harder for me than the Shaper was, because I simply could not build up enough rage before it went back into the stupid "can't take damage for the next 10 years" phase.
-VERY mana-thirsty without higher gear investment. The budget version of this build spends nearly 300 mana per second hucking shields at full ramp, which can be very hard to sustain without a mana flask.

04. Mechanical Explanation of the Build
Spectral Shield Throw is a projectile attack skill that scales its base damage from the combined armor and evasion of your equipped shield, with bonus base critical strike chance scaling from the energy shield value on your equipped shield. My build uses pure armor shields for the added defensive utility of Molten Shell's armor scaling, but you can make a strong case for any combination of the three defensive stats on SST. The primary projectile looks like your shield, and can fork and chain but does not pierce. This means that any sources of pierce are passed onto the subprojectiles, usually called shards, which erupt from the shield when it impacts an enemy. If you are using the Divide and Conquer threshold jewel, shards will also erupt from the shield every time it chains (but NOT when it forks) at the cost of less shards per eruption.

Rage and Blitz are the two stacking buffs granted to the build by the Berserker ascendancy, which cause the build to become exponentially more powerful as it stays in combat for longer until they reach the cap of 70 rage, 20 blitz. Blitz charges all expire simultaneously if you do not gain another (by getting a critical strike) every 5 seconds, but they can be gained simultaneously (a single critical attack that hits 10 enemies will give you 10 blitz). Rage falls off one stack at a time, but must also be gained one stack at a time, making them take much longer to both acquire and lose than Blitz charges. Rage can be rapidly consumed to power the Berserk buff, which grants a massive increase in speed, damage, and defense for 7-9 seconds (depending on rage gained during the effect).

Molten Shell and Vaal Molten Shell are defensive buffs that grant bonus armor rating while active as well as a shield that absorbs a large portion of all incoming non-DOT damage (75% for molten shell and 80% for Vaal molten shell) until the shield is depleted. The value of this shield scales with your total armor rating, up to 10000/30000, and sources of damage mitigation such as resistances, armor, fortify, and berserk are applied before damage is subtracted from this shield. I'll get more into this in the Hardcore section, but suffice it so say that Vaal Molten Shell is pretty damn great, and makes it virtually impossible to die, even when you're being jumped by 4 T16 Syndicate members and lagging like crazy:

05. Gear
My gear at level 91, which was the point at which I spawned and killed my first Sirus of Ritual:

Very very budget (almost entirely self-found and self-crafted) gear, and I intend to take this build all the way to AL8 so it's definitely going to be upgraded later.

The only mandatory unique is the SST threshold jewel Divide and Conquer, because the skill just doesn't feel good without it.

BODY: The Lioneye's armor is an excellent choice for the build, as it provides a 7-link and comes with a decent amount of life and armor. The only alternative I'd consider for endgame is an Elder chest with flat bonus to attack critical strike chance, or a Warlord chest with -mana cost of skills. This armor is so cheap that I recommend buying it as soon as you can use it; even a 5L Lioneye's was enough for me to safely and quickly farm T16 maps.

HELM: The original build used a Lightpoacher because it allowed me to run cannot-leech maps (and I'm just a huge fan of the item in general), but Starkonjas and Devotos are also excellent choices in your helm slot. You really can't go wrong with any of the three, and none of them are hard to get.

FLASKS: As soon as you can get a Rumi's flask (either by purchasing or farming Earth Drinker cards), it synergizes extremely well with the other defensive layers of the build. Until you get one, run a Granite Flask of Iron Skin. Depending on your other gear, you might need to run a mana flask to sustain SST during Full Berserk Mode; I'll certainly be dropping this later for the non-budget-gear setup.

SHIELD: Lioneye's Remorse gives a huge amount of armor and life at the cost of zero resistances and a movement speed penalty, and is dirt cheap every single league. That being said, for some reason GGG put Harvest crafting back into the game so you can easily make a shield like this one using the targeted Defense mod crafts.

WEAPON: I wanted the global crit multi from the Scaeva because the weapon is ultra budget and pretty damn good on this build, but because the base damage comes from your equipped shield there are a ton of great options here that I'll get into in Section 10 of this guide.

GLOVES: Haemophilia give you some extra clearspeed for ultra-dense content such as Heists and Delves, and are dirt cheap. Strongly recommended for the budget version of this build. Alternatively, any gloves corrupted with Vulnerability on Hit will boost your single-target damage:

AMULET: You can use any amulet here with good stats, I'm only mentioning this to call out ELDER POWER and DISCIPLE OF THE FORBIDDEN for annointments. Either one works if you get them on a Talisman, DotF is hands down the best possible option for self-annointment and it's very, very cheap (3 black oils).

06. Gems and Links
Primary damage setup, listed in order of importance: Spectral Shield Throw -- Impale -- Vicious Projectiles -- Brutality -- Pierce -- Maim.
If you use the Lioneye's and get a 7-Link, you have a decision to make based on personal preference. I recommend testing these out for yourself and sticking with whatever feels best for the content you're running with my build:
SLOWER PROJECTILES gives you the most single-target damage possible, but because the range of the shield shards is directly determined by projectile speed you will absolutely notice a decrease in your pack clearing efficiency.
FORK provides the least single target benefit but will boost your clearing by a tremendous amount because it forks your primary shield projectile before it starts to chain, literally doubling the amount of bouncing shields and piercing shards. I use Fork almost exclusively for most of my mapping and delving, and can certify that it excels at Legion, Blight, Ritual, and Heist content as well.
FASTER ATTACKS is the balanced option, and provides a solid increase to both single target and pack clearing. I will probably use this for endgame content as I transition into higher-budget gear.
CHAIN gives you about the same pack clearing boost as Fork, but at a pretty substantial single-target DPS penalty. Not recommended over Fork unless you decide to drop Brutality and pick up a Gloomfang amulet.
BLOCK CHANCE REDUCTION is what you throw on to beat HOGM, and is useless otherwise.

Auras and reservation buffs:
Flesh and Stone, Dread Banner, Herald of Purity, Precision. If you get your hands on a Solstice Vigil, add Temporal Chains -- Blasphemy. Because it's free. If you already have Maim Support in your primary damage setup, use Sand Stance at all times for the defensive boost.

Other Active Skills:
Leap Slam -- Fortify -- Faster Attacks -- Blood Magic. I dropped faster attacks and blood magic to make room for my Temp Chains Blasphemy setup, but you'll want the 4-link until you are filling every single socket on your gear with buffs.

Berserk. Doesn't require any support gems, and turns you into a god of death for several seconds upon activation. Use for bosses, monoliths, or anytime you feel like doing more damage while taking less.

Vaal Molten Shell -- Increased Duration. A buff that gives you insane defensive boosts, including an extra 15000+ effective maximum life that lasts for nearly 15 seconds is the kind of power creep nobody would have believed you about if you had described it two years ago. Regular Molten Shell isn't bad either; I'm automating mine with CWDT until I get a high-level VMS.

Enduring Cry is broken and you should always be using it.

Blood Rage. You're using attacks, so you run Blood Rage. Nuff said.

CWDT Setup: Cast When Damage Taken on this build is more of a means to automatically renew things that I find annoying than an actual necessity, so I have it linked to Tempest Shield and Ice Golem. If you prefer to put Blood Rage or something else in here as well or instead, go for it! But I do recommend some degree of skill automatization, because POE just doesn't have enough skillbar hotkeys for all of the awesome stuff you'll be wanting to do. If you decide to put Molten Shell in here, be aware that a triggercast regular Molten Shell WILL overwrite the Vaal version if you have it active already. At the present budget level of the build, I have Molten Shell in here instead of Tempest Shield.

07. Leveling Guide and Passive Trees
SST is a level 12 skill (quest reward from Nessa when you get to Mervail's Caverns), and it's strong enough to use as you play through the acts. Until then, use whatever skill you want because it's Act 1 and you can sleepwalk through that content (I used Cleave for the lulz at leaguestart).

When assigning your first few passive points, take life nodes to Warrior's Blood and then make a beeline for the Duelist section of the tree. Because SST benefits from both shield attack and projectile attack nodes, you get a ton of mileage from very little skillpoint investment by taking Master of the Arena to Defiance, Bravery, Art of the Gladiator, and Fury Bolts. If you already have a Divide and Conquer jewel (recommended), take the socket near Berserking.

Next, it's time to start picking up the Impale Clusters (the Skewering nodes) so that shortly after you hit lvl 31 and can use the Impale Support, you will have 100% chance to impale on hit and have some serious single target crushing potential for act bosses.

Take Berserking as soon as you've done your normal lab, because we're getting Rage first and the slower rage decay is amazing for speeding up your A10 clear.

Next you'll want some life and utility, so grab Bloodless, Heart of the Warrior, Iron Grip, Golem's Blood, and Vitality Void, in that order. Call to Arms and Point Blank are next, followed by Longshot, Thick Skin, Constitution, and Graceful Assault. If you find yourself needing extra resistances, Cloth and Chain and Diamond Skin are great temporary nodes that you can easily spec out of once you get some decent resistances on your gear. By now you should be (ab)using Molten Shell if not Vaal Molten Shell, so go ahead and grab Adamant because it's awesome.

The bones of the build are complete at this point, so you're just fleshing it out with more life nodes, sockets, and the right half of the duelist's big shield wheel.

The first version of this build picked up extra nodes in the Duelist section for use with my Timeless Maraketh jewel and Inspired Learning. If you don't have access to either of those or want to push this build higher than lvl 90 consider nodes like (which I used until I got my Inspired Learning), Eagle Eye, and Utmost Might.

Useful levelling uniques:
If you find any of these along the way, they synergize very well with the build and can make blowing through the acts even easier. Or, if you're in a trade league, just buy a couple of them because they're never expensive and you can get a lot of mileage out of them; I was still wearing this Karui Ward when I took down the Shaper on the first version of this build!

08. Path Of Building Links:
For those not in the know, Path of Building is an awesome tool to help you calculate exactly what changes a minor tweak to a build might incur. I can't recommend it enough, and you should download it now!

3.13 Ritual league starter (Community Fork of POB) at lvl 91 (Sirus down):

My build at level 90 (Shaper and HOGM down):

The build at the end of Legion (level 92, Uber Elder down!):

09. Ascendancy, Gods, and Bandits
Crave the Slaughter, then Flawless Savagery, then Rite of Ruin, then Blitz. I literally cannot think of a single reason to do anything else on any Berserker build, because every single lab will give you a monstrous boost in offensive power that you will immediately notice.

God powers are somewhat subjective and situational. You're (mostly) stun immune, so I've been running Solaris and Gruthkul. Note that the Rage degen is NOT considered damage over time and thus cannot trigger the Arakaali recovery boost; if this is ever changed, major god Arakaali is a no-brainer because it'll allow you to have 50% more life leech every time you activate Berserk.

For Bandits, you want to help Alira (low budget) or kill all (high budget).

10. Alternative ways to become Taskmaster
The fact that this build uses any main-hand weapon as a stat stick really opens up a ton of great options. I cleared the game with a perfect crit Scaeva that I bought for an alch, but there are plenty of other top-tier options. Please comment with any other weapons you can think of, and I'll test em out and add them here with whatever thoughts I have!

The Constrictor swords can be hard to get a hold of at the very start of a league, but usually drop quickly in price. If you do not yet have a threshold jewel they're awesome, because they add more shards. Unfortunately, the 75% less shard modifier on the jewel makes them pretty useless after your shield starts chaining.

Shaper claws can give onslaught on kill, critical strike chance vs blinded enemies, and useful generic mods like global crit multi. Not bad and a super easy-to-get option for SSF players!

Elder claws can give you life on hit vs blinded enemies and a miniature Inspired Learning modifier (a baby, baby Headhunter) as well as the general claw benefits.

Note that for either claw options, you'll need to find 30-ish INT somewhere that I didn't need for my version of this build, and you can't use Leap Slam. Whirling Blades is okay though.

Non-Brutality version of this build?
I really like the playstyle of this build, and intend to try an elemental version with an ES shield in 3.8 (nerfs pending). For now I would definitely recommend the Gloomfang amulet and Atziri's Promise flask for anyone not seeking to do damage via impale-stacking and Brutality, with some life on hit from an Elder ring to mitigate the loss of life from the amulet.

If you want to trade some of this build's unnecessarily huge damage and general well-rounded awesomeness to fit a more specialized playstyle, you can build this exact same character as a Champion or Gladiator instead. The only passive tree changes are to drop the life nodes from Marauder start and pick up the Physical Attack Damage nodes out of the Duelist start (same 5 point cost):

For your ascendancies, take Master of Metal, Unstoppable Hero, Conqueror, and Worthy Foe (Champion) or Arena Challenger, Blood in the Eyes, Gratuitous Violence, and Painforged (Gladiator).

The Champion version is going to push Impale and Armor Stacking beyond the edge of madness, and also frees up 5 skill points because you no longer need Swift Skewering. You will be tankier than the Berserker version (especially vs DOT enemies and bosses) and have a lot more party utility, so this is probably the best option for endgame group play.

The Gladiator version loses a decent amount of raw damage and clearing speed... unless you're fighting huge numbers of very tightly packed enemies.
That's right, we're talking about DELVES and HEISTS. Gladiator version is significantly worse than Berserker in every other category, but is so much better at Delving and Heisting that I can still solidly recommend it if that's what you want from this build in 3.13.

11. The Hardcore Section
My usual disclaimer: I haven't played POE in Hardcore since Bloodlines (outside of races), because I tend to take stupid chances that get me killed.

That being said, the sheer number of defensive layers on this build make it a perfectly viable HC option. Tons of armor, all max resists above 75%, life leech, life regen, global less damage taken modifiers, blind, block, spellblock, fortify, Vaal Molten Shell, Temporal Chains, and Berserk all add up to what might be the tankiest build I've ever made. Coupling those defenses with the very long range of SST creates an extremely safe, forgiving playstyle that makes it almost impossible to get killed without making a truly boneheaded mistake (my first shaper attempt on this build, the only death happened because I stood still in his beam after taking one of his Bullet Hell shots with no buffs active. So, we'll call that "multiple consecutive mistakes" on my part).

12. The SSF Section
This build is going to be pretty difficult to get up and running in SSF, because the skill just doesn't feel good until you get a Divide and Conquer jewel. Honestly, I don't know why the jeweled version of SST isn't the base version of the skill, and the jewel doesn't instead remove one or more chains in exchange for more shard projectiles. If for some reason you are determined to try out SST in SSF mode, my honest advice would be to use Frost Blades and farm Sulphur Vent maps until the jewel dropped or you could make one with a set of Eye of the Dragon cards.

But once you get the threshold jewel, the build is super easy to get up and running! >_>

13.Timeless Jewels
Timeless Jewels are awesome, and hands down my favorite new mechanical addition to POE in a long, long time. They're incredibly powerful, and if you've got the currency to invest into divining a good one there's no reason not to include one in every single build.

Here's how the 5 different kinds of jewels work:
The Maraketh and Karui jewels add modifiers to all nodes in radius, without removing any of the original passive modifiers.

The Eternal jewel removes all minor nodes and replaces all notables with powerful new modifiers.

The Vaal jewel completely changes all nodes inside the radius to new stuff.

The Templar jewel replaces some of the notables with extremely powerful new nodes that require a certain amount of Devotion to activate. Devotion is granted by minor nodes within the radius.

Each of the five jewels will replace all keystones within radius with one of three new ones, determined by the character named in the jewel's description.

So, the Eternal jewel is most powerful in a section of the passive tree where you have very few significant minor nodes allocated (such as a section spent mostly on "travel" nodes), whereas the Karui and Maraketh are the opposite: extremely powerful and potent in a portion of the tree where you have a large number of nodes allocated. The Eternal jewel works best somewhere in between, where you have enough just minor nodes to meet the Devotion requirements. The Vaal jewel is, appropriately enough, completely random and has by far the highest potential if you're willing to dump literally hundreds of divine orbs into one.

Because I spent a large number of notable passives in the duelist section of the tree that I still wanted the benefits of, it was the perfect place to put a Maraketh jewel. Maraketh mods are awesome and mostly utility-based, including onslaught on kill, flask duration, global critical strike chance, global accuracy, blind on hit, projectile damage, minion speed, cold resist, etc. Generally speaking, anything that falls under the purview of "dexterity stuff" can be added to your notables with a Maraketh jewel. Pick one up if you can afford spending 3-4 divine orbs on it, you're bound to get some awesome bonuses to your passive nodes! The damage you can pick up with a good Maraketh jewel FAR outpace the damage you lose by not having Iron Grip, so even with that keystone being moved I intend to take this for endgame.

14. Media

This is a Shaper slam versus my build with only Berserk, Rumi's, and Molten Shell active. I spent about 5 minutes running in circles trying to get this shot, because the first several times I got under his Slam I blocked or evaded it and it did no damage at all:

...which is also why I don't (YET) have a gif of me eating any of these huge hits with Vaal Molten Shell + Fortify for even more laughably reduced damage.

Here's the entire Tier 16 Lich that the gif above was pulled from, using Faster Attacks and no Inspired Learning jewel.

Here's a T16 Hydra kill with extra life, and some Syndicate members making a feeble effort to harm me. Faster Attacks setup with no Inspired Learning.
They don't know who I am?

Here are the before/after shots of the Atziri double flameblast, so you can see that it does about 2300 damage before the ignite. With plenty of VMS left over! Also, I only just noticed that I totally forgot to activate Fortify for this, but... whatever. I think the point has been made?

More gifs and clips and/or a video guide coming soon! I know I said that in my last guide, but I'm actually enjoying playing Legion league so it's a lot more likely to happen for real this time.

15. What's Next?
First of all, I need to finish writing, editing, and posting this guide with a few more pictures in it. But after that...

I certainly don't consider this build completed yet. There's still plenty more to improve, from getting up to level 95-ish and getting my skill gems up to 20/20 to making one last round of upgrades to all of my rare gear (especially my abyss jewels).

As always (all TWO TIMES, I know), I'll be coming back at the end of the league with a final POB update showing all of my changes post-level-90.

16. Special Thanks, too special for Spoiler tags
Many thanks to eviL_Bison for his awesome build guide build guide (link below). Without it, the written portions of this guide would have been much, much worse.

17. FAQ
Q: Got an Uber Elder yet?
A: YES! Finally can confirm Uber Elder viable, but because a lot of the UE fight concerns specific weaknesses of the build (specifically: DOTS) so it took me a little fiddling around. For starters: I ran upgraded Arakaali and Ralakesh in my pantheon to provide damage over time mitigation and extra life recovery after you take DOT damage (basically... always in that fight.). See the new section 2-b for more!

Q: I see Berserker, Champion, and Gladiator here. What about Slayer?
A: What about Slayer? Slayer gives you more tankiness than Berserker due to Overleech (but not as much as Champion does) and immunity to physical reflection... but that's about it. And the price you pay for this is MORE THAN HALF OF YOUR DAMAGE. Slayer is a terrible choice for this build, because many of its best features completely don't matter to SST.

Q: I'm sick of impale stacking builds and/or Impale has been nerfed (I mean, it MIGHT happen someday, right?). What do?
A: Added a few notes to Section 10 re: What If Not Impale, but all I can say for now is "we'll see." I want to try an elemental/chaos version of this in 3.8, so let's hope balance changes don't make that untenable!

18. Change log!
v. 1.00: Published guide mostly-done.
v. 1.01: Fixed a bunch of spelling errors and added some new GIFs and video.
v. 1.02: FINALLY managed to catch a double flameblast without my game crashing! Next up: Uber Atziri double flameblast?!
v. 1.03: Uber Elder down, and a few notes added to sections 1, 2, 10, and 17!
v. 1.04: Legion league over! Added level 92 POB link and fixed a LOT of spelling mistakes XD
v. 1.05: Updated for 3.8 and added Champion/Gladiator versions to section 10.
v. 1.06: Updated the leveling guide poeplanner links for the 3.8 tree. Thanks to nugster for pointing this out!
v. 1.07: Updated for 3.13 and Ritual league (starter)! Will update with my high-budget/AL8 version later.

Last edited by ARealLifeCaribbeanPirate on Jan 22, 2021, 11:09:19 AM
Last bumped on Nov 27, 2019, 11:49:20 PM
Nice build bro!
but i feel that sst is pretty bad with big single target,(include legion guard+boss)
Hope to see a video mapping in the future, ty!
Going to give this a shot on HC, hopefully will be able to report back if successful
MrToweliee wrote:
Going to give this a shot on HC, hopefully will be able to report back if successful

Awesome! Best of luck, person with more balls than me XD
Small update, downed kit tonight before bed and will continue happily mapping during the week after work.

Thank you Mr. Pirate, guide is very well written, and I can't really fault it so far tbh, the only thing i wish is I went a generic 2h/DW melee just to level fast as the build takes a bit to get going but once it does it's very solid!

My gear

I'm thinking Devoto's for the chaos res and obviously much better gear all round, currently at a scary -60% chaos res so need to fill that up

Biggest con to the build so far is the limited flashy MTX options
Last edited by MrToweliee on Aug 5, 2019, 10:48:37 AM
MrToweliee wrote:

Biggest con to the build so far is the limited flashy MTX options

I'm glad to hear you're liking it, and I definitely agree with this statement. It annoyed me when I first realized that weapon MTX can't be applied to shields for the purposes of SST.


But a guy in my guild actually rolled an SST Uberlab enchant on a Devotos, so I'll be playing around with a non-abyss-jewel version for the next few days
I've been playing this build for 2 days now, and it's so much fun. Got to T10 maps (level 83) no problem. Check out SethRDCap on my profile for gear. I think it's mostly ok, could optimize a bit, but it works and haven't really had any issues thus far.
sethrd wrote:
I've been playing this build for 2 days now, and it's so much fun. Got to T10 maps (level 83) no problem. Check out SethRDCap on my profile for gear. I think it's mostly ok, could optimize a bit, but it works and haven't really had any issues thus far.

Looks like you're doing good, I really like the Prismatic sword for global attack speed. If you can swing the GCPs, I recommend getting 20 quality on your SST gem as soon as you can because each 1% q gives you another 2% projectile speed, which helps make your coverage even better for things like Monoliths.
So far up to T7 and rolling any mods on it so far other than Phys reflect whilst popping whole legions without a care, so for sure good/viable HC starter build, havent pushed some hard content so far but it's a crazy quick around maps

I just want to ask, have you played around with all the Timeless jewels very much?

It's such a huge currency sink trying to get the right mods, managed to get an okay one that gives accuracy, chance to blind, proj dmg & movespeed, as well as some other useless things
MrToweliee wrote:
I just want to ask, have you played around with all the Timeless jewels very much?

I have indeed done a lot of experimenting with the Timeless jewels, mostly because I just love the idea behind them. This was my 6th (I think) major build of Legion league, so before I even started it I had a few of the jewels to play around with and by the time the build hit 90 I had my hands on all five. I couldn't really make a case for any of the new keystones other than Glancing Blows (and ultimately decided against that as well, but if you wish to use it the node I overwrote was Resolute Technique), so which jewel you use really depends on the mods you get and where you can fit it into your passive tree.

The Maraketh jewel I'm using gives onslaught on kill, global crit and accuracy, and projectile damage (and some less-useful stuff like extra cold resistance) in the Duelist area's notables, and only took me 4 divines to hit. So a good jewel is fairly expensive and is a luxury purchase for endgame, but certainly nowhere near the price of the right Watcher's Eye or a crazy high Armour shield (my current crafting project at level 92).

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