[3.10] Cry Havoc "Lag Proof" Warcry Berserker (Tanky | High DPS | All Content Viable)
Hello, my name is Tenkiei but you can call me Ten.
If you ever have any questions about this build, please feel free to drop by my stream: https://www.twitch.tv/tenkiei/
With 3.10 over 200 new notables were added to the game, along with an entirely new way to customize your passive skill tree via "cluster jewels." early in 3.10 I was having a lot of issues with lag, and moments during delirium where my game would lock up. As a result I decided to make a build which was as lag proof as possible by relying on instant mechanics and things that deal consistent damage such as cyclone. I also like to use things newly added to the game, and make builds around cool mechanical interactions as I've played PoE for a long time and the same-old-same-old can get a bit old after awhile. So I decided to play a berserker focusing on using the new warcry (and other) cluster jewels to build my character. The end result is a berserker with >10m dps, 6.4k life,multiple layers of defense, and multiple types of instant recovery.
THE RESULT?A Tanky well rounded character that has high damage, good mobility and feels great to play due to good mechanics and instant recovery. A build that is able to function through stuttering or when lagged out for multiple seconds.
How am I lag Proof? For the build to function and continually deal damage / recover life all I need to do is hold down left click (Warcry) and hold down my Cyclone keybind. After that my character will continue to Warcry and Spin until I release my left click/keybind. If I am lagged out and can't hit my life flask, that's OK because most of my life recovery comes from Warcry/Cyclone. If I'm lagged out and can't hit a guard skill, that's OK because Enduring Cry gives Endurance Charges to increase the duration of my Immortal Call triggered when I take damage.
Does the build get more damage when you can hit flasks? Yes.
Does the build have better defenses when you can proactively guard? Yes.
Does it NEED to do these things to function? No.
Important Note: This build relies on some very specific mechanical interactions. Please read all of the Mechanical Explanations section. In this section I've clarified the key mechanics and this section will answer most questions / fix common issues you may run into.
~~Pros and Cons~~
~~Path of Building and Video Guide~~
My current Path of Building:
If you want a video guide instead of reading a few hundred lines of text:
A more budget version of the PoB:
For fun I reworked my gear to a realistic "fully finished" version of what the build might look like if I continued min-maxing.
Here I'm going to explain a few of the mechanics this build uses, this will also serve as an introduction to some of the advanced itemization. If you should use a specific item, instead of any item with similar stats I'll be covering it here, and then cover the rest below under in-depth gearing.
If you have trouble viewing any of the images, please right click and "Open Image in New Tab." Sadly I was unable to resize these images on the PoE forums.
This is the heart and soul of the build, I'm using the War Bringer node from the Berserker ascendancy to boost my damage, and also turn warcries into a source of instant recovery. I'm further augmenting my warcries using cluster jewels.
These notables form the core of my build and are a lot of why the build functions as well as it does especially in situations where I may lag out and be unable to use molten shell or hit a flask in reaction to enemy abilities as long as I'm holding down left click, I will continue to warcry gaining all the damage and defenses therein.
It is absolutely mandatory for the functionality of this build that I have Battle Cry anointed on my amulet. The most important part here is that Battle Cry turns your warcry into an instant skill. If a warcry has a cast time it will INTERRUPT CYCLONE WHENEVER IT GOES OFF So again let me stress, allocate Battle Cry or anoint it this is 100% mandatory and the build will break without this notable!
This sword is far from the best, a Paradoxica or high crit/aspd/pdps foil would outperform it, but it is deceptively competitive.
However, it's extremely expensive to bulk corrupt high phys foils, or Paradoxica, aiming for "#% Chance to Fortify on Melee Hit" allowing me to drop Fortify Support in favor of Awakened Melee Physical Damage. Using my current PoB as an example let me give some examples of why this is worthwhile using some theoretical weapons. With my current Ichimonji (see TenLagProof) I deal ~6560k Cyclone dps during flasks. (This is doubled due to Savior) For the same of this, let's assume that I am unable to corrupt Fortify onto the alternatives.
If you have an unlimited budget, and really want to min-max your dps how would you do it?
Instead of corrupting Ichimonji I'd corrupt the Savior instead. Let's pretend that you do that and pair it with a 500 PDPS foil, what will the dps look like now?
Well with just the 540 PDPS high crit foil (~100 exa price tag as of the writing of this guide)
7061k Cyclone DPS ~8% dps gain vs my Ichimonji
Now let's add in the corrupted Savior instead, and fix the accuracy rating problem.
8713k Cyclone DPS or 33% dps gain vs my Ichimonji.
Keep in mind the Savior I used in this example is 100-200 ex, and the foil an additional 100 ex, plus the fact that you'll need ~100 more dex on gear.
So it's up to you if you think the investment is worth it, but at lower levels of investment Ichimonji is as good as, if not better than other options. Additionally Ichimonji has some interesting interactions with auras and buffs that make it worth considering/using over similar unique weapons (such as Scaeva, Ahn's, etc) which could also be corrupted, and may help to explain why it performs so well in comparison to many rares as well.
This is a large reason why the build plays as smoothly as it does especially when bossing. Savior gives a skill called "reflection which triggers when you deal a critical strike with the weapon. This creates two clones that use whatever skill crit, this means that I deal double the damage displayed in PoB as you're dealing that damage and then each reflection is dealing half of that damage. However that's not all one of the biggest weaknesses of melee builds is the fact that unlike a ranged build, the moment you step away from the boss your damage drops to zero. With Savior this is not the case!
This overcomes the largest weakness I'd otherwise have as fairly close range melee build. The damage uptime effect is further magnified if you choose to play this build as bladestorm (but you lose permanent stun/curse immunity).
Ryslatha's Coil is an interesting unique because it's both a well rounded item, while also changing the damage mechanics to add more variance to my hit while raising the average. It gives 80-100 life, and 1-24 physical damage to attacks (counting the 20% increase from catalysts) which is already pretty good, but not irreplaceable. However it also causes me to deal 36% less minimum damage, and up to 45% more maximum damage.
So let's pretend I deal 50-100 damage with each hit. This means the average is 75.
Now I'll put aside the 1-20 physical damage to attacks for a moment, and just factor in the less min/more max effect of Ryslatha's Coil
75--> 88.5 average
So the unique effect of Ryslatha's Coil grants approximately 15% more damage.
Based on my PoB the item accounts for roughly 25% of my total dps.
Now you might be wondering why I stretch my tree so far to the north and take Avatar of fire. Normally taking Avatar of Fire would prevent me from doing any damage with my cyclone as it is supported by Brutality. However, I am corrupting Avatar of fire and converting it into Divine Flesh using Glorious Vanity, bathed in the blood of those sacrificed in the name of Xibaqua.
Divine Flesh raises my maximum chaos resistance by 10% (from 75% ---> 85%) and causes me to take 50% of Elemental Damage as Chaos damage. This will not make me more resistant to physical damage but it is currently the strongest defense in the game against elemental damage and elemental penetration.
Let's pretend I'd take a 100 cold damage hit without Divine Flesh.
Normally I would take 25 cold damage with 75% being negated by my cold resistance.
Now what if it had "Penetrates 25% of Cold Resistance"?
I take 50 cold damage, double what I'd have taken before.
Now what about with Divine Flesh?
Well now I take a hit that is 50 cold damage, and 50 chaos damage.
This means I actually take 12.5 Cold Damage and 7.5 chaos damage for a total of 20 (20% less damage!)
What if it had Penetrates 25% of Cold resistance again?
I now take 25 cold damage, but still only take 7.5 chaos damage for a total of 32.5 damage (35% less).
It also trivializes most sources of chaos damage in the game, or at least those outside of deep delve encounters.
~Cyclone & Hex Breaker~
Finally because lag and being lag proof was a big concern when I was designing the build, my skill of choice is Cyclone. This is because Cyclone deals high consistent damage while holding the button down and allows for movement while dealing damage instead of having to move and reposition (thus stop attacking). Cyclone also gives stun immunity and with the new "Hex Breaker" notable immunity to curses meaning this build also does not need a warding flask. The final advantage of cyclone is that it has a high number of hits to abuse life gain on hit such as from hunter/elder rings or Feast of Flesh.
The overall impact of this is a skill that deals high consistent damage, has good mobility, and full immunity to curses, and stuns along with superb instant recovery allowing me to ignore no regen/less recovery rate.
There is one last thing of note about Cyclone, specifically that it interacts in a slightly wonky manner with the left click warcry. To play smoothly just get into the habit of holding down warcry first and then pressing whatever cyclone is keybound to second. I found when I didn't do this sometimes I would warcry without cycloning or cyclone without warcrying as there was some sort of odd interaction.
This ability to hold down buttons, and the automation of defenses and recovery is what makes my build so lag proof. Bladestorm can be used in place of Cyclone, it will be MUCH LESS lag proof, but higher single target boss damage.
If you wanted you could take Pain Reaver for a little more leech but I feel with how common reduced recovery rate of life is as a map mod or from delirium that it's a poor choice in the current league.
I don't advise Aspect of Carnage, but if you really want to you can, for this route I suggest dropping both Warning Call notables from your cluster jewels for Lead by Example instead. You'll need that little bit of extra physical damage reduction to make up for the fact that you're sacrificing defenses for damage. Personally I don't feel the need, I don't have issues killing things.
~~Bandit and Pantheon~~
There are three bandit choices in Path of Exile, Help Alira, Kill all, and wrong. For this build I initially helped Alira as the crit multi added solid damage, and the ele resists made early gearing a bit easier. Around L92 I respecced to Kill All so that I could fit Divine Flesh because due to the heavy reliance on cluster jewels this build is quite starved for points.
I'm using Soul of Solaris for the additional physical damage reduction and chance to take less area damage from hits as my primary bossing Pantheon, the crit strike protection and avoid ailments are also helpful when dealing with bosses with dangerous mods.
For general clearing Soul of Lunaris will provide a bit more phys damage reduction, and movement speed. Divine Flesh already provides excellent elemental and chaos defense.
If you're specifically doing U Elder Soul of Yugul remains helpful. Remember this will only help if you have captured Varhesh in the Terrace map.
For general purpose mapping Soul of Gruthkul is quite nice as it adds an additional layer of physical defense and again physical defense is the weakest aspect of my defensive layers.
Whichever Major or Minor pantheon you choose make sure to upgrade it!
In this section I'm going to talk about some of the reasoning behind different choices in the sections of my skill tree.
So as you can see my skill tree is pretty bare-bones, and the main reason for this is I only took nodes that I considered to be absolutely essential, because I wanted to run 2 full clusters. My main focus with this tree was to round out my life and defenses.
Forceful Skewering is to prevent armored enemies from negating too much of my Impale damage.
The rest are simply good damage per point of investment.
This is my Thread of Hope:
This large thread of hope gives me a large chunk of life, AoE/Area damage, and some reduced mana reservation, if you want to invest more points you can also get a bit of damage from spiritual Aid and 10% increased maximum life.
The jewel socket at the top of my tree by Avatar of Fire is where I have Divine Flesh, I additionally took Agility and Might because you can get 2 notables for 3 total skill points.
Now this build uses 2 full clusters for a total of 2 large, 4 medium 4 small. Let me get into the details of which clusters I use and why I use them.
You can alternatively use something like Devastator or a second Run Through in place of Fuel the Fight.
If you want to learn more about how to roll these clusters using chaos spam:
For my mediums I am running 3 warcry clusters, 1 channeling cluster. I explained the thought process behind my warcry notables in the Mechanical Explanations section.
The other Medium cluster has Rapid Infusion, and Hex Breaker.
Hex Breaker gives me complete curse immunity as I am always cycloning.
Rapid Infusion gives an additional 5% more physical damage dealt and increased movement speed. Keep in mind Infused channeling also gives us 8% less physical damage taken from hits while using cyclone.
If you want to learn more about how to roll these using alt/aug/regal:
If you want some alternatives, Fettle is a solid life cluster, there really aren't alternatives for your chaos cluster it's more a matter of getting more chaos res elsewhere on gear.
I used Pristine Fossils to roll the Chaos cluster. A mix of Alt/Aug/Regal, Pristine, and Chaos spam on the others.
~~Gems and Links~~
Infused Channeling, Impale, and Brutality are core supports for Cyclone here.
If you want to focus mostly on clearing I suggest dropping Close Combat for Pulverize Support.
If you do not have fortify on hit on your weapon your 6th link will be Fortify support, more details
on this are explained in the Mechanical Explanations section.
~Helmet and Gloves~
These are the auras I'm using, I decided to forego Pride due to the hefty mana reservation. I would only suggest running Pride if you have a Pride/Precision or Pride/Pride Watcher's Eye. Otherwise it has a minimal effect on your damage as compared to Herald of Purity, you can fit Pride if you use an Enlighten 4 and -15 mana cost chest along with -mana cost of skills on ring(s)/amulet to allow you to still use Leap Slam, Berserk, etc. The exact level of Precision /Enlighten will vary.
These are the skills I wanted to be supported by Second Wind, all of them gain additional benefits from the cooldown recovery leading to higher Berserk uptime and more reliable defense via Molten Shell.
Finally I put my CWDT, movement, and ancestral totem in my weapons, Immortal Call is a backup guard skill for when I'm lagged out. Blood rage on CWDT is just me being lazy, I could always self cast it. I use Leap Slam instead of dash because it feels better with my high attack speed, Ancestral Totems are just a little bit extra dps but not needed. If you want another alternative to running an ancestral totem you can use Rallying Cry. Just remember that because Enduring Cry is bound to left click the way to activate rallying is to release left click ---> hit rallying after the cooldown ---> return to holding left click.
There are 2 useful helmet enchants for this build, Beserk Rage Loss Reduction for higher uptime on your Berserk (and thus more consistent damage/defense, 85% vs 75% normally), or berserk has 30% increased effect which makes berserk much more powerful offensively and defensively while it's active.
Pick 1, whichever suits your playstyle best.
From there I prioritized life/chaos res, I was hoping to get the il85 elder suffix Nearby Enemies take 9% increased physical damage but I ended up getting 70% ele resists and an open prefix which helped fix the fairly small AoE of cyclone and boost my aura levels a bit.
I was looking for:
Correctly Enchanted il85 Elder
Core Affixes (pick 3):
Life (ALWAYS get 90+, 120+ ideally)
Nearby Enemies Take 9% Increased Physical Damage
Open Prefix or Open Suffix
Increased Effect of Fortify on You (Crusader)
+To Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Warlord)
Physical Damage taken as Elemental (mixed)
Physical Damage taken as Chaos (Delve)
Chance to gain a Power Charge on Kill (Redeemer)
Gain Accuracy Rating Equal to your Strength (Warlord)
Life Regeneration (Warlord)
For an open prefix craft:
+1 To level of AoE Gems/Area of Effect or 8% of Physical Damage from hits taken as Fire.
Use an Open suffix to fill out resists.
I've already covered weapons fairly extensively in the Mechanical Explanations section, however just to go over things once again and talk about some alternatives.
If you want a cheaper alternative:
Ichimonji + Ichimonji
Scaeva + Scaeva
Ahn's + Ahn's
These are cheap uniques with low dexterity requirements making them easy for the build to use. If you're looking for something more high end I suggest a high PDPS Jewelled Foil rolled with a hybrid prefix (phys damage/attack speed, phys damage/accuracy etc) , IPD, flat phys and local crit/attack speed.
Personally I used my amulet as a flex slot, filling in where I felt the rest of my gear was lacking which in this case was attributes. Again there really isn't a specific set of stats you always want on your amulet outside of life, but I found it helpful to use my amulet to fix attribute requirements.
Make sure to get an open prefix to craft -3 to mana cost of channeling skills.
I was looking for:
T1 or T2 Phys
A usable amulet is anything with life, a damage roll (phys damage or crit multi), and any needed attributes or resistances.
If you don't need the attributes you can use Jorgin's syndicate bench to get a talisman and try for a defensive or offensive implicit.
A perfect amulet would be 80+ life, T1 Phys to attacks, open prefix, T1 crit multi T1 Crit Chance, Attack Speed, or Chaos Res, and T1 all Attributes. I'm not going to include a search here as the sorts of things you'd want on your amulet are pretty variable.
For chest I crafted myself an Astral Plate with 10% chance to gain frenzy charge on hit, Attacks have #% to Critical Strike Chance, life, and some resists. Keep in mind that depending on the content you want to focus on this might not be ideal, I would suggest keepin the attack crit regardless, then adding either Physical Taken as Chaos (defensive), % Increased Maximum Life, Additional Curse (offensive), Killed Enemies Explode (clear), or Frenzy Charge on Hit (single target). Keep crafting until you hit either hybrid or flat life and an open prefix, any additional suffixes are icing on the cake.
As an alternative defensive layer you can use the "120% increased effect of fortify while focused" suffix. This adds an extra button to your rotation, but also adds another powerful defensive tool you can use for downtime of your berserk or dread banner.
If you want to see how to use Awakener's Orbs:
So a usable chest will be a Guatelitzi chest with good life/% life, and some resistances (especially chaos res)
If you want to get creative and don't mind spamming banners a bit you could always try Perfidy for a little bit more reliable uptime on fortify effect, I think it's worse for berserker than an Aorb chest but is a cheap alternative. If you wanted to play this build as a champion I think Perfidy corrupted with reduced damage taken from critical strikes would be ideal.
Rings are one of the more complicated things for this build, because I'm trying to do a lot of different things I opted for one Vermilion ring ideally my other ring would be a Steel Ring however my rings aren't perfect.
For one ring I used an Awakener's Orb to combine Elder Life Gain on Hit with either Warlord Vulnerability curse on hit or Shaper Assassin's Mark curse on hit. I think either one is fine but Elder/Warlord has the highest potential for valuable additional mods such as melee damage or crit multi. I was hoping to hit Life, Chaos Res or a higher tier elemental resist (I needed cold or lightning) which ultimately I did hit.
For my other ring I looked for several rings with the accuracy/resists I needed and 70+ (T1) life and then slammed them with a Warlord's Exalt hoping to hit crit multi.
There are a lot of alternatives here, I could have used a steel ring in place of vermilion, strength could be used to add an extra 25 or so life as a suffix, I could use Deafening Essence of Contempt to roll high flat phys on a ring.
Remember to leave 1 prefix open to craft -mana cost of channeling skills.
So what might ideal rings look like?
Probably 1 Vermilion 1 Steel.
The Vermilion ring would have Life + Flat phys + Life Gain on hit + Crit Mutli + Resist, crafted suffix.
The Steel ring would have Life, Flat phys, Curse on Hit, Resist, Resist, crafted prefix.
What about Circle of Guilt?
If you got a Circle of Guilt with Herald of Purity has Increased Buff Effect and Increased Physical Damage while affected by Herald of Purity then yes it is a lot of damage. However this build has a relatively high burden for resistances (147% elemental resistances and 145% chaos resistance). So the only way to fit Circle of Guilt is if you had nearly perfect rolls on your gloves, chest, helmet and boots.
Keep in mind if you want to use 2 you will need one of them to have "Curse Enemies with Level 5 Vulnerability on Hit."
This is another slot I rely on for chaos resistance, but if you can get it elsewhere that opens up a lot of options for more damage on your gloves. I managed to get lucky with my pair finding one with an open Prefix T1 Chaos res, good life and accuracy.
The pair I'm using I selected by looking for:
31%+ (T1) Chaos Resistance.
If you didn't need as much chaos res or accuracy, I suggest looking for Attack Speed, +1 Maximum Frenzy Charge or Increased Melee Damage on your gloves. While the open prefix to craft +1 To level of AoE gems/Area of effect is nice QoL when clearing it's not needed if you find a pair lacking an empty modifier or you need to craft resists as a suffix.
Here are some examples, I decided to open the search up a bit to show less expensive alternatives to what I'm using:
I already explained Ryslatha's Coil and why I use it under the Mechanical Explanations section, if you want an alternative you could craft yourself a Stygian Vise however I advise just sticking to the Coil.
I created my boots using an Awakener's Orb, I combined Hunter Tailwind with Redeemer Elusive on a two toned base, and repeated until I got something usable. I was looking for Tailwind/Elusive plus resists, chaos res, life, or movement speed. Unless you're playing this on a high budget I'd suggest just getting a nice pair of boots with life or an open prefix, Tailwind OR Elusive instead of both, 30% movement speed, and then rounding them out with res, chaos res or a crafted suffix.
There are a lot of permutations for usable boots, but I'd look for 70-80 life or crafted life, 30% movement speed (if you can find it spell dodge or dodge is quite nice) and then some elemental or chaos res.
The ideal pair of boots would be:
Elusive, 80 Life, 35% Movement Speed, Tailwind, T1 Chaos Resist, T1 Ele resist.
I'm using a Life flask of Staunching (bubbling, Panicked or Catalyzed) to deal with bleeds from enemies such as Omniphobia.
Lion's Roar and Bottled Faith are both significant damage boosts, Bottled Faith also adds a bit of life regen when I'm able to remain relatively stationary. Lion's Roar has the defensive (and sometimes detrimental) effect of knocking enemies back when you hit them during the flask effect.
I round out my damage with Diamond Flask of Heat to gain freeze immunity, and more reliable critical strikes. Then finally I'm using a Quicksilver Flask of Grounding, I found one of the things getting me killed the most when doing Delirium content was the shocks and the scorches, so I padded out my res a bit where I could beyond the 75% cap to counteract scorch, and dropped Adrenaline for Grounding.
With all the additional movement speed from rage, berserk, elusive I found this worked well.
Most of my jewels are clusters as covered in the previous sections of this guide, but I do also use one rare and a Thread of Hope.
For the rare jewel I prioritized life, and then searched for anything with applicable critical strike multiplier (one handed melee weapons, melee, global, etc), and attack speed (with swords, while dual wielding etc) then looked for a 4th property that was either relevant to damage, or helped me round out attributes and eventually found one with intelligence.
The exact rolls here don't matter, but I would make sure it's a 4 property jewel with life and 3 other relevant modifiers.
~Map Clear T16~
I don't necessarily suggest this guide to someone who is completely fresh or new to Path of Exile, so I'm not going to be covering the leveling in too much detail. If you want some great leveling resources I suggest checking out Engineering Eternity, or Enki.
I leveled the build as Facebreaker Cyclone using the tree below (switching to warcries/crit/swords at L58 when I could use Ichimonji).
Last edited by Tenkiei on May 1, 2020, 7:26:30 PM
Last bumped on Jun 17, 2020, 5:55:26 PM
on Apr 16, 2020, 10:54:13 PM
Reserved for future notes, revisions, etc.
on Apr 17, 2020, 4:21:41 PM
Hey - thinking of running this soon but unsure of what to exactly prioritize. Would you prioritize clusters first above anything else and then start filling the rest of the tree? Any sort of guidance would be awesome and thanks for the super detailed guide + vid explaining everything!
on Apr 19, 2020, 9:49:09 AM
If you mean prioritize in terms of the tree, I'd go for the basic life/sword nodes first (mostly in the starting area) ---> rushing the first cluster to get Deep Cuts/Run Through on your large then Mob Mentality/Cry Wolf + Hex Breaker/Rapid Infusion mediums, and finally Blessed(Chaos cluster) + Feast of Flesh for small, from there expand towards the top of the tree adding in Disemboweling, the second cluster, then the thread of hope, finally Divine Flesh around 95-97.
on Apr 19, 2020, 2:18:12 PM
how are u able to get 85% chaos resis with there gear?
on Apr 19, 2020, 4:27:40 PM
My PoB has all the details, but the small cluster jewel is pretty important in terms of chaos res as it gives ~60%.
on Apr 19, 2020, 6:46:28 PM
Did you try any other skills than Cyclone and bladestorm?
Probably not as "lag proof" but i'm not a huge fan of those skills.
I'm actually leveling one berserker to try this anyway, as warcry cluster abuse seems pretty nice
on Apr 25, 2020, 7:40:02 AM
I didn't try other skills no. But if you're using any melee attack skill that's usable with swords the changes to the build would be minimal. I don't advise anything that can't be used with swords (as you'll lose Savior which is a huge part of the QoL of this build) or with required threshold jewels (because they're just hard to work into the build).
on Apr 25, 2020, 7:28:23 PM
Great build and great guude, thanks. Ill play on hc only, and this build is really magic
on Apr 27, 2020, 3:30:11 AM
Thanks, let me know how it goes!
on Apr 27, 2020, 10:46:19 PM