[3.12] Perforate Champion: 90m+ DPS and 6000+ Life | Boss Destroyer!

TL;DR https://pastebin.com/2P0sRBMy

If you have any questions please come ask me at https://www.twitch.tv/vammalles
or at https://discord.gg/QwjuS4p

3.12 Updates
For 3.12 we see some minor changes to links. We gain a fair bit of damage due to alternate qualities which is nice. We lost a lot of damage and life due to not having access to Harvest crafted gear. I have already updated the PoB with some decent gear for this league and the alternate qualities I would use. There is still a lot of room to grow this build though.

General Overview

This build is focused on Perforate as our main ability since it got some significant buffs as of the beginning of 3.11. With the ability to get up to 11 overlapping spikes with 7 base, 2 from helm enchant and 2 while having recently changed stance gives us a huge burst of damage that is enough to phase pretty much any boss within that short time window. This ability is also nice because in sand stance it has great AOE with more than enough damage to map comfortably and then you can very easily switch to blood stance to nuke bosses. Since we are using the Saviour which spawns two reflections that do 50% of our damage we are at a theoretical burst damage potential of about 93m DPS which is more than enough to blow through any boss phase.


-Insane single target damage
-High life count
-Great budget option for red maps; Couple of exalts
-No gem swap between mapping and bossing


-No real defensive other than fortify and over leech
-Cannot run phys reflect
-Clear speed is only sufficient
-Piano flasks

To play this build it is required to understand how Perforate works as an ability. Perforate acts differently depending on what stance you are in. If you are in sand stance then perforate will create an attack with a large AOE that will attack everything near you. This is what you will want to be doing while running through maps. If you are in blood stance then perforate will create an attack with a very small AOE that creates multiple spikes that all hit the target. This is what you will want to do for any unique mob or boss. With Perforate in blood stance every spike that we spawn increases our damage in a multiplier fashion. So the more spikes that you are creating the more damage that you can push out. Perforate has a base spike count of 7. If you have the helm enchanted with Perforate creates +2 spikes then our total becomes 9. Lastly if you have changed stances recently your spike count goes up another 2 which puts us at a max spike count of 11. This means that for four seconds, which is how the term "recently" is defined in POE, we are doing 11 times our base damage. So when you are going to fight a boss and you want to burst them down here is what you need to do.

1. Make sure you are in sand stance
2. Place your Ancestral Warchief and Vaal Ancestral Warchief totems
3. Activate your three offensive flasks
4. Change your stance to blood stance

This will take some getting used to, but once you have mastered this you will be able to nuke/phase any boss almost instantly.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CJh3D7d4ak 3.11 Uber Elder Deathless
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dOrjymTBfQ 3.11 Sirus Awakener 8 Deathless
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsOX9l0FAOs 3.11 T16 Minotaur with Metamorph
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzDzySF-dHk 3.11 Shaper Deathless
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYytm5IKZLU 3.11 Elder Deathless
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTmY0FOxsEo 3.11 Budget Gear T16 and Conqueror's

Skill Gems and Links

Here I am going to talk about how I prefer to setup the gems and links for most of my melee characters. There are many things that can be changed here depending on preference, but for now I will focus on how I prefer everything.

Be sure to pay attention to all the new alternate qualities that have been introduced in 3.12. There are a lot of good options that really help the build reach higher numbers than it should be able to.

Alternate Qualities
It seems PoB is still struggling with the alternate qualties for the gems. Sometimes when I reload a PoB the alternates disappear so I am just gonna post all of my alternates here.

Endgame Main 6 Link: Phantasmal Perforate
Budget Main 6 Link: Phantasmal Perforate and Divergent Multistrike
4 Link Auras: Divergent Flesh and Stone and Divergent Pride
4 Link CWDT: Anomalous Power Charge On Critical
3 Link Mobility: Divergent Smoke Mine and Anomalous Second Wind
Totem Setup 1: Phantasmal Ancestral Protector
Open Socket: Anomalous Blood Rage

Main 6-Link

Perforate - Multistrike - Brutality - Fortify - Melee Physical Damage - Impale

Here is a core damaging six link which is the core of the build. I have chosen these links because they offer the most damage for our ability Perforate. Fortify is the only ability that technically isn't best in slot for damage, but because we spec into "Rampart" on tree it ends up giving us quite a bit damage and it is a great defensive for our non defensive build. Also when you can be sure to purchase the awakened versions of the gems listed. Multistrike, Brutality and Melee Physical Damage all have awakened versions that do more damage.

4-Link Auras

Pride - Flesh and Stone - Maim - Enlighten

Here are the bulk of the auras that we use in the build. All add a ton of damage and Pride allows us to get a Watcher's Eye that allows our Impale to last 2 additional hits. For this build to function with all the auras I have listed the Enlighten needs to be at least level 2 since that is when you start to gain a benefit from it as it reduces the mana multiplier by a small amount when linked to auras.

2-Link Auras

Blood and Sand - Dread Banner

Here we have our other two auras Blood and Sand and Dread Banner which help increase damage.

4-Link CWDT Power Charges

Cast When Damage Taken - Ball Lightning - Immortal Call - Power Charge on Critical

Here we have our defensive guard skill and our power charge generator. We want the Cast When Damage Taken to be level 1 so that it can activate as often as possible. We make Ball Lightning level 1 since it's damage does not matter and to make sure it is activating when Cast When Damage Taken activates. We make Immortal Call level 3 so that it will trigger with Cast When Damage Taken. Lastly we want Power Charge on Critical to be as high a level as we can so that when Ball Lightning crits something we are getting our power charges.

3-Link Mobility/Heal

Enduring Cry - Second Wind - Dash/Smoke Mine

Here we have our main mobility skill Dash which can be replaced with other mobility skills such as Leap Slam, Flame Dash or Smoke Mine. We also have Enduring Cry which heals us for almost 2k and gives us endurance charges which mitigate damage and extend the duration of our Immortal Call. We connect Second Wind to both of these to reduce their cooldowns and to give Dash a second charge so that we can move more often.

Two 2-Link Totem Setups Used Together

Ancestral Protector - Multiple Totems

Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Culling Strike

Here we have our two totems that help us increase our stats and do a little bit of damage. When engaging a boss we will place one Vaal Ancestral Warchief totem and one Ancestral Protector totem. This way we get stats from both of them and when the enemy is below 10% life it will be killed immediately because of Culling Strike. Also worth noting is connecting multiple totems to Ancestral Protector so that you can have both a Protector Totem and a Warchief totem. If you use Multiple Totems Support be sure to not connect the Vaal Ancestral Warchief to it because you will burn both Vaal charges if you do.

Open Socket

Vaal Haste or Blood Rage

Between the two of these Vaal Haste is better for burst potential on long boss fights, but Blood Rage makes mapping better because it gives us more consistent attack speed and frenzy charges during mapping. Both are absolutely viable depending on preference.


Here I am going to talk about what gear I have equipped and what stats you should be looking for on gear when trying to build this character for end game. It is worth noting that we do not use any abilities that require a lot of armour or evasion rating so the base of our gear is not that important for most of the pieces. In each category I will be listing the stats in order of importance. I am leaving out resistances and standard stats because depending on budget you will need to decide where it is easiest to get those.

Paradoxica: In the main hand
The Saviour: In the off hand

Perforate creates +2 spikes enchant
Nearby Enemies take #% increased physical damage

Body Armour
Try and get an Astral Plate base for the implicit which gives extra elemental resistances.

Attacks have #% to critical strike chance
#% change to gain a frenzy charge on hit

Try and get Spiked Gloves base for the implicit which gives #% increased melee damage

Adds # to # physical damage to attacks
#% increased attack speed

You have tailwind if you have dealt a critical strike recently

#% to global critical strike multiplier
Adds # to # physical damage to attacks

Try and get Steel Rings base for the implicit which gives adds # to # physical damage to attacks.

Get one ring with "Trigger Level 12 Assassin's Mark when you Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy"
#% to global critical strike multiplier
Adds # to # physical damage to attacks
#% increased attack speed

Ryslatha's Coil

For the jewels we get one Watcher's Eye and two regular jewels.
For the Watcher's Eye we want...
Impales you inflict last 2 additional hits while using pride
#% increased attack physical damage while using pride
I will say I do not have a double Pride Watcher's Eye, but if you have the money to go for it I would.

For the regular jewels I always make sure to get at least one with the implicit "Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you". The stats that we are looking for though are...
#% increased maximum life
#% to critical strike multiplier with one handed melee weapons/while Dual Wielding
#% to melee critical strike multiplier
#% to global critical strike multiplier

Some good alternatives, but not great alternatives are...
#% increased attack speed
#% increased global physical damage

The five flasks we want are...
Divine Life Flask
Diamond Flask
Bottled Faith
Lion's Roar
Quicksilver Flask

You can set them up how you want, but this is my preferred setup...
Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching
Experimenter's Diamond Flask of the Order
Bottled Faith
Lion's Roar
Surgeon's Quicksilver Flask of Heat

Depending on budget and the state of the league there are a couple of things you can do to get this build started.
No budget: If this is your first character for the league and you basically have no currency other than what you got from the Acts I would start by getting two Scaeva's. These swords are always cheap and work really well till you can get a Paradoxica and a Saviour.
Couple of Exalts: I would first look at the prices of our two main weapons as they are the most important part of the build. If possible I would try to get the Saviour before getting the Paradoxica. Saviour makes mapping much easier which is where this build kinda struggles especially earlier on. When looking at Paradoxica's depending on how far into the league try to find a Paradoxica at around 150 Physical DPS.


Save Alira!
The main reason we save Alira is for the Critical Strike Multiplier that she gives. The resists are also a nice quality of life as well especially when you first start mapping.


For our Ascendancy we choose Champion so that we can spec into these nodes... Master of Metal, Conqueror, Worthy Foe, First to Strike Last to Fall. This is the order I would get them in.

We take Master of Metal because Impale is our biggest single source of damage.
We take Conqueror and Worthy Foe so that we never have to worry about getting accuracy stats on gear or on tree which saves a lot of points and makes getting more offensive gear easier.
We take First to Strike Last to Fall primarily for it's defensive uses. Being able to have a nice saving buffer at 35% life that also removes all ailments is a really nice thing to have.

You could go into Unstoppable Hero if you feel you want more damage and you do not need the extra buffer on low life. This is also nice because it gives us stun immunity.


Major God: Soul of Lunaris
Minor God: Soul of Shakari

We take the Major God Lunaris to prevent as much damage as we can from spikers. If you decide to go for a different chest piece that explodes enemies you could switch to a different Major.
We take the Minor God Shakari to primarily deal with Hunter and some of the smaller enemies in maps that deal crazy poison damage. Even with this being nerfed this league I still feel this is the most useful.


Endgame: Disemboweling
Cheaper Endgame: Versatile Stance
Double Curse: Whispers of Doom
More Life: Discipline and Training
Life and Damage: Tenacity
Cheap: Gemini

Leveling Guide

POB with 25, 50, 75 and 100 point trees. https://pastebin.com/2P0sRBMy

Here are links to the trees as well.
25 Point Tree
50 Point Tree
75 Point Tree
100 Point Tree

It is worth noting I do not put points into the jewel sockets till the end game because I do not know if people will have jewels worth putting in. Feel free to take the jewel sockets sooner if you have good jewels to put in!
Last edited by vammalles on Oct 10, 2020, 7:14:43 AM
Last bumped on Apr 24, 2021, 8:16:45 AM
Hello i've started today your build after I've selled my HH.

I am still a very beginner, it's my first league, and I dont know how to take your build.

I spend 40ex something today on it, and still i think i'm very very far to the first million of DPS.

I've check you twitch you wasn't there, so I suppose it is the good way to you know that I need some advices :)

I will say your damage should be pretty high if you have spent that much currency on it. Are you using POB to check your damage or are you just looking at DPS in game? I am gonna try to work on my guide tonight listing some of the more relevant pieces.
What gear have you purchased so far?
What level are you?
Have you completed your ascendancy?

Thanks for responding to my guide I hope I can help you out to get you to the good damage.

For the gear, I let you see yourself, i don't know how to get my stuff in a forum post, so here is a pastebin of my character : https://pastebin.com/byEnAmrA

I'm actually 87, after 16hours, and Ascendancy complete !

Let me know if you need something else than the pastebin :)

Thanks !
This is perfect thank you. So after just a few minutes of looking at what you have put together you are on the right track for sure. There are a couple of really cheap options to help increase your damage.

1. Get a Lion's Roar Flask
2. Get a Diamond Flask(If you can get the suffix "of the order" on it that would be ideal)
3. Get a Sulphur Flask(Bottled Faith is the best in slot, but not necessary right away)
4. For the CWDT setup you do not want to level the CWDT past level 1, the ball lightning shouldn't be higher than level 1 and assassin's mark should be level 5. If you do not have it setup in this fashion then all the abilities will not activate as often and it will be harder to sustain power charges
6. The enchant on helm for perforate creating more spikes is one of the biggest increases in damage. If you do buy one though make sure it creates 2 additional spikes
7. If you can get awakened gems it will help a lot, but also not necessary right away
8. When you config make sure that you check off "is the enemy taunted". With this build we get a lot of damage through taunting because it makes us have 100% accuracy
9. In case you don't know you need the enlighten to be at least level 2 to have it be beneficial, but for the build to fully work you need a level 3 so until then you might want to disable one of the auras so that you aren't struggling with mapping or bossing

So as you sit right now I have you configured with burst to be at almost 7.6m dps. Counting the Saviour as double damage which we would because it creates 2 additional "minions" that do half your damage your at about 15m!

Thanks for sending me the POB. Now I have a better idea of some things I need to put into the guide to make it more complete and easier to understand what newer players might need more help with. I hope this info helps.

3.12 more or less viable ?
Thanks for build. I join the question above. Assassin's Mark get some changes (3.12), how will this affect the damage? What can I take instead of the Paradoxica at the start of league?
moncompte86 wrote:
3.12 more or less viable ?

So for this build the biggest changes that we will see are...
1. Enduring Cry having a longer cooldown which is fine.
2. Assassin's Mark being single target so probably cannot be used in a CWDT which will be slightly annoying, but i think the new benefits will out weigh the annoyance of having to self cast it. We will see though.
3. All of the new alternate qualities for gems will also change standing of the build, but that's only going to be good things.

So overall there are very few changes to the build, most of which will entail more damage so yes this build will absolutely be viable and I plan to League Start this. I highly recommend this build if you are looking for a build that can map and have insane bossing damage.

bossikkkk wrote:
Thanks for build. I join the question above. Assassin's Mark get some changes (3.12), how will this affect the damage? What can I take instead of the Paradoxica at the start of league?

So I am not sure how this will affect the damage with the change to Assassin's Mark. There will be more consistent power charges on bosses which will increase our damage, but having to self cast it will be a bit of a hassle.

As far as the two weapons the Paradoxica and Saviour I plan early on to use either Scaeva or Ahn's Might depending on what is available and how expensive they are.

Overall the damage for this build will probably end up going down due to the difficulty of getting Harvest crafted gear, but the alternate quality gems will bring us back some of the damage that we will be loosing.

I do plan to update this guide for 3.12 once I have more information and see how Assassin's Mark changes feel.
Hello man thanks for the share. I followed this build as a league starter and it's scale very well with end game too.

Could you tell me best way to craft your end game helmet?

Have A Good Day.

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