[3.12] Zeerohh's Ancestral Warchief Champion

Hey fellow Exiles, This is a build overview, and guide, for Ancestral Warchief Champion.

This is a budget character idea, meant to get roaring and ready to roll within a few days of league start to farm anything, and as such, is built around non-GG gear and will offer several gear options depending if you like the build enough to invest a large amount.

This is also just a Work in Progress build and will be updated fairly frequently with new information or fixing current information. If you have any questions, want to correct me, or have a good idea I could incorporate into the build feel free to comment!

Path of Building Import Code
PoB Import: https://pastebin.com/kD53bMxJ
This uses the PoB Community Fork, and will not work without it.

Changelogs and League information


Build was Created 3.12.2
Replica Items could be interesting to try and fiddle with, like Replica Farrul's giving a huge DPS and Defensive boost with permanent Charges. Will be Investigating these throughout the league. Replica Conquerer's Efficacy gives +5 Rage, and -9 Cost to skills, making a good option to get 0 cost Enduring Cry and Leap Slam, helping with some Mana issues.
Heist Gear

Change 9/27/2020
Fixed a error with Defenses Saying Blood and Sand, when it was supposed to say Flesh and Stone

Added basic leveling section

Added Mechanics Section

Updated Jewels Section

Added Pantheons

Updated Gems Section to match PoB

Updated PoB link to fix Timeless Jewel Support

Changes 9/29/2020
Updated The PoB to include a Level 100 Cluster Jewels Tree

Removed "The Red Nightmare" from the build, since mathmatically it wasn't effective in the way we wanted to use it.

Added Thread of Hope (Medium) to Bottom Duelist Jewel socket for 4 Notables.

Restructured parts of the tree to fit new Thread of Hope.

Replaced Quicksilver for Sulphur Flask in main setup.

Added Ruthless VS Multi Totem in Build Mechanics.

Updated PoB to reflect all changes made today.

Made Path of Building Import Code more Visable at first glance

Pros & Cons

Super Cheap to start, League Start Viable
chunky sounding impacts of all the smacks.
Boss DPS is insane
Scales super well with Invested Currencies
Pretty tanky Champion
Great Lab Running Character


It's a Melee Build
It's a Totem Build
Slow mapper
some upgrades do get pretty expensive
can be a hassle to level
not a eye candy build

Why Choose 2-Handed?
Two-Handed Weapons got a big rework in 3.11 and nobody really seemed to bat an eye and what some of these implicits really did. The big Base Damage also makes them more enticing for a build like mine since scaling a small bit of Attack speed really brings the DPS up quickly.

Facebreakers is a popular build for a lot of people, but requires a lot more investment in flat Damage to scale into a lot of damage, and I was trying to make it as budget as possible, while still investing to make it feel good in all content.

I will be looking into a Facebreaker Tree, a Sword and board Tree, and a Dual Wield Tree, but they will not be a primary Focus for a while.

What makes us tanky
While aiming to make a good build to do bosses, lab and challenges as a whole, I wanted a tanky build that could survive almost anything if I made a mistake. as such I put together quite a few defensive layers to help mitigate some damage in multiple ways. These include:
Scaling Armor, to get at least 70% Reduction
Permanent Fortify, which is quite nice when you figure, it's just 20% less Damage Taken. That's massive defense, and we can get it at Merc Lab, right before we start getting into maps.
Basalt Flask, Just giving a good amount of flat reduction to Physical Damage.
Endurance Charges after getting "The Red Nightmare" socketed into the tree we will passively have 3 Endurance Charges while mapping, adding to our reduction of damage.
We're Playing Totems This means that we can often not be the focal point of enemies when you're dropping totems to distract, you're just not taking direct damage.
Flesh And Stone This is just Free blind and damage reduction, depending on where the enemy is.

Ascendancy Options

Just go Champion. Slayer doesn't offer us anything we want, and Gladiator really doesn't either. We're scaling Impale, and we want Permanent Fortify.

Master of Metal > Unstoppable Hero > Fortitude > Inspirational


Major Gods
Lunaris is a great choice most everything, getting chain avoidance, general damage mitigation and such.
Solaris is only recommended if you are going to fight a boss with very few add phases or none at all, such as Aul, Sirus, Uber Elder, etc.

Minor Gods
Gruthkul is my choice personally since it helps lowering Physical damage taken even more, and can help reduce attack speed of bigger targets like Speed rares or Haast.
Ralakesh is also a good choice since he reduces bleed damage, and has a Cannot be Maimed, which is a lot of QoL.

Build Mechanics

This build uses several mechanics that some people may not be aware of, and I’ll do my best to explain them here.

I wont even attempt to explain how impale is calculated and how it works, I would strongly suggest watching DonTheCrown’s Video on it, and reading the Article about it.

Resolute Technique
This is a keystone on the tree that provides us 100% Hit Chance at all times, even while blinded, but removes our chances of a Critical Hit completely. We will never crit, but we will also never miss. We use this, because while we aren’t attacking, this will also affect our totems. Our totems use a slam attack, and as such will have hit checks. We allocate this to just make the build feel good, and consistent. We take so many different nodes on the tree that we couldn’t afford to scale crit, accuracy and everything else we need to make the build not fall apart.

Chainbreaker & Rage
Chainbreaker helps us immensely with damage, since it provides us with Rage scaling, which is a great way for attack builds to get higher numbers all around, with basically no downsides. This is only gotten from the Timeless Jewel “Lethal Pride” and this jewel has to have the line “Commanded Leadership over # Warriors under Akoya” This has to be Akoya and cannot be anything else, although the “#” Will always vary jewel to jewel and is generally unimportant. This is places in the jewel socket between Duelist Start and the Scion life wheel to turn Eternal Youth into Chainbreaker.
Rage grants some great stats, such as: 1% Attack Damage per 1 Rage, 1% Attack Speed per 2 Rage and 1% Movement Speed per 5 Rage. This is huge when you do the math and see that for just a jewel slot and 1 skill point we are gaining: 60% increased Attack Damage, 30% Attack Speed and 12% Movement Speed.

Ruthless VS Multiple Totems Support
Originally giving the option to you guys to use either of these, but upon looking over them, and doing the math, I will only Include Multiple Totems in the 6th Link for Ancestral Warchief. You're Free to use whatever ofcourse, but I advise against Ruthless personally.
Doing the math for total DPS VS a standing Still boss Target (Like Sirus for PoB Numbers):
Ruthless gives higher per totem Damage, but you only get two totems.
Multiple Totems gives you two more totems than Ruthless and deals less DPS per totem. Doing the math here, will show that Multiple Totems is better Damage overall than Ruthless, and based on how Ruthless Works, makes the damage less spikey as well.
Testing was done in PoB using the same exact 6L as Provided in the build, using 20/20 and default gem qualities for Both Ruthless and Multi Totem.

Ruthless DPS = 2,273,967.5 Per Totem. 2,273,967.5 x 2 = 4,547,935 DPS total
Multiple Totems DPS = 1,236,883.3 Per Totem. 1,236,883,3 x 4 = 4,947,533.2 DPS Total

Gear and Gear options

Gear Breakdown


This is a great option, and possibly BiS for most people. Very little reason to choose anything else unless you absolutely need Life or resists.

Starkonja's is also a good option if you want some more life, and it still provides a little bit of Attack Speed to provide some DPS as well.

A Rare in this slot is generally a Low DPS option, even with the 9% Increased Phys Damage. Only take this option if you completely starved for life or resistances.


Atziri's Disfavour is hands down the best option for endgame, unless you like to be poor and want to dump 50+ Exalted for something that can barely out DPS it.

Body Armour

A Rare with Good life and resists is honestly a great choice here, and what I found I will probably stay with for a while to come.
A better version of my chest would be Elder i86 Astral, so you can roll Flat Life, % life and some Resists. As long as you have a open prefix, you can craft on %Life / %Mana Craft for maximum effect.
Belly of the Beast can be great early on, or if you seem to only need Life, but I would still rather go with a 100+ flat Life Rare.

Replica Loreweave looks interesting for the build since it can give a decent amount of Flat Physical Damage, and even over 130 Life, However this also lowers your Maximum Resists to 70-72, Which is close to 12% more elemental damage taken. Finding a way to mitigate this could provide this as a solid option.

Some other options I haven't had the ability to test yet, but seem they could be good, are:

"The Iron Fortress" Which can give some good damage, but doesn't seem to be as good defensively as most anything else on this list.

"Loreweave" is a lot less HP than a Rare, or even the Replica version, but reduces Elemental damage taken by a fair bit, and can even mitigate map mods like '-% Max Res'

"The Brass Dome" Is a absolutely huge chest, providing over 5500 armor on it's own. But the best part that really makes this chest worth running is the flattening of damage, by taking no extra damage from critical hits you receive. This is a huge buff to survivability, since your incoming damage won't be nearly as spikey, and easier to mitigate. I'm definitely going to try this later on.


Tombfists are a great option, because 2 Abyss Jewels can be a absolute crazy amount of damage for the build. Intimidate on hit, from using at least 1 Murderous Eye jewel is also mandatory if you're going to use these. Using a Searching Eye Jewel is not really needed since we are using other methods of getting maim on enemies.

Other options could be interesting to try, but I don't think will provide more benefit than Tombfists.

"Great Old One's Tentacles" could be a great option, but you'll lose a lot of life, and Abyss Jewels can absolutely out scale these given enough investment.

"A Rare" Could be a decent option here, although using rares here will give up the option for Intimidate for such a cheap price. Stats here for basic gloves are Life, Resists, and Flat Physical Damage to attacks. Not many Influence mods are that good for us, but Warlord's Suffix Culling Strike would be a super QoL, and Hunter has a % Chance to Intimidate on hit, which has a good up time when you have all the totems smacking a boss.


Rare Boots here are just the best all around option, there's not many good Physical Attack boots for pure Damage, and not many full defense boots we can take advantage of. Options for Influence Consist of Hunter for % Chance to Intimidate on hit or Culling Strike from Warlord. Crafting "cannot be Frozen" is a great idea to free up flask suffixes and increase QoL against bosses like Elder.
"Death's Door" Is a good option if you can balance resists AND are using "The Red Nightmare" Jewel to produce Endurance Charges.


A Rare in this slot is the best budget, and the best in the endgame. We need to get our Dexterity and Intelligence somewhere, and it's easier to get here than on rings. Good options for later, are Warlord with Pride has Reduced Reservation, and Incursion mod with Life, %Life.


Life and Resist Rares a great starting option, adding Flat Phys, Attack Speed can be easily done.
Some harder to get options that can really get DPS up, would be Elder ring with Poacher on hit of a Rare or Unique Enemy, Warlord Melee Damage, Vulnerability on Hit.
Incursion also has a Mod for Life, % Life.

"Dream Fragments" is a good ring for purely mitigating Freeze and Chill as a whole, but takes away a DPS slot.


A Normal Rare Life and Resist belt is a good starting option, and can even be left alone.

This is also a great Option, since we get permanant Fortify from Champion, we can also have Permanant Onslaught too, which can free up a flask slot and help with bosses. Although you overall lose a bit of life and resists.

"Headhunter" is a option, just like every other build.

"Ryslatha's Coil" is a great belt for the build, albeit slightly expensive. It Provides a good chunk of Flat Life, Flat Phys, and makes your dps less spikey based on the rolls, since it lowers the ranges of low end, and top end rolls, on the higher end of both.

A Rare delve fossil crafted Stygian Vise with Hunter Influence can be the top end craft for the slot, assuming you get Life, % life, Global Physical Damage, and some decent Resists.


Thread of Hope is a great addition to the build and can help up free up points to better invest in our tree. This is mostly used to allocate our "Ancestral Bond" keystone for 1 point, but we also get some other good stats in the area that we can make use of.
We want a Very Large for the Ancestral Bond Keystone and a Medium for the Bottom Duelist Socket to grab some very useful QoL And Damage we otherwise wouldn't be able to reach.

This is Very important to our DPS, but I wouldn't call it a needed item. This will replace "Eternal Youth" on our tree with "Chainbreaker" which is a massive DPS boost.

Watcher's Eye is a great way to scale the damage of the build, and can be a way to help change the build in a slight way.
Watcher's Eyes

When Looking for a good Watcher's Eye, you will always want the mod "Impales you inflict last 2 additional Hits while using Pride" Anything else is a bonus. If you get a mod from Clarity (Reduced Mana Cost) Precision (Inc Attack Speed/ Inc Attack Damage) or Vitality (Life Regen, Life Recovery Rate) and you want to take advantage of the mod, you can get rid of Portal and socket it there, or use an Unset Ring, leaving the Skill Gem at level 1 so you don't have to reserve a whole chunk of mana for a good bonus.

Replica Conquerer's Efficacy is a good option if you want to lower the mana cost of Leap Slam and Enduring Cry to negligable amounts. This with a -x Mana Cost of Non-Channeling Skills can make Leap Slam Free, Berserk Free and Enduring Cry Basically Free.

Abyss Jewels can be very Important for the build and will need 3 of them if you use 2 socket Tombfists and a Stygian Vise.

NOTE: Make sure to have at least 1 Murderous Eye jewel Socketed into your Tombfists to take advantage of Intimidate on hit.
Mods to Look for

+# to Maximum Life
Adds # to # Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Adds # to # Physical Damage to Axe Attacks
#% Increased Attack Speed
#% Increased Damage if you killed Recently
Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks (Suffix)

Standard Rare Jewels are also good for the build and can give us nice boosts, albeit small boosts. You'll only make use of 1 or 2 of these.
Mods To Look For

#% Increased Maximum Life
#% Increased Attack Speed
#% Increased Attack Speed With Two Handed Melee Weapons
#% Increased Attack Speed with Axes
#% Increased Damage with Axes
#% Increased Damage with Two Handed Melee Weapons
#% Increased Global Physical Damage
#% Increased Totem Damage
#% Increased Attack and Cast Speed
#% Increased Damage
#% Increased Melee Damage

Cluster Jewels

I strongly do not recommend grabbing Cluster Jewels before Level 90, and having a large currency stack to sink into them. This is because they're less cost effective than most nodes for this build, and the mods we will be looking for are quite important, and can't really be subbed out for others.

For Large Jewels
Run Through Quite good for what we are using the jewels for. It Gives us some Impale Effect, and Physical Damage, increasing our damage in 2 different ways.
Vicious Skewering Good for the build, not the best since we aren't at 100% bleed Chance or anything. It's a good dps increase since we have 10+ Attacks per second when all totems are active on 1 enemy. We'll apply enough bleeds to make this damage balance out and feel less spikey, with higher HP targets.
Smite The Weak Just a straight Damage increase since we have a Searching Eye in our Tombfists for Maim on hit, making this a 40% Damage Increase for us.

For Medium Cluster Jewels
Titanic Swings Basically here to help give us super minor Amounts of AoE to help in clear and clean adds in fights. The Area Damage it provides is nice too though.

Towering Threat Is a great Node for us actually. The AoE and Life together make our mapping and bossing come together well enough, and this is why we take Mediums at all. If this wasn't here, we have no good nodes on Mediums and would completely forgo them.

For Small Cluster Jewels
Fettle is still the best life node possible, and is shown in the rarity of trying to roll this node. Either buy this for a lot, or get lucky crafting this.
Towering Threat Is also available on these, and is a good option if you can't roll Fettle.
Surging Vitality is also a good choice if you want burst healing or happen to get this before either of the other ones.


A Divine Life flask with Staunching is the best choice here, since we are life based and don't like dying too much. Try to get Panicked or Bubbling for best results.

Lion's Roar is nice, We're Melee technically, and we like armor to mitigate some damage. No Brainer.

While not completely necessary, a Quicksilver can be life saving at times. Great for lab running to get through the traps quickly and avoiding too much damage. Alchemist Prefix is the best for speed, otherwise get Duration or Flask Charges. Always get Adrenaline on the Suffix, we can afford to get Freeze and Curse immune on the last 2 Flasks, and this makes us even faster.

This is if you are using a Rare belt, and not Perseverance, we will need to get Onslaught somewhere. Get any prefix, and either "Of Warding" or "Of Heat" as a Suffix.

Basalt Flasks are very nice to use for defensive stats, since it's a flat reduction that works separately from armor. Get any prefix, and either "of Warding" or "of Heat" Whatever you didn't get on the other flask.

I personally ended up dropping my Quicksilver Flask for a Sulphur Flask, to stop shocks in certain maps with the shocked ground mod, and because I didnt need the speed when I was constantly Leap Slamming around.

Gems & Links

Vaal Ancestral Warchief > Brutality > Impale > Melee Physical Damage > Concentrated Damage > Multiple Totems

Pride > Blood and Sand > Flesh and Stone > Enlighten
Depending on what you can get from your Watcher's Eye, you can socket Clarity, Precision or Vitality here for a 5th Link.

Frost Bomb > Hextouch > Vulnerability
We can make use of Frost Bomb to apply the Healing Reduction from it, and also apply our Vulnerability for extra damage.

Leap Slam > Faster Attacks

Molten Shell(Level 13) > Cast When Damage Taken(Level 7)

Enduring Cry > Second Wind


Dread Banner
We don't need to add this to our aura links since we won't be reserving mana. We can use this for free with our ascendancy node "Inspirational"

If you can't get a good second stat on a Watcher's Eye you can add this to an empty socket, or go out of your way to get a Unset ring to socket it in. This is obviously not needed.

Enchants + Annoints

Helm Enchants for Warchief are generally useless for a actual Warchief build, but we benefit from a few good ones
Berserk has 40% reduced Rage loss per second is probably the best for sustaining high Damage on single Targets, since it will make the buff last longer.
40% increased Ancestral Warchief Totem Damage is the best numerical Damage Increase we can get

Annoints are bit more confusing, if you don't know what you want to go for. Do you want more damage, or more defense?
For Damage:
Panopticon - Verdant - Indigo - Opalescent
Kinetic Impacts - Amber - Azure - Violet
Splitting Steel - Clear - Teal - Violet

For Defense:
Hired Killer - Violet - Violet - Opalescent
Discipline and Training - Black - Silver - Silver
Heart and Soul - Sepia - Crimson - Golden

Leveling This Build
The Way I had leveled was as Ground Slam until I could work my way to Ancestral Bond and had a Vaal Warchief, then I moved directly into this Tree.

No Lethal Pride
If you don't have the jewel, you can slot a regular Jewel there, and don't allocate the Berserking Nodes until you have the jewel.

No Atziri's Disfavour
While this is the Best in Slot, and is generally pretty cheap to a Unlinked version after a few days into a league, it does have a level 75 reqirement. Any leveling Axes will help level through to maps and then some. Some good options are:
Limbsplit (Lvl:13)
Wideswing (Lvl:18)
Reaper's Pursuit (Lvl:33)
The Cauteriser (Lvl:40)
Uul-Netol's Kiss (Lvl:49)
Sinvicta's Mettle (Lvl:62)

Last edited by ZeerohhGames on Sep 30, 2020, 7:21:09 AM
Last bumped on May 3, 2021, 5:32:50 AM
rivviera47 wrote:

This is in the Guide itself, right above the league information dropdown. Sorry if it didn't stick out enough, I'll be sure to fix this soon!
Yeah my bad, nice build keep the good work!!!

I am unable to upload skill tree using your provided link in POB fork. I am new to POE, I juz installed POB fork latest version.

"invalid tree link (unknown version number '2420012908')

Flatbatz wrote:

I am unable to upload skill tree using your provided link in POB fork. I am new to POE, I juz installed POB fork latest version.

"invalid tree link (unknown version number '2420012908')


Hi, I'm running PoB Community Fork on the latest patch, and imported the Pastebin code alright. a Couple of things can make it so you cant import:
1.) You Don't have the Community Fork Version of Path of Building, this can be found here: https://github.com/PathOfBuildingCommunity/PathOfBuilding/releases and downloaded/Installed with the .exe file in one quick wizard.

2.) you're trying to import the build using the Path of Building code, and it wouldn't work for Pastebin codes like this one. Make sure to click the "import with Pastebin" button and then paste the link to import.
Thanks alot bro, I got it up n running, much appreciated
nice build, will try it out
How about a video of it in action?
If this is league start viable, how would the thread of hopes be dealt with? Would we simply beeline towards the totem keystone?

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