[3.17] Infernal cry shield crush zerker | SSF focused detailed written guide | all rounder


[Guide currently incomplete. Main sections yet to be written: skill gems, atlas passives and target farming, why not general's cry, cluster jewels. Need to also link items and images.]

Hi all, first guide here. It's a non-general's cry Shield Crush build that I've spent 2 leagues refining.

Not going to claim that this is the fastest build or most powerful or anything like that. It's just a fun, tanky and reasonably fast build that can take you from league start to endgame in SSF. Does not use any broken mechanics or novel tricks, just an honest guide for an honest blue collar build.

This guide is pitched at intermediate players who understand game basics, have occasionally killed Sirus or Elder or Shaper in past leagues, are interested in SSF, and want a build to push them further.

POBs and related links


Here's the link to my currently incomplete character: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/rhynst/characters?characterName=Shazavankz

POB - https://pastebin.com/BzQURaqH
Pre-cluster jewels POB with slightly worse gear - https://pastebin.com/YgPpX3HR

Similar video build from /u/strandmullen at Reddit, using call of steel instead of infernal cry for clear, but otherwise pretty similar playstyle - https://www.reddit.com/r/PathOfExileBuilds/comments/qchnij/shield_crush_berserker_my_ssf_build_for_pushing/

Explanation of shield crush overlap zone - see 'Shield Crush Overlap' spoiler at https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3148278

Main build features

With lategame but not endgame gear:
- ~2-3m Shaper dps
- ~6.2k life, 1k ES
- 77-78 ele resists, 75 chaos
- ~50/50 block, ~35-45k armour, fortify
- huge sustain built on Enduring Cry and recover 15% life on warcry mastery with several other warcries on rotation
- stands in Sirus die beam and Shaper slams
- good zoom speed courtesy of rage / onslaught / rites of ruin and Infernal Cry for exploding packs

My current gear is good enough to carry me up to the endgame but not quite enough to conquer it:
- Maven, Uber Elder, Cortex etc downed, but not The Feared
- Died on Simulacrum wave 26
- juiced 100% delirium T16s (without nasty mods) are fine but not zoom zoom

Pros and Cons

- tanky, for normal juiced mapping only the very worst mod combos will threaten you
- very SSF friendly with only one semi-compulsory common unique
- easy and flexible gearing requirements and lots of incremental upgrades to keep you hunting for next upgrade
- for those who like to tinker and experiment, several flex slots for gems, passives and equipment
- fairly fast mapper (but there are definitely faster builds)
- forgiving of mistakes in boss fights as tanky enough to ignore some mechanics and survive and quickly heal from many others
- satisfying infernal cry explosions
- apart from phys reflect, can run all map mods so don't need to spend time rerolling mods

- multiple button build, your keyboard hand will be busy
- like most marauders, rough when levelling and when first hitting maps, especially before flasks are automated
- decent DPS but far from enough to be insta-phasing bosses and ignoring mechanics
- can't run phys reflect
- several mods that are annoying, but can still be run: no leech; no regen; slower cooldown; slower life recovery; reduced armour and block

Build concept

This is a tanky, mid-ranged melee build with decent AoE coverage for mapping and decent bossing ability. It can handle any type of content solidly with fairly easy to farm gear, without being exceptional.

Try this build if you're after a classic melee barbarian playstyle - shield charging into packs, quickfiring a couple of warcries then exploding it all; tanky enough to stand toe to toe with bosses, and damaging enough to down all of them. It's a great build for learning boss mechanics, crafting, and upgrading incrementally from league start to end. It's a forgiving build for scrubs like me that don't know all the fight mechanics, like mapping with minimal risk of dying, and and want a tanky build that will survive mistakes.

The core skill is Shield Crush, which is a very SSF friendly skill because high damage shields are fairly easy to craft in Harvest or with essences, and it's a fairly high damage skill with reasonable AoE.

To buff the shield crush damage, we run Intimidating Cry and Rallying Cry with Herald of Purity and Berserk. Vulnerability is our primary curse. If we choose to pick up a second curse, we use Enfeeble or Temporal Chains to help the defences.

We take nearby mana reservation nodes and put high value on mana reservation equipment/clusters to enable a pretty standard set of armour/physical focused auras and reservation effects, fitting as many of these in as possible: Determination, Defiance Banner, Pride, Blood and Sand and Summon Skitterbots. Where gaps don't give sufficient elemental ailment protection, we might substitute in one of Purity of Elements or Arctic Armour.

Like everyone else we run automated almost-permanent defensive flasks enabled by instilling orbs and the 'charges gained when hit' prefix. Together with our big shield and auras, this puts us at 35-45k armour, which makes Molten Shell a no-brainer. Any ailments we fail to avoid are removed almost immediately with the mastery that makes warcries remove ailments. Another defensive layer is Enduring Cry for endurance charges, extra damage mitigation and life recovery.

For boss fights, we have an Impale support and a few impale passives to scale the damage slightly. We also use a pretty standard Ancestral Protector + Ancestral Chieftain setup.

Finally, Infernal Cry gives us satisfying pack explosions. We've already invested heavily in warcry speed and cooldown and life recovery, so adding Infernal Cry is a no brainer.

Guide concept

I find a lot of guides are too prescriptive about what to do and what you need in every slot, written for trade league where readers can buy exactly what they need and don't need to do any compromising or adjusting on the run.

This guide will be squarely focused on SSF, for people who play on average a few hours a day. I'm not going to assume that you can readily acquire anything. Instead I'll explain the most important stats and modifiers and how the core of the build works, so you can work with the equipment you've found, and experiment yourself on how to optimise it or to customise it to your taste.

The main focus of the guide will be on how to target farm / craft the key pieces / fish for upgrades. We go for achievable equipment that can be self made without too much grinding.

As I'm not myself at the super endgame and have no plans to get there or to trade, there is no POB or crafting guide for the super min/maxed end version of the build with corrupted gear, awakened gems, rare uniques etc. We're not relying on any of that stuff in the build, and if you're the type of SSF player who can actually farm enough raw exalts and orbs of dominance to craft super endgame gear then you don't need a crafting guide from me.

Would be very curious if someone else pushed this build to the extreme in Trade league and reported back on how they went though!

I'm also far from an expert in the game, having only played a handful of leagues, so very much welcome feedback and suggestions on the build and/or the guide. Maybe you can spot an easy tweak that doubles the build's effectiveness?

Passive Tree

Overview and Keystones
We live in the bottom left quadrant of the passive tree. The top-left most extremity is Resolute Technique, which allows us to not invest in accuracy, making capping resistances much easier. The rightmost extremity is Versatile Combatant, which lets us get 50% spell block much easier than otherwise.

We use four warcries, so we invest fully into the four nearby warcry passive wheels. Deep breaths, Natural Authority, Measured Fury and Admonisher and the small passives on the way to them make warcrying almost instantaneous, exert 1 extra attack and have much faster cooldowns. We also pick up three warcry masteries, so that every time we warcry, we recover 15% life, remove an ailment and debilitate all nearby enemies for 1 second (-10% damage, -20% move speed), and if you wanted more DPS, can easily pick up 20% increased damage for every time you warcried recently.

We want enough block % between our gear and our passive tree to get to 50/50 block. There are more than enough block nodes next to the skeleton of our tree to get there, so just pick the ones that best suit your circumstances.

Depending on what you need to supplement your gear, there are some solid easily accessible block related masteries you can spec in and out of over time, including +1% block chance per 5% block chance on shield; 20% elemental ailment avoidance; intimidate enemies for 4 seconds on block; +20 life and mana on block.

We want to make use of fortification for its fantastic 20% reduction on all incoming damage. How you get it is up to you - if you have a slot on the Shield Crush setup to put a Fortification support in, that's probably the best way as this build is hungry for passive points. If you can't spare a gem slot, then get either Steadfast or Rampart with the 'all melee hits fortify' mastery (Rampart if your damage isn't high enough yet to consistently fortify vs bosses, otherwise Steadfast).

The Champion of the Cause mana resevation circle is right in our area of the tree, and given how many auras we want to cram in it's a no brainer to pick it up. We also want the 15% mana reservation efficiency mastery that this opens up.

We most likely also need the 25% mana reservation efficiency for determination mastery. To unlock it, Juggernaut and/or Soul of Steel are right next to our travel nodes.

The Impale support on our shield crush only gives 60% impale chance, so the Merciless Skewering circle brings it up to 90%.

Prismatic Skin is right in our area, and it's too good to ignore. Before we get our hands on a corrupted blood immunity corruption jewel, we need this node too to grab the corrupted blood immunity mastery.

Art of the Gladiator is perfect before you get the cluster jewel setup going. 10% attack speed, no move speed penalty from armour and 20 dex is all very useful for this build, and the travel nodes to it give life.

We want as much life as we can get from our spare passive skills, and between the big Scion life wheel and everything near our travel nodes, we get about 160-190% increased life from the tree.

Why berzerker?

All four berserker keystones used for this build are great for it, and none of the small nodes are wasted either.

Aspect of carnage's 40% more damage is fantastic, and the 10% more taken tradeoff hurts a little but we buttress this weakness with our very defensive setup.

War Bringer and Crave the Slaughter generate the signature zerker rage mechanic, enables our berserk skill and we also make full use of the damage bonus for exerted attacks.

Rites of Ruin gives us a lot of zoom for mapping, and offsets the slow attack speed of shield crush. We also rely on it for stun immunity (though if you're trying this build in hardcore you probably also want to just spend 1 passive point to get Unwavering Stance to be fully stun immune).

Could another ascendancy work? Probably, but I haven't tried. They would probably sacrifice some damage and zoom for defence. Slayer could be interesting, with 20% culling strike and overleech.


Overview of key stats

The build is fairly flexible in where it gets its key stats in that we use almost all rares, and a lot of prefixes and suffixes can appear on multiple slots. The key stats to obtain in approximate order of importance are:
- max ele resists
- enough +stats to get around 80-90 intelligence and dexterity (this sounds laughably low but we barely get any dex/int from our tree)
- if we're not solving mana costs with support gems or a flask, then -mana cost mods and 1 source of mana leech
- if we don't have it from skills, then freeze/chill immunity
- 50/50 block, with at the least 10% attack block coming from gear to take pressure off the passive tree
- as much life as practicable, but 4.5k at the minimum
- attack speed, with at least around 25% coming from equipment
- mana reservation efficiency - need at least about 10%
- as much armour, chaos resist, spell suppression, movement speed, ailment avoidance, cooldown reduction, physical damage reduction and physical damage taken as elemental as practicable


End state

We want the highest armour or armour + evasion shield possible, as our shield crush damage scales directly off that total. This means a rare with the colossal tower shield or the cardinal round shield base, preferably Shaper influenced (to open possibility of 5% life recovered when blocking and mana reservation efficiency for socketed gems suffixes). Second preference is Warlord (%life recovery only) or Hunter (huge warcry cooldown rate). Ideally we want iLvl 86 or higher, to unlock the tier 1 %increased armour mod.

Since a couple of leagues ago, all armour including shields roll their inherent defensive stats in a range. So a colossal tower shield can have between 522 - 601 base armour. Don't bother crafting on anything lower than ~570. In SSF you won't be getting enough sacred orbs to reroll that base level, so start with a high one.

A theoretically perfect non-corrupted shield looks something like this:

590+ base armour
30% quality from perfect fossil
Shaper influenced
Prefixes: t1 flat armour, t1 % armour, t1 hybrid armour + life
Suffixes: shields have an awesome range of really good suffixes - you should be happy with any 3 of the following, in approx order of desirability: +2% all max resists, socketed gems have 30% increased mana efficiency, recover 5% life on block, warcries have 45% increased cooldown rate, +15% block chance, 34% spell suprression [only available on evasion or hybrid evasion shields], 8% additional physical damage reduction, take 60% reduced damage from critical strikes, 35% chance to avoid elemental ailments

This should get you a ~2.6k armour, +20 health implicit ridiculously good shield.

It's a SSF guide so I won't go into the theoretical double corruption outcomes.

Colossal tower shield or cardinal round shield?

Colossal shields have a useful implicit (up to +20 life), cardinal round shields don't. We also prefer to stack armour rather than split it up between armour and evasion. And colossal shields have significantly higher base defensive stats. So in most cases we prefer the colossal tower shield.

Cardinal round shields have the advantage of being easier to find a good base for (the base armour range is much smaller - 209 to 240 armor and evasion as opposed to 522 to 601 armour), and easier to craft (t1 + flat armour/evasion gives a whopping max of +300 armour and +300 evasion, compared to only +400 armour for tier 1 flat armour on the colossal tower shield). It also comes with 2% more base block and ability to roll spell supression as a suffix. Theoretically the tower shield's implicit advantage goes away if you are in the super endgame and double corrupting your shield.

Overall it's pretty close, with colossal shields in front slightly. But you can be happy with either. If you drop a iLvl 86+ cardinal round shield with good base stats, definitely keep it.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

While levelling, any high armour or armour+evasion shield is fine. Especially in archnemesis league, a lucky unique drop can carry you for a long time in the Acts.

Until you're ready to make your gg endgame shield, iLvl 72+ (ie anything from yellow maps and up) is good enough to do some light crafting on, as that's high enough for tier 1 flat armour and tier 3 % armour. Recommend you keep 2-3 bases in your stash and do the 'use one while upgrading the other one' dance.

Crafting a useable shield in early maps is pretty straightforward - just prioritise Harvest and the blue defence mods craft. It should only take a few rolls to get a ~1500 armour or armour + evasion shield to get you going. If you keep using harvest defence crafts on your second base, you'll eventually hit something like 1.8k armor with 2 useful suffixes by the time you're deep in red maps, and that kind of shield will be good enough to build around and beat midgame bosses like Shaper and Sirus until you're ready to try to craft your late game shield. And it'll be good enough that you should look to upgrade the other bits of your gear first before trying the shield.

To get your lategame shield base (which has to be iLvl 86+ to roll the highest tier affixes), easiest way is to spec into the +3 levels for items dropped in the abyssal depths atlas passive and run a lot of abyss maps (using the map device or scarabs) at T15-16. Should only take 3-4 abyssal depths to find a few bases with reasonably high base armour.

If you were also lucky enough to get a hunter or warlord orb, you could consider slamming it with the orb to open up additional powerful suffixes. You should also be prioritising the harvest craft to randomise the influence on armour items - you could use that to get the Shaper influence on your base.

Then it's just a matter of using harvest defence crafts, essences (loathing, dread) and where appropriate, the harvest 'reroll with a high chance of getting the same modifiers' and 'reroll keeping prefixes/suffixes' type crafts and hoping to strike gold.


End state

The weapon slot does not directly influence your shield crush damage, so we use it as a 'stat stick', using it to get stats that in other builds we'd be getting from armour or jewelry.

Realistically, the best SSF weapon is the Advancing Fortress or its replica version, which gives 15% block, up to 50 life, socketed gems (ie shield charge) supported by fortify and some misc semi useful stats. It's fairly common, and you will drop enough that you can even corrupt some and hope for a more useful implicit.

Before corrupting, look for the Harvest enchant to have quality increase area of effect, to replace its default damage effect. You can also Hillock improve it to 28% quality.

Filterblde doesn't show advancing fortress any more at about 'very strict', so you'll need to make an exception.

In trade league, some potentially better options include The Dark Seer and Al Dhih.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

When levelling, just get any weapon that has stats or resists that you need. A low level unique that is quite good is The Princess, which gives you around 25% extra physical damage as cold damage.

If you haven't found an Advancing Fortress yet, Prismatic Eclipse could work well too (12% global attack speed per green socket, 25% global phys damage per red socket).

There's also a fairly common unique foil that gives a heap of resistances.


End state

In theory the best base is an experimental heist base Sinistral Gloves, which increases off hand attack damage by 45% at the inconsequential cost of reduced main hand attack damage. Don't count on finding it in SSF though - I haven't after two leagues.

Ultimately the gloves base doesn't matter that much. It's hard to get the currency to justify crafting gloves in SSF, so I recommend just going with whatever base lady luck drops in your lap. If you get a nice influenced pair on a good base, craft on that. If Rog makes a nice pair for you, stick some eldritch embers on it until you get something nice.

Good bases include spiked gloves for the melee damage implicit (but note it'll be overwritten if you eldritch craft it), titan gauntlets as the highest armour base, and dragonscale gauntlets as the highest armour+evasion base.

If you're going with an influenced pair, then:
- Warlord is ideal, with +1 frenzy charge and % increased melee damage prefixes and block and culling strike suffixes
- Hunter is pretty good too as it opens up % chance to impale on hit and chance to intimidate on hit as prefixes and mana per enemy hit as suffix
- Elder is passable with % chance of getting a frenzy charge on kill as prefix and attack speed, % block and melee damage as suffixes, but at this point query whether the dilution of the affix pool is worthwhile.

The stats you're after (in approx order of priority) are:
prefixes: life, influenced mods named above, (if required) mana leech, flat physical damage
suffixes: attack speed, any influenced mods named above, spell suppression, chaos resist, other resists, dex or int (if required)

Ideally we'd like to also corrupt the gloves to get a useful curse on hit (vulnerability, chains or enfeeble).

3 examples of endgame non-corrupted gloves look something like this:

Spiked gloves
Warlord Influenced
Prefixes: life, +1 frenzy charges, melee damage %
Suffixes: attack speed, culling strike, chaos resist

Dragonscale gloves
Searing exarch implicit: attack speed, or intimidate on hit, or % damage per frenzy charge
Eater of Worlds implicit: chance to impale on hit, or % damage per 100 strength, or spell suppression, or exerted attacks do % increased damage, or overwhelm % physical damage reduction
Prefixes: life, hybrid life/armour, life or mana leech, flat phys
Suffixes: attack speed, resists, dex/int

Hands of the High Templar
Curse enemies on hit, with 1-2 of vulnerability, enfeeble and chains
+ attack speed
+ level of socketed AoE gems (stick some auras in here)
+ 1 max frenzy charge
+ % life

Upgrading and progressing to end state

There are a lot of garbage high weight gloves mods in the affix pool, so it's pretty hard to hit everything you'd like on the gloves in SSF.

You might get lucky with Rog, so give any decent base a try. If it turns out alright, just roll eldritch currency on it until you're happy.

If Sirus drops Hands of the High Templar, obviously try to get lucky there. Note you don't need to divine it to perfection first - you can do that afterwards on the Hands.

Otherwise, if you drop a nice Warlord or Hunter influenced base, good luck with the harvest (use attack and speed crafts) and essence spam (zeal, greed or any of the resists ones).


End state
Ideally a headhunter or mageblood, but this is SSF so let's assume that's not possible.

In which case the realistic endgame belt is a Stygian Vise with (in order of priority):

Prefix: life, flasks have % increased effect (pretty rare, don't count on getting this), energy shield
Suffix: faster cooldowns (benchcrafted), chaos resist, any other resist, high life regen or one of the flask suffixes
Harvest enchant: recover 2% life when you kill an enemy while raged. There are a few other vaguely useful enchants too.

If you managed to get a 'randomise influence' craft in harvest, and a useless awakener orb (ie Veritania or Baran) then use them here and hopefully hit one of:
Elder: grant level 22 enduring cry and/or rallying cry prefix; % life prefix; % global phys damage prefix; attack speed or % melee damage during flask effect suffix
Shaper: grant level 22 intimidating cry prefix (we are gem slot starved), % cooldown recovery suffix, movement speed during flask effect suffix
Hunter: % life prefix

The other influences also have some vaguely useful affixes but query whether worth diluting affix pool for them.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

Use the Abyssal Depths atlas passives to get more chances at spawning the depths. Won't be long before you have a couple of iLvl 85+ vises, which is all you need to craft on.

To get the four fertile catalysts to get the 20% quality, just prioritise catalysts on metamorph, and hit some metamorph rooms in Heist. Just a matter of time before you get it.

Then just hit the vise with Harvest resist and life crafts, or the resistance essences, or just an Aberrant (more chaos mods) fossil. It's not hard to get a useable vise because the affix pool is pretty small. It will take a bit of luck to get an awesome one though.

The socketed abyssal jewel

Currency is probably too scarce to be spending here, so just use any decent jewel you can find with +life with useful secondary stats like resists, ailment avoidance, int/dex, energy shield, etc.

If you're using harvest crafts etc to reroll, use murderous eye jewels as they can come with % chance of unholy might on melee kill. Avoid ghastly eye jewel as they come with a lot of useless minion modifiers.


Like the belt slot it's not hard to get a decent pair here but will take a while to get an awesome pair.

The ideal mods are (in approx order of importance):
Searing exarch implicit: % increased action speed, or movement speed, or % increased onslaught effect
Eater of worlds implicit: cooldown reduction, or (if required) elemental ailment avoidance, or infernal cry has increased AoE, or intimidating cry cooldown reduction
Prefix: move speed (iLvl 86 for tier 1), life, armour/life hybrid
Suffix: spell suppression, resists
Enchant: several useful ones here, take the one that suits you the best

I wouldn't recommend an influenced pair here, but if you have your heart set on it, then an iLvl 86 two-toned armour/evasion base is ideal, with Crusader or Shaper influence for cooldown reduction suffix. The eldritch influence implicits are just straight up better though imo.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

While in the campaign and early maps, just use any decent pair of boots with move speed.

In yellow and red maps, find a pair of two-toned boots and harvest craft with speed, life or resists until you get something useable. Shouldn't be too hard as the boots affix pool is smallish and most mods are useable.

When ready to try a lategame pair, the +3 levels abyssal depths node is your friend again, to get an iLvl 86+ pair of armour/evasion boots (for t1 move speed), with the best being two-toned and dragonscale. Then hit it with harvest crafts and essences until you get lucky.

Then hit it with eldritch currency until happy.


There are a few options on the helmet, and it's a bit of a matter of preference.

One approach is to use the helmet slot to squeeze more auras in. Alpha's Howl or Devouring Diadem will likely allow you to run an additional aura/stance, but at the cost of not having any life on it.

The other approach is to get a lot of the normal health/resists type stats on the helm. Crown of the Inward Eye from Sirus is a nice semi-easy to acquire helm with both good life and damage.

An ideal rare helm looks something like:
Searing Exarch implicit: % increased area of effect or % vulnerability, enfeeble or chains curse effect (as relevant)
Eater of worlds implicit: mana reservation % or % of physical damage taken as [elemental] instead
Prefix: life, life/armour hybrid, % armour and evasion
Suffix: mana resevation (from essence), spell suppression, resists

Another influenced option is Warlord with prefixes: life, % physical damage taken as fire, warcry skills have % increased area of effect and suffix nearby enemies take 9% increased fire damage, or Elder which has nearby enemies take 9% increased physical damage.


For the enchant, given it's SSF we're happy to have anything that buffs any one of our skills. If you're in trade and you have the luxury of choice, then some great ones are:
- berserk has 30% increased buff effect / berserk has 40% reduced rage loss
- 15% increased shield crush attack speed
- blood and sand has 40% increased buff effect
- increased mana reservation efficiency for [aura]

Experiment with what works for you, and be flexible based on what drops for you.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

Use any generic life and resists helm in the campaign and early maps.

Use a few harvest crafts to craft something useable for medium and red maps. Don't overinvest on this, the difference between a useable helm and a very good helm doesn't compare well with the cost difference between making a useable helm and making a very good one.

In the course of upgrading your other pieces you'll probably drop one of the decent uniques, so use that until you're ready to try to craft the endgame piece. You only need iLvl 84 here for t1 resists, or iLvl 85 if you're crafting on a Warlord or Elder helm for the nearby enemies take more damage suffixes.

Rog can be useful here. If he makes you a good helm, just hit it with eldritch currency until happy.


End state

One endgame ring almost has to be a generic life and resists ring with -mana cost, so something like:

Base: two stone or unset or vermillion or steel or amethyst
Quality: 20% prismatic catalyst
Prefix: Life, -total cost of non-channelling skills, flat physical or life or mana leech or if influenced, several nice but not essential prefixes available
Suffix: 3x resistances

The other ring is a lot more flexible
- if you get lucky with synthesis bosses, you might end up with a nice offensive Herald of Purity offensive ring
- if you're not running +1 curse, you would want a warlord ring that has vulnerability on hit and as many other nice mods as possible.
- otherwise something similar to ring 1 is fine, it'll give a lot of flexibility to your other slots

Upgrading and progressing to end state

It shouldn't be hard to find a couple of decent two-stone rings by yellow maps. I wouldn't invest too much into crafting them, as there are lots of trash affixes and it's hard to hit a good one, and it'd be a waste to use so much currency on your non-endgame base.

Having the -total mana cost craft solves a lot of mana issues and improves your quality of life - to unlock the craft, prioritise Jun missions and go after Elereon.

Keep your eyes open for a warlord influenced ring, preferably on one of the better bases. Once you get one, smash it with caster Harvest crafts until you get a useable vulnerability on hit ring.

To maximise the chances of getting that warlord ring, juice any warlord maps you drop as much as practicable, gamble on rings when you have spare artifacts at Gwen, prioritise the 'chance to drop influenced item' nodes in expedition, and grab the elderslayer Atlas passives as soon as you can handle them. You can also drop one in delve, blight or heist, but the drop rates of influenced items from those places seem too low to bother trying to optimise.


End state

Amulets are pretty hard to craft in SSF due to the massive modifier pool.

In theory the best possible amulet is something like:
Base: onyx or the +dex/int one or the % life regen per second one
Prefixes: +1 physical skills (which is 0.09% weight), +1 all skills (which is 0.02% weight with no tags), life
Suffixes: you've already hit +2 skills in SSF, don't get too picky about suffixes

The reason +2 is important is you can combine it with +1 on the body armor and a level 21 shield crush to get level 24 shield crush, the breakpoint at which the damage scaling jumps from 5-7 damage per 15 armour or evasion on the shield, to 6-8 damage (ie something like a 15% damage increase). At level 24 the damage radius for shield crush also goes up by about 14%.

If you don't manage to identify the jackpot amulet, then a good amulet looks something like:

Prefixes: life, (if required) life/mana leech, something vaguely useful from the influenced mod pool like move speed from hunter or area of effect from elder/warlord
Suffixes: resists, useful suffixes from influenced mods like level 22 determination from shaper, attack speed from elder, pride or determination mana efficiency from warlord, % chance to crush on hit (essence of horror), stats

Pretty hard to get a 'very good' amulet in SSF let along awesome one, so good luck.


Some good budget-ish enchants include:
- sanctuary - teal/teal/amber - 4% spell and attack block, 12% resist all when using shield
- purity of flesh - silver/black/clear - 10% life, 8% energy shield, 8% chaos resist
- crystal skin - silver/black/sepia - 1% all max resists, 20% elemental ailment avoidance
- freedom of movement - violet/sepia/clear - 10% movement speed and evasion while phasing, 20 dex
- intuition - violet/violet/amber - 5% life, 5% suppression, 15% evasion
- instinct - sepia/sepia/azure - 10% suppression; recover 50 energy shield when you suppress

Your endgame enchant is a hole filler, so pick what you want. Whispers of doom if you want an extra curse, sovereignty for an extra bit of mana reservation to maybe fit one more aura in, Inveterate for pushing closer to 100 suppression, or any of the ones listed above.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

No shortcuts here. Identify all amulets and hope for the best. Given how hard it is to roll a good one, I wouldn't spend currency on this slot except harvest crafts that I have nothing else to use on.

One thing you could try if you have a decent warlord base amulet is bound fossil and pristine fossils, to try to get life + reservation efficiency + something else vaguely useful. Another thing you could try with a warlord amulet is alt spamming until you get those two mods, then use the somewhat rare harvest craft that adds 3-4 mods to a magic item on it and hope for the best.


[To be written]


End state

We have a pretty standard flask setup grounded in magic defensive flasks, mixed in with any power uniques that we find.

On all magical flasks (and we'd want at least 2-3 of them), we want the 'gain # charges when hit' prefix. We're a melee build, we get hit a lot, this keeps our charges up. We then want to use instilling orbs on them to get 'use when charges full' or 'use when neighbouring flask is used' or other triggers that ensure they are almost always on.

On suffixes, we ideally want one each of 'increased % armour during flask effect', 'reduced curse effect on you during flask effect', and 'increased movement speed during flask effect'. Remember, these suffix effects don't stack, so no point in having two of the same.

Then depending on which ailments you're wanting protection against, you may also want some suffixes devoted to making you immune to things like poison or shock.

As for flask types, you want:
1. A basalt flask for sure for the +20% armour, and
2. I recommend a quartz flask for the phasing and spell suppression.
3. Before you have your clusters up, silver flask for onslaught is my recommended third - replace with one of the ones below if you have another source of onslaught;
4. Sulphur flask for the consecrated ground and a bit of damage for the fourth; and
5. The final slot is flex, depending on your style:
a) enduring mana flask if you don't mind pressing another button to manage your mana;
b) quicksilver for movement;
c) sapphire flask for dealing with cold damage, which is a bit overrepresented in endgame bosses
d) amethyst flask if you haven't capped your chaos resist yet

If you get lucky and pick up the good unique flasks, then Lion's Roar, Bottled Faith and Taste of Hate in particular are very good and can replace the non unique versions above.

Upgrading and progressing to end state

While levelling and in the campaign, use 1-2 quicksilvers, a mana flask and 1-2 life flasks.

In early maps, you'll need an enduring mana flask until you sort out another solution to mana (or just keep using it if you don't mind an extra button to press, and don't mind rerolling no regen maps). You should probably keep a life flask too until your defensive pieces are in place - decide yourself when you're comfortable dropping the life flask.

As for getting to the end state, there are no shortcuts. Just make sure to pick up glassblower's baubles and vendor quality flasks while levelling and early mapping so you have enough baubles to apply to your endgame flasks. Wait to drop reasonably high iLvl flasks before investing currency into your flasks, as low level flasks can't hit the higher tier mods, and you won't have enough instilling orbs to be tossing onto the flasks you got through the campaign.

Alt spam to get the charges when hit prefix or the desired suffix. If you get the suffix, aug and hope for the best. If the prefix, use beastcrafting to apply the desired suffixes if possible, or aug if not.

Filterblade defaults to filtering out a lot of flasks at around 'strict' so make sure to tinker with your filter settings if you haven't dropped the endgame flasks yet.

If you have your heart set on one of the unique flasks, try the archnemesis unique explosion recipe - https://imgur.com/X4Kvk5X.

Skill gem setup

[To be written]

Atlas passives and target farming strategy

[To be written]


Alira at first, then once you're deep in maps and don't need the resists/regen any more, switch to kill them all.

Why not general's cry?

[To be written]
Last edited by rhynst on Mar 12, 2022, 9:02:01 AM
Last bumped on Mar 12, 2022, 9:01:11 AM

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