[3.18] Enki's BLS Ancestral Warchief Chieftain

This build works for 3.18 but will be discontinued. Instead, I'll use some of the ideas from this build and my Molten Strike Champion for a Strength Stacking Molten Strike Juggernaut.

Welcome to my Ancestral Warchief guide!

Are you looking for a bosskiller? Do you want some swole totems to do all the work for you? Is your budget rather low? Then this might be the right build for you!

It combines Brutus' Lead Sprinkler with Strength Stacking, Ancestral Warchiefs and some perks from the Chieftain Ascendancy to a solid bosskiller that isn't completely miserable while mapping and feels good even without investing lots of currency.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the help section within my Discord channel!

I also stream daily at twitch.tv/enki91!

Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/DUGiReNf
(Read the Notes inside to set it up properly!)
Requires the Path of Building Community Fork



Maze of the Minotaur


Pros & Cons

+ great single target damage
+ relatively cheap to get running
+ clearspeed is alright for melee totems
+ great scaling potential with some investment
- bosses that constantly move are annoying to fight
- totems can die and leave you vulnerable
- requires Enduring Mana Flask usage
- not tanky, but can take a hit


Main Mechanics

Attribute Stacking

Stacking attributes is done to gain a massive bonus from specific modifiers, in most cases to gain base damage. The entire character is built around one of the three attributes - Strength, Dexterity or Intelligence - while the other two are just high enough to meet Gear- and Gem Requirements.

This build stacks Strength to gain Fire base damage from Brutus' Lead Sprinkler and lots of Life.


Totems are temporary allies that can be placed by the player. They are stationary and will start using their skill towards enemies within their Activation Range. Their damage is based on the players stats plus any applicable totem damage modifiers, while their survivability is seperated with their own life, resistances and defensives and can be affected by defensive auras. The base totem limit is 1, which can be increased in various ways such as the Ancestral Bond keystone.


Block prevents all damage and ailments from a hit, except for stuns. It's separated into Chance to Block Attacks and Chance to Block Spells, both having a default cap of 75%. Damage over Time can't be blocked unless it's applied through a hit and that hit was blocked.


Act 1-10 Progression


This part contains everything you need to know about the build while getting through the acts.
If you're new, I recommend checking out my Beginner Tips and Act Progression guides.



‣ The build uses a different gem setup during the acts, as you likely won't have a Brutus' Lead Sprinkler yet. If you do, follow the endgame gem setup, leave out the Crit gems and Precision and get Galvanic Hammer and Utmost Might instead of Butchery and Wrecking Ball.

‣ You'll only get one gem as quest reward. If there are multiple gems from the same quest listed below, you have to buy the others from the currency vendor in that acts town.

‣ Your auras don't need to be actively on your skill bar. You can activate them and then unbind them, or bind them to your secondary skillbar by holding CTRL.

‣ Set Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Protector to Always Attack without Moving. You can find this option at the top when left-clicking the skill on your skillbar.

‣ Blood and Sand allows you to switch between stances. Stay in Sand Stance for clearing and switch to Blood Stance for bossfights.

‣ Before you get Ancestral Warchief, use Intimidating Cry for additional damage in bossfights.

‣ After getting your hideout and unlocking recipes starting in late Act 2, use your Crafting Bench to add Resistances, Life, Physical Damage, Attack Speed or Dexterity to your gear.

‣ You have to update your weapon frequently. Check the equipment vendor every 5-10 levels for any Two-Handed Melee Weapon with atleast 1.3 Attacks per Second and use 4x Blacksmith's Whetstones if it's normal rarity, then do one of the recipes below for additional damage.

‣ Wear a Jade Amulet for early attribute requirements.



Weapon with "(40-49%) increased Physical Damage"
any Weapon + Magic Rustic Sash + Blacksmith's Whetstone

Weapon with "(50-64%) increased Physical Damage"
any Weapon + Rare Rustic Sash + Blacksmith's Whetstone


Passive Tree Goals

Act 1 | Act 2 | Act 3 | Act 4 | Act 5 | Act 6 | Act 7 | Act 8 | Act 9 | Act 10



Kill Kraityn | Kill Alira | Kill Oak

to gain 2 Passive Skill Points from Eramir in the Forest Encampment


Gem Progression

Ground Slam (Enemy at the Gate, Act 1) -> Ancestral Warchief (Sever the Right Hand, Act 3)
+ Ruthless (Twilight Strand) -> Multistrike (The Eternal Nightmare, Act 4)
+ Onslaught (Mercy Mission, Act 1) -> Faster Attacks (Sharp and Cruel, Act 2)
+ Melee Physical Damage (Sharp and Cruel, Act 2)

Switch to Faster Attacks after getting Ancestral Warchief.

Ancestral Protector (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Maim (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Lifetap (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Multiple Totems (The Eternal Nightmare, Act 4)

Multiple Totems is needed to spawn this after getting Ancestral Warchief.

War Banner (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Blood and Sand (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Vitality (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Herald of Purity (Intruders in Black, Act 2) -> Pride (Lost in Love, Act 3)

You need Sovereignty and its Reservation Mastery to swap to Pride.

Dash (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Intimidating Cry (The Caged Brute, Act 1) -> Enduring Cry (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Vulnerability (Lost in Love, Act 3)
+ Lifetap (The Caged Brute, Act 1)

Switch to Enduring Cry after getting Ancestral Warchief.

Steelskin (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Lifetap (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Increased Duration (A Fixture of Fate, Act 3)


Flask Progression

Life Flask
Life Flask -> Basalt Flask (Safe Passage, Act 10)
Mana Flask
Mana Flask -> Granite Flask (The Key to Freedom, Act 5)
Quicksilver Flask (Mercy Mission, Act 1)


Passives & Ascendancy



Regular: Level 70 | Level 80 | Level 90

Endgame w/ Thread of Hope & Cluster Jewels: Level 80 | Level 90 | Level 100



Primal Manifestation - Totems Taunt Enemies around them for 1 second when Summoned
Surveillance - 5% of Damage from Hits is taken from your nearest Totem's Life before you
Galvanic Hammer - All Damage with Maces and Sceptres inflicts Chill
Sovereignty - 15% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Juggernaut - Determination has 25% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
Utmost Might - 5% increased Attributes
Lava Lash - 1% increased Fire Damage per 20 Strength
Dismembering - +25% to Critical Strike Multiplier against Unique Enemies


Tukohama, War's Herald (Normal Labyrinth)
Increases your Ancestor Totems Activation Range and Buff Effect, which in turn raises their own damage, and also gives you 2% of the damage our totems deal as Life Leech for sustain.

Arohongui, Moon's Presence (Cruel Labyrinth)
Reduces the damage enemies around your totems deal while it increases the Physical- and Fire Damage they take. Also makes your totems completely immune to Fire Damage, and with that Elemental Reflect and gives them some AoE for better clearspeed.

Ramako, Sun's Light (Merciless Labyrinth)
Gives 15% Fire Resistance Penetration, the other stuff isn't important here.

Hinekora, Death's Fury (Eternal Labyrinth)
Increases your Strength by 10% and covers rare and unique enemies in Ash on hit, which increases the Fire Damage they take and reduces their Movement Speed.


Gem Setup


Main Skill

Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Multistrike - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Fire Penetration - Increased Critical Strikes - Increased Critical Damage

Vaal Ancestral Warchief is your main skill and like all Vaal skill gems, grants the regular Ancestral Warchief and its Vaal version.

Ancestral Warchief places a totem that uses your weapon damage and attacks nearby enemies with an AoE slam. While active, it also grants a Melee Damage multiplier to you which in return buffs the totems damage, as it uses your damage stats.

Vaal Ancestral Warchief does the same, but grants a bigger Melee Damage multiplier and can leap towards enemies. It also grants +1 to maximum number of Summoned Totems, which allows you to use the Vaal skill without interfering with your regular totem limit.

The Vaal version requires souls to be used, which are primarily gained by killing monsters or at certain thresholds during bossfights. After being used, it goes into Soul Gain Prevention for some time during which it can't be charged up for another use.

The support gems maximize the damage of your totems and make it more consistent by adding a lot of base crit chance and resistance penetration.

Awakened versions of Elemental Damage with Attacks, Fire Penetration and eventually also Multistrike can be used to maximize damage.


Buff Totem

Ancestral Protector - Multiple Totems - Combustion - Lifetap

Ancestral Protector places a totem that works similarly to its Warchief counterpart, but attacks enemies with singular strikes and grants an Attack Speed multiplier as buff.

Phantasmal Ancestral Protector can be used to maximize its buff effect.

Multiple Totems makes you place two totems at once and increases your totem limit for Ancestral Protector by 2, which allows you to get its buff without interfering with your Warchiefs.

Combustion lowers the enemies Fire Resistance by 10% if your Ancestral Protector ignites them. The gem itself adding some ignite chance and crit stacking helps with that.

Lifetap makes the linked skill cost life instead of mana, to avoid running into mana issues.


Movement & Buffs

Dash - Enduring Cry - Assassin's Mark - Lifetap

Dash is your movement skill. It has a use limit, cooldown and fixed travel distance. As a blink skill, it lets you avoid damage from ground effects that you dash over.

Enduring Cry is a warcry that regenerates life, taunts enemies and grants Endurance Charges based on enemies within range. The Endurance Charges receive a buff to grant additional elemental resistances and physical damage reduction.

Assassin's Mark is a mark curse that grants additional base crit chance and crit multi against the cursed enemy. Like all mark curses, only one enemy can be affected at a time.

Anomalous Assassin's Mark can be used to maximize damage.

Lifetap is once again needed for skill cost sustain.



Determination - Precision - Purity of Elements - Enlighten

These auras reserve mana to grant permanent buffs, in this case a huge amount of armour, accuracy, crit chance, elemental resistances and elemental ailment immunity.

Enlighten reduces the amount of mana these auras reserve. A Level 3 Enlighten, Sovereignty and the two reservation cost-related Masteries listed in the Passives section are needed to run all auras. Before that, skip Purity of Elements.



Blood and Sand - Defiance Banner

Both of these reserve a small amount of mana to grants buffs.

Blood and Sand grants you two stances with different effects. Blood Stance grants a Melee AoE Damage multiplier but lowers the AoE of melee skills, Sand Stance does the opposite. It's recommended to stay in Blood Stance with this build.

Defiance Banner lets you carry a banner that grants increased armour and evasion and reduces the crit chance of nearby enemies. If placed, it grants a bigger effect for those and taunts nearby enemies while also lowering their damage by 15%.

The third socket is open for whatever you want to use, such as a Portal gem.


Guard Skill

Vaal Molten Shell - Increased Duration - Lifetap

Vaal Molten Shell grants two skills, the regular Molten Shell and its buffed up Vaal version.
Both grant Armour and an additional hitpool based on your total Armour for a duration.

The Vaal version requires souls to be used, which are primarily gained by killing monsters or at certain thresholds during bossfights. After being used, it goes into Soul Gain Prevention for some time during which it can't be charged up for another use.

Increased Duration increases its duration, Lifetap is needed for skill cost sustain.


Gear & Flasks



Brutus' Lead Sprinkler is the core of this build. It adds 4 to 7 Fire Damage per 10 Strength, which turns into a lot of base damage when stacking Strength. This makes Strength the main stat to get, you want 30+ of it everywhere you can. Additionally, this weapon also has a really good base crit chance and decent attack speed to scale all your flat Fire Damage.

On a higher budget, try to get as close to perfect Critical Strike Chance and Attack Speed rolls as you can and then add in those both as corruptions.

Harvest Enchantment: Grants 1% increased Elemental Damage per 2% Quality



Your first shield needs to be any Armour base with 70+ Life, Resistances and Strength.

Once you can upgrade, add in more Strength and the Shaper-exclusive +1 to maximum number of Summoned Totems prefix. This allows you to place three Ancestral Warchiefs for both better clearspeed and single target damage.

On a very high budget, add Recover 5% of Life when you Block for survivability.


Body Armour

Start with any Armour base with 100+ Life, Resistances and Strength.

Upgrade to the Iron Fortress from here. It gives you a large amount of Strength, 1% Attack Block Chance per 50 Strength and raises the Melee Physical Damage bonus per 10 Strength to 3%, which is very powerful with Crown of Eyes and the Iron Will keystone. The payoff is a missing Life roll, a 10% Movement Speed loss and unlucky Spell Block Chance.

On a very high budget, get an Iron Fortress with +1% to all maximum Resistances or You take 50% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes corruption, or even both.



Your first helmet needs to be Armour based with 70+ Life, Resistances and Strength.

The next upgrade is a Crown of Eyes. It gives much needed Accuracy and applies all Spell Damage, mostly coming from the Iron Will keystone to Attack Damage at 150% of its value.
The cost for that is a missing Life roll and -30% Fire Resistance.

On a very high budget, get a Crown of Eyes with Socketed Skill Gems get a 90% Cost & Reservation Multiplier corruption, which gives your mana sustain some breathing room with your auras socketed in there.

Enchantment: Ancestral Warchief Totem grants 30% increased Melee Damage while Active



Meginord's Vise are cheap gloves to get started. They give 100 Strength to get started and also give 2% Life Regeneration for sustain.

Upgrade to an Armour base with 70+ Life, Resistances and Strength, then try to get the Eldritch implicits mentioned below.

On a very high budget, just get the same with better stats, especially Strength.

Eldritch Implicits: There's a few really strong implicits for this build. The Searing Exarch has #% increased Attack Speed and #% chance to Unnerve Enemies for # Seconds on Hit, both granting good damage increases. The Eater of Worlds has Inflict Fire Exposure on Hit, applying -#% to Fire Resistance for another impactful damage increase.



Start with any Armour base with 70+ Life, 20%+ Movement Speed, Resistances and Strength.

Upgrade to the same with better stats and farm the enchantment listed below. It counts as free crit chance, as you will never crit yourself and therefore always get its benefit.

On a very high budget, get all that with high Strength and 35% Movement Speed.

Eldritch Implicits: The Searing Exarchs #% increased Action Speed is very strong. The Eater of Worlds offers #% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills for Dash usage.

Enchantment: 120% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't Crit Recently



Carnage Heart is a good starter amulet that brings much needed Attributes and Resistances, and even improves the leech granted to you by your totems. If more Dexterity is needed, anoint Alacrity for cheap.

Astramentis is the next upgrade. It gives a massive amount of Attributes to cover all requirements, and of course a lot of damage. Improve it with Intrinsic Catalysts asap.

On a very high budget, get a perfectly rolled Astramentis.

Anointment: Totemic Zeal



Your first rings just need 40+ Life, Resistances and Strength. Elemental Damage with Attack Skills is an easy way to get some damage scaling at this point.

Upgrade to rings with more of these stats and an open prefix to craft Non-Channeling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost to help with mana sustain.

On a very high budget, upgrade those stats once again and aim for 50+ Strength, then improve them with Intrinsic Catalysts.



Start with a Heavy Belt with 80+ Life, Resistances, Strength and optionally Elemental Damage with Attack Skills.

Upgrade to an synthesized Belt with 15% increased Strength implicit. The best way is to buy such a base, use an Orb of Scouring and then put Intrinsic Catalysts on it, then use Essences, Fossils or Harvest until you get 80+ Life, Resistances and 40+ Strength.

On a very high budget, get all that but with better stats.



Your regular jewels should have Life and Strength. Add in Critical Strike Multiplier on higher budgets, it can be either Global.., Melee.. or ..with One-Handed Melee Weapons.

Thread of Hope is a recommended addition to save some passives. It allows you to allocate nodes within its ring, without being connected to your passive tree, all at the cost of some Resistances. This build uses a Very Large Ring to allocate Iron Will, Precision, Discipline and Training, Divine Fervour and Tireless.

Split Personality is an optional choice. This jewel grants two stats and increases them by 25% for each passive between the jewel and your classes starting point, which turns into 775% increased Effect if socketed in the Medium Cluster Jewels. Up to two can be used, for this build you want Strength on both, then Accuracy on one and Life on the other.

Watcher's Eye is another optional choice that has some life and up to three aura-related affixes. Good choices for this build are:

Watcher's Eye Affixes

‣ +#% to Critical Strike Multiplier while affected by Precision
‣ #% increased Attack Speed while affected by Precision
‣ +#% to Chaos Resistance while affected by Purity of Elements
‣ +#% Chance to Block Attack Damage while affected by Determination
‣ +# to Armour while affected by Determination
‣ You take #% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes while affected by Determination

Lethal Pride is yet another optional choice. It's a Timeless Jewel that affects passives within its radius and changes keystones depending on name mention within its first line. This part is irrelevant for this build, only thing that matters is that it grants Strength and #% increased Strength to your allocated nodes when socketed above Juggernaut. Sadly the possible rolls are still fairly undocumented, so it'll take a lot of Divine Orbs to try and find a good seed, which makes it a very endgame choice.

Emperor's Might and Emperor's Mastery are the last optional choices. They increase Strength respectively Attributes but a percentage and have some other nice additions, but are very pricey.


Cluster Jewel

These are socketed within Large Jewel Sockets on the outside of the passive tree and expand it with new nodes. While oftentimes being an optional choice, they're a core part of this builds endgame passive tree.

The Large Cluster Jewel can be either Mace Damage or Shield based and needs to have 8 added Passive Skills. The notables to aim for are Martial Prowess with Weight Advantage or Veteran Defender, the third notable doesn't matter as much.

The Medium Cluster Jewels need to be Totem based with 4 or 5 added Passive Skills. Both need Ancestral Guidance to maximize your Ancestral buffs, one needs Sleepless Sentries to gain Onslaught, the other needs Ancestral Preservation to beef up your totems.


Before crafting any of these flasks, use an Orb of Scouring to make them normal-rarity and then use 4 Glassblower's Baubles to raise their quality to 20%!


Divine Life Flask

A Divine Life Flask is great for instant healing when your life goes below 50%. For that, aim for any reduced Amount Recovered/Instant Recovery when on Low Life prefix and add of Sealing with the Menagerie to remove Bleed and Corrupted Blood.

Later on upgrade to a similar flask with a higher tier Grants Immunity to Bleeding.. suffix.


Eternal Mana Flask

This flask needs to have the Enduring prefix, it reduces the amount recovered but doesn't stop recovery upon hitting full mana and is needed for mana sustain. Add of Convection with the Menagerie to be safe from Chill and Freeze.

Once you can run Purity of Elements, replace the suffix with any Immunity to Poison suffix.


Granite Flask

This flask grants a lot of armour. Get any Increased Duration prefix and add of the Conger with the Menagerie to remove Shock.

Once you can run Purity of Elements, replace the suffix with any increased Armour.. suffix.


Basalt Flask

This flask gives a huge armour multiplier and should be used in conjuction with the Granite Flask. Since it consumes 40 charges, aim for a prefix that either adds Maximum Charges or reduced Charges per use and add of the Urchin with the Menagerie to remove Ignite.

Once you can run Purity of Elements, switch to any reduced Effect of Curses on you.. suffix.


Quicksilver Flask

This flask grants additional movement speed for better mobility. Go for any increased Duration or reduced Duration/increased Effect prefix with any increased Movement Speed.. suffix.

The Quicksilver Flask from the Mercy Mission quest can't roll Movement Speed suffixes!

Upgrade Order

‣ Basic Gear
‣ Flasks
‣ 5L Iron Fortress, Crown of Eyes, Astramentis
‣ Gear Upgrades
‣ Oils to anoint Totemic Zeal
‣ Intrinsic Catalysts
‣ Thread of Hope
‣ Cluster Jewels
‣ Split Personality
‣ Alternative Quality Gems
‣ Awakened Gems
‣ Watcher's Eye
‣ High Budget Gear
‣ Awakened Multistrike
‣ Emperor's Might or Mastery


Playstyle & Pantheon



While mapping, all you need to do is place your Warchiefs and keep moving. Seriously, don't ever stand still! Keep your Quicksilver Flask up and use Dash to move between enemies or away from their damage and let your totems do the work.

Put Molten Shell on left-click to make it soak up some damage, use your Granite- and Basalt Flask before Vaal Molten Shell for riskier situations.

If you get damaged, use Enduring Cry near enemies to quickly heal and gain Endurance Charges.

Recommended stats for tier 11+ maps
‣ ~6k Life
‣ 1200+ Strength
‣ 6L Ancestral Warchief
‣ 3x Ancestral Warchiefs
‣ Purity of Elements


Mapmods to look out for

Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
You have to fully rely on your Totem Leech and Enduring Mana Flask here.

Monsters' skills Chain 2 additional times
Can be risky with some projectile-based monsters, especially if there's a lot of damage mods on the map. Soul of Lunaris with its last upgrade prevents projectiles to chain to you, but doesn't prevent any secondary effects these may cause that could still kill you.



Start with putting Assassin's Mark on the boss, then place Ancestral Protector and as many Ancestral Warchiefs as you can close to the boss. If you have Vaal Ancestral Warchief, it's important that Ancestral Protector is placed first and Vaal Ancestral Warchief last to not mess up your totem limits.

Keep moving so the boss won't hit you and place totems if they die, expire or the boss moves. Just as while mapping, use your Granite- and Basalt Flask, then Vaal Molten Shell if there's some unavoidable large damage incoming.


Soul of Arakaali (Major Pantheon)
Its default effect reduces the damage over time you take. All upgrades are worth getting to recover your life faster after taking damage over time, gain some Chaos Resistance towards it and make debuffs affecting you expire faster.

Soul of Gruthkul (Minor Pantheon)
It's default effect gives you up to 5% additional Physical Damage Reduction based on the number of hits you took within the last 4s while its upgrade lowers enemies Attack Speed by 8% upon hitting you, and is worth getting.


Other Guides

Arc Elementalist
Lowlife Bane Occultist
CI Dominating Blow Guardian
Molten Strike Champion


Thanks for reading! Hope you like the build and have a nice day!
Last edited by Enki91 on May 12, 2022, 8:42:00 AM
Last bumped on Apr 26, 2022, 10:55:35 PM
Nice work! Always happy to see one of your guides!
Keep up the good work !
Enki making a great guide as usual!

Been thinking of making a lab runner to get some enchants for my characters or to sell, and most guides are either expensive, too clunky or outdated.

Will try this one out and hope it suffices my needs!
Been playing this build with a few tweaks here and there and it smashes the hell out of almost everything.

I'm trying to look at little further tweaks here and there. For the Watcher's Eye, is it better to have Attack Speed or Attack Damage? I have a jewel already that gives me 51% Attack Damage while affected by Precision.

Also has anyone tried to make any switches to have Assassins Mark work with Mark On Hit Support?
Hey Enki! Great to see another guide. I have a couple questions:

1. You say to go for the Searing Exarch implicit '%chance to unnerve on hit' on gloves, but unnerve is for spell damage. I assume you meant '%chance to intimidate on hit" which is for attack damage.

2. The large cluster jewel you recommend in the build, which has Martial Prowess and Weight Advantage/Veteran Defender pushed to the front, is unfortunately impossible to create. Either Martial Prowess or the other notable will always get pushed to the back and therefore require another two points to grab.

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