[3.12] Berserker Cyclone RT Axe Impale Full Physical - Cheap, SSF friendly


Much as most players are hyped with Cyclone, i am too. And the only issues left i had with Cyclone are now gone, so that's the perfect timing to try it back o/.

I'll try to keep it short contrary to my previous builds way more detailed. Hopefully you'll not be lost, and if you're feel free to ask questions.

Sum-up of the build : Cyclone, non crit full physical with RT (Resolute Technique), 100% Chance to Impale, Axe. We (can) use totems (Ancestral Warchief + Ancestral Protector w/ Multiple Totems Support) to help for single target even more.

Pit of the Chimera Demo (T16)                         Elder Vault Demo (T16, Zana mission)

Version history (3.7-3.12) :
3.12 Note : No change.
3.11 Note : Stun immunity while channeling removed, but we're stun immune while >= 25 Rage anyway. 2h weapons have higher damages, so Cyclone builds are even more viable, hf!
Forceful Skewering moved so it'll cost 1 more passive point to get it. Soul of Steel taken in one of the PoB trees isn't THAT good anymore with nerfs regarding % reduced damage taken gone from the tree.
3.10 Note : No new nerf. Enjoy!
3.9 Note : Some monsters now have a proper armour amount. Shouldn't impact the build much with the damages of a cyclone hit. We've -12% Total to Physical Reduction in the tree already. If you feel like it's not enough, you've Path of the Warrior notable at your disposal for -5% more of this stat.
3.8 Note : Several nerfs to Cyclone, the main one being that bonus to melee range doesn't increase the base radius of the skill anymore and instead gives you +8% inc AoE / +1 to melee range. The default radius of the skill is also now fixed to 11 instead of the one of your weapon (nerf in our case but buff in case of unarmed builds).
Pulverize Support got an AoE nerf (now inc AoE instead of more).
We don't get our 1% Chance to deal Double Damage per 4 Rage anymore.
And to finish, "-X to Total Mana Cost of Skills" is split into channelling vs non channelling with appropriate values for each, which mean you'll now probably need 2 items with this affix if you want a Cyclone costing 0 mana (to decently use Blood and Sand cf. below in the build).

You can see my character in 3.7 over there, HaresToupie.
Path of Building link (only Impale left to be implemented, and Pride fixed; "Notes" tab contain the gems setup and some other stuff)
No charges / onslaught activated as you'll not get them against bosses mostly, and it's set on Shaper/Guardian setting. I prefer to lower my expectations than putting too much buffs you wouldn't get when it matters the most.
Numbers below will be updated once PoB will be up-to-date.
DPS output on Cyclone only : 700k shaper dps (500k without totems buffs). Though without the totems buffs that mean you're clearing.
Blood Rage alone = +100k. Extreme minimum without buffs being 250k shaper dps with the current stuff in PoB.
With totems DPS, you can basically double it, so ~1M4 total shaper dps.
Passive skill tree (lvl 93) : On the official site - PoEPlanner link
Ascendancy priorities : That's a hard choice. Pain Reaver is nice to get early on, but you may prefer the 2 Rage nodes (Crave the Slaughter & Rite of Ruin) at first for damages. I'd take Aspect of Carnage in last, so you've time to build some defenses. Note that you may take War Bringer instead of Pain Reaver as you see fit. My argument is that i prefer 30% max hp leeched / s when needed than a 25% recovery of max hp & mana tap.
Bandits : Kill all for versatility, otherwise Oak is a fine choice too.
Pantheon : Asked w/ my previous builds, i generally go for Soul of Lunaris (major) and Soul of Tukohama (minor). However for the minor one here since we're moving while channeling, i'll probably go for Soul of Ryslatha as minor power.

Gems (all support are listed in order of importance DPS-wise) :
Int. required : 117 (24 from tree, 93 req.), dex. required : 155 (34 from tree, 121 req.).
  • Main skill (6l, GRBGRR) : (Vaal) Cyclone + Brutality + Infused Channeling + Impale + Fortify + Pulverise (more AoE clearing) OR Melee Phys Dmg (better for bosses) OR Rage
  • Single target helper (4-6l, RRRRGR) : (Vaal) Ancestral Warchief + Ancestral Protector + Multiple Totems + Brutality + Impale + Melee Phys Dmg
  • Travel skill (2-3l, RGR) : Leap Slam + Faster Attacks + Blood Magic (not needed, especially w/ -X to Total Mana Cost of Skills on ring(s))
  • Auras (4s, 2l needed, RRRR) : Pride + Flesh & Stone (Blood stance) + Maim + Dread Banner
  • Utility / Buffs :
    • Enduring Cry (R, warcry, endurance charges) OR Endurance Charge on Melee Stun (R, support) on your Travel skill.
    • (Vaal) Molten Shell (R, defensive ability to absorb damages), or Steelskin if armour is too low. Can be lvl 14 to fit in CwDT setup if preferred.
    • Curse (2l, RR vulne, RB enfeeble) : Cast when Damage Taken (lvl 1 w/ vulne or lvl 8/12 w/ enfeeble) + Vulnerability (lvl 5, offense) OR Enfeeble (lvl 11/15, defense).
    • Blood Rage (G, help clearing w/ frenzy charges / atk spd, careful with the degen we don't counter 50 Rage + Blood Rage w/ our life regen, you need to leech actively)
    • Berserk (R) is a possibility for a burst, though losing all our Rage seems like a bad idea. To keep for bosses or for a Legion encounter, etc. Especially if you know you'll lose your Rage soon after.

Alternative auras scheme here, for even more DPS (by adding Blood and Sand, easily 100k+) :
  1. Get -X (ideally 8) to Total Mana Cost of Skills on at least an item (3.8 Note : Channelled skills has their own affix, you'll probably now need this mod on 2 items due to lower values).
  2. Get at least a lvl 3 Enlighten.
  3. Sacrifice 2 gems, probably Berserk and Enduring Cry. It's still your choice.
  4. Auras (4l RRRB + 2s RR) : Pride + Flesh & Stone (Blood stance) + Maim + Enlighten. Dread Banner and Blood and Sand in the remaining slots in your stuff.

You may not take all these utility gems (but you can if your Leap Slam is on a 2l only). Especially since we've an issue here : The skill bar is too small (not anymore, thanks 3.8). My skill bar will look like this :
  • Move only | Auras cast and then Vaal Ancestral Warchief, Blood Rage | Cyclone
  • Leap Slam | Ancestral Warchief | Ancestral Protector | Berserk | Enduring Cry

Gear :
I'll just put what i always say on my builds :
As always, priority is to get some life and resistances, and 25/30% movement speed on the boots. When you'll start mapping 135% all elem resists is mandatory and i'd recommend to have 169% asap so you'll be capped even with an Elemental Weakness curse on you from a map mod or else. In your hideout since the -60% are taken into account now you want 109% (75% + the 34% Elemental Weakness removes in high tier maps).

For this build, there's nothing mandatory. We're using 2h Axe though. And you'll need a fair bit of stats (93 int. & 121 dex.) on your gear. In the meantime, you can still get some stats nodes which are on the way to help you get the required amount for the gems.

For the flasks, you definitely want a Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (+70% movement speed), the rest is related to preferences. I usually always roll them to get lasting immunity to freeze / bleed and curses.
My current flasks :

Previous one(s) :

This build works great with trash tier stuff (cf. PoB link), but can be improved by a lot with proper stuff :
  • Weapon : Atziri's Disfavour (unique), Rare 2h Elder Axe 7l (fortify) multimodded (not possible anymore since 3.9), ...
  • Helmet : Devoto's Devotion (unique) is already included as you can easily get it with "The Gladiator" divination card.
  • Body armour : Belly of the Beast (unique) for decent life, Kaom's Heart (unique) for even more life at the cost of the totems. Carcass Jack (unique) eventually for more AoE. A good rare (elder) body armour with Pristine & Serrated fossils for life and "Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 1 Maim" (not possible anymore since 3.9).
  • Gloves : Vaaled ones with "Curse enemies with Enfeeble/Vulnerability on hit" as the implicit, saves 1 gem slot. Otherwise some good Spiked gloves (atlas pic, loot locations).
  • Amulet : Daresso's Salute (unique).
  • Rings : 2 proper Steel Rings. Can be obtained in ENE red tier maps : Forge of the Phoenix Map (t16), Summit Map (t15), Orchard Map (t14), Sunken City Map (t13), Vaal Pyramid Map (t12), Siege Map (t11).
  • Belt : Soul Tether (unique) for overleech (synergizes well with Daresso's Salute), otherwise a Stygian Vise (more classic, life / resists / abyssal jewel slot).
  • Flask(s) : Lion's Roar (unique).
If you're a new player, you may not know Tabula Rasa is great to get your first 6l, and it's easily achievable through a bit of farming in the Blood Aqueduct (Act 9) to get a full set of the "Humility" divination card.

That's pretty much it.
For your leveling i'd recommend to use the link below (PoE Roadmap) to see when and where you'll be able to get the gems listed above. Cyclone is a level 28 gem, in the meantime you can level up with Cleave, Frost Blades, Ground Slam or any attack skill gem you'd like. Even past level 28, until you've a decent weapon to do the switch (don't forget the % inc phys damage on weapons recipe).
Regarding the passive skill tree. I never liked to do different trees per level / points spent. I rather like to have the tree i'm aiming for and taking the nodes that i find will help me the most in the current situation. For instance, i'd suggest to not take any axe node during leveling until you get a good one and you'll stay with axes only. Try to balance between life and damages. You mainly want to open ways. Getting towards the life nodes in the Scion area while not taking them all, to take more life when you'll need it, while continuing towards bottom right (Duelist area) to be prepared to take impale nodes, etc. Jewel slots are optional until you actually get one or more decent ones.

Feel free to ask any question.

Additional links :

Changelog :
If i edit this thread without putting something in the changelog, i just fixed some typos.
  • 2020-09-17 04h05 GMT : Added 3.12 note, no change.
  • 2020-06-19 06h44 GMT : Added 3.11 note.
  • 2020-03-11 03h12 GMT : Added 3.10 note.
  • 2019-12-12 17h40 GMT : Added 3.9 note. PoE trees links updated for 3.9 (nothing changed except urls).
  • 2019-09-06 16h16 GMT : Added my 3.8 build link (Saboteur Pryoclast Mine crit).
  • 2019-09-05 19h32 GMT : Added 3.8 notes and updated PoB / skill trees links (no changes in nodes taken, just the urls).
  • 2019-07-06 5h37 GMT : Added PoEtrade Jewels search filter link shared by @Teerick.
  • 2019-06-22 22h21 GMT : Added Soul Tether in gear section.
  • 2019-06-22 14h42 GMT : Added PoECraft link.
  • 2019-06-22 04h03 GMT : Updated flasks (switched Stibnite for Jade as i got blind on my weapon). Also -7 to Total mana cost of skills is also good enough to also use Blood and Sand.
  • 2019-06-21 13h40 GMT : Added some minor notes (vaaled gloves, endurance charges on melee stun).
  • 2019-06-19 19h55 GMT : Added 2 T16 videos demo. Added a little bandits choice note.
  • 2019-06-15 11h42 GMT : Added an alternative scheme to put Blood and Sand buff in there. Updated the gear section a bit. Removed Punishment note.
  • 2019-06-13 20h16 GMT : Added a Soul of Steel "v2" tree in PoB that keep taking 195% max life in the tree at lvl 93.
  • 2019-06-13 16h00 GMT : Added a little note on Punishment curse. Updated "my skill bar" part to reflect my current character, i prefer Molten Shell in CwDT.
  • 2019-06-11 10h46 GMT : Added a little note on the stats required (int. and dex.).
  • 2019-06-09 13h03 GMT : Updated PoB link, and changed some text here and there, added gems colors, etc.
  • 2019-06-08 17h14 GMT : Updated trees (we don't go in templar area anymore). Included Fortify by default in our main setup (Cyclone). Still waiting on PoB update to set everything up and update DPS numbers.
  • 2019-06-07 15h00 GMT : Added a suggested tree possibility in PoB thanks to @wcbigworm. Put all 3 trees in PoB to the same level, for comparison purpose.
  • 2019-06-07 14h10 GMT : Saved 2 passive nodes thanks to @wcbigworm. I'm blind. I didn't think about it after i took Impale in the theorycrafting process.
  • 2019-06-07 12h43 GMT : Created the thread.

Removed text :

  • 2019-09-05 19h16 GMT : Path of Building link
    Passive skill tree (lvl 93) : On the official site - PoEPlanner link
  • 2019-06-15 11h42 GMT : Punishment is another offensive option (R, lvl 5 too), better on paper, though you may not get melee hit enough to sustain the buff.
  • 2019-06-13 20h16 GMT : Path of Building link
  • 2019-06-09 13h03 GMT :
    Path of Building link (will be updated entirely once new/updated gems will be implemented; "Notes" tab contain the gems setup and some other stuff)
    DPS output on Cyclone only (gross underestimation) : 560k shaper dps.
    With totems DPS, you can basically double it, so ~1M2 total shaper dps.
    Curse (if 2 sockets free left somewhere) : Cast when Damage Taken (lvl 1 w/ vulne or lvl 12/14 w/ enfeeble) + Vulnerability (lvl 5, offense) OR Enfeeble (lvl 15/17, defense)
    Blood Rage (not 100% sure due to degen, help clearing w/ frenzy charges / atk spd)
    Leveling section : (through not yet updated with the new gems, check here for the level of the new gems)
  • 2019-06-08 17h14 GMT :
    Path of Building link
    DPS output on Cyclone only (gross underestimation) : 580k shaper dps.
    Passive skill tree (lvl 92) : On the official site (will work at release) - PoEPlanner link
    Main skill (6l) : (Vaal) Cyclone + Brutality + Infused Channeling + Impale + Rage OR Pulverise (QoL AoE) + Melee Phys Dmg OR Fortify (QoL defense)
    Travel skill (2-4l) : Leap Slam + Faster Attacks + Blood Magic (not needed w/ -X to Total Mana Cost of Skills on rings) + Fortify (either on Cyclone for QoL or here)

Last edited by Harest on Sep 16, 2020, 10:05:16 PM
Last bumped on Oct 21, 2020, 11:38:13 PM
You NEED to add "soul of steel" to your tree. :P
Thoughts on the new Inexorable node and getting some endurance charges over some templar life nodes?
Motmot wrote:
You NEED to add "soul of steel" to your tree. :P
As a Berserker, i prefer to increase my damages taken than reducing them :p. More seriously, as much as this node is praised, first i don't know what to remove, and second i think we're already not too bad defensive-wise. I'm not really building a HC build there.
wcbigworm wrote:
... [see above]
The thing i don't like about Inexorable node is that you have a chance to gain endurance charges when you're hit and not when you hit.
There's another possibility to generate Endurance charges with Leap Slam since the stun is guaranteed on full life enemies with Endurance Charge on Melee Stun support, but again i don't like this as it's a one time thing. On bosses you'll not necessarily be able to generate them.
I didn't do the maths to know how much an endurance charge is superior to life. It could be worth it to take one or two extra endurance charges, with the regen / endu charge on the way near the marauder start.

Defensive-wise, there's also the possibility to take the others fortify nodes (Steadfast cluster) as stated in the notes in the PoB link : "More fortify nodes in the skilltree (switch from "default" to "more fortify nodes"). May be used if survivability is an issue. Cost damages and max life.".
Last edited by Harest on Jun 7, 2019, 8:49:37 AM
I was able to make a pathing change to the tree which saved two points: https://pastebin.com/kdNjsjAk

The changes were down near slayer
wcbigworm wrote:
... [see above]
Damn, thanks. I should have checked back after i took Impale. It didn't pop to me /blind. I'll edit the links.
Edit : Links updated. Your link was the previous PoB link in the build though, not your fixed version, but with your indication i spotted it immediately.

Brinkmanship is a possibility now i guess to the cost of 2x 5% max hp nodes. We'll see how the AoE of Cyclone feel ig.
Last edited by Harest on Jun 7, 2019, 9:17:16 AM
Harest wrote:
wcbigworm wrote:
... [see above]
Damn, thanks. I should have checked back after i took Impale. It didn't pop to me /blind. I'll edit the links.
Edit : Links updated. Your link was the previous PoB link in the build though, not your fixed version, but with your indication i spotted it immediately.

Brinkmanship is a possibility now i guess to the cost of 2x 5% max hp nodes. We'll see how the AoE of Cyclone feel ig.

No problem! Glad i could help. I am glad i saw this post as I didn't realize how good impale is going to be. Now i know :)
wcbigworm wrote:
... [see above]
Yeah same. At first i took Dread banner, and then, by checking streams, starting to see stuff here and there (mainly Reddit), seeing the Impale gem too ofc, i decided to go in there. It's kinda crazy. Before we couldn't get 100% chance to Impale i think (or at least not easily).
Not going into details, we've 108% Impale effect so instead of the next 5 hits applying 10%, it'll be 5x 20.8%. With our high attack speed, even with mobs we'll hit less than 6 times*, we'll be able to profit from it for a decent amount. But obviously it'll mostly shine on bosses or tanky rare mobs.
*Because the main mechanic here is that it stacks, and so it'll ramp up until the mobs we're hitting always have 5 Impale applying for each of our hits, starting with the 6th hit.
Last edited by Harest on Jun 7, 2019, 9:35:41 AM
Thoughts on this tree? https://pastebin.com/Z2NbfcGm

I feel like with all the AoE nodes we have now, we don't need to spend 4-5 nodes traveling to templar. Also, though this build has 30% less increased life, it has more fortify effect, soul of steel, and brinkmanship for the AoE. Thoughts? This build is also for level 90.
Last edited by wcbigworm on Jun 7, 2019, 9:38:14 AM
wcbigworm wrote:
... [see above]
Fairly good too yep. Even if 175% max hp feels a bit low to my taste but what you get instead is nice. I may include this tree too as another possibility in the PoB (maybe a bit modified, upped to lvl 93 by taking 16% melee phys at Marauder start, Path of the Warrior and the last 5% effect of Fortify node near Steadfast.

I really like that alternative. I'll add it to the PoB. Thanks.
Last edited by Harest on Jun 7, 2019, 9:52:03 AM

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