Guided Berserker

Build Summary

THIS GUIDE IS CURRENTLY OUTDATED. If you're looking for the old guide, please see the page for deprecated 3.5 builds - this page will be revised during 3.6 updates.

This build uses Ground Slam, which creates a cone in front of you that deals damage throughout, with more damage to closer targets. Like the Guided Juggernaut, this is a fairly generic build, but a more aggressive one that scales for higher damage and lower survivability. This build is somewhat harder to play than the others listed here, since careful management of the Berserker's signature Rage mechanic is important. Fast movement and high damage, but low durability.

This build is an AoE melee attacker.

Berserker is one of the Marauder Ascendancy subclasses. When you create your character, you will create a Marauder; you choose to be a Berserker later on.

If you want to explore this build's stats, links, and Passive Tree interactively, head over to the Links page and download Path of Building. Then, in Path of Building, select Import/Export Build -> Import from Pastebin, and enter this link: https://pastebin.com/BkvjaxSz

Main Skill Basics

Ground Slam

Ground Slam creates a wave of damage that travels in front of you in a cone, dealing damage to enemies within it. It deals bonus damage to targets closer to you.

Ground Slam is an Attack, and therefore uses your weapon's damage as a base. Any modifiers to specific damage types (like Physical or Lightning) is applied to the appropriate damage from your weapon: for example, Lightning damage on your weapon is boosted by Increased Lightning Damage.

In addition to damage-type-specific modifiers, Ground Slam also benefits from Melee, Attack, and Area damage modifiers. Despite dealing damage at range, Ground Slam is a Melee attack in game mechanics terms, and does not benefit in any way from Projectile modifiers.

Ground Slam can only be used with a Mace, Axe, or Staff.

Ground Slam also has a Vaal version:

Vaal Ground Slam

Vaal Ground Slam slams the ground and produces a shockwave that travels out from you in all directions, dealing heavy damage in a large area. It cannot miss, and has a greatly elevated chance to Stun enemies. Like other Vaal gems, a Vaal Ground Slam gem also grants regular Ground Slam.

Vaal Ground Slam is affected by the same modifiers as regular Ground Slam (Melee, Area, Attack), including skill-specific ones that specify Ground Slam in their language.

Unlike regular Ground Slam, Vaal Ground Slam cannot be used at will. It must be charged by Souls gained by killing enemies or damaging bosses before use. See the section on Vaal skills in the Act 2 section of the main guide for more on Vaal skill mechanics.

Act 1

This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 1" section of the guide.

Early Act 1

You won't start with Ground Slam and will have to make your way through the first zone with the Heavy Strike you're given to start.

From Enemy at the Gate, you can pick up (and immediately start using) Ground Slam. The Ruthless Support gem you may have picked up in the first area is perfectly fine as a support for it.

With your first few passive points, work your way towards the following tree:

Once you finish Mercy Mission, you'll be offered a few support gems. Onslaught Support is the best of them for now. Note that you cannot use Ancestral Call because Ground Slam is not a single-target attack.

From Breaking Some Eggs, pick up Ancestral Protector. Not only does this totem do some decent damage in its own right, it also provides you a large bonus to your Attack Speed while it's active. You'll use it on bosses throughout the game.

Once you enter the Prison (The Caged Brute), you can pick up Added Fire Damage Support, which will be a good support for Ground Slam until you get some of the ones available in Act 2.

Brutus (The Caged Brute) shouldn't be too too difficult. Ground Slam deals extra damage when you're close to him, so if you can't avoid being hit either way you're best off getting in his face and knocking him around.

Once you've defeated Brutus, you can pick up Leap Slam, this build's main Movement skill. We'll discuss movement skills much later in the guide, but you can start using it now if you like.

Late Act 1

As you go, you'll want to look for a few specific sorts of item:

  • 3- and 4-linked items with primarily red sockets.
  • One-handed weapons, ideally maces, with high Physical damage. The importance of the damage being physical and of the weapon being a mace increases as you pick up more of your damage nodes on the passive tree.
  • Gear with Life and Resistances. Gear with Armour is most likely to have the red sockets you want.
  • Jewellery with Life, Resistances, and "Adds X Physical Damage to Attacks"

As you continue to gain more Passive Skill Points, work your way towards the following tree. You'll have enough points for all the Passives shown here sometime around Act 3 or 4, at which point you can move on to the full Passive Tree (listed in the "Full Build" section of this guide below).

Once you enter the Cavern of Wrath (The Siren's Cadence), Nessa will offer some gems. We don't care about these as far as the main build goes, although you should consider experimenting with Sunder if you want to deviate from the primary build here.

The early playstyle of this build is pretty straightforward: kill trash with your area effect, then get right up in the face of bosses to benefit from Ground Slam's large damage bonus versus nearby targets. For now it doesn't get much more complicated than that.

Act 2

This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 2" section of the guide.

Early Act 2

For the Deal with the Bandits quest, we help Oak. This will come in handy later on, when we're taking substantial self-inflicted damage.

From Intruders in Black, pick up Herald of Ash. We don't care about the secondary Burn effect for the most part, but it adds a portion of our Physical damage as extra Fire, so it's a worthwhile damage boost throughout the game. Herald of Ash requires a small amount of Intelligence to level up, which you may be short on at times. This is okay and doesn't affect whether you should use it.

From Sharp and Cruel, pick up Melee Physical Damage Support. This and Ruthless are your two best supports for Ground Slam so far, we'll pick up the third of your main supports later.

Late Act 2

At this point you may want to consider asking in chat if anyone has a spare Vaal Ground Slam gem for some minor tip (say, a few Chromatic Orbs). Vaal Ground Slam also provides the regular version of the skill, so you can replace your existing Ground Slam with it.

Act 3

This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 3" section of the guide.

Early Act 3

Once you've completed Lost in Love, you'll be rewarded with a choice of a few Curses. Punishment is by far the best offensive choice of these. You'll also be able to pick up Hatred, which you should start using now and will use throughout the game. You may occasionally be short some Attributes for Hatred, but it doesn't scale very strongly with level, so it's not a big deal to not level it for a while.

By this time you've probably picked up Resolute Technique on your Passive tree. Since this prevents you from dealing Critical Strikes, any Crit-related mods are useless to you from here on out.

Late Act 3

Sever the Right Hand offers nothing we care about.

A Fixture of Fate rewards Fortify Support, a good choice to link to your movement skills in order to keep the substantial damage-reduction buff up during boss fights.

You now have access to most of the vendor-specific gems. You should consider picking up Charged Dash, an alternative movement skill to the Leap Slam you may have been using since back in Act 1. Leap Slap gets you out of the way more quickly, but Charged Dash allows you to teleport directly past a dangerous area.

Act 4

This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 4" section of the guide.

Early Act 4

Your available movement skills are Leap Slam and Charged Dash. Both are useful in their own ways, and they're worth using together: Leap Slam gets you quickly out of the way of an incoming attack, while Charged Dash lets you bypass hazards on the ground. It's a good idea to use both for now and see if you can make use of them. Charged Dash is of particular value in the upcoming Labyrinth.

We don't care about anything from Breaking the Seal.

The Eternal Nightmare rewards Multistrike Support, the last of our main 4-link for Ground Slam (along with Melee Physical Damage and Ruthless). Note that despite the fact that we're mostly scaling Physical damage, we don't want to use Brutality Support (because we're adding a bunch of non-physical damage based on our physical). In fact, Brutality barely gains us any damage at all.

By this point you've probably completed the Passive Tree shown above. Here's the full tree, which you should work towards from here on out, adjusting how much damage or life you pursue as you feel your damage or survivability is in need of more help.

The Labyrinth is a good chance to test your durability - if you find yourself dropping to Izaro, you haven't been focusing enough on Life and Resistances (or you're eating his telegraphed charged-up attacks, in which case shame on you!). If you can't take his melee hits, use Ground Slam from a distance to chip away at his Life without letting him land hits on you.

Once you've completed the Labyrinth, pick up Pain Reaver. Leech is important to staying alive in long fights for a melee class, so we pick it up first. Aspect of Carnage is a far faster option if you're okay with being more fragile, but as a newbie you probably doesn't want to start taking extra damage before you've got leech in hand.

Late Act 4

Don't be afraid to use your Ground Slam from range if you have to on the bosses late in Act 4. Some of them make it rather difficult to approach.

Act 5

This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 5" section of the guide.

The only major build-specific note for Act 5 is the choice of Unique Jewel from Death to Purity. We pick up Rapid Expansion, the jewel for Ground Slam. This needs to go in a socket in the Strength section of the tree for full effect; both of the Jewel Sockets in this build will do.

You can purchase a second Rapid Expansion jewel from another player for an Orb of Alchemy or so, and if you feel like shopping this is probably a good idea - the improvement in the size of Ground Slam's cone is well worth it, and the fact that Vaal Ground Slam nearly always stuns allows these jewels to turn it into an on-demand Endurance Charge generator.

Part II (Acts 6-10)

Once you complete your second Labyrinth, around the end of Act 7 or the beginning of Act 8, pick up Aspect of Carnage. There's nothing too complicated about this one: you just straight up do 40% More damage. You'll also take more damage in return.

Epilogue & Maps

Once you complete your third Labyrinth, sometime early into Maps, pick up Crave the Slaughter to gain access to the Berserker's signature mechanic, Rage. You can Rage by killing enemies or hitting rares and bosses, and it decays quickly when you're out of combat. Rage makes you move faster, attack faster, and hit harder, at the cost of dealing damage to you over time. In-combat, your Leech will generally compensate for this; out of combat you have enough regeneration to not drop quickly before your Rage decays. Maintaining Rage stacks as you fight is an important part of this build's clear speed.

Like most builds where you're doing damage yourself, this build does not like Reflect maps. However, the fact that you do an almost even mix of Physical and Elemental damage means that you're much more able to run these maps than a lot of self-damage builds. As long as you're careful, and pick up the Pantheon power that reduces reflected damage, you can probably run them without too much problem. Optionally, you can shop for a Sibyl's Lament ring and use it for Reflect maps, just to be safe.

Once you complete your final Labyrinth, late in the endgame, pick up Rite of Ruin to double the effects (both positive and negative) of your Rage.

The Full Build

Main Skill Links

Ground Slam - Melee Physical Damage - Multistrike. Your fourth link should be either Concentrated Effect (for bosses) or Increased Area of Effect (for trash) - these are the same color, so you can swap between them. In 5- and 6-links, add in Ruthless and Added Fire Damage. If you can't stand swapping gems, you can swap in Maim for the area-effect gems, but this is definitely not without any cost to your damage or clear speed.

Utility Links

(Beyond the standard ones listed as part of the Act 4 Guide)

Ancestral Protector - Melee Physical Damage - Ruthless - Chance to Bleed is a nice damage boost on bosses, dealing almost as much raw dps as you do on a single target and boosting your attack speed to boot.

Leap Slam - Fortify - Faster Attacks for movement and easy uptime on the damage-reducing Fortify buff.

Herald of Ash and Hatred, unlinked.

Curses

Punishment is the clear offensive choice and Enfeeble the clear defensive one.

Gearing

Your weapons should be the highest Physical damage one-handed maces you can get.

Your armour should emphasize Resistances (to cap), Life, and Armour amount, in that order. You cannot Evade attacks, so Evasion is useless to you, and you want to use Armour equipment instead.

Your jewellery can be a mix of Resistances, Life, Added Physical Damage, Attack Speed, and Elemental Damage with Attacks. Since you cannot Critically Strike, any crit-based mods are useless to you.

Aside from the Rapid Expansion jewels mentioned before, there are no Uniques of any special interest to this build. Usual attack-build Uniques like Devoto's Devotion work fine if you want to go shopping, however.

Full Passive Tree

Click here for an interactive version.