The Rage Vortex Berserker is proof that the Ascendancy can shine in Path of Exile Expedition.
The Berserker is not a popular Path of Exile Ascendancy, and for many sensible reasons. The Rage Vortex Berserker build, however, changes that, and it managed to do so in Expedition, of all leagues. Those looking to try out this rarely supported Marauder progression finally can with the Rage Vortex Berserker. Time to invest PoE Currency on this bad boy.
Why This Berserker
Unlike most Marauder builds where the Berserker is the one that isn’t viable, it’s a complete flipside for the Ascendancy this time, as it’s the build is specifically for this Ascendancy. This should allow the Berserker’s star to shine for once, and hopefully, this would inspire other build makers to get more creative with it.
This build requires a One-Handed Sword and follows a simple progression until the endgame. This makes the build easy to understand. It’s also easy to plan according to a players’ budget. The build also needs a few important Unique items like the Redblade Banner in order to make good use of the rage-based scaling of its core skill, Rage Vortex. Thus, it’s important to get those gear via PoE Trade and spend their Exalted Orb.
Pros Over Cons
There are many things going for the build. First of those is that it’s a great league-starter because it’s easy to build. That, however, doesn’t mean it’s only good at the beginning. Given the right gear, passive skills, and gem links, the build should have no problem taking on the entirety of Path of Exile’s endgame content. This includes not just Expedition, but also Delve, Uber-Elder, and Uber-Awakener, and the highest map tiers available.
The core mechanic of this build is that it converts physical damage to cold with Hrimsorrow during its leveling phase, and will, later on, switch to a Hatred-based Watcher’s Eye Watcher’s Eye when it finally reaches the endgame.
Apart from being a league starter and able to clear all sorts of content, the build has many other good points. One of which is that it’s very flexible, allowing players that know what they’re doing to tweak the build accordingly. In line with that, players that take up the build can choose between increasing survivability or DPS. Lastly, if the build is made to do purely elemental damage, players will no longer have to worry about maps with the Physical Reflect mod.
Much like other builds, however, it comes with a few problems. Ironically, despite being a Berserker, it’s not as fast as other DPS builds, including AOE builds. Another is that Intelligence and Dexterity are sometimes needed, and they’re kind of a nuisance to put on the build, whether it is through gear mods or the passive skill tree. Finally, while the build is cheap to start out, it’s expensive to max out. It’s actually a pretty common complaint, but it’s still a downside, nevertheless.
Literally Mad Skills
Clearly, the pros outweigh the cons, so it’s time for the skill gems. First and foremost, would be its core skill, Rage Vortex, which should have Melee Physical Damage, Infused Channeling, and Faster Attacks support gems.
To move around the map, the build requires spamming of Leap Slam and Dash, while Blood Rage is a skill that should be up all the time if not almost, as it generates Frenzy charges.
Since this is a melee build, it’s important to use Immortal Call when going for a pack of enemies. Furthering toughening the build-up is Enduring Cry, which increases defense temporarily and grants Endurance Charges. Finally, Intimidating Cry should be used when Rage goes lower than 25. This should also help in dealing more damage against enemies.
Gearing Up – All the Rage
Last but definitely not least would be gear. Most of the necessary equipment are Rare – helmet, boots, belt, and rings – with the usual life and elemental and chaos resistances. The rest, however, should be Unique gear. While players can go for the usual Rare six-socketed body armor, they can also choose either Loreweave for more elemental damage, or Carcass Jack for more AOE damage.
For the Amulet, it has to be Pandemonius for increased cold damage and resistance, as well as to chill enemies. Unique gloves Hrimsorrow further increase cold damage by both adding some and converting some physical damage into cold. Last but definitely not least are weapons and offhand, which are Paradoxica and Redblade Banner, respectively. The former enables dealing double damage, while the latter greatly bolsters Warcries.
So, there you have it, a viable Berserker build – a rarity. Now the question is no longer if a Berserker is a great choice for a league starter, but whether you will choose it.