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Rage Vortex Berserker Build

Rage Vortex Berserker Build

Berserker is a Class that's great with Attacks, it synergizes with Rage to deal one of the most devastating single-attack

Rage Vortex
Berserker Build

Updated for Patch 3.15

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Guide notes
September 08, 2021
-Build created
September 12, 2021
-Added gameplay video

 

Rage Vortex is a powerful new Skill that uses Rage to create Ragestorms - it's a powerful Melee Attack that's actually more similar to a ranged Attack due to the range and AoE that's possible to achieve. The best Ascendancy Class for all the Rage build is undoubtedly Berserker, it has 3 Keystones associated with Rage mechanics. War Bringer makes your Warcries generate Rage and renders your Exerted Attack more powerful. Crave the Slaughter generates Rage with Attacks and increases your Maximum Rage. Rite of Ruin drains your Life and triples the inherent Rage effects - that is increased Attack Damage, Attack Speed, and Movement Speed. With at least 25 Rage you're immune to Stuns.

The build combines the Rage buff and Exerted Attacks Mechanics - after using a Warcry your next Attack deals 20% increased damage, but this is later expanded to two or three Attacks, more damage, and extra effects. Attack Speed is not that important, just one Ragestorm can clear a screen-wide area of enemies. Ragestorm can fit through doorframes no matter its size, but it performs the best in open areas. You should focus on Maximum Life as it is your main defense mechanism - around 6k of it should be sufficient. Endurance Charges and Warcries are other aspects of this build that increase your survivability. Redblade Banner, Bear's Girdle, and a Rare Psychotic Axe are necessary parts of your gear, which shouldn't be too expensive. 

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds right over here Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

 

1. Gameplay

As you enter a map you'll need to generate Rage first, use a Warcry, activate Blood Rage, and then start using your Rage Vortex. Use Leap Slam to move around and periodically use warcries to regenerate Life and Taunt enemies. During boss fight place your Ancestral Totems and use Berserk - it grants you a powerful Buff to almost all the stats that matter for your Character, the more Rage you have, the longer it will last. Only one Rage Vortex can be present at a time.


This video was recorded on a level 93 Berserker on Standard League. Overall, we were extremely surprised by this build's performance - mainly because used a barely 300 pDPS weapon on our character, so you should be able to get one with 50% more damage on Expedition League for just a couple of Exalted Orbs. Other than that, we didn't really use any exceptionally expensive items, and still ended up being pretty enjoyable and strong quasi-melee build


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • fun to play - with just one Attack you're able to kill most enemies or even bosses
  • tanky with a reasonably high Life pool
  • uses Frenzy, Endurance, and even Power Charges
  • extremely high DPS
CONS
  • you need to keep track of your Rage constantly
  • Bear's Girdle is usually quite an expensive item

 

3. Leveling tips

Use any Attack that suits you, the best candidates are Sweep and later Bladestorm, start using Rage Vortex after you've got to the point where your build is moderately specialized in Rage mechanics after you finish the second Lab. Look for a one-handed Axe with increased Physical Damage, most Unique Axes will do. Upgrade your gear using Vendor Recipes for increased Physical Damage or use Essences such as Essence of Contempt or Loathing. Leveling is really simple, there should be no problems with it as long as your resistances are high, especially after Act 5 and when you start mapping.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Ground Slam setup
Bladestorm Bladestorm - it allows you to create a blade storm that deals damage, you can switch between Blood and Sand stance for different bonuses
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - increases your Melee damage at a cost of Attack Speed
Maim Support Maim Support - you deal more damage and apply Maim Debuff on enemies reducing their Attack Speed
Fortify Support Fortify Support - enhances your character with Fortify Buff that makes you take less damage from Hits, it also increases your Damage
Curse setup
Vulnerability Vulnerability - one of the best Curses if you're focused on dealing Physical Damage, it causes enemies to Bleed and take more Physical Damage
Aura and Banner setup
Pride Pride - the best Aura for build relying on Physical Damage such as this one, enemies in your close proximity take more Physical Damage
Dread Banner Dread Banner - a Banner that increases the effect of your Fortify and Impale
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - more AoE or Area Damage, depending on Stance, it also allows you to switch between more Attack Speed or more Damage on your Bladestorm
Warcry and Leap Slam setup
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - Warcry that regenerates a big portion of your Life rapidly
Leap Slam Leap Slam - the best movement Skill for such builds
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - use Lifetap so you won't spend Mana on linked Skills

Bandits:

Kill all the Bandits in the second Act for additional Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
take all the Notables as shown, focus on Attacks, Maximum Life, Accuracy Rating, and Damage with Axes

63 Points Skill Tree
go for Constitution, Slaughter, Disemboweling, and allocate the Notables to extend the limit of your Maximum Endurance Charges

 

Recommended leveling items:

Redblade BannerRedblade Banner - It's good for leveling and it will be used in your final version of the build
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(80-100)% increased Armour
+(50-60) to maximum Life
20% increased Taunt Duration
+5% Chance to Block
50% increased Warcry Cooldown Recovery Rate
Warcries have infinite Power
Redblade TramplersRedblade Tramplers - it's a great pair of boots since it adds Physical Damage to your Attacks and has some other useful stats
Adds (2-5) to (7-10) Physical Damage to Attacks
(5-10)% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
(150-200)% increased Armour
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Unaffected by Burning Ground
DeidbellowDeidbellow - this helmet gives you no Elemental Resistances, but it has great synergy with Warcries and Physical Attacks
+(20-30) to Strength
+(20-30) to Dexterity
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(200-300) to Armour
20% increased Melee Damage
Cannot Leech when on Low Life
If you've Warcried Recently, you and nearby allies have 20% increased Attack, Cast and Movement Speed
GoldrimGoldrim - the standard leveling Helmet that provides a lot of Elemental Resistances
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - It provides six, already linked, white sockets so you can link your Skill with many Support Gems
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

99 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels nor Thread of Hope)
115 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. War Bringer
  2. Crave the Slaughter
  3. Rite of Ruin
  4. Aspect of Carnage

Pantheon:

Major God: Soul of Lunaris: 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

Minor God: Soul of Ryslatha: Life Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a Life Flask Recently

 

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Rage Vortex setup
Rage Vortex Rage Vortex - Rage Vortex is a Melee Physical Attack, the more Rage you have, the more Powerful it becomes while consuming a portion of it. It's your sole DPS Skill for the build
Brutality Support Brutality Support - you're focusing only on dealing with Physical Damage and that's the best Support Gem for such eventualities
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - the best Support Gem when it comes to increasing Melee Physical Damage, it lowers your Attacks Speed by a small amount
Pulverise Support Pulverise Support - use it for more Aoe and Area Damage, it slightly lowers your Attack Speed
Rage Support Rage Support - increases your Damage based on your current Rage, it also generates Rage on Hit, one of the most important Support Gems here
Fortify Support Fortify Support - increases your Melee Damage and grants you a Fortify Buff that reduces the damage you take from Hits
[UTILITY] Warcry setup
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - the Warcry that quickly regenerates your Life, great when you're out of Charges on your Life Flask
Intimidating Cry Intimidating Cry - a Warcry that will be used quite often to Taunt enemies and make your Hits overwhelm 30% of Physical Damage Reduction
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - link it with your Warcries to change their cost to Life instead of Mana
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - Warcries now store an additional Charge that can bypass Skill Cooldown
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Pride Pride - the Aura that increases Physical Damage nearby enemies take, the longer you stay in their proximity, the more efficient this Aura is
Dread Banner Dread Banner - Banner that provides you with Chance to Impale, increased Impale Effect, increased Fortify Effect, less Accuracy Rating, and increased AoE and Fortify when placed 
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - Herald Skill for more Physical Damage and Sentinels of Purity
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - You can Choose to have More AoE and less Area Damage or more Area Damage and less AoE
[UTILITY] Totems setup
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - Ancestral Totem that increases your Attack Speed
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - Ancestral Totem that increases your Melee Damage
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - you're able to summon both Ancestral Totems when you link them with this Support Gem
Maim Support Maim Support - Totems will Maim on hit crippling the Movement Speed of your opponents
[MOBILITY] Leap Slam and Guard Spell
Leap Slam Leap Slam - the main Movement Skill, it doesn't need to be linked with Faster Attacks Support, the Rage makes it fast enough
Immortal Call Immortal Call - the Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take for a brief moment, consuming your Endurance Charge to increase its Duration, keep it at level 3
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - it needs to be at the lowest possible level to trigger Immortal Call more often
[UTILITY] Berserk and Blood Rage
Berserk Berserk - it's draining your Rage at increasing speed, and during its effect, it grants you Attack Speed, Movement Speed, Attack Damage, and decreases your Damage Taken
Blood Rage Blood Rage - increases your Attack Speed, provides you with Frenzy Charges on kill, and Life Leech
Enhance Support Enhance Support - Quality increases the Damage provided by Berserk and Attack Speed of Blood Rage


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6. Gear Setup

Bear's Girdle is an Expensive Unique item, but it's not really required and you can safely clear red maps without it. Maximum Life is obviously the stat you should prioritize when looking for Rare items. It's a Crit build so Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier will be important, to further increase your damage seek Attack, Physical, and Melee Damage. 155 Dexterity is required to have Blood Rage at its maximum level. Look for Bases with easy-to-get Red Sockets. The build is really cheap, it follows the standard pattern of all the other Crit Melee Physical Attack builds so there's an abundance of items on the market.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Physical/Axe/Melee/Attack Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
  5. Accuracy Rating
  6. Dexterity
  7. Chaos Resistance
rare helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - an Elder-influenced Helmet that makes enemies take increased Physical Damage with some additional defense stats is good enough

Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage
Optional affixes:
Increased Effect of Fortify on you
Chaos Resistance
Dexterity

Helmet enchantments:
Rage Vortex enchantment
Psychotic Axe(Shield) Rare Psychotic Axe - Psychotic Axe grants you +10 to Maximum Rage, that's why it's the best choice, but if you're unable to find any that's not a huge problem. Look for basic stats like increased Physical Damage and Accuracy Rating.
Min. requirements:
100% increased Physical Damage
adds 20 to 40 Physical Damage
+450 to Accuracy Rating 
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Quality
Chance to Deal Double Damage
Redblade Banner(Shield) Redblade Banner - it can provide a lot of Maximum Life, Armour, some minor stats, and most importantly - Warcries Have Infinite Power so no matter how many enemies are nearby, Warcries will always work as there is an infinite number of enemies around
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(80-100)% increased Armour
+(50-60) to maximum Life
20% increased Taunt Duration
+5% Chance to Block
50% increased Warcry Cooldown Recovery Rate
Warcries have infinite Power
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Rare Body Armour should be one of the main sources of Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, the best offensive mod is added Critical Stike Chance
Min. requirements:
+130 to Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance
Maximum Life %
You Can Apply Additional Curse
Attributes
rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - a standard pair of Boots with the usual defensive stats and Movement Speed should be enough
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life in total
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Increased Armour
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Attributes
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Spiked Gloves are a great Base that increases your Physical Damage, besides Life and Resistances it is recommended to look for some offensive mods here
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life in total
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
Accuracy Rating
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Adds Physical Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Bear's Girdle(Belt) Bear's Girdle - Maximum Life, Added Physical Damage, increased Physical Damage per Rage and more Maximum Rage are already great mods, it additionally lowers nearby enemies' Physical Damage Reduction by 15%
+(25-40) to maximum Life
Adds (5-7) to (11-12) Physical Damage to Attacks
(20-30)% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
Nearby Enemies are Crushed while you have at least 25 Rage
(4-6)% increased Physical Damage per 10 Rage
+20 to Maximum Rage
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet  - the usual Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances are good for a start but if you want to upgrade the build, the Amulet is one of the most prolific gear pieces, a lot of stats can be found there that could benefit your build
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life in total
+40% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Strength Skill Gems
increased Warcry Speed
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Area of Effect
Attributes
Recommended Anointments:
Deep Breaths
Tenacity
Admonisher
Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Steel, Vermilion, Two-stone, or Diamond Rings are the most promising in terms of Implicit modifiers. It's important to have a Curse on hit here - Vulnerability is the best one. Rings also offer a lot of Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
Vulnerability on Hit
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
increased Attack Speed
Rare Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - You should strive for a Jewel that adds at least 7% to your Maximum Life and some other stats such as Damage and Critical Strike Chance with one-handed Axes
Min. requirements:
increased Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
increased Global Physical Damage
Dexterity
increased Damage with Axes
increased Attack Damage while holding a Shield
increased Damage/Critical Strike Chance with One-Handed Weapons
Replica Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - it's  additional Maximum Rage, less Mana Cost, and increased Duration for your Rage Vortex
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - Put it next to the Golem's Blood for access to five or so Notables worth picking
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - Lead By Example grants you Onslaught on Warcry, and Mob Mentality generates all the Charge types
Recommended Notables:
1 Added Passive Skill is Lead By Example
1 Added Passive Skill is Mob Mentality
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - it's completely optional but worth considering option, you can get Mana and Life Leech, Damage, Accuracy Rating, and many other stats from the Notables there
Recommended Notables:
1 Added Passive Skill is Feed the Fury
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Strike Leader
1 Added Passive Skill is Furious Assault
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
1 Added Passive Skill is Master the Fundamentals
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - It's an expensive addition to a build but it's worth its price, it can heavily impact your DPS. Look for Pride mods
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>

Recommended Aura modifiers:
Impales you inflict last 2 additional Hits while using Pride
(40-60)% increased Attack Physical Damage while using Pride
 lion's roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - the most commonly used Flask in such builds, it improves Melee Physical Damage and grants Armour
+1500 to Armour
Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during Flask effect
Knocks Back Enemies in an Area when you use a Flask
75% chance to cause Enemies to Flee on use
(7-10)% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - the best Sulphur Flask for Crit build, it's not mandatory but a great addition to the build
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(20-40)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Flask effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Mobility)
  2. Perpetual Basalt Flask of Warding (Removes Curses)
  3. Panicked Eternal Life Flask of Heat (Immunity to Freeze and Chill)
lion's roarBasalt FlaskBottled Faithquicksilver flasklife flask


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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.