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Ancestral Warchief Totem Chieftain Build

Ancestral Warchief Totem Chieftain Build

A Totem build for Chieftain that deal Fire Damage by stacking Strength

Ancestral Warchief Totem
Chieftain Build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
November 5, 2021
-Build created
February 19, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.20
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Ancestral Warchief Totem is a Skill that summons a Totem to perform rather unimpressive Attacks - what most builds use it for is the buff that grants you increased Melee Damage. Using it as your main DPS skill has, however, some upsides - you don't need to support your Skill with additional Gems that would enable the Attacks as Totems, it's a standalone Totem Attack. Chieftain's unique Keystones have some amazing synergies with Totems, especially Ancestral ones and that includes both - Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Protector. Another key aspects of this build are the Unique Items and Keystones: Crown of Eyes which makes Spell Damage apply to Attacks when combined with the new Iron Will Keystone makes your Strength Bonus Apply to Spells, and then again to Attacks at 150% of the original value. From this point is rather obvious that you should stack as much Strength as you can - use Iron Fortress and Brutus' Lead Sprinkler for another well-suited Strenth synergy.

The build is a tanky one - because of the absurd amount of Strength your Maximum Life can easily reach 6 or 7k. The build has a lot of Armour - around, Life regeneration, and Life Leech at a level allowing you to take some heavy punches, it can even survive direct hits from Minotaur's burrow ability. Your Block Chance should be capped at 75% with The Iron Fortress. You will deal almost exclusively Fire Damage with a decent Crit Chance, the damage is unexpectedly high for such a durable build - with all your Totems attacking simultaneously the same target it can kill any Guardian or Conqueror boss in mere seconds. 

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1. Gameplay

Use Warchief Totems as you go - these will kill most of the enemies with one hit, the rare ones with a few more. Your movement skill should be Leap Slam - it allows you to jump over obstacles and it's quite fast. Immortal Call linked with Cast when Damage Taken will prevent you from getting killed too quickly if that's even possible. Your Auras are Anger and Precision for more damage, Determination for Armour, and Clarity to never run out of Mana. For boss fights use Ancestral Protector to boost your Attack Speed, Wave on Conviction linked with Curse, and Enduring Cry if you run out of Flask Charges.

This video was recorded on a level 92 Chieftain on Standard, where we had around 1700 Strength, resulting in around 3kk Totem DPS (when fully buffed) and 7,000 Maximum Life (effectively 6,200 after paying the Life Reservation cost of Precision and Clarity)

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • extremely safe build - tons of Life, Armour, Block Chance, Sustain, and you don't even have to get close to the enemy
  • high damage due to the Strength Stacking, Iron Will, and Crown of Eyes interaction
  • very simple to play, there are not many buttons to press
  • stacking Strength gets expensive
  • using Totems might feel clunky


3. Leveling tips

You can start with Ancestral Warchief Totem, it has enough damage to carry you through the acts. Getting a weapon, preferably a one-handed Mace with added Elemental Damage, especially Fire Damage would be great. At first, you will focus on the regular Maximum Life and Melee Damage with Totems, and at the later stages of the game - after you're able to equip the core Unique Items, start paying more attention to Strength and maximize it. You can use Essences of Anger or Zeal on your gear to quickly craft some good items.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Totem setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - you can start using it from act 1 and continue to do so for the rest of the game
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage based on your Physical Damage
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - increases Elemental Damage with Attacks
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - lowers Mana Cost, increases Elemental Damage, and Critical Strike Chance
Aura setup
Anger Anger - an Aura that adds Fire Damage to your Attacks and Spells
Curse and Leap Slam setup
Flammability Flammability - Curse which will lower Fire Resistance of your Opponents
Leap Slam Leap Slam - used to move around faster, especially useful during Lab Trials
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - linked Skills cost Life instead of Mana


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

32 Points Passive Tree
Rush for the Ancestral Bond Keystone and the Mace Cluster right next to it. Get some Maximum Life and Accuracy.

64 Points Passive Tree
Take Disciple and Training as shown and head for the Totem Cluster at the bottom of the Skill Tree, pick up the useful nodes on your way there


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - Use this Ring for more Elemental Resistances and to increase your damage.
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
BloodboilBloodboil - Adds Fire Damage to Attacks, Maximum Life, and some other useful stats.
+(20-30) to maximum Life
Adds (12-15) to (25-30) Fire Damage to Attacks
+(20-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to Cold Resistance
75% reduced Effect of Chill on you
10% increased Movement Speed while Ignited
The IgnomonThe Ignomon - Adds Fire Damage to Attacks, Accuracy Rating, and more.
(12-20)% increased Rarity of Items found
+10 to Dexterity
Adds 12 to 24 Fire Damage to Attacks
+(100-150) to Accuracy Rating
+(100-150) to Evasion Rating
+20% to Fire Resistance
GoldrimGoldrim - Goldrim gives you a lot of Elemental Resistances which is essential to survive.
+(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 - Tabula is great because it allows you to link any six gems from the start.
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:

104 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
122 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Tukohama
  2. Arohongui
  3. Ramako
  4. Hinekora


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 Ralakesh: Moving while Bleeding doesn't cause you to take extra Damage; 25% reduced Physical Damage over Time Damage taken while moving


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Ancestral Warchief setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - This Totem will be used to do all the work, it uses Slamm Attack to Hit opponents causing heavy Fire Damage.
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - Totems will deal more Fire Damage but will be unable to Ignite with Attacks.
Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support - The Attacks will Penetrate a big portion of Fire Resistance.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Attacks will deal more Fire Damage.
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - Lowers the Mana Cost of Skill, increases Crit Chance, and Elemental Damage. It can be replaced with Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support for more concentrated damage.
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - Attacks are repeated twice with greatly increased Attack Speed, but the Damage itself is lower.
[UTILITY] Ancestral Protector and Warcry setup
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - Placing these Totems will increase your Attack Speed, and the overall damage increase is significant.
Combustion Support Combustion Support - Enemies Ignited by the linked Totem have lower Fire Resistance.
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - Warcry that regenerates your Life rapidly on use and grants temporary defensive buffs.
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - You can place more Linked Totems faster.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Anger Anger - An Aura that adds Fire Damage to your Attacks and Spells.
Determination Determination - You gain additional and increased Armour.
Precision Precision - Increases your Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - lowers Mana Reservation for linked Skills which reserves Mana.
[UTILITY] Clarity
Clarity Clarity - Regenerates your Mana, it doesn't need to be leveled all the way up to level 20.
[UTILITY] Arcanist Brand setup
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - Arcanist Brand can attach to an enemy and periodically trigger linked Spells with reduced AoE and Damage.
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - Applies Exposure which reduces the Fire Resistance of your opponents by 15%.
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - More Crit Chance and Crit Multi wit Hits against Cursed enemies, on kill they grant a Power Charge, Life, and mana.
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - Ice Golem grants you Accuracy Rating and Crit Chance.
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Leap Slam setup
Immortal Call Immortal Call - Guard Spell which reduces Elemental and Physical Damage taken for a short duration, keep it at level 11.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - At level 9 it will Trigger Immortal Call automatically as you take damage.
Leap Slam Leap Slam - Your movement Attack to make you more mobile.
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - Increases the Attack Rate of Leap Slam.

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6. Gear Setup

You will Stack Strength so that's obviously the most desirable stat on any item. Having over 1k Strength is a good start, 2k is already a lot and you should aim for something in between as to not lack in other defenses such as Life, Resistances, and Damage. To increase your Damage seek Accuracy Rating, Crit Chance and Crit Damage, Fire Damage with Attacks, and Strength. In order to grow more resilient look for Maximum Life, Resistances, Armour, and Strength. You will need around 155 Intelligence and 119 Dexterity, you can get them easily by equipping Astramentis. Other key Uniques are Brutus' Lead Sprinkler, The Iron Fortress, and Crown of Eyes. Synthesized Items could be useful but expensive - the Implicit mods there can increase your Strength.

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. Strength
  2. Maximum Life
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Armour
  7. Attack Speed
  8. Accuracy Rating
  9. Totem Damage
  10. Increased or Added Fire or Elemental Damage to Attacks or with Hits
  11. Spell Damage (Iron Will Keystone)
Crown of Eyes(Helmet) Crown of Eyes - Crown of Eyes is a core item, it increases your Attack Damage based on 150% of your Spell Damage, which is drawn from your Strength via Iron Will Keystone.
+(300-350) to Accuracy Rating
(120-150)% increased Energy Shield
-30% to Fire Resistance
(0.4-0.8)% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
(0.2-0.4)% of Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Increases and Reductions to Spell Damage also apply to Attacks at 150% of their value
Helmet enchantments:
Ancestral Warchief enchantment mods
Brutus' Lead Sprinkler(Weapon) Brutus' Lead Sprinkler - The must-have for this build. It adds Fire Damage to Attacks per Strength, has high Attack Speed, and overall very high Fire and Physical Damage.
16% increased Elemental Damage
20% increased Physical Damage
Adds (8-13) to (26-31) Physical Damage
30% increased Fire Damage
(15-20)% increased Attack Speed
(30-40)% increased Critical Strike Chance
Adds 4 to 7 Fire Damage to Attacks with this Weapon per 10 Strength
Shield(Weapon) Rare Shield - You can Craft a mod for the increased maximum number of Totems. Other than that, aim for Strength, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
+80 to maximum Life
+50 to Strenght
+1 to maximum member of Summoned Totems
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Damage
Elemental Resistances
The Iron Fortress(Body Armour) The Iron Fortress - It adds to your Strength, has a lot of Armour, and increases your Melee Physical Damage and Chance to Block Attack Damage alongside your Strength.
+1% Chance to Block Attack Damage per 50 Strength
Chance to Block Spell Damage is Unlucky
+(60-120) to Strength
(80-100)% increased Armour
10% reduced Movement Speed
Strength's Damage Bonus instead grants 3% increased Melee
Physical Damage per 10 Strength
Alberon's Warpath(Boots) Alberon's Warpath - These can increase Strength by up to 18% which is a lot.
Adds 1 to 80 Chaos Damage to Attacks
+(180-220) to Armour
+(9-12)% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
+1 to maximum number of Skeletons
(15-18)% increased Strength
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - For Rare boots, the best option is to have solid Strength, Maximum Life, Movement Speed, and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
+50 to Strenght
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
increased Armour
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves can provide a lot of Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, Strength, and some offensive stats such as Accuracy Rating.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+40 to Strenght
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - You can find a lot of useful mods on your Belt - it ranges from the regular defensive affixes to more offensive ones, such as increased Elemental Damage with Attacks.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
+50 to Strength
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attacks Skills
increased Maximum Life
Astramentis(Amulet) Astramentis - This Amulet grants you a lot of Strength and other Attributes which will be needed anyway, clearly one of the best choices.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
Recommended Anointments:
Blacksmith's Clout
Blood Siphon
Shaman's Dominion
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Strength, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances will be the most desirable stats.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Strength
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Adds Fire Damage to Attacks
increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - You will need some Jewels with Increased Maximum Life, added Strength, and if you lack in Elemental Resistances - it's a good place to get some.

Recommended affixes:
7% Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed or Damage with Maces
increased Attack Speed or Damage with One-Handed Weapons
Melee Critical Strike Chance or multiplier

Brawn(Jewel) Brawn - Brawn increases your Strength and Dexterity but reduces Intelligence.
(4-6)% increased Dexterity
(4-6)% increased Strength
(15-10)% reduced Intelligence
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Anger, Precision, Determination, or Clarity Mods are most welcomed, it's an expensive Jewel but one worth buying.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - Attack-based Large Cluster Jewel with 2 or 3 Notables and 8 or 9 nodes is good enough.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Drive the Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Weight Advantage
1 Added Passive Skill is Calamitous
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Having one Sleepless Sentries and Ancestral Guidance will elevate your Damage by a lot.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Sleepless Sentries
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Guidance
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - Adds tons of Armour and Block Chance for both - Spell and Attack Hits.
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - A luxurious option that is nonetheless a great one if you need to increase your DPS.
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced 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. Life Flask of with Freeze immunity/removal
  2. Diamond Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  3. Quicksilver Flask with random ailment removal or increased Movement Speed
Bottled FaithLife FlaskRumi's Concoctiondiamod flaskquicksilver 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.

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