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Avatar of Fire Cyclone Chieftain Build

Avatar of Fire Cyclone Chieftain Build

100% Physical to Fire Damage conversion build based on Cyclone Attack and sturdy Chieftain class

Avatar of Fire
Cyclone Chieftain Build

Updated for Patch 3.14

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Guide notes
March 5, 2021
-Build created
March 6, 2021
-Added gameplay video
April 20, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.14
Major changes:
-Removed support for Lethal Pride/Chainbreaker which has been nerfed to the ground
-Slightly adjusted Gems and replaced  Dash with Leap Slam


Cyclone is the most popular Melee Skill in Path of Exile. It deals high AoE damage and it's one of the smoothest and most beginner-friendly skills in the game. It's the spin-to-win skill of Path of Exile, which (for the most part) allows you to clear Maps just by pressing one button. We already made a bunch of different Cyclone builds, but this time we have decided to make a build based on 100% Physical to Fire Damage conversion granted by Avatar of Fire and the Chieftain class. Overall, this build is great as a League Starter and beginners, but with good equipment, you can scale its damage to some crazy levels. At the same time, you can stay very tanky as a Chieftain whose defenses are based on Life, Leech, and Armour. The following setup is not exactly built like a tank, instead, we have aimed at maximizing your DPS and clear speed, but you can expect to take some serious damage without dying. 

This build uses Two-Handed Staves, which is just perfect for this Crit/Elemental Chieftain. You can also get an Elder Staff with Endurance Charge on Melee Stun which not only increases your Cyclone DPS directly but allows you to quickly generate Endurance Charges for extra defense - level 1 Fortify is also an option, which gives you an extra Support Gem.

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


1. Gameplay

This is a typical spin-to-win type of build where you can basically just use one button and breeze through Maps spinning with Cyclone. Trash enemies will quickly die from Herald of Ash's explosions, making it a true no-brainer in lower-level areas. When you need extra DPS you can summon your Ancestor Totems - you will be using both types for massive DPS bonuses. Their effect is increased by Chieftain's Ascendancy and Panopticon Passive. Thanks to the use of Multiple Totems Support, you can use both types simultaneously. 

0:08​ Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
0:40​ Tier 14 Cold River w. Al-Hezmin
1:04​ Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:38​ Tier 16 Cursed Crypt
2:02​ Tier 16 Park

This video was recorded on a level 92 Chieftain using a 700 Physical DPS Staff and Headhunter (definitely the more expensive version) which resulted in over 24kk Shaper DPS when fully buffed (Max Rage, Berserk, and such). The build had 5,600 Maximum Life which is more than enough in most cases, but you definitely will have to be prepared to die occasionally on T16+ Areas

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • beginner and budget-friendly
  • very high DPS
  • all content viable
  • high Life, Leech, and Physical Damage mitigation
  • smooth leveling
  • very enjoyable playstyle
  • can't do No Leech and Reflect Maps
  • vulnerable to DoT/Ground effects


3. Leveling tips

Chieftain is one of the easiest Melee Classes to level up. You get tons of DPS and Life bonuses available early on, so upgrading your equipment and getting more links is less relevant than for plenty of classes. We recommend leveling up with Staves - initially using Ground Slam and then switching to Cyclone, either at level 28 when it first becomes available, or at any later point, depending on your personal preferences. Ground Slam is one of the first attacks that can be used with Staves, and it deals solid AoE damage which is further increased against nearby enemies. Below you will find the base Gem setups for the campaign, and several extremely useful Unique Items that will help you complete it much faster.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Ground Slam setup
Ground Slam Ground Slam - very strong AoE Attack which has good base damage and can be used with staves. It's available at level 1 and can be replaced with CycloneCyclone at level 28 when it first becomes available
Melee Physical Damage Melee Physical Damage Support - a great boost to Physical Damage
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds a good deal of extra Fire Damage based on your Physical damage
Fortify Fortify Support - increases Melee Damage and grants a very strong defensive buff
Ancestor Totems setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchieft - summons a Totem which significantly increases your Melee Physical Damage
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - this Ancestor Totem grants a high bonus Attack Speed. Always make sure to have both types of Totems summoned
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to use two types of Ancestor Totems simultaneously, and have a total of 3 active Totems
Utility Gems
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - a must-have Herald Spell for this build which grants extra Fire Damage and causes AoE Explosions when you kill enemies
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - increases your Physical Damage
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Attack Speed
Dash Dash - recommended movement Skill for this build


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points. Helping Alira for extra Crit. Multiplier and Resistances is also a good option

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Warrior's Blood 2) Ophidian Aim 3) Constitution 4) Smashing Strikes 

62 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Devotion 2) Retribution 3) Steelwood Stance 4) Tireless

Recommended leveling items:

Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - very solid Belt which grants a high DPS bonus and some defensive stats. It can be efficiently used even on Low-Tier Maps thanks to high DPS bonus from Initimidate
+(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased Global Physical Damage
You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
+(30-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies are Intimidated
GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best leveling Helmets in the game which grants very high Elemental Resistances bonuses
+(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)
BlackheartBlackheart - the best low-level Rings for Melee builds. They grant a ton of extra Damage and decent Life
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
5% increased Global Physical Damage
Adds 1 to 3 Chaos Damage to Attacks
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(2-4) Life Regenerated per second
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee

The Blood ThornThe Blood Thorn - a very powerful Unique Staff which has high increased Physical Damage and has no level requirements

+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
+12% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
100% increased Physical Damage
(5-10)% increased Attack Speed
Reflects (22-44) Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Block, with 20% increased Effect
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)

Daresso's SaluteDaresso's Salute - very good Amulet which boosts your DPS and AoE Radius

+(16-24) to Strength and Dexterity
50% reduced maximum Energy Shield
+(30-40)% to Fire Resistance
+(30-40)% to Cold Resistance
10% increased Movement Speed when on Full Life
+2 to Melee Weapon and Unarmed Attack range
60% increased Melee Damage when on Full Life


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree
115 Points Path of Building (PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Ngamahu, Flame's Advance
  2. Hinekora, Death's Fury
  3. Tukohama, War's Herald
  4. Arohongui, Moon's Presence


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 Gruthkul 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Cyclone
Cyclone Cyclone - your primary DPS skill. Deals massive both single and AoE damage which is fully converted to Fire Damage thanks to Avatar of Fire and Ngamahu, Flame's Advance Passive. Don't bother getting the Vaal Cyclone Skill as it locks in place and can easily get you killed by some Bosses
Shockwave Support Shockwave Support - causes Cyclone to create shockwaves for extra damage
Pulverise Pulverise Support - greatly increases Cyclone DPS at the cost of slightly reduced Attack Speed
EDWA Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - core support Gem in this setup since this is a 100% Elemental Attack build
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - spending Mana on Cyclone will generate Inspiration Charges that increase your Elemental Damage and Crit. Chance. It also reduces the Mana Cost of Cyclone. When using this Support Gem, you need to make sure your Cyclone costs some Mana (preferably between 1-3) so that it actually generates those charges
Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support - increases the damage you deal with channeling Skills but also grants Infused buff which boosts your DPS and defenses
[UTILITY] Ancestor Totems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - deals a moderate amount of damage and increases your Melee DPS. Since you are going to use Multiple Totems Support, you can benefit from two different types of Ancestral Totems
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - grants high bonus Melee Attack Speed
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to summon up to three Totems, so you can use both Ancestral Warchief and Protector at the same time
Combustion Support Combustion Support - increases Fire Damage but also makes enemies Ignited by your Ancestor Totems to have their Fire Resistance reduced
EDWA Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
[UTILITY] Auras/Heralds
Precision Precision - increases your Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance. You can use it on low-level depending on your Mana pool. It also allows you to powerful Watcher Eye's Jewels, being the only Aura with Modifiers from it
Blood and Stance Blood and Sand - allows you to switch between Blood and Sand stances. We recommend just passively using the Blood Stance for a massive DPS bonus
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants extra Fire Damage and makes enemies explode when you kill them, dealing extra AoE damage to nearby enemies
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - increases your base Physical DPS
[UTILITY] Various triggered Gems
CwDT Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts linked Spells after you take a certain amount of damage. Keep this Gem at level 8
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Blood Rage increases your Attack Speed, Life Leech, and generates Frenzy Charges for even more DPS. Keep this Gem at level 12
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - an Area Spell which will be triggered by the same Cast when Damage Taken Gem and apply Fire Exposure to enemies, reducing their Fire Resistance by 25%. Do not upgrade this Gem above level 12
Steelskin Steelskin - grants a protective shield that absorbs some of the incoming damage. We recommend using it manually, so upgrade it to the maximum level so that it doesn't get "locked" by CwDT Gem
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark
(applied by Ring affix)
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - this is the best Curse for this build which greatly increases your Critical Strike Chance and allows you to generate Power Charges
[UTILITY] Leap Slam
Leap Slam Leap Slam- primary mobility Skill used in this build which allows you to travel faster
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - increases the Attack speed of your Leap Slam which also works for "flight speed"
Fortify Support Fortify Support - grants Fortify buff which reduces all damage taken by your character
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - makes Leap Slam cost Life instead of Mana

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find the recommended gear for our Avatar of Fire Cyclone Chieftain build. This build is very easy to complete, as it has literally 0 specific Unique Items required. You can play it purely with Life/Physical Melee DPS Rares and a high base Physical DPS Staff. Obviously, if you want to benefit from Rage/Berserk, you will need to add Lethal Pride, but that's completely optional too. 

Using this opportunity, we would love to invite you to visit our Path of Exile Marketplace where you can buy cheap PoE Currency in case you can't afford all the items for your character.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to take down Shaper on a 1 Ex budget

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Melee/Physical Damage
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Accuracy Rating
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - just aim for decent Life, Elemental Resistances and possibly Intelligence bonus
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
35 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies have -#% Fire Resistance
Abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - the BiS Helmet which grants the highest possible DPS bonus for a Helmet. It increases the Physical Damage you take, but you should melt everything before it even gets to hit you
+(20-25) to all Attributes
Adds 40 to 60 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(100-125)% to Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
(100-120)% increased Armour
(40-50)% increased Physical Damage taken
Helmet enchantments:
Increased Cyclone Attack Speed
Increased Cyclone Damage
Rare Staff(Weapon) Rare Staff - the BiS item. Just get the highest base Physical DPS one you can afford. Also getting it with extra Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support or Fortify Support which basically adds a seventh link
Min. requirements:
500 Physical DPS
Optional affixes:
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 10 Endurance Charge on Melee
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 1 Fortify
Critical Strike Multiplier
Chance to Deal Double Damage
Hegemony's Era(Weapon) Hegemony's Era - the best Unique Staff for this build. It has a decent base DPS and increases your effective Crit. Chance
+20% Chance to Block Spell Damage while wielding a Staff
+6% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
Adds (135-145) to (160-175) Physical Damage
(12-16)% increased Attack Speed
(10-20)% increased Critical Strike Chance
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
10% chance to gain a Power Charge if you Knock an Enemy Back with Melee Damage
Astral Plate(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - the BiS Item for this slot. Should grant high bonus Life and extra DPS from flat Attack Crit. 
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 3% of their Life as Physical Damage
Maximum Life%
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - you can either get high Life/Resistances here, or reduce the values on those two stats and get Elusive or Tailwind on them
Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
50% Total Elemental Resistances
30% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
9% chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Boot enchantment:
10% Chance to Dodge Attack Hits if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Headhunter(Belt) Headhunter - the most iconic Belt in Path of Exile which allows you to steal mods from Rare enemies. It truly Shines on fast builds which can accumulate them for some massive bonuses, and that's exactly what this Chieftain should be with good equipment. It's expensive, but it fits this build perfectly when it comes to dealing with high Tier content
+(25-40) to maximum Life
+(40-55) to Strength
+(40-55) to Dexterity
+(50-60) to maximum Life
(20-30)% increased Damage with Hits against Rare monsters
When you Kill a Rare monster, you gain its Modifiers for 20 seconds
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Stygian Vise - always a very good pick which can give you tons of extra defensive stats. Aim to get the highest possible Life and cap Resistances (if you didn't already)
Min. requirements:
110 Maximum Life
10% Maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - basically some Life, Resistances, and DPS bonuses can be found here
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
50 Dexterity
30% Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Channelling Skills have -3 to Total Mana Cost
Recommended Anointments:
Rare Rings(Ring) Rare Rings - aim to get decent Life, Resistances, and Attributes. You should also get Assassin's Mark on one of the Rings, and if needed, reduce the Mana Cost of your Cyclone by the crafted affix related to Channelling Skills
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Trigger Level 12 Assassin's Mark when you Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy
Optional affixes:
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Channelling Skills have -3 to Total Mana Cost
Spiked Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - again, aim for defensive stats and possible extra Physical Damage to Attacks
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
100% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Melee Damage
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - a very powerful Jewel that offers extra Aura Modifiers when you are affected by Precision. This can get pretty expensive, depending on the Mods, but it simply is one of the best Jewels for this Cyclone Chieftain
(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:
+(20-30)% to Critical Strike Multiplier while affected by Precision
(40-60)% increased Attack Damage while affected by Precision
Gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike while affected by Precision
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewel - if you are using a Stygian Vise, you should use one of these. If you don't have any Silver Flask, you may also want to get one with a chance to gain Onslaught buff on kill
Min. requirements:
30 maximum Life
Added Physical Damage to Attacks/Staff Attacks
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain Onslaught on kill
Critical Strike Multiplier
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - try to get extra Life and Critical Strike Multiplier. If you can afford it, also extra damage mods like Melee/Physical/Area 
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Melee/Area/Physical Damage
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - grants very high bonus Damage and extra defensive utility
+3000 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
(20-25)% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
Cinderswallow Urn(Flask) Cinderswallow Urn - grants Onslaught and extra instant Life/Mana recovery. You can also get additional Crit. from the Veiled mod
Recharges 1 Charge when you Consume an Ignited corpse
Enemies Ignited by you during Flask Effect take 10% increased Damage
Recover (1-3)% of Life when you Kill an Enemy during Flask Effect
Recover (1-3)% of Mana when you Kill an Enemy during Flask Effect
Recover (1-3)% of Energy Shield when you Kill an Enemy during Flask Effect
Veiled Suffix
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  3. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
Lion's RoarCinderswallow UrnLife FlaskDiamond FlaskQuickSilver Flask

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

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