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Chain Hook Berserker Build

Chain Hook Berserker Build

A simple Chain Hook for a Berserker that uses Rage to deal high Physical Damage

Chain Hook
Berserker Build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
January 13, 2023
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Chain Hook is not a very good Attack, it requires you to aim precisely at the enemy (no matter how big of an area of effect it has), and then, after a quick dash, it deals damage. The damage has a shape of a cone which is actually pretty large, it can reach the edge of your screen with no additional AoE enhancements. It doubles as a movement attack, as long as there is an enemy you can aim for. The other distinctive quality of Chain Hook is its Rage generation, one per Hit. The effectiveness of the Weapon's Damage and Attack Speed Multiplier are not exceptionally good, at around the same level as Infernal Blow (minus added Fire Damage). It's a good skill to quickly generate Rage and move around while Attacking, but overall it's too clunky and weak to be considered a powerful end-game build, more proof of a concept that all attacks work well on a Berserker.

As the Attack Generates Rage, We've decided to pick Crave the Slaughter and Rite of Ruin to get more Rage faster, and with triple effect. Rage increases Attack Speed, Attack Damage, and Movement Speed. With 80 Rage, which is easy to get, it will get you 240% increased Damage, 120% increased Attack Speed, and 48% increased Movement Speed. You can then spend this Rage on Berserk for a brief and extremely ponent buff to all these qualities - it will shred most bosses in seconds if you've entered their area with a lot of Rage already, and if not, it will be quickly generated in no time. For even more Damage, we've selected Flawless Savagery and Blitz for more added Damage, Attack Speed, and Critical Strike modifiers. The Chain Hook will deal purely Physical Damage with a high Crit Chance and 100% Chance to Impale. For defenses, it uses basic Armour, Block Chance, and a lot of Life and Life Leech.

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1. Gameplay

Use Chain Hook to dash to your target, try to be precise or it won't work at all. Pase Run is used for Phasing and more Damage. For even more Damage use Ancestral Protector and Warchief which will Maim on Hit. For more Attack Speed and Frenzy Charges use Blood Rage and occasionally Berserk Skill when fighting bigger opponents. As for a Guard Spell, pick Molten Shell and link it with Cast when Damage Taken. For a Curse, we recommend Assassin's Mark, and if you can apply a second one (via Whispers of Doom), get a ring with Vulnerability on Hit. The best Auras are Pride, Precision, and Determination. War Banner or Blood and Sand can be added if you have some space left.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very high damage due to Berserker's keystones
  • uses mostly, or exclusively rare items
  • quite tanky - has a lot of Maximum Life and Armour
  • min-maxing gets expensive
  • Chain Hook is clunky, and has relatively low damage


3. Leveling tips

A compelling leveling guide for this build can be found here: Marauder Leveling Guide, 2-handed weapon version. It's a guide for 2-hand weapons, which are in most cases better for leveling, but with little to no adjustments, it can be used with on-hand weapons.


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


Leveling Skill Trees:

27 Points Passive Tree
Allocate Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and Attack Damage.

57 Points Passive Tree
More Maximum Life, some Damage, Reservation Efficiency, Life and Mana Leech, Onslaught on Kill, and Phasing. You're free to pick some nearby nodes for more Physical Damage or Impale if you don't have a good weapon.

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Crave the Slaughter
  2. Flawless Savagery
  3. Blitz
  4. Rite of Ruin


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] Chain Hook setup
Chain Hook Chain Hook - A Melee Attack that makes you dash to the targeted enemy dealing Area Damage as you land. It generates Rage with each successful Hit.
Impale Support Impale Support - Use for an extra 60% Chance to Impale and to increase its effect. You have to reach 100%.
Melee Physical Damage Melee Physical Damage Support - Grants more Melee Physical Damage and slightly lowers Attack Speed.
Brutality Brutality Support - Provides much more Physical Damage, and inability to deal any other kind of Damage.
Pulverise Support Pulverise Support - Much more Area Damage and Area of Effect, but lower Attack Speed. You can switch it with Increased Critical Strikes Increased Critical Strikes or Increased Critical DamageIncreased Critical Damage for better single-target Damage.
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - One of the best Support Gems for a raw DPS output, but due to how Chain Hooks Works, attacking twice each time might be too awkward. If that's the case, use Faster Attacks Faster Attacks instead.
[UTILITY] Mana-reserving Spells setup
Precision Precision - Adds Accuracy Rating and increases Critical Strike Chance, both are useful.
Pride Pride - Enemies near you take increased Physical Damage, the effect is doubled after four seconds of continuous exposure.
Determination Determination - Adds and Increases Armour, the primary defensive layer.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - It increases Mana Reservation Efficiency. You may not need it at all if you've allocated Champion of the Cause, or have a Shield with local Reservation Efficiency.
[UTILITY] Mark/Phase Run setup
Phase Run Phase Run - Phase Run grants more Damage, Movement Speed, and Phasing for a brief moment, it lasts longer for each Frenzy Charge consumed. Use it as your movement key.
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Assassin's Mark is a Curse that increases your Critical Strike Chance and Damage against the Marked enemy.
Lifetap Lifetap Support - Linked Skills cost Life instead of Mana.
Mark on Hit Mark on Hit Support - Assassin's Mark will apply to all Rare and Unique enemies you Hit with any of your Attacks.
[UTILITY] Ancestral Totems setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - A Totem that increases your Melee Damage.
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - A Totem that increases your Attack Speed. We recommend the Phantasmal version of it.
Multiple Totems Multiple Totems - You can place both totems at the same time for two of the Ancestral Buffs.
Maim Support Maim Support - Attacks have a chance to Maim, Maimed enemy will receive more Physical Damage.
[UTILITY] Various gems
Berserk Berserk - Consumes all your Rage to grant a temporary bonus to Attack Speed, Attack Damage, Movement Speed, and less Damage taken. The more Rage you have, the longer it lasts.
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Increases Attack Speed, Life Leech, and generates Frenzy Charges on Kill while draining your Life. Its duration is refreshed on kill.
Enhance Support Enhance Support - Quality is great for both of these linked Skills, it increases your DPS.
[UTILITY] Molten Shell setup
Molten Shell Molten Shell - Use Molten Shell to mitigate incoming Hit Damage for a brief time.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Molten Shell will be activated automatically after taking damage.
[UTILITY] War Banner
War Banner War Banner - You should be able to fit in a Spell or two that reserves little to no Mana. War Banner increases Accuracy and increases damage nearby enemies take. Blood and Sand Blood and Sand can be used too, it grants more AoE or more Area Damage, depending on stance.

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6. Gear Setup

The build can run only on Rare Items, these perform exceptionally well and oftentimes are the best-in-slot if you want to min-max DPS. In terms of DPS, you prioritize your Weapon - One-Handed Mace, Sceptre, Sword, or Axe. We've selected Axe due to the multiple great Axe cluster and masteries near Marauder's starting location. Axes or good Paradoxica Swords have usually the highest DPS. Besides Physical Damage, seek Critical Strike, Accuracy, and Attack Speed mods. For defenses, Maximum Life and Armour are the most fundamental pieces, later you can invest more in Block Chance, Spell Suppression, Life regeneration, and Chaos Resistance. Assassin's Mark requires a lot of Intelligence, Blood Rage a lot of Dexterity - you will have to get it from your gear. Mana Reservation Efficiency should not be an issue. Remember to get Life and Mana Leech to sustain the self-inflicted damage from Blood Rage. It might be hard to achieve a 100% Critical Strike Chance.

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. Attack Speed
  4. Added Physical Damage
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Critical Strike Multiplier
  7. Accuracy Rating
  8. Increased Physical Damage
  9. Chaos Resistance
  10. Block Chance
  11. Armour
  12. Spell Suppression Chance
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - The Helmet can be a source of Maximum Life, Resistances, Accuracy, Attributes, Critical Strike modifiers, and increased Physical Damage taken by nearby enemies.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Nearby Enemies take increased Physical Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - Abyssus is the softcore option that grants more Damage than any other Helmet could provide, but increases the Physical Damage taken by your character too.
+(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:
Chain Hook enchantment mods
Axe(Weapon) Rare One-Handed Weapon - A weapon with increased and added Physical Damage and Attack Speed should result in around 500 total Physical DPS. Psychotic Axe for more Rage would be excellent.
Min. requirements:
around 500 DPS
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Attack Speed
Critical Strike Multiplier
Critical Strike Chance
Paradoxica(Weapon) Paradoxica - Paradoxica can roll some great mods for increased Physical Damage and Attack Speed, and then double the Damage. A good Paradoxica is however expensive.
+25% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Attacks with this Weapon deal Double Damage
Veiled Prefix
Veiled Suffix
Shield(Off-hand) Rare Shield - Block Chance, tons of Life, and Resistances are the most optimal mods to get on a Shield. There's also a Shaper's Suffix to increase Mana Reservation Efficiency for socketed Gems.
Min. requirements:
+90 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life
+#% to any maximum Elemental Resistance
Elemental Resistances
Block Chance
Socketed Gems have 30% increased Reservation Efficiency
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - besides Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, aim for added Critical Strike Chance for Attacks, or an additional Curse. Explosions would help with clear speed.
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Attacks have +1% to Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
Enemies you Kill have a #% chance to Explode, dealing a tenth of their Maximum 
increased Area of Effect
increased Maximum Life
Farrul's Fur(Body Armour) Farrul's Fur - Farrul's Fur is a reliable source of Power and Frenzy Charges but requires a Cat's buff on one of your other items, which can be crafted. It's overall a very good Armour for most Attack builds.
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Aspect of the Cat has no Reservation
+2 seconds to Cat's Stealth Duration
Gain up to your maximum number of Frenzy and Power Charges when you gain Cat's Stealth
You have Phasing while you have Cat's Stealth
The Brass Dome(Body Armour) The Brass Dome - An extremely defensive-oriented Armour with a lot of Armour and Maximum Elemental Resistances. It slightly lowers your Maximum Life, but it's still very good.
(350-400)% increased Armour
+(1-5)% to all maximum Elemental Resistances
Strength provides no bonus to Maximum Life
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - We recommend a pair of boots with Elemental Resistances, Movement Speed, Maximum Life, and some additional offensive mods.
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Onslaught o Kill
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Maximum Life and Resistances are a must-have, you can then additionally get Attack Speed, Accuracy, or use Eldritch Currency to generate Rage on Hit. Corrupted Gloves can apply a Vulnerability Curse on Hit.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Chance
Attack Speed
Adds Physical Damage
Accuracy Rating
Kaom's Spirit(Gloves) Kaom's Spirit - With enough Life Leech you can safely use Kaom's Spirit to gain even more Rage, but combined with Blood rage it may be just too much of a Life Drain.
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
(0.3-0.5)% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
Life Recovery from Regeneration is not applied
Regenerate 1 Rage per second for every 100 Life Recovery per second from Regeneration
Oskarm(Gloves) Oskarm - Oskarm will trigger Assassin's Mark against tough enemies, provide a significant portion of Accuracy, and some extra Critical Strike Chance. Good if corrupted or with a lot of Accuracy.
(30-40)% increased Global Accuracy Rating
+(40-50) to maximum Life
-(20-10)% to Chaos Resistance
+(10-12)% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Trigger Level 10 Assassin's Mark when you Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy and have no Mark
2% increased Attack Critical Strike Chance per 200 Accuracy Rating
Asenath's Gentle Touch(Gloves) Asenath's Gentle Touch - Asenath's gloves are known for exposing enemies on death resulting in a much better clear speed. It inflicts Temporal Chain Curse on Hit, and at the end of the day can be swapped for Oriath's End Flask or Rare Chest modifier.
+(20-30) to Intelligence
+(60-80) to maximum Life
+(60-80) to maximum Mana
Curse Enemies with Temporal Chains on Hit
Non-Aura Curses you inflict are not removed from Dying Enemies
Enemies near corpses affected by your Curses are Blinded
Enemies Killed near corpses affected by your Curses explode, dealing
3% of their Life as Physical Damage
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise with just Life and  Resistances will do, there you can get a lot of them.
Min. requirements:
+90 to Maximum Life
+100% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Chaos Resistance
Ryslatha's Coil(Belt) Ryslatha's Coil - Ryslatha's Coil is exceptionally good for all Physical Attack builds, it grants a lot of Damage and Maximum Life, but no Resistances.
(20-30)% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
+(20-40) to Strength
(30-40)% more Maximum Physical Attack Damage
(40-30)% less Minimum Physical Attack Damage
Adds 1 to (15-20) Physical Damage to Attacks
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Gain 50 Life when you Stun an Enemy
Bear's Girdle(Belt) Bear's Girdle - Bear's Girdle adds 20 Maximum Rage, increases Damage per Rage, Crushes enemies, and adds Physical Damage to Attacks. It's extremely good if you can generate Rage rapidly, which you should be able to.
+(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
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Life, Resistances, and Critical Strike modifiers are very common on an Amulet, it should be easy to get it. Mana Reservation Efficiency for specific Auras can be found on Warlord's Amulets.
Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Pride or Determination has (40–50)% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
Uul-Netol's Vow(Amulet) Uul-Netol's Vow - The build could really benefit from an extra 7th Support Gem, try to get an Uul-Netol's Vow with good rolls.
Has 1 SocketSocketed Support Gems can also Support Skills from your Body Armour
+(-30-30)% to Fire Resistance
+(-30-30)% to Cold Resistance
+(-30-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+(-23-23)% to Chaos Resistance
Recommended Anointments:
Feller of Foes (Axe)
Fatal Blade (Sword)
Whispers of Doom
Discipline and Training
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - On Rings, we recommend gathering a lot of Dexterity and Intelligence, Maximum Life, and Resistances. Accuracy, Critical Strike modifiers, Mana Leech, and reduced Mana Cost of Skills would work well too.
Min. requirements:
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
Accuracy Rating
Global Critical Strike Chance
Vulnerability on Hit (if you can apply more than one Curse)
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - You can fix your Elemental Resistances and Attributes if needed, but try to prioritize Maximum Life on your Jewels.
Recommended affixes:
7% Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed or Damage with Swords, Axes, or One-Handed Weapons
Melee Critical Strike Chance or Multiplier
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - If socketed near Savagery, Thread of Hope with a Large Ring allows you to pick up Master of the Arena, Art of the Gladiator, Deflection, Panopticon, Hatchet Master, Rampart, or even Spirit Void if needed.
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Flesh - Marauder is known to have many excellent Keystones. The Aspect of Carnage, Tukohama, Undeniable, Unstoppable, Untiring, Unbreakable, Indomitable Resolve, or the already selected Blitz and Rite of Ruin are all good.
Allocates <Random Ascendancy Notable> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Allocates <Random Ascendancy Notable> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - your Auras are Pride, Determination, and Precision, try to get a Watcher's Eye with the affixes for increased Critical Strike Chance or any of the Pride mods.
(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 - Regular Large Cluster Jewel with a base of Attack Damage or Physical Damage should have some great Notable Passives for the build. We recommend just one.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Drive the Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Feed the Fury
1 Added Passive Skill is Master the Fundamentals
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Critical Strike Notables from Medium Cluster Jewels would greatly improve the build.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
1 Added Passive Skill is Basics of Pain
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - Lion's Roar can improve any Melee Physical build, it grants more Damage.
+1500 to Armour
Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during 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 - More Damage, more Critical Strike Chance, and the bonuses of Consecrated Ground make this flask one of the best of its kind.
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 with Freeze or Bleed immunity
  2. Diamond Flask with an increased Attack Speed
  3. Quicksilver Flask with increased Critical Strike Chance
Bottled FaithLife FlaskLion's Roardiamod flaskquicksilver flask

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