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Dreadsurge Molten Strike Chieftain build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Dreadsurge Molten Strike Chieftain build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Enjoyable melee Chieftain build. 100% Fire Damage penetration thanks to Fated Dreadsurge Axe makes this character a fearsome Warrior

Dreadsurge Molten Strike
Chieftain build

Updated for Patch 3.5

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Guide notes
June 8, 2018
-Build created
December 16, 2018
-Updated for Patch 3.5

Molten Strike is one of the best and the most powerful Melee attacks in Path of Exile. On top of regular damage, multiple projectiles are launched with each attack, which deals additional damage in a small radius around your target. This makes up for one of the highest single-target melee DPS skills in Path of Exile. On the other hand, Dreadsurge and Chieftain class provide 100% Fire Damage conversion, 100% Fire Resistance penetration, very high Life and Life Leech, high Strength attribute (which increases Molten Strike's projectiles damage with Iron Grip Passive).

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1. Gameplay

This is a very powerful Melee build, and its' insane DPS is based on 100% Fire Damage conversion, 100% Fire Resistance penetration, and self-ignite caused by the Eye of Innocence amulet. While Ignited you gain 70% increased Damage, 20% Attack Speed, and the Fire Res. penetration. On top of that this build provides insane Life Regeneration and Life Leech, which combined with high Life, Endurance Charges, damage mitigation nearby your Totems, make you extremely durable.

0:06 Tier 11 Coves
0:38 Tier 15 Carcass
1:14 Apex of Sacrifice

This video was recorded on a level 86 Chieftain wearing Brass Dome

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very good DPS, both single-target and AoE
  • very good clear speed
  • good defenses based on high Life and Life Regen., Life Leech and Endurance Charges 
  • good mobility thanks to Shield Charge skill with high base Attack Speed
  • vulnerable to elemental reflect map mod

3. Leveling tips

Molten Strike is one of the first attack skill available in Path of Exile. That is a natural choice to level up with it. You can use a wide variety of one-handed weapons or even the Oni-Goroshi unique sword for smooth leveling. Your early levels Skill Tree will consist mainly of Life and defensive nodes, which makes it quite important to upgrade your weapon frequently. Other than that, you should have no problems completing the campaign with this character.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Molten Strike setup
Molten Strike Molten Strike - your primary attack skill. You can use it during leveling phase too 
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage to your attacks
Faster Attack Support Faster Attacks Support - greatly increases the Attack Speed of supported Gems
Leap Slam setup
Leap Slam Leap Slam - your main mobility skill
Faster Attack Support Faster Attacks Support
Utility Gems
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - adds additional Fire Damage to your attacks and spells
Stone Golem Stone Golem - this golem will increase your Life Regeneration per second
Flammability Flammability - recommended Curse for this build during the leveling phase


We recommend killing all the bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

36 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Born to Fight 2) Juggernaut 3) Barbarism 4) Catalyse 5) Elementalist

58 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Amplify 2) Resolute Technique 3) Bloodless 4) Iron Grip 5) Lava Lash 6) Golem's Blood

Recommended leveling items:

Oni-GoroshiOni-Goroshi - the best leveling item for this build. You can use it starting at level one, and just replace/sell it when you reach approximately level 70
40% increased Accuracy Rating
Uses both hand slots
(70-90)% increased Critical Strike Chance
Adds 2 to 3 Physical Damage to Attacks per Level
Gain Her Embrace for 3 seconds when you Ignite an Enemy
While in Her Embrace, take 0.5% of your total Maximum Life and Energy Shield as Fire Damage per second per Level
Item has 6 Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
GoldrimGoldrim - the best leveling helmet in Path of Exile. Will cover all your elemental resistances needs for over 50 levels
+(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)
Atziri's FoibleAtziri's Foible - grants amazing Mana bonuses, which will be extremely useful if you want to have multiple Gems enhancing your Molten Strike 
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+100 to maximum Mana
(16-24)% increased maximum Mana
(80-100)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Items and Gems have 25% reduced Attribute Requirements

Mokou's EmbraceMokou's Embrace - amazing leveling ring for this build

+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
(15-25)% increased Fire Damage
+(25-40)% to Cold Resistance
(5-10)% chance to Ignite
20% increased Attack Speed while Ignited
20% increased Cast Speed while Ignited
+25% chance to be Ignited

GiantsbaneGiantsbane - another pair of decent leveling gloves

Adds (3-6) to (10-12) Physical Damage to Attacks
+(30-40) to Strength
(80-100)% increased Armour
Iron Grip

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. Tawhoa, Forest's Strength
  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 Tukohama While stationary, gain 2% additional Physical Damage Reduction each second, up to a maximum of 8%

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Molten Strike setup
Molten Strike Molten Strike - your primary Attack Skill
Elemental Damage with Attack Skills Elemental Damage with Attack Skills Support - increases Elemental Damage dealt by your Molten Strike. Mandatory since its 100% Elemental Conversion build
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - greatly increases Area Damage
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - causes your Molten Strike to repeat itself twice with greatly increased Attack Speed. Multistrike is extremely important since it also fires additional projectiles
Immolate Support Immolate Support - adds Fire damage to attacks against burning enemies
Ancestral Call Ancestral Call Support - provides an insane bonus to AoE
[CURSE] Enfeeble
CwDT Support Cast when Damage Taken - will auto-cast the supported Curse. Keep it at level 5
Enfeeble Enfeeble - this is the recommended Curse for this build. It greatly reduces the damage and accuracy rating of nearby enemies
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support - increases the radius of your Curse
[MOBILITY] Shield Charge setup
Shield Charge Shield Charge -  your primary movement skill
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Fortify Support Fortify Support - melee hits with Shield Charge will grant you the Fortify buff
[AURAS] Anger and Herald of Ash
Anger Anger - adds Fire Damage to your spells and attacks
Herald of Ash Vitality - increases Life Regenerated per second
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces Mana Reserved by supported Auras. Preferably buy this Gem level 3 or above
[UTILITY] Molten Shell, Golem, Blood Rage
Molten Shell Molten Shell - grants a protective shield which absorbs damage, deals Fire AoE Damage around you, and increases your Armour Rating while active. This spell is auto-cast by CwDT Support Gem
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts supported Spells
Blood Rage Blood Rage - grants increased Attack Speed and generates Frenzy Charges
Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - grants increased Life regen.
[UTILITY] Ancestral Warchief
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Protector - spawns a Totem which increases your Attack Speed
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - grants your Totem extra splash
Combustion Support Combustion Support - grants increased Fire Damage and chance to Ignite enemies. Quite useful if you are using Immolate Support on your Molten Strike setup
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - makes your Totem instantly kill enemies below 10% Life

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the required and recommended gear for this build. Below each rare item, you can find specific stats requirements. As usual, we also include optional gear options.

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Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Melee/Fire/Projectile Damage
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Life Regeneration and Armour Rating
Devoto's Devotion(Helmet) Devoto's Devotion - it is the best in the slot. It grants the extremely important Attack Speed bonus
10% reduced Global Physical Damage
+(50-65) to Dexterity
16% increased Attack Speed
(150-200)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(15-25)% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Mercury Footprints
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Life/Res helmet - will not be bad until you farm currency for Devoto's
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Helmet enchantment:
Molten Strike fires 2 additional Projectiles
Dreadsurge(Weapon) Dreadsurge - build-defining item. It grants very high base DPS and 100% Fire Damage penetration
Adds (5-15) to (20-25) Physical Damage
Adds (223-250) to (264-280) Fire Damage
5% increased Movement Speed
(7-10)% increased Attack Speed
+(15-25)% to Fire Resistance
Hits ignore Enemy Monster Fire Resistance while you are Ignited
Tower Shield(Weapon) Rare Shield - aim for the highest Life bonus, and cap your Elemental Resistances with this item
Min. requirements:
1200 Armour Rating
100 maximum Life
40% Cold Resistance
45% Lightning Resistance
Brass Dome(Armour) Brass Dome - this is my top Body Armour recommendation for this build. It grants amazing Armour Rating bonuses and you take no extra Damage from Critical Strikes 
5% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
30% reduced Chance to Block Attacks and Spells
(600-650)% increased Armour
10% reduced Movement Speed
50% increased Shock Duration on you
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
Belly of the Beast(Armour) Belly of the Beast - always a solid pick for Life-based builds
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
(150-200)% increased Armour
(30-40)% increased maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
50% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
Extra gore
Rare Armour(Armour) Rare Body Armour - a decent, but a temporary solution
Min. requirements:
1400 Armour Rating
80 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - simply go for the highest stats you can afford
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
20% increased Movement Speed
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Death's Door(Boots) Death's Door - another great pair of boots for this build. They grant additional Endurance Charge which increases your Damage, Life Regen. and further Damage mitigation
+(20-40) to Strength
200% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
+1 to Maximum Endurance Charges
50% increased Elemental Ailment Duration on you
Bleeding cannot be inflicted on you
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Adds 45 to 68 Fire Damage if you've Killed Recently
Heavy Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - with high defensive stats and increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
25% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
+1 to maximum Endurance Charges
Veruso's Battering Rams(Gloves) Veruso's Battering Rams - an amazing pair of gloves for this build. On top of increasing your Attack Speed, they also grant 4% increased Damage for each Endurance Charge you have
(8-13)% increased Attack Speed
(120-180)% increased Armour
(3-5)% increased Movement Speed
50% increased Stun Duration on you
4% increased Melee Damage per Endurance Charge
You cannot be Shocked while at maximum Endurance Charges
Mokou's Embrace(Rings) Mokou's Embrace - a mandatory item for this build. It's required to efficiently apply the self-ignite on yourself
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
(15-25)% increased Fire Damage
+(25-40)% to Cold Resistance
(5-10)% chance to Ignite
20% increased Attack Speed while Ignited
20% increased Cast Speed while Ignited
+25% chance to be Ignited
Kaom's Way(Amulet) Kaom's Way - another amazing Ring for this build. It grants additional Endurance Charge
+(20-30) to maximum Life
+(10-20) to Strength
0.4% of maximum Life Regenerated per second per Endurance Charge
+(2-4) Life gained for each Enemy hit by your Attacks
+1 to Maximum Endurance Charges
Eye of Innocence(Amulet) Eye of Innocence - mandatory amulet for this build. It deals Fire Damage to you, which is extremely effective way to Ignite yourself and proc your CwDT setups (Molten Shell and Curse)
+(16-24) to Strength and Dexterity
10% chance to Ignite
(50-70)% increased Damage while Ignited
Take 100 Fire Damage when you Ignite an Enemy
2% of Fire Damage Leeched as Life while Ignited
Wildfire(Jewels) Wildfire - threshold jewel for Molten Strike. Grab two of those and socket them in pretty much any slot in the Marauder/Duelist part of the Skill Tree
(10-15)% increased Fire Damage
With at least 40 Strength in Radius, Molten Strike fires 2 additional Projectiles
With at least 40 Strength in Radius, Molten Strike has 25% increased Area of Effect
Abyss Jewels(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - the preferred choice of Jewels for this build which should grant Fire Damage to Attacks and maximum Life bonuses
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Fire Damage to Attacks/Axe Attacks
Optional affixes:
added Physical Damage to Attacks/Axe Attacks
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - used mainly to provide more Life and DPS
Recommended affixes:
% increased maximum Life
% increased Generic/Melee/Fire Damage
Optional affixes:
% increased Attack Speed
Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - very powerful Flask for this build. It increases the number of Molten Strike's projectiles and their radius
+50% to Fire Resistance
+6% to maximum Fire Resistance
(-10-10)% increased Charges used
(15-25)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (immunity to Freeze and Chill effects)
  3. Ample Granite Flask of Iron Skin  (increased Armour Rating)
  4. Experimenter's Silver Flask of Gluttony (Life Leech and Onslaught buff)
Dying SunDivine Life FlaskDivine Life FlaskGranite FlaskSilver Flask

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

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