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Earthquake Juggernaut Starter build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Earthquake Juggernaut Starter build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

One of the best Melee Starter builds for Patch 3.5. Try our Juggernaut build based on Hegemony's Era unique Staff

Crit. Earthquake
Juggernaut-Marauder
Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.5

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Guide notes
July 28, 2018
-Build created
December 19, 2018
-Updated for Patch 3.5

Juggernaut is the third most popular class in Path of Exile in the Incursion League. It provides rock-solid defenses and at the same time, grants huge DPS buffs for your character. It is a perfect Ascendancy class for a League Starter Melee build. Our recommendation is to use the new reworked Vaal Earthquake Skill Gem (together with the regular Earthquake's version) which deals very high damage and has great AoE. It deals part of the damage on the initial hit, and also aftershock is created after a short delay which deals 60% increased damage. 

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

1. Gameplay

Our Earthquake Juggernaut is a typical two-handed melee build that utilizes high Hegemony's Era DPS, Juggernaut defenses and benefits from various Staff related Crit. Passives. For the defenses, you should easily reach 6,000 Life, nearly 90% Physical Damage mitigation, and high Life Regenerated per second allowing you to efficiently farm even the hardest content.


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • rock-solid defenses
  • good DPS both single-target and AoE
  • excellent as a League Starter build with no expensive unique items required
  • DPS scales well with better and more expensive Crit. gear
CONS
  • mediocre clear speed
  • vulnerable to physical reflect mods maps

3. Leveling tips

Leveling as a Juggernaut is very easy, however, it may feel slower compared to Ranged and Spell-Casters classes. Using Two-Handed weapons grants you very high DPS but reduces your mobility. We recommend leveling with a Staff and taking all the Passive Nodes, that way you won't have to refund any of the Passives later on. The core stats to look out for during leveling are:

  1. High Weapon Physical DPS
  2. Added Physical Damage to Attacks (rings, gloves, amulet)
  3. maximum Life and Elemental Resistances
  4. Attack and Movement Speed

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Ground Slam setup
Molten Strike Ground Slam - you can get this skill right after you start the game and reach Lioneye's Watch. It provides decent AoE and can be used with Staves. You can use it all the way to level 28 or swap it with Sunder at level 12
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - grants extra Fire Damage as a % of your Physical Damage
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - this will make your every 3rd Hit deal around double damage
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Sunder/Earthquake setup
Sunder Sunder - one of the best and most popular leveling Melee skills in PoE. Can be used from level 18 to 28 or you can skip it entirely, and transition from Ground Slam to Earthquake at level 28
Earthquake Earthquake - the primary attack skill in this build. Can be used from level 28
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - core Support Gem for Physical Melee builds
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
Utility Gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - spawns a Totem which increases your Melee Damage. Also uses a cleave attack to damage enemies
Punishment Punishment - the best Curse for this build
Ice Golem Ice Golem - is the recommended Golem for this build
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants extra Fire Damage and AoE explosions
Leap Slam Leap Slam - your primary movement skill. Should be supported by Faster Attacks for better mobility

Bandits:

We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Born of Fight 2) Butchery 3) Barbarism 4) Devotion 5) Whirling Barrier (Smashing Strikes and Counterweight along the way)

64 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Thick Skin 2) Serpent Stance 3) Blunt Trauma 4) Art of the Gladiator 5) Destroyer

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - great Physical DPS leveling ring. You can use it starting at level 1
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
5% increased 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
 
Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - great belt for this build. Can be used even during leveling and early mapping phase
(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased 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
 

Seven-League stepSeven-League Step - these are the fastest Boots in Path of Exile. They carry no other stats but can be used from level 1. They are very useful for a low build like this

50% increased Movement Speed
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
 

The Blood ThornThe Blood Thorn - the first unique Staff you can wield. It grants very high DPS for its' level

18% Chance to Block
12% Chance to Block
100% increased Physical Damage
(5-10)% increased Attack Speed
Reflects (22-44) Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
Curse Enemies with Level 5 Vulnerability on Block
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
 

StormheartStormheart - is another powerful Staff. It deals high Physical Damage and additional Elemental Damage. It also grants a high chance to Shock enemies

18% Chance to Block
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (25-35) to (45-60) Cold Damage
Adds (1-10) to (70-90) Lightning Damage
(20-35)% increased Critical Strike Chance
Cannot be Shocked while Chilled
50% chance to Shock Chilled Enemies
 

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

113 Points Skill Tree
113 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Unflinching
  2. Unyielding
  3. Undeniable
  4. Unrelenting

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

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Vaal Earthquake setup
Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake - grants both the regular Earthquake and Vaal Earthquake skills. Earthquake is a Melee Area attack that deals initial damage in an area and after a short delay, a shockwave is created which deals 60% increased damage. The Vaal skill works similarly, but the aftershock is much more powerful, and also you deal area damage around you for a short duration
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support - increases the Critical Strike Chance of Supported skills
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - greatly increases Area Damage at the cost of reduced radius
[DPS] Ancestral Warchief setup
(you have to limit the number of sockets if you are using Kaom's Roots)
Sunder Ancestral Warchief - summons a Totem which increases your Melee Damage. At the same time, it deals quite a lot of damage on its' own with cleave attacks
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - will instantly kill enemies below 10% Life
Maim Support Maim Support - makes your Ancestral Warchief Totem Maim enemies, which reduces their Movement Speed and increases Physical Damage taken
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support (optional)
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support (optional)
[AURAS] Hatred, Herald of Ash
Hatred Hatred - grants the highest DPS out of all Auras in PoE
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - increases your DPS and causes AoE explosions when killing monsters
[CURSE] Punishment
Vulnerability Punishment - recommended Curse for this build. It will be applied by Counter Attacks linked to it
Curse on Hit Curse on Hit Support - makes supported skills apply your Curse
Riposte Riposte - is triggered when you Block with your Staff
Vengeance Vengeance - is triggered when you are Hit
[MOBILITY] Leap Slam and Stone Golem
Leap Slam Leap Slam - your primary movement skill
Leap Slam Fortify Support - Hits with Leap Slam will grant you the Fortify buff for extra damage reduction
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
[UTILITY] Golem and Blood Rage
Ice Golem Ice Golem - is the recommended Golem for this build. It increases your Critical Strike Chance and Accuracy Rating
Blood Rage Blood Rage - grants increased Attack Speed, Leech and generated Frenzy Charges
Cast When Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast supported skills after you take a certain amount of damage. Use this Gem at maximum (20) level

 


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5. Gear Setup

Our Crit. Earthquake Juggernaut is a flexible and budget-friendly build. It can be played with mostly rare items, but even the recommended unique items including Hegemony's Era, Starkonja's Head or Belly of the Beast should not cost a fortune.

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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/Physical Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance & Multiplier
  5. Attack Speed
Starkonja's Head(Helmet) Starkonja’s Head - one of the best choices for the helmet slot. Grants high DPS bonuses, very high Life and also enough Dexterity attribute to match Gem and Item requirements
50% reduced Damage when on Low Life
+(50-70) to Dexterity
10% increased Attack Speed
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(100-130)% increased Evasion Rating
+(80-100) to maximum Life
150% increased Global Evasion Rating when on Low Life
Devoto's Devotion(Helmet) Devoto's Devotion - another decent option. It is the best pick for maximizing clear speed
10% reduced 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
Helmet enchantment:
40% increased Earthquake Damage
30% reduced Earthquake Duration
Belly of the Beast(Body Armour) Belly of the Beast - the best in the slot. You do not need to force 6 sockets on it, as it's supposed to "host" the Ancestral Warchief which can be considered your auxiliary source of damage
Armour: (685 to 812)
(150-200)% increased Armour
(30-40)% increased maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
50% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
Extra gore
Buy Belly of the Beast
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - can provide very high defensive stats including Life and Armour bonuses
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
High Armour Rating
Hegemony's Era(Weapon) Hegemony's Era - our top recommendation for this build. It grants high Physical DPS and extra Crit.
18% Chance to Block
6% Chance to Block
Adds (180-190) to (190-220) Physical Damage
(12-16)% increased Attack Speed
(20-30)% 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
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - with high defensive stats, Life, and Movement Speed bonus
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Kaom's Roots(Boots) Kaom's Roots - grant very high Life bonus, however, you lose four sockets. They aren't recommended for casual farming and leveling
Has no Sockets
Cannot be Knocked Back
+(150-200) to maximum Life
You cannot be slowed to below base speed
Unwavering Stance
Death's Door(Boots) Death's Door - they are the best in the slot but also very expensive
+(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
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently
Rustic Sash(Belt) Rare Belt 
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
18% increased Physical Damage
40% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Belt of the Deceiver(Belt) Belt of the Deceiver - despite being very cheap, it’s a powerful Belt which grants all the important stats for this build
(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased 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
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet
Min. requirements:
Adds min. 9 Physical Damage to Attacks
40 maximum Life
30% Global Critical Strike Multiplier
10% All Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Attributes (if necessary)
Steel RingSteel Ring(Ring) Rare Steel Rings
Min. requirements:
Adds min. 9 Physical Damage to Attacks
50 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
min. 0.3% Damage Leeched as Mana
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves
Min. requirements:
Adds min. 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
60 maximum Life
20% Lightning resistance
20% Cold resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Melee Damage (Spiked Gloves)
Accuracy Rating
Glove enchantment:
Commandment of Force
Commandment of Frost
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - at least one is required with the chance to grant the Onslaught buff on kill
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Physical Damage to Attacks/Staff Attacks
chance to grant Onslaught buff for 4 seconds on kill
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Melee/Physical/Area Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - one of the most popular Flasks in Path of Exile. Grants additional Chaos Damage and extra Life Leech
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (10-15)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - great, both in terms of defense and offense, utility Flask
Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during Flask effect
75% chance to cause Enemies to Flee on use
(20-25)% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
Knocks Back Enemies in an Area when you use a Flask
Sin's Rebirth(Flask) Sin's Rebirth - this Flask grants the Unholy Might buff which greatly increases your DPS. It is expensive though
100% increased Evasion Rating
Creates a Smoke Cloud on Use
Gain Unholy Might during Flask Effect
Immunity to Ignite during Flask effect
Removes Burning on use
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (immunity to Freeze and Chill effects)
  2. Bubbling Hallowed Hybrid Flask of Iron Skin (increased Armour)
Atziri's PromiseLion's RoarSin's RebirthDivine Life FlaskHallowed Hybrid Flask


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