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Facebreaker Cyclone Champion Build

Facebreaker Cyclone Champion Build

A very tanky Melee build that utilizes Resolute Technique and Unique Facebreaker Gloves to massively scale Cyclone's Physical DPS

Facebreaker Cyclone
Champion Build

Updated for Patch 3.16

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Guide notes
August 28, 2021
-Build created
November 23, 2021
-Build updated for Patch 3.16


Facebreaker is a very unique pair of gloves - you gain up to 800% increased Physical Damage with Unarmed Melee Attacks. It's really a lot, but with no weapon, you will have significantly reduced flat damage - the actual numbers that you want to increase. There are a lot of ways to obtain Flat Physical Damage, mostly from your gear. It's a Pure Physical Build, as most Champion builds are - Champion specializes in increasing the effectiveness of Impale, Fortify, Banners, and many other utility buffs. In this build, the most effective Ascendancy Keystones are Master of Metal - for added Flat Damage and Imaple buffs, Unstoppable Hero and Fortitude for permanent Fortify, Stun Immunity, 20% Attack Speed, and 500 Armour and Evasion Rating. Inspirational improves the effect of Banners and Auras.

Impale mechanics works great on pure Physical and quickly attacking builds such as this one. You don't have to worry about Critical Strikes and Accuracy Rating - you will be using Resolute Technique, which allows you to focus more on other stats. Base Critical Strike while unarmed is non-existent so it actually makes a lot of sense to take this Keystone. The build is very tanky - your Maximum Life can reach 7k with a casual player's budget, the damage you take from hits is significantly lowered - you have a lot of Armour. The build isn't expensive, but if have currency to spend on it, there's a lot of ways to improve it, mostly by getting better gear, Cluster Jewels, and Facebreaker with a higher damage bonus.

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1. Gameplay

This build is a complete no-brainer. You spin around Maps killing everything on your path. You occasionally can cast Ancestor Totems, Blood Rage, and Enduring Cry for their buffs, but in most cases, that's just needed against Bosses. You should also use Steelskin as your primary Guard Skill (Molten Shell can also be used if you have over 10k Armour Rating) and should be socketed under your left mouse button which makes you it basically auto-triggered skill. You should apply your Curse via Ring affix. Overall, it's really a self-explanatory build that you can't go wrong with. 

This video was recorded on a level 93 Champion on Standard. We had casual/budget build actually used, with literally no legacy/expensive gear. It ended up pretty for what is it - a beginner-friendly Resolute Technique build with good defenses and solid DPS. There is plenty of space for improvement, so if you are interested in investing more time into this character, please don't treat our character from the video as your final goal :)

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • easy to set up thanks to the use of Resolute Technique and high bonus Physical DPS from Champion's Ascendancy and Impale
  • tanky with reasonable Life pool 
  • smooth gameplay
  • real no brainer build which is great for beginners (assuming you can get all the necessary equipment)
  • high Attribute requirements call for specific mods on rare gear
  • no Leech and reflect Maps are off-limits


3. Leveling tips

Equip a Facebreaker at level 16, use Lycosidae Unique Shield before you can equip a better shield or after you allocate Resolute Technique. Iron Rings or any items with added physical damage will be great. We recommend getting some Essences of Contempt and using them on your Amulets and Rings as you go through acts and your first maps. As for a Skill, use Ground Slam, Earthquake, Earthshatter, or Sunder at first and switch to Cyclone later on, after your build is already set up to deal a lot of damage with Impale. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Ground Slam setup
Ground Slam Ground Slam - It's a decent Attack that deals AoE Damage, it sends a wave that deals damage, and the closer the enemies are, the more damage will they receive
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - it increases your Melee Physical Damage
Maim Support Maim Support - before you reach act 3, there is hardly any better Support Gem that you could use, it's useless after you use it with Flesh and Stone in Blood Stance
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - despite being purely Physical Damage build, at first you can use this Support Gem for more damage
Curse setup
Vulnerability Vulnerability - one of the best Curses if you're focused on dealing Physical Damage, it causes enemies to Bleed and take more Physical Damage
Aura and Banner setup
Pride Pride - use it to deal more Physical Damage, especially against enemies that stay in your proximity for a long time
Dread Banner Dread Banner - a Banner that increases the effect of your Fortify and Impale
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - more AoE or Area Damage, depending on Stance
Warcry setup
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - Warcry that regenerates a big portion of your Life rapidly
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - this Totem grants you more Melee Damage as it stays active
Dash Dash - probably your best choice for a movement Skill if you don't use any weapon, you can switch to Flame DashFlame Dash, but it requires some amount of Intelligence
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - use Lifetap so you won't spend Mana on linked Skills


You should kill all three Bandits for two additional Skill Points which is the only viable option for this build

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Take this path to a Resolute Technique Keystone

68 Points Skill Tree
allocate Call to Arms and look for More Maximum Life and Physical Attack Damage, then seek the nodes that increase your Fortify and Impale effectiveness


Recommended leveling items:

LycosidaeLycosidae - Good Shield to use before you allocated Resolute Technique, but it sadly offers no Elemental Resistances 
+(10-20) to maximum Life
+(120-160) to Armour
+(30-40) to maximum Life
Your hits can't be Evaded
+(3-5)% Chance to Block
Adds 250 to 300 Cold Damage to Counterattacks
Redblade TramplersRedblade Tramplers - it's a great pair of boots since it adds Physical Damage to your Attacks and has some other useful stats
Adds (2-5) to (7-10) Physical Damage to Attacks
(5-10)% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
(150-200)% increased Armour
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Unaffected by Burning Ground
DeidbellowDeidbellow - if you're using Enduring Cry, it's probably one of the best Helmets if you don't mind the lack of Elemental Resistances
+(20-30) to Strength
+(20-30) to Dexterity
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(200-300) to Armour
20% increased Melee Damage
Cannot Leech when on Low Life
If you've Warcried Recently, you and nearby allies have 20% increased Attack, Cast and Movement Speed
GoldrimGoldrim - a standard leveling Helmet praised for its substantial Elemental Resistances
+(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)
The Warden's BrandThe Warden's Brand - this Ring adds a decent amount of Flat Physical Damage to your Attacks and generates some Frenzy Charges
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
Adds (5-15) to (25-50) Physical Damage to Attacks
30% reduced Attack Speed
15% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge when you Stun an Enemy
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - It provides six, already linked, white sockets so you can link your Skill with many Support Gems
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:

98 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
112 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Unstoppable Hero
  2. Fortitude
  3. Master of Metal
  4. Inspirational


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 Garukhan: 60% reduced Effect of Shock on you


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Cyclone setup
Cyclone Cyclone - Cyclone is a Channeling Attack that allows you to move while dealing Melee Physical Damage around you, it has a very high Attack Speed making it most suitable for this build
Brutality Support Brutality Support - increases your Physical, but disables Elemental and Chaos Damage
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - at a small cost of your Attack Speed, it greatly increases Melee Physical Damage
Pulverise Support Pulverise Support - more AoE, and Area Damage, slightly lowered Attack Speed
Infused Channeling Support Infused Channeling Support - greatly increases the damage you deal with Channeling Skills, and decreases damage from Aoe, Hits, Channeling, Physical, and Melee Hits while Channeling
Impale Support Impale Support - improves your chance to impale and the effect of this debuff on enemies
[UTILITY] Warcry and Blood Rage setup
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - use this Warcry to quickly regenerate around 2k Life in one second, with Call to Arms Keystone it won't interrupt your Channeling
Enhance Support Enhance Support - by upgrading Quality of Blood Rage you're able to get more Attack Speed
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the Duration of Linked Skills
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Blood Rage grants you more Attack Speed, Lifesteal, and generates Frenzy Charges as you kill enemies, it drains your Life as it's active
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Pride Pride - It's the obligatory Aura for Physical Melee build for it makes enemies near you take more Physical Damage, and if the distance will remain close, the bonus increases even more
Dread Banner Dread Banner - increases your Chance to Impale, and Impale effectiveness, which results in a high DPS increase for just 10% Mana Reserved
Enlighten Enlighten Support - if you have an Aura that reduces Mana Reservation of your Pride, you can use Flesh and StoneFlesh and Stone instead
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - it provides you with more AoE and less Area Damage, or less AoE and more Area Damage, depending on Stance
[UTILITY] Dash/Steelskin setup
Dash Dash - Dash is the recommended mobility Skill, it's an instant relocation Spell that you can use at any time
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - stores an extra charge for Dash so that you can use it more times in a row
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - use Life instead of Mana on Linked Skill, Mana is reserved for more important Skills like Cyclone
Steelskin Steelskin - use Steelskin as your Guard Spell to reduce incoming damage. It should be socketed under your left mouse button so that it's triggered automatically. You can also replace it with Molten ShellMolten Shell if you have over 10k Armour for better effect
[UTILITY] Ancestor Totems
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - this Totem increases your Attack Speed if it stays active
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - this Totem increases your Melee Damage if it stays active
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - with This Support Gem you can have more Totems activated at once, so both Ancestral Warchief and Protector can stay up at the same time and grant their bonuses

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6. Gear Setup

The build isn't expensive, it can be even played as a Starter. The only Uniques that are really necessary are Facebreaker, and these are so Cheap that you can actually seek a specific Corruption on them - the most popular being Vulnerability  Curse on Hit. It's obligatory to have this Curse in your build to boost your DPS and it's best applied by Ring affix or Glove corruption. Flat Physical Damage (numbers, not percentages) is by far the most influential stat - it can be found on almost any Rare gear slot so keep an eye on it. 155 Dexterity is required for this build to work properly (Blood Rage and Dash), and 111 Intelligence (Infused Channeling). You will need to seek these Attributes on Jewels and Jewelry.

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. Flat added Physical Damage
  4. Dexterity and Intelligence
  5. Armour
  6. Attack Speed
rare helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Look for an Elder Helmet that has a mod "Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage", a lot of Life and Elemental Resistances. If you have a free Suffix, you can Craft some Attributes here.

Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage
Optional affixes:
Increased Effect of Fortify on you
Chaos Resistance

abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - it's a mad idea to equip an item that makes you take 40 to 50 percent more Physical Damage, but if dying is not an issue then sure go ahead, it's a lot of Flat Physical Damage that will increase your overall DPS by something like 20%.
+(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:
Cyclone Attack Speed/Damage enchantment
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - a defensive and the most common option for a Shield is to have a rare one with a lot of Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances
Min. requirements:
+100 to Maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
High Armour Rating
Socketed Gems have 15% reduced Reservation
Great Old One's Ward(Shield) Great Old One's Ward - this Shield is more offensive-oriented, it gives you no Elemental Resistance but a lot of Flat Physical Damage, a Chance to block Spells, increased Attack Speed, and a decent amount of Maximum Life.
3% increased Movement Speed
(8-12)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
Adds (8-12) to (15-20) Physical Damage to Attacks
(6-10)% increased Attack Speed
+(50-70) to maximum Life
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - a lot of Defensive and Utility Affixes can be found on a Body Armour, but the most important are the basics - Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
+130 to Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Enemies you Kill have a #% chance to Explode, dealing a tenth of their maximum Life as Physical Damage
Maximum Life %
You Can Apply Additional Curse
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - The Body Armour that provides you with a lot of Area Damage and Area of Effect - the two most important stats for Cyclone enthusiasts. The other Stats such as Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances are a nice addition that makes this item such a great choice.
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
(40-50)% increased Area of Effect
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore
rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Boots should give you more Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and at least 25% increased Movement Speed - a very important stat that determines your Clear Speed.
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life in total
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Increased Armour
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
#% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Facebreaker(Gloves) Facebreaker - These are very common Gloves that require you to wiled no weapon for the huge damage bonus. The difference between the lowest and the Highest Roll on this Affix is around 20% of your Total DPS so it's really important to roll high. Look for the Vulnerability on Hit only on a pair with at least 750% more damage, such a pair would cost around one Exalted Orb.
+30% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
10% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
(600-800)% more Physical Damage with Unarmed Attacks
Extra gore

Optional Corrupted Implicits:
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit
#% increased Attack Speed
#% increased maximum Life
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Ryslatha's Coil(Belt) Ryslatha's Coil - It adds Flat Damage, provides Maximum Life, and enhances the range of the Damage you can deal with Hits - more Maximum Damage and Less Minimum Damage. It's a really good belt with no Rare one even coming close to the DPS bonus this one can achieve.
(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
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet  - a Base that adds some important Attributes is the most preferable, look for Added Flat Physical Damage to Attacks Mod, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances. If it's Warlord-influenced you can seek reduced Reservation of Pride.
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life in total
+40% to Elemental Resistances
Adds 12 to 22 Physical Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
Increased Armour
Pride has 25% reduced Reservation
Recommended Anointments:
Essence Sap
Spirit Void
Tenacity - if you have Mana Leech from another Source like Cluster Jewel
Ring(Ring) Rare Steel Rings - Steel Rings should be the ones to look for, they add more Damage to Attacks, additionally, look for a Prefix that adds even more of it. The secondary statistic is of course Maximum Life.
Min. requirements:
Adds 9 to 15 Physical Damage to Attacks
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
increased Attack Speed
Vulnerability on Hit (only if you don't have this mod from other sources already)
Rare Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - You should strive for a Jewel that adds at least 7% to your Maximum Life and has one of the other mentioned stats that you're currently in need of.
Min. requirements:
increased Maximum Life
increased Attack Speed
Elemental Resistances
increased Global Physical Damage
Martial Artistry(Jewel) Martial Artistry - use it for more AoE Radius and Attack Speed, the best place for it is next to the Stamina Notable Passive, look for a Corrupted version since these Jewels are common
+(3-4) to Melee Strike Range while Unarmed
Passive Skills in Radius also grant: 1% increased Attack Speed with Unarmed Attacks
Lord of Steel(Jewel) Lord of Steel - Use one Lord of Steel that increases Impale Effect or Overwhelms Physical Damage Reduction. These are cheap so it's a good idea to look for a Corrupted one.
Impale Damage dealt to Enemies Impaled by you Overwhelms 10% Physical Damage Reduction
Call of Steel has (80-100)% increased Use Speed
Call of Steel causes (40-50)% increased Reflected Damage
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - If you have more than 0 Energy Shield you're 50% less likely to be Stunned, and with Ahuana's variant of this Jewel that grants Immortal Ambition your ES will always be above 0 as long as you're attacking
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of Ahuana
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - if you lack in damage, consider Cluster a pair of Large Cluster Jewels. The build is perfectly fine without them but if you look for a way to improve it, this should be the most obvious way.
Recommended Notables:
1 Added Passive Skill is Feed the Fury
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Strike Leader
1 Added Passive Skill is Furious Assault
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
1 Added Passive Skill is Master the Fundamentals
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - The crown jewel of your build that should have a mod increasing the number of Impales you can inflict upon enemies, it can get expensive but it's worth the price.
(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:
Impales you inflict last 2 additional Hits while using Pride
(40-60)% increased Attack Physical Damage while using Pride
 lion's roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - the most commonly used Flask for build such as this one, it gives you a lot of Armour and Damage
+1500 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
(7-10)% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
Kiara's Determination(Flask) Kiara's Determination - probably the best Silver Flask you can use due to the huge range of immunities it grants you upon activation
Immune to Freeze, Chill, Curses and Stuns during Flask Effect
60% reduced Duration

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Mobility)
  2. Perpetual Sulphur of Warding (Removes Curses)
  3. Panicked Eternal Life Flask of Heat (Immunity to Freeze and Chill)
lion's roarKiara's Determinationsulphur flaskquicksilver flasklife 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.

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