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Glacial Hammer Slayer Build

Glacial Hammer Slayer Build

A non-crit build that utilizes the new Precise Technique Passive to deal tons of AoE Cold Damage with melee attacks

 Glacial Hammer
Slayer build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
April 13, 2022
-Build created
February 06, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.20
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Glacial Hammer is one of the first skills you've probably had a chance to experiment with as a Path of Exile player. It's a very simple Melee Strike, but a very effective one - it basically is an attack enhancement. Glacial Hammer has a very high chance to Freeze enemies, increases the effectiveness of Freeze and Chill, has increased Strike Range, and Added Cold Damage. The unique aspect of this skill is its enormous single-target damage, it's possibly the single-best Attack in the game in this category. As of patch 3.17, the skill converts 100% of your Physical Damage to Cold making it even easier to assemble. The build wasn't expected to perform well as a fast mapper, and it definitely isn't one, but it is still at an acceptable level due to the abundance of Frenzy Charges and Shattering mechanics. Patch 3.19 introduced a new, reworked Heatshiver Helmet that massively increases Damage by adding Fire Damage sourced from Cold.

As a Duelist, you're often conditioned to choose a playstyle that offers purely physical damage output. It's because of how easy it is to access the nodes suited for such playstyle from your starting location on the passive skill tree, and because more than often Raider, Berserker, or Inquisitor can execute it better. In this build, we wanted to expand on the dormant single-target potential of Glacial Hammer, so we went with a Slayer. With Bane of Legends and Headsman, the character will be able to kill bosses with ease. Masterful Form will increase its damage after combining it with Arn's Anguish. The Impact is chosen for a better clear speed and damage. The defenses of the build have been more of an afterthought, but luckily for us, it can be easily patched up with tons of Armour, Fortify Buff, and a lot of Life. 

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1. Gameplay

It's a simple-to-play build: jump using your Leap Slam until you spot any opponents, try to land right in the center of a pack of enemies, swing your weapon a few times using Glacial Hammer, and continue the loop. During boss fights deploy your Ancestral Totems for more Damage and Attack Speed. A level 1 Frost Bomb is better to be cast automatically, it grants a lot of utility bonuses. The Auras you should use are Hatred, Precision, Herald of Ice, Determination, Defiance Banner, Blood and Sand, and Aspect of the Cat. Have constantly enabled Blood Rage too. As your Guard Spell use Molten Shell, and for a Curse - Frostbite.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • has exceptionally high boss DPS, as Salyers usually do
  • good defenses, lots of Armour
  • can benefit from a lot of various affixes
  • it's quite fast and versatile
  • poor map clearing potential
  • can't run Elemental Reflect maps


3. Leveling tips

Start with a Strike Skill. It can be Glacial Hammer or Frost Blades. It's much easier to invest early on into general Attack Damage rather than a Specific Cold or Elemental one. To be able to fend off a surrounding mob of enemies use Ancestral Call Support, and pick an Attack mastery for extra range. Not long after the first few acts we recommend turning right on your passive skill tree, that's where Cold Attack Damage can be easily found. Allocate the passives near Fervour, these are some of the best ones. You can allocate a Precise Technique, but it requires keeping track of your Health and Accuracy which might be troublesome and slow you down. If you're using Glacial Gammer, seek mostly added to attacks type of Damage.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Glacial Hammer setup
Glacial Hammer Glacial Hammer - It's the Strike Skill used for leveling, and then later on as a proper end-game Attack.
Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support - Strike Skills target additional enemies for better AoE.
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - Every third Attack deals much more Damage.
Added Cold Damage Added Cold Damage Support - Adds Cold Damage to your Attacks.
various Gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - A Totem for more Melee Damage.
Frostbite Frostbite - A Curse that lowers Cold Resistance.
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Grants you Life Leech, Attack Speed, and a chance for a Frenzy Charge on Kill.
Precision Precision - Used for more Accuracy and Critical Strike Chance, it's good with Precise Technique.
Hatred Hatred - More Cold Damage and Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage is great as you convert 100% of it to Cold already.
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - Adds Cold Damage to Attacks and explodes shattered enemies.
Leap Slam Leap Slam - A movement Skill, particularly useful during Labirynth trials.


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points.

Leveling Skill Trees:

25 Points Skill Tree
Pick Master of the Arena, Art of the Gladiator, and Tribal Fury

62 Points Skill Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Reservation Efficiency, Cold Damage, and Elemental Damage nodes

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - Adds Damage, increases Damage, and grants some Maximum Life.
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
Adds (10-15) to (20-25) Chaos Damage to Attacks
Regenerate (10-15) Life per second
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
The IgnomonThe Ignomon - It adds Damage, Accuracy Rating, Evasion, Dexterity, and Fire Resistance.
(12-20)% increased Rarity of Items found
20% increased Light Radius
Adds (18-24) to (32-40) Fire Damage to Attacks
+(100-150) to Accuracy Rating
+(100-150) to Evasion Rating
+20% to Fire Resistance
Nearby Enemies are Blinded
Meginord's GirdleMeginord's Girdle - Great for the first few levels, it grants Damage, Maximum Life, and Cold Resistances.
+(25-35) to Strength
+25 to Strength
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage to Attacks
10% increased maximum Life
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
25% increased Flask Life Recovery rate

GoldrimGoldrim - It has a lot of 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)
RedbeakRedbeak - It is a good Sword for the first few acts, and has good DPS.
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
100% increased Damage when on Low Life
50% increased Physical Damage
Adds 2 to 6 Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+(20-30) to maximum Life
+2 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

109 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Impact
  2. Bane of Legends
  3. Headsman
  4. Masterful Form


Major God: Soul of Solaris: 6% Physical Damage Reduction if there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50%  less Area Damage from Hits

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] Glacial Hammer setup
Glacial Hammer Glacial Hammer - A Strike Skill that deals a lot of Cold Damage to a single Target. Every third Attack Freezes freezer enemies and deals more damage. 
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Increases the Elemental Damage you deal with Attacks,
Ruthless Damage Ruthless Support - Every third Attack is much more powerful.
Ice Bite Ice Bite Support - Increases the Chance to Freeze, the damage you deal to Frozen enemies, and adds a lot of damage per Frenzy Charge.
Cold Penetration Cold Penetration Support - Your Cold Damage penetrates more of the Cold Resistance.
Multistrike Multistrike Support - Your Strike is repeated with increased Attack Speed. If you can accommodate the 7th Support Gem (from Uul-Netol's Vow) use Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - You can pick between two stances - one for more AoE, and the other one for more Damage.
Precision Precision - It's used only to get enough Accuracy for the Precise Technique. You might not need it at all.
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - Increases your Armour and Evasion Rating while reducing the Critical Strike chance of nearby opponents.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Hatred Hatred - You deal more damage and gain extra Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage which is good with damage conversion.
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - Adds Cold Damage to your Attacks and makes Shattered enemies explode increasing your clear speed.
Determination Determination - Adds and increases Armour for physical mitigation.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Linked Spells have increased Mana Reservation Efficiency. it's optional.
[UTILITY] Ancestral Totems setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - Totem that grants you more Melee Damage.
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - grants you more Attack Speed as it stays active, use the Phantasmal version for more Attack Speed.
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - Allows you to summon both Totems at the same time.
[UTILITY] Frost Bomb setup
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - Applies Cold Exposure for reduced Cold Resistance and reduces Life Regeneration rate. Keep it at level 1.
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - Enemies in chilling areas created by Frost Bomb will receive more damage.
Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support - Chill lasts longer and is more effective.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Keep it at level 1 so that the linked Spells will trigger more often.
[MOBILITY] Leap Slam setup
Leap Slam Leap Slam - A Movement Skill you can use to jump and move faster.
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - Leap Slam can be used more frequently.
[UTILITY] Molten Shell
Molten Shell Molten Shell - Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take from hits for a short time, it scales up with your Armour.
[UTILITY] Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Increases your Life Leech, Attack Speed, and Frenzy Charges. It Drains your Life over time.
[UTILITY] Frostbite
Frostbite Frostbite - Best Curse for this build, it lowers Cold Resistance.

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5. Gear Setup

It's an Attack that converts all of its Physical Damage to Cold. The most efficient way to increase your DPS is to look for added Cold or Physical Damage to Attacks. The character deals no Critical Strikes, but your Accuracy Rating must be higher than your Maximum Life. You will have to look for it on a Helmet, Gloves, Jewels, and Jewelry. To fit in all the Auras, we've used a Mana Reservation Efficiency Cluster Jewel which might be Expensive. To generate Endurance Charges we used Replica Farrul's Fur, one of the most expensive Body Armours. It's the easiest and most elegant way to do so, as the Armour is great on its own. Combined with Arn's Anguish, these charges will grant you more damage instead. Find a way to apply Frostbite on hit, and to cast Aspect of the Cat. The best mods are the ones that scale up your damage with Frenzy Charges.


Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Accuracy Rating (until activating Precise Technique)
  4. added Physical or Cold Damage
  5. increased Attack Speed
  6. Mana Reservation Efficiency
  7. Chaos Resistance
  8. Armour and Evasion
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Look mostly for Life, Resistances, Accuracy Rating, and a Cold Damage Reduction for nearby opponents.
Min. requirements:
+70 maximum Life
+80% Total Elemental Resistances
Accuracy Rating
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take #% Increased Cold Damage
Heatshiver(Helmet) Heatshiver - It's the best option. It significantly increases your Damage, and with Galcial Hammer you're guaranteed to Freeze.
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
60% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
Gain 1% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage per 1% Chill Effect on Enemy
Gain 100% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage against Frozen Enemies
Helmet enchantment:
Glacial Hammer Enchantment
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - It should be only a transitioning Armour so don't invest too much in it, just enough to get a lot of Life and Resistances.
Min. requirements:
+100 maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
You can apply an additional Curse
Farrul's Fur(Body Armour) Replica Farrul's Fur - It's the Armour you should definitely own for it generates you the Endurance Charges, and the maximum amount of them is equal to the Frenzy ones.
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(80-100) to maximum Life
+2 seconds to Cat's Agility Duration
Aspect of the Cat has no Reservation
Gain up to your maximum number of Frenzy and Endurance Charges when you gain Cat's Agility
You have Onslaught while you have Cat's Agility
Mace(Weapon) Rare Mace - Just sort the weapons by the Physical or Cold Damage per Second and get the one with the highest number you can afford. Attack Speed is obligatory.
Min. requirements:
around 400 DPS
20% increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
increased Damage
adds Damage to Attacks
Frostbreath(Weapon) Frostbreath - A weapon that deals double damage at all times. It's quite good and definitely cheap.
15% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
Adds (26-32) to (36-42) Physical Damage
Adds (26-32) to (36-42) Cold Damage
(8-14)% increased Attack Speed
+(40-50)% to Fire Resistance
(35-50)% increased Chill Duration on Enemies
Attacks with this Weapon deal Double Damage to Chilled Enemies
Darkray Vectors(Boots) Darkray Vectors - This pair of Boots grant you an extra Frenzy Charge and some other very useful bonuses based on the number of your active Frenzy Charges.
(40-70)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(20-40)% to Lightning Resistance
5% increased Movement Speed per Frenzy Charge
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
40% reduced Frenzy Charge Duration
25% reduced Light Radius
10% increased Evasion Rating per Frenzy Charge
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - As was the case with a Rare Armour, get a Belt good enough until you can afford Arn's Anguish.
Min. requirements:
+100 maximum Life
+70% to Total Elemental Resistances
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
increased Maximum Life
Arn's Anguish(Belt) Arn's Anguish - Transforms your Endurance Charges into Brutal Charges so that you're very likely to deal triple damage with hits
(15-25)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
+1 to Maximum Endurance Charges
+(600-700) to Armour
(12-15)% increased maximum Life
+(40-60)% to Fire Resistance
Modifiers to Minimum Endurance Charges instead apply to Minimum Brutal Charges
Maximum Brutal Charges is equal to Maximum Endurance Charges
Gain Brutal Charges instead of Endurance Charges
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Prioritize Life and Resistances, then look for Accuracy, added Damage, and some missing Attributes.
Min. requirements:
+70 Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
Accuracy Rating
increased Area of Effect
Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Uul-Netol's Vow(Amulet) Uul-Netol's Vow - An Amulet that grants you the 7th socket, and for a build like this, it would be extremely beneficial.
Has 1 Socket
Socketed 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:
Divine Judgement
Steel Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Besides Life and Resistances look for the offensive or utility mods such as the ones listed here. Steel Rings are great for their inherent added Damage.
Min. requirements:
+70 maximum Life
+70% to Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Melee or Elemental Damage
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Added Cold Damage per Frenzy Charge
Accuracy Rating
increased Attack Speed
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Spiked Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Life and Accuracy Rating are the most important mods. The more expensive ones include additional targeting for Strikes and Maximum Frenzy Charges.
Min. requirements:
+70 maximum Life
+500 Accuracy Rating
Optional affixes:
Added Damage to Attacks
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
Strike Skills target 1 additional nearby Enemy
increased Melee Damage
increased Attack Speed
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Cold Penetration or added Cold Damage with Hatred are the best offensive mods you can find.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Intuitive Leap(Jewel) Intuitive Leap - Allocate it near Fervour and allocate a few useful notables in the radius.
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
Lethal Pride(Jewel) Lethal Pride - You can use it to gain additional Strength and some suitable modifiers as you put it near Savagery and Vigour.
Commanded leadership over (10000-18000) warriors under (Akoya-Kaom-Rakiata)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Karui
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - The best place to put it is near the center of the Skill Tree, it will grant you a lot of various effects.
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - These should provide extra Life and various damage bonuses for Maces or one-Handed Weapon. Accuracy and Reservation Efficiency are also great.
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Physical/Area/Melee Damage with a one-handed melee weapon
Increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
increased Global Accuracy Rating
Attack Speed
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - We've used just one Large Cluster Jewel. If you don't have a Mana Leech source get Fuel the Fight Notable. For more Damage pick Martial Prowess.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Overlord
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Blast-Freeze
1 Added Passive Skill is Blanketed Snow
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - The best Flask for Melee Physical Builds. the damage it grants will be converted to Cold.
+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
Taste of Hate(Flask) Taste of Hate - It adds a lot of Cold Damage to your attack which is sourced from your Physical one.
+50% to Cold Resistance
20% less Cold Damage taken
(10-15)% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage during Flask effect
Gain (10-15)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Flask effect
30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Flask effect
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - Use it for Chaos Resistance, Life Leech, and extra Chaos Damage from your Physical and Elemental Damage.
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Quicksilver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Life Flask with increased Attack Speed
  3. Jade or Basalt Flask with increased Armour
Lion's RoarAtziri's PromiseLife FlaskTaste of HateQuicksilver Flask

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