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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 3.17

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Guide notes
April 13, 2022
-Build created
April 16, 2022
-Added gameplay video
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.

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.

This video was recorded on a level 93 Slayer with a total of 9 Frenzy/Brutal Charges each and a 520 Physical DPS Mace. Overall, this may seem to be quite expensive given the performance, but if you do indeed want to play an interesting non-meta Glacial Cascade build, it's nearly impossible to make it cheap

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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 an 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:

28 Points Skill Tree
Pick Master of the Arena, Art of the Gladiator, Tribal Fury, and Graceful Assault

60 Points Skill Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Fortify Mastery, Fangs of Frost, Winter Spirit, and Primeval Force

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - adds Damage, increases Damage, and grants some Maximum Life
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
The IgnomonThe Ignomon - it adds Damage, Accuracy Rating, Evasion, Dexterity, and Fire Resistance
(12-20)% increased Rarity of Items found
+10 to Dexterity
Adds 12 to 24 Fire Damage to Attacks
+(100-150) to Accuracy Rating
+(100-150) to Evasion Rating
+20% to Fire Resistance
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 5 to 15 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, 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:

100 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
116 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
Melee Physical Damage Melee Physical Damage Support - increases the Melee Physical Damage that is later converted to Cold
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 a few more times with increased Attack Speed
[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 Rating 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
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - linked Spells have increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
[UTILITY] Aura setup
(socketed in Shield with increased Mana Reservation Efficiency)
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
[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
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
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.

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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% to Total Elemental Resistances
Accuracy Rating
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take #% Increased Cold Damage
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
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
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 ElementalDamage
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 an 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
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Physical/Area/Melee Damage with a one-handed melee weapon
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
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewel - try to get as much Mana Reservation Efficiency as you can to fit all the Auras
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Spiteful Presence
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 random ailment removal
Lion's RoarAtziri's PromiseLife FlaskTaste of HateQuicksilver Flask

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