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HoWA Molten Strike CI Juggernaut build

HoWA Molten Strike CI Juggernaut build

One of the best Path of Exile builds ever made with unlimited scaling with high-end equipment

HoWA CI Molten Strike
Juggernaut build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
June 23, 2021
-Updated for Path 3.14
February 04, 2023
-Updated for Path 3.20
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Molten Strike even after nerfs still remains one of the strongest skills in the game, especially versus Bosses. This time we are going the unconventional way for this build because it's built around Hand of Wisdom and Action, which results in Chaos Inoculation Energy Shield character. Juggernaut is the best choice for a Melee-focused ES build because it solves all problems that typical ES attack builds have. Ascendancy grants everything we need for our build to work flawlessly - Stun Immunity, a lot of Attack Speed, and Endurance Charges which help with Physical mitigation and reduced Damage taken. Cyclopean Coil will make you immune to Ignite and Shock, so we can focus on more damage-oriented Flasks like Atziri's Promise, Vessel of Vinktar, or The Wise Oak. On top of that, by using the Incandescent Heart you can avoid taking a lot of Elemental Damage thanks to conversion to Chaos which the character is immune to. With investment and reaching around 11-12k Energy Shield, this build is unkillable and you can kill Shaper without any problems but it's an expensive one - it stacks Attributes such as Intelligence and Accuracy Rating while still using one of the most expensive Uniques in the game.

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1. Gameplay

For clearing Maps, we are using Molten Strike with Ancestral Call attached to it, so we can clear packs in one shot. Our main movement skills to travel through maps quickly is Whirling Blades and Blood Rage will generate Frenzy Charges which are going to pump our movement speed by a lot. Versus bosses, we are popping all flasks and Ancestral Protector. If the boss doesn't have a phase with damage immunity, he should die in a matter of seconds.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • insane Defenses thanks to tons of Energy Shield and Juggernaut Ascendancy
  • great mobility
  • can clear all content in the game
  • Immunity to most debuffs (Temporal Chains, Ignite, Shock)
  • good clear speed
  • vulnerable to Elemental Reflect Map Mods


3. Leveling tips

For leveling, we are going to use Molten Strike as well and every Support Gem linked to it will be used in the endgame. During leveling, it's recommended to use Life Gear, before you switch to full Energy Shield because it's easier to regenerate with Life Flasks. If you have enough gear with Energy Shield to make your play comfortable, you can do the switch at any time.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Molten Strike setup
Molten Strike Molten Strike - The main skill that is available since the beginning.
Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support - It will mimic our Molten Strike skill on nearby enemies.
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - Grants more Elemental Damage.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Boosts Elemental Damage of Molten Strike.
Utility Gems
Shield Charge Shield Charge - Your main Movement Skill.
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - An Aura that provides Fire Damage and Ignites enemies.
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - Totem that boosts our Attack Speed.


We recommend killing all Bandits for two additional Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

44 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Born to Fight 2) Art of The Gladiator 3) Retribution 4) Elemental Overload

72 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: Allocate Point Blank Keystone and then get more Elemental Damage with Maximum Life

Recommended leveling items:

GoldrimGoldrim - One of the best leveling helmets in Path of Exile, will fix your Elemental Resistances during leveling.
+(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)
Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - Powerful belt, that provides Life, Resistances, and increased Damage.
+(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased Global 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
Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - These Rings provide everything - Attributes, Damage, and Resistances. Perfect choice for the entire leveling process.
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
RedbeakRedbeak - Great leveling sword which you can use since level 1.
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
The Tempestuous SteelThe Tempestuous Steel - You can use it since level 20. It will add a lot of additional Elemental Damage and Elemental Resistances penetration.
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
Adds (5-8) to (15-20) Physical Damage
(8-14)% increased Attack Speed
Hits can't be Evaded
Attacks with this Weapon Penetrate 30% Elemental Resistances
Gain 15% of Physical Attack Damage as Extra Fire Damage
Gain 15% of Physical Attack Damage as Extra Lightning Damage


4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

110 Points Final Skill Tree (does not include Cluster Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Undeniable
  2. Unstoppable
  3. Unflinching
  4. Unbreakable

Upgrade Soul of Arakaali as soon as possible for increased Recovery of Energy Shield

Major God: Soul of Arakaali 5% reduced Damage taken from Damage Over Time; 10% chance to Avoid Lightning Damage when Hit
Upgrade: 50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over Time Recently

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] Molten Strike setup
Molten Strike Molten Strike - Primary Attack Skill used in this build.
Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support - Greatly improves your AoE by creating a short-lived "minion" that will attack nearby enemies as you do. It has an Awakened version. For boss fights, swap it for Concentrated Effect Concentrated Effect.
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - Grants very high bonus Elemental Damage, but will prevent Molten Strike from applying Elemental Ailments. Has an Awakened version.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Grants very high bonus Elemental Damage. It has an Awakened version.
Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support - Damage penetrates Lightning Resistance, it has an Awakened version as well.
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - You can replace Ancestral Call versus Bosses for higher single-target DPS. Has an Awakened version too.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Discipline Discipline - Adds a lot of flat Energy Shield that scales extremely well with increased Energy Shield from Intelligence.
Wrath Wrath - Adds extra flat Lightning Damage to Attack.
Grace Grace - More and increased Evasion, later converted to Armour.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Increased Mana Reservation Efficiency for linked Auras.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
War Banner War Banner - Increases Accuracy Rating, but that's pretty much it.
Precision Precision - Low-level Precision will reserve little to no mana while still granting Accuracy.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support
[UTILITY] Totem and Mark setup
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - totem that boosts Attack Speed, use Phantasmal version.
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - Marked enemies receive increased damage from Projectiles.
Mark on Hit Support Mark on Hit Support - Sniper's Mark is applied on Hit against Rare and Unique enemies.
Enhance Enhance Support - Increases Quality of all Linked Gems.
[UTILITY] Wave of Conviction
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - Applies Exposure, reducing Lightning Resistance by 15%.

[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Golem setup

Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - Will auto-cast supported spells after a certain amount of damage is taken by the player. Do not upgrade it above level 1.
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - This Golem grants you Critical Strike Chance and more importantly Attack Speed - level 1.
Immortal Call Immortal Call - Grants brief Physical Damage immunity. Keep this Gem at level 1.
[MOBILITY] Whirling Blades setup
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - Your main Movement Skill.
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support  - Faster movement with Whirling Blades.
Fortify Support Fortify Support  - After hitting an enemy with Whirling Blades you will gain Fortify buff that will reduce damage taken from hits.

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5. Gear Setup

This Molten Strike Juggernaut is a moderately expensive build. While it offers quite reasonable stats without very costly Items, if you want to scale your damage, there is no upper limit to how many Divine Orbs you can sink into it. Below you will find all the recommended gear. We have also included end-game Mods which should be looked for on Items to reach this build's maximum potential. This build is quite easy to upgrade, you just want to add more Intelligence to Rare equipment, and find gear with the "end-game" Mods listed below (mostly ones that increase your Intelligence). If you get to the point where it matters for you, you should be fully aware of what Mods you can use.


Stat priorities on items:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Energy Shield
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Elemental Damage
  5. Lightning Penetration
  6. Accuracy
  7. increased Attack Speed
  8. increased Attack Damage
  9. Strength
  10. Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  11. Increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
  12. Evasion or Armour
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - This is our best choice, grants a lot of Energy Shield, Accuracy, and Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
250 Energy Shield
45 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
increased Intelligence
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
Molten Strike fires 2 additional projectiles
Hand of Wisdom and Action(Weapon) Hand of Wisdom and Action - nothing to say here. Our character is built around this Weapon. Try to get one with maximum Intelligence roll and you can also Corrupt it for increased Attack Speed
+46 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(8-12)% increased Dexterity
(8-12)% increased Intelligence
Adds 1 to 10 Lightning Damage to Attacks with this Weapon per 10 Intelligence
1% increased Attack Speed per 25 Dexterity
(25-30)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Shield(Shield) Rare Energy Shield - Intelligence and Energy Shield with a bit of Resistances are important, but Atziri's Reflection is ultimately better.
Min. requirements:
250 Energy Shield
45 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Gain #% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Atziri's Reflection(Shield) Atziri's Reflection - Has a very high base Energy Shield, high Int, All Elemental Resistances, and Curse Immunity/Reflection making it one of the best options here.
6% increased Movement Speed
+(40-60) to Intelligence
(180-200)% increased Evasion Rating
+(180-200) to maximum Energy Shield
+(20-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
Curse Reflection
Unaffected by Curses
(15-20)% increased Effect of your Curses
Incandescent Heart(Body Armour) Incandescent Heart - An insanely good armour for this build. While it doesn't provide much Energy Shield, it boosts damage by a lot and reduces Elemental Damage Taken by 25%
(220-240)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(80-90) to maximum Life
(0.8-1)% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
Gain (10-20)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
25% of Elemental Damage from Hits taken as Chaos Damage
(20-30)% increased Light Radius
Light Radius is based on Energy Shield instead of Life
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - While a Shaper's/Crusader's Amulet is very expensive, it will provide the highest damage and a lot of Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
15% Increased Maximum Energy Shield
60 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
1% increased Damage per 15 Intelligence
%Increased Intelligence/Attributes
Damage Penetrates (8–10)% Lightning Resistance
Astramentis(Amulet) Astramentis - A cheap alternative to the high-end Rare Amulet, it grants a lot of Attributes of all kinds.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attacks
Recommended Anointments:

Whispers of Doom
Transfiguration of Soul
Primeval Force
Command of the Elements
Heart of Thunder

Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Opal Ring - Definitely the best option for this build. It should grant mostly Intelligence and Resistance.
Min. requirements:
70% Total Elemental Resistances
40 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Non-Channelling Skills have -(7-6) to Total Mana Cost
Curse Enemies with Conductivity on Hit
Added Lightning Damage to Attacks
increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Rare boots(Boots) Rare Energy Shield Boots - Get a pair with the highest maximum Energy Shield and Intelligence bonuses you can afford.
Min. requirements:
150 Energy Shield
45 Intelligence
60% Total Elemental Resistances
25% Increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Boots enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Cyclopean Coil(Belt) Cyclopean Coil - Mandatory Belt for this build. Provides Damage, Attributes, Shock, and Ignite immunity. A synthesized Rare Belt may also increase your Attributes, but it's also extremely expensive.
+(25-40) to maximum Life
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(5-15)% increased Attributes
Cannot be Frozen if Dexterity is higher than Intelligence
Cannot be Ignited if Strength is higher than Dexterity
Cannot be Shocked if Intelligence is higher than Strength
1% increased Damage per 5 of your lowest Attribute
Shaper's Touch(Gloves) Shaper's Touch - Very good Gloves for attribute stacking build. Grants a lot of Accuracy and Energy Shield, look for Corrupted Implicits since it's cheap.
(80-120)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+4 Accuracy Rating per 2 Intelligence
+1 Life per 4 Dexterity
+2 Mana per 4 Strength
2% increased Energy Shield per 10 Strength
2% increased Evasion Rating per 10 Intelligence
2% increased Melee Physical Damage per 10 Dexterity
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - Here we are fixing Resistances and Attributes. If you are capped then you can focus on more damage oriented Jewels
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Energy Shield
increased Damage with Claws
Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Fertile Mind(Jewels) Fertile Mind - Grants a lot of Intelligence. Place it next to Fervour Notable.
+(16-24) to Intelligence
Dexterity from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence
Brute Force Solution(Jewels) Brute Force Solution - Grants a lot of Intelligence. Place it near Eternal Youth Keystone.
+(16-24) to Intelligence
Strength from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence
Natural Affinity(Jewels) Natural Affinity - A Unique Cluster Jewel that grants Nature's Patience Keystone - for more Damage and Less Damage Taken while standing still - for example, while fighting bosses.
Adds Nature's Patience
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewels) Large Cluster Jewel - It's important to have one near Point Blank Keystone to allocate Split Personalities there. Fan of Blades is especially good here.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Storm Drinker
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
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 Drive the Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Fan of Blades
Split Personality(Jewels) Split Personality - Great Jewels for stacking a certain statistic - in this case, Intelligence and Accuracy Rating. Place two of them in the Large Cluster Jewel next to Point Blank Keystone for maximum efficiency.
This Jewel's Socket has 25% increased effect per Allocated Passive Skill between
it and your Class' starting location
<Two random modifiers>
Watcher's Eye(Jewels) Watcher's Eye - Look for mods matching your Auras - Precision, Discipline, and Wrath.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>

Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - Grants a lot of additional damage and leech.

+35% to Chaos Resistance
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - Additional projectiles are insane for Molten Strike's DPS output.

(-10-10)% increased Charges used
(15-25)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - Grants additional Lightning Penetration. Remember to have Lightning Resistance higher than other ones.
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Effect, 6% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Effect, Damage Penetrates (5-8)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest
Vessel of Vinktar(Flask) Vessel of Vinktar - A great boost to our Lightning Damage. It also Shocks nearby enemies and should grant Lightning Penetration.
Shocks nearby Enemies during Effect, causing 10% increased Damage taken
You are Shocked during Effect, causing 50% increased Damage taken
Damage Penetrates 6% Lightning Resistance during Effect
20% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life during Effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - a flask too good to skip, especially for Crit builds, even with Elemental Overload builds like this one
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Atziri's PromiseDying SunThe Wise OakVessel of VinktarBottled Faith

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