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Shockwave Cyclone Slayer Build

Shockwave Cyclone Slayer Build

A simple Cyclone Slayer build that uses Warstaves. A variation of the possibly most popular build archetype in the game for a long time now.

Shockwave Cyclone
Slayer Build

Updated for Patch 3.24

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Guide notes
May 5, 2024
-Updated for Patch 3.24
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Cyclone has been one of the most popular Melee builds in the game for a long time now. It's a Channeling Melee Attack that allows you to move while dealing damage to surrounding enemies. This build focuses on expanding the benefits of using it with Warstaves. By using Staves or Maces you're allowed to have your Attacks be supported by Shockwave Support Gem - it's one of the most powerful Support Gems you can link with your Cyclone. Maces have generally low Critical Strike Chance, so it's a better idea to go for Resolute Technique Keysonte while wielding Maces and such. Resolute Technique is actually a great tool for leveling - you don't need to worry about Accuracy Rating nor Critical Strike Chance. To check the guide on the budget/leveling version of this build click this link.

Non-crit builds however can't compare to the Critical Strike-oriented ones - sacrificing this amount of damage is not worth the tradeoff. Staves have actually one of the highest Base Critical Strike Chance out of two-handed Melee Weapons. Unfortunately, there are no Unique Staves you can just buy and be done with looking for a decent weapon (maybe with a few exceptions that will be mentioned later), a good staff can be quite expensive, and there are many mods for this type of build due to its generic nature. Your Maximum Life will be oscillating around 5k, with Enduring Cry as your Warcry to regenerate your Life quickly and Fortify from Overlord Notable from your Large Cluster Jewel. The build requires at least one Large Cluster Jewel, but two is what this build is going with. Slayer is the Ascendancy that is best performing while Leeching - for example, your Life Leech won't be removed while on Full Life.

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


1. Gameplay

Cyclone is one of the smoothest Skills to use - your Movement and Attack Skill are under one button, making this build extremely easy to play, even with just one hand. To jump over obstacles - use Leap Slam. To boost your damage during long fights - use Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Protector Totems. Use Enduring Cry to regenerate your Life and gain Endurance Charges that will consequently reduce the amount of damage you take and give you some Elemental Resistances.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • beginner-friendly, simple-to-grasp mechanics
  • very high DPS
  • almost all content viable - can do reflect maps due to Headsman Notable
  • high Life, Leech, and Physical Damage mitigation
  • smooth leveling
  • very enjoyable playstyle
  • can't do No Leech maps
  • vulnerable to DoT/Ground effects


3. Leveling tips

It is recommended to follow the Cyclone Slayer Resolute Technique Budget build guide on how to go through the leveling process. Switch to the final version - without Resolute Technique Keystone later in the game, after acquiring the respectable Accuracy rating and Critical Strike Chance. This article is exactly the same regarding Leveling Tips as in the guide listed above.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Cleave setup
Cleave Cleave - very strong AoE Attack which has good base damage and attacks multiple enemies with each swing
Melee Physical Damage Melee Physical Damage Support - a great boost to Physical Damage
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - every 3rd hit with Cleave will deal much higher damage
Cyclone setup
Cyclone Cyclone - the core Attack Skill Gem used in this build. It makes you spin around obliterating enemies
Maim Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Pulverise Pulverise Support - greatly increases your Cyclone's DPS and radius
Brutality Support Brutality Support - greatly increases Physical Damage dealt but makes the skill deal only Physical Damage
Utility Gems
Vulnerability Punishment - the recommended Curse for this build which increases your Melee Damage and Attack Speed
War Banner Dread Banner - increases your Physical Damage and grants an increased chance to Impale with your Attacks
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Attack Speed
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - summons a Totem which increases your Melee Damage


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

29 Points Skill Tree
allocate the offensive passives near your starting locations and seek more Maximum Life

62 Points Skill Tree
take Call to Arms and Resolute Technique, passives near Marauder starting location, and start making your way to the upper side of the tree 

Recommended leveling items:

Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - very solid Belt which grants a high DPS bonus and some defensive stats. It can be efficiently used until mid-tier Maps
+(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
GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best leveling Helmets in the game which grants very high Elemental Resistances bonuses
+(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)
BlackheartBlackheart - these Rings provide everything - Attributes, Life, and flat Physical Damage
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
5% increased Global 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

LimbsplitLimbsplit - one of the first unique Axes that can be used in this build

+1 to Level of Socketed Strength Gems
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 5 to 10 Physical Damage
+(15-30) to Strength
Culling Strike

Daresso's SaluteDaresso's Salute - a very good Amulet that also happens to be the recommended end-game item

+(16-24) to Strength and Dexterity
50% reduced maximum Energy Shield
+(30-40)% to Fire Resistance
+(30-40)% to Cold Resistance
10% increased Movement Speed when on Full Life
+2 to Melee Weapon and Unarmed Attack range
60% increased Melee Damage when on Full Life


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Bane of Legends
  2. Brutal Fervour
  3. Impact (if you already transitioned to Crit-based version, if not - Headsman)
  4. Headsman


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] Cyclone setup
Cyclone Cyclone - your primary DPS skill. Deals massive both single and AoE damage. You can try to get a Vaal Cyclone for an extra burst against Bosses
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - grants very high Melee/Physical DPS bonuses 
Shockwave Support Shockwave Support - Shockwaves are a great DPS enhancement. Tt creates AoE damage around the target.
Impale Support Impale Support - increases your chance to Impale with Attacks which offers one of the highest DPS bonuses for this build
Pulverise Pulverise Support - grants a very high Melee Area DPS bonus and increases the radius of your Cyclone. It can be replaced with the increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage if your Crit Chance is high.
Brutality Support Brutality Support - grants a very high increase to Physical Damage, but makes supported Skills deal no Chaos or Elemental Damage
[UTILITY] Ancestor Totems setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - deals a moderate amount of damage and increases your Melee DPS. In this setup, you can use both types of Ancestor Totems so make sure to cast both before fighting Bosses
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - this Ancestor Totem grants you a high bonus Melee Attack Speed
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to use two types of Ancestor Totems simultaneously and gain both benefits
Maim Support Maim Support - your Totems will Maim enemies, increasing their Physical Damage taken and slowing them down
[UTILITY] Mana-reserved Spells
Pride Pride - makes enemies receive more Physical Damage, this bonus is amplified the longer your target stays in Melee Range
Blood and Stance Blood and Sand - allows you to switch between Blood and Sand stances. Use Sand Stance for farming/leveling and Blood Stance against Bosses and tougher rares
Determination Determination  - more and increased Armour Rating, better Physical Damage mitigation
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity  - Best Herald for pure Physical Damage increase
Precision Precision  - Aura that grants you Critical Strike-related benefits. At level 1 it reserves little to no mana, while you can still benefit from its minor buffs and Watcher's Eye upgrades
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - if your Mana Pool is low with all the Auras enabled, you can use Enlighten Support to reduce the amount of Mana Reserved by them
[UTILITY] Molten Shell setup
CwDT Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts all the supported Utility Skills. You can also add a Curse here - preferably Vulnerability if you can't apply it via Ring affix 
Molten Shell Molten Shell - grants a protective shield and extra physical Damage mitigation based on your Armour.
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark setup
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - use Assassin's Mark for increased Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike multiplier. Definitely, the best Curse
Mark on Hit Support Mark on Hit Support - applies linked Curse on Hit against Rare and Unique Enemies
[MOBILITY] Leap Slam setup
Leap Slam Leap Slam - Leap Slam is the recommended Movement Skill for this build
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - Leap Slam will cost you no Mana at all thanks to Lifetap
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - use it to Leap much faster
[UTILITY] Enduring Cry
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - A Warcry Spell that generates Endurance Charges, grants extra Physical Damage mitigation and instant Life Recovery. it's optional.
[UTILITY] Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - allows you to generate Frenzy Charges, increases your Attack Speed, and Life Leech. It deals a moderate amount of damage to you, but with high Leech it is negligible. If you have an extra Socket here, you can link it to Enhance SupportEnhance Support to slightly boost the Attack Speed bonus

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find the recommended gear for this build. With a basic understanding of the build and fight mechanic, it should allow you to easily face Shaper on a level 90 character. This is a Crit-based version of this build that utilizes high Physical DPS Staves and standard Life gear. We also have a more budget-friendly Resolute Technique/2H Axe version that can be found here.

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Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Melee/Physical Damage
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier
  6. Accuracy Rating
  7. Attributes
  8. Armour
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Aim for decent Life, Elemental Resistances, and Accuracy Rating. If you're using a base with Dexterity you might also encounter Spell Suppression Chance, undoubtedly useful.
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take +#% Physical Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Spell Suppression Chance
Accuracy Rating
Devoto's Devotion(Helmet) Devoto's Devotion - An inexpensive Helmet that will allow you to comfortably use your Cyclone. It provides no Elemental Resistances nor Damage increase
+(50-65) to Dexterity
10% reduced Global Physical Damage
16% increased Attack Speed
(150-200)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(15-25)% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Mercury Footprints
Abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - Damage-oriented option. It has a lot of it, but also increases Physical Damage taken, making the character very fragile.
+(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
Rare Staff(Weapon) Rare Staff - Your goal here is to accumulate as many offensive mods as possible. Use Eventuality Rod as a base - for more Maximum Endurance and Power Charges. Smashing Strikes will generate your Endurance Charges
Min. requirements:
500 Physical DPS
20% increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Chance to deal Double Damage
Increased Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
Accuracy Rating
Cane of Kulemak(Weapon) Cane of Kulemak - This weapon, with its three Veiled mods, can grant you over 200% increased Physical Damage. Look for a version with high DPS and 90% increased Modifier Magnitudes. If you want to craft one yourself, aim for one with 2 Veiled Suffixes.
+20% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
(60–90)% increased Unveiled Modifier magnitudes
Three Veiled Mods
Hegemony's Era(Weapon) Hegemony's Era - Can be used as a substitute until you'll find yourself better, more expensive Staff
+20% Chance to Block Spell Damage while wielding a Staff
+6% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
Adds (135-145) to (160-175) Physical Damage
(12-16)% increased Attack Speed
(10-20)% 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 Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - just aim for high Life (preferably 100+) and 6-links. This will be one of the most expensive parts of this build
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Avoid Interruption from Stuns while using Socketed Attack Skills
Elemental Resistances
You can apply an additional Curse
Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
increased Maximum Life
Farrul's Fur(Body Armour) Farrul's Fur - It can be safely said that this is one of the best Body Armours for these types of builds. It gives a lot of Maximum Life, Armour and Evasion and Aspect of the Cat off charge. You can however achieve better results with an expensive Rare Body Armour
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Aspect of the Cat Reserves no Mana
+2 seconds to Cat's Stealth Duration
Gain up to your maximum number of Frenzy and Power Charges when you gain Cat's Stealth
You have Phasing while you have Cat's Stealth
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - again, mainly defensive stats and increased Movement Speed. I would suggest using Labyrinth Enchantment on the boots since they can roll something valuable while getting the right Helmet enchantment will require a lot of luck
Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Freeze and Chill immunity
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Ryslatha's Coil(Belt) Ryslatha's Coil - There is no better Belt than this, except Headhunter but that could be said about any build. Ryslatha's Coil increases your damage by an absurd amount.
(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
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - The amulet is there to get you some Maximum Life, Resistances, and DPS bonuses. You can also stumble upon Attributes, Accuracy, added Damage, Reservation Efficiency, and Critical Strike mods.

Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Pride has Reduced Mana Reservation

Recommended Anointments:
Ophidian Aim
Coral Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Two-Stone Rings are a decent option to look for additional Elemental Resistance. Use Steel Rings for more Damage and Vermilion Rings for More Maximum Life. You can get a Curse on Hit here - Vulnerability, but Assassin's Mark would be a better choice. You can't get it on a ring.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit, with 32% increased Effect
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Attack Speed
Spiked Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - again, aim for defensive stats and either Attack Speed and Added Physical Damage to Attacks (a pair with all of these stats can get expensive). Use Spiked Gloves for more Damage
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage while Leeching
Attack Speed
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - try to get increased Life on your Jewels - preferably 7%, and some damage modifiers like Attack Speed, Attack Damage, or Critical Strike ones. It's also good to have one with Corrupted Blood immunity.
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
Optional affixes:
increased Melee/Area/Physical Damage
increased Attack Speed
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Watcher's Eye(Jewels) Watcher's Eye - with Pride and Precision, your best option is "Impales you inflict last 2 additional Hits while using Pride" mod
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewels) Large Cluster Jewel - Mace and Staff Damage should be your base. Feed the Fury and Martial Prowess are too good to pass on, Overlord grants you Fortify and Fuel the Fight - Mana Leech
Recommended Affixes:
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 Overlord
1 Added Passive Skill is Master the Fundamentals
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewels) Medium Cluster Jewel - Some of the best notables for a medium Cluster Jewel you can get on an Area Damage-based medium Cluster Jewel and Critical Strike-based Jewel.

Recommended Affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Titanic Swing
1 Added Passive Skill is Magnifier
1 Added Passive Skill is Basics of Pain
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Pints

Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - grants very high bonus Damage and extra defensive utility, pretty much mandatory Flask
+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
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - One of the Best Flasks in the game for every build that uses Critical Strikes
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(20-40)% increased 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 Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  2. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (Movement Speed)
  3. Experimenter's Basalt Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
Lion's RoarLife FlaskBottled FaithQuickSilver FlaskBasalt Flask

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