Totem builds are always a welcome treat in Path of Exile. The versatility and tankiness of these little buggers is super useful for new players tackling the end-game map bosses for the first time. This two-handed Anscetral Warchief build is no exception to that rule. Not only will the Totems deal out massive amounts of damage, allowing you to take on some of the tougher end-game bosses in POE-but you’ll do it while being all but immune to damage if you play correctly.
The best thing about all this is that there’s no need to mess with finicky Curse setups or incredibly specific gear requirements, you just need to keep your Flasks up and keep dropping totems.
And with the Chieftain Ascendancy, this build offers extraordinarily high Life Leech and Regeneration. Those aspects combined with Endurance Charges, high Physical Damage mitigation, and very high Life, makes this an incredibly durable choice, even for brand new players.
The primary attack skill for this build is Ancestral Warchief, which is an AoE totem that scales Physical damage with your own weapon DPS and Attack Speed. The better Physical Damage of your gear, the better your Totem DPS.
- Incredibly cheap to gear for end-game
- Killing bosses is VERY quick
- Very tanky
- Totems may not be for everyone, as it’s a bit wewird to get used to
- Not the fastest in terms of clearspeed
Here is the Endgame Passive Tree
Path of Building:
Upgrade all of these.
Major God: Soul of the Brine King – You cannot be Stunned if you’ve been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds
If you’re using Kaom’s Roots, switch to Soul of Lunaris or Soul of Solaris for end-game boss fights.
Minor God: Soul of Gruk’thul – 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you’ve taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%
Kill All for the bonus Passives.
Ascendancy skill points
Ngamahu, Flame’s Advance>Hinekora, Death’s Fury>Tawhoa, Forest’s Strength>Ramako, Sun’s Light
Helmet: (X Represents your chosen skill, so Rain of Arrows in the example case)
x% Increased Ancestral Warchief Totem Damage
x% Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Damage Penetrates x% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently
Adds 45 to 68 Fire Damage if you’ve Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
The Recently element of these enchantments never proccs with certain Trap builds, so you’ll have these buffs permanently.
Commandment of Fury/Reflection
Leveling Items and General Tips
You’ll find a list of different Unique items down below for weapons and other gear slots. These are not all necessary by any means. We included the list in this guide to give you a wide array of options to choose from.
- Victario’s Flight (Boots)
- Wanderlust (Boots)
- Slitherpinch (Gloves)
- The Peregrine (Helm)
- Le Heup of All (Ring)
- Dream Fragments (Ring)
- Goldrim (Helm)
- Carnage Heart (Amulet)
- Belt of the Deceiver (Belt)
- Meginord’s Girdle (Belt)
- Worm’s Molt (Belt)
- Faminebind (Belt)
- Perandus Blazon (Belt)
- The Magnate (Belt)
- Prismweave (Belt)
Early Game Weapons
- Rigwalds Charge
- Hrimnor’s Dirge
- Geofri’s Baptism
- Hrimnor’s Hymn
Mid Game Weapons
- Kondo’s Pride
- Marohi Erqi
- The Cauteriser
- Hezmana’s Bloodlust
- Uul-Netol’s Embrace
- Kaom’s Primacy
Efficient Farm Locations:
Act 1: The Ledge
Act 2: The Fellshrine Ruins
Act 3: The Docks
Act 4: The Dried Lake
Act 5: The Chamber of Innocence
Act 6: The Ridge
Act 7: The Temple of Decay lv1-2
Act 8: The Harbour Bridge
Act 9: The Blood Aqueduct
Act 10: The Ossuary
Avoid these map mods:
- No Leech/Regen – These map mods screw with your ability to sustain your life and mana, even with totems.
If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.
Final Skill Gem Setup
You’ll find recommendations for different attack skill setups for this build below. The basic buff and aura setups are down there too. This build has been tested with the most common Bow skills, and it works will with any multiple projectile build, as long as you maximize the number of projectiles with support gems.
=== ANCESTRAL WARCHIEF ===
Ancestral Warchief – Fire Penetration – Melee Physical Damage – Added Fire Damage – Elemental Damage With Attacks – Ruthless
=== MOVEMENT ===
Leap Slam – Faster Attacks – Fortify – Blood Magic
=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Summon Stone Golem [1L] Anger [1L] Herald of Ash [1L] Blood Magic – Flammability [2L]
=== CWDT ===
Cast When Damage Taken – Iron Will – Molten Shell – Life Leech [4L] Enduring Warcry – Blood Magic [2L]
Use this when you’re not using Koam’s Heart
Build Uniques / Example Rare Gear
In this section you will find all the suggested items for this build. We always try to include optional gear in our listing, or try your own assuming you get similar stat rolls. Aim for high-quality Rares if you’re replacing Uniques. The Minimum/Optional requirements listed assume you’re using Rares as a replacement for listed Uniques (where possible).
Depending on your gear choices, you can go for either a lot more DPS at the expense of Life, or go for more defensiveness by sacrificing a portion of DPS. This is your choice. In most cases, I would prefer Life personally, as it’s just a bit more forgiving. If you’re a new player, this may the path for you.
Life is super important for survivability, especially at end-game. Although be careful not to forsake too many damage mods for it or you won’t be able to kill mobs quick enough for your defenses to handle incoming DPS.
Physical Damage is your main scaling and your primary DPS with Physical Damage converts to multiple types. So maximizing damage with Physical first, followed by some Fire Damage scaling second.
Attack Speed can really help improve your damage output, but raw DPS is better as it increases your Scaling and Leeching.
Resistances until you cap them off.
Attributes as you’ll need some Dexterity and Intelligence to run the best gems.
Since this is a two-handed build, we’re aiming for a high Physical pDPS Axe or Hammer as the primary weapon. And since our primary defensive setup for most of the game relies on Life Leech, we’ll need some gear that offers good % of Physical Damage Leeched as Life/Mana. Luckily for us that there are limitless options in POE for this kind of weapon.
One option is Panquetzaliztli, the Fated Unique version of Quecholli, it’s great option before it’s Fated as a leveling Unique as well.
Another powerful option is Kongor’s Undying Rage. 5-linked ones are valued at around 20 Chaos Orbs currently, and with the Onslaught buffs it offers, there’s lots of damage-scaling potential.
Follow the stat block below for Rares if you’re using those instead.
400+ Physical DPS
Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Chance to deal Double Damage
Increased Attack Speed
Starkonja’s Head grants really good Life bonuses and increased Attack Speed. It’s an OK choice for this build.
A Rare with a pretty standard array of stats is good here. The real star for this slot that makes the build shine a good Labyrinth Enchant, check above for the recommendations for that. Otherwise, here’s the stat recommendations.
90 maximum Life
Life Regenerated per second
The recommended Unique is Kaom’s Heart. If you happen to be running this build in Standard, saving up Currency for a Legacy version is even better. There are also certain Vaal Orb or Incursion Temple corruptions that can super-charge this item. Be on the lookout for things like Increased Life or Damage Implicits.
If you want to use a Rare instead, go for one with as much Life and Armour as you can get.
100 maximum Life
Increased Maximum Life Elder mod
Belt of the Deceiver can be a good Unique for really cheap. The stats on it are great all around for getting through the beginning of end-game content.
Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. Other Rares might do in a pinch, but not having good rolls can make you a lot more squishy than is tolerable. Abyss Jewels are also a great source for damage buffs as well. Buffing your damage and Life is the best bet here with Jewels.
90 maximum Life
Added Physical/Elemental Damage
Shaper/Elder Rares are BIS due to the multiple stacks of damage you can grab from them. Great slot to grab any Resists you might need as well. Shapers/Elders with Increased Damage with Bleeding or other applicable mods are great, but will be expensive to acquire. Expect to spend a few Exalts getting that mod. Although it won’t break the build not to have it, it can be a lot easier to play with it.
Increased Damage with Bleeding
Global chance to Blind Enemies on hit
70 maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances (35%)
Physical Damage Buffs
Added Elemental Damage
Kaom’s Roots are good stop-gap Unique due to the ability to keep your speed up, because you’ll need to be dodging damage while your Totems mop up.
Rare boots with max rolled Life, Resists and Movement Speed are great as a generic choice, but you may find yourself a bit more prone to taking hits than you would like. This one is more of a personal judgment call.
60 maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances
Xoph’s Blood is Best-in-Slot for this build because it allows you to free up the Avatar of Fire Passive for more Damage. The Fire variant of Impresence is a much cheaper slot for getting those Attributes and Life.
If using a Rare, Get a Shaper/Elder and stack as much life as you can on your Amulet to prevent feeling too squishy. Extra flat added damage of multiple types is good here too. Gain x% Physical as Elemental or Elemental Penetration work great in this slot as well.
80 Maximum Life
Increased Fire Damage
Added Physical Damage
Redblade Band is a good choice if you need an extra gem slot. If you are using that, put your Golem skill into it immediately.
Rare Steel/Opal Rings are great for this build and it’s Physical and Elemental Damage. Use the stats below as a guide for that.
60 Maximum Life
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Uncapped Resistances (25%)
Lion’s Roar – This utility Flask is a great addition for an emergency reduction to incoming DPS. If you need to get out of harms way, quaff this and start moving.
Quicksilver of Adrenaline
Other Needed Mods:
You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.
Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:
% Increased Maximum Life
% Increased Generic/Totem/Physical/Fire/Melee/Area Damage
% Increased Attack Speed
Maximum Life Buffs (+Flat and % Increased)
Multiple Flat Added Damage Mods (Physical and Elemental)
Increased Attack Speed