This melee-based build is a great choice for Path of Exile 3.7 and Legion. The game has gotten a huge amount of reworks that focus almost entirely on making the somewhat clunky melee gameplay much more engaging, and with Legion, GGG has succeeded. The patch has completely changed the way both new and old players look at melee builds, so let’s dive back into some good build ideas and see how they handle the challenges of Wraeclast.
While the build doesn’t have the greatest potential in SSF or Hardcore, it’s still a wonderfully fun build to play. The setup is relatively simple, it’s just a matter of having the right gear to begin converting as much damage to Cold as possible.
Offensively the build is very simple. Just Leap Slam in and spam out Ice Crash in packs to freeze them and shatter their faces. Bosses are a bit trickier. Use your Totem to deal extra DPS while dropping Ice Crash whenever you can. It’s a bit harder to DPS constantly, but knowing boss fights helps a lot for knowing when to attack.
Defensively you will need to rely on Armour for Physical Damage mitigation in many cases, and with enough Life mods you can be fairly tanky. However, face-tanking can get you killed past Red Maps, so learn boss fights and their mechanics. Status ailments can still be pretty deadly, so learning what ailments bosses can cause and targeting your Pantheon Minor God to mitigating that is useful.
You’ll find all you will need to construct this build down below. The guide assumes that you’re going all-out and are maximizing every aspect, but you don’t have to go that far at all to reach a point where the build is enjoyable. Even in the low 90s with less-than-perfect gear, the build runs Maps and Delves just fine. And it’s a great choice as a league starter build for any POE player. If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.
- Good clear speed
- Decent boss killer
- Very pricey with the best gear
Here is the Endgame Passive Tree
Upgrade all of these.
Major God: Soul of Solaris
Soul of Lunaris offers great defensive options for mapping. If facing some bosses with lots of DoT, opt for an upgraded Arakaali.
Minor God: Soul of Tukohama
Since you won’t be moving around when attacking, more Physical reduction is great. Abberath offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage.
Kill all for bonus Passives, can’t really beat this, although Alira might be useful while gearing up, personal choice.
Ascendancy skill points
Preferably in that order:
40% increased Ice Crash Damage (Best)
15% of Ice Crash Physical Damage gained as Extra Cold Damage
12% increased Ice Crash Area of Effect
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
Damage Penetrates x% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
Commandment of Light or Force.
You could also use these Corruptions on Gear:
Curse Enemies with Level (10–12) Elemental Weakness on Hit
+1 to Maximum Endurance Charges
(4–6)% increased maximum Life
(8–10)% increased Attack Speed
Leveling General Tips
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:
* Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
Be careful of these map mods:
* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attack should almost never crit you. Spell on the other hand can still hit hard.
* Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles
Scary mod on some bosses and monster types. Some monsters are still able to spam out too many projectiles to handle.
* Area contains two Unique Bosses
Your goal to survive this mode is a combo of extreme DPS and Life. The faster you can down the bosses, the less threat they pose.
* #% increased Monster Movement Speed / #% increased Monster Attack Speed / #% increased Monster Cast Speed
Some bosses are going to be too fast to hit effectively, meaning you’ll spend more time than you normally should kiting them. This combination with Temporal Chains is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
* Players are Cursed with Vulnerability
Negated during mapping with a Warding Flask, but not against bosses. Bleeds from bosses can kill you easily.
* Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains
I would personally avoid this on high-tier maps.
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.
=== MAIN ATTACK ===
Ice Crash -> Melee Physical Damage -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Ruthless -> (Hypothermia)Concentrated Effect -> Multistrike
Swap Hypothermia for Conc Effect once you’ve gotten your Cold conversion gear.
=== SECONDARY SKILL ===
=== MOVEMENT ===
Leap Slam -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify
=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Cast When Damage Taken -> Immortal Call -> Increased Duration -> Enfeeble
Summon Lighting Golem
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.
Cold Damage is your primary DPS, get this in any way you can, as long as you don’t compromise defenses.
Resistances until capped.
Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier can help increase your damage a fair bit. This build relies pretty heavily on it.
Attack Speed means that you simply attack faster the higher it is. This stat becomes vital for scaling overall DPS. Attack Speed is great for your movement skill to keep Fortify up.
This build works best when paired with dual-wielding, but you have a few options for weapon types. 1H Swords or Maces are your best bet, as they give decent Crit and Attack Speed. The BIS Unique, for both hands, would be Doryani’s Catalyst. A decent leveling option could be Axiom Perpetuum or if you want a budget option, maybe Frostbreath.
A Rare could work if you have enough Cold Damage scaling from other sources, but it won’t be as strong in terms of DPS.
50%+ Increased Physical Damage
Increased Crit Chance
x% Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Damage Penetrates x% Cold Resistance (Frigid Fossil)
Socketed Gems are supported by Elemental Damage with Attacks (Shaper)
% chance to gain an Endurance Charge on Kill (Elder)
A Rare works best here, the enchant is where most of the power of this slot comes from. I would say going for enchants which increase your main skill damage are best. Starkonja’s Head is an OK replacement Unique that’s pretty cheap. Abyssus is by far the best Unique for this build for the added Armour, which you will absolutely need more of if using this Unique.
90 Maximum Life
Attributes (Dexterity, Intelligence)
Reduced Attribute Requirements
There are several Unique options for this build, each offering slightly different options. Loreweave offers great DPS and is not too difficult to obtain. If you want to be even tankier though, The Brass Dome is your best option for this build.
A high-end Rare can do really well with this build in a pinch though. Aim for a Strength/Life base. If going the Rare route, prepare to get needed attributes on the chest in order to get more DPS from your Jewels and other Affixes.
There are several ways to further increase the effectiveness of a Rare here, but they will massively increase the currency cost, as a high-end Armour that fits these parameters would be Mirror-service-worthy.
- A +1 Level to Socketed Gems Corruption is extremely useful if running a Rare.
- % Increased Effect of Auras on you is good too, that comes from Bound fossils.
- Getting Reduced Attribute Requirements can really help if you’re struggling with attributes. This can also free up other Affixes as you no longer need to waste them. This would allow you to further increase your DPS. Although getting this mod combination will be extremely hard, and will cost a lot of currency, so bank on just using a crafted affix instead.
- Getting a high, or possibly Legacy, Increased Life and/or Chaos Resistance roll really helps with survivability.
100 maximum Life
Increased Maximum Life Elder mod
Reduced Attribute Requirements
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.
Elder/Shaper variants are good too, assuming you can get a good combo of Life and Resists on them.
Another good bet is a Cyclopean Coil. Although this will be really expensive as it’s pretty high-demand. The added life and Attributes are extremely useful, so this is a good option if you want to avoid wasting other affixes on attributes in favor of more DPS, assuming you can afford it.
70 Maximum Life
Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Reduced Flask Charges Used
Increased Flask Duration
Rare Gloves with buffs to main damage types are good if you can get equivalent DPS sources from Cold conversion on a Watcher’s Eye, or a ton of added Physical and Cold Damage on other gear.
70 Maximum Life
Increased Attack Speed
Increased Physical Damage
Added Phys/Cold Damage to Attacks
Reduced Attribute Requirements
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. Here’s the basic requirements for Rare in this slot.
70 maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)
Once you’ve gotten decently into end-game, you may want to switch to a Unique that’s more tailored for the playstyle of the build.
Kaom’s Roots – This is the best Unique pair of Boots for this build, and will provide decent defensive stun immunity, just be sure you don’t compromise your resists or other defenses using these.
The Pandemonious synergizes so well with Cold Damage that it’s a pretty broken interaction once you start dealing enough Cold. This is one of the only required Uniques for this build aside from Hrimsorrow.
Rare rings will likely work best here, Opal Ring bases still offer tons of potential for Elemental Damage, so give those a shot. There are a ton Fossil and Shaper/Elder mods which can be useful here, check out this list. And if you’d like to search for a specific Fossil mod to find out what Fossil it comes from, go here.
50 Maximum Life
x% Elemental Damage with Attacks
% Increased Cold Damage
Added Cold Damage to Attacks
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)
- Experimenter’s Diamond Flask of Iron Skin (Crit and Armour Buffs)
- Catalyzed Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleed Immunity)
- Experimenter’s Sulphur Flask of Warding (Curse Immunity)
You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.
Abyss Jewels that have a chance to gain Onslaught can also be used in a slot for a damage increase. Watcher’s Eye with buffs to Hatred or any other Auras you use can be really powerful. Rare Jewels will work just as well though in most cases, and be much cheaper.
Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:
- % Increased Maximum Life
- % Increased Attack Speed with Maces
- % Increased Physical Damage with Maces
- % Increased Damage
- % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
- % Increased Area Damage