Glacial Hammer Build Guide - PoE 3.25 Ready

16.07.2024 - 14:49:35
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Glacial Hammer Build Guide - PoE 3.25 Ready

Among the many strike skills that are available in Path of Exile, Glacial Hammer is one of the most overlooked. It is not as flashy as Lightning Strike or fast-attacking like Frost Blades, but it certainly has its merits.

Use the said skill gem with the Juggernaut ascendancy class and you have an amazing league starter that gets even better the more currency you put in!

In this build guide, you will learn how to create arguably one of the best league starters in the game: The Glacial Hammer Juggernaut!


Glacial Hammer Juggernaut

Learn to Craft the Best Items for This Build


The Glacial Hammer Juggernaut utilizes the Glacial Hammer as its main attack skill. The skill gem itself works by converting all of your physical damage to cold damage, so you can scale that by putting as many elemental damage and cold damage modifiers on your gear and passive tree as possible.

The main highlight of the said skill gem is that in every third hit, you have a really high chance to freeze enemies. To understand this even more, you must learn how the freeze mechanic works in Path of Exile.

You see, you freeze an enemy whenever you bring their health down to a certain threshold. Glacial Hammer deals up to 390% more damage on the third strike, meaning, you will reach that threshold faster than the first two hits.

Of course, the chance to freeze enemies can be increased by flask mods, jewels, and some passive skills, but that is pretty much how the mechanic works.

Now, the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut is a viable league starter because most of the items that make this build work are easily obtainable early on.

The Heatshiver is a relatively cheap unique helmet that can easily be obtained in the early game. This item increases your total damage output by using a portion of your cold damage as extra fire damage against frozen enemies.

In addition, the Yoke of Suffering gives you up to 20% on all elemental resistances to improve your survivability. However, the reason why this is included in the build is so that you can inflict Shock on your enemies, making them take even more damage as a result. Sure, its downside is that the ailments you inflict upon your foes have their duration reduced by 30%, but because you're attacking a lot, this isn't a big deal at all.

For your main weapon, you will use Frostbreath to start with. This unique Ornate Mace adds physical and cold damage, which are very good mods for the build. On top of that, this weapon has a unique effect where you deal double damage to chilled enemies. Because you're dealing cold damage with this build, you'll always chill your enemies on each strike, making you take advantage of Frostbreath's unique effect 100% of the time!

For the endgame, you will transition to a self-crafted Karui Sceptre with some juicy mods that will take this build to the next level. Don't worry, you will learn how to craft this weapon and more later in the guide.

To make this build shine, you're going to use Trauma Support. If you're familiar with Boneshatter, you probably know how this works. But if not, we will get you up to speed.

Trauma Support enables you to gain a "Trauma" stack on every strike. Each stack adds flat physical damage, stun duration, and attack speed, so if you can reach 30 stacks, that is a huge increase in damage! However, there is a major downside to using this support gem. Every time you hit enemies with Glacial Hammer, you take physical damage based on the number of Trauma stacks you currently have. In other words, you deal incredible amounts of damage at the cost of receiving some with every swing.

Although this looks dire and impossible to pull off, this is where the Juggernaut ascendancy class comes in. This class has notable passive skills that help mitigate as much physical damage as possible.

The Glacial Hammer Juggernaut does not rely on critical strike chance, but it doubles down on attack speed that can be gained from Trauma stacks and the class ascendancy notable, Undeniable. So instead of putting crit mods on your gear, go for accuracy rating. The higher its value is, the better!

To increase your damage output, look for the following modifiers on your gear:

  • Flat Physical Damage
  • % Increased Physical Damage
  • Flat Cold Damage
  • % Increased Cold Damage
  • % Elemental Damage/% Elemental Damage to Attacks
  • Increased Accuracy Rating
  • Increased Global Accuracy Rating

Most of your damage mitigation will come from armor and phys damage reduction mods, but you do have the option of adding some spell suppression on your gear if you want. Since it is difficult to cap that defensive stat on this build, you can maximize any spell suppression you have by taking the mastery, "Chance to Suppress Spell Damage is Lucky." This particular mastery takes advantage of the "Luck" mechanic where an outcome or a number is rolled twice, with "Lucky" rolls always applying the best result between the two. In this case, even though your spell suppression is not capped, you'll still have a relatively high chance of mitigating the spell damage you take by 50% thanks to this mastery.

When your defenses are sorted out and you have enough "damage recouped as life" mods, you can technically reach as high as 100 Trauma stacks or more without dying. Realistically, though, you are going to hover around 30 to 40 stacks at a time, which is doable even with a medium budget.


The Glacial Hammer Juggernaut has a very easy playstyle. When you enter a new map or area, activate your Blood Rage to gain a considerable boost in attack speed. Since this build needs to ramp up in order to deal maximum damage, Blood Rage is certainly a great way to help you reach that point faster.

Use Leap Slam to search for monsters and then just whack them with Glacial Hammer. When attacking, make sure you don't move much so that you can take advantage of the third-hit bonus that is inherent in the skill gem itself.

Additionally, this build utilizes Rage Support so that you can reliably generate Rage, which is a resource needed to activate Berserk. Use Berserk every time it is off cooldown because it boosts your damage and movement speed for faster mapping.

When you come across tougher enemies, drop your Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Protector for even more damage and attack speed!


The ascendancy class you're going to use for this build is none other than the Juggernaut. While the Slayer has access to incredible damage early on, the Juggernaut can scale really well into the endgame.

For the first notable passive, get Undeniable. This gives you a huge boost to your accuracy rating, which is a great thing during league start when you don't have a lot of accuracy on your gear. What's more, this synergizes perfectly well with Precise Technique. Although this keystone makes you unable to deal critical strikes, you're granted 40% "more" damage, which is calculated multiplicatively. That's not all! Undeniable also gives you 1% attack speed for every 150 accuracy you have on your character!

Unbreakable is your second ascendancy passive. If Undeniable increases your damage, Unbreakable makes you incredibly tanky! That's because it doubles the armor value of your body armor. If you use a well-crafted Glorious Plate, you will no longer have to worry about dying when fighting against most monsters in the game. Besides that, 8% of your armor applies to elemental damage taken from hits. If you go over the 75% elemental resistance cap, you can get better results with Unbreakable.

The third and fourth ascendancy notables are interchangeable, so you have the freedom to choose whichever suits your style of play. That said, Unstoppable prevents your action speed and movement speed from going below their base values. Furthermore, you are immune to stun, so you can replace the Brine King Pantheon for Solaris or Lunaris for bossing and mapping, respectively.

Untiring is another great ascendancy passive in terms of improving your survivability. This not only increases your life regeneration rate by a whopping 40%, but 1.5% of physical damage you take in the last 10 seconds is regenerated as life per second as well. Having both Untiring and Unbreakable in the build just makes it so much easier for you to survive when you have more than 30 Trauma stacks.

Now, if you can afford the Forbidden Jewel Set, you have a few viable options you can take. Unyielding increases the damage and area of effect of Glacial Hammer per Endurance Charge. If you want to gain as many Endurance Charges as possible via the passive tree, then Unyielding is actually a pretty good fifth ascendancy passive.

Rite of Ruin from the Berserker ascendancy tree is also another great passive skill. This basically triples the effects of Rage, which means that you now get 3% attack damage per 1 Rage, 3% attack speed per 2 Rage, and 3% movement speed per 5 Rage.

If you're still not happy with your survivability, then Unrelenting is something that you can consider taking. This ascendancy passive grants 1% physical damage reduction, 8% reduced elemental damage taken, and 4% chaos resistance per Endurance Charge.


Glacial Hammer Juggernaut Ascendancy Passives


One of the best things about the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut is that you can make the build work just by acquiring several unique items. Of course, you can take it to the next level by dipping your toes into crafting, but that is an option that you can take only if you're enjoying the build. With that said, what is the ideal equipment for the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut?


The best budget weapon for the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut is Frostbreath. It's got stats that can take you well into the red maps and you can even do some bosses with it, provided that you're patient enough to see things through.

The main reason why this weapon is amazing is due to its unique effect that reads: "Attacks with This Weapon Deal Double Damage to Chilled Enemies." Because Glacial Hammer converts all of your physical damage to cold damage, you naturally chill enemies when you hit them. Therefore, you're always going to deal double damage.

Since Frostbreath is quite cheap, you can purchase a lot from the trade website. Then, corrupt them using Vaal Orbs to get some awesome modifiers, such as:

  • % Chance to Gain Onslaught for 4 Seconds on Kill
  • % Increased Attack Speed
  • % Increased Physical Damage
  • Adds # to # Physical Damage
  • Melee Hits Have a Chance to Fortify

Now, if you're enjoying the build immensely and you want to take it a step further, then you can transition into a self-crafted Karui Sceptre. To craft this weapon, follow these steps:

  1. Get an ilvl 85+ Redeemer-influenced Karui Sceptre. This is necessary to roll mods that have something to do with cold damage
  2. Use Perfect Fossils to increase its quality to 30% (minimum 28%)
  3. Then, use Essence of Zeal to get a guaranteed attack speed mod on the Sceptre. Spam the weapon with essences until you get "Hatred Has % Increased Aura Effect"
  4. Make sure that all of your suffixes are filled and you have one open prefix. This is so that you can put "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed" from your Crafting Bench. If you only have two suffixes, you can put "Can Have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers" and then "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed. After that, use a Veiled Chaos Orb to get a veiled prefix modifier
  5. Once you have the veiled mod, go to Jun in your hideout and choose unveil. What you're looking for is, "Attacks with This Weapon Penetrate % Elemental Resistances." The chance of obtaining the said mod is high, but if it doesn't appear on the list, then you will have to repeat steps 4-6 until you get it
  6. At this point, you have two suffixes and one prefix. You can complete the craft by heading to your Crafting Bench and removing all crafted modifiers
  7. Next, put "Can Have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers" again, then add "60% Increased Cold Damage/20% Chance to Freeze" and "% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills" and that's it!
  8. While it is not mandatory, you can go to your Harvest Bench and put "Quality does not increase Physical Damage/1% Increased Attack Speed per 8% Quality" if you want

After following the above steps, you should have something like this:


Crafted Endgame Weapon


Whether you go for the Frostbreath or a self-crafted Karui Sceptre, you will always equip a shield regardless. You can easily craft a shield using your favorite essences. If you need more HP, you can use Essence of Greed. If you find that your chaos resistance requires a bit of a boost, then Essence of Envy is the one that you need. If you want more armor, you can go for Essence of Dread.

Alternatively, you can head to your Harvest Bench and select either "Reforge Physical" or "Reforge Critical." The former gives you a higher chance of rolling "% Additional Physical Damage Reduction," while the latter almost guarantees the mod, "You Take % Reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes."

Whichever path you choose, here are the recommended mods you can roll on the shield:

  • % Increased Armor
  • Flat Armor
  • % Additional Physical Damage Reduction
  • % Chance to Block
  • Regenerate # Life per Second
  • Elemental Resistances (Fire, Cold, Lightning)
  • Chaos Resistance
  • + to Maximum Life
  • % Increased Armour, + to Maximum Life
  • % Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments
  • # Life Gained When You Block

Choose any of the modifiers listed above, whichever stats you need on your character. It is best to craft on an item level 86 Colossal Tower Shield for a chance to get a Tier 1 "% Additional Physical Damage Reduction" suffix.

If you want some spell suppression on your build, you can opt for an item level 86 Cardinal Round Shield instead.

Now, if you have almost all of the mods filled but you still have an open prefix, you could use a Hunter Exalted Orb for that "% Increased Maximum Life." However, this is optional and you can just finish the shield by putting any mod you want from the Crafting Bench to save currency.

Here is a sample shield that was crafted using Deafening Essence of Greed:


Crafted Shield

If you find crafting too cumbersome, you can choose the Dawnbreaker instead. This unique Colossal Tower Shield has a unique effect where up to 20% of cold, lightning, and physical damage is taken as fire damage. This shield works really well when you stack a lot of maximum fire resistance mods on your gear.

Body Armor

Because you're accruing a lot of Trauma stacks in a short amount of time due to your innately fast attack speed, you want to mitigate the physical damage you take as much as possible. You can do this by increasing your overall armor, as well as putting "% Physical Damage Reduction" on your gear. That said, an item level 86 Glorious Plate can roll both, which is why it is the preferred armor for the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut.

For the budget version, just roll it with Essence of Greed until you get armor and phys reduction mods, with the rest being resistances or life regeneration. However, for the endgame body armor, you want to use a different approach.

Instead of using Essence of Greed, you can focus on armor mods so that you can take advantage of the Life Mastery, "15% increased maximum Life if there are no Life Modifiers on Equipped Body Armour." That said, use Deafening Essence of Dread for that guaranteed armor prefix. Spam the Glorious Plate with the said essence until you obtain the following modifiers:

  • + to Armour (from essence)
  • % Increased Armour
  • % Increased Armour/% Increased Stun and Block Recovery
  • % Additional Physical Damage Reduction (preferably T1)
  • +% to Chaos Resistance
  • Elemental Resistance (if needed)
  • + to Strength
  • 6% of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Fire/Lightning Damage (Gravicius Mod)

If you're wondering where you can get the physical damage from hits taken as elemental damage mod, you will obtain that from the veiled body armors dropped by Gravicius (from the Betrayal mechanic).

Take note that the life regeneration mod also counts as a "Life" modifier, so if you happen to acquire that when spamming essences, you can either use an Orb of Annulment and hope that it gets removed or use essences again to roll a different set of modifiers.

To complete the body armor, you can use Eldritch Ember to get "% of Damage Taken Recouped as Life" or "#% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills. Next, spam the Glorious Plate with Eldritch Ichors until you get "Hatred Has % Increased Aura Effect." Determination aura effect works too, especially if you favor more armor than damage.


Crafted Body Armor


There is no better helmet for the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut than the Heatshiver. This unique Leather Hood has a pretty good mod that gives you extra fire damage based on a portion of your total cold damage.

For best results, you can corrupt the Heatshiver using a Vaal Orb for a chance to obtain any of the following implicit modifiers:

  • % Increased Effect of Cold Ailments
  • % Increased Effect of Shock
  • Socketed Skill Gems Get a 90% Cost and Reservation Multiplier
  • % Increased Maximum Life
  • % of Cold Damage Leeched as Life
  • +2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
  • Regenerate % of Life per Second


There are a couple of great options for the gloves. For the budget version, the Tanu Ahi is a pair of gloves that provide a ton of value! Aside from giving you increased attack speed and armor/evasion, this unique pair of Wyrmscale Gauntlets provide you with a 10% chance to gain Adrenaline and Onslaught when leech is removed by filling unreserved life. Both of these buffs grant additional damage, attack speed, and movement speed. Furthermore, Adrenaline gives an additional 10% physical damage reduction, which helps you survive when you have more than 30 Trauma stacks!

When it comes to the endgame gloves, you will need a ton of currency. That's because you're going to get a pair of rare (yellow) Titan Gauntlets with the Incursion mod, "% to Cold Resistance/% Increased Damage with Hits Against Chilled Enemies" from the Temple of Atzoatl boss. If you don't want to farm it yourself, be prepared to pay plenty of Divine Orbs to obtain the base.

Once you have the Titan Gauntlets, the next step will be to use a Fractured Orb in the hopes of fracturing the mod for easier crafting. Keep in mind that the Fractured Orb is only usable if the item has at least four explicit modifiers on it.

If you've managed to fracture the Incursion Mod, you can then use any essence of your choosing. You can spam the gloves with Deafening Essence of Greed for HP, Deafening Essence of Envy for chaos resistance, or Deafening Essence of Zeal for more attack speed. There are just suggestions, so feel free to use any other essence.

Having said that, spam the gloves with essences until you get any of these explicit modifiers:

  • + to Maximum Life
  • % Increased Armour
  • Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  • % Chaos Resistance
  • + to Strength
  • % Increased Attack Speed (from Essence of Zeal)
  • % to Cold Resistance/% Increased Damage with Hits Against Chilled Enemies (Incursion Mod, preferably fractured)
  • 43% Increased Damage While Leeching (Bench Craft)

While the Titan Gauntlets provide you with a high armor value, you could use a pair of Dragonscale Gauntlets for a chance to obtain the spell suppression suffix. The process of crafting this is exactly the same, so just spam any essence that you need.

If you've chosen to equip the self-crafted gloves instead of the Tanu Ahi, make sure to use Eldritch Ichors to get "Inflict Cold Exposure on Hit, Applying -% to Cold Resistance" and Eldritch Embers for the "Gain 1 Rage on Hit with Attacks" implicit modifier.


Crafted Endgame Gloves


While a self-crafted pair of boots is always going to be the go-to option for your endgame gear, you can actually wear some unique boots for the time being. The Dawnstrider is an inexpensive pair of unique boots that increases the effect of buffs granted by your Ancestor Totems by 100%. What's more, the buffs provided by your active totems will linger for several seconds, which is pretty nice for mapping and bossing. The only downside here is that you can only have one Ancestor Totem active at a time. Still, the Dawnstrider is a great choice, especially if you dread crafting items in Path of Exile.

If you want a more defensive option, Atziri's Step is a good alternative. These boots provide you with up to 26% spell suppression chance, (55-75) to maximum life, and 30% increased movement speed. Sure, they are pure evasion-based boots, but the stats they provide are just too hard to pass up, especially for something that you can buy for cheap.

As always with unique gear in Path of Exile, you can corrupt these boots using Vaal Orbs until you get any of these implicits:

Buy Cheap PoE Currency and Items
  • +1 to Level of Socketed Gems
  • +1 to Maximum Endurance Charges
  • +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
  • +% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
  • % Increased Maximum Life
  • % Increased Movement Speed
  • +2 to Level of Socketed AoE Gems
  • Regenerate # Life per Second While Moving

Of course, you will transition to a good pair of self-crafted boots to take this build a step further. Don't worry, the crafting process is actually pretty easy since the mods that you need are quite common. For bases, you can use a pair of Titan Greaves for more armor or Dragonscale Boots if you want some spell suppression.

Anyway, here are the steps:

  1. Get an item level 85 Titan Greaves or Dragonscale Boots
  2. Increase their quality to at least 20% using Armourer's Scraps. If you have the currency, utilize Perfect Fossils to achieve 28% to 30%
  3. Next, spam the boots with Deafening Essence of Envy for that guaranteed chaos resistance mod. The reason why you use this particular essence is that chaos resistance is a bit rare compared to the other explicit modifiers you can roll on the boots. For Dragonscale Boots, use the essences until you get Tier 1 spell suppression
  4. When you're satisfied with the suffixes, make sure that you have an open prefix so that you can put "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed" from the Crafting Bench. If you don't have an open mod slot, use a Lesser Eldritch Ember followed by an Eldritch Orb of Annulment to remove a random prefix
  5. Once that is done, use a Veiled Chaos Orb and then go to Jun to unveil
  6. You're looking for any mod that contains movement speed, preferably one with a 100% chance to avoid being chilled. Onslaught is a good mod as well, especially if you're not using the Tanu Ahi
  7. After that, put "+ to Maximum Life" from the Crafting Bench. If you still have an open prefix, use an Exalted Orb to fill it up
  8. You're not done yet! Use Eldritch Ichors to obtain either "# Increased Armour from Equipped Helmet and Gloves" or "# Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments". Next, spam the boots with Eldritch Embers until you get "% Increased Action Speed"

For the cherry on top, there are several great enchantments you can put on the boots, such as:

  • 16% Increased Attack and Cast Speed if You've Killed Recently
  • Damage Penetrates 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if You Haven't Killed Recently
  • Regenerate 2% of Life per Second if You Were Hit Recently
  • You take 10% Reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes If You've Taken a Critical Strike Recently

Crafted Boots (Titan Greaves)


Crafted Boots (Dragonscale Boots)


At league start, you can settle for the Yoke of Suffering unique Onyx Amulet. This thing is very affordable, provides elemental resistances, and grants you the ability to shock enemies.

When you have enough currency, you can replace Yoke of Suffering with The Pandemonius. This amulet allows you to chill enemies on hit, reducing their action speed by a whopping 30%. On top of that, the damage that you deal penetrates cold resistance, meaning, your enemies will take even more damage on subsequent attacks.

We recommend that you corrupt the amulets using Vaal Orbs until you get any of these:

  • 0.5% of Cold Damage Leech as Life
  • Determination Has % Increased Aura Effect
  • % Increased Attack Speed
  • % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • % Increased Strength/% Increased Intelligence
  • % Increased Dexterity/% Increased Intelligence
  • % Increased Strength/% Increased Dexterity
  • +1% to All Maximum Resistances

Another amulet that's gaining popularity is Eternal Damnation. It has this noteworthy downside where it decreases your maximum elemental resistances by 5%. However, this is compensated by the amulet's unique effect that reads, "Gain Additional Elemental Damage Reduction Equal to Half of Your Chaos Resistance." This provides you with a quick and easy way to cap your resistances.

If currency is not a problem, Ashes of the Stars is an appealing choice as well. This amulet increases the quality of all your skill gems by up to 30%.

For anointments, you can go for Panopticon (Amber Oil, Golden Oil, Golden Oil) to further increase the effect of buffs that you get from Ancestor Totems by 50%. If you have spell suppression on your gear, you can opt for Inveterate (Black Oil, Black Oil, Golden Oil) instead. Now, if you have any "Curse on Hit" rings, you anoint the amulet with Whispers of Doom (3x Golden Oil) to accommodate another curse in the build.


In terms of the rings you can equip for the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut, the Circle of Fear is an optimal choice. There are many variations of this ring, but look for one that has the following:

  • Herald of Ice Has % Increased Buff Effect
  • Herald of Ice Has 40% Increased Mana Reservation Efficiency

Because the Circle of Fear is a Synthesized Ring, you can look for implicit modifiers that will complement the build. Some suggestions are:

  • % Increased Cold Damage
  • % Increased Global Physical Damage
  • % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • % Increased Elemental Damage
  • % Increased Damage While Leeching Life
  • % Increased Maximum Life
  • % Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  • % to Chaos Resistance
  • Curse Enemies with Frostbite on Hit
  • Curse Enemies with Elemental Weakness on Hit

Now, if you're struggling to sustain mana or cap your elemental resistances, you can craft some rings, preferably with an Amethyst Ring (Chaos Resistance), Two-Stone Ring (Elemental Resistance), or Vermillion Ring (Life) as a base.

You have two different routes you can take when crafting the rings. First, you can go to your Harvest Bench and use the "Reforge Life" option for a higher chance of getting the "Recouped as Life" mod. Second, you can use any essence that you want depending on your needs. If your resistances are already sorted out, you may use Essence of Hatred for that guaranteed "% Increased Cold Damage" explicit modifier.

Whichever route you choose, these are the mods that you should aim for:

  • Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  • % of Damage Taken Recouped as Life
  • % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • % Increased Cold Damage
  • Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
  • Chaos Resistance
  • + to Accuracy Rating
  • + to Maximum Life
  • Non-Channeling Skills Have -7 to Total Mana Cost (Bench Craft)

A third option for your rings is a Mark of the Elder on one slot and a rare Shaper-influenced ring on the other. Mark of the Elder has a ton of good stats, including cold damage to attacks and increased maximum life on the explicit modifiers, and physical damage to attacks on the implicit. More importantly, you can take advantage of that (60-80%) increase in attack damage if your other ring has a Shaper influence, hence why you need to equip that particular item in tandem with the Mark of the Elder.


There are so many good choices you can wear for the belt slot. Since you have a good amount of STR on this build, you can use The Magnate to maximize that. You can take advantage of its unique effect where it grants you a 5% chance to deal triple damage if your strength is at least 400. As a consolation, you have a 10% chance to deal double damage if you're somehow unable to reach that number. The 200 STR threshold is quite achievable on the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut, so there's nothing to worry about in that regard.

You can corrupt The Magnate for a chance to get any of these useful implicit mods:

  • % Increased Attack Speed During Any Flask Effect
  • Hatred Has % Increased Aura Effect
  • Determination Has % Increased Aura Effect
  • % increased Maximum Life
  • % Increased movement Speed During Any Flask Effect
  • % Increased Strength/% Increased Dexterity
  • % Increased Dexterity/% Increased Intelligence
  • % Increased Area of Effect

Another cheap belt you can get is Darkness Enthroned. Because Abyss Jewels provide a ton of value to the build, with mods like cold/physical damage to attacks, maximum life, and resistances, you can increase their effects by putting them on this belt.

The Darkness Enthroned is the definition of "simple yet effective." It contains two abyss slots so you can insert a couple of Abyss Jewels. Moreover, the belt increases their effects by up to 100%, making them even more potent.

Belt of the Deceiver is also a strong contender. This unique Heavy Belt increases your global physical damage by up to 25%. But, what makes it appealing is its unique effect that reads: "Nearby Enemies Are Intimidated." Intimidate is a debuff in Path of Exile that makes your foes fearful of you, thereby increasing the damage they take from your attacks.

The Belt of the Deceiver provides a couple of defensive mods as well, such as (10-15%) to all elemental resistances and reduced extra damage taken from critical strikes by 30%.

To round out the unique belts, there's the cream of the crop, the Mageblood. This unique belt needs no explanation, but if you want to know why this is one of the best options out there, it basically gives you the effects of four magic utility flasks at all times. Keep in mind that the Mageblood is very expensive, so if this is out of your budget, consider taking the other unique belts instead.

Like many of the items that have been laid out in the gear section of this build guide, you do have the option of crafting a belt, particularly using an ilvl 86+ Stygian Vise as a base. Part of the reason why is that it enables you to put one Abyss Jewel in this belt. Additionally, the Stygian Vise can be crafted in so many ways to suit your needs. Having trouble capping your resistances? Do you need more HP? How about damage? Yup! The rare self-crafted Stygian Vise solves all of that!

You're probably tired of crafting items by now. Don't worry, the rare Stygian Vise is quite easy to craft. Start by obtaining some essences. You have the freedom to choose whichever essence you want. However, for the purposes of this build guide, we're going for Essence of Envy for that chaos resistance. Other good alternatives include Essence of Greed (HP), Essence of Sorrow (DEX), and Essence of Spite (INT). Once you've decided on which essence you're going to use, follow these steps:

  1. Spam the belt using your preferred essence until you get Tier 1 "Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills." This is the reason why you need an item level 86 Stygian Vise. You cannot obtain a T1 elemental damage with attacks modifier if the belt has a lower item level than 86, so do keep that in mind. The rest of the mods can be anything that you still need for your character. Here are some recommendations:
    1. + to Maximum Life
    2. Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
    3. Chaos Resistance
    4. Regenerate Life per Second
    5. Increased Armour
    6. % Increased Flask Charges Gained
    7. % Increased Flask Effect Duration
  2. When you have all of the explicit modifiers mentioned above, you can settle with that. However, you can actually take things up a notch. If you wish to go further, proceed to the next step
  3. The process is largely the same as in Step 1, except that you leave a prefix slot open so that you can use a Hunter or Warlord Exalted Orb
  4. For the Hunter Exalted Orb, you're hoping for that "% increased Maximum Life" mod. You have a one in three chance of obtaining this particular explicit modifier
  5. For the Warlord Exalted Orb, you're going for "% Increased Armour" or "% Increased Damage." You've got a 50% chance of obtaining either one of them
  6. Once you're finished, use catalysts to improve some modifiers on your belt. Use Fertile Catalyst (Life), Prismatic Catalyst (Resistances), Turbulent Catalyst (Elemental Damage), or Intrinsic Catalyst (Attribute) depending on your needs

Crafted Belt (w/ Hunter Exalted Orb)


Crafted Belt (w/ Warlord Exalted Orb)


  • Granite Flask
  • Basalt Flask
  • Silver Flask
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Taste of Hate (Unique)

Most of the equipment you're going to use for this build is armor-based, so you want to double down on that by using the duo of Granite and Basalt Flasks. These should greatly reduce the physical damage you take by giving you tons of armor.

Silver Flask is to provide you with Onslaught during the flask's effect. Onslaught is a buff in PoE that improves your attack speed and movement speed. That is why it's always a good idea to have a reliable way of getting the said buff. Now, if you equip the Tanu Ahi or self-crafted boots with the Onslaught veiled mod, you can swap Silver Flask for an Amethyst Flask (Chaos Resistance) or Bismuth Flask (Elemental Resistance).

Quicksilver Flask is just a means of moving around faster while mapping. If you're not comfortable seeing your HP going up and down like a madman, you can replace this with a Life Flask instead.

The above-mentioned utility flasks should either have the "Masochist" or "Flagellant" prefix mods so that you gain 2 to 3 flask charges, respectively, when you are hit by the enemy.

In terms of value, the Taste of Hate is just too good not to be included in the build. When used, this flask gives you up to 15% of physical damage as extra cold damage. On the defense side, (10-15)% of the physical damage you take is converted to cold damage, and this flask grants you a 30% chance to avoid being chilled/frozen during effect.

Anyway, here are the mods to aim for on your magic flasks:

  • 60% Increased Armour During Effect (...of the Armadillo)
  • 17% Increased Attack Speed During Effect (...of the Dove)
  • 14% Increased Movement Speed During Effect (...of the Cheetah)
  • Immunity to Bleeding and Corrupted Blood (if using Life Flask)
  • 65% Reduced Effect of Curses on You During Effect (...of the Owl) (only if you've replaced Quicksilver Flask with Amethyst Flask/Bismuth Flask)


To help you survive more than 30 Trauma Stacks on the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut, you must introduce some form of leeching mechanic into the build. And, what better way to do that than to use 8-passive Large Cluster Jewels.

While you can certainly go for just one large cluster, you should aim to insert two on your passive tree, at least, for the endgame version. The first Large Cluster Jewel needs to have the following mods:

  • Feed the Fury
    • 0.4% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
    • 30% Increased Damage While Leeching
    • 15% Increased Attack Speed While Leeching
  • Fuel the Fight
    • 8% Increased Attack Speed
    • 0.4% of Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
    • 20% Increased Damage While Leeching
  • Martial Prowess
    • 20% Increased Attack Damage
    • 6% Increased Attack Speed
    • 15% Increased Global Accuracy Rating
    • 20% Increased Damage with Ailments from Attack Skills

Feed the Fury and Fuel the Fight are passive skills that give you the ability to leech life and mana from your enemies, respectively. Martial Prowess is also quite good as it increases your damage, attack speed, and accuracy rating.

For the second Large Cluster Jewel, Martial Prowess is a common denominator, but there are two other passive skills that you should get as well. They are:

  • Overlord
    • Melee Hits with Maces, Sceptres, and Staves Fortify for 6 seconds
    • 30% Increased Damage with Maces, Sceptres, or Staves
  • Weight Advantage
    • +20 to Strength
    • Mace, Sceptre, or Staff Attacks Deal 30% Increased Damage with Hits and Ailments
    • 4% chance to Deal Double Damage While Wielding a Mace, Sceptre, or Staff

Overlord not only increases your damage but it grants Fortify when attacking with Glacial Hammer. Fortify is a stackable buff in Path of Exile that gives you a 1% physical damage reduction per stack (max 20).

Weight Advantage, on the other hand, gives you the ability to deal double damage when attacking with a sceptre. Equipping The Magnate unique belt makes you deal tremendous amounts of damage more consistently when you have this particular notable passive skill allocated!

Now, the mods on these Large Cluster Jewels all have the "Attack" tag, which means that you can use the "Reforge Attack" option from your Harvest Bench to try and obtain them all. Just make sure that you craft on a cluster jewel with "Mace or Sceptre Attacks Deal 12% Increased Damage…" as a base.

Aside from Large Cluster Jewels, the Watcher's Eye adds a ton of value to the build. Since you're using Hatred, Precision, and Determination as your main auras for this build, purchase a Watcher's Eye with mods that are enabled when those buffs are active. Here is a brief list of mods to guide you:

  • % Increased Cold Damage While Affected by Hatred
  • Damage Penetrates % Cold Resistance While Affected by Hatred
  • +# to Armour While Affected by Determination
  • #% Additional Physical Damage Reduction While Affected by Determination
  • You Take % Reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes While Affected by Determination
  • % Increased Attack Speed While Affected by Precision
  • % Increased Attack Damage While Affected by Precision

If you have extra jewel slots, you can put Base Jewels and Abyss Jewels on them to improve your build. These jewels can roll a ton of mods, but here are just some that you can consider:

  • Base Jewels
    • % Increased Attack Speed
    • % Increased Attack Speed While Holding a Shield
    • % Increased Attack Speed with Maces or Sceptres
    • % of Damage Taken Recouped as Life
    • % Increased Damage with One-handed Weapons
    • % Increased Melee Damage
    • % Increased Attack Damage While Holding a Shield
    • % Increased Cold Damage
    • % Increased Physical Damage
    • Immune to Corrupted Blood (corrupted implicit modifier, optional)
  • Abyss Jewels
    • Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
    • Adds # to # Cold Damage to Attacks
    • # to # Added Physical Damage with Mace or Sceptre Attacks
    • # to # Added Cold Damage with Mace or Sceptre Attacks
    • % Increased Attack Speed
    • + to Maximum Life
    • % Chance to Avoid Being Shocked
    • Attributes
    • +% to Chaos Resistance

The above jewels should make the Glacial Hammer Juggernaut tanky and deal a lot of damage per strike. But as soon as you have the currency, we highly recommend that you invest in the Forbidden Jewel Set with Unyielding, Unrelenting, or Rite of Ruin as matching modifiers.

Taking things a step further, you can also put a Medium Cluster Jewel on the build, specifically one that has the Ancestral Guidance notable passive. This increases the effect of buffs provided by your Ancestor Totems by 30%.

You can craft this medium cluster by using "12% Increased Totem Damage" as a base. Go to your Harvest Bench and use the "Reforge Speed" option to get Ancestral Guidance in less than 20 tries. Take note that this Medium Cluster Jewel is only optional, so don't be forced to add it to the build.


Apart from the support gems included in the Glacial Hammer and Ancestral Totem setups, this build is flexible enough that you can safely swap certain gems to fit your playstyle. Let's start with your main attack setup, shall we?

Body Armor

  • Glacial Hammer
  • Trauma Support
  • Trinity Support
  • Ruthless Support
  • Awakened Elemental Damage with Attacks
  • Hypothermia Support

Glacial Hammer has become so much better in Patch 3.23. Back then, increasing the gem's quality only increased the duration of cold ailments. But now, each 1% quality causes every third successive strike to freeze enemies as though dealing 0-100% more damage!

In terms of important support gems, Trauma Support is non-negotiable. This will make the build work as intended by giving you Trauma stacks on each strike.

Trinity Support gives you elemental penetration and elemental damage. Now, you're probably asking if this support gem's Resonance mechanic works on this build. The answer is YES! Thanks to Heatshiver, you deal cold damage and fire damage whenever you attack frozen enemies. Since damage from these two elements is substantial enough, you don't have to worry about Resonance at all!

Ruthless Support synergizes with Glacial Hammer's third-hit mechanic by providing you with a huge boost to melee damage via Ruthless Blows. Ruthless Blows, if you don't know, empower your Glacial Hammer to deal "more" melee damage on the third attack. The "more" is in quotes to highlight that the damage bonus provided by this support gem is calculated multiplicatively rather than additively.

Hypothermia Support has now become so much better than before. At 20% gem quality, you gain an additional 20% chance to freeze enemies!

Awakened Elemental Damage with Attacks is self-explanatory. With the "Awakened" version, Glacial Hammer's elemental damage cannot be reflected back at you. This allows you to run maps with the elemental reflect mod without fear.


  • Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  • Multiple Totems Support
  • Ancestral Protector

Vaal Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Protector are Ancestor Totems that grant increased attack damage and attack speed, respectively. Multiple Totems Support is added to this setup just so that you can put both of these totems at the same time.

If you're in a tough situation, you can use the "Vaal" portion of the Ancestral Warchief gem to attack enemies while you run away to safety.


  • Leap Slam
  • Precision
  • Arrogance

Leap Slam is your main travel skill for this build. Use it to traverse the map and find juicy packs of monsters.

Precision is an aura that gives you a significant boost to your accuracy rating. You want to run this at level 20, but because it reserves flat mana instead of a percentage of the said resource, then you might not have enough mana to work with, especially given that you still have other auras to activate. This is where Arrogance Support comes in.

The said support gem makes Precision reserve life rather than mana Since you have a ton of HP thanks to your gear and passive tree, this is a non-issue.


  • Hatred
  • Herald of Ice
  • Determination
  • Enlighten Support

This is your aura setup. Hatred and Herald of Ice give a significant boost to your cold damage. Plus, the latter gives off that satisfying "shattering" sound whenever you kill enemies with the buff activated.

Determination is there simply to increase your armor to a great degree. You want to mitigate the physical damage you receive from Trauma stacks and increasing your armor value is one way to do that.

Enlighten Support is here to reduce the mana that's needed to activate all of these auras.

Now, Hatred is good enough for the build. Because of this, you can safely swap Herald of Ice with Arctic Armour to improve your defenses. This buff decreases the physical damage you take, as well as makes you immune to freezing.

If you don't care about your defenses and you just want to go all-out on offense, you can use Herald of Purity instead of Herald of Ice. That's because this aura grants you more physical damage, which is then converted by Glacial Hammer to cold damage.


  • Blood Rage
  • Berserk
  • Vaal Molten Shell (Lvl 11)
  • Cast When Damage Taken (Lvl 2)

Blood Rage provides you with a slight boost to attack speed. Berserk is activated whenever you need to fight a tough enemy. This gives increased attack damage and attack speed when activated. Furthermore, activating this enables you to reduce the damage you take for a limited time.

Vaal Molten Shell linked to Cast When Damage Taken Support automatically activates this guard skill whenever you receive enough damage. Use the"Vaal" portion of Molten Shell whenever you're in a bind.

It's important to keep in mind that you should not link Blood Rage and Berserk to Molten Shell + CWDT. Otherwise, you won't be able to activate them.


  • Vengeance
  • Rage
  • Ancestral Cry
  • Frostblink (or Flame Dash)

Vengeance is a gem that makes you initiate a swift counter-attack whenever you're hit. It is linked to Rage Support so that you have a reliable way of generating Rage without the help of items like Kaom's Spirit. What's interesting about this interaction is that the damage you take from Trauma stacks actually counts as a "hit," meaning, you always generate Rage just by attacking normally with Glacial Hammer.

Ancestral Cry gives bonus armor and melee strike range based on the total power of nearby enemies. Moreover, this "exerts" your next eight melee strikes, enabling you to hit two additional enemies per attack.

The last slot can actually be used for any gem that you want. We only went with Frostblink for an alternative way of traversing the map, but you are free to replace it with anything.

Passive Tree



Main Setup

With Mageblood

Final Thoughts

The Glacial Hammer Juggernaut has now been improved thanks to the buffs it received in Patch 3.23. This is a viable league starter that can be improved further the more currency you put into it.

Hopefully, this guide will serve you well. Be sure to bookmark this for reference as you put all the pieces together. Have fun!


+Competent league starter

+Can work with inexpensive unique items

+Scales well into the endgame by crafting certain pieces of gear

+Has been buffed immensely in Patch 3.23

+Juggernaut ascendancy makes this build incredibly tanky

+Satisfying shattering sounds thanks to Herald of Ice


-Not ideal for bossing

-Melee build might not be for everyone

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