Perforate Slayer Build Guide - Path of Exile: 3.24

28.03.2024 - 17:59:21
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Perforate Slayer Build Guide - Path of Exile: 3.24

Perforate is one of the most overlooked melee skills in Path of Exile. For a time, it did not have good damage scaling, so people opted to use other popular abilities like Boneshatter or Cyclone. The only thing going for it is that it has two different attack modes depending on whether you are in Blood Stance or Sand Stance.

However, Grinding Gear Games made a significant balancing pass on all of the skill gems in the 3.23 Affliction League. Aside from the introduction of Transfigured Gems, the base version of Perforate itself received massive upgrades, so much so that it is arguably one of the best melee skills to use in the game.

Now, if you want to create a character that uses an unorthodox skill, then read this article to the fullest. This is our build guide for the Perforate Slayer in Patch 3.23!

Learn to Craft the Best Items for This Build


The Perforate Slayer, as the name implies, is a build that utilizes Perforate as its main skill. This is a melee skill in PoE where you slam the ground and multiple spikes come out to damage your enemies.

What's interesting about Perforate is that it actually has two modes, which you can switch between using Blood/Sand Stance. When in Blood Stance, the skill's area of effect is considerably smaller but it deals better single-target damage. This mode is perfect when you are facing tough monsters or bosses.

On the other hand, if you are in Sand Stance, Perforate's spikes will thrust outwards, therefore hitting more enemies at once. This is the mode that you should use when you are mapping so that you can easily destroy multiple foes with a single click.

While Perforate naturally deals physical damage, this build utilizes elemental damage via Voidforge. This unique Two-handed Infernal Sword grants you 700% of the weapon's physical damage as extra damage of a random element; these being fire, cold, and lightning. On top of that, Voidforge enhances your attack speed, increases Perforate's area of effect, and all of your attacks can inflict the "Shock" status effect, making your enemies take additional damage!

So, what upgrades did the base version of the gem receive in 3.23 Affliction League? For one, it now has higher base damage than before. Its effectiveness of added damage is also set at 265%, which is quite a significant increase. Besides that, it now creates nine spikes on each attack instead of just seven in the previous leagues.

It is worth noting that this build uses some expensive unique items, so it is not something you can use to start a new league. However, the Perforate Slayer is so fun and easy to use that every PoE currency you invest into it is definitely worth it!

You can improve the damage of this build by looking for any of these modifiers on your gear:

  • Flat Physical Damage
  • Increased Physical Damage
  • Increased Elemental Damage
  • Increased Attack Speed
  • Increased Critical Strike Chance
  • Increased Critical Strike Multiplier

How about Transfigured Gems? Well, Perforate received two Transfigured Gems in Patch 3.23. But, they are actually not that good, to be honest.

Perforate of Duality, is not ideal for the build because it creates fewer spikes by default, though it makes 10 additional spikes if you have changed stances recently. Because of this, your damage is largely inconsistent, and changing stances often is cumbersome, especially in a fast-paced game like Path of Exile.

Perforate of Bloodshed also creates fewer spikes and has less damage effectiveness. However, it does inflict bleeding on enemies and you deal more damage with the said status effect for each subsequent attack. Since we are not really scaling bleeding damage, Perforate of Bloodshed is useless for this build.


The Perforate Slayer has a typical style of play to that of most melee builds in PoE. When you enter a new map, make sure that Sand Stance is activated, then just use Leap Slam to find juicy packs of monsters.

After you see a huge mob, go to the middle and use Perforate until you eliminate each and every enemy there is.

If you are fighting against tougher monsters, drop your totems to gain a considerable boost in DPS, and then spam Perforate until they are defeated. In addition, activate Blood Rage for good measure.

In this build, you will bind Enduring Cry on the left mouse button. Since you have the Call to Arms keystone passive allocated, activating this warcry is instant. Binding it on the left mouse button just makes it so that it gets activated as soon as it is off cooldown.

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This build is meant for pure offense and, as such, you will take the Slayer as the ascendancy class of choice. The Slayer has notable ascendancy passives that work really well with Perforate.

Impact should be taken as your first notable ascendancy passive. That is because it not only solves your accuracy early on, but also increases Perforate's melee strike range and area of effect. On top of that, you deal more damage when you are surrounded by enemies which, in this case, happens all of the time!

Brutal Fervour helps you stay longer on the battlefield. This is what most people refer to as the Slayer's "overleech" mechanic because life leech effects are not removed when your HP is full. It acts as a defensive node since you take reduced damage while you are leeching life from enemies as well.

Bane of Legends provides a significant damage increase for the build, so it's always a welcome addition.

To ensure that each of your Perforate strikes are as damaging as they can be, you will take Overwhelm as the last notable ascendancy passive. This node essentially increases your critical strike chance by improving the base crit of Voidforge to 8%. You also get up to 100% crit strike multiplier if there are at least 10 enemies nearby.

Once you have enough currency, invest in Forbidden Flesh and Forbidden Flame Jewels with Masterful Form as the matching modifier. This actually increases your offense and defense because this node makes it so that your maximum Endurance Charges are equal to your maximum Frenzy Charges. Endurance Charges reduce the damage that you take by 4% per charge, while Frenzy Charges improve your attack speed and damage by 4% per charge as well.


Notable Ascendancy Passives for Perforate Slayer


To be perfectly honest, the full equipment for the Perforate Slayer is not cheap to put together. There are some pieces of gear that are quite expensive, particularly the body armor and, of course, the Voidforge. This is just a disclaimer so that you know what to expect moving forward.


The only weapon that you will use for the Perforate Slayer is Voidforge. This two-handed Infernal Sword is what makes this build possible as it provides you with a ton of elemental damage.

Not only that but it gives you some amazing bonuses that can benefit the build, including increased attack speed, more HP, and a larger area of effect for your main attack skill.

Although it is explicitly stated that the "extra damage of a random element" portion of Voidforge's unique effect is based on the weapon's physical damage, you can actually scale that by adding physical damage mods from other sources. That is why you put as many flat physical and % increased physical damage modifiers on your other pieces of gear!

Body Armor

Replica Farrul's Fur is your endgame body armor for the Perforate Slayer. It basically gives you permanent uptime of your Frenzy and Endurance Charges, though you have to also pair it with a piece of gear that has the "Aspect of the Cat" skill on it. Don't worry, this will be discussed later in the build guide.

In the meantime, you can equip a self-crafted body armor with the veiled modifier that grants 10% increased maximum life and mana. To do this, simply use any essence that guarantees a suffix until you get spell suppression and another useful suffix. Then, go to the Crafting Bench and lock suffixes. After that, use a Veiled Chaos Orb, put the attack block prefix from the Crafting Bench, and then unveil.

The beauty of a rare self-crafted body armor is that you can use Eldritch Currencies to get some pretty useful implicit modifiers. Having said that, spam the body armor with Eldritch Ichors to get "Melee Hits Have % Chance to Fortify" and Eldritch Embers to obtain "+(24-25)% to Critical Strike Multiplier for Attack Damage".


Self-crafted Body Armor


Remember earlier when we said that you can scale your damage by adding physical damage mods on your other pieces of gear? Well, the Abyssus is one such equipment that you should definitely use on this build.

The Abyssus not only provides up to 60 flat physical damage, but it grants up to 125% melee critical strike multiplier as well. The only problem with wearing this unique Ezomyte Burgonet is that you take increased physical damage. While this is nothing to scoff at, the build has enough defenses to counteract the helm's downside.


There are a couple of viable options when it comes to the gloves for the Perforate Slayer. The first is a self-crafted pair of gloves with 60% physical-to-cold damage conversion. When you go this route, you can put "% Increased Cold Damage" mods to improve the overall damage potential of the build. You can refer to our comprehensive crafting guide to learn how to create this beauty.


Self-crafted Cold Conversion Gloves (60%)

Once you have enough currency, you have the option to replace the cold conversion gloves with the Hands of the High Templar. So, why is this the preferred gloves to use for the endgame? Well, that is because it can roll up to five corrupted implicit modifiers, some of which are highly beneficial to the Perforate Slayer. That said, here are the mods that we recommend:

  • +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
  • Curse Enemies with Elemental Weakness on Hit
  • Attacks Have +% to Critical Strike Chance
  • % Increased Maximum Life
  • % Increased Attack Speed
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For the boots, you will craft a pair that has the veiled movement speed mod and the Aspect of the Cat skill for your Replica Farrul's Fur.

The Aspect of the Cat is needed to make Replica Farrul's Fur work. What it does is it grants you two alternating buffs; Cat's Agility and Cat's Stealth. For the said unique armor, you want Cat's Agility to have a considerably low duration so that you will have your maximum Endurance and Frenzy Charges up at all times. That is the reason why you also put Less Duration Support in the boots so that these buffs cycle much faster.

To craft the boots, use Essence of Envy (chaos resistance) until you get spell suppression. Make sure that you have an open suffix so that you can insert the Aspect of the Cat skill. Speaking of which, buy the itemized version of "Farrul, First of the Plains" from the trade website. Right-click on it and it should be added as a crafting option in the Menagerie.

With an open suffix, place your boots in the middle circle of the Menagerie and select Farrul. Defeat the monsters and the Aspect of the Cat Skill should be added to the boots.

You're not done yet! Go back to your hideout and lock the boot's suffixes using the Crafting Bench. After that, use a Veiled Chaos Orb and then go to Jun to unveil. Look for any of the veiled movement speed modifiers, preferably the increased movement speed mod when you are not hit recently, or the one with 100% freeze immunity.


Self-crafted Boots


You can start with a rare amulet that has a critical strike multiplier, some life, resistances, and the reduced mana cost for non-channeling skills from the Crafting Bench. Wear this until you can afford the Stranglegasp.

The Stranglegasp is an interesting amulet because it allows you to put three additional anointments for a total of four. After that, you corrupt the amulet with a Vaal Orb in the hopes of “bricking” it, turning it into a rare item. Do not worry, this is rectified by using a Mythic Orb, which transforms the item (again) into a random unique amulet. If you are lucky, the rare amulet turns into the Carnage Heart – the one that you really want for the Perforate Slayer.

Speaking of which, what are the anointments you should put on the Stranglegasp anyway? They are:

  • Frenetic (Azure Oil, 2x Silver Oils)

    • +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
  • Disemboweling (Verdant Oil, Violet Oil, Golden Oil)

    • 50% Increased Melee Critical Strike Chance
    • +25% to Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
  • Panopticon (Amber Oil, 2x Golden Oils)

    • 50% Increased Effect of Buffs Your Ancestor Totems Grant While Active
    • 30% Increased Totem Damage
  • Whispers of Doom (3x Golden Oils)

    • Allows you to apply an additional curse


Carnage Heart (Transformed from Stranglegasp Using Mythic Orb)


Get a pair of Steel Rings (physical damage) and then use Harvest Reforge Chaos until you get chaos resistance and two other useful suffixes. Then, lock those suffixes by adding the appropriate metamod from the Crafting Bench. After that, use a Veiled Chaos Orb and unveil. Look for the prefix, "+(55-60) to Maximum Life, Regenerate 5.3 Mana per Second". Bench craft "Non-Channelling Skills Have -7 to Total Mana Cost" and finish the last prefix using an Exalted Orb.


Self-crafted Ring


Early in the league, craft a Stygian Vise by using Essence of Envy until you get T1/T2 strength and another useful suffix. Make sure that the belt has an open prefix so that you can use a Hunter Exalted Orb for a chance to obtain the mod, "% Increased Maximum Life".


Self-crafted Stygian Vise

Of course, the endgame belt for the Perforate Slayer is none other than the Mageblood. This thing provides you with permanent uptime of your magic utility flasks, allowing you to solve any issues you may have with resistances, mana cost, and survivability.


  • Granite Flask
  • Jade Flask
  • Amethyst Flask
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Bottled Faith (Offense)
  • Progenesis (Defense)

Flask Mods

  • 60% Increased Evasion Rating (of the Impala)
  • 55% increased Armour (of the Pangolin)
  • 55% Increased Critical Strike Chance (of Incision)
  • 25% Reduced Mana cost of Skills (bench craft)


Watcher's Eye is always a good jewel no matter what build you are using in PoE. That said, look for any of these modifiers when you are shopping for one on the trade website:

  • Precision

    • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier
    • % Increased Attack Speed
    • % Increased Attack Damage
  • Determination

    • + to Armour
    • % Additional Physical Damage Reduction
    • You Take % Reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes

You also have the option of adding at least two Large Cluster Jewels (axe/sword) into the build. Use Harvest Reforge Attack until you get Martial Prowess, Feed the Fury, and Fuel the Fight.

For Medium Clusters (critical strike chance), you can use Harvest Reforge Caster to obtain Pressure Points and Quick Getaway.

Lethal Pride is another unique jewel that can greatly improve your damage, so long as you get the right one. Use the nifty Timeless Jewel Calculator to help you get the right mods when the said jewel is socketed near the Savagery notable passive. Some of the mods to look for are:

  • 30% Increased Melee Critical Strike Chance
  • +15% to Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
  • 20% Increased Physical Damage
  • 4% Increased Maximum Life

Unnatural Instinct is a welcome addition to the build as well. This enables you to get all of the effects of the unallocated small passive skills in its radius. Since you will be inserting this in the jewel socket adjacent to Fervour, you will get increased evasion rating, more life, accuracy rating, increased crit chance, and increased attack speed.

A new unique jewel that was added in Patch 3.23 is That Which Was Taken. What makes this great is that it grants you the effects of four Charm modifiers. Here are the ones that we recommend:

  • Adds (8-12) to (18-22) Physical Damage if You've Dealt a Critical Strike Recently
  • % Increased Area of Effect per Endurance Charge
  • % Chance to Gain Phasing for 4 Seconds on Kill
  • % Increased Effect of Onslaught on You
  • +% to Chaos Resistance per Endurance Charge
  • (14-20)% Increased Accuracy Rating if You've Dealt a Critical Strike in the Past 8 Seconds(130-160%) Increased Critical Strike Chance Against Enemies on Full Life
  • (71-100)% Increased Critical Strike Chance if You Haven't Dealt a Critical Strike Recently
  • Critical Strikes Have Culling Strike
  • % Increased Critical Strike Chance Against Shocked Enemies

The remaining jewel sockets can be populated with rare base jewels. Use them to resolve any issues you may still have with the build. If you ask, here are some of the useful mods to look for:

  • +% to Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
  • % Increased Attack Speed with Swords
  • % Increased Maximum Life
  • +% to Chaos Resistance
  • % Increased Global Physical Damage
  • % Increased Damage
  • % Increased Melee Damage
  • +% to All Elemental Resistances
  • Corrupted Blood Cannot Be Inflicted on You (corrupted implicit)
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Besides the gem setups for Perforate, totems, and auras, this build has some room for flexibility, which means that you can swap some of the gems outlined in this section for anything that you want.


  • Perforate
  • Awakened Multistrike
  • Awakened Melee Physical Damage
  • Awakened Elemental Damage with Attacks
  • Endurance Charge on Melee Stun
  • Trinity

Perforate is your main attack skill for this build. It has two modes that you can activate depending on which stance you are currently on. For the most part, use Sand Stance for that increased area of effect. Only switch to Blood Stance if you encounter tough monsters and bosses.

Awakened Multistrike is a support gem that repeats the initial cast of Perforate about three additional times. This alleviates the need to spam the attack button just to eliminate the enemy. But more importantly, you deal progressively more damage starting with the first repeat all the way to the third one.

Awakened Elemental Damage with Attacks and Awakened Melee Physical Damage are support gems that further improve the killing potential of Perforate. The latter also grants you the ability to intimidate enemies on hit, causing them to take more attack damage as a result!

Now, you might be wondering why Endurance Charge on Melee Stun support is included in the build. Well, that is primarily because it gives you more damage per Endurance Charge. If you have eight maximum Endurance Charges, for example, that translates to 32% more damage, which is calculated multiplicatively rather than additively!

Lastly, the inclusion of Trinity Support on this build is a no-brainer. This support gem penetrates the enemy's elemental resistances, letting you deal more elemental damage.

Body Armor

  • Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  • Ancestral Protector
  • Multiple Totems Support
  • Blood Rage
  • Assassin's Mark
  • Mark on Hit

This is your totem and utility setup. Whenever you come across tougher monsters, drop your Vaal Ancestral Warchief and Ancestral Protector totems to gain a considerable boost in attack damage and attack speed, respectively. Besides that, Blood Rage gives you even more attack speed, enabling you to quell those who are foolish enough to come your way!

To ensure that you deal the most amount of pain with every Perforate slam, there is Assassin's Mark to increase your crit chance and critical strike multiplier against cursed enemies. This is applied automatically to rare or unique monsters thanks to Mark on Hit Support.


  • Determination
  • Herald of Purity
  • Summon Skitterbots
  • Enlighten

Determination provides a significant boost to your armor, which is a defensive layer that is typical for most melee builds in Path of Exile.

Herald of Purity is another buff that improves your offensive capabilities by granting you more melee physical damage. Remember that any physical damage mods are factored into the overall damage calculation of the build, so Herald of Purity is a great addition to the Perforate Slayer.

Summon Skitterbots allow you to call small minions that inflict the "Shock" and "Chill" status effects on nearby enemies.

Enlighten Support makes it so that you can activate these auras comfortably with some mana left in the tank for your active skills.


  • Blood and Sand
  • Precision
  • Arrogance Support
  • Flame Dash

Blood and Sand is a stance gem that is integral to how Perforate works. Pressing the hotkey where this skill is bound to will change your current stance. Blood Stance allows you to deal more damage at the cost of a slightly reduced area of effect. Conversely, Sand Stance improves the AoE of Perforate, though at a slightly reduced damage output.

Precision is an aura that increases your critical strike chance and accuracy rating when activated. That said, since it reserves flat mana as opposed to a percentage of your mana pool, you should link it to Arrogance Support so that you can activate it without issue.

Flame Dash is just an extra movement skill that you can use to get out of sticky situations.

Now, in this setup, only Precision and Arrogance Support should be linked together. Blood and Sand and Flame Dash need not be linked.


  • Leap Slam
  • Faster Attacks
  • Enduring Cry
  • Less Duration Support

Leap Slam is your main movement skill for the Perforate Slayer. It is linked with Faster Attacks Support so that jumping around the map feels smooth.

Enduring Cry improves your survivability by providing you with additional physical damage reduction and elemental resistances per Endurance Charge. Since you have plenty of Endurance Charges to work with thanks to Replica Farrul's Fur and some notable skills on the passive tree, Enduring Cry is just a great skill to include in the build.

Speaking of Replica Farrul's Fur, Less Duration Support is slotted in to reduce the duration of Cat's Agility and Cat's Stealth, thus ensuring that you have maximum Endurance and Frenzy Charges at all times.

It is important to note that Less Duration Support should not be linked with the other three gems.

Secondary Ascendancies

The Wildwood Primalist is the best secondary ascendancy for the Perforate Slayer. That is because it gives you access to three Charm slots, which you can use to put amazing Charms with very useful mods. If you are searching for Charms to insert into these slots, here are some of the modifiers that we recommend:

  • Adds # to # Physical Damage if You've Dealt a Critical Strike Recently
  • % of Leech is Instant
  • Melee HIts Have % Chance to Fortify
  • % Chance to Cover Rare or Unique Enemies in Ash for 10 Seconds on Hit
  • Cannot Be Stunned While Leeching
  • % Increased Effect of Marks
  • Culling Strike
  • Damage Penetrates % of Enemy Elemental Resistances
  • % Increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments You Inflict with Critical Strikes
  • Gain % Increased Attack Speed for 20 Seconds When You Kill a Rare or Unique Enemy
  • % Increased Maximum Recovery per Life Leech
  • 1% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if You've Killed Recently
  • >Gain Adrenaline for 4 Seconds When You Reach Low Life
  • (130-160)% Increased Critical Strike Chance Against Enemies on Full Life

Passive Tree


Passive Tree for Perforate Slayer


Perforate Slayer

Final Thoughts

The Perforate Slayer is definitely a build that you must try, especially if you love using melee skills in Path of Exile. It is unique in the sense that you can switch stances to alter how the said attack skill works.

If you need to obliterate monsters quickly while mapping, activate Sand Stance. Conversely, if you're fighting tough enemies or bosses, you can switch to Blood Stance for improved single-target damage.

Although the build requires some mandatory uniques, some of which are expensive, it is quite tanky and deserving of every PoE currency you invest into it!

If you are looking for a build in Path of Exile that is something out of the ordinary, then definitely give the Perforate Slayer a shot!


  • Deals a ton of damage when properly geared
  • Can switch between stances to alter how the skill works
  • Incredibly tanky due to multiple defensive layers
  • Fun and easy build to use
  • Fast mapper
  • Competent bossing build


  • Requires some mandatory uniques
  • Can be quite expensive to put up, especially when it comes to endgame gear

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View all comments (2)


05.12.2023 - 20:31:47

Howdy. How does this look for 3.23? Any updates or changes?

Logarithmic MunKy

23.11.2020 - 15:06:34

So a few things have changed in the skill tree since Heist league but Iv found ways to make it work mostly. The main difference I can see is Forceful Skewering is now in a different place. Im going to mitigate this by spending less on the life at the start of the marauder tree but Im probably going to have to lose out somewhere else too. Iv also never got above 92 on a char so Im building with that in mind, so my end build may have half the dps you get on this, and thats me being hopeful XD. Your advice on an updated build for Heist League, if you have one, would be great, maybe I dont need the Forceful node but PoB shows such a huge dps increase so it seems pretty essential right? What else could I remove?One thing Im not quite getting is, how do you manage to get Pride, Dread banner, Blood and sand and flesh and stone running all together? Do you ever put the banner down? Im not the most knowledgeable player so Im wondering what Im missing. Even with some extra mana pool and some minus to mana reserved, I surely still have too little mana? Im only level 60 with this build so far but you have these all up and running before this point so advice on that would be great also.Im looking forward to getting to 68 to get my dual Ahn's Mights on.Hope Im not yapping in to the void here. Thanks

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