Path of Exile Facebreaker Build
Facebreaker is one of the most unique items in all of Path of Exile. It is a pair of gloves that states that you deal up to 800% more damage with unarmed attacks—meaning you cannot use a weapon at all. Though they can be difficult to build around, they can pull off some of the craziest damage numbers in all of Path of Exile if you can make them work. Imagine dealing all that damage for some of the lowest investments in the game! In the past, they were mostly used with Warchief Totems, however, with the new Cyclone Buffs, an avenue has opened to see them reused again. Without further ado, let’s get into our PoE Facebreaker Build.
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Where is the Facebreaker Build from?
Give credit where credit is due: This build was conceived of by the popular streamer Octavian0. He is a big fan of deep delving, as am I, and this build was designed to push him down to 1000 depth–which he achieved! It’s a bit rocky at some of the deeper depths, and other builds are more suitable for extremely deep delving, past 1000. However, this build is strong enough to get you there, which says a lot about its power level. I myself took it from 400 to 600 depth in about three days.
Octavian0 has not done a guide around this particular build, but if you’re interested, you can look back through his VODs on his Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/octavian0), and feel free to check out his extremely informative videos on his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1btlgqKiIEj6E0s9z16O6g).
How does the build work?
This build is founded on two core items: Facebreaker and The Surrender. We’ve already explained Facebreaker, so what is The Surrender? The Surrender is an Ezomyte Tower Shield (note that this does not turn off Facebreaker’s bonus) that grants you level 30 Reckoning Skill. It also gives huge armour and a bit of life every time you block, which is helpful since this entire build is focused around blocking. If you don’t know, Reckoning is a reflective skill, which means it does something when you are attacked. In the case of Reckoning, it shoots out a cone of damage back at the enemies each time you take a hit. One point to remember: Its damage is massive! It is also affected by the Facebreaker bonuses, so its damage is many times higher than it would typically be. In this build, it does more than a second of Cycloning on an enemy.
Cyclone is used as the main skill for the build. You can use Cyclone unarmed, which is necessary for a Facebreaker build. The biggest downside to being unarmed with Cyclone is that your radius will be quite small. This makes mapping a bit tedious. However, this build excels in Delve where your radius doesn’t matter nearly as much.
The rest of the build is designed around the two core items. You are a Gladiator in order to have the highest block chance you can, your rings and amulet have high flat physical damage on them to give you damage through Facebreaker, and resists as the other stats. Your body armour is the toughest piece of the set. You need to craft a rare body armour–preferably an Astral Plate for the resistances–with Serrated Fossils. Serrated Fossils allow for two particular results which would otherwise be unobtainable–“Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 1 Maim” and “Socketed Attacks Have -15 to Total Mana Cost”. You want both of these on the body armour that you wear. The Maim gives you 15% more damage to your cyclone, while the reduced mana cost allows you to reserve your entire bar, allowing for better reservation abilities. Vulnerability and Poacher’s Mark are the curses you want to shoot for applying.
With the Gladiator ascendancy and the right tree, you will be able to reach a 70% chance to block both attacks and spells, which can go up to 79% after successfully blocking a few times. This can even go up to 81% if you get the amulet that increases your block chance, but it is extremely expensive–I myself never got that far!
What are some downsides to this build?
As we’ve covered, this build is extremely strong defensively. Most of your tree is oriented around getting as much block chance and Fortify Effect and Life as possible. This means that the build doesn’t deal nearly as much damage as others do. The damage is high enough to clear Tier 16 maps without too much trouble, but in the deep, deep delves, you’ll be relying on The Surrender to deal a lot of your damage. Needless to say, this can be either scary or irritating.
The other issue, as already mentioned, is that your cyclone radius is incredibly small. Coupled with the lower damage issue and mapping, this is a chore, to say the least. Sure, you’ll never die, but it also takes five tedious minutes to clear a tier 16 map. This can be mitigated a bit by running maps with smaller corridors, such as Lair. But you’ll find mapping tiresome regardless of what you do. Even with a Headhunter, I found mapping slow at best. It’s also not the best bossing build, because bosses tend to hit slow and hard. This build is great against normal enemies who hit fast and frequently so that your Reckoning is spammed at them whenever you block. Reckoning only goes off a few times during boss fights, which just makes your lack of high damage even more apparent.
This build definitely has negative aspects, mostly due to clear speed. However, if you’re looking for a nearly unkillable build that can push very deep delve depths without taking a toll on your budget, this is the build for you! I had a lot of fun playing it, and would highly recommend any delve lovers to give it a try. Once again, a big shoutout to Octavian0 for creating this Path of Exile Facebreaker Build, it is exceptionally unique and is an utter joy to play!