Wolcen Build Guide: Janissary Hand Cannoneer

Wolcen Build Guide: Janissary Hand Cannoneer

In this Wolcen Build Guide we’re going to be covering an advanced Gunner Build that focuses on the use of all Material damage, and all damage over time Ailments, reflected to self via Fatal Pact, to maintain a never ending Rage pool and allowing us to keep up with the most rage consuming attacks in game. Wolcen has quite a complex Passive Skill tree (Gate of Fates) that can be difficult to figure out, and many mechanics are not always easy to min/max. In this Janissary Hand Cannoneer Build Guide I’ll explain how to get the most from this Build, so if you’ve been struggling to find a good Gunner Build, then this Guide is for you.

Wolcen Builds Guide: Janissary Hand Cannoneer

Cannoneers are Ranged units, deployed in the battlefield as a one man army. Equipped with all devices, Cannoneers have access to a wide variety of tools, and can deal all types of damage simultaneously, with material damage being the strongest. They use any combination of ranged and melee weapons (Dagger and Shield, Dagger and Sword, Pistol and Shield, Pistol and Sword, or Pistol and Mace).

They deal a decent amount of damage when Avenger Autoturrets are deployed in order to start re-generating Rage, and then by using Sovereign Shout to fill the Rage bar as well as a buff. Then you can hit enemies with everything they’ve got, while maintaining a high level of rage, dealing double the damage.

Their playstyle is gruesome, messy, and noisy. Your screen will be splattered with blood, poison, and big explosions as the ground in the aftermath, shows evidence of the Cannoneer’s destruction.

Janissary Cannoneer Attributes

The Janissary Cannoneer build can fight in the toughest of the battles, and so they must up their toughness as a main stat. They can take a good number of hits, and recover through life leech, so they need large enough health pools to handle this. After gaining enough toughness, they build their critical through Ferocity, and a use bit of Wisdom for a reliable ailment chance.

The Ratio in which to spread Toughness: Ferocity: Wisdom may vary, depending on the level and equipment. But you need 5 or 6 points in Toughness for every level, and the rest splits between the other two attributes.

Numbers on the character page are important for auto attack and universal stats, but not as important as the numbers in Skill window. Each skill gets more modifiers from the skill itself, or equipment which increases critical and Ailment chance for specific skills, and that doesn’t display on the character sheet. Usually, you want 30-40% critical chance, and 45%-50% Ailment chance on your main attacks. That rate is high and requires a lot of investment, and I’ll tell you how to get it later in this guide.

Janissary Cannoneer Active Skills

This build uses solely attacks that consume rage, Ranged skills are for offense, while Melee skills focus on defense. Besides the main spammable damage attack Havoc Orb, it’s more flexible than other builds in terms of the choice of skills, as many combinations of skills can be used together. I’ll talk about the skills I find easiest to use together, but feel free to experiment with other ranged or Melee skills.

Havoc Orb

Your main damage source comes from Havoc Orb. This attack hits like a rocket, and we can even turn it into a rocket with the Glory to Mankind skill. Its limiting factor is that it consumes a lot of Rage, especially in combination with Frenzied Blows from Child of Fury. That’s why we build our Gate of Fate around regenerating Rage as fast as we spend it, to allow use of Havoc Orb at maximum efficiency.

Extreme Fragmentation is the better damage modifier. If you have good critical chance, you can use Vaporizer to take advantage of this modifier together with Massive Blast Zone to ensure it can shotgun bosses effectively.

Blood Seeks Blood is an optional choice, as you will have your Rend damage as your highest damage source anyway. So you can pick it or use three points to choose Ailment chance, Ailment damage, and generic damage instead.

Avenger Autoturret

This device’s skills is a wonderful tool to have in your Cannoneer’s arsenal. It could be modified to deal a higher amount of damage with great coverage, or for a single target purpose, as it could easily be built as a utility tool. Another option is to use it as a handheld cannon, and deal big damage with a very flexible skill set.

I prefer using it to inflict Ailments rapidly to recover both Rage and Health effectively, while we using Havoc Orb as your bread and butter, unleashing a decent amount of damage. For every 10 shock stacks it does, it will recover 30%  health, and it keeps applying shock rapidly at the same time.

Flak Launcher modifier is good for all situations, allowing the turret to rotate and auto-target enemies. This is great for a “set it and forget it” playstyle, because we will be preoccupied with all other skills usually. That goes well with Autonomous Sensors for increasing area of effect and hitting multiple enemies to inflict multiple Ailments from Fatal Pact.

Being an Ailment stacking attack, we need Wild Splinters for more consistency and Cyclone Lightning-Cannon for shock stacks without investing in lightening damage. Sleepless Sentry is a good quality of life skill to have, if you pick all previous modifiers.

If you don’t convert Autoturret into Lightening, you might be able to pick: Deflecting Barrier for Defense , Ballistic Reinforcements for more Ailments, or Consensus for movement speed to counter the slow effect from Disallowing Vessel. Again it’s a matter of preference and playstyle, so choose which you feel is right for you.

Phantom Blades

The good part about Phantom Blades is that it doesn’t consume Rage, which helps you greatly save Rage for our Havoc Orb. It also leaves an area of effect that deals damage and inflicts more ailments when we pick the Gliding Friction modifier. For quality of life as well as great coverage, we take Loyalty of the Blades, Thick Edges, and Bladeslinger. Not all are necessary, but it’s just to make your Ailments reach all areas of the screen, and you can passively regenerate Rage and health through poison or bleed stacks.

Noxious Contamination is chosen to get a free poison ailment without investing in Toxic damage. It’s still a very effective damage dealing tool, because we scale material damage in general. There’s three charges and continuous area of effect, which you can stack a good number of poisons with, which almost max stacks without investing much.

If you have skipped one or two QoL modifiers previously mentioned, you can take Looming Fog of Battle which can be very strong in capping ailment stacks on larger groups of enemies. I usually prefer it as I find it’s not that effective against bosses, and I don’t want to lure all enemies to the boss with this build. Use Phantom Blades as the situation demands. If you’re encountering a boss, stack all three charges on them.

Sovereign Shout

This skill is the reason why we use a melee weapon alongside our pistol instead of using a Bow. It’s a Rage regeneration skill, but also, it’s all an around buff for both offense and defense. It does quite a lot including gaining Critical chance, All resistances, Life leech, Rage regeneration, movement speed, and an increased effect for other buffs as well! With some investment in cooldown reduction from gear, you can have 100% uptime which is pretty impressive.

Take Hold the LineInfectious DeterminationRaging BerserkerA Princep’s LeadHostile Inspiration, Enemy’s Pallor, and Red Earth Tracks

If possible, try to use this skill among groups of enemies to get a better resistance buff.


A good defensive skill is Juggernaut as it generates rage for you, also can be used to do some damage as well as apply some burn stacks.

Take: Grudges Collected, Crushing WallStanding RockPrideful DeflagrationFlies in BevviesCold Steel, and Sound Body for the most defensive situations.

Note that in endgame with very high level content against bosses, your shield will be removed in one hit, and you will be stuck with the skill in cooldown most of the time, so make sure to use it when it truly counts to prevent one shot deaths.

Mark of Impurity

You don’t really need this until you’re dealing with high level content such as +120, when monsters’ health goes up to eight digit numbers.

Guilt by Association and Fate of the Unholy are the main modifiers to focus on, as it makes enemies explode, and spread the mark to other enemies. We take Accursed Blade to inflict curse and get all the resistance buffs from Fatal Pact. That will leave us with only one point, where we can use it to make enemies more vulnerable to damage, take more Ailment damage, or take more critical damage. Usually critical damage is more beneficial as Mark of Impurity explosions scale with it as well.

If you have The Trial unique belt equipped, Mark of Impurity will apply to all enemies you hit with your attacks automatically, allowing you to remove Mark of Impurity from your skill bar and replace it with another skill. However, in that case you still need to level Mark of Impurity and pick all modifiers you would normally choose. You can remove Guilt by Association here, as you keep applying new instances to all enemies at all times. Use the points to get Strange Mercy and more damage modifiers.

Wailing Arrows

You can use this instead of Mark of Impurity if you wish in early levels, or when you have The Trial Belt. It’s a good skill to have as it applies stacks of ailments quickly, and I prefer to make it do Fire Damage and Burn Ailment. Every 10 burn or bleed stacks will let us recover 30% health. Combine that with AoE duration, Wailing Arrows will stack burns and bleeds incredibly fast.

Grab Flames of Envy for fire damage, Flight From Bindings, and Eagle Eye for critical chance with Broadhead for Critical damage. Attrition Strategy and Shattering Arrowheads for better Ailments, and finally Irate Smiting to reduce rage cost

Wolcen Builds: Janissary Cannoneer Passive Skills

Figuring out how to align your Gate of Fates is one of, if not the hardest part of making a Build in Wolcen, and generally takes a respec or two before getting it right. In this build, it might take more than that, so it’s advisable to respec to this build when at a high level, when you have enough passive points, rather than trying to do it when attempting the campaign. I’ll try to smooth out the process for you in this section of the guide, but beware of the complex nature of mechanics we use on top of each.

Build planner Link for final build: https://wolcen-universe.com/builds/gDeoxy-janissary-hand-cannoneer


As with all critical builds, Soldier is the best place to start. Grab all critical damage nodes on the way to The Wild Card, then take Celerity, Tenacious, and The Heat of Battle for stable Rage generation. Finally grab Zealous Might and go to the next tree.


Warmonger is a good tree for Attack builds based on Material damage, making it a perfect fit for Janissary Cannoneer. We start with Master of the Frontline and travel left towards Blood Reaper while taking all bleed nodes on the way which is very good.

We take Impervious and Manic Slaughter to improve scaling our damage with Rage. Make sure to grab the next two nodes behind Manic Slaughter: Appetite for Bloodshed and Unbridled Rage which will allow us better regeneration of Rage.

Finally, we take Deadly Physicality and move to the outer ring for the next tree.

Child of Fury

This tree is very important for rage builds, that’s why we try to get here as as fast possible. We take Boiling Point, Fireproof , and  Wyrmbreath on the way to the major node Furious Appetite, which makes our default resource become Rage, allowing us to spend it directly, and have it regenerate normally when we don’t attack. This is the cornerstone of our build.

Frenzied Blows is a nice damage boost to build around. It allows our skills that consume Rage to deal double the damage and consume double the Rage, as long as rage stays over 750. We get a much longer uptime for this by increasing maximum rage, and that’s what we’ll do next.


We travel next to the outermost nodes, taking Body and Mind, LitheArchion’s Teachings, and Swiftness. Archion’s Teachings is a must for Havoc Orb, we can also come back later for Bullseye and Deadly Aim, but for now, we move on.


Start with Self-Preservation Instinct for start, then go for Duty to Exterminate and the two Twisted Obligation nodes behind it. This gains some easy Maximum Rage, and deals double damage. Nothing else here is that important.


Now we only have a couple more rage nodes to take, then finally we’ll be able to build up our Ailment chance mechanics, Scholar allows us both.

Take 2x Steadfast, and the most important Emotional Intelligence. Then go for Adept , Anatomical expert , and Attrition Strategist

Warmonger (again)

Take Brutality , Feast for the Crows, and Tearer of Flesh. These will allow you to recover through most low level post-campaign damage, life leech can be very strong if you deal good damage. Make sure to upgrade your weapon properly to trully feel the effect of these. Now grab Blood Rush and let’s move to next tree.


Cabalist is the best tree for an Ailments playstyle, and as Ailments is a core mechanic for our build, we have to fill our Cabalist tree before we can say our build is complete.

We need many nodes from here, but we also need our buffs from Abyssal Shaper, so we will alternate between these two.

Start with Enfeebling Energy , continue along outermost nodes, Focused, Grievous Afflictions, and Tormentor. Go for Protective Aura, Primordial Insights, and Otherworldly Techniques.

Abyssal Shaper

Notice that Fatal Pact does many functions here, depending on which Ailments you inflict. By default all your skills deal bleeding, so you will need to reflect that onto yourself and recover 30% health every time you reach 10 stacks. That will be insanely fast against huge packs of monsters, so it will up your survivability quite a bit.

Not only that, the bleeding damage you receive (which is very small and insignificant) counts as “being hit” which triggers every instance of “gain x rage when being hit” from Soldier and Child of Fury trees. That’s huge amounts of Rage recovery that will make us not really need that Rage flask, and top our Rage almost at the max level nearly all the time. This results in allowing our skills to keep dealing double damage.

Now your attacks will deal more than just Bleeding if you have setup your skills as recommended as above, you will be doing Burn, Shock, Poison and another fifth ailment of your choice. That will mean our life recovery and Rage recovery will double, triple, and even quadruple, gaining benefits from all 4 damage over time ailments for an amazing recovery speed. It’s very good, especially after we push our ailment chance through the Cabalist tree as well as equipment.

For Fifth Ailment, you can go Aether for movement speed buff, weakness for a very small damage buff, or Shadow (my choice) for all resistance buffs which offers great survivability and damage at the same time.

Don’t forget to grab Wounded Shield for faster ailment stacking

Cabalist (again)

Fill in what we missed before, head for Insidious Decay through Ancient Trinket, you will increase your maximum ailments stacks to 20 on the way here, which is great for all purposes. Also take Power of the First Men and come back later to get the couple nodes behind it. But for now, we go grab our top defense nodes.

Siege Breaker

This is our final major tree in the Gate of Fates, and we will spend some time here. You could have gotten the nodes here earlier, but you would have had to delay your ailment investment for that to happen. It’s a matter of choice that depends on which aspect you are in dire need of.

But generally, it’s a hard to get any great helmet and chest with level requirement below 60. And it’s generally not advisable doing higher level than your current level before 60 anyway, so it’s convenient to delay traveling to Siege Breaker tree until now.

We start with the good node Inexorable Vitality, then travel through Futile Endeavour, and Liberty Arisen to reach Salvatory Anchor and Elevated Gain. Now we have to get good Heavy chest and Helmet, with the highest of all resistances as possible. With Salvatory Anchor and Elevated Gain, we double their value, which will push our resistances sky high, and allow for us to push higher level content gradually, just amazing stuff here.

A Controversial Approach for a Brave Build

Next is Unsunken, and then we take the controversial Disallowing Vessel and Secure Parry. At first glance, such a node seems counter-productive, reducing movement speed could be very punishing, and it truly is. However, it comes with a huge benefit we can’t overlook. 60% damage is moderate, 1% health regeneration is good for other builds, not us, but 100% all resistances is huge, and can’t be found anywhere else. All Resistances is our main defense, and we gain stacks from gear, so with this additional 100% we could push it to 90% or more for damage reduction making it a very strong build.

We counter it by stacking movement speed from gear and buffs from skills, and we use active dodge rolls since it isn’t affected by movement speed reduction. If we are in need of an additional layer of damage avoidance, we could use frost damage to simply freeze enemies so we don’t have to evade them at all.

Other Minor Nodes:

There are very strong defensive and offensive small nodes here that are hard to skip.

  • 2x Landslide for generic critical damage, very good to scale all our damage, even Mark of Impurity critical damage.
  • 1x Liberty Arisen for All resistances.

Alastor (Optional)

If you can level up this far (and you should!), you have got a few options to improve your Janissary Cannoneer. Alastor is one of them, if you want to improve your attack speed and overall ‘smoothness’ of the build. It’s slightly more damage per second, but more importantly, it allows a faster active dodge in tight situations, because active dodge waits for an attack animation to finish. There’s also some critical damage and critical chance here as well.

Not a major improvement, but a very nice addition to have. Grab Shock Invasion, Intravenous Neural Cord and Cautious Effort

Ranger (Optional)

  • Rotate your middle ring, once, to the right. So Warmonger meets Scholar in Steadfast
  • Rotate your outer ring twice, to the right. So everything returns to its proper place.
  • Now Ranger meets Soldier at Zealous Might. (We come from Soldier to save travelling points)
  • Take Unstoppable Flurry, then go straight for Come What May

If you are not interested in attack speed from the Alastor skill tree, then Ranger is probably more for you. Here you can grab some projectiles critical chance, it’s not as good as generic critical chance as it only applies to some of your skills. But it leads to a good node which gives all projectiles a penetration for 6 meters. Why is that good you ask? Well if you are face tanking, it allows Havoc Orb to pierce the first couple of enemies, and explodes in the middle of the pack instead of at the edge. This allows for a more effective AOE in dense pack situations.

You might find this messes with single bosses if they are melee and stay in your face all the time, as projectiles will prove harder to shotgun bosses without proper positioning. Also, don’t take additional pierce, that willd make your projectiles travel far and spread wider, and not explode next to each other which is what we want to happen.

Assassin (Optional)

Assassin is probably the strongest for late game, but it requires a huge investment in critical chance before it can truly shine. If your critical chance on your damage skills is less than 40%, I don’t recommend going Assassin (yet).

Take 2x Swiftness, then Elaborate Flurry then head for the major node Merciless Lethality. That will give you attack speed, critical chance, and big critical damage. All are good stats for this build, so keep this tree as an aim for your character at level +80

You might as well spend three more points to get Slipping Shadow to be able to escape tight spots, or generally have better positioning by dodging through enemies instead of around them. Be sure to spend one more point to get one extra dodge from Escape Artist.

Wolcen Builds: Janissary Cannoneer Equipment

In this section we’ll be covering the type of equipment that you want for the Janissary Cannoneer build. Your weapon choice will be flexible, but you do need one melee weapon (Sword, Mace or Axe), and one ranged weapon (Pistol or Sword). You can mix and match between them, and you can also use a shield instead of a melee weapon, for more resistances and defense.

Weapon Crafting:

Unlike some other builds, Janissary Cannoneer relies so much on damage from their weapon, that’s why we need to craft weapons to their full potential for maximum damage. There are many ways to craft the desired Affixes on weapon, and I could go into major detail, but that’s a topic for another guide. What we want to do here is get these the final results:

  • Make sure your weapon(s) level is at 100 or higher, as this will allow your weapon to get the maximum value for affixes.
  • Don’t forget to upgrade weapon quality through the Black Market to Five stars, this will upgrade weapons ‘base’ attack value.
  • Don’t craft the same weapon you are currently using, as there is a chance for it to be ruined. Instead farm good rares and craft them.
  • Rare items can have two Prefixes, and two Suffixes, what we seek the most are the prefixes, because these mods are local to the item, and calculated first, then get multiplied by all other modifiers in the build.
  • Most important Prefixes are:
    • + X – Y Rend damage on Attacks with this weapon
    • + X – Y Physical damage on Attacks with this weapon
    • + X – Y Poison damage on Attacks with this weapon
    • + X% Material damage on Attacks with this weapon (This works as multiplier for all local Material damage)
    • + X – Y [Other occult damage type] damage on Attacks (This for our fifth Ailment of choice for Fatal Pact)
  • Try to get perfect two prefixes on a Rare item, then upgrade to Legendary and hope for a good result.
  • If item have good suffixes, then 3rd perfect prefix might not be that important. Good suffixes are:
    • Material Ailment chance score (most important)
    • Life leech (from weapon/rend/physical/poison damage)
    • Critical damage
    • Critical chance
    • Attack speed
    • Elemental Ailment chance score
  • Socket your weapons properly: Flat Rend/Physical for (DI) And (Critical damage for DIII). Never roll (DII) on weapons for this build.

The Perfect Armour

Janissary Cannoneer is a slow build which will face tank most of the content, and be able to recover health faster than the damage it takes. In addition to that, it requires serious investment in certain mechanics such as critical and Ailment. That’s why it needs very specific stats on its armour.

  • (prefix) Resistances: The perfect stat to maximize this build, make sure to have the highest possible resistances on Helmet and Chest for Salvatory Anchor. Also good resistances wherever possible on other pieces.
  • (prefix) Health on this item: We need Health, mix and match with resistances on all pieces that’s not Chest or Helmet.
  • (suffix) Movespeed: More important than ever on this build, because we have negative speed. Get maximum roll on boots, and watch for it on other rogue armor sometimes.
  • (suffix) Toughness: Stack this in top of health. It increase our damage as well.
  • (suffix) Rage and willpower cost reduction:  Best suffix on gloves and shoulders. It helps us keep our rage over 750 for double damage.
  • (prefix) Ailment chance score: It’s very important to make up for the lack of wisdom. It competes with Health and resistances, so only get it on smaller armour pieces where resistance and life bonus will be smaller.
  • (suffix) Cooldown Reduction for all Skills: Need one on legs at least.
  • (suffix) Ferocity/wisdom: Once you feel Tanky enough, get a couple Wisdom and/or Ferocity to up your damage further.
  • (suffix) % Transfer time reduction between willpower and rage: Nice to have, but if you don’t have room for it on armour, don’t worry. Just put it on your accessory sockets.

Stats for armour sockets

  • + Maximum health: Use all your (DIII) sockets for it to increase your health. You need up to 80-90k or more Health for the hardest content in the game.
  • Block Chance/ Block Efficiency Can be built around, only if you are using a shield, but that’s another version of the build.

Stats for Accesories

  • (implicit on rings) Critical Hit Damage
  • (implicit on Amulet) All attributes
  • (prefix) % to All Resistances Score
  • (Suffix) Occult/Elemental/Material Resistance Score (It’s a suffix, so can stack with All resistances on same item!)
  • (prefix) +maximum Health (Up to 2000)
  • (suffix) % Attack Critical Chance Score
  • (Suffix) Critical Hit Damage
  • (prefix) % Rage Generation on Hit

Good Unique Accesories

The Trial Belt is currently the best in slot for many builds, it’s the same for Janissary Cannoneer, because it frees up a whole skill slot, allowing for more damage and utility. If you are lucky and get one, surely use it here for the best results. However, remove it if it increases your performance issues and crashes.

Shadowcall is surely a perfect fit for our build. It allow Ailments to spread to other enemies around the target. With AOE skills, the chance could occur on every single target, allowing a shotgun effect of ailments on larger groups. Surely it’s better than most legendary rings, and you could safely use it from low level up to endgame. The penalty is so small, and almost insignificant, so don’t worry about it.

Stats for Jewelry sockets

  • Amethyst On (SIII) for Transfer Time decrease between Willpower and Rage
  • Genesis Stone on (SII) for Ailment chance could be nice if you don’t need the transfer time decrease.
  • Alexandrite on (SII) for some critical chance isn’t bad either.

Final Tips

Don’t forget to level your skills through the Primordial Affinity early on to gain the upper hand in all low level content. Other good practices for your Primordial Affinity is upgrading your equipments quality and rarity through the Black Market at endgame, don’t forget to do that often.

If you need more power, one of the best modifiers to get on accessories will be the special “+2 Ailment inflicted” from the sarisel affix. That modifier does not only add 2 more ailment per hit, but it gets multiplied by 2 from “Power of the first men”, which is very strong.

You can fit cold damage in the build easily, and start freezing all non-boss monsters in their tracks, allowing for a very relaxed playstyle. However, bosses are not only affected by this, and that’s where you should pay attention.

Gem drops are restricted by level, and only high level monsters can drop high level gems. However, using them is not restricted by level and this allows you to use high level gems, on lower level items, while leveling a secondary character, which makes it very powerful. You can always extract gems after you’re done with that item, so you don’t lose your gems.

If you enjoyed this Wolcen Build Guide be sure to check out more on our Wolcen Lords of Mayhem Wiki. You can also try out Wolcen Build Guide: Voodoo Queen


Arab hardcore PC gamer, I'm from Egypt, and I've been gaming on PC and writing since 2003. I do Fan fiction, forums Role Playing, and guides for games. I joined Fextralife by Jan 2018, to share my views and ideas on the hobbit we all enjoy and love, Gaming. Favorite genres: RPG, ARPG, Third Person, Isometric, Hack&Slash, and Adventure. Occasionally I'd dip in MMOs, Simulation, or Strategy.

View my other posts

Log in to leave a Comment