This build is all about simplicity in every aspect. There are some basic flask management skills, and gear requirements that you need, but that’s it. If you’ve leveled a melee character to end-game before, you’re golden with this build. And even if you’re brand new, you can run this build easily with minimal time investment.
Incidentally, if you are brand new, check out our other builds and guides for Path of Exile.
This build focuses on one thing, dealing a ton of elemental damage, and using basic defensive stacks and buffs to stay alive. As long as your gear has enough Armour and Life stacked on it, you’ll be fine for most end-game content. Blade Flurry is the recommended main skill for this version of the build, but it’s very flexible. And since there’s no messing about with complex chains of skills, it’s a perfect build for a League starter as well.
Since this build can be run with Slayer or Champion Ascendancy for the Duelist, it caters to a few different playstyles. I personally recommend Slayer for the Culling and Life Leech that adds both clear speed and survivability. And since Vaal Pact got nerfed, Life stacking become much more important than just flat Leech.
- Great league starter with budget gear for lower content
- Simple mechanics, just basic flask management
- Good clear speed
- Early game can be tedious
- Optimal Shaper/Elder gear is EXPENSIVE
POB link – https://pastebin.com/R3w8KHrw
– Leveling tree:
– Duelist area:
+ Take 1 mana leech node next to Vitality void ( if you have mana problem, respec this later )
– Marauder area:
+ Take Resolute Technique to get rid of accuracy in early game
– Ranger area:
+ This is where you can start going crit
+ Take all attack + crit nodes in Ranger area once you get a decent crit sword only ( respec out of Resolute Technique )
– Take Vaal Pact once you get into map
– Take melee crit nodes back in marauder area:
– Templar area:
– Finish up with all jewels slot and life nodes:
+ This is the finished skill tree, everything after this point does not really matter, take whatever you need on tree.
Major God – Brine King
Minor God – Shakari
Ascendancy skill points
Champion or Slayer
Leveling Items and General Tips
Recommended LvLing Uniques:
Bringer of Rain
Bringer of Rain is literally the easiest path to a technical 6-link for early league or SSF. And since it’s very niche, it’s usually pretty cheap.
– You can use anything in off-hand, these are the nominees (none of these worth more than 2 alchs):
The Dark Seer
– For main-hand, Scaeva can carry you all the way to early mapping: Scaeva
– For leveling skill, use either: Cleave or Lacerate
Avoid these map mods:
- Reflect (All Maps)
- No Leech/Regen (All Maps)
If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.
Skill Gem Setup
You’ll find recommendations for different attack skill setups for this build below. The basic buff and aura setups are down there too.
=== BLADE FLURRY ===
+ Blade Flurry – Inc Crit strikes – Damage on Full Life – Melee phys dmg – Maim/Faster Attack – Inc AOE/Conc effect.
=== LACERATE / REAVE ===
+ Lacerate/Reave – Increased Critical Strikes – Damage on Full Life/ Ruthless – Melee Physical Damage – Multistrike – Increased AOE/Concentrated Effect.
* Note: Lacerate now receives no attack speed penalty.
=== CYCLONE ===
+ Cyclone – Faster attack – Damage on Full Life – Melee Physical Damage – Increased Critical Strikes – Increased AOE/Concentrated Effect.
=== ICE CRASH ===
+ Ice crash – Faster attack / Multistrike – Damage on Full Life/ Ruthless / Weapon elemental damage – Melee phys – Inc Crit strikes – Inc AOE/Conc effect.
* Note: Since Ice crash now supports multi strike, it offers much higher dps potential but I still feel like using Faster attack for better mobility.
=== TECTONIC SLAM ===
+ Tectonic slam – Faster attack / Multistrike – Damage on Full Life/ Ruthless / Weapon elemental damage – Melee phys – Inc Crit strikes – Inc AOE/Conc.
* Note: Since we are not utilize in Endurance charges, using Multistrike is a good option for DPS. Otherwise, find a ring with Warlord mark on hit for charges generation.
=== MOVEMENT ===
Whirling blade/Leap slam – Faster attack – Fortify / Blood magic
=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Blasphemy – Assassin mark – Herald of Ash – Arctic armour
=== GOLEM/BUFF ===
Ice golem, Vaal haste, Blood rage
=== DEFENSE/UTILITY ===
Cast When Damage Taken – Immortal Call – Increased Duration – Vaal lightning trap / Phase run
=== SUPPORT DPS ===
Warchief totem – Concentrated Effect – Melee physical damage – Faster attack
Build Uniques / Example Rare Gear
In this section you will find all the suggested items for this build. We always try to include optional gear in our listing, or try your own assuming you get similar stat rolls. Aim for high-quality Rares if you’re replacing Uniques.
Attributes, particularly Intelligence will struggle a bit in the later levels.
Life and Armour are super important due to the added damage taken from certain items. Reducing incoming DPS is vital to surviving in higher-tier maps.
Critical Strikes are a huge source of damage, buff them whenever possible.
Accuracy is somewhat important because you need to be able to hit in order to deal Crits. Raising weapon accuracy is good, but not the most important stat.
Attack speed can help increase DPS from non-crit damage, but be careful not to sacrifice other more important stats for it.
Corruptions that add skills aren’t worth prioritizing, or risking bricking your important Rares/Uniques. If you do get lucky/wealthy enough to have a backup item, beneficial corruptions that essentially adds another slot like Added Elemental Damage Skill rolls are a good option.
High-end Shaper/Elder Rares will work best in this build. Most people running this build will opt for a one-hand weapon with lots of Physical Damage, paired with a stat stick for buffing defenses and general damage. A Shaper/Elder Rare with extra added elemental damage is BIS.
The reason for using a stack stick over a second weapon with Blade Flurry is because the damage dealt by both weapons in that instance is alternated, not added together.
The requirements below can be split among either main or off-hand slot. Added damage types like % of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage are good, but may not be as strong as T1 Physical buffs due to scaling. Although if you pair these Extra Damage rolls with other rolls in different slots, they become a lot more appealing. Bosses will be tougher if you opt for Elemental Damage rolls though, due to having no resistance penetration on your damage.
% Increased Physical Damage
Added Physical Damage
Abyssus is by far the best option for this build, especially if you manage to get a Lab enchant that buffs your main attack skill. Starkonja’s Head is a great choice due to massive damage buffs and crit chance. It should also be very cheap so it can be obtained easily. Rat’s Nest is also a viable cheap alternative to the BIS.
Belly of the Beast is both BIS, although it’s expensive. Get it 6-linked ASAP. No real replacement for this.
Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for end-game. Other Rares might do in a pinch, but not having good rolls can make you a lot more squishy than is tolerable. Abyss Jewels are also a great source for damage buffs like these. Buffing your damage is and Life is the best bet here.
70 maximum Life
Rare gloves with the stats below, using PoB as a guide, are a good start. Certain Uniques can fill this slot if really necessary, but are not even close to optimal. Maligaro’s Virtuosity is one such example.
50 maximum Life
60% Increased Armour
10% Increased Attack Speed
10% Increased Melee Damage
Any Uncapped Resistances
Rare boots with max rolled Life, Armour, Resists and Movement Speed are BIS. Item Rarity is also decent optional roll here if you don’t need any extra resists, stats or life.
70 maximum Life
25% Increased Armour
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances
Attributes will need some help, so get a corrupted Amulet with as many stats as possible. Getting good Life rolls can help with survivability. The best way to scale damage is to get buffs to both Crit Chance and Multiplier on the amulet.
40 Maximum Life
Rare rings that buff your damage in a substantive way work best, so Physical damage or Crit buffs. Plugging any resist holes is good too. Shaper/Elder Rares with added skills are a great boon for this build, as they can add tons of DPS.
70 Maximum Life
20% All Elemental Resistances
You can swap the mods around if needed due to RNG.
You need tons of life, get as many Maximum life or % Life rolls on your jewels as you can to increase survivability. Anything that buffs Crit Chance or Multiplier is a great way to increase DPS as well.
Increased Maximum Life
% increased Attack Speed