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Cyclone Blood and Sand Gladiator Build Guide (POE Legion 3.7)

POE Cyclone Blood and Sand Gladiator

Cyclone, one of the most popular skills for melee POE builds out there, and with the launch of Legion and POE 3.7, it only became more so.With a rather simple concept, this POE build can take that idea and go to the moon with it. The more you pump into this, the better it gets, and the beauty of this build is that it’s very easy to gear for initial mapping, making it a pretty good starter build for any POE League.

This offensive monster takes a bit of a unique approach to the pure Physical Damage Cyclone archetype. By using the Gladiator over the beloved Slayer, we get a lot more defensive variety, it’s even viable for both SSF and HC if you’re willing to put the gearing effort in. The reworks to the Passive Tree in 3.7 give a much better feel to Bleed-based builds, making pure Physical damage a much better option than it previously was.

Defensively you’re relying on the combination of Leech, Armour and Resistances to do most of the heavy lifting. Although since you don’t have the power of the Slayer Ascendancy backstopping your Leech effects, it’s usually better to dodge bosses than face-tank. But with 7,000 Life and plenty of Armour, you could easily take on most content with this build. Using Endurance Charges will also keep your Immortal Call up much longer, so keep generating them for best results. And since Gladiator makes this easy for us, why not use it.

You’ll find all you will need to construct this build down below. The guide assumes that you’re going all-out and are maximizing every aspect, but you don’t have to go that far at all to reach a point where the build is enjoyable. Even in the low 90s with less-than-perfect gear, the build runs Maps and Delves just fine. And it’s a great choice as a league starter build for any POE player. If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.

Build Pros

  • Great clear speed
  • Good boss killer
  • Fun and fast
  • HC viable

Build Cons

  • Not the best leveling build
  • Not the best for Elder/Shaper

Passive Tree(s)

Here is the Endgame Passive Tree

Final POE Tree

Pantheon

Upgrade all of these.

Major God: Soul of Solaris

Soul of Lunaris offers great defensive options for mapping. If facing some bosses with lots of DoT, opt for an upgraded Arakaali.

Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul

Abberath offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage. Shakari is another good option for removing Poison from the equation.

Bandits

Kill All for the bonus Passives, offering a bit more flexibility in terms of offense if placed correctly.

Ascendancy skill points

Gladiator

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in this order:

  1. Arena Challenger
  2. Blood in the Eyes
  3. Gratuitous Violence
  4. Outmatch and Outlast

 

Enchants

Helmet: (From Best to Worst)
40% Increased Cyclone Damage
15% Increased Cyclone Attack Speed

Boots:
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently

Gloves:
Commandment of Light or Frost.

You could also use these Corruptions on Gear:

Curse Enemies with Level (10–12) Elemental Weakness on Hit (Gloves)
(4–6)% Increased Maximum Life (Belt, Body Armour)
(8-10)% Increased Attack Speed (Amulet)

Leveling General Tips

Cyclone can run through most of the early game on just a four link by running with some Elemental Damage from multiple Heralds. Mana Regen might be a bit of a pain in late game, so some stopgap gear that offers bonuses to Mana Regeneration is useful. You can check out our leveling Uniques guide for some recommendations on that. If you manage to snag a Tabula, go straight for the 6-Link setup below, this will carry you through leveling.

That final fight with Kitava will be a little easier as long as you have both Decoy Totem and Ancestral Warchief to keep adds of your back.

Efficient Farm Locations:

Act 1: The Ledge

Act 2: The Fellshrine Ruins

Act 3: The Docks

Act 4: The Dried Lake

Act 5: The Chamber of Innocence

Act 6: The Ridge

Act 7: The Temple of Decay lv1-2

Act 8: The Harbour Bridge

Act 9: The Blood Aqueduct

Act 10: The Ossuary

Avoid these map mods:

* Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield

* Physical Reflect

Be careful of these map mods:

* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attack should almost never crit you. Spell on the other hand can still hit hard.

* Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles
Scary mod on some bosses and monster types. Some monsters are still able to spam out too many projectiles to handle.

* Area contains two Unique Bosses
Your goal to survive this mode is a combo of extreme DPS and Life. The faster you can down the bosses, the less threat they pose.

* #% increased Monster Movement Speed / #% increased Monster Attack Speed / #% increased Monster Cast Speed
Some bosses are going to be too fast to hit effectively, meaning you’ll spend more time than you normally should kiting them. This combination with Temporal Chains is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

* Players are Cursed with Vulnerability
Negated during mapping with a Warding Flask, but not against bosses. Bleeds from bosses can kill you easily.

* Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains
I would personally avoid this on high-tier maps.

Final 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.

=== MAIN ATTACK ===
Cyclone -> Infused Channeling ->Melee Physical Damage-> Increased Area of Effect/Concentrated Effect -> Maim -> Pulverize

Go for Concentrated Effect for bosses, AoE is for mapping.

=== SECONDARY ATTACK ===

Vaal Ancestral Warchief -> Multiple Totems -> Melee Physical Damage -> Concentrated Effect

Vaal Double Strike -> Ruthless -> Faster Attacks -> Melee Physical Damage

Vaal Double Strike is mostly here for bosses.

=== MOVEMENT ===

Leap Slam -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify

=== AURA/UTILITY ===

Cast When Damage Taken (Level 10) -> Immortal Call (Level 12) -> Increased Duration (Level 20) -> Warlord’s Mark(optional)

Herald of Ash

Herald of Purity

Blood and Sand

You can drop both Warlord’s Mark and Herald of Ash gems if you manage to get the relevant Elder/Shaper mods on gear. This could free up a slot for a Flame Golem for more DPS. Decoy Totem can also help distract bosses and tough enemies if you have the spare slots.

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. The Minimum/Optional requirements listed assume you’re using Rares as a replacement for listed Uniques (where possible).

Stat Priorities:

Life is super important for survivability, especially at endgame. Although be careful not to forsake too many damage mods for it or you won’t be able to kill mobs quick enough for your defenses to handle incoming DPS.

Armour is great for Physical Damage reduction.

Physical Damage is your primary DPS, get this in any way you can, as long as you don’t compromise defenses.

Resistances until capped.

Attack Speed means that you simply attack faster the higher it is. This stat becomes vital for scaling overall DPS. Attack speed is great for Leap Slam to keep Fortify up.

Weapons

Siege Axe bases for Rares is your best bet for both pure Physical Damage and as a cheap option. Even in Legion, most people are opting for 2H weapons, so it should be just a bit easier to get the 2 1H you need for this build. Dual-wielding axes is the absolute best option for virtually all situations using this build. You could to with a Shield if you really want to, but you lose a ton of DPS for not that much defensive gain.

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Min. requirements:
% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana/Life
% Increased Attack Speed
Adds Physical Damage
% Physical Damage
Optional affixes:
% chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (Essence of Horror)
Socketed Attacks deal % more Damage (Serrated Fossil)
+ to Level of Socketed ?? Gems (Faceted Fossil)
% Increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding (Elder)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level ?? Ruthless/% increased Physical Damage (Elder)

Helmet

A Rare can work in this slot, although without some rather strong mods, it will be lagging behind a Unique option that’s much easier to obtain. Although if you are on a trade league, Devoto’s is very likely to be much more expensive than usual this league due to the influx of melee builds. Devoto’s Devotion can really help with clear speed though if you can get it. Eternal Burgonet is your best bet for a Rare base.

Min. requirements:
90 Maximum Life
Attributes (Dexterity, Intelligence)
Uncapped Resistances
% Increased Armour
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Reduced Attribute Requirements
% Reduced Mana Reserved (Bound Fossil)
+ Maximum Life/% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
% Increased Armour (Dense Fossil)

Body Armor

There are several Unique options for this build, each offering slightly different options. Loreweave offers great DPS and is not too difficult to obtain Belly of the Beast offers another tanky option but with the caveat that you’ll want to run a Life Flask to give it the most impact. Tabula Rasa can carry you pretty far as well.

A well rolled Rare will likely work really well with this build as well. Astral Plate will be your best base for both Life and Armour buffs.

There are several ways to further increase the effectiveness of a Rare here, but they will massively increase the currency cost, as a high-end Armour that fits these parameters would be Mirror-service-worthy.

  • A +1/+2 Level to Socketed Gems Corruption is extremely useful if running a Rare.
  • % Increased Effect of Auras on you is good too, that comes from Bound fossils.
  • Getting Reduced Attribute Requirements can really help if you’re struggling with attributes. This can also free up other Affixes as you no longer need to waste them. This would allow you to further increase your DPS. Although getting this mod combination will be extremely hard, and will cost a lot of currency, so bank on just using a crafted affix instead.
  • Getting a high, or possibly Legacy, Increased Life and/or Chaos Resistance roll really helps with survivability.

Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
Attributes (Dexterity)
Optional affixes:
% Increased Maximum Life (Elder, Pristine Fossil)
% Increased Armour (Dense Fossil)
Recover % of Maximum Life on Kill (Elder)
+ to Level of Socketed Support Gems (Elder)
% Increased Intelligence (Shaper)
% increased Damage (Corruption)

Belt

Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. Since you;re primarily focusing on Cold Damage, you need several rolls that synergize with that. Elemental Damage is a good start, and by adding in Life and Resistances, pretty much any Rare offers a good stopgap solution.

Some will opt for the very cheap Cyclopean Coil to get all the Attributes they need, while also increasing damage a bit, although for this build it’s definitely not the best option. Belt of the Deceiver is another cheap starter option for this build.

Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
+ Armour
Optional affixes:
Reduced Flask Charges Used
Increased Flask Duration
% Increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)

Gloves

Check here for some Unique options, most useful while leveling. These are by no means needed for the build to function, just more of a convenience if you’re trying to squeeze every bit of potential out of the optimal version.

For a Rare, opt for Spiked Gloves for the extra Melee Damage. Use the following stats as a baseline for a Rare:

Min. requirements:
+ Maximum Life/% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
Uncapped Resistances
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
% Increased Attack Speed
% Increased Armour (Dense Fossil)
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Reduced Attribute Requirements
% Chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill (Elder)
% Global Chance to Blind Enemies/Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Blind (Shaper)

Boots

Rare boots with max rolled Life, Resists and Movement Speed are great as a generic choice, but you may find yourself a bit more prone to taking hits than you would like. This one is more of a personal judgment call. Here’s the basic requirements for Rare in this slot. Two-Toned Bootes are good here for the extra Resists. An Armour base is best for high Life and Armour.

Min. requirements:
+ Maximum Life/% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)
% Increased Armour
Optional affixes:
% Increased Physical Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
% chance to gain an Endurance Charge on Kill (Elder)
Attributes (Dexterity/Intelligence)

Once you’ve gotten decently into end-game, you may want to switch to a Unique that’s more tailored for the playstyle of the build.

Kaom’s Roots – This is an OK option for the Life and movespeed help, but you will be a little Socket-starved depending on your skill choices. I would say go for a Rare instead.

Amulet

A Rare can work great here, but the best Rare is on which offers some Elemental Damage scaling, and it will not be cheap. Carnage Heart offers a decent starter Unique option for this build while leveling. A decent Rare with some of the following stats is of course another option.

Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
Adds Physical Damage
% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana/Life
% Increased Armour
Uncapped Resistances
Optional affixes:
Attributes (Intelligence)
Chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (Shaper)
% Increased Attributes (Shaper)
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)
% of Physical Damage Leeched as Life (Jagged Fossil)
% Increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)

Rings

Rare rings will likely work best here, Steel Ring bases still offer tons of potential for Physical Damage, so give those a shot.

There are a ton Fossil and Shaper/Elder mods which can be useful here, check out this list. And if you’d like to search for a specific Fossil mod to find out what Fossil it comes from, go here.

Le Heup of All and Berek’s Grip also offer competitive Unique options for the a Unique if you want that. Although a high-end Elder base will get a lot more mileage for this build with the right rolls.

Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana/Life
Adds Physical Damage
Uncapped Resistances
% Increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
% Increased Melee Damage (Elder)
Curse Enemies with Level ?? Warlord’s Mark on Hit (Elder)
Grants Level ?? Herald of Ash Skill (Elder)
Attributes (Intelligence)
% of Physical Damage Leeched as Life (Jagged Fossil)
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)

Flasks

Lion’s Roar – Pure defensive flask with a great utility.

Atziri’s Promise – Offers both more damage and a little defensive buffer.

Other Flasks:

  1. Catalysed Eternal Life Flask of Staunching
  2. Experimenter’s Sulphur Flask of Adrenaline or Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
  3. Chemist’s Basalt Flask of Heat

You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.

Jewels

Jewels can and will offer great DPS increases for this particular POE build. Since we’re using dual-wield Axes, it also opens up the mod pool for Jewels a bit to make a great Jewel for our build easier to obtain.

Abyss Jewels that have a chance to gain Onslaught can also be used in a slot for a damage increase. Watcher’s Eye with buffs to Hatred or any other Auras you use can be really powerful. Rare Jewels will work just as well though in most cases, and be much cheaper.

Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:

Recommended affixes:

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Physical Damage with Axes
  3. % Increased Attack Speed with Axes
  4. % Increased Physical Damage while Dual Wielding
  5. % Increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
  6. % Increased Physical Damage
  7. % Increased Melee Damage
  8. % Increased Area Damage
  9. % Increased Attack Speed
  10. % Increased Damage

Optional affixes:
Attributes (Dexterity/Intelligence)

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