This melee-based build is a great choice for Path of Exile 3.7 and Legion. The game has gotten a huge amount of reworks that focus almost entirely on making the somewhat clunky melee gameplay much more engaging, and with Legion, GGG has succeeded. The patch has completely changed the way both new and old players look at melee builds, so let’s dive back into some good build ideas and see how they handle the challenges of Wraeclast.
To go along with that, we’ve constructed a very strong Physical Damage build that takes Critical Strikes and scales them quite well by applying Bleed stacks for extra DPS.
The concept is very simple, use your first swing of Lacerate to apply some damage to a pack and get Leech started, then use Leap Slam to move between packs and just keep smacking them with Lacerate to sustain. War Banner and Vaal Ancestral Warchief are also good aids, especially against bosses as the passive DPS buffs can help apply more Leech. Keep Vaal Grace in reserve to avoid mob packs or bosses that hit hard.
The defensive aspects rely in mostly staying out of the way at first and then letting your defensive layers mitigate damage with Leech keeping you alive. It’s best to play a little conservatively and nuke down packs from afar wtih Lacerate until you get used to the playstyle of this POE 3.7 build.
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.
- Very Tanky
- Good clear speed
- Simple and defensive playstyle
- Relies on Leech, has no Regen potential
Here is the Endgame Passive Tree
Upgrade all of these.
Major God: Soul of Arakaali
Upgraded, the extra boosts to regen and other defensive layers is unbelievably good. Other major gods can be selected, based on content you are doing and based on personal preference.
Minor God: Soul of Ryslatha
Buffing the effect of your healing is great. Abberath offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage. Any Minor is useful here though. Ralakesh is wasteful as you’re already immune to bleed effects.
Helping Alira is your best option for extra Crit DPS. Kill them all for the two additional passive skill tree points is OK if you can get enough Crit bonuses on gear.
Ascendancy skill points
Preferably in that order:
- Endless Hunger
- Brutal Fervour
40% increased Lacerate Damage
60% increased Lacerate Critical Strike Chance
12% increased Lacerate Area of Effect
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
Regenerate 2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
Commandment of Commandment of Light or Force.
You could also use these Corruptions on Gloves:
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
(4–6)% increased maximum Life
(8–10)% increased Attack Speed
Leveling Items and General Tips
Leveling Uniques: (Check out our leveling Uniques guide)
- Victario’s Flight (Boots)
- Tabula Rasa (Armour)
- Wanderlust (Boots)
- Lochtonial Caress (Gloves)
- Slitherpinch (Gloves)
- Le Heup of All (Ring)
- Goldrim (Helm)
- Meginord’s Girdle (Belt)
- Worm’s Molt (Belt)
- Perandus Blazon (Belt)
- Giantsbane (Gloves)
- Blackheart (Ring)
- Wideswing (2H Axe)
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:
* Physical Damage Reflect
Be careful of these map mods:
* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attacks should almost never crit you. Spells 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. Ailments 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. The basic idea is to swap out to your single-target skill before taking on the boss, so keep that in mind.
=== MAIN ATTACK ===
Lacerate -> Melee Physical Damage -> Damage on Full Life -> Maim -> Brutality -> Pulverize
=== SECONDARY DPS SKILL ===
Vaal Ancestral Warchief -> Bloodlust -> Melee Physical Damage -> Brutality
=== MOVEMENT ===
Leap Slam -> Faster Attacks -> Blood Magic -> Fortify
=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Cast When Damage Taken -> Enfeeble -> Immortal Call -> Increased Duration
Herald of Purity
Blood Rage (Once you have decent Gear)
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).
Depending on your gear choices, you can go for either a lot more DPS at the expense of Life, or go for more defensiveness by sacrificing a portion of DPS. This is your choice. In most cases, I would prefer Life personally, as it’s just a bit more forgiving. If you’re a new player, this may the path for you.
Life is super important for survivability, especially at end-game. 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.
Physical Damage is your primary DPS, get this in any way you can, as long as you don’t compromise defenses.
Resistances until capped.
Depending on your gear, either Armor or Evasion Rating is your primary defensive layer, so scaling the highest value any way you can is great for defenses, especially while bossing. Evasion will be better for most people.
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 your movement skill to keep Fortify up.
Since this is a pure Physical build that stacks Bleed and Crits for extra DPS, those are your areas of focus. You want a two-hand weapon above anything else. Aim for something with as many of the requirements listed below as possible. % increased Attack Speed and % increased Physical Damage Corruptions are good here.
Starforge is your best-in-slot Unique for this POE build, but it will be very expensive in Legion due to demand. A good rare on an Elder base will probably be better for many people.
Adds # Physical Damage
% Increased Physical Damage
Increased Attack Speed
Chance to Deal Double Damage (Shaper Mod)
+ to Weapon Range (Elder Mod)
Increased Attack Speed (Elder Mod variant)
A Rare works best here, the enchant is where most of the power of this slot comes from. I would say going for enchants which increase your main skill damage are best. Devoto’s Devotion is an OK replacement Unique that’s relatively affordable.
90 Maximum Life
Increased Maximum Life
Nearby Enemies take #% Increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)
Reduced Attribute Requirements
Kaom’s Heart is the absolute best choice here. The added extra Life is just pure bliss for this build. And since it relies on so few skills, it’s very possible to bring this gear into the rotation without lacking in slots. Belly of the Beast is another strong Unique option while you’re saving for Kaom’s.
A Rare can work if you have the right corruptions/mods. Aim for a Life base. If going the Rare route, prepare to get needed attributes on the chest in order to get more DPS from your Jewels and other Affixes.
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 Level to Socketed Gems Corruption is extremely useful if running a Rare.
- 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. You only really need this on one item, so scale Physical DPS with the other items
- Getting a high, or possibly Legacy, Increased Life and/or Chaos Resistance roll really helps with survivability if you’re lacking in resists.
100 maximum Life
Increased Maximum Life (Elder Mod)
Physical Damage Buffs
Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. 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 as well. Buffing your damage and Life is the best bet here with Jewels.
Elder/Shaper variants are good too, assuming you can get a good combo of Life and Resists on them.
Another good bet is a Cyclopean Coil. Although this will be really expensive as it’s pretty high-demand. The added life and Attributes are extremely useful, so this is a good option if you want to avoid wasting other affixes on attributes in favor of more DPS, assuming you can afford it.
70 Maximum Life
% Increased Damage
% increased Life Recovery rate (Elder Mod)
Reduced Flask Charges Used
% Increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)
Gloves can be one of the more flexible gear slots while leveling, pick any Unique Gloves which focus on buffing needed Attributes or damage types and you’ll be fine for leveling. Once you hit end-game, opt for a high-end Rare ASAP. If you need help choosing Unique Gloves, refer to the leveling items section above, or go to this list. Haemophilia are a good choice for a Unique.
Rare Gloves with buffs to Physical/Melee damage are great as and endgame option. Try Spiked Glove as a base.
70 Maximum Life
Physical Damage Buffs
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.
70 maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)
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 the best Unique pair of Boots for this build, and will provide decent defensive stun immunity, just be sure you don’t compromise your resists or other defenses using these.
If using a Rare, Get a Shaper/Elder and stack as much Life as you can on your Amulet to prevent feeling too squishy. Carnage Heart is decent for leveling, but you need more Crit Chance in later parts of the game to scale DPS effectively.
50 maximum Life
Adds Physical Damage
10% All Elemental Resistances
% Increased Physical Damage
Ventor’s Gamble rings are a good choice here if you want some Magic Find. Always get a Ventor’s with positive rolls in all cases. It will be a bit more expensive, but not too much more. If using a Rare Ring, use the following start priorities to help guide your selection. Steel Rings are a good base for this build. Rolling high Item Level Elder bases with Essences is a great option if you have the currency.
60 Maximum Life
x% Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
Crit Buffs (Essence Mods)
% Increased Melee Damage (Elder Mod)
Lion’s Roar – Useful utility flask for better defense that also grants a bit more DPS.
- Experimenter’s Sulphur/Jade Flask of Warding (Curse Immunity, Choose Sulphur for DPS, Jade for defense on Evasion)
- Saturated Eternal Life Flask of Grounding (Shock Immunity)
- Experimenter’s Diamond Flask of Curing (Poison Immunity)
- Basalt Flask of Iron Skin (Extra Armour) or Reflexes (Extra Evasion) Choose whichever suffix matches your highest value overall.
You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.
Abyss Jewels that have a chance to gain Onslaught can also be used in a slot for a damage increase.
Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:
- % Increased Maximum Life
- % Increased Attack Speed
- % Increased Attack Speed with Axes/Swords (Pick the one that pairs with your weapon)
- % Increased Melee Damage
- % Increased Physical Damage
- % Increased Crit Chance
Attributes (Dexterity/Intelligence only if needed for max level Gems)