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Blade Flurry Gladiator Duelist Build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Blade Flurry Gladiator Duelist Build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Extremely versatile Path of Exile melee fighter. Great defenses from high block chance and very high damage allow it to face any Boss

Blade Flurry
Gladiator/Duelist
Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.6

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Guide notes
March 19, 2019
-Updated for Patch 3.6

Blade Flurry Gladiator is one of the most versatile builds in the game. It’s very tanky due to high block chance while maintaining extremely high damage. It’s very efficient at farming maps, eternal Labyrinth and killing bosses. Blade Flurry scales well, because of damage being boosted for each stage reached while channeling, which combined with high physical damage allows you to clear all the endgame content, including both Shaper and Uber Atziri. Investing in unique items like the Belly of the Beast and The Surrender will help you reach this build’s maximum defensive potential.

The full list of our other Path of Exile Crafty Guides can be found here: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Gameplay

Blade Flurry is one of the most satisfying builds in the game. High block chance allows you to tank most hits while you shield charge between packs of monsters obliterating them with Blade Flurry. The most important part of the gameplay is to channel Blade Flurry until it reaches six stacks and then release it for an explosion.

0:06 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
0:48 Tier 14 Caldera
1:13 Tier 16 Pit of the Chimera
1:46 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra

This video was recorded on a level 92 Gladiator wearing Rat's Nest, Lycosidae, Loreweave, and mainly rare gear


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • extremely high damage due to Blade Flurry stacks scaling
  • over 50% chance to block attacks and spells thanks to the Gladiator Ascendancy points
  • high clear speed on maps
  • over 5000 life with just a little investment
  • one of the best boss farming builds in the game
CONS
  • cannot do reflect physical/elemental mods maps
  • can be expensive if you want to farm endgame bosses

3. Leveling tips

Leveling with Blade Flurry is very easy, because of damage continually being boosted for each stage you reach while channeling. Thanks to this killing packs and bosses go very fast, and the build doesn’t require significant investments during the leveling phase. We recommend using Cleave early on, then replace it with Sunder as soon as you kill Merveil in act 1. After reaching level 28, you can switch to Blade Flurry. Preferably use a one-handed weapon with the highest physical damage you can find and shield in the off-hand slot.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Cleave/Sunder setup
Cleave Cleave - will be the first skill you should be using, and replace it with Sunder as soon as you kill Merveil in Act 1
Sunder Sunder - grants better range and good AoE
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - great buff to your DPS
Maim Support Maim Support - this Gem will increase your damage and maim enemies on hit, which slows their movement speed and increases the damage they take
Blade Flurry setup
Blade Flurry Blade Flurry - you should start using Blade Flurry as soon as you hit level 28. Try to use(and level up) as many Support Gems you plan to use later on with this setup. This always makes the transition to your final build much easier
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - it's the most important Support Gem for this build. Buy it in act 2 as soon as you hit level 18 and use instead of Maim support
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - great buff to your DPS
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Area of Effect Support - increases all damage by a lot in exchange for reduced Blade Flurry AoE. Can be swapped for Increased Area of Effect Support for clearing wider areas, but it’s mandatory for killing bosses
Utility Gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - this totem increases your melee damage and deals a lot of damage on its own. It benefits from the Physical/Melee Support Gems (e.g., Faster Attacks, Maim Support)
Punishment Punishment - definitely the best curse for this build, which grants you more melee damage and attack speed when you hit cursed enemies. You can start using it at level 24
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - combined with Sunder’s seismic wave it will destroy packs of monsters in no time
Shield Charge Shield Charge - this movement skill, linked with Faster Attacks Support allows you to move through locations much faster

Bandits:

It's recommended to help Oak for the additional Physical Damage mitigation, which helps against bosses(especially in the endgame). You can't go wrong with killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points 

Leveling Skill Trees:

32 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Art of the Gladiator 2) Defiance 3) Retaliation 4) Constitution

65 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Testudo 2) Born to Fight 3) Juggernaut

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - great physical DPS leveling rings. Available as soon as level one will grant you amazing DPS bonuses
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
5% increased Physical Damage
Adds 1 to 3 Chaos Damage to Attacks
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(2-4) Life Regenerated per second
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
 
Meginord's GirdleMeginord's Girdle - powerful belt, giving a lot of flat physical damage attacks which scales extremely good with %increased damage from Blade Flurry channeling stages
+(25-35) to Strength
Adds 5 to 15 Physical Damage to Attacks
+25 to Strength
10% increased maximum Life
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
25% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
 
Crest of PerandusCrest of Perandus –this shield grants a lot of life, chance to block and life regeneration, big impact of the shield is noticeable especially in early stages, because you can use it since level 8
Chance to Block: 31%
Evasion: 51
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(5-7.5) Life Regenerated per second
+30% to Lightning Resistance
0.6% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
+5% Chance to Block
 

RedbeakRedbeak –first sword we suggest to use, you can start using since level 1

Physical Damage: 10.2–27.2
Critical Strike Chance: 5.00%
Attacks per Second: 1.59
40% increased Accuracy Rating
100% increased Damage when on Low Life
50% increased Physical Damage
Adds 2 to 6 Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+(20-30) to maximum Life
+2 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
 

Lakishu’s BladeLakishu’s Blade –great physical damage one-handed sword that you can start using at level 28, the same as Blade Flurry

Physical Damage: (45 to 56)–(77.4 to 94)
Critical Strike Chance: 5.00%
Attacks per Second: (1.65 to 1.72)
+190 to Accuracy Rating
(60-80)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (5-8) to (10-14) Physical Damage
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
(40-30)% reduced Stun and Block Recovery
20% chance to Avoid being Stunned
Socketed Gems are supported by Level 1 Multistrike
 

Innsbury EdgeInnsbury Edge - another very high physical sword, that converts part of physical damage to chaos damage and slows enemies with Maim on hit affix

Physical Damage: (79.2 to 93.6)–(145.2 to 171.6)
Critical Strike Chance: 5.00%
Attacks per Second: (1.52 to 1.62)
+330 to Accuracy Rating
(100-140)% increased Physical Damage
(17-25)% increased Attack Speed
0.2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life
25% of Physical Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
Attacks with this Weapon Maim on Hit
 

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

116 Points Skill Tree
116 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Painforged
  2. Violent Retaliation
  3. Versatile Combatant
  4. Outmatch and Outlast

Pantheon:

Major God: there are two choices depending on if you are clearing maps or want to challenge endgame bosses. For clearing maps:

Soul of Lunaris 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

For single target bosses:

Soul of Solaris 6% Physical Damage Reduction if there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50%  less Area Damage from Hits

Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul - 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Blade Flurry setup
Blade Flurry Blade Flurry - your main DPS spell. It grants terrific AoE and perfect single target DPS
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - the most crucial Support Gem for this setup
Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support - newly added Support Gem from Patch 3.6. It greatly increases the damage you deal with supported skills while channeling
Maim Support Maim Support - increases Physical Damage and Maim enemies, which increases the damage they take and slows them
Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support - another excellent Support Gem. It pretty much doubles your base Critical Strike Chance, which scales very well with all Critical Strike Multiplier nodes on the Skill Tree and affixes on your equipment
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - increases all damage dealt at the cost of reduced area of the radius of supported skills
[UTILITY] Enduring Cry, Vaal Haste, and Blood Rage
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - grants Life Regeneration and Endurance Charges based on the number of surrounding enemies
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - increases your Movement and Attack Speed
Blood Rage Blood Rage - increases your Attack Speed, Life Leech and grants Frenzy Charges on a kill, but will drain your life every second
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - this Support Gem will increase the duration of all the buffs linked to it
[UTILITY] Ancestral Warchief
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - this Totem increases your melee damage and deals a lot of damage by itself, which might come in handy versus strong rares or bosses
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - increases the damage of your Ancestral Warchief Totem
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - increases the damage of your Totem and kills immediately all enemies that are below 10% of their maximum Life
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support - increases the radius of your Totem’s attacks
[MOBILITY] Shield Charge
Shield Charge Shield Charge - great movement skill, helps to move between groups of monsters or escaping from danger
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support –linked to Shield Charge increases its movement speed
Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support- it will spend life instead of mana for casting Shield Charge
Fortify Support Fortify Support - hit with Shield Charge will grants you Fortify buff which reduces damage received from hits by 20%
[AURA] Herald of Ash and Hatred
Hatred Hatred - grants the highest additional damage based on your physical damage
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants additional damage boost and ignite nearby monsters after killing an enemy
Enlighten Support Enlighten - Enlighten on level 2 and above will reduce Mana Reservation cost of supported Gems
[UTILITY] Punishment and Ice Golem
Punishment Punishment - the recommended Curse for this build. Use this Gem at level 12
CwDT Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast your Curse. Keep the Gem at level 9
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - recommended Golem for this build. Keep this Minion Gem at level 11


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5. Gear Setup

Blade Flurry is an extremely flexible build. It scales incredibly well with expensive gear and powerful, unique items we have listed. We suggest trying out the end-game version of this build because this is precisely where this build truly shines. Most of the items can be replaced with cheaper alternatives for the leveling/early mapping phase which is included in the following section.

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Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully
  3. Save you at least a couple of hours on planning your build!

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Physical Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance & Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Accuracy Rating (at least 90% is recommended)
  6. Attack Speed
Rat's Nest(Helmet) Rat's Nest - beginner and budget-friendly option for the Helmet slot. Grants a lot of extra DPS and Critical Strike Chance which is very important for this build
15% increased Attack Speed
(60-75)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
150% increased Evasion Rating
(20-25)% increased Rarity of Items found
10% increased Movement Speed
10% reduced Character Size
Abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - this helmet provides the highest bonus DPS. The only downside is increased Physical Damage taken, but it’s negligible with our very high block chance and high Armour Rating
Adds 40 to 60 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(20-25) to all Attributes
+(100-125)% to Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
(100-120)% increased Armour
(40-50)% increased Physical Damage taken
Helmet enchantment:
40% increased Blade Flurry Damage
Jewelled Foil(Weapon) Rare 350+ pDPS one-handed sword  - this weapon is the best for damage output. Preferably it should be Jewelled Foil base type or Corsair Sword if you are lacking accuracy
Min. requirements:
350 Physical DPS
1.75 Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Increased Critical Strike Chance
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour- until you can afford the Belly of the Beast, you can use any rare Body Armour, with decent Life and Elemental Resistance bonuses
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
Belly of the Beast(Body Armour) Belly of the Beast - best in the slot (defense-wise) Body Armour for this build, where you should link Blade Flurry with all its Support Gems. This chest gives an insane amount of Life for your build and extra Elemental Resistances which helps you cap them
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
(150-200)% increased Armour
(30-40)% increased maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
50% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
Extra gore
Loreweave(Body Armour) Loreweave - very solid pick which grants all the important stats and increases your maximum Elemental Resistances
Has 6 Sockets
Adds (4-10) to (14-36) Physical Damage to Attacks
+(8-24) to all Attributes
(20-60)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(15-50) to maximum Energy Shield
+(20-60) to maximum Life
+(20-50) to maximum Mana
(6-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
(15-50)% increased Elemental Damage
Your Maximum Resistances are (76-78)%
Lycosidae(Shield) Lycosidae - the best in the slot. It saves you the effort to find gear with sufficient Accuracy Rating and grants the highest possible DPS at a very low cost
+(10-20) to maximum Life
+(120-160) to Armour
+(30-40) to maximum Life
Your hits can't be Evaded
+(3-5)% Chance to Block
Adds 250 to 300 Cold Damage to Counterattacks
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get pair with the highest maximum Life bonus you can afford
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
20% increased Movement Speed
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - again, we try to grab one with the highest maximum life and elemental resistances bonuses
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
35% Fire Resistance
35% Lightning Resistance
35% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
increased Physical Damage
Belt of the Deceiver(Belt) Belt of the Deceiver - despite being very cheap, it’s extremely powerful. This belt provides good life bonus, resistances and on top of that increases the damage monsters receive by 10%
(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased Physical Damage
You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
+(30-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies are Intimidated
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet 
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
15% All Elemental Resistances
Adds min. 15 Physical Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Accuracy Rating
Attributes
Coral RingCoral Ring(Ring) Rare Rings
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
15% All Elemental Resistances
Adds min. 5 Physical Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Accuracy Rating
Attributes
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - extra attack speed may be a good addition in end-game versions of this build
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
25% Fire resistance
25% Lightning resistance
25% Cold resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
Maligaro's Virtuosity(Gloves) Maligaro’s Virtuosity - these are very good gloves, providing a big amount of damage increase but in the expense of defensive stats, so they are the only good option if you are capped on resistances with other items
+(20-30) to Dexterity
5% increased Attack Speed
50% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(20-30)% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
(60-80)% increased Evasion Rating
Glove corruption:
Attacks have +# to Critical Strike Chance
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - this should provide extra Life and damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Generic/Physical/Melee/Area Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - one of the most popular Flasks in Path of Exile. Grants additional Damage and Life Leech
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (10-15)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Taste of Hate(Flask) Taste of Hate - great flask, providing both additional cold damage based on physical damage, reducing a lot of incoming cold damage and grants freeze/chill immunity
+50% to Cold Resistance
+6% to maximum Cold Resistance
20% of Physical Damage taken as Cold Damage during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Flask effect
30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Flask effect
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi’s Concoction - this is an optional flask if you feel like you need more block chance to survive, can be a good replacement for Atziri’s Promise. You can also use Lion's Roar instead (as you can only have one Granite Flask active at the same time)
+3000 to Armour
(14-20)% Chance to Block during Flask effect
(6-10)% Chance to Block Spells during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Iron Skin (increased Crit. Chance and Armour Rating)
Atziri's PromiseRumi's ConcoctionTaste of HateDivine Life FlaskDiamond Flask


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