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Bladestorm/Blood and Sand Gladiator build

Bladestorm/Blood and Sand Gladiator build

Versatile Melee build with insane mobility and very high sustained DPS

Bladestorm
Blood and Sand Gladiator build

Updated for Patch 3.7

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Estimated budget: medium
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Guide notes
June 8, 2019
-Build created
June 9, 2019
-Updated PoB link
June 14, 2019
-Added Gameplay video

 

Bladestorm is one of the newest Melee Skills that got introduced in Patch 3.7. It's a Melee attack which creates up to three spinning tornadoes that periodically deals 50% of your Weapon's damage. Bladestorm offers very high sustained single-target damage if you get all three of them to damage the same enemy while in Blood Stance, as well as amazing mobility and area coverage if you switch to Sand stance for increased AoE and Movement Speed. Overall, this build provides unparalleled mobility for a Melee class, amazing clear speed, and very high DPS. It's also fully viable for a starter build, since Gladiator is one of the most durable classes thanks to Block mechanic, and can do just fine with just self-found equipment.

You can also check our other PoE build right here Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Gameplay

This is a very fast-paced and versatile melee build. You Charge between packs of enemies with greatly increased speed thanks to Close Combat Support Gem and leave deadly tornadoes behind you to obliterate everything. This build also utilizes the new Stances; you should use Blood Stance against Bosses, when you need more single-target damage, and switch to Sand Stance for greatly increased mobility and area coverage. For the defenses, this build uses high Life, max Block Chance, and some additional Physical Damage mitigation from Channelling-related Passives, and Armour Rating.  You will also need to master the use of "Attack in place" button (default "Shift" on PC) as the targeting sometimes feel way off, and you will find yourself circling around monsters instead of obliterating them.

We have also decided this Gladiator to dual-wield Ahn's Might swords for insane damage bonuses if your maximum number of Frenzy Charges equals zero. This is achieved by using an extra Pacifism Unique Jewel. Ahn's Might provides amazing damage, and it's relatively cheap for such a powerful sword.


0:06 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
0:48 Tier 14 Courthouse
1:01 Tier 15 Palace
1:25 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:44 Shaper

The video was recorded on a level 93 Gladiator on Standard Softcore mode


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • extremely high damage due to multiple tornadoes hitting the same enemy simultaneously
  • capped Attack and Spell Block Chance which makes up for this builds' solid defenses
  • terrific mobility and very high clear speed on Maps
  • one of the most interesting new Melee builds out there
CONS
  • cannot do Physical Reflect Maps
  • requires befriending the "Attack in place" button to make it work properly

 

3. Leveling tips

Leveling Gladiator is very easy. You should mainly focus on increasing your Physical DPS by upgrading the weapon and getting Rings and Gloves with flat added Physical Damage to Attacks. Your core defenses come from your Passives, so you should do just fine in that matter just with the gear you find while completing the campaign. As always, getting extra Movement Speed is always great for leveling which can be achieved by getting the Uniques listed below.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Cleave setup
Cleave Cleave - one of the first Melee attacks available in Path of Exile. Grants decent damage and good AoE which makes it a solid leveling skill
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - great buff to your DPS
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - increases the Physical Melee Damage you deal with supported skills
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
Bladestorm setup
Bladestorm Bladestorm - core skill used in this build. It creates three spinning tornadoes which deal a portion of your weapon's damage with each Hit. It should be used as soon as you reach level 28
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Pulverise Support Pulverise Support - grants very high bonus DPS at a cost of reduced Attack Speed
Close Combat Support Close Combat Support - grants high bonus damage as well as increases your Attack Speed with Movement Skill for a short duration allowing faster travel between packs
Utility Gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - summons a Totem which increases your Melee Damage
Punishment Punishment - recommended Curse for this build
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants very high bonus DPS based on your Physical Damage
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - recommended Movement Skill used in this build
Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - recommended Golem which increases your Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance

Bandits:

It's recommended to kill all the Bandits for two extra Passive Points, however, you can also help Alira for the extra Crit. Multiplier

Leveling Skill Trees:

36 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Art of the Gladiator 2) Master of the Arena 3) Dervish 4) Vitality Void 5) Bloodless

60 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Blade of Cunning 2) Barbarism 3) Heart of the Warrior

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 which grants a lot of flat Physical Damage
+(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
+(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

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 - has very high Physical DPS and you can socket your Ancestral Warchief in here for the extra Support Gem

+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
 

Seven League StepSeven League Step - they are quite expensive, but they provide the highest possible Movement Speed bonus out of all Boots in Path of Exile

50% increased Movement Speed
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
 

 

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree
115 Points Path of Building(PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Painforged
  2. Violent Retaliation
  3. Versatile Combatant
  4. Arena Challenger

Pantheon:

Major God: there are two choices depending on if you are grinding Maps or want to challenge end-game Bosses.

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%

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] Bladestorm setup
Bladestorm Bladestorm - your primary DPS skill used in this build. Use it in Blood Stance against Bosses and Sand Stance when leveling and farming
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - one of the core Support Gems for all Melee/Physical skills
Pulverise Pulverise Support - grants very high bonus Melee Damage at the cost of reduced Attack Speed
Close Combat Support Close Combat Support - increases your Melee Damage based on proximity, and causes your Movement Skills to have greatly increased Speed
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - makes every third Hit with supported skills deal greatly increased damage
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - increases all Area Damage dealt at the cost of reduced AoE
[UTILITY] Auras
Hatred Hatred - grants very high bonus Cold Damage based on your Physical DPS
Precision Precision - grants increased Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - allows you to use the new Blood and Sand stances. Blood Stance grants increased Damage, and Sand Stance increased AoE
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the amount of Mana Reserved by supported skills
[UTILITY] Ancestral Warchief
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - this Totem increases your Melee Damage while active
[MOBILITY] Whirling Blades
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - one of the fastest Movements Skill in PoE
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Fortify Support Fortify Support - hits with Whirling Blades will grant the Fortify buff
[UTILITY] Steelskin and Vaal Haste
CwDT Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast Steelskin. It's optional as when timed well, self-casting Steelskin can be much more effective, but when triggered automatically it's just much more convenient to play
Steelskin Steelskin - grants a very solid defensive buff which absorbs up to 2200 damage
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - Vaal Aura which grants greatly increased Attack, Cast, and Movement Speed bonuses for a short duration
Increased Duration Increased Duration Support - increases the maximum duration of Vaal Aura and Steelskin
[UTILITY] Riposte/Punishment setup
Riposte Riposte - a counter-attack which can be triggered up to 2.5 times per second. It's used to apply your Curse and generate Power Charges
Curse on Hit Curse on Hit Support - makes Riposte apply your Supported Curse
Punishment Punishment - recommended Curse for this build which increases your Physical Melee Damage and Attack Speed after hitting a cursed enemy
Power Charge on Critical Power Charge on Critical Support - generates Power Charges on Crits. with Riposte
[UTILITY] Ice Golem
CwDT Cast when Damage Taken Support - will resummon your Golem after you take a certain amount of damage
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - recommended Golem for this build. It increases your Accuracy Rating and Crit. Chance


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5. Gear Setup

This Bladestorm Gladiator build is very easy to gear up and quite flexible in terms of item choices. We have decided to base it on the Ahn's Might swords which have very high base DPS and grant amazing bonuses when your maximum Frenzy Charge count equals 0, but this build will do just fine with any Rare/High Physical DPS Swords.

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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 (we aim at 100% with Ahn's Might bonuses)
Starkonja's Head(Helmet) Starkonja's Head - very solid Helmet with a great defensive utility
50% reduced Damage when on Low Life
+(50-70) to Dexterity
10% increased Attack Speed
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(100-130)% increased Evasion Rating
+(80-100) to maximum Life
150% increased Global Evasion Rating when on Low Life
Abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - the best in the slot in terms of raw DPS. However, Physical Hits you don't manage to block will hurt you a lot
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 Bladestorm Damage
Ahn's Might(Weapon) Ahn's Might  - optional weapons for this build which have very high base DPS and grant terrific bonuses when you dual-wield them and use the Pacifism Jewel
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
Adds (80-115) to (150-205) Physical Damage
(15-25)% increased Critical Strike Chance
-1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
10% increased Area of Effect
+100 Strength Requirement
+50% Global Critical Strike Multiplier while you have no Frenzy Charges
+(400-500) to Accuracy Rating while at Maximum Frenzy Charges
Jewelled Foil(Weapon) Rare One-Handed Sword  - just aim for the highest Physical DPS. Jewelled Foil is a very solid base thanks to the implicit Crit. Multiplier bonus
Min. requirements:
350 Physical DPS
1.75 Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Increased Critical Strike Chance
Loreweave(Body Armour) Loreweave - our recommended choice for this build. It grants all the important stats that we need in this build
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)%
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - a solid option for leveling and farming. A good-rolled Elder piece with extra Crit. Chance to Attacks is the best in the slot but will cost you a lot
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Attacks have +# to Critical Strike Chance
Belly of the Beast(Body Armour) Belly of the Beast - great well-rounded Body Armour which grants very high defensive bonuses
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
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get pair with the highest maximum Life bonus you can afford
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
28% Fire Resistance
28% Lightning Resistance
28% Cold Resistance
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Stygian Vise - again, aim for high defensive stats - increased Elemental Weapons with Attacks will be also very useful
Min. requirements:
75 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Belt of the Deceiver(Belt) Belt of the Deceiver - despite being very cheap, it’s extremely powerful Belt. Intimidating enemies grant very high additional DPS as it's multiplicative with other bonuses
(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
30 Intelligence
15% All Elemental Resistances
Adds min. 12 Physical Damage to Attacks
30 increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Accuracy Rating
Steel Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Steel Rings are the best possible base. You can also try to get a Shaper Ring and equip Mark of the Elder in the other slot
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30 Intelligence
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Adds min. 7 Physical Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Accuracy Rating
Mark of the Elder(Ring) Mark of the Elder - grants insane Attack Damage bonus if you other Ring is a Shaper Item. It's one of the best Rings for this build 
Adds (3-4) to (10-14) Physical Damage to Attacks
20% chance to Trigger Level 20 Tentacle Whip on Kill
Adds (26-32) to (42-48) Cold Damage to Attacks
(6-10)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(6-10)% increased maximum Life
(60-80)% increased Attack Damage if your other Ring is a Shaper Item
Cannot be Stunned by Attacks if your other Ring is an Elder Item
Spiked Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - extra attack speed may be a good addition in end-game versions of this build
Min. requirements:
65 maximum Life
250 Accuracy Rating
35% Lightning resistance
35% Cold resistance
Optional affixes:
added Physical Damage to Attacks
Attack Speed
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - this should provide extra Life and damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Physical/Melee/Area Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
Murderous Eye Jewel(Jewels) Murderous Eye Jewel - try to get at least one Abyssal Jewel with a chance to gain Onslaught on kill for extra DPS bonus
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Physical Damage to Attacks/Sword Attacks
chance to gain Onslaught on kill for 4 seconds
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Pacifism(Jewels) Pacifism - you will need to equip one of these to benefit from the Ahn's Might additional bonuses
-1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - one of the most popular Flasks in Path of Exile. Grants insane 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 - one of the best utility Flasks for this build which grants high bonus DPS and an amazing defensive bonus. It's a must-have if you are going for the Abyssus
+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
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - grants very high bonus Melee Damage and Armour Rating
+3000 to Armour
(14-20)% Chance to Block during Flask effect
(6-10)% Chance to Block Spells during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (Movement Speed)
  2. Ample Diamond Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
Atziri's PromiseTaste of HateLion's RoarQuicksilver FlaskDiamond Flask


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