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Bleeding Split Arrow/Puncture Gladiator Build

Bleeding Split Arrow/Puncture Gladiator Build

The Best and most popular Bleeding build in Path of Exile for Patch 3.13 based on the Gladiator Class

Split Arrow/Puncture
Gladiator build

Updated for Patch 3.13

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Guide notes
July 30, 2020
-Build created
August 2, 2020
-Added gameplay video
January 18, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.13


Split Arrow/Puncture is currently the best combination of Bleed Skills in Path of Exile. It offers very high single-target damage, but also insane clear with entire screens of monsters falling down to Split Arrow's Piercing projectiles. This build doesn't use Crimson Dance, as by maximizing the speed at which your Bleeding damage is dealt, it's nearly impossible to get to the 8 Stacks of Bleeding DoT anyway. This build offers insane clear speed with Bleeding enemies exploding on kill for 10% of their Maximum Life, which causes enemies to die instantly all over your screen. Gladiator is simply the best Class for this build, as it offers very high Bleeding damage bonuses, but also very high Movement and Attack Speed bonuses, with an additional Damage Mitigation from Endurance Charges and Outmatch and Outlast Passive.

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1. Gameplay

This is a Ranged build based on Bleeding Damage over Time. However, with how fast your Bleeding DoT is applied to enemies, it feels like you would do all the damage with your initial Hits, making it a very enjoyable build to play. Split Arrow, thanks to Pierce and high base Physical DPS can take down entire screens of enemies within seconds, and Puncture is used to apply a much more potent Bleed effect against Bosses. You are also going to use Ensnaring Arrow with Mirage Archer, to slow down enemies and increase the Projectile damage they take. For the defenses, you are going to have a decent Life Pool, high Armour Rating from Items and Iron Reflexes Passive, and high damage taken reduction from Endurance Charges, Outmatch and Outlast, and Soul of Steel Passives. For mobility, you can use Dash, which is apparently a faster Movement Skill than Blink Arrow because of the limited Attack Speed with Bows in this build.

0:08 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
0:33 Tier 16 Lava Chamber
0:50 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
1:14 Tier 16 Park
1:38 Tier 16 Cage

This video was recorded on a level 93 Gladiator with 4,900 Maximum Life and approximately 900k Puncture DoT DPS and 300k Split Arrow DoT. The Bow used was a 350 Physical DPS Elder Base Short Bow with level 18 Vicious Projectiles Support Gem on it. It was recorded pre 3.13 - please wait for an updated video which we expect to add soon

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • fantastic clear speed with multiple piercing projectiles and exploding enemies
  • solid single-target DPS from Puncture which can take down any Boss in the game
  • easy to gear up
  • all content viable
  • solid defenses with high damage reduction bonuses
  • can't do Reflect Physical Damage Maps
  • mediocre Leech


3. Leveling tips

Leveling with Bows is quite easy and fast. This is a Bleed build where most damage comes from Bleed DoT Multiplier sources that are not accessible on lower levels, so initially, you will focus on increasing your base Physical DPS (by upgrading your Bow and getting Items with Added Physical Damage to Attacks). Bleeding itself will be just an addition to your DPS on lower levels. You should be using the same Skills during leveling as later on, not only they are quite good for that purpose, but it will also help you master them while you are progressing through the campaign, and the transition into Maps should be very smooth then. Below you will find the basic Gem links for the leveling part, as well as, some very useful Unique Items that you can try to obtain to fasten the process.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Split Arrow setup
Split Arrow Split Arrow - one of the first Bow Attacks which shoots several Arrows by default, offering good clear speed and high added Base Physical Damage
Chance to Bleed Chance to Bleed Support - adds high bonus Physical Damage to Supported Attacks
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - increases the Physical Damage of your Projectiles and the Bleeding it inflicts
Maim Support Maim Support - increases the damage of your Split Arrow and inflicts Maim on enemies, increasing Physical Damage they take and slowing them down
Puncture setup
Puncture Puncture - this is the primary single-target Skill used in this build which deals greatly increased damage with Bleeding
Chance to Bleed Chance to Bleed Support
Physical Projectile Attack Damage Support Vicious Projectiles Support
Brutality Support Brutality Support - greatly increases Physical Damage dealt by Supported Skills
Utility Gems
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - you won't be using a Golem on higher levels, but during leveling the extra Accuracy can be really useful
Vulnerability Vulnerability - the best Curse for this build which increases your Physical and Bleeding Damage
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - adds extra Physical Damage to your Attacks
Dash Dash - the recommended Movement Skill which increases your mobility


We recommend killing all bandits for the additional 2 Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Bravery 2) Deadly/Heavy Draw 3) Dirty Technique 4) Far Sight 5) Thick Skin

61 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Bloodletting 2) Bloodless 3) Red Storm 4) Constitution

Recommended leveling items:

Blackheart Blackheart - one of the best physical DPS leveling ring which grants very high bonus Damage on lower levels
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 - an excellent Belt that grants high DPS and Life bonuses
+(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
Karui WardKarui Ward - pretty much the best Amulet for leveling with Bows
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Strength
+100 to Accuracy Rating
30% increased Projectile Speed
10% increased Movement Speed
30% increased Projectile Damage
SilverbranchSilverbranch - a very powerful Bow that is available as early as level 1
+1 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+10 Mana gained on Kill
+30 to Accuracy Rating
DrillneckDrillneck - an amazing Quiver that will also work just fine in low and medium Tier Maps. It grants Pierce so it either saves you one Support Gem or allows you to play efficiently without the Lioneye's Vision Body Armour
Arrows Pierce an additional Target
(8-12)% increased Attack Speed
+350 to Evasion Rating
+(40-50) to maximum Life
Adds (10-14) to (19-24) Physical Damage to Bow Attacks
Arrows deal 50% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments to Targets they Pierce


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: 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] Split Arrow
(general usage, AoE, socketed in Lioneye's Vision for extra Pierce)
Split Arrow Split Arrow - one of the primary Skills used in this build which fires several piercing projectiles which will obliterate most regular and Rare enemies on your screen
Vicious Projectiles Vicious Projectiles Support - one of the most powerful Support Gems for this setup. It increases both the Initial Hit damage but also DoT caused by Split Arrow
Brutality Support Brutality Support - greatly increases Physical Damage by makes Supported Skills unable to deal Elemental or Chaos Damage (which is irrelevant for us here)
Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support - increases the damage you deal with Ailments
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - greatly increases Damage over Time you deal with linked Skills
Chance to Bleed Chance To Bleed Support - grants more Damage with Bleeding
Note: all the Support Gems except for Chance to Bleed have Awakened variants which grant even higher DPS bonuses
[DPS] Puncture
(single-target DPS, socketed in Bow)
Puncture Puncture - this skill offers the highest Bleeding Damage out of all skills that can be used with Bows. It's used solely for taking down Bosses so you will be fine with it firing just one projectile
Physical Projectile Attack Damage Support Vicious Projectiles Support - you may have this Gem added from an Elder Bow affix, so if that's the case you can use Maim Support instead
Brutality Support Brutality Support
Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support
Chance to Bleed Chance To Bleed Support
[UTILITY] Vulnerability Curse
(granted by Ring affix)
Vulnerability Vulnerability - increases Physical Damage and DoT you deal to Cursed enemies making it the best Curse for this build
Dash Dash - the recommended Mobility Skill. It gives you a quick way to avoid Attacks and Spells and progress through areas faster
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - increases the number of Dash's Charges and increases their cooldown recovery speed
Malevolence Malevolence - increases your Damage over Time Multiplier, and also allows you to use powerful Watcher's Eye Jewel with either even more Multiplier or the increased speed at which Ailments deal their damage
Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone - should be used in Sand Stance for extra defensive utility
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - this Herald Spell adds Physical Damage to your Attacks, slightly increasing your DPS
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces Mana Reservation cost of Supported Spells. Has to be level 2 or higher to have any effect
[UTILITY] Enduring Cry
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - generates Endurance Charges and grants high Life Regeneration which works in a similar way to an Instant Recovery Life Flask
[UTILITY] Ensnaring Arrow
Ensnaring Arrow Ensnaring Arrow - a very useful Bow Attack that slows down enemies and increases Projectile Damage they take. This Skill has to be cast once in a while and it will be then triggered automatically by your Mirage Archer
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - creates a Mirage Archer on your back after you hit enemies with linked Bow Attack. The Archer will use that Attach on its own with reduced Attack Speed
Greater Multiple Projectiles Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
[UTILITY]  Molten Shell
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts Supported Spells after you take a certain amount of damage
Molten Shell Molten Shell - grants increased Armour and a protective shield based on 20% of your Total Armour Rating

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended gear for our Split Arrow/Puncture Gladiator Bleed Build. This build doesn't have any specific Unique Items required, however, it's important to stack as much Physical Damage over Time Multipliers as possible, which kind of enforces you to follow up a predetermined route when equipping your character. While this build will work just fine with easily accessible Rares, if you want to have enough DoT DPS to take down end-game Bosses, some investments will be necessary.

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The recommended items from our list will:

  1. Help you cap your Elemental Resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully
  3. You will save at least a couple of hours since all the item requirements are listed

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Physical Damage over Time Multiplier
  4. Added Physical Damage to Attacks
  5. Armour Rating
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - the Best in Slot. You are looking for high defensive stats and possible Delve affix which increases Physical Damage taken by nearby enemies
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
Nearby enemies take 9% Increased Physical Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Chaos Resistance
Devoto's Devotion(Helmet) Devoto's Devotion - a very decent option if you want to focus on efficiently farming low Tier Maps with this build
10% reduced Physical Damage
+(50-65) to Dexterity
16% increased Attack Speed
(150-200)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(15-25)% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Mercury Footprints
Helmet enchantments:
40% increased Puncture Damage
30% increased Vulnerability Curse Effect
Ensnaring Arrow has 30% increased Debuff Effect
The Crimson Storm(Weapon) The Crimson Storm - a budget option which should be much cheaper than a Crafted or Elder Rare alternative. It offers no DoT bonuses, except for high added Physical Damage against Bleeding enemies
6% increased Movement Speed
(140-170)% increased Physical Damage
(25-35)% increased Critical Strike Chance
50% chance to inflict Bleeding on Critical Strike with Attacks
Enemies you inflict Bleeding on grant (60-100)% increased Flask Charges
Adds (100-120) to (150-165) Physical Damage against Bleeding Enemies
50% chance to Maim Enemies on Critical Strike with Attacks
<One Veiled Mod>
Bow(Weapon) Rare Bow - the BiS option in the Weapon slot. You are looking for either Elder one with Vicious Projectiles Support or an Elder/Delve Bow with 60% Chance to Bleeding inflicted with it to deal 100% more damage. Both options should also have a reasonable Physical DPS
Min. requirements:
300 Physical DPS
Optional affixes:
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Vicious Projectiles
60% chance for Bleeding inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage
Bleeding you inflict deals Damage (22–25)% faster
Rare Quiver(Quiver) Rare Quiver - another BiS option as it can grant additional Physical Damage over Time Multiplier on top of some extra damage and defensive bonuses
Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
20% Physical Damage over Time Multiplier
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Lioneye's Vision(Body Armour) Lioneye's Vision - our top recommendation for the Body Armour slot. It grants high Life, high Armour, and the extra Pierce Support for your Split Arrow setup
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 15 Pierce
(200-250)% increased Armour
+(60-100) to maximum Life
0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
+160 Dexterity Requirement
Enemy Projectiles Pierce you
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get a pair with the highest maximum defensive stats and high Movement Speed
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
Bleeding you inflict deals Damage #% faster
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Elemental Resistances
Boot enchantments:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise with appropriate stats will be your best choice
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life% (Elder Belt)
Increased Damage (Crafting Bench)
Ryslatha's Coil(Belt) Ryslatha's Coil - another great Belt which boosts your base Physical Damage dealt with Attacks
(20-30)% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
+(20-40) to Strength
(30-40)% more Maximum Physical Attack Damage
(40-30)% less Minimum Physical Attack Damage
Adds 1 to (15-20) Physical Damage to Attacks
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Gain 50 Life when you Stun an Enemy
Citrine Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - we need to get some extra DPS here with extra Life
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
40 Dexterity
15% Physical Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Recommended Anointments:
Growth and Decay
Discipline and Training
Steel Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - should Cap your Resistances, and possibly grant some additional DPS. You should also get one Ring with Vulnerability Curse on it
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
Curse Enemies with level # Vulnerability on Hit
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - primarily focus defensive Stats here
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Physical Damage over Time Multiplier
Lioneye's Fall(Jewels) Lioneye's Fall - it has to be socketed to the very left of your Passive Tree to switch Passives leading to Cleaving/Slaughter and Razor's Edge to apply to your Bows
Melee and Melee Weapon Type modifiers in Radius are Transformed to Bow Modifiers
Watcher's Eye(Jewels) Watcher's Eye - the Jewel which increases your DPS significantly. You can either get one that makes Ailments deal damage faster or with DoT Multiplier. It can cost a couple of Exalted Orbs though
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura modifiers:
+(18-22)% to Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence
Damaging Ailments you inflict deal Damage (10-15)% faster while affected by Malevolence
Thread of Hope(Jewels) Thread of Hope - another must-have Jewel in this build. You need to get one with a "Medium Ring" modifier on it. It will allow you to pick up Passives that allow you to get Frenzy and Endurance Charges for Outmatch and Outlast Passive, and at the same time increase your damage. If you are playing in Blood Stance, you can also consider picking up Versatile Stance Passive
Only affects Passives in <size> Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Allocates Passives:
Disciple of the Unyielding
Disciple of the Slaughter
Versatile Stance (optionally)
Viridan Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and Damage Bonuses
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Physical Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Damage with Bows/Damage over Time
Elemental Resistances
Suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Silver Flask of Adrenaline (Increased Movement Speed)
  4. Experimenter's Basalt Flask of Iron Skin (Increased Armour)
  5. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
Divine Life FlaskSulphur FlaskSilver FlaskBasalt FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.