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Elemental Cleave Raider Build

Elemental Cleave Raider Build

A budget-friendly Attack build that uses Cleave Skill to deal Elemental Damage

Elemental Cleave
Raider Build

Updated for Patch 3.21

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Guide notes
January 19, 2022
-Build created
April 22, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.21
Build Overview



Boss DPS:



It's a simple Cleave build that deals Converted Elemental Damage, it's easier to get more damage this way as a Raider. Cleave is a basic Melee Attack that is not classified as a Strike nor a Slam, so don't pay attention to such tags. You're playing as a Raider with the Ascendancy to scale with Frenzy Charges and permanent Phasing making you faster and granting you extra defensives, which is desirable for Melee builds such as this one. The easiest way to convert your Physical Damage to an Elemental one is to equip a Rare Sword - a Fickle, Capricious, or Anarchic Spiritblade. It can be also done with various Masteries, Items, and Skills. The build is a simple one to play and the items are mostly Rare, so you can easily assemble it in SSF.

Your defensive layers on the top of your 6k Maximum Life are permanent Phasing, Fortify, Armour, Spell Suppression Chance, Block Chance, Life Leech, Enduring Cry, and a 50% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments. It's a relatively tanky build. Your Damage comes From the Ascendancy Keystones that grants you increased Damage, Attack Speed, and reduction of Elemental Resistances for nearby enemies. You should also have a high Crit. Chance and Crit. Multiplier. As you follow this guide step by step, you can achieve high Movement, and Attack Speed to enjoy the fast-paced playstyle that Raiders are associated with.

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1. Gameplay

Cleave is your only damaging ability, it has a short range and requires you to approach enemies up close. For boss fights deploy your Ancestral Totems to increase your offenses. For a Guard Spell use Molten Shell, Dash is a recommended Travel Skill. You should have an Ice Golem and Blood Rage active at all times to enhance your DPS. For Mana-Reserving Spells use Determination, Skitterbots, Defiance Banner, Blood and Sand, and Precision. It's a good idea to have an Enduring Cry with Call to Arms to use during emergencies.

Full gameplay video:


This video was recorded on a level 94 Raider using a 500 Physical DPS Anarchic Spiritblade and a set of random rares. We didn't really use any mechanic to cause mobs to explode to boost the clear speed, which will be one of our main topics in the upcoming Patch when it comes to this build


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • affordable
  • it's quite fast thanks to Raider's Unique properties
  • a sturdy build with a lot of Life, Armour, and Spell Suppression
  • short-range and melee
  • can't do Elemental Reflect maps


3. Leveling tips

You can start with Cleave as it's available since you reach the first town. Use a Sword since it's easier to get the corresponding damage type on your Passive Skill Tree. Try to Convert your Physical Damage to Elemental from the start, you can go for the Cold Mastery or just use Hrimsorrow Unique Gloves. At level 30 you can start using Fickle Spiritblade for a complete Damage conversion. Keep your Elemental Resistances high, and look for an additional Physical or Elemental Damage with Attacks mods on your gear. Physical as Elemental Damage mods are especially good.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Cleave setup
Cleave Cleave - it's your main damage ability that deals damage in front of your character
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - you deal increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - Melee Physical Damage is increased but your Attack Speed is reduced
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - more Elemental Damage and Critical Strike Chance, Mana Cost of linked Skills is reduced
Auras setup
Hatred Hatred - adds Cold Damage based on your Physical Damage to your Attacks, and increases your Cold Damage
Precision Precision - Increased Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - increased Fire Damage based on your Physical Damage, enhances your Clear Speed
Curse and Dash setup
Dash Dash - use Dash or Flame Dash to move faster
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - a curse that lowers Elemental Resistance of your Opponents


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Passive Tree
Get the Cold Mastery for Damage Conversion, Elemental Mastery for Extra Elemental Damage, and head for the Sword Cluster

69 Points Passive Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Life, and Mana Leech, Melee, and Elemental Damage


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - more Damage with Attacks, Attributes, and Elemental Resistances
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - a Helmet to give you a lot of Elemental Resistances
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - allows you to six-link any setup from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Meginord's GirdleMeginord's Girdle - an early game item that adds Strength and Physical Damage to your Attacks
+(25-35) to Strength
+25 to Strength
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage to Attacks
10% increased maximum Life
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
25% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
HrimsorrowHrimsorrow - a great source of Damage Conversion early on, when it's needed
+(20-30) to Strength
+(40-50) to Evasion Rating
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
100% of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage
Reflects 100 Cold Damage to Melee Attackers

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

113 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster or Unique Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Way of the Poacher
  2. Avatar of the Slaughter
  3. Quartz Infusion
  4. Avatar of the Veil


Major God: Soul of The Brine King: 1% You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Shakari: You cannot be Poisoned while there are at least 3 Poisons on you; 50% less Duration of Poisons on You


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Cleave setup
Cleave Cleave - An Attack that deals Melee Damage in front of your Character. Divergent Quality is recommended for a better AoE.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - you deal increased Elemental Damage with Attacks. Using the Awakened variant will allow you to easily clear Elemental Reflect Maps as well
Trinity Support Trinity Support - greatly increases your Elemental Damage if you can quickly generate Resonance Charges. When using Anarchic Spirit Blade you will deal all three damage types randomly, making it very easy to do so
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - your Skills cost Less Mana, the Critical Strike Chance, and the Elemental Damage is increased
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support  - you repeat the Attack additional times with greatly increased Attack Speed but reduced Damage. Has an Awakened variant
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - your Melee Physical Damage is increased, but your Attacks Speed is reduced. Has an Awakened variant which can Indimitade enemies on Hit (recommended if you don't have it from Lethal Pride)
[UTILITY] CwDT setup
Molten Shell Molten Shell - your Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take for a short time. You can use a level 21 Molten Shell with better effect and cast it manually by socketing it under your left mouse button
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - Ice Golem grants you a Buff for more Critical Strike Chance and Accuracy
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - linked Skills cost Life instead of Mana
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - linked Skills will be triggered automatically as you take enough damage
[UTILITY] Auras setup
socketed in your Shield with Reservation Efficiency
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - You have increased Armour and Evasion Rating, while nearby enemies have reduced Critical Strike Chance. When placed Taunts enemies and grants you more AoE.
Determination Determination - added and increased Armour for your character
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - summon two invulnerable Minions that Chills and Shock opponents since you can't do it yourself with Secrets of Suffering
[UTILITY] Ancestral Totems setup
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - a Totem that grants you more Attack Speed
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - a Totem that grants you more Melee Attack Damage
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to summon both Ancestral Totems at the same time
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - Totems will kill on Hit any opponent below 10% of their Maximum Life
[UTILITY] Warcry setup
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - a Warcry that regenerates your Life, much like a Life Flask
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support
[UTILITY] Precision
Precision Precision - increases your Accuracy Rating and a Chance to Strike Critically
[UTILITY] Blood and Sand
Blood and Sand Blood and Sand - you can choose between having increased AoE but dealing less Area Damage, and vice versa
[UTILITY] Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - your life is being drained for a price of increased Attack Speed and Life Leech
Dash Dash - Dash is a simple Movement Skill that enhances your mobility
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - This Curse that reduces Elemental Resistance should be applied via Ring Affix or a Corrupted Item Implicit. If you can apply an extra Curse go for Assassin's Mark.


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6. Gear Setup

There are no mandatory Unique gear pieces that the build won't work without, but there are some Unique Jewels that are heavily recommended, most of which are cheap. The stats that you should be especially interested in are Elemental and Physical Damage, Accuracy Rating until you break approximately 95% Hit Chance, High Chance for a Critical Strike a Critical Multiplier are extremely helpful too. For defensive stats look for Maximum Life and Armour, Evasion Rating will be converted to Armour via Iron Reflex. Spell Suppression Chance and Block Chance are worth looking for as well. You should have no problem with reaching the required Attributes for Gems and Items. The overall price of the items is low, it can be played as a starter build.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. to cap your Elemental Resistances
  2. Maximum Life
  3. increased or added Elemental or Physical Damage with Attacks
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier
  6. Area of Effect and Area Damage
  7. Accuracy Rating
  8. Frenzy Charge related mods
  9. Chaos Resistance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Rare Helmets doesn't offer many useful mods, the most valuable stats are the basic defenses and some of the offensive mods, Warlord's influenced items can provide some of the best ones.
Min. requirements:
+50% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Accuracy Rating
increased Elemental Damage
Abyssus(Helmet) Abyssus - Grants you a lot of DPS, but as a drawback, you take more Physical Damage making you more fragile unless you have a lot of Armour. You can also use the Replica version if your Elemental Resistances mitigate more Elemental Damage than your Armour Physical Damage.
+(20-25) to all Attributes
Adds 40 to 60 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(100-125)% to Melee Critical Strike Multiplier
(100-120)% increased Armour
(40-50)% increased Physical Damage taken
Helmet enchantments:
Cleave enchantment mods
Sword(Weapon) Rare Anarchic Spiritblade- Anarchic Spiritblade is the weapon you should strive for, as its Implicit Converts your Physical Damage to Damage of a random Element - Fire, Cold, or Lightning. Try to get high base Damage and other offensive affixes. 
Min. requirements:
300+ DPS
Optional affixes:
Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Attacks with this Weapon Penetrate #% Elemental Resistances
Chance to Deal Double Damage
shield(Weapon) Rare Shield - Get the reservation efficiency mod to cast three of your Mana-reserving Spells at a lower cost. Maximum Life is another mod worth looking for.
Min. requirements:
Socketed Gems have #% increased Reservation Efficiency
+90 to maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
increased Armour
increased Global Physical Damage
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Get an Armour-based Body Armour as you will need 6 Red Sockets. It shouldn't be hard to find a decent one as you won't need any specific mods.
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
Attacks have +1.5% to Critical Strike Chance
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
Enemies you Kill have a chance to Explode, dealing a tenth of their Maximum Life as Physical Damage
increased Area of Effect
Loreweave(Body Armour) Loreweave - It's overall a solid choice for most builds that deal Converted Elemental Damage with Attacks, the increased Maximum Resistances are especially good.
Has 6 Sockets
+(8-24) to all Attributes
Adds (4-10) to (14-36) Physical Damage to Attacks
(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)%
Farrul's Fur(Body Armour) Farrul's Fur - If you have some currency saved you should check if this Armour won't be your best choice, but be sure you have a source of "Aspect of the Cat".
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Aspect of the Cat has no Reservation
+2 seconds to Cat's Stealth Duration
Gain up to your maximum number of Frenzy and Power Charges when you gain Cat's Stealth
You have Phasing while you have Cat's Stealth
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Maximum Life, increased Movement Speed, and Elemental Resistances are the most important, then try to acquire the more luxurious mods such as Tailwind or Onslaught
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Darkray Vectors(Boots) Darkray Vectors - these Boots have good synergy with Frenzy Charges but grant you no Maximum Life whatsoever
(40-70)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(20-40)% to Lightning Resistance
5% increased Movement Speed per Frenzy Charge
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
40% reduced Frenzy Charge Duration
25% reduced Light Radius
10% increased Evasion Rating per Frenzy Charge
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Hunter and Warlord influence can get you some of the best mods here, but for a start just try to get Life and Resistances
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+100 to Accuracy Rating
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
increased Melee Damage
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Elemental Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Shaper's Touch(Gloves) Shaper's Touch - If you have a lot of Dexterity these Gloves are surprisingly good for they grant you a lot of Life and Melee Physical Damage
(80-120)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+4 Accuracy Rating per 2 Intelligence
+1 Life per 4 Dexterity
+1 Mana per 4 Strength
1% increased Energy Shield per 10 Strength
2% increased Evasion Rating per 10 Intelligence
2% increased Melee Physical Damage per 10 Dexterity
Hands of the High Templar(Gloves) Hands of the High Templar - a valid choice, you should seek ones with special Vaal implicit such as Curse on Hit, higher Crit Chance for Attacks, increased Attack Speed, increased maximum Life, or Maximum Frenzy Charges
Can be modified while Corrupted
Can have up to 5 Implicit Modifiers while Item has this Modifier
(150-200)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(7-12)% increased maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Fire and Lightning Resistances
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - a Belt granting Elemental Damage with Attacks, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances is good to go.
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
40% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
increased Maximum Life
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - there are some high-end mods to seek later on, but your primary objective is to get Maximum Life, Resistances, and one or two of the offensive mods, such as increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
40% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Elemental Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
increased Attack Speed
Recommended Anointments:
Whispers of Doom
Yoke of Suffering(Amulet) Yoke of Suffering - If your Crit Chance is high it makes this Amulet great as most enemies will now receive 15% increased damage. It has a lot of Resistances too.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(10-20)% to Fire Resistance
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
+(20-40)% to Lightning Resistance
30% reduced Duration of Ailments on Enemies
(5-10)% chance to Shock
Enemies take 5% increased Damage for each type of Ailment you have inflicted on them
Your Elemental Damage can Shock
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - A Curse on Hit is obligatory, Elemental Weakness, and Assassin's Mark if you can apply two. Life and Resistances are your priority, then look for the additional mods that would increase your DPS.
Min. requirements:
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Curse Enemies with Elemental Weakness on Hit
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
Accuracy Rating
Adds Physical or Elemental Damage to Attacks
Added Cold Damage per Frenzy Charge
Non-Channelling Skills have -8 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
The Taming(Ring) The Taming - It's a very good Ring, especially with Secrets of Suffering and Skitterbots, it grants you a lot of Elemental Damage with Attacks, which should suit you perfectly.
+(8-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
20% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments per Freeze, Shock or Ignite on Enemy
+(20-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
30% increased Elemental Damage
10% chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - increase your Maximum Life and Elemental Damage for Attacks, get missing Attributes, Resistances, and Crit mods

Recommended affixes:
7% increased maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
increased Physical or Elemental Damage with Attacks
increased Damage or Attack Speed with Swords
increased Attack Damage, Attack Speed, Crit Chance, or Crit Multiplier while holding a Shield, or with One-Handed Melee Weapons

The Interrogation(Jewel) The Interrogation - with Secrets of Suffering your Critical Attacks will Scorch, Brittle, and Sap but you're no longer able to inflict Chill, Ignite, or Shock
Adds Secrets of Suffering
Lethal Pride(Jewel) Lethal Pride - It upgrades all small passives in radius to grant you more Strength, and Notables - to have some unique properties such as intimidating enemies on Hit to increase your Attack damage. Try to get "add Intimidate" on one of your Notables.
Commanded leadership over (10000-18000) warriors under Akoya
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Karui
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - you can socket it near Scion's starting location for many various bonuses
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - increased Attack Damage, Attack Speed, or Crit. Multiplier while affected by Precision are some of the best mods you can get
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - it's easy to find a decent Cluster Jewel as there is a huge variety of Notable passives to choose from
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Battle-Hardened
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Feed the Fury
1 Added Passive Skill is Veteran Defender
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Calamitous
1 Added Passive Skill is Aggressive Defence
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Sadist
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - these will further increase your DPS, look for Notables to increase your Critical Strikes or AoE
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Eye of the Storm
1 Added Passive Skill is Towering Threat
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
1 Added Passive Skill is Quick Gateway
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - The Falsk that's your best pick to get more Melee Physical Damage
+1500 to Armour
Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during Flask effect
Knocks Back Enemies in an Area when you use a Flask
75% chance to cause Enemies to Flee on use
(7-10)% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - it boosts your Damage by adding Chaos Damage to your Physical and Elemental Damage, plus it grants you some Life Leech
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Quicksilver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Life Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Diamond Flask with random ailment removal
Lion's RoarAtziri's PromiseQuickilver FlaskLife FlaskDiamond Flask

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