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Rain of Arrows Crimson Dance Gladiator Build

Rain of Arrows Crimson Dance Gladiator Build

Rain of Arrows build for Gladiator. It's a Bow-based Crit build that uses Bleed mechanics to its full potential

Rain of Arrows
Gladiator Build

Updated for Patch 3.14

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Estimated budget: low to medium
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Guide notes
June 24, 2021
-Build created
July 4, 2021
-Added gameplay video


Rain of Arrows has a very high base amount of fired Arrows - 21, allowing you to easily stack Bleeding on enemies thanks to Crimson Dance Keystone. Gladiator Ascendancy is one of the most suitable for Bleed builds - Blood in the Eyes and Gratuitous Violence boost your damage with Bleeding by a lot while forming a small defense layer as well. Your damage comes mostly from attacking Bleeding and Maimed enemies and with a huge number of Arrows and the amount of Attack Speed - it is really effective. The Bleed-based Bow Gladiator builds had their peak of performance previous patch, before the rework of Elder Bleed-related mod. Right now the best Elder Mod for Bow for this build is "59% to Damage over Time Multiplier for Bleeding from Hits with this Weapon", previously you had a 60% chance for bleeding to deal 100% more damage, and given that if the enemy has already the maximum number of Bleeds, the highest amount of Bleed damage will replace the lowest one - the damage output is lower but only for the boss fights with high-end builds with a lot of Attack Speed. For the same reason, Ryslatha's Coil is a heavily recommended item.

It's a solid build in both - offense and defense aspects. It mostly consists of rare items with generic mods with increasings for stats such as Physical Damage, Attack Damage, Bow Damage, and Critical Strikes. The Bleeding plays a big role but to assemble the right gear is not rocket science. The reason for picking Gladiator over Ranger is its synergies better with Bleeds and the fact that it's slightly more defensive-oriented. Your offense will come in a form of easily achievable stats to be picked up from your skill tree and gear, there is no complex mechanics involved here. The defense of this build comes in a form of Chance to dodge Hits and Maximum Life. The chance of not being Hit will oscillate around 50% with the Wind Dancer Keystone, and the Maximum Life should be around 5k.

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1. Gameplay

Use Dash to move between packs of enemies and fire your Rain of Arrows as you're in the middle of the pack. By staying close to your opponents while attacking you deal much more damage thanks to the Point Blank Keystone and Passives from Cluster Jewels. Have your Blood Rage constantly activated and use Vaal haste when needed (mostly against Bosses). For the most part, you should be able to ignore incoming damage, but against end-game Bosses, you surely need to avoid their AoE effects and high damage spikes because of the relatively low Life pool. This build offers a standard Bow/Ranged playstyle but truly shines in Melee ranged because of insane damage bonuses.

This video was recorded on a level 93 Gladiator with mainly rare equipment with the stats indicated in the Item section - basically, nothing fancy. It allowed us to easily farm most of the in-game content, though some Bosses will surely take more time than others. This build offers solid single-target DPS but at close range, so mobile Bosses that you also want to avoid taking in Melee range will simply last longer

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • beginner-friendly - it's simple to understand and master
  • very high DPS mainly in close range
  • good clear speed thanks to wide AoE
  • with investments in gear, it's all content viable
  • decent defenses thanks to various damage mitigation mechanics
  • smooth leveling
  • can't do No Life Leech nor Reflect maps
  • vulnerable to DoT


3. Leveling tips

The build is really flexible, especially in the early stages of the game so feel free to use any attack Gems, but later you'll have to switch to some Bow Attacks like the Skill that'll be used in the final setup - Rain of Arrows. Look for rare gear with increased Physical/Attack/Bow Damage. Remember to switch to better Flasks and to keep your Elemental Resistances high.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Rain of Arrows setup
Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows - a great leveling Skill thanks to its wide AoE. It's also the core Skill used in this build so obviously, you can practice using it during the campaign
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - a great boost to your damage. It creates a Mirage Archer on your back that uses Rain of Arrows with reduced Attack Speed and Damage, but you can travel or attack yourself while it does it
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - increases your damage and DoT caused by linked Projectile Skills
Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support - offers high flat bonus Physical Damage and increased Chance to inflict Bleeding
Ensnaring Arrow setup
Ensnaring Arrow Ensnaring Arrow - use for Boss fights to deal more damage with Bleeding. Just apply the debuffs using it and keep Attacking with Rain of Arrows
Hextouch Hextouch Support - will cause Ensnaring Arrow to apply Curse on hit
Vulnerability Vulnerability - the best Curse for this build which grants a high Physical Damage boost
Barrage Support Barrage Support - maximum Ensnaring stages in one use, use when firing more than one arrow by default
Utility Gems
Vulnerability Anomalous Blood and Sand - a very strong Aura that reserves just a little bit of your Mana. and increases your Projectile Attack Damage
War Banner Dread Banner - increases your Physical Damage and grants increased chance to Impale with your Attacks
Pride Pride - the best Aura for this build which grants the highest bonus for this build


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

32 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Bravery 2) Fury Bolts 3) Point Blank 4) Crimson Dance

63 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Wind Dancer 2) Acrobatics Keystones 3) Bow cluster

Recommended leveling items:

Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - a Belt one can use until yellow maps, it's a mix of almost all the stats needed in this build
+(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased Global 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
GoldrimGoldrim - great leveling Helmet which grants very high Elemental Resistances bonuses
+(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 - best Body Armour for leveling for almost all the builds
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

Quill RainQuill Rain - Quill Rain is one of the most used Bows for leveling due to its overall great stats

+(10-20) to Dexterity
100% increased Physical Damage
100% increased Attack Speed
+2 Mana gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(50-100)% increased Projectile Speed
+(25-50) to Accuracy Rating
30% less Damage
The Crimson StormThe Crimson Storm - later in the game it can function as a placeholder for a better, Rare Bow that can be very expensive
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
Veiled Suffix


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree (does not include Cluster Jewels nor Thread of Hope or Intuitive Leap configuration)
115 Points Path of Building (PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: 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%

Minor God: Soul of Ralakesh 25% reduced Physical Damage over Time Damage taken while moving; 25% chance to avoid Bleeding


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Rain of Arrows
Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows - Fires a lot of Arrows that'll land on enemies causing Bleed, Maim, almost certain Blind, and Impale. it's possibly the best Skill Gem for this build
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - repeat your Active Skill resulting in even more Arrows, and even more damage
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - greatly increases your Projectile damage and Dots applied by Rain of Arrows
Impale Support Impale Support - increases your chance to Impale with Attacks and increases the effect of it
Maim Support Maim Support - enemies will take more Physical Damage, from Hits as well as from Bleeding, it increases your damage
Brutality Support Brutality Support - grants a very high increase to Physical Damage, at the cost of Chaos and Elemental Damage
[UTILITY] Banner, Golem, and Blood Rage setup
War Banner War Banner - increases the Physical Damage nearby enemies take and increases your Accuracy
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - Lightning Golem grants you Attack Speed
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - enemies at 10% of their Maximum Life or Lower will die instantly when hit by a Lightning Golem
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Attacks Speed is the most important buff this Skill Gem grants while draining your Life
Enhance Support Enhance Support - increases the quality of all connected Gems increasing their effect
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - supported Skill will trigger automatically after taking damage. That applies to Blood Rage and your Golem
Pride Pride - grants very high bonus Physical Damage which is amplified the longer your target stays close
Blood and Stance Blood and Sand - allows you to switch between Blood and Sand stances. Use Sand Stance for farming/leveling and Blood Stance against Bosses and tougher rare opponents
Precision Precision  - Aura that grants you Critical Strike-related benefits. At level 1 it reserves little to no mana, while you can still benefit from its minor buffs and Watcher's Eye upgrades, but this build allows you to have it at level 20
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - use Enlighten Support to reduce the amount of Mana Reserved by linked Auras
[UTILITY] Ensnaring Arrow
Ensnaring Arrow Ensnaring Arrow - use for Boss fights to deal more damage with Bleeding and slow their movement
Hextouch Support Hextouch Support - allows you to Curse enemies with Hits
Vulnerability Vulnerability - increases the amount of Physical Damage Cursed enemies take and the rate at with they Bleed
Barrage Support Barrage Support - Arrows are fired in sequence, by hitting the enemy three times the maximum efficiency of Ensnaring Arrow will be achieved
[MOBILITY] Dash, Guard Spell, Vaal Haste
Dash Dash - the mobility Skill of your choice, it suits the build the best
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - more Movement and Attacks speed for a short duration of time
Steelskin Steelskin - a Guard Spell that decreases the amount of damage you take
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - improves the accessibility of linked cooldown Skills

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find the recommended gear for this build. The build is simple but there are many mods that you can look for. With the fairly cheap gear, you can do Tier 16 Maps with no issue whatsoever. There are no required Uniques and the most important ones are Jewels that solely save you a bunch of Passives but are completely optional. In terms of equipment, it's a very flexible and simple build that should be fully viable even on the solo self-found mode.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Bow/Physical/Projectile Damage
  4. Bleed/Physical Damage Over Time
  5. Attack Speed
  6. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier
  7. Accuracy Rating
  8. Projectile
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - just aim for decent Life, Elemental Resistances, and possibly Accuracy Rating since it is going to be required.
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take +#% Physical Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Accuracy Rating
Assailum(Helmet) Assailum - If you decide to use Assailum the build's going to need a bit of a rework. You can use it to Snipe with Puncture supported by Brutality, Vicious Projectiles, and Deadly Ailments and use it instead of Ensnaring Arrow for Boss fights for more raw damage.
Grants Level 20 Snipe Skill
Socketed Non-Channelling Bow Skills are Triggered by Snipe
Socketed Triggered Bow Skills deal 33% less Damage
+(350-500) to Accuracy Rating
+(350-500) to Evasion Rating
(7-10)% chance to Dodge Attack Hits while Channelling
(7-10)% chance to Dodge Spell Hits while Channelling
Helmet enchantments:
Rain of Arrows has 15% chance to fire an additional sequence of arrows
40% increased Rain of Arrows Damage
15% increased Rain of Arrows Attack Speed
Rare Bow(Weapon) Rare Bow - Look mainly for Physical Damage - it will translate to Bleed Damage with your Attack Skill. Other, luxurious and noteworthy mod is Chance to Deal Double Damage - the most damaging Bleed that comes from Hit will overwrite other Bleeds, pushing the lowest one out of the enemy when he already has the maximum amount of Bleeds - extremely useful as other mods with a chance for Double Damage.
Min. requirements:
200% total increased Physical Damage
35% increased Damage with Bleeding
10% increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Chance to deal Double Damage
Increased Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
Accuracy Rating
Adds Physical Damage
Quiver(Weapon) Rare Quiver - Look for Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, DoT, and Accuracy Rating. It's a mix of defensive and offensive mods that you can find here and you should aim for both.
Min. requirements:
90 to Maximum Life
35% increased Damage with Bleeding
Optional affixes:
Physical Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
Elemental Resistances
Increased Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
Accuracy Rating
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - just aim for high Maximum Life, that's the most important mods on the Body Armour. It also offers high Elemental Resistances and other useful unique to this gear slot mods.
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
You can apply an additional Curse
Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
Maximum Life%
Recover Life on kill
Farrul's Fur(Body Armour) Farrul's Fur - One of the best Body Armours for these types of builds. Replica Version works as well. It gives a lot of Maximum Life, Armour, and Evasion, and Aspect of the Cat cost no Mana now, but you can achieve better results with an expensive Rare Body Armour.
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Aspect of the Cat Reserves no Mana
+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 - defensive stats like Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, and increased Movement Speed are at most importance
Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Freeze and Chill immunity
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Ryslatha's Coil(Belt) Ryslatha's Coil - The belt most suitable for Bleed builds such as this one for it gives a chance to deal 40% more damage than normally
(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
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - More Flexible and arguably better Belt for some situations than Ryslatha's Coil, and definitely cheaper.
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
100% Elemental Resistances
increased Damage
Optional affixes:
Increased Maximum Life
increased Flask Recovery Rate
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Maximum Life and basic mods increasing your Physical Damage are important but if you can afford it, look for a Level increase of all Physical and/or Strenght Gems

Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
+1 to Level of all Physical/Strenght Skill Gems

Recommended Anointments:
Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Use Diamond Rings for more Damage and Vermilion Rings for More Maximum Life. Two-Stone Rings are a decent option to look for additional Elemental Resistance. You can get one of the two Curses on your Ring - Vulnerability or Assassin's Mark given that you can cast two Curses upon the enemy.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
Accuracy Rating
Trigger Level 8 Assassin's Mark when you Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit, with 32% increased Effect
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Attack Speed
Increased Damage
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Aim for defensive stats and later think about Attack Speed, Accuracy Rating, and Added Physical Damage to Attacks (a pair with all of these stats can get expensive). Use Gripped Gloves for more Damage
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage while Leeching
Attack Speed
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
Accuracy Rating
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - try to get extra Life - preferably 7%, and some Damage mods (either Projectile/Physical/Area) and an extra useful stat like Attack Speed, Elemental Resistances, or Critical Strike. Try to get one with Corrupted Blood immunity
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
Optional affixes:
increased Melee/Area/Physical Damage
increased Attack Speed
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Thread of Hope(Jewels) Thread of Hope - With a Large Ring, it can provide around four very useful Notables when placed between Mind Drinker and Blood Drinker
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Intuitive Leap(Jewels) Intuitive Leap - by placing it near Fervour you can allocate four very useful Notables
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
Watcher's Eye(Jewels) Watcher's Eye - with Pride and Precision, your best option is "Impales you inflict last 2 additional Hits while using Pride" mod, but it's rare and expensive so don't pay too much attention to it at first
(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(Jewels) Large Cluster Jewel - There are some extremely useful Notables to pick, all of them are listed here. Fuel the Fight is needed when you lack in any other Mana Leech. Physical Damage and Bow Damage over Time are the bases on which to look for these mods.
Recommended Affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Exploit Weakness
1 Added Passive Skill is Master the Fundamentals
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Tempered Arrowheads
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewels) Medium Cluster Jewel - Look for an increase in Projectile Damage. These are not as impactful as Large Cluster Jewels.

Recommended Affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Eye to Eye
1 Added Passive Skill is Repeater
1 Added Passive Skill is Streamlined

Cinderswallow Urn(Flask) Cinderswallow Urn - more regeneration of Life and Mana, for Veiled mods look for Critical Strike or Chance to avoid being Stunned
Recharges 1 Charge when you Consume an Ignited corpse
Enemies Ignited by you during Flask Effect take 10% increased Damage
Recover (1-3)% of Life when you Kill an Enemy during Flask Effect
Recover (1-3)% of Mana when you Kill an Enemy during Flask Effect
Recover (1-3)% of Energy Shield when you Kill an Enemy during Flask Effect
Veiled Suffix
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - One of the Best Flasks in the game for every build, mainly for these that uses Critical Strikes
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-50)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
+(1-2)% to Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - one of the best Flasks given that you do not use Brutality Support in your Rain of Arrows setup
+35% to Chaos Resistance
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
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  2. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (Movement Speed)
  3. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
Cinderswallow UrnLife FlaskBottled FaithQuickSilver FlaskDiamond Flask

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