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Splitting Steel Champion Build

Splitting Steel Champion Build

Splitting Steel Build for a Champion that deals Physical Damage

Splitting Steel
Champion Build

Updated for Patch 3.24

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Guide notes
April 07, 2024
-Updated for Patch 3.24
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Splitting Steel is a ranged Attack that uses Melee Weapon. You launch a Projectile, consuming Steel Shard, that splits and deals Physical Damage. It comes with a second skill - Call of Steel. It's used to replenish Steel Shard charges while dealing AoE damage. It removes Impale to deal reflected damage based on the amount of Impales inflicted. It's quite simple to use and most players are probably familiar with it as it is available since level 1. It is also one of the best leveling tools used by most Duelists. The most efficient way to apply this Attack is to use its Physical form and benefit from Impale, as this Skill increases the chance of Impaling by 60%. It's great with Call of Steel too. Champion is the Ascendancy that should come to your mind as you think about such Skills.

The Champion can enhance Melee Attacks with his Master of Metal Keystone which allows for an extra Impale on an enemy and adds tons of Physical Damage and Armour. Unstoppable Herto and Fortitude guarantee permanent 20 Fortify, Stun Immunity, 20% increased Attack Speed, Armour, and Evasion. Inspirational is an overall improvement of your performance. It makes for a great character with tons of Armour and Evasion, magnified by Grace and Determination, the effect of which is again increased with Inspirational. Add to that nearly 100% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage, the aforementioned Fortify and you've got yourself an extremely tanky and evasive character. To deal meaningful damage equip a pair of Swords with high PDPS, allocate Point Blank Keystone, Anoint Vengeant Cascade, and try to reach 100% Critical Strike Chance.

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1. Gameplay

Use your Splitting Steel at and Call of Steel if you run out of Shards. Due to Chaining and AoE, it's great for clearing. Keep bosses close to benefit from Point Blank and use Call of Steel during their invulnerability phases. Use only one Ancestral Totem - Ancestral Protector for more Attack Speed. Blood Rage will get you more Attack Speed, Life Leech, and Frenzy Charges. For Curses use Sniper's Mark and Vulnerability. Implement Molten Shell for a Guard Spell. For Auras, we've selected Precision, Vitality, Grace, Determination, Pride, and Dread Banner.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • superb clear speed with range attacks and chaining
  • Great single-target damage with high crit chance, extra impales, Vengeant Cascade, and point blank
  • extremely durable due to Armour, Evasion, Spell Suppression, and Fortify
  • great league starter, uses mainly rare items
  • reaching high damage requires a rather expensive rare or unique pair of Swords


3. Leveling tips

To level up efficiently, use our Duelist Leveling Guide with Melee/Impale in PoE. It's actually designed around Splitting Steel so it's very fitting.


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


Leveling Skill Trees:

23 Points Passive Tree
Get Maximum Life, Point Blank, Graceful Assault, and some Mana Leech

62 Points Passive Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Accuracy Rating, Damage with Swords/Projectiles/Dual Wielding, and head for Charisma as shown

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Master of Metal
  2. Unstoppable Hero
  3. Fortitude
  4. Inspirational


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

Minor God: Soul of Ryslatha: Life Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a Life Flask Recently; 60% increased Life Recovery from Flasks used when on Low Life


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Splitting Steel setup
Splitting Steel Splitting Steel - Splitting Steel deals Physical Projectile Damage with an additional high Chance of Impaling. Be sure that you have Steel Shards at hand.
Brutality Brutality Support - You're unable to deal Chaos or Elemental Damage, but in turn your Physical Damage is much higher.
Vicious Projectiles Vicious Projectiles Support - Lowers Attack Speed, but grants a lot more Physical Damage.
Increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage Support - Increases Critical Strike Multiplier which is good if your Crit Chance is high.
Increased Critical Strikes Increased Critical Strikes Support - Increases Critical Strike Chance.
Returning Projectiles Returning Projectiles Support - All the returning Projectiles will converge at your location, preferably where the enemy is to shotgun them.
[UTILITY] Sniper's Mark setup
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - The enemy Marked with this Curse receives increased Projectile Damage. Projectiles are additionally split on impact.
Mark on Hit Mark on Hit Support - Sniper's Mark is applied automatically on Hit against Rare and Unique enemies.
Lifetap Lifetap Support - Skill costs Life instead of Mana.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Determination Determination - Adds and Increases Armour Rating.
Grace Grace - Adds and Increases Evasion Rating.
Pride Pride - Nearby foes take increased Physical Damage. This effect is doubled after 4 seconds.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Linked Spells that Reserve Mana now Reserve less of it.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Vitality Vitality - Regenerates a certain amount of Life over time.
Precision Precision - Increases Critical Strike Chance and adds extra Accuracy Rating.
Arrogance Arrogance Support - Linked Auras Reserve Life instead of Mana.
[UTILITY] Ancestral Protector setup
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - Totem that grants you more Attack Speed as it stays up.
Culling Strike Culling Strike Support - Enemies below 10% of their Maximum Life are executed upon receiving a Hit from the Totem.
[UTILITY] Molten Shell
Molten Shell Molten Shell - Guard Spell that mitigates a portion of incoming Hit Damage. It can absorb more damage the more Armour you have.
Dash Dash - A simple Movement ability used to dash.
[UTILITY] Dread Banner
Dread Banner Dread Banner - Increases the Impale Effect, Chance to Impale, and reduces the Accuracy of nearby enemies.
[UTILITY] Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - A duration Spell that slowly drains your Life and refreshes on kill, but increases your Attack Speed, Life Leech, and grants Frenzy Charges on kill.
[UTILITY] Vulnerability
Vulnerability Vulnerability - Only if you can apply an additional Curse, use Vulnerability. It can be found as a Corrupted Implicit on Gloves.
[UTILITY] Berserk
Berserk Berserk - If you have a way to generate Rage, which you may use Gloves for, implement Berserk for a temporary bonus to your damage and durability.

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6. Gear Setup

Your primary goal is to accumulate enough Elemental Resistances and Accuracy Rating. If that's taken care of, seek Maximum Life and Spell Suppression for survivability. Armour and Evasion are covered by your Auras. For more Damage try to gain added Physical Damage, Attack Speed, and Critical Strike modifiers. It will be hard to reach 100% Crit Chance on a budget, but it can be patched with Bottled Faith and Diamond Flasks. For weapons, we recommend two Swords. The Saviour and Beltimber Blade are a particularly good combination. The Critical Strike Support Gems in your main setup will require at least 111 Intelligence which you have to acquire from preferably Rings or the Amulet. With Inspirational Keystone you want to have a lot of Auras, so getting extra Reservation Efficiency to fit in more of them would be beneficial.

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. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Added Physical Damage
  4. Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  5. Mana Reservation Efficiency
  6. Attack Speed
  7. Accuracy Rating
  8. Critical Strike Chance
  9. Critical Strike Multiplier
  10. Spell Suppression Chance
  11. Chaos Resistance
  12. increased Effect of Auras
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - What we recommend is a Helmet with Maximum Life, Resistances, Spell Suppression Chance, and the blue eldritch mod for an increased Mana Reservation Efficiency.
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
+60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies take #% increased Fire or Physical Damage
Chaos Resistance
Accuracy Rating
increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Spell Suppression Chance
Helmet enchantments:
Splitting Steel deals 40% increased Damage
Beltimber Blade(Weapon) Beltimber Blade - It's an extremely good weapon for all kinds of Projectile Attacks. Grants Accuracy, two extra Projectiles, Evasion Rating, and Far Shot.
+475 to Accuracy Rating
(185-215)% increased Physical Damage
(15-20)% increased Attack Speed
80% increased Evasion Rating while moving
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles if you've used a Movement Skill Recently
Far Shot
The Saviour(Weapon) The Saviour - Another excellent choice. It has good base stats and the unique ability to create a Reflection to mimic your Attacks which massively enhances your performance.
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
Triggers Level 20 Reflection when Equipped
(130-150)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (16-22) to (40-45) Physical Damage
(8-12)% increased Attack Speed
(8-12)% increased Critical Strike Chance
Paradoxica(Weapon) Paradoxica - Paradoxica with increased Physical Damage and Attack Speed can be very good, but probably not as good as the other two Swords for this build in particular.
+25% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Attacks with this Weapon deal Double Damage
Veiled Prefix
Veiled Suffix
Daresso's Defiance(Body Armour) Daresso's Defiance - A cheap unique Armour with a lot of Armour and Evasion. It grants Endurance Charges, Life Leech, Onslaught, and the effect of it.
(180-220)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(60-90) to maximum Life
2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
You lose all Endurance Charges when Hit
You gain an Endurance Charge on Kill
You gain Onslaught for 5 seconds per Endurance Charge when Hit
100% increased Effect of Onslaught on you
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Rare Body Armour is the preferable option. After getting a copy with enough Maximum Life you can either get the basic mods like Resistances and Spell Suppression, which would allow you to add eldritch implicits for increased Aura Effect, Critical Strike Multiplier, or maximum Resistances, or get some of the good elder-slayers affixes.
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
You can apply an additional Curse
increased Maximum Life
Spell Suppression Chance
Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance
Socketed Attacks have -# to Total Mana Cost
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - A pair of boots with Maximum Life, Movement Speed, Resistances, and Spell Suppression is sufficient. For eldritch mods, you can get the increased Action Speed or Brittle ground.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+50% Total Elemental Resistances
30% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression Chance
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Here you can acquire Attack Speed and Accuracy Rating. For eldritch mods, try to get Rage on Hit, Crit Multiplier, Attack Speed, or extra Pierce.
Min. requirements:
+50 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
Accuracy Rating
Spell Suppression Chance
Chaos Resistance
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Perseverance(Belt) Perseverance - It's the best Belt. You should have tons of Armour and Evasion which translates to a lot of damage. It also grants Onslaught.
+(260-320) to Armour and Evasion Rating
(4-8)% increased maximum Life
+(20-40)% to Cold Resistance
1% increased Attack Damage per 200 of the lowest of Armour and Evasion Rating
Melee Hits which Stun Fortify
You have Onslaught while Fortified
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Amulet can be used for Maximum Life, Attributes, Resistances, and Accuracy. If that's already settled, get the Critical Strike Chance, Multiplier, and added Physical Damage.
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike modifiers
Adds Physical Damage to Attacks
Critical Strike Chance
Elemental Resistances
Accuracy Rating
Fury Valve(Amulet) Fury Valve - Fury Valve exhibits valuable characteristics, similar to that inherent to the Splitting Steel. You can use it to enhance clear speed.
+(16-24) to Dexterity and Intelligence
(15-25)% increased Evasion Rating
+(15-20)% to all Elemental Resistances
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles
(20-30)% increased Projectile Speed
Modifiers to number of Projectiles instead apply to the number of targets Projectiles Split towards
Recommended Anointments:
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - It's imperative to craft the Prefix that reduces the Mana Cost by 7. Maximum Life, Resistances, Attributes, and Critical Strike modifiers are easy to get.
Min. requirements:
55 Maximum Life
+70% Total Elemental Resistances
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Critical Strike modifiers
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit
Nimis(Ring) Nimis - Saves you a Support Gem as you no longer need the Returning Projectiles Support. These are very valuable. Your AoE is good enough so the random Projectiles directions won't affect you much.
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+(30-50) to Dexterity
(25-35)% increased Projectile Damage
Projectiles Return to you
Projectiles are fired in random directions
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - We recommend a Jewel with Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and Mana Reservation Efficiency.
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Mana Reservation Efficiency
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - Large Cluster Jewels are extremely powerful for Physical Attack builds. Try to get one or two with the listed notable passives.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Battle-Hardened
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Run Through
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - You won't need them, but Eye to Eye and Repeater could improve your Projectile Damage.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Eye to Eye
1 Added Passive Skill is Repeater
Lethal Pride(Jewel) Lethal Pride - The socket where this Jewel could be the most useful is near Fervour or Savagery. It grants Strength, but can also improve your notables in various ways.
Commanded leadership over (10000-18000) warriors under (Akoya-Kaom-Rakiata)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Karui
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Flesh - Almost any Duelist's Keystone is great. The best ones are Bane of Legends, Headsman, Brutal Fervour, Outmatch and Outlast, and of course Fatal Flourish.
Allocates <Random Ascendancy Notable> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Allocates <Random Ascendancy Notable> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - "Impales you inflict last 2 additional Hits while using Pride" is the single best modifier to seek here. Your other modifiers can enhance Precision, Vitality, Grace, or Determination.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Bottled Faith(Jewel) Bottled Faith - One of the best Flasks in the game for a build that heavily relies on Critical Strikes. It increases your Damage.
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Life Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Granite Flask with increased Armour
  3. Jade Flask with increased Evasion
  4. Quicksilver Flask with increased Attack Speed
Jade FlaskGranite FlaskLife FlaskBottled Faithquicksilver flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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