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Vaal Double Strike Bleed Gladiator build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Vaal Double Strike Bleed Gladiator build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Mighty sword and board fighter based on the reworked Vaal Double Strike skill and Bleed damage

Vaal Double Strike
Bleed Gladiator build

Updated for Patch 3.5

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Guide notes
June 1, 2018
-Build created
December 13, 2018
-Updated for Patch 3.5

Gladiator is a perfect class for a classic sword and board fighter build. It provides great defenses with high Block Chance and decent Life pool, which require very little investments in equipment. This makes Gladiator class perfectly fit for a League Starter build, which is one of the most cost-effective classes in Path of Exile. Furthermore, each of the items listed can be acquired for few Chaos Orbs each, while at the same time this build scales extremely well into end-game with better gear. 

Our Vaal Double Strike Gladiator revolves around the Bringer of Rain unique helmet, which provides very cheap 7-links for your core DPS setup, and grants additional Block Chance and Endurance Charge generation. This makes this build much more budget-friendly, and easier to gear up.

The full list of our other Path of Exile Crafty Guides can be found here: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Gameplay

This Double Strike Gladiator build is very enjoyable to play. Thanks to high Life pool, 6 Endurance Charges, and very high Block Chance, you can ignore most of the threat, while dealing very high Physical Damage with the Double Strike attack. Monsters around you die in bloody explosions dealing massive AoE damage and for us, personally, Bleed is the most visually appealing type of builds. 

0:06 Tier 8 Armoury
0:15 Tier 10 Arachnid Tomb
0:33 Tier 13 Arsenal
1:03 Tier 14 Double Boss Colosseum
1:30 Maze of the Minotaur
1:46 Pit of the Chimera
2:11 Lair of the Hydra

This video was recorded on a level 93 Gladiator with a total budget of 4-5 Exalted Orbs


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • very high single-target damage
  • 75/64% chance to block attacks and spells
  • great as a League starter build
  • visually appealing
  • budget-friendly with no expensive item requirements
CONS
  • moderate AoE
  • can be expensive if you want to farm endgame bosses

3. Leveling tips

Leveling with Gladiator is very easy. You should have more than enough defenses with the shield equipped, and just focus on upgrading your weapon when you feel like your DPS is too low for the current content. You do not need to detour from the final Skill Tree at any point, getting all the important nodes right away. We recommend leveling with one-handed Axe and the Sunder skill. Sunder is one of the best and most popular leveling melee attacks in Path of Exile.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Cleave/Sunder setup
Cleave Cleave - since Sunder is available at level 12, you should use Cleave for the first levels. It's a decent AoE attack that can be used with Axes as well
Sunder Sunder - one of the best attack skills in Path of Exile for the leveling phase
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - grants extra Fire Damage based on your weapons Physical Damage
Maim Support Maim Support - maims enemies, which slows them down and increases Physical Damage they take
Shield Charge setup
Shield Charge Shield Charge - your primary mobility skill
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - increases your movement speed with Shield Charge
Utility gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - spawns a Totem which increases your Melee Damage
Vulnerability Vulnerability - the recommended Curse for this build
Stone Golem Stone Golem - grants increased Life Regeneration per second
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - combined with Sunder’s Seismic Waves, it will provide amazing AoE 

Bandits:

We recommend killing all the bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Art of the Gladiator 2) Master of the Arena 3) Retaliation 4) Testudo 5) Splitting Strikes

62 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Command of Steel 2) Heart of Oak 3) Weapon Artistry 4) Herbalist 5) Blood Magic

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - a great Melee/Physical DPS ring. Can be used starting at level 1
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 - amazing belt, which grants insane Life and DPS bonuses. Can be used until late game when you replace it with +1 to Endurance Charges Belt of the Deceiver
+(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 - great leveling shield. Grants very high defensive bonuses
Chance to Block: 31%
Evasion: 51
+(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
 

Screaming EagleScreaming Eagle - great leveling weapon. Provides additional movement speed so if you can get enough added Physical Damage to attacks on your other gear, this can serve you well for around 30 levels

Socketed Gems are supported by Level 2 Chance to Flee
Adds (10-15) to (25-30) Physical Damage
+(10-15) to maximum Life
+(5-7) Life gained on Kill
10% increased Movement Speed
 

Relentless FuryRelentless Fury - another great Axe. It is cheap and very powerful - it grants Onslaught buff, Culling Strike, and Life Leech

(60-80)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (3-5) to (7-10) Physical Damage
2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
Culling Strike
You gain Onslaught for 3 seconds on Culling Strike
Cannot be Chilled while you have Onslaught
 

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. Blood in the Eyes
  3. Gratuitous Violence
  4. Versatile Combatant

Pantheon:

Major God: you should use two different setups for Boss fights and farming purposes

Maps/farming

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%

vs. 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 Shakari 5% reduced chaos damage taken 25% reduced chaos damage over time taken while in a caustic cloud

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Vaal Double Strike
(Bringer of Rain)
Vaal Double Strike Vaal Double Strike - your primary DPS skill. With the changes in Patch 3.3 on top of the Vaal effect, the skill has a regular use as well
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - grants splash to your Double Strike attack. Can be replaced with Chance to Bleed Support during boss fights
Maim Support Brutality Support - increases Physical Damage but makes the supported skill deal no Elemental and Chaos Damage
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - every third hit with supported skill deals greatly increased damage. Also, Bleeding caused by Ruthless blows deals increased damage
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - grants increased Attack Speed with supported skills. It is granted by the Bringer of Rain
Blind Support Blind Support - grants a chance to Blind enemies on Hit. It is granted by the Bringer of Rain
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - increases Melee Physical Damage of supported skills. It is granted by the Bringer of Rain
[DPS] Ancestral Warchief setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - summons a Totem which increases your Melee Damage
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Maim Support Brutality Support
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
[COUNTER-ATTACK] Reckoning
Reckoning Reckoning - deals Physical Damage in a cone after you successfully block an Attack. It is granted by the Surrender shield, or if you are using something different, just remove one of the following red Support Gems
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - instantly kills enemies below 10% Life
Maim Support Brutality Support
[MOBILITY] Shield Charge setup
Shield Charge Shield Charge - your movement skill, greatly increases your mobility
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Fortify Support Fortify Support - melee hits with Shield Charge will grant the Fortify buff which reduces your damage taken
[AURA] Vulnerability
Vulnerability Vulnerability - the best Curse for this build. Should be used as an Aura around you if you can get the Impresence amulet
Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support - makes supported Curses work as an Aura around you
[UTILITY] Stone Golem/Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - grants increased Attack Speed, Frenzy Charge generation, and Life Leech. Deals damage to self
Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - Stone Golem grants increased Life Regeneration per second


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5. Gear Setup

This Vaal Double Strike Gladiator Duelist is a budget-friendly build which is also a great build to start a new League. The only required item is the Bringer of Rain helmet, which shouldn't cost more than couple Chaos Orbs, and it grants a very cheap 7-links for your Vaal Double Strike setup. You will find all the items listed below, while we have listed various unique items, everything except for the helmet can be replaced with rare items.

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Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Physical Damage
  4. Accuracy Rating (at least 90% is recommended)
  5. Attack Speed
Bringer of Rain(Helmet) Bringer of Rain - the core item for this build. Grants cheap 7 links, however, you are unable to use Body Armours
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 18 Melee Physical Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 12 Faster Attacks
Socketed Gems are supported by Level 6 Blind
Adds 20 to 30 Physical Damage to Attacks
(200-300)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(120-160) to maximum Life
20% chance to gain an Endurance Charge when you Block
Extra gore
Can't use Chest armour
6% Chance to Block
Helmet enchantment:
40% increased Double Strike Damage
Double Strike has a 15% chance to deal Double Damage to Bleeding Enemies
Jack, the Axe(Weapon) Jack, the Axe - a decent pick for the weapon slot. Grants increased Life Leech
(90-110)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (11-14) to (18-23) Physical Damage
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
50% reduced Life Leeched per second
25% chance to cause Bleeding on Hit
Soul Taker(Weapon) Soul Taker - a great choice for lower level characters, who may experience Mana issues. High DPS Soul Taker is also a fully viable end-game option
(100-140)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage
(20-25)% increased Attack Speed
+(20-25)% to Cold Resistance
Insufficient Mana doesn't prevent your Melee Attacks
Your Physical Damage can Chill
Rare Axe(Weapon) Rare 350+ pDPS one-handed Axe - high Physical DPS Axe is the best in the slot. The higher DPS the better
Min. requirements:
350 Physical DPS
1.6 Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage with Bleeding
The Surrenderer(Shield) The Surrender - is the best in the slot. However, The Surrender is rare and expensive. For lower budget builds, just got with Lioneye's Remorse or a rare shield and use the Reckoning Gem
Chance to Block: 30%
Armour: (1305 to 1513)
Grants Level 30 Reckoning Skill
(130-170)% increased Armour
+(65-80) to maximum Life
Recover 250 Life when you Block
+6% Chance to Block
+1500 Armour if you've Blocked Recently
Lioneye's Remorse(Shield) Lioneye’s Remorse - another decent option. This shield is very popular for its' high defensive bonuses
Chance to Block: 30%
Armour: (1494 to 1727) 
(200-250)% increased Armour
20% increased Stun and Block Recovery
+(160-180) to maximum Life
5% reduced Movement Speed
-25 Physical Damage taken from Projectile Attacks
+5% Chance to Block
Rainbowstride(Boots) Rainbowstride - this pair of boots is very cheap, and grant increased chance to Block Spells
(20-25)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
+(40-60) to maximum Mana
(140-180)% increased Energy Shield
+20% to all Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
FAQ: How to get enough Intelligence to use Rainbowstride?
1) Use Impresence amulet, or rare one with Intelligence bonus
2) Search for rare rings with Intelligence bonus
3) Pick big +30 Intelligence Passive node
4) Search for rare jewels with Intelligence bonus (on top of the recommended affixes)
4) Use Fertile Mind (at this point it may be better to use rare boots)
Boots(Boots) Rare Life/Res. boots - this pair of boots is very cheap, and grant increased chance to Block Spells
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Belt of the Deceiver(Belt) Belt of the Deceiver - is the best budget belt for this build. Players on Standard can try to get one with +1 to maximum Endurance Charges
(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
Corrupted implicit modifier:
+1 to maximum Endurance Charges
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Life/res amulet - using a rare amulet will require you to manually cast the Vulnerability Curse
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
15% All Elemental Resistances
Adds min. 15 Physical Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Attributes
Impresence(Amulet) Impresence (Physical) - our top recommendation for the amulet slot. Grants very high DPS bonus and allows you to use Vulnerability Curse as an Aura around you without the Mana Reservation cost
+(10-16) to all Attributes
Adds (12-16) to (20-25) Physical Damage
+(400-500) to Armour
+(50-70) to maximum Life
(30-40)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
100% reduced Vulnerability Mana Reservation
Gain Maddening Presence for 10 seconds when you Kill a Rare or Unique Enemy
Steel RingSteel Ring(Ring) Rare Life/Res. Rings
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
Adds min. 7 Physical Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
Intelligence (Rainbowstride req.)
Attack Speed
Spiked Gloves(Gloves) Rare Life/Res. gloves - increased Attack Speed can be a good end-game addition here
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
25% Fire resistance
25% Lightning resistance
25% Cold resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
increased Melee Damage
Haemophilia(Gloves) Haemophilia - this is a decent pair of gloves for this build. Greatly increase the Damage you deal with Bleeding, and Damage with Hits again Bleeding enemies. They lack defensive stats
25% increased Damage over Time
+(20-30) to Strength
Attacks have 25% chance to cause Bleeding
(25-40)% increased Attack Damage against Bleeding Enemies
Bleeding Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 5% of
their Maximum Life as Physical Damage
25% reduced Bleeding Duration
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and bonus damage
Recommended affixes:
% increased maximum Life
% increased Generic/Physical/Melee Damage
Optional affixes:
% increased Attack Speed /Attack Speed while holding a Shield
% increased Armour
Reckless Defence(Jewels) Reckless Defence - using two of those is recommended. The increased chance to be Critically Hit can be mitigated by using the Belt of the Deceiver
20% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(2-4)% additional Block Chance
(7-10)% additional Chance to receive a Critical Strike
Lion's Roar(Flask) Lion's Roar - amazing Melee/Physical Flask
+3000 to Armour
Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during Flask effect
75% chance to cause Enemies to Flee on use
(20-25)% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
Knocks Back Enemies in an Area when you use a Flask
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi’s Concoction - mandatory Flask for this build. Allows you to cap Block Chance
+3000 to Armour
(14-20)% Chance to Block during Flask effect
(6-10)% Chance to Block Spells during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (bleeding immunity)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (freeze and chill immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Quick Silver Flask of Iron Skin (increased armour)
Rumi's Concoction Lion's RoarDivine Life FlaskDivine Life FlaskQuicksilver Flask


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