[1.2] Generic 2Hand Sword Duelist - cheap, durable, HC-viable

This guide focuses on simple and straightforward spec, which I use right now in Beyond league.
It is really cheap to build (works fine as first character), fast to level. Has good map clearing speed and durability from high life pool and endurance charges. Unlike popular cyclone builds our main skill will be vintage double strike with some nice supports added. Our weapon will be high pDPS two-handed swords.

Build features:


-High damage output with stock weapons
-2 auras + Herald of Ashe
-5 Endurance Charges and reasonably long Immortal Call
-High life
-Simple and straightforward gameplay
-Fast leveling, especially if you buy few items listed below in leveling section
-Ready to clear maps with less than 1 exalted total worth of gear and gems (in Beyond, not sure about yours league prices)
-No "musthave" uniques or exotic corrupted mods

Passive tree:

This is finished build passive tree, you will reach it around level 85.
If you want to play further, there are nice options to expand for more life (atheltis; purity of flash; blood drinker; profane chemistry clusters) or even damage (deadly dilettante cluster, sword passives near duelist starting point) or whatever else you like.



Bandits:

Oak - Kraityn - Oak

Gear:

Pretty simple. You want high pDPS 2h sword, and high life + resist cap from your armour. Either sword or body armor (I suggest armor, because you replace weapon more often) should be 5 linked to maximise our attack power.

Here is my gear - most pieces costed 1-2 chaos. 5 link armor was around 5 and sword costed 9 chaos, if I remeber correctly.
I have around 4400 life and 12.000 AoE dps (at level 70) with this stock equipment.
My gear in Beyond League


If you have access to large ammounts of currency and willing to spend, I suggest buying things like good 6 link armour, luxury 500+ pDPS sword, or even Bringer of Rain (effectively 7 link, but life and resists would be little low)

Gem setup:
Main attack: double strike - melee splash - multistrike - melee physical damage -blood magic.
Spoiler

If you have access to only 4 link, exclude multristrike from the list, but damage outcome will be obviously lower.
If you are not lazy (I am), replace melee splash with weapon fire damage for single - target boss encounters.
If you acquire 6 link, I suggest adding fire damage permanently.



Auras : Grace - Hatred - Herald of Ashe - Reduced Mana

Spoiler
Pretty much the best setup for melee physical damage character.


Cast when damage taken setup: - CWDT (level 1) - enduring cry(level 5) - decoy totem(level 8) - arctic breath
Spoiler

Make sure decoy totem is placed after enduring cry to taunt the monsters from you, not the opposite.


Immortal call and curse: Immortal call - Increased Duration - Warlord's Mark - Blood Magic

Spoiler
Immortal Call with 5 chargers will last 7-8 seconds, when gems are leveled a bit. Blood Magic is needed, because we will have ~10 unreserved mana with all auras on.
Warlord's mark is our main curse - source of high life leech and endurance charges.

Mobility/Utility: Leap slam - faster attack - Conversion Trap - Blood Magic

Spoiler
Conversion trap is very useful in Beyond League, if you play in other league, use vulnerability or enfeeble in this slot, or whatever else you like.


Leveling tree progression and weapon hints:

Levels 1 - 30



It is advised not to take Iron Reflexes until you start run Grace aura, which will happen much later.

Weapon of choice for this level is
, but anything with high pDPS will suffice.

You will start using double strike for single target and cleave for AoE, but try to get 4 link (Double strike - Melee Physical -Melee Splash - Blood Magic) asap and get rid of cleave.
Run Hatred aura asap (after Brutus), add Herald of Ashe when you receive this gem in early A3.



Levels 31 - 43



Grab Scion life wheel and Charisma Aura Cluster.

I suggest using crafted weapon in this part of the progress - just find or buy high tier white weapon which you like. Add 4 whetstones for quality and use vendor recepie: weapon + (prefferably yellow) rustic sash + 1 whetstone.
I got this and used it through late normal and early cruel without much problems


You still can't run Grace (unless you buy high level reduced mana gem), so mana is not a problem and blood magic gems for utility abilities are not needed. You need one for main attack though, as it will drain all your mana if few seconds.



Levels 44 - 50



Grab Life in Shadow area and head for large sword cluster in bottom right of the tree.

Weapon of choice for this level is

It is great and cost 1 chaos or less.



Levels 51 - 65



Grab Iron Reflexes and additional endurance charge in Duelist area.
Take Sword Critical wheel, go for Herbalism and Large Sword wheel. Large wheel features best sword passives in game, if you compare it with any other sword cluster.

You should start running Grace now, so blood magic gems for all skills will be needed. Luckily you will receive them as quest rewards because you are a Duelist.


Now for optimal leveling its time to buy
It costs around 1c and will easily get you through merciless Piety into mapping.

Before actually going to maps it is advised to spend you currency on some better tier (400+ pDPS) sword and give old Terminus some rest.


Gameplay:

You cast Warlord's Mark into large pack of monsters, jump into them and kill em all with couple of multristrikes. Repeat for another pack. Hit Immortal Call at will - it charges up with both Enduring Cry and our Curse really fast. It is easy to have 100% IC uptime in fights like Brutus (normal or map one) or Kole.

As any other character, you better have potions with remove curse, bleed, freeze. Granite Flask with +armour (of Iron Skin) is also recommended for additional durability, since we don't have a shield.


Thanks for reading, feedback and comments are appreciated.

Awesome read, better than Treassure Island. Lois.
I like it !

That's a very interesting strategy to head up to shadow area and get aura nodes.

Why did you take fatal blade ?

As low as your critical strike chance will be it seems that you are much better off spending them elsewhere.

profane chemistry would be good, or maybe master of force which would give 40% more damage.

and no, I won't ask you why you didn't take RT. You will have plenty of accuracy.
Hello there, plasticeyes.

I think Fatal Blade is good cluster because it effectively doubles our crit chance. With awesome attack speed from multistrike (4 attacks per second now) 11% crit is reasonable and multiplier also helps.

And if you want more damage, you better take Deadly Dilettante or Wrecking Ball, Master of Force numbers are low, it is designed for EK casters, I believe.

Profane chemistry is nice option, so is Purity of Flesh.

And if you don't want to take Fatal Blade feel free to take RT. Just 2 points to make 90% hit chance into 100% one (also blind immunity as a side feature).
Last edited by Stas88 on Sep 6, 2014, 6:44:08 AM
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Stas88 wrote:


I think Fatal Blade is good cluster because it effectively doubles our crit chance. With awesome attack speed from multistrike (4 attacks per second now) 11% crit is reasonable and multiplier also helps.

And if you want more damage, you better take Deadly Dilettante or Wrecking Ball, Master of Force numbers are low, it is designed for EK casters, I believe.

Profane chemistry is nice option, so is Purity of Flesh.

And if you don't want to take Fatal Blade feel free to take RT. Just 2 points to make 90% hit chance into 100% one (also blind immunity as a side feature).


that's an interesting point. i'm using cleave right now, because, well, idk, i just am. lol. oh, i remember. because i get aoe for "free". so in a 4L, cleave/melee phy/FA/added fire. what i really need is to substitute a damage gem for FA.

the good news is i kept a double strike + melee splash leveling. i like your thinking on the crit. i will give it a try and see how it works !

i really like wrecking ball because of increased attack speed. i have that, quickstep and finesse, so really high attack speed bonus. however i think that hitting harder and slower is good, so i have been thinking that i will give up IAS for more damage.

basically what i have found is that you have to make sure and keep granite going. you will laugh when you read this, but so far i am not using IR, and i have really bad armor. but warlord's mark is really useful, the leech is substantial, esp with a 2H weapon, and i have 2 granites. also new life flasks + profane chemistry is almost OP. i wonder if GGG will nerf it...

An alternative:


gives up a little attack speed.

slightly more mana reserve reduction (a don't care i think, but there are some nice aura effect bonus nodes right there too).

slightly less life (although that would be easy to fix).

pure brutality for some tasty crit chance increase.



Heh, this is a nice, badass, and creative build. I don't play HC because of desync/bad comp, but I'll prob do this in SC!
Last edited by K0rrupted on Sep 10, 2014, 7:54:10 PM
Just leveled this build up to 66 far. A lot of fun and easy to level really. Double Stirke/Multistrike is really enjoyable to combo together.
hey stas.

are you still playing this build, how is it working out ?

any changes you've made to your tree ?
Actually I've died at level 76 - ran into room full of voidbearers and with knockback shrine.
Got stunlocked and died.

Before I died I've noticed some problems with handling beyond creatures - looks like they were designed with ranged gameplay in mind

Now I play another character and build for a change.

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