[1.3.1] Cleave Duelist. Non-Crit, 32K DPS, 13K+ Armour, 5L, +187% Life. Insane Clear Speed.

Hey guys, I wanted to showcase a build I made, or rather, remade in this 1.3 Patch. Inspired by 'NeverSink's' 1.2 Cleave Duelist, I explored an alternative Cleave Duelist, one that prioritises survivability and defensiveness while still maintaining insane mobility and damage. At level 86, this build achieves 189% bonus life, over 13K armour and 32k DPS unboosted. With Vaal Haste, Frenzy Charges and Atziri's Promise, this build can reach over 45K DPS and melt bosses. The items I use for this build are fairly cheap, flexible and can be substituted with with lesser gear as seen fit. I estimate my current gear to be worth close to 4-5ex but that is because I splashed out on some luxuries like a Ming's Heart and a 5L Belly of the Beast. You can make this build work for less than 1-2 ex provided you are familiar with xyz trading.

I believe there is currently another cleave duelist build that runs crit and evasion, link can be found here: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1150580.


- Insane clear speed
- Relatively cheap gear, can be substituted/improved based on budget.
- Very high DPS output
- High survivability (haven't test in HC, but I believe it is viable, provided you don't try to facetank fist of god and prioritise Life nodes).
- Insane mobility
- Very fun to play (subjective)
- Leveling is fast due to clear speed.


- Requires some source of mana leech to ensure sustainability. I recommend at least 2%.
- Painful to run on half-regen maps, due to mana leech.
- Susceptible to Desync. Try not to bounce around the walls too much with whirling blades, as that has a higher chance of triggering desync.
- Not 100% Atziri viable, dependent on Atziri experience. Out of 3 attempts, I made it to Atziri once, where I then proceeded to die to stormcall/flameblast due to my inexperience. You may have better luck.

Skill Tree



This is a skill build at level 86, or where I am currently right now. This build utilises 3 main keystones; Resolute Technique, Unwavering Stance and Iron Reflexes. Unwavering stance and Iron Reflexes are an important defensive combination that provides a significant bonus to armour and survivability due to the immunity to stun. Since we are going for a non-crit route, Resolute technique is crucial as it allows us to achieve a High DPS output without investing in too many accuracy nodes. I highly recommend going for this node, as the accuracy on the tooltip is skewed. The skill may show a 90% accuracy rating but this is combined for both swords. If 1 sword misses and another hits, then the skill still counts as a hit, but deals half the damage instead.

This build also incorporates a high amount of life nodes (187%) and armour/evasion nodes (206%) are also gotten in conjunction with these. This build also acquires 7% block chance as prerequisites, which boosts our chance to block to 22%. In terms of DPS, this build manages to achieve 406% increased melee physical damage (432% in the offhand) and nearly 100% extra attack speed, which is able to boost our offensive capabilities significantly. I get 1 extra endurance charge to sustain a higher duration immortal call but this is entirely optional.

The scion life wheel is an endgame option and should only be taken after all the marauder/duelist nodes have been gotten. I also choose to run Diamond Skin because it provides a lot of gear flexibility, but getting it is optional if you can find enough resistances on gear. You may also choose to take some +30 stat nodes if you are unable to meet the requirements with your gear.

Bandit rewards are Oak -> Oak -> Eramir




The gems I use are:

Cleave -> Multistrike -> Faster Attacks -> Melee Physical Damage -> (Added Fire Damage) -> (Life Leech/ LGOH)

Hatred -> Grace -> Reduced Mana

CWDT (level 1) -> Enduring Cry (level 5) -> Temporal Chains / Enfeeble (level 5)

CWDT (level 15) -> Immortal Call (level 15) -> Increased Duration -> Vaal Haste

Blood Magic -> Faster Attacks -> Leap Slam -> Whirling Blades.

Vengeance -> LGOH -> Mana Leech / Vengeance / Knockback

Gem Explanation

We run Hatred as our main offensive aura and Grace as our main defensive aura. This provides a nice balance between DPS and survivability. Since we are going iron reflexes and acquiring a lot of evasion/armour nodes, getting grace nearly doubles our armour value.

Since we are going for a high-armour / defensive build, a level one CWDT will ensure that we are always running around with 16% damage reduction from endurance charges. Temporal chains further enhances your defences and will be proccing a lot. Enfeeble can be used as an alternative according to preference.

The reason I choose to run 4 endurance charges is because I am also running a separate higher level CWDT (15) linked to a higher level immortal call (15). This immortal call will trigger after the smaller immortal call has triggered 4 times. This will ensure that our immortal call is of a lengthy duration and removes the need to self-cast immortal call. I link this to increased duration and Vaal Haste. Vaal Haste cannot be triggered as it is a vaal skill and is activated manually, this buff lasts approx. 9-10 seconds due to the link with increased duration. Quality on the immortal call is preferred but not completely necessary.

Whirling Blades and Leap Slam provide an incredible bonus to mobility and clear speed. Using both these skills, we can move across maps and cross terrain insanely fast. Faster attacks will be required to improve the speed and recovery of these skills. Blood magic is required to ensure we don't run out of mana.

Vengeance has decent utility usage, it allows you to leap into packs with impunity. With its short cooldown and LGOH, you are gaining 200-300 life instantly and constantly. This can be linked with another vengeance to raise the proc chance to 50%, or linked with other skills like knockback, mana leech, COH etc.

With a Ming's heart and Devoto's Devotion, it is very easy to cap out chaos resistance. This means running bloodrage only degens 0.85% life per second. This build manages to acquire 3.8% life regen through passives, so you will be gaining around 3% life even with the buff activated. The frenzy charges from bloodrage provide a nice increase in DPS output, and the life leech is very nice if you have little to none on your gear. A corrupted amulet or corrupted boots with +1 Frenzy charges is a suitable luxury option and can further increase your offenses, as we will almost always be on max Frenzy charges.

Gear Explanation

I choose to run Devoto's Devotion as my main helm, it provides high mobility and dexterity to equip up to Vaal Rapiers / Jewelled Foils. The 10% damage reduction is more than compensated with the 16% bonus to attack speed. The helm also provides nice bonuses to chaos resistance and armour/evasion which synergises well with our build. These helms are reasonably affordable and prices vary between 10-20c.

My weapons of choice are an Apex rapier and a Vaal Rapier. I choose to go for the higher damage and lower BAT weapons to pierce more armour, and we don't need that much attack speed since we do not aim to proc more criticals. However, Jewelled/Fancy/Spiraled foils are an alternative based on preference. I highly recommend selecting thrusting 1H swords as your main weapons since they have the highest weapon range (7) and will thus increase the AOE of our cleave. Apex/Vaal Rapiers are relatively cheap as well since not many people use them. The Apex Rapier I use is self-found and I purchased the Vaal Rapier for 3c (believe it or not!), which I then crafted bonus damage and added quality to increase its max damage from 200 to 270. High DPS Jewelled/Fancy Foils will likely be more expensive as they are used in a lot of Spectral throw builds.

I use Belly of the Beast as my main chest armour, but this can be replaced with any other decent 5L armour with bonuses to evasion or armour. I prefer Belly of the Beast over other unique armour as the added life and flask recovery provide a significant bonus to survivability. Additionally, the extra gore effect works very well with cleave builds. Carcass Jack is also a nice substitute and provides more DPS and Cleave range. Again, this is based on personal preference. If these unique armours prove to be unaffordable, you can purchase a white 5L for around 1-3c on poe.trade and alch/chaos/craft them to suit your needs.

I run a Ming's Heart as a luxury option, to increase my DPS and cap out my chaos resistance. With a Ming's Heart I have around 5.2k Life, replacing Ming's Heart with another ring with high life bonuses would give me up to 5.7 - 5.8K Life. The choice to run this is entirely up to you, I bought this ring for 1.5 ex.

For boots and gloves, look for Attack speed and life in gloves. Any bonus physical damage will be multiplied exponentially, so try to look for those mods as well as any resists you may need. Same with boots, prioritise life and capping out resists, chaos resistance is nice too. Movespeed is unnecessary since we will be using whirling blades and leap slam as our main sources of mobility.

With rings, amulets and belts, try to look for mana leech, as well as life and resists. Again, any bonus physical damage will be multiplied significantly and will add a lot to your DPS.

I recommend running Atziri's Promise as it provides a large DPS boost for finishing off unique bosses. A granite/jade flask (of reflexes/iron skin) will give you a brief period of physical invulnerability and should be used if you are diving into a large number of hard-hitting packs or facing extremely high damage bosses. The rest of the flasks should be life flasks that try to remove status effects. Having a seething flask will also be nice too. I have been a bit lazy with my flasks and haven't added much quality to them. I have also not acquired a seething divine flask nor rolled a remove bleeding flask which I highly recommend you do.

Total costs of this build add up to around 4-5 ex, less if you remove the luxury options like 5L Belly and Ming's Heart.


Level 71 Strand Map - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keaCdwcutKU

Quite laggy due to the video recorder, might post more but uploading videos takes forever

Feel free to rate, hate, etc.

Last edited by monstahz on Feb 28, 2015, 11:04:21 AM
Not running herald of ash feels really wrong for melee char. If u really can't fit it on top of your 2 auras (you would need reduced mana reservation passives, i know), i'd use it over hatred (with ele prolif. and burning dmg if possible).
Im really not sure if its worth running herald of ash for this character. Spending 5 nodes is quite costly to this character and an extra 4% mana reserve won't make a difference, I would have to run alpha's howl too. (Which is not a bad item, but i would lose the bonuses from devoto's). HoA only provides a 15% Damage boost compared to Hatred which provides 35-40% bonus damage and chill. The overkill effect of HoA is not necessary in this type of build since it focuses on dealing many small fast attacks as opposed to large OHKO damage, so the burning damage is not very significant. HoA is without a doubt a strong buff but I just don't feel the need to include it in these types of physical DPS build. I suppose this is subjective, you can run HoA if you want.
i think HoA is a must have for melee builds. dps buff is huge.

i was running a non crit DW for a long time, but i realised that for endgame crit is much better. even not great amount of chance is a huge dps buff.

im running a DW scion you can check it here
Ok, there are some points in your build logic that I wish to dispute. I'll go over them one-by-one.

1. Armor by itself, without endurance charges/high block is not worth it. is not worth it. 13k armor is definitely too low for endgame. Unless you're seriously investing into getting high amounts of armor, its far more efficient to get some evasion and a high life pool, which will mitigate far more types of damage. As long as phys damage can be easily taken care of by a cwdt setup, armor may never be worth it.

2.Sword types: Cleave scales best with super-high attack speed, by which I mean 10+ attacks per second. Believe me.

3. Devoto's Devotion: While it is a very nice helm, a BoR would be far better for this build. Free 7L, flat damage, high life, high armor/EV, etc. The blind synergizes nicely with a high attack speed cleave. You would get rid of unwavering stance(you really should anyways) and get a huge amount of evasion. Against bosses like the atziri trio, or atziri herself, it's super useful.

4. Skill tree: I changed it a little bit. Now with more dps and just 3% less life.Click me

5. I'd much rather run herald of ash+ ele prolif + increased burning damage + reduced mana in place of grace. It adds far more to your clear speed and by proxy, survivability. I'd also get rid of vengeance, it barely procs enough to do anything.
For try, for see, and for know.

This is a buff
32k does not constitute "insane clear speed". sry but it needed to be said.
Etherfire wrote:
5. I'd much rather run herald of ash+ ele prolif + increased burning damage + reduced mana in place of grace. It adds far more to your clear speed and by proxy, survivability. I'd also get rid of vengeance, it barely procs enough to do anything.

Totally agree. Grace (and Determination) are rarely needed outside of something niche like this Cleave build, and Vengeance is best when you have zero block.

I like that you cap chaos res. I'd probably drop some life for Berserking if your mana can handle it.

goat4dinner wrote:
32k does not constitute "insane clear speed". sry but it needed to be said.

Yeah... The mobility is not insane either, although it's certainly good for being on the left side of the tree thanks to Devoto's Devotion. If you want insane mobility, you either need Lightning Warp or Queen of the Forest.
Dreamfeather Elemental Cleave Ranger: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1087616

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