[3.2] Claw Reave/Blade Flurry Slayer league starter. Uber lab farmer, All contents.

3.2 UPDATE AND NOTHING CHANGED. BUILD SHOULD REMAIN VIABLE THROUGHOUT
Summary
In legacy league I wrote a Varunastra cleave build that was fairly cheap and effective, this time around I wanted to write a guide for a similar low budget starter build that is going to be very effective with minimum requirement. I hope this guide will give you a good alternative crit build for starting Abyss league out.

Lets start out with Vaal Pact and Brutal Fervor. Vaal Pact now doubles your leech rate and leech rate caps while you no longer benefits the extra 10% maximum life as leech rate from Brutal Fervor, making VP essential for Slayer to retain the same leech rate. Furthermore, with VP every points in either Vitality Void or Hematophagy will double its effectiveness.

To sum it up, Slayer is the same, granted now you are more prone to dots dmg than before due to nature of VP.

Now comes my reason for this build:

Claws are very strong budget options for build simply because of how good and affordable weapons like Wasp's Nest or Touch of Anguish are. In Mayhem race I played around with this build and it was very surprising to see how Wasp's nest could perform splendidly at red maps level without poison scaling. On the otherhand, Varunastra is Varunastra.

In this new patch 3.1 Reave is also slightly buffed with radius so it is nicer to map with.


3.1 Abyss league progression:

UPDATE as of 25/12/2017

Shaper
I've killed the first shaper this league with this character, died 2 times, one because of me being happy that Dying Sun dropped and didn't dodge his last frost ball before death, but the damage is overall solid and got him down through phases without any problems.

qylR2AI


Uber
I killed Uber Atziri pretty easily, not mind blowing dps but works out when I play with the mechanics of the fights properly.
fPKJ9tp


My character in Abyss League is RavingReaver

Current Gears:
Spoiler



I obtained the 6l Astral Plate from the set of 6 Celestial Justicar divination cards. I didn't farm them but rather bought them for around 22c each at the time, funded by my uber lab profit. The build is extremely versatile and can either do uber lab or mapping with no issues.

I have updated my gear with:

Not the most high end gear, but they did their jobs.


Current Skiltree and main gem links:
Spoiler
Level 90

For Reave my setup is:
Reave + Multistrike + Melee phys + Ruthless + Crit strikes + inc aoe/conc effect

For Blade Flurry my setup is:
BF + Melee phys + Dmg on full life + Maim + crit strikes + inc aoe/conc effect

Right now I can switch from one setup to the other just by switching gems, as they are covering the same colors as 1 Green 2 Blue 3 Red.



Current Flasks:

Spoiler


Progression into the League:

Spoiler


I have done everything up to tier 15, unlocked more than 100 maps on the atlas so far. Killed
1 Abyssal Lich on a red map with relative ease. Overall using Reave or Blade Flurry is just a playstyle preference. Reave has massive AOE coverage with Vaal Reave making it very smooth to map with. On the other hand Blade Flurry has very strong single target DPS, perfect for Uber Lab or Atziri runs where AOE coverage is not needed as much.

I have killed all Elder Guardians and Elder himself twice now, once in yellow tier and once in Red tier with 1 Guardian on t15 Carcass map, while Elder spawned on tier 13 Shrine. All guardian fights are relatively easy except for Eradicator.

Elder is a hard fight, and after only 2 fights I haven't managed to kill him deathless yet, because there are certain 1 shot mechanic that needed to be learned and I was not experienced enough. However once I've managed through the attack phase it all become much easier because the level of DPS I'm currently having is just about enough to kill the portals before they overwhelm me. Here are some of the Elder Guardiands and Elder drops that I've collected:


What is changed compare to the original plans:

Spoiler

In the original plan I was going with a high pdps claw in main hand and Death's Hand in offhand simply for the fact that it the best setup for effective DPS, however upon 3.1 I figured out while playing that there are stronger options:

Bloodseeker gives instant leech with its attack and is very powerful, allowing me to facetank literally anything that will not one shot me. That is why I'm using it right now and with it I can run red tier reflect map with some cautions. This is probably going to be nerfed or changed soon in the future so go grab yourself one and play with it before it's too late.


===================================

Gearing

Weapons:


The 2 unique claws are very cheap to start with, and Varunastra as a potential upgrade that will require a little respec of about 10 points.

Death's Hand is the most DPS statstick that one can think of when it comes to this build. Free power charges and Unholy Might is very beneficial for the build.

Helm choices:


Starkonja offers high life and some DPS while Abyssus is a pure DPS option. Personally I prefer Starkonja, because Abyssus seems excessive in most cases however it does increase your dps by a lot.



You can have a very strong start in the league with Bringer of Rain as well, affordable pseudo 7L with decent flat phys and life.

Body:
Belly of the Beast, Astral Plate with 100+ life and resistances are good choices.

Gloves:
I prefer Rare spiked gloves with good life and res, and either attack speed or Flat physical, but you can use any rare bases as long as it covers life, res and attack speed/flat physical.

Boots:
Rare boots with as much life and res as possible to give room for other items to have more offensive mods. Movespeed is not a big problem when with this build you will be whirling blade most of the time.

Belt:


Cheap item that gives a decent DPS boost with its intimidated ability. Also provide a small amount of life and resistances which will be helpful. Alternatively you can always opt for a rare belt with life and resistances for a more defensive option. The newly added belt base in Abyss League could potentially be the best in slot with the right Abyss Jewel.

Rings and amulet:
Rare rings with resistances, life and flat physical are the best, even more so if they are of Diamond or Steel base. Capping resistances with rings is important as it allows your amulet to be fully offensive.

Carnage Heart is always a good starting option, however if you are able to cap resistances without the need of an amulet, going all out for DPS with flat phys, crit chance, crit multi, accuracy and life on a rare amulet is going to help you tremendously going into tier 15-16.

Flasks

Flask always has its own place in my guide because of how detrimental it is to a character's success.
With this build in particular you will be using mostly unique flasks to boost your offensive and defensive capabilities.
Mandatory unique flasks includes:

A big portion of your damage as well as some additional defenses comes in the form of these flasks.



These are the best magic flaks to use in this build. It is important to have freeze removal on one of them, and curse removal if you are doing Uber lab farming on curse day.

This is the upgrade to Basalt flask but is not necessary at all and very expensive early on in the league.

At this point you might wonder why is there no life flask included yet, and my answer is https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Writhing_Jar. This is the life flask that the build will use. Its a very simple mechanic relating to Slayer's Endless Hunger. Because this flask spawns worms with very little life, you essentially have an instance of overkill leech on top of the instant heal you received from the flask itself.



Skilltree

Only include Path of Building pastebin links but you can also take a look at my Void League character PoisonIsWeak for a similar claw skill tree.
Claw variance: https://pastebin.com/ZAUAFtz5
Varunastra variance: https://pastebin.com/nG18PbZ7
Added Poe Planner links for both Variance:
Claw variance
Varunastra variance

Jewels slots are all optional. You have the option to go for more life nodes instead, or Heartbreaker wheel for more DPS.

For leveling skill tree, I started off by going straight to Vitality Void, taking 1 mana/life leech nodes to then respec out of it once I have Soul Raker. From then on it's your choice whether you want to head toward shadow area and go into claw wheels, or marauder and melee crit wheel first.

Vitality Void is also optional once you have Soul Raker node in the claw wheel, its only there for a bit more leech rate but you can opt for more DPS or life as you see fit.

For Varunastra variance, leveling process works the same way as claw variance, however you can spec into Deadly Dilettante and By the Blade the moment you can equip Varunastra.

Ascendancy as follows: Bane of Legend => Endless Hunger => Brutal Fervor => Headsman.

The order for leveling Brotal Fervor and Headsman can be reversed if you are more confidant in your defensive ability but getting Bane of Legend and Endless Hunger first is mandatory.

When it comes to Bandits you have the option of Kill all, Oak or Kraityn, I chose kill all for my current character in the league as 2 passive points equal 1 additional jewel socket.

Pantheon


For Pantheon, it is best to go with reduce dots damage from Soul of Arakaali and reduce chaos dmg taken from Soul of Shakari, because one thing that always rekt VP builds is damage over time.


Skillgem

This build can be played mainly with 2 skills, they are Reave and Blade Flurry.
For Reave, the setup should be in order of importance:

Reave + Multistrike + Melee Physical + Ruthless + Melee Damage on Full Life + Increase AOE/Concentrated Effect.

Reave has very limited aoe coverage so to increase that you need Vaal Reave, no link necessary.
To keep up 8 stacks of Reave can be difficult at times however so it might take some time to adjust to the playstyle.

For Blade Flurry, since 3.1 Ruthless does not support it anymore which is a small nerf, but overal it is still the strongest single target melee skill in the game. Gem setup should look like:

Blade Flurry + Melee Physical + Faster Attack + Melee Damage on Full Life + Increase AOE/Concentrated Effect + Chance to bleed/Crit dmg/Maim (last link is based on your gem colour and personal preference).

For both skills, swapping Increase AOE for concentrated effect for boss fights will help tremendously,
but Reave may still have problems with single target DPS.

Aura setup:
Hatred + Herald of Ash + Ice Golem + Blood Rage

Standard physical aura setup, plus Ice golem for accuracy and crit chance, Blood Rage for additional attack speed and frenzy charge.

Cast when damage taken setup:
CWDT + Immortal Call + Enfeble + increase duration

This is a defensive setup mostly to reduce the ability to get blasted by big packs of mobs the moment you charge in, or when you open a strongbox.

Movement skill:
Whirling Blades + Faster Attack + blood Magic + Fortify

Alternatively with Varunastra you can use Leap Slam instead of Whirling Blades.

Vaal skill setup if available:
Vaal Haste + Vaal Lightning Trap + increase duration

Very useful against bosses with the extra attack speed and 15% more dmg from shocking ground.

Ancestral Warchief setup:

Ancestral Warchief + Maim + Faster attack

The idea behind this setup is that the totem aside from giving a boost in dps, will also afflict the enemy with Maim, increasing their physical damage taken.



Leveling

For leveing, its very simple with leveling uniques. Stat out with a Last Resort, work your way through The princess, Goddess Unbound etc until when you can equip Mortem Morsu. From Mortem Morsu you can pretty much cruise through the game until level 60 for Wasp Nest and it can carry you to red maps.


Uber Lab farming

For Farming Uber lab, it is advised to not use Vaal Pact and carry Stone Golem instead for maximum survival against traps. Damage is enough to farm Uber on a 4l even though a little risky, but if you have a 5 link it is far more than enough. I have done many 6-7 keys runs so far and it is extremely fast with 0.75 atk per sec whirling blades.


This build can also be played as Gladiator if you'd like to do so. I will be updating the guide with information once the league started and I can fully test Vaal Pact out in the new patch.
My builds:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1809378 - Lazor Inqusitor
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1781498 - Burning Arrow Raider
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1800999 - Perfect Formless Inferno Slayer
Last edited by habeo on Mar 2, 2018 7:49:13 PM
Last bumped on Apr 29, 2018 1:54:21 PM
Added poeplanner.com links for both variance of skill trees. Added leveling section with a minor tips for what weapon to use when leveling.
My builds:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1809378 - Lazor Inqusitor
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1781498 - Burning Arrow Raider
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1800999 - Perfect Formless Inferno Slayer
Hello, this build seems fun and good, do you think it is HC viable?
Definitely HC viable, I hit 5k life at level 82 in SC right now with my character at level 82, with an array of life nodes to collect and various item pieces to upgrade so it's not out of question to reach at least 6k life.

Defense mechanic of the build are phys mitigation from basalt, granite (lion roar), chaos res from Atziri's Promise, shatters from crits with Hatred, CWDT Enfeble and Immortal Call, leech and Vaap Pact. It is plenty as long as you don't run high risk rippy map mods, and stay away from red map roll 60% less recovery rate.

For HC safety I advise you to go straight to scion life wheel before picking up crit wheel next to Resolute Technique first and go for Brutal Fervor for stun and bleed immunity before Headsman.

Using Basalt flask and Granite flask it's safe to tank any abyss situation since most of their dmg is physical as far as I can tell.

For Pantheon you should use Soul of Arakaali and Soul of Shakari for maximum protection from damage over time. Divine Vessel Toxic Sewer as soon as possible to upgrade your Arakaali pantheon to include 50% increased recovery after taking DoT recently because it will proc every time you proc Immortal Call while under Blood Rage.

If you would like to run Uber Lab you can certainly do it comfortably on a 5l and make it safer to respec out of Vaal Pact to deal with traps.
My builds:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1809378 - Lazor Inqusitor
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1781498 - Burning Arrow Raider
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1800999 - Perfect Formless Inferno Slayer
Last edited by habeo on Dec 11, 2017 4:02:22 PM
Thank you for the answer, will for sure give it a try.
No problem, I'm having a blast with this build. I will update the guide further to include Uber Lab farming and so on soon.
My builds:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1809378 - Lazor Inqusitor
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1781498 - Burning Arrow Raider
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1800999 - Perfect Formless Inferno Slayer
Varunastra Leaguestarter :P
"
Claw/Varunastra Leaguestarter :P


FTFY

I'm playing with claw and it feels really good. You obviously don't start with varunastra.
My builds:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1809378 - Lazor Inqusitor
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1781498 - Burning Arrow Raider
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1800999 - Perfect Formless Inferno Slayer
did you just get the two skill points for bandits
"
did you just get the two skill points for bandits


That's what I did, but you can choose other to suit your style, for example if you want to farm uber lab a lot you can help oak for regen and phys reduction. Or you can choose Kraityn for some speed. Usually I leave bandits up to the player themselves because it often varies with personal playstyle.
My builds:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1809378 - Lazor Inqusitor
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1781498 - Burning Arrow Raider
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1800999 - Perfect Formless Inferno Slayer

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