3.8 Melee Pure Phys Slayer Leaguestarter. 1h Swords, low budget and beginner friendly

Hello, this is my first build guide so be nice.

Wanted to make an build guide for my leaguestarter this league, its running smoothly with lacerate on a 5l right now, clearspeed and bossdamage is pretty decent and this build is super easy and cheap as a leaguestarter. Its not finished as it is right now, will try out different stuff once reaching endgame.

Pros and Cons

- Does not need any specific gear to run up to maybe red tier maps
- Can run reflect maps and almost any other mapmods, except for no leech
- Clearspeed/boss damage is fine with little investment
- You can play different skills as main damage source with this build (Cleave, Reave, Lacerate)
- No one plays melee this league (cheaper items than in 3.7)

- No one plays melee this league (less crafted items available)
- Expensive to scale to beat the highest content
- Needs investments in defensive equipment if used in hardcore



My current character using this build: MeleeWichte

We play Slayer for the reflect immunity, the 20% culling strike, the AOE bonuses and the 7.5% fixed crit chance on our weapons. No ele/chaos conversion to be able to do almost every map, scaling critical strike chance, crit multi, physical/melee damage with swords, impale and ailments (bleed). For defenses we have a lot of life from tree/gear, life leech, physical mitigation through armour, basalt flask and later soul of steel.


We use two one hand swords with high dps and crit multi. Best items would be crafted (jewelled) foils because of their high attack speed and long range compared to other swords. Leveling is easy with the vendor recipe for increased physical damage or low essence crafted rares with +to physical damage to attacks and increased physical damage. A cheap sword (1c currently) to start mapping is scaeva. Two scaevas are more than enough damage for white and yellow maps.

I managed to craft some decent foils (more range, better attack speed and more crit multi so a bit more dmg than scaevas) this early in the league, better ones would have also higher attack speed and more phys damage.

Body Armour, Gloves, Boots, Helmet:
To start mapping all we need are life and resistances.
5l body armour with armour base is pretty cheap this league already one day after leaguestart.
Since you are doing a lot of damage prioritise survivability on the slots, maybe a bit of attack speed if you can afford it on the gloves.
Elder Spiked gloves with the attack speed mod would be pretty god.

Also life and resistances and +to physical damage to attacks, later in the league steel rings and the physical version of the impresence amulet (mana-free vulnerability aura) are possibly the best option.
Rustic Sash is fine for leaguestart with some life/resistances, later on either a stygian vise or a unique belt. More detailed endgame gearing will be added later.
Starter gear in 3.8 blight league (works fine up to yellow maps):

Mid-tier gear (tested till tier 13 so far):


One life flask is useful, otherwise we use utility flasks, which should also cure us from bleed, curses, freezing, poison. Movement speed flask should make us even faster. For a bit more defenses and more damage you could switch out the onslaught flask for example for a Lions Roar and get onslaught with an abyssal jewel for example.


We use two attacks: Ancestral Warchief and Lacerate (or cleave, reave etc)
I am currently only using lacerate, other skills should be fine too, i will test them when i reach endgame.

6L: Lacerate-Multistrike-Impale-Brutality-Fortify-(Pulverise)
4L: Ancestral Warchief-Brutality-MeleePhys-Ruthless
Auras: Pride, Blood and Sand, Dread Banner,
Vulnerability first as a curse, when we got an impresence we can link it to blasphemy and we have it constantly as an aura. Blasphemy can stay at level 1, we loose a bit of area then, but we dont need to worry about intelligence on equipment then.
Movement skill: Leap Slam - Faster attacks - Endurance charge on Melee Stun - Blood Magic
Defensive: CWdt-Immortal Call (should trigger between 30-50% of your health, so only level it up to a certain point)
For frenzy charge generation we use Blood Rage
Precision Lvl 1 for extra crit chance.

We mitigate damage through armour, mostly from equipment. We further use fortify in our attack/lacerate setup so its constantly up, we utilize endurance charges generated in our leap slam setup and Cast When Damage Taken linked to immortal call. Soul of Steel can now be crafted onto amulets so for lategame we surely want this for even more defenses. Otherwise we can get it on the tree but we have to spent some points on it, which is not recommended.

Where to spend your money when

For leveling just equip any one hand sword with decent physical damage, try to get a 3l (cleave/reave/Lacerate with any support that helps is fine) in the early acts and a 4link in act 4 (with lacerate, multistrike, brutality and fortify). Start picking up ancestral warchief, preferably vaal ancestral warchief as soon as you get one (a3 siosa). even with shitty equipment a warchief on a 3 or 4 link will still kill all bosses in the story if you just move away from his attacks.
Try to get the auras as soon as possible (Dread Banner, Pride, Blood and Stone, Precision), same for leap slam with faster attacks.

Every gearslot except for the swords should be focused on defenses, with the exception of boots, where you should get movement speed.

This should be enough to get you to maps.

When reaching maps your goal should be the following:
Get your skill gem setup up except for the blasphemy, which comes later. You equip two scaevas (or foils with decent dps if you can afford them) and buy a 5l, the rest of the gear is to get your res capped and you need as much life as possible on every gear slot. Also get all the utility flasks with beastcrafted useful suffixes (anti bleed etc.)
This will let you run maps and generate currency.

Next step is to get an impresence amulet and a 5l body armour with + to maximum life/increased maximum life.

Since everything is rare in this build except for the amulet basically everything going onwards is getting better rares.

Last edited by Karlchenkeule on Sep 18, 2019, 12:06:25 PM
Last bumped on Sep 7, 2019, 10:06:02 PM

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