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

Since i did not find any suitable slayer guide for pure phys dual-wield melee play in 3.8 i made my own build for it.
It has a good clearspeed in low level maps as well as in tier 16s, is great for bosskilling, cheap to get into but since we are using rares on almost every itemslot it scales better the more chaos/ex you throw on it which i really like.

Gameplay Video [Tier 16 guardian with Breach, Alva, Legion]

Pros and Cons

- Does not need any specific gear to run up to 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)
- Can beat shaper/elder/other bosses on a 100 C budget with a 5 link, farms hardest content smoothly with some investment

- No one plays melee this league (less crafted items available)
- Utilizes its full potential only when some exalts are invested
- Not the fastest clearspeed, no whole screen explosion mechanics, so not perfectly suited for blighted maps etc.

POB (includes two leveling trees)

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 as anointment.


We use two one hand swords with high pdps, attack speed and crit multi as a bonus. 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) early in the league, better ones would have also higher attack speed and more phys damage.

Slightly better weapons:

The above ones, together with some + to physical damage to attacks on other gear slots is already sufficient enough to do all endgame content like uber elder, shaper, uber atziri etc.

Body Armour, Gloves, Boots, Helmet:
To start mapping all we need are life and resistances.
Prioritize armour pieces, since armour gives us a good part of our damage mitigation.

5l body armour with armour base life and resistances is a good way to start. Later on a 6 linked astral plate with increased maximum life, + to maximum life, resistances and the maim craft (fossils) would be BIS.

Boots should have movement speed, life, resistances, maybe dexterity if you can get it extra there (we need some dexterity for the jewelled foils. You can either go for two toned boots or for the movement speed or attack speed enchantment, all of it is useful, attack speed probably the best.

Helmet should have an enchantment useful for you main attack skill (40% increased lacerate damage for example), otherwise life and resistances. There are useful affixes as physical damage taken as fire damage, nearby enemies take increased physical damage or increased aoe, but these, alongside other good stats get really costly.

Gloves can roll some decent attack rolls, like physical damage to attacks and attack speed, elder gloves also melee range. All of it is useful, but should come on top of maxing out resistances and high life.
You can either use spiked gloves or the of force or of blades enchantment.

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 a stygian vise for the abyss jewel socket.

One abyss jewel with life+onslaught on kill on the stygian vise provides us with onslaught during mapping.
The other jewel spots should be filled with normal (viridian, cobalt etc.) jewels with increased maximum life and dps enhancing modifiers like attack speed with swords, increased critical strice chance/multiplier etc.
Rich mans option are watcher's eye jewel with precision/pride mods like impale last for 2 more hits or 30% crit multi etc. These cost several exalt to mirror range though.

Starter gear in 3.8 blight league (works fine up to yellow maps):

Not perfect, but all endgame viable gear (shaper+tier 15 elder done deathless and super smooth):


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.


Bandits: Kill all.
Ascendancies: Headsman - Bane of Legends - Impact - Overwhelm

Where to spend your money when/Leveling

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 Oct 7, 2019, 3:12:36 PM
Last bumped on Oct 7, 2019, 3:13:26 PM

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