[3.15] Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator - tanky & fast mapping - good scaling - all content

Hello Exile,

Welcome to my Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator Guide.

I played alot of minion builds in the past before 3.8 and it was really strong but needed some understanding. I was really happy when they announced the simplification and buffs of those builds. But they broke it and now we have > 40% Necromancer and im tired of it.

Spectral Shield Throw (SST) was always on my list as a really nice looking and funny skill. It received attention as some streamers played it last season with the Deadeye cold conversion variant. But vanished really fast again.

I wanted to do something else. And here it is. Bleed Explosions SST Gladiator with max Block.

I enjoy the build so much that i decided to write my first guide ever for it.


Pros & Cons:

+ fast mapping
+ great clear with bleed explosions
+ can do all content
+ tanky with 75/75 block, tons of armour & molten shell
+ really fun Captain America playstyle (throwing a shield that chains)
- lacking some single target until you invest currency
+- you need to play the game yourself

personally the last point is a big + for me. you have to play actively and aim with your shields. this is really fun. if you just want to click in the middle of nowhere and your tornado shot still kills everything or you want to afk blights with minions this build is the complete opposite and maybe not for you.

I killed all content with it. Guardians / Shaper are really easy. Über Elder needs some dodging. But also not that hard. I even did some delves at 590 depth deathless. Currently grinding my way to level 99. Conquerors and progressing the atlas is no problem. I did awakaner 8 deathless multiple times.




Changelog:
Spoiler

-> 22.07.21 - 3.15 update
-> 14.04.21 - 3.14 update
-> 27.03.21 - Update for gems, added more gear choices, error correction
-> 14.01.21 - 3.13 update
-> 25.10.20 - 3.12 update
-> 17.06.20 - 3.11 update
-> 26.04.20 - converted pob to 3.10 and added example cluster tree
-> 18.04.20 - 3.10 update with cluster jewels
-> 17.12.19 - added poeplanner link
-> 12.12.19 - added 3.9 pob and quick update
-> 04.12.19 - added Shaper showcase video
-> 11.11.19 - added Pantheons
-> 02.11.19 - initial thread



Gem Links:
Spoiler

Main Link:

4 Link
Spectral Shield Throw - Vicious Projectiles Support - Brutality Support - Unbound Ailments


5 Link
Cruelty Support



6 Link
Lifetap Support or Swift Afflication Support (only for Blood Magic)



Most support gems have affordable Awakened versions.

Aura Setup:
Pride or Malevolence: 50%
Pride has the potential to do more damage and also affects our initial hit. With Malevolence you can outrange enemies and its always up. Malevolence also has a nice Watcher's Eye mods to scale our bleed further.


War Banner: 10%
Pretty good for just 10%. Adds another Physical Damage Multiplier. It also helps our single target as you can just place it on the boss for a big boost.


Herald of Purity or Aspect of the Spider: 25%
More Physical Damage and some cool looking dudes
or
a stacking dps + slow debuff (Mandatory for Fenumus Gloves)


Utility:
Blood Rage:
Leech, Frenzy Generation, Attack Speed. Mandatory.


Dash:
Just to get over Gaps.


Enduring Cry:
Good regen, Endurance charges, Just use on autocast with Call to Arms Keystone.


Shield Charge - Lifetap - Faster Attacks - (Fortify)
Movement setup. Fortify is added through the weapon. You could also use Culling Strike Support if you feel comfortable with your mana.

Keep in mind that your Shield charge does a lot of damage as it also scales with your shield. In lower tier maps or just to have some fun you can easily shield charge packs to death.



(Vaal) Molten Shell :
With the granite flask i have over 35k armour, which gives some huge boosts. You can use the normal version as additional life and the vaal one as "oh shit" button. You can also link it to Cast when damage taken.



Ancestral Protector - Multiple Totems - Maim - Culling Strike
Good bossing setup. Maim + Cull are a great dps boost. And the attack speed is good QoL.


Corrupting Fever - Brutality Support - Efficacy Support - Swift Afflication Support / Empower
Damage Support that scales well with all our multipliers. Go for Empower 4 if you have the money.




Flexible Setups:
Tempest Shield:
Gives 3% Block and you have some open gem slots. Also gives a free shield mtx


Vulnerability - (Blasphemy):
If you are using Impresence. See gear section. Otherwise get Vulnerability another way (ring, trigger, corruption)


Precision:
I use it to boost my Accuracy a bit and for my watcher's Eye. Just adjust the level to your mana needs. Only run if you don't play RT and have a related watcher's mod.



Items:
Spoiler

Weapon:
There aren't a lot of good Statsticks for physical SST.

For a cheap and strong weapon i choose Advancing Fortress
15% Block Chance, free Fortify and some defense are quite good.


Alternatives:
Prismatic Eclipse with 3 green Socket for 36% attack speed buff, as it's a global modifier. You can also corrupt it for RT.


Runic Hatchet with Warlord Influence. Go for double bleed mods. I also like trigger craft so you can't forget your tempest shield / blood rage and put vulnerabilty on it if you don't have a another source.


Keep in mind that most buffs on weapons are local modifiers, so won't affect your SST.


Shield:
Colossal Tower Shield with as much armour as possible.

You can buy a ilvl86 for some chaos. Just throw some dense Fossil on it and you should be able to get one with 2k+ armour. This should be enough for nearly all content.

In 3.10 you can also use Defeaning Essence of Dread. They are now really cheap and always have a > 400 armour roll.


With Harvest you can go for a Shaper / Warlord base and craft without affecting your big armour prefixes. Life gain on block is just crazy.



Chest:
Lioneye's Vision.
Easy to coluor. Mana leech included . Life and a ton of armour. Free Pierce.
Pretty good chest overall.


Influenced Astral Plate
Always a good pick for any build.
Life, Res, Influence modifiers of your choice. I got Redeemer for Frenzy on Bosses and crafted Block for reaching the cap.



Amulet:
Impresence
Good life, Armour, Physical Damage and Vulnerablity aura. Presence aura also looks nice in my opinion.


Alternative:
Rare with Physical damage, life, Resist.
With Elder or Hunter you get access to "Physical Damage over Time Multiplier"


Annoint:
Cleaving / Growth and Decay / Crystal Skin / +30 Intelligence / Ambidexterity


Ring:
Just 2 rares with alot of Resist and Life.
I use the mastercrafted Prefix for -9 Mana cost.

Warlord influence for another possible source of vulnerability.



Belt:
Stygian with Life, Resist





Gloves:
Fenumus Weave
Aspect of the Spider, Attack Speed, Additional Damage for Bleeds



Rare Apothecarys Gloves with Life, Attack Speed, Resist.
Hunter influence can give you "Physical Damage over Time Multiplier"



Boots:
Armour based boots with Life, Resist, Movement speed

Hunter influence can give you pierce.




Helm:
Armour based with Life and 9% Physical damage.
You need an Elder ILvl85 Base for the mod since and it's not that easy to roll.


A good alternative and cheap helm which is always available with a lot of lab enchants is Crown of the Inward Eye



Jewels:
Watcher's Eye - If you have the money go for it. There are some good Malevolence mods.


Rare Jewels:
Look out for
- Maximum Life
- Damage over Time
- Damage with Bleeding
- Physical Damage
- Attack Speed (while holding a Shield)


Flasks:

Bubbling/Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching
Instant heal flask as in most of life builds with bleed removal.

Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
Going fast

Experimenter's Granite Flask of Iron Skin
The Iron Skin suffix boosts our armour by a ton. Great flask for Molten shell

Perpetual Silver Flask of Warding
We don't have a source of Onslaught so we go with this one.

Ample Quartz Flask of Heat
I love Phasing and some extra Defense is welcome. You can swap this flask for something you like.

I choose the Warding and Heat Suffix for my last 2 Flasks. For me thats the most important ones. Prefix are changeable.


Cluster jewels:
Spoiler

Large:
12% increased Physical Damage as enchant scales our damage very well. As Notable you can choose between Force Multiplier, Battle-Hardened, Iron Breaker, Master the Fundamentals ...


12% increased Attack Damage with shields can be used as well. Here you have Notables like Gladiator's Fortitude


Medium:
+5% to Physical Damage over Time Multiplier

Notables like Exposure Therapy, Rend, Vivid Hues


Small:
- 1% Chance to Block Attack Damage
can fix some missing block

- 4% increased maximum Life
can't go wrong with that one. Just go full life e.g. with Fettle or use some hybrid notable like Gladiator's Fortitude


Ascendancy / Bandits:
Spoiler

Blood in the Eyes -> Gratuitous Violence -> Painforged -> Versatile Combatant

Kill all bandits


Pantheon:
Spoiler

Major:
I often take Lunaris on my characters for some extra movement / defense in most situations.

Arakaali is strong on this character, as Damage Over Time is a weak point and i run no Grounding Flask

Switch to Solaris if your doing crit map / delve

Brine King is not useful as Stuns are no issue.

Minor:
Just use one regarding the encounter you do.



Leveling:
Spoiler

With some gear leveling as SST is really fast.

You can just use the common leveling items such as:

- Tabula Rasa
- Blackheart Rings
- Lochtonial Gloves
- Goldrim Helmet
- Wanderlust Boots

For Leveling i would prefer Splitting / Shattering Steel until 30.

Titucius Span will easily carry you to Blood Aqueduct.

Good starter weapons are Princess or Ewar's Mirage.

At level 70 swap for Lioneye's Remorse and go for maps.


Not sure about leveling with this character for league start. You could try Shield Crush. Lycosidae / Kaltenhalt are good early game shields.



Insights:
Spoiler

Playstyle:
Use Shield charge for movement and to keep Fortify up. You can easily charge into the middle of big packs. Your shield charge does a good amount of damage and your tanky enough to take some hits. Keep in mind that for most packs 1-2 SST is enough. It just takes a second for the bleed to do his work. But don't worry as i started with this build i was also throwing way too many shields at each pack. For bosses or dangerous mobs use your Vaal Molten Shell and War Banner.


My gear:
I linked most of my gear in the item section. Also my profile is public and you can just click on my account. Character: paLeDuelistBlight



FAQ:
Spoiler

1)
Should i run RT ? What about Precision ?

In my first version i had an accuracy roll on gear + a watchers'eye precision mod so i did about the same damage without RT but saved some nodes.

RT is most likely the easier way. The current pob also uses RT.

Precision is already in the list of "Flexible Setups:" which you can choose for yourself. So just drop it.

2)
Why should i run maim. Gladiator "Blood in the Eyes" already gives Maim.

Maim support isn't run for Maim itself, which is a 30% slow.

It's run for the middle line of the gem.
Enemies Maimed by Supported Skills take (10-14)% increased Physical Damage

This is an additional multiplier for our damage.


Tree and Videos:
Spoiler

I made a Path of Building file with multiple Trees.
Early / Mid / Late / Late with Cluster
https://pastebin.com/A3RnfEyP

I also made a T15 Toxic Sewer video to give a quick showcase of the build.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N80uwaimHRM

Shaper Showcase as requested:
https://youtu.be/22tuJ0BZGSI

Awakener Level 8 Showcase
https://youtu.be/dOGXNqre_ww

Videos are a bit laggy for my PC. But if you have some request i can try.



Patch notes:
3.15

Huge buffs to SST
now SSF viable as Divide and Conquer is removed
Cluster nerfs, so maybe more focus on the tree nodes
Support gem nerfs should be compensated by buffs. so overall not a big dps loss as other skills
Mana will be an issue. Maybe Enduring Flask will be mandatory.
Skitterbots + Hypo maybe.

3.14

Corrupting fever could be good for Single target support.
Just replace Red Storm with Vanquisher cluster
You maybe need to take Bleedchance on Bloodletting.
Otherwise build is the same.

3.13

Good buff to SST. Should be about 40% more damage.
Gladiator bleed node nerfed by 5%.
Multiple boss area sounds also not bad for a chaining shield.
Build is fine.

3.12

Alternative Quality ideas:
- Divergent Spectral Shield Throw -> Attack speed
- Anomalous Blood Rage -> Frenzy in boss fights
- Anomalous Vulnerability -> Curse effect



As this is my first build guide, please let me know if you think something important is missing. I'm also available for feedback and questions via Forum / Ingame.

I will try to update the build for new patches or changes

I hope you enjoy playing SST with bleed explosions.


Guides:
Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2672813
Shattering Steel Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2839530
Last edited by paLe1337 on Aug 7, 2021, 3:35:25 AM
Last bumped on Oct 25, 2021, 5:07:26 PM
Reserved as Placeholder
Guides:
Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2672813
Shattering Steel Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2839530
I'm leveling and following your build right now. What flasks do you recommend? I love how quick and concise your build is on here. The usage of spoilers is great as well. The leveling section was very helpful too. For a first build, this is great. Can't wait to see how this build goes late game. Thank you for sharing.

*edit* Oh also, I love love love love it when people do the leveling trees in Path of Building. Thank you!!! <3
Last edited by princessmisery on Nov 4, 2019, 8:35:02 AM
Thanks for your positive Feedback.

I'm really happy that you give this build a try. I hope you will enjoy it.

Also i added this text for the Flasks to the Item Section:

---
Bubbling/Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching
Instant heal flask as in most of life builds with bleed removal.

Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
Going fast

Experimenter's Granite Flask of Iron Skin
The Iron Skin suffix boosts our armour by a ton. Great flask for Molten shell

Perpetual Silver Flask of Warding
We don't have a source of Onslaught so we go with this one.

Ample Quartz Flask of Heat
I love Phasing and some extra Defense is welcome. You can swap this flask for something you like.

I choose the Warding and Heat Suffix for my last 2 Flasks. For me thats the most important ones. Prefix are changeable.
---



"
I'm leveling and following your build right now. What flasks do you recommend? I love how quick and concise your build is on here. The usage of spoilers is great as well. The leveling section was very helpful too. For a first build, this is great. Can't wait to see how this build goes late game. Thank you for sharing.

*edit* Oh also, I love love love love it when people do the leveling trees in Path of Building. Thank you!!! <3
Guides:
Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2672813
Shattering Steel Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2839530
+1 on the gratitude for making leveling trees. I always loved the idea of a tanky shield toss character and now it's time to get to it! Thanks!
Can confirm, this is a fun build.

I'm an altoholic, and i've been finding this one fun enough to stick around for a while with.

Thank you for the build!
Great you like the build :)

I finished 99 this week and will take some time off now, but will follow the thread regardless and answer any upcoming questions.

I will update the build for 3.9 if needed as soon as any changes are public.
Guides:
Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2672813
Shattering Steel Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2839530
I found levelling with this build quite quick and easy, especially once you get your SST up and runing with the gem so if you can get the gem and the two suggested shields early in league I think this might even be a good league starter.

I found it reliably tanky and had no deaths during levelling or doing any of the labs (Short of trap fails on my part).

I would however like your opinion on best Major and Minor Pantheon if that's not too much trouble.

Thanks again, this build has been one of the more fun I've played so far.
Yes with buying the shields leveling is pretty fast.

I will do an SSF session before this league ends and try to evaluate some league starter tips and what's the best way without leveling gear.

Pantheons are no big thing. I added this section in my starter post anyway:

"
Major:
I often take Lunaris on my characters for some extra movement / defense in most situations.

Arakaali is strong on this character, as Damage Over Time is a weak point and i run no Grounding Flask

Switch to Solaris if your doing crit map / delve

Brine King is not useful as Stuns are no issue.

Minor:
You could swap this regarding the encounter you do.

I'm lazy and just run Shakari for Poison Immunity and some Chaos reduction.


Have fun with the build.
Guides:
Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2672813
Shattering Steel Gladiator: www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2839530
hi, i was wondering why you have +1 curse on your astral plate, you dont use it right?
anyway its a fun build i really enjoy it
hfgl

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