[3.8] 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)
+- you need to play the game yourself
- lacking some single target until you invest currency

personally the second 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. But now lets get started with the guide.

Changelog:
Spoiler

-> 02.11.19 - initial thread


Gem Links:
Spoiler

Main Link:
4 Link
Spectral Shield Throw - Vicious Projectiles Support - Brutality Support - Deadly Ailments Support



5 Link
Swift Afflication Support


6 Link
Chance to Bleed / Unbound Ailments



Aura Setup:
Pride or Malevolence: 50%
Pride has the potential to do more damage and also affects our intial 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%
Crazy good for just 10%. Gives us needed Accuracy and another Physical Damage Multiplier. It also fixes our lack of single target as you can just place it on the boss for a big boost.


Aspect of the Spider: 25%
Good dps boost for your bleeds.

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


Dash:
Just to get over Gaps. You can also play Flame Dash.


Shield Charge - Blood Magic - Faster Attacks
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.


Flexible Setups:
Reckoning - Increased Area - Pulverise Support - Life Gain on Hit
Makes use of our Block Chance and Ascendancy and looks cool



Tempest Shield:
I was missing 3% Block and you have some open gem slots. So i used it. Also gives a free shield mtx


Blasphemy - Vulnerability:
If you are using Impresence. See gear section. otherwise swap this for some utility setup of your choice, but think about getting Vulnerability with a ring or glove corruption maybe


Precision:
I use it to boost my Accuracy a bit and for my watcher's Eye. Just adjust the level to your mana needs.




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.



Alternative:
Prismatic Eclipse with 3 green Socket for 36% attack speed buff, as it's a global modifier.

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.



Chest:
Elder Astral Plate with Life + Mana cost + (Maim)
in combination with your Rings you get your SST for free.
Resist helps and Maim + Life is nice.
Hard to colour. Needs alot of chromes or usage of white sockets.


Alternative:
Lioneye's Vision.
Easy to coluor. Mana leech included . Life and a ton of armour. Free Pierce



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.
There is also an Elder mod which gives "Physical Damage over Time Multiplier"


Annoint:
Piercing Shots for Astral Plate
Cleaving / Growth and Decay / Crystal Skin / +30 Intelligence for Lioneye


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



Belt:
Stygian with Life, Resist

There is a delve mod with the jagged fossil which gives Global Physical Damage




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


Alternative:
Rare Gripped Gloves with Life, Attack Speed, Resist


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



Helm:
Armour based with Life and 9% Physical damage.
You can buy a base with the SST enchant and throw Pristine + Jagged at it. If you go for the additional projectile enchant. See (Knowledge - SST shard projectiles count)



Jewels:
Divide and Conquer - Self Explaining. Get "Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you" if you have the money and want some QoL


Intuitive Leap - you can grab 3 really good nodes with it in the Ranger area
https://imgur.com/VOFF8Qk

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.



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:
You could swap this regarding the encounter you do.

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


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

Just start with some melee skill e.g Cleave and level up to Level 12.

Then equip SST + Lycosidae and your fine until 35.

Swap Lycosidae for Titcus Span. This shield will easily carry you to Blood Aqueduct.

At level 61 swap for Chernobog's Pillar. It costs nothing and with over 1k armour you will get into maps fast.

Not sure about leveling with this character for league start. I will check and add this later.



Insights:
Spoiler

SST shard projectiles count:
With Divide and Conquer you get -75% Projectiles.

At Gem Level 20/21 you have 13 Projectiles -75% = 3,25 -> 4 Projectiles

The game rounds up in the players favour here.

Adding the lab enchant for your helmet with additional shard projectiles adds 1 projectile for the merciless(+3) enchant and 2 projectiles for the über(+5) enchant also due to rounding up.

With the über enchant you then have 6 shard projectiles which is really good for clearing.


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

I will try to answer questions from the thread in here.


Tree and Videos:
Spoiler

I made a Path of Building file from Level 1-95 with multiple progression trees.
https://pastebin.com/wetK6brm

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

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



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.

Last edited by paLe1337 on Nov 11, 2019, 6:53:05 AM
Last bumped on Nov 11, 2019, 7:01:17 AM
Reserved as Placeholder
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
+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.
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.

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