[1.1]Reave Duelist - Cheap, Effective, End Game Farm

This build is designed to be able to get to (leveling) and farm Piety with minimal effort and farm her with some basic MF items. The items ‘required’ are very cheap (4 chaos will be enough to farm Piety), play style is active (you need to pay attention), the build is robust (great stats, a low required level, cheap, and you can use armor or evasion). While this build is not viable for high (70+) maps, it is easily modified to be with more expensive gear and levels. I was able to farm Piety in merciless starting around level 65 with some shit gear (like mighty flay). Having said that I also actively farm Dominus with this build. It can get a bit scary when he wants to touch you with his god stick, but you can survive a hit of it. The build took a big hit with 1.1 and while still viable isn't as well optimized.

I want to emphasize the price of this build again. Some of the builds that sport damage numbers in the 10s of thousands make use of very expensive gear (6L, legacy bringer, etc). If this is your first char. I would advice against that. To put things in perspective to get a 4L costs about 10 fusing, while a 6L is about 1,000.

Delta Due to 1.1

Changed from 72 to 78 for ‘core’ build
+8% health
+10 to maximum health
+2% of Life Regenerated per Second
-24% increased Evasion Rating and Armour
+40% increased Defences from equipped Shield
-10% to all Elemental Resistances
+1% additional Chance to Block with Shields
+59% increased Physical Damage with One Handed Swords
-22% increased Attack Speed
+30% increased Accuracy Rating with Swords
+40 to Dexterity
+50 to Strength
-10 to Intelligence

All in all it was a nerf. It now takes more levels to get comparable stats (compared to before I have less health, same damage, at the same level). I am keeping my eyes out for how to optimize further.

Also to note, all leech builds took a bit of a hit with the change to life leech. This build largely relies on HP regen with blood dance. Passives changes resulted in +2% regen. You wont really notice a difference in sustainability from life leech.

The Build

The core level 78 build

As you can see the core build can expand in many areas. If you are doing armor, there are several HP armor nodes available (maru area), if evasion then health evasion nodes (ranger area), several block chance nodes, and the awesome Diamond Skin node, and there are plenty of damage nodes still to get.

The reason to pick up versatility is for the int (required for reave and hatred) it is simply as cheap to get that as the +30, but it also gives you accuracy, and since that is a nice added bonus it is preferable. If you can get the int from your gear, you may want to drop that node and go for resolute technique.

Parsed Tree Info for the Level 78 Core Build

206% increased maximum Life
52 to maximum Life
4.5% of Life Regenerated per Second (another 6% from Blood Dance and Frenzy Charges)
2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life (5% with Perandus)

32% increased Evasion Rating and Armour
90% increased Defences from equipped Shield
12% to all Elemental Resistances
21% additional Chance to Block with Shields

337% increased Physical Damage with One Handed Swords
67% increased Attack Speed
58% increased Accuracy Rating with Swords
4% increased Movement Speed

230 to Dexterity
210 to Strength
50 to Intelligence
18% increased Frenzy Charge Duration
8% increased maximum Mana
2 to Melee Weapon and Unarmed range
1 Maximum Frenzy Charge

Required Items

Lots of messages about people trying to do this without item X or item Y. If you are unable to figure out how to adjust the build to incorporate your changes, then don’t change it. So to that end, this build requires 2 items. They are 1 chaos each, so if you are new this is extremely cheap and you should find your first chaos after a few hours of play.

Crest of Perandus
You want this shield because of the following reasons; Life leech (the build requires life leech so if you don’t have some awesome rings and amulets you will need that), good life role, resistance (it has 1 OK res role), and 40% block.


The Blood Dance
The big thing about these boots is that each frenzy charge = 1% health regen. This build pushes 10% life regen per second at the end. That is nuts, that is so crazy that you will think you are potting when you haven’t.

The pots that I have listed in my gear. Most attacks aren’t going to hit you. Literally. You will be pushing 60% block. The big thing that will kill are spells. So you will want resistances pots (you want them mostly for the max resistance but if your gear sucks they can compensate) with curing of a specific ailment (e.g. lightning res pot gets rid of shock). The other thing is the ‘emergency pot’. You will want a big pot with -25% restored, instant recovery on low life. If something makes it paste your dodge, block, and isn’t mitigated much by your armor you will need something to get you enough health that your regen and leech can finish off.

I am now also using Stone of Lazhwar to get spell block chance. To help cover the major weakness of the build. It isn't required but it will make some areas much easier, such as dominus. This item is also very cheap and costs ~1 chaos. It is also a good target for using vaal orbs, as you get block chance, spell block chance, and +1 frenzy charge. Also it doesn't require currency to upgrade (socket or quality).

If you are doing MF you will need the appropriate MF items(The Peregrine and Aursieze). I have all the items linked below.

Bandits Rewards

Normal - Oak +40 health
Cruel - Kraityn +8% attack speed (Oak works equally well).
Merciless - Kraitn for Frenzy Charge (endurance charge or skill point)

My Gear for Zero Risk Farming of Piety in Merciless

Weapon swap for more MF


With the above items at the time
Tooltip DPS for frenzy is about 9.2k.
60% chance to block, 40% evade, and max res


Running your skills on blood magic skill gems (instead of the passive) allows you to use your mana for running auras. If you want to compare DPS to DPS, running blood magic gems generally increases your damage. If you compare Frenzy DPS with blood magic + Haste and Hatred to Frenzy with More Melee Damage gem, the auras come out ahead. The other of this is that you can split the auras for defensive and offensive.
The auras to consider are; Hatred (the biggest increase in DPS), Haste (increases DPS and the faster run walk is a nice quality of life upgrade), Grace, Determination, and Purity of Elements. Once you have grabbed all the attack speed nodes in the build Haste’s DPS upgrade becomes rather small and it largely is used for the move speed (if your attacks are fast enough due to base weapon speed you could try Wrath, but you will need to be hitting around 10 attacks per second). So for hardcore leagues I recommend Hatred + Grace, for softcore Hatred + Haste.

Skill Gems

Just as the build is completed early on, the skill gem requirement is fairly low and can be accomplished just from rewards for the duelist.

Frenzy - Attack speed, Melee Physical Damage, and Blood Magic
It is really easy to get a 4 link, and since you can get the helm and gloves early on, its a great place to invest a bit of currency to get that. As with 1-handed builds you only get 1 5+ link, I would save it for Reave. If you disagree other gems could be; Life Leeche, Life gain on hit (you hit the leeche cap quick), blind (easier boss time), multi-strike (I didn't use it because I wanted frenzy to focus single targets, and multi-strike can lower that), added fire damage.

Reave - Attack speed, Multi Strike, and Blood Magic
Other gems that would work well; pretty much the same as frenzy for the same reasons, but now also melee physical.

Leap Slam - Attack speed, and Blood magic
Used almost 100% for mobility. You can keep it level 1 to keep the cost down. The speed of leap slam is only dependent on the change in attack speed (not the base value) so increased attack speed support works well.

Reduced Mana Gem - Hatred – Haste (or Grace)
If you are doing a hardcore league, you can drop haste for either grace, purity of elements, determination, or tempest shield (linked to blind!)
Cast when...
In my displayed items I have 'cast when stunned'. This is a cheaper version of 'cast when damage taken' which allows you to level up the support gems (a big deal for curses and molten shell). For hardcore leagues I would suggest using 'Cast when damage taken' and linking to enfeeble, molten shell, and enduring cry. There is lot of room here for doing what you want, you could also put on something like cold snap and blind. I use 'cast on stun' because a shield block that would result in stun still counts and casts the linked skill. It allows you to level up molten shell and what ever curse. You can change out either 'cast when' for the other. The build does not require them, and I was running Piety without them. Having said that, you can pick up both on the same char. (library in normal for 'on stun' and merciless for 'on damage').

Weapon Swap and Magic Find

This is some pretty basic concepts, but as this is meant for new people I wanted to include it. The rough explanation for how Increased Item Quality works is that if there is a 5% chance of dropping a rare, and you have 100% Increased Item Quality, you now have 10% chance of dropping a rare. What you also have is Increased Item Quantity. Quantity affects the number of items dropped, so here we use the term MF to encompass both added Quantity and Quality. Quantity has been removed from some of the new leagues (you can only get it on a few uniques). So adjust what I say if you are in one of those leagues.

Between the helm and gloves you are going to be sitting at about 70% increased item quality. We can get a little bit more by using a weapon swap (default ‘X’ will switch to a second set of weapons for you). Grab any old 2-hander with 4 links and put in Increased Item Quality, Increase Item Quantity, Leap Slam, and Culling Strike. Damage on this 4-L is not important, or even the stats on it. You will go around with your sword and shield like normal wacking everything till it dies. For bosses what you will do is right before you would kill it (when it is under 10% health) switch to your other 2-hander, leap slam, ‘cull’ the boss (culling strike kills anything with under 10% health), and get some increased MF due to gems. When soloing you can even use this to finish off rares.

Play Style

Play style between solo and group play is pretty much the same, but with two minor differences. In solo play you can maintain your frenzy just from Blood Dance, in party play you may need to throw in some extra frenzy attacks. Culling is generally less of an option in group play, or harder to coordinate, though you may also have a dedicated culler. I suggest you keep an extra pair of non-MF pair of gloves and helm for those cases.

As for how it plays, it is pretty straight forward melee build. You jump in, frenzy up some charges, and reave everything till it is dead. You keep note of your charge stacks, the damage type you are taking (have 1 emergency life flask and 3 resistance flasks), and mindful of your reave stacks. Positioning is key as you can double or triple your DPS. You want to be in such a way that the mulistrike reave is always attacking in the same general direction, so that everyone gets hit by all 3 attacks. Frequently I will hold space and simply attack from a good distance away to make sure I am hitting everyone. When you do get hit, running is a great option. You have between 5-13% of your max health regen per second. Worst case scenario you wait about 10 seconds to be full again. I find this guy more engaging then similar duel wielding cleavers that I have made.

This is similar to JForce's Bringer of Rain (BoR) reave duelist with a few changes. This build is a cheaper alternative that does not use BoR, allows for armor or evasion gear, and does not take Iron Reflexs (I like evasion, but IR is 2 points away). Jforces build also gave me an idea on how to save some points, so I wanted to give credit. Thanks to those who have given me ideas.

If you have any question, concerns, comments, or want me to expand on something, please ask.
Last edited by heroine4life on Apr 24, 2014, 3:39:12 PM
I updated the passive tree a bit and shaved off 4 points. Still looking for any CC.
good build, very cheap! recommended for first character :)
You've inspired me to try out the blood dance boots on my dual dagger shadow.
Xigar wrote:
You've inspired me to try out the blood dance boots on my dual dagger shadow.

On the surface blood dance look to really shift the offensive Frenzy nodes to a more defensive position. While this is largely true, it doesn't paint the whole picture.

For 5 frenzy charges, the frenzy gem will then have 50% attack speed 50% attack damage and then another 25% attack speed from the 5 charges (75% AS 50% AD). Putting on blood dance will result in going to 6 charges, or 60% attack speed, 60% attack damage, and 12% attack speed from charges (72% attack speed, 60% AD). That is a pretty neutral change in DPS, but now you also get 6% life regen per second.

So, for boss killing, blood dance will keep your DPS on frenzy about the same (as you level up frenzy gem more, it actually becomes better) but you get a lot more health regeneration.

The big downside from the boots though, is no life and no res. That is something that may keep this build out of high level maps as 100 health on boots translates into about 300-400 total health.
This looks so good! And I love reave too. I have a crit reaver shadow but his gear's stalled cuz I'm too soft to farm areas that would do me any good. And I've grown mad bored of leveling in docks and getting flooded by voidbearers all the damn time.
Is this build viable to farm in nemesis do you think??
I don't die currently. I have like 5 deaths on the char (3 due to afk).

To make it a bit safer, prioritize the health nodes (like any hardcore build) first, and even skip a few damage nodes (like the 2 next to berzerking) and get some more health nodes. 210% health is a bit low for hardcore modes but you can easily pump that up to 260% with the neighboring health nodes. You also have a shield with almost max block, which adds a lot of survability. If you want even more you can put on stone of lazhwar to get a good amount of spell block.
the easiest way to make it more surviable (I find) is to drop haste and to run grace. I am using CoDT linked with enduring charge molten shield and enfeeble. It makes me more surviable.

I also have a enduring charge that I am leveling which I cast before I engage a big pack. The only problem I have is engaging a big pack at the momoent as thats when I take the most damage.

The surviability of this build is amazing and I plan to stick to 95% of all of the nodes that the author uses just tweaking it a bit to make it a tiny bit more nemisis viable.

To the OP

thanks for an awesome build by far the most fun I have had on POE. When I hit level 80 ish I may respec to make it 72 map viable.

but thanks again excellent build so much fun
ktwilson wrote:
the easiest way to make it more surviable (I find) is to drop haste and to run grace. I am using CoDT linked with enduring charge molten shield and enfeeble. It makes me more surviable.

I also have a enduring charge that I am leveling which I cast before I engage a big pack. The only problem I have is engaging a big pack at the momoent as thats when I take the most damage.

The surviability of this build is amazing and I plan to stick to 95% of all of the nodes that the author uses just tweaking it a bit to make it a tiny bit more nemisis viable.

To the OP

thanks for an awesome build by far the most fun I have had on POE. When I hit level 80 ish I may respec to make it 72 map viable.

but thanks again excellent build so much fun

I am a big fan of Enfeeble and Temporal chain, for Nemesis Enfeeble will probably come out ahead. I like Temporal chain for bosses though as it really helps you avoid their big hits. Though at the same time if you are not getting hit, with my gem setup, it wont be cast. I would switch both to sets of 'cast when' to 'damage taken' and switch out enfeeble and chain as needed (enfeeble for 90% and chain for act bosses).

Grace is a great choice for more survivability. The other option is to put on tempest shield (and then either vitality or purity) linked to blind. Though I will need to do the mana calculation to see if that is even viable.

As for which nodes to drop/get. I would remove the 12% 6% nodes under precision and get the health nodes next to path of the warrior and then gymnastics (which then allows you to get another frenzy charge which bumps your HP regen and damage on frenzy).

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