Non-ES No-Block End Game Low-Life Melee [1.1.X Updated]

The Demigod of Madness.


This end-game build relies on high quality rare and unique items. Gem quality and being an attentive player is desirable.

This build makes use of Blood Magic and the recently added 'Mortal Conviction' node (40% Less Mana Reserved), which in combination with level 19 (not higher!) Reduced Mana support gem (and the '5% reduced Mana Reserved' node) allows to run 2 of 60% (Hatred and Grace) and 1 of 40% auras (Vitality or one of the Elemental purities) while retaining the unreserved Life at just below 35%.

Being at low life enables the player to make full use of:

1)Blood Rage bonuses:
-> a lot of increased attack speed that goes well with multistrike's "more attack speed";
-> life leech is enough to cap the leeching capacity under normal circumstances

2)Lori's Lantern: a unique ring that makes attacks against user 'unlucky' (the damage is rolled twice with the least value taken - this is a huge survivability bonus)

3)Panicked Life Flasks: instant 800+ HP when on Low Life.

To make the 35% life a viable amount of HP the build uses a lot of life nodes, life on items and Kaom's Heart (new one will do). This yields around 2.0 k to 3.0k unreserved life - which is quite enough with the build's other defensive setups.

This version of the build also uses the Astramentis amulet to save skill points and get enough Intelligence, however I am certain there are more viable rare amulets out there.

- can swing even Erqi 4 times a second for serious DPS [upwards of 30k];
- high mobility with Lightning Warp;
- chain exploding or stunning things before they hit you;
- can withstand most burst damage (devourers, traps) and reflect: by default or by switching auras and skills;
- strong combination of DPS, survivability and adrenalin.

- on high level (>75) maps extreme attention is required - don't blink;
- no regen maps are somewhat problematic;
- some bosses and mode combinations will instantly kill you, which is not that big of a deal given the builds nature;
- double reflect is not safe for high DPS axes;
- desync.

The build is versatile, enables enjoyable clearing of high level maps and stands its ground against most bosses and mods (except 'Desync'). Its skill tree layout is best achieved by Duelist, while it is also available to Marauder, Scion and Templar with minor loss of usability (it's mostly gear - duh). The build is very strong and gear-dependent, it is meant primarily for solo PvE play in Softcore:

0) Life Leech as a must, high life regen as an 'is'.
1) Lori's Lantern ring (enemies are 'unlucky' when damaging you) + Enfeeble curse (usually for > 75 lvl maps and/or bosses) together give a very high boost to toughness;
2) High mobility: Lightning Warp + Reduced Duration support gem and 'Increased Movement Speed' boots (as well as the Lori's Lantern move speed bonus) enable escaping most dangers at instant speed (as well as faster clearing);
3) Offensively the build uses multistrike to reduce exposure to both Elemental and Physical reflect (also as a minor hedge against desync as it will choose new targets automatically).
4) 'Panicked' life flasks - 864 HP is a lot for this build. And what's more - it's instant!
5) A combination of fast attack speed with Heavy Strike or Infernal blow mechanics makes it so that many threats are stunned/exploded before they reach you.
6) If needed - Ming's Heart unique ring mitigates exposure to chaos damage from Blood Rage and otherwise.
7) Molten shell, +Melee Range and Decoy Totem never hurt.

->You find quite a bit of additional survivability in the new maul passives;
->Offensively the build relies on Kongor's Undying Rage due to it's good combination of defense and offense [an updated version relies on high dps axe instead];
->You can also use Erqi for its higher damage (less speed - roughly same DPS - more exposure to reflect), AoE, stun duration and build's ability to compensate for its low attack speed. ->Using Concentrated effect is possible, but reflects may become insurmountable and lower AoE lessens defensive value of attacks.
->The version below has 30k DPS in town and around 52k DPS with Auras and Blood Rage on


Single-target and AoE damage are not too differentiated in this build, you just constantly teleport across the maps (fast Lightning Warp + Blood Magic) cast Elemental Weakness, Vulnerability or Enfeeble depending on the map and your skill setup and chain explode/stun things at a very high speed. Totems, Molten Shell, Life Leech and Lori's Lantern will let you stand your ground against most bosses (don't forget to switch auras and curses).

Last edited by demon_progress on Apr 14, 2014, 5:39:28 AM
Do you have a video of this?
At this point I don't. I've never done any videos, so it may take me a while to do it.
The best part of it would actually be me - shaking from adrenalin and not blinking (!) - on like a 78 lvl map.
I've added a video of solo against lvl. 77 Piety:
The Knockback on heavy strike seems to lower the DPS...have you tried dropping bloodrage and using Frenzy?

-And any possibility of you switching Heavy Strike with a flicker strike and telling me the DPS difference?

-I feel the jumping around with flicker could stop you from getting hit as often.
1) About Knockback on Heavy Strike: it's not that bad: against large groups of mobs I hold position and keep swinging and if there is a more or less stable flow of enemies the DPS is dealt continuously (not to mention that a lot of mobs will die from 1 hit in solo). Against bosses: with those that can be knocked I hit a wall eventually. If not, I would still rather have Heavy Strike since it has the highest physical damage/DPS - and in this version of the build I don't use life leech gem and can only cap my leech with physical life leech from Blood Rage and Heavy Strike combo. P.S. for more enemies an Enduring Cry may be phased in instead of, say, a Molten Shell if it's not too crazy of a map.
2)With Frenzy (same other support gems as in build description) and 3 frenzy charges + blood rage (on low life) and hatred I have about 40k DPS (lvl 18, all gems - 20% quality). Which is less than Heavy Strike (perhaps even if we count in minor DPS interruptions with hold position, which are rare). Most importantly the overall physical DPS is significantly lower hence lower survivability, which is especially troublesome in lower regen maps. There's one frenzy charge close on the tree but I doubt it would change the picture drastically, unless you go all out frenzy charges.
3)Flicker strike (level 12, no quality) has 5.4k damage per flick and 0.11 attack time (same auras, supports, 3 frenzy charges and blood rage) hence the DPS is about 5.4*9=48.6k. It's very nice (albeit blurry) in low 70's maps with groups, since mob attention is spread around and you can go unhindered and unscathed. On higher level (75+) maps with a lot of mods (solo or group) you just don't want to lose control of your positioning (in groups you have heavy strike on hold position that stuns and knocks back and gives good life leech, in solo - you explode and stun things with infernal blow). Even having reduced duration Lightning Warp won't be enough to regain positioning in some cases (think about large packs of AoE mobs like Aristocrats or many multiple projectile ranged mobs) - you will also have lower life leech from physical. With blood rage or frenzy to regain charges you may very well end up in a big crowd of white mobs for a 0.1 second too long, while otherwise you have the choice of not going. I must note however that having quality on flicker strike will proc the Kongor's Onslaught quite a bit more often.
4)Blood Rage - is one of the corner stones of this build (along with Lori's Lantern, multistrike and a lot of life, note: good 6L armor with defensive triggers and about 2k unreserved life work quite well also), it is the gem that will benefit you most from quality on it in this case as it gives you >50% increased attack speed on Low Life (which in turn goes very well with Multistrike's more attack speed) as well as physical life leech on low life for survivability. The version of the build presented here also runs the Ming's Heart specifically to mitigate degen from this skill.
Last edited by demon_progress on Jan 4, 2014, 1:53:03 AM
Awesome build concept.

Did you take the attack speed from Kraityn or the damage from Oak in Cruel?
Thank you. I took +life and 2 skill points. At some point I was also using the Gifts from Above ring and two-handed crit passives to get Consecrated ground and way more Onslaught - it's not low life related but definitely a way to play such a char in a "burstier" fashion (also more party friendly and good against bosses imo).

Right now I'm trying to make a low-life end-game wander around the Lantern ring, Blood rage, without Kaom's, but with dodge, defensive triggers and this:
Last edited by demon_progress on Jan 14, 2014, 5:27:46 AM
The skill tree has been updated for 1.1
Pure glass canon build. Great!

I'd love to see a mirrored axe with build
So many strikes within one breath.
But only one strike needed, for certain death.

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