1.3 [Newbie Friendly] GROUNDSLAMMER BUILD

Z dedykacja dla małego, rudego stworzonka, któremu zawdzięczam swe miano

Hello, my dear fellows!

Let me present you well known cookie cutter build: Ground Slam Mace Marauder. It is made especially for new players, so they can learn the ropes, simultaneously creating very powerful end-game character.

» Are you tired of dying at normal Merveil?
» You don’t have shitloads of chaoses to afford equipment that will make your build at least… viable?
» Keep trying to get past cruel Vaal?
» Or maybe game mechanics is too hard, and you want easy build to start off?


This build is especially for you!
» Generally you will be able to rush through ALL difficulties with gear bought… from vendors! Really!
» For maps… you will have to get some crap rare items of course, but those are end-game feature. They are to be hard!


How is it even possible?!
» This build is connecting two of very powerful features: high Armor and Life Pool for maximizing your defense (defense is very important in PoE!)
» Simultaneously build dish out very high damage (that will allow you do one-shot white critters), because of wielding two-handed weapons. Precisely speaking: maces, as they are most powerful melee weapons in game (no, not axes!)
» High damage output will improve our defense even more, due to enormous amount of life leeched form enemies (this build can reach up to 20% life leech cap).


Yea, sure. So this build is either highly complicated or expensive…
» Your main statistics (as for Marauder) is STR, and you won’t need INT nor DEX
» All equipmentpieces you will wear are STR-type. Additionally they add armor rating!
» Also all sockets you will need are red. Additionally they are most common in strength type equipment we wear!
» Your gems are all STR based!
» Also, all gems are quest rewards! You won’t need to buy a single one!
All this features makes your character unbelievable easy, and cheap. What is more, build has another, awesome ones:
» Resolute Technique will make you forget about accuracy
» Blood Magic will make you forget about maintaining mana – pure skill spam!
» High Life Regeneration will make you forget about drawbacks of Blood Magic. It looks like skills have no mana cost! Serioulsy!


”Newbie Friendly” tag DOES NOT mean build is worse. No, it means that build is written in more accessible way.



How do I follow it? Which nodes are to be taken first?
The most important nodes are Blood Magic and Resolute Technique Keystones and you should get those as early as possible. The rest of the tree is directly depentant on your equipment: if you lack of survivability - take life; if you need more damage - go for physical damage.

I can propose you sequence as following:
1. Blood Magic <<CLICK ME>>
2. Resolute Technique <<CLICK ME>>
3. Duelist's Area <<CLICK ME>>
4. Scion's area <<CLICK ME>>


Why only 103 points?! Tree allows you to use 120 of them!
» You won’t reach 100 level.
» You will have about 103 point at 85 level, which is approximately something normal player will achive.

There are some various end game options, and they are quite complicated, so they are shown in different section – I don’t want you to overload you with informations.


For sure you want some explanation
General assumptions:
» General assumption of the build is pretty straightforward. Just collect as much life as possible (main source of defense) and use primitive hard-hitting two-handed weapon to slaughter your enemies. This, along (relatively) long range provided by Groundslam is truely powerful combo.


Additional features:
» We take Resolute Technique, because always-hitting will skyrocket our damage output. Critical hits? 5% chance to deal 50% more damage? It’s like 8% increased averaged damage. It simply does not worth sacrificing tonnes of nodes, equipment’s mods and even sockets for such minor upgrade.
» Life Regeneration allows us to take safely Blood Magic. Seriously – don’t be afraid of it, because build is prepared for this. You won’t see ANY disadvantage of Blood Magic in terms of sucking life. But you will notice advantage of mindless skill-spam, that will improve both: your play comfort, effective damage output and even survivability (more life leeched per second).


With this guide you will need just two skill gems with supporting them support (sic!) gems. What is more: all of them you will get very early and from quest rewards! Those skills are most often used in melee builds. Let me point, that all those skills require red socket - color, which is most probable for us to get.

Because a lot of people ask: you simply do level gem to the max.

It’s your’s primary AoE attack. It has everything: high range to keep us safe from enemies, also high range let us hit bigger packs of enemies, and one of the highest damage rate of all AoE Melee skills. No, you can’t use Cleave nor Sweep, because they suck. You won’t notice it in normal, but you WILL notice it in curel and later.
Support Gems:
1. "Life Gain on Hit"
2. "Melee Physical Damage"
3. "Added Fire Damage"
4. Faster Attacks

PR0TIP! After you reach ~1000 dps you can safely swap "Life Gain on Hit" to "Life Leech".

PR0TIPIf you want estimate Life Gain on Hit versus Life Leech relation more precisely:
1. Take your dps you have multiplay it by % of damage leeched
2. Take your amount of life gained per hit and divide it by your attack speed and then multiplay it by 0.7 (for Ground Slam) or 1.5 (for Heavy Strike)
3. Compare those two values: higher means more life gained per second


This is your mobility skill. Use it to move quickly and fluently. It does not need any support gems, but if you want even faster movement you can support it Faster Attacks.
Support Gems:
1. Faster Attacks

This curse is designed for situations when you leapslammed into massive pack of nasty monster and your life pool is going down disturbingly fast, because it gives you fair amount of life and additionally grants you Endurance Charges.
Warlord’s Mark needs no support gems.

Use this curse against bosses and other hard hitting enemies. They tend to be alone, so "Warlord's Mark" is much less powerful (not many enemies to leech life from). And Enfeeble will greatly reduce incoming damage.
Enfeeble needs no support gems.


It serves you in two ways: 1st as a meatshield, and 2nd concentrating critters so you can madgroundslam them all at once!
Decoy Totem needs no support gems.


We use no auras.


This is very powerful gem combination that requires you to link "CAST WHEN DAMAGE TAKEN"[/b] with "ENDURING CRY" and "IMMORTAL CALL". Very often when you receive damage, "Enduring Cry" is triggered, which grants Enduring Charges. These are immidiatelly consumed by triggered "Immortal Call" granting from 1 to 3 seconds of complete immunity to physical damage!
Because it triggers really often, this is insane boost to surviability.

Cast when Damage Taken HAS TO be kept on level 1! Enduring Cry HAS TO BE maximally level 5 and Immortal Call - level 3. Increased Duration can reach any level, even 20.

Support Gems:
1. "Increased Duration"


We use 2-HANDED MACES. They are simply best in terms of dps.
No, you can’t use axes or swords. Well, you can, but then – you will be far, far worse.
Also 1h+shield makes no sense. We will lack too much damage and damage paradoxically adds some defense via life leech.

What mods should we look for?
1. % Increased Physical Damage
2. +x-y Increased Physical Damage
3. % Attack Speed
No other mod makes difference for us.

1. Look at written damage range
2. Take average of it
3. Multiply it by “hit per second”
4. Compare those values, and choose mace with highest one.

PR0TIP: DO NOT care about added fire/cold/lightning damage at your weapon. Ignore it!

PR0TIP Let’s assume I have two maces:
1st one deals 150 damage and hits 2 times in second.
2nd one deals 200 damage and hits 1.5 times in a second.
Both of them deals the same 300 damage per second. Which one is better? Or are they equal?

Surprisingly second one is better -> it deals more damage per hit, means more critter’s armor is penetrated resulting in higher overall damage.


This build is very gear independent. But it does not mean we can run Merciless naked, but allows you to finish game with vendor-bought items. There is one thing we have to fulfill: reached elemental resistance cap (default 75%).


What type of equipment do we use
You can use any equipment piece you can wear. It doesn’t matter if it is evasion-, armor-, or even energy shield-related. Just use that, with highest recommended mods.


Recommended Modificators:
» Elemental Resistances – those have to be maxed!
» Life – boosts our general survivability.
And… that’s all. As I said – this build is very gear independent. We just need two modificators. You can boost your character a bit, by adding high (“high” word is crucial) armor gear – but not at the cost of other two modificators!
We do not need: x-y Increased Physical Damage, x-y Increased Elemental Damage or others similar.


Firstly we need one four-linked item (later five-linked one), so we can put gems there. This can be any piece of equipment (expect weapon), can be white, without any modificators.

» Helmet –life
» Chest –life
» Boots –movement speed
» Gloves –life
» Rings –resistance
» Amulet –resistance

PR0TIP: Do not look at armor-rating. It is very likely to be pierced by enemies. Make a rule: 300 more armor makes a difference. Also don’t look at armor before 30-40th level.

PR0TIP: At the very first level buy coral amulet and two coral rings. This will enormously increase your survivability

PR0TIP: You can get awesome life/resistance mods from… vendors! Really!

NORMAL DIFFICULTY: Oak - Health - there are no skill point that will give you so huge benefits. Note, that this health is multiplied by our 'increased health' - resulting not in only 40 points, but over 100.
CRUEL DIFFICULTY: Oak - Physical Damage - 18% increased Physical Damage is something only few nodes (already taken) may grant to you.
MERCILES DIFFUCILTY: Kill All - Skill Point - Since we do not use charges, we simply take Skill Point as a reward.


Let me present you gems, you can use along this build. They are not required for build. Some of them are recommended, some of them are not and some of them are useful in some, certain case. This is generally a list of such gems. More informations about recommended ones will be provided in improvements section.


1. Molten Shell – Fun armor booster. You have you keep on refreshing it every 10 sec, so it's quite annoying. Since this build isn't armour focused it isn't really worth the efford.

2. Bone Offering/Flesh Offering - Useful tool to remove corpses in case of Soul Condiut rare monster, Corpse-exploding Stronbox or a small army of those annoying Necromancers


1. Vulnerability – Simple damage booster. Well, reducing enemies' damage by Enfeeble is far more superior than this.



1. Multistrike - Strength Based. NOT Quest Reward. I am very reserved in judging this skill. It generally increases attack speed two times, but halves damage. It may thought that overall dps is unchanged, but lower damage pierces less armor efficiently lowering effective dps.

2. Concentrated Effect - Intelligence Based. NOT Quest Reward. Awesome gem in terms of increasing damage as it grants huge multiplier, but has one downside: it highly reduces our survivability drastically decreasing range.


I’ll list several improvements that may buff your character even more. But keep in mind that most of them either decreases your survivability or requires stats other than strength. Do them ONLY if you are sure, that you can handle survivability hit. If you don’t you can always come back to basic build.
I’ll try to list them from easiest, to hardest.

After some time you will be able to fully handle mana(life) cost and incoming damage via life leech support gem. Then why don’t ask ourselves a question: we deal almost only physical damage. Why don’t use items with “% Life Leech from Physical Attack” mod. Well, there is nothing to keep us away from this! Collect the gear with “% Life Leech from Physical Attack” mod (only gloves, rings and amulets can have this mod), and you will be able to drop Life Leech Support Gem for another damage-oriented!

» Damage output high enough to maintain life. Usually over 1k from Ground Slam.
» Collect gear (gloves, rings, amulets) with “% Life Leech from Physical Attack” mod.
» Swap Life leech Support Gem with another damage oriented.
» Profit!

To be honest: Decoy Totem itself is weak. It dies fast. Even quality one dies pretty quickly. But there is a way to create even stronger one. Let’s link Spell Totem to Summon Skeletons and we will end up with totem that keep spams skeletons. Yes, they fell off pretty quickly, but they will replenish even faster!

» Intelligence high enough to maintain Summon Skeleton Gem (151 at 20th level).
» RED-BLUE link in your gear.
» Get Spell Totem and Summon Skeleton linked together.
» Profit!

Another step of improving character is getting an 6-linked chest armor. Yes – chest armor. Not mace. Let me repeat: chest armor, not weapon. Mace is used for damage and should be maximized in that direction. It’s way cheaper to get 6-linked armor than uber-damage AND 6-linked mace.

You’ve bought it yet? Perfect. Now you probably want to know what Support Gem you may put in. I won’t tell you which exactly, because it hardly depends on your equipment. You should consider choice according to your case. Gems you can add:
» Concentrated Effect - if you feel tanky enough to take survivability hit (lower range) you can consider this gem as it grants huge increase in damage. Intelligence Based.
» Area of Effect – if you lack of defense you can add this gem to get more range, which highly increases your survivability. Intelligence Based.
» Multistrike – you can consider this this gem, but as I said I’m very suspicious about it’s efficiency. You have to check it out on your own skin. Strength Based.

» Enough currency to buy 6-linked chest armor
» Enough statistics to maintain chosen support gem(s)
» Add support gem(s) of your choice to Ground Slam
» Profit!

You had to notice that there are many skill points wasted into resistance nodes – total of 8! That’s a lot of points, which could be used in much better way. If only you can max out resistances without these nodes – respect them! Keep in mind that you still have to have resistances maxed. It is crucial for survivability. An increase from 75% to 80% would bring and 25% lower elemental damage!

» Maxed resistances without certain elemental resistance nodes.
» Respec some unneeded elemental resistance nodes
» Profit!

There are some awesome auras, but you can’t use them, because they would reserve percentage of your life? So what about respeccing Blood Magic, so we could reserve mana instead of life? Then we would be able to use some of out those four awesome auras:
» DETERMINATION – that grants huge bonus to our armor rating
» VITALITY – that let us regenerate even more life
» HATRED – that boosts unbelievable our damage output
» PURITY – that grants plenty of elemental resistance and what is even better: maximum elemental resistance! (80% to 84% means ~30% lower elemental damage received)

But wait – how would we maintain mana cost then!
There are two ways dealing with that:
» Supporting Ground Slam with Blood Magic and getting enough Life Leech Support Gem or items with “% Life Leech from Physical Damage” mods.
» Leaving Ground Slam as it is and maintain it from mana using Mana Leech Support Gem or items with “% Mana Leech from Physical Damage” mods.
Second way if more profitable, but harder to realize, because we have low mana pool. And there is a cap, that only 20% of total mana/life can be regenerated per second. If Ground Slam sucks more than 20% of your mana per second you won’t be able to use second way.
Also keep in mind that Blood Magic strongly increases (over two times) life cost of a skill. You have to be ready for this.

http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/73928 <-- [Newbie Friendly] Marauder Melee Build
IGN: NinjaArabStrategist
Last edited by NinjaArabStrategist on Dec 15, 2014, 12:37:51 PM
that's a great guide. useful for a casual player, as it gives both damage and tankiness - hp, hp regen and resistances.

edited: all skills are listed, I didn't look carefully enough!

anyway, great job. :-)
Last edited by cyanide on Jan 24, 2013, 5:41:07 PM
This guide is what I (and I'm sure many others) have been looking for. Thanks!
Well, I wanted to make this build as simple as possible, to not overinformate new players.

As i wrote in guide: best skills would be heavy strike and ground slam. There is also awesome lightning strike, but it requires much more spohisticated knowledge than ours 'slashy-slashy' build.
Other skills, like auras or curses?

Curses: Vunerability
Auras: Anger, Wrath (these does not give you much, since we do not use elemental damage, and they require int), Grace (awesome if combined with Iron Reflexes, requires dex), Discipline (negligible bonus, requires int)
Totems: Totem of Decoy, Totem of Regeneration

Is this what you wanted to know?
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/73928 <-- [Newbie Friendly] Marauder Melee Build
IGN: NinjaArabStrategist
yes, pretty much. it also shows that this build doesn't require other skills than 2 active ones, that is heavy strike and ground slam. so it really is a newbie friendly combination. :-) good job.
yes, pretty much. it also shows that this build doesn't require other skills than 2 active ones, that is heavy strike and ground slam. so it really is a newbie friendly combination. :-) good job.

That's exactly what i wanted to achieve.
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/73928 <-- [Newbie Friendly] Marauder Melee Build
IGN: NinjaArabStrategist
Love the guide. I seen a few talk about every item slot in the game and what stats to look for as a new player. Would you be willing to do something around this range?

This is an example:

Islidox wrote:
Gear Priorities:
For gear, I'll go over the things you want and need on your equipment:

+ % of evasion rating
+ flat evasion
+ life
+ % Resistances
+ 15-30% movement speed for boots

+ % of evasion rating
+ flat evasion
+ life
+ % Resistances
+ flat physical/elemental damage or a %
+ Life or Mana gain on hit/leech

+ flat or % physical/elemental Damage
+ attack Speed
+ life
+ % resistances
+ x stat attributes
+ life or mana regen

+ life
+ % Resistances
+ % weapon elemental damage
+ charges gained or less charges used

+ % Attack Speed
+ flat physical/weapon elemental damage
+ % physical/weapon elemental damage
+ % critical strike chance and multiplier

+ % weapon Elemental Damage
+ flat physical/elemental Damage
+ attack speed
+ flat life or mana
+ % Resistances
+ % critical strike chance and multiplier


If you're a BM build, try to get some gear with life regen on it or life gain on hit or life leech on gear. Likewise with mana builds, but with mana regen/GoH/leech.

Don't forget that you're not restricted to using strictly Ranger gear. Using Duelist gear can allow you to get an easier combination of green and red sockets and a combination of both armor and evasion. (I've seen some decent hybrid gear.)
Kanechart wrote:
Love the guide. I seen a few talk about every item slot in the game and what stats to look for as a new player. Would you be willing to do something around this range?

This is an example:

Thank you for feedback, as it realised me very important thing. I have something you've exampled:

To increase our survivality (health regen) to unbelievable scores there are ONLY three things we should care about in equipment:
- HEALTH REGEN BONUSES (mainly early-on)
- Resistances

But thank to you I see it's firstly, not visible enough, secondly - pretty poorly made.
I'll apply your feedback as fast as possible
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/73928 <-- [Newbie Friendly] Marauder Melee Build
IGN: NinjaArabStrategist
this guide gives away 50% twohand damage for a little bit resistance?

Do you mean that i could spent those 5 resistance nodes on some damage-ones? Please, in future write more detailed feedback, so I can know what do you mean.

First of all: Passive skill tree brings about 130% increase in damage, and with support gems and strength you will probably hit about 300%. I think new players - for those the guide is made for - won't see much difference between 350% - 300%, as it is only ~15% more.

But, new player are CONSTANTLY DIEING at Hailrake, Merevil and Vaal. They don't know how to increase resistance nor even if they should. With those additional resistance they will handle it with ease. Sacrifice this for 15% more damage? I don't feel like this.

But I would love if you could share your opinion.
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/73928 <-- [Newbie Friendly] Marauder Melee Build
IGN: NinjaArabStrategist

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