I didn’t see a version of this for Marauder, and after a few people asking, I thought I would share my build.
This is the Big Nasty- tanky as hell with enough damage to wreck through anything the game currently has. This build is designed for solo play and to be as tanky as possible while also outputting enough damage to mow through the current content. I’ve also experimented with a ton of builds since the beta days and have found this to be the most fun for me. This isn’t a unique build, but I thought some people might enjoy seeing it laid out with gear and skill trees. This suits my play style and what I enjoy most. You could easily adapt this to Scion or Duelist.
With the benefits of an effective 7 link that Bringer of Rain providers including Blind, Double Strike along with melee splash provides the only attack skill necessary.
With Aegis, you can expect around 6500 hit points@85 and 18-20k dps, give or take.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Tanky as all hell. With armor, blind, and block most attacks won’t hit you and those that do won’t do much damage and can he healed up pretty quickly
Able to do any map with virtually any combination (there’s a few 78 map mods combinations I’ve yet to come across, but no reason why I can’t do them)
No mana issues. This applies not only to your main attack, but also leap slam or flicker strike if you choose to use it
Gear can be expensive. Soul Taker will be the most expensive piece, with BoR and Aegis costing some exalts as well. After that, getting the right gear combinations can take some work and effort to locate.
Probably takes a bit before the build becomes viable. This build isn’t really made to level off of, but it’s easy to spec into.
Mercliess- Passive point
Most people won’t make it to 89, but with this build there’s no reason build wise to prevent it. After this, you can fill in damage nodes as appropriate.
BoR : Double Strike + Multistrike + Added Fire Damage + Melee Splash
4L : Cast When Damage Taken + Enduring Cry + Decoy Totem + Enfeeble
4L : Cast When Damage Taken + Enduring Cry + Immortal Call + Molten Shell
Ensure your Cast When Damage Taken gems aren’t the same level. Find the mixture that works best for you. I prefer to have the one with my enfeeble fairly low at level 8 and the other one at level 17. Make sure your linked gems are at the appropriate level for CwDT.
3L: Reduced Mana + Hatred + Grace (or Determination if you’re using Lioneyes Shield)
3L : Leap Slam + Increased Duration + Blood Rage (swap Blood Rage for Frenzy as needed. Flicker Strike also works here depending on your playstyle)
This part is pretty easy. Cast blood rage when you enter a map and right click everything. I like to "pulse" my attack around lightening thorns. Click and let up until I have a good feel for where my health pool is going. I tend to kill the mages first
Q. Is this hardcore viable?
Yes. Absolutely. I don’t play hardcore as I don’t have the patience, skill, or internet connection to allow this, the only deaths I take are my own stupidity, not paying attention, or trying out a new combination of skills/gems.
Q. Is Soul Taker necessary?
Necessary is subjective. For me and my play style, yes. I loathe mana issues and even when I throw on gear with a ton of regen and 6% mana leech, the sequence becomes attack -> attack -> attack -> wait for mana -> attack. You will get more tooltip dps for sure with a higher end/mirror weapon, but in order for to match my play style where I don’t want to have to wait to attack, then yes, soul taker works best. As with anything, if you have a better gear setup with more mana regen, by all means go for it. Thief’s Torment would certainly help, but with BoR and losing chest armor, it’s really hard to match gear with enough stats to also lose the additional ring slot.
Q. What about Legacy Soul Taker?
Too expensive for the extra boost over normal Soul Taker.
Q. Ming's Heart Necessary?
Nope. It's a great way to add ~60 chaos resist and some damage, but you can get by without it. I clear most maps with Andvarius and only wear Ming's when a map boss does Chaos damage. With Mings and the rest of my gear, I'm sitting at 65% Chaos resist and all the chaos bosses are a cakewalk.
Q. Why all the extra gear?
I’ve always found PoE maps to be one of those areas that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. At least not as efficiently. You could keep Aegis Aurora on and risk it for example, but switching to Lioneyes, Saffells, Phoenix, etc… can make life a lot easier depending. I typically run each map with a lot of MF gear on and my "normal" set and then switch depending on whatever the boss is and if necessary. For example, if my map pool is low, and I’m running some 70-72 maps, I’ll keep the standard set, but for Shock and Horror, I’ll switch to Saffell’s for the +5 all resists and will switch out grace for Purity of Lightening. Combined with topaz flasks makes the boss a cake walk. For the chaos bosses, I’ll make sure Ming’s is equipped. For physical bosses, Lioneyes + swapping Grace for Determination and Anvil put my armor at 19k with 67% reduction and 78% block. Find out what works best for you.
Q. Which active skill?
Physical life leech isn’t necessary on gear, though it will make life a lot easier. If you can’t find any and have the chaos resist to support it, I would recommend Blood Rage. If you don’t need the leech, frenzy works as well, though you have to be a lot more active with it. Frenzy is superior on bosses that you can’t insta-kill like the last Dominus or those who don’t have enough adds to keep the skill going.
Q. Damaging map mods?
Double reflect isn’t much of an issue. Lightening thorns can cause a problem if you aren’t paying attention. See combat section.
Q. What about xx instead of yy in the skill tree?
You can ask, but I’ve played around with a bunch of different skills and this is what suits me best. One of the great things about PoE is there is rarely one option that is overall best. For example, if you didn’t want to use Blood Rage, spending 2 points near the Sovereignty node would net you 4% mana reduction which is enough to run 2 60% auras and one 25% aura with a lvl 20 reduced mana gem. This would let you run Tempest Shield (4% block + Light damage) for 2 points. You wouldn’t have enough mana to cast any non-melee attack spells unless you spent another point for another 4% node, but it is certainly an option. You also could take the path around Blood Drinker for both passive point leech and the 2 12% life nodes next to Bloodless. This would also put you closer to the axe nodes near Splitting Strikes. Getting Finesse for 2 points and Heart of Oak for another 2 points also have their merits, as does Aspect of the Panther. In fact, you could skip everything to the right of Thick Skin and pick up the same or greater damage, but lose on some attack speed and dex. Going to the right of Sentinel instead of connecting near Steel Skin is certainly another option, which puts you closer to 4 life nodes. You may find that Int is hard to come by and this may require another point spent on a +30 Int node. YMMV.
Q. Grace of Determination?
Try both and see which one works best for you. This is largely gear dependent. Determination can overcome Grace with more armor. For me, with Aegis Grace wins, but with Lioneye's Determination provides more defense.
Q. How would I level a new marauder?
This one is pretty easy. Assuming you already have the gear necessary, grab yourself a nice 2 hander or Mahori and level as a spectral throw. I love using a Tabula Rasa to level new toons, as the 6L should make life pretty easy. Spectral Throw should take you easily into merciless docks where you can level to mid 70s. Once you are 67, you can equip BoR and then switch into the build if you have enough block and life nodes.
If there's enough interest, I can provide some videos if requested.
Enjoy. I'd love to hear different people's experiences with this build.