[1.0.5] Critical Cleave "Blender" (Cutting Uniques Up Like Butter)

Although many think that Dual-Wield Cleave has been nerfed to the ground with patch 1.0: "The dual wielding penalty for Cleave is now multiplicative and includes elemental damage."(And don't get me wrong, it is a massively, massively huge nerf to Cleave) while Cleave builds that use Resolute Technique are more or less not viable anymore, Cleave that utilizes CRITICAL STRIKES is still completely viable as of the current patch. This build is a physical Cleave build that does tons of damage from Critical Multiplier nodes and equipment.

- Very high critical damage due to critical multipliers.
- Decent chance to block attacks.
- Can do most map mods without much trouble.
- Nice survivability due to life regen / leech.
- Build is relatively cheap compared to those blender builds that use Resolute Technique.

- Does not have 100% accuracy.
- Reflect hurts, and I mean it HURTS.

Essential Unique Items:

Maligaro's is definitely one of the most important items in this build, as it gives us some very crucial stats: attack speed, crit, crit multiplier. However, if you feel like you are having trouble surviving with Maligaro's due to the fact that it does not have HP or any resists, you can switch to any other gloves with physical damage, attack speed, and survivability that you need.

Again like Maligaro's, another item that gives massive damage at the cost of defenses. While this item is inferior to Bringer of Rain and standard helmets with life / resists in terms of survivability, this helmet is definitely a must when you want to stack damage.

Soul Taker is the least important unique that you'll need for this build. You don't have to use it if you don't feel like you need the extra damage from a gem different from blood magic or if you are fine with your mana management. Although if you do use this, it will potentially boost your survivability as you will no longer have to use life for some skills, which in turn gives you more regen / leech per second.


1. Hatred + Grace / Purity + Reduced Mana
2. Cast When Damage Taken + Enduring Cry + Enfeeble (optional if you need more defense)

1. Leap Slam + Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks + Blood Magic
2. Cast When Damage Taken + Enduring Cry + Molten Shell + Immortal Call / Decoy Totem

5L: Cleave + Multistrike + Melee Physical Damage + Concentrated Effect + Blood Magic
Soul Taker 5L: Use Added Fire instead of Blood Magic.

6L: Cleave + Multistrike + Melee Physical Damage + Concentrated Effect + Blood Magic + Added Fire
Soul Taker 6L: Use Faster Attacks instead of Blood Magic.

Standard Leap Slam + Whirling Blades mobility skills linked with Faster Attacks (If you use a Soul Taker, you can remove the Blood Magic gem).
As of auras, I use Grace and Hatred linked with Reduced Mana gem, but if you want to run another 40% aura such as Purity, you'll need to grab some additional Mana Reservation Reduction.
Casting When Damage Taken is extremely important for this build as this build does not have a lot of built-in defenses.
The standard physical damage links for Cleave, note that Concentrated Effect gives Cleave a TON of damage since it's an AoE attack (x% MORE Area Damage).
Priority of Skill Gems for Cleave:
1. Cleave (...)
2. Multistrike (A huge damage booster to any melee skill)
3. Concentrated Effect (50+% MORE Area Damage)
4. Melee Physical Damage (30+% MORE Melee Physical Damage)
5. Added Fire (20+% MORE Physical Damage as Fire Damage)
6. Faster Attacks (Self-Explanatory)
0. Blood Magic (Use if you don't have Soul Taker in place of the least prioritized gem)

Leveling Passives:

20 Points:

40 Points:

60 Points:

80 Points:

100 Points:

Full Build:

This build does NOT work for HC because the lack of life nodes. If you want to modify it for HC then you should take out some damage nodes and put it into survivability.

My Gear


Ideally you want to have two 1.7+ aps and 200+ pdps rapiers / rapier + one-handed axe. I am against having two axes as you cannot use whirling blades if you do that.
Maligaro's is pretty much the best gloves as they give a decent amount of crit and crit damage.
This build is better if you use Abyssus instead of Bringer of Rain as the former gives MASSIVE crit multiplier. But you can always use Bringer of Rain or even simply swap out Abyssus if you feel like you need more survivability.
As for accessories you want physical damage and crit / crit multiplier, any life and resistance would also be very nice. For belt use a Rustic Sash (x% Increased Physical Damage) that has life and resists.
To compensate for the lack of resistances in Maligaro's and Abyssus / Bringer of Rain, you'll want as much resists in your other gear as possible.
Very standard flask set-up, the only thing is that you want flasks that you're going to use often to have the prefix "Surgeon" as it recovers your charges when you crit.

Current Stats (level 66 & lol at my Chaos resist):

Normal: Oak (+40 to Maximum Life)
Cruel: Oak (18% increased Physical Damage) OR Kraityn (8% increased Attack Speed)
Merciless: Oak (+1 to maximum number of Endurance Charges) OR Kill All (1 Passive Skill Point)

Overall this build is very cost-efficient, easy to level, and cuts through things easily. This build is mainly to show that while Dual Strike is considered much better than Cleave with the Resolute Technique Blender builds, Cleave is still a considerably strong choice for a crit-based build.

Update Log:
Jan. 13; PoE Version 1.0.5: Guide created.
Jan. 15; PoE Version 1.0.5: Build modified so that the right side of the Duelist start is skipped due to the fact that it's not beneficial enough to invest in.
Jan. 16; PoE Version 1.0.5: Added the "Essential Unique Items" section.

If you have any questions or would like to inform me of flaws in this guide please reply to this thread or find me ingame, ign is TripleColored.
Last edited by bobyuan0609z on Jan 28, 2014, 6:59:31 PM
Giving it a shot, thanks for the guide! Will post back questions/progress.

Build updated, check update log for details.
Last edited by bobyuan0609z on Jan 16, 2014, 4:38:52 AM
Added the "Essential Unique Items" section.
A lot of fun so far....thanks for putting the guide together. I hadn't tried cleave-blending since the nerf to cleave, but with stacking crit, the damage feels meaty. :) Going to stick with this for a while.
Good to hear that it actually works for others :P
Last edited by bobyuan0609z on Jan 21, 2014, 10:39:19 PM
that hp is scary, and with abyssus. omg

going crit for 30k dps?

looks like the ultimate definition of scrubcore
Last edited by ancalagon3000 on Jan 25, 2014, 8:58:40 PM
ancalagon3000 wrote:
that hp is scary, and with abyssus. omg

going crit for 30k dps?

looks like the ultimate definition of scrubcore

notice how I was level 66 on the stats. by level 90 this build should achieve around 5k health with around 40-50k dps with merely 200 dps weapons, if not more
Last edited by bobyuan0609z on Jan 25, 2014, 9:10:24 PM

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