Top tier life based, "non-Aegis", Reave tank - in depth, with videos

Hello everyone.

I'd like to share my build in depth as I've got many questions about it regarding my performance.

I do play with Duelist, but the passive tree is absolutely the same for Marauder, so I've decided to post it in Marauder section as well.


Here's my gear:

Flasks I use in general:

Flasks I use when I'm dealing with various bosses:


Passive Skill Tree


Character details screenshots


Defense (with my armour based shield):

Defense for spell bosses (Auras and flask not included):


My thread Tanking toughest bosses where you can see this build in action


Gameplay videos with various mods

Crematorium, blood magic, -max
Shrine, physical reflect, vulnerability
Shipyard, -max, extra damage as cold


Skill and gems

Main skill:

Reave + MPD + MS + LL + (CE from helmet).
When that was 4L, it was Reave + MS + CE + LL.

You can see I don't use CWDT gem, I cast Enfeeble manually as well as Enduring Cry and Immortal Call, why?
Higher level of everything, making CWDT activate my low level Enfeeble/Enduring Cry is not good enough, takes too much time to get 5 charges and Enfeeble is not reducing enough damage. And if I decide to use high level CWDT it doesn't cast frequently, which is very bad.
No need for IC to connect with CWDT, physical reflect is not a problem with my amount of DPS, unless it's a map with no regen + vulnerability, then I use Enduring Cry and flask to maintain my 90%+ life all the time.

Using Arctic Armour when dealing with smaller fire/physical attacks/spells. Example: Jungle Valley boss room, Academy boss, Crematorium boss, Courtyard bosses. Huge damage mitigation.

Whirling Blades to quickly maneuver around in battles, like trying to dodge Vaal smash or Dominus's ToG.



I've started using Rime Gaze about 2 weeks ago, the idea was however 2-3 months old, but I stopped coloring after almost thousand Chroms didn't cut it.
Reason why I've replaced my old Pig Faced Bascinet is that I can have my 5L with Rime Gaze, wich gave me a total increase in DPS of 6.5k (from 17.5k to 24k).
And overall armour/life/resistance loss was insensible.

The only problem when Rime Gaze jumped in was half regen maps, since my mana cost of Reave skyrocketed, if I encounter that kind of map, I either remove MPD gem and keep playing normally, or I replace the Rime Gaze with my old helmet if there's a tough boss fight in the map.

I can't imagine playing without my legacy Kaoms Heart, but, it's very much possible to do most of the things I can with my current gear, of course you can't tank the worst possible bosses without some top tier items.

Build is not expensive in order to do most of the stuff, core of the build are Rainbowstrides and Saffell's Frame, which are both acquirable in under 4 ex worth.

Everything else should be maximizing Life and Resistances on gear, with leech where and when possible, armour should not be priority as it can be acquired elsewhere (Auras, flasks and ultimately Immortal Call).

Lioneye's Remorse is excellent choice for a shield if you're under-budgeted.

Get resistances on gloves, helmet, belt and rings.
Leave amulet for DPS, attributes and leech.


To sum up everything, how this build should be done

Life Leech has to cover full 20% of maximum life per second, either you're going to do that with 6L without Life Leech gem linked, and get enough leech on gear.

Get enough mana and mana leech.

Ideally life should be over 9000 to feel safe enough, sure you'd be able to wipe floor with Crematorium double boss, -max with 6000 life, but you should be way more careful and probably separate them and stay on 70%+ life all the time. Avoid Dominus/Vaal fights if you're in a leveling process, avoid any Dominus/Vaal fight with extra damage mods. One shot mechanics that can get you killed easily if you desync at the right time, and yes, probability is high for that to happen.

Armour is not so relevant, you can easily get 50k+ armour with flask/aura combination, and that is only necessary when fighting with hard physical bosses (Courtyard, Precint, Academy and maybe Palace).

Life regen should be over 500 to feel extra secure and to be able of replacing life flasks with utility ones.



Why Reave?
First of all, I needed an AoE skill, so the choice was pretty simple.
I've used Cyclone with Soul Taker before I decided to ditch both of them, and I have to say that Reave is almost perfect for this build.

Can Piety "cold form" in Shrine be tanked without Immortal Call?
Yes, and with Saffell's also. When I made that video I didn't had Iron Reflexes passive node, so I couldn't combine flasks/aura very well.

What's my the maximum resistance?
102% maximum, cold/fire/lightning. How?
10% from normal flask, 6% from Divination Distillate, 2% from the passive node, 5% from Saffell's Frame and 4% from Purity of xyz. Not a single passive point invested in flask/aura effects.

I've chosen to play a tank build without Aegis Aurora. And I've proven it can be top tier one, if done correctly.

Why do I use non-armour/life based gear?
Rainbowstride - spell block, and it has resistances, movement speed and mana, which is very useful for sustaining skills.
Rime Gaze - that's my 5L, amount of DPS gained outclasses any possible armour/life/resistances on a helmet.

Low DPS in parties?
Yes, it's low, with other auras in party DPS usually goes to 32k, with buffed auras DPS goes to 39k (highest I've seen so far).
However, 24k DPS is very good for solo play, I clear maps solo as fast as party mapping. Good thing to do is to pull out Concentrated Effect to gain way more AoE.

If you decide to try out this build with 5-6L and a weapon with a lot less DPS, your DPS should probably remain over 20k, especially in 6L, it should be over 30k if you don't use a 250 DPS "garbage", because why 6L and a weapon like that?

Chaos resistance -60%?
Yes, with the life regen and leech, chaos damage in present is non-existent. There aren't any tough bosses or any other monster that deal enough chaos damage to make me want to increase chaos resistance.
It's a little tricky with no regen maps and chaos damage over time, but it's easily countered with life flasks or in my case, just go and attack another monster, life pool is sufficient enough to be able to reach very far away monsters.

Extra caution needed while wearing Saffell's Frame due to high vulnerability to physical attacks. (take a look at my Temple video)


What to do if you're under-budgeted

I've done some testing without legacy Kaom's Heart, and I wanted to share the results.


Life was at 6600, with no life on amulet and boots.
Of course, if you're around level 70, you'd probably have around 4000-5000 life. Which is absolutely fine.


I've used a shit 240 pDPS sword, 6L DPS was somewhat over 15k - with 5 supports: MPD + CE + FA + AFD + MS.
Why without Life Leech gem? Too low DPS anyway, leech on gear + 2% passive is going to be sufficient.
5L DPS would be somewhat 12k, which is good for a 70-80 level tank and it will cost you maybe 5-7 GCP to cover both chest and weapon.

Lets take into account that you have a 5L and a 310 pDPS sword, just take out the AFD support, since you cannot leech elemental damage anyway.
DPS should remain the same.

15k DPS for a low cost is excellent, for a tank build like this. Given that you'd probably be 80-90 level with that gear, which means you won't be playing 76+ maps and 15k DPS is good enough for lower lvl maps.

If you start from 5L, next upgrade should be The Bringer of Rain, you can buy it for 7-8 ex (if the rolls were horrible, but who cares anyway).
BoR will give you a 6L + Blind which is great for attacks you take (not spells).
It will also give you a nice DPS boost through 20-30 physical damage mod, and it will provide 10% more block chance.


Only thing to worry about is getting as much life as you can, and make sure that you cover your resistance cap, and if it's necessary, spend some passive points into resistances.

Shield, you can get a 1k armour/evasion shield with life for couple of chaos, it will cover you until you manage to afford Lioneye's Remorse for 10 chaos or so.

But, before you jump to Lioneye's Remorse, get yourself a Saffell's Frame, you can buy a low roll for 5-6 chaos.

Rainbowstride should come after Saffell's Frame, because they stack spell block along with Saffell's, but they also provide mana, which is very useful.


In the end, you'll be able to tank most of the bosses and some even with tough mods with a gear worth of ~5 ex.


This build is also efficiently achievable with: Templar and Ranger.


Thread might be updated with more information, depending on the feedback.

Hope you liked it.
Gave D2 a serious try after a long time, was enjoying life of a WW Barb up until I met Iron Maiden curse.
ARPG devs really have some sickening anti-melee agenda.
Last edited by tinko92 on Feb 10, 2014 5:40:32 AM
Really like this build. I have been using an immortal build modified for reave but at best at level 81 I only have like 2.7k damage and about the same in armor. (was my first char).

I'm going to try this build out ... what are you using for aura's?
Hmmm, need to update this a bit.

Auras are optional, I tend to change them as I like. But the standard ones are Determination + Hatred.

EDIT: updated
Gave D2 a serious try after a long time, was enjoying life of a WW Barb up until I met Iron Maiden curse.
ARPG devs really have some sickening anti-melee agenda.
Last edited by tinko92 on Feb 10, 2014 5:41:07 AM
How do you get a 1h sword with 200 base damage that is insane..

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