"This is a "guide", not a "look at my crazy stuff" like other threads.
My main goal was to make a build that will enable me (and other players after sharing) to reach Endgame content, to tank most stuff and to do sweet DpS without "BiS gear".
You will survive a lot of crazy stuff and have no problems killing everything with this.
If a player has the currency to get crazy gear, I would not tell him to play this build to the last skillpoint.
But such players should not need a guide in the first place or at least they should have played the game long enough to know what they are doing.
Also note that - like many other players - I have neither the time nor the currency to grind 75+ maps all day. I've done a couple, haven't encountered serious issues, but I have little to no idea if this build will hold up to Level 100, and to be honest, I don't give a shit.
You can comment all day about this "not being tanky enough for lategame" or "too much damage nodes, will die to xyz and qwert" or "lol n00b scrubcore trash will die to -maxresist map double dominus", why would I care? ;)
This build is as straightforward as it can get.
And because I am sick of all the "Path of Lifenodes" builds, I also wanted it to be balanced in terms of Life, Armor, Shieldblock, Damage and Attributes. It feels a lot more rewarding to put points into these sweet 24% Damage nodes than going from 8% life to 8% life all the time. At least imho.
It is designed to have a pretty good amount of tank, combined with enough DpS nodes that you can crack the 20k DpS barrier even without GG stuff.
I do not play this character in a hardcore league and I have died several times.
For me it is: If I fail, am too slow, not prepared, too stupid, unknowing or whatever I could do wrong, I have no issues with dying. I deserve to die then.
I will take that trade any day ("risk and quick progression" vs "even more tanky and slower progression").
However I don't see why it shouldn't be viable for hardcore. If a player is a bit more careful and patient than me, and is willing to grind for xp and items before rushing the content, I guess he can do it.
I hope you enjoy the guide, and maybe you even want to try a Reave Marauder yourself. Would make me really happy. I also enjoy critique, suggestions and other kinds of comments.
1.1 is actually an upgrade or a buff for this build.
I gain damage and life through the new "sword+axe" nodes and I have to invest less points into armor (outside of marauder start).
Basically I traded 1% less max resists (no elemental adaptation involved) and 1% block (74% seems to be enough, can easily be upgraded to 75% for 1 skillpoint) for ~500 life, a ton of armor and ~1000 DpS.
The scion life wheel nerf doesn't matter whatsoever as I didn't go there anyway.
Note that some "prices" in the gearing section are completly off now, I have no idea what a multistrike gem etc costs now in the new leagues.
Also note that I had just one try on my new skill tree. Of course I played around in the skill tree planner before I specced into this 1.1 version, but it may not be "perfect". There may be more costefficient approaches.
However I'm very pleased with what I came up with.
Basic Build Idea
Why go for a shield?
I've played a lot of builds that were supposed to be "tanky".
But I've realized that without high (shield)block, it is just not tanky enough for me.
I want to stand in the middle of monsters.
I want to live through periods of hitting nothing, be it desync or plain stupidity.
I want to be able to grab items while there are still monsters around me.
I want to facetank guys like Kole and Brutus without running away and TP to town to refill flasks.
I want to stand there and don't have to use cheesy decoy totems and kiting around.
"Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"
All this I cannot achieve with Twohanded weapons or Dualwielding, no matter how much life and armor I try to stack, maybe if I had godlike mirrored items, but I don't have. I like to waste my currency... ;)
Why go for a sword?
Apart from the feeling that sword and shield is looking wonderfully oldschool, the real reason is the Skill "Reave". I'm totally in love with it.
Most skills I've used so far have crazy effects. they enlighten the whole screen, burn fireworks, make it shake, let you jump around like a madman (really, I have no idea how anyone can play a flicker+multistrike build or a crit discharge without going crazy or epileptic in short time).
Reave has a very smooth animation, it is valuable both as AoE and singe target, and it can be supported by one of the sickest DpS upgrades, the "Concentrated Effect" gem.
Why a Marauder?
First of all, he is the MAN.
You can achieve pretty much the same build from Duelist, Ranger, maybe even Templar start. But he is of course the manliest slaughtering machine out there.
And in case you get your dirty little fingers on the wonderful Unique Helmet "Bringer of Rain", he looks best because he doesnt wear a red shirt, he shows his tattooed muscular body. ;-)
Click me for Level 85
Skill Tree Explanation
I circle around to Duelist and Ranger because they have sick shieldblock nodes and because most of the sword clusters can be found there.
The life nodes you can grab along the way are super-efficient (lots of 12% nodes there), but they are not too many. You will most likely be running around with 4000-4500 life, not 6000+.
But that's a fine value with high shieldblock, don't worry at all (75% block quadruples your effective HP against physical damage)!
If you really really want, you can skip some of the damage nodes and walk to the big Scion Lifecluster, but I really don't feel it is necessary. Especially not in the version (1.1).
Why so many sword and damage nodes?
If I had perfect gear, I would skip some of them, and go for a little more survivability, but I don't. I want to kill my enemies quick, and well... damage helps. ;)
I have absolutly no problem with survivability. Not at all. So why not?
Why no Iron Reflexes/Unwavering Stance?
You can take both (at the cost of damage) if you think it helps, it's only a couple of passive points. I personally don't.
I have never felt stun is an issue, and the little amount of Evasion Rating on my Gear still provides an ok dodge chance (20%) due to the high dexterity. I tested IR, but I only gain a minimum % of additional armor protection, that just doesn't seem to be worth it.
Why the +30 Int node?
For concentrated effect. It requires you to have about 110 intelligence.
I guess you can achieve this through gear only (I'm already running pretty intheavy jewelry), but I can't, so I invested the point.
If you don't wanna run CE, well: skip the node.
Wouldn't Amplify be great?
The increased AoE and Area Damage would indeed be wonderful. I decided against it because I wanted to use the skillpoints in the Ranger Zone and I felt the need to have enough Dexterity for Gems and Weapons. But it may be a viable choice.
At the start, it may be helpful to invest a few points into the damage nodes in marauder start, but later you should respec out of them to grab better ones.
You rush Resoulute Technique, because it is awesome, especially with low dex in the beginning, and then you walk to the Duelist zone, taking the life nodes along the way, skipping the damage and the armor nodes, leave them for later.
After you have grabbed the Duelist zone, you make your way through the Golem's Blood to Ranger zone.
After you have grabbed the shieldblock stuff there, the rest of the points goes into the damage nodes along the way.
If you want to level further than 85, there's several options:
There's still shieldblock to grab (4% in Duelist, 4% between Duelist and Marauder).
There's more armor in Duelist zone.
There's the Templar zone with Amplify, life and onehanded damage.
You can find a Selffound Walkthrough at the end of the guide.
I'll update as I progress.
Reave is excellent both against mobs and bosses, it is the bread and butter skill.
4 Link Setup (RRGG or RRRG):
Reave + Multistrike + Melee Physical Damage + Faster Attacks/Blood Magic
5 Link Setup (RRGGB or RRRGB):
Reave + Multistrike + Melee Physical Damage + Faster Attacks/BM + Concentrated Effect
6 Link Setup (RRRGGB):
Add Life Leech, Faster Attacks/BM, Added Fire, depends on what you prefer.
6,5 Link Setup (Bringer of Rain):
Reave + Multistrike + Concentrated Effect + LL/BM/AF
*In the beginning, don't run Reave until you have the Multistrike Gem. It's just to slow. In Endgame, you could get away without it, but why should you? It's a huge DpS boost.
*I add concentrated effect only on 5th rank because while it adds the most damage, it is also the only gem that has a drawback (reduced AoE).
*With only one Aura and 2% Manaleech somewhere on your gear, you can and imho should skip the bloodmagic gem. Running 2 auras you are kinda forced to use it. While levelling it is totally fine to use mana/manaleech for Reave.
*You can, depending on what you are doing, swap the blue gem around. I sometimes use the Item Rarity or Increased AoE Gem for Farming.
*It can be a pain in the butt to achieve 2 green and 1 blue socket on pure armor gear. So you might be forced to use an armor+evasion torso or burn through a lot of chromatics.
4 Link (RGGB):
Leap Slam + Faster Attacks + Culling Strike + Item Rarity
Leap Slam + Culling + Item Rarity + (standard league legacy) Item Quantity
Used to move around, jump over obstacles and finishing off boss monsters. I try to cull rare monsters too, but it's a bit tough to get the timing right with multistrike attacks.
I run it on my remaining mana, which gives me 3-4 jumps before I have to wait a little for my mana to refill. Not perfect, but absolutly fine.
Again it's a pain in the butt to get RGGB on pure armor, but it is doable.
3 Link (RRG, iE shield):
Reduced Mana + Determination + Grace or Hatred
or 3 Link (RGG):
Reduced Mana + Grace + Hatred
I use RRG and swap the green auras around, depending on the difficulty of the area I'm moving in. Hatred is a sweet DpS boost, Grace severly buffs the evasion rating.
I would not recommend using Tempest Shield.
Yes, 4% additional shieldblock is nice, but it's just not as good as the other auras. And even if you can't get your 75% block without Tempest shield, it's not like it makes a huge difference. Playing with 65% or 75% Block feels about the same.
I run 2 Cast on Damage taken, but before I only had 1 and it didn't make much of a difference.
Cast on Damage Taken 7 + Temporal Chains 9 + Enduring Cry 9 + Molten Shell 10
You can choose Warlord's Mark or Enfeeble too, both work nice as well.
Cast on damage Taken 9 + Immortal Call 9 + Increased Duration max
You get invulnerable against physical attacks from time to time. This is completly optional, and more often than not it is either unnecessary or wasted because you don't have many Charges up. But it can save your butt and you have the Slots for it, so why not?
I am not 100% sure about how much you should level the CoDt gems, but the setup I currently run works pretty nice for me.
Not needed for anything. You can level up whatever you like in there.
Aquiring the Gems:
Reave: start a Shadow, kill Hillock, recieve Reave, put it in stash, delete Shadow.
Multistrike: quest in A3M (unfortunatly)
Concentrated Effect: drop or buy, collides with multistrike (unfortunatly)
Faster Attacks: quest A1M (medicine chest, rush there)
Melee physical damage: quest A1C (medicine chest, rush there)
Blood Magic: quest A2C
Reduced Mana: several quests in merciless, you can take additional RM gems and sell for 3c each.
Grace: several quests, not expensive.
Determination: some quests in Normal.
Hatred: quest A1N.
Cast on Damage taken: quest A3M, collides with multistrike. -> find or buy.
Gems related to CoDT: appear in several quests, take whenever you feel or buy them, they are all pretty cheap.
Quality on Gems:
Obviously it's nice if every gem has quality on it, but that's kinda expensive and I'd not consider it worth it to purchase them all in 20% right away.
Reave: +10% attackspeed, nice to have.
Faster Attacks: even more attackspeed, nice to have.
Curses and other CoDt related gems: some pretty nice effects here.
Useless: Quality on auras, reduced mana, blood magic.
Not too strong: Quality on gems that only grants "10% increased damage" for 20% (iE melee physical damage), Concentrated Effect (reduced mana cost).
At ~Lvl 85, you will have your gems at Level 20.
You will then be able to use the recipe "Lvl 20 gem with 0q gem + 1GCP = Lvl 1 gem with 20q".
Do this for the interesting gems, then level the gems up in a kinda safe zone (iE merciless fellshrine ruins) to ~Lvl 10-12 to compensate the temporal loss in damage.
Go for a high physical DpS onehanded sword, which means: %dmg, +dmg, attackspeed. Aim for at least 250 DpS lategame, which should be enough to progress. And then save up for bigger swords...
Elemental Damage doesn't matter at all.
Go for a high base block (30%) and a high value on additional block chance (up to 6%).
Other stats: see armor pieces.
The lowlevel Unique "Crest of Perandus" can carry you up to your 70s.
Go for Life, Resist, +Armor, +%Armor.
Additional benefits are: attackspeed, flat physical damage, +intelligence, %life/manaleech.
On the amulet slot you will most likely have to use a +Int or Int-hybrid basetype.
I'm currently running several "increased block and stun recovery" items, but I don't feel they are needed at all.
The Bringer of Rain is a wonderful item.
It provides you 15% additional Block Chance and of course a 6,5 Link for Reave (I say "6,5 Link" because I have never seen anybody use the blind gem in a normal 5L/6L setup, even though of course it is not useless at all).
However BoR is not a must-have build-enabling uberitem you should go for 100%.
As I wrote above, the difference between 60% and 75% block may feel huge in theory, but in practical gameplay you won't notice it too much.
And the drawback of not having a chest piece and not having resists on BoR can be a little hard to overcome.
My BoR is "legacy" now, but if you don't have a legacy version, don't worry, the new one isn't that much worse. You lose 3% chance to blind (12 to 9%), 6% attackspeed (won't even notice) and ~200 life. The 15% Block alone are still worth going for it.
If and only if you have 75% Shieldblock, you can consider:
Stone of Lazwhar and Rainbowstrides.
They will provide you with some serious block chance against spells at the cost of being kinda subpar for this build in all other aspects.
In absolute Lategame (76+ maps), spell damage will kill you if you don't block some of it. Ideally you want to couple it with an Aegis Aurora, as this will make you practically immortal.
As all these items don't provide too much resists and life, the rest of your gear (gloves, rings) will have to be super resist and life heavy. Which makes it even more expensive to use.
At a certain point, it may be a good idea to drop the Bringer of Rain for a 6L chest, which gives you helmet + chest and therefor 6 possible resist suffixes.
But all this stuff is pretty exquisit and lategame, you won't need it to have fun in this game.
I'm poor, how do I gear up?
You should be able to cover the armor/life/resist part on your own. Carrying a shield helps a lot with this.
For the rest I'd suggest the following (ignore this if you are rich or at least have all the required stuff):
1. Your first ~4c should be spent on a multistrike gem. Then you can start some serious reaving.
2. Save up another ~3-5c worth of currency to buy a midlevel 150-200 DpS sword that gets you through the End of Normal and Cruel. You can skip this if you are lucky on drops or you can get away with lowlevel 1c uniques like Ephemeral Edge.
3. Save up 3-5c for Cast on Damage taken (if you want it early)
4. Save up ~15c for an ok chest with 5 Links and Concentrated Effect Gem.
5. Save up ~1 ex for a serious weapon.
6. Save up ~6-7ex for Bringer of Rain or a sexy 5-6 Linked Torso (you can do it till 75-80 if you don't waste your money like I do, I guess).
7. Save up for Aegis Aurora.
8. Save up a shit ton of moneys for a 400+ DpS sword or a Mirror of Kalandra. Good luck on that one!
Prices are from Domination league. Don't know standard or new league prices.
My current Gear:
You see I am at Step 7 of my "how to gear up" progression.
It's a wild mixture of self-crafted, self-found and shopped stuff.
Overall I'm pretty happy, but of course, everything is improvable.
I'm a bit overcapped on resist and not happy with some of the life values, but I guess it's fine...
That's what you get out of this:
Some chaos resist, and you maybe get rid of the BM gem for an allout damage 6L main attack.
I feel like something like this is a good setup:
You can add in an amethyst flask (where is this chaos damage? haven't seen it yet ^^) or another life flask for the jade flask, and if you are running Reave on mana, I suggest using at least one hybrid flask (in case you waste it due to desync and can't manaleech).
There should be "removes frozen and chilled" on one health flask, "removes bleeding" on another, as these are the only really annoying effects you have to get rid off sometimes. "Removes curses, shock..." is nice but not 100% needed, that's very situational.
Normal: Oak for additional 40 Life.
Cruel: Oak for physical damage, Kraytin for attackspeed (your choice)
Merciless: Kill all or Oak for the Endurance Charge (again your choice)
I went Oak all the way, as he is the true warrior.
Current Character Screenshots (sitting around in Standard League)
WIP Selffound Walkthrough (Ambush League)
In this post I will write a little walkthrough of this Marauder playstyle in Ambush League.
I won't get into too much detail, and it will take some time to be updated, as I don't have too much time to play right now. He is - of course, as first character in this league - selffound. I might do some trading, but only with his currency.
Up to Lvl 30 (Act 1 and 2 Normal)
Step 1: Create a Shadow. Name him askjdfglirf. Run to Hillock and doublestrike the shit out of him. Get Reave as quest reward. Put both Reave and Double Strike in stash. Delete Shadow.
Step 2: Create Marauder. :)
Passive Tree Progression
I rush straight to Resolute Technique, even though the endurance charge on the path is wasted at the moment. RT is super important to maintain constant damage output.
After this I take the life nodes in the Marauder starting zone, the damage nodes "Strong Arm" and "By the Blade" (to make progression easier), and then I start to head towards Duelist.
No reason to grab the armor and shield nodes just yet, those are more effective later on.
Skill tree Level 30
I usually do the "pathing" (all these little 10 str/dex nodes) right at the start, while the character still levels up quickly.
It is a real pain if you do this late game, when the skillpoints come in slower and slower.
The bonus points from quests are invested into "side nodes" (damage, life) for an occasional feeling of "reward". ;-)
Right from the beginning I notice I need Dexterity. But the Dex I planned for my tree is far far away. I spend a little bit of low currency (the blue stuff, chance orbs) on rings and dex amulets and manage to level my green gems and use swords. Fine. :)
Luckily I find nice boots and a nice amulet:
(unfortunatly still wearing these with Level 30)
While progressing I use one vendor recipe a lot:
Blacksmiths Whetstone + (blue) Rustic Sash + White Sword = Sword with %damage
This is the easiest way to get weapons for levelling, as you cannot rely on drops at all in this game.
In Act 2, I rush straight to the Weaver's Chamber to get Melee Splash as quest reward.
Reave is too slow to be an effective AoE skill at the moment, I use Splash with Double Strike to clear through Act 2.
In City of Sarn, I finally find a nice shield, and I craft - again using the recipe, this time with a shitty rare rustic sash I found - a sword to progress, it gets my DpS up to ~270 (Double Strike + Melee Splash):
It may even be worth it to use alchemy orbs on rustic sashes.
If it turns ou nicely, wear it, if not, use it in the recipe to get a sword with ~90% damage.
The rest of my gear is horrible, iE chest and helmet combined give me less armor than my gloves, but that's not an issue at all. It's just Normal. Relax.
Life at ~1000, all resists at ~50%. Fine.
Up to 46 (in the Middle of Cruel Act 2)
Passive Tree Progression
On the way to the bottom of the tree we can find two very nice nodes with "12% sword damage, 6% life". Be sure to grab them.
After I reached the entrance to the duelist area, I grabbed the Water Dancing Node (+18% damage, +20 Dex) and went through the life nodes to "Golem's Blood" and "Diamond Flesh".
Then I took the Dex Path to "Wisdom of the Glade" (+30 Int), "Fencing" (Damage) and "Thick Skin" (18% life).
The Dex and Int there provide enough stats to continue levelling my gems.
As I felt my Damage was not were I wanted it to be, I invested the 3 points to get the very nice sword node "Wicked Blade".
Next goal will be the 18% life node, then I will start levelling the interesting stuff: shieldblock, damage etc in the Marauder and Duelist starting zones.
Current Skill tree
At Level 35 I invested one of the two chaos orbs I found so far to buy this nice sword:
I found gear to overcap my resists and get ~1500 life, which then easily got me through Dominus to cruel. I was able to facetank his stuff, even the "Touch of God" attacks.
Pretty happy with my jewelry and belt, they are mainly responsible for my nice resists:
Right when my damage started to be a little low, I got the "Melee Physical Damage" gem as quest reward (medicine chest), rest of act 1 was supereasy.
Somewhere in the jungle a little monkey gave me a "Cast on Damage taken" gem, that's a lucky drop, now I can use Enduring Cry and Temporal Chains without having to cast them manually.
Resists 75,50,75,-10, Life at 2000, DpS at 1000 (Double Strike, Melee Splash, Melee Physical Damage).
At Level 50 I will buy another sword with ~200 pDpS, which should almost double my damage output.
I try to save up all currency (=not "craft" items)with the exception of alchemy orbs, I have no problem wasting them trying to get nice levelling gear.
Oh, and I found a couple of useless uniques:
... and my first
Level 54 - Unlocking the Sceptre of God (Cruel)
Cruel Act 3 is where things get a little harder, especially the Dominus fight is a problem for many players. If you play completly selffound, this is a huge "gear check".
Passive tree progression
I focussed on survivability.
I entered the Duelist zone to get another 20% life (and some damage), and I grabbed the "10% all resist" node in the Marauder zone. There's a "flask regen" node on the way that is basically useless, I will respec out of it once I close the loop from the other side (the armor nodes).
Current tree (Level 54)
With the two resistance nodes, I managed to almost cap my resists. You really want them to be as close as possible to 75% when facing Dominus.
I also got ~3000 life, which I find is an ok value at this point, at least if you're not playing hardcore.
As offense is another form of defense (the faster you kill, the fewer enemy attacks you have to suffer), I bought a new sword with ~200 pDpS on poe.xyz.is.
Swords like this cost between 3 and 8 chaos, while 8 is super overprized and 3 is a very good deal, the later in the league, the cheaper they will be. I payed ~5 chaos for mine.
This sword will get me into maps, I will not have to buy an upgrade for quite a while.
The rest of my gear is horrible. I have no movespeed, shitty armor values, not the sockets I like...
But I stopped myself from spending any currency whatsoever in crafting or trading. As long as I can survive and progress, I will be fine.
With this stuff, I manage to have these stats:
This is not where I want it to be, but I think it's ok for now.
(Cut 40% resists for Merciless, this screen is from Cruel))
There's absolutly no point levelling or farming in a zone with itemlevel <60, so I will continue rushing through the content until I get at least to Fellshrine Ruins Merciless.
Dominus fight was ok, I got hit by a couple of "Touch of God" (leap slam is too slow to dodge without the "faster attacks" gem), but I managed to do the fight without any deaths, facetanking all minions and lesser bosses.
And the Hillock quest at merciless start netted a nice ring I will wear for sure, especially against the cold damage bosses to come:
Sweet physical damage and life.
Level 64: Destroying Merciless Vaal
Act 1 merciless didn't put up any resistance, I rushed straight through it, especially because I had max cold resist and therefor little to fear.
In Act 2 I burned through half a level of xp trying to zerg down a corrupted zone boss with a lot of chaos damage, fired in machine gun style.
I had to give up on him, this guy is nothing for low resists and negative chaos resists. ;-)
I started to use Purity of Elements instead of Determination, which left me with enough mana to constantly leap slam around. And it kind of solved the Resistances issue.
I tried to be super clever and not do the bandit quest until later on, as I wasn't 100% sure where I wanted to go (skillpoint, endurance or even try some frenzy stuff). Standing in the pyramid apex I noticed I need the f...ing apex to progress. Lol.
Oh well, did a quick bandit killing spree and helped good old Oak...
Passive tree progression:
After some nice guy gave me a little input on min-maxing my tree, I rerouted the marauder start a bit (to get 2x 10% damage instead of 2x +10str).
I started grabbing the shieldblock in Marauder and then invested the last "highway" skillpoints to get to Ranger. From now on, every skillpoint will be life, damage, block and armor. The unsatisfying work of "+10 attribute nodes" is done.
I still feel nowhere near as tanky as I want to be, so I started the fun part with the 3 life nodes next to Ranger. Next step will be the block stuff there.
(For those who can count: I already did the 3 statues in act 3 merciless)
Before entering the pyramid and trying to kill Vaal, I wanted to have better gear. I tried farming some iLvl60 zones, but didn't get anything I was interested in (you kind of have to expect that in PoE).
I then alched myself a couple of shields with 30% block, the third one was this:
This is by no means a good shield, but it has additional block, armor and some resist. Should work at the moment.
Then I opened poe.xyz.is and searched for cheap life+resist armor pieces. I found a helmet and boots for 1 chaos each, and sweet gloves for 1 fusing (I think I would have payed a little more for these):
(it is nice to get a helmet with +Int btw)
Resists solved. For the moment. I burnt through quite some jewellers, fusings and chromatics to get the links I wanted, but I had a lot of them stashed up, so no problem here.
I haven't been too lucky with currency drops so far, no "real money" (Divine, Exalted), but I should be able to buy a 5L chestpiece pretty soon (you can see my pitiful currency in the screen below).
Once you reach A3C, remember to visit the vendors every level, at least the last four of the game (A3C, A1M, A2M, A3M), as they sometimes sell 6S items that sell for 7 jewellers orbs (that's why I sit on so many fusings without real farming). Also buy the chromatic items, of course.
Later on, even go to A1N and A2N and buy all white stonehammers for the chisel recipe.
Current Character Screen:
The damage is nowhere near where I want it to be, same goes for armor, life and stuff. It is really time to buy a 5L and get my multistrike and concentrated effect gems...
This will be it for this little walkthrough. From now on, with resist and ok damage, it's all about finding and trading for gear upgrades. Especially a better sword (~300DpS), but this usually takes quite a while farming in docks and early maps...
Thank you for reading, feel free to leave comments!