[3.4] "Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide [HC] Atziri/Izaro/Guardians/Shaper/Elder

"There is a legend about battle of Wasteland where two armies collided on battlefield. During the long fight, the man dressed in the black emerged from the shadows. He moved between enemies while wielding sword in burning hands - agile and quick on the battlefield, the warrior was paring an enemy attacks and a lead-out instant and accurate assault. The fire that changed face of the battle and forced people to run away."

I. Introduction
. . . . . a) Description
. . . . . b) Pros and Cons
. . . . . c) Stats

II. Build
. . . . . d) Essential Items
. . . . . e) Main Skill
. . . . . f) Additional Skills
. . . . . g) Aura and Buffs
. . . . . h) Passive Tree
. . . . . i) Bandits

III. Customization
. . . . . j) Item Suggestions
. . . . . k) Jewels
. . . . . l) Flasks
. . . . . m) Ascendancy
. . . . . n) Pantheon

IV. Endgame
. . . . . o) Maps
. . . . . p) Beyond
. . . . . r) Atziri
. . . . . s) Izaro
. . . . . t) Shaper
. . . . . u) Elder

V. Gameplay
. . . . . v) Summary
. . . . . w) Video

VI. Qusetions & Answers
. . . . . y) Q&A (PoB link)
. . . . . z) Bonus

This build was my first and successful attempt to enter world of hardcore. I wanted to stack as much protection as I can while still mainting enought damage to be able do any type of content. That lead me to Marauder with his Juggernaut ascendancy class. I fall in love with theme of tank gaining his power due to stacking defense. High endurance goes well with offence focused on crits. Since 2.0 up build evolved from wielding dagger and shield to dual wielding sword with stat stick. This change resulted in avoiding pathing deep into shadow tree area so I ended with extra points for spend. Additional with the recent change to Double Strike gem, it's necessary to gain chance to cause bleeding and swords implict and nodes can set us on 45% chance to bleed which is enought to active new power.

Defense mechanics:
- 210% total life from passive tree with additional possible 35% from jewels and huge amount of STR results in easy high HP,
- Juggernaut provide easy access to general and elemental damage reductions,
- 6 improved endurance charges with additional patheon physical reductions powers allow you to handle physical damage from any source,
- Fortify effect with Arctic Armour bring additional defense against hits,
- Double amount of armour of your chest piece can brings easily your armour rating over 30k.

Offense mechanics:
- Huge flat damage against bleeding enemies from Double Strike,
- DS force you to use only main hand so you can use any of new shaped/elder stat sticks,
- Using sword as main weapon allows you to get easy access to bleed mechanic while keeping high damage and crit chance,
- unique helmet Abyssus scale really well with 1h crit builds and due to being Juggernaut you won't feel any extra physcial damage taken,
- Vaal Double Strike can provide contant 2 clones (up to 4) against bosses,
- Juggernaut has access to accuracy stacking system which improve our attack speed.

Build was also present in "Community build guides for new players":

+ medium clear speed,
+ nice single target damage,
+ cheap gearing (can be done under 1ex)
+ you don't need any legacy items,
+ can deal with both reflect,
+ capped elemental resistances in Elemental Weakness maps,
+ capped chaos resistance,
+ huge life pool,
+ can handle all map mods (some are just irritating),
+ easy to learn,
+ no lags or huge fps drops,
+ on front line in parties,
+ can pretend to have friends with clones,
+ hardcore viable,
+ easy boss farming (Izaro / Atziri / Guardians / Shaper / Red Elder).

- doing hardest bosses requires practice (Uber Atziri / Uber ELder),
- bad positioning can be sometimes fatal,
- require good 1h shaper/elder sword with 5/6 link for hardest content,
- melee range.

I’m using Path of Building (from 3.2) skill informations as placeholder until I will gain access to new update. Gear used in Path of Building is displayed in "customisation" section under "item suggestions". Damage was calculated under those condintions:
- enemy is a Shaper (40% ele res and 25% chaos res),
- enemy level 84,
- enemy is maimed (only for single target) and bleeding,
- flask are up,
- crit is lucky and we recently crit,
- we are full on endurance charges,
- Blood Rage is on and Acenstral Warchief totem is up,
- active auras are Hatred and Herlad of Ash.

You see here 2 configurations for Vaal Double Strike - each presents damage of single clone. Of course in real scenario you won't have more than one setup for vaal skill. I'm planning to use it in clearing setup to make sure enemies will bleed and to have better covarage of area. If you plan to run other skill for clearing or you don't find reason to need extra clearing, feel free to use Vaal DS in single target setup.

To maximize utility and power of this build we need two essential items:

- Abyssus, Ezomyte Burgonet.

Abyssus is the best item for any melee build based on crit. It can provide from 100% to 125% critical strike multiplier and high additional flat physical damage. It have 2 disadvantages: no life and increased physical damage taken. The best sentence to describe this item is "high risk, high reward". But since we investing so much into defense, this item becoming only "high reward". Focus on stats in this order: crit multi, damage taken (try to get the lowest), %armour, all stats.

Build require at least two seperate 4links setups. First will be used for general cleaning and second one for single target situations. My personal choice for both of setups is Double Strike but keep in mind you can use other skill for killing packs of monsters. This system prevent destroying build with nerf to single skill and allow player to interact with build - giving him choices, not strict path.

Single Target

This is the current best melee skill when it comes to deleting bosses. Extra flat damage against bleeding enemies improved damage output to whole new level. On top of that, skill performs two fast attacks which mean double leech effectiveness for single target. This unique mechanic is very effective in physcial reflect maps since you taking only half of damage each swing. It's worth to mention, Double Strike will now gain extra melee range per level - so better targeting. Also with patch 3.3, vaal skill gems now grant the regular and the Vaal version of the skill. This allow us to add Vaal Double Stike without losing any addintional sockets.
Preferable links are:

Sooner or later you will want to switch to pseudo 5/6 link so look for good DPS swords with following support gems:
ELDER - 20lvl Melee Physical Damage, 20lvl Multistrike, 20lvl Increased Critical Damage
SHAPED - 20lvl Maim, 20lvl Increased Critical Strikes, 20lvl Faster Attacks

Clear speed

Our regular version of skill, enhanced by combination of Melee Splash and Ancestral Call will provide nice screen coverage with active Herald of Ash/Ice. Make sure to use this skill on bosses first until you cause bleeding - this setup is our main source of bleed (later AW Totem will help with that). Later on, when you get other source of 25% chance to bleed, feel free to switch Chance to Bleed for Maim.
Preferable links are:

There are other possible skills to use for clearing mobs but keep in mind Double Strike force you to use only main hand not matter what so you can choose any stat stick as offhand. Choosing another skill can reduce choices of your stat stick (Reave, Lacerate). Make sure to switch Melee Splash and Ancestral Call for Ruthless and Multistrike for skills build in AoE.

This section covers aditinal socketed gems with their links. YOu will find here following setups:
- Cast when Damage Taken
- Movement skills
- Support skills

Cast when Damage Taken

CWDT brings possibility to use skills when our life is in danger without needing to cast them directly. I recommend to use 20lvl gem since we have high endurance for damage. First skill placed in setup is our Ice Golem. Little one provides additional accuracy which go well with Juggernaut's Undeniable. Also you gain additional critical strike chance and on top of that your puppet can slow enemies with his attacks. Second skill used in CWDT is Temporal Chains. Using curse like that will allow you to target place from which they attacked you. This way you will slow down everything coming at you from the same direction. Also it stacks with Soul of Gruthkul which is pretty handy even on bosses with reduced curese effectiveness.

Movement Skill

Movement skill helps us to reposition, travel on battlefield, dodging big hits. It's great skill to engage - getting faster to enemy delaying his agro, so you get some space before he attacks you. You will be using it to proc Fortify effect which provide us 20% reduce damage taken from hits. Build in its current form is compatible with Whirling Blades and Leap Slam. First one feel much faster for me and allow you to proc Fortify without landing at enemy (you go through him). Second one can move above holes which makes it better skill in labirynth. Feel free to choose. Keep in mind skills will use also offhand if it's compatible with them. I personally prefer Whirling Blades, especially now with new "attack in place" toggle.

Support Skills

Most times we won't have any problem with generating endurance charges thanks to Enduring Cry. It is really powerful skill because it taunts enemies so mobs will ignore our teammates and focus around us, making it easier to kill them. Second supporting skill is Warchief Totem. It brings boost for our damage against unique monsters. Just make sure to put it in safe position and take full advantage of increased damage. You can also place totem behind target and use Enduring Cry to taunt enemy. This way you will gain extra DPS and another source of bleed (add Chance to Bleed to totem after you switch your single target skill to maim weapon slot). With Juggernaut physcial damage reductions and high life regen you can easily ignore Blood Rage degeneration. That mean for us free freezy charges generation, extra attack speed, life leech and last supporting skill.

I have prepared two aura setups for each stage of game. First one is used for early game when we still going through the main quest line up to early mapping. Second combination removes utility for the extra DPS. I recommend switching to this setup after acquiring Enlighten at minimum level 3.

Since build focus at stacking sources of physical damage, it's good to invest into aura connetected to our main offence. For that reason our best choice is Hatred. This aura will grant us extra physical damage as cold damage which means we can now freeze and shatter enemies thanks to our crits. This also open way to use Herald of Ice explosions for free cursing enemies with Assassin's Mark. Thanks to this combination, whenever we will kill pack of monsters, we will have chance to gain free power charges and extra crit chance is very valuable. Make sure that Herald of Ice, Curse on Hit and Assassin's Mark are placed in 3link.

Second set is prepared for end game content and brings us more raw DPS. To make it works, you need at least level 3 Enlighten. Main plan is to switch Herald of Ice with Herald of Ash. Fire herald works the same as Hatred which means it will scale with our physical damage. Also it adds burning nova effect around killed enemies, increasing our clearing area. Additionally we will add extra reservation mana skill, Arctic Armour. This buff gives us additional physical and fire protection when we stand in place. Most characters are vulnerable when stacionary so getting additional defense isn't bad choice. Arctic Armour has also one more effect - it leaves chilling ground behind us, slowing down enemies. I don't have to say how good it is.

Level 20


Skill points: 19 from level and 5 from quest rewards
Your first point will be "Melee Damage and life" at the Marauder starting point. Your next step will be moving through life nodes up to "Versatility" for early INT and DEX. Now you can focus on on getting all damage nodes like "Born to Fight" and "Strong Arm". After that grab "Diamond Skin" and moce to "Barbarism" life wheel.

Level 40


Skill points: 39 from level and 8 from quest reward
I recommend to focus on taking all points from left side first. This will give us much more DPS with swords and open 25% chance to bleed with swords. After that we will start moving slowly into Duelist starting point. At that point I ignore jewels since it's hard to get any good one so early at leveling. Depending on your experience, you should do your first labirynth run around level 33-36 and grab "Undeniable". This extra accuracy node will increase your damage dramaticly, giving you easier time leveling in next acts.

Level 60


Skill points: 59 from level and 21 from quest reward
Early in act 5 our DPS should be enough to carry us so grab "Dervish" and go for "Constitution" next to Scion starting point for extra survival. I also grab my first jewel slot - at that point you suppose to have one nice jewel with life + damage or just double double. Then we start moving towards "Fatal Blade" for our first crit nodes. Remember to allocate points in "Finesse" and "Herbalism" and "Mana leech" when you move next to them. From here you move to "Twin Terrors" for extra crit chance while dual wielding and finish with "Thick Skin" life node. I recommend doing cruel labirynth before finishing main quest in act 9 or at the beginning of act 10. Your next ascendancy points invest into "Unbreakable". It gives you extra regen, damage reduction and doubles your chest armour rating which make you harder to kill.

Level 80


Skill points: 79 from level and 24 from quest reward
First focus on taking all life nodes next to Scion starting point and then go for melee crit nodes in Marauder area. Now take extra endurance charge node on left side of tree. After that start taking two jewels slot next to your pathing and extra life with life regen near Ranger starting point. In the end start allocating points in bottom side of Duealist's side. I like to grab "Unflinching" from Merciless labyrinth before last Kitava encounter around level 65. After you finish main quest line check your resistance and INT requirments. If you don't have any problems with those, remove skill four points from "Versatility" and "Diamond Skin". Last ascendancy points you should be ready to get between 75-80 level.

Level 98


Skill points: 97 from level and 24 from quest reward
At the beginning focus on finishing sword cluster on right side of tree. After that start expanding left side of tree towards top side for extra life and endurance charge. At that point build is finished. Last 6 points you can place in right side of tree, above sword wheel. Extra jewel slot and crit multi will be nice addition to powerful build.

I find 2 extra passives as much better than anything other bandits can offer. Those passives allow to gain back lost 40 flat hp.

Early on, get Cleave and Double Strike, and look for Iron Rings / Rustic Belt which will increase your damage on new run. Dual wielding is the best choice for beginning so get sword/axe for both hands. I recommend getting Jade Amulet for early DEX requirements and later switch to Lapis or Agate Amulet for INT. If you look for good leveling weapons I go for swords and daggers for best result (remember that daggers don't work with with Cleave). This is good presentation of weapon progression:

In act 1 make sure to grab your totem and have Double Strike with Melee Physical Damage on 2link for boss and hard rares enocounters. Make sure you get two Heralds in act 2: Ash and Ice. In act 3, link Herald of Ice with Curse on Hit and Assassin's Mark for free power charge generation (easy way to get crit chance early on). Also make sure to switch Herald of Ash for Hatred for higher DPS if you can manage mana cost of skill. I switch to main clearing skill around level 28 and place it in 4L - feel free to choose any of listed skills in "Main Skill" section. It is also good moment to look for dedicted stat stick. Good choices are:

Don't use Increased Critical Strike until you get to crit cluster on right side on tree, "Fatal Blade". This also good time to grab Diamond Flask - it will increase your effective critical strike chance.

For early leveling problems, we grab following nodes on tree for leveling:
- Diamond Skin: 15% resistance helps with dealing with resistance drop
- Versatility: extra int and dex, also give us early accuracy
You can refund those points later.

Make sure to keep your resistance capped while playing. You don't need to have it maxed in first two acts but later on it can became more dangerous. Also remember to have some life on gear. Stacking %life nodes wont do much if you don't have any flat life to scale it with. I always end up with 1600HP at Malachai, 2000HP at Kitava, 2600HP at Brine King and ending with 4000HP+ at second Kitava.

And most important note about weapons. Make sure to upgrade your weapon at least every 5-8 levels or whenever you feel lose on DPS.

You should focus on those affixes on gear:
1. Life
2. Elemental Resistance
3. Armour
4. Chaos Resistance / Strength

You should focus on INT Amulets and Rings with stats like:
1. Life
2. Increased Armour Rating (only on Amulet)
3. Critical Strike Chance
4. Added Physical Damage to Attacks
5. Critical Strike Multiplier
6. Resist (only on Rings)
7. Accuracy

You also want to keep bleed chance around 50% with nice attack speed. If you find yourself not causing bleed enought fast, feel free to grab one of those unqiue:

Some extra thoughts:
<> Don't aim for chaos resistance in gloves and helmets because their prices are so high. And if you plan to get chaos resistance on boots it will be easier to catch one without one resistance or without movement speed (make sure you will be able to craft it on item). Price disproportion is huge but each item can be bought by few chaos.
<> 3th belt prefix can be WED, life flask recovery or movement speed.
<> Stats like mana leech on gloves, rings and amulet are very nice addition early on.
<> Flat phys and increased attack speed on gloves can boost your damage a lot.
<> For rings it's better to use Steel Ring over Diamond Ring.

I always try to calculate how much resistance I need and I also recommend that for other players. That isn't hard to do and spare you time for changing gear in future.

My standard gear = not used in video

Basic build has 5 socketable nodes. Unique jewels aren't so useful for us so it's better to craft them. First we need to choose base for our jewels. Since we get a lot of flat physical damage from gem and other items, abyss jewels won't be much more powerful than regular ones. Anyway you want to focus most on crafting/buying those three types:

- Murderous Eye Jewel

- Crimson Jewel

- Viridian Jewel

Each base open for us different mods on jewels. For example Crimson, red jewels will roll melee weapons, fire damage, swords, armour, life affixes and Viridian, green jewel can roll bows, daggers, claws, dual wielding and cold damage affixes. You can also roll mana leech on this jewel.

You want stats like:
- increased physical damage
- increased attack speed
- increased physical damage with Swords
- increased attack speed with Swords
- increased physical damage with One Handed
- increased attack speed with One Handed
- increased critical strike multiplier with One Handed
- increased physical damage while Dual Wielding
- increased attack speed while Dual Wielding
- increased critical strike multiplier while Dual Wielding
- increased life
- mana leech
- increased accuracy and critical strike chance
- increased damage
- increased melee damage
- increased critical strike multiplier
- increased melee critical strike multiplier

Golden rule say: Remember to have always 1 remove freezing and 1 remove bleeding pot. If you can effective management flasks you can put those suffixes on healing pots.

Since there are few choices I decided to make separate section for flasks. Currently there are 3 types of flasks which we should use no matter what. Two others flasks depend on your personal taste - you can choose between damage boost, utility gain, defense increase or recovery option. But let's start from life flasks.

<>Divine Life Flask

Since this flask has the highest life recovery from all life flask, we want to roll it with prefix "Seething". This affix change recovery over time to life gain on use. That allows us to skip long time of refilling our life bar to single click. Only disadvantage of rolling this affix is 66% reduced amount recovered. That gives us effective 979 life per one use. But since we went for some specific cluster nodes, we have increased life recovery by 70%. That mean we get 1664 life per use which is pretty huge since in 3 usages we can get almost 5000 life back. That mean we can get back to fight in just one frame without even leaving it. I also roll freeze dispel on this flask because huge life pool make you almost immune to freeze from monsters.

<>Diamond of Warding

In my main setup I always use Diamond flask since it make critical strike chance much more effective. This saves us from spending tons of points on stacking it at passive tree. Additionally we will be curse immune while flask is active which means we don't need to worry about maps with Temporal Chains, Elemental Weakness or Vulnerable. For the prefix we want one of those:
} Surgeon's - 20% to gain charge per crit
} Ample - from 10 to 20 extra charges
} Chemist - from 20% to 25% less charges used
} Experimenter's - 20% to 30% increased duration

<>Atziri's Promise Amethyst Flask

Our first one unique flask which drop from Atziri. Nice for boosting our damage since we gain 15% to 20% physical damage and from 10% to 15% elemental damage as extra chaos damage. It scales well with our physcial build supported by elemental auras and gives us another source of leech. On top of that we will gain extra 35% chaos resistance.

Those 3 flask are require for this build to be effective in maps and by effective I mean not dying to monsters. So we still can choose two others from those flask:

<>Eternal Life Flask of Staunching

The main advantage of using this flask over others is the most effective life recovered per second. This flask is for situation when we fight enemy with regular damage output. You can counter that "small" life loss with just popping your flask. We want to roll "Catalyst" on this flask to increase power of this flask which allow us to gain 2496 life in 2.7s and it scales with life recovery from tree and gear. I also roll bleed immunity on this flask since it make bleed useless against us for a small period of time. I prefer to use this flask over any utility.

<>Quicksilver Flask

Flask brings the most valuable stat in game - movement speed. Maybe it's not common knowledge but this flask is booster for clear speed. Thanks to this flask you decrease your time spending on each leveling. I recommend to roll increased movement speed on this flask and use it early on.

<> Silver Flask of Staunching

Great flask which brings damage output and utility. One use allows us to obtain temporary buff called "onslaught". Buff increase our attack and movement speed.

<> Sulphur Flask of Staunching

Gives us additional life regeneration by creating consecrate ground. Additinally increased our damage while this flask is active.

<>Taste of Hate

It gives us 10-20% of physical damage as extra cold damage and change 30% of incoming physical damage to cold damage. On top of that it add extra 30% cold resistance + 6% to maximum cold resistance. That all mean extra cold damage which in combination with our crits are warranted of freezing and shattering bodies.

<>Lion's Roar Granite Flask

Perfect flask for any melee builds. Really powerful buff with additional power - knockback, early can be very frustrating to play around it but later you will see it as additional defense.

I would like to say that build is playable by classes like marauder, duelist, scion, ranger and shadow so as you there are plenty of choices for subclass.

My personal choice - the representation of powerful defense. This subclass brings everything what need we need - free accuracy and attack speed, easier armour stacking, slow resistant and endurance charges utility. I love this class not only because of icon but also because it provide always what we most need. Accuracy for early bad access to dexterity points. Endurance charges for physical reduction and free resistance in cruel, damage boost depending on your number of charges you have and elemental damage taken reduction for endgame. Also it allows us to switch Determination for Hatred. Also, I will repeat note about body armour for Juggernaut: "You want to get as high as possible armour rating on body armour since it will scale really well with Unbreakable". As Juggernaut I spend points in this order:
1. Undeniable
2. Unbreakable
3. Unflinching
4. Unrelenting

Subclass focus on flask maintain. You can reduce number of life potions you want to use and increase number of utility flask to 4. Additionally since you use Herald of Ash/Ice your most enemies are affected by elemental status effect so you have increased charges recovered. Also this subclass gives you free penetration effect which will increase your boss kill potential. I recommend this order:
1. Nature's Adrenaline
2. Nature's Boon
3. Master Alchemist
4. Veteran Bowyer

After buff in 2.5 it became a viable choice for my build. Now she has good frenzy charge generation which work very well with additional effect "per frenzy charge". She has easy way to obtain Onslaught which drastically improve clear speed and the flow of the melee gameplay. We want to focus on ascendancy in this order:
1. Way of the Poacher
2. Avatar of the Slaughter
3. Rapid Assault
4. Avatar of the Chase
Also you want to respect endurance charge for frezeny charge on right side on tree.

I did this build with this subclass (Juggernaut + Slayer/Raider). As pathing road you focus on getting Juggernaut starting point. You also grab additional jewels sockets near Scion area with attack speed notes.

The only good Mayor power I find useful for my build is the first one you get.

Soul of The Brine King
One of mayor powers. At beginning when you don't have huge pool of life, you can be stunned by some monsters. This power will prevent them from stun locking you in place. With additional soul you will receive extra freeze chain prevention - really helps against bosses using cold damage.

Soul of Lunaris
In most encounters you will face group of monsters gaining full power of physical reduction. Additinally it is good to capture Lycius to get protection against chaining. I love to play with this power while mapping.

Soul of Solaris
I switch to this power when I run maps with increased critical strike chance/multiplier. Just make sure to catch boss from Temple map.

There are few smaller powers which helps a bit our build - you can easily change them in your hideout or town. Remember you can change them so feel free to make your best combination.

Soul of Yugul
Reduced reflect damage taken by 25%. Additionally you get cold damage reduction if you got hit by anything recently - very powerful since we don't evade.

Tukohama with Tore, Towering Ancient
You get 2% reduced physical damage taken per each second you stand still (up to 8%) - ideal for lab farming. On top of that, upgraded version gives you 0.5% life regeneration which stack four times.

I found it really nice for Grand Master Hall farming. Running out of flask charges don't force you to tp out of zone - just take some time to recover charges. You can calm down which increase chance to survive.

Gruthkul with Legius Garhall
I used this one most of time. Since you are armour based character, you will get hit most times. That mean you will get 5% physical damage reduction for almost 100% time. Upgrade allow us to place debuff on any enemy hit by us - you will lower their attack speed.
IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Sep 1, 2018, 5:17:02 AM
Last bumped on Dec 8, 2019, 10:55:55 PM

With the expansion to Path of Exile, sustaining high level maps became harder. I'm using transmutation + augmentation orbs for white maps. For yellow and red maps I'm using alchemy orbs but for red I'm adding chisels. This build gives you opportunity to runs most of mods without danger. In this part I will explain which can be harder but not impossible to do.

=> Elemental Reflect
Turn off your Hatred and Herald of Ice/Ash and switch to using Haste. Keep 6 endurance charges and fortify. If you using shaper/elder stat stick change it for Goredrill.

=> Physical Reflect
Make sure to switch for patheon power giving you 25% reduced reflect damage taken. Keep 6 endurance charges, fortify and Lion's Roar Granite Flask active before you hit anything. Depending on your DPS you will want to use unique ring reducing reflect damage taken and switching Melee Physical Damage and Increased Critical Strikes for Added Fire Damage and Phys to Lightning.

=> No leech
Turn of Arctic Armour to make sure you have free 25% mana. Switch your bleeding flask for mana flask of Staunching. Don't understimate monster damage.

=> Increased Critical Strike Damage and Chance
If you want to do this mod you need to know which mobs how hard hit. You don't want be in the group of Giant Skeletons. Try to approach to enemies from sides rather than from inside their group. If you already got your Brass Dome, you can run this map without any hesitation. Otherwise pick "Soul of Soloris" patheon power.

=> 90% chance to avoid alligments
Just be very careful. Since you won't be freezing most mobs now, you can get hit by "shoot spikes on death" which are dangerous with map mods like "extra physical damage as cold/fire/lightning and -max resistance.

Na'em, Bending Stone
The easiest boss of Beyond. Just pop flasks and keep hitting him. He can't exchange hits with you but pride don't allow him to retreat. He is using leap slam and has Unwavering so you can't stun lock him.

Haast, Unrelenting Frost
I would say it's hard boss. Since we must fight in melee he will always hit us with his skills. But after he hit us, he will be slowed down by curse and patheon. If you have fortify effect up, you can easily tank his hits. If you are running out of instant Life Flask, move out with movement skill and refill flask.

Tzteosh, Hungering Flame
Easier version of Abaxoth. He casting smaller Flameblast and summon ragging spirits. And this is why you can tank him. Leech will heal you to full most time. His damage output isn't so huge until you stand next to wall. Only annoying thing is his spirits which deal like 0 damage but have tons of life which cause some fps drops.

Bameth, Shifting Darkness
Just watch out for minion corpses explosion - he slowly channels skill. In this fight curse won't help you since he has curse immunity.

Ephij, Crackling Sky
You need be very careful because you will start taking damage at the moment you will see him at screen. Jump in with movement skills to obtain Fortify effect, attack few times and run away if too many thunders overlap on you. Repeat sequence until he will fall down (normally you will delete him instant).

Abaxoth, The End of All That Is
This boss is my nightmare. Just make him to cast Flameblast in circle. With this strategy you will makes laps with some space to attack him. He also use Flicker Strike so use this moment to hit him few times. Also we careful and don't ignore him. He has soul eater mod which increase his stats the more mobs die around him.

This build allows you to efficiently farm Atziri without any risk. My build provide you enough defenses to rush from the first floor to throne room.
The best part of this build is no need to change flasks and gear for run.

Normal Atziri . and . Uber Atziri

Double Vaal
At the start of the fight Vaals will start to spam monsters and after that they will hide underground. Focus on the right side because he will spawn around 4s before his brother. They using 4 forms of attacks: Vaal Slam, Lightning Beam, Lightning Ball and Ice Storm.
As our main strategy we use the same from boss fight - move around target. If he start spamming Lightning Balls, use Whirling Blades to jump behind him. Try to take 90% life of both Vaals before you start killing them because they have hidden passive. On the death of one of Vaal, second gets increased damage and attack and cast speed. Don't worry if you killed first before hurting second one - you just need to dodge skills more often.

Bosses of 3th floor are three demons: witch, marauder and duelist.

Girl use two attacks, Spike Storm and Spike Rain of Arrows. You take like zero damage from her second attack but you should be aware of her first - it can be fatal when tanking other two bosses (if she fast cast 3 waves of spikes into air, go away from you current place). When you kill her, she will create degeneration field which will spawn Tentacle Miscreation.

Second one is demon with spikes instead of hand. He is using Dual Strike and Fire Boost. When he start burning be aware because he will reflect some damage to you as fire damage. He deal half physical and fire damage. Just wait until his fire effect disappear and you can face tank him. When you kill him, he will create degeneration field which will spawn Piety's Miscreation.

Last one is big demon which cause bleeding (2/4/8 stacks depending on 3/2/1 bosses left) on hitting Cleave. He also use Cyclone with chaos degeneration on ground. He uses it only when you are far from him. Even with high chaos resistance don't stay in this black mist. When you kill him, he will create degeneration field which will spawn Whipping Miscreation.

I recommend to kill them in this order:

Witch -> Marauder -> Duelist
In last stage, don't attack when he has his fire buff on him. Damage reflected contaminated with his burst can be too high to handle by leech and flasks.

Witch -> Duelist -> Marauder
With this combination, you need to have good flask management or bleeding will destroy you. You should be able to face tank him easily.

Three tips which can make this fight easier:
1. Don't tank 3 of them at the same time.
2. Take your time to refill flasks after 1 kill.
3. Run in circle until you stack enduring charges.

She is using 3 normal attacks:
=: Flameblast
=: Red Storm Call
=: Spear Throw

She does two superior attacks:
=: Double huge Flameblast (triple by Uber)
=: Golden Storm Call

Just move to sides to dodge them (DON'T EVEN TRY TANKING THEM). With patch 2.0, after golden version of Storm Call start hitting, there will appear one or two rune near you at the end of cast so be aware.

With each 25% HP lost, you will be force to face her four copies: with spear, with mirror, with lighting hand and with fire hand.
> Atziri with spear deal small amount of damage and cause little bleeding on hit (you won't even notice it)
> woman with mirror reflect 100% so don't even touch her or you will one shot yourself (fun fact: was able to dps her around 2s before i die to reflect)
> fire one spamming small Flameblast
> lightning one spamming Storm Call

Your task at this stage is to destroy one of copies. I'm using strategy from Magnus Stonethorn fight. Bite Flameblast outside and jump on any copy (but not with mirror). Don't be in hurry! With this amount of HP I can tank 1 to 2 of her skills without reliance on flasks. That doesn't mean you should tank!

Meanwhile battle with single Atziri she can teleport to center of room and cage herself. In this state will start spawning monsters. They will move slowly to Atziri and heal her on contact. You can refill flasks in this state. Stand on the top of Atziri and spam Double Strike. Melee Splash is enough to clear them before they heal her.

Labyrinth became a new way to spend your end game time. We want to do those runs not only for our 8 ascendancy points but also for the profit. You can easily farm Izaro and his lovely Argus since their main damage come from physical attacks. Also it's worth to mention that labs runs takes from 5 min to 8 min depending on labyrinth pattern.

In this chapter I'm gonna focus on 4 things:
> avoiding traps
> boss fights
> enchantments
> ascendancy points

In labyrinth you can spot few types of traps. I would want to separate them for those:
- avoidable,
- with timing,
- sentinels.

As avoidable I mean traps which can be bypassed with movement skill like sentries, saws and spinning blades. They all work the same - they move on designated route so you can predict how they move. If trap moves towards you, you can use skill to jump over them.

Some of traps can't be skipped so easily - I call them timing traps since they change periodically their behavior. Those traps are spikes, lava ground and spikes. You should give yourself a sec to check how they work and then move between them.

Last are small shrines called sentinels. They apply special effects on small areas. That can be aura buffing monsters or debuffing you, or a skill which hit everyone around it. Good way to deal with them is to use totem to destroy them from range.

Izaro and Argus
Argus isn't very problematic beast. He can use two types of skills: Sunder and Enrage. First one isn't problem for you since it's more effective against huge crown of mobs. Enrage works like Blood Rage and can be fight changer if you don't have good gear. So if you don't want to exchange hits with him during this buff, move away from him until his Enrage run out. In most scenario you will get to room with all charges up, place a totem and burst him down in few seconds.

When it come to Izaro, he has bigger skill pool. He can use jump, wind slash, shield charge, slam, earthquake, sunder and goddess bombs. Only possible "scary" skills are wind slash, shield charge and slam. Each of this skills can be easily avoided since they have long animations. When you get your sweet armour over 35k armour you will be able to easily tank those skills.

For glove enchantments I really like:
-: Reflection - when you get hit, enchant creates copy of you which helps with killing alone targets.
-: War - when you kill you create animated weapon of your main weapon which is really handy when it comes to monster on other level.
-: Spite - when you get hit, you throw in all direction your main weapon which creates chilling ground.

For boots I recommend:
)> Movement Velocity - probably of two best enchants for boots. Free increased movement speed if you wasn't hit recently which is rather good in large maps.
)> Attack and Cast Speed - you gain buff if you killed enemies recently which is really nice boost to our damage.

As for helmet:
+} reduced mana reservation for Hatred, Arctic Armour, Herald of Ash, Herald of Ice
+} increased attack speed with Double Strike
+} increased damage with Double Strike
+} chance to deal double damage with Double Strike against bleeding enemies
+} increased attack speed with Blood Rage

There are huge amounts of of helm enchants so I don't recommend rerolling enchants until it's very bad one - it's more profitable to sell it and buy/farm another one.

Firstly to encounter Shaper as final boss you need to obtain fragments of the four guardians:
- Chimera
- Minotaur
- Phoenix
- Hydra
Order of guardians represent level of difficulty.

Chimera :
One of the most easiest and boring fights ever. With such amount of defense you are able to stand on top of the boss and keep hitting him without need to use flasks (random crits can make you use it). Fight has 3 stages: fighting a boss, looking for boss, killing unique monsters.

You start with boss fight in which his use normal attacks supported by his 2 skills. Those skills are claw lacerate and circle of blade flurry - both easy to tank.

From time to time he will hide in the mist/smoke clouds. At that moment you need to use your movement skill to go through this clouds. This stage will end only if you hit him so try to do that fast because you can't rely on leech.

Chimera like Atziri will fall back when you reduce his life by 25%. In each corner will start spawn monsters (from gates like in Daresso Dream) - they are tanky and deal really high damage so you shouldn't jump in the middle of huge pack. In the end of each stage you will need to face unique monster which too be real, it's harder than main target. There are 3 encounters:
- dogs,
- snakes,
- goats.

Minotaur :
Another candidate for face tanking. Minotaur is pure physical damage dealer which can be dangerous for characters without solid physical damage reduction. His pattern attack is very simple. He engage with underground attack which deal huge amount of damage. You will hear and see him hiding under the ground and after that he will start moving to the place where were you / your golem / your totem standing. After he bury, you should reposition yourself because it's one of those skills which shouldn't be tanked. After getting close to you he will start to using 2 skills betweens normal attacks. First is something like Axe Cleave. If you doing Minotaur first time, take a look how much damage it dealt because second skill is at least two times more powerful. Second form of attack is his Slam - he raises his weapon to air and hit the ground (this animation takes like 3-4s). After that it leaves circle where are falling rocks from ceiling. Now depending how much armour achieved you can stay there no matter how many circles overlaps or at least in one. If you find yourself in danger or you feel uneasy, feel free to move out of circle but be careful because Minotaur gonna do his underground attack. Minotaur is spamming Stone Golems which help you to keep up the charges (you can move on the other end of room and kill there golems until you fully recharge flasks). With decreasing his life, the pillars will start to turn on - you don't want to stand between them. Laser inflicts huge slow and shock status for those who pass throw it - it can be you or even Minotaur. If you get catch by it - move as fast as you can from range of Minotaur because it's hard to avoid his tunnel skill with debuff.

Phoenix :
I really love this fight because of unique mechanics it has. This fight require some skill from players. I start map with Ruby Flask and before boss room. High max fire resistance is require here because with each 10% of Phoenix HP loss, he will cause you to lose 1% of max fire res and will spam additional fire bird. Those guys can hurt a lot if there is plenty them up - also they resurrect in few second after you killed them. Boss fight you in melee range and has two skills which should be avoided. First, less dangerous, fire cyclone. At the start of animation move on side and if he hit you don't worry, he shouldn't be able to kill you. Second one is fire charging explosion. Move away from him with movement skill. This explosion will one shot you.

Hydra :
I hate this fight because of vortex cause my PC to work on 3-10 fps which cause so much stress for my health. As like in Phoenix situation, you should take with you Sapphire Flask to increase your max cold resistance. Boss fight has two switching all time phases: boss encounter and rain of mobs. In first stage you deal with the boss which use 3 types of skills: cold barrage (tankable), forking arrow (tankable), hyper arrow (not recommend to even try tanking it). Not matter what will be going on you want to stand behind or on the side of boss while attacking him - reposition is hard in this battle but necessary. After some time boss will disappear and cold blast rain will start falling from sky. Each arrow will produce mob and after that boss will return. Use this situation to refill flasks and stay alert because you don't know where he gonna appear again. If fight be around those two stages it would be too easy. I want to say that meanwhile you doing boss fight, from left and right side will be moving vortex balls. They travel in lines so you need to avoid them while focusing on boss. Sometimes it more important to reposition yourself or refill flasks before trying to dps him (he has tons of life so it will take some time).

After you kill all guardians and collect their fragments, you will be granted to enter Shaper realm. In this maps is highly recommend for players who are good in positioning. You start with task to kill 4 of his voids - unique monsters which will get form of map bosses (Daresso, Dominus). After killing those Zana will spawn portal in the middle to his room.

Shaper does 4 attacks. First is ball throwing in line, you should move on the side and use this time to hit him. He repeats this attacks 2 to 3 times in a row. Second attack is some cleave attack, not very dangerous. Third attack is beam which burn your life in few sec. When you see his animation, move behind him and hit him (animation lock him in place for something like 4s). Last attack is teleport. When he disappear in purple aura, he will teleport on your position - after you see his coming you need to move on the side as fast as you can (it has huge AoE). It will one shot you. While you keep fighting him, you will spot vortex balls appearing on sides - they will follow you. Ball don't deal damage but after touching you, it will create small zone which will deal cold damage per second and they won't disappear until the endo of fight. If it start to follow you, try to make it explode on side of map - it is nothing more dangerous than damaging area in the middle of the room. Also he will create portal from which start going out mobs. Use your clearing skill to take care of them. After getting rid of percentage amount of his life, you will teleport to map.

Your task is to get to the end of this map and kill Void monster of the Temple Map Boss. You need to avoid his balls while bursting him down. Don't tank his powerful slam and be careful, after killing him, you will see portal back to Shaper.

After Shaper and Zana talk, you will go back to combat. This stage has only one different thing to previous one - there will be ball spam moment. You need to hide under Zana's barrier and wait there until Armageddon ends. Remember that vortex will still follow you and in the end of animation of furry, Shaper will start using laser.

Again after certain point of his life, you will be transported to another realm. And this time you will be require to repeat killing void monster. After killing it again you are send to last phase of battle with Shaper. After some time will appear Shaper's Clone - be careful. If you gonna be fast enought, he won't be to do your anything.

This build isn't hard mechanical in practice. You dive with movement skill into crowd on monster and get fortify bonus. Then you cast enduring cry for endurance charges and after than you start killing enemies.
This build require 2 things from you: buffs/debuffs control and analyze situation near your character. Controlling all status on your character help you to react to situation. If you have full duration endurance charges you don't need to recast it in next group.
If you feel you are in bad spot, just reposition yourself with movement skill. Try dodging skills from bosses like Malachai, Vaal or Atziri.

Clearing 6/10
With only use of Melee Splash Support and Ancestral Call you will get 3 circles with radius 18. If you add to this your weapon range and Herald of Ashe/Ice AoE and those all crits you get nice clear speed. You can also add other uniques which increase area of effect if you want but keep in mind you won't be able to clear so fast as CoC or bow build.

Image represent AoE of Double Strike

Single target 9/10
With new bleeding scaling you are able to out damage BF - "king" of single target melee. Extra flat damage and usage of Bloodlust combine with crits, gives you anormous amount of power.

Difficulty 3/10
This build require from you to use 5 active skills: Vaal Double Strike and Double Strike, clearing skill, movement skill and Enduring Cry. Build give you flexibility, so you can choose if you want play safe or be dynamic.

Fireworks 4/10
A lot of people love seeing skill compositions that make whole screen shake. Explosion, fire, dead body from sky are great but they cause lag, fps drop and even disconnects. I usually play with herald mtx so with combination with fast moving with Whirling Blades and crits you can see some nice graphic effects. I'm using green herald of ash mtx to bring more visual effect to my gameplay.

Survival 9/10
Again, you have so much defense mechanics, that you can get hard hitting punches into face. Juggernaur is build into dealing with physical and elemental damage.

I used Open Broadcaster Software to record video. It allow you to stream or/and record video to file. I had only one problem with setting options: game is working on max details and I don't lose fps but OBS duplicate frames on highest details. So for record needs I changing my settings in game to medium and even with those I still find it hard to make material worth to upload.

I'm not good at recording anything but video will show You how build generally works.

Remember this build is about survival so don't expect any godlike clear speed and one-shoot bosses.


Q: With which class I can use this build?
A: This build is playable as Marauder, Scion, Ranger and Duelist but I really recommend Marauder for HC.

Q: What about nerfs to Abyssus?
A: Still strong and there isn't other options for that slot. Also new gems allowed to reduce impact of that change.

Q: Are you happy about changes to Double Strike?
A: I really like this new mechanic. Building around bleed chance isn't hard and you gain so much power in return/

Q: First you started as shield build. Why did you switch to dual wielding?
A: New elder/shaped items are so powerful, that not using them is a sin. Depending on their future changes to dual wielding, I will maybe switch back to shields but at that moment, only stat sticks.

Q: Can I use this build on Hardcore?
A: Definitely yes. You can obtain over 200% increase maximum life from tree and with even decent gear you will have over 5000 HP. That mean you can obtain 6.5k life.

Q: Is this another expensive build?
A: First, I need to say that I played mostly self-found. But that doesn't mean if you won't be able to get those res on gear, build will not be viable. My passive tree helps with building life pool, armour and resistance - so you won't be force to grab end game items at beginning. In worst scenario, you will be force to buy good sword (5-20c) and Abyssus (10c).

Q: But what about 6L?
A: You can reach damage for end game maps with 5link. Also you can obtain 6link by farming The Celestial Justicar divination card or other cards.

Q: How about parties? Will my damage fall off?
A: Those days, Path of Exile is Path of the same auras on each char. Whenever i join a party, I meet a players with Hatred/Haste/Anger/Wrath. Since I don't use any of offensive auras, I gain full advantage from party members. Also sometimes I feel that I carry party in whole map but sometimes everything die before I can reach it what make it harder to generate charges.

Q: Will build change in future?
A: Probably yes. Everything depends on upcoming patch notes.

Q: Can I improve stats even more?
A: Even as my gear looks good, it is far from perfect. Probably you can go much higer with Watcher's Eye, mirrored gear and better flasks.

Q: What are benefits of Double Strike vs Cyclone?
A: Cyclone has higher mana cost which is hard to handle without any investment to mana pool or without using Blood Magic. Other way to sustain mana as cycloner is to increase distance traveled which prevent you from dodging dangerous attacks. Cyclone is movement gem so it prevent you from using Arctic Armour which reduce our defense mechanics. Also damage scaling is higher on Double Strike and with new AoE changes it feel bad to use it with low range weapon. But the main reason is I DON'T like it.

Q: Why don't you go for Vaal Pact?
A: Never found myself in situation when my capped leech + life flask weren't able to handle damage taken. Also my pathing isn't good for taking this keystone.

Q: What is your opinion on current state of daggers? What do you think of going for claws or swords?
A: I redone this build with claws in HC Legacy and with swords in Abyss. Both weapons feel like a better alternative and some of their unique representatives brings fun interactions. Sword gives less crit chance but allow to get higher dps weapon while claw being on the same level as dagger.

Q: Do you have code for Path of Building?
A: https://pastebin.com/5LgG8XGG

Q: I can't read text on borders. Do you plan changing font?
A: Already did it.

Q: English isn't your native language, isn't it?
A: Yes, it isn't my native language. I'm trying to correct spelling.

Q: Why my DPS is much lower?
A: Quality and level of gems, 5L vs 6L, levels and gear. I plan to add later section which describe which part of gear changing DPS. Also I need to update leveling process to be more informative.

IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Sep 1, 2018, 5:15:23 AM
Using this build now, very early days but how do you deal with your mana usage? I saw you use mana leech but only after 66 points or so? Just pop flasks all day every day before then?
Qiix wrote:
Using this build now, very early days but how do you deal with your mana usage? I saw you use mana leech but only after 66 points or so? Just pop flasks all day every day before then?

Before that I rush mana leech on gear. If you can't roll mana leech or get one, you can use hybrid flask or mana flask.

I will try adding today item suggestions.

IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Aug 11, 2015, 5:11:48 PM
- item suggestions,
- map modes,
- boss fights explanation,
- beyond monster explanation,
- risky rouge exiles,
- how to run Atziri,
- crafting jewels.
IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Jul 16, 2015, 1:20:26 PM
very nice guide,thanks
Is this HC viable? Looks interesting and I ripped on my cyclone marauder :(
Edit: Double post. Sorry guys.
Last edited by Tyrrn on Jul 24, 2015, 2:16:31 AM
This build looks good with the amount of life you have. But i am actually thinking of going Claws with VP. Also using Reave instead of duel strike. Using this tree


Also, How do you deal with the defensive downfall of abyssus? I feel like if u got hit even with that Armour it would hurt alot
Last edited by Pharcri on Jul 24, 2015, 2:38:25 AM
Bazooko wrote:
very nice guide,thanks

Thanks for your opinion! I really happy you liked it :)

Tyrrn wrote:
Is this HC viable? Looks interesting and I ripped on my cyclone marauder :(

Yes, it's hardcore viable. Decent gear should provide over 5k life and defense mechanics provide a lot of protection from hardcore killers like devourers, leaping frogs, charging roas. But even with this additional help from build, you still need some notion about how hard can hit some bosses (Vaal, Malachai) or monsters (pack of golems with crit totem next to them).

XtraSalty wrote:
Also, How do you deal with the defensive downfall of abyssus? I feel like if u got hit even with that Armour it would hurt alot

Abbyssus is high risk / high reward item. But is this risk so high? Answer is no. Increased physical damage taken is counted as last. So after calculating all defense mechanics we get hit by around physical 200 which will cause extra 100 physical damage.

I watched your edited skill tree. I would recommend to change path from 2 points above Born of Fight for 2 points above resolute technique. This change will give you opportunity to grab so HP/reduce mana nodes. Also remember that Abbyssus will increase degeneration from Blood Rage from 4% to 5.6%.
IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Jul 24, 2015, 9:51:51 AM

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