Cheap (1-2 ex total cost) Duelist dual-wield sword build overview (cleave/dual strike/wild strike)

Warning, this character overview is made by softcore scrub

My current level on this character is only 83. While he's very enjoyable to play, I have no idea how good is this build lategame (10+ ex gear, 90+ levels, 5+links and lategame maps).
Just wanted to show you guys my thought process and ask for advices.

Warning N2, written by non-native English speaker

You were warned.


In my current build there is room for 2 offensive 4links -- with swords your options are limited, I'll discuss double strike, cleave and wild strike.
Attack speed is ridiculous (+160-200% on main attacks, 4+ attack/second without multistrike).
Crit chance is low (~25%). With decent crit swords it can be increased to ~40%.
Crit multiplier is high though (~380%), when I crit I crit hard.
Accuracy could use some love as well, current estimated hit chance dropped to 87% already (bit more with golem up).

Current offensive stats (4links). Tooltips are broken for wild strike/cleave.

With/without charges (4 power, 3 frenzy, 3 endurance)
Wild strike ~30/20k (Will be a bit more when I level up weapon elemental damage though, actual damage on main target is probably about 2x tooltip)
Cleave 45/31k
Dual strike 65/45k (best single target dps by far, boring as f*ck)

Actually, damage isn't an issue for this character -- he clears stuff of "his" level (90% xp gain) fast enough.

Defensive stats and movement skills

Okay, these suck. Unless you spend a bit more currency on your stuff (and actually grab a bit more nodes I didn't yet take), you have to run and dodge and run and dodge. It's all fun and games until you encounter massive undodgeable bursts of damage, especially chaos.

+45 base movespeed
-- random flask of adrenaline
+110 movespeed with flask. Gotta go fast.

Whirling blades

+117 attack speed (0.88 attack time)

Okay, endurance stun on melee charge is unnecessary at all, feel free to use that slot for anything really. Why no faster attacks gem? Well, it is in fact bad (for me) as I often times end up performing whirling blades 2 times with one keypress. Which puts me back in spot I just wanted to gtfo from. Yeaah, I'm that bad.

Current defensive stats

Could use some (alot of) improvements.
3k armour
4600 evasion (around 11k with leveled up grace, has to be used instead of hatred though)
3100 hp (with 130% +life from skills on lvl87-90 easily can go up to 4500+ if I actually will be able to afford decent rare items)
36% chance to block (some dual-wielding talents +4% from swords wheel)
6% chance to dodge (from daresso's)
84/77/87 resists (doesn't hurt to bring purity of elements gem on elemental weakness maps)



Self-cast assassin's mark. I'm aware you can use triggers and curse on hit with retaliation for curses, but it kinda ruins your party member's damage (even more if someone runs double curse). I'm considering trigger/curse on hit enfeeble as a survival option for solo runs though.

Culling strike

I don't run it at all. Same idea as with curse -- I can either put it on counterattacks or on golem + item rarity, but I don't have much mf (0 item quantity, 10 rarity) and accidentally stealing boss from someone with mf isn't best thing either


Melee damage increase from gem is marginal (~50 "increased" damage is less than 10% "more" damage). However having buff up is important (in my case required) for survival so I decided to put it on whirling blades, works really fine.


Herald of Ash. Quite obvious -- I do phys damage I pick HoA
Hatred/Grace. Hatred boosts damage and freezes stuff, grace gives shitton of evasion. Normally I run Hatred, switching to grace on hard maps.

Blood rage

With 2.6% life regen and tons of lifesteal I can sustain bloodrage just fine, but on (hard) bosses I turn it off anyway.


Nope, not going to use that on low health chars. Vs trash it overkills stuff, vs bosses it locks you down for bit too long time for my taste.


Cleave -- melee phys -- faster attacks -- added fire damage (RRRG).
Pretty user-friendly, best suited for farming.

Dual strike

Dual strike -- melee phys -- faster attacks -- added fire damage (RRGG)
Batshit crazy dips, by far best gem for single target with dual wield. Currently switched out to test wild strike.

Wild strike (wordy)

Wild strike -- added fire damage -- weapon elemental damage -- faster attacks (RRGG)
Okay that skill is weird. I don't know what did its designer smoke but I'd love to have a joint. This thing's damage is meleee hit + (40% phys 60% elem) random nuke (chain, aoe or projectile). Physical nuke. That scales with your weapon damage, physical damage and elemental damage. But not melee damage cuz it's not melee.
Somehow I happen to have only 38% melee damage in skilltree so that's not that big of a deal, but melee physical damage is a waste on this gem so I replaced it with weapon elemental damage.
*Elemental effects. Every time I crit someone is going to get frozen. Or burned. Or shocked. Well, most trash mobs die from 1 crit anyway but hey, it looks cool.
*Resistance to reflect. Gotta test that more, might backfire on big packs as nuke has physical damage component as well.
*Lower life leech. I don't leech from elemental damage.
*Lower damage. I guess, hard to test. Could really use a training dummy in my HO.
*Mana problems. As long as I hit stuff I'm fine, but only just fine.

Ehh, fine, I get it, pretty useless skill. But fun.


Main sword

Whirling blades (1 free socket when I drop endurance charge on melee stun. Blood magic?)

Offhand sword

HOA, curse and bloodrage.


Hosts cleave.


Wild strike/dual strike here.


Would've used Maligaro's virtuosity if I had it. Any decent rare gloves are better actually than Surgebinders (unless it's map with charge generation mobs)
1-2 free spots for gems (golem doesn't really need faster attacks or fortify though fortify isn't bad for his health)

Belt and jewelry

Body armor

This shit is glorious, I'm not switching to boring rare chest. Constant onslaught (unless you get hit hard enough for immortal call to proc) and bazillion endurance charges.
1-2 free spots for gems, power charge on crit didn't really work with counterattacks.

Skill trees

Current skill tree

After few lvlups

Mana problems

For 4links I'm fine with 2 mana nodes in duelist starting zone and 3 mana leech nodes (and no mana leech on gear).
However if I use whirling blades to move around without hitting stuff I run out of mana quite fast. Blood magic on whirling blades? Change one flask to hybrid?


Not best flasks ever, when I'll have time for that I'll buy/roll better granite flask and maybe atziri's (and use baubles on them ofc)

Thanks for your attention

I could always use some advices about gems and skilltree optimisation, feel free to ask questions, etc.

Zilltoid (aka Qlzqlzuup aka Yotra aka Bumc)

P.S. to be completed, will add pictures and stuff.
Last edited by Bumc on Aug 18, 2015, 1:19:12 AM

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