[2.1] "Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide [SC/HC/Atziri/Rigwald/Maps] 6.7K HP 110K DPS

Hey Exiles!
Since I remember, I always liked tales with fantasy and action in background. After years of reading books, watching movies and playing games I made in mind concept of My Perfect Warrior. Man with short sword and shield - agile and quick on the battlefield, the warrior paring an enemy attack and a lead-out instant and accurate assault.
Longtime karate training allowed me to master the art of wielding a dagger. I don't regret any second I lost on training because this hobby allowed me to make my childhood dream true.
Thanks to this game, I can share my dream with You Exiles.

Still need to upload new videos of 2.1 melee splash rework and add Shadow section and Uber run. That will be in the end of February since I'm currently being hospitalized in USA.


This character is specialist in wielding dagger and takes full advantage of the blade's critical strike potential. This build provides high damage output thanks to combination of critical strike chance and critical strike multiplier. Dealing huge portion of physical damage make it easy to leech life and mana without big investment of skills or items.

Dagger open way to use Whirling Blades which provides big mobility to our character - faster moving on battlefield, dodging skills and reposition. Also this build use Lightning Warp which help to bypass environment and open strongboxes.

This build use a lot of defense mechanics: life, armour, Enduring Cry, Determination Aura, Arctic Armour, Chaos Golem, Fortify, Vaal Molten Shield, Enfeeble, Block and Granite Flask. At this level of protection, You just diving into crowd of monsters without fear about reflect. On the top of that, this build provide over capped elemental resist to counter Elemental Weakness mod on maps and capped chaos resist.

Additional, this build provide two mechanics of gaining life - life leech and increase regeneration life on killing poison enemy.

On top of that, I need to mention that damage of this build is from Bino's and from skill tree and gems. That mean you don't need invest into gear to obtain such DPS.

So if you want to give a try something else, feel free to try my build.

Pros and Cons

+ good clear speed,
+ quite nice single target damage,
+ damage come from tree, gems and only two items,
+ you don't need any legacy items,
+ resist reflect,
+ over capped elemental resistances for Elemental Weakness maps,
+ capped chaos resistance,
+ nice life pool,
+ can handle all map mods,
+ offers 3 ways for ending build: Tank, Warrior, Jeweler,
+ easy to learn,
+ no lags or huge fps drops,
+ no movement speed slow from items,
+ doing well in parties,
+ hardcore viable,
+ Atziri farm,
+ allows to adjust build to your style (ending build/flasks).

- bad positioning can be fatal,
- corpses stay on ground,
- can't do Uber runs without changing setup.










Choosing Class

You can do this build with 4 classes: Marauder, Scion, Duelist and Shadow.

Marauder - highest life and armour of all variants for the cost of the lowest damage.
Shadow - highest damage with lower life/armour.
Duelist - balance between damage and defense.
Scion - depending on jewels, she can become most powerful or the weakest of all variants.

Essential Items

To maximize utility and power of this build we need two essential items: Bino's Kitchen Knife, Slaughter Knife and Abyssus, Ezomyte Burgonet.

Bino's Kitchen Knife has the highest critical strike chance of all daggers and bring to game interesting mechanics. Killing poisoned enemy provides 2 seconds of increased life regeneration. Combining unique dagger with Adder's Touch and high critical chance we obtain another way to recover our life.

Poison damage over time is nice addition but I like more this free chaos resistance.

Abyssus is the best item for any melee build based on crit. It can provide from 100% to 150% critical strike multiplier and 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".

Main Skills

Expansion made big revolution in leeching by forcing people to invest into leech nodes to handle single target leech. But they left one door open behind the scene - multiple hit leeching. If we hit once per second we will leech x% of damage dealt with the limit 2% of our maximum life per second:
Image you deal 20000 phys dmg against enemy without armour and you have 1.2% life leech and 6000 life. You can leech 240 life from single hit but you can only leech 120 life per second due to limitation.

But since change, each hit provide separate leeching so if you deal 2 hits by 10000 phys dmg you will get 240 life almost in ~1sec.

That why I choose Double Strike.

This skill allows you to perform two fast attack with your main hand weapon - that mean you will double your leech potential and also reduce damage from reflect damage.
+0.8% increased Base Damage per level
+0.5% increased Attack Speed per quality

Must have support gems:

It's the best support gem for any melee attack. It provide huge boost to our DPS and improve leeching level.
+1% more Melee Physical Damage per level
+0.5% increased Melee Physical Damage per quality

Only way to make Double Strike able to deal with crowd of monsters is to use this gem. It change our single target skill into aoe skill.
-1% less Damage to other targets per level
+1% increased Area of Effect radius per level
+0.5% increased Area of Effect radius per quality

Other support gems:

It repeat our last attack 2 more time. High mana multiplier isn't issue because it provide mana leech from 3 attacks. When you using it you need to have in mind that you can't move from position until you end animation of two additional hits.
+1% more Melee Attack Speed per level
+0.5% increased Melee Physical Damage per quality

If you don't like Multistrike you can use this gem. It's provide smaller DPS tooltip but you will be able to react faster.
+1% increased Attack Speed per level
+0.5% increased Attack Speed per quality

Each crit you make with attack, has chance to provide power charge. Power charge give you 50% critical chance. Use this gem only if you need more than 150% additional critical strike to chance. Remember to take power charge node from tree or/and from Alira Merciless.
+1% chance to Gain a Power Charge on Critical Strike per level
+1% increased Critical Strike Chance per quality

This gem provide flat critical strike chance so you don't need to generate power charges. Rush this gem if you don't have mana leech on gear.
+3% increased Critical Strike Chance per level
+1% increased Critical Strike Chance per quality

It will grand you huge damage upgrade. Take this gem if you can afford 6 link chest.
+1% addedd Fire Damage per level
+0.5% increased Fire Damage per quality

In my opinion it's the best movement skill in the game. It 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 need keep in your mind that you move master with higher attack speed.
+1% increased Base Damage per level
+0.5% increased Attack Speed per level

Must have support gems:

One of our defense mechanics. It provide you 20% reduce damage of all sort of damage. I would say it's the most powerful protection in game for melee. Remember that with ~90% chance to hit you will sometimes miss and won't get fortify bonus.
-0.5% less Damage to main target per level
-0.5% less Damage to other targets per level
+1% increased Area of Effect radius per quality

More attack speed gives you more movement speed. We want to obtain as much movement speed as we can so rush it.
+1% increased Attack Speed per level
+0.5% increased Attack Speed per quality

Other support gems:

After rework, it became good solution for mana issue. It allows us to travel further without leeching mana.
+0.5% reduced Mana Cost per level
+0.25% reduced Mana Cost per quality

It's fairly good in Whirling Blades setup because you need to hit monster, crit monster and roll chance to obtain power charge.
+1% chance to Gain a Power Charge on Critical Strike per level
+1% increased Critical Strike Chance per quality

Another way to spam skills is to change mana cost to life cost. If you plan taking this one, you need to remember that life regeneration will slowly refill your life bar - so don't go crazy with spam.
-3% to Mana Multiplier per level
+0.5% reduced Mana Cost per quality

Additional Skills

With rework it bring a nerf to abyssus builds because you are force to invest into life regeneration to handle physical degeneration. On top of that you have only 25% chance to obtain frenzy charge on kill. Even if it's now harder to sustain, we still want to get it because it gives us attack speed, frenzy charges and life leech.
+0.5% increased Attack Speed per level
+0.25% increased Attack Speed per quality

This skill gives us huge armour boost and when we combine this with determination aura and granite flask we will obtain enormous amount of armour. And that isn't all! Each time enemy attack, they cause aoe damage around you.
+x to minimum Fire Damage per level
+x to minimum Fire Damage per level
+y to Armour per level
+1% chance to ignite an enemy per quality
x scale to 1552-2328 Fire Damage
y scale to 1040 flat Armour

The best solution is to put this skills together since they take advantage of the same support gems.

I just love this gem. Thanks to it I don't need to refresh my Blood Rage and my precious Vaal Molten Shield last longer.
+1% increased Skill Effect Duration per level
+0. 5% increased Skill Effect Duration per quality

This gem gives +x to level of supported skill gems. That mean more attack speed and armour. Only issue of this gem is leveling - if you start leveling it at level 1 you will be able to take advantage of it until ~60lvl.
+1 to Level of Supported Active Skill Gems per level
+5% increased Experience Gained by This Gem per quality

Second defense option on our character and again free one. This build don't force you to get enduring charges from nodes or bandits - I feel that 3 charges are enough to boost our protection and of top of that they make us immune to Blood Rage degeneration.
+2 Endurance Charges granted per one hundred nearby enemies per level
+14 Life regenerated per second per level
+3% increased Area of Effect radius per quality

This skill is the best for opening strongboxes. You just click on of screen and after 1s open box - you are in safe position now (prevent you from death due to lag spike from Exiles and skill like detonate dead or ice nova (this hurt a lot!)).
+x to minimum Lightning Damage per level
+x to minimum Lightning Damage per level
+2% reduced Skill Effect Duration per level
+1% increased Cast Speed per quality

I'm only using this curse against hard hitting bosses and on new unique temple map (this map is melee resist because you DON'T want to be in melee versus them - enfeeble helps to put this resist down).
+2% increased Area of Effect radius per level
+1% reduced Enemy's Accuracy Rating per level
+0.5% less Enemy's Damage per level
+1% reduced Enemy's Accuracy Rating per quality
+1% reduced Enemy's Critical Strike Chance per quality

Those gems work well with those the utility support gems.

I just love when I can spam skills without thinking about mana costs.
+0.5% reduced Mana Cost per level
+0.25% reduced Mana Cost per quality

Another way to spam skills is to change mana cost to life cost. If you plan taking this one, you need to remember that life regeneration will slowly refill your life bar - so don't go crazy with spam.
-3% to Mana Multiplier per level
+0.5% reduced Mana Cost per quality


Golems. I test all of them and weren't happy about their endurance. All time I feel they don't have enough life and their positioning is so awful. So I came to point, that they aren't damage/agro taking tools but just squishy supports.
Remember, you won't be recasting them in powerful boss fights (Malachi, Atziri) because they will tank all hits and die immediately.

If feel it's the best solution to grab this one because with combination of Minion Life and Fortify it can survive on your side long time. He provide extra physical reduction what helps us to tank and fight with reflect. I wouldn't take this golem if dmg reduction from him was lower than 4%.
+2% increased Minion Maximum Life per level
+1% increased Minion Maximum Life per quality
+1% increased Minion Damage per quality

Must have support gems:

Best defense mechanics for ANY melee. Since golem will be rolling into groups of enemy, we would like him to survive as long as he can. It provide him 20% reduce damage of all sort of damage so you don't need to recast him often.
-0.5% less Damage to main target per level
-0.5% less Damage to other targets per level
+1% increased Area of Effect radius per quality

More life mean less problem with often recasting this little brat.
+1% increased Minion Maximum Life per level
+0.75% increased Minion Maximum Life per quality

This one give you additional damage and like my friend says "there is never enough damage". Golem trying to stay behind you by 80% of time so if you move fast enough you will not even see him on your screen. But problem with this golem is that by 20% time he will face check group of enemies (curiosity is first step to hell).
+0.25% increased Damage per level
+2% increased Minion Maximum Life per level
+1% increased Minion Maximum Life per quality
+1% increased Minion Damage per quality

Must have support gems:

More life mean less problem with often recasting this little brat.
+1% increased Minion Maximum Life per level
+0.75% increased Minion Maximum Life per quality

It give our minion some additional damage boost and chance to faster reposition. I prefer 20 quality over 20lvl.
+0.5% increased Attack and Cast Speed per level
+0.5% increased Minion Movement Speed per quality

After some research, i found extra solution for "recasting" golems.

It's great support gem for your golem. It allows you to keep little fellow by your side by 90% of time. Also by using this combination you gain extra slot for additional skill.
+x to Damage Threshold per level
-4% less damage from Skills per level
+2 to maximum Level of supported Skills per level
+0.5% increased Damage per second per quality
x scale to 3272 damage taken

Aura and Buffs

This build require 1 aura and 1 buff and 1 herald.

Underestimated aura by many people but not by me. It increase your armour by x% and the best part of that is it will increase armour gain from Vaal Molten Shield and granite flask. At that level of armour, physical reflect became enemy you can fight.
+1% more Armour per level
+3% increased Area of Effect radius per level
+1% increased Area of Effect radius per quality

After change from consuming mana to mana reservation, it became great way to deal with reflect in my build. Percentage reduce physical and fire damage while standing is great for melee build. Also each enemy's hit chill him for 0.5s.
+0.25% less Physical Damage taken when Hit
+0.25% less Fire Damage taken when Hit
+1% increased Base Duration per Quality

Great boost to your clear speed. Helps on early levels when monsters damage isn't so high. Also this herald scale well with physical damage - can you ask for something better for such low mana reservation.
+3% increased Overkill Damage per level
+0.75% increased Fire Damage per quality

Other support gems:

It doesn't change a lot with this setup but if you can afford 4lvl you will be able to run additional herald on this build.
-4% to Mana Multiplier of Supported Active Skill Gems per level
+5% increased Experience Gained by This Gem per quality

With a patch 2.1: leech, skill costs and mana per level gain we are able to sustain our skills with only lvl 3 Enlighten. On early levels when your mana pool isn't so great and you still don't have lvl 3 gem, you use combination of two of those skills. I recommend using Herald of Ash with Determination. If you run for map with huge fire damage or you running lower regeneration maps, switch Determination for Arctic Armour.

Passive Skill Tree


Oak +40 life
Oak +16% physical damage
Alira +1 power charge

Item Suggestion

Normal difficulty:
At the beginning, you can equip most of dropped items but with progress you will meet item requirements. Since we focus on armour based items, we will need only STR which provide for us skill tree. More problematic can be two others stats. Most items, you will find at the begging, will grant you additional attributes. Good example are Jade Amulet and Lapis Amulet. Also you can grab one of those items:

Focus on finding gear with stats like HP, cold/fire resistance and armour in this order. First steps in game are easy and you can end act 1 without resist at all. I really love Honourhome, Soldier Helmet because it has everything you need: resistance, armour, energy shield (we forgive you no HP), extra dmg.

You can level with two handed weapons, dual wield or grab 1h + shield from beginning - it's individual taste. Focus on weapons with added physical damage or increased physical damage. If you want to stick to build gameplay from beginning you can choose items like:

You should grab 2 pots of life, 1 pot of mana and Quicksilver Flask from Nessa's reward. Most time a choose Mana Flask as last one but you can choose other potion.
You should start with:

At level 8 you can jump on Melee Splash and then start collecting gems.
Around act 3 start using Determination and try to have at least 50% resist on each elemental resist and around 1k life what shouldn't be hard to archive. In act 4 you should be able to get capped all elemental resist.

Cruel difficulty:
At that point you will get -20% penalty to resistance. With first steps you should focus on upgrading items for more life and resistance based rather than with additional stats.
You need at that point at least 4l item for Double Strike, Melee Splash, Increased Melee Physical Damage, Multistrike combo. We will start slowly getting crit chance nodes to boots our damage. I recommend to use this dagger:

I went to Merciless with it so I can say for sure it's solid weapon.
You should now aim for mana and life leech on jewellery or Elreon's jewellery.

You can also invest into unique belt for leeching problem.

You should grab 2 pots of life, 1 pot of mana, Quicksilver Flask and Granite Flask from now. Try to obtain at least 1 remove freeze and 1 remove bleeding mod on pots. Granite Flask will help you with charging and leaping monsters.
If you can sustain your mana costs, start using Arctic Armour.
At the end of act 4 try to have around 2200+ HP. Should be enough to handle most battles.

Merciless difficulty:
At that point you need to catch white/blue 5l armour chest. You can buy one for around 1-5 chaos. Use transmute orb to change normal item into magic and then with use of alts try to roll life+res or arm+res. After that try to regal it and depend on roll you should go to master's benches and roll another resistance. I crafted a lot of armours with this strategy:

If you don't feel lucky with RNG you may try to buy one. Just focus on HP and as extra mods treat resistance and armour (you can also use armour/evasion based but that isn't recommended). And don't rush purchase because it's not worth to overpay for something you can get cheaper from different person.
Also you need to make decision about skill tree path: with mana leech or with power charge. If choose first one, try to obtain rings and/or amulet with accuracy - just aim for 86% chance to hit. Also crit multi on amulet will be big DPS boost. If you choose to get mana leech on items you will get bigger damage tooltip but it will be harder to find, craft ones or expensive to buy.
Also you need to buy or get Essential Items (unique strongbox can drop Bino's).
With -60% penalty you need to aim for chaos resistance on items what can be hard with keeping capped elemental resistance. Whenever I made new char, I make in Excel table. You will have unique items which won't have resist (i know about Bino's chaos resist) so you need to overcap elemental resist and cap chaos resist with 8 items. Each item can roll 3 any resistance what gives you total 24 resistance mods. With accuracy on rings you still can have 3 resistance with implicit but amulet can roll only 2 resistance. That gives us total 23 resistance mods and since we need for 4 different resistance, we receive 5 mods for each resistance with 3 free mods. I always aim for at least 6 chaos resistance on items. You need total 75%+60%+29%-16% resistance for cold and lightningl resistance (16% from passive tree), 75%+60%+29%-24%+1% for fire resistance (24% from passive tree and 1% to maximum fire res) and 75%+60%-x% for chaos resistance (x% is from Bino's). I really recommend to make table so you won't end with 4 fire resistance requirements on one item.

Good items for this state of game




I will give you you advice if you plan to buy items:
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.

My current gear


Since there are few choices I decided to make separate section for flasks. Remember to increase flasks quality to 20%.

This build require one MUST HAVE flask: Granite Flask of Iron Skin.

You can roll from 60% to 100% increased armour during flask effect. Popping this flask will double or even triple your armour. Capped critical strike chance with huge accuracy allow you to keep this effect all time, even in boss fights.

Next let's move to life flask. We have 3 options:
Divine Life Flask (2.4k life in 7s) with prefixes:
- 66% reduced amount recovered and instant recovery,
- 50% increased recovery speed,
- 25% Reduced Amount Recovered and instant recovery when on low life (below 35%).

Eternal Life Flask (2.08k life in 4s) with prefixes:
- 50% increased recovery speed,
- 25% Reduced Amount Recovered and instant recovery when on low life (below 35%).

Forbidden Taste Quartz Flask
With 75% chaos resistance we get instant 75% our life for 10% of our life in next 5s. So you end with 65% of your life recovered - for 6k life that mean 3900 effective HP! Only disadvantage of this flask is 60 charges used on heal. Also you want 0% quality on it!

For fourth flask i choose Quicksilver Flask.

Extra move speed is just great and let you move on huge distance when you can't use Whirling Blades.

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. If not, put remove freezing on Quicksilver Flask so you will be able to not be frozen by 5s (helps on chilling ground maps).

For last one choose:
- another life pot,
- another movement speed pot,
- unique pot.

There are 4 nice unique flasks which can be use to bring some tunes to this builds:
First one, which I tried was Atziri's Promise Amethyst Flask. Nice flask for boosting our damage. We gain 22% to 25% physical damage and from 13% to 14% elemental damage as extra chaos damage. Using it will provide additional 18750 to 20400 chaos damage.

Second one, is Taste of Hate. It gives us 30% 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 + 10% to maximum cold resistance. That all mean extra 22500 cold damage which in combination with our crits are warranted of freezing and shattering.

Next one is nice alternative for mana leech/power charges path choose - Doedre's Elixir Greater Mana Flask. This flask was giving 1 of each type charge on use. With lowest possible roll I was able to maintain all charges. In this unique you want the lowest amount "increased charges used".

Another good option is increasing our defense. For this trick we need Rumi's Concoction Granite Flask. I borrowed one from friend and that was one of my best days. With almost capped block chance I felt great.

Physical Reflect Damage

Ok, I write over and over about reflect resist. This build don't provide reflect immunity but only resist to its effect.
Let's do some math:
I deal 75k physical damage per second with 5.32 attacks per second. That mean I hit 10.62 times due to Double Strike mechanics, each 7k physical damage. Imagine we doing 18% reflect map.

First, let's calculate how much damage is reflected:
7000 * 0.18 = 1260

Recipe for armour mitigation is:
physical damage reduction = 39443 / ( 39443 + 10 * 1260 )
physical damage reduction = 0.76
0.24 * 1260 = 302
As you see, this build allow you to negate 76% of reflect with ONLY armour.

Then 3 enduring charges + Chaos Golem:
0.84 * 302 = 254

And in the end Arctic Armour and Fortify:
290 * 0.8 * 0.87 =177

And the last one is increased physical damage taken from Abyssus:
for best scenario:
for worst scenario:

As you see, the amount of incoming damage was reduced by 80%.

If you doing reflect mod map, try to not hit massive groups of monster or you will run out of life fast.

Life Leech

So how look life leech with new recipe on this build? I feel that Double Strike has best possibility for single target leeching without investing single point into leech nodes. Why? Let's do some amth again.
I deal 75k physical damage per second with 5.32 attacks per second. That mean I hit 10.62 times due to Double Strike mechanics, each 7k physical damage. Also I have 6k life and 1.2% life leech from Blood Rage.

Recover rate:
6000 * 0.02 = 120 HP/sec

Amount of leeched life:
7000 * 0.012 = 84 HP

Time require to leech:
84 / 120 = 0.7 sec

That mean, I leech average 893.76 HP in 1.7 sec.

Mana Leech

Even with Double Strike mechanics, mana leech can be tricky.
I deal 75k physical damage per second with 5.32 attacks per second. That mean I hit 10.62 times due to Double Strike mechanics, each 7k physical damage. Also I have 500 mana and 0.4% life leech from Blood Rage.

Recover rate:
500 * 0.02 = 10 Mana/sec

Amount of leeched mana:
7000 * 0.004 = 28 Mana

Time require to leech:
28 / 10 = 2.8 sec

That mean, I leech average 297.92 Mana in 2.8 sec. Calculate how many times you will cast your skill for total amount of skill cost per level (normally 0.3% mana leech should be enough).

Map Mods

With the expansion to Path of Exile, sustaining high level maps became harder. I'm using alch+vaal strategy and even with this strategy I rarely getting map at the same or above level map I'm running. 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.

First let's talk about reflect map. Take at least two Granite Flasks and always keep 3 endurance charges and Granite Flask on before you hit with Double Strike. As I mention before, you are reflect resist but I didn't mention about risk. This calculation take into account only single target damage. That mean you need to keep in mind you can't hit group of monster with it. There is two solutions for that:
1) Try to move around group of mobs and hit not more like 4-5 at once. Keep fingers on Flasks since you take damage from reflect and monsters at the same time. Use Arctic Armour and Determination.
2) Better option is to use unique ring

It's just incredibly useful. With this ring in RIGHT slot you can face 2-3 times more monster at the same time.

Other maps mods force us to change slightly gems setup - turning off aura/buff
- 40%/50%/60% reduce life and mana regeneration
Use Herald of Ash and Arctic Armour to obtain extra mana pool and you can rush it with loud cry. Keep in mind you taking more damage from Blood Rage but golem with 3 endurance charges should stop degeneration. Also grabbing one mana pot should help vs single target.
- No life and mana regeneration
No need to change any aura/buff/herlad but watch your life bar because Blood Rage will eat it fast if you lose golem and 3 endurance charges. Also don't spam Whirling Blades or you will start fight with basic attack.
- Blood magic
Turn off everything to free life pool. Be aware that charging and leaping monster now hurt so don't get catch off guard. Keep all other buffs up.
- Vulnerability
You can be stunned so don't let monster chain stun on you. Also Blood Rage degeneration now is even stronger but our golem plus endurance charges combo will fix that.
- No leech
Mana pot or switch Added Fire Damage for Blood Magic - choose.

There are only one composition of mods I DON'T RECOMMEND:
Physical Reflect + Blood Magic
I need to mention that it's possible but with time it takes it's just worthless.

Rest mods isn't problem but you need to make some adjustment depending on rolls you got on map. For example you rolled -20% maximum resistance and monsters deal extra 75% lightning damage - in this situation change Quicksilver Flask for Topaz with Shock removal (I most time don't do that).


This build isn't hard mechanical in practice. You dive with Whirling Blades 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. Do I hit corrupting blood mob in group of enemies (most time you won't see even degeneration from 20 stacks thanks to bino's knife). Try to keep all buff up.
By situation near our character I mean hard hitting monsters. If you feel you are in bad spot, just reposition yourself with Whirling Blades. Try dodging skills from bosses like Malachai, Vaal or Atziri.

Clearing 7/10
This build has nice clear speed thanks to high critical strike chance and multiplier but you won't be able to clear so fast as CoC build.

Single target 8/10
Without changing gems sets for bosses, this build provide huge damage against rare, unique monster. If you want more dps 1 vs 1 (like PvP), just put off Melee Splash and put there Fortify and your damage will be over 130k.

Difficulty 5/10
This build require from you to use 3 active skills: Double Strike, Whirling Blades and Enduring Cry. You will use time to time Lightning Warp or recast golem. Build give you flexibility, so you can choose if you want play safe or be dynamic.

Fireworks 5/10
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 playing with screen shake on crit so with combination with fast moving with Whirling Blades you can see some fps drops.

Survival 8/10
Again, you have so much defense mechanics, that you can get hard hitting punches into face but in comparison with full tanks with legacy items you can't handle so much.


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.

I'm doing ALL MAP MODS, like:
- no regeneration,
- reduced regeneration,
- no leech,
- both reflect,
- temp curse, chilled ground, tar
so clear speed on video can be slower than others builds.

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

2.0 videos

Normal Runs:
Scion at The Apex of Sacrifice 70: https://youtu.be/pf7H3gmqjv8
Duelist at Gorge 76: https://youtu.be/JMwxwUcKQ1g
Marauder at Shipyard 79: https://youtu.be/wbVyVzCafds

Other funny staff:
Marauder at Plateau 77 with 5L Double Strike: https://youtu.be/XSKPMZBiGKM
Duelist at Necropolis 77 with 6L Reave: https://youtu.be/i1vAnU9482U
Duelist at Dried Lake 67 with 6L Cyclone: https://youtu.be/jn8Aer6lDbQ
Scion at Crypt 68 with 6L Flicker Strike: https://youtu.be/AHBva5pNxAs

2.1 videos

There will be update but in the end of February since I'm being hospitalized in USA. Difference between 2.1 and previous 2.0 is: now we have faster clearing since almost 2x AoE, easier mana management (only lvl 3 Enlighten) extra 20% maximum life for the cost of 1 extra required level to end build.

This build can be still used with skills like Reave, Cyclone, Flicker Strike - now even more efficient (cyclone dps will be doubled since the change of showing it's tooltip).
IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Dec 18, 2015, 8:44:55 AM

Boss Fights

In this part I will explain strengths and weaknesses of end act bosses and how to deal with them.
Act 1

Battle with Merveil has place in large cave, what provides us a lot of room to move.
Boss fight has two parts. In first form we facing humanoid who use two offensive skills and 2 utility moves. Merviel fire frozen projectiles in one direction and in this state she can't change path of attack what makes her open to side assault. Time to time she will use Ice Storm which is her main tool of DPS. Try to not stand in this area. She can also summon 2 types of enemy: statues and animated weapons. They shouldn't be treat thanks to Melee Splash damage - just focus on boss.
In second form she change into monster and use new skills. Most time she will cast Water Geyser which you want to avoid. Be aware that she can put 3-5 next to each other what can be dangerous. Between casting geysers she will use Freezing Pulse. Meanwhile your battle will start showing larvae - nothing scary, just treat them as flask recovery tools. After you take half of boss life, her sisters will appear. One of them is using Molten Strike and second one is using Lightning Strike. I just ignore them and keep killing main enemy.
Merveil is cold resist what doesn't really care us since we deal only physical damage.
Merveil also deal most of damage as cold so grabbing Sapphire Flask or freeze removal Flask is good solution. Try to have capped cold resistance at Cruel and Merciless difficulty.

Act 2

Battle with Vaal has place in large room, what provides us again a lot of room to move.
Vaal is slow boss which hit like truck. He is using 4 offensive skills and 1 utility move. After waking up he will start spamming monsters with projectiles and after that he will hide underground. It gives us nice opportunity to hit him few times. After that we should aim for killing monster as fast as we can. Before he dig up from ground you will hear sound and see black mist in this place. At taht point you need to stick to him and attack. As i mention he is using 4 different moves and one of it is Vaal Slam - he will rise his leg and hit small areas. This attack is slow and easy to dodge. Move aside or behind him and keep pecking. Second attack is laser. He start shooting in strait line beam with 3s delay. If he start shooting, run around him and attack him in those delays. Next attacks he use are earthquake which cause to rock falls from ceiling and freezing projectiles. Both skills can't hit you if you stay near him. I can't say which skill he will use but if he start spamming monsters he will on 99% hide (in 1% he will spam them again).
Vaal is elemental and chaos resist what doesn't really care us since we deal only physical damage.
Vaal deal good portion of lightning damage so you can grab Topaz Flask. Quicksilver Flask can help with dodging his slam.

Act 3

Battle with Dominus has place on the roof and it's pretty large room.
After getting closer to him, he will move to upper site to watch us killing his friends. We have to face 4 waves of enemies. In first wave we need to kill tree unique monsters based on guardians from act 3. Lady is using spark totems, man with axe is leaper with burning version of Lightning Strike and last one is cyclone user with chilling ground. Try killing them separately. Extra flask isn't necessary to deal with them. After ending life of last one there will start showing next waves of unique monsters - nothing dangerous, just kill them. After this mascarade, Dominius will get down to you. He is using teleportation and 3 types of attack. First is A Touch Of A God - move from him with Whirling Blades and after that come back to him. Second one is lighting laser which change direction for the first target he takes. Move around him and hit him after he stop attacking. You can also tank it with Topaz Flask. Last attack, or maybe skill he is using is summon totems which are connected with lightning stream. Destroy them or just don't stay in this stream.
Dominius is elemental and chaos resist what doesn't really care us since we deal only physical damage.
Dominius deal good portion of lightning damage so you can grab Topaz Flask. Quicksilver Flask can help with dodging his slam which is physical/lightning.

Act 4

Malachai isn't hard boss in my opinion. It's all about dodging his two dangerous attacks: teleportation and weapon slam. After he disappear he will start charging in some area before he will show up. Don't stand there and you are safe. Second skill is pretty fast and he is using this only against melee (everything for you). Use Whirling Blades to dodge it. Other skills worth mention are mines and his tentacle attack. Both you can tank or just move away since as melee you can reposition yourself.
In this fight, there will be Piety who attack Malachai with lightning stream so don't stay in this laser or you will be shocked. She will turn two times into her monster form so dodge her skill which creates black area (not sure how to call it).
Last state of fight is in small area. Good information for you, he stopped using his melee slam. After each 25% of his life, he will grand immunity to damage. In that time you need to destroy his organs. I will just say you to trying to dodge his vomits and don't stay in red circle. Time to time he will use his uber teleportation.
Granite and Life Flasks are your best friends. If you can't use properly pots, don't be afraid to tp back to town to refill them. After some practice you will be able to doing speed runs on him.

Beyond Monster

Na'em, Bending Stone

The easiest boss of Beyond. Just pop granite flask 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. Before you start a fight with him, use Enfeeble. Good way to deal with his skills take him to better field. I mean try taking him near some structure so you can hit him and move around. If you have Sapphire Flask and foritify buff on you can tank his hits. If you are running out of instant Life Flask, move out with Whirling Blades and refill them with monster.

Tzteosh, Hungering Flame

Easier version of Abaxoth. He casting smaller Flameblast and summon ragging spirits. And this is why you can tank him. Bino's passive will heal you to full most time and his damage output isn't so huge. Anyway use Enfeeble and watch what happening on screen. If you feel you are in dangerous just use Whirling Blades and think about situation.

Bameth, Shifting Darkness

Pop up Granite Flask and Vaal Molten Shield and repeat history of Tzteosh. Minions will heal you. Care of Detonate Dead by not standing in the same place as Desecrate. In this fight curse won't help you since he has curse immunity.

Ephij, Crackling Sky

I met him once and I wont mention it well. You need be very careful because you will start taking damage at the moment you will see him at screen. Curse him, jump in with Whirling Blades, attack few times and run away with Whirling Blades. You repeat this all the time because with time his Vaal Storm Call will overlap on you.

Abaxoth, The End of All That Is

This boss is my nightmare. The nightmare that made me to run like an idiot around him. You 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. Whenever I fight with him, i regret I don't have Temporal Chain. Keep curse on him all time so even if he hit you, you will be able to survive.


In this part I will only say about two Rouge Exiles who can be risky if you make wrong move.

Magnus Stonethorn
This guy is using Flameblast so you need to make him cast it in some distance from him. If he start casting you can use Whirling Blades to jump on him. If he start casting it on himself, just run away and repeat strategy. You can also use curse and face tank him - possible but not recommended.

Minara Anemina
If give her time to create minions you can't jump on her. Minion Instability will kill you. So what to do if I didn't react fast? Bait minions as far as you can and go around to her. If minions jump back to her, repeat strategy.

Arziri Runs

This build allows you to efficiently farm Atziri without any risk. Since most Atziri builds contain Enduring Cry and Immortal Call they become unavailable to do such runs. My build provide you enough defenses to rush from first first floor to throne room.
The best part of this build is no need to change flasks and gear for run. However, I recommend you to start with 2 extra flasks in your inventory (Topaz and Ruby Flask) before you get used to runs.

Normal Atziri

Double Vaal
At the start of the fight Vaals will start to spam monsters and then 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 Ball, 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 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.

Boss, or bosses of 3th floor are three demons: witch, marauder and duelist (they look like them but in demonic form ^ ^ ).
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 Spike Storm - 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 is too high to handle by leech and flasks (multi leeching can handle this).
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 version of Storm Call and Spear Throw. Those skills won't kill you but you will lose around half of your HP on hit. She does two superior attacks: double huge Flameblast and golden version of 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 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.
> 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 and Storm Call 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. Remember when you using version with Faster Attacks to not lock skill on Atziri.

Uber Atziri

Uber runs are harder than normal, for melee. It's impossible to do Uber runs with this build WITHOUT changing gem setup and without level 3 Enlighten. In patch 2.0 I made 3 runs: no one of them was deathless. I DON'T RECOMMEND DOING UBER ATZIRI WITH THIS BUILD!

If you don't care about deaths and time spend on doing Uber (around 1hour!), you SHOULD follow those tips:
First of all, DON'T DIVE into Vaal Fallens - it's instant death. With increased damage they hit like 3k pure damage. Try spamming Enfeeble on them and kite them. Rest mobs aren't problem. But for boss fight you need to have different gem setup (Your mana reservation sockets should look like R-R-B-G).

For Double Vaal you change your auras/buffs for:
for defense:

for offence:


Strategy is the same like for normal Atzizri. Avoid Vaal Slam and Lightning Ball. Cast curse on them and try to put them on 90% of health before finishing.

For Trio you change your auras/buffs for:
for defense:

for offence:


As strategy you use hit&run. Deal some damage, run away, make a circle and repeat. Try to keep curse on Witch and after killing her, on both of left bosses.

For Atziri you change your auras/buffs for:
for defense:


Mechanics are the same but i recommend to avoid everything. If you sure that skill will hit you - pop your flask.

Crafting Jewels

Basic build has 2 socketable nodes but with usage of rest points you can get 3 more. Unique jewels aren't so useful for us so it's better to craft them. First we need to choose base for our jewels. We can choose one of three available:
- Cobalt Jewel

- Crimson Jewel

- Viridian Jewel

Each base open for us different mods on jewels. Each color inform us about a chance to roll mods. Cobalt, blue jewel is better for casters. They will most likely roll spell, cold damage, energy shield affixes. Crimson, red jewels will roll melee weapons, fire damage, totem, armour, life affixes. The last one, Viridian, green jewel can roll bows, daggers, claws, crit chance and cold damage affixes. You can also roll mana leech on this jewel.

We want to start with magic Crimson or Viridian jewel which can roll one prefix and suffix. We should aim to roll crit chance and physical damage or attack speed. It can takes some Alternation Orbs from your stash but result will be rewarding. Let's take Crimson jewel as base:

After Alternation Orbs I got pretty good result:

Then i used Orb of Augmentation to add prefix:

Now it's time to use Regal Orb on our precious jewel and got decent roll (it isn't worth to exalt but you can sell it for nice amount of Chaos Orbs:

If we roll bad affix, we want to use Scouring Orb and Alternation Orb and repeat rolling affixes until we get something good. If we got something decent we have two options: to equip it or use Exalted Orb on it. If get lucky you will get 4th nice mod and your jewel will be worth few Exalts. Then if you are brave enough you can use Vaal Orb on it. In worst scenario you will crash your jewel mods. It can also nothing happen but your jewel will lose on price. The best scenario is extra useful mod on jewel which will make you rich.

I most time stop on regaling jewels and selling them for few Chaos Orbs (with 2 good rolls) to few Exalted Orbs (with 3 good rolls). It's your choose. Are you lucky enough or you prefer to keep lower income.

You want stats like:
- increased physical damage
- increased attack speed
- increased critical strike chance
- increased critical strike multiplier
- increased life
- mana leech

I'm currently using:

Questions and Answers

Q: With which class I can use this build?
A: This build is playable as Marauder, Scion, Duelist and Shadow.

Q: Can I use this build on Hardcore?
A: Definitely yes. You can obtain around 196% increase maximum life from tree (without counting 7% life on jewels) 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. My build have potential to get over capped elemental resistance and capped chaos resistance. 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 Bino's and Abyssus for 2 ex. I would recommend to craft %armour on rings and amulet which will cost you extra 3ex (if you don't have currency, don't craft it). And that all.

Q: But what about 6L?
A: You can play end game maps with 5L. Also you can obtain 6L by farming The Celestial Justicar divination card or by using corrupted tempest. 4L works until early leveling at merciless.

Q: This build works in PvE but what about PvP?
A: With the Immortal Call nerf, I was able to get top 10 on ladder in one day. Physical damage builds will have hard time against us. Elemental damage builds will try to burst us asap but with Whirling Blades you will be sitting on their face with dagger under their throat. Only minus of this build in PvP is turning on aura, buff and Blood Rage each time you win fight. Also block build are OP in PvP so you will have hard time vs them. Remember, it's not about winning, it's about that they can't win - so rush for WIN and DRAW.

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 guy/girl 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.

Q: Will build change in future?
A: Probably yes. Even now I testing other possibilities to improve defense and clear speed. For example Vaal Cold Snap or Cast when Damage Taken with multiple Arctic Breath.

Q: Can I improve stats even more?
A: Look for information in flasks section or get MIRRORED GEAR.

Q: What would you suggest to take for the rest skill points?
A: After more research, I think that grabbing jewel slot in the duelist area is nice idea. After that, if you still want more damage, feel free to grab 2 freenzy charges on tree. If you prefer more tanky play style you can get life/energy shield nodes in top shadow area and 3 life/arm nodes in beginning of Marauder area (as Marauder go for those in Duelist start).

Q: Why are you using melee splash?
A: I know that using melee splash with any skill is pointless in comparison with AoE skills but I wanted to give it try. After test I came to conclusion that it can be viable on endgame maps so I made this guide how to process from begging to 92 level.

Q: Why not Reave?
A: Double Strike attack twice per one cast which gives advantage over Reave in two scenarios: while doing reflect map you need to mitigate two times less damage and your leech is two time more efficient vs rare/exiles/bosses (since leech now stack). Also, Reave feel more like range skill which I don't like use.

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 (reduction work only when you stay in place)(some people use it for chill effect). Also damage scaling is higher on Double Strike.

Q: I can't read text on borders. Do you plan changing font?
A: I edited spoiler texts so there shouldn't be any problem with guessing words on borders. I will edit frames in different time (far far later).

Q: English isn't your native language, isn't it?
A: Yes, it isn't my native language and before you ask another question, yes, I will correct forms and spelling later (or even LATER).
IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide
Last edited by ShihanPiotr on Dec 17, 2015, 9:48:39 AM
Detailed indeed. And nicely written too. Thanks for the guide! Gonna use it for the Darkshrine HC. Hopefully I don't rip so early, since I haven't played HC for a long time.

Thanks OP!
PoE-TradeMacro - https://github.com/PoE-TradeMacro/POE-TradeMacro/
ExileTrade - http://exiletrade.github.io/
Updated to 2.1
IGN: Nanashi_Sabazashi
"Size doesn't matter" - Double Strike Tank Guide

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