[2.2] The Katamari Gladiator (or "The Black Hole Cyclone")

This build combines two unusual mechanics to provide a strong support Duelist which can easily stand on its own feet.

What to expect?
This build combines a Unique Item and a Curse-Aura to stack multiple enemies within oneself to act as a mobile Vaal Cyclone.

This build starts to be effective with level 53, the minimum level requirement of the Unique Item "Empire's Grasp". It effectivity increases with the first two Ascendency Points within the Gladiator Tree.

Pros & Cons
+ Extreme sustain
+ Acts as CC tank
+ Very mobile and can easily dodge area attacks
+ Permanently chills enemies and bosses (except they are chill immune)
+ Very efficient support for AOE allies
+ Very cheap equipment
+ Doesn't leave corpses behind

- Can cause severe lags and even disconnects
- Can draw enemies away from static melee allies

Core Items

Empire's Grasp is the core build enabler item. It reverses the knockback mechanic and draws everything to you instead. Projectile Weakness, with Blasphemy, increases the chance to knock back even further to ensure that everything is stacked within you. With Cyclone you can move freely and collect all enemies within a room/dungeon/etc.

Passive Skill Tree (Example)

There isn't a real keynode which is uttely required, but there is a load of extremely useful nodes which all enhance the synergies of this build.

Items mentioned in the next section will be discussed later on.

Important Keynodes sorted by importancy

Gratitous Violence (Gladiator)
The explosion on kill against a bleeding target is god-like in this build since you can easily stack up to 50+ enemies and wipe them all away in an instant when you make your first kill.

As this build relies on knockback 18% chance and 50% distance comes in very handy.

Master of the Arena and Warlord's Reach
Weapon Melee Range is very important to increase the rate of stacking enemies.

Revelry and Viridian Jewels
Revelry provides +2 Mana on hit. A stat which can only be crafted on Viridian Jewels. And it seems that you need at least one of them to provide enough mana gain against single targets.

Graceful Assault and Daresso's Defiance
There is a unique interaction with Onslaught and Daresso's Defiance. As long you have Onslaught (regardless of the source) Daresso's Defiance won't use Endurance Charges and won't overwrite the current Onslaught. This provides the maximum duration of Onslaught possible. This increases Movement Speed and Attack Speed, which increases you stacking ability even further.

Deadly Dilettante and Varunastra
The Pendarus League provided a new Unique Sword which acts as all one-handed weapons at the same time. This not only means it can be used with all skills, but also gain all boni which indicate certain weapons. Even with a single Varunastra you could remove either Revelry or the previous mentioned Viridian Jewel with +2 Mana on hit. With 2 Varunastras you can possibly remove both.

Unwavering Stance
You can't be stunned while you use Cyclone. But consider this node when you want to use Double Strike more often. But remember that you lose at least 5% evade (the minimum).

Normal: Oak +40 maximum Health
Cruel: Kraityn: +8% Attack Speed or Skill Point
Merciless: Skill Point


Since they can be the fastest weapons and have the longest melee Cyclone range, Thrusting Swords are the choice to go. Varunastra is a exception since it provides everything you need.

Hrimnor's Resolve and Flask of the Heat
While someone is immune to stun during Cyclone, you aren't immune to freeze. Hrimnor's Resolve and a single Flask with the suffix "of the Heat" will provide enough defense against your only weakness.

Daresso's Defiance
This chest is so good for this build. Everything is good about it, especially for this build. And Endurance Charges are always welcomed.

Empire's Grasp
The build-enabler and core item. This build won't work without it.

Boots and Jewelry
Since there are no real options, which provide a cheap addition to this build, use these slots to stack up health and resistances.

Lion's Roar
More damage and more knockback. Perfect for enemies which are fast and hard to control.


Cyclone - Faster Attacks - Life Gain on Hit - Fortify (- Knockback - Increased Area of effect / More Melee Physical Damage)
The effectivity of this build is directly tied to attack speed and since Cyclone can't the supported by Multistrike Faster Attacks is the direct option to go. Life Gain on Hit is very important as its your source of sustain. With multiple enemies stacked you as good as invulnerable except for one-hits and freezes. As long as you don't have a 6-linked Body Armour link the normal Cyclone in your Gloves, since they automatically provide Knockback. Place IAoE for more support or MMPD for more solo power.

Projectile Weakess - Blasphemy
With Projectile Weakness you will have roughly 73% chance to knockback. Additionally it provides more support for projectile based allies.

Double Strike - Faster Attacks - Multistrike - Life Gain on Hit (- More Melee Physical Damage)
Your solo target skill against bosses with non-dodgeable melee hits. With Multistrike you attack faster as with Cyclone which provides more damage and more sustain against a single target. As soon as you have more than 1 enemy use Cyclone.

Vaal Cyclone - Increased Duration - Life Gain on Hit - Faster Attacks
Tormented Spirits, nothing more to say.

Cast when Damage Taken - Molten Shell - Immortal Call - Summon Chaos Golem / Summon Flame Golem
You will soak tons of damage. Additionally a leveled Immortal Call will provide more duration generated by Daresso's Defiance. Molten Shell and Summon Chaos Golem provide more defense. Summon Flame Golem more offense.


Build diversity
In normal Leauge I tried a Crit-Build with Cyclone - Life Gain on Hit - Cast on Critical Strike - Blade Vortex. It didn't deal much damage, but the effect was immense. Even when I stopped using Cyclone and tried to run away. The enemies still followed me thanks to Blade Vortex and the Knockback provided by the gloves.

Critical Situations
The most difficult situations for this build is the Rare Monster affix "Allies Cannot Die" and especially the Vaal Side Area Boss "Mother of the Hive". If there are too many enemies, while using Vaal Cyclone, Path of Exile will register the excessive amount of attacks as an DDoS attack on the servers and will disconnect you.

In another case me and my allies gain immense lags when I kill something with Gratitous Violence and start a chain reaction.

Final Words
I hope you may enjoy this build and hopefully you won't get any disconnects while using it.^^

Last edited by Zanryu on Apr 25, 2016, 9:58:40 PM
Last bumped on Apr 30, 2016, 3:39:15 PM
Would you consider this HC viable?
I lurked the perandus ladders the last couple of days looking for interesting Gladiator builds and came along the build of Deathstar13. Absolutely amazing setup imo.


He is using Empire's Grasp aswell.

I liked it so much that I sold everything I could spare to get all the items needed. Currently leveling a new Duelist. Thank god I leveled three Duelists already and have a Facebreaker leveling gear setup which levels itself to 70 if you take Blood Magic.

To get to my point. Yes I think that Empire's Grasp is overlooked on Gladiators. It is so good with the explosion talent.

Btw...I never used Shield Charge before. Man that skill is fucking amazing. You can zap through zones like speedy Gonzales.

Only thing I would change in the setup of Deathstar is keeping Blood Rage at the level of CWDT. That way is is casted automatically aswell. The aps loss is not that big. Still need to test if Blood Rage is triggered even with zero mana or if Blood Magic is needed. If not I can socket increased duration.
Last edited by zorker on Mar 17, 2016, 10:56:19 AM
Amaymon723 wrote:
Would you consider this HC viable?

I doubt that since it's very likely to overdo yourself or die due to a lag. Honestly I never tryed it since I really dislike HC, but I guess someone can try it.
I would also remove Vaal Cyclone from the HC version since Flame/Frost/Lightning Bearers are your sudden death.
Last edited by Zanryu on Mar 17, 2016, 2:04:16 PM
I'll be testing this out in HC - looks like a very fun build, thanks for the info!

Will let you know how it goes. ;)
What about the bandits? I'm not the best at deciding who to help, so it might be helpfull to fill up this information. :P
Oh, yeah sure. Totally forgot about them.
First of all, if there are no major keynodes someone needs for a certain build, there are no superior or inferior skill trees.

Secondly, this build uses dual wield to increase the attack speed and thus the knockback frequency. A shield would hamper this concept.

Thirdly, and maybe I should've pointed that out. My build was just an example and reference to discuss the major nodes.

Everybody can skill for this build how they see fit.
The concept works as usual, but please show your DPS with that setup or a new setup.
Anything above 15K would make me wonder.
“Losing a limb is no excuse for cowardice.” - Master Sollis, "Blood Song"

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