[2.3] Bleeding/Poison EQ Gladiator -- Budget, Tanky, Reflect Proof! -- T15 Core Down!

[3.0 update] Double-dipping is officially gone in 3.0 so most of the calculations in this guide are no longer correct, but I decided to keep this guide to show how people abused double-dipping when it was still a thing :)

Hi, this is Insobyr, I would like to introduce my Block 1H Bleeding/Poison EQ Gladiator here. This is not the first build I made, actually I made a lot of shit builds before, but this build carried me through T15 Core for the first time in my life so I guess this build is not that bad and decided to write a guide for it :)

This is the first guide I've ever written, suggestions are appreciated :)

2.3 Updates:

VoidHeart! This new ring brings this build to a whole new level.

In overal, this build is much stronger in 2.3 with voidheart, cospri's, breath of council and ancestral warchief etc. I'm playing different builds in Prophecy so probably this guide won't have many updates in the near future... But the overall idea of this build remains the same in 2.3. Hope this guide can inspire you in some ways and help you build your own character :)


Please note that all videos below were from 2.2, but I think they are enough to showcase the playstyle and how this build perform in the toughest game contents. In 2.3, this build is even much much stronger with the new Voidheart ring and other new good uniques like breath of the council.

T9 Gorge: (With 8k tooltip dps EQ)

T15 Colosseum: Extra damage, Ele Reflect, Ele Weakness

Phys Reflect Gorge: AFK Mode Elreon Quest at the end.
I used to think I can't run Phys Reflect map, I was wrong. Face tank easy.

T13 Waterways Map: Ele & TC curse, No Regen, Extra lightning Damage
Ele & TC curse, No Regen, Extra lightning Damage

T11 Academy Map
It's in an early stage of this build, I was using Vigilant Strike at that moment. Then when I started mapping T13+, I found Vigilant Strike has too many limitations so I decided to swap to EQ (Ok, EQ OpieOpie)

Atziri (Not Uber)
To be honest I'm never an Atziri lover, my gaming skill is so poor that I died a lot to her. But this build clears Atziri just fine. Will try Uber sometimes later.

Overall Ideas

1. Maximize the DoT by double dipping it as much as possible.
2. Find ways to knockback enemies to let them take extra bleeding damage.
3. Gratuitous Violence's explosion for pack clearing.

1. High block/spell block (63% blk/spell blk if Painforged is activated.)
2. 200% increased hp from tree.
3. Immune stun & Iron Reflexes (not necessary)
4. Granite & Basalt flask.

Pros & Cons

1. Tanky. Reflect Proof. Almost viable to all map mods.
2. Has enough damage to clear Core ;)
3. Able to afk kill packs in T13 maps.
4. Kinda unique, yet powerful.

1. No whirling blades.
2. No whirling blades.
3. No whirling blades.

How to Scale Melee Bleeding?

Like poison/ignite, as damage over time, bleeding damage inherits the damage type of the initial hit as AoE/Projectile/Totem/Minion/Trap/Mine. That means, the increased/more factors to these damage types not only apply to the initial hit, but also the DoT damage, AKA double dipping. That's the reason why trap/mine poison is OP.

Unfortunately DoT won't inherit as "melee", which makes melee bleeding builds kind of inferior to bow bleeding builds. But there's a huge advantage of melee bleeding -- we can master craft "Causes bleeding on Hit" prefix on melee weapons, that means we can potentially use any melee skills to play melee bleeding builds, while puncture is the only option for bow bleeding build.

Then it's easy to tell why Earthquake is the best skill for melee bleeding:
1. The aftershock has the highest base damage among all melee skills (195.1% at lv20)
2. It's an AoE skill. (Concentrated Effect double-dipping)
3. It's a duration skill. (Less Duration double-dipping)
4. (unsure) aftershock deals xx% more damage can double-dip DoT?

The curse Vulnerability is another core skill in this build. It actually triple-dips bleeding damage: cursed targets take x% More physical damage from the initial hit, then they also take x% More damage from the bleeding since it's physical, and they take y% more DoT damage. This curse provides 3 multipliers to bleeding damage, I would call it INSANE.

Another thing to increase your bleeding damage is to force the bleeding targets to move. They take 500% more bleeding damage while moving. I'll introduce my knockback setup in the gem section.

Gem Setup

Main Skill: EQ + Melee Phys Damage + Fortify (link it to mobility skill if no 6L) + Less Duration + Concentrated Effect + Poison

Since I want all my damage to be pure physical so there're not many options for me. Poison is a very good choice for this build since I invest so heavily on scaling DoT damage. Poison provides an overall 99% more damage (see damage calculation section)

Reserved: Vulnerability + Blasphemy, Grace
Pure physical, so no hatred no herald. Vulnerability is one of the core skill, Grace for survivability.

Knockback Setup: CWDT (lv1) + Blade Vortex + Knockback + Increased Duration
CWDT+BV is a good multi-functional setup for melee builds, it can be used to gain power charge, blind, etc. In this build, we use it to force enemies to move.
2.3 Knockback setup: Ancestral Warchief + knockback + MPD + CE
Great damage support and controllable.

Counter Strike Setup: Reckoning + Riposte + Melee Phys Dmg + Inc AoE (or Vengeance)
Super strong for pack clearing. This is how I AFK kill things.

Mobility: Leap + Faster Attack + Blood Magic

Other Utility Setup: Blood Rage + Endurance Cry + Vaal Lightning Trap + Increased Duration, Tempest Shield
Vaal Lightning Trap for SHOCK double dipping. Strongly recommend.


Must take:
1. Gratuitous Violence (Corpse Explosion!)
2. Versatile Combatant (1 point for 60%-70% spell block, is there any nodes better than this?)

In 2.3, we can have 2 more points. I think Violent Retaliation, Outmatch and Outlast and Blood in the Eyes are all good options.

Violent Retaliation: double-dipable 80% increased damage for bleeding against Bosses.

Outmatch and Outlast: Additional frenzy charge generation, double-dipable 10% more damage for bleeding. Especially good for some tough degen maps where blood rage is a pain to use (like vulnerability + no regen + Desecrated ground)

Blood in the Eyes: double-dipable 30% increased damage for both bleeding and poison. The new 25% additional chance to bleed provides possibility to use weapons without "causes bleeding on hit" mod.


My Tree at lv 92

The tree is flexible, the only must-takes are the two DoT wheels in duelist area.

I invested heavily on Phys DoT / DoT nodes, the other parts are just like a traditional 1H RT physical build.

For the rest 8 points, I'll go Splitting Strike wheel and grab the rest life nodes.

For leveling, it's very flexible, my preference is go for Resolute Technique ASAP.


For the jewel slots, I strongly recommend "Increased Physical Damage%", "Increased Area Damage" and "Increased Damage%" since they double-dip bleeding, and scale the Gratuitous Violence explosion damage.

BTW, the leech wheel next to Unwavering Stance made a unexpectedly huge difference, defense-wise. Strongly recommend to take it if you have problem on recovery.

DPS Calculation

This is my tooltip, since bleeding and poison damage is not showing in tooltip, I did some calculation below:

Bleeding Damage

I totally have

20% increased area damage
102% increased damage over time
79% increased damage
75% increased physical damage over time
118% increased physical damage

from passives, gears, jewels, bandit quest and ascendancy passives, all of these apply to bleeding damage.

Besides, Conc Effect & Less Dur work on bleeding as well. And triple-dipped by Vulnerability.

Therefore, for the standing still targets, the bleeding damage is:
0.1*(1+0.2+1.02+0.79+0.75+1.18)*1.59*1.3*1.29*1.33 = 175.2%
of the initial hit damage per second.

For moving target, it's 175.2*6 = 1051.2%

That means the bleeding target is actually taking more than 10 times of aftershock damage per second while moving!

So what's the actual number?
1. Bleeding always overwrite using higher damage roll. So I use the upperbound of my tooltip: 8077
2. Aftershock deals 79% more damage.
3. Vulnerability let them take 29% more physical damage.

So for stand-still targets: 8077*1.79*1.29*175.2% = 32676 pdps
for moving targets: 8077*1.79*1.29*1051.2% = 196066 pdps

Poison Damage

Poison takes increased area damage, increased damage, increased damage over time, and Conc Effect & Less Dur, but its duration is also shortened by the gem. I also have 20% increased duration.

so the poison multiplier is 0.20*(1+0.2+1.02+0.79)*1.59*1.3*1.33*0.5*1.2 = 99.2% initial hits damage added as chaos DoT

Poison stacks, so firstly we need to know the "true tooltip" damage of spamming EQ that including aftershocks:
13124+(4363+8077)*0.5*1.79/0.82 = 26702 pdps

Then the actual number of poison damage: 26702*1.29*99.2% = 34170 dps

So almost 50% of our damage is from Poison when against stand-still enemies.

Explosion Damage of Gratuitous Violence

The explosion damage can be increased by Vulnerability, increased dmg%, increased Area dmg% and increased phys dmg%. So

10%*1.29*(1+1.18+0.79+0.2) = 40.89% maximum life

Hmmm I think this number is not bad, right? Compared to Infernal Blow/Abyssal Cry/Detonate Dead. I didn't calculate those skills before.


Weapon is the core item for any physical attack build. This build needs a high DpH 1H Axe/mace with an open prefix to craft "causes bleeding on hit" on it.

100% bleed on hit is very important, it makes sure every EQ you cast causes a bunch of explosion, which makes clearing maps much smoother. Yea I know not able to use Whirling Blades with Axe/Mace is a huge downside, but the explosions make it worthwhile. It's totally different with or without 100% bleeding.

In early league, "Jack, the axe" is a very budget and viable substitution.

And the Lion's Roar matches this build pretty well, more melee physical damage, flat armour, and Knockback (force bleeding targets to move)

The rest of my gears are nothing special, in another words, gearing for this build is super flexible! You can explore many other possible options to min-max this build:

BTW the leech on my gloves and ring made a much greater change than I thought, since this build invests heavily on DoT, the initial hit damage is relatively low so it's better to have a higher leech%. (I have 3.15% with Blood Rage on)


Oak (life) -- Oak (16% increased Physical damage) -- Frenzy Charge


1. More life is never wrong.
2. Phys Dmg% -- Double Dipping Hype!
3. Frenzy Charge -- Double Dipping Hype!

T15 Core Down! Yay!
Last edited by insobyr on Aug 21, 2017, 11:23:50 PM
Last bumped on Jan 9, 2017, 2:15:55 AM
I am very much looking forward to this guide being completed. Grats on Core!
j102srf wrote:
I am very much looking forward to this guide being completed. Grats on Core!

The guide is finally completed :)
Your only map clearing video is a video with Temp. Chains, not really the best way to showcase your build.
But great guide anyway. Gratz on Core!
IGN: Scordalia_
Caliginosus wrote:
Your only map clearing video is a video with Temp. Chains, not really the best way to showcase your build.
But great guide anyway. Gratz on Core!

Thanks! I will make some map video without TC sometimes later.

Thanks for the advice!
Last edited by insobyr on May 2, 2016, 10:09:26 AM
Looks a lot like the Aegis Duelist i played this League: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1261200/#p13079521

I used Grace + Disciplin and hat Vulnerability on a CoH Counterattack which worked really well with 78% block.

Varunastra really is insane for block builds, really good damage for a pretty low investment.
Current Builds:
All in one Thread until i make new Guides
HC viable?
Yeeshak wrote:
HC viable?


This build is supposed to be super tanky.
Thanks for sharing! I did a respect of my max block dualist varunastra and I really like it. You are right in that you really need the bleeding on hit on the weapon to truly take advantage of the concept. Great build! I am using abyssus + aegis and it is working great! Once I get enough health not to get one shot it will be amazing!
Thanks for sharing! I did a respect of my max block dualist varunastra and I really like it. You are right in that you really need the bleeding on hit on the weapon to truly take advantage of the concept. Great build! I am using abyssus + aegis and it is working great! Once I get enough health not to get one shot it will be amazing!

Happy that you like this build.

I tried Abyssus in this build as well, surprisingly, instead of getting one-shot, the most annoying part with that helm was the degen from blood rage. It made running reduced-regen or vulnerability maps much more painful. That's why I eventually replaced it.

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