Paulwrath's Vigilant Strike Build

Hello, and welcome to my first build guide. Please be gentle as I am neither the best player nor the best in acquiring items. As such, a lot of what I have collected is simply because I couldn't find anything better.

This build is actually quite flexible, and while I haven't tried it on them, can likely be done as Marauder, Templar, and perhaps Scion instead of the Duelist, which I went with. It can also likely be done with different focuses on the skill tree, such as going with reduced stun threshold nodes instead of my damage and life focuses.

Disclaimer: This build is for fun, NOT to make some uber atziri/mapper/hardcore build. Keep that in mind.

The Basics/Functionality
Vigilant Strike

An excellent skill damage wise which not only cannot be evaded, it also fortifies you on hit. It is hampered by the need for endurance charges to use it consistently, which we work with in this build. The main method is adding Endurance Charge on Melee Stun. We attack and stun, both using and generating endurance charges, which heals us using the Kingsguard armor(see below)

It should be noted that you WILL get stuck in some cases where you are on cooldown with no endurance charges. It happens and is simply a hazard of the build.

Endurance Charges:Utilization
We need to use endurance charges, which are affected/generated by our passives and gear. Some options include:

Surgebinders unique gloves, which grant increased physical damage based on how many endurance charges we have.

Kingsguard unique armor, grants 100 life per endurance charge used, which is awesome since this means we gain 100 life per use of Vigilant Strike.

Kaom's Sign unique ring, not what I use but if you find yourself with nothing better and don't need the ring slot for something else(resistances), it grants you another max endurance charge to use.

Immortal Call Gem
This one is up to you, since it uses the numerous charges you have built up, it can leave you with no charges in the middle of VStrikes cooldown, but it will have a decently long effect with all the charges used.

Endurance Charges:Generation

You have a couple of ways of generating endurance charges which are how you manage to consistently use VStrike. Here are some options.

Stunning: using the Endurance Charge on Melee Stun gem, which is my main generation tactic.

This dandy little gems sits in two places on my character, the first of which is my main attack, so every time I hit someone and stun them, expending an endurance charge, I gain more back.

The second is on counterattack trigger gems such as Vengeance, Riposte, and Reckoning. Since this build utilizes high block chance you will have these go off constantly, and give you some free charges just for being attacked.

Doedres' Elixir Unique Flask, I don't have this one, but since it gives you a charge without enemy interaction it shouldn't be discounted.

Enduring Cry

Another good choice if you can find a gem slot for it

Warlord's Mark
Chance to generate charges on kill.

Gems & Links
Main Attack

Vigilant Strike-Endurance Charge on Melee Stun-Multistrike-Melee Physical Damage-Melee Splash-(Option)

Some gems to throw in the option slot, assuming you manage to get a 6L are Life Leech, Faster Attacks, Stun, hell maybe even a Fortify since it increases the Fortify buff duration and damage.

Cast on Damage Taken

A couple of options here, use your own judgement. Keep it low level for more consistent casting.

Immortal Call: as stated in a above section, a trade off between losing all your charges at what might be a critical moment and the increased effect all your charges gives it.

Blood Rage: Increased attack speed, life leech and Frenzy Charge generation, whats' not to like?

Tempest Shield: Adds some additional block chance for survivability\counter gems. Lightning damage can also shock enemies and increase their damage taken, though it'll be rather anemic with nothing supporting it.

Molten Shell:
Gives you some additional armor and a fiery reprisal on those attacking you.

Increased Duration
Good for extending the time on the above spells. Level this up as high as you can, since it only supports the linked spells it isn't affected by the level cap of Cast on Damage Taken.

Auras and Curses

These depend on both your available mana and gem slots, again use your own judgement.

Hatred and/or Herald(s) I recommend Herald of Ash\Hatred for HoA's overkill explosion and that fact that they use a percentage of your physical damage to determine what they add.

Blasphemy and Warlords Mark
While there are numerous other curses that are useful, Warlords Mark is still first priority in my book. It gives life/mana leech(which we use), reduces enemy stun threshold(which we use), AND has a chance for slain enemies to grant endurance charges(which we use). talk about a win-win-win.

Movement Skills
Again, use your own judgement. This will likely be either Leap Slam or Whirling Blades with Faster Attacks. If the mana cost really bothers you and you have room, add in a blood magic or reduced mana gem. You can also slot in another Endurance Charge on Melee Stun instead.


This one's a tough call. I'll list the reasons why.

Flame Golem: 15-20% damage increase.
Which means you do more damage, which also means you can stun higher life enemies.

Ice Golem: Increased Critical Strike Chance.
When paired with a high damage skill that can't be evaded like VStrike, that multiplier puts your damage fairly high.

Chaos or Stone Golem: Damage Reduction/Life Regen
You are a melee attacker. These make you even tankier, which is great during those moments where you are in the middle of a cooldown with no charges.

Lightning Golem: Not really what I would recommend, but...increased attack speed means more endurance charges used which means more life from Kingsguard.

Counterattacks and Enduring Cry

Riposte-Vengeance-Reckoning-Endurance Charge on Melee Stun
Enduring Cry
These let you generate some spare charges to fuel your Vigilant Strike attacks.

My Current Gear

Remember when I said I just used the best gear I could find? Try not to judge me too harshly.

Weapons: Go for physical damage, VStrike can't be evaded and has high physical damage. I went with Varunastra, but there are plenty of other options. Soul Taker would allow you to attack with all your mana reserved, and Callinellus Malleus for the reduced enemy stun threshold.

Pretty basic tank set up, Defences, Life and Resistances. It's up to you whether you go armor and/or evasion. Lacking the uniques I went with(reasons for those below), use your own judgement.

Shields: Assuming you go with a shield for survivability and block like me, you'll want the basics. Block Chance, Defences, Resistances and Life. The unique Lioneyes Remorse isn't a bad choice.

Chest: I went with Kingsguard for the endurance charge healing. There are others, like The Restless Ward or Daresso's Defiance that can be situationally useful.

Gloves: A couple fit this slot, such as Maligaros Virtuosity, Wyrmsign, Atziris Acuity and Meginords Vise. I went with Surgebinders, My current build has 5 max End Charges, for up to 20% more physical damage. If you can find a decent pair with the Vorici's increased Life Leech speed they aren't a bad option.

Helm: I suppose you could go with the Abyssus if you can tank the extra damage you take. If you decide you would prefer more consistent attacking over the benefits provided by a chestpiece, Bringer of Rain has a chance to generate charges on block.

Boots: Can't think of any uniques that would be really good for this.

Rings: To be honest I use these more for resistances and life then anything else. But if you can spare the slot and can afford them. A Kaom's Sign, Blackheart or Le Heup of All are decent. Le Heup of All especially.

Amulets: I went Stone of Lazhwhar for the excellent spell block, With the Versatile Combatant Ascendancy skill I went with and this amulet your spell block chance is amazing. The Anvil is also a good choice.

Belts: A physical Doryanis Invitation is excellent. It has damage, life leech, Resistances, and stun threshold during flask effect.

Jewels: Damage, Life and block chance. Warlords Reach, Conquerors Efficiency are also good. If you find a place to slot it in, The Vigil is a nice party friendly unique jewel to take advantage of.

Flasks: Find what you are comfortable with. Mana isn't really needed past early game, so you will want life recovery, defense, and offense. I'm fond of the new Sulphur flasks, which grant consecrated ground and increased damage. A Doedre's Elixir can be used to gain a needed endurance charge in emergencies. Atziri's Promise will add chaos damage and more life leech to your attacks. The Writhing Jar can put two worms on the ground to gain endurance charges from.

My Passive Tree: Duelist


I went with the Gladiator Ascendancy, taking Painforged, Versatile Combatant and Violent Retaliation.
If you want, the Champion Ascendany would probably do great as well. You can decide whether or not to take Worthy Foe for the easier stuns, Unstoppable Hero for the improved Fortify, and Inspirational/First to Strike for the damage. Don't bother with Fortitude, obviously.

Deal with the Bandits

Normal: Oak +40 Life
Cruel: Oak +16% Physical Damage or Passive
Merciless: Oak +1 Max Endurance Charge

An Important Note On Bosses & Maps

Don't go in thinking you can get by with Vigilant Strike against bosses. Stunning is based on if your damage exceeds a certain amount of their maximum life. Since some bosses have a tremendous amount of life, you won't stun them and therefore won't get enough endurance charges to fuel vigilant strike. I recommend swapping VStrike out with another attack unless you are very comfortable with your ability to get charges without stunning. Also, consider leveling using a different skill until you have enough links to add in Endurance Charge on Melee Stun.

Watch out for maps that have Cannot be Stunned or the Unwavering attribute on enemies for the same reason.

I haven't experimented with many maps using mods as of yet, but I imagine it takes a little common sense. So far the few reflect physical packs I've run into haven't been a problem due to the damage mitigation the build has, but I imagine it would be an issue during high level mapping. Reductions to player life/mana regen would also be problematic, since It affects our healing.

Thank you for reading my first build guide. I actually included a low-to-high level passive progression section, but lost it since the page went dead on me partway through. Maybe I'll add it back in at a later date.
Last edited by Paulwrath on May 11, 2016, 11:06:14 PM
Last bumped on May 7, 2016, 3:25:12 AM

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