[2.6]Kondo's Lacerate Slayer - Cheap, Effective, and Eclectic!

Concept/Goals:
We will be building a Lacerate Slayer around Kondo’s Pride, a unique two-handed sword with good DPS that is crazy cheap to get. Kondo’s bleeds enemies on crit (and has a chance to blind as well), so this will be a crit build.

The intention of this build is to allow you to explore a large majority of the game's content on a beginner budget. Once you've accumulated enough wealth to switch to an endgame viable build, I recommend you toss your trusty Kondo's and grab an Atziri's Disfavour or other solid two-hand weapon.

Backstory/What to Expect:
Spoiler
I thought for Legacy I’d try making a Lacerate Slayer with the goal of getting a Starforge. Since I had no money, I grabbed the highest physical pDPS two-handed sword I could get for 1 chaos and ended up with the intriguing Kondo’s Pride. Since I couldn’t afford a Starforge, Devoto’s, or Voidheart at the time, I thought about budget alternatives and threw together this build, which has turned out much more effective than anticipated!

This build, in its cheapest variant, can handle yellow maps without difficulty, and red maps with some difficulty. After investing some currency and/or getting a 6L, you should be able to take down Atziri, Uber Lab, and the Breachlords. In general, I would not recommend this build for the Guardians, Uber Atziri, and Shaper. Your defense will be fine but the DPS just isn’t there.

(I did manage to defeat the Minotaur with it—does that mean I'm allowed to call it "Guardian Viable?")

Luckily it’s only a few easy steps to upgrade to a solid end-game build. I’ve switched out of Kondo’s and crit into Atziri’s Disfavour without crit after about a dozen respec points and some minor gear changes.

How it works:
Spoiler
Most Starforge-oriented builds utilize the Voidheart ring in order to add bleed and poison consistently, which of course is a great way to add damage around the Starforge’s “no elemental damage” drawback. Seeing how Kondo’s automatically bleeds upon scoring a critical hit, all we have to do is get some consistent crit going and grab the “Dirty Techniques” passive node, and we can imitate this effect.

The problem is that Kondo’s has a very low base Critical Strike chance. This prevents it, through conventional means, of being able to score crits consistently. In order to make this build work, we’ll need to pick up a Rat’s Nest. The up to 75% increased Global Crit chance is key to this build for a number of reasons, as you’ll see later.

If you’re worried that stacking too much crit chance is going to make the “Can’t Leech from Critical Strikes” downside troublesome, let me assuage your fears—you’ll never score crits that consistently, and you’ll have more than enough leech regardless. We’ll be aiming to score crits on about 40% of our attacks in combat.

Scoring consistent crits also means we get to keep Bosses permanently blinded, which is amazing for survivability.

Video Demonstration:
Spoiler
Here are some videos of the build in action. Please forgive my extreme scrubbiness and general incompetence at the boss fights, as I went into them almost completely blind. I call it a testament to the soundness of the build that I was able to survive at all. Also please note that these videos were recorded before I got my hands on a leech calculator, and thus have sub-optimal Passive Trees in the leech areas.

I also forgot to swap in Concentrated Effect for Tul. D'oh!

Tul Breachlord: https://youtu.be/GxelnuALOUE
Maze of the Minotaur: https://youtu.be/Al0nPJgdj-E

Uniques:
Spoiler

Required Uniques
Kondo’s Pride – Our bread and butter, of course!

Rat’s Nest – Very important for the Crit, and also great for the increased Attack Speed and Movement Speed. Basic Rat’s Nests tend to be pretty cheap—only a couple chaos—and they’re also used commonly for enchantments. As you accumulate wealth, try to grab a 40% increased Lacerate Damage one.

Recommended Uniques:
Cherrubim’s – Cheap compared to common alternatives (Belly of the Beast, for example) and grants huge life, 100% faster life leech, and increased Chaos Damage.

Carnage Heart – Cheap, and like the Cherrubim’s, perfectly suited for a leech-based character. The resistance is a help and the big attribute bonus is fantastic since we won’t be getting much Intelligence from our Passive Tree.

Atziri’s Promise – Great all-around flask and not too expensive.

Gem Links/Gear Setup:
Spoiler

Here is my late-game gear. You won't need the fancier stuff (like a +1 Frenzy amulet) to start out with.

What's nice about this build is that other than wanting as many links as possible for our Lacerate setup, we don’t need or even want another 5 or 6 link.--we just need sockets. You can get 6 unlinked sockets fairly easily (at least a lot cheaper than 6 linked ones!) or make it yourself.

The goal is to give your Warchief its own four-link so that you can get good damage out of it. I use one unset ring for my Arctic Armor gem in order to free up space for that.

Lacerate
Of course we’ll want as many support gems as possible to go along with Lacerate. Definitely prioritize Added Physical Damage, Multistrike, Added Fire Damage, and Faster Attacks. For your 6th link, I’d suggest a blue socket for Increased AOE/Concentrated Effect. Or you can choose to go with Increased Crit Chance or Fortify to free up gems in your other setups.

3.0 Update! There is a new support gem called "Brutality" which greatly increases our Physical Damage with the downside that we cannot deal any Elemental damage. I think this could be a great substitute for Added Fire Damage--the only big difference would be that we couldn't use Herald of Ash anymore. If you were to drop Herald of Ash and Arctic Armor, you could then use a 50% reservation Aura like Haste or Determination.

Leap Slam
Leap Slam is your jack-of-all-trades. I’m lazy so I like to have Endurance Charge on Stun in there to automatically generate Endurance Charges as I engage in combat. Using Enduring Cry is perfectly acceptable if you’re not lazy like me. You’ll also want Fortify in there unless you use it with Lacerate. There’s a lot of preference involved here—you can choose where to have Fortify and what role Leap Slam will play in your build. Sometimes I like Blood Magic with it so I can travel without having to worry about draining my mana.

Warchief
Your Warchief setup is pretty simple since it'll only have two or three supporting gems. Of course Increased Physical Damage is a must and Faster Attacks is great. I'd also suggest Bloodlust or Concentrated Effect to maximize your Warchief's damage.

CWDT #1
Your first CWDT setup can be at a high level—your Golem and Blood Rage don’t need to be refreshed that often. I suggest going for a Chaos Golem of at least level 12 for the 4% reduced Physical Damage, or the Ice Golem for increased crit chance (but be flexible—whatever golem can fit the right colored socket is fine, as they all provide great buffs).

CWDT #2 (Power Charge Generator)
Your second CWDT setup is simply a Power Charge generator. With Blade Vortex, Power Charge on Crit, and increased Crit Chance put together, you’ll get your three Power Charges extremely quickly whenever you leap into close-quarters combat. You’ll also notice how important the Rat’s Nest is here, as its increased Crit Chance applies to both Blade Vortex and Lacerate. Quality is also nice to have on your Blade Vortex gem since it adds AOE.

(As you get into higher level maps and jumping into the middle of enemy packs gets to be too dangerous, you can substitute in Ice Spear for Blade Vortex. Overall I still prefer Blade Vortex.)

Auras/Reservation
I use Arctic Armor, Herald of Ash, and a Blasphemy+Enfeeble setup for my auras. You can self-cast Enfeeble and go with Arctic Armor/Hatred instead if you want, but I enjoy Herald of Ash quite a bit and find that having Enfeeble up 100% of the time is nice for survivability. Don’t worry about using an Enlighten or trying to get reduced mana reservation nodes—only a small amount of Mana Leech is necessary for mana to become a non-issue.

I also recommend having a Purity of Elements gem on hand for maps with Elemental Weakness. You can swap out Blasphemy for it and still self-cast Enfeeble when necessary.

Miscellaneous
Enduring Cry, Vaal Lightning Trap, Self-Casting Enfeeble or Vulnerability or whatever other Curse you like, and about a thousand other arrangements are all acceptable. I like having things automated and requiring as little input from me as possible, but you should definitely fiddle around until you find the perfect setup for your playstyle.

Passives/Jewels/Bandits:
Spoiler
Level 90 Tree:
http://poeplanner.com/AAcAAPEUKwB2uR0V7Irw6UbKkITZR369NmVNvqeplIdqkGypJ4Tv2sF07QUteu9AoEa3028hYHTxj2AppV4T705hUpOoirNXVIZgOlIOPBRx2XyCBxuqwQfXfmMX-Ovz3Whl6hh2rM9-9zJyqcT2xq6uPmeb5FFQR-8Om1gx-xQgXz88LYNfg8y3Pv4K2L0LYa9saPLwH6IArKpZ8xo4kFUnLwSzbyeaahjbLiOTmbueIVXcPQd1wKYQ8PJagTryRTrhpldN4_6PNZKtjcBmPAXvfJd5CZY5DpJ93COYb-XPvJ8YkbKAhrSFpyefpTUMcDu29WEAAAAAAA==

Our tree is pretty spread out and we need to be efficient—every single passive point is important. We’re going for life, crit, sword DPS, leech, and bleed, which is a lot to cover. Please note I don’t grab the “Executioner” two-handed node. We lose some Damage, but luckily our Ascendancies gives us Culling Strike so we won’t miss the increased damage to low-life enemies.

I prefer to use the “Iron Reflexes” keystone, although that’s really up to you. Luckily it’s no detour to get, as we’ll want to get the “Dirty Techniques” node in order to up our single-target damage. The poison damage will benefit from our Cherrubim’s, of course.

The area-of-effect nodes up in the Templar part of the tree are great to have, as they significantly up the effective Range of Lacerate. If you don’t have a six-link available for Increased AOE, try to prioritize this node when you feel comfortable with your Life pool.

Jewels:
Since our Passive Tree is trying to accomplish so much at the same time, we’ll only be going for three Jewel slots. Each of them should add to Maximum Life, and then get Intelligence or Resistances so that you can meet your gear requirements and stay capped on Resistance.

If you have enough Intelligence and Resistances, then go for Attack Speed, Increased Crit Chance, or just sheer Damage bonuses.

Here are some examples of the types of Jewels you should be looking for:


Bandits
Normal: Oak (+40 Life)
Cruel: Kraityn (+8% Attack Speed)
Merciless: Kraityn (+1 Frenzy Charge)

Ascendancy:
Spoiler
http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Slayer

We will want to start with “Endless Hunger” first and then get “Brutal Fervor.” Leech is going to be everything for this character. Then go through “Bane of Legends” and finish with
Headsman,” as is standard for the Lacerate Slayer. These nodes give us better leech, immunity to Bleed and Stun, automatic Culling Strike, reflect resistance, increased AOE, and Onslaught.

One thing that’s nice about this character is your survivability allows you to tackle the Labyrinth pretty early. So long as you can tank/dodge Izaro’s big slams you should have an easy time of it. I found Normal through Merciless was really easy, but the Uber Labyrinth was tough because of how hard Izaro’s single-target attacks hit.


Flasks:
Spoiler
Atziri’s Promise – Adds Chaos Resistance, more Leech, and a huge Chaos Damage boost (which scales with Cherrubim’s!).

Basalt Flask – Try to get a Surgeon’s so you can use it during longer boss fights, or one that allows you to use it twice before replenishing.

Diamond Flask – Even more crit!

Life Flask – I like having one instant recovery life flask on hand for emergencies. I found a Writhing Jar which restores a decent chunk of Life and then spawns two harmless worms for you to kill—you can leech off of them and even Leap Slam/Enduring Cry them for more Endurance Charges! That's not at all 100% necessary though.

Lion’s Roar – I have a love-hate relationship with the Lion’s Roar. The Damage boost is insane, not to mention the added armor, but the knockback is annoying (and goes counter to our crit-generator Blade Vortex setup). It’s also pretty expensive. I keep one on hand for bosses and for the few enemies that are beneficial to knock back (it’s also great during Breaches).


Luckily you won’t have to worry about Bleed since you’re a Slayer. You will want a flask of Warming to avoid getting frozen, and I use a Basalt flask with % increased Armor. If I were smarter, I’d probably get a flask to remove Shock or Curses, but my ego likes seeing high Armor numbers…

Defense:
Spoiler
With some improved gear you should be able to hit 6k+ life. I also go for as much Physical Damage reduction as possible without investing too heavily in Endurance Charges. Here’s what I use:

3 Endurance Charges: 12%
Chaos Golem: 4%
Fortify: 20%
Arctic Armor: 13%
Basalt Flask: 20%

This gives us a total of 69% Damage Reduction. Add on top of that pretty good armor (courtesy of Iron Reflexes, Lion’s Roar, and potentially a flask with % increased Armor) and of course constant Enfeeble on enemies, and we have ourselves enough defense to facetank most mobs and bosses! We also tend to Blind enemies consistently, which makes them miss 50% of their attacks.

You'll note I don't use Immortal Call. It hurts survivability a little, but there just isn't any space for it in our CWDT setup. On the plus side, we'll keep our Endurance Charges up easier without it.

Huge Burst-Damage Elemental attacks are going to be your biggest fear, especially if your resistances get lowered. If you’re going to tackle a map with the Elemental Weakness curse, I’d recommend using a Purity of Elements.

Also try not to Leap Slam into and then attack a large crowd of Porcupines. You may think that’s common sense, but it bears repeating. Sometimes you go a long time without ever feeling like you’re in danger of dying, so you start to think you can do crazy things like porcupine packs. And then you lose 10% of your Experience Bar…

Crit:
Spoiler
In my experience, a Rat’s Nest, 3 Power Charges, the Crit node (Disembowling), and a Diamond Flask are enough to score consistent crits to keep enemies bleeding, blind, and poisoned (this setup gives us about 40% chance to crit).

Another option you have, once you have acquired enough linked sockets for your Lacerate setup, is to use the Increased Critical Strikes Support gem. If you do this, you can forego your Power Charge setup entirely and still come out with a higher crit chance (assuming an active Diamond Flask, it comes out to about 40% with Power Charges and no Crit gem, vs. 46% with the Crit gem and no Power Charges).

Of course you’d have to give up your Increased AOE support, which will lower your effective Range considerably.

Leech:
Spoiler
Leech is the defining characteristic of the Slayer Lacerator so you’ll want to optimize your leech stats.

Since we have so much Life Leech from our gear and passives, and a whopping 200% Increased Leech Rate from our Ascendancy and Cherrubim’s, we’re going to hit the maximum leech rate cap very quickly. That’s where the cryptic “+% of Maximum Life per second to Maximum Leech Rate” stat comes in. Having more of this increases our maximum leech rate, so we’ll want to grab it from every source we can.

My conclusion after playing around with a leech calculator is that the shorter route in the “Hematophagy” wheel is much better than the long route, and in fact the long route’s two nodes do almost nothing for our character.

Another thing to note is that once you’ve got all the leech nodes in the Slayer Ascendancy, the Cherrubim’s 100% increased leech rate isn’t that necessary. It still helps to hit your maximum leech rate more quickly, but there are diminishing returns. I’ve been wondering lately if a Belly of the Beast would be better for survivability, although I would certainly miss the increased Chaos Damage.

Leveling:
Spoiler
Level 60 Tree for Leveling:
http://poeplanner.com/AAcAAK0UKwBUuR0V7Irw6UbKkITZR369NmVNvqeplIdqkGypJ4Tv2sF07QUteu9AoEa3028hYHTxj2AppV4T705hUpOoirNXVIZgOlIOPBRx2XyCB_jr891oZeoYdqzPfvcycqnE9saurj5nm-RRUEfvDptYMfsUIF8_Gj7yLzwtg1-DzLc-_grYvQthr2xo8vAfogBEnlO7rKpZ8xo4kFW8nxiR1fjEuLKAhrSFpyefAAAAAAA=

This is a very easy character to level, although you’ll want to use Cleave all the way up to Dried Lake (or even early maps). The new Keystone Jewel makes Cleave monstrous!


For your Passive Tree, start by securing the first Jewel socket so you can use the “Overwhelming Odds” jewel. On the way, you may want to get “Mana Flows” for a substantial Intelligence boost and easier Mana management, although you should respec out of it as soon as you no longer need it. “Cloth and Chain” is another node that is great for early game (all res) but unnecessary later.

Then, I’d recommend setting your sights on the “Life and Mana Leech” passive. Getting it is a huge QOL improvement, as you will no longer have to worry about Mana for pretty much the entire rest of the game! Alternatively, you can get gloves or a Jewel that gives you Mana Leech and you’ll be fine, as only a small bit of Mana Leech is necessary to sustain your attacks. (I’ve tried using just a .275% Mana Leech Jewel in the lategame and didn’t have any issues!)

Avoid the Bleed nodes for now and set your next goal to be “Hematophagy.” From there, just travel around the outside, grabbing the important life nodes and jewel sockets. When you are leveled up enough to use your Kondo's Lacerate, go for the Templar AOE nodes and then the Bleed nodes.

I recommend getting the “Diamond Skin” passive when you can, and then removing it once you no longer need it. Since we’re not using a Voidheart, we have available both rings, gloves, belt, and boots (not to mention the resist from our Carnage Heart) so we should be able to max our resists without Diamond Skin or Cloth and Chain.

Once you reach Dried Lake, do some farming (I like the 2 Chaos recipe when I’m poor) and upgrade your gear, and then switch to Lacerate once you feel like Cleave is no longer cutting it (pun detected).

Getting the Jeweler’s Touch prophecy early is very nice on the budget, so definitely try to do prophecies when possible. If you haven’t gotten one yourself by the time you can use the Kondo’s, I’d recommend purchasing a 5L Kondo’s. Don’t try to buy a Jeweler’s Touch or a 5L Cherrubim’s, as they are both much more expensive than a 5L Kondo’s.

Budget:
Spoiler
Here’s a quick cost-breakdown of my beginner budget version. (These prices were more relevant nearer the start of the league, but should overall be cheaper now!)

Kondo’s Pride – 1c
Cherrubim’s – 2c
Rat’s Nest – 2c
Carnage Heart – 1c
Rings with Life/Resistance – 2c total
Boots with Intelligence/Movement Speed/Resistance – 2c
Belt with Life/Resistance – 1c
Gloves with Life/Resistance – 2c
Atziri’s Promise – 1c
Diamond Flask – 1c
3 Jewels with Life/Intelligence/Dexterity/Resistance – 3c total

Total Cost: 18 chaos

If you haven’t been able to find a Jeweler’s Touch, then you’ll need to purchase a 5L Kondo’s at about 20c. Assuming this, your cost will be about 37 chaos.

As you get into maps and start making currency, you can get expensive things like a Rat’s Nest with a Lacerate Enchantment, a Lion’s Roar, or a +1 Frenzy Charges Carnage Heart. Or you can save up your money for that Starforge and never look back at your noob Kondo’s again!

My Experiences/Notes/Rambling
Spoiler
I managed to secure a 6L Kondo’s for 2ex. You may think it was dumb to spend money on a measly Kondo’s, but the cheapest 6L Cherrubim’s is going to be at least twice that! I spent 4 Divines getting it to a high Damage roll.

I 6-socketed my Cherrubim’s by throwing Jeweler’s at it—it probably took about 200. I recommend going for a high Life-roll Cherrubim's, and then prioritize Chaos Damage second.

Getting good colors for my Cherrubim’s has been tough. Makes me wish I was using a Carcass Jack so I could get more Blue sockets easier. I think a Chaos Golem is ideal, but it's incredibly difficult to get three off-colors.

My 40% Lacerate Damage Rat’s Nest was 50c. The rings and boots were about 5-10c each. I don’t remember the specifics. They’re all upgrades from 1-2c items I started with after farming Dried Lake. My belt was 30c but worth it for the high life and resists. My +1 Frenzy Charges Carnage Heart was 1ex. My Jewels ranged in price from 5c to 30c.

My best find has been the Spiked Gloves. I’ve never given crafting a serious try, but I occasionally Alt+Regal good white bases when I find them and try to sell them. I couldn’t believe I got triple tier 1 on these gloves!

I make most of my currency through the 2chaos vendor recipe and selling the odd valuable find here and there. Sometimes people get the wrong impression of the 2chaos recipe—it’s not that you never identify rares, it’s that you don’t identify most amulets and rings since they’re the bottleneck. You’ll end up identifying and selling all sorts of gloves, helmets, boots, belts, etc., since you’ll find more of those rares than you’ll know what to do with!

It may be a little odd, but the Underground Sea is one of my favorite farming maps. Sure it’s an annoying layout, but you get a ton of “The Lovers” divination cards, which help fill in the aforementioned bottleneck with rare jewelry. You can also get crystal belts out of it if you’re lucky, which sell great!

If I find a sellable body armor, I enjoy throwing Jeweler’s at them and then trying to link them, with the goal of getting a 5L. 5L armors sell great, and if you’re lucky you could end up with a 6L accidentally! That’s how I achieved my first ever self-made 6L, on a Belly of the Beast base that sold for 6ex.

The toughest thing I’ve accomplished has been to defeat the Minotaur. I attempted him once with a very poorly rolled corrupted map and got demolished (in hindsight I should never have attempted a curse-immune Minotaur with extra AOE while dealing with permanent Vulnerability…), but I managed to take him down on my second attempt with a much nicer-rolled map… Okay, it wasn’t rolled, it was white—I figure a budget Minotaur is a fair fight for a budget build!

You can see the video of that fight earlier in this post. Although it showcases my ignorance of the fight's mechanics, it is interesting to note how huge the 50% miss chance from being Blind is.

Transition:
Spoiler
My time with Kondo’s was fun and I felt like I got to really push the limit of what it’s capable of doing, but I eventually managed to afford a 6L Atziri’s Disfavour and made the switch.

To transition, I spec’d out of crit and sword nodes (obviously) and replaced them with axe stuff and more life. As far as gear goes, I’m still using the Rat’s Nest for the added Attack Speed, Movement Speed, and the 40% Lacerate Damage enchantment, but I’m not married to it anymore. Luckily the rest of my gear has been all about leech, life, and resistances, so nothing drastic has needed to change.

I’ve scrapped my Power Charge generator setup which freed up space for a 5L Warchief. This allowed me space to replace my Unset ring with a Steel Ring for added Damage. I started to miss having enemy Bosses blinded, so I put a Blind support gem in my Warchief setup.

Conclusion:
Spoiler
Thanks for reading! Legacy has been super fun for me, partly because this build has been really interesting and entertaining to play. I’m not a great player by any means—I’m still learning all the time—but I think this build has more than enough potential to overcome most of the game’s content. If you’re looking for a tanky, interesting, cheap melee build, give it a try and let me know what you think!
Last edited by rut on Aug 3, 2017, 6:21:19 PM
Last bumped on Jul 5, 2017, 5:26:57 PM
i am currently trying your build out... I respected my Duelist in the Legacy League and it seems to be working out nicely.

my current gear...



I took the plunger after I 6L the Kondo on 37 fuses. My Res are finally capped thx to the boots I bought for 1 vaal orb and used 3 blessed orbs to get the 20% Res.

I am level 77 farming dried lake will go into maps once I hit level 80. been fun and a nice break from my Vaal sparker build.

With regards to the power charge generation I am thinking of altering the tree and getting some All res over by the Marauder section and using the Blue Dream jewel. they are currently 100c so may not happen for awhile. also by taking more RES on the tree I could drop one of my rings off and get a ring with a crap load of lightning dmg to utilize that nice 5% of lightning dmg converted to chaos damage from the blue dream. but it then would free up a 4L for some thing else to increase the dmg or survive ability as I would not require it to generate power charges. with the nodes from the tree i would get 33% chance to generate a power charge on kill which is pretty decent.

will try it out latter once I get some more levels.. and give some feed back

Cheers
OAH
Last edited by openallhours on Apr 12, 2017, 11:59:20 AM
used a couple regrets and grabbed my Blue dream off my vaal sparker...

Works a treat have constant power charges up with this set up... before it all depended if i got hit or not and then i would only get 1 or 2 now its maxed at 3 most of the time..

now My boots are empty need to work out a gem set up for them ....

OAH
I remember drooling over the idea of using a Blue Dream jewel back when I was putting stuff together, but by the time I could afford one I completely forgot it existed!

Without the Power Charge generator, you can definitely open up enough space to get a super strong Warchief going in your Armor, and/or forego the Unset Ring for something more offensive.

Congrats on the 6L!
Well I think I am sorted for now until I can get more chromes to try and recolour the helm.

Chest:
I 5L the chest with 26 fusing. So this gave me the following:

The 6th Socket will be for:


Helm:
Swapped out the Ice Golem and now using the Chaos Golem. Tried to colour BBBG on vorici using his BB but failed.. will save up some chromes to do the BBB and add in either chaos damage or Minion/totem RES gem.


Boots:
This works for now.


will see how this set up works. Not sure if the gem set up is right for the Ancestral warchief, again testing will be required.

Cheers
OAH
Last edited by openallhours on Apr 12, 2017, 10:27:49 PM
Just started a 2 week race with that build. Got lucky with belly of the beast, which i'm using atm because it gives ~400 more hp than cherrubim's and a bit of res, probably gonna swap it later. My other gear is kinda shit.
Only thing makes me sad is lacerate, which has half the cleave dps on the same aoe. I wonder if it's gonna get better.
I know what you mean--I didn't switch from Cleave to Lacerate until I was getting into Yellow Maps. I think there comes a point where survivability becomes more attached to your ability to stay away from danger, and unless you go all-out Endurance Charges, Mind Over Matter, Taste of Hate, Vaal Pact, and all those other extra forms of tanking hits, having a longer-ranged attack becomes completely necessary to survive.

Also, I'd advise not to look at Tooltip damage too closely. The game has a very difficult time providing meaningful numbers, especially when comparing different skills that have different mechanics (the fact that Lacerate attacks multiple times per swing seems to mess with the tooltip damage). If you want to get a really good comparison between Lacerate and Cleave, I'd recommend getting Path of Building and importing your character, then comparing the two options that way.

Lacerate is generally considered more viable for end-game content than Cleave, probably because you can gear yourself a little more glass-cannon-like.

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