3.5 Fresh [Flex build, Low Budget] 5Link 1Mil DPS. CI, Varunastra Crit (Melee Skill of YOUR Choice)


CHAMPION https://pastebin.com/efAupWhd

DEADEYE https://pastebin.com/yA6BQcLf

Who Am I?? My PoE Experience:

Just a casual SC Pleb, Official SC SSF Rank 1 Jugg and Rank 4 Chieftain in the Incursion Race Event. Not sure how I won with rank 2 and 3 Jugg being pre nerf Ele hit and pre nerf KB, both with Inspired learning too. And I'm the Sunder Jugg without, while racing on my Chieftain at the same time.


" 3.5, RIP Statstick!! But ES gear is so easy to craft in Betrayal, also Varunastra is SUPER CHEAP, time to bring back the CI Incandescent Heart, Crit Melee Build that I Originally made in 2.6 (nerf to ES and Vaal Pact killed it, until now)..

This is a BRIEF GUIDE (for now), Melee have such a Bad Rep right now.. If you're interested please leave a Reply to this thread and I will add more content as the number grows.. No point writing a super detailed guide that nobody would try right?

Wouldn't Recommend this build for the purpose of Bossing, Up to Shaper is totally FINE but for Uber-Elder you need better Gear and better off with a Boss killer set up (this is a low budget guide after all).

Personally I prefer "Deadeye" for smoother, faster mapping, 50% AoE and Tailwind but Champion and Gladiator is very close as alternative (Due to skill tree restriction, Ranger and Duelist are the only viable options)

Whole Build Cost 1-2Exalt !! NONE of THESE! Expensive items: Watchers Eye, 6 Link, Dual 350DPS Foil, Voidforge, 80res Loreweave, Oni-Goroshi, Crazy Abyss Jewels, 21/20 Gems, Boosted Ego PoB settings.. etc

Why should you play this build and What makes it so strong yet cheap:

CI = Chaos Immmune.

Incandescent Heart combined with CI = 81% effective Max Res. 1C item btw, a 80res Loreweave Cost 4 Exalt ATM. Also up to 20% Ele Dmg as Extra Chaos Dmg is a very nice boost of damage, basically a stat stick.

Layered Defense = 40% + Block Chance along with Evasion, we have 60% chance to avoid getting hit according to PoB.

Playstyle Flexibility = Almost All Melee skills works, just swap the gem since Varunastra count as all weapon types.. Concentrated Path, Tectonic Slam, Blade Furry, Double Strike. Sunder, even Charged Dash.. Can switch around many Main skills constantly.. No need to respec, reroll.

Massive DPS on a 5 link = Thanks to Varunastra being OP and cheap (10C). Can get another pseudo 5 link with a +2/3% crit chance helm.. for your vaal double strike/ warcheif.

Solid 6K-7K ES = Based on reasonable affordable gear.. Can go much higher with proper investment


Use the Gear on Path of Building as a Guide!!
What you see on PoB, Roughly Cost 1 to 2 Exalt, depends on the market and time of the league.

330ES Shield is 30C, 190-200ES Boots is 10C.. 250ES Helmet is 3C!! If you're interested in larger ES numbers, switch to a good Vaal Regalia, that cost much more but only upside is against Phys damage, but most definitely worse against big Elemental damage.

Got this for 60c.. one with 2% crit would be much cheaper though .Ideally you want the extra link for single target set up on your helm.. either as a double 4 link with warcheif and vaal double strike sharing, or a single 5 link.. its up to you

Don't be fooled by the 1 Ex price tag on -Steel Rings: Get "Essence of Hysteria" and craft it yourself, Steel Ring is 1C and Hysteria is 7C.. Not that many "Phys as Extra Fire" supply on the market due to "Melee is Dead"

Get Quality 26/28/30 on your ES gear and Weapon, they add up.

Taste of Hate is probably the Luxury item on the list, only 50C ATM (all time low I guess) ,but if you can't afford it, a Silver flask is not that much worse.

Some Random Notes:

Bandits: Alira cause Crit build

Enlighten is QoL, just drop War Banner if you are out of mana with movement skills often. (Those went Champion with free banner ignore this)

If you want a sense of how this build work, Scroll down below to see some Clip I made in 2.6, same concept major different being Instant Leech was a thing back then.. but damage wise it is higher with the addition of vaal double strike..

My take on Champion v.s. Deadeye:

Deadeye is faster for mapping for sure. Champion has Stun immune when you have Fortify, and significantly more damage but only really matters on really tanky high tier red maps. Defensively its about equal I'd say, Deadeye can react faster to dodge things manually, Champ get the 6% damage reduction.

Thats it for now, Hope you enjoy this build as much as I do. If you have any doubt, go down to the comment section, a bunch of people tried it and hearing alot of good stuff from them.




Shaper Full Run Deathless - 7 Minutes

Shaper First Stage

Shaper Second Stage

Shaper Third Stage


Phoenix Boss Fight -1 Minute

Hydra Boss Fight -1 Minute

Minotaur Boss Fight - 1 Minute

Chimera Boss Fight -2 Minutes 30s

Breach Lord Domains:

Chayula Full Run

Esh Full Run Took a nasty Volatiles @0:53, ES dropped to 1K with fortify up.

Esh Boss Fight - Tanking without leech Standing on Esh balls, Shock Nova does no damage.

Xoph Full Run

Xoph Boss Fight - Tanking without leech Standing on Flame Pillars, several slams.

Tier 14, 15 Maps:

Onslaught AbaXoth +Na'em in T15 Shaped Courtyard. Barely Hurts
Map Mods: Enfeeble, 40% More Monster life, Onslaught, + Crit Chance and Crit Multi

Could've face tanked AbaXoth and ended the fight in 10 seconds, just wanted to show case the tankiness of the build.

Shaped Courtyard Full Run
Map Mods: Vulnerability, Elemental Weakness,44% More Monster Life, Onslaught, No Life & Mana Regen, 20% Increased Boss Life and Damage

Extra Beefy Shaped Courtyard
Map Mods: 40% PHYS & Elemental Damage Reduction, Less Crit Dmg, -Max Res, 40% More Monster Life, Onslaught

-Max, Ele Weakness. Shaped Coves Full Run
Map Mods: Vulnerability, Elemental Weakness, -Max Res, Extra Lightning Dmg. 46% Mons Life, Onslaught, Esh Breach

T15 Onslaught Abaxoth, Tier 14, 15 Maps with Difficult Mods. All Guardians, Deathless Shaper Full Run Sub 7Mins. Chayula Breach Full Run etc.




18th July 2017 UPDATE!! 2 Weeks Turmoil Day 4, 90% COLD CONVERT on this Build is OP even on a budget

Traveled all the way to the Witch ES nodes, since I am using a Bisco and No Lv 7 Elreon to Craft % ES on my Rings.. that is 40-60% ES nodes missing.

Main Reason to go Phys to Cold Ele Convert:

1. To deal with REFLECT ! One shotting yourself to Phys Reflect is quite annoying. But going 90% Ele convert with effectively 81% Max Res, you won't die to single Relfect mobs ever again

2. Fully Utilizing the 20% of Ele Damage as Chaos Damage, Basically 20% More FREE Damage.

3. Allows us to Run WED Gem instead of Faster Attack, which gives us shit ton more damage.

4. FREEZE Everything on a 5 Link.. Which is another Layer of Defence. You Freeze Exiles, Beyond Bosses even on T11 Elemental Equilibrium Maps, On a 6 Link I can imagine Freezing Map Bosses too (Not sure about 3.0 tho with the increased Boss HP)

ONE WEEK RACE EVENT (SC) SOLO- 2nd Place Gladiator- AFTER THOUGHT: Lvl 93 in 50 Hours /Played

////////Final Standings////////


Bad RNG all around on drops, only found 2 Exalts pure. LionEyes Fall sold for 1 Ex and Belly of the Beast for 15C.. Couldn't 6 Link in 700 Fuse, just completely broke and couldn't afford better gear.

Spent most of my currency rolling maps (Pack Size), far too many wasted on Rerolling Phys Reflect maps. Atlas Bonus stayed at 80, couldn't afford to complete most of T13+ maps, those sells for 15+ Chaos each.

6K Unbuffed Blade Flurry Tooltip, far less than the 12K unbuffed on my LSC guy (Importance of 4 Offensive Stat Jewels)

Rocking 5K ES until the Crystal Belt find at lv 92, missing out on a bunch of ES without Shaper's Touch and %ES on Rings (Don't have the Exalt for master craft)

Didn't complete Merc and Uber Lab, cause fk Trials. The extra Block/Spell Block might have saved me from a few deaths but whatever

All in all a fun Race, getting first place as a solo player is not realistic without some crazy RNG, pretty happy with the result under limited resources as a true melee range attacker.

Solo Self Found Conclusion: after 8 Days /Played
As soon as I finished uploading this guide, immediately hopped onto SSF, staring Fresh.

2.7K Fuses and 18K Pernadus Coins Later, I ended up NOT getting any of the core items (Varunastra, IH, Abyssus, Bisco Collar, Goldwyrm), which is quite surprising with 27% IIQ and 100+ IIR chaining Shaped Strands with pack size for like 100+ hours, 100+ Cadiro encounters (got a few Magic Contain Cadiro Leaguestone) and Chancing a bunch.

Farming red maps with 3K ES is manageable without Spell Block nad IH, the damage is lacking without Varunastra and Abyssus despite picking up all the nearby damage nodes. That just tells you have strong this build is with the proper set up.

Varunastra is the rarest item as expected, being a Pernadus League specific item, Completing "The Formless Sea" is near impossible through previous experience (I farmed tons of Shaped Coves the past two leagues being my only T14 map).. The other Div Card (The Gentlemen) turned out to be just as bad in terms of drop rate due to drop location, only managed to turn in 1 set and probably need 100 sets to have a realistic chance at getting Varunastra.
Chanced at least a few hundred Vaal Blade with Perandus Leaguestone.

Not getting Incandescent Heart is quite shocking, totally did not expect that.
Koam Heart dropped, Shav from Cadiro, two Cherrubim, three Carcass Jack, six Tabula and a few hundred other unique chest piece but not a SINGLE IH drop despite chancing at least a thousand Saintly Mail..

Abyssus, Five Bringer of Rain. No Abyssus, Rekt.

Bisco Collar, not finding one is very unfortunate. It would've doubled the MF, due to increased Sextant and leaguestone drops, which snowballs into even more Sextants and leaguestones drops.. Chanced a few hundred Gold Amulet, no Bisco but got a Winterheart.

Goldwyrm, got a dozen from relic keys on LSC.. Where are they when you need them, 20% IIQ is a big deal..

Notable Finds:

10 Exalts, 1 Relic Key, 2 Mortal Hopes (Through Div Card)
Koam's Heart
Shav (from Cadiro Offer)
Berek Respite
6 Agnerod Staff, two of each except North.. RNG
2 Binos
2 Ngahamu's Flame
Soul Strike
Seven League Steps
The Gull
4 Crystal Belts
Xoph's Bow
150+ Res Ring

IMPORTANT!! Please read this section before moving on:

I made this build with the upcoming 3.0 patch in mind, hopefully it will stay relevant when the big patch notes come out, since this build is not affected by the possible double dipping nerfs and do all content very well.

1. This build is focused on farming high tier NON-OPEN Layout red maps (Shaped Courtyard) all combination of Mods except Reflects and no leech, if you want maxmium speed clearing Strands, Vaal Spark, Vaal Fireball is a much better choice.

2. This build is NOT the fastest but can do all 4 Guardians, Shaper EASY. Phoenix, Hydra and Mino took 1 Minute, Chimera 2.5 Minutes. Full Shaper Run under 7 Minutes, all with my normal mapping gear wearing HeadHunter(Vid Section Above). I suck at these fights as you can see in the vids. Obviously this build can do guardians and Shaper much faster in the right hands with better gear (40% BF Lab Enchant, use an actual belt etc) .

3. Despite being extremely tanky with layered defence in block/spell block, still heavily reliant on leech to face tank, if you are looking for a lazy AFK farm kinda build, RF is a much better choice in that respect.

4. What Makes this Build Budget Friendly? Very cheap to start with, all Core Items Varunastra, Shaper's Touch, Abyssus, Incandescent Heart (Detailed explainations below) costs a couple Chaos each:. Scale insanely well with investment . Non-Core Items are very flexible. 6 Links not a must.

5. Beginner Friendly! Very Well Rounded and Simple build. Easy setup with gear, can faceroll T15 with minimal gear with crazy map Mods. Can do all contents in game, Uber Lab, 4 Guardians, Shaper without much investment.

Reasons to play this build (PROs):
I: WIth Decent Gear running Solo at Lvl 90 you'll have: 10K+ ES; 81% Effective Max Res, Negates -Max Map Mod. Now Imagine running with a support!!

II: Over 55% Block and Spell Block

III: Can do all combinations of Map Mods other than Reflect and no leech.

IV: Not reliant on curses for defenece or offense.

V: 4% Attack Damage Instant Leech without using flasks

VI: 100% Stun avoidance with boot enchant, totally fine WITHOUT the enchant as demonstrated in the videos.

VII: No DOUBLE DIPPING, not affected by possible upcoming double dipping nerfs.

VIII: All items are in the core game, Varunastra can be obtained through Div Cards "The
Formless Sea" or Pernadus

IX: Does not have to care about Accuracy Rating, 3000+ Accuracy (90%) without ANY accuracy on rings, amulets, helmet and Ice Golem up.

X: Easy Charges generation, 4 Power Charges, 3 Frenzy Charge and 3 Endurance Charge up all
the time when mapping. (Look up GEM set up section for how to generate Power Charges)

XI: Volatiles and Bearers are much less threatening due to 81% Effective Max Res in normal
circumstances (Still gona blow yourself up under Shock and curses.

XII: Can acheive 77% Crit Chance with 4 Power Charges and Ice Golem, with Diamond Flask up
you crit 95% of the time. Basically Crit Capped.

XIII: 650%+ Crit Multi with Abyssus being the only piece of gear with Crit Multi.

XIV: Being CI (Chaos Inoculation), stating the obvious here. Immune to Chaos Damage, no need
to worry about Chaos Resist.

Things to look out for (CONs):
I: A pack of white zombies will kill you instantly on a Phys Reflect map, been there done that. Can die from a single Phys Reflect mob if you keep on attacking for a few seconds, however, with other mobs around to leech from generally not a problem.

II: Since you're melee and most of your face tanking comes from instant leech, a nasty lag spike/ frame drop (Burning ground, beyond, xoph extra lag) will still kill you in the middle of a breach on a few damage map mods.

III: Not a fancy, flashy build

IV: This is not the fastest boss farming/mapping build, nor the tankiest build in the current meta.


Chest Piece: 81% Max Res HOW? Incandescent Heart
It gives us 25% of Elemental Damage taken as Chaos Damage, since we're running CI and immune to Chaos Damage, with capped res, instead of 75% we now have 81% Max Res All The Time (It does not show on your tooltip). Can even take it further partying with a Aura Bot, 85% Max Res Easy. Now add in the +Max Res Flasks, 90% Max Res is just silly.

Say you're running a -10% Max Res Map solo, it takes your Max Res to 65%, with IH our Effective Max Resists is now 74%.
All for a cost of few Chaos Orbs. And colouring 2R,2B,2G sockets is a breeze, being a Str, Int hybrid.

Source: PoE Wiki http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Incandescent_Heart

Weapon Choice: Why Varunastra?
It synergise with our tree so well, the Skill Tree is so compact, since we are grabbing all the shield nodes for ES and all the OP one hand weapon nodes right next to the shield nodes.

I want this build to be budget and beginner friendly, Varunastra is very affordable currently selling for 20-30C on LSC.http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Varunastra

Roughly 40% of your total ES. Get the highest ES you can afford, aim for 500+, should get one without any extra stats below 2EX. Res/Block chance is luxury.

High ES, aim for 200+.. MS if you Shield Charge

Abyssus for SC, nothing comes close. Phys reduction from Endurance charges, Arctic Armor and Basalt Flask are plenty to offset the extra Phys damage taken.

Gloves: Why Shaper's Touch?
Cost Effectiveness! It gives a ton of useful stats, ES, Accuracy, Damage.

Bought mine corrupted with the right socket colour for 3C, an equivalent pair of Sorc gloves would cost you a fortune. Get 10% ES for every 50 Strength is huge.

Crystal Belt for ES? There is a better and cheaper option, "Heavy Belt" with Max Strength and ES gives us MORE ES than Crystal Belt.. For a fraction of the cost, thanks to Shaper's Touch.

Fill your Resists, look for 10%+ ES , extra ES. The ones I'm wearing are both bought pre-crafted, Cost 1EX and 1.5EX.

Entirely up to you. %ES, Crit chance, Crit Multi, Res if needed.. Mine only cost 10c.

4 Stats all offensive Jewels are dirt cheap for Varunastra builds, since they're well, limited to Varunastra only.. Area Damage also work with Blade Flurry

Very flexible, Crit chance, Crit Multi,AS, Phys Damge etc, for every melee weapon except Staff. only get Res if you really struggle.

Highly Recommended; Lions Roar, Taste of Hate, Diamond Flasks, Basalt Flasks.. Freeze immune and Bleed immune is mandatory.

Last slot is open for Wise Oak, QuickSilver or Shock immune.

CURRENT GEAR in LSC 2.6 as of 20/4/2017 (Gear Used in all the Videos)


Main Skill - Blade Flurry:
Blade Flurry + Faster Attack + Increased Crit Chance + Melee Full Life + Melee Physical Damage + Increased Area Effect (Concentrated Effect for Guardians/Shaper). Drop Increased Crit Chance for 5L set up.

Auras - 4 Link setup: Disciple + Herald of Ashe + Arctic Armor + OPTIONAL Enlighten.
With Enlighten level 3 and 12% reduced mana reserved from tree, you can even run Hatred over Arctic Armor for more DPS (Ideal for Shaper Fight).

Ancestral Protector for more attack speed and Single Target.

Cast When Damage Taken- linked to a curse of your choice (I use Enfeeble), and your Ice Golem if you're lazy like me.

Vaal Haste for extra movespeed and attack speed. Can chain most of the time running maps.

Vaal Lightning Trap for Guardians/Shaper.

Enduring Cry for Endurance Charges


Movement Skill- 4 Link Shield Charge:
Shield Charge + Faster Attack + Fortify + Power Charge on Crit.

Main Source of Power Charge Generation- Tempest Shield + Power Charge on Crit.

According to POE WIKI, A Power Charge is generated whenever the player successfully blocks. With 55% Block and Spell Block, a few mobs will get you to 4 stacks in seconds. Amazing!



Pathing Pretty Much Min-Maxed

If 10K ES is not enough, get the ES nodes at the start of Witch Area.

Character Tab SnapShot:

Hideout Defence:

Without Discipline UP

With Discipline UP


Hideout offence:

Blade Flurry Tooltip, No Buff

Blade Flurry Tooltip With Herald of Ash

Blade Flurry Tooltip With Herlad of Ash + Hatred and Ice Golem (Increased Area Effect in 6L)

Blade Flurry Tooltip With Herlad of Ash + Hatred and Ice Golem (Concentrated Effect in 6L)

Area of Effect Modifier

Bandit Lords:

Normal- Passive/// Cruel- Attack Speed (Kraityn)/// Merc- Alira (+1 Power Charge)


Normal Lab - Gratuitous Violence

Bleeding Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 10% of their Maximum Life as Physical Damage

The Bleed Explosion is your waveclear, coupled with Herald of Ashe. Double the Explosions.

Cruel Lab - Outmatch and Outlast

Free Frenzy Charges on Kill!
10% more Physical Damage while at maximum Frenzy Charges.. 10% MORE, not increased. Juicy
10% reduced Physical Damage taken while at maximum Endurance Charges

Merc Lab - Painforged

8% additional Block Chance if you were Damaged by a Hit Recently

Pretty much +8% Block all the time, that's how we get 55% Block easy.

Uber Lab - Versatile Combatant

100% Block applies to Spell Block.. 55% Spell Block in one point.


How to Level with this build?
Take all the Sword Nodes first, and start off with any melee skills of your choice, switching to Blade Flurry @lvl 28 after completing the Library Quest to get the Blade Flurry Gem.

Use a one hand sword with High Physical DPS, basically any Unique One Hand Sword allows you to one shot Packs. Get Vaal Pact and Duelist Leech Clusters for defense next.

Can start getting Energy shield nodes at level 38 and use The Gull

It gives a ton of Life and ES, should get you through to Merciless Dried Lake.

Grab some Life nodes nearby if you're still dying alot and respec later.

Make sure you have all the Shield Nodes and have a decent 350+ ES Shield before spec into CI

Last edited by Megumin3 on Dec 23, 2018, 5:41:42 PM
Last bumped on Aug 23, 2017, 11:35:57 AM
Reserved for later
this seems like what i'm intending to do for 3.0! bookmarked this page and awaiting for future updates.

noob questions:

- is there a life/non-CI version? i have no idea how to level a CI char, and life build has always attracted me.
IGN: Cliff_Sundery - 8x 1h Max Block Gladiator [HSC]
Location: Singapore GMT+8

CliffAhead wrote:
this seems like what i'm intending to do for 3.0! bookmarked this page and awaiting for future updates.

noob questions:

- is there a life/non-CI version? i have no idea how to level a CI char, and life build has always attracted me.

Check this out if you want to play a life build instead, Alkaizer's Life Based Blade Flurry Gladiator, he made it to level 100 on HC this league. Play style is the same, but with some fairly expensive items.

Atziri's Acuity cost 14 Exalts, and requires a multi Ex Weapon to feel good. I tried the build without those and really suffered. That is the main reason I altered the build, swapped to CI with vaal pact and ended up with this guide.

Unfortunately, I don't think he made a written guide. Here's the video:


On leveling a CI char, you just level with Life + Energy Shield until you have 4k+ ES then you take the CI node. Usually when you get to Merc dried lake at level 65.
Thanks for sharing!
I can't kill shaper with alk's build - not enough ex for good sword:( I'll try your setup
what about stuns
Someday, someone will best me. But it won't be today, and it won't be you.
slowhands wrote:
Thanks for sharing!
I can't kill shaper with alk's build - not enough ex for good sword:( I'll try your setup

Thanks mate. Have fun. Would be nice to vouch the build when you've succeed.
I just switched to this build after playing a life based Duelist/Glad/Blade Flurry. I purchased all my very sub par gear last night (spend maybe 1 EX in total) and am only at 5.7k ES and 10.4k DPS Blade Flurry. Have Disc/Arctic/HoA up on a 5L.

I still need to change some Ascendancy nodes, but will get to that later.

I just completed 2 T15 Abyss maps which were very easy. One of them was curse with vuln/ +monster health/ele reflect/+monster crit and this still handled it easy, much better than my old life based build.

Overall I think you made a very nice build with a very low income threshold. Nice work.

Petarded wrote:
what about stuns

With 36% Stun Avoidance and 30% Stun Recovery. 55% Block and Spell Block.

Plus the 50% chance to ignore stuns being ES Based.

Chain Stunned to death is not an issue.

You can see from the Esh Boss fight, I stood on top of the Esh balls on purpose.. And the T15 maps with crazy damage mods Esh Breaches. without shock immune flasks.

If you are playing HC and do not want to take any chances, swap in Eye of Chayula when doing harder contents.

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