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[3.0] Dual Scaeva BoR gladiator - cheap, balanced, simple, guardian viable

I've wanted to make this character for a while now and since I just finished most of the hard challenges with my AW facebreaker berserker I realized I could re-use most of its gear on a character that uses onehanded weapons and so I started this gladiator.

I had two goals in mind when I decided on a build - it had to be cheap and it had to use one of the skills that uses a threshold jewel. After a quick look at the jewel table I decided that Dual Strike will be my main skill (later I abandoned this idea) which then dictated the character type - dual wield. After some experimentation I eventually settled on Cleave instead - its aoe cone can be applied a little easier than Dual Strike's splash and it comes with free Fortify - this was too good to pass up. After I put the numbers into Path of Building I thought they didn't look too bad so I went ahead with leveling the character, curious to see how far I'd be able to push it.

Required Uniques:


Bringer of Rain is pretty self explanatory - it's a free 6L (7 if you count Blind), comes with extra block, passive endurance charge generation, flat phys dmg, decent health but most importantly, it's fairly cheap. The Scaeva swords I picked because they fit the theme of a roman gladiator - if you want better dps there are far better rare swords available and none of the bonuses on Scaeva are particularly appealing, save for the +8% block chance in offhand, which is very welcome on a dual wield build. They are also very cheap so you can easily corrupt a few and hopefully get Culling Strike. Lastly, the threshold gem if your skill of choice matches mine.

Optional Uniques:


Since I've had facebreakers equipped on my previous character I had the glove slot more or less free so I was able to use anything I wanted. I went with Haemophilia because I've already invested points into bleed and the extra 5% of health explosion on top of gladiator's 10 from ascendancy sounded fun so I made these gloves part of my setup. You can easily replace these with Spiked Gloves that have a good life roll, some resists and attack speed - you'll likely end up with more dps and more lax resists which will enable you to drop some resist nodes and invest them elsewhere. Same goes for Meginord's - you can easily use a rare Rustic Sash or Leather Belt in its place. These two pieces are the prime candidates for a swap slot if you want to do Ele Weakness maps safely.

Relevant Character stats at level 90 (from PoB, my character is currently 87):

Life: 6142
Cleave dps: 79k + 3.2k x 8 bleed (with totem out), 67k + 3.2k x 8 bleed (no totem) // not counting charges or flasks
AW dps: 31k
Block: 42%, 50% if hit recently.

Realistically you're looking at ~120-140k full phys dps on bosses, without charges or flasks


Current Gear:


Passive Tree (lvl 90):

Gem setup:

Cleave (slotted in BoR): Cleave, Brutality, Ruthless, Chance to Bleed (you can also use Maim if you're using Haemophilia)
Totem: Ancestral Warchief, Brutality, Concentrated Effect (or Bloodlust), Faster Attacks
Mobility: Leap Slam + Faster Attacks or Whirling Blade + Faster attacks. I prefer LS for general mapping and lab and WB for bosses that require a more technical approach (guardians etc)
Optional: Enduring Cry, Cast When Damage Taken + Summon Golem. If you have enough INT you can add Enfeeble to CWDT.

Immortal Call is somewhat counterproductive due to Gladiator's very nice ascendancy Outmatch and Outlast (unlike frenzy charges, ECs are trivial to keep up even on single target)

As you can see I mostly went for STR gems which makes stat requirements fairly lax - you will need some DEX on your equipment to fully level up Faster Attacks and some INT if you choose Concentrated Effect instead of Bloodlust but that's about it.


Oak or kill all for 2 passive points. I picked oak because I like health regen and the other two bonuses fit the build nicely as well.

Video Sample:

Hydra kill, I died once but the vid should give you a general idea of how the character handles t16 trash and how the effective dps on guardians is: https://youtu.be/pL8E5f3hzmM

Thoughts on guardians and other endgame content:

I've killed all 4 guardians with this build - it's doable but somewhat annoying. Cleave is not that great on Phoenix because of its short range which means you have to run to birds to kill them. Minotaur hits hard and you have to stand close to apply the (not so hot) dps - if you roll damage mods on this map it can lead to oneshots. Hydra is probably the easiest of all because you're not really pressured at any point and you can avoid most of the damage. Chimera can be tricky, his regular flurry (not the one with red circle) can deal pretty massive damage but the real danger in this fight are the snakes - with -60% chaos res you have to kill them quickly and if you fail it will snowball on you.

I don't know if Shaper is doable with this character (haven't even tried), dps is probably borderline acceptable, even with perfect totem uptime. If you're not familiar with the fight mechanics I would advise against trying it with this spec and level of gear.

Uber Lab - pretty easy

Normal Atziri - very easy ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ14Zxxu44o )

Uber Atziri - seriously doubt it's doable with this char

Pros and Cons:

- cheap
- easy access to 6L
- scales well into high tier maps because of explosions
- full phys damage
- blood magic
- somewhat tanky - 22% phys reduction in combat, fortify, ~50% non-flasked block chance
- simple to gear due to gem choices
- flexible unique slots + tree
- no multistrike = full control over the character at all times
- no gem swapping necessary - the setup works for single target and aoe


- BoR means that you will be hard pressed for resists
- no elemental or chaos damage means that some bosses like Oak can take a while
- no benefit from some some unique flasks that add elemental or chaos dmg as part of phys dmg.
- cleave range is very limited which can be a problem in some fights, especially at endgame
- dps isn't the greatest

That's about it. I've had a lot of fun mapping with this character and plan to use it for a little while longer. I can say it has met my expectations and would not hesitate to roll it as my first character in a future league.
Last edited by Bawtzki on Aug 17, 2017, 4:01:04 PM
Last bumped on Dec 1, 2017, 1:08:33 AM
I've always liked Cleave, I will try your build it looks very nice appreciate the added video as well :)
GG, GGG! I can finally be the flamethrowing psycho Marauder I've always dreamt to be! Wish they had a hockey mask MTX & a gore scorching ray skill gem MTX mmmm one can hope!
Dublins wrote:
I've always liked Cleave, I will try your build it looks very nice appreciate the added video as well :)

Good luck! I recommend you pick the bleed explosion for your first ascendancy because it will make aoe clearing a little faster.
Interesting to see another dual Scaeva Cleave Build. Looks like we went into two different directions though.
Slicer9875 wrote:
Interesting to see another dual Scaeva Cleave Build. Looks like we went into two different directions though.

Yeah, that's because I picked Scaeva for flavor, not for its stats. It's not a bad fit for a crit build though, but as you probably noticed building for crit tends to stretch the tree to its limits so you end up with relatively low life.
It's worked like a dream, but the latest patch ruined my FPS so I can't play PoE but if it's resolved in a future patch this is the build I will roll first very fun and tanky to boot!
GG, GGG! I can finally be the flamethrowing psycho Marauder I've always dreamt to be! Wish they had a hockey mask MTX & a gore scorching ray skill gem MTX mmmm one can hope!
played this in mayhem and harbinger, worked like a charm,I'm gonna continue using this build. I love it so much :D Thanks for posting it my dude.

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