[3.1] [HC] Dark Pact Slayer (Tanky, low cost <less than 200c gearing to lvl 90>)


This is my first guide on my current self cast dark pact slayer. I tried quite a few variations for this build but I feel like a Non-Crit, Tanky, Self-cast Slayer is the strongest build with the most end game potential for hardcore. I felt the need to make this guide because I have not seen many regen/lifesteal based dark pact characters, most of them also used Vaal pact which I felt was very dangerous on a hardcore character and many of the dark pact guides that were around required incredibly expensive gear to do content. I wanted to thank my guildmates in the HC clan [MUT] Maweth that assisted with making this build: Sasij, Keronus, Theoppa, Kinglokken,_Amaranth_.

Most recent update:
(28/12/2017) Should have everything except videos up to date now, just hit 90 today so updated character sheets and current gear. Feeling quite strong, working on tier 12 maps atm as far as progression and improving gear as I go. Still do not have uber lab finished, couple trails just seem to not be showing up.

- Tanky, does reach up to 8k hp by lvl 90 with budget gear
- Good clear speed in maps (200-240mil exp/hr on tier 8 maps at lvl 83, uses shield charge and AoE)
- Great aoe damage damage, can clear abysses with reasonably low risk.
- Low cost, can reach lvl 90 using less than 200c on gear.

- Will require you to have a minimum of a 5 or 6L asap (The Covenant as a 4L is fine at lvl 49 or Simple robe is a great option) and a decent caster weapon for leveling.
- Without enough damage build will struggle vs bosses during early/mid game.
- *Maps* Do not run no leech, no regen, hexproof or less life recovery mods. These can all be risky/lethal, if you can avoid them do so.
- Min/Max late game (level 90+) becomes expensive (5B/1G Cherrubim's Maleficence required for highest damage). Shout out to Mario Bugelnig for making this video to show how its done [Path of Exile] – 1000 Chaos PLUS! Cherrubim's Maleficence Forging Guide! Money Maker Exclusive!

Benefits of Slayer:

-Endless Hunger (20% of Overkill Damage is Leeched as Life + Life Leech effects are not removed at Full Life).
-Brutal Fervour (100% increased Life Leeched per second Cannot be Stunned while Leeching You are Immune to Bleeding while Leeching)
-Onslaught from Bane of Legends (20% move/attack/cast speed for 20sec)
-Headsman (20% more damage and 15% increased area if you've killed recently)

I had looked at Impact as a possibility for 30% increased area of effect but it is weaker than Headsman in my opinion.

Frequently asked questions:

Can you farm Uber Lab with this build?
Yes, quite safely.

Why do you use Cast on damage taken Essence drain/Contagion? Why Cast on damage taken Warlord's Mark? Do these even work?
Before this build I honestly did not know you could link ED/Contagion like this, it is very powerful even on a 4L and helps clear speed as well as adds additional life leech when ED is on multiple enemies. Similarly I found out that you could have Warlord's mark proc with Cast on damage taken which free's up the blasphemy reservation and allows the build to run the blood magic nodes (extra 35% life). I suggest switching to Warlord's mark/Cast on damage taken around lvl 66 or so.

Can you farm tier 11-15 maps?
Yep, some bosses may be more tricky than others but you will generally have the durability and damage for all of them.

Can you farm the tier 16 guardians?
Each guardian can be done but will require larger investments than just casually clearing maps.

What about Uber Atziri/Shaper?
Never tried them but it is quite possible.




These are all old video's from 3.0, they very likely do not reflect the current state of the build. As such please understand that these could very well be from different forms of the build (ie. Non crit w/mana, Crit version or Non crit w/o mana (bloodmagic)). Once we get rolling I will be making new videos, will be sure to announce when those are up :).


Tier 7 Mud Geyser,Vuln, Display of Toughness
-Great showcase of why I really like Cast on damage taken ED/Contagion.
Tier 10 Port 5 Essence kill
Tier 12 Shaped Ashen Forest Vuln/Added Fire
Uber Lab 3 Key run (First run of the day, blind run)
Tier 14 Shaped Coves Chaos Resist/Added Fire
Tier 9 Poorjoy's Asylum, just for Shaper Orb

Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix

Shout out to Mario Bugelnig for making this video on how to craft a 5B/1G CM chest [Path of Exile] – 1000 Chaos PLUS! Cherrubim's Maleficence Forging Guide! Money Maker Exclusive!


Generally you want to kill all bandits. We path beside many all resistance nodes so if you cannot find resist on gear you can just pick those up temporarily.

Gem Setups:

5L in chest:

Once you get your 6L you will add increased area for map clearing / concentrated effect for bosses.


Wither setup used for tough rares (abyss rares) and bosses

3L (in Doon Cuebiyari for lvl 30 iron will):

This makes your ED/Contagion setup slightly stronger than a normal 4L, helps significantly with additional damage/regen through ED.

3L (Dual Curse):

Despair gives a really significant damage increase and it is an extremely welcome addition considering that dark pact took a fairly large nerf in 3.1. Warlords mark is always required for the life leech/endurance charges.


This is the shield charge setup for fortify, increases tankiness further.


Bloodrage/Immortal call setup, gives you frenzy charges for more damage and some phys immunity, this also activates your pantheon (Soul of Arakaali, 50% increased recovery rare of life) as long as you had soul captured Arachnoxia.


I usually use earth golem but flame golem is probably better in most cases once you have over 700hp/sec regen or so.

Leveling Guide:

Leveling tree's for those without Path of Building:

Level 1-49~

**Updated for 3.1**


Level 50-70

**Updated for 3.1**


Level 70-90

**Updated for 3.1**

Lvl 1-12 I generally use frost blades and then at lvl 12 you are able to pick up the sunder gem. With the new Ancestral Call gem early game aoe is great, single target might be tough though as abyss rare monsters are incredibly tanky.

Lvl 12-40 Just use sunder/frost blades as your main skill with either leap or shield charge for movement. You will then want to get Blasphemy (from library quest or trading with other players) linked with warlords mark for life/mana steal and you can begin using Dark pact at around lvl 40. By this time you will have between 1600-1800hp depending on gear. You will also notice that Dark pact has a high int requirement so you will likely need to get a int+hp amulet or int on gear. Spend time from lvl 32 to lvl 38 Dried lake, should be aiming for 13-17mil exp/hr, can reset exp tracker using /reset_xp command in chat window. During this time try to pick up a
as they will significantly increase your clear speed. Focus on hp/resists on other pieces, a solid weapon with spell damage/cast speed can also help alot.

For order of gem importance it goes Spell Echo > Iron Will > Controlled Destruction > Added Chaos Damage > Concentrated Effect. This gem importance will change later at 70+.

Here is an example of the gear I had while leveling recently, I highly recommend getting a Tabula as the 6L damage will make everything easier, at the very least you will need a 5L chest otherwise single target damage will feel very lack luster. With this gear I had 2500hp and 160hp/sec regen with stone golem. I used only a 4L in the chest for Izaro/Malichi and they took a bit of time as single target is not really high at lvl 40 and we do not have access to worm flask until 60. I would recommend not rushing through this section though. End of act 4 can be dangerous if you rush through, make sure you are more than ready for the Malichi fight. Herald of Lightning also contributes a lot of damage at this stage, you will likely only be running one herald though or you will have mana issues (will probably need atleast 1 mana/hybrid potion).

Lvl 40-48 During this time you pick up your lab trials, do normal lab, move from act 4 to act 5 and reach the next farming area (The Chamber of Innocence), farm here until around lvl 47 or so. Around 45mil exp/hr is quite good for lvl 42 at this location using similar equipment to what I have shown above. Act 5 can be quite challenging and many experienced players I know die at Innocence fight or Kitava, ensuring you are fully prepared with solid gear and levels makes a huge difference. Around lvl 48 or so you will absolutely feel both tanky and have reasonably high damage, mainly focus on getting 5L or 6L chest, solid weapon (either from poe trade or crafting with an essence/alch) and getting enough hp/resists/int on gear to support gems. Below you can see the stats I had prior to doing Innocence fight. For the Kitava fight you will want more armor than what is shown in these images as they do very high phys damage (around 30-40% phys mitigation should be more than enough).

Lvl 48-62 Moving from act 5 to act 8. At lvl 60 we get access to writhing flask which is a huge boost to overleech. Once you get this its a good time to do cruel lab for Brutal Fervour (100% increased Life Leeched per second +10% of maximum Life per second to maximum Life Leech rate Cannot be Stunned while Leeching You are Immune to Bleeding while Leeching). Farm up until 62 and then fight act 8 boss, should be fairly easy with gem levels + wither totem setup.

At lvl 49 if you still do not have a tabula you can pick up one of these for a damage increase:

This is a great alternative because they are always inexpensive and give you added chaos damage to links.

Lvl 62-70 During this time you will be farming Blood Aqueduct or Oasis, aim for 150-180mil exp/hr and get lvl 70. This will give access to lioneye remorse shield and cherrubim's maleficence chest (Make into 5L). Be warned that Act 10 Kitava is no joke and even with high life/armor/resists it can still be a lethal fight. Here is the gear and stats I had when doing Act 10 Kitava at lvl 70 (resists were higher, these are after the debuff). During this fight you may need to use a few portals but it can be done fairly safely. The attack you must try to dodge the most is the one that has 4 exploding points that come together, it does a significant amount of damage. Keep in mind you do not need a 5 off color Cherrubim's maleficence, at this point you just need a 5L with atleast 3 off color and 1 red/1 green. Best way to do this is to first acquire a well rolled chest (+70% chaos damage, +85 life), you then roll it with jeweler orbs until you have 3 slots. Take this to the vorici bench and then give it 3 blue sockets (120 chroms). You then add 4th and then 5th socket one at a time to get one red and one green for BBBRG chest and 5L it. This is the most expensive requirement for the build but it is absolutely worth getting even as just a 5L (total cost of this is approximately 50c). Later on (lvl 90+) you may want to get 4 or 5 blue sockets for the 6L but this is substantially more expensive but it is not needed for anything prior to tier 14.

After fight absolutely make sure to check over your resists, this is always a great time to replace gear prior to mapping. I know of a couple of people that did not do this recently and paid dearly for it!


Lvl 70+ At this time you will begin maps after Act 10 Kitava, always look for Life+ resists on gear as well as high armor/evasion. At this point you will already be fairly tanky and clearing reasonably fast :).



Major god you will want is Soul of Arakaali. Once you capture Arachnoxia you will get 50% increased life recovery after you stop taking damage over time. The way this is activated is the Cast on damage taken / Immortal call / Blood rage setup, immortal call will stop bloodrage damage over time and activate the increased life recovery :)

Another choice can be Soul of Lunaris as it can be great for most situations.

Minor god is going to be Soul of Tukohama (While stationary, gain 2% additional Physical Damage Reduction each second, up to a maximum of 8%) and can be upgraded to also provide (While stationary, gain 0.5% of Life Regenerated per second each second, up to a maximum of 2%).

Current Gear:


Here is a breakdown for the gear and what you want to generally look for:

Weapon: 10-15c Doon Cuebiyari
Shield: 5-15c Lioneye's Remorse
Chest: 30-40c 5L Cherrubim's Maleficence (Can be BBBRG for 5L)
Gloves: 10-15c Repentance or Yellow gloves (Only use repentance if you have 4 or more Blue sockets in chest, otherwise just use yellow gloves with life/res)
Helm: 10-30c Lightpoacher or Solid yellow helm, lightpoacher is incredible for leveling/mapping but it loses some value on bosses, yellow helm is perfectly fine if you get high life/res.
Boots: 3-5c Yellow boots with life/res.
Amulet: 10-20c Carnage Heart or Yellow amulet with high stat/hp/res, will need dex on a piece of gear if not on amulet. If you go repentance gloves then you will need an amulet with significant int.
Rings: 10-20c Le Heup of All was recently suggested on forum and goes incredibly well with the build, not only for the increased damage and res but the increased attributes helps significantly (int for repentance gloves and str for more life/damage). If you can use 2 of them it is worth it but a solid yellow ring can also work well.
Belt: 2-5c Stygian vise for abyss socket + any stats to round things off.
Jewels: 2-3c each, with the new jewels out you absolutely want added chaos to spells / +life, if you can get added chaos to spells while holding shield / increased damage if you kill recently as well that is a significant bonus.

Total cost: 110-200c

*Note* Each league some items may be more or less expensive so try to look for deals.

Character Sheet


Offensive Stats:

Standing in hideout, no flasks, no golem, 5L chest

Defensive Stats:

Standing in hideout, no flasks, no golem, 5L chest

Current Tree (Level 90):

Additional Notes

This is the 2nd gen of the build so far in this league. It still has many refinements that need to be worked out, if you can post any discoveries in the comments section it would be much appreciated :D.

Last edited by Tome_of_exp on Jan 7, 2018, 3:03:18 PM
Last bumped on Jul 15, 2018, 2:56:48 PM
Last edited by Tome_of_exp on Sep 3, 2017, 8:31:30 PM
really cool idea, finally dark pact that is NOT berserker

maybe this item deserves mentioning, massive chaos dmg and some aoe

nice guide
as one of the slayer fan, i definitely try this :D
Life isn't what you make of it, it's already been made for you.
Since i just ripped im planning on making this build. Would you mind making some leveling trees? Would be greatly appreciated thanks
Ripped so gonna try this :]
I will see about leveling tree + gameplay video today. Thank you for the input.
Tome_of_exp wrote:
I will see about leveling tree + gameplay video today. Thank you for the input.

Thanks! Looking forward to it

Started abit:

Got to 29 but im nowhere near the intelligence requirement for DP how did you do that?
Last edited by kramurz on Sep 4, 2017, 8:07:41 PM
Added two playstyle videos (tier 10 and tier 12)
Last edited by Tome_of_exp on Sep 4, 2017, 10:20:32 PM
Thank you for pointing that out, will add to leveling guide. Will require a int amulet early on or gear with int rolls to use dark pact at 28. Forgot about that when I made character.

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