3.1 SSF DW Sunder Bleed Slayer\Gladiator - From Hillock to Shaper on a Tabula

3.1 comments: Build is only stronger in 3.1, no real changes. Vulnerability now gives us chance to bleed and maim as well.


Welcome to my DW Sunder Bleed Slayer guide.

This league (Harbinger) I decided to play SSF. I decided I wanted to play Sunder as a Duelist and started out playing with Alkaizer's DW Sunder build to around the early 80's. I had bad luck with weapons, but a good rare two handed axe dropped and later Hezmana's Bloodlust. During that time I respecced into 2H Sunder Slayer. A few levels after that I got a Soul Taker and went back to playing DW Sunder as a Slayer. I did that for a few levels and then the DPS started to seem abit low for bosses etc.

It was then I decided to invest a little into bleed for that extra damage and it turned out great.
With this build I have done T16 Guardians, Uber Izaro and Atziri on SSF.

I do hope to give Shaper and Uber Atziri a try when I can find myself a decent 6L and get the sets.

Being my first char on HSSF I'd definitely say that it's both a good starting build with fast map clears and endgame viability.

Just killed Shaper with a Tabula on SSF for the first time. Two portals left, third set (ever).

Gear used @ 94:

Passive tree @ 94:

Some more runs:

-Pro's & Con's
-Path of Building
-Skill Gems
-Passive Tree
-Other guides

Pro's & Con's

+ SSF viable
+ Endgame viable
+ Fast map clearing
+ Solid defenses and offenses
+ Flexible gearing
+ Immune to Elemental Reflect

- Probably not the best build for Shaper and Uber Atziri
- Can't do Physical Reflect without

A big thanks to kond0 for recording some footage.

Tier 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bSE9uSa-TM

Tier 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H2shOrmxSc

Path of Building

Not really sure how this works, but due to popular requests I have made a pastebin for PoB out of my level 94 Slayer with a Tabula. I used this setup for Shaper kills.


At this point in time I've been lucky and found a few uniques, but I would like to empasize that none of that is mandatory. It work's just as fine, if not better with decent rares.

In-depth slot-by-slot explanation in the spoiler below.

I got lucky and found a Soul Taker which has decent enough dps to take down the endgame. While writing this guide I got lucky and found a Prismatic Eclipse which I think would be BIS for this build.

Before any of those dropped I was using a rare crafted axe and Ungil's Gauche. Another option would the to use Jack, the Axe for the added bleed chance.


Using a Tabula Rasa because the only other 6L I have is a Carcass Jack that I accidentaly linked. Besides that I have a 5L armour, but currently waiting to craft a decent chest I can try and 6L or get Belly of the Beast to drop.


Just some rares with life, res and attackspeed. Planning to craft some decent Spiked Gloves whenever I get the time and currency. Not top priority for now. Another option is Haemophilia gloves for that bleed and corpse-explosions, especially if you're a Slayer.


Kaom's Roots have tons of life, makes you immune to being frozen, chilled, stunned, more or unaffected by Temporal Chains. Got it corrupted with +1 Frenzy charge from turning in The Throne divination cards. Easily farmed in Sewer or Waste Pool maps.

Otherwise use some rares with life and resistances. Movement speed is not that important since we use Whirling Blades most of the time.


Currently using Starkonja's Head because I can. I used a decent rare with life, res and stats earlier. Can also use Devoto's Devotion if you have.


Belt of the Deciever gives you Intimidate which makes nearby monsters take 10% increased damage. I used a rare with life, res etc. Other good mods to look out for are those that affect flasks with reduced charges used\increased charges gained\flask effect etc. I also use Bisco's Leash from time to time. The Rampage bonus adds to our clear speed.


Just some stats, life, res and phys damage. Just run whatever you need or can get away with. Carnage Heart and Bisco's Collars are good unique alternatives.


Ideally you want some Steel Rings if you can get away with it. Unfortunately I have yet to drop one, but just go with life, res, stats, phys damage and whatever else you might need.


You ideally want life on all jewels along with some dmg mods. Other usefull mods are physical damage, physical damage with axes, increased damage with bleeding etc.


I run a Seething Divine of Grounding for that instant liferecovery and shock-removal.

The Overflowing Chalice dropped for me and replaced my former Sulphur Flask. We run a total of 4 utility flasks and getting more charges for them as well as the instant life flask makes it easier to sustain flask uptime.

I use a Basalt flask with curse-removal for that extra defense and it has good synergies with a Granite. A Taste of Hate would take it's place if I had one.

A Granite flask with bleed-removal for the added defense. Although I get bleed-immunity while leeching from the Slayer Ascendancy, I still have it on a flask for the added safety. The bonus armor is amplified by the Basalt flask. A Lion's Roar or Rumi's Concoction would take it's place if I had one.

Lastly I run a Stibnite flask with curse-removal. The blind from the Smoke Cloud are a great defensive tool. I have curse-removal on this as well so that I can maximize uptime on maps that curses you with Vulnerability, Enfeeble and Elemental Weakness. I would change this for a Witchfire Brew if I had one.

My gear at lvl 91

My gear at lvl 93

As you can see, I got the prophecy for Voidheart, giving me chance to bleed and poison on hit. Wearing this forced me to swap Starkonja's for a helmet with life and resists, but it's well worth it.

Also swapped my gloves cause I needed more lightning res to be capped for ele. weakness maps. Lost quite abit of attackspeed from changing out Starkonja's and the 12% from the gloves, but it's fine I guess.

My gear at lvl 94
Lord Abyssus have graced me with his presence, but I've had to make some changes to accomodate him. It dropped with 50% phys dmg taken so I vendored used the one Divine Orb I had on it and sold two Tabula Rasa's for additional two, but ended up with 45% :(.

I couldn't justify running another unique with no life so I had to change my Voidheart for another life\res ring.

Also converting all my currency to fusings and throwing all of them on this in hopes of negating some of Abyssus' downsides

Gear I used while leveling and early mapping

Skill gems

Sunder - Multistrike - Melee Physical Damage - Brutality - Chance to Bleed - Ruthlessness

Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Enfeeble - Blood Rage

Blasphemy - Vulnerability - Haste

Enduring Cry - Ancestral Warchief - Vaal Grace - Increased Duration

Note: I'm experimenting a little with the Sunder setup. I think Ruthlessness is the best sixth-link, but Concentrated Effect seems to be faster for general clearing and upfront damage at least, while Ruthlessness seems to do bosses faster. Also been trying out Deady Ailments, but yet to reach a verdict.

Note 2: If you choose to run Purity of Ice and Purity of Fire, get the Devotion node in the passive tree as well. You can also replace Purity of Ice with Haste.

Note 3: Can swap Vaal Grace with Vaal Lightning Trap or Vaal Haste. I like the defensive bonus from Vaal Grace, but I also tend do swap with VLT from time to time.

Passive Tree

For the passive tree I will assume you're leveling as DW Axe Sunder as I did. The more effective way would be to just equip the biggest Two-Handed Axe or Mace you can find and smash your way to 60+ at which point you might find it more efficient to go DW. Leveling as DW is fine, it's just many good low level Two-Handed Axes and Maces well suited for leveling.

If you choose to go the Two-Handed route, you can either just take the Two-Handed and Mace nodes (depending on the weapon type you choose) instead of the Dual-Wield and One-Handed nodes and just spec out of it when you swap.

Or you can just pick up the general damage nodes that's not restricted by being One- or Two-Handed as well as the weaponspecific damage nodes, either axes or maces.

Starting out in Duelist area: https://goo.gl/JUYv51

Going for Resolute Technique: https://goo.gl/HSJseD

Grab some damage and life. Go for the manaleech when you feel the need:https://goo.gl/cgMYbC

Head out for Marauder area: https://goo.gl/bjkDD7

Then it's time to go Scion: https://goo.gl/kTD4qW

At this point we're gonna need some life and damage, so we get it: https://goo.gl/2UENsS

After this you can start to invest into bleed. As you can see I have gone for the right path to Bloodletting and Dirty Techniques. If you play as a Slayer without any items that has a chance to inflict Bleed, I suggest taking the left path instead which adds Chance to Bleed and Poison respectively: https://goo.gl/jk6EWu

Passives at lvl 91: https://goo.gl/WdNJKy

Full Tree: https://goo.gl/AaNp9r


There are two Ascendancies you can choose from as a Duelist that I'd recommend for this build, the Slayer and the Gladiator. Each having their own strengths and weaknesses.

+Insane leech and sustain
+Labyrinth traps are a joke
+Headsman are increadibly strong vs bosses and high hp mobs
+Bane of Legends adds to our clearspeed

-Might have to spend passive points to get decent bleed chance

Endless Hunger - Brutal Fervor - Bane of Legends - Headsman

+Outmatch and Outlast lets us drop Blood Rage
+100% spellblock
+Free bleedchance from Gratuitous Violence
+Clearspeed and safety with Gratuitous Violence's corpse exlosions
+More blockchance from Painforged

-The leech and cull you get with Slayer are very strong

Gratuitous Violence - Outmatch and Outlast - Painforged - Versatile Combat

There are some ways you can go with this. Oak is probably slightly better for this build, but I chose to go with the passive points. Playing SSF I'm restricted by my drops, so having to extra skillpoints to take passives I otherwise wouldn't have taken to make up for bad gear is very helpful.

Kill all or Oak


Soul of Solaris and Soul of Yugul

I use them for the damage reduction and reflect reduction.
If you don't use Kaom's Roots, you can go with Soul of the Brine King instead. Soul of Arakali with Herald of Thunder upgrade synergizes with our CWDT - Immortal Call setup and Blood Rage. Soul of Ryslatha can be good for labyrinth if you're not a Slayer with The Writhing Jar.

I've decided to not cover the entire leveling process. I've noted some important points in the game where we get important gems that helps our leveling. Feel free to change them around as you please.

Also added some leveling gear. But doing this as a first char on HSSF, I did not have much in terms of leveling gear.

Starting out as a Duelist, you get Cleave as a questreward after killing Hillock.
Put this in the biggest, baddest two handed weapon you have, or two one handed ones.

Don't skip the Mercy Mission quest which rewards you with a Quicksilver flask. It's a huge boost to our leveling speed and I suggest getting at least two while leveling. You can also transmute them and throw some alteration orbs on them. Good prefixes and affixes include; Freeze removal, increased movement speed, increased duration, increased effect, reduced charges used, increased charges gained etc.

After you kill Brutus take Added Fire Damage and link it with Cleave. Also, this allows you to buy Whirling Blades from Nessa.

Era of Sunder
After you've entered the Caverns of Wrath and completed The Siren's Cadence quest, you can buy Sunder from Nessa in act 1. Swap it out with Cleave and we should at the moment be running Sunder-Added Fire Damage

Silk rewards you with the Faster Attack gem after killing The Weaver in act 2. Link it with Sunder and Added Fire Damage. Go buy another from the gem vendor and link it Whirling Blades.

Rescuing Helena in the Chamber of Sins in act 2 gets you the Herald of Ash gem. Equip and activate it.

After you have completed Maramoa's task of finding Clarissa and Tolman in act 3, she will give you the Hatred gem. We run this together with HoA as our auras.

Complete Siosa's quest and buy Concentrated Effect. Add it to your Sunder links. It adds massive damage. At this point your links should be Sunder - Added Fire - Faster Attacks - Concentrated Effect

Finally, after killing Malachai in act 4, we get access to Multistrike. Swap out Faster Attacks and add this instead. This is a gamechanger.

Just proceed through the acts and swap in the rest of the gems in the guide as they become availible. I recommend sticking with Hatred+HoA leveling to the early 80's or so before changing in Brutality and taking bleed and dot nodes.

Leveling gear
I recommend just equipping the best mace or axe availible at the time, be it one or two handed. In general leveling with unique two-handed weapons are a very easy experience.

Two-Handed Weapons

Dual Wield

I will not go into detail about how the Labyrinth works. There are many other sources for that. I would recommend always checking out PoELab which have daily updated maps of the Labyrinth, as well as which mods he has that day.

One of the creators of PoELab and LiftingNerdBro explains how it works and provides tips and tricks for each type of trap and phase, in addition to teaching you how to best navigate and get most profit out of the Labyrinth, in this video

After you kill Izaro in the third Aspirant's Trial, you will enter a room with a Divine Font which can be used to imbue an item with an enchantment. I will go over which enchantments are the best for each slot that's possible to enchant.

40% increased Sunder damage from Uber Labyrinth is the one you want. You can also use the 25% one from Merciless Labyrinth.

15% increased attackspeed with Sunder from Uber Labyrinth is also good. Again, you can use the 10& one from Merciless Labyrinth.

We don't really care about the radius of Sunder, so those enchantments are a no-go.

If you can't get any of the damage or attackspeed enchants for Sunder, but accidentaly land something like; 150% buff effect granted by Lightning Golem or the 12% increased attackspeed on Blood Rage you can stick with them as they are actually pretty decent.

I think the best one by quite a bit would be Commandment of Fury which sends out spikes in a circle around you.

However, Commandment of War creates an Animated Weapon of your weapon. This is helpful if you're running Bisco's Leash which gives us Rampage. Animated Weapons helps us with refreshing that timer by finishing off stragglers while you pick up some loot.

If you're not using corrupted boots, I think that the best one is the 12% increased attack- and castspeed if you've killed recently.

Otherwise, just get whatever you need.

Tips & tricks

If you're playing as a Slayer, The Writhing Jar, has a cool interaction with your overkill leech. Basicly, you just pop the flask, kill the worms and run through all the traps without taking any damage. Just remember to refresh the leech once in a while.

Slayer is easymode for Labyrinth. Your cull also works on Izaro, making his third phase a joke. Just attack him a few times and let the bleed trigger the cull.

Supersafe! 10/10. Would recommend.

ooopah wrote:
7thDayTheory wrote:
Extremo_X wrote:
I really liked your build I'm currently at 75 and it's pretty quiet mapping.

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the build.

After 94 levels of Sunder I got abit tired and tried out some 2 Handed action for a bit and also tried this build as Gladiator. Have also been very busy at work, so haven't had much time to play.

However, I've saved up regrets for the last week and are now back to this build.

And guess what..

It's now Shaper-viable with a Tabula.. :D

Have done some changes to the build tho and will post an update later. Mainly I just added Blashphemy-Vuln and used PoI for Shaper and Haste for normal.

hey your build has inspired me to try it out, thanks for that.

can i just ask if you used 2H weapon to kill shaper instead of dual-wield?


Thats nice to hear.

Short answer is no.

That was my first Shaper kill ever.

I did play 2H Cyclone and ripped two Shaper sets for practice, and I ripped one set as DW on lvl 91 just to get experience. Finally saved up enough regrets to once again go back to DW and killed him. Cyclone has better DPS, but killing him as DW Sunder is easier if you're not experienced with the fight.

As DW we get a hidden bonus to attackspeed and -damage. This allows us to stack up the bleeds really fast, but more importantly, it enables lightning fast Whirling Blades. It was of huge significance for me. With WB and fast attackspeed I was able to react AFTER he does his things, instead of having to know when it happens.

A good example of this is his slam and laser. With a 2H you will barely have time to start the Leap Slam animation before it hits you. With WB you can see the him materialize and be like "Oopsie, better get outta here.. hmm.. what should I have for dinner today? Pizza? Nah, had that yesterday, maybe burgers? Oh that's right, I was in the middle of something" and just whirl to safetey. Same with the laser. Sometimes you get offscreened if youre away placing a ball or something. WW lets you get away and survive those moments when youre caught offguard.

Basicly Whirling Blades trivializes most of the fight for you.

The only other challenging aspect left is the frozen balls that spawns. As a true melee with Cyclone, I had issues placing the orbs during the addphase and would occasionaly hit them on accident while I was locked into Cyclone.

Placing and activating these orbs are made alot easier having a ranged Sunder. Aided by Whirling Blades you can just zip back and forth during addphase triggering or placing orbs while keeping Sana alive.

Having spent alot of time now played as both DW and 2H Sunder, Cyclone and Lacerate, I will have to say that there are no upsides at all for playing 2H.

It's doesn't really have more dps and it's really slow. You will have bigger bleeds, but that's it.

I would have some more bosskills here, but currently out of T16 maps. Have yet to try Shaper and Uber Atziri. Waiting for a 6L\fragments.

Offenses in my hideout


Defenses in my hideout

T16 Guardian of the Phoenix with boss HP, -liferecovery etc.

T16 Guardian of the Chimera rare map

T16 Guardian of the Hydra rare map

Xoph, Dark Embers

Normal Atziri

T15 Beachhead

T15 Twinned Shaped Courtyard

T15 Twinned Abyss 11 -max res, physical dmg reduction, monster dmg etc.

Other guides
My guide compendium containing some of my older guides as well
Last edited by 7thDayTheory on Dec 21, 2017, 2:13:01 AM
Last bumped on Oct 13, 2018, 2:39:36 PM
Last edited by 7thDayTheory on Oct 3, 2017, 4:10:13 PM
Update 24/9-2017:
Added header
Added Pantheon section
Added Empty Laabyrinth section
Added Full passive tree
Updated Gear -> Belt
Corrected some grammar
Thanks for the decent and nice guide including some "low cost" alternatives which are affordable and not only the "best in slot" gear like within other guides.

Good work!
Last edited by Keraldil on Sep 25, 2017, 4:07:13 PM
Keraldil wrote:
Thanks for the decent and nice guide including some "low cost" alternatives which are affordable and not only the "best in slot" gear like within other guides.

Good work!

Glad you liked the guide. I have no choice, but to use "budget" options. I play this on Harbinger Solo Self Found so I can only use the gear I find. Hence it should also be a good budget build and strong starter option.

I am planning to update this guide with a leveling section and some more passive trees at least in the near future, so stay tuned! :)
I have started a Duellist in Standard League, and of course, I could buy all the nice BiS-Gear (if I would have 50ex) but I find it also interesting to see how far it works with self found or low budget gear (which I would buy if it doesn't drop).
Currently I'm not sure how to proceed with the skill tree. As I come from a Ranger as pre-class I was used to invest some points in the Dex area (similar to the omnipresent DW Gladiator Skill trees). But than I decided to go with Slayer and now I'm not quite sure about the bleed thing (e.g. Crimson Dance, or Bloodletting) and some other points here and there. I'm lvl 44 so there is plenty of time but I like it to plan — sometimes I notice that planning and searching for equipment is the best part of the game. Furthermore, the equipment (for instance the helmet, rings and amulettis are unclear as well, so I look forward to see your progress, tipps, skill-tree hints and equipment links :-)

Last edited by Keraldil on Sep 26, 2017, 3:55:15 PM
Keraldil wrote:
I have started a Duellist in Standard League, and of course, I could buy all the nice BiS-Gear (if I would have 50ex) but I find it also interesting to see how far it works with self found or low budget gear (which I would buy if it doesn't drop).
Currently I'm not sure how to proceed with the skill tree. As I come from a Ranger as pre-class I was used to invest some points in the Dex area (similar to the omnipresent DW Gladiator Skill trees). But than I decided to go with Slayer and now I'm not quite sure about the bleed thing (e.g. Crimson Dance, or Bloodletting) and some other points here and there. I'm lvl 44 so there is plenty of time but I like it to plan — sometimes I notice that planning and searching for equipment is the best part of the game. Furthermore, the equipment (for instance the helmet, rings and amulettis are unclear as well, so I look forward to see your progress, tipps, skill-tree hints and equipment links :-)

I will post some leveling trees.

In general I would not take the bleed nodes untill you have at least a 5L. It's the last stuff you take kinda, to squeeze out extra dps for high tier bosses or endgame content.

Feel free to keep me updated as to how you progress and if you get any nice finds :)
What should I go for first on the skill trees, Im using a tabula also
Saintsin253 wrote:
What should I go for first on the skill trees, Im using a tabula also

I usually just path straight for Resolute Technique on the left side.
Will post some leveling trees when I'm done with work today as it seems people are requesting it.
Update 27.09.2017:
Added screenshots of offenses and defenses
Added screenshots of Phoenix, Minotaur, Atziri, T15+ clears
Added leveling trees with comments in the passive-section

Added link to my guide compendium in Other guides section and fixed some formatting.

Last edited by 7thDayTheory on Sep 27, 2017, 12:28:04 PM

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