[3.3] The Swordmaster - Dual-wield crit Champion / Slayer - All Contents (updated June 5th)

CHANGE LOG: (updated June 5th)

* Add new end game tree option.
* Add uber elder video.
* Add new shaper run with shaper stat stick.
* Update skill gem section.
* Add Path of Building code.


What's new in 3.3 (update as soon as I found something new in current and upcoming patch)

No major changes to our build in 3.3, except minor buffs to skills that we can use like Lacerate and Ice crash. Check out Skill gem section.
Currently level 64 in league, will update as soon as something good hits my eyes.

Basically, the build mechanic remains the same but Slayer ascendancy took some changes after the revamp, he no longer has stun immunity while leeching, this requires you to have at least ~6k life to prevent being stun while facetanking bosses and not to get your leech interrupted. Nonetheless, it's still a very good Ascendancy.

On the other hand, Champion is looking very sweet now, 100% chance to apply Taunt on hit against monsters and bosses, make them take increased damage and unable to evade your attack, this is very good if your build has low accuracy and crit strike chance. You can drop some accuracy on jewelries to get anything else you like. Check out the Ascendancy in Skill Tree section, you can now play as either Slayer or Champion in this patch.

Changes in 3.1 Patch: (still relevant)

Vaal Pact / Instant leech / Slayer nerf:

- 3.1 Patch changes remove Slayer maximum life leech rate which makes the new Vaal pact almost mandatory for Slayer (without instant leech) build to leech more comfortable at the cost of life regen.
- Some quick number, you get (20% base leech + 3% from Vitality Void passive node) x 2 (Vaal pact) = 46% leech rate, which is higher than pre 3.1 (43%).
- The new Atziri acuity which triggers vaal pact on crit is still very good, you can still regen while not in combat.
- Lab run with VP is not very comfortable, unless you have the new Atziri acuity, you can workaround by popping Writhing jar before rush into traps.


The main highlight of Abyss league, allow you to get flat phys and flat life on jewels, best for people who don't want to use Abyssus or those who have low pdps sword. Try to balance between your flat phys and % phys. A good roll can give you up to 45+ flat life and 7-12 flat phys


With the passive tree provided below, simply take the starting node of Marauder and gain 15% free aoe and 1% attk leech (base class bonus). You can replace Inc aoe support gem while mapping with anything else you like (ex: Inc crit multi, Innervate)


New belt base introduced in 3.1, give you 1 more abyss jewel slot, fill in anything you lack like life/int/dex/...


Ahn's Might is now another good option for leveling, can carry you all the way to lv90 and early mapping.


This is what I like best about Abyss league, Elder amulets, can have up to 5% maximum life leech rate. Since they removed Slayer 10% maximum life leech rate, this is the only way to get Slayer back to his prime (half of it).
I was lucky to get this one, it has everything a crit melee build needs, t1 phys, t1 crit multi, int, dex and maximum life leech rate.


The new Shaped ring with suffix "Curse enemies with lv 8/12 Assassin mark on hit" can free you from your Blasephemy + curse setup so you can use any other aura that you like. (ex: Hatred, Grace, Purities, etc)


Shaped weapons are inarguably the highest damage source for our off-hand beside Death's hand. Though most of it's extra damage is elemental, which we are not fully benefit from, try to get % ele as extra chaos, so you can scale your chaos damage through ele. The only way to make fully use of this weapon is to go full ele convert or abuse chaos damage through the Retch rustic sash, more details in build variant below.

1/ Why should i play this build - READ THIS FIRST

- Easy to build and gearing, no bleed/poison abuse, just pure phys.
- Flexible with skills, can use all 1h melee sword skill, i mainly use Blade flurry for bosses and Ice crash/lacerate/cyclone for mapping.
- High quality of life with stun/bleed immunity, 20% culling and endless leech if playing as Slayer. Enhanced Fortify and stun immunity with Champion.
- 6-7 jewels, enough to fill in what you lack on gear.
- No flask spamming in every 2 sec

> Why physical over elemental ?
- I know ele build can reach higher dps potential and some of my end game gears are indeed expensive but still much more comfortable and easier to min-max than trying to buy gg opal rings or WED gears with %penetration..

2/ Videos: (updated June 5th)

Uber elder run (kinda sloppy, check out my guide in Tips section):

Shaper run using Shaper stat stick:

Pre 3.3 videos:

Reave vs Shaper (deathless): (ignore my flask setup)

Shield + Sword variant: (check Build variant section)

T15 Core with Enfeeble (ft. Chayula):
Uber Atziri is my daily life, you literally facetank everything:
Shaper full run, took some heavy lag, but still deathless, ~5min
BF vs Hydra:
BF vs Minotaur:
BF vs Phoenix
I forgot to record Phoenix, this is old vid from pre 3.0
BF vs Uber Izaro (fully buffed)

Reave vs Minotaur:
Lacerate vs Hydra:
Ice crash vs Chimera:

Shaper with no Acuity + no helmet (abyssus):
The leech from slayer is good enough to tank the beam.
Casual Core run with no Acuity + Brutal Fervour passive node:

3/ League starter/Beginner's guide:
Actually, this is all you need:

- You won't get much currency in early league and BoR is 1 of the easiest end-game-viable-6L you can get.
- Before you can use BoR, just stick to Tabula, i used some crappy 4L chest till 50
- You can use anything in off-hand, these are the nominees (none of these worth more than 2 alchs):
- For main-hand, Scaeva can carry you all the way to early mapping: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Scaeva
- For leveling skill, use either:

4/ Skill tree:

- BANDITS: Kill all

CHAMPION: Worthy Foe -> Fortitude

SLAYER: Brutal Fervour -> Headsman

- End game tree:
+ Offensive-wise: www.poeurl.com/bXd8
+ Defensive-wise: www.poeurl.com/bXec

- Leveling tree:
- Duelist area:
+ Take 1 mana leech node next to Vitality void ( if you have mana problem, respec this later )
27pts: www.poeurl.com/bEk7

- Marauder area:
+ Take Resolute Technique to get rid of accuracy in early game
58pts: www.poeurl.com/bEli

- Ranger area:
+ This is where you can start going crit
+ Take all attack + crit nodes in Ranger area once you get a decent crit sword only ( respec out of Resolute Technique )
78pts: www.poeurl.com/bElA
91pts: www.poeurl.com/bElD

- Take Vaal pact once you get into map

- Take melee crit nodes back in marauder area:
95pts: www.poeurl.com/bElD

- Templar area:
105pts: www.poeurl.com/bElJ

- Finish up with all jewels slot and life nodes:
+ This is the finished skill tree, everything after this point does not really matter, take whatever you need on tree.
116pts: www.poeurl.com/bElN

5/ My gears:

6/ Ultimate End game Gears: (most optimized)

These are not perfect but I am pretty sure that these are the most optimized gears for a melee crit build. You don't need to get perfectly rolled mirrored gears or Hatred crit Watcher's eyes to reach end-game.

7/ Gear discussion:

- Try to get some INT on gears or jewels.

- Accuracy is also important. You won't get to crit if your hit misses. Champion can free you from some accuracy investment.

- Jewelries: Try to get at least 0.4% mana leech on rings/amulet or jewels.

- Jewels are very flexible, look for any mods to fill in your gap, but you should prioritize: life > crit chance > phys/melee/one handed/sword > crit multi.

- Swords: A good rare Foil with 300pdps and 7% base crit for endgame goal, prefer Vaal rapier for higher crit chance. DO NOT BUY anything > 350pdps, its just overkill

- Helmet: since reflect has been reworked, its safer to run around with Abyssus now, other potentials are:

- Gloves: A good rare Spiked gloves with flat phys + attk spd + acc is bis if you take VP on tree. Atziri acuity was intentionally used to counter Abyssus downside against reflect mobs, since that's no longer the case now, you can use any of these:

- Offhand: Use any of these, Death's hand gives you highest dps potential. Rigwald's Savagery is also good.

8/ Gem setup:

Main setup: (1G2B3R preferred)

+ Blade Flurry - Inc Crit strikes - Damage on Full Life - Melee phys dmg - Maim/Faster Attack - Inc AOE/Conc effect.

+ Lacerate/Reave - Inc Crit strikes - Damage on Full Life/ Ruthless - Melee phys dmg - Multistrike - Inc AOE/Conc effect.
* Note: Lacerate now receives no attack speed penalty.

=== CYCLONE ===
+ Cyclone - Faster attack - Damage on Full Life - Melee phys dmg - Inc Crit strikes - Inc AOE/Conc effect.

=== ICE CRASH ===
+ Ice crash - Faster attack / Multistrike - Damage on Full Life/ Ruthless / Weapon elemental damage - Melee phys - Inc Crit strikes - Inc AOE/Conc effect.
* Note: Since Ice crash now supports multi strike, it offers much higher dps potential but I still feel like using Faster attack for better mobility.

+ Tectonic slam - Faster attack / Multistrike - Damage on Full Life/ Ruthless / Weapon elemental damage - Melee phys - Inc Crit strikes - Inc AOE/Conc.
* Note: Since we are not utilize in Endurance charges, using Multistrike is a good option for dps. Otherwise, find a ring with Warlord mark on hit for charges generation.

- General notes:
+ Faster attack is good on everything.
+ Increased crit strikes is a very stable source for your dps but most people like to go all out for dps and use diamond flask instead. You can free a flask slot if using it.
+ Ruthless can not be used on Channeling skill (Blade flurry).
+ Damage on full life is a good dps buff but hard to maintain it effect all the time. If you are not playing as Slayer or having minimal leech rate without VP/Instant leech, might as well switch to other options.
+ Blood rage works with Damage on full life as long as you have enough life regeneration/ endless leech to offset the degen.
+ Brutality is good for pure phys build or running in elemental reflect map, can not use chaos or ele damage.
+ Weapon elemental damage is good for clear speed if you are using Shaper stat stick, not helping much against boss with high resistance since we have no elemental penetration.
+ Put chance to bleed on your totem and use Bloodlust on your main setup is very good for single target.
+ Generic dps increase options: Chance to bleed, Added fire, Inc crit damage, Physical to lightning.

Aura: Blasphemy - Assassin mark - Herald of Ash - Arctic armour
- ele damage from herald without any penetration only helps with clear speed, you can use something else

4L Setup: CWDT - IC - ID - Vaal lightning trap / Phase run

Movement: Whirling blade/Leap slam - Faster attack - Fortify / Blood magic

Warchief totem: Warchief totem - Conc eff - Melee phys - Faster attack

Buff: Ice golem, Vaal haste, Blood rage.

9/ Screenshot:

DPS (hideout)

DPS (fully buffed)

3.1 DPS
DPS (hideout)

DPS (fully buffed)

10/ Tips:

=== Uber Elder guide ===

+ If you have more than 20k avg damage without Concentrated effect, keep your setup with Inc area of effect, it will really help against the portal phases and give you better control over mobs.
+ Put on Purity of ice and drop Arctic armour since elder and shaper both deal heavy cold damage. Run either Hatred or Herald for dps or Blasphemy + Enfeeble for extra defense. Soul of the Brine King and Yugul pantheon is very useful here.
+ Watch out for Madness Propagators (the floating eye-tentacle thing) that leave corrupted tar on the ground and cause your health to degen if you stand on it. Kill it as soon as possible. The corrupted tar can be hard to see as it matches the color of the ground.
+ Don't freak out during the Elder nova/ring attack that expanding around him, it lasts about 8 seconds before explosion. Make sure you're back inside the inner ring before time runs out.
+ Abyssus is dangerous here, the Tentacle attack and Slam attack deals heavy physical damage and can instantly take over 3/4 of your life pool. (My life pool was 6k back then).
+ Slayer's endless leech proves to be very helpful here as it can mitigate the effect of degen ground and Elder siphon attack that targets an arc in front of him and deals physical damage over time or Shaper beam attack. If you can get your hands on Elder amulet that grants maximum life leech rate then Slayer is even better.
+ It's not easy to maintain Damage on Full Life effect here all the time, replace it with WED, Chance to bleed, etc..


> Why so little life ? Only 6k
Because only 2 of my jewels have life on it and both of my rings have crappy 40 life. Try to get life roll on all of your jewels.

> What would you change to make this build HC viable ?
Remove Abyssus, run Enfeeble on Blasphemy instead. I would drop half the sword cluster in Ranger area to get more life or Dodge/Spell dodge. The Perfect form is also a very good option.

> What uber enchantment should i aim for?
I prefer the 12% BF aoe over 40% damage. Getting enchantment for your curse or Arctic armor is also very good. (AA receives some duration buff in 3.1)

> Can I use another sword/claw/dagger in off-hand?
Yes you can, but keep in mind that skill like BF does not use both weapon at a time but alters between your main hand and off-hand with each attack, the damage does NOT add up, which means you attack with your main hand on 1st hit then your off-hand 2nd. So you're basically a 1h build and does not fully benefit from dual-wielding.

In short, our build will only benefit from global mods and explicit mods of off-hand weapons, so choose your weapon carefully

Build variant: (for people who love science)

Yes, this is possible, I have tested and it worked out quite well, for people who afraid to get 1 shot while wearing Abyssus.
This variant proves to be more defensive wise, especially if you have legacy Acuity, you can leech your mana back in an instant.
To make this possible, you need a pair of Elreon rings with -11 total mana least OR use Soultaker in off-hand.

This mean you will have to drop your Herald (if you use it). With the new Shaped rings, you can get assassin mark curse on hit so you can free your mana pool even more.

PASSIVE TREE: www.poeurl.com/bK96

====SHIELD & SWORD====

As you can tell from my character name, this char was originally a sword and board guy, it still works pretty well now. I can reach max attack block as a Slayer.

All you have to do is to find a good shield, Lycosidae is probably the best shield for your dps, otherwise just get a rare shield with high life, 25+ block, flat phys and fill in anything you lack. The cons is you can't get maximum spell block as a Slayer, but with new Shaped jewelries and Shield, you can get one with %block chance applies to spell. Along with Rumi flask, it's easy to reach over 30% spell block.


www.poeurl.com/bLab (No red nightmare jewel)
www.poeurl.com/bLaa (with Red nightmare, socket in Marauder area)

Last edited by Brown14 on Jun 5, 2018, 8:35:15 PM
Last bumped on Dec 5, 2018, 7:50:32 AM
I am looking for something that will be to run uber lab very easily and possibly progress in maps as well. How do you feel about the survivability of this for labs? Should I just start the season with an eq jugg or would this fulfill what im looking for?
I will go for reave in this league. You say that i can go with any skill for clear (includ reave) and bf for single target, but i will really need BoR for this?
Reave single target in league starter is not enougth ?
I will go for reave in this league. You say that i can go with any skill for clear (includ reave) and bf for single target, but i will really need BoR for this?
Reave single target in league starter is not enougth ?

BoR is just a quick way to get 6Link in early league, you can use any 6L chest you like. It's true that Reave dps is slightly low compared to others, so the flat phys damage from BoR or Abyssus is really helpful, but you won't notice much different till you get into maps, so just use what you like.
latterus14 wrote:
I am looking for something that will be to run uber lab very easily and possibly progress in maps as well. How do you feel about the survivability of this for labs? Should I just start the season with an eq jugg or would this fulfill what im looking for?

Slayer is one of most efficient lab runners, izaro is never a challenge, but its vaal pact that make you cannot regen is kinda annoying against traps, you can just disable vaal pact and run it like any other builds. Maps are no problem, you can cruise through everything if you follow my guide.
Update with FAQ section
Last edited by Engholm on Dec 7, 2017, 11:47:34 AM
Hey nice build.
I think I'am gonna with this one this season! :)
Could you put up a detailed Skilltree? Like to level 20-40-60-80 or smthg? ^^
Would be great. TY

And one more question. Do you level with BF? Whats your favourite skill for leveling and endgame?
Last edited by Didjital on Dec 7, 2017, 6:21:23 PM
Looks pretty cool. Any map mods it has trouble with? I'm coming back for this new xpac and I'm leaning on a summoner or this right now
Didjital wrote:
Hey nice build.
I think I'am gonna with this one this season! :)
Could you put up a detailed Skilltree? Like to level 20-40-60-80 or smthg? ^^
Would be great. TY

And one more question. Do you level with BF? Whats your favourite skill for leveling and endgame?

Updated with leveling tree in Skill tree section.
I leveled with Lacerate in early game till i can use BF. I mostly use BF on bosses, for mapping I like to use Ice crash (you can freeze bosses too) and Cyclone.

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