[3.2][Hopefully BotW] Red Mist Pure Bleed Shield Throw Gladiator (Including Full Video Guide)

Video Guide: https://youtu.be/REnlh0mNPtw
Reddit Thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/82qtxu/red_mist_gladiator_pure_bleed_shield_throw_build/
Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/HacEsMRa


Hello Wraeclast! Welcome to the Path of Exile build guide for the Red Mist Shield Throw Gladiator. This character was my experimental league starter build for Bestiary and I really wasn’t sure how well it would perform since it uses a new skill with an old mechanic that is definitely on the lower end of power options currently in the game, namely bleed. However, despite it being nowhere near a tier-one build, I have had an absolute blast with the character and even managed to take down the Shaper and his guardians only a few days into the league. At the end of the day, I would rate this build as having average to fast clear speed depending on the types of builds you are accustomed to, below average, but passable single target, and excellent defenses. We leverage the power of the gladiator combined with some specific gear choices to reach very high levels of block and spell block. We also take advantage of some interesting passive tree options that allow us to use some additional nodes to boost the damage of spectral shield throw through pure bleed scaling. These bleeds are the lone source of our single target damage and massively boost our clear speed through the gladiator’s gratuitous violence node. That does it for the build overview, so let’s jump right into itemization, starting with unique item choices.



The first few unique items you will want to aim for are a Rumi’s concoction and Stone of Lazhwar. These two items combined with our passive tree choices and the gladiator ascendancy provide us with very high block and spell block levels, making us largely impervious to many of the enemies in the game. Additionally, I have chosen to use the Magnate unique belt. It provides us with a solid physical damage roll that applies to both our bleeds and explosions, as well as some nice resistances. However, the main attraction is its extreme boost to flask charges gained, which allows us to maintain high uptime on our Rumi’s and an array of other utility flasks. You can certainly use a different belt here if you want to, but I personally fell in love with the ability to spam flasks that is provided by the Magnate. Now let’s take a look at the rare item choices for the build.


Because this is a spectral shield throw build, our most important rare item is our shield. Your first priority is to get a high armor rating. You can easily roll a shield with approximately 2,000 armor by simply applying a deafening essence of dread to a colossal tower shield and then crafting percent armor using Haku. The Lioneye’s Remorse unique shield is also an excellent introductory option. You will notice that I am using a shaped shield because there are several shaper-exclusive rolls that I hoped to hit. The first and most important is a block chance applied to spell block roll. I lucked out and hit this after using only a few essences. This roll combined with the Stone of Lazhwar allows us to reach the spell block cap. The next Shaper mod that I would have loved to get, but never ended up hitting, is the percentage life recovery on block mod. Getting this mod would massively boost the already impressive tankiness of the build. Next up is our weapon. It is important to stress that the DPS of your weapon does not matter at all. It is also important to stress that specifically for this build, your weapon must be sword. In a spectral shield throw build, your weapon only serves to boost the effectiveness of your shield. Because we are focusing purely on scaling bleed, I opted for a sword with a bleed damage roll, and added on a damage over time mod from Leo. You also want to try and get a high attack speed roll on your sword, as this will make your movement abilities significantly faster. As you can see, the rest of my gear focuses on the tried-and-true combination of life and resistances. Just get enough resistances to hit the resistance caps, then get as much life as possible. It is also nice to get some flat physical damage rolls on your rings for a little higher base damage added onto your shield. Finally, try to pick up a few intelligence rolls where you can to allow you to use some handy blue utility gems. Next, we will take a look at the flasks I am using in addition to Rumi’s Concoction.

Additional Flasks

First up is the staple flask in most of my builds: the catalyzed eternal life flask of staunching. I always like to have bleed removal on my life flask, and I prefer the much larger total recovery of a catalyzed eternal flask compared to a seething divine flask, but the decision is yours. For my utility flasks, I have chosen a basalt flask, silver flask, and sulphur flask. These flasks provide large bonuses to damage, speed, and survivability. You should try to aim for Chemist’s prefixes to provide you with additional flask uses. It is imperative that you get a suffix of heat on one of your flasks to avoid being frozen. I have chosen suffixes of warding and iron skin on my other two flasks, as I believe they are the most well-suited suffixes for this build, but you can pick and choose whatever feels best to you. Now it’s time to examine the rather unique passive tree for this character.



Since we have chosen the gladiator for our ascendancy, we obviously have to start as a duelist. Head down through the attack speed and life to art of the gladiator, then over to master of the arena. From there, head down through the defiance and golem’s blood wheels to retaliation. These few early points will give you a solid base of life and damage to begin the leveling process. I should mention that although I leveled using spectral shield throw as soon as it was available, it was a rather painful leveling process, especially in a fresh league with no twink gear. I would strongly recommend leveling with sunder until you get a bit further along to make the process much easier. Next, we grab the savagery frenzy charge and then start heading to the marauder area, picking up the bleed and life nodes along the way, as well as blood magic. We head to the marauder area before the ranger area to allow us to pick resolute technique earlier, which makes the character feel much more consistent. This is where things start to get interesting. Like many others, I noted the distinct lack of scaling option on the tree for spectral shield throw, with only projectile and shield nodes available to boost its direct damage. This is where the idea for a bleed-based build emerged. Although I was well aware that bleed is a relatively weak mechanic, I couldn’t ignore how many additional passive choices it would open up for letting me scale the damage of shield throw. Notice the specific wording on the sword nodes and one-hander nodes in the marauder area. They provide percentage damage increases to ailments from attack skills while wielding a sword or one-handed melee weapon, which are not restricted to attack skills performed with those weapons. This means that although the direct damage portion of those nodes does not boost the initial hit damage of our spectral shield throw, the ailment damage portion does boost the bleed damage of our spectral shield throw. I chose swords over axes or maces because the sword nodes are simply more efficient numerically. This is why I mentioned that it is important that your weapon is a sword. After finishing in the marauder area, head towards the ranger area, picking up damage over time passives and life along the way, to fill out your final frenzy charge and pick up the powerful shield-based nodes offered by the ranger. For your ascendancy nodes, you will want to skill blood in the eyes and gratuitous violence after the normal and cruel labs, respectively. Then grab painforged and violent retaliation using your merciless and uber lab points. For your jewels, try to get life and bleed damage with one or more of physical damage, damage over time, or generic damage. Finally, let’s take a look at the skill gem choices for this character.

Gem Links

Your main attack links are spectral shield throw, swift affliction, chance to bleed, physical projectile attack damage, fork, and brutality. Fork gets swapped out for deadly ailments for single target damage. As you can see, all of our gems are purely focused on boosting our bleed damage. Swift affliction and physical projectile attack damage are the lowest priority gems. Save them for last until you are able to get a five or six linked chest. Next is your main mobility and utility setup, which is shield charge, fortify, frenzy, and faster attacks. Shield charge is widely regarded as the strongest mobility skill in the game and faster attacks is a massive boost to that speed. Add in frenzy and fortify so that you can maintain charges during boss fights and boost your tankiness. Next is a cast when damage taken setup with vortex, immortal call, and increased duration. Leave the cast when damage taken and active gems at level one so they cast as often as possible. Next is an ancestral protector linked to maim, which increases our attack speed and amplifies the physical damage taken by our targets. Then we have another utility setup of cast when damage taken and tempest shield with increased duration. Again, leave cast when damage taken and tempest shield at level one. I chose to put my high level bloodrage in this link setup to take advantage of the increased duration support. Your last few links should be a leap slam linked with faster attacks for getting over movement blocking terrain and vulnerability to help take down tanky rares and bosses.

Map Mods

Now, a final note about map mods. One thing that made this character a nice starter after the painful leveling process was its extreme tankiness. I was able to run extremely deadly vaaled red maps to fill out my atlas, which saved time and money buying new maps and rolling them to replace maps that many would have considered to be bricked. However, there are still a few map mods you should try to avoid. The only mod that you really can’t run, particularly on high level maps with tanky bosses, is percentage chance for mobs to avoid bleed, blind, and poison. If you are willing to skip a boss, you can still run this mod, but it will make the map slower overall and some bosses are simply impossible because this mod makes it impossible to reach a high number of bleed stacks. The other mods you want to look out for are reduced or no regen and reduced block chance. Neither of these mods are killers on their own, but if you see one or both on a map that also has very dangerous damage mods, you will suddenly feel much less tanky. You will also have to spam your life flask like crazy on reduced or no regen maps because our high life regen is one of the things that typically keeps us running.


That does it for this guide. At the end of the guide you will find some links to a shaper run and the shaper’s guardians once I find the time to pull those clips from my stream. I chose not to include them in the footage for the videoguide because they are very long and contain a lot of deaths. Although I was able to kill them all, this character is not well suited to those encounters because of the relatively low single target damage. Minotaur, phoenix, and hydra are all relatively easy to do deathless, though not quickly. Chimera is difficult purely because of the mob phases, which are very dangerous. The damage on shaper is actually quite respectable because of his susceptibility to physical damage, but you will need to manage the ground pools very carefully or the fight becomes extremely difficult. This character is best used as a simple and reliable high-level map clearer for filling out your atlas and generating currency on a relatively low budget. I hope you’ve enjoyed the guide and been inspired to go out and try something different, even if it’s with a skill that most people say is garbage. If you’d like to see more content like this, please consider visiting my Youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications if you want to see when new videos or my stream go live. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in Wraeclast.

End Game Boss Videos

Coming when I have time to sift through my VODs to find them.
Last edited by Zambash on Mar 7, 2018, 2:07:26 PM
Last bumped on Mar 17, 2018, 1:45:49 PM
1. :D thx for the guide. i was looking forward to a Shield throw build afer my own build, but every streamer just said the skill suxx, nice to see that there is a possibility to make it work!

hope its fine for you that i linked your guide in my guide, cause seeing working SST makes me realy realy happy :D

is there any kind of "highend budget" possibility, to squeeze more damage out of the build? thought about other statsticks like shaper weapon? or nebuloch ?

thx and gl mate

Maybe Rive claw ?

also heamophilia gloves would give you 25% increased damage over time and buff the gladiator explosion with its uniqe explode buff...hmmm i realy have to think about how to maximize your build :D

and a witchfire brew for bossing?
Last edited by Mekadrill on Mar 8, 2018, 6:51:49 AM
Hey do you think the build would perform better with a reave version? pretty much same tree, replace proj phys for multistrike to stack bleeds fast, thoughts? edit: maybe not take bood magic and use arctic armor and grace or vulnerablity blashpemy and AA
Hi mate!!

Thx for the guide, its awesome!!!

Just 2 quest.

I wanna play hc, with all the tankiness this build offers, do u think its doable??

ANd what about bandits?? Maybe i skipped it, but i dont find it in guide.

HUGE buff for your build with the current 3.2.1 patchnotes, with killing the bug, that attackspeed nodes for offhand or while wielding a shield werent working on SST till now ^^
This is the build I was looking for.

Gladiator, bleed, high block, sword and board and one of the new skills.

Thank you very much for sharing your build. Great work.
Just wondering since you build has double attack dmg from counterattack, do you try to use counterattack skill?

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