[3.3] Off-Meta Vaal EQ Bleed Slayer/Beserker Ascendant

This character was built to be a fast off-meta map clearer with Vaal Earthquake for 100% uptime. No expensive uniques are required for this build, and the major cost is achieving at least two 5 links.

In-game Pictures

These pictures are taken with 3 frenzy charges, Onslaught, 50 rage, and some/all flasks active. I consider this setup normal in mapping.

Pros and Cons
* Decent clear speed up to T12-T13 maps
* Huge bleed explosions w/ 100% to bleed
* Upwards of 210% Movespeed without Queen of the Forest or Pathfinder
* Feel like Thomas the Tank Engine

* Two-hand build without much defenses (hard to make Fortify work)
* Increased Skill duration for Vaal EQ leaves normal EQ unusable
* Single-target is okay w/ Vaal EQ + Crimson Dance, but terrible without
* Need Vaal souls to get going every map
* Panic-using Soul Catcher leaves you stranded w/o Vaal EQ (ie can't gain mana)

Ascendancy Choices
Slayer is the primary focus:
1) Leach at full life great for The Retch and Daresso's Salute (see gearing below)
2) AoE on kill allows us to ignore AoE nodes in Templar or Witch
3) Culling Strike great for Bleed explosions and bosses

Beserker was used for additional movespeed, leech, and damage. The Rage degen is not a factor during gameplay, even when using Blood Rage w/ 50 Rage stacks. Also, stun immunity after 25 kills is a major plus for a running build without great defenses.

Pathfinder is a decent alternative to Beserker, but we will gain most of the good stuff from The Retch. Also, we are using Brutality as a Vaal EQ link, so any elemental damage is useless from Pathfinder.

Recommended Ascendancy Order:
Normal Lab- Towards Duelist
Cruel Lab - Slayer node
Merciless Lab - Path of the Duelist + towards Marauder
Uber Lab - Berserker node

Build Mechanics
How To Vaal EQ:
1) Use Cyclone to build up at least 75% Vaal EQ charges
2) Use Soul Catcher flask to reduce soul cost by 25%
3) Use Phase Run + movespeed flasks as needed
4) Run through mobs until Vaal EQ duration ends
5a) If Vaal EQ doesn't recharge to 75%, repeat steps 1-4
5b) If Vaal EQ does recharge to 75%, repeat steps 2-4


Our 100% bleed chance comes from:
1) Passive tree axe wheel (25%)
2) 10+ Quality Vulnerability + Blasphemy (>25%)
3) Uul-Netol's Embrace Axe on cursed enemies (25%)
4) Haemophilia Gloves (25%)

Since we have 100% chance to bleed, we will get Haemophilia bleed explosions every mob kill (aliments apply before the mob is considered dead even when one-shot). Also, our axe procs the Bone Nova skill when we kill a bleeding enemy, giving some minor AoE damage. The Bone Nova isn't reliable or build-enabling, but it is a there.


Mandatory unique - Uul-Netol's Embrace Vaal Axe

This axe has been mostly forgotten since it has an abysmal attack speed. However, it is the 2nd highest flat damage item in the game (losing only to Disintegrator staff). This axe is perfect for Vaal EQ since we don't care about attack speed and gives us free bleeds.


Mandatory unique - Haemophilia Serpentscale Gauntlets

We use these to give more bleed chance and for huge bleed explosions. It is not uncommon that a single step of Vaal EQ explodes an entire pack of mobs because of these gloves.


Mandatory unique - Soul Catcher Quartz Flask

With a +38% Reduced Soul Gain Prevention duration, we start regaining souls for Vaal EQ after ~7.3 seconds instead of 12 seconds. With one Skill Duration cluster near Scion, Vaal EQ lasts for 17 seconds leaving a 10 second window to recharge your souls. This can be hit or miss depending on the mobs in your map. It is something you deal with.

One major downside to watch out for with this flask is the "Cannot gain mana during flask effect". This can easily cripple you if you just missed out on Vaal EQ souls and are now relying on Cyclone to build up charges. No mana leach = no Cyclone for up ~8 seconds. This is super annoying, but the best way to deal with it is to TP back to town if you messed up. I won't divulge the number of times I panicked-spammed this flask at exactly the wrong time. RIP


Mandatory unique - The Retch Rustic Belt

This belt gives us everything that we would want from Pathfinder: 60% flask duration, 15% movespeed, leech, and extra damage when leeching. The only downside is our flasks fill up 30% slower.

I will say that the leach damage mechanic isn't worded well, but here is what it does:

On hit, your damage and leach is calculated prior to the mob taking damage
Whatever your leach is, you deal 2x that leach as extra flat chaos damage for the hit

Simple example ignoring max leach mechanics:
Hit for 20k physical damage at 5% leach -> 1000 leach
Deal 2000 additional flat chaos damage to the mob

Since I am using Slayer, I leach every hit (even at full life). Thus, this flat chaos damage is always being applied.


Some other items that are great for this build, but not mandatory:

Devoto's Devotion Nightmare Bascinet

20% movespeed, chaos resists, and dexterity for high-level Phase Run. The downside is that we deal 10% reduced physical damage (on hit and for bleeding). But the movespeed is worth it.

Daresso's Salute Citrine Amulet

10% movespeed + damage on full life (good w/ Slayer leech) and +2 melee range for Cyclone. There is no downside for using this amulet for our build.

Current Gear

I also use a Pure Talent for 25 all stats (Scion start), 1% leach (Duelist start), and 15% AoE (Maurader start).

The only piece of gear that I don't like is my Le Heup of All. It it hard to replace, as the %damage increases my EQ hit + bleed damage and I need intelligence. I have looked at options to replace it like Steel rings or a Shaper melee damage ring. However Vaal EQ has terrible flat damage scaling (~60% added damage effectiveness) so steel rings aren't great even when rolled well. The melee damage mod is desirable, but is expensive/rare and won't offer much better stats in comparison.

6L chest: Vaal EQ - Melee Physical > Ruthless > Brutality > Damage on Full Life > Maim

5L Axe: Cyclone - Melee Physical > Brutality > Damage on Full Life > Maim
Add Iron Grip as the last socket to the axe to modify Bone Nova projectiles.
If you manage to 6L the axe, use Chance to Bleed as last Cyclone link.


Other links:

1) Phase Run - Blood Rage - Faster Casting - Inc Duration
2) Vulnerability (needs 10+ Q for bleed) - Blasphemy - Grace - ???
3) Enduring Cry - Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Flame Golem

Whit this setup, you are out of skill slots. You are able to fit in 1 more skill gem, but I haven't found anything that useful yet. Using Vaal auras isn't great because this will cancel Phase Run when you should be running down mobs.

Path of Building Pastebin

Path of Exile Tree
Last bumped on Aug 16, 2018, 10:23:56 AM

sounds like a very cool build I would like to play.
But please, I would like to play scion, but isn't it better to go for the duelist (gladiator) or the gladiator ascendency for scion?
(noob question)

Thank you :)

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