[3.5] FACETANK THE WORLD | Instant Leech! 8k+ life, 2.5m+ Shaper DPS Double Strike

So… do you want to not die ever again? Do you miss the old, broken Vaal Pact? Do you want to spend less than a chaos for your endgame weapon? Is anything less than perfection irrelevant? It’s time to right-click your way to victory.

What's New?
[3.6] Synthesis League: Ow. The Leech Length Nerf was primarily designed to stop slayer overleech from being so overpowered, but it actually DUNKS all over this build. Limiting each leech instance to 10% of our life roughly cuts our leech into 1/4 of its former glory. So what do we do now? Well, if we can't leech any more than 800 on each hit...we just need to hit more. Much, much more.

Our new lord and savior the Raider is here, ready to preach the gospel of MAXIMUM RACECAR SPEED. The new leech formula is essentially HP * .10 * hits/s * accuracy. Yes this means we'll need to get accuracy on gear, and yes we'll lose a little life, but how does hitting 36 TIMES PER SECOND SOUND. With the very achievable 94% accuracy and 8k life that puts us at a solid 27,000 leech per second. We'll need to get attack speed corruptions on bloodseekers, and swap vaal ancestral warchief for ancestral protector as well.

The end result is that we do a bit MORE damage, truly do have permanent frenzy and onslaught, and clear speed improves noticeably due to mach 289 whirling blades. We will have to tag things with whirling blades to proc fortify, but other than that we are significantly more self sufficient. In fact, we don't lose ANY leech when our flasks are down because there is NO attack speed on them! 27k leech/second is more than enough to facetank stuff like shaper beam and elder tentacles. Some stuff like shaper balls and elder cold projectiles are scarier now, so someone can test it and tell me how it goes. Also I'm not sure that reflect is doable without something like a sibyl's lament, as we not only lost leech, but we don't get the taunting gimmick anymore.

Path of Building link: https://pastebin.com/VZEhXCiT. Let me know if I made any mistakes as I did it fairly quickly. I'll try to get a full overhaul of the guide this upcoming week, but I'm on vacation so no promises =P. I think this build is still pretty overpowered to be honest, but the nerf definitely hurts. To be honest it was probably deserved.

[3.5] Betrayal League: NO MORE STAT STICKS FOR MELEE. Double strike is no longer main-hand only, and since it uses any melee weapon that means it will alternate weapon hands and use the local modifiers of each weapon for that weapon's attack. This means we can no longer use an offhand stat stick as it will be used in the attack, and thus not only will its damage be used, it won't have instant leech.

So this build is basically fine, perhaps slightly less unfair now, but still amazing. If you were running blood magic version you lose blood magic which was like 1k life. If you're running purities version you lose your +max light/cold res. A few things are more expensive like helm enchant, amulet. Damage potential is up if you splurge on an enlighten and watcher's eye, but damage is relatively unchanged otherwise.

[3.4] Delve League: Surprisingly, almost nothing has changed which is fine because the build was kinda broken already. Even more surprising, we actually got some BUFFS! A small melee range buff along with some multistrike autotarget range is nifty, and Vaal Ancestral Warchief is BONKERS! Facetank away in those delves, bois!

GGG gave us this shiny reworked Vaal Double Strike skill in patch 3.3. I was planning to make just another jewelled-foil-based double strike champion, when I stopped and thought… can we abuse the flat damage buff from double strike? I poked around the poe.ninja builds and my personal backlog of builds to try, and stumbled across Bloodseeker. I couldn't figure out why everybody wasn't already using it! There was a damn good reason Vaal Pact was nerfed, and now you have to use this crappy claw to get instant leech. The thing is, the flat damage against bleeding enemies tops out at 150 on a level 21 Double Strike… which is comparable to a well-rolled bloodseeker. So, that flat bonus effectively DOUBLES our damage! Bloodseeker unfortunately has pretty mediocre base crit and attack speed compared to a foil, but it turns out we can mitigate both of those issues.

Double strike attacks twice by default (6 times with multistrike)! This doesn't help with movement skill speed or the time you're locked in place due to multistrike. However, it does mean we get a big bonus from flat added phys: with 94% effectiveness of added damage and attacking twice, it's basically 188%! Attacking so many times is also helpful for getting those initial taunts for champion and procing bleeds for the beefy double strike bonus damage to kick in. Even better, dividing our damage into smaller, more numerous hits evens out our leech, so we don't have long spaces between big chunks of leech!

With this build, you can just alc-and-go for all maps and endgame content, except no leech...but that’s a fairly rare map mod. Eventually you can just chisel/alch/vaal/sextant and delete everything, regardless of mods. We're using ancestral call and melee splash for clear, so our clearspeed is pretty good. It can’t match tornado shot clearing the whole screen at range, but the fact that you can just faceroll everything makes up for it. Just pop the Vaal Bois whenever you run into something beefy to give ‘em the real touch of god. Just be aware of situations where you can't lifesteal. I tried not to sacrifice other mitigation for leech so we should be about the same as most champions for passive defense, but our range is meh and we just don't die any other way, so you gotta watch out for it. Closing on big packs and bosses with invulnerability phases (looking at you Uber Elder) are the worst offenders.

  • Instant Leech(!?!)
  • Insane life pool
  • Obliterates bosses
  • Reflect-proof
  • Eeeeasy playstyle
  • Hardcore viable
  • EXCELLENT on a budget
  • You have FOUR bois

  • Claw range is a bit like T-Rex arms
  • Clear is good, but not top tier
  • Has a few rare but scary counters
  • Your friends will be jelly you have instant leech
  • You have to listen to the Duelist say shit

[3.3] Quick last phase of Shaper

[3.3] Faceroll T16 Minotaur with hexproof and ele res (I corrupted it before recording, so you can't see the mods, oops):

[3.3] T15 Shaped Bog with phys reflect, EE, ele res, and less armor:

There are a ton of ways to tweak this build in fairly small but relevant ways, so I'll just start by listing my current gear and stats so you can get a quick overview. My gear is pretty good, but not perfect.

PoB Links for my level 95 character: Mapping Setup - Shaper Setup

My Gear
You by NO means need this level of gear, this is just to provide a quick overview or reference of what I consider a near optimal setup:
I have a few notable upgrades available, as my amulet doesn't have a phys added as cold roll, and my offhand claw isn't even corrupted at all.

Also, it's worth noting that running all 3 auras with only level 3 enlighten only leaves us with enough mana to use 2 double strikes, but we can always whirling blades to leech our full mana pool back, since it's on blood magic. Still, I recommend going with level 4 when you can afford it, otherwise running with just one herald is fine. Also, if you want to play slightly more defensive, Arctic Armour is an excellent choice, and I honestly think it's better than running herald of ash at the very least, as we already have bleeedsplosions. I would run it, but I can't recolor my corrupted gloves that easily =P.

Mapping Stats
I clear with Ancestral Call and Melee Splash, and I've included buffs that are up essentially 100% of the time with no effort while clearing (Flasks, Blood Rage, Golem, Power, Frenzy, Enfeeble). I've left "Shaper/Guardian" selected to simulate high res rares:

Boss Killing Stats
This does not include the bois! Gems and flasks are swapped for single target, with "Shaper/Guardian" selected, and I've included buffs that are up most of the time in boss fights (Flasks, Blood Rage, Golem, Power, Frenzy, Enfeeble, Frost Bomb, Vaal Ancestral Warchief):

It's worth noting that there are several steps between these setups, for instance I proc frost bomb and drop warchief on map bosses, which puts me at 1m dps, enough that I don't bother gem swapping.

Skill Tree
The idea is to pick up a few very efficient damage nodes, and the rest is just stacking a metric dick-ton of life. This tree is very flexible, so feel free to season to taste.

Level 98 Tree

There's a lot of dangling damage nodes that are ~2.5% per point, like Aspect of the Lynx, Duality, Fencing, and Frenzy charges. There's also some 4% life nodes like Heart of the Oak and the 2 near Thick Skin, and a 3 point jewel up near Blood Drinker that comes with int, which we need. Overall I think this setup is the best bang for our buck, but feel free to tinker as you see fit.

The champion just gives us everything we need: a TON of damage, stun immunity, nice mitigation, and no need for accuracy on gear. There are several ascendancies that give some of that, but I just don't think the overall package can be matched.

A pretty decent defensive node, but it’s mostly good because it leads to
Worthy Foe
This is what makes the Champion so broken. It's basically a 30% MORE damage node with no downside AND removes the need for accuracy on gear. Aspect of Carnage is crying in the corner.
Unstoppable Hero
Bit of damage, bit of defenses, and stun immunity as long as we have fortify! Unfortunately, the only movement skill we can use is whirling blades (because claws) which is not very good at procing fortify, so there will be sporadic downtime unless...
No more downtime on fortify. We are now permanently stun immune without having to sacrifice evasion. You might say that this is a pretty small bonus, as we almost always had it before and we have 8k life with a good chunk of evasion. That's true, but when you have a build that can leech over 50k life a second, you just don't die unless you stop leeching. Let's not stop.
Master of Metal
By default an Impale adds 50% damage to a hit as long as you hit a few more times, but this node buffs it to 70% since it makes impales last 2 more hits, so the 20% chance to inflict impale it grants means 14% more physical damage. Unfortunately only half our damage is physical, so that's 7% more damage overall, but the added physical damage isn't too shabby either. Since our impale chance is 20% and impales last 7 hits, on average we'll have 2 impales up at a time, so that's 8 to 16 flat phys for another 3%. A total of 10% more damage isn't too shabby, but the fact that the flat phys (and small armor bonus) is all allies and scales insanely well with anyone else in the party inflicting impales makes this node a potential powerhouse. Definitely worth considering depending on who you're partying with and the current meta.
First to Strike, Last to Fall
10% more damage if you hit the monster first, and a fat chunk of increased damage, speed, and phys damage reduction through adrenaline. This node is pretty insane but has a few really key drawbacks. The intimidate is SIGNIFICANTLY less reliable in a party. We are still melee, so we just aren't going to be the first person to hit every monster. Even for bosses it's kind of a pain to make your friends constantly let you hit first. Also as our gear and levels improve, adrenaline becomes less impactful AND procs less often (instant leech OP). Eventually it gets to the point where you need to take a 6k hit for it to trigger, which just doesn't happen that often with our defenses. You can use the blood magic aura trick to manually trigger it before a boss fight, but then you need to burn two gem sockets and carry a life flask...all for damage that we don't need that badly. I prefer permanent fortify, but until you're level 94+ with great gear it's probably worth running adrenaline over fortify, as the bonuses are better and proc more often naturally (plus dying isn't that big of a deal). If you're playing hardcore you shouldn't be reading this. You know what you’ve done.
Well, with the Banner additions this node is not really a raging dumpster fire anymore! Problem is the Banner skill bonuses are still support oriented, so this probably isn't for us. Banners may be good but this node doesn't really offer us as much as permanent fortify even if we want to be defensive.

This build doesn't HAVE to be a champion, but it offers the best mix of damage, defenses, and party-friendly play. That said, it has a few drawbacks, and several other ascendancies have unique strengths and weaknesses of their own. Other alternatives like Slayer and Ascendant are built around overleech so they don't synergize well with our instant leech, and once good ascendancies like Beserker and Assassin are just super niche now.

An interesting alternative, as it adds a lot of clear speed if you want to prioritize mapping over bossing. You can nab the Veil branch for elemental ailment immunity and some dodge/movement, along with the frenzy or onslaught branches. Alternatively, since the dodge is better if you already have some dodge and we don't need movement with whirling blades (we aren't running a quicksilver), you can take Slaughter AND Chase for MEGA CLEARSPEED. Sure, we need accuracy on gear, plus we lose stun immunity, but gotta go fast!
Adds a ton of damage mitigation plus freeze immunity which we need, while still keeping stun immunity and free accuracy, but has MUCH less damage.
Gives us some spell block plus the bleed chance and bleedsplosions we need to clear effectively, allowing us to ditch Haemophilia, which makes getting resistances easier or run a different unique. Sadly, block is not consistent, and we lose stun immunity which we need when blocking, and still we're losing a ton of damage vs champion.
Adds a bit of everything: damage, defenses, ailment immunity, and permanent flask uptime. Unfortunately we don't have any suuuper broken flasks to abuse like Vinktar's or Dying Sun, so I don't think it's worth trading other QoL perks just to bump flask uptime from 90% to 100%, and the damage and defenses are still lower than other choices.


We can't make good use of dodge or move speed, we don't have enough physical mitigation for a couple percent to be relevant, and we literally don't have any mana, so we're wasting something from every bandit choice. Alira isn't terrible, as we are under some resistance pressure and the crit multi is just over 4% more damage, but we can do better with just skill points.

Major Gods

Brine King: This should be your brine and butter if you don't have true freeze mitigation like me. We are instant leech so not leeching == death, and it's really hard to fit a freeze flask in. The half chill effect might be the best part because we don't get frozen very often with our life pool, but we get chilled a LOT. It's a shame the two reasons to take this are the last two unlocks, but once you have it, I don’t recommend switching unless you have a freeze flask.
Lunaris: Base effect is pretty good for scary situations early on, but once your build comes together the mitigation is fairly minor and we don't use move speed. All the unlocks are pretty underwhelming for us.
Solaris: Probably your best bet if you have a freeze flask. Base effect is kind of meh as it really isn't often there is only one enemy nearby, and 6% phys mitigation would make a difference with our leech, but all the unlocks are fairly handy. Elemental one shots are a thing and shock can be scary sometimes.
Arakaali: This is mostly used for the leech buff trick with Blood Rage and Immortal Call, which we don't need since we instantly leech.

Minor Gods

Garukhan: This is what I use most of the time. Getting hit for 1300+ means I am less likely to get hit again, which is useful in one of the few situations where this build can die: closing in on a big pack of hard hitters so we can leech. Ancient Constructs in T16 Temples can be deadly, and this helps with that. Also, we don't usually use move speed, but picking up loot explosions after a breach or incursion is exactly when the unlock from this would kick in, so it's nifty.
Yugul: Excellent swap for reflect maps. We even benefit from chill/freeze mitigation and cold damage is the scariest damage for us. We can run reflect maps without this, but this just means less of our leech needs to go to countering reflect and can go towards countering monster damage.
Tukohama: Nice mitigation and regen, but we do so much damage we don't stand still for very long in most circumstances. Pretty nice swap in for lab if izaro is still scary for you.
Gruthkul: We don't get hit very often with our evasion, but this helps some scary physical spells plus the attack speed reduction is nifty.
Ryslatha: I don't even run a life flask since instant leech is OP. Great swap in for lab if you run one for that and are afraid of traps, which isn’t unreasonable.
Shakari: We don't have chaos res, and there are a few scary caustic clouds, but mostly this is good to swap in on a map that has a bunch of rippy mods AND poison on hit.
Ralakesh: This doesn't remove the need for a bleed flask, and we barely care about blind and maim (as we just need to hit once and then we can't miss) and we don't need move speed. (although it can be annoying to get that first hit if you get blinded before hitting it in the first place somehow)
Aberrath: This isn't a Righteous Fire build.

This is what makes the magic happen. Sweet, sweet instant leech with the low, low cost of a crappy-dps claw with mediocre crit and attack speed. But hey, if we can get the damage we need it'll do just fine (thanks double strike!). Try to get at least one corrupted with power charge on crit, as there are no other great ways to sustain power charges. Crit multi, crit chance, and attack speed corruptions all add around the same damage, so for your offhand/second implicit I give the edge to attack speed, as it's also whirling blades speed.
There are a lot of good chest options out there like Belly, Loreweave, or even just a good rare (since the temple prefix for T1 life + 8-10% life means there's a ton of chests out there with like 160 effective flat and 10% life). That said, the fact that there's an elder prefix for 1.1-1.5% base crit really helps fix our crit problem and just ends up adding a metric BEEFCAKE of damage. You can also get a chest with level 1 maim on it, but that's VERY expensive paired with attack crit, and the best DPS gem we have left is crit damage at 27% anyway, and we're losing 20% by stepping 20/20 maim to level 1 with 0q, so it's about 7% more damage, so it's a very late game upgrade. An extremely well-rolled Loreweave would add almost as much damage plus the max res shenanigans, but you lose a chunk of life and possibly res, and I like the damage consistency of having the crit anyway. Oh, PSA about Loreweave: the max res being hard set means you ignore -max res map mods (or any other source of -max res). Pretty nifty.
We need to proc bleed somehow for double strike to work properly, and we could really use some explosion effect to help us clear, since we don't have projectiles or big AoE. It's sad to skip out on flat life since we have SO much %Life, but at least we can get it corrupted since it's unique. Try to get the highest attack crit corruption you can, since that is base crit, which is pretty nuts. If you can pick up a second corruption while still getting links/colors you need, I'd probably go with enfeeble on hit for convenience, but %Life would be pretty sick too.
Just standard evasion helm stuff. You can get a rare if you want res or a bit more life perhaps, but that's tough to do and even tougher to get enchanted, so you're losing a LOT of damage realistically. You could go abyssus for full-on crazy DPS, but it's only 25% since we have so much flat phys already so I'd rather not die to phys damage all the time. Remember, ambition is followed by madness. For enchants, chance to deal double damage is noticeably better than the others.
Life and res are the name of the game! I like having a bit of move speed for scenarios when whirling blades is bad. Attack speed enchant adds a good chunk of clear speed and ele pen adds a bit of damage, particularly against shaper/guardians.
Life and res again, with a sprinkling of flask mods. Stygian is the best base if you can get your hands on a well rolled one, but that can be pretty tough (plus good abyssal jewels are expensive), so a leather belt will do fine. You can go tri res if you want, but I really like getting reduced flask charges used for that juicy flask uptime, plus it's cheaper than tri res. For the abyss jewel, nab the highest life jewel you can find with the “attack speed on crit” mod, as it is the highest damage mod available. Throw in crit multi or phys damage on claw attacks as a third mod when you can as they're about the same.
Life and res first again! Throw in flat phys and some int, plus crit multi and/or phys damage added as cold if you can get it on your amulet. You'll have to pick up some int on the tree if you're short as we need 95 for the claw and 98 for max level lightning golem. The temple prefix for 70-79 life + 3-5% Life comes in big here, as it's a single prefix for both and just increases the number of t1 life jewelry out there in general.
The flasks are pretty subjective and fairly flexible but I have a pretty established set of favorites. We need to run a diamond flask as the damage is incomparable, and we need bleed and curse suffixes while clearing, so I run a jade flask for my other blue. You can skip warding if you don't mind running or rolling over temp chains and you overcap your res so random -res curses don't kill you, but that's pretty hard to do and I deemed it unworthy. You can go with a Silver Flask for damage and clear, but a jade more than doubles our evasion. I prefer being less all-in on the leech-or-die, plus I hate the crappy 40/60 charges used on silver flasks. For uniques, you gotta roll with atziri's as it adds a ton of damage plus leech is invulnerability on instant leech builds.. The other two are a bit more preference, but I like how hate tastes for the cold res and slight chill/freeze mitigation, and the extra damage isn't too shabby now that we can't use a stat stick. Sin's rebirth gives us more solid damage plus some nice evasion and JUICY blind. Seriously, scary phys bosses like Izaro and Minotaur just don't hit you when blinded. I swap sin's rebirth for lion's roar on tough bosses that are knockback immune (at this point I just swap for shaper+ honestly, but it can make a big difference on izaro and guardians earlier in the build progression). Double strike's natural hit rate plus multistrike makes this flask SUPER sketchy for leech uptime since you punt smaller bosses. See not leeching can often equal death, so pushing stuff out of leech range is...a questionable choice. I also have an anti-freeze granite flask I run instead of sin's rebirth for shaper+ or cold+crit maps, and I could see running that full time, or maybe an anti-freeze silver flask.
Life and crit multi galore! Seriously, there are no damage mods on jewels that compare to crit multi, so just get life and as much crit multi as you can afford. Maybe a splash of res if you're short.

The first 5 supports are my clearing setup, listed roughly by their DPS bonuses, since deeps are super important with instant leech. I give a slight advantage to multistrike here since subdividing our hits is a pretty big deal. It allows us to smooth out our leech curve and proc those taunts and bleeds with less damage lost. There's not a lot of room for tweaking here, unless you really like ruthless over maim. They're about the same damage for me, but I kind of like the maim effect to make it harder for stuff to run away, plus if your offhand isn't as good as mine maim will be more damage. Try to get vaal double strike at level 21 when you can. Not only does it give us 7% more damage for that level like a spell would, but we also get +1 weapon range!

The next two are my single target swaps. Ruthless is the next best gem and is still pretty good at nearly 40% more damage, but after that it gets complicated. There's damage on full life and Bloodlust for good damage, and then we have to step waaay down to 27% damage with Crit Damage. Given how important bleed is, I don't want to be relying on whirling blades or my totem, so that leaves damage on full life or meh. Instant leech is pretty good with damage on full life since if we get hit we're back so fast we get the damage again, but it also means the gem is never actually contributing to our leech. Still, the damage is too important to ignore, so that's my go-to 6th gem. If you have a chest with maim, you'll have to use crit damage here as well.

The threshold at which you swap, and which gems you swap will change over time, so I'll try to briefly go over my choices. However, this is very subjective and changes based on gear level, so experiment with what feels good for you! I feel like melee splash contributes basically nothing to tough boss fights, so I always swap it for ruthless on guardians or above. Next is ancestral call, which has a damage penalty unlike melee splash, but is also considerably more useful. The multi-target is much more versatile than the splash, plus it extends our weapon range, which is surprisingly valuable. Against superbosses that don't move around too much and I can nuke down (like minotaur, phoenix, and shaper), I swap ancestral call for damage on full life (I swap back for add phases if time allows). Chimera is an example of a bad swap, since he has annoying phases splitting up dps time along with inconvenient adds like chaos snakes that come in threes and stay at range.
Hatred + Arctic Armour/Herald of Purity/Herald of Ash + Enlighten

So we need to run hatred for the insane damage, and the next most damage is Herald of Purity at 10%. Arctic armour is also very efficient defense here, and herald of ash brings up the rear with only 5% more damage and we already have a bleedsplosion clear effect. Start off using hatred and one of the other three. When you have a level 3 enlighten you can try adding a second one, but you'll only have enough mana for 2 double strikes before you'll have to whirling blades to leech mana back (at least it's on blood magic). Getting an enlighten to level 4 will allow for a 3rd double strike before going out of mana, so it's honestly a really nice QoL addition, but it's a bit pricey. Of course, if you don't wanna deal with mana problems at all, just stick with hatred plus one of the three the whole time, not unreasonable.
Gotta go fast! We need to run it on blood magic, but not fortify, so I suggest adding cull in a 4L for convenient boss killing plus more attack speed from quality.
Blood rage is absolutely ridiculous for us. The attack speed, frenzy charges, and leech are all premium stats, so we want one we can manually cast attached to an increased duration. We don't even need to pick up vaal pact for survival since we're instant leech, so we get our life regen to counter its degen! We need the totem for boss deeps; link it to the cull on whirling blades for extra cheese.
The rest of these gems I have attached to cast when damage taken because I really like the lazy playstyle, but there's a lot of good buff options out there.

The golem I have on a level 20 CWDT because I just can't keep the damn thing alive any other way...because melee face tanking makes golems sad =(.

Immortal Call is really handy for avoiding bursty phys damage and frost bomb adds a deceptive amount of damage as we have few other sources of ele pen. I suggest putting these two on an increased duration since their durations are kind of short but their effects are huge. Next is my curse of choice, Enfeeble. The fact that guardians/shaper have 80% less curse effect means damage curses just don't do much, but accuracy/damage debuffs against bosses are so valuable that the increasing returns mitigate this somewhat. Plus Enfeeble synergizes well with CWDT since you only need the enemy debuffed if it's hitting you. Lastly we have Vaal Cold Snap, which is a new and AMAZING way to get frenzy charges against bosses plus a handy chill effect. They key is this line: "Every second, gain a Frenzy Charge if an Enemy is in this Skill's Area". I can't recommend this enough, even put it on increased duration if you can, although I didn't manage. Also note that if you link it to a cast when damage taken gem it will trigger the regular cold snap for free chills but still allow you to manually trigger vaal cold snap when you want.

Remember to run Chance to Bleed Support in any double strike setup until you have another way to bleed, like Haemophilia

The good thing about double strike is it gains flat phys as you level, like a spell, as long as you can inflict bleed. The downside is it already takes a lot of gems to make this skill clear well, plus now we have to use Chance to Bleed because we can't use our Haemophilias early. This means double strike is stuck on single target duty for most of the leveling process, so we'll need another skill to clear.

Frost Blades is an excellent clearing skill, which comes at the cost of having dumpster single target, but that's perfect for us! I honestly feel like frost blades for clear with double strike for single target is the smoothest leveling you can get in this build.
Spectral Throw is about as good, but doesn't scale with melee damage and has the added downside of being garbage until you get LMP, and not truly shining until GMP. I think I prefer FB, but can't fault you for preferring ST.
Reave is an excellent clearing skill, but being momentum based feels a big clunky early on.
Blade Flurry is a staple and does good damage in all situations, but doesn't scale as well with monster density as other clear skills because it also has good single target. If there aren't any crazy dense league mechanics like incursions or breaches this would probably be fine, but we definitely have single target handled with double strike so the trade-off isn't ideal.

Personally I think I'd go with frost blades as it's usable from level 1 and doesn't need specific supports to shine. There is a nice Vendor Recipe for %phys weapons. Switching to spectral throw when you get LMP/GMP is a fair alternative depending on playstyle preference. Both of these you'll want to have a separate 3L/4L with double strike in it to handle the tougher single targets as the leveling progresses. If you don't want to do that you're probably best just sticking with blade flurry.

As for trees, it's pretty straightforward honestly, as we just get a ton of life and a dash of crit and claw damage. Feel free to pick up the nodes in the order you prefer, but if you want a suggestion I can give the loose progression I would take:

50 Point Tree
66 Point Tree
89 Point Tree (~Level 67)

We want a good sprinkling of life, but mostly we want to rush our damage nodes as they're pretty far away. Keep in mind we want those accuracy nodes in the duelist starting area until we nab the worthy foe ascendancy. I only take the most efficient life nodes since I play softcore, but definitely just pick up more of that life if you're HC and you should be fine.

Once you're into the 60's, mostly having that last tree, pick yourself up 2 bloodseekers, haemophilia, and bargin bin 5L chest. Now you can transition to the final build pretty easily, although you can keep double strike in the single target 4L/5L if you prefer another clearing skill still, I just haven't tried and thus can't comment on it.

Useful Uniques
I'll include an assortment of useful uniques to speed up leveling in case you're not familiar. Ordered roughly according to when you can use them.

Can this build kill uber elder?
So unfortunately I did my uber elder kills before I had video recording set up, since I wasn't sure I was going to make a guide yet, and when I finally was sure my atlas was not close to uber eldering. Also, it was my first ever uber elder kills so they were...rough around the edges xD. Yes we can definitely kill him, as we have decent mobility, high hp and good damage, but it's a lot more difficult than other content is with this build. Despite all those things we have going for us, the best thing we have is instant leech, and uber elder throws a wrench in it.

We have the damage to facetank everything from beams to shaper balls to elder tentacles, but the big flaw is that we have to HAVE something to damage, and we're still melee. Between random bosses becoming invulnerable, teleporting, or elder slows, if you're tanking something nasty or get hit with it when you can't leech, you're gonna die. This means we really need to do a good bit of dodging, and now we are playing a dodging namelock melee build and it's...not ideal. We can go in for bursts to facetank stuff, but you really have to be aware of what's happening around you so you don't get caught with nothing to leech from.

If you can swap your boots with Kaom's Roots while still keeping res capped it will help a METRICT SHIT TON, since by my third run all of my deaths were to that stupid elder siphon (which is technically a slow). Also, depending on your current setup and damage, the adds can be a bit problematic since our ideal single target setup really throws away all AoE (and in the case of normal elder you need to keep the shaper alive too). My solution was to swap melee splash with ruthless, but KEEP ancestral call socketed. Yes it has a damage penalty, but the extra melee range is extremely useful, and the AoE you get from it is better than melee splash since attacking three things at once is good enough and the extra attacks span more area than the splash aoe. Besides, with adds pecking at you a lot, you would get the damage on full life buff less, and it doesn't even contribute to leech.

Other people have reported success with conversion trap and frost wall helping with the adds, but I haven't personally tested it so I can't personally confirm. Sounds pretty legit though.
Can you really handle reflect?
First of all, there's a video of phys reflect at the top of the guide, so you can observe yourself. That aside, I can prove it to you...with MATH! The nice thing about instant leech is the damage you deal doesn't actually matter (mostly). All that matters is the percentage of damage you leech is higher than the percentage of damage you are taking from reflect. The damage you deal only matters in the sense that if you're leeching more than that, you have more leech leftover to counter non-reflect damage, or if you're leeching less your health will fall faster. It might matter a bit more if you use armor as a primary defense as well, since armor mitigates less percentage damage the bigger the hit. All math will be done assuming flasks up (which is easy to maintain with decent damage and careful play), with my clearing setup gems and flasks, which is important as you'll see.

Before we get into the reflect math, I have a quick calculation that'll be easier to share now so I can reference it later without explaining. One of the keys to us trivializing reflect is evading our reflected damage. Since we are champion we can sneak 100% hit chance without needing to put accuracy on gear, but we can't taunt ourselves, so this never applies to reflected damage! This means my character's mediocre 24,681 evasion is still extremely effective at evading his abysmal 1589 base accuracy. According to The Wiki that puts me at 59.6% chance to hit myself.

Phys reflect on red map: Base 18%
Percentage of our damage that's physical: 47%
Self hit chance: 59.6%
Taste of hate: 80% (20% take as cold)
Armor reduction: 48.7% (650 average phys reflected hit after ToH reduction, 6170 armour)
Reduced damage taken: 51% (25% Yugul pantheon, 6% Conqueror, 20% Fortify)
.47*.18*.596*.80*.513*.49 = .01014 = 1%

Ele reflect on red map: Base 18%
Percentage of our damage that's elemental: 33%
Self hit chance: 59.6%
Ele resists: 75% (Slightly less since we have better cold and possibly purities, but w/e)
Reduced damage taken: 51% (25% Yugul pantheon, 6% Conqueror, 20% Fortify)
.33*.18*.596*.25*.49 = .0043368 = .433%

Now let's see our leech:
Blood Drinker: .4
Soul Raker: 1.2
Bloodseeker explicit: 1.2 (phys only)
Blood Rage: 1.2 (phys only)
Atziri's Promise: 2 (chaos only)
.4 + 1.2 + 1.2*.47 + 1.2*.47 + 2*.2 = 3.128

So...on a DOUBLE REFLECT MAP we're taking just under 1.5% of our combined damage in reflect but leeching over 3%. We are literally trivializing reflect. It's important to note however, that there are several key factors that can increase this damage if you aren't paying attention. For instance, the flask setup is crucial to this as our evasion is quite effective, and also we're subdividing our hits a lot so armor is fairly effective as well, so run an armor flask if you don't have armor on your chest piece! Also you can see here how much of an impact flasks are making in general, from evasion boosts to leech and multiplicative mitigation, so make sure your flasks are ALWAYS up against packs. Against single target if you are not quite outleeching the reflect you should have time to notice and pop them or portal out to refill them, but keep an eye on it.
What should I upgrade next?
Unfortunately recommending upgrades is a little more complicated than you'd first expect. Yes I have a good understanding of what's good and what makes an impact in the build, but recommending upgrades actually requires knowledge of the economy as well. For instance, delve crafting made helm enchants really cheap for a while, so getting a best in slot helm enchant was actually a really efficient upgrade while shaper offhands were still quite expensive at that point in the league. This means if I want to ensure my recommendations are accurate I need to do a good bit of research on economy AND your build's current state, and that's just not feasible given how much time I have and how many people ask this question. Never fear though! There are many helpful people in this thread answering, so feel free to give it a shot, I'm just not likely to answer personally.

Thanks to ThatFicocelliGuy for helping me edit this guide.

TLDR: Legacy Vaal Pact is OP GG NO RE
[3.3] FACETANK THE WORLD: Instant Leech Immortal Double Strike: poeurl.com/b0JX
[2.6] THE DISCIPLINER: Insane Defenses Support Mana Guardian: poeurl.com/ZGS
Last edited by PsychicMuffin on Mar 8, 2019, 7:55:31 PM
Last bumped on Mar 12, 2020, 4:50:37 AM
[3.3] FACETANK THE WORLD: Instant Leech Immortal Double Strike: poeurl.com/b0JX
[2.6] THE DISCIPLINER: Insane Defenses Support Mana Guardian: poeurl.com/ZGS
Would you recommend leveling the character with Double strike, or with another skill? When would you start using bloodseeker?

Also, how expensive would it be to get a budget version of this build off the ground? How expensive would it be to get gear like yours?

Are there any streamers running a build like this?
Would you recommend leveling the character with Double strike, or with another skill? When would you start using bloodseeker?

Also, how expensive would it be to get a budget version of this build off the ground? How expensive would it be to get gear like yours?

Are there any streamers running a build like this?
Sadly it takes a lot of links to make this skill clear well, so you'll probably want another skill like Reave, Blade Flurry, or Frost Blades to clear along with it. But skills like frost blades and reave have such terrible single target, while double strike is actually pretty decent while leveling because it gets flat damage each level like a spell as long as you can bleed. You'll have to use the chance to bleed gem to do this, but that's ok because that's more scaling flat damage as you level! You have access to more skills like possibly sunder if you use a different weapon, but you'll have to design a leveling tree if you want to have decent damage nodes and respec later. I would use bloodseeker the second you can afford it and equip it. It has decent dps for a starting endgame weapon and costs nothing.

We're 2 months into the league, so at this point it's basically free. Uncorrupted bloodseeker, unenchanted starkonja's, offhand with double multi and cold roll, haemophilias, 5L chest with life, belt/boots/jewelry with life and res, atziri's promise, lion's roar, all range from 1 alch to a couple chaos. You can't faceroll delete guardians, but you should be able to alch-and-go on yellow maps no problem with like 10c of gear. It would probably cost more like an exalt for all that near the start of a league, but at that point you'd be doing white maps so it's fine if you're using prismatic eclipse in your offhand, or can't afford a 5L or starkonja's or whatever. I imagine my gear would cost like 50ex or so depending on how patient you are to find deals, as some stuff is just really hard to find, like the double corrupted bloodseeker. This is more complicated than I thought it was, so maybe I'll add a leveling section to the guide.

I haven't seen anybody actually doing a build quite like this, but there's plenty of similar examples of just jewelled foil double strike champions, like Mathil did one.
[3.3] FACETANK THE WORLD: Instant Leech Immortal Double Strike: poeurl.com/b0JX
[2.6] THE DISCIPLINER: Insane Defenses Support Mana Guardian: poeurl.com/ZGS
I like the look of this build looks fun!
Would love to see a levelling section.. If you have time
Going to try this baby in HC
BigWood1e wrote:
I like the look of this build looks fun!
Would love to see a levelling section.. If you have time
Going to try this baby in HC

Leveling section added, let me know if there's stuff you want to know that I didn't cover! Best of luck!
[3.3] FACETANK THE WORLD: Instant Leech Immortal Double Strike: poeurl.com/b0JX
[2.6] THE DISCIPLINER: Insane Defenses Support Mana Guardian: poeurl.com/ZGS
hello. Umbelieverble build. im in level 58. i have no trobuls in game. thx to share this builds. sorry, my english is not perfekt. :)
Interesting idea with the Bloodseeker. However I don't really agree with your choice of shapier for offhand. It cannot roll Extra Damage as Lightning, so you are unable to shock monsters and miss out on a huge source of increased damage. Just for comparison, my single target fully buffed DPS (flasks, adrenaline, charges, onslaught, etc) is about 8.6 million without shock. If the enemy is shocked it goes up to about 12 million, which is almost 40% more damage. My crit chance is 92% or 99% with silver flask (don't actively use one), but even with lower crit chance almost everything will be shocked on hit. Claws or sceptres are the optimal choice in my opinion for highest damage.

Correct me if I’m wrong... with the numbers I’m seeing, I don’t think he can shock (except maybe ruthless crits?) guardians/shaper (and shock is wholly unnecessary in other circumstances), so the rapier implicit seems to win out.
Marros wrote:
Interesting idea with the Bloodseeker. However I don't really agree with your choice of shapier for offhand. It cannot roll Extra Damage as Lightning, so you are unable to shock monsters and miss out on a huge source of increased damage. Just for comparison, my single target fully buffed DPS (flasks, adrenaline, charges, onslaught, etc) is about 8.6 million without shock. If the enemy is shocked it goes up to about 12 million, which is almost 40% more damage. My crit chance is 92% or 99% with silver flask (don't actively use one), but even with lower crit chance almost everything will be shocked on hit. Claws or sceptres are the optimal choice in my opinion for highest damage.

So the way shock works now is the enemy takes increased damage equivalent to 5x the % of life it lost in the hit. So if you hit a monster for .2% of its life, it would be shocked for 1% additional damage (minimum you have to deal to inflict a shock). Shaper has something like 20 million hp, so to shock him you have to hit him with 40k lightning damage.

I'm currently hitting for like 25k fire damage on a crit ruthless proc, and that's how much lightning damage I'd be doing if I had added lighting as well. Since the Shaper has 20m health...we're hitting him for .125%, which would shock for just over half a percent, but that's below the 1% minimum so we wouldn't shock. You could tweak stuff a bit like drop multistrike so that you hit less often but harder, but that makes your leech a lot less useful. The problem is PoB still uses the old shock calculations, so it's just on or off for insane damage buffs, but even then there was a big minimum threshold for applying shock and this kind of build can't hit it. You just aren't actually getting that shock damage buff; PoB is lying to you =P.
[3.3] FACETANK THE WORLD: Instant Leech Immortal Double Strike: poeurl.com/b0JX
[2.6] THE DISCIPLINER: Insane Defenses Support Mana Guardian: poeurl.com/ZGS
Last edited by PsychicMuffin on Jul 19, 2018, 1:26:31 AM

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