[3.6] Extremly Budget HC viable Herald of Agony Gladiator.

Hi guys I am Teajcof I am a relatively new player who has played almost exclusively hardcore since I started during betrayal launch. I tried several builds to try and get through the campaign on hardcore and this is the one that has been the most successful for me so far. I was able to complete the entire campaign and most of the white maps before dying due to darkness in delve.

Path of building link: https://pastebin.com/JeN7UPdR

Passive skill tree: https://www.pathofexile.com/fullscreen-passive-skill-tree/AAAABAQCAAHcAecEswUtBosKJgthDPcNzRLhFCAUTRiRGjgaPhpVG_oczhznIOMl3ycvK1At0i5TMfs1kjboPC09_ECgRmlHflBHVw1YY1nzXzlfP1_aYSFko2VNaPJqHnKpdO12rHk5eu982X31fuJ_44IHg8yE2YTvhymK8IzPkFWRzpL3lmybLZ7Nnz6iAKLqpBmnMKmVrKqsr62Nr2yvp7Crtz677byfvTa-p8C_xBXEgsT2xq7PftIh02_Yvdlh2XzawelG6dXqGO8O8B_yL_JB8kX2SPcy-AL8S_4K_lT-jw==?accountName=teajcof&characterName=t_h_i_r_d_try

Skill links:

skills in gear denoted using brackets []
Herald of Agony-Minion Damage-Damage on full Life-Pierce
other good support gems depending on your sockets are viscious projectiles and enlighten
Molten Strike-Life Gain on Hit-Multistrike-Poison-[Faster Attacks-Chance to bleed-blind]
You can swap out life gain on hit for ancestral call, or, if you like, some gem to help buff herald of agony such as maim or withering touch. the primary purpose is for life gain on hit and to provide virulence stacks.
Whirling Blades-Faster Attacks-[Fortify]
if you roll the right sockets maim is a great one to link with whirling blades
purity of elements, war banner
war banner is definitely worth the mana reservation it grants a pretty good damage buff for only 10% genorosity is good if you want to get it. other good offensive auras purity of elements is great for when you are working to find more resists on gear. other good defensive mana reservation skills are aspect of the crab or vitality.


This is a great item as long as you are not using this slot for damage. We are using it for defense and this item gives a few things that are really great for this build: high block chance, maximum life and life gain on hit. even for more expensive versions of this build this is arguably best in slot

This item is really pretty good for a budget build. it costs about a chaos and it gives some decent stats for almost any gladiator build inducing block chance life, and a free blind

this is the bread and butter of almost all gladiator block amulets. there are arguably a few shaper amulets that can outclass this but I would argue this is better than even most of those.

Just pick up some rings with resists and life... there are some cheap uniques you can use if you like such as thief's torment or kaom's sign

there are plenty of good shields in hindsight I would recommend a different one with higher block chance unless you are using a convocation gem because HoAG is not that close to you most of the time so it rarely gains frenzy charges. if you want something really cheap chalice of horror grants some good stats and is dirt cheap.

damage for herald of agony because of intimidate and pretty good resists for only a couple alchs.

boots and gloves are good for life resists and any stats you might need

this is not the best flask setup but it is basically free. important flask affixes are anti bleed and freeze

Campaign strategy:

The first act is really simple just rush through it
The second act is pretty easy too. I recommend getting alira just for the resists if you need them otherwise go for oak.
The third act I recomend getting all the way to the wapoint in the scepter of god before running the labyrinth. after completing lab finish the act but make sure you have anti bleed flasks. you should be able to out sustain the bleed with life gain on hit gem but better safe than sorry.
Act 4 is a little harder you can consider over leveling a little before killing the final boss although I typically don't
act 5 is actually the only place in the campaign I can't just stand still and fight the boss with this build. not kativa but innocence. make sure you either get behind a statue or back all the way to the oposite wall when he casts the fireball spiral.
from here you need to be a little careful until you complete the next labyrinth but once you have Versatile combat it will be a walk in the park. all the way through act 10
I do have one warning: before you run the second and third lab I recommend checking poe lab and avoiding the lab if there is a phase with sentinel traps I recmonnend you don't run it until the next day. you have to dodge every one of his until those are destroyed otherwise you can be one shot.

Mechanics Explination:

our offense is pretty simple herald of agony deals a pretty good amount of damage as long as we poison a lot but other than support skill gems there are very few ways to scale the gem other ways are: intimidate, maim, wither, united in dream, frenzy charges, hatred, grip of the council, shock, spirit offering, war banner, or skill gem levels from gear. I recommend against any sources of increased damage modifiers because it does next to nothing for this build. focus on getting more multipliers, enemies take increased damage, and extra damage as mods for herald of agony.
the current build has sub par dps but as the gem levels I will reach a decent amount of dps and with more currency into more sources of more damage for the crawler and eventually a proper 6 link build.

This is where we spend most of our effort and currency into this for the build
we basically use 7 defensive layers
we will evade at least half of the attacks we receive.
This is the best part of playing gladiator. You will avoid most non dot damage because of how gladiator works if you stack attack block you get chance to block spell damage as well.

High health pool: 232% increased life and 5687 health. this high health pool for a budget league start and will scale a lot with better gear.

Life gain on hit: this is a very good source of sustain because it works in no regen and no leech maps and comes in pretty good amounts of sustain when comboed with molten strike or other attacks with a pseudo shotgun effect

Life regen: This is great for countering our biggest weakness damage over time. we regen about 375 life per second unless we are running non regen maps.

Physical damage reduction:
we grab enduracne charges and have an ok ammount of armor which makes us pretty durable against physical damage. We can use aspect of the crab for even more phys damage reduction

Elemental resistances:

Fortify: this is such a low opportunity cost defensive layer there is very little reason not to take it on a melee character.

Good luck guys have fun playing it if you wish depending on the market this build can be even cheaper than 5 chaos. I plan on rerolling and making a more expensive build some time soon!
Last edited by teajcof on Mar 23, 2019, 1:53:21 PM
Last bumped on Apr 5, 2019, 9:53:56 PM
I know you included Bandits in the Campaign strategy but you should never be afraid to use other builds as reference for Bandit choice in terms of how this plays. You will also want to add a better progression for the skill-tree, a step by step leveling tree to be specific, to help any newer players interested in trying out this build since it's well within their budget range being new.

Don't forget to add Pantheon Gods, Bandits and such into separate sections, I could try and make a mid-budget version of this and tell you how it goes, but I will have to make my version using yours as reference in PoB. Would definitely recommend some changes on the flasks though, probably shouldn't need that many health flasks on a Gladiator build.
how do you see this faring in ssf?

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