[3.7] Aziire's Crit Cleave Slayer - Perfect All Rounder - League Start Viable

Path of Building Link

Build Intro:
This build is based around the Melee AOE skill Cleave and is played using the Slayer ascendancy for Duelist.

Using Winter Spirit we convert 40% of our Physical Damage to Cold Damage so that we can shatter and freeze enemies easier. Alongside Herald of Ice this will give us huge clear speed which is the premise of the build. On the tree we stack fat attack speed, fat dual wield mods and fat critical strike chance, giving us the ideal Cleave machine. Not only that but we go with ridiculous AoE cause why not. I chose Slayer as thanks to 3.7 almost every one of his Ascendancy points are insane, and we have easy access to quality of life things such as big crit chance, life leech and up to 50% Increased Area of Effect.

While Slayer is strong this build has quite a few growing pains while going through Act 10 and Early Maps. If you are experience you can probably pull this off SSF however in my experience I found the Uniques I bought (very common ones) were a saviour in transitioning to maps.

If you have any questions related to the build, or want to see the build in action the best place to do so is on my Twitch (my one moment to sellout). I'll do my best to answer anything you need to know, build related or not. You can also just reply to this forum post, I check it daily.

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/aziire

- Cheap
- Boosted AoE Clear thanks to Herald of Ice shatters
- Attack speed and Crit Multi is wilding thanks to 3.7 Duelist Area
- Fun way to play a melee skill thats not Cyclone (Cyclone next build though Pog)
- Can level from right after Hillock with Cleave

- Not a Jugg, you can't tank the world (I just meme and dream)
- Elemental Reflect is doable, but very awkward due to huge Cold Conversion
- Cleave itself can't compete with top tier Melee skills (It's fun though)
- A lot of travelling on the tree, can be awkward while levelling

- Pulverise Support Gem is insane, More Multipliers opie op
- Auras and Curse on Hit setup gives simple but effective gameplay
- AoE is huge thanks to stacking many different forms of %Increased and Melee Range
- Over 2 Million Map DPS with pretty meh gear (apart from a 6L)
- Culling Strike

- Offense is our Defense
- Actual though, Freezing enemies helps us immensely when nose diving packs
- Over 50% Evasion Rating, alongside Attack Dodge and Block Chance sprinkled throughout the tree/build
- Over 50% Physical Damage Reduction + Molten Shell for big boys
- Immune to Physical Reflect
- Enemies nearby are blinded thanks to Flesh & Stone

This build wasn't really ever designed with insane defenses. I personally always play Standard Temp Leagues, and recklessly, so going for big deeps is always what I find fun. If played well thanks to new Animation Cancelling you shouldn't be getting clapped while mapping, but don't expect to be able to Leech through Shaper Beam.

I've designed the build around Level 96, as I personally never go over that, and not many people do. If you are following the tree in Path of Building, then you can simply go to the bottom left to switch to the levelling trees I have created. Level 100 is purely Luxury, and I would be impressed if someone dedicated the time to hit that Level on this build.

Eramir is our Bandit of choice. In 3.7 the Duelist Tree is nutty, and I constantly found myself with not enough points. While Alira and Kraityn both wouldn't be bad picks, going for the two extra passives feels like the right move.

Level 21 Tree: Click Here | Progressing through Act 2 | Help Eramir

Level 32 Tree: Click Here | Up to Dominus

Level 45 Tree: Click Here | Up to Act 5 Kitava | Should have your first 2 Ascendancy Points

Level 61 Tree: Click Here | Up to Blood Aqueducts | Should have 4 Ascendancy Points

Level 73 Tree: Click Here | Up to Maps | Should have 6 Ascendancy Points

Level 96 Tree: Click Here | End Game | Just grabbing leftovers. Should have 8 Ascendancy Points.

Level 100 Tree: Click Here | Luxury Tree | Finish off the tree with some extra Life to help finish it off


TLDR: Overwhelm > Impact > Headsman > Bane of Legends

Before 3.7 Melee changes Cleave was a skill that worked, but in most cases any other skill would work better. Only having the Melee, AoE, and Attack Tags gimped the many ways to scale damage that all the other skill had. The new Support Pulverise helps us scale Cleave like no tomorrow. There are plenty of other Ascendancies that would work well with Cleave, however the easy access to Crit, AoE and Damage that Slayer provides is hard to ignore. Every Ascendancy point feels so good to have, and I struggled to decide which points to go for, especially when it came to Brutal Fervour. The overleech and quality of life it would bring seemed juicy, however going for Bane of Legends helps with bossing in the late game. Priority order for Ascendancy is:

Overwhelm makes our Base Critical Strike Chance for Attacks with Weapons 8% as well as increasing our Critical Strike Multiplier by 10% per Nearby Enemy up to 100%, and reducing Nearby Enemies Critical Strike Multiplier by -30%.

This point is insane. Giving each of our weapons 8% Crit Chance allows us heaps of room to go crazy weapons. Going very high pDps weapons with lots of Attack Speed is ideal, as their Crt Value is remedied by this point. Taking this early helps levelling as all our weapons will at least have good Crit.

Impact gives 50% increased Global Accuracy Rating, +2 to Melee Weapong Attack Range, 5% increase Area of Effect per Enemy killed (up to 50%) and Deal up to 15% more Melee Damage to Enemies, base on proximity.

This point is juicy, and make you give you those big cleave slaps. We grab this second as the AoE is a really nice QoL and helps a lot while levelling. The AoE is excessive but I really enjoy a big ol Cleave.

Headsman gives 10% more Damage if you've killed recently, Cannot Take Reflected Physical Damage and 20% more Damage against Unique Enemies.

In the late game our only real problem becomes how fast can we kill rare/boss mobs. This gives us more damage to unique enemies, and also gives us the almighty Cannot Take Reflect Physical Damage.

Bane of Legends Kill's Enemies that have 20% or lower life when Hit by your Skills, 20$ increased Attack Speed for 20 seconds why you kill a Rare or Unique Enemy and 20% increased Movement Speed for 20 seconds when you Kill an Enemy.

We take this point last as it is a juicy finisher which helps boost our end game viability. Culling Strike helps immensely, and this in combination with Headsman gives us essentially 40% increased damage against bosses. The attack speed and movement speed are nice quality of life bonus's for getting through a map quicker.

For your Major God you want to either choose Soul of Lunaris or Soul of Solaris. These are both super solid options and just depends on whether you want to be mapping or bossing more. If you think you won't fuck with bosses then take Lunaris, otherwise take Solaris. I personally use Lunaris as it helps when suicide diving packs like a lunatic, which I do frequently.

For your Minor God your best bet is Soul of Garukhan. Taking a big hit will probably kill you, but if it doesn't having the extra 5% Evade Chance to dodge other hits coming will help out a lot. Another good option is Soul of Shakari as reduced chaos damage is a nice quality of life, especially once upgraded as you are then Immune to Poison. Meaning you Immune to both forms of Damage over time damage.

We have a few Gem setups which help boost the overall damage we get on Cleave, as well as using some of the new Guard skills to help us when we need defense. Melee rework has given us some nice new supports making it a lot easier to scale Cleave. I will list my personal gem setup in order of priority, and then list why I chose them and other good options in the spoiler box below each skill.

Cleave > Multistrike > Pulverise > Faster Attacks > Concentrated Effect > Hypothermia

This setup is the perfect feels good order for me. Pulverise is insane, and pretty much nullifies the AoE lost from Concentrated Effect while also giving us huge damage. This support alone makes the build great. The added flat phys damage on Cleave has boosted its damage by over 30% compared to how it was in previous versions of the game. Due to Multistrike now having half the attack speed that it used to I decided to keep Faster Attacks in the gem setup. Hypothermia is the perfect 6th gem as it provides our "Offense is Defense" by helping freeze and shattering enemies.

If you want even more AoE and you feel your DPS is good enough you can swap out Concentrated Effect for Increased Area of Effect while mapping. I'd still recommend keeping Conc Effect in your inventory for bosses.

Vaal Double Strike > Melee Physical Damage > Vaal Ancestral Warchief > Ruthless

No melee setup is good without ya boys. While Cleave for the most part can decimate things by itself, it never hurts to have this Vaal Setup. Roll through the map and when you get to the final area pop your Vaal Double Strike and gank the shit out of the boss. The new 25% Chance to Bleed that was added to Vaal Double Strike makes Melee Physical Damage a top tier support for it.

Why have just one set of Vaal Boys when you can have two. We add Vaal Ancestral Warchief into the setup as he slots in perfectly and both Vaal skills run well off a 3L. Warchief gives you increased Attack speed against enemies, which is pretty nice. Also serves as a small distraction to the boss.

Whirling Blades > Faster Attacks > Blood Magic

Whirling Blades is our primary movement skill, and is perfect for travelling across the map quickly. Diving into a massive pack and tearing it apart with Cleave is a super fun play style. I use Blood Magic as if you don't have mobs around you will run out of mana due to how much we reserve for Auras.

Summon Ice Golem > Blood Rage > Dash

Summon Ice Golem is an easy pick thanks to the Accuracy and Critical Strike Chance it gives. I chose to have Dash in my build as a Secondary Movement skill. If you use it with Always Attack in Place it will instead throw you in the opposite direction. This could be really useful when dodging big slams from bosses. Blood Rage is for Frenzy generation and juicy attack speed. We've already committed to the Offense play style, we maeswell go all in.

Herald of Ice > Curse on Hit > Punishment > Hatred

Herald of Ice is a no brainer as its shatters and explosions are unreal. Combined with the fact that we already do a lot of cold damage, plus Hypothermia, this allows us to freeze the shit out of trash mobs. It also provides us one of the easiest ways to apply a curse, thanks to Curse on Hit.

It was a toss up between Punishment and Assassin's Mark however I felt like the increased attack speed from Punishment would be better, as it could potentially give us enough to remove Faster Attacks and add Close Combat to our main skill (to be tested in Legion, looks very promising though). On top of that it also has 35% More Melee Physical Damage on hit, which is nutty. Both Curses are good choices, however the former takes the cake for me.

Secondly we have Hatred which is pretty simple for extra cold damage, and boosts the cold damage we were already doing.

Flesh & Stone > Cast When Damage Taken Lvl 10 > Molten Shell Lvl 15 > Increased Duration

Flesh & Stone, what a beauty. While in Sand Stance this makes all nearby enemies blinded. For a build with not a whole lot of defense, this is insane. This alone boosts evade chance by a shit load, and will help us survive a lot of stupid situations. On top of the blind it also has reduced damage from enemies outside of the blind radius, which pairs well with our other forms of reduced damage. I personally will keep it in just Sand Stance permanently for defense, however you can switch to Blood Stance for damage when you want it.

Even though they removed the almighty combo of CwDT and Immortal Call, we still want another layer of defense. Molten Shell got some nice changes and serves as a great defense. If you want to play more piano keys style you could keep this active and remove the Cast When Damage Taken, however I am pretty lazy so I set it up to do it automatically. This is risker as I still need to take a hit in order to proc Molten Shell

Even though Cleave is easier to scale this time around thanks to new Melee support, it is still very helpful to get different pieces of gear. The transition from Act 9 through to Maps can feel really awkward without upgrading your gear, and the character feels like shit until you do. Luckily for us the gear I use is so common you can gear up with essentials for a few chaos tops.

We will be Dual Wielding One Handed Swords for Cleave, as there are so many damage nodes on the tree for swords and I felt it was the best for scaling. The build could pretty easily be changed into a Sword and Shield, but where is the fun in that.

For all the gear options I will embed a Path of Exile Trade link so that you don't have to go search yourself and you can instead just open the link for what you need. Especially for the DPS Jewellery and Swords, this will help you save a lot of chaos and still get something you know will improve your DPS.

Levelling Gear:

Levelling as this build can be super awkward when you hit around Act 9. I had a lot of struggles and died so many times it is unreal. Thanks to all my deaths though I was able to figure out big cheap gear changes I could make which would ease the pain. These Uniques I list I would say are a must, as they are so cheap it is hard to justify not getting them. Don't forget to upgrade your pots and you should be okay.

First up is The Princess Sabre. These are like 1 Alc each, you can use them from Level 10 to Level 75. I still had one until Level 80. One of the other essentials that helps carry you are Shadows and Dust. These are about 1 Chaos, they are a super common unique while also being super strong. Rampage helps clear through content like no tomorrow, and the Crit modifiers are gorgeous. Apart from those bad boys one of the best Levelling pieces we can get also happens to be our end game belt, and that is Belt of the Deceiver. With % All Elemental Resistances, Maximum Life, and Increased Physical damage through both stat and intimidate it's hard not to justify getting it. These are usually very cheap as it is a common unique, however could be a little more during league start thanks to 3.7 being so melee focused. Picking up these four will help you drastically, and should be able to bide you time and get you mapping where you can save for better gear.

If you have a big budget then you could go all in and buy your stock standard levelling gear such as a Goldrim and a Tabula Rasa but these are really not necessary.

Levelling Melee is gorgeous due to how many Unique options you can pick up for cheap. With boots we have three good unique options, and either of these could comfortably get you to Maps where you will upgrade. Wake of Destruction, Stormcharger, and Lioneye's Paws. I would take either one in the order I listed, whatever is 1 or 2 chaos. Rare boots would also do just fine.

For other slots solely focus on capping your Resistances, and if you can sprinkle some Maximum Life on as well. I made the stupid move of trying to map with negative resistances, and it feels awful (no shit). Before you start maps you should be able to pick up some of the gear in the Recommended Gear section below. If you can't make sure you aren't dying instantly, then look to be upgrading your sword first for big deeps.

The Gear I Levelled With:

Recommended Gear:
The main piece of gear I recommend for this build is a Carcass Jack. The increased Area of Effect and Damage helps us immensely, and not only that but it also gives us amazing defense stats such as All Elemental Resistance and Maximum Life. It's a super fun Unique that I like to use a lot.

For the Helmet we either want to go with a Starkonja's Head or an Abyssus. I went with the latter, as that amount of flat phys damage is huge. With that though I take a huge sacrifice on defense. Starkonjas is a much safer pick for all round defense and offense. If you are going with the Abyssus, try and get a Increased Physical Damage Taken with a roll of 45% or lower (the link automatically has 45% as max).

I was originally going to go for Maligaro's however they changed them, so instead we want to go for something like Shadows and Dust. These give us fat Crit modifiers with Global Crit Mult and Global Crit Chance. On top of that we get Unholy Might, Rampage and Mana Leech. A very nice addition.

Darkray Vectors are the boots I am going for as they provide a good balance of offense and defense thanks to the Frenzy charge mods. 10% Attack dodge chance might not seem like a lot but layering defenses is how you have to play a stupid offense build and survive. Thanks to Blood Rage we can constantly maintain Maximum Frenzy Charges.

I mentioned it in the Levelling section but Belt of the Deceiver will be our go to belt. With % All Elemental Resistance, Increased Physical Damage as well as Intimidate, it is an insane option for such a common Unique. On top of all that damage it also has 30% Reduced Damage from Crits, which is just another layer.

Jewellery is where we want to cap off our resistances while also getting some Maximum Life, and a cheeky damage mod. Thanks to the Uniques I'm using we actually have quite a lot of resitance, more than most builds usually would. We also get a little bit of it on the Tree so it makes our life a little easier when hunting rings and ammys. Our Rare Rings are whatever you can afford, and unlike the other pieces of gear you will need to hunt down what you personally need in terms of Resistances, whether it is Lightning, Cold, etc. Everyone will have slightly different gear by the time they reach maps so this is only natural.

Our Amulet can be a source of good dps, but only after we get the essentials. We pick up a minimum of 15 Intelligence on the Amulet, as well as some Maximum Life and whatever Elemental Resistance you might still need to cap. Once you have fiddled with that sort by Sum and shop for what you can afford. If you can't cap Elemental Resistances here don't worry too much as we can solve that on jewels.

One handed swords are the way to go, and this build heavily revolves around them. Thanks to Slayer's Overwhelm we have a huge range of swords to pick from. Due to how popular Melee will be this league getting anything god tier will be very expensive. My top pick personally will be either a combo of two Ichimonji's or Rare Swords. Thanks to reduced mana reserved being on the Ichimonji our Aura setups will be much easier to achieve, however if you have an Enlighten at least level 2 or 3, then the Rare Swords might be a better option. Using one Ichimonji and one Rare Sword will probably result in the best DPS while still being able to use the Auras. Scaeva is another good option but suffers the same fate as the Rare Swords, Reduced Mana Reserved is pog for our Auras.

Lastly are our pots. Atziri's Promise is an essential. For such a cheap flask it is an enormous dps boost. For most builds it is a standard item as it is just so nice. Other than that we can pick up Taste of Hate and Lion's Roar. These flasks are by no means essential unlike Atziri's but provide good bonuses to both offense and defense. The last two flasks I would recommend are to grab yourself a Diamond Flask for Lucky Critical Strikes as well as Seething Divine Flask of Heat (Instant, and removes Freeze).

When passing through Act 5 don't forget to pick up Overwhelming Odds for Cleave. We can only slot one of them but the AoE is still very nice. Another good Jewel to pick up is Conqueror's Efficiency in Act 8, which can help with Reducing Mana Reserved (if you don't dual wield Ichimonji)

The Gear I'm Currently Using:

The Guide is still being updated, I will be polishing it up when I have the time. I will be adding a Stat Priority section, as well as a Build Guide Video and Boss Kill videos. I've crunched to make the build just before launch, hopefully you enjoy it.
Last edited by AziiRe on Jul 25, 2019, 12:29:31 PM
Last bumped on Sep 7, 2019, 12:07:29 AM
Just a heads up, your skill-trees at all lvls seem to link to an empty link of PoE's skilltree
Didnt they change overwhelming odds to be limited to 1 ?
Looking forward to trying this out!

Skill tree shows up as empty for me though
Tree has been updated to working links, they only just released the 3.7 passive tree on their websites so I had them as placeholders to begin with. All trees should be good now.

Yeah Overwhelming Odds was limited to 1, I'll edit that. This isn't a big deal as we can get crazy dps off a Rare Jewel anyway, and this also allows more room for things like Conquerers Efficiency for reduced mana reserved.
Cool build guide, really well done. I'll defs be using this
been really struggling to get damage going takes ages to kill magic and rare packs
Yeah it can be a little rough. The biggest improvement to DPS I've had so far is to get The Princess Sabe. You can use this from Level 10 and use it all the way through to maps (I currently am using them in maps). They are very common, and very cheap.

For the skill do your best to get it in a 4L using Cleave > Multistrike > Pulverise > Faster Attacks >. Damage is struggling a little to begin with, especially because of how far the Tree travels.

In 3.7 GGG Increased the health of both Magic and Rare packs. It can be a little awkward while levelling, I had the same issues. Using Perforate or Sunder is also a really good option for using while levelling.
Yeah i am finding it quite tough aswell atm. Also my herald of ice explosions are few and far between and i am already lv 60 =X

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