[3.9] Konsta's Gladiator Double Strike Starter - Insane DPS, good defenses. Cheap to start.

Intro

I wanted to share my starting build for 3.9 Metamorph league. I dislike summoner or totem builds and I normally prefer bow or melee over caster. Since this is a bow league itemization is probably a lot more expensive for bows so I opted for melee. Double strike gladiator is an old concept and I've started with similar build twice before. I can vouch that it is fast and effective on minimal investment. While not designed for HC, I will provide a POB which is bit more HC friendly. I'm not a HC player myself, but anything is a HC build if you're brave enough :)

Target for this guide
The target of this guide is to provide beginner friendly, efficient and cheap started for all the fellow exiles. I try to provide as clear explanations for mechanics as I can to help out newcomers. Don't hesitate to ask for more details, I try to improve the guide as we go.

Design principles
-Cannot depend on key items:using only rares must be possible, no shaper / elder items since we don't know the rarity
-Needs to have hefty amount of damage. After all, this is bossing league
-Needs to be able to map on OK speed
-No completely glass cannon
-No bow meta items, since those will be expensive

My Current Shaper POB DPS



Pro's & Cons
+Incredible damage with cheap gear. Millions of shaper DPS.
+Very solid map clear with lightning fast whirling blades and bleed explosions...
+Bleed explosions just feel very, very satisfying
+Very cheap to gear


-Maximum damage requires two gem swaps before you can anoint tribal fury. However, with decent gear you can complete all content without the gem swaps pretty easily.
-Cannot run physical reflect maps
-Melee - not the safest playstyle or quickest map clear

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Build Introduction & Overview


Explanation of Double Strike and Vaal Double Strike

Double Strike
Double strike (or DS) is a melee strike skill which hits twice a single enemy. In addition, it gives chance to bleed and adds hefty amount of physical damage to attacks against bleeding enemies. What makes the skill unbelivably effective is the added physical damage - which can easily double the DPS of mediocre weapon. Since the skill itself gives very solid buff on physical damage, we can easily concentrate on attack speed and crit chance / multiplier to boost the damage even higher. The downside of VD is the map clear speed. Since VD hits only one enemy by default, we need to use two supports to make the clearing fast. This in turn means that to maximize the boss damage, we need to swap these two gems.

Vaal Double Strike
Vaal Double Strike (aka "the Boys") is a vaal skill. Vaal skills are corrupted versions of normal skill gems. Vaal skill gem gives you both the normal version of the skill and the vaal version - which is in this case vaal Double Strike. All vaal skills need "souls" to be used, and you gain souls by killing enemies. This means that the vaal skills are not always usable, but at the current state of the game they are most of the time. Vaal double strike spawns two copies of you. They are immortal and will attack the nearest enemy with double strike. The damage of the clones will take into account of all your damage buffs, such as potions and vaal double strike support gems (unless otherwise stated in the skill gem). Since vaal double strike stores two charges you can get in total of four copies. The combined DPS of four copies and you is normally incredibly high, even enough to vaporize T16 bosses on cheap gear under a second.

Build Concept
We are using double strike as our main skill for clearing and bossing. We will be solely focused on physical damage since physical damage is cheaper to scale that elemental. Gladiator ascendancy will help us with clearing, providing "bleed explosions" trough "Gratuitous Violence" - node. The only chase unique for this build - which is no way mandatory - bloodseeker, allows us us top our HP roughly 7 times / second making the build incredibly tanky. As long as we don't get one shot and keep attacking, there is no problem of facetanking even T17 content. While the vaal skill provides nice occasional DPS buff, we are no way dependant for it beign up.

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Gear


Weapons

Dual wield any two claws. Ideally, you want to have high attack speed claw with good critical strike chance. On the beginning, dual wield any two claws you find (or any weapons before you take the claw nodes). For the end game, you want to have The Bloodseeker in one hand and a high DPS rare claw in another. If you cannot afford the rare use Wasps Nest - that's what I'm using and its working great. Optimally, try to get "chance to get a power charge" - corruption on the claw. Due to almost 10aps attack speed, even low roll like 5% chance to get power charge will keep you topped up easily - even in bosses!



For leveling, use Ornament of the East claw.

Body Armour

Wear any 6-link armour, preferably STR or STR/DEX base for easy coloring. Good unique options include "Belly of the beast" and "Daresso's Defiance". Best in slot is rare elder / hunter influenced armour with high flat life roll, %-life roll and 1.5%-increased crit for attacks. My current armour:


For leveling, use tabula rasa.

Amulet + Rings

I chose to use amulet + rings for resistance capping. Important thing here is to buy rings + amulet where you have a free suffix modifier. Since you will receive hefty bonus for having full frenzy charges and full endurance charges trough "Outmatch and Outlast"-ascendancy node, you can craft "+1 minimum frenzy / endurance charge" to your rings and amulets and have that bonus always on, even in bosses. It is up to your personal preference if you would like to be tankier or to do more damage. I chose frenzy charges, but in retrospect probably endurance charges would have been better option.

TLDR: For amulet and rings, look for uncorrupted jewellery with empty suffix. Priotitize capping elemental resistances, getting getting stat requirements (we will need INT) and then life. If you can fit mana leech modifier to your rings or on your amulet, you don't have to allocate one point for mana leech on the tree. After those, luxury stats are: "+Accuracy Rating", "Adds X to X physical damage to attacks", "+XX increased critical strike multiplier". My current gear:


Belt

For belt, highest damage option is "Ryslatha's Coil". Another good option is to go with well rolled stygian vise to alo get one more abyssal jewel slot. Ryslatha's will be roughly 15-20% more damage. My belt:


Boots

For boots, get a pair of rares with high elemental resists and life. Additionally you can try to find a pair with INT roll to make reaching the required intelligence easier. For solid unique option, go with Kaom's Roots. However when using Kaom's, you'll need rare belt to fill the resists. My boots:


Gloves

For gloves you'll have plenty of good options. Good unique options include "Oskarm" and "Tombfist". If you go with rare gloves, prioritize resists, life and attack speed. Best in slot is "Tombfist" with "Curse enemeies with lvl X vulnerability on hit". My gloves:


Helmet

There are two options to go with helmet. If you decided to with endurance charge crafts for you rings and amulet, buy "Abussys". It will increase your damage roughly ~40%. If you did go with frenzy charges, rare helmet with high life roll, modifier "Nearby enemies take 9% increased physical damage" is solid option. Best helm enchant is "double strike has 15% chance to deal double damage to bleeding enemies". My current helmet:


Flasks


Jewels
For jewels, best damage mods are "critical strike multiplier"-mods. My jewels:

Trade link for cheap jewels: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Metamorph/WvwOKGKTm
Trade link for more expensive jewels: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Metamorph/2K7LYlGfk

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Gems and links

All listed in order of importance. If you have less links than 6, just remove gems from the end. Most likely gem swaps will be needed only for T14+ maps - however that of course depends on your gear and setup. Before getting "Gratuitous Violence" - node, replace "Melee Physical Damage" with "Chance to Bleed".

Clearing - no Tribal Fury:
Vaal Double Strike > Ancestral Call > Melee Splash > Multistrike > Brutality > Impale

Clearing - Tribal Fury:
Vaal Double Strike > Melee Physical Damage > Melee Splash > Multistrike > Brutality > Impale

Max. Single Target:
Vaal Double Strike > Melee Physical Damage > Ruthless > Multistrike > Brutality > Impale

Auras
Pride > Flesh and Stone > Dread Banner > Precision (lvl 1)

Totem
Ancestral Protector > Bloodlust > Melee Physical Damage > Brutality
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Ascendancy order:
Blood in the Eyes > Gratuitous Violence > Arena Challenger > Outmatch and Outlast

Path of Building final skill tree:
https://pastebin.com/2UVaaJ5q

Path of Building final skill tree - more tanky version:
https://pastebin.com/iJ4BEjme


Leveling trees & building tips:

Note: leveling trees are planned so, that they will get you early some INT for gems. If you decide to go with Abyssus, spec to "soul of steel" before wearing it. Please adapt the tree on your own needs: if you die a lot, pick more life. If you have challenges with stats, spec to them. This is just a suggestion how to create the tree.

Leveling tree (LVL41, 1st ascendancy)
https://pastebin.com/tXHUYCwu

Leveling tree (LVL 64):
https://pastebin.com/Jk5yrq02

Bandits:
-Save Alira. If you are rolling on very high budget, you can also kill all. Equipment will be more expensive since more resists are needed, but two more points for the tree will be more damage / life if you can cap the resists without losing anything else.

Pantheons
Depending on the situation. I normally just stand and burst the bosses down in one go and following setup is perfect for this:
-Major: Soul of The Brine King - prevents chain stuns and thus allows you to leech
-Minor: Soul of Tukohama - synergizes with "stand and burst" approach

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Videos - I'll add more as I play
-T14 Elderslayer (Veritania) kill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lzSLLpGKLE
-T14 8-mod corrupted vault with full juice metamorph: https://youtu.be/df760-W-72Y
-T15 Channel Clear: https://youtu.be/I2FRKWeWCmQ

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Leveling tips

You can start using double strike from level 1. Try to buy the vaal gem, since the additional damage from Vaal DS does help you in bosses.

At start, your links should be "Vaal Double Strike > Chance To Bleed > Ancestral Call". Switch Ancestral Call to melee physical damage on bosses. Remove Chance to bleed only after first lab when you get "blood in the eyes"-node.

Good starting weapons include "Wildslash" and "Ornament of the east". Buy "tabula rasa" for chest. You can continue using tabula until maps.

The build really starts to shine after 3 labs when you get "arena challenger". This will give you immense speed boost and helps both bossing damage and clearing.

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Final note: I will continue to improve the build on daily basis! I'll add a spearate FAQ section if needed.
Last edited by konstaonkuningas on Dec 29, 2019, 11:51:52 AM
Last bumped on Jan 15, 2020, 9:48:26 PM
Nice build, I will follow un the future, thx
Last edited by gersi29 on Dec 20, 2019, 3:10:31 PM
There's a map clear video?
"
BeeDark wrote:
There's a map clear video?


I'll add it in 1h

Edit: added.
Last edited by konstaonkuningas on Dec 21, 2019, 6:57:46 AM
What would be the first improvements you'd make to the gear with larger budget, besides a max dps rare weapon instead of wasps nest?
"
heishe wrote:
What would be the first improvements you'd make to the gear with larger budget, besides a max dps rare weapon instead of wasps nest?


-On top of my current gear, I'd prioritize everything in following order:
1. 6l elder or hunter body armour (pref. astral plate) with +120life & >10% life, +1.0-1.5% crit chance to attacks
2.Rare claw
3. Revamping of amulet + rings, preferably steel ring bases

Hi great build, do you know if (impale) champion ascendancy is better for bossing ? it's been 1 month since i'm thinking about doing a double strike but can't decide between this build or a champion one. Thanks !
"
OneT59 wrote:
Hi great build, do you know if (impale) champion ascendancy is better for bossing ? it's been 1 month since i'm thinking about doing a double strike but can't decide between this build or a champion one. Thanks !


Hi, champion has better DPS but gladiator if faster and has much better clearing. Single Double Strike builds rarely lack damage - difference in most cases between champion or gladiator is that are you going to kill the boss in 1s or 1.2s - I would prioritize the clearing.

Pick champion if:
-You estimate that you will be piss poor for the good part of the league: no need to invest in accuracy in gear, higher baseline damage for bossing

Pick gladiator if:
-You also prioritize map clear speed
-You estimate that you can buy decent items at some point - the damage difference will become miniscule

Additional note: if you pick champion, I would go with swords. Since you need additional chance to bleed, sword nodes at right side will provide very convenient nodes for swords build for bleed chance.

DO u have any levelling tips?
"
"
OneT59 wrote:
Hi great build, do you know if (impale) champion ascendancy is better for bossing ? it's been 1 month since i'm thinking about doing a double strike but can't decide between this build or a champion one. Thanks !


Hi, champion has better DPS but gladiator if faster and has much better clearing. Single Double Strike builds rarely lack damage - difference in most cases between champion or gladiator is that are you going to kill the boss in 1s or 1.2s - I would prioritize the clearing.

Pick champion if:
-You estimate that you will be piss poor for the good part of the league: no need to invest in accuracy in gear, higher baseline damage for bossing

Pick gladiator if:
-You also prioritize map clear speed
-You estimate that you can buy decent items at some point - the damage difference will become miniscule

Additional note: if you pick champion, I would go with swords. Since you need additional chance to bleed, sword nodes at right side will provide very convenient nodes for swords build for bleed chance.


Thanks ! I'll probably do a glad then, I've 6ex (and 42 divine orbs which will be sold when they'll cost more) hop it'll be enough to buy a good gear !

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