[3.9] 2H Axe Self-Bleed Flicker strike Slayer (Full Phys) (1 Million sustained DPS)

When the patch notes for 3.9 were posted, i was excited to find the change to the Slayer ascendancy that made this build possible. I rolled mine, and trying to work out the kinks in it i figured i'll look at what other people did, but nobody has made a self-bleed specific guide yet.
This is what i came up with.


-Great clear speed
-Decent single target damage
-Infinite flicker, even on 1 enemy
-Loads of fast leech (Slayer + Vaal Pact)
-Gimmicky mechanic
-1 Mil Sustained (no flask or temporary buffs) shaper DPS in the basic configuration (cheap uniques and a 6 link)
-only 2 impossible mods (temp chains & no leech)
-only needs about 20c of investment for required uniques

-Not the best for single target (due to flicker being flicker)
-Gimmicky mechanic
-desyncs a lot
-bad on the eyes
-lab will be problematic (see LABIRYNTH section)
-really bad for team play
-defenses are not very good




All Awekining 5, haven't gotten further yet
-Sirius (Not deathless, mainly because it's only my 2nd one, DPS felt ok)
-All Elderslayers deathless other than poison guy
-Tier 16 maps


These are the only real core items. Golden rule reflects all bleeds you inflict on to you (same with poisons, make sure you have no chance to poison or poison immunity/chaos res), and red trail gives you frenzies per bleed inflicted on you.
You need to have some chance to bleed on gear/tree for this to work, and the slayer ascendancy nodes detailed in the skill tree section.
Everything else can be swapped out while keeping the build functioning more or less the same.

This guide does a better job of explaining levellling than i can be bothered to do.


All supports in left to right order of preference

Main 6L:
Flicker strike(Make sure this is 20% quality) - Multistrike - Brutality - Close Combat - Impale - Fortify (swap fortify with impale if you need more defenses and dont have a 6L yet.)

Secondary 6L:
Vaal Double Strike - Impale - Close Combat - Brutality - Melee Physical Damage - Bloodlust (This is used only for Vaal Double strike, not the normal one)

Auras 4L (impresence version):
Pride - Flesh and Stone - Dread Banner - Enlighten

Auras 4S (no impresence):
Blood Rage - Flesh and Stone - Dread Banner - Precision (level Precision only as much as necessary)

Curse 2L & Movement 2L:
Leap Slam - Faster attacks
or, if you end up killing yourself by hitting mobs with leap slam
Leap Slam - Bloodlust

Vulnerability - Blasphemy (You can swap the curse setup with baner & F&S if it would make coloring your gear easier)

Warchief 4L:
Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Brutality - Bloodlust - Concentrated Effect



Great unique option, decent dps, free lvl 30 melee splash and corpse removal, as well as some free recovery.

More DPS than kitava's, additional Chance to bleed and levels to supports. If using this, i would swap melee splash or ancestral call instead of multistrike for clear. Multi still great for bosses.

You can also find a rare Axe, most likely with DPS higher than any of the above, and chance to bleed on it. I haven't bothered yet as kitava's feast has been enough. If i ever have to get one, i'll update this.


Chance to bleed, shorter bleeds (important!), and bleedsplosions.
What's not to like about this item. Corruption not necessary, although it's usually only like 30-50c for one, so it's a pretty cheap investment.
You can buy it with no links and modify using the crafting device later.
Can be swapped out for a rare or any other unique, but most likely this is best in slot due to the reduced bleed duration.


Any rare with:
-Resists (if needed)
-Int/Dex (if needed)
-Mana (This build runs a bit low)
Go for 40% flicker damage for enchant, the per frenzy only goes above it when you have 5 frenzy charges.
With 4 it's only 36%, so not a huge deal but the 40% should be cheaper anyway.

You could go for an Abyssus if you're crazy enough.
Not sure if the defenses on this build would hold up though.
It's like a 40% increase to overall DPS.
I haven't felt like i need it yet though.


Great item, cheap to buy (cheap 6L as well). Mainly for life and resists.

Life, damage, increased max res, attributes are great for this build too. Most likely better than Belly of the beast (gives less life, but the increased max res makes up for it IMO). I'm stilll using Belly because im too lazy to recolor mine.

A rare item in this slot would do great as well.


See Basic Mechanics section for explanation of why these are needed. Non-negotiable slot. Corruptions on these are pretty cheap, and you can get 10% movement speed, 6% life, spell dodge, +lvls to aura gems. Experiment with what works for you.


I went for a rare. Mods:
-Stats (Dex/Int)

A decent cheap unique option if you can get resists otherwise, with some good jewels(life, flat phys, etc.) can be really good.

You can also go for a Belt of the Deciever.

Remember to annoit Red Storm if not using haemophilia or atziri's disfavour for the bleed chance, if you need int - Utmost Intellect or maybe something with mana or mana leech if you're lacking there, Otherwise you can grab more damage.

If you have the money for it, gives you free vulnerability so you can squeeze in another aura. I run pride, but you can run a higher level precision.

Great budget option. Loads of attributes, resistances, faster leech.

You can also go for a rare. Mods i would recommend would be:
-crit chance/crit multi
-added flat phys


I went for rares, as getting resists is hard with a large amount of uniques. Best offensive base would probably steel rings, for something more defensive you could go with vermilion rings.
Mods to look for:
-Dex/Int (if needed)
-crit chance/multi
-flat phys


Big damage increase. Best in slot.

Any diamond will do.

Im only using this because i dropped it. Not necessary at all.


Required. See Basic Mechanics for more info. Corruptions on this are pretty cheap, and you can buy them for 1-3c usually to corrupt yourself. You can get 10% inc. crit chance, and some other goodies, worth keeping in mind.

Red Dream is a good defensive option, for generating frenzy charges.
I upgraded to a red nightmare - not really necessary, just a few % of block chance.

A good pride / precision watchers eye would be amazing as well. Too expensive for me right now.


This is the basic skill tree:

Ascendacy order:
I went Overwhelm->Endless Hunger->Brutal Fervour->Headsman
Remember that you need Brutal Fervour before you attempt to use the item combo for this build.
Last ascendancy is up to you, Headsman gives some Boss dmg and Phys Reflect immunity. Impact would give better clear, Masterful form would bump your Max endurance charges higher if using red dream.


This is using LocalIdentity's version of PoB.
link here: https://github.com/LocalIdentity/PathOfBuilding/wiki/Installing-this-Fork

You need to watch out to not flicker/leap slam on the cursing fonts in the lab. They have too little health to give you enough leech to last longer than the bleed, and it will kill you if you wont be fast enough with the flask.
You can swap in bloodlust for leap slam and flicker, when traversing labirynth so that you can use them without worry.

So far nothing.

In the POB there is a Sword based skilltree, and an Item setup with a Starforge and an Inpulsa's. The DPS on that one hits around 2 Mil (i threw it together hastily, fair chance that it would be higher) but i don't have the money or need to try it out in game.
Last edited by tomiesz on Jan 11, 2020, 7:12:48 AM
Last bumped on Feb 18, 2020, 7:47:41 AM
I finally reached level 28 with and started using flicker strike but the leveling starter build tree is way different... Why isnt there any actual builds
Last edited by FearlessKiller on Jan 12, 2020, 8:33:45 PM
What is double strike used for? So far I've been clearing most content successfully with just flicker.
Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you please. - Mark Twain
Si_Phi wrote:
What is double strike used for? So far I've been clearing most content successfully with just flicker.

it's useless.
remove second 6L and go for a kaom's heart.
Self bleed is nothing new since introduction of watcher's eye with malevolence mod and breach boots.

See for yourself my build two leagues ago :D

[3.7] HEMORRHAGE! Flicker Strike 100% Bleed Focus. ~900k ...

Also, this was the patch where they made multistrike hit for 100% more on third strike. This was so OP for bleeding builds

Still good job on your build mate!

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