3.14 Max Block Lacerate Gladiator -- Level 100, Challenge 40/40, All Contents

[Note A] I played this build every single league since Harvest and my only objective is to get 40/40 challenge completion. Although this build is designed to solo all contents, there are some limitations to what the build can handle (efficiently) which will be discussed further in the guide. In 3.14 Ultimatum, I solo leveled (not SSF) to level 100 while engaged with all league contents.

[Note B] I am not experienced with crafting, any crafting suggestion made in this guide might not be optimal.

[Note C] There is no leveling guide for this build.

Changelog
[VERSION 3.14.0 June 07, 2021] Guide created.
[VERSION 3.14.1 June 08, 2021] Added Bandit and Pantheon. Added Boss Showcase.
[VERSION 3.14.2 June 19, 2021] Added map clear video using budget gear.

[0.0] TABLE OF CONTENTS

Search sections in this guide using the following code.

[1.0] INTRODUCTION
[1.1] Pro & Con
[1.2] Build enabling Ascendancy
[1.3] Build enabling Keystone
[1.4] Boss Showcase
[1.5] Budget Gear Showcase
[2.0] GEAR
[2.1] Weapon
[2.2] Shield
[2.3] Helmet
[2.4] Chest
[2.5] Gloves
[2.6] Boots
[2.7] Belt
[2.8] Amulet
[2.9] Rings
[3.0] JEWELS AND CLUSTER JEWELS
[4.0] GEMS
[4.1] Damage
[4.2] Movement
[4.3] Aura
[4.4] Shield
[4.5] Defense
[4.6] Other
[4.7] Optional
[5.0] FLASKS
[6.0] DAMAGE SCALING
[7.0] DEFENSE
[8.0] BANDIT AND PANTHEON
[9.0] PATH OF BUILDING
[10.0] FAQ


[1.0] INTRODUCTION
As the title suggests, this build is centered around Gladiator Ascendancy for Duelist, using Lacerate as main damage skill and max attack/spell block as defense. We will be using axe and shield to take advantage of their inherent bleed damage. The below sub-sections contain general information on this build.

[1.1] Pro & Con

+ All content viable
+ Strong survivability
+ Low to medium budget (20-50 ex)

- Average clear speed
- Damage scaling is limited due to Resolute Technique
- Bleeding stacks take some time to kill end game bosses

[1.2] Build enabling Ascendancy:

Gratuitous Violence enables bleed explosion and is our mechanic for map clear. With Lacerate's AoE bleed attack Gratuitous Violence will create chain explosion within a pack of monster.

Gratuitous Violence exploding a pack of monster, the other pack was not hit by our attack and therefore was not able to bleed and explode:



Painforged gives us +8% to block when hit meaning we can block cap with only 67% block chance. During leveling or gearing, we can socket a Tempest Shield for +3% block chance to further lower our required block chance to 64%.

Versatile Combatant Set our spell block chance to equal to attack block chance. Any increase to attack block will also increase our spell block but not vice versa.

[1.3] Build enabling Keystone:

Crimson Dance allows us to stack our bleeding up to 8 times but at the drawback of 50% less bleeding damage. This greatly boosts our single target DPS. I advise having decent attack speed and bleeding damage before getting this Keystone. More discussion on scaling bleeding damage in a later section. As you can see below, majority of our damage comes through bleeding which means we will not one-shot bosses but they will bleed out quickly.



Resolute Technique allow our hits not to miss which is needed for bleed to be applied. There is also a crit version for Lacerate with Paradoxica and Abysuss but that is not the focus of this build.

Call to Arms is used to instant cast Endurance Cry.

[1.4] Boss Showcase

All fights are recorded with the gear (not the budget version below) listed in this guide.

Shaper

Maven

Sirus

[1.5] Budget Gear Showcase

Let us take a look at map clear using a budget version of this build. I pieced together the gear from characters in several leagues. I think the gear is fairly attenable early on in the league. Note there are no cluster jewels, Watcher's Eye or belt. There is also no Awakened gem (except Awakened Deadly Ailment) or alternate quality gems. The passive tree was based on 3.13 which some nodes no longer make sense, I did not update them for this showcase. You may also notice Corrupted Blood is very dangerous for us and I do recommend get immunity.

Map Clear





[2.0] GEAR
Below are the mods you should be looking on non-unique, non-influenced gear (in general order of importance):

+ Maximum life - all slot
+ Resistance - all slot
+ Flat physical damage - weapon, amulet, rings, gloves, abyssal socket(s) if applicable
+ Physical damage over time multiplier - weapon, amulet, gloves
+ Attack speed - weapon, rings, gloves

Below are the mods you will need on some gear (including jewel and cluster jewel):

+ Mana leech
+ Intelligence (minimum 73 for L3 Enlighten, 96 for L4 Enlighten)
+ Dexterity (minimum 100 for varies dex gems, 155 for L20 Blood Rage)

Below are the mods you do not need on any gear:

- Accuracy
- Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
- Any offensive mods related to elemental damage

Below is a summary of my gears and how they are obtained in 3.14.


Estimated Investment:
Weapon: Crafted base ~50 c
Shield: Purchased 8 ex
Helmet: Crafted base ~2 ex
Chest: Crafted
Gloves: Crafted
Boots: Purchased ~4 ex
Belt: Purchased 6 ex
Amulet: Purchased ~1 ex
Left Ring: Purchased ~1 ex
Right Ring: Crafted base ~1 ex

Order of Upgrades:
Tier 1: Weapon, Shield, Belt
Tier 2: Helm with enchant
Tier 3: Ring with Vulnerability on hit

This order is based on how much damage/defense you gain for each upgrade. Vulnerability hex is technically better than helm enchant but you can manually cast it or get it on a cheap ring base at league start.

[2.1] Weapon

As briefly mentioned in introduction, we will be using axe as our weapon type since many axe skill tree nodes include bleeding modifier. This is the most important piece of gear.

In 3.14, bleeding mod 60% chance for Bleeding inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage has been replaced with +(51–59)% to Damage over Time Multiplier for Bleeding from Hits with this Weapon. This was the biggest nerf for 3.14. Pre-3.14 Elder Siege Axe was (probably still is) the best in slot base for this build because of the base attack speed. More attack speed means you can apply more stacks of bleeding per second and more chance to roll higher instance of bleed or trigger the 100% more bleeding damage mod:

"
By default, only the strongest (the highest damage-per-second) bleed application will actually deal damage at any given time. If Crimson Dance is allocated the 8 strongest applications will deal damage at any given time. -- Source: https://pathofexile.fandom.com/wiki/Bleeding

Attack speed is not the only consideration for maxing bleeding damage, what is also important (if not more important) is our base physical damage.

"
Potential damage from one bleed application is based on the base physical damage of attack that caused it: 70% per second... -- Source: https://pathofexile.fandom.com/wiki/Bleeding

Therefore you need to balance between attack speed and base physical damage in order to maximize your bleeding. As aforementioned, Siege Axe provides the highest APS, but Royal Axe provides the highest base (average) physical damage while other axe types fall in between. Testing using PoB yielded the same result; with the same weapon modifiers, Royal Axe produces the highest Combined DPS while Siege Axe the lowest Combined DPS. Yet, poe.ninja shows 77% of players use Siege Axe (week-6 snapshot, level 98+, sample size 30).



My conclusion to these observations is that in an ideal situation (i.e. hitting target dummy) Royal Axe beats Siege Axe. In reality during mapping and bossing, you are constantly moving, in order to keep 8/as many stacks of bleeding, you will need to have enough APS during the attack window. This is not to say Royal Axe is bad, we can still invest in attack speed to make it work (or work better).

Spoiler
In a future update to this guide, I might research into how much speed investment is needed for Royal Axe.

Finally we can talk about what mods to look for on your weapon.

P Adds # to # Physical Damage
P #% increased Physical Damage
P #% to Damage over Time Multiplier for Bleeding from Hits with this Weapon
S #% increased Attack Speed

Culling strike is a quality of life suffix for bossing but absolutely not mandatory. We have the option to get it through weapon swap, linking Culling Strike Support to our Ancestral Warchief or on our gloves. You also want as much quality on your weapon as possible. Keep in mind that 48% Quality is equivalent to 48% increased Physical Damage.

How this axe was crafted:

1. Buy an Elder Siege Axe iLv 83+
2. Perfect fossil to 28%+ quality
3. Two options below and you are looking for 2 required prefixes (one of which must be DoT multipler) and a open prefixes to craft the missing one
a. Harvest reforge physical or attack (or any other reforge but less likely)
b. Fossil craft with Jagged and/or Corroded
4. Harvest reroll suffix until we have attack speed or reforge speed with prefix cannot be changed. If you are really feeling lucky, you can reforge attack with prefix cannot be changed hoping for culling strike and attack speed. Keep in mind, when reforging attack, you run the risk of getting 3 undesired suffix thus breaking the item.

We can also multimod our axe if the situation allows (like the one above).

[2.2] Shield

The Surrender is the best in slot offhand. Our counter-attack deals double damage. The shield also gives us life and armor on block. This should be your first investment unless you are also buying your weapon. Keep in mind this is a sought after shield by many builds, therefore the price of Surrender is extremely expensive at league start but it will help you push further into maps. In Ultimatum, I bought the Anticipation for 7 ex and upgraded it with the blessing saving ~1 ex.


Alternatively, you can use Lioneye's Remorse as a substitute.

[2.3] Helmet

Since 3.14, it is significantly cheaper to purchase helmet enchant on the right base. There are only 2 enchants we are interested in. Either will work and depending on your flat physical damage and increased physical damage one enchant may be preferred over the other but only with marginal differences. I recommend getting the one with the better helmet base. The base I choose is Eternal Burgonet which gives the most base armor.


1. Lacerate deals (14-18) to (20-25) added Physical Damage against Bleeding Enemies
2. 40% increased Lacerate Damage


How this helmet was crafted:

I crafted it using Essence. I used Shrieking instead of Deafening due to availability at the time.



[2.4] Chest

There is nothing special about the chest piece, you can replace it with anything you can get your hands on with good life and resistance. If we are crafting ourselves, we should use Astral Plate.


How this chest was crafted:

1. Get the chest base, I got mine as an iLv 76 drop which blocks out many good influenced mods. We can craft something much better with a iLv 83+ base
2. Perfect fossil to 28%+ quality
3. Bench craft +18% quality (higher quality has higher chance of socketing and linking)
4. 6-socket and 6-link the chest
5. Split it to either sell or save as a back up
6. Essence craft with Greed until we have a good mixture of resistance (in the above example, T3/3/5) and a open prefix.
7. Crafted #% Increased Maximum Life/Mana
8. Harvest enchant

[2.5] Gloves

Mods for gloves are very competitive specially with (double) influenced bases. I chose Apothecary's Gloves because the implicit increases our bleeding damage while Spiked Gloves' implicit does not. Below is a list of mods from low to high budget.

P # to maximum Life
S Resistance
P Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
S #% increased Attack Speed
S #% to Physical Damage over Time Multiplier (Hunter)
S Culling Strike (Warlord)


How these gloves were crafted:

1. Awakening orb with Hunter and Warlord suffix. Awakening orb with duo prefix or suffix is a prevalent crafting method after Harvest nerf in 3.14. You can still Harvest reroll suffix or prefix using this method. In our case if we get an open suffix, we can craft suffix cannot be changed and Harvest reroll Speed modifier to get attack speed.
2. Harvest reroll prefix until we hit desired mods.

Conservatively speaking, the gloves will take 6 ex to make: Awakening Orb 3 ex, gloves' bases 2 ex, rerolling for suffix 1 ex.

I must admit Culling Strike is what you think you need but it does not feel good once you get it. Yes it increases Combined DPS in PoB by 10% but that is only on paper. In reality during mapping, the monsters will bleed out the remaining 10% before you can hit them again. Keeping in mind when a monster dies from bleeding, Gratuitous Violence will trigger (and it is equivalent to an AoE culling strike which can also cause chaining reaction). Culling strike is more a quality of life for killing bosses. The benefit of having a Warlord influence is that you can hit a good prefix such as maximum Frenzy Charge or increased Damage over Time. Keep in mind the culling strike mod on the Elder weapon is much better since it also increases physical damage:

Hits with this Weapon have Culling Strike against Bleeding Enemies (30–49)% increased Physical Damage

[2.6] Boots

Since we are running Resolute Technique, we do not need Tailwind/Elusive boots. We can instead get as much life, movement speed and resistance as possible. As a luxury upgrade, you can get Bleeding you inflict deals Damage (8–10)% faster, but I am not aware of any way to reliably (and cheap) way of crafting it. It is only a ~5% increase to bleeding damage, not worth 5 ex of investment unless you are min-maxing.



[2.7] Belt

There has been a lot discussion on whether Ryslatha's Coil is the best in slot for bleed build. Let us see why this belt is worth the price tag of 6-8 ex at league start.

Ryslatha's Coil provides MORE maximum physical attack damage and LESS minimum physical attack damage. These two modifiers affects both hit and bleeding damage; they are also applied multiplicatively to our damage (which is preferable to increased damage). Since both modifiers have a range (30%-40%), let us look at what happens if you have the absolute worst rolls:

30% more maximum physical attack damage
40% less minimum physical attack damage

To use a generic example with x minimum and y maximum, we can conclude that Ryslatha's Coil will give you more damage if our maximum damage is at least 1.33 times of minimum damage.



Now if we look at the calculation (including y/x ratio) below, we can see that the ratio will always stay above 1.33x. Therefore our final damage with Ryslatha's Coil will be greater than without it (highlighted in yellow). I have also looked at the worst possible scenario on our gears and it turned out even the lowest maximum damage is at least 1.5x of the highest minimum damage. For example:

Axe (T2): Adds (17–24) to (36–41) Physical Damage
Amulet (T2): Adds (9–12) to (19–22) Physical Damage to Attacks
Ring (T2): Adds (5–7) to (11–12) Physical Damage to Attacks
Gloves (T2): Adds (3–4) to (6–7) Physical Damage to Attacks



The above calculation proves that Ryslatha's Coil is a value-add regardless of the rolls, but why is it our best in slot for bleeding build? It is because Ryslatha's Coil expands our damage range. Since only the strongest (stacks) of bleeding do damage, the low bleed rolls are discarded. The below summary shows with all else being equal if More and Less modifiers are moving by the same magnitude, the bleeding damage will increase. In terms of overall Combined DPS, Ryslatha's Coil will provide 10-20% increased damage.





[2.8] Amulet

For amulet, you should be looking for key modifiers for this build: physical damage multiplier, physical damage to attack and maximum life. I put maximum life last because life is available on all gears while physical modifiers are more restricted. With higher budget you can add modifiers to gem level. I recommend with the following order assuming all other modifiers between the two amulets are the same.

1. +1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
2. +1 to Level of all Dexterity Skill Gems, drop maximum life



[2.9] Rings

Nothing too special, start with physical damage to attack and maximum life and eventually get Vulnerability on hit. We can use vermillion ring or steel ring depending on our priorities. As seen below, the right ring carried me all the way till the end even though it only has curse on hit and a moderate amount of resistance with zero quality.



[3.0] JEWELS AND CLUSTER JEWELS

For Cluster Jewels, Wound Aggravation is needed on all Jewels. Rend is the other Notable for Medium Cluster. For Large Cluster, we will have some options depending what is lacking for the build at the moment. We can change to something else as we progress our gear. These jewels should be relatively cheap to obtain. For example the Medium Cluster, the average Jagged fossil crafting is 22 tries on an iLv 50 base. For other jewels, we are looking for damage over time multiplier, increased damage, attack speed and maximum life. It is very important to get Corrupted Blood immunity on one jewels regardless how bad the other modifiers are. More on this when we talk about defenses. For Watcher's Eye, if we choose to get one, we only need increased damage with Pride. Other Pride augments are not useful. If you are thinking about double damage with Pride, keep in mind that dealing double damage only affects our hit damage and not our bleeding damage.



With a bit further investment, we can incorporate the following gems and improve our overall survivability (with some reduction to our damage). In my PoB you will see before and after effect of switching.



[4.0] GEMS

Gems are relatively straight forward with some room for variation. Some of the gems do not have quality as their quality do not benefit the build in a significant way.

[4.1] Damage

I suggest using Ruthless until getting Awakened Deadly Ailments. Regular Deadly Ailments does not feel as good. Leveling lacerate is not a smooth experience in early Acts. In 3.14, I personally leveled with Earthshatter until I have gotten Multistrike in Act 4.



[4.2] Movement

This build does not have any mechanics that improves our movement speed significantly. To compensate, we are running Leap Slam with Lifetap to not worry about mana. You can swap in a Flame Dash and Second Wind for bosses, but I personally have not had any trouble with just Leap Slam. I would say Atziri is the hardest for Leap Slam but manageable.



[4.3] Aura

Pride is standard for any melee build. We need Flesh and Stone to provide Sand Stance for clearing and blind. Maim is paired with Flesh and Stone to stack maim effect in Blood Stance. We will need at least Enlighten L3 to have enough mana. The benefit of Enlighten L4 is that we will have enough mana to run Blood and Sand or War Banner.



[4.4] Shield

The following set up is specifically for the Surrender. You can choose Melee Physical Damage over Life Gain on Hit depending on your priorities.



[4.5] Defense

Vaal Molten Shell is very strong on this character with Surrender giving extra amour when hit. With all flasks up (+3000 amour from Granite and 100% increase amour during flask effect), Vaal Molten Shell provides 10,000+ buff lasting 17s.



[4.6] Other

Ancestral Warchief gives us some added melee damage and can potentially block some hits for us. Note melee damage do not increase our bleed damage. You can also use Vaal Ancestral Warchief if you want more button presses. Enduring Cry compensates our life flask to provide immediate healing and occasionally provides Endurance Charges. Blood Rage provides extra attack speed and Frenzy Charges.



[4.7] Optional

With the above set up (and with no unset rings), you should have two gem sockets available. We will have many options here depending on our play style: Portal, Blood and Sand and Enlighten, War Banner and Enlighten, Tempest Shield, Stone Golem, Immortal Call, Ancestral Protector.

I personally chose Blood and Sand since it synergizes with our damage the most.



[5.0] FLASKS

Flasks are very straight forward. Except for Lion's Roar, all flasks set up are defensive. Freeze and bleed immune are a must.



[6.0] DAMAGE SCALING

Bleeding and Hit damage are generally scaled by the same modifiers except melee damage where it only benefits Hit damage. Below is an incomplete list of INCREASED damage modifiers and what damage they scale. Increased damage is scaled additively.

Increased Damage (both)
Increased Physical Damage (both)
Increased Damage with Hits and Ailment (both)
Increased Damage Over Time (bleed)
Increased Damage with Ailment (bleed)
Increased Damage with Bleeding (bleed)
Increased Melee Damage (hits)

Damage is also amplified by MORE damage modifiers. These are mostly found on skill/support gems and Ascendancy passives. More damage modifiers are more powerful since they scale the damage multiplicatively.

Finally bleeding damage is also increased by damage over time multiplier which is scaled additively.

Below is an example of how each modifier affects your damage. There are other types of modifiers that affect our damage like increased damage taken, increased bleeding duration. Those modifiers are less common and will be omitted for simplicity.



[7.0] DEFENSE

The strength of this build is its defense. Based on PoB we have the following defense in hideout:

1. 66% chance to block attack and spell damage which will be increased to 74% when we are hit
2. 51% physical damage reduction with 13000 amour
3. Comfortably 6500+ maximum life

In combat with flasks we have the following defense:

1. 74% block chance
2. 90% physical damage reduction with 37000 armor
3. 30% to evade in Blood Stance, 66% to evade in Sand Stance (due to blind)
4. 10% to dodge attack and spell
5. 3 Endurance Charges
6. Fortify

Even with these defense, death finds you. Other than physical reflect, I find the following situations deadly:

1. Corrupted blood: without immunity, sometimes you map too comfortably to react to sudden stacks of corrupted blood. Since there is also no cool down on our movement skills, we are constantly moving, causing more damage taken.

2. Freeze: mostly from opening strongboxes, be prepared to have an anti-freeze flask or craft it on boots.

Due to the lack of insane damage, this build will struggle with 100% Delirium maps and Legion encounters.

[8.0] BANDIT AND PANTHEON

If we are playing softcore, we can kill all bandit.
If we are playing hardcore, can help Alira when get Book of Reform later on.

I choose Soul of Lunaris and Gruthkul for Pantheon which are very strong against 3.14 league mechanics.

[9.0] PATH OF BUILDING

You can follow "Level 90 pre-gem change" tree and switch to "Level 90 post-gem change" when you are ready. The tree is very linear, you can get all the nodes on the right and move left. Remember not to get Crimson Dance early on.

https://pastebin.com/bxFmDkPZ

[10.0] FAQ

Coming Soon...Feel free to leave any question you have.
Last edited by strTrader on Jun 19, 2021, 10:02:42 PM
Last bumped on Jun 19, 2021, 10:06:26 PM
Looks like a nice guide, gonna try it. What is your bandit choice?
"
Rocke44 wrote:
Looks like a nice guide, gonna try it. What is your bandit choice?

Bandit: Kill all the bandits
Pantheon: Soul of Lunaris, Soul of Gruthkul. These are specific for Ultimatum league mechanic. You can switch to Soul of Solaris for bosses but I did not find that necessary.
Looks really solid, cheap and tanky. I think I might go with something like this next league start. Tired of being Squishy
can you post a clear map video? and build still works well with low budget? ty bro!
"
BETTERPC wrote:
can you post a clear map video? and build still works well with low budget? ty bro!


I have uploaded a video using "budget" gear. You can check it out in the guide.

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