Bleed-based Bow Gladiator Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Vvckd

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Introduction

The Bleed-based Bow Gladiator is an excelent choice if you prefer the Bleed-oriented builds. It has extreme endgame potential if you have enough currency to invest into best-in-slot items, this is not a budget friendly build. The character’s main idea is to inflict very powerful Bleed effects, which can stack multiple times on a single target via the Crimson Dance keystone notable. This build has very high single target damage potential along with a smooth clear speed via the Gladiator’s Gratuitous Violence.

We mainly scale our damage by taking advantage of Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall, as when placed near Cleaving, Slaughter, and Razor’s Edge we are able to pick extremely strong melee nodes, which are transformed into Bow nodes. Along with these we also pick Deadly Draw, which results in a total of 45% “Bleeding you inflict deals damage #% faster”, essentially doubling our Bleed damage. The build is also non-Crit and we take Resolute Technique in order to solve Accuracy Rating issues.

For clearing, we choose to use Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows, while Puncture Puncture proves to be our best skill choice for single target.

Build Summary

Ideally, in an endgame scenario we want to play around Blasphemer's Grasp Blasphemer's Grasp in combination with full set of Elder-based items. This can result in a 150% increased damage with Ailments just from the Gloves, which allows us to invest our passive nodes in other places instead of inefficient damage nodes. Overall, the character will require some serious tweaking before it would be finished but it will be definitely worth it, simply because you will easily be able to tackle the hardest of Path of Exile’s content.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Good clear speed
+ Insane single target damage potential

Cons

- Expensive to gear up
- Dies to Physical Reflect

Playstyle

Offensively, the build feels very good while clearing with Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows, Gratuitous Violence being the main reason. When you need to deal maximum single target damage, simply make sure you stack up your Bleeds on the target via Puncture Puncture. In boss fights Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows also helps out with its increased effect of Maim.

Defensively, you will stun enemies most of the time, simply because you are dealing only Physical damage, which is the best type of damage when it comes to stunning. The character also reaches a very respectable amount of Life and Life sustain via the Life Leech from Blood Rage Blood Rage and other sources.

For playstyle, attack once or twice with Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows in order to destroy monster packs. Ideally, before stacking up Bleeds on a tough boss via Puncture Puncture, you would want to activate your Focus skill, which is acquired by crafting “% increased Duration of Ailments you inflict while Focussed” on your Helmet; this can be a great damage increase if properly used. Swapping between Blood and Sand stance via Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone will ensure you have good uptime on your Arena Challenger stacks.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Duelist – Gladiator)

  1. Blood in the Eyes
  2. Gratuitous Violence
  3. Arena Challenger
  4. Outmatch and Outlast

Blood in the Eyes is the first step into fully investing into Bleed.

Gratuitous Violence really makes the Bleed mechanic worth a while and smooths out the clear speed by a considerable amount.

Arena Challenger improves the character’s speed by a great amount.

Outmatch and Outlast provides a good balance between offense and defense.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build. We manage to achieve a very respectable amount of Life along with picking all the offensive nodes we need in order to deal with the endgame. The main keystones the build relies on are Resolute Technique, which we pick because we are not Critical-based anyway, and Crimson Dance, which allows us to stack Bleeds upon enemies for great amount of extra damage.

Bandits

You should kill all since the two passive skill points are more powerful than any of the benefits bandits offer.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Lunaris is a great Pantheon choice for the build, as it provides important Movement Speed along with additional Physical damage mitigation.

Minor: Soul of Shakari – Poison immunity is always a good addition to a build. Other minor gods can be chosen depending on personal preference.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Using Bows gives us access to two main links, one in the Bow and one in the Body Armour; in this case we will be using Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows for clearing and Puncture Puncture for single target. For mobility, use Blink Arrow Blink Arrow. Blood Rage Blood Rage provides the very important Life leech and Frenzy charge generation, and the downside of the skill is easily mitigated by the good amount of Life Regeneration we achieve. For Mana reservation buffs, we recommend Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone and Malevolence Malevolence. Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell is a great damage mitigation skill for the build.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Vaal Rain of Arrows (6-Link)

Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows is our clearing skill, which should be ideally used in your 6-Linked Body Armour. We recommend one link that works well in all situations.

  1. Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows
  2. Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support
  3. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  4. Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support
  5. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support
  6. Brutality Support Brutality Support

Puncture (6-Link)

Puncture Puncture is used in order to deal vast amounts of damage over time against single targets. This skill is the best for the purpose of the build for few reasons: it has a base Bleed duration of 8 seconds (otherwise Bleeds last 5 seconds), the base duration of the skill is very high, and it has in-built Bleed damage multiplier. We provide a 6-Link with having in mind you have Elder-based Bow with “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Vicious Projectiles”, which essentially results in having a 7-Link. If you do not have such a Bow, simply use Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support instead of Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support.

  1. Puncture Puncture
  2. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  3. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  4. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support
  5. Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support
  6. Maim Support Maim Support

Other Gems

Blood Rage Blood Rage will give you the ability to gain Frenzy charges on kill. In addition to this, it provides additional Life Leech and Attack Speed. Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell can be very powerful when used after clicking your Granite Flask Granite Flask that also has “% increased Armour during flask effect”. Blink Arrow Blink Arrow is the mobility skill you should rely on whenever you need to dodge lethal game mechanics and reposition in general. Malevolence Malevolence is a great damage increase, especially when having a Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with “Damaging Ailments you inflict deal damage #% faster while affected by Malevolence”.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources. Considering we will be playing around the Blasphemer's Grasp Blasphemer's Grasp we will ideally need a full set of Elder-based items.

Helmet

A well-rolled rare Elder-based Helmet is best in slot for the build. Crafting the Betrayal mod “% increased Duration of Ailments you inflict while Focussed” is very important and should be done as soon as you want to kill tough bosses. For labyrinth enchant, look for “Blood Rage grants additional 12% increased Attack Speed”. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. % increased Duration of Ailments you inflict while Focussed (Betrayal mod crafted via the crafting bench)
  5. Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Body Armour

We are looking for a rare Elder-based Body Armour. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Elder mod; Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Socketed Gems are supported by Level 1 Maim (Serrated Fossil Serrated Fossil)

Gloves

Decently rolled rare Elder-based Gloves are best in slot, preferably you should be looking for Gripped Gloves Gripped Gloves. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  5. % increased Attack speed

Boots

Once again we are looking for Elder-based Boots. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Movement speed (preferably 25%+)

Belt

Heavy Belt Heavy Belt, Leather Belt Leather Belt, Rustic Sash Rustic Sash and Stygian Vise Stygian Vise are all good Belt bases. Ryslatha's Coil Ryslatha's Coil can also be considered as a budget version of you Belt. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)
  4. % increased Maximum Life (Elder mod)
  5. % increased Damage with Ailments

Amulet

A well rolled rare Elder-based Amulet is best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. +1 to Minimum Frenzy charges
  4. % of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
  5. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  6. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Rings

Well rolled Elder-based Rings are best in slot. Having “+1 to Minimum Frenzy charges” on both of your Rings and Amulet will result in having 3 Frenzy charges all the time, which ensures having Outmatch and Outlast’s (one of Gladiator’s ascendancy nodes) 10% More Physical damage active all the time. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. +1 to Minimum Frenzy charges
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  5. % increased Damage with Ailments (Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil)

Weapon

Acquiring a good Bow for the build will probably be the most expensive part of the build. Essentially, we need a base with fast attack speed, like the Thicket Bow Thicket Bow, ideally item level 83. This will allow us to get our 7th link in the form of “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Vicious Projectiles”. Then we need to craft the Bow with Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil for the “60% chance for Bleeding inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage”. Lioneye's Glare Lioneye's Glare can be used until you acquire such a Bow. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Vicious Projectiles (Elder Prefix)
  2. 60% chance for Bleeding inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage (Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil)
  3. Adds # to # Physical damage
  4. % increased Attack Speed

Quiver

A well-rolled Elder-based Quiver is best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (70)
  3. % increased Attack Speed
  4. % increased damage with Bleeding
  5. Attacks have #% chance to cause Bleeding / % increased Damage with Bleeding

Flasks

The build does not greatly benefit from any unique flasks, this is why we recommend a full set of regular ones. An Instant Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask with Bleeding removal would be ideal. A Granite Flask Granite Flask with “% increased Armour during Flask effect” will ensure you get a great amount of Armour for some duration, which will help you generate great damage-mitigating shields via Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shells. For the other flask slots we recommend Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask, Basalt Flask Basalt Flask and Stibnite Flask Stibnite Flask. Remember to have Freeze (of Heat), Bleed (of Staunching) immunity and Curse (of Warding) immunity rolled on at least one of your flasks.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

There are no mandatory Jewels for the build. A Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with “Damaging Ailments you inflict deal damage #% faster while affected by Malevolence Malevolence” can be extremely powerful, but expensive. Overall you should prioritize regular Jewels over Abyssal ones.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Maximum life
  2. % increased Physical damage
  3. % increased Physical Damage with Bows
  4. % increased Projectile Damage
  5. % increased Damage
  6. % increased Attack Speed with Bows
  7. Attacks have #% chance to cause Bleeding / % increased Bleeding Duration
  8. % increased Damage over Time

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. # to Maximum life (at least 35)
  2. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Bow Attacks
  3. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  4. % increased damage if you if you’ve killed recently

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

The character can easily be leveled as melee by using powerful leveling skills like Ground Slam Ground Slam and Earthquake Earthquake. You can also invest some passive points into One-Handed or Two-Handed melee weapons, which will be respecced later on.

Leveling Trees

With this passive skill tree we aim to pick up Resolute Technique as soon as possible, then we can invest into some Bleed nodes like Bloodletting and Red Storm, then we are ready to pick Crimson Dance. Considering this is a guide for a relatively expensive character, we’ve crafted the passive tree with having Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall in mind even early on.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Unique Axes like Limbsplit Limbsplit, Reaper's Pursuit Reaper's Pursuit and The Blood Reaper The Blood Reaper will carry you all the way through the leveling content.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Ground Slam Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should pick up Dash Dash for additional mobility, Blood and Sand Blood and Sand and Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector.

By level 8, your Ground Slam Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Ground Slam Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 10, you should add Blink Arrow Blink Arrow for additional mobility.

At level 16, you should add Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone.

By level 18, your Ground Slam Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Ground Slam Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 24, you can add Pride Pride for additional damage, although it might reserve too much of your Mana, in which case you can wait until you have a reliable source source of Mana leech.

At level 28, you should replace your Ground Slam Ground Slam with your signature skill – Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake.

  1. Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Pulverise Support Pulverise Support
  4. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  5. Maim Support Maim Support
  6. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support

By level 31, your Earthquake Earthquake link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake
  2. Less Duration Support Less Duration Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Pulverise Support Pulverise Support
  5. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  6. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to run?

You will one-shot yourself to Physical Reflect. No Regeneration and Cannot Leech are also very nasty. Monster have Chance to Avoid Bleeds also reduces your damage and clear speed by a considerable amount, although it is very manageable.

Conclusion

The Bleed-based Bow Gladiator is a character that specializes in inflicting very powerful Bleed effects on enemies with two different Bow skills, depending on the type of content you are dealing with. For clearing we use Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows and for single target we greatly utilize Puncture Puncture. Keep in mind this is one of the best Bleed-based Bow builds out there that has an immense endgame potential, but it comes at the cost of being really expensive to fully gear and requiring some in-depth game knowledge, which is why it is not recommended for newer players.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build received a tremendous buff via the addition of Damage over Time Multiplier for Bleeding.

  •   

    Build added.

1
  1. Posts
    9

    Well for Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall usage it is not quite far enough for reaching Cleaving axe note

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 27/08/2019 at 12:21 PM, MKRei said

    Well for Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall usage it is not quite far enough for reaching Cleaving axe note

    Bleeding deal damage 15% faster is what we pick it for, it applies to all Bleeds.

  3. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    609

    On 28/08/2019 at 5:04 AM, Vvckd said

    On 27/08/2019 at 12:21 PM, MKRei said

    Well for Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall usage it is not quite far enough for reaching Cleaving axe note

    Bleeding you inflict deals damage 15% faster is what we pick it for, it applies to all Bleeds.

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