This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
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, 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.
Ideally, in an endgame scenario we want to play around 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
+ Hardcore viable
+ Good clear speed
+ Insane single target damage potential
- Expensive to gear up
- Dies to Physical Reflect
Offensively, the build feels very good while clearing with 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. In boss fights 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 and other sources.
For playstyle, attack once or twice with Rain of Arrows in order to destroy monster packs. Ideally, before stacking up Bleeds on a tough boss via 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 will ensure you have good uptime on your Arena Challenger stacks.
This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build.
For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Head||Rare Elder-based Helmet|
|Amulet||Rare Elder-based Amulet|
|Chest||Rare Elder-based Body Armour|
|Boots||Rare Elder-based Boots|
|Rings||Rare Elder-based Rings|
|Weapon||Rare Elder-based Bow|
|Quiver||Rare Elder-based Quiver|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
The character can easily be leveled as melee by using powerful leveling skills like Ground Slam and Earthquake. You can also invest some passive points into One-Handed or Two-Handed melee weapons, which will be respecced later on.
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 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 allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Unique Axes like Limbsplit, Reaper's Pursuit and 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.
Using 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.
At level 4, you should pick up Dash for additional mobility.
By level 8, your Split Arrow link should look like this.
At this point you should also have single target Puncture setup.
At level 10, you should add Blink Arrow for additional mobility.
- Split Arrow
- Chance to Bleed Support
- Pierce Support
- Vicious Projectiles Support
- Deadly Ailments Support
- Onslaught Support
At level 24, you can add Malevolence 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.
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.
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 and for single target we greatly utilize 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.