About the Author
Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, recent ladder results include finishing at Rank 5 on the Legion SSF League playing Essence Drain and the Betrayal League at Rank 186 playing Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.
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:
Lacerate is a skill that often flies under the radar, but with the Gladiator reworks and the new Blood and Sand aura it is one of the skills that benefited most from the attention that melee received in Patch 3.7 Legion. Despite Cyclone garnering a lot of the attention, Lacerate can reach greater heights on less gear, and with a unique style and flair that few other melee skills have. This is partially because Lacerate is not really a true melee skill — in the end game, you will be able to obliterate packs nearly a full screen away, reminiscent of the Vaal Reave builds of old.
Blood and Sand and Flesh and Stone transform the skill, giving it two separate sides to the same coin. While in Sand stance, Lacerate has an increased area of effect and angle of attack, but deals slightly less area damage. While in Blood stance, however, nearby enemies are maimed, attacks have a greater chance of inflicting Bleeding, and Bleeding deals more damage, you deal more area damage, but have a narrower angle of attack and less area of effect. This dichotomy gives you the flexibility to clear without comprising your boss damage in any way.
In Patch 3.7.0 Legion, Lacerate is a great league starter that scales into a proper end-game giant that can deal with virtually any boss and clear with ease. The bleeds the build takes advantage of gives the skill a fresh element that few builds incorporate and allow it to scale without relying on conventional damage stats like Critical Strike. Our Lacerate Gladiator is fast and powerful and feels totally fresh.
+ Great clear speed
+ Perfect league starter
+ Strong single target damage (~2.5 million DPS in average gear)
+ Flexible build path and skill choices
+ Long range melee skill grants more options in how you engage enemies and bosses
- Melee build; requires proper positioning on end-game content and bosses
- Not designed to facetank bosses like Minotaur
- Bleeding does not scale with Critical Strike; like most Resolute Technique builds, damage caps out around 3.5m DPS
Playstyle and Build Mechanics
While Lacerate itself is a fairly straightforward skill, this build has a few moving parts that keep it feeling energetic, such as the new Blood and Sand aura. Using Leap Slam we can move through the map quickly, using Lacerate to quickly rip packs apart.
The Gladiator Ascendancy keystones play perfectly into the strengths of this build; Arena Challenger grants the unique Challenger Chargers, which increase Movement and Attack Speed by 20%, further empowering our clear. Gratuitous Violence causes enemies that are Bleeding to explode and deal 10% of their Maximum Life as Physical damage, functioning as a sort of Inpulsa's Broken Heart for free. We generate all types of charges and apply Maim Support for free. Overall, there is no better choice for this build than Gladiator.
In Sand stance, our Lacerate has a greatly increased angle of attack and effective area, which makes clearing feel super smooth and relaxed. In Blood stance, however, the cone of attack is more focused and empowers our damage and bleeds, allowing us to melt down bosses and enemies without much trouble. Curses and defense are very flexible; Vulnerability is fantastic for bosses and bolstering damage, Warlord's Mark is a good choice for smooth clear and Mana sustain, and Enfeeble remains the king of defense.
Passive Skill Tree
For more in-depth information on the ordering of skills and details and tricks about the tree be sure to check out our Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links page.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items strike a balance between power and cost-effectiveness. If you want to explore more options for budget or “GG” gear, see recommendations about Jewels or Flasks, or get more information on alternatives and specialty items, please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels, and Flasks page in its entirety.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Amulet||Rare Amulet or Talisman|
|Chest||Belly of the Beast OR Rare Astral Plate|
|Gloves||Rare Spiked Gloves|
|Boots||Rare Titan Greaves OR Kaom's Roots (Uber Elder)|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Rings||Rare Steel Rings|
|Weapon 1||Crafted/Multi-modded Siege Axe|
|Weapon 2||Crafted/Multi-modded Siege Axe|
For much more detailed information on the best gear, jewels, and flasks to use, be sure to examine our Gear Page in its entirety.
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.
Start out with Ground Slam, which you should use until Level 12, when Lacerate can be acquired. Lacerate is a fairly strong leveling skill, and is a perfectly fine choice to use all throughout the leveling process and into Maps. Your links for leveling should be:
- Melee Physical Damage Support
- Multistrike Support
- Pulverise Support
- Brutality Support
- Onslaught Support
Work in Fortify Support once you reach the second half of the game and have acquired a Silver Flask. Early on, linking Lacerate to whatever gems are available is fine until you reach the latter acts when Brutality Support and Multistrike Support become available. Be sure to grab Blood and Sand immediately at the start of the game, Flesh and Stone in Act II, and Pride at the start of Act III.
What Annointment Should I Use on my Amulet?
- Offense: Ambidexterity is the best option for pure damage.
- Utility: Graceful Assault gives you Onslaught for clear, allowing you to drop your Silver Flask. It typically provides the best overall clear speed but loses performance on bosses with few or no adds.
- Leech: Hematophagy is a great option if you have put some extra points aside for Vaal Pact and Vitality Void.
- Defense: Discipline and Training will give you a few hundred extra health, which can be enormously beneficial for Hardcore players.