Lacerate Gladiator Build Guide (PoE Lake of Kalandra 3.19)

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Introduction

Lacerate Lacerate is a skill that often flies under the radar in the Path of Exile community. Despite Cyclone Cyclone garnering a lot of the attention, Lacerate Lacerate can reach similar heights on significantly less gear, and with a unique style and flair that few other melee skills have. This is partially because Lacerate 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 Vaal Reave builds of old. Not only does it boast great damage through a combination of upfront hits and bleeds, but it also has strong across the board defenses that make it stable in any environment.

In Lake of Kalandra 3.19 Lacerate Lacerate remains a great league starter and one of the best melee skills for solo self-found due to its lack of reliance on critical strike or build-making uniques.

Blood and Sand Blood and Sand and Flesh and Stone 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.

Lacerate Lacerate 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 Lacerate Gladiator is fast and powerful and feels totally fresh.

Build Assessment

Pros

+ Excellent clear speed and movement speed

+ Ideal league starter as it requires no bottleneck Uniques

+ Flexible build path and skill choices

+ Long range melee skill grants more options in how you engage enemies and bosses

+ Well rounded late game

Cons

Melee build; despite its ranged advantage it still requires proper positioning on end-game content and bosses

Does not scale indefinitely due to Resolute Technique; even with the best gear damage is unlikely to exceed ~5m DPS

Path of Building

Path of Building data for this build can be found here

Included in the Path of Building are skill trees, all gem links and possible variations, and an example set of gear with room for upgrades. For simplicity’s sake, Elemental Resistances are not included on gear, and you can fill them in as you like depending on available gear.

We use the Path of Building Community Fork for all of our builds, which is highly recommended. If you are encountering errors importing the build, please ensure you are using the Community Fork.

Playstyle and Build Mechanics

While Lacerate Lacerate itself is a fairly straightforward skill, this build has a few moving parts that keep it feeling energetic, such as the Blood and Sand Blood and Sand aura. Using Leap Slam Leap Slam we can move through the map quickly, using Lacerate 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 Inpulsa's Broken Heart for free. We generate all types of charges and apply Maim Support Maim Support for free. Overall, there is no better choice for this build than Gladiator.

In Sand stance, our Lacerate 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.

Passive Skill Tree

This is our recommended Level 94 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.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

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.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet or Talisman
Chest Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast OR Rare Astral Plate Astral Plate
Gloves Rare Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves
Boots Rare Titan Greaves Titan Greaves OR Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots (Uber Elder)
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Steel Ring Steel Rings
Weapon 1 Crafted/Multi-modded Siege Axe Siege Axe
Shield Lioneye's Remorse Lioneye's Remorse

For much more detailed information on the best gear, jewels, and flasks to use, be sure to examine our Gear Page in its entirety.

Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Leveling

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

Start out with Ground Slam Ground Slam, which you should use until Level 12, when Lacerate 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:

  1. Lacerate Lacerate
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  4. Pulverise Support Pulverise Support
  5. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  6. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

Work in Fortify Support Fortify Support in place of Onslaught Support Onslaught Support once you reach the second half of the game and have acquired a Silver Flask Silver Flask. Early on, linking Lacerate Lacerate to whatever gems are available is fine until you reach the latter acts when Brutality Support Brutality Support and Multistrike Support Multistrike Support become available. Be sure to grab Blood and Sand Blood and Sand immediately at the start of the game, Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone in Act II, and Pride Pride at the start of Act III.

Rampart can be taken if and when Fortify Support Fortify Support is being utilized.

We recommend leveling as Dual Wield with a little more emphasis on the early Axe nodes, which you can respec out of later on in favor of more bleed damage, defense, and utility.

FAQ

What Annointment Should I Use on my Amulet?

  • Dirty Techniques is our current recommendation and is fortunately very cheap as well.

Check out the rest of the guide for more information:

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links


Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers


Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Changelog

  • Updated for 3.17 Archnemesis, still waiting on POB to be updated.

  • Updated Path of Building, added 3.16 Leveling Tree, removed Bannerman, added Life Masteries.

  • 3.16 Scourge; overhauled gem-links, new tree, higher damage and survivability, increased versatility, updated gear, and more.

  • 3.15 Expedition updates. Lost damage across the board but still a great league starter.

  • Updated POB and gems setup.

  • Small updates to skill tree & POB.

  • 3.14 Ultimatum updates finished.

  • 3.13 Ritual; fully updated for the new Ritual Challenge league!

  • Updated Path of Building and Gear recommendations to make it more clear the additional Dexterity and Intelligence are necessary to run all recommended gems properly.

  • Updated for 3.12 Heist league; Path of Building added, new gear recommendations, from dual-wield to shield, new passive tree, gem links updated, and more!

  • Initial updates for 3.11 Harvest; new tree changes, pantheon, and more.

  • 3.10 Delirium; Updated for the new league with improved text, formatting, new tree, and more.

  • Initial updates for Patch 3.9 Metamorph are in! Skill Tree, Gear, Pros/Cons, and Annointment Recommendations.

  • Guide added!

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