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:
Reave has been a very good clearing melee skill for very long time. Its Vaal version allows for great area coverage even without any passive nodes or support gems. In combination with the Gladiator’s Gratuitous Violence, the skill becomes very efficient at clearing. The way the character scales its damage allows for very easy swap between Reave and Blade Flurry if you need extra damage in order to deal with tough endgame bosses.
The Gladiator ascendancy also allows us to heavily invest into Chance to Block Attack and Spell Hits. Picking up most of the efficient Shield nodes on the tree provides great amount of defense along with respectable offense. Capping out Chance to Block with this build is not so far-fetched, if you choose to invest into the mechanic, which is very underestimated, considering Blocked Attacks and Spells’ damage is completely mitigated.
The build does not require any mandatory or expensive items, which makes it a good league-starter. There are a few unique items that are very budget-friendly and can carry you a long way. A simple Belly of the Beast can be used even as an endgame Body Armour. Scaeva is a unique Sword that has somewhat decent pDPS and will be enough to get you to red maps. Besides that, simple rare items will be enough to get to the endgame, then you have the option to heavily invest into gear in order to tackle the hardest of content the game has to offer.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Very high Block Chance
+ Great clear speed
- Mediocre single target
- Cannot do Physical Reflect
Offensively, the main thing you should focus on is keeping up your Vaal Reave stages. They increase your area coverage by a great deal and will allow you to be more efficient. An Ancestral Warchief and War Banner will augment your single target damage when needed.
Defensively, having very high Chance to Block Attack and Spell Hits will allow you to mitigate great amounts of damage. Whenever you get hit hard, the main way to recover is to back off and deal some damage in order to Leech your Life. Great Attack Speed in combination with a fast mobility skill will allow you to dodge lethal game mechanics.
For playstyle, the character is required to be active and observant of the environment. Keeping up Blood Rage and Reave stages will ensure you are fulfilling your true potential. Using Ancestral Warchief and War Banner accordingly will allow you to deal very decent single target damage without swapping Reave with Blade Flurry.
Here 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|
|Chest||Belly of the Beast|
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 Reave Gladiator can easily be leveled by using powerful leveling melee skills like Blade Flurry. You should transition to Reave once you have enough damage and Attack Speed for the skill to feel good.
Here is an example of the early passive skill tree for the build. While leveling, restricting yourself to a single weapon type (Swords for example) is not a great idea, this is why we leave the Sword nodes for later on. First, we aim to pick all the efficient Shield, One-handed nodes along with a lot of Life and Life and Mana Leech. Once you acquire a decent Sword you will be able to start investing into Sword nodes and transition into Critical Strikes.
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.
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 10, you are able to add Shield Charge, which will help with your mobility.
At level 12, you should replace your Frost Blades link with the following one.
At level 16, you should add Herald of Purity.
By level 18, your Sunder link should look something like this:
- Onslaught Support
- Melee Physical Damage Support
- Added Fire Damage Support
- Maim Support
- Ruthless Support
At level 24, you should add Hatred.
Finally, at level 28, you can transition into Blade Flurry, the leveling skill that will get you through the leveling content. We recommend the following link.
- Blade Flurry
- Melee Physical Damage Support
- Faster Attacks Support
- Added Fire Damage Support
- Maim Support
- Increased Area of Effect Support
What map mods should be avoided?
You will die to damage Reflect. Although you will probably survive the first couple of hits due to the fact you will be able to Block them, if you have a respectable amount of damage you will not be able to withstand your own damage output and should avoid both Physical and Elemental Reflect mods. Not to mention you will basically one-shot yourself against a pack of Physical Reflecting mobs, due to the fact the 10% maximum Life explosion from the Gratuitous Violence is also Reflected.
The Reave Gladiator is a melee type of character that specializes in Blocking incoming damage while having a very respectable clear speed. The build requires active playstyle and has the potential to kill endgame bosses by using Blade Flurry against single targets.