In Path of Exile we use different skill gems to gear our character in a certain play style. The skill gems decide basically if we are going to be far away from the monster or up close. Being up close is in general considered a Melee build. Melee builds excel in fast-paced combat and uses weapons like swords, daggers, maces or claws.
Melee skill gems in Path of Exile are, for example, Lightning Strike, Cyclone, Lacerate or Flicker Strike to name a few. These skills will put you into a close range of monsters and thus in more danger. For the hardcore league, you will see often used the term “Tanky Melee” build. The tank part speaks for itself as these skills are in very close range of the monsters. The consensus is that such builds require a bit more situational awareness and reaction time to succeed.
To sum it up melee builds use a melee skill as their primary attack, and typically need to be in melee range (although there are some exceptions) to do most of their damage. Build tagged with the Melee tag are the builds you are looking for if you want some close-up action
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