The Bleed Earthquake Gladiator Build Guide (PoE Harvest 3.11)

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DISCLAIMER

This guide is NOT updated for HEIST 3.12 and we cannot currently recommend it. We are committed to providing an updated version as soon as possible, though. Thank you for your patience.

Guide Format

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:

Introduction

This Earthquake Gladiator build aims to deal tons of Physical damage with the initial hit of the skill, along with its aftershock effect and the very powerful Bleeds they apply to enemies. Earthquake Earthquake has been very good melee skill for long time but with all the buffs to melee in 3.7 it got even better. The Vaal version of the skill allows us to clear very fast since it has low soul-prevention cooldown and does not require a lot of souls for the usage.

Gladiator’s Gratuitous Violence has great synergy with the build’s theme overall, it also smooths out the clearing and allows you to inflict even bigger Bleed effects upon foes. Arena Challenger adds a speed multiplier to our Movement and Attack speed, which allows us to reach very good clearing speed.

Build Summary

The Bleed Earthquake Gladiator does not require any initial currency investment and is a great league-starter. The build uses 2-Handed Axes and there are several budget options that can easily carry you up to Red Tier maps. The build’s Mana problems are easily solved by a single Mana leech roll on either a Jewel, Amulet, or Rings, and this saves up a couple of passive points on the passive skill tree.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great league-starter
+ Good balance between clear speed and single target damage potential
+ Does well in all types of content

Cons

- Mediocre damage mitigation
- Cannot run several map mods

Playstyle

Offensively, a single Earthquake Earthquake will one-shot packs of monsters. You should use Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake every time it is charged-up. Leap Slam Leap Slam will allow you to maintain Fortify and move around quickly. Blood Rage Blood Rage should be active all the time. Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief will augment single target damage whenever needed. Intimidating Cry Intimidating Cry exerts your next two attacks, allowing you to deal double damage, which is perfect for setupping huge bleeds against bosses.

Defensively, most of your hits will stun enemies, which is a great defensive mechanic. The build reaches a reliable amount of Life Regeneration and Life leech, which results in good sustain in long fights. Steelskin Steelskin will prevent incoming damage whenever needed.

For playstyle, you should Leap Slam in the center of monster packs and land a single Earthquake. Hitting enemies with Leap Slam will give you Endurance Charges via Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support and Fortify via Fortify Support Fortify Support. Swapping between Blood and Sand stance will allow you to keep up Challenger stacks in single target fights and while clearing respectively.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build.

For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.

Passive 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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheons Page

Gems

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

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.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Atziri's Disfavour Atziri's Disfavour or rare Axe

Leveling

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

The character can easily be leveled by using Ground Slam Ground Slam from level 1 to 12, Sunder Sunder from level 12 to 28 and then pick its signature skill – Earthquake Earthquake.

Leveling Trees

With this early 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. You should use a Mana Flask until you have a Jewel, Amulet or Rings with “% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana”, this is why we choose to not waste passive points on Mana leech.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Unique Axes like Limbsplit Limbsplit, Reaper's Pursuit Reaper's Pursuit and The Blood Reaper 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.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa 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.

  1. Ground Slam Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should add Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector for additional single target damage, at this point you should also pick up Dash Dash and Blood and Sand Blood and Sand.

By level 8, your Ground Slam Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Ground Slam Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 10, you should add Leap Slam Leap Slam for additional mobility.

At level 16, you should add Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone.

By level 18, your Ground Slam Ground Slam link should look like this.

  1. Ground Slam Ground Slam
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

At level 24, you can add Pride Pride 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.

At level 28, you should replace your Ground Slam Ground Slam with your signature skill – Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake.

  1. Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake
  2. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  3. Pulverise Support Pulverise Support
  4. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  5. Maim Support Maim Support
  6. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support

By level 31, your Earthquake Earthquake link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake
  2. Less Duration Support Less Duration Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Pulverise Support Pulverise Support
  5. Chance to Bleed Support Chance to Bleed Support
  6. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support

FAQ

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.

Conclusion

The Bleed Earthquake Gladiator excels in inflicting strong Bleeds and shreds enemies into pieces. The build excels at dealing great amounts of pure Physical damage, can be started with basically no investment at all and has the potential to deal with the hardest content the game has to offer.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Harvest 3.11. The build is getting buffed by a great deal via changes to Two-hand melee weapons and the addition of Intimidating Cry.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build remains with great clear speed and mediocre single target.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build remains as solid as before and has great clear speed.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Bight 3.8. The build received a great buff via the addition to Damage over Time Multiplier for Bleeding. AoE has been slightly nerfed via changes to Pulverise Support.

  •   

    Build added.

3
  1. Posts
    1

    Any reasons why go 2h instead of 1h axe? Also what anointment would be ideal with this?

  2. Vvckd

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    On 22/12/2019 at 6:32 PM, Fammy said

    Any reasons why go 2h instead of 1h axe? Also what anointment would be ideal with this?

    Hey, we choose 2H Axes because it synergizes very well with Earthquake Earthquake and its Vaal version and applies stronger Bleed effects. When it comes to annointment, I would recommend Hatchet Master.

  3. Posts
    3

    Hello, beautiful guid ! Congrats.
    But i’ve a question.

    If i decide to put my Kaom’s Heart i can’t use 2 items with 6L.
    So i forget this : 2.2. Ancestral Warchief (6-Link) ?
    Or what’s the plan ?
    Sorry i’m so bad… and my english is disgusting

    And for the others items idk what’ve to do, i’m completely lost… (i mean for gems link) my bad.
    For this part : 2.4. Other Gems. Idk what can be good

    Edited by Piuuchka on January 3rd, 2020

  4. Vvckd

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    On 03/01/2020 at 12:27 PM, Piuuchka said

    Hello, beautiful guid ! Congrats.
    But i’ve a question.

    If i decide to put my Kaom’s Heart i can’t use 2 items with 6L.
    So i forget this : 2.2. Ancestral Warchief (6-Link) ?
    Or what’s the plan ?
    Sorry i’m so bad… and my english is disgusting

    And for the others items idk what’ve to do, i’m completely lost… (i mean for gems link) my bad.
    For this part : 2.4. Other Gems. Idk what can be good

    Hey, you can drop the Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief, if you provide a link to your character I can help out choosing gems.

  5. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 04/01/2020 at 9:06 AM, Piuuchka said

    Hi, thanks for your answer !

    Let me try this link, tell me if you can see something or not : https://pastebin.com/sf0qU2uR…

    Hey, please provide a link to your PoE profile.

  6. Posts
    3

    Hey, i hope it’s good with this link : https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/BrainCream/characters

    Name : TenYearsToFindAName

    Thanks !

  7. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1759

    On 04/01/2020 at 8:55 PM, Piuuchka said

    Hey, i hope it’s good with this link : https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/BrainCream/characters

    Name : TenYearsToFindAName

    Thanks !

    Hey, you can easily drop the whole Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief and use it just for the damage it provides. You also have gems you can get rid of, like Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector.

  8. Posts
    3

    Hi, okay perfect, thanks for the info !

    And on my gloves and my helmet, what can I put (gems) if I’ve a 4 sockets link on each?

  9. Posts
    6

    Except the rookie mistake that Pulverise doesn’t work for bleed :-)

  10. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 26/01/2020 at 6:33 PM, Filousov said

    Except the rookie mistake that Pulverise doesn’t work for bleed :-)

    Hey, for clearing you do not need more damage, more Area of Effect will have much more impact, you can replace it with another gem if needed.

  11. Posts
    11

    As I still have one gem slot open: Would the Vulnerability Vulnerability Curse make sense against bosses?

  12. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 07/02/2020 at 7:27 AM, JSBach said

    As I still have one gem slot open: Would the Vulnerability Vulnerability Curse make sense against bosses?

    Hey, you can definitely do that. You can also get a Curse on Hit Ring that provides it for free.

  13. Posts
    1

    Thank you for the build, I am loving it so far.

    Quick question, at what point would you recommend switching from the earthquake 6-link you have on the leveling portion (level 31 ) to the 6-link setup on the gems and links page?

  14. Vvckd

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    On 22/03/2020 at 6:53 AM, BeefSupreme said

    Thank you for the build, I am loving it so far.

    Quick question, at what point would you recommend switching from the earthquake 6-link you have on the leveling portion (level 31 ) to the 6-link setup on the gems and links page?

    Hey, the leveling setup focuses more on initial hits, simply because Bleeds need more investment in both gear and passive tree. I’d say somewhere around Blood Aqueduct is where you can go full-blown Bleed.

  15. Posts
    1

    How come you get the passive node Call to Arms when we’re not running any warcries?
    Could there be a better use of that skill point instead, or am I missing something?

  16. Vvckd

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    On 27/06/2020 at 2:46 PM, ForgottenHero said

    How come you get the passive node Call to Arms when we’re not running any warcries?
    Could there be a better use of that skill point instead, or am I missing something?

    Hey, Intimidating Cry Intimidating Cry doubles your damage for the exerted attacks, essentially allowing you to setup great burst windows.

  17. Posts
    7

    Hey man I just started playing POE first time and went with this as my first build. After spending days looking for a noob friendly build that I actually understand (without ever having played the game), I settled on this one. Im now Level 65 so far in HC Harvest league and loving it as im tearing shit up with few close calls. As Im learning about the game while playing, I have a few questions about the build:

    - Is Crimson Dance necessary?
    From what I gather, its used more for quick/many attack builds like dual wielders? As it stands I land very few hits per second and not sure I can ever even reach like 5 bleeds let alone 8 on a boss target. Seems like it will punish damage when only 1-3 bleeds are on a target.
    - Is this doable with Champion?
    Looking over the ascendancy skills and it looks like the main reason for Gladiator is the bleed chance. However, I’m already at 100% bleed on hit with this build without even taking the bleed chance ascendancy skill. Going over 100 seems unnecessary? Also, the Champion skills with Taunt and such look like it may fit really well?
    - Is Molten Shell a good sub for Steelskin?
    I honestly have not even used Steelskin once while leveling to 65. Maybe it becomes more useful later? It doesnt seem to absorb that much damage even at the highest level. Molten Shell though does damage on top of some good absorbs and armor increases.

    Thanks so much for this build and for answering any questions if you can. Looking forward to trying more of your other builds when I die with this one lol eventually. Hopefully I can survive through the league though!

  18. Vvckd

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    1759

    On 28/06/2020 at 7:12 PM, McNasty said

    Hey man I just started playing POE first time and went with this as my first build. After spending days looking for a noob friendly build that I actually understand (without ever having played the game), I settled on this one. Im now Level 65 so far in HC Harvest league and loving it as im tearing shit up with few close calls. As Im learning about the game while playing, I have a few questions about the build:

    - Is Crimson Dance necessary?
    From what I gather, its used more for quick/many attack builds like dual wielders? As it stands I land very few hits per second and not sure I can ever even reach like 5 bleeds let alone 8 on a boss target. Seems like it will punish damage when only 1-3 bleeds are on a target.
    - Is this doable with Champion?
    Looking over the ascendancy skills and it looks like the main reason for Gladiator is the bleed chance. However, I’m already at 100% bleed on hit with this build without even taking the bleed chance ascendancy skill. Going over 100 seems unnecessary? Also, the Champion skills with Taunt and such look like it may fit really well?
    - Is Molten Shell a good sub for Steelskin?
    I honestly have not even used Steelskin once while leveling to 65. Maybe it becomes more useful later? It doesnt seem to absorb that much damage even at the highest level. Molten Shell though does damage on top of some good absorbs and armor increases.

    Thanks so much for this build and for answering any questions if you can. Looking forward to trying more of your other builds when I die with this one lol eventually. Hopefully I can survive through the league though!

    Hey, at your level Crimson Dance is not necessary. It really becomes great at the endgame where bosses have millions of HP. Considering how EQ works you can also stack Bleeds more easily. Gladiator is no doubt the best ascendancy for the build. Mainly because of the Bleed multiplier and Gratuitous Violence’s insane clear boost, which also allows you to blow up some bosses too. Molten Shell Molten Shell gets better and better the more Armour you have, you can use it if you want. As you are getting into maps I want to warn you things can get pretty rippy in there. Make sure to have few levels on zones when you enter them and look out for things like Betrayal, Deliriums can be rippy too. Avoid Physical reflect mods on maps at all costs, you will oneshot yourself.

  19. Posts
    7

    Thanks for the quick reply. I guess my concern with the Gladiator was that the final one Outmatch and Outlast doesn’t fully work for 2H. As far as I understand, the Offhand procs for endurance will not go off since we have no offhand, correct? We only get the Frenzy charges for the mainhand from that. Seemed like a waste for a 2h build. If the others make up for it though then ok thats good.

    Do you have any recommended support skills for the war cries or guard spells? Other than Second Wind for Enduring Cry, I havent seen any use to support any of those.

  20. Vvckd

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    On 29/06/2020 at 1:18 PM, McNasty said

    Thanks for the quick reply. I guess my concern with the Gladiator was that the final one Outmatch and Outlast doesn’t fully work for 2H. As far as I understand, the Offhand procs for endurance will not go off since we have no offhand, correct? We only get the Frenzy charges for the mainhand from that. Seemed like a waste for a 2h build. If the others make up for it though then ok thats good.

    Do you have any recommended support skills for the war cries or guard spells? Other than Second Wind for Enduring Cry, I havent seen any use to support any of those.

    Even if you do not fully take advantage of the Outmatch and Outlast ascendancy the 10% extra damage is still pretty worth it. You do not really need support gems, you can run them by themselves. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support is another good one though.

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