The Bleed Earthquake Gladiator Build Guide (PoE Legion 3.7)

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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.

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.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Duelist – Gladiator)

  1. Blood in the Eyes
  2. Gratuitous Violence
  3. Arena Challenger
  4. Outmatch and Outlast

Blood in the Eyes is the first step into fully investing into Bleed.

Gratuitous Violence really makes the Bleed mechanic worth a while and smooths out the clear speed by a considerable amount.

Arena Challenger improves the character’s speed by a great amount.

Outmatch and Outlast provides a good balance between offense and defense.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build. We manage to achieve a very respectable amount of Life along with picking all the offensive nodes we need in order to deal with the endgame. The main keystones the build relies on are Resolute Technique, which we pick because we are not Critical-based anyways; and Crimson Dance, which allows us to stack Bleeds upon enemies for great amount of extra damage.

Bandits

You should kill all since the two passive skill points are more powerful than any of the benefits bandits offer.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Lunaris is a great Pantheon choice for the build, as it provides important Movement Speed along with additional Physical damage mitigation.

Minor: Soul of Shakari – Poison immunity is always a good addition to a build. Other minor gods can be chosen depending on personal preference.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake is your signature skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-link. For mobility, use Leap Slam Leap Slam. Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief will improve your single target damage output by a considerable amount. Blood Rage Blood Rage provides the very important Life leech and Frenzy charge generation, the downside of the skill is easily mitigated by the good amount of Life Regeneration we achieve. For Mana reservation buffs, we use Pride Pride, Blood and Sand Blood and Sand, and Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone. Steelskin Steelskin is a great damage mitigation skill for the build.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Vaal Earthquake (6-Link)

Vaal Earthquake Vaal Earthquake is a melee skill that allows you to slam the ground with your melee weapon. Both the initial slam and the aftershock of the skill can inflict Bleed, which allows us to stack-up Bleeds on tough targets very efficiently. The aftershock portion of the skill occurs after 1 second, this is why we use things like Less Duration Support Less Duration Support in order to lower that delay. The Vaal version of the skill quakes the ground every time we step on the ground, it also leaves aftershocks that deal immense amount of extra Ailment damage (which is very good, considering we aim to scale Bleeds any ways), the most efficient way to deal damage with the Vaal version is to use it and start running around your main target. We recommend one 6-Link that works well for both single target and clearing.

  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. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support
  6. Brutality Support Brutality Support

Ancestral Warchief (6-Link)

Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief will improve your single target damage output by a good deal, it also provides additional damage multiplier to your own damage while the Totem is active. It is very important to mention that it is mandatory to use Bloodlust Support Bloodlust Support, which will prevent your Totems from inflicting Bleeds, since this can lower your overall DPS in long fights.

  1. Vaal Ancestral Warchief Vaal Ancestral Warchief
  2. Bloodlust Support Bloodlust Support
  3. Brutality Support Brutality Support
  4. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Maim Support Maim Support

Leap Slam (4-Link)

Leap Slam Leap Slam is a great mobility skill, especially when you reach a decent amount of Attack Speed. The skill will also provide you with the Fortify effect and Endurance charges every time you land on enemies with full Life. This is possible via the combination of Fortify Support Fortify Support and the Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support gems.

  1. Leap Slam Leap Slam
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support Endurance Charge on Melee Stun Support
  4. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Other Gems

Blood Rage Blood Rage will give you the ability to gain Frenzy charges on kill. In addition to this, it provides additional Life Leech and Attack Speed. Enduring Cry Enduring Cry can be used as a defensive filler skill every time you are not able to deal damage and need some damage mitigation and Life Recovery. Steelskin Steelskin can be used for additional damage mitigation. For Mana reservation, you should use Pride Pride, Blood and Sand Blood and Sand and Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone. Clicking both stance buffs will allow you to switch between Blood and Sand stance, this is important since you need to stay in Sand stance while clearing and go in Blood stance while fighting tough bosses.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

A well rolled rare Helmet is best in slot for the build. For labyrinth enchant, getting “30% reduced Earthquake Duration” can make your Earthquake Earthquake feel very good or even allow you to drop Less Duration Support Less Duration Support for a better damage multiplier. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Body Armour

Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast is a cheap starting option for the build. Later on it is recommended moving to Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart when you 5 or 6-Link your weapon. Rare Body Armour will also do the work. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Elder mod; Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Socketed Gems are supported by Level 1 Maim (Serrated Fossil Serrated Fossil)
  5. % of Physical Damage taken as Cold Damage (Essence of Horror Essence of Horror)

Gloves

Decently rolled rare Gloves are best in slot, preferably you should be looking for Spiked Gloves Spiked Gloves. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  5. % increased Attack speed

Boots

It is important to have decent Movement Speed on your Boots for this particular build, getting rare pair of Boots is one of our best options since there are no particularly powerful unique choices. For labyrinth enchant, look for % increased Attack Speed if you’ve killed recently. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Movement speed (preferably 25%+)

Belt

Heavy Belt Heavy Belt, Leather Belt Leather Belt, Rustic Sash Rustic Sash and Stygian Vise Stygian Vise are all good Belt bases. Prior to a well rolled rare Belt you can make a great use of Belt of the Deceiver Belt of the Deceiver. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)
  4. % increased Damage

Amulet

A well rolled rare Amulet is best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. % of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  5. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Rings

Well rolled Steel Ring Steel Rings are best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. % of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
  4. Adds # to # Physical damage to attacks
  5. % increased Damage with Ailments (Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil)

Weapon

With this build you have a lot of unique Weapon choices, but the best in slot is a well rolled rare one. For Axes, you can use Sinvicta's Mettle Sinvicta's Mettle, Hezmana's Bloodlust Hezmana's Bloodlust, Kaom's Primacy Kaom's Primacy, Uul-Netol's Kiss Uul-Netol's Kiss and Uul-Netol's Embrace Uul-Netol's Embrace. Atziri's Disfavour Atziri's Disfavour outclasses them all and is a very solid Weapon choice in general. For rares, you should roll your weapons with Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossils for the huge Bleed damage multiplier (you should also combine this fossil with Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil in a Potent Chaotic Resonator Potent Chaotic Resonator); when it comes to pDPS, look for at least 500+. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. Adds # to # Physical Damage
  2. % increased Physical Damage
  3. % chance for Bleeding inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage (Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil)
  4. % increased Attack Speed

Flasks

Lion's Roar Lion's Roar is a great unique flasks that provide a good damage boost. Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask is the usual instant or half-instant Life flask you need in every build. A Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline should be used. Any utility flask can be used based on personal preference, we recommend having at least Basalt Flask Basalt Flask; there is no need of Silver Flask Silver Flask since you will gain Onslaught via the Slaughter passive node (Axe node below Resolute Technique). Remember to have Freeze (of Heat) and Bleed (of Staunching) immunity rolled on at least one of your flasks.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

There are no particularly powerful unique Jewels for the build. We recommend prioritizing regular jewels over Abyssal ones.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Maximum life
  2. % increased Physical damage
  3. % increased Melee damage
  4. % increased Area damage
  5. % increased damage
  6. % increased Attack Speed with Axes
  7. % increased Physical Damage with Axes
  8. % increased Physical Damage with Two Handed Melee Weapons
  9. % increased Attack Speed with Two Handed Melee Weapons

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. # to Maximum life (at least 35)
  2. % Chance to Blind enemies on hit with Attacks
  3. % increased damage if you if you’ve killed recently

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
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