Forum Index Templar [3.8] Sovyn's Lazy Pally - Tanky Templar with Max Block

History

This Guide is Current for Path of Exile 3.8 Blight

An older version of this build was recognized in the official Build of the Week series, S04E07.


Hail and well met! :-)

Summary

The basic idea of this build is to have a very easy to play melee character with an excellent chance of blocking both attacks and spells, excellent incoming damage reduction, good life and resistances, all the while with an eye toward clearing monster packs efficiently.

In keeping with the "easy to play" theme, all of the defensive stratagems employed in the build must be passive, or at most, activated only occasionally.

No debuffs to repetitively cast, no warcries to worry about. Just wade right in there and smack 'em in the face. :) Stopping to check the loot, or to smell the roses as it were, is no problem for this build. Easy.

Although they may be helpful, the build does not require any specific unique items, making it doable for even those just starting out in Wraeclast.

For maximum flexibility, you can use virtually any melee attack skill gems and one handed axe/sword/mace/claw/dagger of choice.

Passive Skill Trees

The Skill Tree is the core of the lazy pally build. Along with strong blocking ability, on the completed build we also have Mind Over Matter, Elemental Overload, Consecrated Ground, and significant life and mana leech.

113 point completed build

Total of Bonuses from 113 point Passive Skill Tree - click show

Stats
+273 to Strength
+194 to Dexterity
+143 to Intelligence

Defense

Consecrated Ground
You have Consecrated Ground around you while stationary
Effects of Consecrated Ground you create Linger for 4 seconds
Consecrated Ground you create grants Immunity to Elemental Ailments
to you and Allies
Consecrated Ground you create applies 10% increased Damage taken to Enemies

Life and Energy Shield
+1396.5 to maximum Life
145% increased maximum Life
3.6% of Life Regenerated per second
20% increased Life Recovery from Flasks

60% increased Energy Shield from Equipped Shield
200 Energy Shield Regenerated per Second while on Consecrated Ground
29% increased maximum Energy Shield from Intelligence

Mana
+695.5 to maximum Mana
30% of Damage is taken from Mana before Life
15% reduced Mana Cost of Skills
40% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
15 Mana Regenerated per Second while on Consecrated Ground

Leech
1.6% of Attack Damage Leeched as Life
30% increased total Recovery per second from Life Leech
15% increased Maximum total Recovery per second from Life Leech
1.6% of Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
25% increased Maximum total Recovery per second from Mana Leech
30% increased total Recovery per second from Mana Leech

Resistances
+65% to all Elemental Resistances while holding a Shield (combined total)

Damage Reduction
210% increased Defences from Equipped Shield
80% increased Armour (combined total)
Nearby Enemies deal 8% less Elemental Damage

Block
+30% Chance to Block Attack Damage while holding a Shield
+17% Chance to Block Spell Damage while holding a Shield

Offense

Physical, Elemental and Ailment Damage
331% increased Physical Melee Attack Damage while holding a Shield (combined total, includes strength bonus)
50% increased Attack Damage if you've Cast a Spell Recently

96% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (combined total)
40% more Elemental Damage if you've Crit in the past 8 seconds
Damage with Weapons Penetrates 3% Elemental Resistance
+5% chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite
Nearby Enemies take 16% increased Elemental Damage

Attack Skills deal 194% increased Damage with Ailments while holding a Shield (combined total)

Critical Strikes
25% increased Melee Critical Strike Chance
No Critical Strike Multiplier
No Damage Multiplier for Ailments from Critical Strikes

Attack Speed
72% increased Attack Speed while holding a Shield (combined total)
20% increased Attack and Cast Speed while on Consecrated Ground
20% increased Attack Speed if you've Attacked Recently

Accuracy
+798 Accuracy Rating (combined total)
22% increased Accuracy Rating with Maces
31% increased Global Accuracy Rating

Charges
10% chance to gain an Endurance Charge when you Block
10% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge when you Block
5% chance to gain an Endurance Charge on Kill while holding a Shield
12% Attack Speed Increase with all Frenzy Charges
12% More Damage with all Frenzy Charges
12% Additional Elemental Resistance with all Endurance Charges
12% Physical Damage Reduction with all Endurance Charges
120% Critical Strike Chance Increase with all Power Charges

Movement
Ignore all Movement Penalties from Armour
6% increased Movement Speed if you've Hit an Enemy Recently

Other
+2 Jewel Socket (stats from jewels not included here)


Optional Skill Tree Choices


As a non-budget option, once you are high level and have saved some currency, for increased spell block, add a Blue Nightmare to your skill tree as shown. This brings the total skill point investment to 119.


If you don't have expensive equipment with top of the line resistances, Diamond Skin may help.


If your equipment does not include a large chunk of the intelligence stat, and your gear requires it, you may consider spending one skill point on Ancestral Knowledge.


Optional addition of area size and damage for active skill gem choices tagged with "AOE".

Ascendancy Class

New in the Path of Exile Ascendancy expansion, upon completing the optional Labyrinth area, we can choose an Ascendancy class, which is a way to further progress our character. You get two Ascendancy class points each for completing the Normal Labyrinth, Cruel Labyrinth, Merciless Labyrinth, and Endgame Labyrinth, for a total of eight points to spend on the Ascendancy Class Tree. The Lazy Pally is an Inquisitor. The Inquisitor provides a massive upgrade to the efficiency with which we slay monsters. We first take the route to the Pious Path notable node on the Inquisitor Ascendancy skill tree which provides an outsized boost to our damage and survival with Consecrated Ground. Other than Pious Path, I would suggest Augury of Penitence for a defensive boost against elemental damage -- you take 8% less elemental damage. Lastly we take Instruments of Virtue for a damage boost, particularly if you don't mind casting one of your spells manually - if not, it's still good.

Example Builds

If you are knowledgeable about Path of Exile, this section of the guide is all you need.

Budget Setup (Less than one exalted total with self-leveled gems)

Here in this example you can view all in one place the equipment and gems suggested for endgame on a budget. This is useful so that you can see a somewhat optimized setup for an actual high level character using this build. Over one million peak Path of Building DPS with Tectonic Slam and Ancestral Warchief combined.

Passive Skill Tree PoB

Doryani's Catalyst
Vaal Sceptre
Click to expand
  • 20% increased Elemental Damage
  • Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Elemental Proliferation
  • Adds 83 to 159 Physical Damage
  • 13% increased Attack Speed
  • 10% increased Cast Speed
  • 39% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  • 0.2% of Elemental Damage Leeched as Life
  • 86% increased Elemental Damage
  • The result of the catalytic reaction would be either immortality for all,

    or death for all. It was a risk Doryani was willing to take.

    Craiceann's Chitin
    Magistrate Crown
    Click to expand
  • 8% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 143% increased Armour and Energy Shield
  • 7% increased maximum Life
  • Cannot lose Crab Barriers if you have lost Crab Barriers Recently
  • +3% Chance to Block Attack Damage while you have at least 5 Crab Barriers
  • +5% Chance to Block Attack Damage while you have at least 10 Crab Barriers
  • When the rains come, we cower beneath shelter.

    The First of the Deep teaches us

    that we should seek no shelter but ourselves.

    Aegis Aurora
    Champion Kite Shield
    Click to expand
  • 382% increased Armour and Energy Shield
  • +10% to all Elemental Resistances
  • +5% to maximum Cold Resistance
  • +6% Chance to Block
  • Replenishes Energy Shield by 2% of Armour when you Block
  • 18% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • Born from the marriage of ice and sky,

    the aurora evokes both awe and power.


    Death Rush
    Amethyst Ring
    Click to expand
  • +13% to Chaos Resistance
  • +317 to Accuracy Rating
  • +286 to Armour
  • +50 to maximum Life
  • +17% to Chaos Resistance
  • 0.67% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
  • You gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
  • To truly appreciate life you must be there when it ends

    Tabula Rasa
    Simple Robe
    Click to expand
    Stone of Lazhwar
    Lapis Amulet
    Click to expand
  • 2% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • 15% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 14% increased Cast Speed
  • +34 to maximum Mana
  • You are slow, foolish and ignorant.

    I am not.

    Cataclysm Grip
    Two-Stone Ring
    Click to expand
  • +16% to Fire and Lightning Resistances
  • +400 to Accuracy Rating
  • +48 to maximum Life
  • +39 to maximum Mana
  • +21% to Cold Resistance
  • +44% to Lightning Resistance
  • Adds 6 to 9 Physical Damage to Attacks

  • Gale Knuckle
    Goliath Gauntlets
    Click to expand
  • +14 to Strength
  • Adds 4 to 7 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • +79 to maximum Life
  • +42% to Fire Resistance
  • +28% to Cold Resistance
  • 65% increased Armour
  • Meginord's Girdle
    Heavy Belt
    Click to expand
  • +29 to Strength
  • +25 to Strength
  • Adds 5 to 15 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • 10% increased maximum Life
  • +20% to Cold Resistance
  • 25% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
  • Kaom's strength was rivaled only by

    the great Meginord of the north.

    Rainbowstride
    Conjurer Boots
    Click to expand
  • 7% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 140% increased Energy Shield
  • +45 to maximum Mana
  • +20% to all Elemental Resistances
  • 20% increased Movement Speed
  • "They say that you should take life's troubles in your stride.

    Some men have a longer stride than others."

    - Gaius Sentari


    Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching
    -
    Click to expand
  • 66% reduced Amount Recovered
  • Instant Recovery
  • Immunity to Bleeding during Flask effect Removes Bleeding on use
  • Seething Divine Life Flask of Heat
    -
    Click to expand
  • 66% reduced Amount Recovered
  • Instant Recovery
  • Immunity to Freeze and Chill during Flask effect Removes Freeze and Chill on use
  • Lion's Roar
    Granite Flask
    Click to expand
  • Adds Knockback to Melee Attacks during Flask effect
  • Knocks Back Enemies in an Area when you use a Flask
  • 75% chance to cause Enemies to Flee on use
  • 35% more Melee Physical Damage during effect
  • A sprinkle of hunger, a spoonful of menace

    and three generous cups of Might.

    Atziri's Promise
    Amethyst Flask
    Click to expand
  • 2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
  • Gain 25% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
  • Gain 15% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
  • "Death needs not your understanding. It needs only your loyalty."

    - Atziri, Queen of the Vaal

    Rumi's Concoction
    Granite Flask
    Click to expand
  • +14% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
  • +10% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
  • "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.

    Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."

    -Rumi of the Vaal


    Reckless Defence
    Cobalt Jewel
    Click to expand
  • 6% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • +4% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • Hits have 140% increased Critical Strike Chance against you
  • There's no motivation for genius

    quite like desperation.

    Reckless Defence
    Cobalt Jewel
    Click to expand
  • 6% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • +3% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • Hits have 140% increased Critical Strike Chance against you
  • There's no motivation for genius

    quite like desperation.



    Upgrade Path - The main idea here is to upgrade from Tabula Rasa to a 6-link chest with life and armour on it. There is room for DPS improvement on the gloves and belt also, while keeping an eye on balancing your resistances.


    Uber Setup (Cost no object, within reason)

    Since many players enjoy this build so much that they wish to take it to Shaper or level 95+, here is an all-out unlimited budget setup. This one has higher spell block and slightly more life, armour, ES, and DPS due to some (actually still affordable) upgrades.

    Passive Skill Tree PoB
    Items as above, except for these upgrades:
    Dusk Jack
    Saintly Chainmail
    Click to expand
  • +393 to Armour
  • 49% increased Armour and Energy Shield
  • +101 to maximum Life
  • +31% to Lightning Resistance
  • 15% increased Stun and Block Recovery
  • +18% to Cold and Lightning Resistances
  • Stone of Lazhwar
    Lapis Amulet
    Click to expand
  • 4% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • 15% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 15% increased Cast Speed
  • +47 to maximum Mana
  • You are slow, foolish and ignorant.

    I am not.

    Rapture Fist
    Titan Gauntlets
    Click to expand
  • Adds 5 to 9 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • 14% increased Attack Speed
  • 110% increased Armour
  • +83 to maximum Life
  • +28% to Fire Resistance
  • +2 Life gained on Kill
  • Hypnotic Bond
    Rustic Sash
    Click to expand
  • 24% increased Global Physical Damage
  • +40 to Strength
  • 15% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
  • +363 to Armour
  • +79 to maximum Life
  • +45% to Cold Resistance
  • 27% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • Taste of Hate
    Sapphire Flask
    Click to expand
  • 20% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage during Flask effect
  • Gain 17% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
  • 30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Flask effect
  • 30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Flask effect
  • A sip will freeze your lips,

    A swig will chill your heart,

    A glass will still your soul.

    The Blue Nightmare
    Cobalt Jewel
    Click to expand
  • Gain 5% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
  • Passives granting Lightning Resistance or all Elemental Resistances in Radius also grant Chance to Block Spell Damage at 35% of its value
  • Passives granting Lightning Resistance or all Elemental Resistances in Radius also grant an equal chance to gain a Power Charge on Kill
  • We swell and flood

    and drown the undeserving beneath our might.



    Upgrade Path - More DPS with a good shaped weapon.

    Beginner's Guide to Gear

    Shield - This is your most important tool.

    For Most Folks - Generally speaking, if you like to find your own items early on in the game, you will probably find a 'Kite Shield' with resistances and life on it at some point. This is fine for a while. For example:
    Brimstone Span
    Plank Kite Shield
    Click to expand
  • +8% to all Elemental Resistances
  • 40% increased Armour and Energy Shield
  • +32 to maximum Life
  • +6% to Cold Resistance
  • +7% to Lightning Resistance
  • Honour Tower
    Layered Kite Shield
    Click to expand
  • +8% to all Elemental Resistances
  • +24 to Intelligence
  • +66 to maximum Life
  • +12% to Fire Resistance
  • 14% increased Stun and Block Recovery


  • Possibly the best choice if you have access to one in the early game (level 11 requirement) is a Lycosidae unique shield with its solid block chance, some armour and life, plus offensive benefits.

    Another possibility if you have access to one in the early game is a Crest of Perandus unique shield with its high 31% chance to block. We do miss out on armour going with a Crest of Perandus but it is a decent option until you reach endgame.
    Crest of Perandus
    Pine Buckler
    Click to expand
  • +78 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 6.9 Life per second
  • +30% to Lightning Resistance
  • 0.6% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
  • +5% Chance to Block
  • "With piety and justice."

    - Perandus family motto


    As this build relies on the shield as its main source of armour (due to the Increased Defenses from Equipped Shield nodes on the passive skill tree), it is a good idea to look for a shield with plenty of armour on it. Therefore, you may want to consider a 'Tower Shield' with high armour, block, life and resists. For example:
    Gloom Bulwark
    Copper Tower Shield
    Click to expand
  • 81% increased Armour
  • +60 to maximum Life
  • +26% to Cold Resistance
  • +26% to Lightning Resistance
  • 10% increased Stun and Block Recovery
  • Foe Ward
    Girded Tower Shield
    Click to expand
  • 40% increased Armour
  • +65 to maximum Life
  • +32% to Fire Resistance
  • +18% to Lightning Resistance
  • +6% Chance to Block

  • Another very affordable option for traders and probably the best endgame choice for many people is Lioneye's Remorse. Honorable mentions for the unique shields include Titucius' Span, Chernobog's Pillar, Daresso's Courage, and Thousand Teeth Temu as this last one has the ability to regain life as you block.

    For Solo Self-Found players, if you haven't had much luck with your drops, an adequate shield can be easily crafted. I would suggest taking either a plain white Shagreen Tower Shield or Pinnacle Tower Shield as a base and using your Transmutation then Orb of Alteration currency on it until you get life 80+ or additional block chance 4+. If it just has the one mod, use an Orb of Augmentation to add a second mod. Use a Regal Orb to add a random third mod and convert the item into a 'rare' item. Finally, once you have your crafting bench in your hideout, craft Maximum Life mod on there for a fee (tip: raise currency with the Full Rare Sets vendor recipe).

    For Rich Folks - Aegis Aurora is an excellent choice if you can scrape together substantial armour and energy shield from your other gear. Aegis will regain your energy shield each time you block.
    Aegis Aurora
    Champion Kite Shield
    Click to expand
  • 382% increased Armour and Energy Shield
  • +10% to all Elemental Resistances
  • +5% to maximum Cold Resistance
  • +6% Chance to Block
  • Replenishes Energy Shield by 2% of Armour when you Block
  • 18% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • Born from the marriage of ice and sky,

    the aurora evokes both awe and power.



    The Surrender is another good choice. Instead of regaining energy shield when you block, this one regains life. The gear requirements are lower than with the Aegis.

    One of the above, or even a Lioneye's Remorse with useful Vaal Orb corruption, e.g., Spell Block. For example:
    Lioneye's Remorse
    Pinnacle Tower Shield
    Click to expand
  • 4% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 239% increased Armour
  • +90 to maximum Life
  • 5% reduced Movement Speed
  • 20% increased Stun and Block Recovery
  • -25 Physical Damage taken from Projectile Attacks
  • +5% Chance to Block
  • Marceus' unblemished shield is a testament

    to his arrogance... and his fate.



    If you don't care for unique items, look for a rare 'yellow item' Tower Shield with 30% chance to block, 1500+ armour, a high life roll and some helpful resistances. This rare would fit well with the build as presented.

    Situationally, Rathpith Globe (gear with the intelligence stat required to equip) or perhaps Saffell's Frame may be useful as a source of spell block in certain endgame content such as map Dominus and certain versions of Piety, just for example, but neither of these spell block shields are very expensive -- on a strict budget, these bosses can be safely skipped, or perhaps you can utilize a different source of spell block as detailed below.

    Weapon -

    For Most Folks - I suggest a hard hitting physical weapon with an attack speed suffix. As with all melee builds, you will need to constantly upgrade your weapon while leveling in order to keep your kill speed up. Look for rare one handed weapons with high physical damage percentage (XXX% increased Physical Damage) and flat physical (Adds XX-XX Physical Damage) and attack speed (XX% increased Attack Speed) bonuses. Preferably all three. Some flat elemental damage on your weapon is alright if you can't find a perfect weapon but won't make much difference. Alternatively, a fun variation on the basic build uses Facebreaker gauntlets for some hand-to-hand action instead of a weapon. Just starting out, The Screaming Eagle works. An upgrade from that would be Brightbeak. After that, Mightflay may be an option depending upon your attack skill choice below. Then, For end game, you should aim for a 'rare' (yellow item) weapon with 250 or more physical DPS and some critical strike chance to ensure that your elemental overload buffs stays up, a very doable goal with Master Crafting. A type of weapon called a 'claw' fitting this description offers the additional benefit of regaining life and possibly mana as well while you attack. A weapon type called a 'thrusting sword' has the benefit of having additional base weapon range which could be useful depending on your attack skill choice (more about attack skills below). As an example, for most folks, a good set of weapons as you level up will look something like this:
    Dragon Batter
    Stone Hammer
    Click to expand
  • 40% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
  • 79% increased Physical Damage
  • 8% increased Attack Speed
  • 7% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
  • +1 Mana gained on Kill
  • +5 to Accuracy Rating
  • Havoc Thresher
    War Hammer
    Click to expand
  • 20% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
  • 82% increased Physical Damage
  • Adds 4 to 8 Physical Damage
  • 13% increased Attack Speed
  • +73 to Accuracy Rating
  • Mightflay
    Flaying Knife
    Click to expand
  • 30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  • +25 to Strength
  • 100% increased Physical Damage
  • Adds 12 to 24 Physical Damage
  • +10 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
  • A mighty beast, a lavish feast.

    Dusk Etcher
    Wrist Chopper
    Click to expand
  • +24 to Strength
  • 93% increased Physical Damage
  • Adds 16 to 24 Physical Damage
  • 21% increased Attack Speed
  • +4 to Accuracy Rating
  • Apocalypse Smasher
    Phantom Mace
    Click to expand
  • 20% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
  • 180% increased Physical Damage
  • Adds 13 to 25 Physical Damage
  • 7% increased Attack Speed
  • +3 Mana gained on Kill
  • +51 to Accuracy Rating
  • Dread Blunt
    Ancestral Club
    Click to expand
  • 20% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
  • 146% increased Physical Damage
  • Adds 20 to 37 Physical Damage
  • 5% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
  • +18% to Cold Resistance
  • +28 to Accuracy Rating
  • 11% increased Attack Speed


  • For Rich Folks - For characters over approximately level 60, you will want a weapon with a decent critical strike chance along with good damage. Depending on your attack skill choice, I recommend one of the relatively affordable endgame unique weapons. These include Scaeva, Bino's Kitchen Knife, Doryani's Catalyst, or Varunastra.
    Scaeva
    Gladius
    Click to expand
  • 18% increased Global Accuracy Rating
  • Adds 92 to 137 Physical Damage
  • 23% increased Critical Strike Chance
  • 0.3% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life per Red Socket
  • +10% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier per Green Socket
  • 0.3% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana per Blue Socket
  • 8% increased Global Defences per White Socket
  • 60% increased Global Critical Strike Chance when in Main Hand
  • +8% Chance to Block Attack Damage when in Off Hand
  • Even from the back rows,

    the whistling steel was mesmerising.

    They watched the dance in the arena dust, silent as the dead.

    A spell only broken by the spilling of blood.

    Bino's Kitchen Knife
    Slaughter Knife
    Click to expand
  • 30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  • 30% increased Damage over Time
  • Adds 58 to 135 Physical Damage
  • 45% increased Critical Strike Chance
  • +15% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  • +9% to Chaos Resistance
  • On Killing a Poisoned Enemy, nearby Enemies are Poisoned
  • and nearby Allies Regenerate 200 Life per second
  • Calling it poison would imply

    that it was even edible.

    Doryani's Catalyst
    Vaal Sceptre
    Click to expand
  • 20% increased Elemental Damage
  • Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Elemental Proliferation
  • Adds 83 to 159 Physical Damage
  • 13% increased Attack Speed
  • 10% increased Cast Speed
  • 39% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  • 0.2% of Elemental Damage Leeched as Life
  • 86% increased Elemental Damage
  • The result of the catalytic reaction would be either immortality for all,

    or death for all. It was a risk Doryani was willing to take.

    Varunastra
    Vaal Blade
    Click to expand
  • +460 to Accuracy Rating
  • 51% increased Physical Damage
  • Adds 44 to 99 Physical Damage
  • +2 Mana gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
  • Counts as all One Handed Melee Weapon Types
  • "Painful suicide in the hands of a fool,

    Creative death in the hands of a master."

    - Icius Perandus, Antiquities Collection, Item 2992


    If you already have one (if not just get one of the above), you may want to go with a high damage rare item with some critical strike chance and 350 or more physical DPS as this may be usable. Or a high physical damage rare without any additional critical strike chance, although not ideal, will work acceptably.
    Varunastra, while it does not have any critical strike chance, does a lot of damage due to how you can use damage nodes on the tree that apply multiple times.

    Amulet -

    For Most Folks - The Anvil is a unique amulet that is nearly required to max block earlier on -- assuming you can live with its drawbacks. Another top choice is Stone of Lazhwar, which is quite nice with this build, especially for maps. It will add a healthy chance to block spells with this build, which does make a noticeable difference in areas filled with spell casters.
    The Anvil
    Amber Amulet
    Click to expand
  • +27 to Strength
  • 8% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • 10% reduced Attack Speed
  • 10% reduced Cast Speed
  • +463 to Armour
  • +41 Life gained when you Block
  • +23 Mana gained when you Block
  • 20% reduced Movement Speed
  • +3% to maximum Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • Reflects 240 to 300 Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
  • Forge your Perseverance on the Anvil of Faith.

    Stone of Lazhwar
    Lapis Amulet
    Click to expand
  • +29 to Intelligence
  • 15% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 15% increased Cast Speed
  • +50 to maximum Mana
  • You are slow, foolish and ignorant.

    I am not.


    If you don't have those uniques, any amulet with a high life affix is a good choice. Other mods to look for include physical damage, elemental resists, chaos resist, leech, armour, mana regen, quantity/rarity. You could even switch them out as needed as the Stone of Lazhwar is not very good when in areas populated with melee monsters.

    For Rich Folks - One of the above unique amulets with a good Vaal Orb corruption. Block is best; a modest 2% block corruption, the lowest roll, which is actually somewhat affordable, can be helpful to max out your block depending on the shield and passive skill tree jewels you choose. My amulet:
    Stone of Lazhwar
    Lapis Amulet
    Click to expand
  • 2% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • 15% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 14% increased Cast Speed
  • +34 to maximum Mana
  • You are slow, foolish and ignorant.

    I am not.


    Spell block is also a fine choice for the corrupted mod. This is in the rich folks section because corrupting can take many attempts for the desired result -- it simply depends on luck as to how much it costs in the end.

    Helmet -

    For Most Folks - Rare with high armour, life, any resists (chaos/elemental) or base stats like intelligence you may need, optionally item rarity. For example:
    Pandemonium Brow
    Siege Helmet
    Click to expand
  • +185 to Accuracy Rating
  • +60 to Armour
  • 40% increased Armour
  • +85 to maximum Life
  • +19% to Cold Resistance
  • +29% to Lightning Resistance
  • 13% increased Stun and Block Recovery

  • Early on, good low-cost unique choices include Ezomyte Peak, Goldrim, then, in your 30s and 40s, Deidbell. Another affordable option for level 65, light on defenses, is Rime Gaze, which offers effectively a 5-link for your attack skill with the integrated level 15 Concentrated Effect support.

    For Rich Folks - Most will opt for a rare helmet with high life roll (90+), high armour and possibly energy shield as well for the Aegis Aurora shield choice, along with several 25+ resists -- simply a version of the budget recommendation above, but taken to the max. For example, here is a decent helmet I found myself and used for a long time:
    Gale Visor
    Ezomyte Burgonet
    Click to expand
  • 75% increased Armour
  • +81 to maximum Life
  • 24% increased Rarity of Items found
  • +21% to Fire Resistance
  • +34% to Cold Resistance
  • +37% to Lightning Resistance

  • Another option that I highly recommend and is my personal choice as an affordable way to maximize this build is The Bringer of Rain.
    The Bringer of Rain
    Nightmare Bascinet
    Click to expand
  • Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 18 Melee Physical Damage
  • Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 12 Faster Attacks
  • Socketed Gems are supported by Level 6 Blind
  • 6% Chance to Block Attack Damage
  • Adds 20 to 30 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • 297% increased Armour and Evasion
  • +146 to maximum Life
  • 20% chance to gain an Endurance Charge when you Block
  • Can't use Chest armour
  • Extra gore
  • "What lies beneath your feet?!"

    "Sacred ground, watered with tears of blood!"


    This is used instead of a chest and helmet. Although you cannot use a chest armour with Bringer of Rain equipped, it offers effectively a 7-link for your attack skill, albeit with reduced gem levels. Bringer of Rain won't quite match the Damage Per Second (DPS) output of a 6-link chest with quality gems and it's harder to max out your resistances but it is lower cost.

    For the uber version of the build, The Brine Crown is a good choice.

    The last option that I'd like to mention is Abyssus. Abyssus is a choice if you want more DPS at the cost of some of your defenses. If you choose Abyssus, Lightning Coil and Purity of Lightning become your best choices for the chest slot and one of your auras, respectively, as detailed in other sections of this guide. I wouldn't recommend using Blood Rage with Abyssus equipped.

    Chest -

    For Most Folks - The best armour-based chest you can find with armour bonus, life, resists (chaos/elemental), and as many linked sockets as you can get. Bramblejack is nice when just starting out. Tabula Rasa is an option if you can manage to max out your resists elsewhere. Example of a good goal for most folks:
    Woe Guardian
    Battle Plate
    Click to expand
  • +40 to Strength
  • 83% increased Armour
  • +82 to maximum Life
  • +16% to Cold Resistance
  • +34% to Lightning Resistance
  • 7% increased Stun and Block Recovery


  • For Rich Folks - If for some reason you decide not to use The Bringer of Rain instead of a chest, Belly of the Beast is a good option as it offers quite a bit of life -- it tends to be expensive with a high number of links. For rares, I suggest an 5-link or 6-link Astral Plate or Glorious Plate or Saintly Chainmail (for Aegis) with the mods listed in the "for most folks" section. The extra resists that Astral Plate provides will help you to free up other pieces of equipment for other things. You can alternatively go for an evasion-based chest (e.g. Carcass Jack to improve your attack skill) instead, but you would lose some physical damage reduction. Another interesting choice is Lightning Coil -- excellent synergy with Abyssus above -- you should run a high level Purity of Lightning aura if you go this way.

    Gloves -

    For Most Folks - A 'rare' item with armour, life, resistances, and physical damage if at all possible. For Example:
    Dragon Clutches
    Ancient Gauntlets
    Click to expand
  • Adds 3 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • Adds 1 to 2 Cold Damage to Attacks
  • +74 to maximum Life
  • +41% to Cold Resistance
  • +22% to Lightning Resistance

  • The inexpensive unique Slitherpinch may be useful for its leech if you are having trouble with mana early on.

    For Rich Folks - Rare with high life, any resists (chaos/elemental) you still need, armour bonus, attack speed, physical damage, roughly in that order of priority. For example:
    Rapture Fist
    Titan Gauntlets
    Click to expand
  • Adds 5 to 9 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • 14% increased Attack Speed
  • 110% increased Armour
  • +83 to maximum Life
  • +28% to Fire Resistance
  • +2 Life gained on Kill


  • Belt -

    For Most Folks - Rare belt with armour, life, resists (chaos/elemental) if possible. Wurm's Molt, or Perandus Blazon may be useful early on to help equip your items.

    For Rich Folks - Rustic Sash with over 20% damage, 200+ armour, 50+ life and resists, energy shield for Aegis users or weapon elemental damage, or Meginord's Girdle or Immortal Flesh if you are brave and well stocked with spell block. Belts I've used recently:
    Chimeric Bond
    Rustic Sash
    Click to expand
  • 24% increased Global Physical Damage
  • +374 to Armour
  • +97 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 4.7 Life per second
  • +41% to Cold Resistance
  • 20% increased Stun and Block Recovery
  • 21% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • Hypnotic Bond
    Rustic Sash
    Click to expand
  • 24% increased Global Physical Damage
  • +40 to Strength
  • 15% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
  • +363 to Armour
  • +79 to maximum Life
  • +45% to Cold Resistance
  • 22% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills


  • Boots -

    For Most Folks - I do highly recommend boots with both life and 30% increased movement speed if at all possible.

    For Rich Folks - As above, plus resistances (chaos/elemental) and armour bonuses. Alternatively, particularly with the Aegis Aurora, the Rainbowstride unique boots will serve you well as yet another source of spell block. My boots:
    Rainbowstride
    Conjurer Boots
    Click to expand
  • 7% Chance to Block Spell Damage
  • 140% increased Energy Shield
  • +45 to maximum Mana
  • +20% to all Elemental Resistances
  • 20% increased Movement Speed
  • "They say that you should take life's troubles in your stride.

    Some men have a longer stride than others."

    - Gaius Sentari



    Rings -

    A Word About Mana - If you are not using the Blood Magic support gem on your attack skill (more about attack skills below), a ring with the mana leech property, e.g., "0.2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana" may be useful early on, before you attain the mana node recommended on my passive skill tree. The Wurm's Molt belt or Slitherpinch gloves mentioned above will work instead, but most often your leech would come from your ring(s). Don't forget to check the town vendors as they sometimes have a "Thirsty" ring for sale which can be useful on new leagues. These leech rings can sometimes replace any mana flasks you may still be using or at least reduce the frequency of their use. Another option is the rings that master Elreon sells sometimes. You can check with him after each daily mission. The rings that he sells provide a discount on mana cost of skills which can make quite a difference for already low-cost melee abilities. These are plain rings but they can be improved easily.
    Elreon's Unset Ring
    -
    Click to expand
  • Has 1 Socket
  • -7 to Total Mana Cost of Skills


  • For Most Folks - Leech if needed, resists, some life if possible as well. If, after going through all of your other equipment choices above, you still do not have sufficient chaos resist (you at least want to get to around zero chaos resist), then this is a good place to get some, by choosing Amethyst Rings as your base items. Blackheart is a choice early on.

    For Rich Folks - If you are trying to improve the build's critical strike capability, you will want one Romira's Banquet to generate Power Charges. Other than that you need ring(s) with some combination of solid resists (possibly including chaos), 70+ life, high roll flat physical damage, leech if needed and any needed stats to use your equipment. Attack speed is a plus as well. A high roll Le Heup of All is also a decent choice although a good rare ring can be better overall. Andvarius may be desirable in some situations. Rings that I have used recently, for example:
    Romira's Banquet
    Diamond Ring
    Click to expand
  • 29% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  • +333 to Accuracy Rating
  • +13% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  • +40 to maximum Mana
  • 0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
  • Gain a Power Charge on Non-Critical Strike
  • Lose all Power Charges on Critical Strike
  • The Empress gave Romira two sons

    Born of his brother's seed

    Romira threw her a banquet

    A perfidious meal indeed.

    Cataclysm Grip
    Two-Stone Ring
    Click to expand
  • +16% to Fire and Lightning Resistances
  • +400 to Accuracy Rating
  • +48 to maximum Life
  • +39 to maximum Mana
  • +21% to Cold Resistance
  • +44% to Lightning Resistance
  • Adds 4 to 9 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • Gloom Turn
    Amethyst Ring
    Click to expand
  • +13% to Chaos Resistance
  • +40 to Intelligence
  • Adds 8 to 13 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • +78 to maximum Life
  • +6 Mana gained on Kill
  • +10% to all Elemental Resistances


  • Passive Skill Tree Jewels

    For Most Folks - Omit the two passive skill points spent on the jewel socket as there are better places to spend the points.

    For Rich Folks -

    Now as of Path of Exile 2.2 we have the Reckless Defence unique jewel. I would recommend getting one of these. For your information, the best roll would be 4% block and 7% additional chance to receive a critical strike. Although you could technically use more than one, I suggest self control with this and limiting yourself to just one due to the additional critical strikes that you will have to absorb. 10% is fine and worth it overall but 20% or more, not so much.

    Skill Gems

    Attack skills -
    Lots of freedom to choose here but I do have some strong recommendations as you will see below. Your attack skill will be socketed into your chest armor (unless you own Bringer of Rain) as that's the only one that can have 5 or 6 linked sockets. You can get by with just a 4-link for quite some time and a 5-link chest is usually quite affordable.

    Smite
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 3
  • Deals 197.9% of Base Damage
  • Base duration is 4.00 seconds
  • 50% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning Damage
  • +1 to radius
  • 29% less Area Damage
  • Aura grants 2% chance to Shock
  • Aura grants 1 to 6 added Lightning Damage
  • Ancestral Call Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 14
  • Supported Skills deal 6% less Damage
  • Supported Strike Skills target 2 additional nearby Enemies
  • Added Fire Damage Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Supported Skills gain 25% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage

  • Recommended attack skill - Just Starting Out - Smite, obtained free as a quest reward for slaying Hillock, the very first boss encountered as you begin the game. After completing the Mercy Mission quest in Act 1, you can buy the Ancestral Call Support from Nessa. Link the support with your Smite. After slaying Brutus, you will also receive the Added Fire Damage Support gem from Tarkleigh, which you can link as well.

    Melee Physical Damage Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Supported Skills deal 30% more Melee Physical Damage
  • Supported Skills deal 30% more Damage with Bleeding and Poison caused by Melee Hits
  • Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Supported Attack Skills deal 35% more Elemental Damage
  • Faster Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Quality +6%
  • Supported Skills have 28% increased Attack Speed

  • Next, add Melee Physical Damage Support, a gem obtained free from Silk in Act 2 after slaying The Weaver. Melee Physical is an upgrade from Added Fire, so will most likely replace it for now. At that same time you can also obtain Elemental Damage with Attacks Support and Faster Attacks Support, both from Yeena (Tab #2 in her vendor inventory) -- because of the mana cost don't rush to link these to your attack skill yet but do start leveling these for later. You can also pick up Concentrated Effect to try and see if you like it later on.

    As soon as possible, you will use Smite - Ancestral Call - Added Fire Damage - Melee Physical - Elemental Damage with Attacks in a five-linked chest item (use the trading site to get one). This combination will serve you well through the basic game.

    Recommended attack skills - Endgame -

    At this point, you are probably well into the higher acts of the basic game, or doing endgame maps. Here are some good options. I recommend a ranged skill for additional safety, but there are many viable choices as you will see.

    Tectonic Slam
    Tectonic Slam
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 13
  • 60% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire Damage
  • Deals 188.9% of Base Damage
  • Charged Slam Deals 60% more Damage
  • 35% chance to consume an Endurance Charge to create a Charged Slam

  • Tectonic Slam is an attack skill that slams the ground in front of the player, doing area of effect damage.
    This skill has top damage and area of effect currently.
    Endurance charge consumption effect: When you have an endurance charge, using the skill has a 35% chance of consuming it, adding 60% more damage to this use of the skill.
    Tip: When you click a skill slot to select Tectonic Slam as your attack, click the option at the top "Always Attack Without Moving". This way you move around less, which improves clearing speed.
    Recommended support gems include Melee Physical Damage, Elemental Damage with Attacks, Physical to Lightning, Multistrike / Ruthless for 5th slot, and Concentrated Effect (max damage for killing boss) / Increased AOE (clear speed) for 6th slot.

    Lightning Strike

    Lightning Strike is the only melee projectile skill mentioned here; it provides a lot of safety range, where you can stand back and attack in place a whole screen away and kill at a distance with the projectiles. The tooltip DPS number shows the toe-to-toe melee hit, projectiles do about 75% of that damage if your support gems are well chosen. Between the eight primary projectiles and the hits from two Ancestral Calls, you are doing a lot more damage than the tooltip would suggest. Recommended supports are Elemental Damage with Attacks, Multistrike, Ancestral Call, Physical to Lightning, then Elemental Focus as your 6th link. Tip: When you click a skill slot to select the skill for it, click the option at the top "Always Attack Without Moving". This way you take advantage of the safety range that Lightning Strike provides, which is the skills' main selling point.

    Blade Flurry

    Blade Flurry is a ranged melee skill, which keeps you safer as you can maintain a small distance from your opponent. The skill builds up power in 6 stages. At the 6th stage, there is a powerful 120% damage multiplier. Blade Flurry's tooltip damage figure is a little bit different than other skills as it represents the damage done per hit rather than damage per second (DPS). However, with a little math, we can determine the DPS. For example, in the picture above, you can see that the average damage is 11,294 and the attack time is 0.2. ((1 / 0.2) * 11294) * (1 + 1.2)) So, our theoretical peak damage output in this example is 124,234 DPS.
    Blade Flurry can be purchased from Siosa after completing the quest, A Fixture of Fate, in act 3.
    Support gem options include Melee Physical Damage, Elemental Damage with Attacks Support, Added Fire Damage, Physical to Lightning (reflect may be an issue), Increased Area of Effect, Concentrated Effect, Faster Attacks (shown on 'attack time' portion of tooltip only), Damage on Full Life Support (with Aegis Aurora), Increased Critical Strikes, Increased Critical Damage.

    Earthquake

    Earthquake -- This gem can be purchased from Clarissa after completing the quest, Sever the Right Hand in act 3 normal. Earthquake is a small area of effect physical damage skill that has a delayed larger area of effect aftershock. Unlike Static Strike, this aftershock effect can only occur once per delay period, rather than one for every hit. Earthquake has a smaller tooltip DPS figure than the other skills but with some math we can see that it is competitive. For example, in the screenshot above it shows 75K tooltip DPS with a 0.71 second delay between the first hit and the aftershock. The aftershock has a 1.72 damage multiplier at the example gem level. Our attack time is 0.25. (((75K * 0.25) * 1.72) * (2 - 0.71)) gives us an extra 41,602 DPS, for a total of just under 116K DPS total from Earthquake. The Less Duration support causes the aftershocks to occur more frequently, which is necessary in order to get the most out of this skill. Melee Physical Damage support is also important. To completely maximize the potential of Earthquake, you would use the Concentrated Effect support for maximum boss kill speed, then for clearing ordinary monsters, you would manually swap Concentrated Effect for an Increased Area of Effect gem. As this is an easy-to-play build, I recommend a compromise between these two, which would be the Physical to Lightning support gem. In this case, Elemental Damage with Attacks Support is better than Added Fire Damage, so the final "compromise" combination in a Bringer of Rain would be: Physical to Lightning - Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Less Duration. In a 6-link chest or Tabula scenario, you would use that same combination, along with Melee Physical Damage and one of Added Fire Damage or Concentrated Effect or Increased Area.

    Ice Crash

    Ice Crash, obtained free from Maramoa as a reward for slaying General Gravicius in mid-Act 3. Ice Crash converts some of your physical damage to cold and has a very generous circular area of effect size that encompasses most monster packs. You won't have to target a specific monster, just hit the ground in the vicinity of the monsters, which is very efficient. Please note that this skill is limited to use with swords, axes, maces or the Facebreaker gauntlets so you will need one of these types of weapons. However, in order to get the damage up this high for bosses, some people would choose the Concentrated Effect support which does reduce the area size. Because both gems are blue, the Concentrated Effect support could be exchanged for the Increased Area of Effect gem for much improved map clearing efficiency. More advanced choices for supports include Physical to Lightning and Elemental Focus. Despite sporting the highest tooltip DPS in the group, the boss killing speed is slightly lesser than the other skills mentioned because there is no secondary effect. Ice Crash is still close however. Also, with Ice Crash, the damage is weaker toward the edges of the area of effect so you want to keep things close to the center if possible. My recommended Ice Crash support combination for Bringer of Rain is: Increased Area of Effect - Physical to Lightning - Elemental Damage with Attacks Support. For 6-link chest or Tabula, simply add Melee Physical Damage and Faster Attacks.

    Static Strike

    Static Strike -- To use this effectively in the endgame, you would need Multistrike, which is a support gem obtained free from Dialla as a reward in Act 4 while you are doing The Eternal Nightmare quest. Static Strike converts some of your physical damage to lightning. The most notable feature is that each hit has a delayed area of effect lightning burst in a slightly variable radius around you. The burst does only 60% of the damage of the primary strike but it is in addition to the tooltip damage. So for a single target, referring to the example above of 99K tooltip DPS we would actually have effective 158K DPS total with the explosions which are not shown on the tooltip. For single-target fights that last longer than a second, Static Strike pulls ahead to the front of the pack. For Bringer of Rain, support this skill with Multistrike - Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Added Fire Damage. 6-link or Tabula, simply add Melee Physical Damage and Faster Attacks.

    Molten Strike

    Molten Strike converts some of your physical damage to fire. This skill is greatly improved by the new Ancestral Call Support. In addition to the initial hit represented by the tooltip, there are raining fire projectiles which each have a small area of effect that may or may not hit anything. Certainly not monsters behind you, leading to possibly less efficiency. The tooltip DPS of Molten Strike is higher but the boss killing speed is slower overall than Static Strike and about the same as Earthquake. Although the initial hit will, the projectiles do not benefit from any specifically 'melee' modifiers from supports, strength, or the skill tree. The math to figure out the total DPS of Molten Strike is unknown but I would venture a guess that it would depend on how many projectile(s) hit the desired target, over which you would not have complete control. For Bringer of Rain, support this skill with Ancestral Call - Multistrike - Elemental Damage with Attacks Support. 6-link or Tabula, simply add Melee Physical Damage firstly, and then either Physical to Lightning or Faster Attacks.

    Consecrated Path
    Consecrated Path
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 12
  • 50% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire Damage
  • Deals 169.8% of Base Damage
  • Base duration is 4.00 seconds
  • Deals up to 20% more Damage to closer targets

  • New in 3.4, this skill is similar to Earthquake, but has a movement component. If packs of monsters are close together, you'll only need to hold down this skill to clear them all, as it will teleport you between the groups automatically. Support links: Melee Physical Damage, Physical to Lightning, Elemental Damage with Attacks, Elemental Focus. If a sixth link is available, Concentrated Effect or Increased Area of Effect, Damage on Full Life, Ruthless would all offer their own benefits to the mix.

    Honorable Mentions - Other viable endgame attack skills:

    Cyclone

    Cyclone Info


    Cyclone - Melee Physical Damage - Added Fire Damage - Faster Attacks - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
    Peak DPS Shown - High Level / Best Gear (within reason) Just For Example (includes all self-buffs - Atziri's Promise flask, 3 Frenzy charges, 3 Power charges, Hatred, Blood Rage, Ice Golem)

    The basic 4-link:
    Cyclone
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Deals 54% of Base Damage
  • 28 to 42 Added Attack Physical Damage
  • 10% increased Area of Effect
  • 8% increased Area of Effect per 1 additional Melee range
  • 30% less Movement Speed
  • First Hit deals 50% less Damage
  • Gains 1 Stage every 0.2 seconds while Channelling
  • Maximum 6 Stages
  • +1 to radius per Stage
  • Lose 1 Stage every 0.3 seconds while not Channelling
  • Melee Physical Damage Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills deal 49% more Melee Physical Damage
  • Supported Skills deal 49% more Damage with Bleeding and Poison caused by Melee Hits
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Melee Physical Damage
  • Added Fire Damage Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Fire Damage
  • Supported Skills gain 44% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
  • Faster Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills have 54% increased Attack Speed

  • For a 5-link or 6-link, choose two (first two are for best damage):
    Concentrated Effect Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 18
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills deal 52% more Area Damage
  • Supported Skills have 30% less Area of Effect
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Area Damage
  • Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Quality +20%
  • 10% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • Supported Attack Skills deal 53% more Elemental Damage
  • Fortify Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Supported Skills grant Fortify on Melee hit
  • Supported Skills have 33% increased Fortify duration
  • Supported Skills deal 33% more Damage with Ailments caused by Melee Hits
  • Supported Skills deal 33% more Melee Damage
  • Increased Area of Effect Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 8
  • Supported Skills have 37% increased Area of Effect
  • Life Gain on Hit Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Quality +6%
  • +45 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks from Supported Skills
  • Blood Magic Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +8%
  • Supported Skills have 4% reduced Mana Cost
  • Supported Skills Spend Life instead of Mana

  • Cyclone, purchased from Tab#2 in Clarissa's inventory, available after slaying General Gravicius. Start leveling Cyclone up then but don't use it yet as you don't yet have enough life regeneration. Around level 70 you will start to have enough life regeneration and life total to support running this very high-cost skill with the Blood Magic support gem. In the endgame, you will be able to sustain Cyclone with mana leech from your equipment or jewels and then utilize an additional damage support gem instead of Blood Magic. Cyclone is one of the best melee skills because its actual damage in practice is hard to beat -- many monsters are not very resistant to physical damage and Cyclone is all about physical damage. Being constantly on the move also helps you to avoid taking damage in many situations. Because Cyclone uses the base weapon range, long ranged weapons such as the thrusting swords will give it a bit more reach (within a budget, Doryani's Catalyst can't be beat though). As this is a movement skill it does take more practice to get the hang of than the previous skills. For example when Cycloning on mana you need to be careful to always stay on top of a monster or you will quickly run out of mana. For Cyclone you typically link it with Melee Physical Damage, Added Fire Damage and Faster Attacks then add one of two of Concentrated Effect, Elemental Damage with Attacks Support, Fortify, Life Gain on Hit, Increased Area of Effect or Blood Magic.


    Reave

    Reave Info


    Reave - Multistrike - Melee Physical Damage - Added Fire Damage - Faster Attacks - Concentrated Effect
    Peak DPS Shown - High Level / Best Gear (within reason) Just For Example (includes all self-buffs - Atziri's Promise flask, 3 Frenzy charges, 3 Power charges, Hatred, Blood Rage, Ice Golem)

    The basic 5-link:
    Reave
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Quality +20%
  • Deals 153.9% of Base Damage
  • 10% increased Attack Speed
  • +1 to radius
  • 50% more Area of Effect for each stage
  • Multistrike Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills Repeat 2 additional times
  • Supported Skills have 44% more Melee Attack Speed
  • Supported Skills deal 10% less Attack Damage
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Melee Physical Damage
  • First Repeat of Supported Skills deals 22% more Damage
  • Second Repeat of Supported Skills deals 44% more Damage
  • Melee Physical Damage Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills deal 49% more Melee Physical Damage
  • Supported Skills deal 49% more Damage with Bleeding and Poison caused by Melee Hits
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Melee Physical Damage
  • Added Fire Damage Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Fire Damage
  • Supported Skills gain 44% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
  • Faster Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 20 (Max)
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills have 54% increased Attack Speed

  • For a 6-link, choose one:
    Concentrated Effect Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 18
  • Quality +20%
  • Supported Skills deal 52% more Area Damage
  • Supported Skills have 30% less Area of Effect
  • Supported Skills deal 10% increased Area Damage
  • Fortify Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Supported Skills grant Fortify on Melee hit
  • Supported Skills have 33% increased Fortify duration
  • Supported Skills deal 33% more Damage with Ailments caused by Melee Hits
  • Supported Skills deal 33% more Melee Damage
  • Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Quality +20%
  • 10% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  • Supported Attack Skills deal 53% more Elemental Damage
  • Increased Area of Effect Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 8
  • Supported Skills have 37% increased Area of Effect
  • Life Gain on Hit Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Quality +6%
  • +45 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks from Supported Skills

  • Reave, recently improved to max out its AoE size at only three swings instead of eight and usable with movement skills without losing its AoE size for efficient clearing. Reave is obtained as a rare drop in-game or you can trade for it, or get it from one of your other characters (a quest reward for entering The Cavern of Wrath on Shadow, Duelist or Ranger). For Reave, you would also need the Multistrike support gem. Melee Physical Damage, Added Fire Damage, Faster Attacks and optionally Concentrated Effect, Increased Area of Effect, Fortify, Elemental Damage with Attacks Support or Life Gain on Hit. Reave works with Swords/Daggers/Claws only so you would need one of these types of weapons to give it a try. Also, you would not go for the mace nodes I take in the level 85+ build. By that level you will be able to choose something that works with Reave if you really want to stay with this skill.


    Above I have recommended just a handful of skills, whereas Path of Exile offers many more choices. While nearly all of the many skills offered will work to varying degrees of success, the above are the safe, recommended choices. I have done the legwork for you and extensively tested all of the skills with my build and have concluded that these are the best choices right now in the current version of the game. (See the question What tests have been done to find the best melee skill? in the FAQ, below for more information.) These recommended attack skills all have built-in AoE damage which is important for clearing packs efficiently. Don't forget that you can level up several extra attack skills by placing them in sockets on the alternate set of items in your weapon switch. You can then test them out later and decide for yourself which one appeals to you most.

    Blood Magic Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 13
  • Supported Skills Spend Life instead of Mana
  • Life Gain on Hit Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • +6 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks from Supported Skills
  • Life Leech Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Supported Skills have 2% of Damage Leeched as Life
  • Damage on Full Life Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Supported Attack Skills deal 30% more Damage while on Full Life
  • Blind Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 1
  • Supported Skills have 10% chance to Blind enemies on hit

  • Other support gems you may want to experiment with that have not been mentioned thus far: If you are having mana problems you may use the Blood Magic support gem, purchased from Clarissa, this time after helping Siosa in the Library. Honorable mentions include Life Gain on Hit, Life Leech, Damage on Full Life Support (useful for Aegis Aurora users), Blind.

    For rich folks, I do recommend as much quality as possible on the attack skill gem and its associated support gems. For everyone else, you can use the vendor recipe method to get quality on your gems but you do have to level them twice so they will be complete by level 92 or so, making this a long-term goal.

    Due to the 50,000 character per post limit, this guide is continued in the next post.

    Sovyn
    Feb 06, 2013 02:41:11 AM

    Auras and Buffs -

    Most folks will want to run the following auras and buffs on the mana globe:
    Hatred for damage. Hatred goes really well with a physical damage based build as it adds a percentage of the physical damage as additional cold damage. The more physical damage you do therefore, the larger hatred's contribution.

    Herald of Purity for damage and some buddies for distraction. Adds physical damage to your attacks. Also sunmmons a Sentinel when you kill an enemy. These Sentinels will run forward to engage other enemies. Note: Use this at low level only, when you take Mind Over Matter on the passive tree, this is no longer used.

    Two socket item (example: shield): Hatred (green), Herald of Purity (red)

    Honorable mentions / other options (as needed):

    See all the options
    Herald of Ash - Herald of Ash adds 15% of our physical damage as extra fire damage, plus a small amount of area damage periodically. The quality bonus of Increased Fire Damage may be useful especially for those using the Added Fire Damage support gem on the attack skill.

    Arctic Armour - If you take more damage than expected from fire or physical damage sources and you would like to exchange some offense for defense, you can choose Arctic Armour. Arctic Armour will chill monsters momentarily when they hit you and also cause you to take substantially less damage from physical and fire sources.

    Determination - Useful if your physical damage mitigation is a little bit low. Note that this aura increases the armour you already have so it won't make up for a lack of armour from gear. Possibly better earlier on in the game when most incoming hits are small, due to the way armour works in PoE. I used this aura for a while during the low levels.

    Clarity - can be useful to run low level Clarity aura in some situations, e.g., if you can almost keep up with mana cost for a skill, clarity may provide a nudge in the right direction. I used this while leveling up. Can be run with Blood Magic support gem in a pinch.

    Purity of Elements - Can be an excellent crutch early on until you have adequate elemental resistances on gear. Not for endgame.

    Purity of Lightning - Level this up as soon as you find it. Useful to activate before encounters such as Dominius, and, later, the Torture Chamber end game map boss. This is situational and not used all of the time unless you use Lightning Coil in which case this is used permanently instead of Herald of Ash.

    Purity of Fire - Level this up when you find it. Useful for certain encounters that have a strong fire component, such as the boss in the Crematorium end game map. This is also situational and not used all of the time.

    Herald of Ice - Adds a small amount of cold damage to your attacks. The quality bonus of Increased Cold Damage may be useful for Ice Crash + Hatred.

    If you are using the Blood Magic support gem with your attack and movement skills, you can add Arctic Armour or Herald of Ice to the default Hatred+Herald of Ash. Before deciding, also read about Herald of Thunder in the counter-attacks section, below.


    (Optional) Triggers - Note: These are optional but very helpful for endgame.

    Cast when Damage Taken (CWDT) - You can obtain a Cast when Damage Taken gem from Petarus and Vanja after completion of 'The Eternal Nightmare' quest in Act 4. Do not level this trigger gem, leave it at level 1.

    Link it with a level 3 Golem gem. Your choice -- Summon Flame Golem: The Flame Golem will be your companion occasionally and add to your damage as well as providing some of his own in the form of fire spells. Summon Ice Golem: A slight upgrade from the Flame Golem for very high level characters with critical strike capability. Summon Chaos Golem: An option if you want a tiny bit more defense.

    Next we link Tempest Shield (level only to 7). Tempest Shield provides 3% block and some minor additional damage.

    If you want to use a 4-link for this, I suggest either Blood Rage (level 7) for non-Aegis Aurora users for the three Frenzy charges which will provide you some additional attack speed. If you do use Aegis, substitute Molten Shell (level 10).

    If your gems are too high level you can reduce the level with the vendor recipes, either by one level at a time (gem + scour) or down to level 1 (gem + regret).

    Three or four linked socket item (example, gloves):

    Cast when Damage Taken (red) - Summon Flame Golem (red) or Summon Ice Golem (green) or Summon Chaos Golem (blue) - Tempest Shield (blue) - Blood Rage (green) or Molten Shell (red)

    Counter-Attacks - As we are block specialists, we can utilize all three of the available counter-attacks. The counter-attacks and their associated gems can be leveled up all the way.

    The Counter-Attacks provide a way to passively curse our enemies for additional defense or offense and also do some free damage. I have chosen Reckoning for this purpose as it applies the curse to more enemies than the other Counter-Attack skills could.

    Link with Curse on Hit and your choice of one curse: Enfeeble - The only choice for hardcore, this is very powerful against endgame bosses due to its ability to reduce their damage and critical strikes, or you can use Vulnerability (for physical attack skills) or Elemental Weakness (for elemental attack skills) here instead of Enfeeble in easy going areas for additional offensive capability. For high level characters with top tier equipment, Punishment is probably the best DPS curse if you choose a close-range melee skill. Other good curse choices if you have mana troubles are Warlord's Mark or Poacher's Mark, or use Assassin's Mark to further the critical strike capability of the build.

    If you want to use a 4-link item for this, optional choices include the counter-attack when you are hit, Vengeance to apply your curse slightly more frequently, or Blind for additional defense.

    Four linked socket item (example, boots):

    Reckoning (red) - Curse on Hit (blue) - Enfeeble or Vulnerability or Elemental Weakness or Warlord's Mark or Poacher's Mark or Assassin's Mark (your choice) - Vengeance (red, optional) or Blind (green, optional)

    The hardest hitting single target counter-attack, Riposte is then placed in any available green socket.

    If however you opt to not use The Bringer of Rain for some reason, the counter-attacks can also provide a way to passively gain Endurance Charges for additional defense against physical attacks. I recommend the hardest-hitting counter-attack on block, Riposte, and the counter-attack when you are hit, Vengeance, linked with Endurance Charge on Melee Stun and Stun.

    Four linked socket item (example, helmet):

    Riposte (green) - Vengeance (red) - Endurance Charge on Melee Stun (red) - Stun (red)

    Finally, if you choose The Surrender unique shield, you can take advantage of the level 30 counter-attack by putting life leech, life gain on hit, and blind supports on there for additional tankiness.

    (Optional) Movement -
    It's always nice to move around swiftly through maps, especially in a party where people move very quickly and it may be difficult to keep up.

    Most people will probably find Shield Charge to be the ideal movement skill for the lazy pally, as it allows for very fast linear movement and, as it is an area of effect skill, it can grant you the powerful Fortify buff very efficiently as you move through packs of monsters.

    If you are using an axe, mace or sword you can instead (or also) use Leap Slam for those times when you need to jump over a fence or gap for more efficient travel. Leap Slam can perhaps be used on your weapon swap (x key) for these times.

    If you are using an dagger, claw, or sword, you have the option of choosing Whirling Blades, which arguably is the smoothest movement skill. This is a linear movement similar to shield charge, but with a slightly faster animation. You may find this to be the ideal choice for endgame boss encounters as speed is of the essence there.

    Support options:

    Add Blood Magic support if reserving 100% of mana with three auras/buffs. If not reserving 100% of mana, linking Blood Magic here is optional but if you are using mana on your primary attack skill this will help to ensure that you have some mana available if you tend to use the movement skill extensively without monsters nearby.

    Linking Fortify here is optional but highly recommended as this will free up a socket on your primary attack skill so that you can use a damage support gem instead.

    Mana Leech support allows you to regain a small amount of mana if you intentionally try to target monsters with your movement skill. In conjunction with the Blood Magic support here it allows regaining some mana for your primary attack skill to consume.

    Faster Attacks support helps to reduce the animation time of the movement skill in order to get around an area more quickly.

    Three linked socket item (example, weapon):

    Shield Charge
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 18
  • Base Off Hand Critical Strike Chance is 5%
  • +0.1% to Critical Strike Chance per 10 Maximum Energy Shield on Shield
  • 152 to 228 Base Off Hand Physical Damage
  • 2 to 3 Added Physical Damage per 15 Armour or Evasion Rating on Shield
  • Base Off Hand Attack time is 0.49 seconds
  • 75% increased Stun Threshold reduction on enemies at Maximum charge distance
  • 100% more Damage with Hits at Maximum Charge Distance
  • 107% increased Movement Speed
  • Fortify Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 11
  • Supported Skills grant Fortify on Melee hit
  • Supported Skills have 25% increased Fortify duration
  • Supported Skills deal 27% more Damage with Ailments caused by Melee Hits
  • Supported Skills deal 27% more Melee Damage
  • Faster Attacks Support
    -
    Click to expand
  • Level 19
  • Quality +9%
  • Supported Skills have 47% increased Attack Speed

  • Shield Charge (red) - Fortify (red) - Faster Attacks (green)

    Flasks

    At first, you will just be using the best flasks that you can find from monster drops and quest rewards. Just starting out, I'd suggest two life flasks, one or two quicksilver flasks and one or two mana flasks. The more uses they have, the better. For example, early on you will notice you can use some of the life flasks three times instead of only two. Remember to upgrade the life flasks as you have access to better ones that refill more of your growing life pool.

    From the very beginning, you want to save up any flasks you find that have quality on them. When you have enough quality flasks to total 40+ quality altogether, sell that group of flasks to any NPC vendor. You will receive a Glassblower's Bauble each time you do this. Save them up as you level.

    Around when you start finding plain white Hallowed life flasks, it's time to execute my plan.

    I recommend two instant life flasks.

    So, hit a plain white Hallowed life flask with four Glassblower's, this will raise the quality to 20%. Next, use a transmutation orb, then alteration orbs until the flask has a "Seething" or "Bubbling" prefix.
    Seething Hallowed Life Flask of Dousing
    -
    Click to expand
  • 66% reduced Amount Recovered
  • Instant Recovery
  • Immunity to Ignite during Flask effect Removes Burning on use

  • Make two. Put these on flask slots numbers 1 and 2. You will be tapping these anytime you get seriously hit, which should not be too often.

    If you want to finesse it, you can try for useful suffix mods as well, such as Staunching (removes bleeding, essential to have this somewhere) or Dousing (dispels burning).

    The instant flasks can be upgraded later to the level 65 Divine flasks as shown above.

    For your remaining flasks, I'd go with more life flasks for topping up between fights (especially helpful if your gear is not very good) but it's up to you depending on your needs. In my case I would choose Ample or Saturated life flasks of Iron Skin or even "of Resistance" if you find Necromancer's elemental curses to be a problem for you. Perhaps one of each.

    Optionally, if you want some extra work, Ample Granite Flask of Iron Skin is nice if you get hit hard, to mitigate a follow up blow that may finish you off. Rumi's Concoction is also a useful unique granite flask for raising your chance to block spells.

    For those that wish to work a bit harder to enable the most out of their character, the new unique DPS flasks are a good choice. These need to be used at the best moment to make the most of them as they won't be available half of the time. Watching for those best moments and activating the DPS flask takes some extra work. These flasks enable a high peak DPS output, for a few seconds. They are: Atziri's Promise (cheap), and Lion's Roar (mid-priced) and Taste of Hate (rich folks only but maybe you will find one).

    If you are very high level, you can look into the benefits of resistance (ruby flasks are popular) or granite flasks with the Surgeon's prefix, which enables the use of the flask more frequently as you deliver critical strikes with your attack skill.

    Finally, unless you are using the Blood Magic support on your attack skill, you may want one mana flask or hybrid flask handy for the end game when you are doing maps with the "of smothering" affix. This will be used situationally so keep it in your bag. It should not be needed normally as, if you are following my guide, you will have balanced your attack skill's mana intake to match the leech available on your gear by this time, or you are using the Blood Magic support gem. I suggest a "Saturated" mana flask for this purpose, as you want the mana regeneration from the flask to more closely match your mana draw.

    Deal with the Bandits Quest

    As you progress through the game, the question will arise - what is the best way to do the act 2 bandit quest? While you can't go too far wrong no matter your choice here, as the rewards are all roughly equivalent, I suggest killing all three bandits and collecting the skill points from Eramir. This way, you can conveniently reallocate those valuable points with orb of regret or during a patch tree reset. There is a lot of utility to that. Personally, I took the skill points and don't regret it.

    Gameplay Videos

    Red Map Clearing Demo August 2018

    Gameplay Videos - (Old)



    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Q: How much does all this stuff cost?
    A:
    Spoiler
    This will vary depending on how new your league is or if you are playing hardcore, lack of availability. With the lazy pally, even gearing with some of the best choices does not have to be expensive if you are a patient shopper. For example, my own gear shown above in the budget setup cost me:

    Scaeva Gladius, 2 chaos
    The Bringer of Rain, 5 chaos
    Lioneye's Remorse, 5 chaos
    Romira's Banquet, 1 chaos
    Stone of Lazhwar, corrupted 2%, 5 chaos
    Cataclysm Grip Two-Stone Ring, 29 chaos
    Gale Knuckle Goliath Gauntlets, 3 chaos+2 chaos master craft
    Meginord's Girdle, 1 chaos
    Rainbowstride, 10 chaos
    All gems, 0 - self-found and leveled
    Reckless Defence Jewel - 1 chaos on temp. league, 15 on standard
    Rare Jewels x2 - average about 15 chaos each

    .....Plus some minor currency for the three- and four-links, socket colors, and quality where applicable (all easy stuff).

    As you can see, the total cost of my budget endgame gear set as above was approximately one (1) to two (2) exalted, depending on the league, a very reasonable sum for someone my level, making this an extremely low-cost build for endgame capability, at a time when dozens of exalted are typically spent by most other builds for the endgame suit. This amount of currency is easily raised over time by the three chaos / three regal vendor recipe and minor trading during the course of gameplay. Admittedly, with patience and time on my side, I did benefit from the kindness of others relative to providing fair deals, along with some good luck on drops, one of the perks of playing for a few years.


    Q: Is the Lazy Pally viable for solo self-found (SSF) play?
    A:
    Spoiler
    For approximately the first year and a half that I casually played my lazy pally, I remained strictly self-found. Self-found means that I only used items that I found myself as a drop. You can certainly choose to either use nice items acquired by the trading scene that PoE offers, or expend currency to upgrade your equipment earlier on. I had chosen the most difficult route, that is, I was self-found and saved most currency for endgame crafting. However, following my defensively oriented build, I soloed all of (then) Merciless difficulty and most Maps even with extremely modest self-found items, proving the viability of the lazy pally. I more recently decided to acquire gear by trading in order to be better able to tackle the new, more difficult endgame content Path of Exile has to offer. The core philosophy of this build is rooted in SSF.


    Q: Is the Lazy Pally Hardcore viable?
    A:
    Spoiler
    Yes it is! We have had many people reach well into their 80s using this build in both regular hardcore and the temporary hardcore leagues. That said, no matter your choice of build, if this is your first time playing through Path of Exile, you want to start out in Standard league or the Standard ruleset temporary league to learn the ins and outs of the game before subjecting yourself to hardcore mode. There are many mechanics found in the game that are simply unfair if you are not prepared for them. When you can never die in Standard, you are ready for Hardcore.


    Q: What kinds of things can kill me?
    A:
    Spoiler
    While the Lazy Pally will feel invulnerable in most situations, there are a few cases where the game has a trick or two up its sleeve. These things of course kill nearly all builds out there if they are not avoided or if precautions are not taken. For example:

    - Do not open ice nova strong boxes;

    - Do not open chaos clouds strong boxes unless you have chaos resist over 0 (atziri's promise helps here);

    - Do not open corpse explosion strong boxes without having first cleared all corpses in the area with devouring totem. After opening box, lead all monsters far away to kill them;

    - Do not allow yourself to be near a 'Volatile' Nemesis rare when it dies in negative resistances maps;

    - Do not attempt Storm Herald Nemesis rare in negative resistances maps without both max spell block and level 20 Purity of Lightning aura;

    - Do not stand in the AoE of Flame Bearer Bloodlines monsters;

    - Do not fail to back away and switch to a true single-target attack skill such as Heavy Strike (without multistrike or melee splash supports) when you see rogue exile Minara Anemina. She must be slain without damaging her minions;

    - Do not attempt rogue exile Igna Phoenix in negative resistances maps;

    - Do not attempt rogue exile Magnus Stonethorn in any situation. Never allow yourself to stand within his flameblast;

    - Stay away from walls and corners when fighting rogue exile Dena Lorenni;

    - Skip rogue exile Vanth Agile unless you have high chaos resistance. Note that this rogue can even appear in normal difficulty;

    - Do not attempt any new (to you) map bosses or the optional final boss in Merciless without having first practiced extensively in standard league and honed your skills to a certain degree of confidence. All bosses can be defeated with observance of their mechanics and properly gearing for the encounter. However, many bosses are best skipped in hardcore at any level or levels 90+ if you do not wish to risk your character or experience. The risk vs. reward is just not worth it;

    - Do not fail to hammer your 'Staunching' flask when you have the Corrupting Blood ailment or bleed;

    - Always remember to turn off Hatred or any other elemental aura, and switch your attack skill to a purely physical damage type when entering maps with the elemental damage reflection property;

    - Do not fail to hammer the keys ALT + F4 on your keyboard if you notice that you are lagging out in any way.

    Bear in mind I see people die to these things all the time with all kinds of builds so these are just some of the things to watch for in general in Path of Exile. This is not intended to be a complete list but it will help you.


    Q: Why not get Iron Reflexes or Unwavering Stance?
    A:
    Spoiler
    Stuns happen when you are low on life. Life based characters don't get stunned easily. If we get low enough life to actually get stunned without Unwavering at high level we are dead anyway. I never see a stun at least on my high level Templar so the points would be wasted.

    Iron Reflexes would only give me another thousand armour on top of the ten thousand I already have so it is a waste of points as well.


    Q: Why not get some Evasion?
    A:
    Spoiler
    Since 2.0, Ondar's Guile is now useless, that was a major reason for some evasion before. In addition, evasion does not make much of a difference in the average chance to get hit on a max block build -- 18% with some evasion vs. 25% with max block alone. Finally, with minimizing the amount of evasion we have and going for armour instead we have more passive effects going off like curses and stuns and endurance charges and damage from our counter-attacks and Tempest Shield duration refreshes. None of these things happen if you evade.


    Q: I don't have enough dexterity, what to do?
    A:
    Spoiler
    If you are finding that all of the good weapons that drop for you before level 60 require dexterity, you can get the Expertise node near the Templar start and re-spec out of it at a later time. The Precision node may be an option if that doesn't do it. You can also, if required, use an Onyx, Jade, Citrine or Turquoise amulet. The common Perandus Blazon unique belt is very handy for a stat shortage situation as well.


    Q: Can I play a Lazy Pally Duelist, Ranger, Marauder or Scion?
    A:
    Spoiler
    Yes, absolutely! Simply reference my completed passive skill tree and remove the nodes at the start of the Templar area, and connect to the existing skill tree path via your preferred class starting nodes. Everything else is the same aside from the Ascendancy class. We pass near by all of the class starting areas except the Witch and Shadow. You will make a little bit of extra work for yourself though, as I only provide the progression builds for the Templar. You will need to make your own way with the other classes, but it's not difficult. I do believe the full-strength Inquisitor Ascendancy class (only available to the Templar) is the best choice for the Lazy Pally as it provides the best combination of damage and defense. Other Ascendancy classes may work, some better or worse than others, but these are outside of the scope of this guide.


    Q: Any Endgame Tips and Tricks?
    A:
    Spoiler
    (Outdated - some useful ideas)

    Trials of Ascendancy / Lord's Labyrinth: I recommend removing the Blood Rage gem during the trap areas if you are using it. No point in having damage you take from traps set it off and reduce your life regeneration.

    Act 3 end boss, Dominus: Have a flask with "Removes Bleeding." This will be helpful for Dominus' second form (the giant bug). When you notice the bleed icon, hit the flask to remove it.

    Act 4 end boss, Malachai: When he raises his staff, use your movement skill to distance yourself in order to manually avoid his smash attack.

    Dunes (68), Spider Forest (71): The Blacksmith. In his second form, he can spawn zombies each time he leap slams. The zombies have a powerful chaos AOE when they die. Two ways to deal with it: 1) swap gems to single target only attack skill (no multistrike either), focus on boss, ignore zombies (this is the only option in most groups). 2) Stand toe-to-toe with Blacksmith and don't let up, so that he won't leap slam.

    Museum (70): Pull and kill the other two bosses one at a time. Leave Alal the Terrifying until the end. For chaos resist on a tight budget, you can roll Amethyst Rings with alterations. Bosses that are a real threat (Museum, for example), you can just pull them separately and switch rings for the chaos fight.

    Quarry (70): Void Anomaly has a pink chaos rain. Skip unless you have at least -10 chaos resist plus Amethyst flasks (Atziri's Promise counts). Kill all adds to gain flask charges. This fight is a DPS check as well.

    Temple (73) boss: Good ol' Piety. Get spell block. Bring Topaz flasks/Purity of Lightning aura/pack on Lightning resist gear. Fairgraves' Tricorne with its Cannot be Shocked mod is very good here.

    Jungle Valley (74) boss: The only concern here is the big spider which has an attack similar to GMP/Freezing Pulse, except chaos damage. Bring chaos resist flasks/put on chaos resist gear.

    Torture Chamber (74) boss: A lightning bonanza. Bring Topaz flasks/Purity of Lightning aura/pack on Lightning resist gear. Fairgraves' Tricorne.

    Residence (76) boss: Basically Dominus first form, you will have seen him in Merciless by now. Manually evade the exploding monsters when you have the orange mark over your head. DPS on Dominus when not marked.

    Plataeu (77) boss: Has a serious chaos damage aura, make sure you have some chaos resist gear on (I'd say around -20 should be fine).

    Crematorium (78) boss: Like that firestorm unique mob in the second area of the game, except harder. Avoid the firestorm, or if you're very well geared you can try to tank it, just make sure the map doesn't have reduced max resist or elemental weakness mods. Spell block + Purity of Fire aura.

    Academy (78): The Arbiter of Knowledge spits out a tornado each time you strike him. Hit him a few times then back away to safety and let the tornados dissipate, repeat until finished. Don't let too many tornados build up on you. Hitting harder but slower helps here.

    Village Ruin (79) boss: Stonebeak, Battle Fowl - high chaos damage, skip this unless you have very high chaos resistance.

    Maze (81) boss: Vaal Oversoul. Don't take consecutive lightning blasts and avoid the smash by running around to his back when he raises his mace arm. You can also use a movement skill to do this.


    Changelog:
    02-06-2013 -- Original Post
    <Lots and Lots of revisions>
    01-01-2014 -- removed life regen nodes, life nodes, damage nodes near duelist start and added damage/life nodes, damage node, life node, intelligence node, and amplify
    01-02-2014 -- Updated weapon section to be more weapon type agnostic, with some additional detail. Updated recommended skill gem section to include AOE attack skills for specific weapon types. Updated the linked sockets section to coincide with attack skill section.
    01-10-14 -- Updated the gear/shield section for additional clarity.
    02-04-2014 -- Updated gear section with some additional unique suggestions and a few mentions of chaos resist.
    02-18-2014 -- Adjusted all progression builds to include a few key damage nodes around level 80.
    03-05-2014 -- Updated skill tree links for compatibility with PoE version 1.1.0. Updated total stats (120 points), and miscellaneous changes to gear recommendations.
    04-21-2014 -- Added a note about quality on attack skill and supports
    05-08-2014 -- Added Molten Strike as a recommended skill for early game
    07-14-2014 -- Finally added note about spell block shields in gear section
    07-15-2014 -- Edited linked sockets section
    07-23-2014 -- Added Melee Damage on Full Life back into my suggestions for 6-link
    07-25-2014 -- Added a mention about Thousand Teeth Temu in the affordable shields section
    07-30-2014 -- Added a video of the Lazy Pally killing Merciless Dominus
    08-05-2014 -- Added a video of 74 Maze Map Vaal encounter
    08-17-2014 -- Added a video of the 72 Torture Chamber Map Boss encounter
    08-20-2014 -- Updated 120 point build tree and stats for 1.2 Forsaken Masters
    08-20-2014 -- Added new progression builds for patch 1.2.0
    10-02-2014 -- Added a mention of the Belly of the Beast unique chest
    10-07-2014 -- Improved the aura section in the guide
    12-10-2014 -- Began updating guide for patch 1.3
    12-12-2014 -- Finished initial pass on 1.3 builds
    12-14-2014 -- Finished the second pass on 1.3 build
    12-31-2014 -- Changed recommended skill from Reave to Static Strike
    01-01-2015 -- Updated trigger gem section to be consistent with what I'm currently using
    01-06-2015 -- Completely overhauled trigger gem section for patch 1.3
    02-03-2015 -- Tweaked the weapons area of the gear section to mention good uniques
    02-26-2015 -- Added DPS comparisons between various attack skills to FAQ
    02-28-2015 -- Added Bringer of Rain data to "What attack skill will do the most DPS" FAQ
    03-07-2015 -- Minor skill tree improvements
    03-21-2015 -- Revised flask section slightly
    05-27-2015 -- Added preliminary guide for The Awakening (v2.0)
    07-05-2015 -- 2.0 guide replaces 1.3 guide
    07-08-2015 -- 2.0 progression builds updated
    07-10-2015 -- Gem links updated for 2.0
    07-12-2015 -- Passive tree rework to accommodate jewel changes
    07-13-2015 -- Updated Total Bonuses from Completed Passive Tree section
    07-16-2015 -- Updated CWDT and Movement skill sections
    07-19-2015 -- Added 2.0 video, Malachai, Act 4
    07-23-2015 -- Added Static Strike version of Act 4 video
    07-30-2015 -- Revised attack skill gem section
    08-03-2015 -- Added 'What kinds of things can kill me?' to FAQ
    12-09-2015 -- Skill trees updated for PoE 2.1
    12-28-2015 -- Updated Cyclone and Reave info
    02-12-2016 -- Added Ascendancy Class information
    02-29-2016 -- Guide fully updated for PoE 2.2 Ascendancy
    03-15-2016 -- Added attack skill gem test results to FAQ
    03-22-2016 -- Completely revised Recommended attack skills - Endgame section
    06-03-2016 -- Guide fully updated for PoE 2.3
    12-02-2016 -- Guide current for PoE 2.5
    12-22-2017 -- Updated Uber setup tree
    04-09-2018 -- Updated skill choice for Uber setup
    09-10-2018 -- Changed starter skill to Smite
    02-21-2019 -- Moved example builds to near top of guide with PoB for each
    04-12-2019 -- Revised Uber build for max spell block

    ---

    That's all folks - Discussions and commentary welcome!

    ** END OF GUIDE **

    Sovyn
    Feb 06, 2013 06:11:41 AM

    - reserved -

    Sovyn
    Feb 07, 2013 02:00:16 AM

    I was curious to see how people responded to this.
    I'm quite similar to yours minus the elemental damage.

    http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgUABLMFWxRNGS4Z6Ro4I00n7TdHOtg8LT8nQDZBP0RyTdhPfVHmWD1Z82aebqpwfXKpd2J6uHzZgFaBK4FvhMSMdpBVlIeX_p48nsWiAKeEqZWsqq6TtC-0-bc-ud3AGsT2xq7Uj97B37Lkrew48B_yL_cy

    JasperJones
    Feb 07, 2013 03:29:19 AM

    "
    JasperJones wrote:
    I was curious to see how people responded to this.
    I'm quite similar to yours minus the elemental damage.


    Thanks for your comment. Looks good. I like how you snuck down there relatively early on and got Diamond Skin. One thing that occurred to me though, you could remove that strength node to the right of Ancestral Bond and go down through the shield nodes near the starting point instead to pick up some extra goodies.

    Sovyn
    Feb 07, 2013 06:03:30 AM

    -old info removed-

    Sovyn
    Feb 07, 2013 08:47:22 AM

    Hi, one question, which attack skill do you plan to use?
    Each build is dependent on a particular attack skill.
    Its really impossible to be master of all skills.

    If you can tell us which skill you want to concentrate on, e.g. Lightning strike, groundslam,
    etc. we can comment more.

    gl.

    MxDGentle
    Feb 07, 2013 09:35:03 AM

    "
    MxDGentle wrote:
    Hi, one question, which attack skill do you plan to use?
    Each build is dependent on a particular attack skill.
    Its really impossible to be master of all skills.

    If you can tell us which skill you want to concentrate on, e.g. Lightning strike, groundslam,
    etc. we can comment more.


    Hey there, thanks for your comment.

    This passive tree build does not focus on reinforcing any single damage skill gem or weapon type. Instead, this build provides a strong survival platform, leaving the player the flexibility to choose his or her best one handed weapon, and to utilize his or her preferred choice of melee attack skill gem and support gems.

    Thus the build is ideal for those who do not have everything already, perhaps even self found, and perhaps have little desire to enter the trading scene.

    Sovyn
    Feb 07, 2013 20:24:40 PM

    -outdated info removed-

    Sovyn
    Feb 08, 2013 05:16:35 AM

    It's been a while, and I have not had much time to play! However, I updated the original post with the all new spec for PoE 0.10.3. I'm level 49 now and plowing through Cruel Act 3 - no problem!

    Just thought I'd update you all and bump this for folks interested in an easy to play melee build.

    Sovyn
    Mar 19, 2013 01:00:36 AM
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