[Top 5] Path of Exile Best Duelist Builds

Path of Exile Best Duelist Builds
Choose your path to becoming the Champion of Path of Exile

Characterized by a cocky attitude and a knack for trouble, the Duelist is climbing through the Path of Exile ranks to make a name for himself. 

Hello, Exiles.

It’s time to dig into Duelist builds. The Duelist is primarily a melee class, though he has the potential to use ranged skills as well. With the addition of several extremely strong skill gems, the Duelist is currently rising in popularity among the Path of Exile player base. Many of his meta builds offer good single-target and AOE damage potential alongside great defensive ability, making the Duelist one of the better classes in terms of well-roundedness.

Here are some of the best of the mighty champion’s many build paths. 

5. Lacerate Gladiator 

Slash at your enemies, causing them to bleed profusely from their wounds as they slowly reach their dying breath. 

This build uses the Lacerate skill gem, which deals two cutting strikes to enemies, dealing damage in a cone that extends from the player. A large portion of the build’s damage will come from bleed and the bleed explosions that are part of the Gladiator ascendancy. Bleed builds are great for players of all skill levels, and Lacerate Gladiator in particular has a lot to offer. The Gladiator ascendancy and the Duelist skill tree also have a lot to offer in terms of player defenses. Get ready to become the true Gladiator of the Arena, because this build will go far. 

What's Good About Lacerate:

  • Good survivability from high block chance
  • A variety of min-max options with cheap and expensive build paths, particularly with many of the support gems having Awakened versions
  • Good balance of single-target and clear damage
  • Leap Slam gives good mobility and speed for mapping
  • Viable for both new and experienced players

4. Split Arrow Gladiator

Unleash a forking arrow upon your opponents, gashing through their flesh and causing a fatal, bloody wound. 

If the idea of a bleed build interested you when reading about Lacerate Gladiator, but you aren’t as comfortable with the melee playstyle, Split Arrow is a great alternative. The skill gem boasts one of the highest base physical damage stats among ranged attack skills and thus scales beautifully alongside bleed. The build offers amazing clear speed for end game maps due to the forking of your arrows, while not suffering too much in boss fights due to the help of the bleed mechanic. Typically, Split Arrow will be used with the Puncture skill gem to help with single-target damage. Between the two, you will become an unstoppable force that watches as your enemies bleed out at your feet. 

What's Good About Split Arrow:

  • High DPS; good clear and single-target
  • Bleed allows you to focus on dodging mechanics, as the bosses will take damage over time and increased damage if they begin to chase
  • Affordable, with min-max options; good for league start and budget locked players
  • Can be exchanged for Rain of Arrows according to playstyle preference

Bleed Gladiator gameplay and guide. 

3. Impale Cyclone

Rampage through land and foe as you spin in a whirlwind of blades, annihilating all that dare to cross your path. 

Cyclone is a build that has long been a major player in the Path of Exile scene. It has gone through many iterations over the years, but perhaps none have been as strong as the Impale version. Impale Cyclone typically takes the Champion ascendancy; while it can take others, Champion will make the best use of the Impale support gem, which deals additional damage to enemies each time they are hit, i.e. for every Impale stack. Considering Cyclone works by channeling a continuous spin technique to damage enemies, the more resilient mobs (like bosses) take a lot of hits, making Impale a perfect setup for a Cyclone player. Become the champion the Duelist always dreamed of as you whirl through your foes dealing fatal blows. 

What's Good About Impale Cyclone:

  • High clear speed alongside good boss damage
  • Extremely viable for all end game content
  • Good survivability from defensive stats (life, armor, etc.) as well as stun immunity (with fortify)
  • Budget-friendly
  • The build has really flexible options, from pathing on the skill tree, to weapon choices, and you can choose to favor survivability or DPS according to your preference 

Impale Cyclone gameplay and guide 

2. Ground Slam Impaler 

Slam your weapon onto the ground, raising spikes of earth that impale all who stand in your way. 

Ground Slam Impaler is currently one of the best builds out there for dealing massive damage in a single hit. The build uses the Ground Slam skill gem attached to the Impale support, and is then combined with Shattering Steel to get the Call of Steel ability that removes the impales from enemies for even greater damage You will also want to utilize Cry skills to boost your damage output, furthering your chances of killing enemies quickly. The Impaler skill node allows you to apply extra Impales to both surrounding enemies and the enemy hit by your initial ability, but at the expense of being able to Impale for the next 4 seconds. This drawback is null and void however, because the added damage it offers allows you to one-shot most enemies who dare to cross your path, including many major bosses. 

What's Good About Ground Slam Impale:

  • One-shots for days, for all types of enemies
  • Because of said one-shots, has quick clear for late-game map content and boss fights
  • Has great survivability; you can’t be killed if they don’t even have a chance to hit you 
  • Significant defensive capability on top of just annihilating enemies; since your damage scales well and easily, you can focus on life and defense
  • Fairly inexpensive to start up, with a variety of min-max paths for easily wiping end game content

Ground Slam Impale gameplay and guide. 

1. Impale Earthshatter  

When you slam the ground, earthy pillars rise from the ground only to detonate, shredding through your enemies. 

Impale Earthshatter is yet another build that uses the Impale support gem to deal damage alongside the main skill Earthshatter. Earthshatter casts, summoning pillars of earth in its radius (up to 15) that you can then explode to deal damage. The build, similar to Ground Slam, uses Cry skills, such as Seismic Cry and Intimidating Cry, to scale up your damage before hits, a particularly useful combination for boss fighting, and to explore your earth pillars. You will need to manage and cycle through your Cry skills for the best damage results, so the build can be tricky at times, but is strong enough that if you struggle with managing them it won’t pose too much of a problem. Through this build, you will command the earth and take down all that oppose you.

What's Good About Impale Earthshatter:

  • High DPS for clear and single-target
  • The skills and supports naturally scale well, especially with the proper gear, leaving you with the flexibility to prioritize more damage or more defense
  • Can clear all end game content easily
  • Easy to gear with many options available; just look for good physical damage and defensive stats
  • Not too difficult to play, but presents just enough challenge to keep it interesting and fun

Impale Earthshatter gameplay and guide. 

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Born and raised in the mountains, I have dedicated my life to story-telling of vast and wide realms. I live to enjoy the worlds of others, through role-playing and video games.
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Favorite Genre: PVP
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