[Top 5] Path of Exile Best Gladiator Builds That Wreck Hard!

Path of Exile Best Gladiator Builds
A moving fortress. A Goliath among peasants. Bathed in the blood of his enemies, the Gladiator challenges any who stand in his way!

[Top 5] Path of Exile Best Gladiator Builds That Wreck Hard!

Gladiators, the masters of Block, Bleeding, and one of the tankiest Ascendancies in the game, though not directly buffed in 3.17 Archnemesis League, still got several indirect buffs, mostly through Eldritch Implicits and Forbidden Jewels, as well as the meta shift being geared more towards Bows and Spells, saw for a resurgence and improvements in a few builds, and here are the best of them!

5 – Spectral Shield Throw Bleed

Spectral Shield Throw in Toxic Sewer's Map

While significantly nerfed in previous leagues, this is still a great contender as a League Starter build, due to how simple it is to scale its damage to a proper mapping level. It struggles a bit with Single Target, but you’ll have the time of your life while blowing up packs of Monsters with your Bleed Pops!

What the Spectral Shield Throw Bleed Excels in:

  • Great mapping and can do most map mods.
  • League Start viable.
  • Tanky with several layers of defense.
  • Significantly Improved through Boots and Helmet Eldritch Implicits.
  • Forbidden Jewels allow Access to great notables from other Duelists, for either more Defense or Offense.

Spectral Shield Throw Bleed full details:

  • While in 3.16 we saw some big nerfs to shields and to shield skills in general (they were heavily overpowered in 3.15) this build is still strong in 3.17 and more than viable to do all content, with proper investment. You can achieve enough single-target damage to deal with most bosses comfortably and you’re MUCH tankier than before, thanks to armor and Evasion changes (as well as Spell Suppression if you can somehow fit that in).
  • The clearing is great, with your Shield chaining through packs and exploding everything in its path. And there’s nothing as satisfying as bleed explosions. The sound it makes is just chef’s kiss. The Forbidden jewels you could use would be Fortitude from Champion, his Adrenaline or his Banner/Aura Nodes, or even Slayer’s Cull or free Frenzy/Endurance Charges. Or if you want to go further into your own damage, perhaps grabbing Gladiator’s Lucky Attacks to jack up your bleeding damage could be a good idea!
  • You’ll want to go with a Shield with the highest amount of Armor you can grab, usually a Colossal Tower Shield, to reach over 2,8 to 3k Armor. For chest piece, a Lioneye’s Vision is usually BiS, with the free Pierce, making it a 7L with great stats and massive amounts of Armor as well, as well as being extremely cheap this league!

For more information, check here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2672813

4 – Herald of Agony Cyclone

Celestial Herald of Agony MTX 

One of the tankiest archetypes of Gladiators is the Full Block Variant, which makes use of fantastically synergistic passives and nodes to up their tankyness, at the cost of damage. And this build covers the lack of damage by having a Minion do all of the work for you!

What the Herald of Agony Cyclone Excels in:

  • Extremely Tanky through several mechanics.
  • Can clear all maps and all mods.
  • Respectable single target and smooth, albeit slow, clear.
  • HC, SSF, Gauntlet–Any league, any mode.

Herald of Agony Cyclone full details:

  • We achieve this massive tankiness through several layers of defense, the first and foremost, a massive 8,000 life pool. Then, we have a lot of block chance, capping out at 87/77 Attack and Spell Block, respectively. Further on, we have a claw (usually Gemini) that grants us massive amounts of Life Gain on Hit, combined with Cyclone being Linked to Life Gain on Hit Support Gem, to make us essentially immortals while we are hitting with Cyclone (which we do over 7 times a second). To top it off, we also have % Life Gained on Block in our shields, to survive harder hits.
  • As if all that tankiness wasn’t enough, we also have curses at our disposal that reduce incoming damage, like Enfeeble, as well as Immortal Call and Purifying Flame’s consecrated ground, granting us 6% life regen (remember, we have over 8k life, that’s a lot of regeneration!), all this linked to a Cast When Damage Taken, to automate our defenses further.
  • As for damage, you’ll want a helmet with +2/+3 Level of Socketed Minion Gems, combined with Socketed Gems are Supported by Minion Damage Support, and swap your gems from Pierce to Awakened Vicious Projectiles when you want single target. Also, get a +1 Dexterity Gems Amulet to boost Herald of Agony’s level further. As a Minion, it scales amazingly well with levels! And now with Eldritch Implicits, you can get over 5% Action Speed on your boots, which will boost both your damage and your movement speed, and on gloves, you can get up to 48% Herald of Agony Increased Effect!

For more information, check here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3214924

3 – Crimson Bleed Bow Rain of Arrows

Ballista Totems Illustration

With the changes in the meta and in Patch 3.17, we saw an influx of bow characters and spellcasters, and one facet of that was the improved Bow Values and modifiers both poison and bleed Bow builds. Though they have growing pains and specific uniques that will boost your damage for endgame, Bleed Bow Builds got substantially buffed this league and this build makes great use of it!

What the Crimson Bleed Bow RoA Excels in:

  • Buttery smooth playstyle.
  • Fantastic clear, clearing as fast as you can walk.
  • Respectable single target damage, since everything scales the same way.
  • Satisfying bleed pops.
  • League Start viable.

Crimson Bleed Bow RoA full details:

  • With the buffs to base Bow Damage, it’s much easier now to get a high physical bow, reaching over 500 max Local Damage on it, (we don’t care about DPS, just the flat Phys damage), especially with how abundant Essences became this league, with the Atlas passives.
  • With a Farrul’s Fur and Farrul’s Pounce, you’ll have Crimson Dance during Cat’s Stealth, which will stack our bleed damage on the enemies, and we do our best to shorten the duration of Cat’s Agility, so that we have good uptime on that.
  • For defenses, we mostly scale life, Endurance Charges and if you can fit in your build, Spell Suppression. And in this League, it became much easier to get Bleed Deals Damage Faster due to Eldritch Boots Implicits!

For more details, click here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2247655

2 – Versatile Combatant Impale Shield Crush

Shield Crush against Uber Elder

Not the first time this build has made an appearance in my reviews, and that’s simply because it’s a fantastic build to League Start with, since all you need is a strong shield, and those are quite easy to get early game, and a cheap unique, Lioneye’s Remorse, would carry you to Red maps with no issue at all!

What the Impale Shield Crush Glad/Slayer Excels in:

Insanely Tanky.

  • Great and Satisfying clearing with Bleed Pops (Haemo gloves).
  • Respectable Bossing.
  • Can do all content.
  • League Start, HC, SSF, Gauntlet Viable.

Impale Shield Crush full details:

  • Shield Crush works in two ways. First, it’s one of the few attacks that scales extremely well with levels, and as such, it’s a great league start skill to pick. Secondly, all the damage is based on your shield. The more armor or evasion your shield has, the more damage you’ll deal. Getting any 2k+ armor shield will carry your damage easily to over 4 million damage at late game, on a budget!
  • With Gladiator’s inherent tankiness, we can make much better use of our shields to achieve a high block chance, while still having enough damage to demolish our opposition. And with Forbidden Jewels, we can also ‘yoink’ nodes from other Duelist Ascendancies, like Slayer’s Cull or Champion’s Fortify. The sky is the limit really!
  • Since our damage comes mostly from our shields, we can use a corrupted Prismatic Eclipse to boost our attack speed and get many other great bonuses, like Onslaught or Fortify on hit. You’ll need to learn to position well so you can overlap your damage, essentially doubling it. It’s a fairly forgiving zone, but you need to experiment with it.

For more information, check here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3148278

1 – strTrader Max Block Bleed Lacerate

Celestial Lacerate MTX against The Maven

A staple build to this day, though very much weaker than in the past, Lacerate is still a phenomenal build that can take all bosses in the game and show them who’s the real boss! Patch 3.17 made it insanely better, being able to achieve true Max Block, with 85/75 Block by the use of Eldritch Implicits!

What strTrader’s Max Block Bleed Lacerate Excels in:

  • Can do All Content.
  • Extremely Tanky, with 6k Life, 85/75 Block, and 30k+ Armor
  • Relatively low budget to start and scales extremely well with investment.
  • Great clear and good bossing.

strTrader’s Max Block Bleed Lacerate full details:

  • Lacerate is one of the best skills to stack high damaging hits to ramp up Crimson Dance, 8 of the highest bleeds, combined with Ryslatha’s Coil for massive damage, makes this build a great and reliable bosser, even if not as quick as a miner or a minion build would.
  • For survivability, we have life gained on block from our Shield, a lot of Armor, Flesh and Stone, a large Life pool, obviously Max Attack and Block Chance, Tempest Shield, Fortify, and as always, killing enemies before we are killed, especially with the satisfying bleed pops! And with Forbidden Jewels, you can even get any Node from the other Duelist’s Ascendancies, like Slayer’s Cull or Champion’s Aura Node. Or even Arena Challenger, as a fifth Ascendancy node!
  • It can be quite expensive to min-max, but you have a low bar of entry to play this build, and you can even League start with it if you know what you’re doing. The fact that you can do many things and it has a low ceiling of expenses means you can farm the whole game with it, making it a perfect Jack of All Trades build.

For a complete breakdown of this build, check here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3136830


More on this topic:

Bruno comes from the rainforests of the Brazilian jungle, battling beasts and seeking wonders, he has developed a thirst for adventure and a need to chronicle his findings!
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Path of Exile
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, League of Legends, Crysis 2-Maximum Edition

More Top Stories