Defense is the best offense!
While blocking is a useful defensive mechanic, not a lot of Path of Exile builds center on it. One of the few examples would be the Max Block Vaal Reave Gladiator. As its name suggests, the build owes its survivability to the fact that it can block most incoming attacks. Get your POE Currency ready because this is a build that’s worth spending on!
How the Max Block Vaal Reave Build Works
Blocking, of course, isn’t the only thing the build has going for it. Once again, going by the name, it makes use of Reave, a melee attack that has a small AOE. Eventually, it gets bigger and bigger as you continually use it. This particular effect stacks four times, with 50% more each hit. This gradually shrinks back to default AOE if you stop attacking.
Because of this particular effect, the Max Block Vaal Reave build is perfect for clearing maps. Coupled with blocking, you can rest assured that you can clear mobs with this one quickly and safely. When it comes to slaying bosses, however, it simply gets the job done; nothing more and nothing less. If that’s not good enough for you then you should go for other Path of Exile builds. But if you don’t mind not being as fast as other PoE builds when it comes to killing bosses and would rather go for clearing speed, then all should be fine.
Passive Skill Tree and Gems
For the Passive Skill Tree, check out https://goo.gl/rHPAG2
Before we go into the specifics, keep in mind that aside from Vaal Reave, many of the build’s gems are Vaal gems. Either you make them yourself or buy them. The former, however, takes much time because you’ll have to increase gem quality before you can turn them into Vaal Gems. You also need a Vaal Gem for that, which fetches quite a price as well.
On the other hand, Vaal Gems are pricey as well, but getting it through POE Trade saves you the time that would’ve otherwise been spent making one. At the end of the day, it’s up to you which method of getting them suits you better.
Now onto the gem links. For the core skill, Vaal Reave, have it with Multristrike, Brutality, Pulverise, Fortify, and Melee Physical Damage support gems.
For utility, have Vaal Ancestral Warchief with Ancestral Protector, Multiple Totems, and Maim support gems. Also, have Summon Ice Golem with Increased Duration on your gloves.
For mobility, have Vaal Haste with Steelskin support gem.
For buffs, have Herald of Purity, Blood and Sand, and Pride with Enlighten support.
Then we move on to gear. Starting with weapons, we’ll either go with Ichimonji, a unique sword, or a Rare foil with increased physical damage and critical strike chance. The former is the cheaper option but is good for the PoE build either way as it gives increased physical damage, attack speed, buff effects, and reduced mana reserved. On the other hand, for the latter, go with those that increase physical damage, attack speed, and critical strike chance and multiplier.
The latter is more of a luxury option. Get it only if you have extra POE Orbs and you already have the necessary gear for other slots.
For your shield, your two choices are both POE Uniques and both give 30% chance to block: The Surrender or Lioneye’s Remorse. While both give bonuses to life, life recovery, and armor, the former gives much more, making it the best in slot and the former the budget option.
A Rare helmet with bonuses to life and elemental resistances is a staple for a lot of PoE builds, including this one. If you have a bit more money, get one with the “Nearby Enemies Take 9% Increased Damage” mod.
As for your body armor, it has to have six sockets, at least +100 to maximum life and preferably gives a % to life as well, and critical chance for attacks. An alternative would be the Belly of The Beast, which gives +40% life and 15% to all elemental resistances.
Haemophilia would be the perfect gloves for the Max Block Vaal Reave build. Aside from the fact that it’s really affordable, it also increases your DPS because it inflicts bleeding. Meanwhile, Rare boots with bonuses to life, elemental resistances, and at least 25% movement speed are the go-to for footwear. If you have extra POE Currency, get one with the “Tailwind If You Have Dealt Critical Strike Recently” mod.
Last but definitely not least would be the accessories. Aside from the usual life and elemental resistance bonuses from all of them, other preferable mods include increased strength, dexterity, and physical damage.
Simple and accessible yet cool, powerful, and tough–that’s the Max Block Vaal Reave Build for you. Try this out if you’re looking for a solid melee build, you won’t be disappointed!