The passive tree has been updated for 1.2. Full article update soon.
I originally designed this explosive marauder build when I decided that instead of kicking the new season off with onslaught that I would go to anarchy and have some fun with a melee spec. I wanted to create something that had a real weighty feeling to it and after playing around with a few skills I knew that Infernal Blow with Melee Splash was the way to go. Since this build was designed with Anarchy league in mind it’s not recommended for hardcore leagues, though I think with careful play and gearing it is reasonably hardcore viable thanks to some excellent defensive mechanics.
So far I’ve taken this Marauder to level 79 and gotten into level 71 maps without any major issues. I still have a significant amount of room to improve my gear as well so I am pretty confident I can take him into high level maps over time. I have to also mention that this was one of the most fun builds to level that I’ve ever played. Right from level 19 when I picked up melee splash Infernal Blow became amazing to use. All I had to do was craft high physical damage maces with a couple of alterations and I was set to smash. If you’d like to learn more about how to level this build then check out the level 30, 50 and 69 recap videos in the description below.
If you want to see this build in action then check out the video below!
UPDATED for 1.1 Sacrifice of the Vaal!
This build is much tankier since the Marauder changes and the build has become overall simpler to gear and play – which means more exploding mobs and less time worrying about mana and casting curses etc. We lost a bit of DPS in the patch but it’s still a pretty crunchy and fun build to play!
Skills & Support Gems
Core Support Gems - Melee Splash / Multistrike / Melee Physical Damage
Additional Support Gems - Weapon Elemental Damage / Added Fire / Stun / Life or Mana Leech
Infernal Blow destroys enemies in two ways: firstly it deals a ton of fire and physical damage (which becomes an AoE thanks to melee splash) and secondly it causes slain mobs to explode, dealing 25% of their total life as damage to nearby enemies. This combination makes the skill effective for both trash and rare mobs. You can get very high damage output just by taking advantage of the physical to elemental conversions of Hatred and Infernal blow itself – all you need is a mace with a high increased physical damage mod. At end game we use the Marohi Erqi unique 2-handed mace to provide a ton of damage and an inherent increased AoE support, which effectively gives us one free support gem. Once you 5 Link this mace you can also add on Weapon Elemental Damage for a big damage boost and if you happen to get a 6th link you can throw in added fire for even more deeps.
Core Support Gems - Faster Attacks / Stun / Endurance Charge on Melee Stun
Additional Support Gems - Melee Physical Damage / Life Leech / Added Fire
Leap Slam serves quite a few purposes in this build. Firstly it can be used to deal damage and will often 1 shot trash mobs saving time. Secondly, it functions as our main form of movement to counteract our slow movement speed. Thirdly, it functions as an escape skill for the rare occasions where we cannot directly tank mobs. And, finally, it works as a great initiator thanks to it being almost guaranteed to stun any mob we use it on, even some bosses. UPDATE: since the addition of ‘Endurance Charge on Melee Stun’ leap slam can also now replace enduring cry as our source of endurance charges!
Support Gems – None are necessary but if you have sockets go for Faster Casting or Increased AoE
This curse is not very popular overall but it works perfectly in this build and is fundamental to it’s playstyle. The first reason we use it is to maintain close to 100% uptime on our 7 endurance charges. At level 20 the curse has a 30% chance to grant an endurance charge whenever we kill an enemy which is more than enough to maintain and even build up our full 7 charges. The second reason we Warlord’s Mark is for the Life and Mana Leech it provides, 7 and 3% respectively from level 17 onwards, which is a huge amount when calculated from our extremely high physical damage stats. The third and final reason we use this curse is not to be underestimated, and that is a 100% increase in flask charges gained from killing mobs. In practice this means you can spam your health flasks and granites almost as much as you want without running out.
Enduring Cry is helpful for building up initial endurance charges and also for when we face strong single targets. It’s also an essential skill for leveling before Warlord’s Mark starts to take over.
Core Auras - Hatred / Level 4 Clarity
After the aura changes we just run these two for damage and mana regen. Our Trigger gem setup covers our defense.
This skill is useful in easier content to improve your clear speed. Thanks to our extremely high life regen we can run this skill without taking any actual damage to improve our attack speed by 15%, which also improves our effective move speed with Leap Slam.
TRIGGER GEMS We run two separate cast on damage taken trigger gem setups.
- Level 1 Cast on Damage Taken + Enduring Cry + Molten Shell
- Level 5 Cast on Damage Taken + Immortal Call + Decoy Totem + Increased Duration
Passive Skill Tree
Resolute Technique - Provides us with much needed consistency and means that we can focus on raw damage and defence instead of accuracy or crit.
Amplify - This gives us an extra 12% radius on Infernal Blow and Leap Slam and it also improves our damage slightly for these skills. I believe this also affects the radius of melee splash.
Master of the Arena - This is a subtle skill but I would rate it as absolutely essential as it goes a long way to reducing the frustrations of melee targeting. This is thanks to the +2 increase to melee range, which works amazingly well with multistrike.
Iron Reflexes - This allows us to convert the evasion from the Grace Aura into a significant armor boost. On the way there we are able to grab the Beserking and Diamond skin nodes too making this a pretty worthwhile area of the tree to visit.
Endurance Charges & Life Regen Per Charge - Pick up each of the three endurance charge nodes as well as the Life Regen Per Endurance Charge node. With our consistent uptime these all provide a huge defensive bonus.
Mana Nodes - With some attention paid to gear we can just barely scrape by on the mana reduction node in the Templar area, the mana reservation nodes near the Duelist and the Mana flows cluster in the Duelist start area.
Blood Magic While Leveling - It’s also worth noting that this build levels till about 70 entirely on Blood Magic and oinly switches back to mana once decent end game gear has been acquired, which I’ll go over shortly when I talk about gearing. Check out this video for an explanation on how and when to drop blood magic.
Damage & Stun Nodes - The final thing to note is the few damage and attack related nodes I do get in this build. Firstly, We get as much attack speed as we can feasibly get to help with leap slam and to reduce the root time on Multistrike. Next we get only a few very efficient physical damage clusters. We also get lava lash for an amazing 30% increase in fire damage for only one point. And finally, we get the Skull Cracking Node near the Maruader area as it also gives 10% stun threshold reduction. You’ll also notice that I have grabbed the two stun threshold reduction nodes south of that as well giving us a 20% stun threshold reduction stat from the passive tree alone. Stun ends up being a huge part of the defensive mechanics of this build at end game so I may even get the 16% from the Bone breaker cluster as I continue to level up. Overall you can see that we can have pretty high damage on this build with the support of very few passive points.
Bandit Quest Rewards
Normal – Health from Oak Cruel – Passive, kill em all. Merciless – Endurance Charge from Oak.
How to Play This Build (Method of Operation)
- Enduring Cry - Just before you engage with your first pack of mobs in each zone you should use enduring cry to build up a few initial endurance charges. You should also do this whenever your charges are about to expire if you cannot get a bunch of kills under warlord’s mark before then.
- Warlord’s Mark - The next step is curse mobs with Warlords Mark, try to cover the majority that you will be fighting over the next few seconds as this will ensure your flasks remain full and your endurance charges refreshed.
- Leap Slam - Next, Always initiate with Leap Slam if possible. Not only is it faster but thanks to our high damage and stun threshold reduction we also stun all of the mobs around us preventing them from attack.
- Infernal Blow - Finally, finish the pack off with Infernal Blow. If there is a rare or magic mob try to lock onto them and the splash will take care of the trash. You also do more damage to your main target, which will help down them faster. If there are any stragglers you can finish them off with a quick leap slam. A bit of a tip for mutlistrike melee skills is to always hold shift or force stand still whenever you attack. This will help a lot with desync and will ensure that at least the second and third shots will connect with whatever mobs are closest, even if you happen to be off on your inital targeting.
- Getting Around with Leap Slam - Traveling between mob packs is as simple as leap slamming over terrain and around obstacles. The similar shift tip applies here as well but for different reasons. Holding shift while leap slamming will force your character to leap, even if you are targetting too far away.
How to Deal with Reflect
First let’s look at Physical Reflect. Since we are using multistrike our attack damage is reduced a bit and split into three separate attacks. This means we can pretty much wail on physical reflect mobs without problem. HOWEVER, do not use leap slam on physical reflect packs. Since it has a ton of physical damage in one hit it can be very dangerous. Solution is pretty simply: on physical reflect use Infernal Blow and not Leap Slam.
Next up is Elemental Reflect, the more dangerous of the two. The real danger here is when Infernal Blow’s explosion procs on a large pack of mobs. Since this does 25% of each mobs base life as fire damage this can one shot you. And so the solution is pretty simple – just leap slam elemental reflect packs to death.
So, in review:
- Infernal Blow Physical Reflect Packs, and,
- Leap Slam Elemental Reflect packs.
- With Dual reflect packs switch out to glacial hammer for your main attack or just be very careful.
Let’s start with the obvious, the Marohi Erqi. This is pretty much your end game goal so start saving for it early. It’s relatively expensive for beginners but it’s nowhere near as bad as buying something like a Shavronne’s wrappings. I bought this mace in Anarchy league for 2.5 exalts as a six socket without any links. I then managed to 5 link it in about 44 fusings, which is a fair bit better than average, which should be around 100. We use the Marohi because of it’s high physical damage, built in increased AoE support and increased stun duration. The negative effects of reduced move speed and accuracy don’t affect us and although the slow attack speed is a bit of a downer it’s overcome by the other stats. Before you get the Marohi simply use any mace with 20% quality, 90% or more increased physical damage and whatever links you need.
Gloves, Boots, Chest & Helmet
All you really need to focus on for these slots is life, armor and resists. You don’t need to worry about movespeed on your boots because most of our movement is done via leap slam.
Belts are almost the same as the other armor pieces but you also want to get as much Reduced Enemy Stun Threshold as possible, I have the mid roll of 10% on my belt and it makes a big difference. A leather belt is optimal for the base but heavy is okay too.
Rings & Amulet
On your rings you want get at least 1% mana leech and one decent base mana and mana regeneration roll to cover our mana requirements. Intelligence is also helpful as well. Other than that you can get phys damage or any defensive stats you need. For the amulet I went for defensive stats in addition to Dexterity and intelligence. These main stats are important because we need between 90 to 140 to run our skills effectively and end game.
Finally, we have our flasks. I run three bubbling health flasks, which I spam whenever I need. Thanks to Warlord’s mark they rarely run out. For the suffixes you ideally want various dispels. I also run two granites with the Ample prefixes and the iron Skin suffixes. Two is more than enough to have pretty much permanent uptime on granite armor. With one of these active my armor shoots up to 24k and with endurance charges on top of that I can easily exceed 90% physical mitigation most of the time.
The forum thread passive skill tree will be the first to be updated:
Leveling Guides for this Build
And that pretty much covers everything! I’ve had a ton of fun with this build and it’s probably going to be one of the few that I continue playing into high level maps even when I reroll new characters. It’s also been amazing to level this build alongside a bunch of you guys who have also been trying it out – the feedback I’ve been getting on it has been pretty awesome as well!