10 Best Duelist Builds in Path of Exile Necropolis 3.24

13.05.2024 - 23:21:23
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides , POE Gameplay Guides

10 Best Duelist Builds in Path of Exile Necropolis 3.24

Path of Exile offers many classes for you to choose from. There are pure classes that are meant for builds that focus on just one stat, such as Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), and Intelligence (INT). And, there are the hybrid classes that provide you with a balance of two stats. The Duelist is part of the latter group with a relatively high STR/DEX at the beginning that scales well into the endgame.

In this article, we are going to talk about the Duelist and what separates it apart from the other classes in the game. Additionally, we will reveal our picks for the best Duelist builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League. So, read further to learn more. This is going to be a good one!

Why Choose the Duelist

The Duelist is one of the hybrid classes in PoE that gives a good balance of STR and DEX. It specializes in melee combat, though there are ways for this class to utilize projectile skill gems as well.

Completing the first labyrinth allows you to ascend to three “advanced” classes. Each ascendancy class has its own identity, with different notable passive skills that separate them from each other.

What are these advanced classes? We are glad you have asked!


The Champion is perfectly suited for those who prefer a good mix of offense and defense. First to Strike, Last to Fall is one of the most popular nodes that people take when playing this ascendancy class. It actually has several properties, including ailment removal, life recovery, damage buff (via Adrenaline), and weakened enemy defenses (thanks to permanent Intimidate).

Fortitude and Unstoppable Hero usually go hand in hand. The former grants increased physical damage reduction via Fortification stacks that will always be active unless the node is no longer allocated. The latter, on the other hand, boosts your armor/evasion, makes you immune to stun, and increases your attack speed by a sizable amount.

Master of Metal is a pretty good notable ascendancy passive skill, particularly when your build utilizes Impale to do insane amounts of physical damage.

And then, you have Inspirational. This is a very useful ascendancy node mainly because it enhances your non-curse auras like Determination and Grace by 30%. On top of that, Banner Skills, such as Defiance Banner and Dread Banner, do not spend mana when activated. This allows you to use them along with your other auras without worrying about increasing mana reservation efficiency.

Because of the more balanced approach of this ascendancy class, the Champion is the go-to option for many builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League.


If a lot of PoE players like the Champion in the Necropolis League due to it being well-balanced, the Slayer comes in at a close second. Unlike its brethren, the Slayer is geared towards the offensive; with incredible damage nodes that aid in slaying enemies quickly, and improved survivability by utilizing insane amounts of life leech.

Impact is an amazing notable ascendancy passive skill that grants a huge amount of accuracy and damage, which greatly helps you with gearing options early on.

Bane of Legends ensures that you have enough damage to kill even the toughest of monsters. This ascendancy node even rewards you with more damage, so long as you are on a killing spree.

To add to that point, the Headsman is usually taken after Bane of Legends. The 10% increase in attack speed and movement speed are great bonuses to have, encouraging you to have a more active style of play. What’s more, this node allows you to cull enemies that are below 20% of their max HP, thereby increasing your map-clearing speed immensely.

If you have seen people in the PoE community talking about the Slayer’s “overleech,” they are referring to Brutal Fervour. When this node is taken, any life you have leeched off of your enemies will continue to heal you regardless of your current HP. Furthermore, Brutal Fervour reduces your damage taken so long as you are leeching life and/or mana.

Endless Hunger just amplifies Brutal Fervour in more ways than one. It gives you increased attack speed, more life leech, and stun immunity while you are leeching.

Despite being an offensive class, the Slayer has some defensive features baked in as well. Take the Overwhelm node, for example. This not only boosts your critical strike chance, but also reduces the critical damage done by your enemies by 30%. When you allocate this notable ascendancy passive skill, it is best that you raise your critical strike chance as high as you possibly can. This is so that you can take full advantage of the +100% to critical strike multiplier provided by this node.

How about the last node? Masterful Form might look boring on the surface, but if you read it carefully, this passive skill is very useful, especially if you are thinking about stacking Frenzy Charges.


We are going to be honest with you, the Gladiator is not in a good place right now. This is the least-played ascendancy class for the Duelist in Path of Exile: Necropolis League. In fact, it has been like that for quite a while ever since it was reworked in Patch 3.16. Why is that? Before we talk about the reasons why it is not popular in Patch 3.24, we must first talk about the notable passive skills the Gladiator has access to.

The Gladiator is billed as an ascendancy class that specializes in defenses thanks to its incredible block chance. It can also slay enemies with damage over time via bleeds. To maximize the nodes of the Gladiator, those who use this ascendancy class typically opt for a one-handed weapon and a shield.

Having said that, let’s discuss the Gladiator’s offensive capabilities, shall we? Blood in the Eyes is a node that sets things up. This grants you the ability to make enemies bleed with your attacks. When your foes are affected by the said status effect, you can maim them too just by initiating a follow-up attack. Maimed enemies, with Blood in the Eyes allocated, take 10% increased physical damage.

If Blood in the Eyes gives you the power to make enemies bleed, Gratuitous Violence just amplifies that to the nth degree. The 20% more physical damage over time buff is good and all, but what makes this node interesting is that you will cause bleeding enemies to explode on kill, dealing 10% of their maximum life as physical damage to nearby monsters.

Outmatch and Outlast is a well-balanced node that gives you certain bonuses depending on whether you have Frenzy Charges or Endurance Charges. If you are at maximum Frenzy Charges, you gain a physical damage buff that lasts until the charges fall off. On the other hand, you will take reduced physical damage if you are at maximum Endurance Charges.

Dying in Path of Exile sucks, so if you are tired of getting ported to town because you get constantly killed, then you can do something about it by taking the Painforged node. This notable ascendancy passive skill allows you to block attacks more often. Besides that, stunning hits that you have blocked prevent you from getting stunned thanks to Painforged.

Reigning Veteran bolsters your defenses significantly by raising your maximum block chance and increasing your armor/evasion based on your chance to block attack damage.

Best Duelist Builds

Since players only go for the Champion or Slayer in this league, you will see that most of our recommendations use either of these ascendancy classes. However, if you are a fan of the Gladiator, do not worry; there is actually a competent build that you can try out. 

With all of that out of the way, here are the best Duelist builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League:

10. Split Arrow Gladiator

+Make enemies bleed to death with ease

+Fast mapper that can take on pinnacle bosses

+Not expensive to start

-Requires heavy investment to elevate the damage even further

-Bleed damage has a limit

We are going to be upfront here, this is the only viable build for the Gladiator in Patch 3.24. But make no mistake, this build is no slouch, especially in the damage department.

The Split Arrow Gladiator is a fast mapper that is also capable of downing the pinnacle bosses in the game. However, it is worth noting that you may have a hard time eliminating the “Uber” bosses if you are not properly geared.

Anyway, you will use a couple of skill gems depending on the situation. Split Arrow is the one you are going to utilize for the most part. This is an attack skill gem that allows you to hit multiple enemies at once. With the help of certain items and passive skills, you can consistently apply the Bleeding status effect on monsters, causing them to suffer from physical damage over time.

Puncture is the other main attack skill you will use on this build. If Split Arrow is more suited for mapping, Puncture is great for bossing. That is because this skill makes the bleeds you have inflicted on your enemies more potent.

Since this build relies heavily on bleed damage, taking both Blood in the Eyes and Gratuitous Violence is a no-brainer. The latter guarantees a smoother mapping experience by giving you a chance to make bleeding enemies explode upon death, dealing physical damage to nearby targets.

No matter if you are fighting against bosses in Path of Exile or doing multiple maps in succession, you will find great value in Arena Challenger. This notable ascendancy passive skill grants you the power to gain Challenger Charges – a special kind of “charge” that boosts your movement speed and attack speed by up to 20%.

Arena Challenger does require you to use Blood and Sand or Flesh and Stone to gain Challenger Charges. You can experiment with either stance to see which one bodes well for your style of play. If you ask us, go for Sand (Flesh) Stance while mapping and Blood (Flesh) Stance when going against bosses.

In terms of gearing, the Usurper's Penance is an incredible helmet that provides you with an additional chance to inflict bleed upon your enemies. But, this helmet’s true potential is unlocked only if you have more than three Frenzy Charges. Why? Because it makes your bleeds even more painful by increasing its damage over time significantly.

Olesya’s Delight further amplifies your damage via Affliction Charges. Basically, all of your Frenzy Charges will be transformed into Affliction Charges, which makes your bleeds deal more damage over time. However, to remove the downside of this belt, you should pair it with Ralakesh’s Impatience so that you still gain the effects of Frenzy Charges regardless of the conversion that occurs with Olesya’s Delight equipped.

While the items mentioned above can certainly help boost your damage, the true power lies in your bow and quiver. Both of them are crafted using the Citadel Bow and Heavy Arrow Quiver as crafting bases.

The Citadel Bow has the highest physical damage value among all of the other bows in Path of Exile. Additionally, the Heavy Arrow Quiver is perfect for “bleed builds” due to its added physical damage implicit modifier.

As to the build’s playstyle, you just move around the map, fire multiple arrows at once with Split Arrow on large groups, and use Puncture when you encounter tougher enemies. Very simple, isn’t it?

Now, there is something crucial that you have to know about the bleeding status effect or any other skills that deal damage over time in PoE. You see, bleed only deals a maximum of 35.8 million damage per minute. This has something to do with the game running on a 32-bit signed integer, meaning, the recorded damage cannot go beyond that due to technical limitations. 

Despite that, the Split Arrow Gladiator does enough damage to warrant a spot on our list of the best Duelist builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League.

9. Dual Strike of Ambidexterity Slayer

+Main skill takes dual-wielding to a whole new level

+Fast attacker that can destroy anything in seconds

+Slayer’s insane overleech synergizes really well with the Transfigured Gem

-Needs expensive items to feel comfortable

-Relies on flask and gear interactions to survive against Uber bosses

-STR stacker that requires items to have STR in one way or another

Just by looking at the name of the build, you probably already have some notions about this one being lackluster. However, that is not the case! The Dual Strike of Ambidexterity Slayer is a very competent build that has the damage to eliminate even the toughest monsters in the game.

Your main skill on this build has some pretty interesting interactions with dual-wielding. Unlike the base version, Dual Strike of Ambidexterity actually requires you to use two different weapon types and there is a reason for that.

You see, the damage of the Transfigured Gem takes into account the weapon that you equip on your main hand. To maximize this weapon slot, you will use the Paradoxica, specifically one that comes with chaos damage penetration and the ability to deal double damage.

If the main hand weapon is used for calculating the skill’s damage, how about the off-hand? We are glad you’ve asked! The Dual Strike of Ambidexterity utilizes the attack time of the off-hand weapon, which is why you should use one that has an inherently fast attack speed, like a claw or a dagger.

Most people who play this build would often use the Paradoxica on the main hand and the Imperial Claw on the off-hand. The Imperial Claw, in case you are wondering, has an implicit modifier that enables you to gain life on hit. It also has high base attack speed and critical strike chance, making it a great option for this build. The Gemini Claw comes in at a close second for its life and mana gain on hit at the cost of slightly lower attack speed than the Imperial Claw. So, choose between the two; you won’t go wrong with either of them.

With the mechanics of the main skill out of the way, it is now time to talk about the gear. What makes this build quite strong? Well, that is, in large part, due to Replica Alberon’s Warpath. This is a unique pair of boots that grants 1 to 80 chaos damage per 80 points of STR. For this reason, you are going to stack STR as high as possible to get the most out of the boots.

Aside from that, you will allocate the “Iron Will” keystone passive to make STR’s inherent physical damage bonus apply to spell damage as well. This works in conjunction with Battlemage’s Cry to convert spell damage to attack damage. Why does this have to be done in order to maximize the build’s potential? The spell damage that is converted by Battlemage’s Cry is actually amplified depending on how many enemies surround you at the time the warcry skill is used. This is due to the “Power” that is intrinsic among enemies in Path of Exile.

Even though the Dual Strike of Ambidexterity Slayer is capable of outputting insane amounts of damage, it does suffer a bit on the defensive side of things. Most of your survivability hinges on the interaction between The Writhing Jar and the Slayer’s Brutal Fervour and Endless Hunger nodes.

Whenever you are fighting Uber bosses like The Eater of Worlds, for example, and you have just sustained heavy injuries, you can use The Writhing Jar to summon two worms that you can kill, and the life leech provided by the aforementioned nodes should keep you alive. The said flask has a unique effect that guarantees instant recovery as well, making it a valuable addition to the build.

Bosses and tough enemies will be weakened by self-casting Despair that is empowered by The Balance of Terror jewel. This unique jewel can come with multiple effects, but the one you are looking for is: “Inflict Withered on Hit if You’ve Cast Despair in the Past 10 Seconds.” For the uninitiated, Wither is a debuff in Path of Exile that makes affected enemies take increased chaos damage.

The Dual Strike of Ambidexterity does require heavy investment for the build to truly shine. However, if you do not mind spending tons of PoE Currency, then we promise you that this build is all worth it!

8. Smite Champion

+Great offensive and defensive prowess

+Huge damage potential

+Almost unkillable

-Expensive to put up

-Must have reduced lightning resistance

Most PoE builds are only geared towards opposite ends of the spectrum. For example, if one build is capable of outputting huge amounts of damage, it most likely suffers from poor survivability. Conversely, builds that are pretty tanky often lack damage to make it worth your time. Wouldn’t it be great if there is a build that actually has impressive offensive and defensive capabilities? Well, look no further, the Smite Champion ticks those boxes and then some!

This is an armor-stacking build that utilizes a couple of Replica Dreamfeather unique swords. This one-handed weapon is a staple in such builds primarily because of its effect that states: “1% Increased Attack Damage per 450 Armor.”

Unlike other armor stackers, though, the Smite Champion uses a slightly different approach. Instead of wearing a Grasping Mail with a couple of specific Breach-only mods, you are going to equip Doryani’s Prototype. This body armor makes it so that the lightning resistance of your monsters is the same as yours. Hence, you reduce your lightning resistance to take full advantage of this. How can you achieve that?

There are multiple ways to reduce lightning resistance in this game. The simplest way is to use the Melding of the Flesh and Thread of Hope unique jewels. If you have enough PoE Currency, purchase a Ventor’s Gamble, specifically one that has - lightning resistance (fire resistance and cold resistance must be positive).

Normally, Doryani’s Prototype is paired with a unique shield called Mahuxotl’s Machination to address the significantly reduced lightning resistance. But, because you are using a couple of Replica Dreamfeathers, you have to resolve the issue in a different way.

Alpha’s Howl is amazing for this build primarily because it raises the level of aura gems by two if you socket them into the helmet. If you are able to snag one up with a “+2 to Level of Aura Gems” as a corrupted implicit, it is possible for you to achieve a level 25 Purity of Fire skill (assuming, of course, that you put a level 21 Purity of Fire into one of the helmet’s sockets). 

Now you are probably wondering why a level 23/25 Purity of Fire gem is important on this build. Well, that is because you not only gain a huge boost to fire resistance, but the said aura increases your maximum fire resistance as well.

If you use that in conjunction with the Melding of the Flesh, your cold resistance will be on par with your fire resistance, thus allowing you to heavily mitigate incoming fire and cold damage from enemy attacks. For this to work, your cold resistance must be capped first to 75% before the effect of the Melding of the Flesh is applied.

With the underlying mechanics of this build out of the way, it is now time to give proper attention to the main skill: Smite. For the uninitiated, Smite is an attack skill gem that prompts you to call down a lightning bolt from the heavens to strike enemies on the ground. After executing the attack, Smite grants you a buff that gives added lightning damage for several seconds.

As you can see, the interaction with Doryani’s Prototype, the reduced lightning resistance on your character, and the power of Smite, give you a potent combination that can eliminate any monster in the game.

That’s right! This build not only boasts incredible survivability through stacking copious amounts of armor, it can also beat anything without a problem whatsoever!

If there is anything that you have to keep in mind here, it is that this build is very expensive to put together. However, if you are not shy of making a huge investment, then the Smite Champion is definitely worth every currency you put into it!

7. Boneshatter of Complex Trauma Slayer

+Hit fast, strike hard

+Easy gearing options

+Has the potential to decimate anything in your path

-Self-damaging mechanic has to be mitigated

-Can be dangerous if life leech and physical damage mitigation are not sorted out

The Boneshatter of Complex Trauma uses a transfigured version of one of the most popular melee skills in Path of Exile. How does this differ from the original? The base version allows you to scale Trauma stacks infinitely, while the transfigured version limits Trauma stacks to 10, albeit with each stack hitting harder than usual.

If you are new to PoE, Boneshatter has this “Trauma” mechanic where each enemy you hit with the skill enables you to acquire stacks of Trauma. Each Trauma stack increases your damage, but at the cost of taking some physical damage in return with each attack.

The good news is that the damage you receive can be mitigated by armor, physical damage reduction, and damage recouped as life modifiers. In addition, some of the Slayer’s notable ascendancy passive skills help immensely with improving survivability. The combo of Brutal Fervour and The Writhing Jar provides immense life leech that you can activate on a whim. If you have the PoE Currency, you can replace the unique flask with the Progenesis for a pseudo-Petrified Blood effect.

Gearing for this build is very achievable on a budget. This is why Boneshatter builds are typically played at the start of a new league, particularly for those who want a competent melee physical damage build. You just have to make sure that you have physical damage mitigation and life recovery (through damage recouped as life and life leech) taken care of.

The Boneshatter of Complex Trauma Slayer does not rely on landing damaging critical strikes on the enemy. Instead, it scales accuracy due to the Precise Technique keystone passive. When the keystone passive is allocated, you gain 40% more damage as long as you are able to keep your accuracy higher than your maximum life. You can get accuracy from your rings, helmet, and gloves. If you still need more, some base jewels can provide that as well.

Impale is also a huge part of this build’s offense. Putting the aptly named Impale Support, as well as taking the Harvester of Foes notable skill on the passive tree, should get you started. A Watcher’s Eye with the “% Chance to Impale Enemies on Hit While Affected by Pride” is not mandatory, but can definitely help bring your damage numbers up.

Even though the Slayer does not have insane attack speed and armor like the Juggernaut, this ascendancy class’ awesome recovery via life leech will help with your survivability.

So, if you want a slightly different take on the ever-popular melee skill gem in Path of Exile, the Boneshatter of Complex Trauma Slayer is an amazing choice.

6. Explosive Arrow Champion

+Popular league starter

+Impressive damage numbers even with budget gear

+Much more durable than the Elementalist

-Totem playstyle might be boring for some people

-Delay in damage due to the nature of the main skill

If you only have enough PoE Currency to buy gear, then you might be interested in the next entry on our list of the best Duelist Builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League. The Explosive Arrow Champion (aka EA Ballista Champion) is a league starter that has been very famous for quite some time now, and the main reason is that it is capable of dispatching enemies, burning them to a crisp even on a minimal investment.

Before we talk about the mechanics, let’s first discuss the star of the show. Explosive Arrow is a bow attack skill that allows you to stick multiple arrows to an enemy, which detonates after a short period of time. The arrows also explode automatically if the target has the maximum number of arrows stuck to it.

That said, the Explosive Arrow Champion uses a few keystone passives to maximum effect. The first is Ancestral Bond. This keystone passive allows you to lay down one additional totem. However, it has a huge downside where you cannot damage monsters yourself with skills. That is why this build is heavily reliant on the Ballista Totems to fire the explosive arrows for you. When you take Ancestral Bond and the “Watchtowers” notable passive skill, you have the power to summon five totems at a time.

The second is Elemental Overload, which grants a huge elemental damage buff for a short duration. Even though you do not scale crit chance on this build, the fact that your totems can land critical hits on the enemy occasionally should be more than enough to benefit from this particular keystone.

And the third is Elemental Equilibrium. Thanks to this keystone, you can apply Fire Exposure on enemies that reduce their resistance to fire damage by 25%. Now, it is worth noting that this keystone requires you to not deal fire damage. So, what you will do is put “Added Cold Damage” or “Added Lightning Damage” on at least one of your equipped items. An easy way to do this is to simply bench-craft the prefix: “Adds # to # to Cold Damage, Adds # to # to Lightning Damage.”

In Path of Exile, there are two ascendancy classes players typically choose when using Explosive Arrow: the Elementalist and the Champion. You are probably wondering what the main differences are between the two.

To put it simply, the Elementalist version applies Ignites to kill enemies via fire damage over time. It has the advantage of dealing huge damage numbers during league start scenarios. Unfortunately, scaling its defense is much harder compared to the Champion.

Where the Champion excels is through its impressive survivability. This is possible due to the Fortitude notable ascendancy passive skill, which grants a permanent 20% physical damage reduction when allocated.

That’s not all, Conqueror and Worthy Foe are ascendancy nodes that are great for the build as well. The Former enables you to taunt enemies on hit, while the latter causes taunted enemies to take increased damage. You’re probably thinking: “If I cannot damage enemies with skills, how can I taunt them then?”

You see, Grinding Gear Games is very particular when it comes to the wording on skills. If you examine the Ancestral Bond keystone closely, it only says that you cannot damage enemies yourself with skills, but you can still hit them with anything. Therefore, you can still take advantage of on-hit effects like what the Conqueror ascendancy node does (taunt on hit).

What are you going to hit enemies with? You have Frenzy for that. This is another bow attack skill, albeit you use it primarily to generate Frenzy Charges.

When putting your gear together, make sure that you focus on survivability (via resistances) and attack speed (for your totems). Increasing your maximum life is also a benefit, so get this mod wherever you can.

Your bow is a self-crafted one using the Thicket Bow for its high base attack speed. You need to achieve at least 3.17 (or 2.64 with a 20/20 gem) attacks per second to ensure that your totems can stick the maximum number of arrows to the enemy before detonation. Import your character to Path of Building (POB) and see this number under the “Calcs” section.

If you want a tankier version of a build that uses Explosive Arrow, then you should definitely settle with the Explosive Arrow “EA Ballista” Champion.

5. Lightning Strike Champion

+Easy to gear

+Viable league starter

+Can be scaled really well into the endgame

-Some endgame pieces of gear are expensive

-Still a “melee” build despite projectiles doing the bulk of the damage

Melee builds are still not as popular as other build archetypes in Path of Exile. That is likely not going to change anytime soon. However, this does not mean that there are no competent melee builds out there that do huge amounts of damage. One that exemplifies that is the Lightning Strike Champion.

Lightning Strike actually deals damage in two phases: the initial melee hit then followed by several lightning projectiles that hit nearby enemies. The second part of the attack is what matters here, which is why you scale the damage of this build by putting as many elemental damage and projectile damage mods wherever you can.

At the start of a new league, you can use an Imperial Claw and then use Essence of Wrath (Lightning Damage) until you get attack speed, crit chance, and critical strike chance multiplier.

The Perseverance belt is also a nice addition to the build, especially for those who are on a tight budget. This belt boosts your attack damage by 1% per 200 points of armor or evasion on your character, whichever is lower between the two defensive layers.

However, if you really want to take things to the next level, you have to save up enough PoE Currency to obtain Doryani’s Prototype and Mahuxotl’s Machination.

Doryani’s Prototype is used here mainly because of its unique effect, where your enemies have the same lightning resistance as you. Therefore, you do everything you can to reduce your lightning resistance as low as possible. A couple of Thread of Hope jewels and the Melding of the Flesh should help you achieve that.

Of course, since your lightning resistance is reduced to negative, you have to address that in some way. That is where Maxuhotl’s Machination comes in. This unique shield grants you the effect of six keystone passives, but you shall only be concerned with one: Divine Flesh. 

The said keystone takes half of the non-chaos damage you receive from the enemy’s attacks and converts that to chaos damage. Hence, you only really need to increase your fire resistance and chaos resistance on this build, which can alleviate the stress of gearing for elemental resistance.

To improve your defenses even further, you will rely on Fortitude and Unstoppable Hero. The Inspirational node, along with the Defiance Banner, gives you a good boost to armor and evasion as well.

While Doryani’s Prototype can significantly boost your damage output, you can go a step further by using Corrupting Fever. Why is this skill included in the build, you ask? Well, that is because you want to gain Adrenaline from First to Strike, Last to Fall.

As mentioned earlier in the article, First to Strike, Last to Fall is an ascendancy node that grants you a huge damage increase and damage mitigation by granting you the Adrenaline buff for 20 seconds. 

How Corrupting Fever factors into this is that each use of this skill takes a sizable portion of your life immediately, thus enabling you to gain Adrenaline. With that said, the best use for Corrupting Fever is when you are fighting against tough monsters and bosses.

While the build’s cost ramps up in the later stages of the game, the Lightning Strike Champion is a viable league starter that is able to zap enemies with lightning projectiles.

4. Corrupting Fever Champion

+Tanky map blaster

+Deal heavy amounts of physical damage over time

+Insane damage potential with a minimal investment

-Reliance on damage over time may dissuade some people from trying this build

The Champion’s First to Strike, Last to Fall has enabled many builds to become viable during league start. The Corrupting Fever Champion is a good example of that.

Corrupting Fever, when activated, grants you a buff that allows you to inflict the Corrupting Blood status effect on your foes. This causes them to take physical damage over time. So, how do you apply the said debuff then? Kinetic Blast is in charge of that.

Kinetic Blast can reliably apply stacks of Corrupted Blood on nearby monsters. You socket it with Returning Projectiles Support for a more consistent application. You can leave this skill gem to level 1 because the bulk of your damage comes from a maximum of 10 stacks of Corrupted Blood.

The combo of Kinetic Blast and Corrupting Fever does work, but not as much on tougher enemies and bosses. That is why Vaal Reap is involved as well. Using Reap not only applies a powerful debuff that deals physical damage over time, but it also gives you the power to gain Blood Charges. These special charges make the Reap debuff even more devastating. 

The Vaal portion of the skill creates an area of boiling blood that deals physical damage over time. What’s more, Vaal Reap raises your maximum Blood Charges by four (increasing the total to nine charges).

So to recap, you activate Corrupting Fever, traverse the map in search of monsters, and then destroy them with Kinetic Blast (which consequently applies the Corrupted Blood debuff). When going against bosses, use Reap and boost it with Vaal Reap whenever it is available.

When you use the Corrupting Fever Champion as a league starter, you should get your hands on a couple of things as soon as you can. The Poet’s Pen is a unique wand that triggers the skills socketed into it, with a very quick cooldown. Anyway, the skills you insert here are Vaal Reap and Exsanguinate. The latter applies another physical damage over time debuff. Very nice, huh?

After that, you will find great value in Haemophilia – a pair of gloves with a unique effect that gives you the ability to explode bleeding enemies on kill, which deals physical damage to nearby monsters based on a sliver of their maximum life. The gloves themselves grant you a small chance to cause enemies to bleed, though you can supplement that by using jewels with the appropriate “% Chance to Cause Bleeding” modifiers.

In the endgame, you will focus on getting gear that improves damage over time, physical damage over time, and level of skill gems.

As stated above, this build is a tanky map blaster due to the Champion’s Fortitude and Unstoppable Hero ascendancy nodes. First to Strike, Last to Fall is activated on command simply by using Corrupting Fever. Then, you have Inspirational to boost the effects of your non-curse auras, such as Malevolence, Determination, and Pride.

Unlike the Split Arrow Gladiator, the Corrupting Fever Champion actually scales well into the endgame due to the simple fact that you are not relying on bleeds. With multiple debuffs that deal physical damage over time, any monster stupid enough to stand in your way will ultimately suffer a painful death.

3. Cyclone Slayer

+”Spin to Win” playstyle never gets old

+Deals damage while moving

+Powerful on a modest budget

-Defenses are lacking a bit

The Cyclone Slayer might not deal the same amount of damage as the Smite Champion or Boneshatter of Complex Trauma Slayer, but what it does offer is a character in Path of Exile that is very easy and comfortable to play.

Cyclone has been one of the most popular melee skills in the game. When used, you spin around, attacking enemies rapidly in the process. This build’s map-clearing ability relies heavily on the shockwaves created by the aptly named Shockwave Support. This particular support gem is only usable if you equip a mace, sceptre, or staff. This is why you are going to ultimately use a self-crafted Eventuality Rod for that “+1 to Maximum Power Charges and Endurance Charges” implicit modifier.

What makes this build a good league starter is that you do not really need specific items for the build to work, though there are certainly some that can take this build’s damage to a whole new level.

Aside from the aforementioned warstaff, the Abyssus is the go-to helmet for most Cyclone Slayers. This is because this helmet contains a variety of mods that are useful for the build, such as added physical damage, more attributes, and increased melee critical strike multiplier. These mods do come at a cost, though, in that you take a sizable amount of physical damage from hits initiated by the enemy. You can rectify that by boosting your armor and adding plenty of physical damage reduction mods.

Kaom’s Spirit may have been heavily nerfed a couple of leagues ago, but it still gives a ton of value to the build, mainly for that Rage generation. You can improve Rage generation with the gloves equipped by using Enduring Cry.

Rage is a temporary resource that grants increased attack speed and attack damage. But more importantly, it enables you to activate Berserk for an even better damage boost! Moreover, Berserk reduces the damage you take until Rage is fully depleted, which massively helps mitigate the Abyssus’ downside.

The Cyclone Slayer is capable of outputting enough damage to kill almost anything in the game. So, some of the modifiers on your items should be those that aid in improving survivability. The Brutal Fervour’s overleech mechanic synergizes really well with the insanely fast attack speed that is an intrinsic quality of Cyclone.

Bane of Legends and Headsman ensure that map monsters and pinnacle bosses are afraid to fight you due to your offensive prowess. Impact helps you solve your accuracy issues, especially at the start of a new league.

Even though this build is largely the same as in the previous expansions, the Cyclone Slayer is still one of the best Duelist builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League!

2. Splitting Steel Champion

+League-start viable

+Multiple projectiles that split ensure that no enemy will be left standing

+Tanky mapper even on a budget

-May lack in the damage department unless heavy investment is made

The second-best Duelist build on our list is a familiar one if you have played the past several PoE expansions. But, if you are completely new to the game, the build we are referring to is none other than the Splitting Champion. This one comes in at a close second, only beaten by Slayer build due to its sheer damage potential.

Anyway, Splitting Steel has received a huge change that made it a lot simpler to use. You no longer have to worry about “reloading” steel shards; you just simply use the skill to destroy any monster you encounter on the battlefield.

Splitting Steel is an attack skill gem in Path of Exile where you hurl a single projectile towards the direction of the enemy. Upon contact, the projectiles will split, hitting multiple nearby monsters in the process.

Fundamentally speaking, Splitting Steel enables you to eliminate anything and everything in your way without even breaking a sweat!

The bulk of the build’s damage comes from the Impales inflicted by the steel shards. Increasing the quality of Splitting Steel boosts the effect of Impales on the enemy by a whopping 40%! Be sure to use 20 Gemcutter’s Prisms immediately to take advantage of this huge damage boost.

Because you will utilize Impale to a great extent, the Champion is the most qualified for the job due to its Master of Metal ascendancy node.  This makes your projectiles hurt even more depending on the number of Impales that are already on the enemy. On top of that, this node is good for defense because you get +1000 to armor and evasion if you have impaled a monster in the last four seconds.

The other nodes are Fortitude and Unstoppable Hero to enhance your survivability, and Inspirational to boost the effect of your Determination, Grace, and Pride auras.

While you can use a self-crafted, one-handed sword during league start that contains physical damage modifiers, you will transition to a Paradoxica, as well as a Beltimber Blade in the endgame.

The Beltimber Blade, specifically, makes your steel shards hit two more targets after splitting. It also grants you the effect of Far Shot, which increases the damage of your projectiles the farther away they travel from your location.

To maximize Far Shot, invest in a Nimis if you have the PoE Currency. This unique ring makes it so that your projectiles return to you after they have attained their maximum travel distance. If you cannot afford the Nimis yet, you can use the Returning Projectiles support gem until you do.

So, why did this build fall short of the number one spot on this list? Well, the best Duelist builds in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League just deals huge amounts of damage. Additionally, it is mechanically more fun to use.

Be that as it may, the Splitting Steel Champion is on this list for a reason. It is a good league starter that you can upgrade with items later on to make it a viable endgame build.

1. Flicker Strike Slayer

+The true “endgame” build for Duelists in Patch 3.24

+Its damage potential outmatches every other build on this list

+Move fast, kill fast

-The most expensive build on this list (right next to Smite Champion)

-Survivability leaves much to be desired

So, which build took the top spot on our list? What did you say? Did I hear the Flicker Strike Slayer? If you have guessed the same thing, then you are right! The Flicker Strike Slayer is the best build for the Duelist class in Path of Exile: Necropolis League, and that is due to only one reason: insane damage output!

Obviously, for the build to achieve its peak, you have to be willing to invest a ton of PoE Currency. Let’s start with the most highly sought-after item on this build, the Forbidden Shako with a level 33+ Ice Bite support.

What Ice Bite Support does is it provides you with added cold damage per Frenzy Charge. For this reason, the Flicker Strike Slayer stacks Frenzy Charges as high as it possibly can. And, as you can already tell, this is with the help of the Slayer’s Masterful Form node. It is possible to attain more than 10 Frenzy Charges on this build easily, but any additional charges will require even more investment.

Next, you have Replica Farrul’s Fur to consistently supply you with Frenzy Charges and Endurance Charges. This requires the Aspect of the Cat skill to be added to one of your pieces of gear, either on the gloves or shield.

The reason why Aspect of the Cat is needed is so that you can reduce the duration of Cat’s Agility just enough to maintain the aforementioned charges. In other words, Cat’s Agility must have a lower duration than your Frenzy and Endurance Charges.

In addition, you will wear the Darkray Vectors – a unique pair of boots that raises your Maximum Frenzy Charges by one and increases your movement speed depending on the number of Frenzy Charges you have active.

Then, we have arrived at the main skill gem, Flicker Strike. When used, you teleport to the nearest monster from your location and hit it with a melee weapon. After the initial strike kills the enemy, you will automatically switch to a random nearby monster until they are all eliminated.

Compared to Splitting Steel, Flicker Strike is indeed more fun to use. It not only helps you navigate through maps more quickly, but also ensures that enemies do not stand a chance against you. When all of the necessary items are equipped, nothing can stand in your way. You will have the power to destroy everything in your path, which is why this is the best Duelist build in Patch 3.24!

If this build deals insane amounts of damage, does it have any weaknesses? Unfortunately, there is. Its survivability leaves much to be desired and even with heavy investment, it is still not as tanky as the Splitting Steel Champion, let alone the Smite Champion mentioned much earlier in this article.

Still, if all you care about is high damage numbers, then the Flicker Strike Slayer will not disappoint!


The Duelist is a hybrid class that has three interesting ascendancy classes. Even though the Gladiator is not in a good spot in Path of Exile: Necropolis League, the Split Arrow Gladiator does enough damage to warrant a spot on this list. Then, it is just a battle of the Slayer and the Champion, though the former does take the number one spot.

No matter which builds you choose from this list, you can never go wrong with any of them. We hope that you have enjoyed this article. So, which one are you going to try soon? Do let us know!

Anyway, with all of that said, good luck on your adventures in Wraeclast, Exile!

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