A hybrid Path of Exile class, the Duelist, takes advantage of strength and dexterity. He has good defenses from strength, augmented by the evasion boosts dexterity gives. Whether by bow or sword, enemies fall at his hand. He can use PoE items such as swords, axes, maces, and bows. He wears helmets, scale/brigandines/doublets/lamellar, scale gauntlets and boots, and round shields. His skills are a balance between his two primary stats. Strength for armor and damage. Dexterity for attack speed and evasion.
His Ascendancy Classes are Slayer, Gladiator, and Champion.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He shares many of the strengths and weaknesses of his neighboring classes, the Marauder and Ranger. Because of his affinity for strength, he can deal powerful blows and tank damage. His other affinity, dexterity, grants him increased dodge and movement speed. It also grants increased accuracy, making more of his hits land on enemies. He gets the best of both worlds. Dual wielding is also his forte, and he starts out quite near the needed nodes for that.
As the intelligence skill nodes are on the opposite side of where he starts, he has a limited mana pool. Any spell he casts will also be weak, as he cannot reach the spell modifiers. To keep on using skills, he must rely on mana leech and conservative magic. While not as fragile as a Ranger, he can’t tank at the level of Marauders either.
The Slayer specializes in two-handed weapons, such as bows and greatswords. His skills revolve around power and sustaining it. They also boost life leech and stun, with some passives boosting damage against tougher monsters. Some notable skills are Headsman and Endless Hunger.
Headsman activates when you’ve killed recently. It increases damage and radius of area skills by 20%. As a bonus effect reflected physical damage doesn’t hurt him. Endless hunger makes 20% of overkill damage turn into leeched life and gives immunity to bleeding while leeching.
The Gladiator maximizes the Duelist’s hybrid nature. His skills synergize well with dual wielding or one-handed weapon and shield combinations. He can then improve on that by applying bleed, improving blocking, or enhancing Endurance and Frenzy Charges. His notable skills are Outmatch and Outlast and Blood in the Eyes.
The former provides a 25% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on kill with the main hand. It also provides the same opportunities to obtain an Endurance Charge on kill with the off-hand. Then, at max Frenzy Charges, he deals 10% more physical damage. At max Endurance Charges, he takes 10% less physical damage. The latter provides a 25% chance to make enemies bleed. Upon hitting a bleeding enemy, his attacks maim and has a 10% chance to blind. Lastly, maimed enemies take 10% more damage.
The Champion supports his allies through taunts, buffs, and de-buffs. He can even boost their already high defense or gain a burst of adrenaline. His skills all focus on increasing his survivability. Notable skills of his are Worthy Foe, Fortitude, and Unstoppable Hero.
Worthy Foe makes enemies he taunts take 20% more damage. It has the added effect of making taunted enemies unable to evade attacks. Fortitude grants permanent Fortify. Then, it activates the effects of Unstoppable Hero. That skill allows a 10% increase in attack speed and a 30% increase in armor and evasion. What’s more, it adds 1000 to his armor and evasion, and he cannot be stunned. He becomes genuinely unstoppable at that point.
The perfect balance between brute force and finesse, the Duelist, is an excellent physical all-rounder. He has enough power and defense to defeat his enemies, helped by his natural agility and grace. Take note that due to his positioning on the skill tree, he’ll never be good at slinging spells. He’s a good choice for those preferring physical damage to spells, but not the brute strength of the Marauder nor the fragility of the Ranger.
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