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Path of Exile Vaal Pact Marauder Build

Path of Exile Vaal Pact Marauder Build by Islidox

Welcome to the Ultimate Life-Leech Vaal Pact/Resolute Technique Marauder build! Those who like a challenge can try this build.


The way this build works is around the keystone Vaal Pact. Yes, you heard me, the Vaal Pact keystone. What VP does to life leech is to instantly abolish the max rate you can leech life at and leech it instantly. However, the downside to that is that you can't use life flasks NOR life regen. That means you're using mana for your attacks.

A Marauder with mana, whaaa? Doesn't it seem like a suicide mission? No, if you build your Marauder correctly AND have 2 (actually 3, but I'll explain later) pieces of equipment that is the key to success. Below is the passive tree for this build, @ lvl 70 with 81 points, and siding with Oak all four times. (Bound to change for OB)


Without Slitherpinch Bronzescale Gauntlets and Carnage Heart Onyx Amulet uniques, you will not be able to leech enough life to overcome oncoming attacks.

You will also need:
a. High physical-damage 2hand Mace
b. granite flasks
c. mana flasks.
d. Kaom's Sign Coral Ring (for Normal thru Ruthless, then drop them for resist rings)

Pack on as much life, armor, resists, strength as possible and if possible, life leech and/or mana leech. Life regen is useless in this case due to VP's effect. To give you an idea of what type of gear you want, use mine for reference:

Each of my mana pots and granite flasks serve a different purpose, and you must be able to micromanage your pots, otherwise you will run into trouble, i.e. death.


As for skills, it's similar to a regular Marauder but slightly different:

1. Heavy Strike - The main skill of this build, this skill will instaleech THE MOST and should be set to your default attack. If you can't get a 5L, take WED over Life Leech as it's more important to kill faster.
w/ Melee Physical Damage
w/ Added Fire Damage
w/ Weapon Elemental Damage
w/ Life Leech

(note that the Life Leech gem leechs from ALL types of damage, hence it's usefullness on a DPH skill than a AoE skill.)

2. Ground Slam - The main AoE skill, it will serve better than sweep in most cases. If you can get a second 5L, socket it with the Life Gain on Hit support gem.
w/ Melee Physical Damage
w/ Added Fire Damage
w/ Weapon Elemental Damage
w/ Life Gain on Hit

3. Leap Slam - Your mobility spell and ability to create some breathing space due to its knockback effect
w/ Melee Physical Damage
w/ Added Fire Damage
w/ Faster Attacks

4. Enduring Cry - a necessary skill with big mobs and bosses for it's physical damage reduction and increased elemental resistances
5. Warlord's Mark - a necessary skill to instaleech life and leech mana
6. Devouring Totem - essentially your life flask, this totem will devour corpses that leeches life directly to you, and is essentially the only other way to regain health other than attacking or portaling to town
- all w/ Reduced Mana

7. Phase Run - a no-brainer

8. Anger - optional for more damage, but make sure it's linked to Reduced Mana support if you use it

Build Progression

So how do you play this build without gimping yourself too bad? Well, as I've learned it the hard way and with a slightly different skilltree than the one depicted below in the Ending Comments section, theres's a better way to do it.

1. @ 19 points build
- Self-explanatory, ignore life-regen nodes, head to RT, pick up the 12% increased melee physical node, and pick up the 3 passives in the life-gain circle.

2. @ 31 points build
- Head south and grab the endurance charge (and not the .2% life regen per charge passive), Lava Lash, Blood Drinker, Bloodless, and Smash Blows notables

3. @ 52 points build
- Head north to the Templar tree and grab the Fitness and 8% increased life passives and the Bone Smasher notable. Then head east on the outerhighway of the Marauder/Templar border to the huge life passive ring. Pick the life passives first, and then leave the Vaal Pact keystone for the 52nd point.

4. @ 70 points build
- Fill out the Templar tree by grabbing the endurance charge, Body and Soul notable for armor and +10 all resists, Discipline and Training, Slaughter, Prestidigitation, and Amplify. Ignore the 1% life regene passive in the middle of the life ring as life regen has no effect on you with VP. If you're lacking mana, you can grab the +30 Int Savant node that's inbetween the Marauder and Templar classes. At this point, you should have reached the end of Merciless, and you can swap out some mana flasks for granite flasks. Once I got the Prestidigitation notable (granting 20% mana regen and 6% increased cast speed), I rarely ran out of mana for my attacks.

5. @ 84 points endgame build
- You have a number of choices once the core passives are set. You can grab more life by going north for the 2nd Fitness notable or east and finish the big life ring near VP. Or you can grab Skull Cracking and add some more physical damage for more instaleech. Or add resists if your gear is lacking.

How to play

Once you have Vaal Pact, your gameplay will drastically change, and it's all about micromanaging your skills/flasks while keeping an eye out on your life orb. You will need to swap out your health flasks for mana flasks. Granite flasks is a must have for any Marauder build.
* You must be ready to cast Enduring Cry and/or Warlord's Mark as soon as possible before the enemies reach you.
* You can either use Leap Slam or Ground Slam for groups and Heavy Strike for single targets/bosses.
* If you're losing health fast, just use Heavy Strike to regain that lost HP fast.
* Alternatively, you can Leap Slam or Phase Run out of danger, and then pop a Devouring Totem to regain some HP.
* Use Mana and Granite flasks liberally, and use the correct one for its effects. (Dispel burning, Dispel frozen, all resistances, %2 more life leech, etc.)
* Side with Oak all 4 times for the +45 life bonus
* Offense is your best defense! Attack as much as possible, but know when to back off and get out of dicey situations. Don't get surrounded, and always reposition yourself for a better vantage point.

Ending comments:

My Passive tree looks like this at lvl 60 with 73 points for reference (I killed all the bandits twice before realizing my mistake, hence a 73 point build instead of a 71 point build)


I've made some adjustments, spent all of my passive reset points and lots of orb of regrets to get this build where it is now, and it's not even perfect compared to the better build posted in the introduction. I will say this, that this build is extremely fun as it revolves around the concept that "offense is the best defense". It's definitely a lot more interesting than I imagined it out to be and certainly never thought I'd be able to pull it off and get him to the end of Merciless. At his current stage (lvl 60), I wouldn't say he's map-worthy yet, but once I get more life passives into him, he'll be green to go.
Some more interesting tidbits about my build @ lvl 60:
- 2429 HP / 36 ES
- 1982 armor, 29% DR
- 38/46/57 Fire/Cold/Lightning resistances
- 9.7 mana/sec regen
- 483 str, 95 int/dex
- With Anger Aura on, 240/323 mana
- Heavy Strike DPS 4,145
- Ground Slam DPS 1,656
- Leap Slam DPS 1,795
- 15% of physical damage instaleeched to life from passives and equipment, 18% for Heavy Strike with lvl 14 Life Leech support
- Warlord's Mark grants another 6% life leech and 3% mana leech from physical damage

Thanks for viewing this, and I'll answer any questions that comes up to the best of my ability.

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