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Tasty Blood - A Bleed Warpath Build for Paladin [0.7.10c]

If movement is king of all defensive mechanics, Warpath is the safest active damage dealing skill. Make the safest of all attacks deadly, and you get the ultimate build.

Rant / Slice of Life

It all started while I was organizing 20 tabs of dumped/unchecked idols as I stumbled upon a couple of outstanding ones:

I then checked available uniques, affixes, and gear saved for the forge to mold into perfection (or more likely a mountain of defects), then started gambling/forging.

I love and loathe gambling/forging. The power we can get out of it is HUGE but the frustration of randomness over randomness will do things to your soul too graphical to describe here (kudos to those who get the reference). Anyway, I digress, and the insanity of min-max forging deserves a series of articles of its own.

I could go on and on about all the iterations, trial and errors, but let’s cut to the chase and go straight to what I ended up with after 3 weeks of refinements.


Nothing fancy but the Axe Thrower (Sentinel) + Shield Breaker (Forge Guard) combo to passively apply a ton of physical shred while you spin (mainly for bosses and other enemies with a lot of health).


5 points in Axe Thrower (40%) is overkill as it has a 1 second cooldown. There’s a slight diminish return for the 4th point, and a larger DR for the 5th point. Adjust as you see fit.

Aegis of Renewal (health on block) is optional. You can go with Juggernaut (Strength and Fire/Void res) and/or more points into Fearless (Vitality/Regen).


Bottom half is pretty flexible: the +5% Block Chance from Honour are mandatory but after that, you have 20 points left for 2 offensive options (Conviction for Penetration, Rahyeh’s Strength for Strength) and 3 defensive options (Valor, Flash of Brilliance and Holy Symbol (not the one from the Block lane)).

Upper half is pretty much locked: you want the full 17 points into Bleed nodes, the +12% Block Chance, and then you have 18 points left to feed the Armor node (Staunch Defender) and the HP/Mana node (Reverence of Duality), or 17 points if you went for 5/6 Shield Breaker (Forge Guard passive). Note that if you only put 7 points into HP/Mana, 114 mana is enough to be able to cast 4 Sigils of Hope in a row. Also note that Redemption’s +49% damage when you receive a bleed stack from Penance, stacks.

Forge Guard

With Axe Thrower having a 1 second cooldown, you can go with 5 (or even 6) points in Shield Breaker to be closer to the 20 stacks of Physical Shred cap.

Void Knight


  • Can’t be stunned(*), can’t be body blocked, always moving to avoid attacks, Warpath is one hell of a skill.
  • Current version has a channeling cost of 2 mana/sec. Adjust as you see fit.
  • Whirling Barrier (the armor and elemental resistance node) is lack luster when compared to Sigils of Hope and Holy Aura. I wouldn’t go for it.
  • I find Reckless Spin (-4 channeling cost, +25% elemental damage taken) to be a “win more” node: you don’t want to use it when facing challenging content.
  • Looking at enemies for potentially dangerous modifiers while spinning can be cumbersome.

Holy Aura
  • Don’t use Holy Aura if that puts you below 0 mana as you suddenly become extremly easy to stun, even though Warpath should make you immune (mostly a concern when you have a Warpath channeling cost of 0, as otherwise you usually preserve your mana for more Warpath time).
  • Now that I think about the slow node, it felt useless, as if Holy Aura’s area was much smaller than Warpath’. I think you can put that point to better use elsewhere.

Sigils of Hope

+800 armor, +12% block, +120% damage
Precast each wave with 4 Sigils of Hope + Volatile Reversal.

Volatile Reversal

My vote for “Best designed skill in the game”. Usages cover:

  • the usual Sigils of Hope spam followed by Volatile Reversal to get mana back to full (when it works… sometimes it leaves you with less mana than you had 2 seconds ago, can’t wait for this bug to be fixed!)
  • rush a pack and teleport back for enemies’ skill to whiff, and punish with that juicy +30% DoT multiplier
  • taking a dangerous spike ? Teleport back. Just one second of respite is usually all you need for leeched health to kick in and nurse you back to full.
  • already mentioned but just using it for the global 30% DoT multiplier on top of increased attack speed is a huge DPS boost. Also, try to take advantage of the reduced cooldown on kill when there’s easy packs near an elite monster, and spam VR.

  • In combat, use Rebuke sparingly as being being rooted for a few seconds is enough to put you in a deadly situation the moment you want to move away. Prefer Volatile Reversal’s teleport/increased movement speed to get out of hairy situations, unless there’s ground effects (poison, blood, whirlwind, etc) or slow monsters skills still happening in your back (wisp, spearmen, zealots, ice elementals charged blast, etc).
  • The 3 points to increase Rebuke’s duration is to give enough time to assess the situation and move away when it’s safe enough (like right after a big salvo of hits).
  • Since Rebuke is not really used to get buffs, no need to invest points to increase their duration. That shouldn’t stop you from precasting Rebuke to prepare for a tough pack or in anticipation of a new wave!
  • The 100% increased mana regen is VERY useful: it’s like Focus but for Sentinels. Recharge your mana before the next wave (I try to keep 2 enemies alive to regen mana and rebuff).

When farming Monolith of Fate, I despecialize Rebuke and go with Shield Rush (6 points in Mana Efficiency and some damage reduction is all you need). I respecialize Rebuke while doing easy waves in Arena, going for Duration and Mana Regen first.


- The Black Sun: Health on Block - Health - Physical/Void Resistances
- Ending the Storm: Health Regen - Ward on Hit
- Reign of Dragons: Bleed on Hit!

- Fall of the Outcasts: Increased Large Idol Drop Rate (if you're missing on Increased Bleed Duration).
- The Stolen Lance: Increased Shield Drop Rate (if you want to force your luck and get yourself the best possible shield, which, I think, is the most important piece of gear).
- Fall of the Empire: Class Specific Shards. Get as many Increased Bleed Effect and Bleed Duration shards to help you with helmet and body armor crafting hell.


This is where DPS can explode with the right Idols.
Optimal configuration is 4 Large Idols (1x3) + 1 Ornate Idol (4x1).

Large Idols (1x3) Prefix:

  • Increased Bleed Duration! With “Taste of Blood”, it becomes a direct damage multiplier! Stack it!
  • Unfortunately, there’s nothing good besides Increased Bleed Duration, and if you’re missing too many of these, you better have Increased Bleed Duration on both helmet and body armor or you will have to change the build quit a bit and lose a good chunk of DPS (go for Undisputed instead, get more Bleed Chance, go with Smite and Adorned Idol(s) for Smite proc on Axe Thrower which is surprisingly decent!). Also, get the “Increased Large Idol Drop Rate” blessing in Fall of the Outcasts.

Large Idols (1x3) Suffix:

  • Physical Damage Over Time!
  • Chance To Shred Armor on Melee Hit
  • Health is always good
  • Block Effectiveness if you don’t have that prefix on your shield, but don’t stack it, the diminishing return is brutal.
  • Elemental Resistance if needed

Ornate Idol (4x1) Prefix:

  • Chance to Bleed on Hit! Besides the Penance passive (200%), the Blessing (up to 80%), Taste of Blood (up to 95%), and the rare “Chance to Bleed when wielding an Axe”, idols are your only source of extra Chance to Bleed.
  • Armor

Ornate Idol (4x1) Suffix:

  • Chance to Bleed on Hit While at High Health!
  • Chance To Shred Armor on Hit
  • Armor / Physical Resistance / Void Resistance
  • Shared Physical Damage

Near Optimal: if you’re missing a Bleed Duration idol and your Ornate idol is not that great, I suggest looking for a Large Idol (1x4) with high “Physical Damage Over Time” instead, and replace the Ornate one with a Grand Idol (3x1).

Huge Idol (1x4) Prefix:

  • Seconds to Sigils of Hope Duration

Huge Idol (1x4) Suffix:

  • Physical Damage Over Time!
  • Chance To Shred Armor on Melee Hit
  • Health / Elemental Resistance

Grand Idol (3x1) Prefix:

  • Damage Over Time!
  • Increased Warpath Area! Outrange melee enemies to be extra safe, or just hit more enemies.
  • Health Regeneration

Grand Idol (3x1) Suffix:

  • Chance To Bleed on Hit while at High Health!
  • Chance To Shred Armor on Hit
  • Armor / Physical Resistance
  • Shared Physical Damage


Example of Gear (Tunklab's Gear Planner)

General guidline:

As with Bleed Duration idols, Taste of Blood is pretty much mandatory. Get one with good rolls!

Bleeding Heart is strongly recommended: its global leeching works on Bleed damage, and with the burst of Taste of Blood, health come back really fast.

For resistances, there’s different ways to cap them (I say cap but, except for Physical and Poison, 65% is good enough in my opinion):

  • Elements: Holy Aura can cover up to 55%. If you manage to get a nice “All Resists while channelling” on your relic (and/or “All Resist” on shield), you’re done! Otherwise, try to get a T4+ Elemental Resistance suffix somewhere.
  • Necrotic: Holy Symbol can cover up to 49%.
  • Poison: Holy aura can cover up to 25%. Go with 3 “Set Necrotic/Poison Resist” prefixes, and if you’re not lucky with the tiers, complete with a “Poison Resist” suffix. I don’t recommend going for the “Necrotic/Poison Resist” blessing, but if it shows up and you still don’t have the “Chance to Bleed on Hit” blessing, you might as well take it, and even keep it if you feel your DPS is in a good enough spot.
  • Physical: Up to 20% from Engraved Gauntlets. I don’t count the 9% from Battle Hardened (Forge Guard passive). The “Physical/Void Resist” blessing is okay, but try to go for 3/4 “Set Physical/Void Resist” prefixes.
  • Void: 20% from Abyssal Endurance (Void Knight passive), Up to 24% from Juggernaut (Sentinel passive)

For other stats:

  • Stack Health and Health Regen where you can. Try to get “Hybrid Health” on Belt, Boots and Gloves.
  • “Frailty on Hit” on either Ring, Relic or Gloves.
  • “All Resistances while Channeling” on your relic helps a ton with resists, “All Resists” on shield is not too bad either.
  • Going for “Set Necrotic/Poison resists” allows you to put more Health and Health Regen suffixes on your gear.
  • For prefixes: Strength, Vitality, Damage over Time and +HPRegen are all good.
  • Try to get high implicits on Winged Helm and Solarum Plate in order to cap “Critical Strike Avoidance” with just one strong suffix (T5).


Thanks to Krucious for his brainstorming help, and to Dr3ad (Apprentice’s Corner) for his take on bleed Warpath and that nice Axe Thrower + Shield Breaker combo.

- Fixed a Necrotic/Poison Resist confusion (Gear section).
- Changed Axe Thrower / Shield Breaker combo details to account for the 1 sec CD of Axe Thrower (Passives section).


Nice guide! Keep them coming!

Lol… I was just watching Dr3ads videos yesterday as I felt like trying a Bleed build and was researching options. The physical shred with Axe thrower is a clever sync of nodes (love things like this). Dr3ad didnt use it, but I wanted to try Taste of Blood and here you have it as mandatory. :+1: Will also try Undisputed just for fun…

Thanks for the build… and welcome to the forum.

Nice Job on this. I also watched the video and refined his build and it is incredible.

I wanted to offer a few thoughts.

Axe Thrower has a 1 second cooldown. I think it is better to apply 5 stacks per second as opposed to 4 regardless of your attack speed due to this cooldown. The 5 stacks applied at the start of second 1 will fall off and the start of second 5. That is the exact moment you will apply a new stack of 5 to replace the 5 that just fell off. I actually think the only way to maintain 20 stacks is 5/5 SB.

I am using a Katana which is the fastest melee weapon along with Wing Guards in order to stack bleeds as fast as possible,. With 150% bleed effectiveness from gear and tree, the damage gets to the level of ridiculous. My bleeds peek at 47,000 per tick on the test dummy. This also enables you to proc Frailty on weapon which is awesome as your other 3 weapon affixes should be melee attack speed, chance to bleed and Damage over time.

Bleed effectiveness should be on both helm and body armor… Duration can come from idols but effectiveness from only tree and these 2 slots.

Bleeds tick 2x per second and the base duration of bleeds is 4 seconds. That means every 12.5% increased duration adds 1 tick. I have 65% bleed duration from idols and get 13 bleed ticks once I stop attacking confirming the breakpoints.

I have a minimum of 115% to all of my resists while channeling. I am no expert but do you think this is overkill?

I have 124 mana with zero on gear. I have to say that the build runs much smoother once you get over about 115 mana. I achieve this through 12/12 reverence of duality. Prior to level 95 or so, I used a belt with inherent mana on it to help.

I have 4,700 armor, 2250 health, 100% crit resistance and 78% block chance with sigils and a Kite shield. Plan to change to a Solarum Shield so I can get to 85% block.

I have zero increased health regen atm. I would love to learn more about the benefits as I find my leech does plenty to keep me topped off.

I really can not gage the potential of this build. I am running this on the lowest settings on my work laptop. I stutter and freeze all the time so I have only made it to 218 in arena.

You did an awesome job laying out the map of this amazing build.

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Thanks a lot for sharing all these thoughts, informations and kind words!

Health Regen is my safety belt when I “crash”; I would probably not need it if I was mechanically near as good as Foe. :stuck_out_tongue:

I did try without Health Regen, and arena runs had a tendency to end much sooner. On multiple occasions I’m in a situation where I have low health and no clean way to approach/hit packs like when ranged enemies sit in pools of poison, or I’m in a narrow dead end and have to rush a pack to get out; Sometimes I can zigzag to buy time, but without a decent Regen I’m just delaying the inevitable.

There’s also packs of ghost Ahuizotls that I can’t leech as they hurt me badly when I hit them, like some sort of reflect (I still don’t know what that is exactly; I remember a death screen telling me it was a whirlwind; it puzzled me), or simply a Siege Golem activating it’s fire aura while also hitting me a bit with his flame breath, and then fresh packs catch me up and I die before leeched health kicks in (and that’s with Taste of Blood’s burst!). Not to mention those pesky Skullen Shamans with their unavoidable lightning bolts: they don’t deal much but when I’m in a critical condition… :cold_sweat:

Now, I had a suboptimal mishmash of gear from my FG and VK, and I probably didn’t test long enough to develop better habits. I think it’s worth revisiting.

I stutter and freeze a lot too. though I have an i5-8400 and a GTX 1070; hopefully in December I upgrade to an AMD 5600X (if I'm not going crazy with a 5900X), and a Radeon 6800 XT, but that might not help much in Last Epoch's case if devs don't work on optimizations. Anyway, as you can imagine, it gets worse as you push further: at best, controls become floaty, by that I mean Warpath goes where the cursor was a second or 2 ago; at worse, it doesn't even respond anymore, like my character running (still animating) but not moving.

There’s also this bug that happens more and more where Warpath is like “mouse desensitized”, as if the screen was made of giant pixels: if the cursor is in a, say, 200 pixels radius from the center of the screen, Warpath won’t move, and if it’s outside that dead zone, say north-northeast, character will move north, or if it’s east-southeast, character will move east.
That’s also why I don’t want to post footage yet; FPS goes down to a crawl at the beginning of almost each wave until I clear most of it, and controls are so bad it looks like I’m either mentally retarded or that I have a serious motor disability (well, at least we see the cursor being south and Warpath still going east :sweat_smile:).

Now that you say Axe Thrower has a 1 sec cooldown, I remember I glanced over it once, and then completely forgot about it. :sweat_smile: I will edit with correct numbers.

47k without Taste of Blood seems impressive. Testing right now: best tick with Warpath alone is 60k and it falls off instantly when I stop hitting, but the beauty of Taste of Blood is that I reach peak damage in like 2 seconds. When I add Holy Aura and Volatile Reversal, I can see some 150k. I’m very happy with the burst approach though, it felt much safer quickly dispatching packs when I was comparing with Undisputed, and I currently don’t plan to use another weapon (I’m also done with gambling/forging for a while :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:).

Yeah 115% resists is overkill in my opinion. There’s not a lot of packs with physical/elemental shred, and then you can just keep your distance while circling them to death; except for Shock maybe, but it never was a concern so far.

Thanks for the reply.

I’m on a HP Zbook 15 g6 with an i7-9750H CPU and an NVIDIA Quadro T1000 GPU. Great for business but not much for games lol. Once I get high enough to not be able to face tank everything, it get’s hairy with all of the freezes. I also have the same mouse stick issue also so I am glad to know it may not be my hardware. I think I will log on to my son’s custom rig I built for him last year and try playing on that. 9900K with a rtx 2070 super. I need to see what this build can really do.

My blessings are 24% void / Physical, 19% elemental and 14% All resist. Missing out on the chance to bleed from blessings :frowning:

I just tested with Taste for Blood and my ticks are about 10% lower but do ramp up a bit quicker. I am going to read through your guide again and see what could be the cause of the dps discrepency.

Overall, I don’t feel damage is lacking in any way. Not if I could just stay alive longer lol. Thanks again for this.

If I were you, I would replace all the blessings.

I would go for Health on Block and/or Ward on Hit: that helped me push farther as all the fast attacking/throwing/casting enemies become “allies”: they are either powerless or heal me / build ward and, in both cases, I get many bleed stacks from Penance. I probably crossed the 1000% increased physical damage multiple times, and when there’s a boss around, I vaporize it. Very satisfying. :relaxed:

By the way, I have a comfortable 2.7k health (triple Hybrid Health, and +17% on body armor) and I think that’s enough to reach wave 450, or maybe even 500 with luck? (no Frost Wyrm please, and I need to be super tight with the Skullen Pyromancers when I go on top of them so their fire attacks don’t touch me). When I died at 369, 382 and 390 it always was because of a bad decision:

  • passing by a pack of Void Touched that fired right when I was next to them
  • being too greedy with melees and gathering/circling them too early
  • a bad Volatile Reversal that instantly killed me

Good stuff. I will make some tweeks. Think I will stick with the sword and gloves for now.

Much thanks.

Quick Update.

I stand corrected on Taste for Blood. This ramp up is much, much faster than a katana. going through the math, the peak dps for a katana would be substantially higher due to greater # of bleeds applied but it will take between 7 and 9 seconds of continuous dps to reach those levels. I have not tried Arena yet because I am running monoliths continuously to fix my blessings. Got 40% chance for 30 ward on hit and 51% bleed chance (would like to improve both). Still working towards health on block. Also need to reroll helm, chest, belt and Relic.
I could use some new idols but have not seen a wounding large idol of efficacy in 100’s of monolith runs. RNG is killing me.

Thanks again.

By the way, I should add “Chill on Hit” (Ending the Storm) on the list of interesting blessings.

If you’re looking for just one particular blessing, you will see it once every 4 completed mono (25.1% for all 3 main mono). Then, if you want a high roll, like above 75%, that’s 1 out of 16…

Now, I don’t recommend going to that extent until the game is released: you might burn yourself out (I hope I did not :sweat_smile:) while there’s plenty of other builds worth experimenting (or different modes, like SSF to try to make the best out of what you get, getting the experience to know when you should go with a rather weak build that has good gear for it, or with a strong build that has inadequate gear, where is the line? But I digress, as usual :sweat_smile:).

Anyway, welcome to the Taste of Blood club, and good luck!

I also made around 100 runs and I suspect there could be an issue with Idols drop chance. Haven’t got any single ornate idol for bleed + dmg. Has one from the storyline drop but this is very strange and annoying.


Great job on a beautiful build! :grin:

Okay so how do you sustain mana since i do not see any mana leech or anything like that?

Volatile Reversal.

And Rebuke with the +100% mana regen node, as Volatile Reversal’s mana back is still bugged and unreliable.

so should i use both Rebuke and Volatile Reversal when clearing packs? and what should i use for main skill while leveling?

Volatile Reversal alone is enough when difficulty is not challenging, so when it leaves you at very low mana, it won’t be an issue.
I use Rebuke for mana in arena between 2 waves; but when I farm monolith, I replace it with Shield Rush to blaze through.

For leveling, start with Rive and go up/right for 3rd strike damage (and leeching) then finish with bottom for attack speed/crit. Vanilla Warpath on-hit damage is lack luster but I used it too anyway, and I recharge mana with Rive via the Time and Faith passive in the sentinel tree.

Bleed is more late game (passives are high in the Paladin tree and you need good idols/helmet/body armor affixes). I would start with Ignite instead, and if you have the 2 handed mace Pontifex (level 20 required), it’s an awesome start. No shield and going fire means some adjustments are needed. Go for:

  • passives at bottom of paladin tree (Conviction -> Majasa Firebrand -> Rahyeh’s Strength)
  • fire nodes in Holy Aura: +10% fire penetration, +12% ignite, +50% fire damage (get rid of the Physical damage node and the block ones)
  • fire nodes in Sigils of Hope: +24% ignite per sigil (drop block node + the one before, and remove 1 point from the armor node)
  • for Warpath, I recommend taking Zweihander Reichweite for +100% area if you use a 2 hander (drop movespeed and only put 1 point in the inferior Iron Reach node)
  • stay at 20 points in Sentinel, skip the whole Axe Thrower / Shield Breaker combo

I hope that will help you.

wow this community is much more helpful then path of exile. i luv ya guys and gals and non-binaries. and since im a newb to the game i will just have to learn what is good for my leveling play style

Hmm… I wouldn’t recommend Paladin for new players. While it has fantastic tools to survive with poor gear, the damage is low early on (but can scale really really high), unless you’re really lucky with drops. So, if at some point it becomes too hard and you want to try another mastery, I would recommend to go with either Spellblade (firebrand + flamereave) or Sorcerer (lightning nova), farm with it, and come back later to unleash Paladin’s full potential :muscle: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Good luck!

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know any links to good Lightning nova builds?