Ultimatum League Starter: Spectral Shield Throw Gladiator

gladiator builds path of exile

With Ultimatum just around the corner I’ve been wondering, what should I start with? I feel like having a change from the traditional summoner and mine builds that are typically favoured on league start, that’s why I’ve decided to start with a Spectral Shield Throw, max block gladiator.

Since Ultimatum is all about surviving, I’m looking to start the league with a tanky, smooth character that I can easily gear and take into the late game to farm for my next build – Gladiator is the obvious choice due to the overwhelming block chance you get, but I didn’t feel like playing the normal skills like Lacerate, so I’m giving Spectral Shield Throw a chance.

What does Spectral Shield Throw do?

Spectral Shield Throw is a projectile attack skill that scales off of the amount of armour that your shield has, the higher the armour, the more added physical damage. When you throw your spectral shield it will hit a unit and then shatter into smaller shards, the shield itself cannot pierce or chain, however, the shards can. Typically it’s hard to scale SST damage so it’s not very popular, but it can be great for league starting as it scales well with minimal investment.

Spectral Shield Throw 21/23 Path of Exile
Spectral Shield Throw 21/23

Video Build Guide

Here is my overview of the build items, skill tree and gem links leading up to 3.14:

Path of Building

Here are two Path of Buildings, one is for a completely fresh league start with no Cluster Jewel’s and one has Cluster Jewel’s.

Note: 3.14 Introduced “Veteran Soldier” which is a great addition for the build, it provides 10% Physical Damage over Time Multiplier, +20 Maximum Life & 20% Increased Physical Damage, all are great for this build so it’s worth taking it.

Path of Building No Clusters: https://pastebin.com/J08ujrSA

Path of Building w/ Cluster Jewels: https://pastebin.com/8uguUV28

The Gear

Gearing for this build is super cheap to get going, the build is not extremely popular so any items specifically used only for this build can be obtained for peanuts, end-game gears may need to be self-crafted so could cost a bit.

Body Armour

Early: Tabula Rasa Simple Robe

Upgrade: Lioneye’s Vision (6-Link)

End-Game: Warlord + Redeemers Astral plate with the following modifiers

  • Socket Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
  • Maximum Life
  • 10% chance to gain Frenzy charge on hit
  • Some Resistance


Early: Any rare, armour based helmet with maximum life, int or dex and resistances

End-Game: Rare ilvl 85 elder base helmet with “Nearby enemies take 9% more physical damage” modifier and life


Early: Rare gloves with life, int or dex and resistances

Upgrade: Fenumus’ Weave, Carnal Mitts

Endgame: Hunter/Warlord Influenced Sinsitral Gloves with Physical Damage over time Multiplier and Culling Strike and added physical damage (if possible)


Early: Any boots with life, movement speed and resistances

End-game: Hunter Two-Toned boots with Projectiles Pierce 2 Additional Targets, Bleeding you Inflict Deals Damage #% Faster, life and movement speed


Early: Any rings with life and resistances, int or dex is also very nice

Upgrade: Steel rings with added phys and life/resists.

End-Game: Steel Rings with Redeemer influence, life, added phys to attacks, increased projectile attack damage and some resist


Early: Citrine, Onyx or Turqoise amulet with life, added phys and resistances

Upgrade: Impresence (100% vulnerability reduced mana reserved when cast as an aura)

End-game: Hunter/Warlord influenced with physical damage overtime multiplier, +1 physical skill gems, +1 dexterity skill gems added Phys or life (This will be very expensive, just pick some of the modifiers if you cannot obtain this)


Early: Any belt with life, resists

Upgrade: Stygian Vise with good life and resists

End-game: Hunter stygian vise with maximum life, increased maximum life and resists


Advancing Fortress OR twilight prismatic eclipse with 3 green sockets (whatever you prefer)


Early: Any high armour shield

Early Unique: Titicus Span

Upgrade: Colossal Tower Shield with Defeaning Essence of Envy for good armour

End-Game: Shaped Colossal Tower Shield with high armour roll and “Recover %# of life when you block” modifier


You’re going to want to pick up a “Divide and Conquer” jewel ASAP, after that any abyss jewels with flat Phys and maximum life are good, normal jewels with “#% to Physical Damage over Time” and “#% Increased Maximum Life” modifiers are perfect too.

Once you’re into the endgame you can consider buying or farming a Malevolence watchers eye, the modifiers you’re looking for are:

  • #% to Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence.
  • Damaging Ailments you inflict deal damage #% Faster

Any other Malevolence modifiers with those is a bonus, of course, the damage over time multiplier is the best possible modifier.

Gem Links

Body Armour (In order of importance, until you get a 6 link): Spectral Shield Throw – Brutality Support – Vicious Projectiles – Deadly Ailments – Swift Affliction – Unbound Ailments

Weapon: Shield Charge or Whirling Blades with Culling Strike and Faster attacks support

Shield: Reckoning – Life Gain on Hit – Pulverise

Boots: Cast When Damage Taken – Vaal Molten Shell & Vulnerability – Blasphemy Support, link them
together separately as two links each.

Gloves: Enduring Cry – Second Wind Support – Dash – Blood Rage

Helmet: Enlighten – Flesh & Stone (if you’re not using Fenumus’) – Malevolence – War Banner

If you’re using Fenumus’ you can socket your auras into your shield drop flesh & stone so you can reserve Aspect of the Spider and can instead place the Reckoning setup into the helmet with Increased Area of Effect support.

Ascendancy, Pantheon & Bandits

For the Ascendancy you can decide which order you pick them in on your personal preference, for more damage and faster clear first take Blood in the Eyes -> Gratuitous Violence -> Painforged -> Versatile Combatant.

If you want to be tankier earlier take Painforged -> Versatile Combatant -> Blood in the Eyes -> Gratuitous Violence

For the bandits we’re going to kill all for the 2 points.

Pantheons: I personally prefer Soul of Arakaali and Soul of Shakari for the reduced damage against damage over time, you can change yours as you see fit, more Phys reduction in mapping can be good vs high crit roll modifiers.