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Dual wielding

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Dual Wielding is intended to be a option halfway between the damage output of two-handed weapons and the defensiveness of a shield and weapon combo.

Mechanics

Dual Wielding automatically grants 10% More Attack Speed, 20% More Attack Physical damage and 15% Block Chance (based on the idea of parrying attacks) whenever you equip two One-Handed weapons of any type. The attack speed bonus is applied multiplicatively with other attack speed modifiers. These two bonuses to Dual Wielding can be increased via passives. Weapons do not have to be of the same type to receive Dual Wielding bonuses.

There are no penalties of any kind to attacks with your off-hand weapon. The large majority of attack skills in Path of Exile will alternate between equipped weapons for attacks,[1] swinging first with the main hand and then with the off-hand weapon. The attack time is the average of the two weapons' attack times, so the total time for a pair of attacks is as if each weapon attacked once.

It is possible to dual-wield wands. However, you may not wield a wand in one hand and a melee weapon in the other.

Single-weapon attacks

The following attacks use only your main hand weapon[1] :

If you have two different weapons and the skill you attempt to use only works with one of them, only the valid weapon will be used for attacks made with that skill. Skills that fall under this category (apart from the above) include:

If only one weapon is used, the dual wielding bonuses will still apply; however, the attack rate will be based only on the weapon that is actually used. The tooltip appears to be wrong.

Simultaneous attacks

Cleave and Dual Strike will attack with both weapons at the same time.[1]

Passive skills

There are passive skills that grant dual wielding bonuses.

Physical damage while dual wielding

These passive skills grant increased physical damage with weapons while dual wielding.

Name Bonuses
Dual Wield Damage
    • 10% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
    • 12% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Dual Wield Damage and Attack Speed
  • 10% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 3% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
Dual Wield Damage and Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 6% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Ambidexterity
  • 26% increased Attack Damage with Main Hand
  • 20% increased Attack Speed with Off Hand
Blade Barrier
  • 3% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 50% increased Block Recovery
  • 18% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Bravado
  • 4% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 12% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Dervish
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 6% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
Duality
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Gallantry
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Gemini
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 20% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 15% increased Accuracy Rating while Dual Wielding
Swagger
  • 2% additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding

Accuracy while dual wielding

These passive skills grant increased accuracy rating while dual wielding.

Name Bonuses
Dual Wield Accuracy
  • 16% increased Accuracy Rating while Dual Wielding
Gemini
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 20% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 15% increased Accuracy Rating while Dual Wielding

Attack speed while dual wielding

These passive skills grant increased attack speed while dual wielding.

Name Bonuses
Dual Wield Attack Speed
    • 3% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
    • 4% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
    • 6% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
Dual Wield Attack and Cast Speed
  • 4% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
  • 4% increased Cast Speed while Dual Wielding
Dual Wield Damage and Attack Speed
  • 10% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 3% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
Ambidexterity
  • 26% increased Attack Damage with Main Hand
  • 20% increased Attack Speed with Off Hand
Dark Arts
  • 12% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
  • 8% increased Cast Speed while Dual Wielding
  • +20 to Dexterity
Dervish
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 6% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding

Critical strike chance while dual wielding

These passive skills grant increased critical strike chance with weapons while dual wielding.

Name Bonuses
Dual Wield Critical Strike Chance
  • 25% increased Weapon Critical Strike Chance while Dual Wielding
Twin Terrors
  • 75% increased Weapon Critical Strike Chance while Dual Wielding

Chance to block while dual wielding

These passive skills grant additional chance to block while dual wielding.

Name Bonuses
Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
Dual Wield Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
Dual Wield Damage and Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 6% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Blade Barrier
  • 3% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 50% increased Block Recovery
  • 18% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Bravado
  • 4% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 12% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Dervish
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 6% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
Gemini
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 20% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 15% increased Accuracy Rating while Dual Wielding
Slashing Comeback
  • 4% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 24% increased Physical Damage with Swords
  • 20% increased Accuracy Rating with Swords
Weapon Artistry
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 20% increased Melee Physical Damage
  • +20 to Dexterity

Strategy

Blocking

Passives

As of 1.2 there are the following passive clusters that provide block chance while Dual Wielding:

  • The Scion starting area: 6%
  • The Bravado cluster below Scion: 8%
  • The Dervish cluster in front of Duelist: 10%
  • The Blade Barrier branch in the bottom-right: 11%
  • Weapon Artistry in front of Ranger: 4%
  • Slashing Comeback in the right-bottom: 4%
  • The Swagger cluster in the right: 4%
  • The Gemini cluster in the right-top: 8%

The Bravado-Dervish area in particular is very strong with 21% additional block chance in a small area. All of the dual wield block nodes are located in or near the Dexterity sector of the passive tree, making a critical build a natural choice. This is enhanced by the Twin Terrors cluster with its 125% critical strike chance and prime location between Bravado and Dervish.

There is a total of 55% additional block chance on the passive tree for a total of 70% possible block chance without items, or 66% if we discount Slashing Comeback which is gated behind five sword nodes and is thus prohibitively expensive for non-sword builds.

Items

Corrupting an item with a Vaal OrbVaal Orb
Stack Size: 10Corrupts an item, modifying it unpredictablyRight click this item then left click an item to corrupt it. Corrupted items cannot be modified again.
Shift click to unstack.
and crafting with Vagan, Weaponmaster can provide some additional block chance. Failing this, or if more flexibility in passives is desired, one or more of the following unique items may work:

  • Wings of EntropyWings of Entropy
    Sundering Axe
    Two Handed Axe
    Physical Damage: (121–248 to 147–304)
    Elemental Damage: (55–100 to 65–120)
    Chaos Damage: (55–100 to 65–120)
    Critical Strike Chance: 5%
    Attacks per Second: 1.20
    Requires Level 60, 149 Str, 76 Dex25% of Block Chance applied to Spells
    8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
    (80 to 120)% increased Physical Damage
    Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Fire Damage in Main Hand
    Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Chaos Damage in Off Hand
    Counts as Dual Wielding
    Fire and Anarchy are the most reliable agents of change.
    (10%): A popular choice due to allowing for 100% block chance applied to spells when combined with Stone of LazhwarStone of Lazhwar
    Lapis Amulet
    Requires Level 5+(20 to 30) to Intelligence50% of Block Chance applied to Spells
    (10 to 15)% increased Cast Speed
    +(30 to 50) to maximum Mana
    You are slow, foolish and ignorant.
    I am not.
    and RainbowstrideRainbowstride
    Conjurer Boots
    Energy Shield: (106 to 123)Requires Level 53, 94 Int(20 to 25)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
    +(40 to 60) to maximum Mana
    (140 to 180)% increased Energy Shield
    +20% to all Elemental Resistances
    20% increased Movement Speed
    "They say that you should take life's troubles in your stride.
    Some men have a longer stride than others."
    - Gaius Sentari
    .
  • The Bringer of RainThe Bringer of Rain
    Nightmare Bascinet
    Armour: (423 to 564)
    Evasion Rating: (609 to 812)
    Requires Level 67, 62 Str, 85 DexGems in this item are Supported by level 18 Melee Physical Damage
    Gems in this item are Supported by level 12 Faster Attacks
    Gems in this item are supported by level 6 Blind
    Adds 20–30 Physical Damage
    (200 to 300)% increased Armour and Evasion
    +(120 to 160) to maximum Life
    20% chance to gain an Endurance Charge when you Block
    Extra gore
    Can't use Chest armour
    6% Chance to Block
    "What lies beneath your feet?!"
    "Sacred ground, watered with tears of blood!"
    (15%): Helpful for reaching the block cap with Wings of Entropy, leading to the famous "Bringer of WoE" build.
  • The AnvilThe Anvil
    Amber Amulet
    Requires Level 45+(20 to 30) to Strength10% reduced Attack Speed
    10% reduced Cast Speed
    +(400 to 500) to Armour
    +(34 to 48) Life gained when you Block
    +(10 to 24) Mana gained when you Block
    20% reduced Movement Speed
    +3% to maximum Block Chance
    8% Chance to Block
    Reflects 240–300 Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
    Forge your Perseverance on the Anvil of Faith.
    (10%, +3% maximum): Precludes Stone of LazhwarStone of Lazhwar
    Lapis Amulet
    Requires Level 5+(20 to 30) to Intelligence50% of Block Chance applied to Spells
    (10 to 15)% increased Cast Speed
    +(30 to 50) to maximum Mana
    You are slow, foolish and ignorant.
    I am not.
    , severely limiting its effectiveness.
  • Ungil's GaucheUngil's Gauche
    Boot Knife
    Dagger
    Physical Damage: (13–52 to 14–58)
    Elemental Damage: 3–30
    Critical Strike Chance: 6.8%
    Attacks per Second: 1.54
    Requires Level 20, 31 Dex, 45 Int40% increased Global Critical Strike Chance12% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
    (80 to 100)% increased Physical Damage
    +(10 to 20) to Dexterity
    Adds 3–30 Lightning Damage
    10% increased Attack Speed
    50% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
    Unwieldy and garish became graceful and deadly in Ungil's nimble hands.
    (20%): At an astounding 20% additional chance to block when dual-wielding, a single Ungil's Gauche provides more block chance than most shields, as well as a strong 90% increased global critical strike chance. However, its direct attack characteristics are not endgame viable, and are subpar even for Cast on Critical Strike builds, delivering 10.47% base critical hits per second whereas rare daggers can exceed 18% with top rolls.
  • Prismatic EclipsePrismatic Eclipse
    Twilight Blade
    One Handed Sword
    Physical Damage: (43–97 to 53–106)
    Critical Strike Chance: 5%
    Attacks per Second: 1.30
    Requires Level 53, 91 Str, 91 Dex18% Increased Accuracy Rating10% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
    Adds (20–31 to 30–40) Physical Damage
    25% increased Physical Damage with Weapons per Red Socket
    12% increased Global Attack Speed per Green Socket
    2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana per Blue Socket
    +2 to Melee Weapon Range per White Socket
    "A raging Solaris seared and contorted the orb's surface.
    A despairing Lunaris filled the scars with her tears.
    Yet Viridi remained, trapped within, forever more."
    - Azmerian Creation Myth
    (10%): In addition to the block chance, Prismatic Eclipse can provide interesting socket bonuses, particularly 36% attack rate for a GGG version. However, its critical hit capability is even worse endgame than those of Ungil's Gauche.
  • Essentia SanguisEssentia Sanguis
    Eye Gouger
    Claw
    Physical Damage: (47–122 to 57–150)
    Elemental Damage: 1–50
    Critical Strike Chance: 6.68%
    Attacks per Second: (1.62 to 1.76)
    Requires Level 64, 113 Dex, 113 Int3% of Physical Damage Leeched as Life8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding Claws
    (140 to 180)% increased Physical Damage
    Adds 1–80 Lightning Damage
    (20 to 30)% increased Attack Speed
    +(30 to 40) to maximum Energy Shield
    Ghost Reaver
    The darkest clouds clashed and coupled, giving birth to four lightning children of hate.
    (10% with claws): Without improved critical strike chance, Essentia Sanguis is lacking in direct attack capability lategame.
  • Mark of the Doubting KnightMark of the Doubting Knight
    Platinum Kris
    Dagger
    Physical Damage: (56–221 to 62–245)
    Critical Strike Chance: 7.28%
    Attacks per Second: 1.08
    Requires Level 64, 76 Dex, 149 Int80% increased Global Critical Strike Chance5% Additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
    (180 to 210)% increased Physical Damage
    10% reduced Attack Speed
    +(6 to 10)% to all Elemental Resistances
    Melee critical Strikes have 25% chance to cause Bleeding
    Melee critical Strikes have 25% chance to Poison the enemy
    Nothing is pure.
    Slice open the Innocent
    And spill a thousand Sins.
    (5%): Without improved critical strike chance, Mark of the Doubting Knight is lacking in direct attack capability lategame. At only 5% additional block chance, reaching the block cap will also likely require corrupted items and/or Master crafting.

The one-handed uniques above are all lacking in direct attack capability in the lategame. Users should wield them in the offhand and arrange to attack with the main hand only.

Spell block

There is no spell block on the passive tree for dual wielding, so any spell block will have to come from items. Apart from corrupted items, the only way to get capped spell block is to use Stone of LazhwarStone of Lazhwar
Lapis Amulet
Requires Level 5+(20 to 30) to Intelligence50% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(10 to 15)% increased Cast Speed
+(30 to 50) to maximum Mana
You are slow, foolish and ignorant.
I am not.
, RainbowstrideRainbowstride
Conjurer Boots
Energy Shield: (106 to 123)Requires Level 53, 94 Int(20 to 25)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
+(40 to 60) to maximum Mana
(140 to 180)% increased Energy Shield
+20% to all Elemental Resistances
20% increased Movement Speed
"They say that you should take life's troubles in your stride.
Some men have a longer stride than others."
- Gaius Sentari
, and Wings of EntropyWings of Entropy
Sundering Axe
Two Handed Axe
Physical Damage: (121–248 to 147–304)
Elemental Damage: (55–100 to 65–120)
Chaos Damage: (55–100 to 65–120)
Critical Strike Chance: 5%
Attacks per Second: 1.20
Requires Level 60, 149 Str, 76 Dex25% of Block Chance applied to Spells
8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
(80 to 120)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Fire Damage in Main Hand
Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Chaos Damage in Off Hand
Counts as Dual Wielding
Fire and Anarchy are the most reliable agents of change.
. Not using the last can still yield a respectable but not capped amount of spell block.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mark_GGG (November 11, 2013 5:28 AM). "Double Strike + Dualwield = worst combo ever?". Path of Exile Forum. Retrieved November 11, 2013.