What are the best Path of Exile (PoE) builds? The possibilities are endless thanks to Grinding Gear Games’ passive skill tree, which boasts around 1,325 selectable buffs. The variety doesn’t stop there, either. Once you start the game, you’re presented with seven classes, and after that there’s the option to specialise into 19 unique classes overall – each with their own unique skill tree. Oh, and there are weapons and armour with stats of their own, and don’t get us started on the support gems.
Don’t be too put off, though – when you get to grips with all of this you’ll find that Path of Exile is a sprawling canvas for you to test out some outrageous PoE builds. Start with a duelist, build your buffs around your spin attack, and you’ll turn yourself into a mob clearing typhoon. If that’s not your thing, you can build up from one of the shadow classes to create a deadly assassin that’ll pop squishy foes into a pile of gooey loot.
So, to get you started on your quest to create Wraeclast’s deadliest abomination, we’ve picked out three of our personal favourite PoE builds. We’ll go over what classes you need to build from, what stats you’ll want to invest in, and what gear you should be looking out for. Word to the wise, we’ve only provided builds in their base form so they’re a bit friendlier to newcomers, plus you can experiment yourself. We have, however, linked to similar Path of Exile builds that are more detailed if you want a reference point. Enough from us, here are some of the best PoE builds.
The best PoE builds are:
We love a good assassin build as there’s nothing quite like sneaking up on an unsuspecting victim and sliding a blade across their jugular. Where this Path of Exile build truly shines, though, is in its enemy wave clearing capabilities. Thanks to the Frost Blades, you’ll strike an enemy and then fire a volley of projectiles behind the struck foe. There’s a lot to it, so you can check out Reload’s thread for an in-depth breakdown, but here are the basics.
You’ll want to start out as a shadow for this one, and then go the way of the assassin when you gain access to an ascendancy, which happens after beating the Labyrinth for the first time. Once you have become one with the assassin, pick up the Ambush & Assassinate, Opportunistic, Unstable Infusion, and Deadly Infusion perks on the upgrade tree.
Key item and support gems
To the great surprise of no one, the centerpiece of this build is the Frost Blades weapon. Luckily, getting these icy daggers is a cakewalk – just talk to Nessa after completing the Enemy at the Gate quest in Act 1. You won’t be able to pick the item up as a witch, marauder, or a templar – but if you’ve picked the shadow class you’ll be fine.
Regarding support gems, look to pick up the Ancestral Call so your attacks damage two nearby enemies at the same time. After that go for an Added Cold support gem to add more cold damage to your attacks. Finally, pick up a Hypothermia gem and you’ll do more damage with hits against chilled enemies, more cold damage over time, and have the chance to freeze enemies that are already chilled.
If you’re fighting a boss, consider swapping out Hypothermia for a Ruthless gem and every third attack you do will deal a lot more damage.
Armour and stats
Apart from the Frost Blades, there are not any items you strongly need for this build – you mainly want to focus on the stats that come with them. First and foremost, try and get at least 300 accuracy on one piece of gear. We’d recommend an amulet or a ring.
- Helm – Starkonja’s Head is a nifty option as it increases your evasion if your health is low, allowing you to make a timely get away. It’s also a chuffin’ bear’s head, which is pretty neat
- Ring – you’ll want to chase life or resistance here but elemental damage with attacks and accuracy is fine, too
- Amulet – life is the main goal here, but elemental damage with attacks or a critical damage multiplier also works
- Chest – anything that can up your damage resistance is just fine
- Boots – life, resistance, and movement speed are the three to look out for
- Gloves – shoot for the spiked gloves base type, and then life, resistance, and attack speed stat boosters after that
- Belt – either life, resistance, or elemental damage with attacks are fine here
Spinning is a whole lot of fun – why else would Pete Burns and Kylie make hit songs about it? – especially when doing so chops foes to bits in your wake. If that’s your kind of thing, you’ll be glad to know that this PoE build will have you twirling around like an armoured and ravenous Crash Bandicoot. The key to the build is the Cyclone ability, and we’ll scaling physical damage, life, and layers of damage mitigation where we can. That way, we’ll do plenty of damage while being able to facetank a good bit of hurt ourselves.
This is another complicated one we’re trying to break down. If you would like to see a more detailed breakdown, do check out Ahfack’s thread.
The Cyclone ability can be bought from Clarissa following the Sever the Right Hand quest in Act 3. However, it’s only available to rangers, duelists, marauders, templars, and scions. Really, you could use any of those classes for this build, but we would recommend shooting for the duelist.
Once you’ve got your duelist up and running, pick the slayer ascendancy once you’ve completed the Labyrinth for the first time. Once you have access to its skill tree, make sure you unlock the Endless Hunger, Brutal Fervour, Headsman, and Bane of Legends nodes.
Key item and support gems
Your weapon will be the primary component for this build, as will the gems you put into it. If we’re talking endgame, then you’ll want to shoot for the Atziri’s Disfavour, which is a Vaal Axe you can obtain from beating the queen herself in The Alluring Abyss mission. If you’re looking for a more budget weapon you can get your hands on sooner, the Limbsplit is a solid option that’s obtainable at level 12. Just upgrade a unique axe with five battle born items.
The main gem you need here is the Cyclone ability, which we’ve outlined how to get above. Apart from that, we recommend the following support gems to round the weapon off:
- Fortify – supports melee attacks that aren’t supported
- Melee physical – boosts melee attack skills
- Infused channeling – supports channeling skills and protects you from damage while you use it. Though, it can not support minions that channel skills
- Brutality – buffs any skill that involves melee attacks
- Pulverize – also supports melee attack skills
Armour and stats
Much like before, no piece of armour will make or break this Path of Exile build, and it’s mainly stats you’ll be interested in. That said, there are some choice items we think really make this build sing.
- Helm – Devoto’s Devotion is a great helmet if you can get it, as it gives us a nifty buff to attack speed and movement. If it’s out of your reach, supplement a helmet with gems that buff attack speed and movement the best you can
- Rings – keep your eyes out for some Steel Rings, as they can provide buffs to life, intellect, resistances, attack speed, or melee damage. If not that, any ring that can provide those buffs works fine
- Amulets – Daresso’s Salute is by far and away the best amulet you can get for this build as it tacks on an extra two points to your range, which is lovely for cyclone. Getting it may be hard as it is part of the Anarchy League years ago, so keep your eyes peeled for something that can also help your range
- Chest – Kaom’s Heart is a popular choice for chest plate as it ups your damage resistance by a good bit. It is, however, very expensive so you may want to consider anything that comes with a high life roll
- Boots – no standouts here, just look out for boots with life or movement speed buffs
- Gloves – anything with resistance, intellect, or high life is just dandy
- Belt – The Retch is fantastic if you can get it as it boosts damage and synergises with the life-leeching capabilities we get from the slayer ascendancy quite nicely. Alas, getting it may prove bothersome as it was introduced with the Talisman League. As such, any other belt with life-leeching works well, too
This is another watered down version of a popular PoE build to help you get to grips with it. But, if you’d like to see a more detailed take that’s also based on the Elementalist, you can check out Enki’s, too.
This build is centred on the elementalist ascendancy so you’re pretty locked in, class-wise. To get there, you’ll want to start with the witch class and then choose the elementalist skill set when you complete the Labyrinth quest. Once you have access to it work on getting the Shaper of Desolation, Beacon of Ruin, Paragon of Calamity, and Liege of the Primordial nodes.
Key item and support gems
The main component of this build is the arc spell, and you’ll more or less get it at the start of the game. Once you complete the Siren’s Cadence mission in Act 1 you’ll obtain it as a quest reward if you’re a Witch. If not, you can purchase it as a shadow or a templar from Nessa afterwords.
Here are some other key gems to look out for:
- Spell Echo – supports spell skills, making them repeat when cast
- Unleash – makes the effect of a spell reoccur when it’s cast
- Lightning penetration – any skill that hits an enemy will benefit from enhanced lightning penetration
- Critical strikes support – buffs any skill that hits enemies
- Hypothermia – increases any skill that hits enemies
Armour and stats
You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for anything that bumps up your critical damage, mana, damage, or cast speed as a rule of thumb. Much like before, though, here are some bits of gear we like, and what stats we opt for.
- Helm – Mind of the Council is a good pick as it buffs lightning damage, and the chance of your foe getting shocked. It was, however, introduced in the Prophecy League – so If you can’t get it, opt for something that focuses on defence first
- Rings – The Diamond Ring is a great option as it boosts critical damage. If not that, then look for something with life, mana, or resistances buffs. It pops up in new leagues, so it shouldn’t be too hard to come by
- Amulets – Path of Exile’s amulets have wonderful DPS potential, so let’s lean into that here. The Onyx Amulet is one to keep in mind for that reason, and you can get one by completing the In Memory of Greust quest in Act 7
- Chest – this one isn’t too significant, make sure you have something with six gem slots so you can stack stats we mentioned before and you’ll be fine
- Boots – We’d recommend the Atziri’s Step here as it’s simple but effective with oodles of life, movement speed, and spell dodge buffs to spare. You can find the boots in the Apex of Sacrifice area
- Gloves – pick up the Oskarm gloves for a decent buff to life and spell dodge. You can get them by upgrading a pair of mitts
- Belt – we like the Cyclopean Coil here as it provides life alongside 20% damage and shock immunity. You can pick these up by defeating The Elder from the War of the Atlas expansion
And there you have it, some of the best PoE builds to get you started on the long and slippery slope that is your impending Path of Exile addiction.
These builds are by no means as detailed as some you’ll find online – rather, they’re meant to give you the basics so you can toy and experiment yourself. To that end, we wish you good luck in wrapping your head around all of this.