The Harbinger Challenge Leagues have finally been announced! They will be released on Friday August 4th, (for most of us) and will be released alongside the Path of Exile 3.0 expansion known as Fall of Oriath. I would suggest you read the official post on the Harbinger challenge leagues before continuing with this article.
To sum the official post up, we know that the Harbinger leagues contain unknown entities who raise and summon monsters to fight at their sides. They drop shards for both new and existing currency types, and you can venture into the origin of harbingers to gain great rewards. Lets break this down. I will be noting the important points of the article and expanding on it.
- “These Harbingers can create and command monsters from the area, and empower them with their own abilities.” – Harbingers will not only be able to summon monsters from the zone they are in, but they will be able to cast their own spells as well. I believe that the word “empower” is very specific and monsters summoned by the harbingers may have increased stats compared to regular zone monsters. Something like beyond monsters seems accurate.
- “Harbingers can’t be attacked directly, but are harmed when their minions are destroyed.” – This is a line that many people missed. You cannot kill a Harbinger by one-shotting him with your clear speed meta build. You have to kill him by killing the monsters he summons. I believe that these monsters will not all appear at once like a normal strongbox but more in a stream where they will be continuously cast till the Harbinger dies. This is an attempt to nerf the clear speed meta. I just hope killing Harbingers will be worth it.
- “Harbingers bear shards of currency types that are already familiar to you. Upon death, they also surrender the shards of currency items that have never been seen before.” – This reveal is incredible. Its telling us that not only will we have shards for existing currencies such as exalted orbs and mirrors, but we will have new currencies implemented into the game! I am not sure if these new currencies will only be attainable through shards. Maybe the will drop from Harbingers or regular monsters as well. I believe this is GGG’s way of trying to make Harbingers enticing enough to stop clearing maps in sub-30 seconds and go for some loot. The two new orbs we have seen so far are the Orb of Horizons which turns a map into a different one of the same tier, and the Harbinger’s Orb, which will upgrade a map to one of a higher tier. I am not sure how this upgrade will work. If it will upgrade to any tier or only specific tiers like 1, 3, or 5 tiers up. Additionally, I am curious if these two new orbs will reroll maps into ones discovered on your Atlas or undiscovered ones as well. Either way, these new orbs are going to completely shake up the current Atlas strategies.
- “If you’re able to find the origin of the Harbingers and halt their arrival, you’ll find pieces of powerful unique items. Collect all of the pieces of these items and arrange them in your inventory to forge one in its entirety. These powerful unique items allow you to command your own Harbinger that can empower you in combat.” – The biggest reveal of them all. GGG is letting us know that we will have the ability to find the origin of Harbingers and stop them. I believe this will function like the much-loved Breachlords did, where we will have engame map bosses of differing elements and difficulties. My guess is that each of them will drop different unique pieces that allow you to summon harbingers of their element. The shield in the post allows you to summon a “Harbinger of Focus”. That seems to sound like it will add dexterity stats (which goes with cold damage) such as accuracy and chance to crit.
- Bonus Idea: “Their true nature remains a mystery to be solved.” – This seems like foreshadowing towards you working with and fighting alongside Harbingers. We know that there will be certain unique items that will let you summon harbingers that fight by your side. Does this have a connection to some lore as well? My prediction is that there is some unique race of bosses controlling the harbingers that will be discovered at their origin and defeating these bosses will drop the Harbinger unique items.
Please comment below if you liked this article! I am planning on doing a build guide article for 3.0 next so you can pick your best starter build!