The Best Class in Path of Exile

“What is the best class in this game?”

that is the age-old question every person asks when he tries out any game with a class system. For Path of Exile, the truth is that there is no best class. That is the truth. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed or lieing to you. I can play builds on Marauder, Templar, Witch, Shadow, Ranger, Duelist, and Scion and kill the Shaper.

However, I can tell you about the class that I prefer for a variety of reasons. This is the class I would recommend to beginners to play. I consider it relatively easy to play. Additionally, I believe it helps develop your skills ingame due to what it requires.

Classes


I will be discussing the Ranger. this class is based on the attribute of dexterity. the node she has by here passive tree mainly support ranged attacks through bows while supporting an array of melee weapons as well. Her Ascendancies focus on attack speed, projectiles, and flasks respectively. The projectile and flask Ascendancies are especially strong and I consider them to be within the top five Ascendancies in the game.

The main reason I would suggest this class is because she is the arguably the best with bows. Bows are something that can be scaled up to become the best build in the game. On the other hand, all you need is a Lioneye’s Glare or rare bow donated by someone to easily start clearing maps. Additionally, she can gain all the dexterity she needs with her passive tree and has easy access to plenty of strength and intelligence. Finally, this class teaches you the important skills of playing ranged characters, managing flasks, and finding economical uniques and rares. Yes, that is by far the most important skill in the game.

Patch 2.5: Breach Challenge Leagues

Path of Exile’s Patch 2.5 has officially been announced for December 2. As always, Patch 2.5 includes two new challenge leagues.

Breaches


These challenge leagues will feature Breaches which are tears in the fabric of reality between the realm of Wraeclast and alternate realms. As a result, your exile will have to enter these Breaches and hold off monsters to reap incredible rewards. These Breaches contain both monsters as well as new bosses known as Breachlords. The more damage you deal to these Breachlords, the more treasure they will drop while escaping. One of the many new items found in Breaches are splinters. One hundred splinters can be combined to create a Breachstone, which subsequently can be used to enter a Breachlord’s domain, where they can be killed. Some of the many items that Breaches contain can be found here.

Additionally, GGG promises to include new golem unique jewels, channeling support gems, and a new leveling system for the Forsaken Masters.

Blade Flurry

Recently, path 2.4.2 was released. One of the major additions of this path was the new skill Blade Flurry. This skill is a dexterity/intelligence hybrid melee skill that has brought melee back into the meta game. Melee has always been considered weaker both offensively and defensively to both spell-casters and ranged attack builds. This has changed that.

Basics


 Blade Flurry is a channeled skill that deals damage in stages. It deals 20% more damage per stage and it can reach up to a maximum of six stages. This means that at the final stage it can reach a whopping 120% more damage.  One way to think of the damage multipliers on Blade Flurry is to compare them to the damage multipliers of Flameblast, a similar spell.

Another powerful benefit of Blade Flurry is its attack speed. Blade Flurry has 65% more attack speed. This is one of the highest, if not the highest, attack speed modifiers Path of Exile has ever seen. So lets say, you stack the insane attack speed and reach six stacks within one second (very easy to attain). Blade Flurry unleashes another 6 stacks when you release the skill! This is what makes this skill gamebreaking. It deals massive “ranged” damage in Area of Effect form with very fast attacks. Multiply these benefits by two.

How to Use


Blade Flurry is also very powerful because of the variety of ways to scale it. Although cheap, it can become one of the most powerful skills in the game when scaled properly. Like any melee skill, the most economical way to scale it is to go with physical damage. Blade Flurry only works with Daggers, Claws, or One-Handed Swords so the best thing to do is to find a high PDPS variant of these with at least moderate attack speed. You have to remember that it only takes your main hand weapon into account. This means you can equip either a shield, for defense, or a damage boosting weapon such as Doryani’s Catalyst.

Additionally, some uniques you may want to consider for Blade Flurry are Taste of Hate and Carcass Jack. Some support gems to use with Blade Flurry are Melee Physical Damage, Poison, and Increased AOE (or Concentrated Effect). The best way to use Blade Flurry in-game is to hold it down until you reach six stacks (or all mobs are dead) and release.

Life Flask Uses

Flasks are probably the most undervalued thing in Path of Exile. Most people dismiss them as buffs of too little value requiring too much effort to use or “keep up” all the time. The truth of the matter is these are some of the most powerful items in Path of Exile. Each flask can have one prefix and one suffix unless they are unique flasks. You can also use Glassblower’s Baubles on flasks to increase their effectiveness. This will be the first of multiple articles discussing different types of flasks. Today I will be discussing prefixes and suffixes of a life flask.

Life Flask Prefixes and Suffixes


A life flask is, in my opinion, the biggest reason to still go life-based. Life Flasks are very powerful and give a huge defensive boost. They let you sustain blood magic, stay alive, and sometimes just clear a little faster by being more aggressive. In general, you don’t want to have 5 life flasks. You usually want to be using quicksilver and unique flasks to boost your damage and speed. I will be talking about some good mods to roll on life flasks.

Prefixes

There is a wide variety of prefix options for flasks but I will only be discussing two that stand out to me. Remember that this is all personal preference based on my experiences in Path of Exile.

Bubbling – 50% reduced Amount Recovered, 135% increased Recovery Speed, 50% of Recovery applied InstantlyThis is what I would consider a panic flask. It doesn’t recover all of your health at once which lets you tank damage even after you get your instant health. There are other, more specific, panic flasks that you can use but I would consider this the most powerful.

Surgeon’s – 20% chance to gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike. Even after the massive nerf this flask received, it is still the most powerful flask prefix hands down for crit builds because it eases the micromanagement and skill level required to always keep flasks up.

Other Flasks – Besides these two options, there are other prefixes on flasks that in essence, let you get healed more. From here, its up to you to decide which other prefixes you want to use. Keep in mind, I do not suggest more than two or three life flasks on any given build. If you are a crit build. you may want to consider only using Surgeon’s.

Suffixes

All suffixes on flasks are fairly powerful and there are a lot of options to pick from. You usually pick suffixes based on your build so I will be discussing a large variety of them here.

Iron Skin – (60 to 100)% increased Armour during Flask effect. Generally I would hesitate to suggest this flask because if you’re an armor-based build, you probably use Granite Flasks which can also have this mod on them. This is always something to consider though.

Reflexes – (60 to 100)% increased Evasion Rating during Flask effect. For the same reason as Armour, I would not suggest this flask as you can use this mod on Jade Flasks.

Gluttony – 0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect. This is a useful flask if you cannot find physical leech anywhere else.

Staunching – Immunity to Bleeding during Flask effect, Removes Bleeding on useThis is probably the best flask to use because it removes bleed and mkaes you immune. This is a very dangerous mechanic in the game many challenging bosses such as Dominus have.

Grounding – Immunity to Shock during Flask effect, Removes Shock on use. This is very powerful as are the other elemental flasks.  They remove status effects from your character.

Dousing – Immunity to Ignite during Flask effect, Removes Burning on use.

Heat – Immunity to Freeze and Chill during Flask effect, Removes Freeze and Chill on use.

Guardian of the Minotaur

The Guardian of the Minotaur is one of the four Guardians of the Void. He must be defeated to obtain the fragments to fight the Shaper. He is located in the T16 Maze of the Minotaur map.

The Guardian of the Minotaur is a slow-attacking, tanky boss made to resemble the melee aspect in Path of Exile. The bossfight is fought in a donut-shaped chamber with electrical barriers that deal damage when crossed. He also summons stone golems to help him with the fight. These can be used for flask charges.

Attacks


Default Attack – The Guardian of the Minotaur has a default attack that does medium-high damage. This attack is inaccurate and easy to evade manually, and with in-game mechanics.this attack will do around 2000-4000 mitigated damage on the standard energy shield endgame character.  This number is probably lower for an armor character.

Cleave Attack – This attack does more damage than the normal default attack. It is swung in an arc with a relatively small area of effect.  This attack is faster than the default attack but still can be predicted. Finally, it does 3000-5000 mitigated damage to the standard energy shield character.

Voll Slam – This attack is called Voll Slam because it is not unlike the slam Voll executes. This attack does the most damage out of any of his attacks. It does 4000-6000 mitigated damage to the standard energy shield character. The slam is easy to predict due to him raising his club in preparation for the attack.

Burrow – The Guardian of the Minotaur can burrow into the ground and pop up at another location. I have not dared to test the damage of his burrow but I suspect it will be relatively high.

Strategy


As the Guardian of the Minotaur is a slow-moving boss, a ranged character is preferable. You want to kite him around and predict his attacks to avoid not getting hit. Block, Evasion, and Dodge will be beneficial in this fight covering up your mistakes. Keep running around and use the stone golems he summons for flask charges. Do not get close to him. Try to not come in contact with the lightning barrier unless necessary.

Multiplicative and Additive Damage Modifiers

Hello guys. Today I will be talking about a very confusing subject for many. Path of Exile has two main types of damage modifiers that each affect damage in a different way.

Additive Modifier Mechanics


Additive damage modifiers are known in-game as “reduced” and “increased” damage. The best way to think about additive damage modifiers is to picture them as a layer. They are the top “layer” of multipliers onto your base spell and weapon damage because they are the first to be multiplied by base spell and weapon damage. Also, all other damage modifiers are applied afterwards. The only exception to this rule are the local damage modifiers found on weapons. These additive modifiers are the easiest to stack because they are widespread in skill gems, items, and the Path of Exile passive tree. This is because each 1% of an additive modifier affects your damage the least due to being stacked first.

Multiplicative Modifier Mechanics


Multiplicative damage modifiers are known in-game as “less” and “more” damage. This is a highly coveted damage multiplier because it is added after all other damage multipliers. This means, per 1%, it has the greatest impact on your total damage because it is multiplied last.

Examples


Build 1: Base 100 damage. 100% increased damage. 0% more damage.

[(100 x 2.00) x 1] = 200 damage

Build 2: Base 100 damage. 70% increased damage. 30% more damage.

[(100 x 1.70) x 1.3] = 221 damage

Build 3: Base 100 damage. 50% increased damage. 50% more damage.

[(100 x 1.5) x 1.5] = 225 damage

As you can see, the more “more” damage you get, the higher your damage becomes. If you get more “more” damage than “increased” damage you will have less damage overall but that never occurs in Path of Exile. The reason for this being that “increased” damage is much easier to acquire.

Blasphemy and Useful Curses

Blasphemy is an intelligence-based skill gem that when linked to curses, turns them into auras with 35% mana reservation.

Mechanics


I consider the mechanics of Blasphemy to be very confusing because when it first came out, I made mistakes in using it myself. Blasphemy needs to be linked to the curses you want to use as auras. If linked to multiple curses,, +1 curse is needed or one of the two “Blasphemed” curses will be  applied onto a target. Additionally, when linked to multiple curses, each individual curse will reserve 35% of your mana. Blasphemy works when linked with Enlighten and also works with Reduced Mana Reservation passives.

Useful Curses


Blasphemy is a very powerful mechanic that has completely revolutionized auras in Path of Exile. Most curses are still very powerful even though they were nerfed in 2.4. You can read more about the nerf here. I will only be listing curses that are widely used on Blasphemy. You can find the full list of curses here

Assassin’s Mark


This is generally not a curse you want to be Blaspheming unless you really need the Critical Strike Chance and Power Charges. Vulnerability provides more damage for physical builds and elemental curses provide more damage for elemental builds. In some COC builds it can come in handy such as Cospri’s Malice Discharge.

Warlord’s Mark


This curse is very powerful and use of it is widespread. The curse effectiveness nerfs in 2.4 did affect it quite a bit but it is still one of the most powerful curses today. Most builds have enough damage to sustain leech even on bosses. This is used because it allows people to run a damage support gem on their attacks instead of Life Leech.

Temporal Chains 


This is one of the most powerful curses in terms of defenses. High end boss-farming builds usually have enough damage and Temporal Chains is the extra defense they need. Additionally, Temporal Chains makes Curse Effects on Enemies expire 40% slower. Assume you are playing a Blade Vortex build with 150% increased skill duration (increased duration support gem and some passives). You poison then applies for 5 seconds. With Temporal Chains, which acts like a more multiplier, your poison applies for 7 seconds. That is almost a 30% more damage increase with poison. That is huge and when poison stacks hit double digits, that means millions of damage.

Elemental Weakness/Other Elemental Curses 


Elemental Weakness is the BIS damage curse for elemental builds. One exception is if you’re going Inquisitor because you already ignore critical strikes. You want to be using Elemental Weakness if you do multiple types of elemental damage or if you are playing in a party where people have multiple types of elemental damage. If playing solo-only with one type of elemental damage one of the element-specific curses are slightly better because they remove more resistances and add chance for elemental status effects.

Enfeeble


 This is another very useful defensive curse. It drastically reduces the damage you take from enemies. Once again, most high-end builds need defenses so this is an option. Usually Temporal Chains is a better option because it provides more utility but if you have the ability to run both curses, it is a very good combo. My low-life blade vortex character does this sometimes.

Vulnerability


I consider this hands down to be the best physical damage curse for a variety of reasons. The first and most important reason is that this curse acts as a “more damage” multiplier. It says increased damage applied to enemies on the skill gem. Applied to enemies makes all the difference because that adds a whole another layer of damage stacking, like a more multiplier. Additionally, it applies 33% more damage with damage over time affects. This is BIS for all poison physical damage builds and very good for physical damage builds in general.

Cartographer’s Sextant Usage and Mechanics

The Cartographer’s Sextant is a currency item that can be used to add a mod to a map.

There are three tiers of Cartographer’s Sextants. The Apprentice Cartographer’s Sextant can be used on maps tier 1-5. The Journeyman Cartographer’s Sextant can be used on maps tier 1-10. The Master Cartographer’s Sextant can be used on maps tier 1-15. Cartographer’s Sextants are the colors of the maps they represent. This means they are white, gold, and red respectively.

Mechanics


The Cartographers Sextants are very useful because they apply mods in a radius, not unlike jewels. This means you can stack a lot of mods onto maps you prefer. The only downside Sextants have is that after five uses of any map affected by the modifier, the Sextant with that modifier is consumed. Luckily, unlike Shaper’s Orbs, sextants have unlimited drops. Red tier sextants are still 4 chaos and it is controversial if they are worth using. If you get a mod such as pack size, Sextants could be worth it, but reflect or Blood Magic could be devastating. Read more about Sextants here.

Build Spotlight #1: Cospri’s Malice Discharge

Welcome to the first article of Build Spotlight! This series showcases one build a week that I personally test. Today I will be showcasing a build that I love due to the unique mechanics involved with it: Cospri’s Malice Discharge. I am very biased towards this amazing build. This is the first real build I played in Essence and I still have the gear. The build uses Cospri’s Malice,  which allows it to stack more damage gems than the standard COC discharger. This variant of COC discharge is almost as strong as it was pre-2.4 and with the inevitable power creep, will only get stronger. If you are on the verge of checking out this build just read below and then check out the guide.

Defenses


Aim_Deep decides to go Chaos Inoculation. This is a huge defensive boost due to the insane amounts of energy shield that can be stacked. This build uses Warlord’s Mark to acquire life leech which adds to its defenses. When doing a reflect map you just swap in Concentrated Effect instead of Increased AOE so your Discharge doesn’t outrange your Warlord’s Mark. One thing to note is that there are issues with Warlord’s Mark working on bosses. It is highly suggested that you run life leech or Vinktar’s if using Warlord’s mark for leech.

Offenses


This is where Cast on Crit shines. This build uses Assassin’s Mark on Blasphemy to provide 100% critical strike chance. You will cast Discharge 100% of the time. Aim_Deep also goes Assassin which gives huge Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier. Additionally, Cospri’s Will provides you with a high attack speed, cold damage, and extra critical strike chance if you aren’t capped. You are then able to run one or two damage supports on your discharge unlike a normal COC build. Some uniques you use with this build are Voll’s Protector, Death’s Door, and Voll’s Devotion for Endurance Charges, Power Charge generation and Endurance Charge generation.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short build overview and I hope you play Cospri’s Malice Discharge for yourself.

Auras

Path of Exile has many auras and it can sometimes get confusing what each of them do. Here I will be going over all the auras in Path of Exile. You can find the list of auras in Path of Exile here. I will be talking about Blasphemy and Heralds in a later article.

Auras are basically spells that can be cast that reserve mana. As long as they are reserving mana, they buff one specific aspect of your character.

Grace


Grace is one of the most popular auras to use because of the strong defensive mechanics it provides. It provides flat evasion to your character and your allies. Builds using this that also have a little bit of dexterity on the tree can reach a high amount of evasion. In endgame builds don’t really need damage anymore and many opt for this setup. Many builds also run Iron Reflexes and run Grace. Grace is sometimes better than Determination because Determination scales armor while Grace adds flat armor (converted from evasion). It all depends on how much other armor you have. You need to do the math yourself.

Haste


Haste is another versatile aura. It provides both attack speed and cast speed to your characters. Many Spell Casters which cannot benefit from Damage Auras use this. Some low-life builds such as Mjolner and SRS also use this. Haste also adds passive defense to your builds because the quicker your attacks are, the faster it is to get away. It may not seem like much, but it matters and this is the reason why many builds drop Spell Echo as well.

Hatred


This is probably the most popular aura for all physical damage builds use. It adds a % of your physical damage as cold damage. No other skill besides Herald of Ash does that. If you are looking for a damage boost for your physical build then this is hands down the best skill to use. It is used in every physical damage build imaginable. I would wager it is the most popular aura of all time as well.

Purity of Ice


This aura adds Cold Resistances and increases your Cold Resistance cap. Many cold builds use this to increase their survivability against reflect. There are probably more effective defensive setups using blasphemy out there so I would not suggest using this unless you really want to. One thing to note is that the Cold Resistance cap buff is increased by % aura effect.

Clarity


This aura is unique in the regard that it reserves flat mana. This can be used to your advantage by stacking a lot of mana in a build. Clarity provides flat mana regeneration to help with skill mana costs. I would use this on a spell-caster as they are the ones usually with mana troubles. Another option to fix mana issues is Blasphemy-Warlords Mark. This option adds life leech as well.

Discipline


This is also another popular aura. 99% of all CI and Low-Life build use it. It adds flat energy shield to you and your allies. It gets scaled with % energy shield nodes and this means Discipline can add upwards of 2000-3000 energy shield onto your character.

Purity of Elements


This aura adds all Elemental Resistances and it increases every Elemental resistance cap. Keep in mind it does not increase the cap as much as the elemental-specific purities. I would not use this aura unless you need to as there are much more useful auras out there. Elemental resistance cap is a must so use it if you need to.

Purity of Lightning


This aura adds Lightning Resistances and increases your Lightning Resistance cap. Many lightning builds use this to increase their survivability against reflect. There are probably more effective defensive setups using blasphemy out there so I would not suggest using this unless you really want to. One thing to note is that the lightning Resistance cap buff is increased by % aura effect.

Wrath


This aura is quite popular among attack-based elemental builds as it adds a huge amount of flat lightning damage to you and your allies. It also adds % more lightning damage to spells. Pretty much every elemental attack-based build uses this spell. I would hesitate to use it on spell-casters because its bonus towards them is not as influential.

Anger


This aura is similar to Wrath because it adds flat elemental (fire) damage to attacks. It is also used in most builds that Wrath is used in but Wrath provides more damage so is more widely used. Low-Life builds than can run both Wrath and Anger usually use Anger. One aspect in which this aura differs from Wrath is the fact that this adds flat fire damage to spells while wrath adds % damage.

Determination


This aura adds % more armor to your character substantially increasing your defenses. I would usually use grace with iron reflexes instead of this aura unless you have a very high amount of flat armor stacked from your gear. The tankiest armor builds do not hesitate to use this aura, and due to the fact that it provides more damage instead of increased, this aura is very powerful.

Purity of Fire


This aura adds Fire Resistances and increases your Fire Resistance cap. Many fire builds use this to increase their survivability against reflect. There are probably more effective defensive setups using blasphemy out there so I would not suggest using this unless you really want to. One thing to note is that the Fire Resistance cap buff is increased by % aura effect.

Vitality


This aura provides % increased life to your character. It is mainly used on tanky characters that stack life and defenses. An example of this is Righteous Fire. Righteous Fire is a great build to use this with because RF needs life regeneration, and it stacks life as its primary form of damage. It does not have much use among most builds but it shines in some.