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.

Passive Skill Tree

Path of Exile is a game with a skill system unlike any other game. It’s enormous passive skill tree has over 1325 “nodes” that can be picked. Each of the seven classes start off at 6 locations near the edge of the skill tree, and the Scion starts off in the center. The classes are arranged based on the attributes they resemble. The witch, shadow, ranger, duelist, marauder, and templar are arranged clockwise on the passive skill tree while the scion is in the center. Each of the classes resemble intelligence, dexterity and intelligence, dexterity, dexterity and strength, strength, and strength and intelligence respectively. You can begin with any class and travel to any side of the skill tree. This is why you can have melee casters and tanky bow characters in Path of Exile.

Extra versatility is added through Ascendancies. Each Ascendancy has a mini-skill tree. Points for this are earned by doing Izaro’s Labyrinth which will be featured in a later article. You can do Izaro’s Labyrinth in four different difficulties and each difficulty gives you two skill points for the mini-skill tree. Nodes on this tree are much more powerful than normal nodes and should be used wisely.

The passive skill tree has three different kinds of nodes on it: Keystone, Notable, and Basic nodes. Keystone Nodes have immense effects on your character and can sometimes have one negative and one positive effect. Notable nodes are located behind basic nodes and boost your character quite a bit. Basic nodes boost your character very little but must be taken to reach Keystone and Notable Nodes.

Many people are overwhelmed by the passive skill tree when they first start. I would suggest check out the Path of Exile official forums to find a build idea and a skill tree for it. I personally did not make my own skill tree until I played the game for over a year. Even now, I prefer to look at skill trees of others. I hope you guys enjoyed my guide on the Path of exile passive skill tree.

Use chance orbs to make currency

Today I will be discussing a method many of the top path of exile players to make currency. This method worked in Prophecy league and Essence league. It probably worked in previous leagues as well, but I have not tested it. For this method to work, you will need about 5 exalts of currency. Your profit margins will be very high.

First, you need to get a 6 link holy chainmail. This can be done through Divination Cards. Another way to acquire the holy chainmails is to simply buy them off of PoeTrade. Furthermore, you need to convert your currency to Chance orbs and Scours evenly. Finally, you start chancing. Once you chance a Voll’s Protector, you sell it.

The more currency you have to do this, the better this method is. You will have the unlucky Voll’s Protector that takes too many chances and scours to create, but in general, you will make profit. Currently 6-linked Voll’s Protectors are selling for 4 exalts and 20 chaos in Essence. The market is being dominated by a couple players using this method. I hope this method helps you make currency.

How much Life do I need in Path of Exile?

This is one of the most common questions people ask me in Path of Exile. How much Life do I need? The answer is that it varies. I will be breaking down different builds and how much life they each should have. I will assume that you are starting in a completely new league and do not have GG gear yet.

Melee


Generally, I try to have 3500-4000 life when starting dried lake farming. 3000 life is cutting it and will take some extra micromanagement to stay alive with. Melee builds will always be in the front lines taking damage continuously. With this life estimate, I am assuming you have some sort of defensive mechanic such as Life Leech. If you do not, you strictly need to have at-least 400 life. You should always be farming Dried Lake till level 70+. Maps are much more challenging and Dried Lake provides more experience than maps do. When starting maps with a Melee Build I would have 4000-5000 life minimum. Once you hit 5000 you are relatively safe because at that point, you usually have some endgame defensive mechanics like Lightning Coil, Block, or Armor.

Ranged


I always like to say Ranged has the most powerful defensive mechanic in the game. It lets you deal damage for afar lessening the chances of getting hit yourself. This is why I would say to start farming dried lake at around 3000-3500 life. I personally have around 2500 life when I start but I do micromanage a little. When starting maps you should have around 3500-4000 life. More is always better but at that point, damage may be a better investment.

I hope this article helps you. “How much life do I need” is such a common question that I feel this information needs to be put out somewhere.

Armor

Today I will be discussing armor, the first of four forms of mitigation I plan to post about. Each of these mitigations will have their own pro’s and con’s. Armor is used usually with life-based characters because armor and life nodes can usually be found close together. It can also be used with block to make full use of shields which many armor builds use.


Armor is very forgiving to use. It works very well versus small hits but its effectiveness goes down as the damage of individual hits goes up.

Damage Reduction


Here is a list of damage mitigation effectiveness from the official Path of Exile Wiki.

  • To prevent one third of damage, you need armour 5 times the damage (e.g. 500 Armour for 100 damage)
  • To prevent half of damage, you need armour 10 times the damage (e.g. 1000 Armour for 100 damage)
  • To prevent two thirds of damage, you need armour 20 times the damage (e.g. 2000 Armour for 100 damage)
  • To prevent three quarters of damage, you need armour 30 times the damage (e.g. 3000 Armour for 100 damage)
  • To prevent 90% of damage, you need armour 90 times the damage (e.g. 9000 Armour for 100 damage)
  • Armour will never prevent more damage than its value divided by 10 (e.g. 1000 Armour will never prevent more than 100 damage)

How to Scale

 


The best builds use flasks to boost their armour and can reach up to 70,000 armour. Paired with endurance charges these builds can reach up to 90% estimated physical damage mitigation. When building around armour you generally want to be in the marauder part of the passive tree. Most of the armour and life nodes are located there. There are also many unique items that boost your armour and other aspects of your build. Some examples are Kaom’s Heart, The Brass Dome, and many others. You need to think of your specific build and what pertains to you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with new ideas. The best builds are always outside the box. Voltaxic Poison Spark, Assassin Tornado Shot, Pathfinder Blade Vortex… the list goes on and on.