With the 3.3 patch and challenge League upcoming to Path of Exile, lots of people want to know what kind of build they should be running. And a lot of newer players are lost in a quagmire of choices and complex mechanics that they can’t easily make heads or tails of. We’re here to help with that with a quick and dirty list of some of the best League starter builds for both new and experienced players.
Builds are sorted into general archetypes by their main skill. Simply click a build title to be taken to a build guide for it. Be sure to read the build guides in detail as they are built to explain everything from the basic principles of the build, to leveling through to end-game, all the way to the best gear choices.
And with the 3.3 Incursion League and its incoming buffs to Fire-based and ignition builds, it’s looking like some of these builds, especially Flameblast, Righteous Fire and others, are looking like great Incursion League starters in POE. And with the focus on clearspeed in the Temple of Atzoatl, bow-based builds can still be quite strong, even with the Barrage nerf.
Saboteur Fire Nova Mine Build – This build is all about them nice tasty explosions. It’s a cheap build with great clearspeed and easy to satisfy gear requirements too. The general idea with this build is to use mobility to pick away at mob packs from the periphery. Move around mob packs, dropping Curses then Traps as you go and let your insane Elemental/Crits do the work.
Demi’s MoM Scorching Ray Trickster – A high life recovery build that relies on clearing mob packs for sustain. Mind Over Matter helps reduce damage taken to increase sustain slightly. Combining this with decent gear can grant much more than 6K life and high resistances. Even with incredibly cheap gear, the build is still pretty safe. The Patient Reaper Ascendancy is key to this build though.
HC RT Sunder Gladiator – This build uses one of the easiest skills in POE to master, Sunder. This build uses the buffed Gladiator Ascendancy of the Duelist class to create an extremely tanky build. There’s also no need to grab pricey Uniques through the leveling process, in fact, it’s possible to get all the way to maps with just a few four-link items. The build can handle most end-game content, provided you invest in good gear that gives you decent DPS.
Earthquake/Sunder Juggernaut – This si the goto for beginner-friendly Sunder builds. It’s highly flexible for both map farming and boss clears. High DPS and good clear speed combined with fairly affordable gear make this one of the best builds for a league starter or a new Path of Exile player.
Molten Strike Templar – The biggest strength of this build is the combination of crazy single target damage and survivability. This build is made to perfectly curve out pretty much from the first level to the absolute endgame. Its made to be a all around feelgood-build. It can handle end-game content up to and including Shaper and his Guardians. It also doesn’t need any special gear so it transfers great from League-to-League, making it a perfect melee League starter in POE.
Blade Vortex Elementalist – Even with the slight nerf to BV, reducing the max number of blades to 10, GGG also increased the damage and hit rate making it do more damage but only needing to get to 10 blade stacks to max out damage. This means BV builds can actually enjoy much better DPS overall. This build enjoys good clear speed and end-game viability, and doesn’t require super expensive gear to be viable for mapping. Higher end-game grinds like Uber Elder are doable, but only with high-priced gear. The other downside is that the play style can take some getting used to, and is an acquired taste as a result.
These builds are all about a single melee skill. And because of this aspect, when combined with the extreme power of certain melee skills in POE, this makes Melee builds some of the best in the game for new players.
Ahfack’s Crimson Cyclone – This build is all about one thing, Physical Damage and the Cyclone skill. Once this monster gets going, it’s going to down bosses and packs in the blink of an eye, especially when combined with Uniques like Kaom’s Heart at end-game or Quecholli while leveling. A very high Life pool and tons of Armour combined with the insane Leech of the Slayer ascendancy makes this a trivial build to keep alive. It’s a bit more complex than other Cyclone builds due to Curse management, but it’s made that much stronger for it.
Summoner builds are in a really great place after buffs to Ascendancy classes in patch 3.2. And the Summoner class builds are some of the most powerful in the current meta-game for new players due to their simplicity.
Flame Golem Golemancer – A very easy build to run through the leveling process, it can even AFK kill some enemies for you. And as someone who loves Vaal Summon Skeletons as a boss distraction on my own builds, I really like the idea of a dedicated Skeleton build. You’ll need some unique Jewels and other items to make the build work though.
Lich Queen Skeleton Summoner – A more traditional Summoner build that uses Skeletons for damage and tanking. The cool thing about this build is that it’s modular, meaning that it can run with either melee or ranged mage skeletons. The best version of this build combines a pure Life setup with The Baron for some incredible Life Leech.
Spectre Summoner – Another Summoner build that uses specific uniques and powerful rare items for great options for either offensive or defensive players. Uses Spectres instead of SRS or Zombies to spam out projectiles that mow down enemies. These are great clearspeed builds.
Totems are an incredible option for both experienced and wealthy players, as well as completely new players looking for a safe and effective mapping build. Scorching Ray builds in the current meta mostly focus on Righteous Fire as a main damage skill. That makes them a bit more mechanically complex than other builds on this list, so they’re often a better fit for mid-tier players. That means players who have experience with at least higher tier maps. Other damage skills are also viable though, although they’re mechanically very similar.
Milky’s RF Totems – A great overall build that takes the Hierophant Ascendancy to another level. It’s very tanky and can handle most map mods and end-game content. It’s also very easy to gear for said content with this build. Single-target damage can be a bit underwhelming until you get better gear though.
VisorX’s Freezing Pulse Totems – Another Heirophant build, this time built around scaling cold damage from Freezing Pulse. It’s very easy to run with only a few require unique jewels, so it’s a great league starter or SSF choice. It can’t Leech though, so sustain might be an issue on some tougher bosses.
Flameblast has gone through a lot of iterations in POE over the years. Due to the shift in the current 3.2 meta towards high-Life builds and certain Ascendancy Classes, the Hierophant has now become a goto class choice for those running this great AoE skill. Gone are the days of squishy Elementalists builds dying to mob packs while casting.
Pizza Sticks: Flameblast Totem Hierophant – The good ole’ Pizza Sticks are better than ever in Path of Exile thanks to the Ascendancy changes. This build deals some monstrous DPS even without Best-in-Slot items. You can even run it with mostly junk gear and still get respectable DPS. The biggest downside is that you need to stack tons of cast speed buffs to get your Totems exploding fast enough to deal decent damage.
Wormblaster the Fifth – This build makes use of a combination of Herald of Ash, Righteous Fire and a unique Flask for a very interesting and one=of=a-kind experience. Wormblaster builds are pretty niche though, as they have very limited appeal to newer players.
Tornado Shot/Ice Shot/Lightning Arrow/ED
Bow Builds are always going to be strong if you’re looking for clear speed while farming maps. That’s what these builds were designed to do. The one downside to bow-based builds is that they’re a bit difficult to level without very specific leveling uniques. X Shot builds are often great for clearing maps once you get over the hurdle of leveling though. These builds often pair with a specific single-target skill for boss runs like Barrage.
DankawSL’s 3.2 Caustic Arrow & Essence Drain Raider – This build can clear even the toughest end-game content with a bit of effort and experience.
Magic Find LA Raider – This is the MF build of choice for farming currency and rares due to stacking Quantity and Rarity. Has great clear speed even with sub-optimal gear. Single-target damage suffers a bit, so if you’re killing bosses with this, you might want to join a group with a good tank.
Asymat’s “Purenado Shot” – This build makes use of the unique Scion Ascendancy for versatility to construct a fun clear-focused build. It won’t slow down party play either as it’s effects won’t cause too much lag and it has plenty of move speed buffs. It’s more suited to more experienced players though as you need to have developed the ability to keep your flasks up under pressure for this setup to shine.
Trudikampfschaf’s Barrage and Lightning Arrow Slayer – This one is a bit more unique due to the Ascendancy choice, but it’s still solid. It’s Leech and Elemental Damage setups are pretty strong, and it has pretty decent clear speed. You won’t be as untouchable as the top-tier and most expensive builds, but for new players, this is a great choice.
Spectral Throw/Melee Hybrids
Spectral Throw builds are often focused on AoE damage for the sake of clear speed. They’re amazing in terms of how quick they can clear maps, especially in a group with an aurabot (an aurabot is a character who runs in a group and stacks buffs on others) The biggest issue with these builds though is that they lack consistent single-target damage and mana sustain. Although since they mow down enemies in packs anyway, this is only rarely an issue.
We’ve also included some more specialized melee builds like the Elemental Buzzsaw if you’re after a more flashy take on skills like Cyclone.
Aias_o_Telamonios’s 3.2 Spectral Throw, Physical Slayer – The builld is based around dual claws and some decent AoE potential. It can even be run in Solo Self-Found Leagues if that’s your thing. It struggles with some boss kills though in terms of overall damage.
Demi’s FlyingPurplePeople, The ULTIMATE 2H RT Melee Slayer – An incredible build by a great POE player. This build is modular so that it can support many different skills. Lacerate, Cyclone and many more can be used as the main attack skill with this build with minimal changes.
g00fy_goober’s Ultimate EleBuzzsaw – This is the ultimate boss farmer in this class of builds. It’s and extremely fun and very easy build to play, and it manages to farm tons of currency due to it’s clearspeed.
Brown14’s Dual-wield Crit Champion – This build is a viable choice for all content and has sufficiently easy gear requirements. The Champion Ascendancy is much stronger since 3.2, making it a great base for this build. Blade Flurry single-target damage is good, and the build is versatile enough to use any AoE skill like Ice Crash or Cyclone.