If you’re looking for more updated builds for Synthesis League and Path of Exile 3.6, those are over here. We’ve published our Beginners Guide to Path of Exile Betrayal League, go check it out to learn how to take down the Immortal Syndicate.
Path of Exile 3.5 and the associated Betrayal League mechanics have caused a fair bit of upheaval in the POE community, with lots of nerfs to both items and gameplay mechanics, like the removal of “stat sticks”, some players are saying that certain builds and unique items have been totally ruined. And while that level of doomsaying is a little off-base, there is some truth to it. If you’d like to learn more about what exactly is changing in Path of Exile 3.5, go check out our rundown of the patch notes.
For everyone else, let’s get started. We’ve collected together a bunch of different starter builds for each major play style in POE and put them here for your perusal. We’ve also included some different builds that cater to more expensive tastes or more experienced players as well. Keep in mind that you should download Path of Building to take full advantage of these guides.
Lancing Steel Champ – This build makes use of the new Impale mechanics for a hybrid melee build that fires projectiles. With tons of physical damage scaling and a lot of life and damage reduction, the Champion ascendancy is a great base for this. The new skills should proc tons of damage since they will always be piercing.This thing can easily scale into Red Maps, and with a generic passive tree, it can easily transition to other skills if Shattering Steel and Lancing Steel turn out to be bad.
Thicc Jugg – This build now is much weaker with the removal of stat sticks, but you can use two Ichimonjis to make up for the loss in DPS somewhat. You can still use Blade Flurry, Reave, Lacerate or Double Strike or even go back to using Cleave! After testing, it is still completely viable.
Cyclone Duelist – The ever-popular Duelist with it’s insane Leech capability and decent DPS remains a strong choice for many POE players. Newer players will find this build easy to use as the mechanics within are very simple. This monster of a build will rip through mob packs in Betrayal League, making it great for general map clearing. Defensive setups are key here. Having the right Flask setup to keep your Leech active, especially against bosses is vital to staying alive in tougher fights.
Max Block Templar “Lazy Pally” – This build is all about ease of play and defensive options. With as much Block Chance as is possible, as well as lots of damage reduction, this build can tank a fair bit of damage.
Scion Reave/Blade Flurry – This flexible build will make a lot of targets just melt under a sustained flood of DPS. It’s just absurd how much DPS this build can pump out. Even with the loss of a stat stick effectively cutting DPS in half, it’s still fine for most clearing. Single-target will suffer a bit though.
Ultimate 2H RT Melee Slayer – With the recent buffs and nerfs combined, melee builds are a bit wonky for some, but this build is super strong when combined with the new Banner mechanics. This is an incredibly flexible build that can use pretty much any prominent melee skills with only minor alterations. IF you like skills like Cyclone and Lacerate, these are great builds for that.
Queenless Wander Ranger – Though this build got hurt by the Queen of the Forest nerf, it’s still viable for general map clearing. End-game will be a lot tougher though when a weaker QotF is combined with the weakened Shaper mods.
“Purenado Shot” Scion – A very budget-friendly bow build that isn’t gutted by the nerfs to Quill Rain and CoC changes, and it has really easy to use mechanics. With a decent life pool and plenty of defensive layers, this thing can hold out against a lot of incoming DPS too. And with the right gear, this thing could even be usable against high-end bosses like Shaper.
Arc Totems – Arc remains one of the strongest skill choices in the game, and with the changes to Totems, this skill combination became even better. Totems are still sometimes finicky to work with, especially against AoE bosses, but the build is rock solid nonetheless.
Arc Trapper – This build might as well go by the name Sonic, because it’s just gotta go fast! Incredible clear speed and lots of defensive layers, including a high life pool, make this thing a map farmers dream. And with Arc being one of the stronger on-meta choices right now, it’s going to do well against most content. There’s even a budget version for clearing maps early in the league.
Glacial Cascade Mine Saboteur – This trap-based build is still a very good choice despite the nerfs to Shaper mods in 3.5, so there’s still plenty of DPS to carry you through end-game. Keep moving, keep dropping traps and you should be fine.
Trapper of Innocence – This trap build is still respectable in terms of DPS and defensiveness. With plenty of Evasion and some good DPS and Crit Chance, this is an OK map-clearing build.
Cold Snap Bonechill Occultist – This build comes from legendary POE player and streamer Octavian, which focuses on a new Bonechill setup which uses Cold Snap combined with an extremely powerful Ascendancy node to spam out Cold damage like no other. It’s a great build option for new and veteran players looking for a unique build option that’s much more unique than previous builds in 3.5.
Scion Ice Spear Totems – This Totem based build should be pretty strong thanks to the Totems changes in Path of Exile 3.5 and Betrayal League. The two-stage process to this skill scales tons of Crit damage and allows for a bit of ranged play. The basic idea is to drop your Totems far away and let the projectiles they fire scale up damage as they travel. It’s a bit wonky for new players to get used to though. Should be pretty fun to melt packs with tons of these projectiles once they get going.
Blade Vortex Ranger – Blade Vortex wasn’t touched this league or patch, but a crucial item for many builds did get nerfed, that being the incredibly useful Queen of the Forest. The loss of even more movement speed for some builds will make these a bit clunkier to play, but it should be OK for experienced players.
Lightning Trap Saboteur – This build remains as strong as ever in Betrayal League. The needed Tinkerskin unique is likely going up in price in Betrayal League, so be prepared for that. Offensively, this build has tons of elemental damage and AoE which just melts packs. This build has quite a few layers of defense. With lots of damage reduction and avoidance, it’s able to stand up to some pretty heavy incoming damage. Mobility will keep you alive more often than just trying to facetank though.