When it comes to tier lists, I will not argue to have a monopoly on wisdom, as a lot of this is vulnerable to bias and preference. Especially in Path of Exile, you should not constrain yourself to only playing S-Tier builds & Ascendancies. If, however, you however are adamant about playing a top tier build, the following list will help you pick one, as it is regularly updated when new builds rise to the surface.
Best Clear Speed Builds
This page covers the builds that we have picked out to be excellent choices to be your Clear Speed. Whilst some of the are more notorious for being strong early game, others might have risen up there because they bring a decent early game, but scale into the end game so easily. Note that within each tier, the builds are not in order.
TL;DR Build List
You can read below to get more details about each of the builds we mentioned.
About the List of Builds
Hello, I’m TbXie, someone who has sunk over 25.000 hours in Path of Exile as of when I started to write Guides. That experience as well as getting as much insight as possible from other potent and top tier Path of Exile players is what determines whether a build guide is warranted a higher or lower ranking on this page. Whilst all of the writers, including myself, put in a tremendous amount of effort to get their guides updated before a new League, it’s important to us that this page helps you understand why and how you should be picking a build.
The build tier list has different subsections that will rank builds as per their strengths. A build might qualify as a top tier mapping build but not be considered any good for starting in a new and fresh economy or killing bosses. Overall, the emphasis on the build and whether you want it to be more defensive or offensive depends on the ultimate goal of the build and whether that includes tough content or just farming some extra currency.
Understanding your own goals
While I could go on about why you could want to play the better tier of builds it is of utmost importance for you to understand what your goals are in the game. If you don’t mind having to play through the game at a slower pace or if you’re just in it to play whatever skill is fun, any of the Guides on this page have been written by exquisite players and will all get you to the endgame sufficiently. Sure, there might be a discrepancy between how fast, cheap and easy they are to play but by no means should you feel pressured to play S-Tier builds exclusively. Generally, it is recommended to play Spellcasters or Minion builds before dabbling into Melee or Bow archetypes as they are usually way harder to gear for and execute.
February 2nd Update: After its completely rework in Scourge League, this build remains a clearing powerhouse. Granted the investment has gone up, it still is one of the best clearing builds in the game.
Assassin Cast On Critical Strike Support has notoriously been one of the best interactions in the game when it comes to clear speed. Because of the huge amount of spells you can spam out it generally provides exquisite coverage at decent levels of damage. Ever since the combination between Frostbolt and Ice Nova was introduced for the skill, it rose even further in popularity snatching an S-tier spot in terms of speedy builds.
February 2nd: The new Deadeye remains to tear people apart. We still believe in its new defensive capabilities and thus see no reason to move away from it as of now.
With the changes to the Deadeye ascendancy in Ritual League, we see multiple new pathways opened up to play bow builds. Sadly, you are no playing an ascendancy that has hard choices to make rather than them just being very straight forward. We firmly believe that the new defensive layer it provides will push Deadeye back to the glory moments it once lived.
February 2nd: Because of the existence of other S+tier builds, Wanders stay in the dark a bit. They’re the most expensive out of the S+tier builds and will therefore always remain the least played. It still holds most potential to clear fast though.
Pathfinder goes fast. Wand skills blow up multiple screens with a single attack. Those sound like two of the most important things when it comes to clearing to us. Therefore, you can’t objectively release a clear speed tier list and not put a form of a Wander in it.
February 2nd: Due to the inherent nerfs to clear speed on other builds, Flicker has stepped it up a notch.
Flicker Strike is one of those awkward skills in PoE. It’s probably one of the worst skills you could ever play if you had no clue what you were doing because it’s literally impossible to play if you don’t have enough damage & sustain. However, it’s also one of those skills that literally seems to be the perfect skill whenever stuff comes together. When you invest into Flicker Strike it is an Stier contender in every aspect of the game with its particular strong suit being its clear.
February 2nd : Everything survived! Build should remain a top tier clearing one!
The Death's Oath body armor has not been incredibly popular for the past couple of leagues. However, when built correctly, this skill absolutely slaps endgame maps while relying on Occultist’s explosions to scale its potential to clear maps.
February 2nd: Skeleton Mages are probably the best possible combinations between fast clearing and bossing.
Skeleton Mages require almost nothing to get going and present very very strong mapclear while having a really high amount of damage when it comes to single target as well. We encourage you to try Skeleton Mages out if you haven’t yet tried out this archetype.
February 2nd: Skill has moved down from S+ to S – It’s hard to push it further up with more currency & current endgame looks absolutely ridiculous in terms of what you need defensively.
Storm Brand might be the most well-versed skill in the game mechanically. It lends itself to do so many things exquisitely that I personally believe it is unrivaled. Whether you want to blast through maps with its high innate cast speed & usage of Brand Recall, hit a boss with its Brand mechanics or level with its high base damage, the skill has it all.
February 2nd: Elemental Hit is a skill not many people have discovered yet, however when built correctly is and remains an incredibly potent all arounder with excellent clear. This only gets extrapolated with the base buffs to bows.
Elemental Hit has flown under the radar for a long time. When invest into this build brings multiple screens of damage with a single click while being able to kill every boss in the fairly easily and getting a reasonable amount of tank stats. Sadly, the investment for such builds is on the higher end which is why it can only be tiered in the A category.
February 2nd: The build is never here to stay a top pick throughout the League because if it was it’d be S++. It’s an incredible League starter but gets outshone by builds that have way higher investments at later parts in a league.
Essence Drain and more so Contagion offer you tremendous amounts of mapclear for virtually no cost whatsoever. You’re clearing an entire screen of monsters basically just by investing a 4-Linked item into your build which makes it the very best build at clearing maps in the very early stages of the game.
February 2nd: The build is still great at doing what it does best, clearing maps.
While this build has very little bossing potential, it was designed to clear maps in a fast manner whilst staying relatively easy to get going early on in a league. Great all around starter if this is your playstyle and you’re looking for fast mapping.
February 2nd: The buffs to blade vortex in 3.17 have made it move up a tier again, as its counteract nerfs to Unleash don’t affect Blade Vortex whatsoever.
Poison Blade Vortex packs a good amount of mapclear at the very early stages of the game. It requires virtually no investment to get going and will only get better when your character progresses. It will, however, at no point rival the very best builds for speed but it’ll get close at way less of a budget.
February 2nd: Since a lot of people will still be playing Poison BV, a moved it down a notch but still believe the build is in a really good spot.
Blade Blast has its place in a speed meta because it covers a lot of terrain per cast. Combine that with a fast ascendancy like Assassin and some good scaling and you’re in for a treat all across the board.
February 2nd Update: As Astral Projector has hit rock bottom pricewise last league, we can assume the build is a lot easier to get going. That means now is an excellent time to try it out.
This Totem build will blow you away. With the Astral Projector unique, you’re blowing up packs left right and center with this Dark Pact Totem setup. Prices being as they may, the build definitely rose up to be a contender for top spots on many of our charts since its major downside used to be that it was gated behind a very expensive unique item.
February 2nd Update: Divine Ire remained at its old powerlevels or even gaind a little bit of it. It’s a really smooth mapper which puts it at the lower end of our top picks for clear speed.
Divine Ire is definitely behind on Penance Brand on every single aspect but the clear speed. If you can fire a laser in .1 second which clears the entire screen you’re going to be feeling a whole lot better about your clear than when you have to wait for a while before you get to spread your big ignites. Whilst its clear definitely isn’t amongst the very best of the game, the way this build achieves it is what puts it here. It’s cheap, fast and reliable and brings you above average clear speed!
February 2nd: Given it’s bow league & bleed bows are still untouched, this is a very solid build all around and clears maps in a fast manner as expected from builds on this list.
Bleed, Bow & Gladiator have walked hand in hand for a while. It was one of the most prevalent archetypes not too long ago. While it definitely has came down a touch, it remains a really versatile all around build choice for people who wanna map fast while maintaining a solid character.
April 16th Update: Arc remains a top notch pick in almost any environment and this Elementalist is no different.
Given the Elementalist changes in 3.13, it’s very hard to go wrong with any top tier skill combined with it. Elementalist is in a ridiculous spot in our opinion and is there to stay!
Aside from the top picks in the list, there’s multiple other guides that can be played as a Clear Speed extra ordinaires. However, they might require you to farm some a couple of Chaos Orbs whilst leveling up to pick up a necessary unique, fall of after the story line or rely on some skill swaps to make them feel great. They’ve therefore not made an appearance in the Best Clear Speed builds but still deserve to be referenced on this page. More information about them is to be found inside the guide.
- Lightning Strike Raider
- Arc Mines Saboteur
- Soulwrest Necromancer
- Carrion Golems Elementalist
- Ignite Penance Brand Elementalist
- Poison Scourge Arrow Pathfinder
- Glacial Cascade Mines Saboteur