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About the Author
Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, Furty finished the Betrayal League at Rank 186 on the ladder playing Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.
Patch 3.4 Delve League was accompanied by the introduction of several new systems of gameplay, all of which remain within the core game even now. Be sure to check out our Delve guide to get a better understanding.
One of these new features was the ability to craft items in new and unique ways using items exclusively found within the Azurite Mine, known as and .
A Fossil is a special type of crafting item, and there are a couple of different types with each having different affixes. Socketing a Fossil into a Resonator allows it to be applied to an item (consuming both Fossils and Resonator in the process), but the effects are different depending on the Fossil(s) used. Resonators have several types, with some having only a single socket for a Fossil, while others have up to four. The item will be rolled with random affixes, as if a Chaos Orb or an Orb of Alchemy was used, however the Fossil allows you a greater degree of control over what the results are. For example:
By placing a Pristine Fossil in a Resonator and applying it to an item we are able to guarantee that the item will always have a Life roll. The cost of this, however, is that many Fossils block other affixes from being rolled onto the item as well — in this case, Armour, Energy Shield, and Evasion mods are prevented. While this may seem like a downside on the surface level, with proper knowledge and guidance, this caveat can be quite the advantage indeed. By combining several types of Fossils, we can dictate which affixes are eliminated and force certain combinations of mods onto items with very little variance.
In this guide, we will explore the basics of Fossil Crafting, how to use it to your advantage in any league, popular crafts that can be made for profit, and more. While many players are already aware of the benefits of Fossil Crafting, the majority of players are in the dark about just how potent the results can be and this guide will be your torch.
Fossils and Drop Locations
Fossils can be found in the Azurite Mine. Available Fossils as drops vary based on the current Biome you are Delving in, and many of the most expensive Fossils can only be found behind Fractured Walls. Certain Fossils are available from the special Delve nodes labeled “Contains Fossils”, although these rooms are relatively rare.
At the bottom of this page, we have a section that lists all the types of Fossils, what they do, and where they are found.
Resonators are a socketable currency that Fossils can be placed in, allowing the player to apply them and their unique effects to items. Resonators range from one to four sockets, and each have two types: and . As you might expect, these function exactly the same as their epithets.
Alchemical Resonators work exactly like the Orb of Alchemy — they transform a “Normal” (White) item into a Rare item with random affixes, dictated by the socketed Fossil(s).
Chaotic Resonators work exactly like the Chaos Orb — they “re-roll” an existing “Rare” (Yellow) item with new random affixes, dictated by the socketed Fossil(s).
As you might imagine, Chaotic Resonators are the generally , as they do not require you to use an Orb of Scouring between each Fossil roll. This saves both time and currency in many situations.
Most Resonators can only be found behind Fractured Walls.
You can see a list of all the types of resonators at the bottom of this page.
What Are the Best Items to Craft?
This is a very tough question to answer in a guide, as the items that yield the most profit can be in flux depending on the current challenge league, the number of people crafting said item, and the current duration of the league. As you might expect, items crafted towards the end of a challenge league are in significantly lower demand than items crafted within the first 2-6 weeks of a league, and the best items to craft tend to shift as players’ purses expand throughout the course of a league.
With this small disclaimer out of the way, here are the items that generally yield the best results:
- Stygian Vise
- Vaal Regalia
- Imperial Bow (or any desirable bow base)
- Shaped and Elder Jewelry
- Shaped and Elder Quivers
Okay, so what is the best item overall?
Well, high item level Shaped and Elder items (depending on the slot) have the highest potential of any items due to some of the disgustingly powerful affixes that are possible. Many of them provide the most reliable and consistent profit (especially Jewelry), however, they do offer the highest potential payouts.
Crafting high item level Stygian Vises is generally considered to be the most consistent source of income — especially early in a league — as it presents relatively low financial risk and turns a consistent profit. One of the main reasons for this is that Fossils can provide increased Fire/Cold/Lightning damage, which is exclusive to Fossil crafts.
The “+3 Bow” is one of the best kept secrets of Fossil Crafting, although it has steadily become a more and more popular phenomenon. This is an especially potent craft when done with a Shaped version of a bow, as Shaped weapons have particularly potent affixes. For example, our Elemental Hit Deadeye build crafts an exceptional Shaped weapon for a bargain price. Certain builds, such as our Herald of Agony Occultist , also use Elder Bows, as well.
Vaal Regalia are a popular craft, particularly later in the league, as they can have enormous profit margins. The downside of crafting this item, however, is that it often takes a fair amount of capital and investment in order to produce a valuable item.
Various Rare helms can be underrated crafts, as Fossils can provide a unique affix that adds -9% Cold/Lightning/Fire/Chaos damage to nearby enemies. This is a little known and extremely potent affix — especially for non-Inquisitor builds — that is extraordinarily undervalued and can produce exceptional profits, especially if the Helmet in question is already enchanted with a relevant skill. Check out our Storm Brand Elementalist, for example, to see just how powerful this affix can be.
The Perfect Fossil is an underrated and underused type of Fossil that is especially potent when used on a Weapon or a Chest. Perfect Fossils roll quality, up to a maximum of 30%. An item’s quality improves its chance to link by a percentage . This means that if you are crafting an item for yourself — for example, a +3 gems bow — it is always worthwhile to craft additional Quality first, as it greatly improves your chance of linking the bow with Orb of Fusings later on.
How to Craft Items
Here are some example processes for how to properly craft the items we touched on above. If you have any questions or recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Crafting a +3 Gems Bow
The +3 Gems Bow is one of the most popular Fossil crafts, as it only costs a few Exalted Orbs (maximum) and can be resold for exponentially more currency. Here is an example (Shaped) bow that our character used in the Betrayal league for an Elemental Hit character:
To craft the +3 Gems Bow, you will want to start with a base of as high item level as possible (we recommend Item Level 83 or higher).
If you intend to 6-Link the bow start here. If you do not intend to 6-Link the bow, skip to the next list.
- Make the bow Rare if it is not already.
- Use Perfect Fossils on the bow until you get 28%+ Quality.
- Use an Orb of Scouring on the bow.
- Make the bow Rare again.
- Craft as much Quality as possible onto your bow at the Crafting Bench.
You now want to get the correct colors on your bow using the Vorici Method. This involves using the Crafting Bench and Jeweller's Orbs to greatly increase the likelihood of getting off-colors (versus using Chromatic Orbs). This involves alternating between numbers of sockets using the crafting bench to greatly increase your likelihood of acquiring your desired colors. Now, 6-Link your bow using Orb of Fusings. The increased quality will greatly increase your chance of success. The bow is mostly complete now; all that is left to use a little currency and fossils on it until you are happy with it. You will need to following items to craft the +3 Gems prefixes, and a Resonator to socket them in:
Use a 3-socket resonator socketed with a Metallic Fossil, Prismatic Fossil, and Corroded Fossil on the bow. Since you are only guaranteed a single prefix, it may take several attempts, however, the chance is very good that you will receive both remaining prefixes in 1-3 rolls. Repeat the Resonator reforging until you are happy with your bow. The most important stat after the +3 Gems is Attack Speed — remember you can always craft anything else you need, or re-roll the bow again later on.
Crafting a Stygian Vise
Stygian Vises are one of the safest and most popular crafts. There are varying levels of investment involved, however the technique that produces the highest returns is using 3-socket Resonators. The required Fossils are:
- Pristine Fossil (More Life modifiers, No Armour, Energy Shield or Evasion modifiers)
- Prismatic Fossil (More Elemental modifiers, No Poison or Bleeding modifier)
- (Scorched, Metallic, or Frigid)
Pristine and Prismatic Fossils are the most essential, as they force Stygian Vises to have Life and Elemental Resistances as well as the possibility of Elemental Damage with Attack Skills. Adding one of the Elemental-ly specific Fossils (Scorched, Metallic, or Frigid) also adds the possibility of getting Increased Fire/Lightning/Cold Damage [respectively] as well.
Simply roll the belt over and over using Resonators until you are satisfied with the result.
Crafting a Vaal Regalia
Since Energy Shield is based off of quality, it is important to first make the Quality 28-30% using Perfect Fossils. Ensure the Vaal Regalia is Item Level 86+.
Shaper or Elder bases are not required unless you have a specific affix in mind.
The Fossils to use — in order of priority — are:
- Dense Fossil is the most essential Fossil
- Shuddering Fossil
- Sanctified Fossil
In most cases, the Energy Shield+ Vaal Regalia is to simply slam an Item Level 86+ version repeatedly with single socket Resonators and Dense Fossils.
Fossil and Resonator Types
In the interest of completion, we list here all the types of Fossils and Resonators.
|Fossil Name||Biome Found||Effect|
|Aberrant Fossil||Fungal Caverns, Abyssal Depths||More Chaos modifiers, No Lightning modifiers|
|Aetheric Fossil||Sulphur Vents||More Caster modifiers, Fewer Attack modifiers|
|Bloodstained Fossil||Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||Has a Vaal modifier|
|Bound Fossil||Petrified Forest, Abyssal Depths||More Minion or Aura modifiers|
|Corroded Fossil||Fungal Caverns, Petrified Forest||More Poison or Bleeding modifiers, No Elemental modifiers|
|Dense Fossil||Fungal Caverns, Petrified Forest||More Armour, Energy Shield or Evasion modifiers, No Life Modifiers|
|Enchanted Fossil||Magma Fissure (Fractured Wall)||Has a Labyrinth Enchantment|
|Encrusted Fossil||Magma Fissure (Fractured Wall)||More sockets, Can have white sockets|
|Faceted Fossil||Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||More Socketed Gem Level modifiers|
|Fractured Fossil||Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||Creates a Mirrored copy|
|Frigid Fossil||Frozen Hollow||More Cold modifiers, No Fire modifiers|
|Gilded Fossil||Fungal Caverns (Fractured Wall)||Item is overvalued by vendors|
|Glyphic Fossil||Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||Has a Corrupt Essence modifier|
|Hollow Fossil||Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||Has an Abyssal socket|
|Jagged Fossil||Petrified Forest||More Physical modifiers, No Chaos modifiers|
|Lucent Fossil||Abyssal Depths (Fractured Wall), Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||More Mana modifiers, No Speed modifiers|
|Metallic Fossil||Sulphur Vents||More Lightning modifiers, No Physical modifiers|
|Perfect Fossil||Sulphur Vents, Fungal Caverns||Improved Quality|
|Prismatic Fossil||Magma Fissure, Frozen Hollow||More Elemental modifiers, No Poison or Bleeding modifier|
|Pristine Fossil||Magma Fissure, Frozen Hollow||More Life modifiers, No Armour, Energy Shield or Evasion modifiers|
|Sanctified Fossil||Petrified Forest (Fractured Wall), Frozen Hollow (Fractured Wall)||Numeric modifier values are lucky, High Level modifiers are more common|
|Scorched Fossil||Magma Fissure||More Fire modifiers, No Cold modifiers|
|Serrated Fossil||Frozen Hollow||More Attack modifiers, Fewer Caster modifiers|
|Shuddering Fossil||Frozen Hollow (Fractured Wall), Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||More Speed modifiers, No Mana modifiers|
|Tangled Fossil||Drops from a room that “Contains Fossils”||Can have any Fossil modifiers|
|Resonator Name||Number of Sockets|
|Primitive Alchemical Resonator||1|
|Primitive Chaotic Resonator||1|
|Potent Alchemical Resonator||2|
|Potent Chaotic Resonator||2|
|Powerful Alchemical Resonator||3|
|Powerful Chaotic Resonator||3|
|Prime Alchemical Resonator||4|
|Prime Chaotic Resonator||4|
There are extremely high amounts of permutations of possible Fossil combinations and item crafts. Due to the nature of Path of Exile and its ever fluctuating economy, there is no concrete advice on the best possible crafts at any given moment. One thing that is important to understand, however, is the sheer potential of Fossil crafting and its profitability.
Solo Self-Found players, in particular, can leverage heavy benefits from this system to create extraordinarily powerful items that would take thousands upon thousands of hours to find organically, or to craft without fossils.
Good luck with your crafts, exiles!