is a mechanic first introduced in the Betrayal league in December 2018. This league mechanic is all about completing missions from Jun within your maps, manipulating the Syndicate Board, and building up to and running Safehouses for massive rewards.
The Syndicate mechanic is one of the most complicated in all of PoE – from the mechanics governing Syndicate manipulation, to the strategies for efficiently managing your Syndicate board, this guide will cover everything you need to know to reap massive profits from running Syndicate content!
Overview of the Syndicate
The Immortal Syndicate is split into four divisions:
The Syndicate members are assigned to one of the four divisions, although they can be moved by the player. There are 17 possible Syndicate members, which will be detailed later, although a maximum of 15 can be active participants in the organization at any given time. Syndicate members can be removed, should the player choose, and they will be replaced by one of the inactive members.
Each Syndicate member specializes in a different type of reward, and this reward shifts depending on what branch of the Syndicate they are currently assigned to. This will be discussed in greater detail later on in the guide.
Basic Syndicate Mechanics
The Syndicate have a few universal mechanical systems that govern their rewards, encounters, and power levels.
Syndicate members have a rank within the organization, denoted by stars on their portrait. There are four possible ranks, ranging from Unranked to Rank 3. Only Ranked members of the Syndicate can be assigned to a division within the organization, and will automatically be granted Rank 1 if assigned using any of the encounter options.
Increased rank has several effects on the Syndicate. Higher rank members grant far greater rewards, as well as intelligence on Syndicate safehouses or the Mastermind itself.
When interacting with the Syndicate, many options will allow the player to gather Intelligence. Gathering enough intel on a division will reveal their Safehouse location, which the player can then raid.
Intelligence must also be gathered from Safehouses to reveal the Syndicate Mastermind.
Syndicate members have relationship levels within the organization that can be influenced by the player’s choices. There are three basic relationship levels a member of the Syndicate can have with another member:
- Friendly/Allied — Indicated by a green thread linking Syndicate members
- Neutral/No Relation
- Hostile/Rivalry — Indicated by a red thread linking Syndicate members
The relationship level between Syndicate members influences the encounters the player has with the Syndicate, along with the options presented once a Syndicate encounter has been completed.
Each division will be headed by a member of the Syndicate. Once enough Intelligence has been gathered, all members assigned to that division will retreat to a Safehouse, which can be raided by the player. Portals to the Safehouse can be opened by speaking with Jun, or simply opening the Betrayal tab and clicking on the Safehouse button.
The Safehouse will be defended by the head of the division, along with any other members assigned to the branch. The loot provided after completing the Safehouse will largely be based off the division leader and their rank.
Immortal Syndicate Encounters
The Immortal Syndicate has a chance to appear in any area, starting in Act 9. You can also use Jun missions on the Atlas device, to guarantee the Syndicate appear in a map.
Jun can be invited to your hideout, and can be used to unveil the Veiled items dropped by Syndicate members, allowing you to choose from three potential crafts to add a new and unique affix to the item.
There are four main types of Syndicate encounters, matching the divisions of the organization itself. In all encounters, the Syndicate members present must be defeated for the player to achieve victory and earn any rewards. The four types of encounters are:
- Transport: The Syndicate will attempt to move a payload between two portals on the map. The player must defeat the Syndicate members before the payload reaches the end of the path in order to receive any rewards. The time remaining is denoted by a bar near the bottom of the screen.
- Research: Jun Ortoi will be standing outside the entrance to a Syndicate Laboratory, which the player can enter. A variety of monsters inside will be attempting to destroy “evidence”, and the player will fail the encounter if they succeed.
- Fortification: Syndicate member(s) will be inside a fortress surrounded by healing totems, which has destroyable doors. Monsters will continuously spawn around the fortress, attempting to prevent the player from destroying the doors. The Syndicate members will periodically teleport out of the fortress to engage the player as well, but will return to the fortress to heal after taking enough damage or being kited too far away.
- Intervention: One or more Syndicate members will emerge from a portal and aggressively engage the player. If the player runs too far, or tries to escape using mobility skills, they will simply step through a new portal to the player’s current location.
The Syndicate members that show up to an encounter will be primarily members of that division, with a percentage chance for any members who are friendly or rivals with that member to also appear. Certain atlas passives increase the chance of having additional members show up during encounters.
Defeating a Syndicate Encounter
After you have emerged victorious against a Syndicate encounter, you may choose the fate of the Syndicate members that you defeated. The player is presented with three options, two of which always always Interrogate and Release.
Interrogating a Syndicate member puts them in prison for the next three Syndicate encounters, allowing you to temporarily remove them from the Syndicate. It will also generate Intelligence for a given division every turn, and remove a rank from the Syndicate member in question upon release.
If the interrogated member is Rank 1, they will no longer be associated with their assigned division upon release, as they will be at “Rank 0”. Therefore, if the player wants to remove a Syndicate member from a certain branch but still benefit from the intelligence provided by an interrogation, this is a safe and reliable method to employ. Syndicate members that are Rank 2 or 3 will not lose association with their division, and simply lose one rank. Interrogating the head of a Safehouse will also cause them to lose their position as ranking officer, and they will be replaced by the next highest ranking member of the division. Interrogating a Syndicate member will also destroy any items they currently have equipped.
Interrogating is useful for generating large amounts of Safehouse intelligence, as well as for moving members around the Syndicate board.
Bargaining can provide a wide variety of rewards, depending on the Syndicate member in question and their currently assigned division. The option to Bargain is typically only presented when a Syndicate member is alone, or is the last remaining member to be interacted with following an encounter. Here are some examples of Bargaining options:
- Switch divisions with another member of the Syndicate
- Leave the Immortal Syndicate
- Remove all rivalries/hostile relationships within the Syndicate
- Drop rewards based on their current branch
- Gain Intelligence on a division of the Syndicate
- Raise the rank of a member of the Syndicate
- Remove all items from a Syndicate division
- Create friendly relationships with another Syndicate member
Execute is an option that increases the rank of the Syndicate member by 1 point. The option to execute can occur under the following circumstances:
- Two syndicate members are present; the player can execute one of them if they have a neutral or hostile relationship towards each other
- Three syndicate members are present; the first one the player interacts with will always have the options to Interrogate or Execute
If the player executes a member of the Syndicate that is not currently assigned to a division, they will be granted +1 Rank and assigned to most recently encountered division. For example, if the last encounter the player completed was a Transportation encounter, the unassigned member will be promoted into that branch.
Betray is only an option when two Syndicate members are present and have a friendly relationship with each other. If the relationship is neutral or hostile, the Execute option will be presented instead. Betraying the other member of the Syndicate causes their relationship to become hostile.
Players can also occasionally remove a member of the Syndicate from the active roster using this option.
You can always opt to “Release” a Syndicate member. Releasing the Syndicate members gives , however, it can still be a very useful option in the right situation. Say that you have a nice Syndicate built up, with Level 3 Syndicate members where you want them. When you are presented with a the choice to “Interrogate”, which will de-rank them, or one of the troublesome bargain variants, such as “Remove from Syndicate” or “Move to Another Division”. Instead of destroying your current Syndicate, it is often more efficient to simply release the member and move on to the next encounter.
Immortal Syndicate Members and Rewards
There are 17 members in the Immortal Syndicate, and each of them provides different potential rewards. The rewards from Syndicate members also vary based on the division to which they are assigned.
The rewards scale with the rank of the member at the time you complete the safehouse. Upon defeating Catarina, the leaders of each safehouse will offer rewards with +1 rank – this is the only way to get the incredibly lucrative T4 rewards.
|Aisling||Armor with 2x Veiled mods||Torment Scarab||T1-T3: Chest containing Veiled Chaos Orbs // T4:Crafting station that removes a mod and adds a Veiled mod to an item||Weapons with 2x Veiled mods|
|Cameria||Harbinger Orbs||Sulphite Scarabs||Orbs of Unmaking||Random league-specific Unique item|
|Elreon||Unique Armor||Reliquary Scarabs||Unique Jewelry/Flasks||Unique Weapons|
|Gravicius||Random Divination Cards||Divination Scarabs||Crafting Bench that allows you to swap a Divination Card for another||Full set of a random Divination Card|
|Guff||Crafting bench containing: 20 Orbs of Scouring, (5x) 4 Essences (random), 20 Exalted Orbs, and 1 Vaal Orb. There is a timer of 8, 12 or 18 seconds based on Rank.||Crafting bench containing: 1 Transmutation Orb, 1 Regal Orb, 100 Augmentation Orbs, 200 Alteration Orbs, 3 Exalted Orb, 20 Divine Orb, and 1 Vaal Orb. There is a timer of 8, 12 or 18 seconds based on Rank.||Crafting bench containing: 1 Orb of Alchemy, 100 Annulment Orbs, 100 Exalted Orbs, 5 Divine Orbs, 5 Blessed Orbs, and 1 Vaal Orb. There is a timer of 8, 12 or 18 seconds based on Rank.||Crafting bench containing: 1 Orb of Alchemy, 200 Chaos Orbs, 6 Exalted Orbs, 20 Divine Orbs, 20 Blessed Orbs, and 1 Vaal Orb. There is a timer of 8, 12 or 18 seconds based on Rank.|
|Haku||Strongboxes||Ambush Scarabs||Armor/Weapons with Quality||Random Rare Items|
|Hillock||Crafting Bench that modifies Armor Quality to 24-30%||Abyss Scarabs||Crafting Bench that modifies Flask Quality to 22-28%||Crafting Bench that modifies Weapon Quality to 24-30%|
|It That Fled||Maps enchanted with “Additional Breach”||Breach Scarabs||Upgrades Breachstones to higher levels (+1 rank per tier)||Breach Splinters|
|Janus||Currency Shards||Expedition Scarabs||Expedition Currency||Quality Currency|
|Jorgin||Rare Items with Aspect skills on them (Bestiary)||Bestiary Scarabs||Allows you to modify an amulet’s base to a Tier 1-3 Talisman||Rare Talismans|
|Korell||Map Fragments||Elder Scarabs||Fossils||Essences|
|Leo||2-5 Currency Orbs||Metamorph Scarabs||Reforge colors/sockets/links 50 times, keeping the rarest outcome||Catalysts|
|Riker||Choose one Unique item within 8 seconds||Blight Scarabs||Choose one: Fossils/Splinters/Catalysts||Choose one Currency stack within 8 seconds|
|Rin||Rare Maps||Cartography Scarabs||Choose one Unique Map||Normal Maps|
|Tora||Labyrinth Enchanted Items||Harbinger Scarabs||Adds experience to a gem||Choose a Currency Stack, Unique, Divination Card, or item within 8 seconds|
|Vagan||Legion chests/war hoards||Legion Scarabs||Incubators||Legion Splinters|
|Vorici||Jeweler, Chromatic, and Fusing Orbs||Shaper Scarabs||Recolor sockets to white (Max: 1/2/3/6)||Random Quality Gems|
Manipulating the Syndicate for Personal Gain
As it may or may not be clear from the table above, certain members of the Syndicate offer far more attractive rewards than others when correctly positioned. Setting up your Immortal Syndicate to provide maximum returns can greatly increase your flow of wealth during this league. Certain scarabs, for example, may provide consistent income, depending on the current league’s economy. I recommend always checking current prices and maneuvering your Syndicate Safehouse leaders to match. Here are some general recommendations:
- Aisling in Research for the “Add/Remove Veiled Modifier” Crafting bench is usually incredibly valuable late in a league.
- Vorici on Research can be excellent for applying white sockets to items.
- It That Fled is excellent on Research to upgrade Chayula’s Breachstone(s).
- Gravicius on Intervention for Divination Scarabs.
- Elreon on Intervention for Reliquary Scarabs.
- Hillock can be helpful early on to increase quality, especially for Unique Flasks and Weapons.
Many of the rewards not recommended above still have the potential to provide incredible returns, however, they are generally highly variable. Our list aims to recommend setups that provide the best and most consistent profit.
The Syndicate Mastermind
After interrogating enough Safehouse Leaders, the Syndicate Mastermind will be revealed, and become available to fight. Catarina is a multiple phase fight that can be entered from your own hideout or from a Syndicate encounter in a Map.
By entering the Mastermind’s Lair from your hideout, the level of the Catarina encounter will be dictated by the average level of Syndicate Encounters you completed, capped at the highest level you completed. If you are finding the encounter difficult, or it is your first time doing the encounter, you may instead wish to open the portals from inside a Map of your choosing, which forces the Mastermind’s Lair (and Catarina herself) to match the level of the Map area. This allows you to force a lower level boss fight, as the Level 83 version of the encounter is significantly more difficult than lower versions of the fight in terms of pure numbers.
The early stage of the fight is conducted in a separate area to the main arena and is much shorter and simpler than the remainder of the encounter. Catarina engages the player with basic and telegraphed attacks, like her slash and mortar attacks. As long as you watch the boss and move as she attacks, it is an extremely straightforward phase. Once Catarina has taken a portion of damage, she summons zombies to engage the player. Once you deal enough damage to Catarina, she portals away to the main arena and heals to full. The zombies do not need to be defeated to progress.
Separating the initial room and the main arena is a gauntlet style run, exactly the same as in a Syndicate Safehouse. You can opt to clear the monsters or simply run through the entire thing to the end, where Catarina awaits in the main arena — The Sculpture Garden.
The Sculpture Garden is a large square arena. The corners of the arena are smaller squares and slightly separated from the center by sarcophagi and coffins, although there are clear entrances to them. In the center of these corner squares are totems which can be destroyed throughout the fight. The corner squares are separated by a cross (a “+” shape) that runs through the center of the arena. In the exact center of the arena is a massive undead totem.
Catarina fights with the same attacks in this phase. Each time she takes 25% of her health in damage, she will become immune and release one the Syndicate to engage you. The Syndicate members you fight match the Safehouse Leaders you currently have active. During this time, Catarina heals to full once again and each time thereafter.
After the Syndicate member is defeated, the totem in the center of the room will start to charge a flame attack that travels in a straight direction. It rotates counter-clockwise around the “+” shape of the room, firing once in each direction before rotating. This continues until you reach the next phase, and starts again when the next Syndicate member is defeated. The flame attack travels from the center to the edge of the room and deals massive damage, so beware.
Catarina will also periodically charge the corner square totems during this flame phase. When a totem is ready, she will become immune to damage and an arrow will appear under the player. Run to the indicated corner and stand near the totem — you will take continuous fire damage for a few seconds and the totem will be destroyed for the remainder of the encounter. Destroying the totems will also permanently “corrupt” the respective corner square, and walking in that area will cause the player to take continuous damage. All four totems must be destroyed — her phases repeat every 25% — to defeat Catarina. Each totem you destroy gives you less space to dodge and kite, as more and more of the room becomes deadly.
Catarina will also periodically summon packs of skeletons between phases. If you walk over them while they are still spawning they will be destroyed, however, if they are allowed to spawn they will crawl after the player. Skeletons that reach the player will explode for massive damage. After about twenty seconds they will despawn. The encounter can be done without destroying any skeletons, however, they must be properly kited around the edges of the arena, and it is far easier to proceed if you can eliminate them as many as possible.
On the first attempt, the number of mechanics and animations may seem overwhelming, but once you have become familiar with the encounter you come to realize that nearly all the attacks are extremely telegraphed and slow. There are also notable breaks in the action every 25% of the encounter, where you must deal with an add or the spawning of the volatile skeletons.
The Immortal Syndicate offers incredibly lucrative rewards rewards – such as veiled item crafting, and the ability to add white sockets to items. The freedom to shape the system as you please to target the rewards you seek is ideal for all leagues — for example, Solo Self-Found players can opt to set up their Syndicate in entirely different ways than players on Trade Leagues. Experience received from the Syndicate encounters themselves is not insignificant either, and boosts the leveling process considerably for players who can reliably survive.
This system has great potential for practicality and profit, and the power is in the hands of the player to pursue their preferences.