Since Toxic Rain is one of the most popular builds both in league-starting and later environments, it is one of those guides that we felt could not be missing. Toxic Rain is an interesting skill gem and is able to be built around in multiple ways. This guide will focus on scaling the Damage over Time aspect of the gem, or the “pods” as people tend to call them. This means you have an incredible Area of Effect and clear speed as a result while maintaining boss damage that is capable of killing every map boss & earlier bosses super easily.
Mostly when a guide starts off like that, you end up with a build that has 3,000 Health and no underlying defensive mechanics, but this build is a Trickster and has a significant amount of investment in defences, so even though you’re able to clear fast, kill every non-uber boss in a fairly timely manner, you’re still incredibly durable, and with the tremendous amount of recovery that Trickster provides, there are very few things that can effectively hurt or kill you.
Pros and Cons
+ Fast-paced build with extraordinary all-around skills
+ Capable of safely killing all the content in the game
+ Cheap to start with, scales very well
– Requires some specific things to feel great
– Can get fairly expensive for the super late game gear
Map Modifiers to be Avoided
The build can handle any modifiers I would say however you should be weary of combinations that have double damage modifiers.
Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths
As mentioned beforehand, Toxic Rain has different ways to be scaled and we chose the Damage over Time. So, the way Toxic Rain works is that it fires a number of arrows when it gets used. These arrows do “on hit” damage, which doesn’t scale much with levels, but more so with added damage from gear, supports, and other such things. We do not scale the on-hit damage at all in this build. When the arrows land, they create “Pods” on the ground. These pods explode when they expire, dealing on-hit damage again, so that’s useless for us. However, while they are on the ground, they deal Damage over Time, which is what we scale.
When talking about the pods, it is important (and mandatory for the skill to even work) to know that they can “shotgun”, to use PoE’s most favourite term. This means that overlapping pods deal overlapping amounts of damage. Therefore, it’s optimal that we stack as many pods as possible. This means that duration is a stat we don’t mind having, as it makes the pods explode more slowly, and thus deal their DoT longer. Therefore, there are two ways to tackle TR. The most efficient single target, on paper, comes from getting exactly 39% Area of Effect. This is obtained through the TR Quality, a Mastery in the tree, and a source of 9% Area of Effect on Gear. However, in practice, bosses often run out of your perfect overlap zone to the extent that I personally decided to focus on quality of life, picking up multiple sources of additional arrows to get you through maps faster. If you however want to completely optimize your single target, 39% area of effect and no sources of additional arrows will be your bread and butter. On top of that, Attack Speed is another stat we really enjoy, as it means more pods get created, which results in more overlapping pods and thus in more damage on your target!
Because of those mechanics, and our scaling Attack Speed, this build does not require an expensive +3 bow with additional modifiers that are incredibly hard to obtain! It uses a Quill Rain from start to finish! So, after looking for Attack Speed, Skill Effect Duration, and Damage over Time modifiers, all that’s left for the build is defensive layers! In multiple tens of Divines scenarios, the Quill Rain eventually gets outperformed by a sick +3 bow. However, at that point, you’re most likely doing more than enough Damage already.
Defensively, first of all, it picks up Spell Suppression nodes & affixes, which combined with the Trickster Ascendancies, grants up to 50% Less Damage taken from Spells. It combines this with a decent chunk of Life as well as all the defensive layers you can get through Auras as it runs the trifecta of Defensive Auras (Determination, Grace, Defiance Banner). It also has access to a decent amount of Chaos Resistance which has become more necessary over the past leagues. To top this all off, Diadem carries your sustain really hard through Feast of Flesh.
Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links
If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, PoePlanner’s website offers you a non-PoB alternative to import the code from the above link.
More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however, we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.
|The Devouring Diadem
|Agate Amulet with +1 to Chaos Skills, Chaos Multi
|an Armour / Evasion Atziri's Splendour (Armour and Evasion) , Carcass Jack or a Triumphant Lamellar
|Slink Gloves with High Life and Resistances
|Two-Toned Boots with 30% Movement Speed, high Life, Spell Suppression & Resistances
|Leather Belt with high Life and Resistances
|2x Vermillion Ring with Life and Resistances
|Sharktooth Arrow Quiver with Life, DoT Multiplier and Chaos DoT Multiplier
Questions & Support
If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, or you have a specific question you request my private time for, you can buy me a coffee over at Patreon. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.
Even though we try to make our guides as complete as possible, obvioulsy it’s possible you still have questions. We have an entire mod-team readily available to support you & your questions on Discord. You can find us on the ARPG Vault Discord. Make sure to open a Guide Help thread so things stay clear in the main channels.
Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will be providing you a way to level up with Toxic Rain. If you are looking for the most optimal way to level a character to maps, we refer you to the following guides.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
In order to level this build as a Toxic Rain build, you need to make your way to level 12 to be able to use the gem.
Getting to Brutus & Merveil
For starters, create a Shadow in whichever league you want to start.
You will want to start out by checking if you can find a Quiver from the vendor. Use the following setup to get to level 12 & Merveil:
Level 12 and Onwards Setup
From level 12, after killing Merveil, you’ll be given access to Toxic Rain. It is an exquisite leveling skill and will easily carry you through the leveling process.
- Toxic Rain
- Vicious Projectiles Support
- Mirage Archer Support
- Void Manipulation Support
- Swift Affliction Support
- Efficacy Support