Ultimate Beginner's Comprehensive Guide, 2020 (PoE League 3.11, 3.12 Notes and Onwards)

51percented

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Introduction

Jack

Hello there!

If you are here because you are desperately trying to find Path of Exile guide that would show you your place in all of this – your quest was a success! Stretch some bones, grab a beverage and tune in – I will lower your entry threshold and prepare for the challenges ahead.

This is a comprehensive guide that will cover most of the basic knowledge you want to have when you start and proceed on your Path of Exile. The actual amount of reading without directions “where” and “what” to find is simply overwhelming – and it’s getting more complicated with every patch. To make this guide most flexible and resistant to changes, I’m going to focus on these directions.

Hi, I’m Tony and I’m wrapping up my third (upd. fourth) League with this chunk of knowledge. Why this guide? I’m actually started writing it from my first days of playing in case I would make it (both meanings applied), which turned out to reading finding what to read – so it’s based on a questions that bothered me in each period of PoE exploration and sorted to be served in the most efficient way.

TL;DR – this guide will allow you to actually play the game asap with no worries that you might be missing something important.

This guide will not* cover specifics and in-depth knowledge – it’s learned with experience and infinite hours of time.
*There are some exceptions

That said, we will start from preparation before even launching the game, proceed to leveling through acts, learn about the activities and will end up in the endgame content…

I’ve heard that Path of Exile is hardcore. Let us explore why and… is it?

This guide was published right before Harvest League and views are closing in to 7k when I’m updating it before Heist. It’s absolutely insane amount of people viewed something made by me. I hope you guys finding it helpful!

Basics, builds and more

Geenie

Welcome!

I would be using Italic font when: what I wrote is my opinion or I think this works that way.

Basics

Path of Exile is a single player game (mostly) but you can play, chat, trade and get into guilds with other players.

The game lives in a 3-month cycle between the Leagues – major content updates. Every league introduce new activities, items and game changes. Economy resets. All the players start from scratch so everybody in the same conditions. When the league ends, all the characters are transferred to Standard league and the new one begins.

Classes

Path of Exile has 6+1* classes. The main differences between them are:

  1. Ascendancy Class (“Specialization”) – each have unique passive skills;
  2. Starting point on the Passive Tree;
  3. Starting amount of Stats.

*Scion is available after completing Act 3 and she is a middle ground between all classes – you would be able to pick 2 “specializations” at the cost of their effectiveness. More basic knowledge about stats and classes you can find here.

You won’t be able to play cute chick Scion unless you are using her Ascendancy (that is Ascendant). Exhausted skinny human it is.

Major differences from other games that I find notable are:

  • everything is tradable, have you worn items or not. Also no durability;
  • constant use of flasks;
  • skills and skill tree are not tied to the classes;
  • max level is not mandatory and you’re just fine with 95-ish. Nothing magical happens on 100… aaand it can take forever if you’re not focused on it;
  • currency is not gold. Currency can be traded as well as used on items (later part).

This game is not for everybody though. The game is about efficiency. It contains a specific kind of enjoyment and if you will not put enough time into learning about it, will not check every new potentially good item for a price and will not spend a lot of time not smashing monsters but focus on thinking about efficient ways to play – that won’t work. Knowledge is power. But if you will, you would have a really satisfactory feedback from the game.

Concluding the first part: Nothing is worth that is not. Exile is as exile does. To be or not to be.

Now, when you’re stuffed with cool meaningful phrases and we’re on the same page – let us dive into the worst pain.

Builds

Builds

Why pain if we are using somebody’s guide and not making our own? Because you can find 50 guides with the same title and it would be 50 different guides! Who’s right and who’s wrong – we would never know.

Disclaimer: I’ve never seen a guide that a new player would completely understand.

Let’s choose a guide. For that, we have to know what some abbreviations mean:

SSF – Solo-Self Found – League-option on character creation where you can’t trade and party with other players (can disable it anytime but not back);
HC – HardCore – also option on character creation – if you die your character transferred to non-HC league (SSF and HC just spicing things up);
Delve – Delve league – game activity, not sure what is special about it;
Lab – The Eternal Labyrinth – based on quick and survival gameplay;
CoC – Cast on Crit. Make sure it has 3 letters;
CI – Chaos Inoculation (Immunity to Chaos Damage);
MF – Magic Find – based on stacking quantity of items found (IIQ) or rarity (IIR): very bad choice for beginner;
League Starter – cheap and solid choice to start with.

Now, about the build choice. Almost every build that you would find is playable and it would work just fine without pushing the limits. I would recommend starting with videos from youtube and find the one that you like (how gameplay looks). Streamers don’t provide beginner-friendly guides btw. That’s why I would really recommend picking guides on this site – they are written in the most beginner-friendly manner and don’t require any external tools. But if you like it the hard way you would need to install the addon to decode these builds from shared raw data (Path of Building, .zip or .exe file). It looks extremely unfriendly but there is no better.

The main sources of builds are:
this site > google > poebuilds.cc > pathofexile.com/forum > streamer videos. Almost every one of them would use PoB pastebin data that needs to be imported into PoB.

I hope you’ve chosen the easy way and there’s a lot to explain.

Ultimate Cyclone Slayer Build

Let’s say we have chosen Furty’s Ultimate Cyclone Slayer Build guide (very easy to start with btw).

Ultimate – ultimate (like this guide); Cyclone – main active ability; Slayer – Ascendancy class of Duelist.

Inside, we have some general information and 3 main categories:

  1. Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links;
  2. Ascendancy, Bandits and Pantheon Power;
  3. Gear, Jewels and Flasks Breakdown.

Let’s head up to the first.

1. A ton of information. I’m sure your biggest concern is the signature feature of the game – Passive skill tree. It looks overwhelming. Let’s take one more look. Open the Passive tree for Early Mapping / Level 70. When it is said which nodes to learn it doesn’t look so bad, eh?

Node types

So, there are 4 types of nodes: passive skill (small), notable (bigger one in orange spiky circle), keystone (biggest node with bold circle) and jewel sockets. Keystones can change the gameplay drastically and it’s very important to read about them in a guide. This guide has one in a bigger tree (close the early mapping tree and open Uber Labyrinth / Level 88). What is notable about this keystone is that it is transformed into completely different effect by Timeless Jewel that is socketed nearby (any keystone could have been transformed into same ability – not just this particular one). Always keep an eye on interactions in guides. You can always re-spec all 4 (jewels for free) types of nodes with Orb of Regret Orb of Regret.

Next, we have gems. Players can have two 6-link items and three 4-link. 6-links are usually linked with the main active skill while 4-links are used for supporting abilities like movement, defense and auras.

Here, we have 6-link with Cyclone Cyclone: one active skill gem with the other 5 supporting it (if you would find “7-link” mention – this means that weapon where you socket your 6-link has a mod “Supported by…”). Next 4-link – Leap Slam Leap Slam (mobility). Next – auras with Enlighten Support Enlighten Support and Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support (CWDT) link.

Auras usually reserve most of your mana (some builds rely on particular gear and passive skills in the tree to actually activate all of them). Enlighten Support Enlighten Support helps with that lowering the amount of reserved mana.

CWDT support usually used with defensive abilities for auto-proc. Always check the level of gems in CWDT link (and auras as well) because they can be tricky. At the bottom of this page you can find what level of CWDT can support other skill gems. Btw, in this case, Blood Rage Blood Rage should be used manually despite the link with CWDT.

Very important thing to note: many builds are leveling with different gems because the ones in the build are weak until certain amount of gear. That’s another advantage of this site – they mention it.

Tip: vaal aura skill gems (that contain aura as non-vaal version and vaal on-use effect) are usually used only for the on-use effect (without aura).

2. Next, we have Ascendancy, Bandits and Pantheon power.

Ascendancy is a huge upgrade for the character and can be obtained from the Labyrinth (Trials of Ascendancy – later).
Ascendancy can always be reverted later – you will need to run the Lab, unlearn all your Ascendancy points after killing Izaro (each AP requires 5 Orb of Regret Orb of Regret) and change it on the Altar.

Ascendancy Revert

Bandits are found in the Act 2 and each have 2 different options to grant – additional passive skill or other buffs. Alira is the most popular at the early game since she provides +15% all elemental resistances.
Also can be reverted later with Vendor Recipe System.

Pantheon contains defensive passives. You would unlock and upgrade most of them after leveling through Acts.

3. Gear.

The uniques themselves are usually easy to obtain – it’s hard to obtain good values of stats and socket links. Not much to say about this section though.

Again – interactions. In this example, Soul Tether Soul Tether and Glorious Vanity Glorious Vanity has a huge synergy that further synergizes with Atziri's Acuity Atziri's Acuity.


Choosing the right build is extremely complicated matter and this wall of text might make it feel even more complicated. Pick one and try it – you would always be able to change things class-wide.

How to find meta build? First thing that might pop in the head – read the patch notes. No. Skills could be nerfed but the interaction with new ones as well as with new items can make them meta. I would say there is no way to predict meta build before the start of the league. But if we are talking about 2-3 weeks from start – it becomes clear! Head to poe.ninja and choose “Builds” at the top of the main page. Voila! You can see the distribution of Ascendancy classes and just need to inspect them. At the left – panels you can filter characters by skill that you want to use or Ascendancy skills or anything in there. Now, you can find similar build in google and use it.

poe.ninja Builds 3.10

Note: top players are sick (in terms of skill and time-investment) and they have their vision of the builds. So using the build straight from poe.ninja may turn out to be discouraging.

Just in the sake of mentioning – making your own build is one of the most difficult things to do in PoE. You should have an extremely broad knowledge of every type of legendary, passive skill tree, jewels (Timeless, Cluster, Prismatic…), classes, skill gems, support gems, mods on items… and check your results in Path of Building. It’s just insane and I can’t imagine humans doing it. But if you wonder, you can check this slightly outdated video about making one.

Good news, everyone! We’re getting closer to actual game!

UI and Addons

In this section we are going to improve our game experience.

First, for the game client you can use original PoE client from official site or you can use Steam’s one. There are no noticeable differences. I prefer Steam’s because it updates and logins automatically and account is already set up.

Now, we need to run through in-game options.

Graphics really hype the Vulkan renderer that is in beta right now and players report huge improvements in game performance so give it a try (it should be enabled outside the game (that is main menu)).

In the UI section you would want to enable “Always Show Sockets”, “Show Mini Life Bars On Enemies”, “Advanced Mod Descriptions” – other useful options I believe enabled by default.

I really don’t recommend changing Hotkeys right now because some of my tips are based on default options and it might lead to misunderstanding (default options are made comfortable, right?).

Back to UI – Loot filter. This is absolutely mandatory tool for every player. The loot would rain down on your screen and most of it… bad. Filters would filter your dropped loot by person-scripted rules and distinguish the priority by highlights and sounds.
The most popular, flexible and extremely well clear loot filter is NeverSink’s filter. Let’s grab it!

FilterBlade.xyz Interface

Many possible options to choose from is bad right now but we don’t need much of them. I strongly recommend signing-up with your account so these filters would be tied to your account.

Anyways, only one option is important for us – Strictness. Regular strictness is most popular (maybe because its default option and players just download… something?) and it’s the best one to start with. Head to download tab. If you’re logged in – sync with PoE and if not – choose Option 2 tab, download the file and follow the instructions.

Now we head back to game options > UI > Loot Filter and choose our (NeverSink’s) Regular filter and you can relax about changing it for a long time. When you would feel like there’s too much loot you can always upgrade it to a higher one. Again – picking up loot should be efficient.

As I mentioned previously, you would spend a lot of time checking your loot for price. By default, you would use pathofexile.com/trade or its predecessor – poe.trade. Official site for trading is better in every way and the only time I find use for the latter one is at the start of the league when official one is just dead.

pathofxile.com/trade

By the way, you won’t have to check every unique this way. The next addon is not mandatory but it will save you enormous amounts of time – PoE Overlay.

PoE Overlay

This one allows you to check the prices in-game. You can check the video about Now it has a very detailed tutorial! Checking prices is very useful for uniques – not as much for rares (in terms of simplicity of search).

Now we are actually ready to dive into game itself but since Stash doesn’t actually fit to Leveling part, I would cover it here.

Stash

Stash Prophecy

Stash is your account-wide bank, which means your characters each don’t have one of their own. It’s the place to keep your loot and move items from one character to another. Also, it is tied to the league – loot will move to standard league after.

Now, why do I dedicate the whole section about it. As you know, Path of Exile is a free-to-play game and it is monetized by microtransactions (usually referred as MTX). I was really impressed (and still is) by the fairness and a smart way of it’s implementation.

Currency and Fragments Tabs

By default, you have 4 tabs of 144 slots. This is extremely small amount of space. If you would pick up only 1-slot currency and items (which mostly would be worth nothing), your stash is going to be full at the end of leveling through Acts. Here, it is very important to understand – it’s not a paywall. You can function just fine but your income would be a lot less effective and more complicated.

All that said, I strongly advise you to try the game for a few days and if you will enjoy the overall feeling of the game – smash “M” and buy the Currency Tab. It would be the biggest relief for quite some time. It would keep all your currency with a maximum capacity of 5k/each and provide some extra 5k slots for any stackable items you want.

Second purchase in priority list is upgrading tabs to Premium. Premium Tab is the only way to list your items for sale (we want to fill our currency tab, right?). When the tab is upgraded, right click on it and make it public – you will have an option to price items.

Premium Stash Tab

Next tabs I would prioritize as following: Fragments > Maps >= Quad. This priority might be debatable between first two but my main argument would be that you won’t really need white and yellow maps in future and you can change 3 same maps for 1 of the higher tier (explanations later).

Also, if you didn’t push your stash space to the limit you might want to wait for tab discounts – they are very usual.

We are all set.

Let us begin

Leveling (Early game)

You’ve made it to the second part?

You're breathtaking!

First leveling part might be your biggest concern (was mine) – you know that the actual game starts after you’ve completed the Acts leveling but the idea that you might get lucky with expensive item and just throw it away is disturbing.

This part is going to free you from that. We would run through the main aspects of playstyle that you would need to strive for, overview the things that you would want to know while leveling and will overview different kinds of loot and what to do with it.

This is THE MOST important part of the guide for the beginner.

Playstyle

This is the way

Before we dive into this part. If you like story-parts of the games, you would like to consider taking your time leveling and enjoying the lore of the game. You won’t have time for it later if the game’s roots will take you.

As I mentioned earlier, playstyle should be efficient. This means that you use every possible tool and practice to accelerate your clear speed and/or experience gain and/or profit gain – all of them should be determined by your current goals. At the start of leveling they are aligned – you rush through Acts to start activities like mapping while you get more experience as lower your level is compared to the area, and those new activities provide (more) valuable loot.

To do that, you would need to cultivate some important habits:

  • you literally run through packs of monsters, blast them once or twice and continue running – you don’t have to finish every one of them unless it’s a boss or some valuable for you mobs. This makes active skills like Cyclone Cyclone dominant because you do both things at once. Most experience is gained by killing mobs (NOT BOSSES!);
  • you accelerate your speed as much as possible. This statement consists of: 1. Having one of the movement skills like Flame Dash Flame DashMirror Arrow Mirror Arrow/Dash DashLeap Slam Leap Slam and constant use of them; 2. Having Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask (and using it) is absolutely mandatory in every build; 3. Boots should have movement speed increase as soon as possible and as much as possible;
  • minimize your time doing nothing in the city/hideout. This is obvious and anyway – here we are.

In other words, your playstyle would look like you’re always in a hurry. It would stress you out at the beginning with all the new in the game (oh, unique!) but it gets better with experience. Good idea would be to watch some videos with leveling race and get the idea what the fastest leveling looks like.

Very important thing: you can run through enormous amounts of mobs and get none of the hits from projectiles and spells but if there is only one weakest mob nearby and you stopped to loot something – it might be the end of you. I’m not sure why the system works like that but your stops or slows would be one of the main sources of death.

Still sane, exile? Tired of theory? The most rich on answers to your current questions and most practical part is here.

Leveling

For Wraeclast!

Consider the text ahead in a linear timeline. Things that you would encounter are sorted in order of appearance.

We are creating character in currently active league. Check the information of the time passed since it was launched – you might want to wait for the new one if a few weeks left.

Mafia, wake up.

Tutorial steps are well self-explanatory. One thing is important to mention though – attack is never used in game (except first zombie in tutorial) and could complicate your movement. Click it on the skill bar and choose “Move only”.

Move only

Skill gems. Most of the gems that you would find in builds would be available from higher levels and certain storyline progress. That is why good builds usually suggest gem links that can be used on leveling. Find your gem on wiki (Active / Support skill gems) to know exactly when they would become available. Vendor stock of gems differs for classes.

Color of the gem indicates what attributes you would be required to increase in order to level it – Red (Str), Green (Dex) and Blue (Int). Gems that require a single type of stat would have a higher attribute requirements (which is harder to attain if a gem is different from your class type). If you have grayed out “plus” with the gem on the right (where you level up gem) that means you don’t have enough attributes for it (if not enough level – they are not shown). Sometimes you would want to hold on with leveling them even if you can. You can right click on “plus” and it will not be shown.

No matter what build did you choose – you need active AoE skill gem to clear packs. It can be multiple projectiles, AoE attack or piercing one – all of them would do. Later you would be able to pick single target ability and support it with multiple projectiles (LMP and GMP). When you mouseover support gem it shows you what active skill gems can be supported. Superior single target at leveling provided by mines.

Supported spells

Almost every Act has a vendor with new gems. After you complete quests with gems as a reward – all of them and new ones are added to the stock. The widest stock would be introduced in Act 3 (Siosa, Library).

You won’t let your character down if you would level different/wrong gems on leveling (here and later, leveling is referred as leveling through 10 Acts). Good practice would be to fill your second set of weapons (“X” to switch) with 2 one handed weapons (each with 3 sockets) and socket gems that you would need later – they receive experience as well (don’t forget to swap back).

Movement skills become much more comfy to use with “Always attack without moving” option. Also used for spells.

Always attack without moving

Flasks. Flasks are very important thing. Mostly, you would have 1 or none as a Eternal Life Flask Eternal Life Flask, 1 (rarely 2) Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flasks and others would improve your survivability or damage and would be up constantly. Charge gains are 1/3.5/6/11 for every normal/magic/rare/unique mob slain to every flask. If flask have something in it visually – there is enough charges for use.

Passive skill tree (“P”). Nothing very special to note – just follow the nodes in the build. What to level first? I focus on nodes that give attributes (usually you would have 2 beautiful nodes with +30 to attribute of different type – it’s a good idea to pick them if you are really lacking stats), trying to get life leech (if there are any). You can learn skill by Ctrl+clicking on it (won’t need to click “Apply”). Don’t pick Keystones if you’re not sure what they do.

World screen (“U”) and quests. Path of Exile questline consists of 2 parts with 5 Acts each and Epilogue.

Acts Map

Square images under map show available quests from selected Act and if you click on active quest it will highlight the way to the objective. On the map you can see filled circles, circle with a dot inside and hollow circle – they are showing the waypoint status: active (visited zone and activated), inactive (visited zone but missed it) and zone without waypoint. Btw, you can find legend at the top-left corner of the map.

If you Ctrl+click on the zone you would be able to open “New Instance” of the area, i.e. reset it.

Quest colors

Colors of the quests on the right indicate the type of quest:

  1. Master mission (Optional). Masters start to appear randomly from Act 2. They provide themed quests in current area. They would be described in Part 3 of this guide. On leveling, you would want to complete Helena’s mission to unlock Hideout (Act 2). Could be done later as well.
  2. Prophecy (Optional). Prophecies are provided by Navali. Some of them would appear randomly in areas and some of them have to be sought specifically. Navali also would be described in Part 3.
  3. The Lord’s Labyrinth (Optional). Also, can be referred as Trial of Ascendancy. Quest indicates that you have one of the uncompleted trials in current area. There are 4 major labyrinths: Normal, Cruel, Merciless and Eternal. Each rewards 2 Ascendancy points, one of the gear enchants and a few chests. To access the Labyrinth you are required to complete number of trials that are easier versions of Lab.

Normal Lab
Cruel Lab
Merciless Lab

Normal Lab requires 6 trials from Acts 1-3, Cruel Lab – 3 trials form Acts 6-7, Merciless Lab – 3 trials from Acts 8-10 and Eternal Lab requires 6 trials that would be found on the maps. Each Lab completion ramps your power significantly and it’s a good idea to complete them asap. Don’t think much about lab enchants – you would change gear anyway. Some deeper knowledge can also be found in Part 3 of the guide.

  1. Optional quest. Self-explanatory. You can do them on leveling or after it. Usually they provide additional passive skill points or refunds for them.
  2. Main quest. They are mandatory in order to access new Acts.

Bandits. Bandits from Act 2 provide different permanent bonuses that depend on your choice (help/kill). Guides usually mention them.

Pantheon. Some of the Pantheon would be opened naturally through leveling but most of them – on the maps.

League mechanic. In every zone, you are going to encounter current league’s master/mechanic. Since the new mechanics are about to be explored by all players, it’s either good idea to find advantages of it and buy league items required for it (that are cheap) or it’s a bad idea and you would lose tons of time and become broke. Interact with it, learn about it, but the meta level of league interaction would be revealed only in a later game. More about Leagues in Part 3.

Types of damage, Debuffs (Ailments) and loss of control effects.

I never freeze

There are 5 types of damage: Physical, Elemental (Fire, Cold and Lightning) and Chaos. Each type can apply Stun (bigger difference between power of hit and target’s HP increases the chance to stun). Physical – Bleed (DoT, and you take x3 damage while moving), Fire – Ignite (50% damage as extra from DoT) and Scorch (lowering elemental resist), Cold – Chill (slow), Freeze (“stun”) and Brittle (increased chance to receive crit), Lightning – Shock (increased damage taken) and Sap (lowers damage) and poison monsters can inflict Poison (physical and chaos DoT). If you’re into player-friendly Blizzard games – beware. You have NO indication that you have received one of them except for “debuff” icon with all your status icons that you never pay attention to. That is why you must always have “red button” option or an option to even ignore them. That is why your Lifeflask would be modded with “Immunity to bleed”, one more flask with “Immune to curses” and another with “immunity to freeze”. Pantheon’s “Soul of Shakari” provides immunity halves the damage from poison. May the stun be with you…

Haha.

No.

You can ignore even Stun and Ailments with the right (expensive) gear.

Another mention is that chaos damage bypasses ES (Energy Shield) and usually you’re either immune (with CI) or have -60% resistance to it.

Charges. Every player can have up to 3 charges of 3 types of charges: Endurance (4% to all Elemental Resistances and Physical Damage Reduction), Frenzy (4% increased Attack Speed, Cast Speed and Damage) and Power (40% increased Crit chance). You can’t generate them unless you have items that allows you to.

Death penalties. You don’t have any penalty for dying at the beginning; you have -30% to all elemental resistances after Act 5 and lose 5% exp per death; you have -60% to all elemental resistances after Act 10 and you lose 10% exp per death.

Dying is ok.

Experience gains. Experience gains has complicated formulas for the exact overview. TL;DR – you have no penalty on experience gains in a Safe Zone. Safe Zones are: 3 levels at level range 1-15 and 9 levels at level 96+, others – in between respectively. If the level difference between you and monster outside the Safe Zone – experience rapidly decays to minimum in a few levels. E.g. if you’re level 10, you don’t get penalty for killing level 7-13 mobs.

Entering new area provides you with immunity to damage for 30 seconds (10 on subsequent entries).

- I think I covered most of things that can frustrate you.

- Wait a minute…

Loot and Gear

Unique Ring!

The main type of items that we are going to pick up is currency.

Each currency’s price is defined by its effect on items, its chance to drop (NOT rarity – later) and time of the league. For example, Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration is used in crafting but it requires huge amounts so it’s price rising in time while Orb of Regret Orb of Regret is losing it’s value. All the prices and their graphs could be found here.

Generally, you would be using only two types of currency for trading: Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs (“c”) and Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs (“Ex”). 1 Ex is about 120-160c usually and dependent on the time of the league. Finding even 1 Ex on leveling would be considered lucky.

Superb currency is Mirror of Kalandra Mirror of Kalandra.

All other currency types is also very important at start and long after it. For example, using Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation on flasks while leveling would be a good practice and trying to roll “Bleed immunity” with few Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration at high Acts won’t be a crime.

Pick everything! (currency)

Disclaimer about rarity: Ex is not “rarer” than Chaos. Rarity only applies to items that can have different rarities like “magic”. If you want more Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs per hour you need to increase your quantity that would affect overall drop of items (Increased Item Quantity – IIQ). If you want more rare and unique items – you increase your rarity (Increased Item Rarity – IIR).

Gear. The main thing to erase and rebuild from scratch in your mind is that items that drop are the same as the items that you can buy and use Orb on it. Dropped rare bow has the same potential to be good as the normal bow with the same base when you use Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy on it.

WTF?

There is much deeper and more complicated system of gear that I would cover in crafting section.

Most of the gear is junk (that’s why filters are mandatory).

For leveling, rules could be collapsed to following:

1. Acts 1-8. Loot and equip everything you want. As Str based character you would prefer bases with Armour, as Dex – Evasion, as Int – ES. All of them would like to have Life and as much resistances as possible. What you would like to pay attention to are number of sockets and links between them. More sockets allows you to level more gems and possibly use more skills like auras while links would improve their effectiveness with the right support gems. Don’t hesitate to use Jeweller's Orb Jeweller's Orbs, Chromatic Orb Chromatic Orbs and Orb of Fusing Orb of Fusings if you don’t want to change gear but need sockets. There are limitations though – base item level should be 25 to have 4 sockets and ilvl 50 – for 6.

Finding 6-socket item is not big deal. Finding 6-link item is HUGE. Finding one until questline completion can be also considered lucky. Starting from Act 7 you would really like not to skip Vaal Side Areas because they have a much higher chance to drop 6-links.

Use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation on flasks.

There is also such thing as Vendor Recipe (covered in the next Part). TL;DR – if you would sell item with 3 different color sockets and link between them you would receive 1 Chromatic Orb Chromatic Orb and if you would sell 6 socket item – 7 Jeweller's Orb Jeweller's Orb. Selling quality flasks or gems with a summary of 40% quality (or 20% from one) will grant you one Glassblower's Bauble Glassblower's Bauble or Gemcutter's Prism Gemcutter's Prism respectively. Gem with 20% quality is better to be sold at start. Selling 6-link will give you Divine Orb Divine Orb but don’t you dare…

Using quality currency on items won’t give you much.

Unique items. Valuable ones are unlikely to drop on leveling. Uniques you would like to find are: Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa, Goldrim Goldrim and Ability-specific unique. The latter one has a chance close to nothing (I mean that it would improve your currently used ability). You might want to check them in Trade – they are cheap. For example, if you level as Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit (SRS) Necromancer, it’s essential to buy Mark of the Red Covenant Mark of the Red Covenant because otherwise you are just losing most of the damage (and time).

One rule works for me just fine: if the item looks cool – it’s crap.

You would want to keep any of dropped unique rings though – 60 of them can be exchanged for Loreweave Loreweave.

With experience, you would not even identify uniques – you would know their value by icon. I definitely know most of the bad ones.

2. Acts 9-10. Keep the jewellery with high amount of resistances and, ideally, Life – from level 60 mobs can drop items with Tier 3 Resistance that ranges from 36 to 41%. These would have some price. Double resistances from 20-25% would have potential to sell as well.

TL;DR – keep items with huge Life (or ES) and Resistance values, check uniques with addon.

Your first budget won’t rely on random drop though. It would be acquired through Vendor Recipe System (VRS).

VRS offers you items or currency for a certain “recipe” – list of items that you can sell to vendor in order to receive them. There’s a solid list of recipes but a few of them are actually used.

So, the recipes with sockets and quality in first set of rules (Acts 1-8) were also VR. From Act 9, we are focusing on the new available recipe for Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs. We need to sell full rare set of gear slots of ilvl 60 to 74. If all of those items are unidentified we would get 2c otherwise only 1c. Very important to check ilvl of those items. If one of them lower than lvl 60 you will receive Orb of Chance Orb of Chance instead. Also, this recipe will be interfered by other VR (e.g. one of the items would meet other recipe requirement like Chromatic Orb Chromatic Orb recipe with sockets).

You can use it until yellow maps and then – with 1 item from this range (we don’t want Regal Orb Regal Orbs).

On leveling, you would also encounter a lot of other loot like Divination Cards, Fragments, Oils etc. Keep them all.

Troubleshooting

Not enough stats

The main disturbance on leveling comes from lacking of stats. If your old item had stats on it and some of your gems were dependent on them – items with these gems socketed would become unusable. Keeping backup items is a good practice. But if you don’t have them, you have few options:

  1. Unlearn some of your passive skills and invest them into +to needed attribute;
  2. If you have unlocked your Hideout, you can use Crafting bench – in the Act 3 you would learn recipe “+6-9 to all attributes”. You can craft it on every item;
  3. Unsocket these gems (their stat will turn red when you mouseover them);
  4. Hold on with your gear change.

Bosses are not dying

Nothing dramatic if we’re talking about few minutes kill. If we’re talking about actually impenetrable fortresses – you might consider testing different skill gems (even with lower level).

Deadly bosses

My name is Exile

The most deadly boss appears to be Merveil in Act 1. There are no complicated mechanics – just very high damage from her frontal lined snowflakes so every cold resist point would help.

Dominus in Act 3 can cause trouble with channeling apparitions – make some distance with him to dodge. On the second phase – don’t leave bubble on blood rain.

Malachai in Act 4 can appear to be complicated but he’s not – avoid deadly front-channeling tentacles, distance from him on emerge and blast Piety when Malachai is shielded. On phase 2 keep an eye on 3 hearts on the sides – when he teleports to one it should be killed.

Kitava in Acts 5 & 10 is deadly as he should be. In my experience – get rid of demons in the intermission and hug different side from where the breath started. Other abilities are deadly in combo.

Now, you can finish your leveling and I will be waiting for you in the next Parts.

We are not on the half-point yet.

Mid-game (Part 1: Preparation, Atlas and Masters)

Stark mapping

This part covers preparation for core activities of PoE and overview of them. The main philosophy here is getting maximum profit from activities that you enjoy the most. Every one of them can provide valuable loot that you can exchange for desired one from other activities.

Atlas and Leagues are a subject to change. In 3.8 league and before we had one Atlas system and from 3.9 we have another. From the ExileCon (Nov. 2019) we have information that at least 4 Leagues (3.9-3.12) would be released before Path of Exile 2 (or 4.0) and it is reasonable to suggest that Atlas system won’t change until then.

League mechanics, on the other hand, can stay in the future, can be partially implemented or disappear completely.

First preparations

Hideout

From now on, Hideout is mandatory and will serve as the main base of operations. First thing you want to do when you get to Epilogue is inviting Masters to your Hideout. You can talk to them in Oriath’s Square. Also, complete a small questline with Kirac to unlock Map Device.

Stash. Got loot? Let’s take deeper look at it.

A lot of Cards/Oils/Maps/Essences are not worth keeping if you’re lacking stash space (you do). All of this is done to stress you with the amount of items and make you buy new tabs (worked for me). Some manipulations are in order though.

Vendor recipe system. Again.

  • Essences and Oils have tier system and 3 of one tier can be sold to vendor for 1 of the higher one. Essences have 7 tiers, from Whispering to Deafening, and Oils have 12 tiers, from Clear to Golden.
  • 3 Maps of the same zone and same tier can be traded for one map of the higher tier (details in the next part). Tier 16 is max.
  • 3 Catalyst (same) or 3 Metamorph parts (any) can be traded for random different one.
  • Divination Cards can only be exchanged for their reward. All of them have different values though from trash to treasure. For example, Rain of Chaos Rain of Chaos and Alluring Bounty Alluring Bounty would reserve the same space but their value is drastically different. Some of the cards like Turn the Other Cheek Turn the Other Cheek can be just thrown away.

Gear preparation. First steps in mapping and any other activity can cause serious damage to one’s motivation to play. Mostly, it is caused by -60% resistances (survivability) and lack of damage. Our motivation would be just fine. Our first goal would be acquiring 5-6 link item and reinforcing our resistances by all means (resistance cap is 75% – Goldrim can be of huge help).

Trading. Trading in Path of Exile has a disturbing (from the first looks) system but it’s not – you need to contact people! -“Omg, I will need to find right words and make business offers?”

Haha.

No.

Trading is done as the following:

1. Open pathofexile.com/trade and find your item. For example, we want 6-link two-handed sword.

Pathofexile Trade Window

Few notes:

  • If you want an item (particularly, unique) with certain amount of stats you don’t have to manually type them one by one in stat filter. You can simply find unique by name, hover mouse over it’s image and choose “Filter by Item Stats” – that would copy all the filters into your Stat Filter.
  • To filter items by the price you need to click on the price area.

2. We have different offers. The cheapest items would be corrupted that means that we can’t change them* – they are acquired from random drops. So, we are looking for required socket colors and potentially strong mods for us.

*sockets can be changed through Crafting bench but it is expensive.

3. Click on “Whisper” from the offer.

4. Pop back into PoE, open chat, paste the line (Ctrl+V) and send the message.

Prepare your currency (right amount in inventory). Seller will invite you to group. You will need to Right-click on his avatar and “Visit Hideout” or simply click blue icon on the bottom-left corner of it. He will invite you to trade and you will exchange.

Group

Voila! Now you can stay in his hideout and strike some nerves or teleport back to yours :)

Same way you can find jewellery or equip yours from leveling and upgrade your weakest items. This is the easiest way to provide you with right amounts of stats.

Note: if seller doesn’t invite or answer you that means that he: 1. has sold this item; 2. Afk; 3. on the map or somewhere; 4. jerk who ignores you (Haha. No.).

Selling. In order to sell you will need Premium Tab. If you have one, right click on it and make it public. Now every item in this tab would be listed in trade. To price the item, right-click on it, choose the price strictness (Exact price btw) and put the price in orbs.

I don’t recommend selling cheap items individually. Selling in bulk helping other players and allows you to put the higher price on them – both sides are the winners. It’s not a scam – people are eager to pay more for trading less times. You can buy individual items and sell them in bulk with higher price and receive gratitude.

Scam though is to put a lot of individual items with much lower price and wait for players to undercut them in order to buy out cheap.

To sell items in bulk, you would need to open the price window and type: x/y (“x” – your price for “y” amount of items). E.g. selling 100 Alteration orbs for 20c = 20/100. Currency should be traded from currency tab.

Bulk Pricing

Preparation summary. You character should be around 70-75 lvl, 5-6 link weapon or chest with main skill, 4-link connections filled with appropriate gems, resistances as close to 75 as possible, 3/4 Labs done. 5 different flasks depending on your build – all of them magic quality, Life flask with bleed immunity, one with freeze immunity and ideally one with curse immunity. Second set of weapons filled with 6 gems that you would like to corrupt* or sell.

*Skill gems are naturally capped at lvl 20 and can have up to 20% quality. They are usually leveled with the use of VRS: gem leveled to 20 (20/0) -> Vendoring it with 1 Gemcutter's Prism Gemcutter's Prism gives you lvl 1 gem with 20% quality (1/20) -> leveling to 20 (20/20). From here, you can use Vaal orb on it that can turn it into 21/20 or 20/23 (not both) OR it can ruin the gem with reduced quality and/or level. 21/23 gems are acquired through random drop or corrupted in Temple of Atzoatl (later).

Now, you need to decide what kind of activities you like the most.

I have spoken

Atlas system and Maps

Atlas

Map system is the core of the game. Whether you’re going to Delve, fight the Syndicate or defeat Awakener of Worlds – everything would be available through maps and you can’t avoid them.

Maps are small areas with randomly generated layout with monsters and boss. You don’t have to clear the whole map from monsters – only boss. Some maps have mostly stable layout while some can be called labyrinths. Some bosses are insane while others could be cleared with packs. Most of the maps have their own unique Divination Cards that can drop varying in a huge range as well. Those aspects determine popularity and value of the map.

You are going to start with first Tier 1 maps. If you mouseover the map on the Atlas you would see its bonus and Awakening bonus. In order to receive first one, you need to use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation on the map and complete it. As with gear, it will grant mods. Mods on maps make them more difficult to complete but also increase the quantity and rarity of items as well as monster packs (more exp). Some of the mods can make the map impossible to finish for your build. If you’re a spell caster and you have “Monsters Reflect % of Elemental Damage”, or your build based on leech and map has “Cannot Leech Life From Monsters” – you’re done. Builds usually warn you about mods that it can’t run.

There are 16 map tiers. Maps with higher tier would require you to complete Rare and Corrupted Rare maps in order to receive bonus. Bonuses increase your chance to drop maps of a higher tier (you can see the descriptions by mouseovering bonus progress in the center of Atlas).

Awakening bonus requires you to complete map with the maximum available tier version. For example, Beach map can be Tier 1, 4, 8, 10 and 14. We will dive into Awakening system in a few.

Completing all 154/154 bonuses doesn’t provide any additional effects.

Maps also can contain bosses with the souls to improve Pantheon. You will need to insert Divine Vessel Divine Vessel into map device with the map itself and defeat the boss.

New maps can drop only adjacent to your current map. Maps that you have completed can always drop.

Atlas is divided into 8 regions. Each of them have certain amount of maps and some would be revealed with the awakening progression. Completing all maps in the area unlocks the slot to set favorite map, completing all bonuses – second slot and all Awakening bonuses – third. Setting favorite map noticeably increases the change to drop.

Campaign (Watchstones, Elderslayers and Awakening Level). After you complete the questline with Kirac in Oriath’s Square, you receive Map Device in your Hideout. From now on, when you run maps you will have a chance* to proc the Elderslayer (aka Conqueror) – one of four mini-bosses. Region would become influenced and the icon would appear on the left bar next to this area.

*First Elderslayer is Baran and he can only appear in the corner region of the Atlas (4 regions are adjacent to Atlas’ middle area and 4 are in the corners). After you defeat Baran and receive his Watchstone (WS), you would have to find another 3 Elderslayers in different corner areas of the Atlas. After you have found all 4 WS from each Elderslayer, they would be able to spawn in any region.

Influenced Area

In order to fight Elderslayer, you will need to complete additional objectives in his area. They are indicated as a progress bar under the Elderslayer’s icon. Yellow node indicates completed step, gray requires to clear certain amount of mobs and teal requires to kill the boss. On our example, we have 5 objectives in total: 3 are completed, next map in this area requires to deal with boss and map after that – to kill mobs. Progress bar can contain 5, 7 or 9 nodes (random).

After you have completed these objectives, you will need to talk to Kirac in Hideout and then to Zana – she will open portals to their “domain”. Killing the boss opens the portal to the Elderslayer. Defeating the Elderslayer rewards you (very high chance but not 100%) with Watchstone. Watchstones inserted in “Citadels” (clusters with 4 sockets in the areas) reveals new maps in the area, increases the map tiers, awakening level and makes the area meet the requirements to spawn another Elderslayer.

Area become unoccupied and defeated Elderslayer shows in the center of the Atlas – he would not be able to spawn until you defeat Sirus (or he wins when there are no more portals to use).

Now, about the tricky parts.

1. Map progression. Let’s say we have Beach map tier 1 (T1) and we have inserted WS in this area. Now Beach map is T4 and adjacent maps are T5 in the Atlas. If we would run our T1 Beach we don’t have chance for adjacent T5 maps to drop – they will drop T2. The only way to acquire T4 Beach map is to run maps that have appropriate tier without inserted WS.
Also, remember the recipe with 3-to-1 maps. Say, you have 4 Beach maps. If you put 3 to sell, you would see the outcome – for example, Temple. If you would remove one Beach map and insert different one – there’s a high chance that you will receive another map instead of Temple. If not, you can try different combinations. Offered maps would be in the same region with the sold maps.

2. After you have defeated Elderslayer in the area, you will have indicator that you have obtained WS of appropriate color. You won’t be able to loot it again in this area but the thing that might confuse you – you can insert WS of unobtained color to meet the requirements of area to spawn Elderslayer (e.g. you didn’t obtain yellow WS in the area and it requires 3 WS to be inserted in order to spawn Elderslayer. You can insert yellow WS from another area with 2 more different ones and it won’t block your “yellow Elderslayer” from spawn). Unobtained Elderslayer is more likely to spawn in area.

3. When you’re focusing on which Elderslayers to spawn, watch for defeated ones in the center. They won’t spawn until you finish the cycle with Sirus.

4. Tier of the map should meet the requirements of WS. If you defeated 3 Elderslayers in area and obtained WS from them you need 3 WS to be inserted in area and they can spawn only with the appropriate tier of maps. In example with Beach, it would be T10 with 3 obtained WS. When you would obtain all 4 WS in this area – T14. You won’t be able to spawn Elderslayer with 0 WS inserted.

Every 4 WS inserted in atlas increases Awakening level by 1 and the maximum level is 8.

Sirus, Awakener of Worlds. Sirus is currently the last boss. Defeating him means that you have completed the game.

Haha.

No.

Sirus’ difficulty is tied to Awakening Level (AL) – Awakening Level that is currently on the Atlas. If you will defeat 4 Elderslayers with AL8, unsocket all WS and open the portal to him – his difficulty would be AL0.

Sirus on AL8 also referred as Uber Awakener.

Atlas progression. At start most of the map is covered in fog of war and will be revealed as you dive into side areas. Maps that you can see without inserted WS can have 5 tiers, maps revealed with one WS – 4 tiers etc.

Basically, you would want to complete new maps as fast as possible. To accelerate this task, you have few options:

  1. Zana sells maps for a reasonable price. To refresh her stock you need to activate her mission on the map – completing this mission is not mandatory but running it on uncompleted map would contribute towards Atlas progression;
  2. You can exchange maps 3-to-1;
  3. You can buy maps from trade as well as selling completed ones. Beware – they are pricy only at start of the league.

Exploring Atlas is as important as finishing your 4th Ascendancy. All 6 trials can spawn randomly on the maps and they can repeat. What can help:

  1. If you’re playing with friend or you’re a social person, you can ask them to invite you for certain Trial;
  2. Activating Zana mission and if she will offer a map with “Complete Labyrinth Trial” this area will contain one of them;
  3. You can buy The Dream Trial The Dream Trial prophecy.

Maps. As I mentioned earlier, there are easy maps and difficult maps. Latter ones are usually avoided (ran once for Atlas bonuses) unless they can drop valuable loot. Easy maps can also be divided by their layout. I’m not sure how veteran players divide them but I prepared 2 types for you:

  1. Straight (or easy&fixed) layout – Beach, Strand, Jungle Valley, Tropical Island, Park, Promenade, Canyon, Mud Geyser, Leyline, Plateau. These maps are easy to navigate and the bosses are easy.
  2. Fast boss layout – Mesa, City Square, Shore, Bog, Barrows, Park, Mud Geyser, Canyon, Arid Lake, Colonnade, Atoll.

Underlined maps are kings in their category. If you would sell them in bulk they can provide good profit. As for the most expensive and popular – there is only one.

Burial Chambers (BC). This map is hunted (Headhunted, if you will) by the majority of players. Any tier is expensive. The reason is The Doctor The Doctor. Players who farm Headhunter Headhunter obsessively running this map hundreds of times and rewarded with more than 10 Ex for each card. Sorry, I didn’t introduce you – Headhunter Headhunter is one of the most desired items in PoE. You can read more about it here. However, these players don’t run these maps with just Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy – they are “juicing” them.

Juiced maps. Juicing map pipeline consists of:

  1. 20% quality – 4 Cartographer's Chisel Cartographer's Chisel on normal rarity map;
  2. Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy. IIQ should usually exceed 80%.
  3. Delirium orbs. Usually 3 or more of them. Any.
  4. Vaal Orb Vaal Orb. Bad mods are put aside;
  5. 4 Sextants. Sextants are used on WS and provide additional mods to maps in the area. Smashing 1 Sextant for each WS and run it could work but there are a lot of interactions that could drastically benefit other juicing. As an example, you can have additional Legion encounter on the map, Gilded Legion Scarab (coming up next) and Zana mod (up next later) with additional Legion encounter – that would make all 3 Legion encounters improved by Scarab. TL;DR difference between Sextants – same mod will have stronger effect (e.g. 20/25/30% increased Magic Pack Size) and stronger Sextants can have their unique mods. Very nice table with Sextants;
    Also, if you are rolling something in particular, make sure you roll sextant on the WS inserted into Citadel – mods from another 3 inserted WS would be blocked to proc.
  6. Scarabs, Map Fragments. You will insert a map and 4 (explanation in next part) Scarabs or Fragments. Choosing Scarabs depends – usually, you would like more monsters in general. All the map Fragments (Sacrifice of Dusk etc – up next later) will give you additional 5% quantity and Mortal Fragments would give 10%.
  7. Zana mod. When you click on a map device, you have options to add mods – Zana mods. They are different in each league. By default, you get 8% IIQ free though other mods can benefit map much more.
  8. Prophecies. A lot of Prophecies benefit maps’ loot. Tempests provide additional 30% IIQ on a map, Bountiful Traps Bountiful Traps and Monstrous Treasure Monstrous Treasure – more Strongboxes. Those Prophecies does not stack – only 1 can be present and they are not 100% to proc. Some Prophecies could be used constantly (like Waiting in Ambush Waiting in Ambush).
  9. Party. Running maps in group could benefit all the members. More and even more

Map Device. There are 2 things to mention:

Map Device

  1. Zana mods. Zana mods can appear to be the same as the mods from Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy but they are not. Using Zana mod makes +the whole map league-specific area. The most important example here is Nemesis mod. When you apply Nemesis Zana mod (if its present in current league) you can Orb of Chance Orb of Chance or Ancient Orb Ancient Orb the Headhunter Headhunter but if you have Nemesis mod from Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy – you can’t.
  2. Slots. Your map device has 4 slots by default but can be expanded to 5. It is done by using 4 different Legion Emblems in your 4 slot map device.

Types of maps:

  1. Influenced maps. Some of the maps can have influence and/or Elder guardian in it. There are 2 types of map influence: Shaper and Elder ones. Those influences allow maps to drop respective influenced items. Shaper Guardian maps (e.g. Maze of the Minotaur Map Maze of the Minotaur Map) and Elder Guardian maps (e.g. Map is occupied by Constrictor) are always influenced by them. Also, there are 4 Elderslayer influences – they have a chance to drop when you run a map in areas occupied by them. Influences provide additional pool of mods for the items. Dropped influenced items has a 100% chance to contain one of the influence mods (while crafting does not).
  2. Unique maps. Unique maps provide special scenario maps. Some of the maps can only be obtained in Delve or from Zana. Most of the unique maps can be chanced (maps have their corresponding normal version) though maps like Cortex Cortex can’t (at least not with the default conditions).
  3. Fragment maps. Map fragments (who would’ve guessed?) can open portals to special areas with bosses. While Fragments require 4 pieces to open (inserted in the right order – Uber Atziri is responsible for this clarification), Breachstones are opened solo and Emblems require 2+ (different) pieces. Sacrifice and Mortal fragments can be used solo – they would open portals to vaal side areas.
  4. Blighted maps. Blighted maps tied to Blight League. These maps don’t have usual habitants and layout – only one Fungal Growth with 20 portals. More info coming up in league descriptions.
  5. Synthesis (unique) maps. Synthesis maps tied to Synthesis league. These maps have increased experience gains and unique bosses with exclusive loot. More in league descriptions.

Now, let’s explore the actual events that would happen on the maps.

Not easy

Masters

Masters

Masters are NPCs who can offer missions on the maps. They can appear randomly or you can use their mission if you have one. Every day you accumulate 1 mission from each master of appropriate difficulty and you have a chance to receive one on map completion. Also, you can roll their presence via Sextants (Prime Sextant Prime Sextant and Awakened Sextant Awakened Sextant) and by Prophecy (Master Seeks Help).

Zana, Master Cartographer

Zana, Master Cartographer

Zana is best known for her phrase: “Still sane, exile?

Are you, btw?

Missions. Her missions have 2 benefits: resetting her map stock and mission itself.

1. When you open the map with her mission – new stock available. Even before you enter the portal. This is a very good way to explore atlas. On higher levels, she would be able to offer influenced maps, guardian maps and expensive maps like Cortex Cortex.

2. When you find her on the map, she would offer mission with an objective in one of the maps. The advantage of them are:

  1. Completing the map counts toward Atlas progression (check rarity to be appropriate for bonus);
  2. Objective determines what kind of event would be present. So, Labyrinth Trial, Harbingers etc. – you know that they would wait for you;
  3. Map pool is larger and can contain expensive (Cortex) and unobtainable (Untainted Paradise) maps.

Also she opens portals to Elderslayers and Sirus.

Very useful master at league start.

Niko, Master of the Depths (Delve league – 3.4)

Niko, Master of the Depths

Notable loot: Fossils and Resonators, Doryani's Machinarium Doryani's Machinarium, Doryani's Delusion (Energy Shield) Doryani's Delusion (Energy Shield), Aul's Uprising (All Attributes) Aul's Uprising (All Attributes), etc.

Notable crafting recipes: socket colors, up to 6-socket, up to 6-link.

Delving is one of the most popular leagues and activities.

In general, you are following the cart, slaying monsters and doing event at the end. In order to start the cart, you would need Sulphite – it is gathered on the maps with Niko present. Level and quality of the map affects the amount gathered.

As a reference points, monster levels are:

  • 68 lvl. Tier 1 map or depth 35.
  • 73 lvl. Tier 6 map or depth 65.
  • 78 lvl. Tier 11 map or depth 110.
  • 83 lvl. Tier 16 map or depth 171.

Deeper delve has the same monster level but the difficulty (amount of mods in areas and monster damage) and the amount and quality of the rewards will increase.

From a certain depths, you would be able to encounter cities that can contain respective boss – there are 3 of them.

Delve is infinite. Vertically and horizontally.

Areas, Fossils and Fractured Walls. Delve has 6 areas – each of them has their effects.

Delve Areas and Fossils

You might learn about it for the first time even if you have delved for a long time but area can overlap deadly on boss by increasing damage.

As we can see, some fossils can drop in a certain areas. Mostly, they are found behind the Fractured Walls (FW).

– Where the f are they? – would be exactly my words, translated into English, when I did that by myself. FW are found on the sides from cart path.

That means, in order to find FW, you need to dive into dark side areas (with mobs), check their presence and run back. One tip is in order: they are certainly found on the long paths.

Fractured Walls

FW should be blasted with Dynamite. FW serves 2 purposes:

  1. Hiding rooms with loot (usually contains Fossils or Resonators);
  2. Blocking the way to the nodes without path. Sometimes, their location could be ridiculous.

Delve RIP

Delving is a very good way to make currency. Useful video about delving.

Notably, using Gilded Fossil Gilded Fossil on any item and selling it could result even in Exalted Orb Exalted Orb and Mirror Shard Mirror Shard.

Missions themselves are less useful because Scarabs provide additional Sulphite.

Tips:

  • Fractured Fossil Fractured Fossil can only be found in the nodes with Fossils and this node should be without a path. And it’s not 100% that it will contain one.
  • bosses with an unluck spawn can be impossible to kill with a specific to your class area mods.
  • running faster than cart (ahead) makes it also move faster.

Einhar, Beastmaster (Bestiary league, 3.2)

Einhar, Beastmaster

Notable loot: Farrul's Fur Farrul's Fur

Notable crafting recipes: *beastcrafting.

Bestiary league makes you hunt beasts. When you catch beasts in area, they depart to Menagerie and wait for you to be slaughtered at the Blood Altar.

Most recipes require 1 Red Beast (who determine the outcome) and 3 Yellow Beasts.

Usually, you come to Menagerie, click the recipe, release the hounds and kill them – and that’s about it. But what you don’t usually do (or don’t know) is:

  1. Easier craft of flasks. You can mod flask with “Immunity to Bleed” (that is “of Staunching”) or to Curses with 4 yellow beasts;
  2. All the unique items made at the Blood Altar can result in league-specific unique;
  3. There are 4 spirit beasts (notably – Farric Tiger Alpha) who can open portal to respective boss. Farrul drops Farrul's Fur Farrul's Fur;
  4. Beastcrafting. There are a lot of useful recipes that can help you craft. I will explain it in the next part in Crafting section.
  5. All the beasts can be sold.

Selling beasts. Beasts can be really expensive (Farric Tiger Alpha, Fenumal Plagued Arachnid, Farric Ape etc). For example, Farric Ape creates unique belt – players buy it to chance Headhunter Headhunter. Farric Tiger Alpha – chance to drop Farrul's Fur Farrul's Fur. Fenumal Plagued Arachnid used in crafting (most expensive).

To check what beasts you have, you need to open Bestiary Tab (“H” by default), open the tab with captured beasts and search for them in the window on the bottom.

To pack the beast into sellable item you have to buy Bestiary Orb Bestiary Orb (from Einhar in Menagerie only) for 1c, find him in your Bestiary Tab and use orb on it. Now you can sell him!

Missions are also less useful because of Scarabs.

Note: I didn’t find any information nor did a detailed research but I’m almost certain that Beasts are tied (or at least more common) to certain areas. Therefore, if you are looking for Amphibians (which is one type of beasts in “The Deep” family), you will need to find them in muddy areas (like Marshes or Mineral Pools map). In general, beast’s looks should match the area. I always had one and more beasts of the respective family on a map.

Alva, Master Explorer (Incursion league, 3.3)

Alva, Master Explorer

Notable loot: Soul Ripper Soul Ripper, Tempered Mind Tempered Mind, etc.
Notable crafting recipes: Crit, Crit multiplier, Trap damage, Minion damage, Life leech, etc.

Incursion league features Temple of Atzoatl. First, you “build” the Temple layout with rooms and then raid it after 12 incursions (preparations).

At first look, it has nothing and entering incursion instantly one shots you from time to time. Though, it has notable rooms and items but first we would understand how the Temple works.

Atzoatl Rooms

Temple consists of 13 rooms though only 11 can be upgraded. Starting layout provides few rooms with Level 1.

Your goal is:

  1. Make connection from Entrance to Apex;
  2. Upgrade important rooms to Level 3.

Every incursion has 2 Architects who determine what upgrade the room would receive. One of them always upgrades current room. Despite logic, you need to kill the architect to receive his upgrade. Their upgrades are shown before incursion. Also, you can see the doors that are leading to other rooms – opened (green) and closed (red). While on incursion, one (100%) or 2 Stone of Passage would drop to open closed doors – plan which one you would open in advance.

Incursion rooms proc randomly. Your temple can have multiple Level 3 rooms as well as none.

When you complete 12 incursions, you can’t do more to upgrade rooms – Temple is built. Alva would offer to open portals to the temple. If you failed to open the door to Apex (or any room that you need), you can use explosive from Explosives room (if its present. You can protect your run by building/saving it before you finish building temple).

Temple should not cause any problems and the boss is weak. Boss can drop vial that upgrade items from temple. Each vial has its own relative item. Upgraded version of items makes them valuable.

Rooms. Most important rooms are: Doryani’s Institute, Apex of Ascension and Locus of Corruption.

Doryani’s Institute allows you to double-corrupt gem. Remember: this is the only manual way to upgrade gem to 21/23. As every corruption works – you can receive double degraded gem (usual effect).

Apex of Ascension allows you to sacrifice unique item and receive another one. Level 2 (Hall of Offerings) allows league-specific item to drop and level 3 can serve 2 purposes:

  1. You put the vial and corresponding unique to upgrade it;
  2. Sacrificed item can also be league-specific and of the same item class (unique belt).

Locus of Corruption allows you to corrupt an item and make it:

  1. With all white sockets;
  2. Add 2 vaal implicit mods;
  3. Make it influenced rare item;
  4. Make it disappear!

In my experience, Apex of Ascension provides stable profit with upgraded items while others just ruin items.

Other rooms are very specific but also could be built.

Some people sell rooms but in order to use it buyer should handle his item to the seller. It’s very unsafe operation unless seller is streaming the process.

Alva’s missions are usually used for additional monster count on a map. Temple itself is not that profitable.

Jun, Veiled Master (Betrayal league, 3.5)

Jun, Veiled Master

Notable loot: Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn, Paradoxica Paradoxica

Notable crafting recipes: Reduced Total Mana Cost of Skills, Cannot be Frozen, Hits Can’t be Evaded, Increased Damage, etc.

Stay sane, exile. This master was hyped recently and I’m hyped to hype you as well!

Jun has the most complicated unfriendly league system that most likely scared you away.

When I was researching the mechanics, I might be crazy but I started considering their behavior as a real human’s. So don’t be rejected by some of my following terms.

Jun’s missions consist of encounters with the Immortal Syndicate and manipulations with the Deck. You click something randomly and something random happens.

Never again!

Fresh Deck

Syndicate consists of the Syndicate Leader (Mastermind, Catarina) and 17 members – your deck can only have 14 of them. Deck is divided into 4 divisions – each division always have the leader and one follower (there must always be a Lich…). That leaves us with 6 members who can be unranked (no division) or in any of the divisions.

There are maximum of 5 members per division! (Leader and 4 followers). Members of the division are linked by yellow ropes and have respective symbol at the top-left corner of their cards.

When we start our first missions with Jun and complete encounters, we are going to reveal the members’ personalities. Each mission consists of 3* encounters:

  1. Transportation or Fortification;
  2. Research;
  3. Intervention.

When we trigger the encounter, random followers of the respective division (very rarely – Leaders) join the fight and random unranked members (very likely) can appear as well. Maximum 4 members per encounter.

Winning the encounter gives us an opportunity to decide their fate:

  • Execute ranks the member up. If the member was unranked, he is joining the encounter’s division. There are 3 ranks.
  • Interrogate throws the member into jail for 3 turns in order to obtain intelligence about the division’s safehouse. Also lowering member’s rank by 1. If the member become unranked, he loses division. 1 turn = 1 encounter. Interrogating higher rank members provides more intelligence.
  • Bargain can be:

  1. A loot drop;
  2. Granting a few intelligence (of encountered division);
  3. Befriending with member (making Trust link / neutral);
  4. Recruiting unranked member (making Trust link and making him join the division);
  5. Removing from the syndicate (new member would join – one of 3);
  6. Setting interrogated members free (in understandable term – making their turns happen. E.g. rank 2 member with 2 turns left which would give 7 intelligence per turn would become rank 1 member and will grant 14 intelligence);
  7. Swapping with the member of different division (with the same rank);
  8. Destroying items of the members (of encountered division);
  9. Removing all rivalries.
  • Betray always lead to Rivalry link and can be:
  1. Encountered division’s intelligence and rivalry link;
  2. 1 rank to all members of one division and -1 rank to target members’ ( +changes Leader if he has lower Rank than other members!);
  3. +1-3 ranks to member and -1-3 ranks to target member (depends on target’s rank);
  4. Destroy all items of target member’s division;
  5. Removing target member from syndicate;
  6. Member become leader of division (leader doesn’t lose ranks);
  • Release the target doesn’t make any change to the deck. It is a very usual option. Always available at the bottom-right side of the deck.

In vacuum, these options won’t make any sense. Deep diving into interactions.


Trust


Trust Deck

Trust link allows “trusted” members to join encounter from any division (leaders as well). These members would be able to grant intelligence to encounter’s division.

Earning trust. Trust can only be an option from the last member of the encounter. Methods that can accelerate the process of trusts:

  1. Having unranked members. They are more likely to be recruited;
  2. Avoiding same ranks from important members (which would make swap option unavailable);
  3. Making NO rivalries;
  4. If the previous option (on current encounter) was rivalry, trust option appears to be more likely to pop.

If there are 2 trusted members left after the encounter, their next option will be Rivalry.


Rivalry


Rival Deck

Rivalry also allows linked members to join encounter and grant intelligence but with different options for the deck.

Making rivalries. There are 2 scenarios to make rivalry:

  1. 2 trusted members left after the encounter;
  2. 2 members – leader and follower (only follower will have option to become leader of the division and betray);


Trust vs Rivalry


Trust vs Rivalry

TL;DR: Trusted deck allows you to accelerate the process of linking while Rivalry deck is best to farm.

Trusted deck:

  1. Don’t have an option “Remove rivalries” that interferes with the last member’s option of the encounter (it is very usual);
  2. Don’t have the last option “Become neutral” with other members instead of Trust;
  3. If there are only 2 members on the encounter, none of them could be ranked.

Rival deck: vice versa that leads to more Ranks -> more intelligence.

My personal advice – build as much trusts as you can and then upgrade the deck to rivals. Don’t rush the farm.

More important interactions.

  1. When 2 members left, check options from both – they are different.
  2. Relations between members are cyclical: Neutral -> Trust -> Rivalry -> Neutral.
  3. “Destroy all items” can appear as pre-last and last option. Pre-last would make rivalry while last option just destroys them.
  4. “All prisoners are set free” can appear only if there are 2 or 3 members interrogated AND one of them from current encounter. Option appears as last one.
  5. “Removing the member” preserve links. New member would retain them.
  6. Interrogation has many scenarios:

6.1.a. there are unranked members and you interrogate Rank 1 only follower of the division. Random unranked member will take his place the next turn;

6.1.b. there are unranked members and you interrogate Rank 2 or 3 only follower of the division. Nobody will take his place. If interrogation doesn’t end before next mission, this division will not appear on the map (0/2 encounters);

6.2. there are no unranked members and you interrogate Rank 1 only follower of the division. He would return as Rank 1 member after interrogation;

6.3. If safehouse’s (or Mastermind) intelligence became full, prisoners would be released (still losing rank);

6.4. Higher Rank members provide more intelligence (3, 7, 12 per turn respectively);

  1. If you defeat member from the division, supporting members would try to flee the encounter; leave no prisoners.

Who on… Wraeclast would want to do that?!

Filling the bar of the division’s safehouse allows us to raid it. Every member of the syndicate has it’s own reward table for the each safehouse.

Ultra best and none can better table. Clicking the cells would make them filled with green/yellow/red background and saved for the next visits.

Raided safehouse would consist of the leader and current members of the division. Leader provides double reward.

Defeated leader would always be interrogated and all the members lose their ranks.

Now, how to apply all this knowledge practically.


Building the Deck


First rule of the profitable deck – never run the Mastermind’s Safehouse. Doing that will wipe the whole deck of links. And, no – there IS a profitable deck :)


1. First, you need to decide what rewards you want

Betrayal Sheet

In Delirium, mainstream members were: It That Fled (Lead) with Vorici in Research and Gravicius (Lead) with Cameria in Intervention. Explanations are in order.

It That Fled provides an option to upgrade Breachstone (Rank 3 – Pure). Chayula’s Pure Breachstone sells for a few Ex while Breachstone itself costs much less. These Breachstones provide the best leveling option. Vorici adds white sockets to an item. For profit, it is used on The Pariah ring for MF builds and there’s some profit from it. Vorici does not even have to be Rank 3 for it!

Gravicius provides the most expensive Gilded Divination scarabs while Cameria – Sulphite ones.

There are a lot of notable options like Cameria in T, Hillock with quality options, Tora in R with gem exp, etc.

For upcoming Harvest league (without patch notes), I would assume that Vorici would lose his membership in R, because constantly encountered league would offer us to craft white sockets as well. Also, since the league is tied to crafting, Jorgin in I with Bestiary scarabs could take Cameria’s place or even Gravicius’.

Research and Intervention selected not just for their good reward options but also for their constant appearance on the missions.

Only 2 divisions can be chosen for this strategy.

Safehouse loot is not the only way to get profit. There are expensive veiled items that a certain members can drop on the encounters. Elreon’s jewellery (veiled items can have it’s own tag in mods) is most sought for it’s “Reduced Total Mana Cost of Skills”. Rin’s boots also have a price.


2. You have decided what members you want. Now, you need to reveal all the members and make connections only with the chosen ones!

Early Deck

If you don’t have one of your members – remove members from Syndicate until you do.

Making any connections would make unwanted members to take the support spot on the encounters instead of our profit makers.

After you have revealed all the members, avoid as much intel as possible while making the connections (more in blocked safehouse – later).


3. Allocating all the members to divisions

Allocated Deck

If you will run the Safehouse with unranked member, he would take leaders spot! And since he don’t have many links, he would occupy this spot for good.

I would recommend starting to allocate members with at least 20-25 links and most importantly links between division members. Each member of the chosen division should also have a link.

If you struggle to allocate last unranked member it’s ok to recruit him with unwanted link. It won’t do much harm and could be removed later.


4. Rival the Deck and start making profit

Rival the Deck

From now on, you are focused on making profit from chosen Safehouses. This means, that when you encounter your division, you (in order of priority):

  1. Rank members of chosen division;
  2. Make rivalry* (that usually also provides intel). Both sides of conflict have different options that would come with rivalry;
  3. Interrogate the leader of chosen division if he should be a follower (to promote right lead);
  4. Interrogate members from other divisions* who provides intel about chosen Safehouse;

*Be careful with these options. If you have an option of rivalry with -1 Rank of target member’s division – make sure there are no Rank 1 members – it will lead to a huge setback of deck and you will delay raiding the Safehouses until this member would be allocated again. Same rule applies for Interrogation.

After your Safehouse raid, leader is always interrogated (for 1 turn if Mastermind is ready) and your follower become unranked. Since there were no unranked members before, deck will push follower to the leader position. This way, Safehouse rotation consists of 2 members only. That is why it’s important to have all members allocated.

Don’t run unwanted Safehouses.

Trust options still would have place but much more rarely.


Blocked Safehouse

2 encounters

Blocking Safehouse is more of a passive result that would appear from time to time. It means that one of the Safehouses is ready to be raided but you don’t care.

Safehouse is blocked for 4 turns (encounters)! To be exact with counting: you have interrogated member and in the next turn Safehouse intel would become filled; next (after interrogation) and 3 more encounters you would see that Safehouse is ready.

  • If you have blocked T or F, your mission would still spawn 3 encounters without one that is blocked;
  • if you have blocked R or I, your mission would spawn 2 encounters.

Encounter will not spawn:

  • if the next turn would make Safehouse ready;
  • if current turn made Safehouse ready and you didn’t finish this division’s encounter (they would retreat).

If you have blocked ALL Safehouses some of them will unblock and spawn on the map.

Tip: You can run the Safehouse while on the map mission and more encounters have left. This way you won’t lose raided Safehouse on the next map.

Since your Mastermind intel would be filled, your leader will be interrogated for 1 turn. If you will start new mission, this division would not spawn (no members except new leader) but if you will do remaining encounter on the map – this turn will tick and next mission would have 3.

You also have an option to free the member after Safehouse (even if it was after the last encounter) but it still does the same – consume one turn. It is done by proccing the encounter in leveling areas. If you don’t have encounter, you open new instance of this zone, check and so on. They are checking the encounter proc by latency check – I don’t do that but if you’re interested: video


Troubleshooting

  1. I have the same options every mission (Deck is stuck).

Happens. Try moving people on your deck or use different options that you usually don’t.

  1. This wall of text looks cool but it’s still unclear.

Let’s take a look at some particular cases.

Example #1.

Example 1

We have ITF and Elreon trusted. We don’t want Riker in Research. We want ITF to be Leader.

Step 1. We Release Riker (so we would have ITF and Elreon as Rivals next step;

Step 2. ITF Betrays Elreon (Elreon losing his ranks or just steps away from Lead);

Step 3. Elreon Bargain with Research intel or makes Trust with somebody.

Example #2.

Example 2

We have Gravicius and ITF trusted. We want ITF in Research.

Step 1. We Rank up ITF (so she have Rank 2 – same as Vorici). And we won’t have second option Rivalry if we rank Vorici. We probably don’t want Gravicius in Transportation but ITF is more important.

Step 2. We Release or Execute Gravicius (not interrogation);

Step 3. Vorici most likely have Bargain to switch places with ITF (same ranks). If not – maybe trust with somebody useful. Or useless option – we tried though.

Example #3.

Example 3

We have Tora and Guff trusted. We have Gravicius and Guff rivals. We want both Tora and Gravicius to Rank up.

Step 1. We Rank up Tora. If we Rank Gravicius first, our second step would be Tora and Guff Rivalry because they are trusted.

Step 2. We Rank up Gravicius.

Step 3. Whatever Guff does.

  1. I want maximum profit. How do I make the right choice?

By checking current prices on poe.ninja or manually in Trade.


Catarina (Mastermind)

Catarina can provide valuable loot like Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn (expensive with “Crit Chance During Flask Effect” mod) but she is currently less worth than running Safehouses.

Defeating Catarina will reward you not with just her loot but also with the Safehouse with a room from each member. Rooms benefit from their current Rank. Leaders* assist her in fight and their rooms also provide 2 rewards.

*Catarina will be assisted by current Leaders but it can happen that one of them won’t.

Catarina Deck
Catarina Loot

*I’m still not sure why Tora joined the fight instead of ITF. It’s either you can’t spawn Leaders twice in a row or sometimes it can be random.

Betray and prosper, exile!

Mid-game (Part 2: Leagues and Bosses Overview)

As I mentioned earlier, Leagues can stay in a game in further Leagues, can be implemented partially or simply removed. Usually, Leagues will carry on their new loot drops and will have a chance to appear on the maps. As for latest victim – Harvest won’t.

Every League provides it’s unique feel that is expressed in pacing, wealth and fun as a whole. Leagues like Delirium, Metamorph and some other are fast-paced and enhance your mapping experience. Delve and similarly Blight are an actual games inside a game. But none of the Leagues were loved by everybody…

Let’s overview most of them!

Uber Labyrinth

Uber Lab

Notable for: Enchantments

Uber Lab is used not only for Trials of Ascendancy – it’s also used for Enchantments. Only 3* items can be enchanted: Boots, Gloves and Helmet.
*Harvest also introduced upgraded Offerings that allows enchanting belts, but there’s no info about their status in the following Leagues.

When you finish the Lab, you can enchant one of the items once. If you would run Lab with Twice Enchanted Twice Enchanted prophecy – twice. If you will find Darkshrine with additional enchant – thrice.

People who enjoy the Lab make builds to run them as fast as possible, enchant the right bases and when they are lucky – selling them for quite a fortune.

To know what bases to enchant you will need knowledge of builds and classes but as a starting point you can check poe.ninja and check “Helmet Enchants”.

Lab runners (as far as I know) are using 2 tools: POELab daily layout (as well as providing it) and using Lab Compass.

Chests at the end of Lab is also important and you can collect a lot of keys every run. Everything about Lab here.

This video explained a lot to me!

Leagues

There are a lot more leagues that you would encounter in one way or another.

Navali (Prophecy League, 2.3)

Prophecy league

Notable for: Prophecies (Trash to Treasure Trash to Treasure, The Queen's Sacrifice The Queen's Sacrifice, Fated Connections Fated Connections, etc), Recipe “Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers”

Prophecy league is in the core of the game. Navali would provide you with Prophecies and exchange your collected packs of Divination Cards.

There are many useful prophecies for constant use.

If you have tons of Silver Coin Silver Coins, you can gamble your prophecies to acquire expensive one. You can do that by sealing prophecies.

The Pale Court. The Pale Court is also associated with Prophecy league and can be accessed by completing 4 Prophecies for Map Fragment keys.

Cassia (Blight League, 3.8)

Blight minor
Blight major

Notable for: Oils, Uniques (Sporeguard Sporeguard, Machina Mitts Machina Mitts, Badge of the Brotherhood Badge of the Brotherhood, etc)

Blight league is a local Tower Defence (TD). There are small events on the map (1-8 portals) and a huge 5-minute defense at Blighted map (20 portals). Successfully defending the Purification Pump provides you with blighted chests from each portal and loot from killed monsters.

Towers are used for damage as well!


Blighted map general tactic

Blighted maps are ok to run without any mods but it’s important to anoint them.

Cassia offers many options but generally you would like 3 Teal Oil Teal Oils. Teal oils make 2 chests lucky. Luck means that possible outcome from the chest would be rolled twice and the best outcome will drop.

Anointing rings would also help – they will improve your towers.

There are 6 Towers with 4 Tiers and each 4th Tier has 2 types (12 overall).

  1. Chilling tower. Slows enemies. Glacial Cage – imprisons; Freezebolt – pierces in line with high damage.
  2. Fireball tower. Damages with fire. Flamethrower – AoE, Meteor – single target with high range and damage.
  3. Shock Nova tower. Damages with lightning. Arc – chains on monsters; Lightning Storm – AoE.
  4. Seismic tower. Stuns enemies. Temporal tower – fading slow; Stone Gaze – fully stops for a small amount of time.
  5. Summoning tower. Minions stop monsters until they die. Sentinel – fatso minion; Scout – 10 small minions with high concentrated damage.
  6. Empowering tower. Increases attack speed and damage of towers in range. Smothering – lowers enemies resistance; Imbuing – empowers players. Buffs does not stack.

All of them can do well and can be used, but, in my opinion, priority as follows:

  1. AoE. Arc and Flamethrower towers.
  2. Single target. Meteor and Scout towers.
  3. Slow/CC. Chilling T3 and Seismic T3 towers.
  4. Empowering T3 tower.
  5. Last resort. Glacial Cage and Scout towers.

Portals can have respective to towers icons. This means that they are almost immune to damage or completely ignore negative effects.

Blighted chest’s loot is not tied to the area while loot from monsters does.

Some of the map mods can be applied to blighted maps (Monster Life, Monster Speed, Damage Reflect, etc) while some mods don’t (Area is Inhabited by Goatmen, etc) but still provide quantity.

Planning your offense and defense allows you to run Blighted maps solo much earlier.

Blighted maps drop from small TDs on the maps.

Amulet anointment is a very solid upgrade for your character. Instead of notables from the passive tree, there are some with unique effects.

Tane (Metamorph League, 3.9)

Metamorph league

Notable for: Catalysts

Metamorph league allows us (if event is up) to collect parts from monsters and “make” monsters with predetermined skills and effects. Metamorph events from map have a chance to drop unique organs that we can use in his laboratory.

Nothing really special to mention. Sometimes you would be making metamorphs that would make you… watch the spells you put into them.

Catalysts are used to improve quality of amulets and rings.

Synthesis League, 3.6

Synthesis league

Notable for: Bottled Faith Bottled Faith, Nebulis Nebulis, Garb of the Ephemeral Garb of the Ephemeral, 2-Implicit Uniques

Synthesis league can be encountered in the unique Distant Memory maps and Cortex Cortex. First ones have relatively easy bosses while Cortex has a solid one.

Rarely drop from high tier map bosses, rarely offered as Zana missions and rarely sold by her.

Nebulis Nebulis is one of the most expensive items with “Enemies You Kill Explode, Dealing 3% of Their Life as Physical Damage” mod.

Legion League, 3.7

Legion league

Notable for: Incubators, Timeless Jewels

Legion league encountered as a Timeless Monolith on a map. Clicking it will spawn Legions that you need to break from their stasis and then kill. Generals are very lethal. Killing enemies rewards you with Timeless Splinters that can be combined into Emblems.

Domain of Timeless Conflict.

Inserting 2 or more Emblems in Map Device it open portals to the Domain of Timeless Conflict. Emblems provide respective Generals in this domain.

Generally, you need to start the event by staying for a few seconds in the inner circle, kill important enemies in the outer one, reset in the inner circle and so on until timer ends. Loot that you will receive is shown at the bottom of the screen.

Breach League, 2.5

Breach league

Notable for: The Pandemonius The Pandemonius, Presence of Chayula Presence of Chayula

Breach league encountered as a breach on a map. Killing monsters in it rewards you with (Breachstone) Splinters that can be combined into Breachstone.

Breachlord Domains.

Inserting a Breachstone into Map Device open portals to Breachlord’s Domain.

This is the same Breach but longer and at the end you will encounter portal to Domain’s boss.

There are 4 qualities of Breachstone: Normal, Charged, Enriched and Pure. Their differences are level of the area and difficulty.

Breachstones can be divided into 3 groups:

  1. Xoph’s, Tul’s and Esh’s (70, 74, 79, 81 levels of area);
  2. Uul-Netol’s (75, 78, 81, 82);
  3. Chayula’s (80, 81, 82, 83).

Breachstones notably used for fast leveling to 100 lvl.

Harbinger League, 3.0

Harbinger league

Notable for: currency shards

Harbinger league encountered as a blue-glowing unique monsters who summon more monsters. Harbingers themselves are immune but killing their summons makes them lose HP. When they are defeated they reward you with currency shards.

You can also find The Beachhead (Tier 15) The Beachhead (Tier 15) – Harbinger map. Map will contain a few harbingers on the shores and 6 – on top of the hill. Last boss also will drop one of the unique pieces for Harbinger league-specific unique. Worthless, as far as I know.

Harbinger's Orb Harbinger's Orb are a good choice to upgrade maps at the beginning of the league. Also, using it on a map of 10+ Tier can make this map The Beachhead.

Abyss League, 3.1

Abyss league

Notable for: Abyss Jewels, Stygian Vise Stygian Vise, The Samurai's Eye The Samurai's Eye

Abyss league encountered as a crack on the ground that would move and spawn abyss monsters from it. In order to move forward they must be killed. At the end of trail it will yield Abyssal Trove or open the hole into Abyssal Depths.

Abyssal Depths is a small area with a boss at the end. There are 2 types of bosses: Stygian Spire and Abyssal Liches. Latter ones are rare and are much stronger bosses but they are the only ones who can drop valuable loot – Abyss Uniques and The Samurai's Eye The Samurai's Eye.

When you enter Abyssal Depths, you can understand which type of bosses are present by loading screen. Liches have a “boss” loading screen (same as Sirus) while Spire has a Shore.

Delirium League, 3.10

Delirium league

Notable for: Delirium Orbs, Cluster Jewels, Voices Voices

Delirium league encountered as a foggy/frosty/broky-mirror and when you touch it, area becomes filled with fog and Delirium monsters appear. Map’s Delirium can have up to 4 different rewards – they are added at: level 1 (always), level 3, level 5 and level 7. The faster you clear monsters the more progress you get. Notably, when you interact with Breach, Cassia or some other league mechanics, Delirium timer stops.

At the end of the Delirium, you are rewarded with respective type of loot, Simulacrum Splinters and have a chance to drop Delirium Orbs.

Delirium Orbs are used on a map and make their area to always have Delirium. 3 or more Delirium Orbs make the map significantly harder but also more rewarding.

Simulacrum Splinters can be combined into Simulacrum.

Simulacrum

Simulacrum appears as one of the city areas. It has 20 waves of monsters with increasing difficulty, % experience and level and amount of the rewards. Simulacrum always contains a Delirium boss.

Currently, there’s a very useful Cluster Jewel for leveling – One With Nothing One With Nothing that provides a huge damage with easy build. Example video.

Perandus League, 2.2

Perandus league

Notable loot: Seven-League Step Seven-League Step, Any Item

Perandus league encountered as a golden glowing Perandus Chests and as Cadiro Perandus himself. Perandus can offer you an item from his huge list (league-specific included) for a certain amount of Perandus Coin Perandus Coins.

The Perandus Manor The Perandus Manor map contains three bosses and one Perandus-league unique is guaranteed to drop.

F for Harvest League, 3.11

F for Harvest

Harvest League will not make it to the next League but it might evolve as a base for a new ways to craft in Path of Exile 2.

Harvest league

If you will hear “like Harvest” that can mean:

  • one of the most hated league mechanics recently. Every 3 turns after you have planted the seeds you had to harvest them. While killing mobs are fun, you would spend a lot of time using crafts inside the grove and forget what was happening on a map; so the players were divided into two camps: players who hate it and simply farm seeds to sell them and players who grow them and sell crafts;
  • one of the most loved crafting mechanics but too overpowered that developers and players knew about even before league has started. Crafting turned out great;
  • this league is considered “experimental”.

Godlike items were born and more people were involved in crafting that would be a positive vibe for the future Leagues.

Heist League, 3.12 (Upcoming, notes)

Heist League

Disclaimer: this is not a negative opinion even that it might look like one.

While the community can only guess how this League would feel and players are fighting each other, there are some certain things that we can highlight:

  • it won’t be a new player friendly League. If you would watch this video (who’s also watching this video) – there are around 900 gems with alternate quality (1-3 different variants per skill or support gem). While this number is only about gems, there are a lot of new gear mods;
  • this League mechanic looks complicated and hostile if you are here to simply slice through tons of mobs and loot items. Even with the fact that it was said in the Q&A that you can “get in, rob the bank and get out if you don’t like to plan the heist” – it doesn’t look to be truth. If you will do heists this way, you would lose chances of a better rewards and nobody likes to lose rewards. That would result in doing mechanic you don’t like and burning out.

All that said, it is possible to ultimately lead to mistakes in gearing when the build guides would recommend “this item” and you would have “the same item” but it will have different mod or quality. Also, this League does not look to be aligned with the core gameplay and feeling of the game.

BUT this game is standing on a strong base of a core game and if you are a new player who won’t like this League, you would have a lot of things to learn about PoE without current League.

#poe #stealth #incursion #synthesis #betrayal

More Leagues

Leagues in this category does not appear as event but as monster modifiers or does not have any notable loot.

Nemesis. Headhunter Headhunter. More about it here.

Beyond. Beyond is a utility Leauge – it provides a huge amount of (rare) monsters on the map which makes it’s synergy with Nemesis even more significant. But some of the beyond bosses can appear very lethal.

Warbands. The Pariah The Pariah. League can be encountered in certain maps.

Essence. Essences.

Talisman. Talismans.

Bloodlines. Utility League – providing more magic monsters on the map.

Ambush. Utility League – providing Strongboxes on the map.

Onslaught, Torment, Invasion. None.

Endgame Bosses

OMAE WA MOU SHINDEIRU

Killing endgame bosses is honorable but it’s not a big deal. After killing them a few times, they would never cause you any issues… except Sirus.

There is not much to say about bosses – it is best to watch the video and see what happens there. Consider this section as a set of tips – most mechanics are really trivial. I would cover the opposite ones.

If you’re interested in detailed, well-written and shown guides: POELab

Sirus, Awakener of Worlds

Sirus, Awakener of Worlds

Notable loot: The Saviour The Saviour, Hands of the High Templar Hands of the High Templar, Awakener's Orb Awakener's Orb, Awakened Support Gems

Access: defeating 4 Elderslayers

Current last boss. Sirus’ difficulty is tied to the current Awakening level (AL). This means that if you will defeat Elderslayers at AL8 and then unsocket all WS (left panel is made for it), the difficulty of Sirus would be AL0. Sirus at AL8 referred as Uber Awakener.
Sirus’ fight is divided into 4 phases and 3 of them are easy (intermissions more deadly than phases themselves).

Last phase though may ruin your whole run. It is caused by overlapping of 2 abilities: Clones and Homing Multi Beam. Even worse – 4 Lasers piercing the fighting area.

Multi Beam (MB) is usually cast at your previous location: he locks into place where you stand, starting to cast and cast it to your (previous) location. This type of MB is used at first 3 phases and by Clones. Avoided by simply moving after he teleports.
Sirus Multi Beam

Homing MB is used at Phase 4 instead of MB. He locks into you and the first beam will always* be cast at your current position and the following ones cast with rotation towards you (usually, you would be already released at your last checkpoint).

*in general case – yes. However, his line of sight is a cone and when he starts casting, his rotation speed is limited.
All the pain in one screenshot... :'(

How to avoid. There are 2 deadly scenarios: Clones followed by Homing MB (or he starts cast of Homing MB, cancels it for Clones and cast it right after Clones MB) or he activates Lasers, blinks and uses Homing MB. In any case, you should be close to real Sirus to jump/run* from his focus area.

*high movespeed can work as well

  1. Since Clones do simple MB, you can stick inside their circle. Move a bit when one of the clones start to cast and move to him as close as possible. After this cast, he will teleport and immediately cast Homing MB. If his jump was not followed by your jump – next map portal awaits.
  2. Strategy is mostly the same as with previous case but the thing you need to always keep in mind – Lasers do low damage. Their main purpose to distract and stress you. However, avoid them if you can.

Certainly, you would have rare overlaps that are even worse. Everything can happen so fast that you might not be able to react. Or you can enter area after death and he will MB you from range – it’s cool (not).

If you have died, Sirus’ timers would be screwed up for the last phase! Ultimately screwing you. So, don’t.

General tips.

  1. There are all types of damage: always physical part, mostly fire and lightning parts, sometimes cold part (1 of 3 beams) and chaos part (tempests, corridor, lasers).
  2. When Sirus spawn Lasers, he himself would appear first and blink and then will be joined by 3 copies of him. You can damage him, leech and so on.
  3. Corrupted blood is not the Debuff to note on this fight. It can only be applied by physical beam (1 of 4). And it can be cleared by immunity to bleed flask.
  4. If you feel that you encounter Sirus too rarely, you can use Rushing tactic. You will need a lot of short normal maps and just rushing them to the boss. Portal – Insert Map – Repeat. I learned this tactic from this video.

Atziri, Queen of the Vaal

Atziri, Queen of the Vaal

Notable loot: Atziri's Acuity Atziri's Acuity (Uber), House of Mirrors House of Mirrors (Uber) Alluring Bounty Alluring Bounty (both), Mortal Fragments (Normal)

Access: 4 Sacrifice Fragments (Normal), 4 Mortal Fragments (Uber)

Atziri is the oldest Endgame boss but still extremely deadly to encounter.
Despite her looks, she does no chaos damage. Her damage consists of very high physical damage as well as fire and lightning from spells. High physical damage means that you have high chance to receive bleeding and some of her abilities reduce it’s duration (=same damage done but faster).

There are no particular situations to mention – avoid area patches and kill her before she kills you. I would like to note that “sunny” areas from her spawning mirrored copies do no damage. Running when they appear could save your life.

On the other hand, in order to reach Atziri herself, you would encounter 2 bosses that might appear to be even more lethal.


Vessels of the Vaal

Vessels of the Vaal

Vessels of the Vaal (first boss) enrage when you kill one of them. Try to kill them simultaneously.


A’alai, Y’ara’az and Q’ura (Vaal Council?)

Vaal Council

Vaal Council (Band? Friends?) consists of 3 bosses: A’alai (girl), Y’ara’az (fire guy) and Q’ura (cyclone guy). Girl casts firestorm, rain of arrows and shoot projectiles – all of them very lethal. Fire Guy does insane damage with huge MS and AS increase when enraged (and this fire damages ignites you). Cyclone Guy leaves patches with chaos damage and his cleave applies corrupted blood on you (lethal).

When one of them dies, black fog will appear at his place and start to spread. Fog spawns ranged mobs and has a huge damage inside of it (chaos, I presume).

I would suggest to kill them in this priority: Girl -> Cyclone -> Fire.

House of Mirrors House of Mirrors and Alluring Bounty Alluring Bounty is an area drop.

Venarius

Venarius

Notable loot: Bottled Faith Bottled Faith, Garb of the Ephemeral Garb of the Ephemeral

Access: Cortex Cortex

Venarius is the boss in Cortex Cortex. His fight consists of 5 phases: Fractal Gargantuan (Golem), Synthete Masterpiece (Humanoid), Portals phase, Fractal Titan (Golem+) and Synthete Nightmare (Humanoid+). Bosses do Physical and Lightning damage.

Golem’s (Phase 1) abilities mostly directed in front of him while some do short AoE around him. Golem+ (Phase 4) additionally spawns 2 types of spheres: Moving Spheres should be intercepted and after all the spheres gone he will do AoE improved by each sphere absorbed (damage and range). Static Spheres explode if you enter their area.

Humanoid’s (Phase 2) abilities directed on the area with clear animations. When Lasers would appear around him in a converging circle – jump through them and wait for the wide explosion around him. Humanoid+ (Phase 5) additionally will rapidly teleport and shoot projectiles (one per teleport). Another ability will spawn blue spheres that will travel towards one spot.

Portal’s phase is made to reset your flasks.

Catarina, Master of Undeath

Catarina, Master of Undeath

Notable loot: Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn

Access: Mastermind investigation on the Syndicate Deck

Catarina’s fight consists of 3 phases and the last one is rich on lethal abilities. Mostly physical with occasional fire damage.

Phase 1. Catarina would mostly cast spells in targeted area (yours), spawn skull that deals damage in front of him, summon adds and perform an X-pattern attack after she throws something into air (one line of “X” would go through Catarina’s and your position, additional fire damage).

Phase 2. Flasks reset.

Catarina, Phase 3

Phase 3. Watch out for statue in the center – it will constantly cast waves in a line. When greenish glow would appear from your character – run to the corner pylon that it points to (area around pylon would glow and after you disable it, this area would become deadly). When she ascends to the air and spawns glowing skulls – trample them as fast as possible. Untouched skulls would be revived later and will crawl towards you – triggering them is lethal.

Don’t forget to loot Safehouse.

The Shaper, The Elder, Uber Elder

The Shaper, The Elder and Uber Elder are extremely cool bosses but they are not hard to kill currently. Few notes for each boss.

The Shaper

The Shaper

Notable loot: Starforge Starforge, Uber Elder Fragments

Access: 4 Fragments of Guardians of the Void.

Shaper mostly does cold damage. When he casts a huge purple rock above him, it will be followed by teleport to your location and smash – lethal physical damage. His jump in must be followed by your jump out. When Zana conjures a red bubble around her – get into it to be protected from small projectiles (this ability is usually followed by huge beam). Huge beam deals all 3 elemental parts of damage and very uncomfortable to take pleasure in.

The Elder

The Elder

Notable loot: Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye (2 mods), Uber Elder Fragments

Access: 4 fragments of Elder Guardians

Elder mostly does physical and cold damage. When he casts a circle with another one expanding and covering most of the area, you should be inside the inner one at the end of cast (completely safe until then). Can’t avoid immobility on frontal wide cone of DoT – survive a few moments and jump.

Uber Elder

Uber Elder

Notable loot: Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye (3 mods), The Eternity Shroud The Eternity Shroud, Voidfletcher Voidfletcher

Access: 4 Uber Elder Fragments from Shaper and Elder (2 from each)

Uber Elder is a fight with both Shaper and Elder. The most uncomfortable situation happens with expanding circle, Elder’s slow and Shaper’s range spells.

Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye is one of the most popular and potentially expensive upgrades for the character. You can sell them unindentified for a reasonable price or gamble – make sure to price it on Trade.

Drox, The Warlord

Drox, The Warlord

As a quick note I would like to mention Drox. When he’s in intermission phase (in purple bubble) he is attackable all the same. Moreover, he should be attacked to end intermission at 40%. Also, his banners provide immunity only inside of them and you don’t have to kill them.

Takeaways

  • Make portal before bosses.
  • Hide map on bosses.

And concluding bosses section, always take advantage of the following practice:

Watch videos, focus at the fight… and aim for the head.

Endgame, Crafting and More

Endgame

Your Mid-game would slowly turn into Endgame in time. You will start to feel the power of your character, improve your filter strictness, loot less invaluable items, speed up the clear speed, erase the bosses and so on. It will slowly turn into routine that you will get bored from.

Some people would stop playing and take their time off until the next league. However, there may be a lot of things to try or do. Such things are:

  1. Crafting. Despite the fact that experienced players take advantage of crafting from the start of the league, you might want to try it and experiment with.
  2. League Challenges. Challenges tab (“H”) consists of 40 achievements that you can do in order to receive seasonal unique Microtransactions. Veteran players usually stop playing after completing them.
  3. Alternative Characters. Some players choose the league starter builds, make their first budget and level a new character to farm. Leveling with cool uniques is much easier, new build feels fresh and it’s always a pleasure to gain levels and gear up a new character.
  4. Experiment! Do whatever you denied yourself to do before. Use your stockpiled scarabs, map fragments, sextants and currencies. Try gambling. Try chancing items. Buy exalted orb and destroy it – why not? Find patterns of loot drops or interactions between unknown things (and share it with community). Have fun!

At this point, you might have thought that this nightmarish amount of guide text is going to end but I’m going to disappoint you. I will cover Crafting and would leave some miscellaneous tips for you. Stay sane, Exile.

Crafting

Crafting

We won’t be able to make the best gear with a box of scraps. Practically, we won’t be able to make it at all – crafting requires hundreds and thousands of exalted orbs to make something worth. Anyway, we would know how to do it.

Crafting is the only (or one of a few, at least) activity that can’t be taken as granted. In order to make profit you would need to understand the mod system and interactions between them, know the mods that builds use and be in touch with current meta and economy.

Disclaimer: I am not the guru of itemization and interactions. Some topics, like the use of Mirror of Kalandra Mirror of Kalandra, I would intentionally ignore.

To understand crafting, we have to start from the essential knowledge of items.

Essentials

Mods

There are 4 rarity levels: Normal (no mods), Magic (1-2 mods), Rare (1-6 mods) and Unique (predetermined mods). Normal items are called Bases, and every item with a higher rarity has its own base and modifiers (Mods). Most of the bases have Implicit Modifier – mod that is tied to relative base and can’t be replaced with another (unless corrupted). Explicit modifiers (or Affixes) – Prefixes and Suffixes – can be added, removed and changed by multiple instruments.

Items have item level (ilvl). Item level determines which mods and mod Tiers item can have. Tiers determine mod’s effectiveness. Item level increases the chance for higher tiers (not reliable info).

Different items have different mods that can appear on them only. Additionally, Influences, Fossils, Essences and Corruption can add their unique mods to the mods pool.

Mods can have Mod Group. Only one mod per group can appear on item.

Mods can be Global or Local. This difference is mostly notable for weapons. Global mods affect character’s stats while Local mods affect item or socketed gems. For example, “Adds # to # Physical Damage” on weapon affects only weapon and it’s gems while “Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks” on gloves affect character.

Quality improves stats of an item. Weapon (Physical Damage), Armour (Armour/Evasion/ES), Jewelry (depends on used Catalyst). Quality also improves chance to link sockets.

Mod lists are found on wiki or on PoEDB. Each resource has it’s own pros and cons. Wiki has more comfortable interface, has expanding dependent mod groups and notes on Global/Local mods. PoEDB has a mod values (chance to appear), mod tags and allows to remove mods with fossil crafting.

Crafting recipes scattered throughout all PoE activities and should be searched individually.

Note: you can craft almost everything – weapons, armor, jewelry (belts are also considered jewelry), flasks, jewels, cluster jewels and even maps and strongboxes.

Basic Crafting

Basic Crafting

Despite prejudice, crafting is not tied to Crafting bench – it’s one of the instruments that augment this process. However, we take advantage of it for basic crafting.

I divide basic crafting into 2 parts: getting 2 desired mods on magic item and post-magic crafting.

Part 1. Magic item with both best mods

Preparation step is to acquire normal base – choose an implicit modifier, check ilvl and possible mods. Choose one rarest prefix and one rarest suffix that you want on this item.

Step 1 in crafting is simply using Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation. It’s already a crafted item! Now, we check mod’s tier by using “Alt” and mouseovering our item.

Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation could have granted 1 or 2 mods. If we have 1 and satisfied with it, we smack Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation. For our current scenario, we are not.

Step 2. Using Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration until we get desired mods. If we got 1 mod and it’s good – Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation. If we got 2 but our chosen mod is extremely rare we can try Orb of Annulment Orb of Annulment to get rid of bad one.

This part is extremely long and requires thousands of Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration. However, it’s a cheap part.

Tips:

  • if you’re crafting in Currency tab, you can type your chosen mod in the search window below and when the mod will appear on the item it will be highlighted. Note, that you should type it in double quotation mark for exact search (e.g. “physical damage”). Otherwise, he would filter the whole item for separated words.
  • (just in case) use shift to use orbs multiple times. You can also use shift+alt modifiers to always track tiers.

Part 2. Life after Regal Orb Regal Orb (aka ruining item and starting over)

Magic item can have up to 2 mods and we have them. For the further upgrade, we must make our item rare. It is done by using Regal Orb Regal Orb on it that will grant random third mod.

If we didn’t get usable mod – we use Orb of Scouring Orb of Scouring and starting over. Surely, you can try to annul this new mod and use Exalted Orb Exalted Orb but you have better ways to spend it with other instruments of crafting.

If we succeeded with our third mod – we have opened new horizons:

1. Mostly, crafting stops at this step. We are crafting “Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers” on the bench and add them. Those items already have a good price.

Note: suffix mod “Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers” is also a mod. This means, that we can add only 2 useful mods.

2. We want more. From now on, we will throw multiple Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs for 1-2 chanced mods.

So, we have 3 mods. Now, we need to have 3 good mods in one affix group. So, we use Exalted Orb Exalted Orb on our item.

New mod is bad. In this case, we don’t smack Orb of Annulment Orb of Annulment (or scream on the monitor). We are going to the bench and blocking useful affixes group (if we have bad prefix – we craft “Suffixes cannot be changed” – that is prefix – and vice versa). Only then we use Orb of Annulment Orb of Annulment. If we removed good mod – back to Part 1. This method works only if you had 2 prefixes and 2 suffixes! If you have got third prefix or suffix you’re in deep… You gamble with Orb of Annulment Orb of Annulment then.

However, simply using Exalted Orb Exalted Orb on 3 mod item may appear controversial.

2 camps – your decision. Second step can be approached from 2 sides – you can block third suffix/prefix (short distance) or you can try getting a good third one (long distance).

Camp 1. Blocking also means that you craft third (in the group) suffix or prefix on the bench and the next mod is guaranteed to be from another affix group. This way, you would be able to block 2 good affixes in one group and have 50/50* chance to annul bad mod. I’m not sure why I even write about this camp but it’s the first case – if you succeed, you’re in the same conditions as just getting 2-2 affixes.

*Funny story here. Since your crafted mod is also prefix or suffix it’s also can be annulled. So, to be precise, in this case we have 33% chance to annul bad mod, 33% chance to annul good and 33% chance to annul 2 Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs.

Camp 2. Blocking mod in the opposite group. This way, we have higher chance to get third mod to our good group and can actually block unwanted mod (or even mod group) from appearing. E.g. if we are crafting Physical damage weapon and we have 2 prefixes, we craft suffix “to fire resistance” thereby blocking it.

3. When we get item with 3 good mods in one group and 1 in another – it’s just safe routine crafting. We are certainly saving our prefix/suffix group and when we get bad mod – Suffixes or Prefixes cannot be changed – annul – block – repeat. Even if we annul our fourth good mod from another group we are still continue doing the same.

Thousands of Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs has vanished by single players in this process and they would never get back from the endless void. To watch this process yourself, you can try this slightly outdated video or any crafting session on youtube.

However, we can take advantage of other crafting tools and mix them.

Advanced Crafting

There are 2 more Major Tools, 2 Minor Tools (that can be huge) and a Side Tools.
Major tools are Beastcrafting and Fossil Crafting. Minor Tools are Essences and Influence Crafting.


Beastcrafting

Beastcrafting is extremely useful tool and makes Basic crafting method much more stable while adding some new ways of interaction as well.

1. Imprint (Craicic Chimeral)

Imprint

Imprint allows you to create a save copy of your magic item stored in Imprint. It is extremely useful and allows you to:

  • preserve quality, sockets, socket colors, links, influence, enchant;
  • imprint item with one best mod, add second one with Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation, clear with Orb of Annulment Orb of Annulment and back to Imprint version (accelerate Part 1 of base crafting);
  • imprint item with two best mods, add third mod with Regal Orb Regal Orb and back to Imprint version (don’t need to start from scratch);
  • add influence mods via Elderslayer’s Exalted Orbs and clear them as well (clears influence);
  • add second influence to influenced item via Awakener's Orb Awakener's Orb* and clear it (clears only new influence); *imprinted item should not be a donor.
  • imprint even clears unique rarity from an item.

What imprint does not do:

  • imprint does not clear corruption;
  • imprint can’t be a donor to another item (no way).

Beasts for imprint are not cheap and trade is full of scam traders but it’s definitely worth your currency.

2. Split an Item Into Two (Fenumal Plagued Arachnid)

Yes, you can make 30% quality 6-link and split it into two.

  • Does not work on influenced items!
  • Does not work on items with enchant or catalyst quality.

Important note: splitting 5-mod item would result in 2 rare items while splitting 4-mod item results in 2 magic items.

3. Corrupt an Item to Have 30% Quality (Craicic Vassal)

It does only what is says – adds 30% quality and makes this item corrupted.

Does not do random things as Vaal Orb Vaal Orb or usual corruption. Just this.

4. Add a Prefix, Remove a Random Suffix (Farric Wolf Alpha) and Add a Suffix, Remove a Random Prefix (Farric Lynx Alpha)

Self-explanatory. Combine it with usual crafting methods, use instead of Orb of Annulment Orb of Annulment when it’s appropriate.

5. Reroll Mod Values – Both Implicit and Explicit Mods of a Rare Item (Farric Frost Hellion Alpha)

Stronger than Divine Orb Divine Orb if everything is bad. Not as strong as other types of beastcrafting.

6. Add a Mod to a Flask (20+ rare creature)

Don’t neglect this option – it is good.


Fossil Crafting

Fossil Crafting uses Fossils with Resonators and it is the strongest tool to target mods. Notably, Fossils are usually chosen for their “no mod” effects rather than “more mod”.

Fossils are not guaranteed to provide you with Delve mod.

Note: Fossils ignore mods from crafting bench (such as “affix cannot be changed”).

If you are going to craft with Fossils, you would definitely want to use PoEDB. Just click the Fossils and watch the outcome. You can insert up to 4 Fossils in one Resonator. They are very expensive though. If you want an example of practical use, you can check this video.

Tips.
1. If you are crafting weapon (especially for Physical Damage) or Body Armour that you would 6-link, you would want to use Perfect Fossil Perfect Fossil. Perfect Fossil Perfect Fossil can raise item’s quality to 30%* thereby increasing it’s chance to link as well as providing more stats.

*when you would finish crafting quality with it (if you’re doing it only for linking, it’s usually recommended having 28%+), you would like to use Crafting bench and add mod with additional quality (up to 18%) and added accuracy or something. That would improve linking chance even further.

2. Encrusted Fossil Encrusted Fossil preserves your sockets and links if you have 6-link. This way it only rolls colors.

3. Enchanted Fossil Enchanted Fossil have a pool of enchants from both Uber and lower Labs.

4. Gilded Fossil Gilded Fossil’ed items can provide you even Exalted Orb Exalted Orbs and Mirror Shard Mirror Shard.

5. You have Delve mods. To determine which ones are Delve drops and which ones crafted with fossils, we would have to look at PoEDB table.

Delve drops vs Fossils

Zeros (“0s”) in red circles mean that these mods are from drops and others can be acquired via Fossil crafting.


Influence Craft

Influence craft is done via Elderslayer’s Exalted Orbs or Awakener's Orb Awakener's Orb.

1. Elderslayer’s Exalted Orbs work the same way as Exalted Orb Exalted Orb but instead of random mod they add random mod from the influence pool. Applying quality or Catalist’s quality increases the chance for the mod to match quality type. Didn’t experiment with it much, but I presume that weapon’s quality increases chance of attack mods, armour’s – for Armour/Evasion/ES and catalyst’s – for respective mods.

Notes:

  • can’t be used on influenced item;
  • can be further targeted by mods like “Cannot roll Attack Modifiers” from Crafting bench.

2. Awakener's Orb Awakener's Orb absorbs influence mod from one item and donates it to another influenced item. New item would have sockets/links/quality/enchant from the latter item, both influences would be applied, one influence mod from each item would be preserved and the others would be rerolled randomly.

Awakener's Orb craft

Notes:

  • if you have 2 influence mods on one item – one random would be preserved;
  • rerolls numeric values;
  • item with 2 influences considered as item with both influences.


Essences

Essences can provide more stat values than possible with crafting with orbs as well as less.

As an example, if you want Attack Speed on your ring, basic craft can provide 5-7% AS while Rank 1 Essence (Deafening) can provide 7-8% AS.

On the other hand, if you want Added Physical Damage on your weapon, Rank 1 Essence can provide “27-38 to 58-66” damage while basic craft can provide “32-43 to 66-78” (essence would provide Tier 2 from basic craft).

Keep an eye on them!


Syndicate Craft

Syndicate crafting benches can also provide you some useful tools:

  1. Hillock. Provides up to 28% quality to weapons and armour and up to 26% to flasks.
  2. Aisling can add 2 Veiled mods to rare item (the only way to make 2 useful crafts with 4-mod item).
  3. Jorgin can turn your amulet into Talisman. As far as I know, it changes implicit mod of rare amulet and corrupts it. Anointment, quality and mods (even crafted) are preserved.
  4. Vorici can turn 1-3 sockets into white sockets. Note: you can’t add white sockets if you have one already; you will need to recolor and use it; 3 is max.
  5. Leo can provide you with free Exalted Orb Exalted Orb for craft. Can’t keep it!


Temple of Atzoatl

Locus of Corruption have a chance to:

  • change all sockets to white;
  • add two implicit mods;
  • add influence? (transform it?)
  • and most notably – destroy it.


Vaal Orb

Vaal Orb Vaal Orb can’t be called a crafting tool because this is the last thing you can do to the item. This means, that you must craft best possible item before you use it. However, it can lead to:

  • white sockets;
  • make the item rare, reroll all the mods and change sockets+links;
  • change implicit (or add if none) mod;
  • some gear and jewels turn into another unique versions.

As an example, it can actually be useful for the items like Convoking Wand Convoking Wand. It’s implicit allows you to roll minion modifiers on a wand and when you did, you can corrupt it to change useless (already) implicit. Mods will stay.

Note: you can change number of sockets, links and colors after corruption via Crafting bench. It will additionally charge the same amount of Vaal Orb Vaal Orbs as respective socket recipes.


Mirror of Kalandra Mirror of Kalandra vs Fractured Fossil Fractured Fossil vs Beastcraft

There are 3 ways to copy your item: mirror it, fracture or split into two via beastcrafting.

  • using Mirror of Kalandra Mirror of Kalandra on an item makes an exact copy of an item and the new item becomes “Mirrored” – can’t be modified further.
  • using Fractured Fossil Fractured Fossil rerolls your mods on the current item (like every fossil does) and makes mirrored copy of new one.
  • using beastcrafting “Split an item into two” splits mods from an item and creates a copy of the base item. This way, you receive two non-mirrored copies of an item (quality, links, socket colours preserved) but mods are split (which can be an advantage).

Crafting Timeless and Cluster Jewels

1. No, don’t get me wrong – you can’t change mods on Timeless Jewels. But there are a very unobvious thing. As an example, we would take Glorious Vanity Glorious Vanity. It has “…# Sacrificed in the Name of …”. While there are only 3 predetermined “Names” that come with the drop, the “# of Sacrificed” is a changeable part via Divine Orb Divine Orbs.
Why? Glorious Vanity Glorious Vanity changes all passives in radius – Passive Skills, Notables and Keystones. Keystones are predetermined by “Name” but the first two change their mods based on this number of poor sacrificed souls. So, if one gives you Cold Damage and you are anything but cold damage dealer – use Divine Orb Divine Orb. Full list of transformations can be found here.

2. Cluster Jewels. I wish I could tell you how to evaluate them but I’m not sure it’s possible as a system. Everything is changing, especially Cluster Jewels that has been in PoE for two Leagues. But there’s another unobvious thing.
Each Cluster Jewel can have up to 4 mods, but:

  • Large Cluster Jewel has 2 Jewel Sockets and can have only 3 Notables. 8-12 Passives.
  • Medium Cluster Jewel has 1 Jewel Socket and can have only 2 Notables. 4-6 Passives.
  • Small Cluster Jewel can have only 1 Notable. 2-3 Passives.

Make sure you are not trying to roll 4 Notables on a Large one!

Crafting Section Conclusion

Endless Ways

There are endless ways to improve your gear. Chances to make BiS (Best-in-Slot) gear is close to nothing and that is why there is no such thing.

Some miscellaneous tips:

  • mod “Affixes cannot be changed” works for Divine Orb Divine Orbs;
  • veiled mods from veiled items can be removed (considered as mod from Crafting bench);
  • 6-link can be acquired through Fated Connections Fated Connections;
  • if you spam Jeweller's Orb Jeweller's Orbs or Orb of Fusing Orb of Fusings on 6-socket item, they would automatically stop at maximum result.

If you would like to experiment with crafting and find out your chances to succeed – craftofexile.com

All possible ways to upgrade your character

  1. Unique items, rare items with best mods for your build – gear in general.
  2. 6-links, 4-links on your gear.
  3. Quality on gear (26-30%, Catalysts).
  4. Divine Orb Divine Orbs on gear.
  5. Corruption on gear.
  6. Awakened and 21/23 skill gems.
  7. 8 Ascendancy points (4 Labs).
  8. Enchantments on Helmet, Gloves and Boots.
  9. Jewels.
  10. Amulet Anointment (Oils).
  11. Level 100.
  12. Pantheon.
  13. Headhunter Headhunter and Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye.

PvP

There is PvP.

Fishing

There is no fishing.

Miscellaneous Tips

  1. Guild does not provide any bonuses;
  2. Answering to the last person: Ctrl+Enter (works poorly though);
  3. Buying whole stack of currency from vendor: Ctrl+Shift;
  4. – “My character looks like poo-poo, what can I do?”
    • Equip an item that you like how it looks (not recommended);
    • buy via Microtransactions (no free transmog options);
  1. Make use of the search window at the bottom of tabs (use for everything!);
  2. Your Crit is Lucky means that if you fail to crit, game will roll it’s chance one more time;
  3. Remnant of Corruption Remnant of Corruption is used on trapped monsters and works similarly to Vaal Orb Vaal Orb: can upgrade essences’ tiers, drop additional essence, change essence type from Misery, Envy, Dread, Scorn to Essence of Hysteria Essence of Hysteria, Essence of Insanity Essence of Insanity, Essence of Horror Essence of Horror, Essence of Delirium Essence of Delirium respectively.
  4. /played shows your played time;
  5. /deaths shows amount of deaths; Mine are 1310! What’s yours?
  6. Dropped influenced items have a 100% to contain influenced mod;
  7. Culling Strike – Execute at 10% HP;
  8. Many unintuitive mods have their in-game description – like Culling Strike;
  9. Headhunter Headhunter can only be Orb of Chance Orb of Chanced or Ancient Orb Ancient Orb with Nemesis mod from Map Device;
  10. Flasks does not affect minions;
  11. Porcupine Goliath (Hedgehog + Troglodyte creature, or “Spiker”) – worst mob in PoE. Shoots spikes on death. There are 2 knows ways to avoid them as bruteforce player: 1. You can freeze them and kill – they won’t shoot spikes; 2. You can equip Crusader Chest with “Enemies You Kill Explode…” – this way they won’t do that either;
  12. Leveling to 100 is done by boringly running safe activities (lower/easy maps, Breachstones in party, experience gains – Untained Paradise – etc). Important information about experience – wiki;
  13. – I’ve installed Uber Strict filter and still see crappy uniques – wtf?
    Items are filtered by base. This means, that unique Leather Belt Leather Belt can be Wurm's Molt Wurm's Molt as well as Headhunter Headhunter.
  14. Your profit depends on your game knowledge;
  15. Vaal Orb Vaal Orb strongboxes;
  16. Fresh tip: try farming Vaal side areas after you leveled up – they have a very good chance to drop 6-link items. Thanks to: video
  17. Double click “z” to reset loot tags to their relative locations;
  18. If you want something to start understanding mod interactions: here;
  19. There are no damage meter.
  20. Selling 1xOrb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation grants 4xScroll of Wisdom Scroll of Wisdom;
  21. Selling skill gem with Orb of Scouring Orb of Scouring lowers gem’s level by 1;
  22. If you want to open and sort your Stacked Deck Stacked Decks fast (and you have a good filter), you can teleport to any area (Delve, for example) and just throw cards from inventory onto the ground – good ones would be highlighted;
  23. Ctrl+F to use search window.
  24. There are such thing as Private Leagues – they are organized by players as a branch from current League with a choice of different mods (whole game becomes modded as a map). Those events require invitations and usually shared by streamers or community.
  25. When evaluating the strength of a mods, you should watch for terms “Increased (Spell Damage)” and “More (Spell Damage)”. Mostly, you would be stacking “Increased” mods and that makes “More” even more powerful. Most commonly you will encounter it with “Elemental Overload” Keystone. The formula when calculating damage with both mods is following: 1 * (1 + increased damage) * (1 + more damage). That means, that your “more” damage would multiplicatively increase the damage.
  26. Sextant mod “Unique bosses drop one unique” means “Each boss does it”. So, running City Square map with 3 bosses will reward you with 3, if you have twinned bosses – 6, etc.
  27. Sextant mod “Nemesis monsters drop 3 additional currency items” making your map to rain gold if you combine it with Beyond mod (lots of rare mobs) and Nemesis mod (which makes every rare mob – Nemesis mob).

Addons

Note: every addon for PoE considered third-party tool and is not clearly allowed to use.

1. NeverSink’s Filter

2. PoE Overlay

3. How to trade currency fast? Use AutoHotKey Macro. I named it PET. In order to use it, do the following:

Not clicking currency every time!

Works this way:

  • does nothing until turned on;
  • enable it via hotkey (“Num2” is default; Choose yours* here!);
  • your Left Mouse Button now fires rapid click events when you hold it;
  • use hotkey to turn it off.

*To change the hotkey button, open .ahk file with Notepad and change “Num2” to your hotkey.

So, basically, you just hold your Ctrl + Left Mouse Button and mouseover your currency;

Done by myself, based on a macro from Suli_Taruu in PoE.

Note: PoE Trade Macro is completely different thing.

4. Lab Runners – PoE Compass

5. Multi-Purpose Addon, notably can be used to track buffs/debuffs (like WeakAuras in WoW).

Resources

  1. pathofexile.com – Anything about everything;
  2. pathofexile.com/trade – Trading;
  3. poe.trade – Trading (backup);
  4. poe.ninja – current economy and current build popularity;
  5. Path of Exile wiki;
  6. Path of Building – simulate or build your characters;
  7. Syndicate Chart;
  8. PoELab – Lab’s daily layouts, boss guides;
  9. Engineering Eternity’s youtubehope he would come back and make video guides great again;
  10. poebuilds.cc – builds from pathofexile.com
  11. craftofexile.com – play with crafting and know your chances to succeed;
  12. Sextants Overview;
  13. Notables Chart – grouped by type;

Conclusion

Ending

There are many things to learn and many things that would be added to the Path of Exile in future. This game constantly improves and developers making it great. Committing your time into learning about it would definitely be worth your time if you don’t like “jumping ships”.

Knowledge is Power.

As a post-section, I would like to share some known issues that can happen:

  1. Invisible projectiles and poops on the ground as well as area of effect that is larger than animated;
  2. No death recap. Want to know what killed you? You think you do, but you don’t;
  3. Losing portals (and loot) on disconnects;
  4. Lots of people are constantly being killed after encounter has ended. Most notably – in Delve.

Thanks for sticking up with me and the guide. I hope at least one beginner has read it and I’ve saved you enormous amount of time sorting those things out.

If you’re a beginner and still have questions after reading it – PM me and I will add them to the guide. Don’t hesitate – I don’t usually bite.

You PM me tomorrow...

Veteran players – point to mistakes where I’m wrong.

Upvoting the guide might help other people finding it.

And consider supporting me on Patreon.

Haha.

No.

Bye!

Tags: poe, poe beginners guide, poe comprehensive beginners guide, poe beginner guide 2020, how to: poe, poe guide 3.11, poe guide 3.12, poe guide to endgame, poe guide to delving, poe harvest, poe heist, poe leagues, poe leveling guide, poe atlas guide, poe mapping guide, poe crafting guide, poe syndicate guide, poe beginner tips, poe beginner guide harvest, poe beginner guide to maps, poe beginner leveling guide, poe delve beginner guide, poe beginner build guide, path of exile guide 2020, path of exile for beginners 2020, poe guide to passive skill tree

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    Brand new 3.12 Tag Heist notes Several expanded categories Minor updates

2
  1. Posts
    1

    Registering just to be able to write this:

    51percented!

    This is by far and wide the most complete guide for this game I have ever seen!

    I now understand so much more and I will use this guide as a reference as I go.

    Thank you for your great work!

  2. Posts
    1

    This is simply awesome. I’ve learned most of the things in this guide the hard way, but it’s nice to see them all complied.

  3. Posts
    1

    On 08/07/2020 at 8:34 PM, HansWurst said

    Registering just to be able to write this:

    51percented!

    This is by far and wide the most complete guide for this game I have ever seen!

    I now understand so much more and I will use this guide as a reference as I go.

    Thank you for your great work!

    On 13/08/2020 at 1:51 AM, Ashfeatherx said

    This is simply awesome. I’ve learned most of the things in this guide the hard way, but it’s nice to see them all complied.

    Thanks! Really appreciated

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