When many gamers start a new character build in Path of Exile, they usually run into the same problem: how to level up effectively. Every type of build levels differently.
That being said, when leveling a specific class you can always fall back on generic leveling builds. You level with it, then reset a few points and switch to your actual build when you can. The builds we put together in our Witch leveling guide will give you optimal leveling options without having to commit to a specific build right away.
Feel free to tweak them as you go, and don’t invest too heavily outside of your desired build unless you don’t mind spending the Orbs of Regret. Remember, you’ll get around 20 points of regret by doing all of the quests, so use them wisely!
Before you get into your specific builds, you’re going to want some generic leveling items. They aren’t necessary, but they will make your life a lot easier. If you’ve played much Path of Exile you’ll know these items off by heart, and probably have a set already. Either way, here we go.
For the body, get a Tabula Rasa; this is pretty standard stuff. If you have money to burn, grab a +1 to level a socketed gems version. It’ll be about five times as expensive, but it’ll give you a nice boost to leveling up, particularly as a spellcaster. It will also let you use multiple wands (and not be limited to Lifesprigs) if you want to. As for weapons, you will want to get dual wield Lifesprigs. Despite being level one wands, these will take you all the way to maps if you don’t want to replace them. Early on, they are great to put your gems in, because of the +1 to level.
For a helmet, get a Goldrim. These are cheap and give up to 40% to all elemental resistances. This is huge, and will easily carry you to maps. For your boots and gloves you’ll want Wanderlust and Lochtonials, respectively. These are both really good starter items, but you’ll want to replace them once you get to Act Six for new gear with resists. For your belt, we recommend Darkness Enthroned with two jewels that have flat damage to spells on them. This alone will put your damage through the roof.
Jewellery can be difficult to pick, but the best option for easy leveling is to get two Haku rings. These are rings that grant flat reduced mana on every spell you cast. With two of them, you’ll rarely spend mana before going to a four or five link. This lets you add lots of links without screwing yourself over. Your amulet is more or less up to you. Karui Ward is a great option if you’re using a projectile, but otherwise just go for raw stats. Lastly, make sure you have at least two Quicksilvers for, well, moving fast.
This is the most basic leveling build for generic builds that use spell damage. It’s perfect for people who intend to use Frostbolt or Magma Orb, or any other spell-based damage later on. You’ll be using spells throughout the game to scale your damage properly.
Right from the start, put on all your leveling gear and take Freezing Pulse as your reward. Make sure you put it in your Lifesprigs if you don’t have a +1 level Tabula. Spells don’t have a ton of support gems off the bat, so don’t use the Tabula just yet. In fact, leave it in your inventory until you need it, because wearing armor reduces your movement speed.
Once you hit level four, grab Volley Support. At level eight, add in either Added Cold or Added Lightning (or both if you have a +1 Tabula). At level ten grab Flame Dash for increased movement. Hitting level 12 is the big one. Once you get there you can swap out your Freezing Pulse for Firestorm. This will carry you through to mapping. Make sure you take off the Volley support; you can put on either Added Cold or Added Lightning if you want.
Once you’ve hit level 18, grab Controlled Destruction and Elemental Focus. If you’re only using three links, these will be the two to support your Firestorm. Feel free to use all four of the mentioned supports though, and even Faster Casting if you want. However, you may have mana issues if you do this.
At this point you should be good to just run past minions, and drop Firestorms on them as you go. Run until you can’t run anymore. Here’s an example skill tree for level 65. Once again, mess around with it so it fits your play style and your actual build.
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Summoners don’t want traditional spell power as it doesn’t increase minion damage. As such, you’ll want an entirely different build, even for leveling. This will save you a lot of Orbs of Regret in the long run. Grab the same leveling gear and Freezing Pulse. Level the same way up to level eight, then switch to Summon Raging Spirits.
At level eight, your links should be Summon Raging Spirit, Melee Splash, and Minion Damage. At level 18, add Minion Speed and Melee Physical Damage. Throw in Elemental Focus if you can afford the mana. Eventually, make your sixth link Spell Echo. This will make you cast faster, and make more Spirits.
Summon Raging Spirits should be able to get you to maps easily. In fact, it’s a strong build for mapping as well, but if you’re just looking to use Spectres or Golems (or something else entirely), Summon Raging Spirits will get you there.
As usual, feel free to mess around with the skill tree. This one will likely be the same for most summoner builds until levels 50-60 (or so). Then, you’ll want to focus your build and go Spectres, or go full Summon Raging Spirits. Or, if you’re something like an Aurabot, you’ll want to reset a lot more points a bit later. Either way, here’s a mock tree for when you hit levels in the mid-60s.