Path of Exile Best League Starter Builds
(Featured image via Grinding Gear Games.)

Path of Exile: The Best League Starter Builds

Jul 19, 2017
(Featured image via Grinding Gear Games.)

The new Path of Exile league starts up in a few weeks, and players are already starting to plan their builds. There are a lot of factors it’s important to consider for your first build, but the most important thing is the ease of leveling without money. It doesn’t matter how rich you are in other leagues, you’ll start the new league with nothing. Whether you’re a new Path of Exile player or just looking for some inspiration, these starter builds are great for leagues, and you’ll get plenty of mileage out of them.

PoE League Starter Build #1: Flameblast Totems

If you’re still a new player, this should be your go-to league starter build. It’s cheap, strong, and can clear all of the content in the game. Flameblast is a skill that forces you to stand in place while you charge it, but does incredible amounts of damage. Since you’re incredibly vulnerable while standing still, you make use of a totem that casts spells for you. You put down the totem, it channels the Flameblast, and you’re free to walk around and loot the corpses.

Flameblast Totem is a great PoE league starter build, especially for new players.

The damage that Flameblast does is high enough to kill most mobs with one round of channeling. You can run through the map dropping totems while staying fairly safe, and, even better, you’ll clear content very quickly.

This build also has the added advantage of being immune to reflect. Oh, you’re a mob that reflects elemental damage? Guess my totem is gonna die, not me! Mobs will also target your totems, often pulling them off of you for added protection. As you work your way through the tree, you can pick up Ancestral Bond, which lets you place two totems at once.

The Flameblast Totem build is also extremely cheap, since magical abilities are more dependant on your gem’s level than your items. IAs long as you can just keep leveling up the gem, you’ll be fine. I’ve seen skilled players clear the hardest content in the game with Flameblast Totem, and the best of the best can do it with barely any items. The build is about as perfect as a beginner build gets, and Path of Exile’s 3.0 release doesn’t look like it’s going to change that. The build was originally made by PizzaSticks, who has written up an excellent guide here.

PoE League Starter Build #2: Ancestral Warchief Totems

Ancestral Warchief totems is a more in-your-face build than. The Flameblast Totem casts certain spells, but Ancestral Warchief copies your weapon and dishes out melee attacks. In order to get this build running at full efficiency, you’ll need more items than you do for a Flameblast Totem build. However, it is a lot more efficient at clearing certain areas. In particular, Ancestral Warchief excels when it comes to clearing the labyrinth, mostly because having health and regen makes clearing traps much easier. Ancestral Warchief is also more strength-based, which means it has more natural health and defense.

The reason this build is a bit pricey comes down to the fact that the optimal way to play it requires you to use Facebreakers. For the uninitiated, Facebreakers are gloves that make it so that when you’re unarmed, your physical damage is increased by 600-800%. In other words, as long as you’re not using a weapon, all your other attack damage is multiplied 6 to 8 times. That 10 attack on your ring? It’s now 60-80 damage. Necklace with 15 attack? That’s now giving you an extra 90-120 damage.

You get the idea. Facebreakers can be a bit expensive, especially right at the start of a league, but they shouldn’t take too much grinding to grab–you can probably snag some over the course of a day or two.

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This build is a great choice for the start of a league especially because of how efficiently you can farm the Uber Labyrinth. If you’re capable of farming Uber in the first couple weeks of a league, you’ve basically got a license to print money.

Personally I used this build, by user guggelhupf. I played this character with very minimal funding, and was able to easily get it to end game in a few hours. Leveling was fast and easy once I put on Facebreakers and grabbed a couple damage accessories. In the upcoming league, expect Ancestral Warchief to be even better on account of 3.0’s new support gem, Chance to Bleed, which adds up to 75 extra attack damage. I’m guessing those numbers might be reduced, but still, any amount of flat damage is a massive buff to the builds that use Facebreakers. I’ll be surprised if Ancestral Warchief isn’t one of the best starter builds in 3.0.

PoE League Starter Build #3: Earthquake

This last build is near and dear to my heart–it’s the one I used when I was starting my own Path of Exile career many months ago. The Earthquake Slayer is a very cheap starter build that can become extremely powerful with a bit of investment. Even though it was my first build and I didn’t really understand the core mechanics of the game, I was easily able to clear maps up to T10, and that was completely unfunded. With a bit more understanding of the game, and a bit of time spend trading or grinding, this build can easily push through any map or boss.

The build revolves is all about raw power. You use massive axes to smash the ground, creating shockwaves and decimating your opponents in the process. Earthquake builds have great AoE clear, and allow you to easily jump into the middle of a pack of enemies and take them out. It’s not quite as good at single target damage, so taking down bosses isn’t exactly a specialty.

The Earthquake build is incredibly fun, especially for new players. You get to run at enemeis and smash them. None of that pansy totem crap. The guide I followed was from Norse, and I highly recommend it.

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Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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