Friday, February 8, 2013

How to design your own great build

Path of Exile

Designing your own builds

Designing Path of Exile Builds

So, I feel like one of the most fun things to do in a game like Path of Exile is designing your own builds. Nothing quite beats the feeling when you finally find one that just destroys the game so badly that they do a massive nerf because of you. It's very rewarding.

With that in mind, you may be wondering what people do to make builds like those. Well, this guide will tell you how you should be approaching your personal builds.

Defense is best:

No matter how good you are, you need something to account for survivability. Sometimes you can do this by exploiting a mechanic, but most of the time you are going to be gaining a certain amount of resist, defense and HP.

Step 1: The OP skill builds

Look for every skill that is related to defense. After you find them all analyze each one for what conditions it would take to make you immortal with that particular skill. If possible, try them. In most cases game developers are smart enough to not to have skills like that, but in some cases you can find two skills that work together in combination by searching this way. In the original GW I discovered a build that made me immortal except for the one second I waited for a CD to finish by looking like this.

Step 2: The OP lifesteal builds

Can't find any skills that work like that? In that case you want to try lifesteal. Most OP builds in videogames revolve around the lifesteal mechanic. If you take only 100 damage but lifesteal that same 100, you are effectively immortal. The key with these builds is to figure out the largest damage you will be taking from the creeps you intend to farm. Afterward figure out how much of what resist you would need to farm to bring them down to negligible damage and how much lifesteal you would need to completely offset it.

Go Big or Go Home:

Offense orientated builds tend to be very effective once most defensive builds have been nerfed. Normally these builds require players to do a massive burst of damage before ending up on a long CD. These builds tend to be high risk high reward builds that result in either the player dying in 1 hit, or the player killing the enemy in one hit.

Step 1: The OP skill builds

Much like defensive skills making you immortal, these types of builds revolve around you writing down the highest damage skills in a game that you can have access to simultaneously and figuring out if there's a way for them to do more. In most cases you will be looking for one pure type of skill to make builds like this work. You then try to stack damage boosts to work completely with this skill.

Step 2: The AoE skill builds

The key with finding AoE builds is bunching. In order for builds revolving around AoE to be effective you have to have some sort of skill that allows creeps to bunch. You can pick every AoE available but if you're not able to get enemies to group up, it won't work. So, generally you want have a heavy AoE CC that can allow you to run away, group enemies, and then nuke their asses. Then you build around increasing the damage of the AoEs that are damage dealer. Examples of builds like these in MMOs are normally a little ICE CC, then massive FIRE AoE. Try to either be fast as hell, or have a solid escape for builds like this.

Step 3: Summoner Builds

Necromancers in MMOs are always one of the most popular classes for the ability to get creeps to fight for you. The key with these builds is always to A) Get as many summons as you can, while B) Ensuring that they can live long enough to do their job and damage. In Path of Exile as an example, giving them fire attributes works awesome for dealing damage. But summoner builds are normally the most straight forward because players generally don't need a lot of defense to make them effective.

All Builds:

The key with all builds is to pick a couple skills then build the rest of your guy around them. The more skills you use, the harder it is to make an effective build for them. The only builds that EVER end up OP, are builds built around 2-3 skills.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Path of Exile Shadow Frost

Path of Exile Shadow

Shadow Frost

Path of Exile Shadow Frost Build

In Path of Exile Shadows are the hybrid between casters and rangers, a more devious assassin style character. In this Path of Exile Build I will be focusing on a frost build, relying on Ice Spear and Freezing Pulse. This build will work in hardcore games, but it's recommended to take a few more survival talents if you decide to go hardcore with this Path of Exile Shadow Frost Build.


High Damage Output both single and AoE
High Survivability as a result of freezing enemies
Good in Solo and Groups


Lacks survivability
Weak vs Ranged Monsters
Very Similar to Witch Build

Passive Build:

This Path of Exile Shadow Frost Build focuses on moving through the Shadow, Witch, and Templar trees for those magic buffs.


You're going to want to pick up a dagger with high crit. The standard is Kris which has 80% crit. The key is high damage, high crit. Later on you'll try to get Spell damage, cast speed, and increase to cold damage.

For the rest of the gear you're going to want to build in as many resistances as possible. Once you are capable of surviving you'll want to start increasing that Crit and Cold Damage.

Path of Exile Shadow Build How To:

Early on you will have some mana issues but can fix it with some rings mana regen items until you get pick up mana passives. To play this Path of Exile Shadow Frost build you will want to spam Ice Spear on enemies from a distance, freeze locking them. If the enemies are in a group you will want to be near them and use Freezing Pulse. Keep in mind you still want to maintain range or you may die to the damage, this takes practice. You'll also be able to use Whirling Blades which is nice for when you're in a pickle. In some cases, you may want to use Freezing Pulse to attack boss mobs since it does very large damage close range, don't. Normally the extra 30 seconds the fight takes using Ice Spear is worth the safety.

That's it for this Path of Exile Shadow Frost Build.

Spork Shadow Battle Mage

HP/ES Spork Shadow Battle Mage by Invalesco

What is this build about?
This is a caster shadow build that optimizes Speed-leveling and Safety, making it extremely viable in week-long HC races, be it the standard mode or turbo mode!

It has been verified in Turbo HC by yours truly, managing to kill merciless vaal and entering maps within 22 hours of gameplay, albeit dying at level 64 by a careless careless mistake.

What skills does this build use?
This build is oriented around 2 skill gems: Spark + Fork. Spark is the only spell that can bounce off walls, making it possible to kill bosses in relative safety if you play it right.

Bandit Quest Reward Choices
Normal: Help Oak for HP
Cruel: Help Alira for 4% increased cast speed
Merciless: Kill all the bandits for a skill point

Skill Tree Progression
31 Points
46 Points
60 Points
80 Points
111 Points, Completed build

Pros and Cons of this Build
1. Very easy build to play
2. Brilliant in indoor maps
1. Does very poorly against lightning resist mobs
2. Relatively weaker in outdoor areas
3. Might get boring after awhile, will probably not be as fun as a dagger shadow

Usable in
1. Hardcore
2. Default
3. 1 Week HC Races

Gameplay Style
Best Spark support combinations, depending on the links you have
6L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Lightning Penetration + Faster Casting + Increased Critical Damage
5L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Lightning Penetration + Faster Casting
4L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles + Lightning Penetration
3L: Spark + Fork + Faster Projectiles
2L: Spark + Fork

Best Spark support combinations for your totem
Spell Totem + Arc + Faster Casting + Lightning Penetration
Spell Totem + Spark + Fork + Faster Casting/Lightning Penetration

Note: You can forego the faster projectiles support gem for Increased Critical Damage or LMP if you have a high quality spark and if you have gear that increases projectile speed

LMP is an option, but only recommended for end-game builds and not early on in game for the same reasons: proj penalty and mana cost.

Auras and Active Skills
Discipline, Clarity and Haste.
Discipline for survivability, Clarity for mana regen, Haste for faster running/casting

Conductivity will complement this build nicely because it lowers the lightning resist of opposing mobs and increases their chance of being shocked, which will amplify the damage they receive further
Enfeeble or Temporal Chains are also useful curses for ensuring safety

Raise Zombies/Summon Skeletons linked to Minion Life will provide tank cover for your totem and yourself

Playstyle Versus Bosses
Pretty much just stay as far as possible from hard-hitting bosses and bounce sparks off walls :D

Early Gameplay Tips
This build is on a whole, very easy to play.

Early Game Gear
Focus on gear that gives you +life, namely leather belts with +life and rings/ammys with +life.

At this stage, ES gear is weak, so I would recommend you to stack Armour, resistances and HP to improve your survivability. Main objective here is to survive till late game where you can get good ES gear.

Skill Gems
All you need basically is Spark and Fork to start doing well. Usually I start off by creating a templar/witch for spark, and then using my shadow to get fire trap. After that I tend to get phase run, bear trap, raise zombies and summon skeletons.

The subsequent gems you'll need such as spell totem and faster casting don't come till later.

End-Game Gear

DPS Gear
These can come in the form of Wands/Sceptres/Daggers/Shields.

The mods you want to be looking out for in terms of decreasing order of priority are:
1. %increased projectile speed
2. %increased cast speed
3. %increased critical chance for spells
4. %increased spell damage
5. %increased lightning damage

If an item has the bolded mods (above) on it, that automatically makes it very desirable, such that even if you come across an item which would provide slightly better DPS but without %increased projectile speed, I would still stick to the item with the proj speed mod.

Amulet: Get any ammy with +life, +crit chance and +crit multiplier or spell damage/lightning damage and cast speed

Rings: Resists and +life are a must. The rest are in order of descending priority: %Mana Regen, +Mana, Increased Cast Speed, %Lightning Damage

Belt: +Life, Resists and +ES

For the rest of your defensive gear, just get any hybrid/pure ES equipment with +life and high ES.

If you can get Kaom's Heart as your chestpiece, all the better! If you manage to get Kaom's Heart, get a Quill Rain, 5L it and then link the following support gems on it:
Spark + Fork + Greater Multiple Projectiles + Mana Leech + Lightning Penetration

How do I get better gear?
Trading for better pieces of gear will be your main source. However, there will come a point when you realise that you can no longer get better gear through trading, and that is where crafting comes in, as explained in the next section.

Path of Exile Duelist Ranged

Path of Exile Duelist

Ranged Duelist

Path of Exile Duelist Build Ranged Duelist

Duelists are your token dual wielding class but have the ability to move into ranged since they are a hybrid. In this Path of Exile Duelist ranged build we will be focusing on keeping yourself alive by using ranged talents and doing large amounts of damage.


High Damage Output
Easy to Play


Lacks some of the AoE power of other builds

Passive Build:

This Path of Exile Duelist Ranged Build focuses on taking ranged talents but also peppering in elemental damage. Heavy attack speed and damage are also supplemented by a plethora of defensive talents to keep from getting one shot.


You're going to want to get a fast weapon with HIGH ELEMENTAL DAMAGE since you'll primarily be doing elemental damage. Besides this you are going to want to be sure to have Wraith, Projectile Weakness, Anger and Grace. 

Your primary skilled attacks will be Ice Shot and Burning Arrow which you will often be swapping between. Try to ensure that they are maximized to do large elemental damage. Pick one to use on multiples (recommend Ice Shot) and one to use primarily as a heavy single target dps and gem for that. You can add lifesteal if it makes you more comfortable to one of the attacks, but it isn't necessary.

Path of Exile Duelist Build How To:

From the explanation above you should already have a decent idea of what to do. You will be using Projectile Weakness and Wraith or Anger to increase your damage output. You will primarily be shooting Ice Shots for clearing large areas and Burning Arrow for single target dps while running away quite a bit.

One of the advantages of this build is tailored for easy use in groups or solo and swapping between single target and AOE. Grace also helps by increasing your survivability.

Overall, this build is fun and easy to play since it is very straight forward.

Path of Exile Duelist Bow Build

Path of Exile Ranged Templar

Path of Exile Templar

Ranged Templar

Path of Exile Ranged Templar

In Path of Exile Templars are a unique hybrid class that provides quite a few opportunities for customization. One of the more interesting builds is the Path of Exile Ranged Templar Build. This build focuses on doing large amounts of damage through ranged elemental attacks.


High Damage
Great in Groups or Solo
Good for PvE and PvP


Squishy if caught
Drains mana fast if you don't pace

Passive Build:

Although you can vary your build slightly from the key is to push for elemental damage attacks and to move into elemental equilibrium.



Death's Harp or other ranged


Elemental Hit, Chains, Attack Speed, Ranged




Wraith for the additional elemental damage


Make sure you have Phase Run and Auras. On top of this try to have something with Temporal Chains for large mobs. After that just pump increases to elemental damage in your gear and make sure you take Elemental weakness to really up your damage. For example you will want to be using a lot of 30% increases to elemental damage while keeping up your resistances. On that note as well, only Mod for lightning damage, otherwise things go all messed up with Elemental Equilibrium. This Path of Exile Ranged Templar build also needs a decent amount of attack speed and mana steal to keep it operating smoothly.

Path of Exile Ranged Templar How To:

Overall, this is one of the most self explanatory builds. You lay out your totem which will start dishing out ranged elemental damage. After that you start firing out your arrows which will also be dealing ranged elemental damage while throwing in Elemental Weakness. Overall, the damage output is high because of all the elemental damage stacking in combination with the reductions.