Breaking Down the Best PoE Builds for 3.3
Incursion League and patch 3.3 saw one of the bigger shakeups in the meta-skills. In the Hardcore Solo Self Found league, the top six players were classes that were nonexistent last league. Many of the strong stuff from 3.2 has remained strong, but the newly buffed skills have pushed them out of the limelight – or at least made room. There are more strong builds now than ever before, so let’s jump into the Best PoE Builds for 3.3!
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The Old Favorites
Not every meta build is new, so let’s get the old ones out of the way first. You may recognize some of these from our 3.2 Builds recap!
This build has only gotten more popular as it has received more recognition. This league the Verphi’s Flask can be found from the Temple, so many of them appeared long before players had access to Zana’s mods. That being said, it’s still an extremely expensive flask, and necessary for the build. However, since no mechanics of the build have changed, this is still the best build for doing the hardest content in the game, from Shaper to Uber Elder.
Both of these builds remain the same that they’ve been for quite a while. With Burial Chambers farming being the most popular strategy, Wander and Tornado Shot builds, particularly Windripper variants, are more popular than ever. Magic finding your way to a Headhunter is the favorite way of both getting the legendary belt and making tons of money on the side. These two builds are no surprise, it will take a lot before they get unthroned. These builds are designed around moving as fast as possible and clearing a ton of packs with minimal effort. This is done through using skills that cover a large radius and deal a lot of damage and using Queen of the Forest for massive move speed potential. These builds can cost anywhere from a few chaos to hundreds of exalteds, all depending on how much content you want to do with them!
Not New But Improved
With 3.3 came improvements to a number of builds. The biggest focus of these improvements was Traps and Vaal skills. They also reworked Arc, which is used in many builds now. This has lead to several pre-existing builds becoming extremely powerful due to the buffs they received.
You might be wondering why I didn’t include this in The Old Favorites if it was part of 3.2’s recap. That’s because Blade Vortex underwent such a big change that it’s almost an entirely new skill. You are still zooming around and tapping packs to make them explode with Inpulsa’s Broken Heart, but the quality of life for every part of the build has improved.
Blade Vortex itself underwent a rework to make it more player friendly. They lowered the cap of Blade Vortex charges from 20 to 10 but buffed all the other numbers accordingly to have the same high-end caps. This means that you get to the same high-end in half the time. They also added a critical strike chance modifier per blade, adding a bit more damage. Because of these changes players were able to take Spell Echo out of their main links, essentially allowing players to get another support link with no downside. This was obviously a massive buff to the build, but it didn’t stop there.3
The Vaal skill rework allows players to use a Vaal skill gem and have access to both the Vaal and normal versions of the skill. Suddenly you have a Vaal skill on a six link for no investment. Good skills with Vaal components benefited massively from this, with Blade Vortex receiving one of the biggest boosts. Vaal Blade Vortex drops a ten blade vortex underneath you that seeks out enemies for a short while. This is a huge boost to Blade Vortex’s already impressive boss damage and makes it so that you can focus more on clear speed. To show how good Blade Vortex is now, the first, second, and fourth players to hit 100 in Hardcore Solo Self Found were using the build. It’s pretty darn good!
This might be the most popular build so far this league. Arc got massive buffs and traps got massive buffs. Arc’s only downside is that it has long cast speed, which using traps get around. It’s only natural that people combined the two to create an incredibly powerful and safe build. The build makes use of Shadow’s natural defenses as well as their ability to stand back and deal damage to be a very safe build. This is only compounded by the fact that traps deal damage independently of you, so you can run reflect maps and use things like Shimmeron wands without worry. Which also means you can get a lot of damage, because Shimmerons are some of the highest damage output possible, and you can use them with no downside (besides the cost).
You can also make use of a Loreweave body armor, making you far tankier with the increased resistances. That plus Shadow’s natural defenses and Mind Over Matter and you’ve made a nearly unkillable machine. There’s a reason that Arc Trappers are the ones that most frequently kill Uber Elder (apart from Poet’s Pens Volatile Dead, but let’s be real, they are cheating).
Elemental Hit has always been a very strong skill but trying to scale it while is rotating through elements is very difficult. This league they put out three new jewels that allow you to force Elemental Hit to not choose specific elements. By using two of them you can force it to always choose fire damage and scale up accordingly. This is huge and has made Elemental Hit potentially the highest damage bow skill in the game. You build it very similar to any other bow build, but path all the way up to Avatar of Fire. This means you have to lose some points elsewhere, but it’s worth it for the massive damage that Elemental Hit allows. The playstyle is fairly similar to other bow builds as well, with the main clearing and the main damage skill. The only difference is that here they are both Elemental Hit!
This one is a bit odd and doesn’t deserve a full build discussion, but it’s also too important not to note. Vaal Double Strike was added this league, and it might be the strongest Vaal skill in the game. You create two clones of yourself which retain your buffs and are immortal for their duration. They use your main weapon and beat the crap out of anything they come across. Incidentally, this allows for a perfect use of old Vaal skills, because people run a clearing 6L setup like Sunder or Cyclone and have a 4L Vaal Double Strike setup to melt the boss. It also holds two charges for maximum efficiency. It’s a great way to make builds that clear well able to still do bosses.
For a chunk of Builds (Culler, Melee, Ranged, Spellcaster, Summoners, and Totems), peep this: Path of Exile Builds for 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3.