Best PoE Builds for Sanctum Challenge

Forbidden Sanctum
By | December 14th, 2022 | Categories: Path of Exile

The Forbidden Sanctum is proving to be quite a challenge as PoE players struggle to get to the last boss. With so many mechanics going on, it is tough to clean floors efficiently. Having the wrong build can end your run quicker than you can imagine. While many setups would work in the Sanctum, some are more efficient than others. What are the best builds when running the current League’s mechanic?

Best Builds to Use for Forbidden Sanctum

In Sanctum League, you prefer to use builds that rely on indirect damage and provide decent maneuverability. You need to deal with damage while being able to dodge attacks to avoid exhausting your Resolve meter. Here are all the best builds to take for the Sanctum Challenge:

Stone/Carrion Golem Elementalist

Stone/Carrion Golem builds are very common in many PoE fights because of their high single-target DPS, which is ideal for bosses. This setup works by summoning multiple adds and providing them with buffs such as Animate Guardian. You should have at least six Golems called to take on the Sanctum foes for you. As these minions fight for enemies, you can spend the rest of your time dodging attacks and fortifying your summons.

Sanctum Rooms do not commonly have large hordes of mobs, so focusing on single-target DPS is a good choice. Since Golems scale very well, it is easy to double your damage with little investment. Your choice is to focus mainly on Stone or Carrion since the former has higher DPS while the latter has faster clear speed. 

DoT Toxic Rain

Toxic Rain is one of the most straightforward builds that can scale well into the game. This ability has three sources of damage:

  • The initial on-hit attack
  • The AoE damage over time
  • The detonation part at the end

However, this build focuses mainly on the pod DoT. 

DoT Toxic Rain is great for dealing consistent damage to mobs while constantly moving in the Sanctum Challenge. The AoE damage over time can also be stacked by creating multiple pods. Since you don’t need to actively fire Toxic Rain to benefit from the on-hits and explosions, you can focus on dodging and moving around once you have established multiple AoEs. 

Triple Herald Vortex Elementalist

Like previous Leagues, leaving behind a swirling vortex of death is one of the best ways to clear content. While it is no longer the top build regarding farming speed, it is still a viable setup that would work well in Sanctum. Unfortunately, you will have to run melee in this comp.

Players might be afraid to run this comp for being a close-range gear, but it is relatively safer than most melees. This build only requires Exiles to run around summoning Vortexes on top of Herald abilities, which will damage you. This gameplay allows you to damage mobs and bosses while you dodge mechanics. While telegraphs can be less clear, you are less preoccupied and have more time to react.

Spark Inquisitor

This lightning-based skill gem has been one of the oldest abilities in Path of Exile, but it is still one of the most powerful and efficient ones to build around. There are many ways to play Spark, like using totems or self-casting. Whatever variant you do, this build can still get the job done for fast clearing or high single-target DPS.

Spark automatically bounces from mob to mob or continuously damages a single target. This ability allows players to provide consistent and reliable damage upkeep. The scaling of this build is also excellent and requires little investment. The only drawback of this setup is that you can’t take head-on hits very well. However, since you should avoid every attack in Sanctum runs, you don’t have to worry much about this weakness.

Arc Mines Saboteur

Mines and traps have one of the highest damage outputs in PoE, but they are mainly glass cannons. However, for challenges like the Sanctum that require you to dodge 100% of the time instead of tanking, being fragile is not something you should worry about often. High mobility and DPS make it an excellent pick for the current League mechanic. 

Arc + Mines creates a good combination of hit-and-run tactics. Laying down your damaging abilities and activating them when bosses are on them while you move around is a good strategy for Sanctum challenges. This setup is also significant outside the instance so that you can benefit from it in other end-game content. While the playstyle might require a bit of practice, it is easy to get used to once you have understood the core tactic in playing this build.

Poison Blade Vortex Assassin 

There are a lot of variations for the Vortex build, and the Poison combination is one of the best. Similar to the Triple Herald Vortex build, your main tactic is to run around while dropping Blade Vortices and dodging any damage. However, the source of damage here is quite different. 

For this build, your DPS comes from stacking poison DOT. Blade Vortex can apply multiple hits of poison, increasing the damage your foes receive over short periods. Poison Blade can feel relatively slow when you run them in Heists or Mapping, but it is a perfect fit in challenges like the Sanctum. However, this is still a form of melee build, so players should be more attentive about telegraphs when using this setup.

Poison Scourge Arrow Pathfinder

Another good poison build that would be great in Sanctum challenges would be the Poison Scourge Arrow. While Pathfinders might be tempted to focus on on-hit attacks, this setup mainly revolves around dealing high DPS via DoTs. By proper usage of the Scourge arrow, you can consistently apply poison to ensure stacking damage. It has severe damage over time and can affect vast areas due to the pods it spawns.

The difference between this and blade vortex is that you still have to aim to fire off the ability. Players will have to channel it without any modifications, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. Fortunately, this is a range build, which gives you enough time to move before getting hit. 

Summon Raging Spirits Necromancer

Summoning minions is one of the best sources of damage in PoE. Summon Spirits has been one of the more popular builds in the game due to its reliable high DPS output and good utility. While you do not benefit from most of the defensive stats in the game, your primary focus on doing damage fits very well in the Sanctum challenge. 

The primary strategy for this build is to keep your minion constantly up by replacing them when needed and increasing their uptime. The setup might require a bit of investment and grind since you need to scale your gem levels. A well-geared SRS Necromancer can watch back and dodge telegraphs while minions fight for them.

Explosive Arrow Ballista or Any Ballista Build

Ballista would work efficiently in the Sanctum challenge. These turrets will allow you to deal damage while you run around placing more of them when needed. While you may be squishy since you lack defensive stats, you will focus more on maneuverability, which is more critical in Sanctum. 

The main catch here is choosing which ballista build would bring out the most damage. Explosive Arrow is one of the more reliable ones, along with Lightning Arrow Artillery Ballista. It’s probably better to test various builds before locking in for Sanctum challenges.

Wintertide Brand Occultist

Some of the best builds for PoE challenges require heavy investments. Wintertide Brand heavily relies on uniqueness, which makes it a bit harder to run. However, the set is a great Pinnacle and boss killer using reliable DoT attacks, making it a good choice for Sanctum runs.

Brand attacks are good in Sanctum since they attach themselves to mobs, so you don’t need clear sight of the enemy to proc them. While the DoT from this build is exquisite, you can add active spellcasting attacks to increase your DPS. However, players should choose abilities that synergize well with Wintertide Brand like Vortex and Cold Snap.

Storm Brand Assassin

Storm Brand has been a staple in many builds and is still prevalent today. The setup gives high single-target DPS and can scale even further the more you invest. While you may be squishy, your fast-movement gameplay allows you to perform well and survive in Sanctum runs.

While any class works for the Storm Brand build, Assassin is a good choice due to its severe damage scaling. However, this class does mean you have fewer defensive capabilities. You can compensate for having enough DPS to clear bosses very quickly. 


The best builds for Sanctum are those that can deal out reliable and insane DPS output while allowing decent mobility. Ranged setups are more advisable since they give players more time to dodge attack mechanics. Builds that use DoT, Ballista, Turrets, Totems, Minions, and Brands are some of the best ones to take for challenges, such as Sanctum.

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