PoE 3.6 Starter Builds: Playing with the Right Ones
Path of Exile’s Synthesis league has finally arrived! As with many others, I’ve spent my last week doing nothing but playing the new league. With all of the spell changes and new gems there are so many new and improved builds to work with. In fact, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide on a build to play! Especially when you have to worry about scaling into endgame. But we’re here to help with that: presenting our PoE 3.6 Starter Builds!
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Which starter builds are good?
- Storm Brand Elementalist
- Bane Occultist
- Spark Trickster
1. Storm Brand Elementalist
This was the most popular starter build from last league. Storm Brand surprised a lot of people (myself included) in just how strong it was, scaling beautifully into end game. In 3.6 Storm Brand saw a fairly significant nerf, but it is still one of the best skills for getting to end game – if not scaling well into it. If you’re looking for a build to easily get you to maps and generate enough currency to create a second character, Storm Brand Elementalist is one of the best ones out there.
The reason this build is so strong is due to the fundamental way that Brands work. By which I mean that they attach and deal damage over time, then attach to new enemies. Their area of effect persistent damage allows you to put a single brand down on one mob, then just keep running as it decimates a pack. Then you use Brand Recall to bring all of the existing brands back to you, destroying another pack as you run through, not even stopping because Brand Recall is instant. This creates a playstyle that is easily the fastest leveling process in the game, even nerfed.
Now that it has been nerfed, scaling into maps won’t be as easy as picking up a few rare items. But it also won’t be much harder, the nerf was a pure damage nerf, so if you’re able to pick up a Tabula for a sixth link, or buy some decent weapons, you’ll be fine. Especially if you’re able to get your fourth ascendancy in a decent time frame! Here’s a guide by user magicrectangle that specifically outlines Storm Brand as a league starter.
2. Bane Occultist
This is the new most popular build as of the start of Synthesis league. I picked it up myself and leveled to 90 in two days, easily, with no investment. I can see exactly why it’s so popular: it’s strong, unique, cheap, and fun. Bane is a new skill released this patch. It casts very similar to Contagion, a chaos spell that covers a large area on cast. The unique part of it is that it has built in Curse on Hit, and deals significantly higher damage for each curse applied. Also, Bane itself is labelled as a curse, so scaling curse effectiveness on the tree also scales its power.
Occultist is the obvious choice for this build, for good reason. It provides an extra curse, curse effectiveness, chaos damage, and great energy shield regeneration. Using Occultist’s ascendancy, the curse cluster on the tree, and the new Vixen’s Entrapment gloves you can get to four curses applied easily. The reason this build is so cheap is that Doedre’s Scorn is incredible for it. The 4-link that I run is Bane – Temporal Chains – Despair – Efficacy. Because of the +2 to curse gems that Doedre’s gives, Bane itself gets two extra levels, as does both curses. With this setup I can tag rare monsters once and have them bleed to death as I walk away – white and blue mobs die instantly. In tier 15 maps, using a Heartbreaker and a shield with no damage on it.
All you need to make this build godly is Doedre’s Scorn and Vixen’s Entrapment, putting two more curses into the gloves (I chose Enfeeble and Poacher’s Mark – Warlord’s Mark is also a possibility for endurance charges). This way you hit the enemy with four curses every time you use Bane, and your Bane lasts over 10 seconds. Because it lasts so long, you can easily cast once, then setup your spell totem with either Wither or Blight (with the Spreading Rot jewel, so it applies Wither), and then simply spam your single target 5L in your chest. Your single target should be either Essence Drain or Soulrend, personal preference. I’m using Soulrend.
Long story short: Occultist, Doedre’s Scorn, Vixen’s Entrapment, and a 5-link single-target setup of your choice. Here’s a link to a skill tree that will allow you to crush everything at all points.
3. Spark Trickster
With the reworks to the Ghost Dance Trickster node it is no surprise that people are trying to use the class. However, I had no idea just how strong it would be. One of my group used Spark Trickster as his league starter, and it completely converted me. With no investment other than a Tabula, he was able to wipe screens away with every cast. He killed Uber Elder solo on day three with this setup, just after upgrading to a 6-link Perfect Form.
Spark had a massive buff this patch as well, and it turns out it was more than enough for it to wreck all content – even single target content. The most important thing to know when upgrading this build is that you’re going to want to get the +1 to level of projectile gems/projectiles pierce one more target helmet craft. This is in addition to running Pierce in your main links. This is because Spark sticks around for quite a while, and it will hit the target for each pierce, as long as its duration is long enough (hence the duration wheel on the tree as well). This makes your single target damage incredible, despite using an awkward skill for single target. This is especially true for bosses that have phases, since you can cast a dozen Sparks before they even appear. I personally witnessed him melt Shaper, and as I said he easily took out Uber Elder as well.
This is definitely the most complicated build of the bunch, making use of Eldritch Battery and Mind over Matter, as well as all of the Spark Mechanics. However, if you know what you’re doing, this is an incredible league starter, cheap and very effective. Here’s the build my buddy used. He uses Unleash in his main links, and Perfect Form (upgraded from a Tabula) and Atziri’s Steps are his only uniques.
There are a lot of other new spells that have been changed or released this patch, and I’m sure there are a thousand other great starter builds. However, these are some of the most consistent ones, and they are all incredibly budget. If you’re looking for a cheap way to crush all content, try one of our PoE 3.6 Starter Builds!
Don’t forget to stop by our Path of Exile Builds page.