Pump Up the Volume for PoE Delve
This week marks the launch of Path of Exile’s newest league, Delve. The PoE Delve launch heralds the single biggest content source we’ve ever seen before, along with many other new and reworked skills. There are also the typical nerfs, creating an entirely new league meta. Let’s hop in and explore!
What’s the new League Mechanic?
The new league mechanic for Delve is PoE’s first ever infinite dungeon. That’s right, for the first time ever Path of Exile has created a dungeon that keeps on giving long after your build has given up. These dungeons are procedurally generated and unique to each character, so don’t expect to be able to just cheese your way through the easier parts either. And to keep things interesting there’s a leaderboard showing off the deepest delvers, as well as global announcements when a new delve depth is reached.
If that wasn’t enough the dungeon is also infinite horizontally as well as vertically, allowing you to search out loot that you know is around floor 75, or simply farm the highest zone you can comfortably not be slaughtered in. This new dungeon will create an infinite number of possibilities and infinite content to consume. Literally. This will revolutionize PoE, potentially forever. I’m stoked.
For more PoE, check this out: What You Need to Know About PoE Incursion League for Patch 3.3
Too much fun, where are my Nerfs?
Getting overly excited at the prospect of infinite Path of Exile is going to be tough to avoid, so here are some nerfs to balance it out. Did you enjoy playing Arc Traps, last league? Yeah, screw that they’re gone. The base throwing time for traps was raised, Multiple Trap Support was nerfed by 10% damage, and Cluster Traps had an entire trap removed, removing 25% of your endgame damage. Shimmerons was also nerfed heavily if you were hoping to balance these nerfs out with pure damage. Oh, and Shield Charge got a huge nerf as well, particularly while using Brightbeak. Just one more reason not to play a Trapper this league.
But while Arc Traps were nerfed heavily, they weren’t gutted entirely. That spot is reserved for Kinetic Blast. Now Kinetic Blast’s explosions don’t overlap when you hit a wall. I don’t really need to say much else here, the skill is dead.
Elemental Hit also got a nerf, although much smaller than the other two. Now the Combat Focus jewels that allow you to convert your damage to fire say that the damage from the blocked element is halved. In the long run, this is approximately a 30% damage reduction for full conversion builds. Elemental Hit was well overturned, this nerf is actually very fair and leaves the skill viable without being incredibly overpowered.
Notable skills and items that were not nerfed include Blade Vortex and Inpulsas. Elementalist BV meta is still on the table boys!
How about new skills?
There are five new primary skills being added in this patch (Consecrated Path, Smite, Scourge Arrow, Toxic Rain, and Static Strike).
Consecrated Path works similarly to Flicker Strike, but without blasting your eyes out of their sockets. You leap to target enemy, dealing damage on impact. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem strong enough to use as your primary damage source, so this skill will likely be relegated to an off-meta movement skill. But time will tell!
Smite is a new lightning based melee-ish skill. You hit the ground and if you hit an enemy directly in front of you, you deal damage to them. It then causes lightning to come down and hit a nearby enemy that you didn’t hit with the melee slam. You are then given a damage bonus for you and nearby allies. The skill works very well with Ancestral Call and seems like it might be excellent in some minion/player hybrid damage builds.
Scourge Arrow is a poison based bow skill. You charge up and fire a powerful chaos damage arrow. It leaves behind pods in its wake that then explode, spraying projectiles in every direction. It’s an interesting skill, but the developers have confirmed that they are still working with it so I can’t recommend anyone use it as a league start.
Toxic Rain sounds like it works very similarly to the new Rain of Arrows, but instead of half the arrows targeting monsters, all the arrows leave spore pods where they land that do chaos damage and debuff nearby enemies. As of writing this Toxic Rain hasn’t been pre-viewed, so I have no idea if the skill has potential yet, it’s a very odd one to judge by text alone.
This skill sounds very interesting. You hit nearby enemies and stack up a buff on yourself. For each stack, up to three, a lightning damage beam will hit a nearby enemy, every 0.4 seconds. Since this is lightning based I can very easily see a strong Inpulsa based build coming out of this skill! As of writing this, we haven’t seen Static Strike in action, but I’m very interested to see how it functions.
Which are the new minion abilities?
There are also several new aura and minion based abilities being released with this patch! Herald of Purity, Herald of Agony, and Summon Holy Relic are all entirely new minion based spells.
Herald of Purity
Herald of Purity is a physical damage herald which adds a ton of flat physical damage to your spells and attacks. It also has the unique ability that when you kill monsters you summon sentinels to fight alongside you. This is meant to go with spells like Smite in the new Guardian summoner archetype. The Guardian even has two ascendancy nodes based on this herald!
Herald of Agony
Herald of Agony looks freaking amazing. It adds the chance to poison and increased poison damage, as well as a minion of its own. Instead of sentinels, you get a scorpion every time you have poisoned an enemy, and the scorpion gets stronger the more stacks of poison you have placed on the enemy. The scorpion is incredibly strong, with the developers saying it is on par with some of the strongest spectres without any investment. This could easily be meta defining, I’m excited to try out a new Pathfinder poison build!
Summon Holy Relic
Summon Holy Relic is an odd skill. You summon a tiny little floating cog that follows you around. Whenever you hit an enemy it does a small area attack as well as causes the regen for nearby minions to be increased for a short time. It goes well with the aforementioned Guardian archetype, but its AoE leaves something to be desired.
If you want more information please check out the patch notes. Good luck in PoE Delve, I hope we all die a few hundred times in the infinite dungeon!
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