PoE Harvest Leveling Guide – Should You Speed Through Leveling?
Path of Exile Harvest League is now about a month old, and there have been many tweaks to the Harvest crafting systems making them extremely rewarding in the late game. But what about leveling? Leveling is many players’ least favourite time, so speeding through it can be ideal. But does that mean hitting every seed cache, or avoiding them entirely? Let’s jump into our PoE Harvest Leveling Guide.
PoE Harvest Leveling Guide – Are Seed Caches Worth It?
Right off the bat let’s tackle the big question in this guide regarding PoE Harvest leveling. Seed caches. Are they worth it? The answer is, unfortunately, a solid ‘sometimes’. While leveling, Harvest crafts give an incredible number of Augment (exalted) and Remove (annul) crafts, allowing you to tailor your gear very reliably. However, it is incredibly tied to your item’s level. You can only use seeds on items up to ten levels higher than the seeds. Which means you better use them or lose them. If you’re trying to go as fast as possible, don’t expect to be able to bank some crafts for when you get that new item at level 50, you’ll need to find all new seeds in that level range.
This doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth it. In particular if you’re playing hardcore, it’s almost always worth it to slow down a bit to get substantially better gear. But for us softcore plebs, we don’t really mind a few deaths if we get to the end much faster. For us, there’s not a lot of use to Harvest crafting while leveling… with one major exception.
Right now, we’re in a spell-based league. The vast majority of players are playing Volatile Dead or Ball Lightning, or Vortex, or Essence Drain or you get my point. Leveling with spells can be very smooth, and one of the nice things is that you don’t really need to upgrade your weapons too many times. Especially since your damage will mostly come from gem levels. Which leads us to the niche that Harvest crafting can fill: +1 to level of all spell gems.
How Do I Craft +1 Wands?
Wands have a set of modifiers, available from item level two, which grant +1 to level of all spell gems of a certain type. There is a modifier for Fire, Cold, Lightning, Chaos, and Physical. So basically anything you could ever want. So how do you craft them?
First, find a wand. Then plant a bunch of seeds until you find augments and add+remove crafts of the type that you need. Since these modifiers are plentiful and we have no need to save them, simply throw as many of the type that you need at the item. In fact, using a white wand and specifically crafting that type is advisable, so that its other slots aren’t taken up. If you’re going for Chaos, you can guarantee +1 to Chaos Gems by simply slamming Augment Chaos onto the prefixes three times. For the others, if you don’t manage to get it in your first few slams, start using add+remove crafts until you get it.
Because these modifiers affect all gems, not just the ones in your wands, they are pretty much the best damage you can get at any point throughout leveling, so they are worth it to take the time to make. They will give you a 10-20% boost in damage per wand, a huge bonus to anyone struggling.
Obviously, these will still take a bit of time to craft, and at that point it becomes a question of if you are willing to put the time in. Maybe you’re faster without spending that time, or maybe you’d just rather buy them off other players. There are many options. But these wands are amazing.
What is the Best Build to Level With?
The best PoE builds to level with vary considerably from league to league. This league, a Chaos based Spellslinger build has taken the cake for strongest leveling build. You just use basic chaos spells (Essence Drain, Contagion, Blight) until level 24 at which point you get access to the Spellslinger skill. Spellslinger allows you to reserve a portion of your mana, and then every time you attack it uses the skills it is connected to. You will have three different spells in different Spellslinger setups.
First, Soulrend. Soulrend is an incredible skill for clearing out packs, but it is a bit lacking in the single-target department. Which is why we use second, Essence Drain. Essence Drain does very strong single target damage. Contagion is our third setup and is simply more damage and clear, as it carries Essence Drain around. You will be using Frenzy with Barrage Support as your attack skill that will proc all of your Chaos spells.
With these three Spellslinger setups you will blaze through all contents until maps. If you’re having trouble with mana, take off some of the supports for your secondary skills, Contagion first and then Essence Drain. But for the most part just ran straight ahead, one shotting nearly everything. If you’ve crafted the +1 to level of all Chaos Skill Gems Wands that I discuss above, you’ll absolutely annihilate everything in your path.
Final Note – PoE Harvest Leveling Guide
Our PoE Harvest Leveling Guide covers the basics of what you can do with seed caches, whether they are worth it for most builds, and which crafts you’ll want to aim for. Keep in mind this is obviously just a guideline, I personally haven’t bothered with seed caches on my second characters, but if you’re enjoying the crafting process and don’t mind being a bit slower, you’ll have a much smoother leveling process. If you’re like me and don’t mind getting to maps in four hours with 23 deaths, blaze ahead. Harvest has been one of the most enjoyable leagues ever for me, there’s so much you can do with all the crafting. I hope you all are enjoying it, and that our guide has helped you enjoy your second characters as much as we are!