PoE Sextant Guide
Sextants are an incredibly powerful tool for optimizing your income in Path of Exile. They are used on maps and give additional mods that stack with the other modifiers you already have. They should be used only for high tier map farming, but if used correctly, they can provide a ton of bonus loot for very minimal investment. We’re going to discuss how to use effectively sextants, which ones you should watch for, and what might be changing about them in 3.9 in our PoE Sextant Guide.
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What are Sextants?
Sextants are items that drop in maps and are currency similar to Chaos Orbs and other currency items. The difference is that sextants do not affect items, they affect your atlas directly. You apply a sextant to a map on the atlas that is the same color or lower (white sextants can only go on white maps, yellow sextants can go on yellow or white maps, etc), and they add a modifier in a circle around the map. After they redid the Atlas last time, at least four sextants can be applied to every map on the atlas, by utilizing surrounding maps. For example, if you want to run a Beach map with sextants, you would put one sextant onto the Beach map itself, and then three onto maps that are close enough that the circle the sextant creates overlaps the Beach map.
To use the sextant, simply open your Atlas, and proceed to your inventory. Right-click the sextant in your inventory, then click on the map you want to apply it to. Boom, you’re done! If you want to apply multiple sextants at once, hold shift as you’re clicking and it will hold the sextant on your mouse, allowing you to apply multiple times without reaching back into your inventory each time.
Sextants have three uses, then disappear off the atlas and must be reapplied if you want to keep using them. Each color of sextant has different pools of mods to choose from (with quite a bit of overlap), with red sextants having the highest tier of modifiers. The modifiers that they add are typically extra mobs or small changes to the map, but there are a few you should watch out for.
When do you use Sextants?
Because sextants are a currency item, it’s advisable to use them on maps you are already investing in. If you are simply using an Alchemy Orb and running a map, using sextants won’t be worth it. However, if it’s a high tier map that you are chiseling, alching, and rolling for decent mods, then sextanting will almost always be worth it. Because of how these modifiers work, a high-quantity map will make everything else you do to it more impactful, so make sure you’re using all your resources on the same map, not spreading it out.
The best place to use sextants is on Eldered tier 16 maps. This is because you can Elder a white map, and have all the surrounding maps be white. This means that you can use all white sextants on your tier 16 map, and get bonus modifiers extremely cheaply. When looking for a map to Elder, this is something you should take into account heavily – unless you have a specific strategy, it will always be cost-efficient to Elder a map that can have three or four white sextants applied to it.
What are the Sextant modifiers to watch out for?
When using sextants, the most important part is being able to tell which modifiers to keep and which to roll over. As a general rule of thumb, keep any modifier that says “adds monsters to the map”. There are a plethora of them, and they all add enough mobs to make them a worthy investment. The only one you may want to avoid is the one that adds physical mobs as they create a lot of proximity shields that could be dangerous to your build.
The mods you should roll over are Invasion Bosses, Rogue Exiles (unless you’re interacting with them in another way), Slipstreams, and basically any other mod that you can’t see adding loot to the map.
There are several modifiers that you should watch for because they are incredibly good, and need to be interacted with for their full potential to be realized. If you get the mod that adds Harbingers and makes them more lucrative, put a Harbinger Scarab onto the map – every single Harbinger is more lucrative, not just the ones added from the mod itself. If you get the mod that says strongboxes are corrupted, using the Monstrous Treasure prophecy adds 36 strongboxes to the map, guaranteeing you’ll get some decent rewards. Hunted Traitors doesn’t need to be interacted with, but it’s very rare and lucrative, so don’t roll over it. If you get Nemesis Monsters, you will want to make sure that your maps have both Nemesis and Beyond on them if possible. This means finding if Zana has either mod, and rolling your maps to make sure they have the other one. If Zana doesn’t have either mod, roll your maps for Nemesis and high quantity instead. This is the most lucrative modifier by far as it is also extremely rare.
Lastly, if you see the mods for scarabs dropped by possessed foes, go watch some videos on how to best interact with them. It would take an entire article on its own to explain that modifier. Personally, I just roll over it because it’s not worth the hassle for me.
What will happen to Sextants in 3.9?
For the upcoming 3.9 release this week, they have said that they are going to be rebalancing sextants. Now they will have drastically different mods for each color of sextant, with red sextants being significantly more powerful than white sextants. With this in mind, the strategy regarding focusing on having four white sextants might not be nearly as efficient. It’s something we’ll have to test and see if the stronger mods are worth the higher price tag. If the mods are strong enough, it won’t be hard to justify using red sextants, as the current price of sextants is quite low compared to the potential income you can receive by using them. We’ll need to revisit with a new PoE Sextant Guide if this changes things drastically. For now, the current strategies are incredibly lucrative.