It is league start time, and that means that you need a good league start build. Because Path of Exile 3.23 Affliction League has some of the largest changes to the meta game that we have ever seen.
You’ll want to make sure that your first build is real solid so that you can bring it into the Wildwood. Within the Wildwood, you will be collecting Wisps as well as fighting off enemies in the darkness.
And once you’ve collected all these Wisps, they’ll come with you and buff all of the enemies on the map that you came from. These buffed enemies will drop tons of additional loot and get some additional difficulty.
On top of that, every single class has got 3 brand new ascendancies that you can have on top of your original. There are tons of powerful options here and a lot to look forward to.
And 100 + new gems have been added to the game. These are Transfigured Gems. Essentially, they’ve made alternate versions of almost every single main skill gem in the game and just tossed well over a hundred of them at us at this point.
There are tons to do in POE 3.23 Affliction League, so let’s talk about some builds. If you're going to make these builds, be prepared with plenty of POE Currency!
1. SRS Guardian
Starting off here, I would say that this is probably the best build for newer players and most likely Righteous Fire refugees.
Righteous Fire did get some pretty heavy changes and nerfs. But it’s not looking great early on for RF. So, why don’t you just get a big giant minion that has its own RF that covers 3/4 of the screen?
On top of that, you can have a bunch of little minions that’ll do single target damage for you. It is super easy, SSF friendly, and extremely tanky build. It does pretty well all the way up through the campaign into early maps and can handle a lot of the early Pinnacle Bosses.
One of the biggest bonuses about this build is the fact that once you get the Sentinel of Radiance, you essentially don’t have to do anything anymore through the entirety of the campaign. This skill will carry you all the way through and you don’t even have to worry about anything except shield charging through zones and picking up loot.
I highly suggest that you give this build a shot.
2. Boneshatter Slayer
Next on the list, for anybody who’s interested in playing a melee build, we have the Boneshatter Slayer by Carn.
Now, Boneshatter has gotten a pretty decent amount of changes this league. And whether or not it’s a very slight nerf or potentially a pretty large buff is yet to be seen.
However, what we do know is that the build is still absolutely excellent.
In previous leagues, I had put on a Boneshattered Juggernaut guide. However, the super highend of the Juggernaut might potentially be pretty nerfed and it looks like this layer is a just kind of ending up being the better build.
So, I highly suggest that you follow Carn for this. He is the Boneshatter guy. So much that one of the new alt qualities literally got named after him.
And the Boneshatter Slayer uses a bunch of really super interesting mechanics. Make sure that you go follow Carn, so you can see any updates that he makes to this build as we get information on the new Transfigure Gems and he does some more testing with all that kind of stuff.
If there’s anybody that’s going to figure it out, it’s Carn.
3. Vaal Flameblast Ignite Elementalist
Third on the list, we have Vaal Flameblast Ignite Elementalist from Jungroan.
Now, you might know about Jungroan from all of his like speed running and racing content, where he basically goes through the entirety of the game getting the first 2 Watchstones in as little time as possible.
He’s posted like 8 or 9 of those this league so far in a whole bunch of different builds, but the one that stood out to me was this Flameblast Ignite build.
This uses a pretty interesting mechanic on the tree that allows you to essentially just extend the duration of ignites infinitely, meaning that you can use just a somewhat clunky skill that does a huge amount of damage and then just extend that ignite essentially forever.
This is an extremely well-rounded build. It might be slightly clunky for some people if you’re not very good at timing, because of the way that Vaal Flameblast works and it does use Wave of Conviction early, which some people are not a huge fan of.
But this build is exceptionally strong. And once you do learn how to pilot it, it is very good for bossing, clearing, and all kinds of other good stuff.
4. Poison Caustic Arrow Ballista Pathfinder
Next on the list, we have Caustic Arrow Poison Ballista by Palsteron.
Now, it’s no surprise that Palsteron has made another Ballista/Totem league starter, but this one has gotten a pretty decent update this league with the addition of Tinctures and the ability to have all sources of damage poison.
It is going to be significantly easier to make a bow for this build, meaning that it is going to be way stronger for way less gear.
Ballistas are a super safe play style. You can essentially just drop them down and run away and let them do the damage for you. However, if you are someone who likes doing the damage yourself or likes being upfront in their business, this may not be the play style for you.
That said, this is an extremely powerful build, way easier to gear this league and something that I can highly recommend.
5. Splitting Steel Champion
Lastly, we’ve got the Splitting Steel Champion by Ruetoo.
I have played Splitting Steel a lot in the past and Splitting Steel this league has gotten some pretty significant changes. Call of Steel is gone from the normal version of this gem and it works essentially the same exact way it did previously.
You’re still going to be able to overlap all of your projectiles. You’re still going to have excellent clear and excellent damage. And Ruetoo has made a pretty early league friendly build that uses a ton of very easy to get uniques.
So, I do highly recommend this build as well. This version should be perfectly fine and it should get you through pretty much all content in the game.
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