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Path of Exile Class Guide: Choosing Your Perfect Playstyle

Path of Exile Class Guide: Choosing Your Perfect Playstyle

Path of Exile offers a rich tapestry of classes, each with unique attributes and ascendancies. Whether you enjoy dealing massive damage, casting spells from afar, or controlling the battlefield, this guide will help you navigate the strengths and weaknesses of each class, its ascendancies, and more, ensuring you make an informed decision for your gaming style in 2024.

 

 

Classes Overview

Attributes Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence
Classes 7 Main Classes, Each with 3 Ascendancies
Ascendancies Specializations offering unique skills and playstyles

 

MARAUDER

The Marauder is Path of Exile's embodiment of raw strength and power. Designed for players who relish in frontline combat, the Marauder excels in both absorbing and delivering high amounts of damage. 

Attributes Strength
Playstyle Tanky, high damage output
Ascendancies Juggernaut (defensive), Berserker (aggressive), Chieftain (elemental/ally support)

PoE Marauder Class

 

Juggernaut

Defensive Powerhouse: Specializes in tanking with endurance charge generation and various defensive bonuses.

Key Features:

  • Health and Armor: Increased life and armor for superior survivability.
  • Damage Mitigation: Enhanced protection against slows and stuns.
  • Offensive Capabilities: Improved accuracy and stun effects for a balanced offense.

Ideal For: Players seeking a resilient character that can endure and thrive in challenging environments. An excellent choice for beginners.

 

Berserker

Offensive Juggernaut: Prioritizes high-risk, high-reward combat strategies.

Key Features:

  • Rage Mechanic: Builds around rage for increased power at the cost of life.
  • Critical Trade-offs: Options to sacrifice consistent critical strikes for speed or increased damage at the expense of defense.
  • Leech and Warcry Enhancements: Boosted life leech and warcry effectiveness.

Ideal For: Players who enjoy aggressive melee combat and can manage the balance between offense and self-preservation.

 

Chieftain

Fire and Totem Specialist: Harnesses fire damage and totems for a unique combat experience.

Key Features:

  • Fire Damage Synergy: Bonuses to fire damage through conversion, penetration, and enemy debuffs.
  • Totem Augmentation: Totems that debilitate foes and provide life leech benefits.
  • Sustainability: Impressive life regeneration and endurance charge generation.

Ideal For: Players looking for a blend of offensive might and defensive fortitude, with a focus on strategic totem placement and fire-based skills.

 

DUELIST

The Duelist in Path of Exile is the epitome of agility and power, blending strength and dexterity to create a formidable force on the battlefield. As a hybrid class, the Duelist excels in both dealing and avoiding damage, whether through the use of shields, two-handed weapons, or dual-wielding. With quick reflexes for dodging and parrying, this class is a fearsome adversary with a well-earned reputation. 

Attributes Strength/Dexterity
Playstyle Versatile, balanced offense and defense
Ascendancies Slayer (two-handed combat), Gladiator (dual-wielding/blocking), Champion (buffs/debuffs)

PoE Duelist Class

 

Slayer

  • Orientation: Offensive.
  • Skills: Focuses on attack skills, life leech, and area-of-effect damage.
  • Specialty: Excels in critical strikes and maintaining frenzy and endurance charges.
  • Unique Ability: Can instantly eliminate endgame bosses under 20% HP.
  • Playstyle: Ideal for players who enjoy aggressive combat and high-risk, high-reward gameplay.

 

Gladiator

  • Orientation: Balanced offense and defense.
  • Skills: Specializes in block effectiveness and bleed-related bonuses.
  • Dual Wielding & Shields: Supports both playstyles with additional bonuses.
  • Current Viability: May not be optimal in the current patch; research recommended.
  • Playstyle: Suited for players who prefer a blend of speed, power, and protection.

 

Champion

  • Orientation: Defense, offense, and support.
  • Skills: Offers buffs through taunts, impales, and banners; can permanently fortify.
  • Support Role: Can boost allies' capabilities while debuffing enemies.
  • League Starter: Highly recommended for new players due to strong defensive options.
  • Playstyle: Perfect for those who want a resilient character that can also aid teammates.

 

RANGER

The Ranger is Path of Exile's epitome of dexterity, agility, and precision. With a natural affinity for ranged combat, the Ranger excels in dealing critical strikes from a distance and evading enemy attacks with ease. 

Attributes Dexterity
Playstyle Ranged attacks, evasion
Ascendancies Deadeye (projectile focus), Raider (speed/buffs), Pathfinder (flask effects)

PoE Ranger Class

 

Deadeye

Projectile Focus: Tailored for builds that emphasize projectile skills and damage.

Key Skills:

  • Ricochet: Grants chain to projectiles.
  • Endless Munitions: Provides additional projectiles.
  • Occupying Force: Enhances Mirage Archer support.
  • Far Shot: Boosts long-range combat effectiveness.

Build Synergies: Works well with bows, wands, and projectile spells.

Critical Builds: Offers bonuses to Marks and bleed damage for critical strike-oriented builds.

 

Raider

Speed and Evasion: Centralized around enhancing frenzy charges, Onslaught, and phasing.

Permanent Buffs: Nodes designed to maintain long-term effects of speed-related buffs.

Key Nodes:

  • Avatar of the Chase: Amplifies Onslaught effect.
  • Avatar of the Slaughter: Increases bonuses from frenzy charges.

Endgame Viability: Exceptional for fast-paced gameplay with rapid attack and cast rates.

 

Pathfinder

Flask Specialization: Amplifies the effectiveness of flasks with unique skills.

Flask Mechanics:

  •   Converts or gains extra flask charges.
  •   Provides additional offensive or defensive effects while flasks are active.

Damage Focus: Enhances elemental, chaos, and poison damage.

Versatile Builds: Suitable for both spell and attack builds, particularly those using damage conversion.

Defensive Strengths: Offers strong defense and quality of life improvements, including automatic poison application.

 

SHADOW

The Shadow class is a blend of dexterity and intelligence, perfect for players who thrive on fast-paced combat and strategic planning. Shadows dart in and out of battle, leveraging their speed to evade enemy blows while setting traps or casting spells to control the fight. Despite their fragility, Shadows can be formidable adversaries when played with precision. 

Attributes Dexterity/Intelligence
Playstyle Hit-and-run, traps/mines, spellcasting
Ascendancies Assassin (critical strikes), Saboteur (traps/mines), Trickster (movement/defense)

PoE Shadow Class

 

Assassin

  • Offensive Focus: Prioritizes critical strikes for devastating damage.
  • Power Charges: Enhances power charges for increased effectiveness.
  • Critical Utility: Gains benefits from critical strikes, including elusive buffs.
  • Illusive Buffs: Offers additional advantages when not affected by elusive.
  • Critical Solution: Simplifies achieving high critical rates for various builds.

 

Saboteur

  • Traps and Mines Expert: Specializes in dealing damage with traps and mines.
  • Demolition Bonuses: Receives bonuses for mine deployment and trap effectiveness.
  • Blinding Aura: Access to an aura that blinds enemies.
  • Mana Efficiency: Reduces mana costs for deploying traps and mines.
  • Explosive Damage: Inflicts more damage on enemies suffering from multiple elemental ailments.

 

Trickster

  • Versatile Hybrid: Balances speed with evasive and defensive capabilities.
  • Damage Over Time: Excels in builds focused on sustained damage.
  • Recovery Mechanisms: Recovers health, mana, and energy shield efficiently.
  • Defensive Layers: Enhances evasion and energy shield defenses.
  • Charge Generation: Generates power and frenzy charges through kills or skill use.

 

WITCH

The Witch is a pure intelligence class in Path of Exile, renowned for her mastery over elemental and dark arts. With a focus on casting spells from a distance, she utilizes the power of raw magic to obliterate enemies. Her formidable will manifests as a protective barrier, shielding her from both physical and magical harm. The Witch excels in dealing damage, cursing foes, and spreading diseases. 

Attributes Intelligence
Playstyle Elemental spells, curses, crowd control
Ascendancies Necromancer (minions), Elementalist (elemental damage/effects), Occultist (curses/debuffs)

PoE Witch Class

 

Necromancer

Theme: Commanding the undead and enhancing minions

Key Features:

  •   Minion-centric build support
  •   Aura and offering skill enhancements
  •   Corpse manipulation for increased damage output

Gameplay: Focus on summoning powerful minions to deal damage on your behalf

 

Elementalist

Theme: Mastery over elemental forces

Key Features:

  •   Elemental damage amplification
  •   Compatibility with mixed damage types
  •   Access to Golem buffs for personal and minion enhancements
  •   Specialized skills for mitigating elemental damage

Gameplay: Emphasis on dealing elemental damage, with abilities to ignite, freeze, and shock enemies

 

Occultist

Theme: Utilizing cold, chaos damage over time effects, and curses

Key Features:

  • Proficiency in cold and chaos DoT spells
  • Curses to weaken enemies and enhance damage dealt
  • Energy shield and power charge synergy
  • Ability to generate power charges without on-kill triggers

Gameplay: Relies on strategic curse application and sustained damage effects to control the battlefield

 

TEMPLAR

The Templar class in PoE is a formidable strength/intelligence hybrid that offers players a range of playstyles through its three distinct ascendancy classes: Inquisitor, Hierophant, and Guardian. Each ascendancy tailors to different aspects of gameplay, from elemental damage and critical strikes to spellcasting and support. 

Attributes Strength/Intelligence
Playstyle Balanced magic and melee attacks
Ascendancies Inquisitor (critical/elemental damage), Hierophant (mana/totems), Guardian (party support/defense)

PoE Templar Class

 

Inquisitor

Focus: Elemental Damage & Critical Strikes

Key Features:

  •   Specializes in enhancing elemental damage in various ways.
  •   Proficient in critical strikes with skills like Righteous Providence and Inevitable Judgment.
  •   Gains easy access to critical strike chance through strength and intelligence.
  •   Critical hits bypass enemy elemental resistances.

 

Hierophant

Focus: Non-conventional Damage Sources & Utility

Key Features:

  •   Ideal for spellcasters using totems and brands.
  •   Converts mana into offensive and defensive benefits.
  •   Efficient mana conservation and generation.
  •   Benefits from large bonuses associated with Arcane Surge.

 

Guardian

Focus: Tank/Support & Minion-based Builds

Key Features:

  •   Enhances and protects allies with a variety of passives.
  •   Specializes in Auras, providing up to four unique defensive buffs.
  •   Offers Onslaught for increased ally speed.
  •   Grants abilities to intimidate and weaken enemies on hit.
  •   More tank-oriented compared to the Necromancer class.

 

 SCION

The Scion class in PoE stands as the epitome of versatility, offering players the ability to adapt to any role due to her balanced attribute alignment. 

Attributes Strength/Dexterity/Intelligence
Playstyle Highly adaptable to any build
Ascendancy Ascendant (mix-and-match passives from other classes)

PoE Scion Class

 

Unlocking the Scion:

  • Location: Find the Scion in the final area of the Tower of the God.
  • Requirements: Rescue the Scion before engaging the act's final boss.
  • Availability: Once unlocked, the Scion is accessible in any League.

 

Ascendancy: 

  • The Ascendant is the Scion's sole Ascendancy class.
  • It allows for a mix-and-match approach to passive skills based on other classes' specialties.
  • Players can select up to two Ascendancy class passives from different base classes.

 

Building Your Scion:

  • Flexibility: Choose passives that complement your desired playstyle.
  • Mitigated Effects: The Ascendant's passives are balanced versions of other classes' abilities.
  • Dual Starting Points: Invest in a class path to unlock an additional starting point on the passive skill tree.

 

Choosing the right class in Path of Exile can define your gaming experience. Consider your preferred combat style and the type of content you enjoy when making your selection. Each class offers a unique approach to gameplay, so experiment with different options to find your perfect match.

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