Act 3

.. I recommend following this skill tree path which was explicitly designed to make the gaming experience as pleasant as possible for new players. That being said, it focuses more on survivability and comfort than damage since these are way more important at the beginning, but the guide will elaborate on options to adjust the skill tree in order to be more damage centric for the endgame later.

While progressing through Act 3, the game wants you to go to the Aspirant’s Plaza through the Statue of the Goddess and complete The Lord’s Labyrinth (usually referred to as ‘Lab’). While you want to do this with the majority of builds as soon as possible, this time you don’t. The build simply doesn’t really benefit from it at this point and it’s not worth the struggle (because you have to kill the boss Izaro who can be challenging, especially for new players).

By default, the quest A Fixture of Fate is optional, but since it provides access to important gems for your build, you want to complete this as soon as possible – at least if this build is your league starter. The Library is a side area (where you will find Siosa, who will give you the quest) and can be found on the left side of The Imperial Gardens.

Note: There’s no need to skip any other campaign quests in order to complete this quest. Just progrees through the campaign normally and keep in mind that once you reach The Imperial Gardens, you should look for The Library and complete the quest.

To be able to switch to the (G) Toxic Rain setup later, you need to have a leveling bow (see below) and a 3-linked R-G-G item (see below). In addition, you want to have a quiver. Therefore – if you don’t have these items yet – keep an extra eye on the loot to pick them up eventually (running The Docks can quite help – see task below). Until then, continue to use your current Shattering Steel setup.

This is optional, but can help you with preparing for Act 4 because you can find a lot of helpful items and currency in The Docks and the layout allows you to gain experience very efficiently. For new players, this is recommended.

In order to craft your leveling bow, follow these steps:

1. Buy a normal Royal Bow, Grove Bow or Death Bow from the vendor

  • Whether or not the vendor has a Royal Bow, Grove Bow or Death Bow is random, so just occasionally check the vendor for this item base if nothing has dropped yet. The preset loot filter highlights named bows (red color). Keep in mind: The vendor offers reset regularly when you gain a few levels. You don’t have to do this, if you’ve found a bow already, of course.

2. Use Blacksmith’s Whetstones to increase the quality of the bow

  • A Blacksmith’s Whetstone increases the quality of weapons. Quality does not only increase the base modifiers, but also increases the chance to get the maximum number of sockets when using Jeweller’s Orbs (see 3.) and the maximum number of links when using Orbs of Fusing (see 4.).The default maximum quality of an item is 20%. The amount of quality added to an item per usage of a Blacksmith’s Whetstone depends on the rarity of the item: normal item = +5% quality | magic item = +2% quality | rare/unique item = +1% quality).

3. Use Jeweller’s Orbs to create 3-4 sockets

  • A Jeweller’s Orb changes the amount of sockets on an item. The amount of sockets you get on usage is random (so you might need to use several of them on an item to get the amount of sockets you want). One-Handed Weapons and Shields can have a maximum of 3 sockets. Gloves, Helmets and Boots can have a maximum of 4 sockets. Two-Handed Weapons and Body Armours can have a maximum of 6 sockets. Note: If you were lucky and you’ve looted an Orb of Binding already, you can use it instead of Jeweller’s Orbs since it has a 100% chance to add 4 sockets and 4 links to the item.

4. Use Orbs of Fusing to get 3-4 linked sockets

  • An Orb of Fusing changes the links between sockets. The amount of links you get on usage is random (so you might need to use several Orbs of Fusing on an item to get the amount of links you want). Note: If you’ve used an Orb of Binding in the step before, you can skip this one.

5. Use Chromatic Orbs to get 3-4 green sockets

  • A Chromatic Orb changes the colors of sockets. Socket colors you get on usage are partly random. Which colors are more likely to appear is determined by the item base type and its associated modifiers. Here, the rule of thumb is: Armour/Strength is related to red sockets; Evasion/Dexterity is related to green sockets; Energy Shield / Intelligence is related to blue sockets. (For example: An item with Energy Shield / armour and a stat requirement of 10 Intelligence and 5 Strength has a higher chance to get blue sockets rather than red socket and green sockets are quite rare. Getting two or even more green sockets on this item base by using Chromatic Orbs is very unlikely to happen). That being said, you might need to use several Chromatic Orbs on an item to get the colors you want.

6. Use your Crafting Bench to craft attack speed on the bow (if possible)

  • The Crafting Bench lets you craft a modifier onto items or modify sockets and links at the cost of currency. It can be found in your hideout which is unlocked after freeing Helena in Act 2 (you’ve completed this quest already).

7. Use an Essence to add elemental damage or attack speed to the bow (optional)

  • In case you can’t craft attack speed on your bow, you can use an Essence on the bow. Essences allow you to upgrade a normal item (white) to rare rarity (yellow) while guaranteeing the item has one specific modifier. The type of modifier added is based on the type of Essence used. For example: Using a Muttering Essence of Hatred on a normal bow would guarantee you a rare bow with ‚Adds (7-9) to (14-16) Cold Damage‘ modifier.

Trade League players can also check the PoE trade website for a decent bow (but note that these items will most likely be overpriced at league start):

Check the vendor for fitting items & use your currency to create this item the same way you created your bow with. You can also loot such an item, of course

If you have both items, follow these steps:

1. Store or sell all the gems you don’t need anymore

2. Put your new main skill setup into your bow

3. Put your new secondary skill into your G-G-R item

  • Please note the following:
    • Make sure all gems are linked.
    • If you’ve followed this guide, you should have leveled 2x Toxic Rain in your second weapon set. Use them now.
    • Ballista Totem Support linked with Toxic Rain will enable you to summon a Ballista when using the skill. This Ballista will then use the Toxic Rain automatically.
    • You can summon two Ballista Totems at the same time. However, using the skill once, will only summon one Totem. Therefore, make sure to use it twice.
    • You can buy Ballista Totem Support from Nessa in Lioneye’s Watch in Act 1.

4. Put your (new) other skills wherever you got space for them

  • Please note the following:
    • If you don’t have fitting colors on your items, make sure you use Chromatic Orbs to change socket colors (if available).
    • You can buy Malevolence from Siosa in The Library in Act 3 after completing the quest A Fixture of Fate. Until then, use Herald of Ash instead (you should already have this gem). Malevolence is an aura, so you have to activate it once.
    • You can buy Flame Dash and Despair from Siosa in The Library in Act 3 after completing the quest A Fixture of Fate. Until then, use Dash instead (you should already have this gem).
    • It’s recommended to not level Flame Dash due to its increasing intelligence requirement – at least for now. In order to not level the gem, you can just right click the „+“ on the right side if it has reached the needed experience to level up.
    • You should already have Steelskin. If not, from Nessa in Lioneye’s Watch in Act 1 after completing the quest Breaking Some Eggs. Make sure to set this skill as your default left click (to autocast it).

You can buy (R) Determination from Clarissa in The Sarn Encampment in Act 3 after completing the quest Lost in Love.

Determination is an aura, so you have to activate it once. Use it as soon as possible BUT ONLY if you already have picked up the small node  next to ‘Charisma’ on your skill tree which proves ‚8% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency‘ …

… AND if you have an Enduring Mana Flask (Reminder: ‚Enduring Mana Flask‘ means that the flask has the modifier ‚Flask effect is not removed when Unreserved Mana is Filled‘). Otherwise level the gem until you fulfill both requirements. The reason: If you use Determination without fulfilling mentioned requirements, you will suffer a lot from not having enough mana to use skills!


  • If you don’t have enough mana to activate (R) Determination, pick up the ‚Charisma‚ node on the skill tree.
  • If you need strength to use (R) Determination don’t hesitate to pick up the ‚Prowess‘ node on the skill tree.

Make sure to use (R) Molten Shell in dangerous situations. If you don’t use (R) Determination yet, store (R) Molten Shell in your stash or level it in your second weapon set.

This is optional, but adds an additional defensive layer since Granite Flasks provide additional armour [which scales with (R) Determination]. You can choose a Granite Flask as a quest reward for completing the quest The Key to Freedom later in Act 5 , but it can also drop from enemies earlier.

You can do this by left-clicking on your skills in your bottom right skill bar and choosing the respective option. If you don’t do this, the skill will be used where your cursor is at that specific moment. As a result, it often happens that you move to the position of the cursor instead of attacking monsters. In order to prevent that from happening, activate ‘Always Attack Without Moving”. This is basically recommended for almost all skills you use in this build, but (G) Dash (if you activate this for Dash you will dash backwards instead of forwards).

For now, this is optional. You can do this later as well. Trials of Ascendancy are mazes within specific areas of the campaign – in this case, The Crematorium.

For now, this is optional. You can do this later as well. Trials of Ascendancy are mazes within specific areas of the campaign – in this case, The Catacombs.

For now, this is optional. You can do this later as well. Trials of Ascendancy are mazes within specific areas of the campaign – in this case, The Imperial Gardens.