Now that you’ve reached the beginning of the endgame and you’ve experienced the build quite a bit, you should take some time to understand how your damage and survivability scales in order to know what can improve your build. Since there are a lot of things to consider, I’ll focus on the pure basics to give you a general idea.

As mentioned before, having a loot filter enhances your gaming experience a lot. Assuming you’ve completed all item and craft related tasks in Act 1 -10, you can now switch to a filter which is more strict and more endgame-focussed. If you are a new player, I recommend using this loot filter from here on since it hides almost all items that aren’t relevant for this specific build.

Noteworthy mention: Due to the fact that the mentioned loot filter hides a lot of items, Trade League players might miss out on valuable items. Nevertheless, I still recommend using it since new players most likely won’t be able to identify valuable items in the first place anyway. That being said … if you still want to give it a try, you can use the default filters of Here, you can choose what type of loot filter you want (Soft till Uber Plus Strict) and then you can either download it or sync it with your Path of Exile profile. If you don’t want to bother with this, just download the strict FilterBlade loot filter here. Be aware: This loot filter shows a lot (!) of useless items, at least in terms of this specific build.

So basically, you have two options:

Note: Make sure to download the loot filter and save it to the following folder: Users\User\Documents\My Games\Path of Exile. Then, select the loot filter in the ‚Game‘ options menu.

Note: Xbox and PS5 players can find the respective loot filters here.

1. How to scale your damage with modifiers

  • Your main skill is (G) Toxic Rain which is a bow attack skill where you fire multiple arrows in the air which land and drop spore pods, dealing chaos damage over time and slowing enemy movement speed for their duration. The spore pods explode after a delay, dealing chaos damage. Additionally, you use (G) Toxic Rain in combination with (R) Ballista Totem Support as your secondary skill which basically functions the same way – additionally, the totems apply Withered to enemies  [due to being linked to (G) Withering Touch Support] which increases their chaos damage taken and lowers their movement speed. As a result the following modifiers on items will help you to scale your overall damage (listed in order of impact):
    • +#% Chaos Damage Over Time Multiplier
    • +#% Chaos Damage Over Time
    • +#% Chaos Damage Over Time With Attack Skills (quivers only)
    • +#% Damage Over Time
    • +#% Chaos Damage
    • +#% increased Damage
    • +#% increased Area Damage
    • +#% increased Attack Speed with Bows
    • +#% increased Attack Speed
    • +#% increased Attack and Cast Speed

2. How to scale your damage with gem links

  • As you already know, the more support gems you link to a skill, the more powerful it gets (generally speaking; there are tons of link combinations which literally do nothing). As a result you want to add as much useful support gems to your Toxic Rain skill as possible. By default, you can add a maximum of 5 support gems to a skill, meaning that you should get a 6-link for both your main and secondary skill as soon as possible. That being said, your perfect 6-link setups right after you’ve completed the campaign are (listed in order of importance):

* The chances are very high that you will acquire a 6-link before you can acquire an (R) Empower Support Level 3 or 4. Until then, use (G) Mirage Archer Support.

3. How to scale your damage with gem levels

  • This shouldn’t be a surprise, but gems are getting stronger with higher levels. By default, the maximum level of a gem is 20.There are ways to increase the maximum level of gems to 21, but since this will only become relevant in the late endgame, the guide will elaborate on that later.
    On top of that, there are item modifiers which add levels to gems (as you might already know at this point). With this build, you can scale your damage by having the following modifiers on your bow:
    • +X Level to Socketed Bow Gem Level
    • +X Level to Socketed Gems
    • +X Level to Socketed Support Gems

Note: Keep in mind that ‘socketed’ means that the modifier only applies to gems which are socketed into that specific item. Therefore, you always want to put your Toxic Rain main skill setup into your bow!

4. How to scale your damage with gem quality

  • You can further increase the power of support gems by adding quality to them by using Gemcutter’s Prisms (each use of a Gemcutter’s Prism adds +1% quality to a gem). By default, the maximum quality of a gem is 20% (There are ways to increase the maximum quality of gems to 23%, but since this will only become relevant in the late endgame, the guide will elaborate on that later.)BUT in general, you won’t find enough Gemcutter’s Prisms to add 20% quality to all of your gems while playing white, yellow (and maybe even red) maps.** Therefore, the best way to get a level 20% gem is to use the following vendor recipe (I will use Multiple Totems Support as an example, but this works with any level 20 support gem):
  • Due to the fact that the gem will be level 1 once this vendor recipe is used (which lowers your damage by quite a lot), it’s not recommended to use it for all gems at once. On top of that, it’s recommended to run some lower areas (e.g. The Blood Aqueduct) a few times to let the new gem gain some levels before you continue doing maps.
  • Additionally, there is a vendor recipe that allows you to get Gemcutter’s Prisms: For every collection of gems with a total sum of 40+% quality you get a Gemcutter’s Prism. Therefore, pick up all gems with quality you find while running maps (indicated with ‘Superior’) and store them in your stash and if you need Gemcutter’s Prisms, you just sell all superior gems you have.

5. How to scale your damage with auras, curses/hexes and buffs

  • Let’s keep it short here (it should be kind of self-explanatory – at least for this build):
    • Curses/Hexes apply a debuff to an enemy. This build uses (B) Despair which curses all targets in an area, lowering their chaos resistance. By default, enemies can only be affected by one curse.
    • Auras apply a buff to a player and his allies. This build uses (B) Malevolence which casts an aura that multiplies damage over time and increases skill effect duration of you and your allies.

6. How to scale your damage with flasks

  • There are plenty of flasks available that increase your damage, but this build uses flasks to increase survivability for the most part (see next task). Nevertheless, by default, this build uses the following flask for damage scaling:
    • Silver Flask
      • Implicit: Onslaught
      • Prefix: #% increased Recovery Rate
      • Suffix: Immunity to Ignite during Flask effect + Removes Burning on use

1. How to increase your survivability with modifiers

  • This build benefits the most from the following modifiers (listed in order of importance):
    • +#% Fire Resistance
    • +#% Cold Resistance
    • +#% Lightning Resistance
    • +# to Maximum life
    • +#% increased Maximum Life
    • +#% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
    • +#% Chaos Resistance
    • Prevent +#% of Suppressed Spell Damage
    • +#% increased armour
    • +#% increased Evasion Rating
    • +# to Evasion Rating
  • Please note the following
    • You always want to have at least 75% Fire, Cold and Lightning Resistance.
    • Having Chaos Resistance is a huge defensive boost, but is not obtainable that easy. But it should be your long-term goal to also have 75% Chaos Resistance.

2. How to increase your survivability with skills & auras

  • This build uses several defensive skills & auras to increase your survivability. There are plenty of options to add/remove skills, but as for now, the following ones are recommended:
    • (R) Determination (more armour)
    • (R) Molten Shell (additional amour & “life”)
    • (B) Flame Dash (allows you to dodge things)
    • (R) Defiance Banner (the aura reduces the critical strike chance of nearby enemies; the skill effect increases your armour as well as evasion and reduces the damage of nearby enemies)
  • Please note the following:
    • Make sure to set Molten Shell as your default left click (to autocast it). Additionally, there is an alternate version of Molten Shell called Vaal Molten Shell which you can’t buy at a vendor, but it can drop from enemies (e.g. in Vaal Side Areas). On top of that you can get Vaal Molten Shell by using a Vaal Orb on a normal Molten Shell gem (if the gem actually transforms to a Vaal gem is random, so you might need several tries). So in case you find some Vaal Orbs, don’t hesitate to buy some Molten Shell gems at the vendor and use the Orbs on them.

3. How to increase your survivability with flasks

  • This build uses several defensive & utility flasks to increase your survivability. The following ones are recommended:
    • Divine Life Flask
      • Prefix: #% Reduced Amount Recovered + #% Reduced Recovery Rate + #% of Recovery applied Instantly
      • Suffix: Grants Immunity to Bleeding for # seconds if used while Bleeding + Grants Immunity to Corrupted Blood for # second if used while affected by Corrupted Blood
    • Granite Flask
      • Implicit: +1500 Armour
      • Prefix: Whatever you can get (30% increased Charge Recovery is nice)
      • Suffix: #% increased Armour during Flask effect
  • Please note the following:
    • You can beastcraft flask suffixes with the help of the Altar in The Menagerie if you’ve killed yellow and red beasts together with (the ones you hunt together with Einhar).

4. How to increase your survivability with mana regeneration

  • Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. In your case, this means that if enemies die, they can’t damage you (in most of the cases). As a result you want to be able to use your skills as much as possible. To do so, you need mana. Unfortunately, this build doesn’t have a lot of mana because of the auras it uses. Nevertheless, there are ways to work around this. This build uses the following ones:
    • Eternal Mana Flask
      • Prefix: 66% reduced Amount Recovered + Flask Effect is not removed at Full Mana
      • Suffix: Removes Curses on use
    • Replenishing Remedies‚ node (skill tree)
      • Effect: Life Flasks gain 2 Charges every 3 seconds + 15% increased Flask Charges gained
    • Arcane Chemistry‚ node (skill tree)
      • Effect: 30% increased Mana Recovery from Flasks + Mana Flasks gain 1 Charge every 3 seconds
    • (R) Lifetap Support for movement skills
  • Please note the following:
    • The mana-related nodes on the skill tree are highly recommended (especially for new players), but not mandatory. If you feel like you can sustain your mana without them, don’t hesitate to invest these skill points elsewhere.
    • ‘-X mana cost with non-channelling skills’ modifier on rings is also a way to increase your mana sustain, but if you actually get access to it is very random (but it’s still worth mentioning)

5. How to increase your survivability with movement skills & passives

  • Given that monsters often use area damage skills or have on death effects with large areas of effect, movement speed and not being targetable can actually be a lifesaver. Therefore, this build uses the following movement speed sources and passive nodes:
    • Quicksilver Flask
      • Implicit: 40% increased Movement Speed
      • Prefix: #% increased Charge Recovery (optional)
      • Suffix: #% increased Movement Speed during Flask effect (optional)
    • Movement speed modifier on boots
      • 25-35% increased movement speed (boots without movement speed aren’t recommended at all)
    • Phasing nodes at the ‘Avatar of the Hunt’ cluster (skill tree)
      • 2 nodes at the ‘Avatar of the Hunt’ cluster provide an 8% chance to gain phasing on kill (each). Phasing is a temporary effect that allows you to move through enemies.

In advance: Here you can find a more visual but compressed version of the following overview.

Now that you know how to scale your damage and increase your survivability, lets give you a final summary of what your endgame gem setups should look like (you most likely won’t have the 5-link or 6-link setups from the get go – trying to get them is your highest priority and very rng-based at the same time):

1. Bow (6-link)

2. Body Armour (6-link)

3. Boots (4-link)

4. Gloves (4-link)

The use of Withering Step is optional. While this skill comes with quite some defenses, the primary reason you want use this is to benefit from „Inflicts (4-6) Withered Debuffs the first time each Enemy enters the Area“ which increases the chaos damage taken of your enemies by 24%-36%. Be aware that – given that you most likely will spam Toxic Rain all the time – the area surrounding you (which applies Wither) only exists for a super short duration. As a consequence, you should stay near enemies when you activate Withering Step (but don’t be too precise with it; just use it regularly when facing big packs; it’s not crucial).

5. Helmet

6. Flasks

Important modifiers for flasks are:

  • ‚Grants Immunity to Bleeding for 4 seconds if used while Bleeding‘ + ‚Grants Immunity to Corrupted Blood for 4 seconds if used while affected by Corrupted Blood‘ (preferably on your life flask)
  • ‚Immunity to Freeze and Chill during Flask Effect‘ or ‚Grants Immunity to Freeze for # Seconds When Used While Frozen“ (unless you already have upgraded your major Pantheon which provides Freeze Immunity)
  • ‚Grants Immunity to Ignite for # Seconds if Used While Ignited‘ + ‚Removes all Burning When Used‘

From here, there will be several mentions of so-called “Harvest Crafting”, “Fossil Crafting” or “Bench Crafting” which will help you to acquire a lot of the mentioned tools to scale your damage or to increase your survivability. Therefore, it’s appropriate to give you a very brief introduction to these mechanics:

1. Harvest Crafting

  • Harvest Crafting refers to creating or improving items by utilizing the Harvest league mechanic which you will encounter occasionally when running maps. Once encountered, you can enter The Sacred Grove which offers pre-created Horticrafting gardens which contain monsters. Slaying the monsters will generate Harvest crafting currencies that can be used in the Horticrafting Station which can be used from your hideout. If you want to know more about Harvest Crafting now, check out Zizaran’s video guide.

2. Fossil Crafting

  • Fossil Crafting refers to creating or improving items by utilizing the Delve league mechanic which you can choose to run by entering the Mine Encampment via the waypoint menu (U) by clicking the respective symbol on the right side.While running Delve there is a chance that you get both Fossils and Resonators. Once you’ve acquired both, you can put one or more Fossils into a Resonator (depending on how many empty slots the Resonator has). The resonator can then be used on an item to change its modifiers whereby the final modifiers partly depend on the type of Fossils you’ve used. If you want to know more about Fossil Crafting now, check out ZiggyD’s video guide.

3. Bench Crafting

  • Bench Crafting refers to improving items by utilizing the Crafting Bench in your hideout. During your progress, you will unlock several powerful bench crafts by finding crafting recipes which are discovered in various locations across multiple contents. Most of them can be found in the campaign acts, The Labyrinth, and maps. Unveiling veiled items also unlocks crafting recipes. Very important crafts for this build you definitely should unlock will be explicitly mentioned later. If you want to know more about Fossil Crafting now, check out Zizaran’s video guide.

4. Eldritch Crafting

Once you’ve completed the epilog you will gain access to the Atlas of Worlds (Atlas) and the Map Device with the help of which you can open maps. In order to progress through the Atlas, let’s give you some basic information regarding maps:

  • In general, there are four types of maps: Normal (white), magic (blue), rare (rare) and unique (brown) maps.
  • Just like regular items, maps can have modifiers. The more (dangerous) modifiers a map has, the more enemies will appear (=monster pack size) and the more (valuable) loot will drop.
  • Just like regular items, maps can be customized by using currency (e.g. with Orb of Transmutation to transform a normal map to a magic one; or with an Orb of Alchemy to transform a normal map to a rare one). Modifiers of unique maps can’t be customized.
  • Just like on regular items, map modifiers can be customized by using currency (e.g. with an Orbs of Alteration or a Chaos Orbs).
  • Adding or changing modifiers to increase the monster pack size as well as the amount or value of loot is generally referred to as „juicing maps“ (there are other ways to juice maps, but for now, let’s keep it simple).

So when does this become relevant? In order to progress the Atlas and to gain Atlas skill tree points you have to complete maps by defeating the respective map boss while fulfilling explicit requirements:

  • To gain an Atlas skill point for a white map (a map with tier 1 through 5), you must defeat the map boss of a magic or rare map (in order to acquire a magic map, you can use an Orb of Transmutation on a normal map).
  • To gain an Atlas skill point for a yellow map (a map with tier 6 through 10), you must defeat the map boss of a rare map (in order to acquire a rare map, you can either use an Orb of Alchemy on a normal map or a Regal Orb on a magic map).
  • To gain an Atlas skill point for a red map (a map with tier 11 through 16), you must defeat the map boss of a corrupted rare map (in order to acquire a corrupted rare map, you have to use a Vaal Orb on a rare map (using a Vaal Orb on a map can change the map itself to be another map and/or its modifiers. If a map becomes ‚Unidentified‘ after using a Vaal Orb, it has the same modifiers as before, but an additional item quantity bonus).

Note: If you don’t want to run specific modifiers, you can use your currency to change the modifiers (e.g. Orb of Alteration to change the modifiers of a magic map or a Chaos Orb to change the modifiers of a rare map – the latter is generally not recommended, but there are occasions where this becomes useful). By the way: This build can run all modifiers (while other builds can’t).

Additionally you want to follow this rule: If you run a yellow or red map (without the need to complete it for Atlas skill tree points), make sure it’s at least rare. Usually, this means that you should use an Orb of Alchemy on the map before running it (if it’s normal).

Last but not least, I’ve compiled the following cheat sheet which gives you a general idea of how to complete your Atlas the best way possbile (without claiming that it takes into account every little nuance of the game – but it should include most of the relevant information):

Please note: As I’ve played this build for quite a bit now, I’d like to highlight the following maps which can be quite difficult due to the fact that their bosses have defenses/mechanics which do not favor this build and therefore should be done once you’ve increased your damage:

Important: Voidstones

Once you’ve started to progress the Atlas and to follow the main endgame quest line, you will eventually get a Voidstone which you can place into your Atlas (at the bottom). By doing so, all maps on your Atlas will be upgraded (meaning their tier will become higher) and as soon as you have placed all available Voidstones – there are 4 – into your Atlas, all maps will have the maximum Tier (16). On top of that each placed Voidstone provides ‚Maps Dropped in Area Have 25% Chance to be 1 Tier Higher‘.

In order to receive Voidstones you have to defeat the following bosses (listed in recommended kill order for this specific build):

Note: Each boss drops one Voidstone at a time.

In general, you can run all map modifiers with this build. Nevertheless, I don’t recommend running the following ones due to their additive – and quite unnecessary – difficulty:

  • #% Maximum Player Resistances
  • Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
  • Slaying Enemies close together has a #% chance to attract monsters from Beyond
  • Players are Cursed with Elemental Weakness (unless you have 95% or more uncapped elemental resistances)

Since I assume that you are a new player, I recommend you to try out all game contents – on the one hand to have seen them in general and on the other hand to know how the build feels within the framework of the respective content.

That being said, there are some information I would like to share with you in advance: This build is designed to bring you closer to the game as simply and smoothly as possible as well as to be able to attack all contents with good conditions, including (pinnacle) endgame bosses.

At the same time, however, the game also holds content for which this build doesn’t have the best prerequisites. In the following I would like to share a content assessment in terms of difficulty, ranked from ‚easy‘ over ’normal‘ to ‚hard‘ and ultimately ‚very hard‘ (which is of course also very gear and experience dependent):

  • Abyss: Easy
  • Heist: Easy
  • Bestiary: Easy – normal (depending on red beast type)
  • Breach: Normal
  • Expedition: Normal
  • Harvest: Normal
  • Ritual: Normal – hard (depending on the altar type)
  • Metamorph: Normal – hard (depending on chosen mechanics)
  • Delve: Normal – hard (depending on depth)
  • Betrayal: Normal – hard (depending on Syndicate member’s life)
  • Incursion: Normal – hard (depending on your damage)
  • Delirium: Normal – very hard (depending on how many Delirium layers are applied)
  • Blight: Nomal – very hard (depending on area and tower layout)
  • Legion: Hard – very hard (at least in terms of clearing them)

You have no idea what I am talking about? Fair enough. Just explore all game contents while keeping in mind that the build’s performance can vary depending on the league mechanic and therefore some league mechanics can be way more challenging than others.