Path of Exile beginner’s guide: Classes and Ascendancies


Hello and welcome to this beginner?s guide of Path of Exile. In this video I will talk about classes, ascendancies, and the labyrinth. Throughout your game, you will specialise your gameplay through passive skills surrounding your class?s starting point. Later, ascendancy points earned by completing the labyrinth will refine your play style even further. At the start of the game, classes have no difference from one another, except for their starting attributes and passive skill tree starting area. Those areas have passive skills related to the nearby classes? playstyles, like spell damage for witches, physical damage for marauders and bows or fast-paced weapons for rangers. Hybrid classes have access to the converging points of these sectors, allowing more variety or an unusual combination. The scion is the ultimate hybrid by being in the complete center of the skill tree.

You may find ascendancy trials throughout the main storyline which unlocks the labyrinth in the Sarn encampment in act three. This labyrinth is treacherous and difficult: there are many traps, few simple puzzles, and three encounters with Izaro, a deadly boss for those unprepared. Succeeding will reward you with loot chests opened with treasure keys, an enchantment font for gloves, boots or helmets, and most importantly two ascendency points if this was your first completion on this difficulty. Higher difficulties are unlocked with trials throughout the story and randomly through end-game maps. There are four different labyrinths, which means 8 total ascendancy points maximum.

Ascendancies are subclasses that enhances a specific type of playstyle of its source class. They provide a miniature skill tree with incredibly powerful passive skills that should define your character. As such, it is important to always have in mind the bonuses gained from these passive skills while building your character. All classes have three sub-classes, except for the scion with its unique type of ascendancy. The witch can ascend to an occultist, a curse, chaos or cold wielding spellcaster with strong energy shield. The elementalist is diverse in its damage types, using all types of elements and golems. The necromancer, finally, is the master of minions, capable of raising a strong army. The shadow can become a trickster, a master of speed and utility, capable of inflicting strong damage over time ailments. The assassin trumps every other class in critical strikes: his damage output is one of the best. The saboteur is the only ascendancy who completely and exclusively focuses on traps and mines, outclassing any other character for this playstyle.

The ranger will specialise in projectiles and all its associated mechanics through the Deadeye ascendancy. She can also be deadly while evasive with the raider?s various accelerating skills. The pathfinder can also be useful in many ways but will use flasks with ease to do so. The duelist may delve further into his melee capabilities with the slayer ascendancy, who cares exclusively about dealing the most damage or leeching the most life. The gladiator, on the other hand, can be strong and defensive through blocking and bleeding enemies. The champion is an all-around good melee sub-class with strong defences while taunting enemies and impaling them.

The marauder can ascend to the chieftain, a fire wielding and totem specialised subclass. The juggernaut can live up to his name by being unstoppable and undeniable. The berserker is all about damage: too much so that he will probably harm himself as well. Templars may change into inquisitors, an elemental and versatile battlemage. The Hierophant is a pure caster sub-class who can use totems and brands unlike any other ascendancy. The guardian will use auras and help allies with almost all his passive skills, making him the best support in general. The scion has a unique and unusual subclass, the ascendant. With 8 ascendancy passive skills, you can get more attributes, a few extra skill points, one additional starting point for passive skills, but most importantly two weaker ascendancies from any combination of two classes. As those original ascendancies are already specialised, it may be hard to find a good combination to specifically fit your playstyle.

The scion might not be the best pick outright but can pull off great synergy that no ascendancy can come close to. (135) Refunding those skills will cost 5 refund points. Additionally, if you have no allocated ascendancy points when you use the altar at the end of the labyrinth, you may change to your current ascendancy to one of the other two options..

As found on YouTube