[ POE 3.12 ] Heist League Starter Builds: Path of Exile


Hey there, welcome to another Path of Exile guide! With Heist league just around the corner, this is the best time to decide on that perfect starter build. If you’re a new player this choice is really important as it usually makes the difference between enjoying the game or giving up in frustration. And if you’re already somewhat experienced, then you likely understand a good start can set the stage for success for the rest of the league. Before going through the builds themselves, I just need to talk a bit about what actually is and makes a good league starter build. A league starter is a build whose purpose is to get you, as fast as possible, to the point where you can farm tier 7 or 8 maps.

That is a sweet spot where you start generating a good amount of currency and get decent drops, which should allow you to buy or craft proper gear. A good starter should be able to transition from that point to become an end-game build by acquiring better and more expensive items. Ideally this should be possible with minimal passive points re-speccing. Since starting a new league means you have absolutely nothing in your stash, a good starter build should be able to reach that Atlas mid-tier with self found gear and cheap items. It shouldn’t rely on expensive or hard to get unique items, but instead on those which are always in abundance or obtainable using divination cards which can be easily farmed.

And just to clarify, while all builds will have some end-game recommended gear that is more expensive, at that point we’re no longer talking about a starter build. Then, a good starter should be able to run any type of content and most if not all map mods. While boss killing is outside the scope of a league starter, it should however do fairly well in a wide range of scenarios. Another key aspect for a league starter is that it shouldn’t rely on mechanics, skills or items that are introduced in the upcoming league. Not only would that involve a lot of guesswork but such elements are always prone to be changed in the first weeks of a new league.

In addition to that, a good starter should be easy to play, without complicated mechanics or combos and supported by a clear build guide. No matter how great a build is, if you’re wasting hours to figure out how to play it or choose the wrong leveling path in the passive tree, your efficiency will drop significantly. Finally, all the builds that I’ll showcase have been tested, fine tuned or designed by myself. They worked great as starter builds for a number of leagues now and are proven to be reliable for new players and veterans alike.

If anything’s unclear or you have any questions about these builds, you can find me streaming on Twitch at twitch.tv/navandis (link to the schedule in the pinned comment and video description). I’m generally live 4 or 5 times a week and I’m always happy to help new players better understand this game. First up is the completely reworked Cyclone Champion build, using one of the smoothest and fun to play skills in the game. Grab a 2-handed sword with decent physical damage and spin your way through the entire game. If you’ve ever played whirlwind barb in any Diablo game, well, this is Path of Exile’s equivalent. Incredible mobility, excellent clearing speed and really solid damage are all perks of this build. On top of that it uses one of the very few skills in the game which can continuously apply damage while constantly moving.

Killing enemies while moving around and evading dangerous stuff is a great defensive mechanism, and it only gets stronger as you become better at positioning. The build is also not really gear dependent and doesn’t need any specific unique items. Op top of that, items boosting physical or melee damage are always in abundance so you’ll have plenty to chose from. This version of the build is also intentionally designed to be a very budget-oriented one, making it ideal as a league starter. Finally, it is a very fun build to play and if you’re a new Path of Exile player then this will provide a perfect taste of what the game has to offer.

If this sounds like what you’re looking for then check out the full guide by following the link in the pinned comment and video description. My second suggestion for a league starter is the absolute classic Arc Witch, one of the most beginner-friendly builds out there. In fact Arc builds have been pretty much synonym with the concept of a league starter and this one is definitely not an exception. It’s well established that Arc is one of the best clearing skill s in the game, depending very little on gear or even the player’s own skill. When leveling you can pick up any staff, sceptre or wand that has some spell damage and cast speed and it will work great.

With a very intuitive playstyle and absolutely no complex mechanics, it’s a beginner’s best friend. Fast paced and amazing at killing large packs of mobs, you’ll cruise through story mode and knock the first few Atlas tiers with ease. While it’s not an amazing boss killer, that’s generally beyond the purpose of a league starter and it can also get there by investing in some end-game gear after you start amassing some currency. Lastly, if you’re thinking about playing one of the new spells introduced in Heist league, such as Crackling Lance or reworked ones like Firestorm or curses, then a witch is a safe bet.

You’ll very likely be able to respec into a new build using the same class and even most of the same items, once we know more about the new skills in practice. You can go to the video guide for ?Arc Witch? by clicking on that ?i? thing in the upper right corner, or following the links in the video description and pinned comment. Up next is the amazing Toxic Rain Ranger. Incredibly fast paced and with excellent clearing capabilities, this chaos damage build is a farming and leveling beast. Carpet the screen with toxic spore pods which deal chaos damage over time and drastically slow down all enemies. No special aiming or targeting is required as the skill has a generous area of effect. This works great when you’re trying to focus on learning a new league’s mechanics.

Most of its efficiency comes from gems and passives rather than gear, making it perfect for the first days of a new league. It doesn’t really need any mandatory uniques and even its best-in-slot gear is usually quite cheap. Just grab any bow with decent attack speed and you’re good to go. Focus your other gear on defenses and you’ll cruise through story mode and the first Atlas tiers. And, as any respectable farmer, it’s able to run literally every map mod and that is a huge advantage when you start going through the Atlas. You won’t waste any time or currency re-rolling maps and you’ll get much more drops, greatly boosting your overall efficiency.

My 4th recommendation is the recently buffed Tectonic Slam Chieftain! Last league brought a huge number of improvements to slam skills and warcries, and this build takes full advantage of them. With extremely satisfying, giant, fire hits that almost cover the entire screen, Tectonic Slam is not your average melee skill by any means. In fact, it has better coverage and longer range than many spells. You can take advantage of this and chose when to fight up close and when to slam from afar, depending on the specifics of each combat scenario. On top of that it’s one of the most resilient and tanky builds I’ve played since the days of the Molten Strike Juggernaut. With stun immunity, capped physical damage reduction, a really solid chance to block both spells and attacks, excellent life regeneration, this Chieftain build can even be used in Hardcore leagues with a few minor tweaks.

Gearing is really straight-forward and there isn’t much competition for the items you’ll need in this build. This is ideal in the first few weeks of a new league as you’ll have to squeeze out as much as possible from very little currency. You can find the link to the full guide in the pinned comment and video description. Clicking on the ?i? thing in the upper right corner will take you there as well. My final suggestion for a league starter is an absolute beast of a summoner, the Skelemancer.

This necromancer relies on an army of skeletons along with a few other minions who are there to support them, most notably zombies and spectres. While the Necromancer ascendancy has seen a few nerfs lately, none of them affect this build since it wasn’t relying on broken or overpowered mechanics which are usually a magnet for the nerf bat. What makes this build an amazing league starter is first and foremost its complete gear independence: almost none of your minions damage comes from equipment; no strength stacking, no expensive jewels or mandatory uniques which are crucial for the build’s performance. As long as your resistance are capped you’re good to go and your skeletons will obliterate everything in their path. Even the best-in-slot, end-game gear, costs less than what most builds need to clear white maps.

The Skelemancer is equally good at clearing large packs of mobs as well as killing bosses or other tough targets. Losing a few skeletons will never cripple you as raising some more doesn’t require corpses. Not only that, but summoner builds are a beginner’s best friend: they allow you to observe and learn difficult fights or a new league’s mechanics, while your minions do the heavy lifting. It’s much easier to master new or tough boss fights when minions take care of dealing damage and your only concern is proper positioning and staying alive. You can find the extensive build guide linked in the pinned comment and video description.

Learn anything new, exile? If you did, then you’ll be happy to hear there are more videos coming up in the near future with more exciting builds to try. Make sure not to miss them by subscribing to the channel so you get notified when that happens. And while you’re at it why not like this video as well or drop a comment down below to let me know your thoughts.

Thank you all for watching and see ya next time!.

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