10 Best League Starter Build in Path of Exile Necropolis 3.24

13.05.2024 - 23:16:36
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides , POE Gameplay Guides

10 Best League Starter Build in Path of Exile Necropolis 3.24

Path of Exile: Necropolis League might not shake the game up just like the previous expansion did, but it certainly has a few mechanics that make you enjoy this awesome ARPG even more.

That said, are you a complete beginner and would want to create a character very soon? If so, you might be looking for a build that can take you from zero to hero. Well, you are in luck!

Today, we are going to talk about our top picks so that any currency and time you put into a build is well worth it. Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is a League Starter?

If this is your first time playing Path of Exile, you have probably heard of it or seen it being talked about on various platforms. But, what exactly is a league starter and why should you care?

A league starter is a build in PoE that has the following qualities:

Can Work on a Minimal Investment

Every three months or so, Grinding Gear Games releases a new expansion to the game, where everyone will have to start all over again. This is also referred to as a “challenge league,” which is rife with new mechanics for you to play with.

That being said, a league starter is essentially a build that can work on a minimal investment. Just slap on some gear with the right modifiers and you should be good to go!

A good league starter, then, is a build that deals a considerable amount of damage without spending a ton of PoE Currency. You could scour the trade website for some leveling uniques and use the Chaos Orbs that you may have saved up during the course of your journey.

Now, this is not to say a league starter does not use any unique items; it just means that they are pretty inexpensive and can be purchased a few days into a new league.

Although Path of Exile is rife with expensive stuff, a league starter can function without them (though you can buy them later on if you want to).

Effective at Farming Currency

A good league starter is one that can help you get currency very early on. For example, the Toxic Rain Pathfinder is awesome at taking out huge groups of enemies with consistent pressure via chaos damage. 

There are multiple gear options that are inexpensive which can help boost the damage of this build, making it an effective currency farmer a few days into a new league.

Easy to Play

Aside from being able to function on cheap gear, a good league starter must be easy to play. The Righteous Fire Chieftain is arguably one of the most comfortable builds to use mainly because you are just running around the map as you see your enemies get burned to a crisp.

Keep in mind that there are builds with very complicated mechanics. The Boneshatter Juggernaut is a good example of this. The Trauma stacks that you accrue as you whack your enemies with Boneshatter can damage you immensely if you are not careful, so you have to address that quickly.

But, despite the complex mechanics at play, that does not necessarily mean that a build is difficult to use. Path of Exile is very interesting in this regard, isn’t it?

Able to Function in SSF

Solo Self-Found (aka SSF) is a feature in PoE where trading with other players is not possible. Now, you might not play in an SSF environment, but a good league starter is one that can help you reach the endgame without relying on others to supply you with items.

Provides a Smooth Leveling Experience

A good league starter is one that provides you with a smooth leveling experience. Minion builds like the “Zoomancer” Necromancer allows you to command a legion of minions to fight for you. If you like to run around the map while your minions do all of the dirty work, then such a build does exist in Path of Exile.

What if you want a more active playstyle? There are those that can give you that as well. The Spectral Shield Throw Raider is a build that you can use to zoom around the map and hurl your shield at your enemies a la Captain America.

The builds just mentioned are just some that can help you earn levels quickly without spending countless hours.

Capable of Acquiring Your First Voidstones

Another important quality of a good league starter in Path of Exile is that it should be capable of eliminating bosses for your first Voidstones. For the uninitiated, Voidstones are items that upgrade the tier of maps found in the Atlas. They can be obtained by defeating certain bosses, such as The Searing Exarch, Eater of Worlds, Uber Elder, and the Maven.

Having said that, if you want higher-tier maps to drop in the game, you have to insert Voidstones into the Atlas. As you can tell by the number of bosses you have to defeat, you have to acquire several Voidstones in order for Tier 16 and Tier 17 maps to appear.

Although defeating all of them is a tall order, a good league starter must be competent enough to acquire the first two Voidstones. If you need advice, both the Searing Exarch and Eater of Worlds are relatively easy, though you can slay the four bosses in any order you want.

Has Good Scalability

And lastly, you will know if a league starter is good if it can scale its damage really well the more PoE currency you invest in it. One prime example of this is the Lightning Arrow Deadeye.

You can craft some starter pieces of gear using Essences that you can purchase for cheap on the trade website. When you have saved up enough PoE Currency, the said build shines even more, especially if you are able to get your hands on some endgame gear, such as the tri-element bow for maximum damage.

Best League Starters in the Necropolis League

With that out of the way, you are probably wondering what the top builds are in Patch 3.24. If that is the case, then read further. These are our picks for the best league starters in Path of Exile: Necropolis League:

10. Hexblast Mines Saboteur

The first build on the list has been a popular choice for many leagues now. The Hexblast Mines Saboteur is capable of outputting huge amounts of damage by leveraging Hexblast into a more fun and exciting build to play.

Hexblast is a spell skill gem in Path of Exile that deals chaos damage to a single enemy. However, whenever you cast it on a monster that is affected by a hex curse, it also deals damage to enemies that are in close proximity.

Although Hexblast is good and all, it has one inherent problem: It has a relatively long cast time. In a fast-paced game like PoE, having a build that is slow to do anything is problematic and is oftentimes not played at all considering the wealth of other options that are worth your time.

Fortunately, there is a way to address Hexblast’s downside and that is where High-Impact Mine comes in. This support gem essentially turns Hexblast into a Mine skill, enabling you to throw multiple Mines at once for maximum damage.

Aside from resolving the issue of Hexblast’s slow cast speed, High-Impact Mine has an intrinsic aura that allows the chaos spell skill to deal double damage against nearby enemies!

In terms of gear, you can use a rune dagger with the “+1 to Level of All Chaos Spell Skill Gems,” which you can acquire by spamming Orb of Alteration on a Demon Dagger or Platinum Kris. These weapon bases are preferred for their increased crit chance implicit modifier. Other useful mods include spell damage, critical strike multiplier, and mana. Leave a suffix slot open so that you can bench-craft increased mine throwing speed as well.

Once you have enough currency, a definite upgrade for the Hexblast Mines Saboteur is the Sandstorm Visage. This is a unique item that makes your base spell crit chance equal to that of your main hand weapon. That is why this helmet is best paired with a self-crafted Prophecy Wand due to the weapon’s 8% base crit chance.

Since you are going to use Summon Skitterbots on this build, you will use the Profane Proxy to take advantage of that. This ring allows one of your skitterbots to apply a hex curse aura that affects targets that are close by. You can put either Frostbite or Flammability here, whichever you prefer.

But wait a minute, isn’t Hexblast a chaos spell skill gem? That is correct! However, Hexblast has a property where chaos damage is resisted by the enemy’s lowest resistance. So, even if a monster’s chaos resistance is at 39%, if their fire or cold resistance is set to any value lower than that number, then the skill takes that into consideration instead.

Do you want to hear something incredible? You can actually get a pair of gloves that have two corrupted implicit mods, namely “Curse Enemies with Elemental Weakness on Hit” and “Curse Enemies with Enfeeble on Hit.” These hex curses will still be applied to enemies simply because you are the one using them. 

The hex curse on the Profane Proxy does not count because your skitterbots do not apply it. Instead, it is utilized as an aura. It is worth noting that for you to be able to apply two hex curses at once, you need to allocate Whispers of Doom on the passive tree. With enemies being affected by three different hex curses, your Hexblast Mines are going to deal a huge amount of damage as a result!

Another unique item you can get for the build is The Covenant. This body armor grants the effect of a level 29 Added Chaos Damage Support for a ton of free damage. Therefore, it only makes sense that Hexblast and High-Impact Mine Support are inserted into The Covenant for best results.

Now, what makes the Saboteur the perfect ascendancy class for this league starter? Well, you could say that GGG has made this ascendancy class specifically to utilize Mines to a great extent.

Explosives Expert is an incredible node because it provides you with different bonuses depending on what elemental ailment is applied to an enemy. For instance, you will get 10% elemental penetration with hits against Chilled enemies (you are always going to take advantage of this thanks to your skitterbots).

Demolitions Specialist boosts the double damage aura granted by High-Impact Mine Support. This enables you to deal huge amounts of damage even if you do not have your gear sorted out yet.

Pyromaniac and Born in the Shadows are very useful for your survivability. The former makes you immune to Shock and Ignite, which are two elemental ailments that you do not want to deal with. The latter, on the other hand, gives you the ability to blind enemies using your Hexblast Mines.

With its incredible damage capabilities on a budget, it is no wonder that the Hexblast Mines Saboteur is one of the best league starters in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League!

9. Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction Necromancer

Ever since GGG introduced the new Transfigured Gems in the previous league, the PoE community has been hard at work creating awesome builds that utilize these new gems. One of those builds is the Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction Necromancer.

As you can probably tell by the gem’s name, the Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction still requires you to blow up corpses to kill enemies. However, the main difference is that the series of smaller explosions occur in a chain reaction shortly after the first explosion. Thus, so long as there are some usable corpses nearby, you can expect things to go kaboom thanks to this spell skill gem.

Although there are no minions summoned on this build, you are still going to use the Necromancer in this instance. The reason why is that this is the only ascendancy class in Path of Exile with nodes that provide certain benefits when corpses are involved.

The Plaguebringer is a notable ascendancy passive skill that enhances your damage and AoE if you have consumed a corpse recently. Although you are technically detonating a corpse with Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction, this counts as having “consumed” a corpse, thereby allowing you to take advantage of Plaguebringer’s effects.

On the topic of corpses, there is also the Corpse Pact. This ascendancy node significantly boosts your cast speed for each corpse you have consumed in the past several seconds. Furthermore, Corpse Pact inflicts Chill and Shock to monsters that are near the corpses you have spawned recently, making them more vulnerable to your main skill’s explosions.

Offering skills in PoE, namely Flesh Offering, Spirit Offering, and Bone Offering, typically only affects minions. But, thanks to the Necromancer’s Mistress of Sacrifice node, you will be granted the effects of these Offering skills as well, albeit at a 50% reduced effect. This is still a fair compromise given that these skills provide you with a lot of amazing benefits, including increased cast speed, crit chance, and spell/attack block chance, among others.

Speaking of which, Flesh Offering is amazing on this build because it grants increased cast speed and movement speed while the buff is active. Bone Offering is a good alternative, especially if you want more survivability.

Although this last notable ascendancy passive skill you will take does not involve any corpses, the Commander of Darkness is incredible, primarily because it gives you 30% increased damage and elemental resistances right off the bat. Besides that, you gain a 3% increased attack/cast speed for every aura you have activated.

What’s great about the Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction Necromancer is that it can work with self-crafted gear which, as mentioned earlier in this article, is one of the hallmarks of a good league starter!

You can use an Opal Sceptre or Void Sceptre as your main weapon on a budget. Spam it with Essence of Fear (Minion Damage) until you get increased cast speed and mana. Ultimately, you are going to settle with an Oscillating Sceptre for its Elemental Overload implicit modifier. Yes, that’s right! The said mod is the same as the keystone found on the passive tree.

Since this build does not invest in critical strike chance (but is still capable of landing crits from time to time), Elemental Overload is a free damage boost. Getting it from the Oscillating Sceptre frees up one passive skill point that you can use for something else.

While not mandatory for the build to work, The Fourth Vow, coupled with the Divine Flesh keystone granted by the Glorious Vanity (Xibaqua) Timeless Jewel, greatly enhances your survivability. 

The Fourth Vow makes it so that armor also mitigates the chaos damage you receive from enemy hits. Additionally, Divine Flesh converts 50% of elemental damage taken to chaos damage.

As to how this build is played, whenever you encounter large groups of enemies, you cast Desecrate to give you a pool of corpses that you can use. Then, blow them up using Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction and see your enemies die in a series of fiery explosions!

Because you will equip a shield on this build, it only makes sense to utilize Shield Charge to quickly traverse the map in search of enemies. Flame Dash or Frostblink are just complementary movement skills that you can cast when you are in a bind.

All in all, the Detonate Dead of Chain Reaction Necromancer is a great way to blow something up. It does not require any fancy items to work, though you can certainly get upgrades later down the line if you like the build’s playstyle.

8. Explosive Trap of Shrapnel Trickster

Trap and Mine skills in Path of Exile are great for any league start scenarios because they do a ton of damage even with budget gear. This next build is one that exemplifies that.

The Explosive Trap of Shrapnel Trickster is a Transfigured Gem that is just a better version than the original. It deals more damage, has higher damage effectiveness, and the secondary explosions are spread out in a wider area compared to the base version.

Having said that, you can make this build work with mostly self-found gear. Start by investing in a five-linked body armor so that you can insert four support gems to improve the damage of Explosive Trap of Shrapnel. Make it a point to include Trap and Mine Damage Support, Concentrated Effect, Charge Traps Support, and Inspiration Support into the mix. 

If you are able to snag a six-linked body armor instead, you can add Increased Critical Strikes Support (replace with Increased Critical Damage once you have your critical strike chance higher than 60%).

For items, the Sunblast is quite cheap and provides a ton of value to the build. This thing allows you to throw two additional traps on the battlefield at a time Even though it drastically reduces your traps’ duration, that is not a problem considering that you are going to play fast anyway.

The Kintsugi costs a bit of PoE Currency at the beginning. However, what it gives you is superior survivability compared to a self-crafted body armor early on. The 35% less damage taken if you have not been hit recently is huge, especially if you scale your evasion rating to a considerable extent.

If you like this build so much, you can take things a step further by crafting the endgame Alternating Sceptre. This weapon has an implicit modifier called “Secrets of Suffering” that boosts your critical strike chance (via Brittle) at the cost of not being able to apply Chill, Freeze, Shock, and Ignite. This is acceptable since you are not scaling damage from the aforementioned elemental ailments. 

If you have some background knowledge about the different ascendancy classes in Path of Exile, you would think that this build utilizes the Saboteur due to the Explosive Trap of Shrapnel being the primary skill. However, in this case, you are actually going to use the Trickster, and for good reasons.

The Trickster makes you tanky even with budget gear. Escape Artist boosts your evasion and energy shield based on your equipped helmet and body armor. The more evasion rating you have on your body armor, for example, the more energy shield you’ll have as a result.

Spell suppression, which is a defensive layer that halves the spell damage you take from enemies, is easier to cap on the Trickster. This is thanks to the aptly named Spellbreaker node. This notable ascendancy passive skill not only grants 20% spell suppression, but it prevents 10% of suppressed spell damage if your energy shield is full.

Then, you gain a huge damage boost and life/mana recovery due to Polymath. This node works best if you have allocated different types of Masteries on your passive tree.

In addition, because you are scaling Frenzy Charges on this build, it only makes sense to take Swift Killer. This ascendancy node raises your Maximum Frenzy Charges by two. For those who do not know, a single Frenzy Charge boosts your attack speed, cast speed, and damage by 4% per charge.

When it comes to your main rotation, use your preferred movement skill to travel around the map. Then, upon encountering a huge pack of monsters, simply throw your traps and the explosions should commence shortly after.

How about if you are fighting bosses? The playstyle remains largely the same, except that you throw Bear Trap and cast Elemental Weakness on occasion. Both of these skills make affected monsters take increased damage. While it is cumbersome to cast these things yourself, the good news is that you do not have to use them while mapping. Only utilize Bear Trap and Elemental Weakness if you are going against a tough cookie.

Because you are self-casting Elemental Weakness as part of your boss rotation, you might as well invest in The Balance of Terror in the future. Get one specifically with the mod: “Gain % of Physical Damage as a Random Element” when casting Elemental Weakness.”

The Explosive Trap of Shrapnel Trickster is an awesome league starter who is good at both mapping and dealing with bosses. The trap playstyle may not appeal to most people and it does require some time to get used to, but we promise you that it will provide you with an amazing experience.

7. Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant

This next league starter is interesting because you are scaling damage that is not the natural element of your main skill. We are referring to the Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant.

One of the cornerstones of this build is the newly tweaked Archmage Support. To understand why this support gem makes a lot of builds in Path of Exile strong in Patch 3.24, it is important to talk about what has changed.

In the expansions prior to the Necropolis League, Archmage Support gives you added lightning damage based on the amount of mana spent using a spell that is linked to this support gem. This is a rather steep mountain to climb because you’d have to raise the mana cost of the supported skill incredibly high to take advantage of what Archmage Support has to offer.

Fast forward to today, the Archmage Support still gives you added lightning damage. However, you no longer have to spend a ton of mana to avail of that. Instead, the damage bonus this support gem gives is now based on your unreserved maximum mana (19% at gem level 20).

To ensure that you gain the maximum benefit from Archmage Support, you are not going to reserve any mana when activating your auras. Instead, you will utilize Divine Blessing (for Wrath) and the Vaal Skill from Vaal Haste.

Now that the biggest piece of the puzzle is out of the way, it is time to discuss the spell that you are going to use for this build, the Ice Nova of Frostbolts. You can probably tell just by looking at its name that there is another spell that is involved here. If you thought of that, you are actually right! The Transfigured Gem needs Frostbolt projectiles to make things happen.

You see, when you cast Frostbolt, you will unleash a bevy of projectiles that pierce through enemies. How Ice Nova of Frostbolts factors into this equation is that you can cast this spell directly on those projectiles. After using the Transfigured Gem, the Ice Nova will appear at the Frostbolt projectiles’ location rather than around your character. The result? You will be able to clear maps so much faster than the regular Ice Nova spell!

Having to cast Frostbolt first and then the Ice Nova of Frostbolts is a bit cumbersome, especially since most builds in PoE have a one-button playstyle. Do not worry about that; there is a way to automate Frostbolt and that is in the form of Kitava’s Thirst.

Kitava’s Thirst is a helmet with a unique effect, where spending at least 100 mana upfront triggers the skill socketed into it. This is the reason why your Ice Nova of Frostbolts should cost 100 mana or more to take advantage of Kitava’s Thirst.

You do not have to think about any complicated stuff because Archmage Support already raises the mana cost of Ice Nova of Frostbolts by itself. Not to mention that the other support gems contribute to the increase in the mana cost of your main damaging spell as well.

So, with Kitava’s Thirst equipped, the only thing necessary for you to do to set things in motion is cast Ice Nova of Frostbolts and the said helmet will do most of the heavy lifting (in terms of casting Frostbolt, that is).

As we have alluded to earlier, this build does not scale cold damage despite Ice Nova of Frostbolts being your main damaging spell. That is because the bulk of your damage comes from Archmage Support. Hence, you will focus on boosting your lightning damage in whatever way you can.

A primary example of this is Arcane Cloak. This is a guard skill that also provides you with added lightning damage equivalent to 14% of the mana spent to activate this skill (this is assuming that Arcane Cloak is at level 20). Although that may seem insignificant on the surface, it does add up to your total damage output.

The Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant is an excellent mapper. However, where this build really shines is dealing with pinnacle bosses in PoE. When you are fighting against Sirus, for instance, drop the Sigil of Power, and start casting Ice Nova of Frostbolts to gain even more added lightning damage.

Arcane Cloak and Arcane Surge are cast automatically thanks to the new Automation gem that was introduced in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League. Use Wrath if you need more oomph in the lightning damage department.

To make this build comfortable to play, you will need a lot of cast speed. This is not only to address the downside of Kitava’s Thirst, but to also make Frostblink of Wintry Blast a lot smoother to use. You can grab a couple of Profane Wands and spam them with Essence of Misery until you get spell damage, lightning damage to spells, mana, mana regeneration rate, and critical strike chance for spells.

While the mechanics of this build are complex, the Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant is anything but the contrary. It does require some setup in order to maximize its damage. However, when things are finally in rhythm, this incredible league starter can destroy anything foolish enough to come its way!

6. Explosive Arrow Elementalist

A mainstay in the top league starters of Path of Exile, the Explosive Arrow Elementalist proves that applying copious amounts of Ignites can destroy any monster you encounter in the game.

Explosive Arrow itself prompts you to fire a single arrow that sticks to the enemy upon contact. After a brief period, the arrow explodes, dealing fire damage in an area depending on the number of arrows that were stuck on the enemy before the explosion.

That said, a maximum of 22 arrows can be stuck on the enemy at a time, which is why attack speed is crucial for this build. However, unless you specifically put huge amounts of attack speed from your gear and passive skills, you are not going to be fast enough to stick 20 arrows before they start exploding. That is why you are going to rely on several ballistae from the Ballista Totem Support.

The ballistae in the game are capable of attacking pretty quickly even on budget gear. Of course, you still have to put some attack speed and accuracy on your equipment, but the investment required is not too steep. That is the reason why this build has been a staple among the best league starters for quite some time now.

Now, Explosive Arrow is a bow attack skill that deals fire damage. However, it does not inherently apply Ignite on enemies. So, where will this come from? Well, you have the Elementalist for that.

The Elementalist has access to the very powerful Shaper of Flames – an ascendancy node that makes your hits apply Ignite on enemies. For those who do not know, Ignite is an elemental ailment associated with fire which deals fire damage over time. Hence, you scale Ignite damage by putting damage over time multiplier and/or fire damage over time multiplier on your bow and quiver, in addition to taking certain passive skills on the tree.

One of the keystone passives you are going to allocate on this build is Elemental Equilibrium. So long as you do not have added fire damage on your gear, you will apply Fire Exposure on enemies. This effectively reduces their fire resistance by 25%, making them more vulnerable to your Explosive Arrows.

Did you know that you can boost that exposure debuff even further? Yes, that’s right! Amplify the effects of Fire Exposure by taking the Mastermind of Discord. This notable ascendancy passive skill applies an additional 25% reduction on fire resistance to enemies affected by Fire Exposure!

Heart of Destruction synergizes really well with Explosive Arrow. If you or your ballistae hit a unique enemy, you will gain a buff called Convergence, which grants a 30% more elemental damage buff that lasts for several seconds. 

On top of that, if no unique monsters are nearby, your Explosive Arrow’s explosion coverage is increased by 60%. That means that you can hit more monsters if you do not have Convergence on at the moment.

You might think that this build is not capable of surviving out there, but that is just far from the truth. If anything, the Explosive Arrow Elementalist is deceptively tanky due to the mechanics that are working behind the scenes.

This ascendancy class has access to the Bastion of Elements. When this node is taken, you will be protected by the Primal Aegis which is able to soak incoming elemental damage before it is depleted. The amount of damage it can absorb depends on the number of notable passive skills you have allocated.

Aside from ascendancy nodes from the Elementalist, this build is a good league starter because it does not require any items to work. Nevertheless, there are certain things that you can buy in order to make this build work like a charm.

A cheap upgrade that you can take early on is the Dyadian Dawn. This is a belt that allows the Ignites you inflict with your Explosive Arrows to deal damage considerably faster than normal. This works great if your ballistae can stick 22 arrows on the monsters that you see on screen in a jiffy.

The Polaric Devastation could possibly be expensive a few days into a new league, though its price drops significantly if you are patient enough. What’s fantastic about this ring is that whenever you wear it on the left slot, you gain the ability to cover enemies in Ash when they are ignited by your attacks. Those that are covered in Ash take increased fire damage, in case you are wondering what this effect means.

Wilma’s Requital contains mods that work wonders for the Explosive Arrow Elementalist. Not only does this helmet provide you with energy shield, accuracy, and increased elemental damage, but it also gives you a free Ancestral Bond. This keystone passive enables you to drop an additional ballista totem at the cost of not being able to do damage yourself. Do not be deterred by that downside because you will rely on your ballistae to apply copious amounts of Ignites on your enemies anyway.

Remember Elemental Equilibrium? That keystone gives you the ability to apply Fire Exposure so long as you are not dealing flat fire damage with your attacks. Elemental Equilibrium does require you to deal cold or lightning damage, however. Thankfully, you can equip Storm Cloud as early as level 9 if you can somehow get your hands on it.

Storm Cloud is a unique bow that deals a flat amount of lightning damage. What’s more, this thing significantly boosts your attack speed which, as you already know, is quite useful on this build.

In the endgame, you will transition to using a self-crafted bow with “+2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems” and “+1 to Level of Socketed Gems.” These mods are desired because Explosive Arrow scales really well with higher gem levels.

If you have managed to craft a perfect quiver with damage over time and fire damage over time multipliers, a great alternative bow you could use is the Widowhail. Purchase one that is close to 250% increased bonuses to get the most out of it.

With the build’s power unlocked just by wearing self-crafted gear and taking the appropriate notable ascendancy passives, the Explosive Arrow Elementalist is still considered one of the greatest, even in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League!

5. Splitting Steel Champion

Developer GGG made a fundamental change to Splitting Steel in the past league in that the skill no longer consumes steel shards upon use. With this adjustment, Splitting Steel has become one of the best league starters in Path of Exile.

For specifics, Splitting Steel is an attack skill in Path of Exile that deals physical damage. When used, it prompts you to throw a single projectile toward a targeted location that splits into smaller projectiles upon impact. Furthermore, the splitting property of the skill occurs regardless of whether the projectile hits an enemy or not.

As to how many monsters you can hit with Splitting Steel, that depends on the level of the gem itself, as well as any modifiers that increase the number of projectiles. At gem level 20, for example, Splitting Steel can split and hit up to five targets at once.

To get the most out of this gem, you will be using the Champion as your ascendancy class. Splitting Steel takes full advantage of Master of Metal since this skill inherently grants you a chance to inflict Impales on monsters that you hit.

If you are not aware, Impale is a debuff in PoE that can stack up to five times before damage is applied. It deals 10% of the damage of the impaling hit, so the more physical damage you have, the more devastating the Impales on the enemy becomes.

With Master of Metal, the Impales you inflict last for an additional hit before the damage is applied. This also serves as a defensive node since you’ll gain a 1,000-point armor boost whenever you have Impaled enemies in the past four seconds with Splitting Steel.

Inspirational is a notable ascendancy passive that enables you to activate a banner skill without reserving mana. After taking this, you can use Dread Banner for an increased chance to Impale enemies with each attack.

Fortitude and Unstoppable Hero should go hand in hand. The former grants you a permanent 20% physical damage reduction via Fortification, while the latter enhances the effects of being “Fortified” by giving you a 20% increased attack speed, 500 armor, and stun immunity.

Since Unstoppable Hero comes before Fortitude, you can gain Fortification stacks by linking Fortify Support to Splitting Steel. You can replace the said support gem as soon as you get Fortitude after completing the level 75 labyrinth.

In the beginning, you can use the Despot Axe as a crafting base and spam it with Essence of Contempt for a guaranteed added physical damage roll. Other modifiers that the weapon should have are attack speed, crit chance, and increased physical damage.

Once you have saved up enough PoE Currency, you can replace the Despot Axe with a couple of one-handed weapons, namely the Beltimber Blade and the Paradoxica.

By the looks of it, you could say that the Beltimber Blade was made by GGG specifically for builds that utilize Splitting Steel. Why? This one-handed sword has got all of the goods, including increased physical damage, attack speed, and evasion. But more importantly, it empowers Splitting Steel by allowing it to fire two additional projectiles, provided that you have used a movement skill recently. That should not be a problem, right?

How about the Paradoxica? What does it have to offer for the Splitting Steel Champion? Well, you are using this sword primarily for the ability to deal double damage with your attacks. Of course, the attack speed and physical damage modifiers are welcome additions as well.

Aside from the weapons, what other upgrades can help improve this build? We are glad you have asked! During league start scenarios, you can search the trade website for a cheap Perseverance unique belt. This thing increases your attack damage by 1% for every 200 points of armor and evasion, whichever is lower. To help you raise these defensive layers easily, use the Granite Flask and Jade Flask for a flat boost in armor and evasion, respectively.

The Fury Valve is another item that you can obtain if you are willing to invest more PoE Currency into this build. This amulet works much the same way as Splitting Steel, particularly in the aspect of how many targets you can hit with the projectiles that have split.

As to how this build is played, whenever you enter a map, activate Blood Rage for that increased attack speed, and use Leap Slam to search the area for monsters. When you encounter a huge group, fire Splitting Steel, and they should be dealt with in a matter of seconds.

The same principle applies when you engage with bosses, though there are a couple of extra things that you can do to help you take them down more quickly. The first is by laying down your Ancestral Protector totem. Doing so gives you a huge boost in attack speed that lasts as long as the totem is still in play.

The second thing you can do to aid you during boss fights is to drop your Dread Banner. You can achieve this by pressing the hotkey for Dread Banner while it is active. Placing the banner on the ground gives you a much easier time to inflict Impales on the enemy with each attack. If you take the “Bannerman” notable passive skill, this effect is improved even further!

So, do you want a league starter in PoE that works great even with budget gear? Then the Splitting Steel Champion is definitely a worthy contender!

4. Ball Lightning Hierophant

Another build that utilizes the newly buffed Archmage Support, the Ball Lightning Hierophant does scale lightning damage and mana still plays a crucial role here.

If you recall, we mentioned earlier that Archmage Support provides added lightning damage based on your unreserved maximum mana. That same principle also applies here, but the difference is that you will deal even more damage due to the fact that your main skill is actually a spell that deals lightning damage.

The Ball Lightning Hierophant uses a slow-moving projectile that continually hits monsters with bolts of lightning. Even though this lightning-based spell can electrocute enemies in an area, Ball Lightning does not scale with area damage, so keep that in mind when you are looking at modifiers on gear.

The Hierophant is the go-to ascendancy class when it comes to mana-based builds. Why is that, you ask? This class has some very powerful nodes, such as Divine Guidance, Sanctuary of Thought, Conviction of Power, and Arcane Blessing.

Just like the Ice Nova of Frostbolts league starter that was talked about previously, the Ball Lightning Hierophant utilizes both Arcane Cloak for added lightning damage, as well as Arcane Surge for that increased attack speed.

That said, Arcane Surge is granted by the Hierophant’s Arcane Blessing. This ascendancy node grants 20% more damage if you have Arcane Surge on. 

In addition, Divine Guidance is a staple among mana-based builds in Path of Exile. That is because this notable ascendancy passive grants a huge amount of maximum mana. Plus, 10% of the damage you receive is taken from mana before life which, as you can tell, is quite similar to the Mind Over Matter keystone passive (albeit to a much lesser extent).

Divine Guidance grants you the effect of Transfiguration of Mind as well. This passive skill states that you get more damage simply by stacking your mana as high as you possibly can.

Then, there is the incredible Sanctuary of Thought. We would argue that this is one of the best notable ascendancy passive skills in the game. First of all, this grants you extra energy shield based on 20% of your maximum mana. That is a defensive layer that can spell the difference between survival and death. 

Furthermore, Sanctuary of Thought significantly reduces the mana cost of all of your skills. Now, this might seem counterintuitive given that you need to spend at least 100 mana for Kitava’s Thirst to work. However, Archmage Support and the other support gems that you link to Ball Lightning can easily make the skill’s mana cost go over that number. Taking Sanctuary of Thought just makes it so that you have a comfortable hedge against the high mana cost of your empowered Ball Lightning.

In terms of the items that you are going to use on this league starter, Kitava’s Thirst returns as a way to cast hex curses automatically. These curse spells are Conductivity, Elemental Weakness, Enfeeble, and Sniper’s Mark. Wait a minute, aren’t these several hex curses? Doesn’t Path of Exile limit you to apply only one curse or two at a time (with Whispers of Doom)? How is that possible?

Applying several curses is possible with the Ball Lightning Hierophant due to the presence of Anathema. This ring has a unique effect where your curse limit is equal to your Maximum Power Charges. You do not even have to do anything special to avail of this effect because Conviction of Power addresses that for you.

With Conviction of Power allocated, you will immediately feel the effects of four Power Charges. In turn, you can apply the four hex curses with Anathema. Do you get it now? It is interesting, isn’t it?

In PoE, when you deal elemental damage, you will always apply ailments associated with the main element of your skill. In this case, Ball Lightning can naturally inflict Shock on enemies, causing them to take increased damage from all sources. Why not use this to your advantage by wearing the Inpulsa too?

If you are wondering why Inpulsa is a good upgrade for this build, this body armor causes enemies affected by Shock to explode upon death, dealing 5% of their life as lightning damage to nearby monsters.

In addition, the Inpulsa makes you immune to Shock, so it does make you last longer on the battlefield by preventing one of the nastiest elemental ailments in the game from affecting you.

Thanks to the changes GGG has made to Archmage Support, it was the catalyst that was needed for more mana-based builds in Path of Exile to emerge. With that said, the Ball Lightning Hierophant is an incredible league starter capable of dispensing huge amounts of pain via lightning damage. If you want to play a build with a caster archetype, then this build should be on the top of your list!

3. Righteous Fire Chieftain

Righteous Fire is one of the oldest fire-based skills in the game, so you can imagine how many ascendancy classes were chosen to bear this very popular gem. While the Juggernaut and Inquisitor had their time utilizing it to a considerable extent, the Chieftain has risen as the number one go-to ascendancy class for Righteous Fire. What do you think could be the reason for that?

In the previous league, GGG made some adjustments to the fire spell skill gem itself. For one, it no longer has intrinsic fire damage. Instead, the damage of this skill is now based on 70% of your maximum life and energy shield.

Aside from that, increasing the gem’s quality to 20% now only increases the base radius of Righteous Fire rather than getting a 20% boost to burning damage. Now, these changes do not mean that Righteous Fire is bad. However, they do imply that you have to build your character differently in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League if you want to bring out the best in the skill gem.

Therefore, most of your jewels and gear should have life modifiers on them, including “+ to Maximum Life” and “% Increased Maximum Life.” You will also need life regeneration to address the self-damaging component of Righteous Fire.

As to why the Chieftain became the best ascendancy class for the job, that is largely due to the nodes available to him. For starters, Hinekora, Death’s Fury is a fantastic node in terms of map-clearing potential. This notable ascendancy passive causes your enemies to explode on kill, dealing a huge amount of fire damage to nearby monsters.

Do not be fooled by that “measly” 5% chance to explode enemies on kill. That may seem abysmally low on the surface, but if you have at least five enemies bunched up together, you will see them go kaboom due to Hinekora, Death’s Fury.

Then you have the awesome duo of Tasalio, Cleansing Water and Valako, Storm’s Embrace. When these two nodes are taken, you essentially just focus on improving your fire resistance, and your cold and lightning resistance will follow suit. Because of these nodes, you are going to have a much easier time gearing your character, which is quite helpful in the early game.

While not deemed as a necessary node to take since the Chieftain got reworked a couple of leagues ago, the PoE community found a ton of value in Ramako, Sun’s Light. This notable ascendancy passive skill reduces the resistance of nearby monsters, making them more vulnerable to damage over time.

This is a good league starter primarily because you can feel its power immediately after taking Hinekora, Death’s Fury. Even though this build works with self-found gear, you can take advantage of several leveling uniques to easily complete the game’s main campaign.

Since you are scaling fire resistance in any way that you can, the Cloak of Flame can certainly help you with that. Not only does this Scholar Robe give you a huge boost to fire resistance, it converts 40% of physical damage taken to fire damage as well. In other words, even though your enemies try their darndest to inflict painful physical damage to you, their hits will just feel like kiddie tickles.

Rise of the Phoenix is an amazing shield that you can get as soon as you hit level 65. This shield has got modifiers that can benefit the build in various ways, such as increased armor/energy shield, life regeneration, and fire resistance.

Additionally, Rise of the Phoenix grants you even more bonuses whenever your life drops below 50%. Expect bonuses to fire resistance, movement speed, and Ignite avoidance when you are on low life.

The Immortal Flesh is tied to Righteous Fire builds for so many leagues now due to its incredible value at a cheap and affordable price. This thing provides you with a significant amount of life regeneration, which you can boost even further by spamming it with 20 Fertile Catalysts. What’s more, it has “+ to Maximum Life” as an implicit and explicit modifier, which contributes to improving the damage of Righteous Fire.

When it comes to dealing damage, you are going to use Righteous Fire mostly for eliminating map monsters. But, you will have to rely on Fire Trap to kill tougher enemies. That said, you can insert Fire Trap and its support gems into a self-crafted Elder-influenced helmet (preferably a Royal Burgonet) with burning damage and concentrated effect. You can achieve this by using Harvest Reforge Fire multiple times.

For the weapon, grab an ilvl 85+ Opal Sceptre and spam it with Essence of Fear (Minion Damage) until you get damage over time multiplier and fire damage over time multiplier. The reason why you use Essence of Fear to craft the weapon is that you will take “Spiritual Aid” on this build. If you are unaware of its effects, it is a notable passive skill that states: “Increases and Reductions to Minion Damage Also Affect You.”

Whether you are playing in the Challenge League or SSF, the Righteous Fire Chieftain is a league starter that is incredibly tanky, easy to scale, and works right off the bat without complicated mechanics. This is definitely one of the builds that we can recommend to any aspiring Path of Exile player!

2. Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye

Many PoE players believed that the Deadeye would no longer be as popular in the Necropolis League as it once was due to the nerfs to Tornado Shot and Sniper’s Mark. But, that turned out to be false since this ascendancy class is still famous to this day, thanks in large part to a new Transfigured Gem introduced in Patch 3.24. The gem in question is none other than the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum.

Unlike its base version, Elemental Hit of the Spectrum is no longer a prismatic skill, meaning, you do not have to rely on Combat Focus jewels to force it to deal only one type of elemental damage. 

Instead, this Transfigured Gem deals damage based on all of the three elements (fire, cold, and lightning). Because of this, scaling the damage of this league starter is much easier compared to Elemental Hit builds of the past.

Another major difference between the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum compared to its base counterpart is that the resulting AoE damage from the initial hit covers a slightly bigger area, thus allowing you to affect more enemies at once.

So, when you are going to amplify the damage this build is capable of, look for the following modifiers:

  • Increased Elemental Damage

  • Increased AoE Damage

  • + to Critical Strike Multiplier

  • Increased Attack Speed

  • Increased Projectile Speed

  • Increased Projectile Damage

The Deadeye is always the preferred option when it comes to projectile-based builds in PoE. That is because this is the only ascendancy class in the game with nodes that improve projectiles in more ways than one.

Ricochet grants your Elemental Hit of the Spectrum’s projectiles to chain an additional time, thus hitting one more monster on the side. The power of Ricochet becomes even more apparent when you are in tight spaces, primarily due to the fact that it makes your projectiles chain when colliding with terrain (this includes walls, by the way).

Far Shot gives more oomph to your projectiles as they travel farther. Normally, to take full advantage of this node, you’d need to be at a relatively long distance from the target. However, because you are using Returning Projectiles Support, your projectiles will always travel at their maximum distance. That is why Far Shot’s addition to the build is a no-brainer.

Whether you take Far Shot or Ricochet, you should always get Endless Munitions regardless. This notable ascendancy passive skill needs no explanation; it simply gives your Elemental Hit of the Spectrum the ability to fire two additional projectiles.

Gathering Winds and Focal Point are just supplementary nodes for this build. The former increases your action speed, while the latter boosts the effect of Sniper’s Mark by 75%.

With the nerfs to Sniper’s Mark in Patch 3.24, Focal Point seems to be the more appealing choice. However, Assassin’s Mark is a viable alternative for your Mark skill as well, so it is really up to you which one you would use. Do you want increased projectile damage or a much higher crit chance against marked enemies?

You are probably skeptical about the league start viability of this build, especially considering that bow builds typically use some pretty expensive gear. Sure, in the endgame, this is going to be the case. But you see, the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye can be run with budget equipment, with various upgrade options that you can take later down the line.

Speaking of gear, the first thing that you are going to invest in is a good bow. Ideally, you want to grab a Spine Bow due to its inherently high base crit chance and attack speed. Spam it with Essence of Wrath until you get the trifecta of elemental damage mods (added fire damage, cold damage, and lightning damage).

Additionally, your quiver should just be as competent as your bow. However, rather than using Essence of Wrath, you will go for Essence of Torment for that added lightning damage. Spam the said Essence on a Broadhead Arrow Quiver until you get crit chance, critical strike multiplier with bows, life, elemental damage with bow skills, and attack speed. In the beginning, any combination of these mods will do just fine.

Evasion-based characters like the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye have a far easier time capping spell suppression compared to, say, the Elementalist. This is due to the fact that the class starts at the right portion of the passive tree, where most of the “% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage” nodes reside.

Having said that, you just need a couple of pieces of gear to contain spell suppression and you will be able to achieve the full 100%. If you have not capped spell suppression yet, be sure to take the Mastery that says “Chance to Suppress Spell Damage is Lucky.”

In terms of the unique items that you can take at the start of a new league, we recommend the Death Rush unique ring at level 30. This item grants you Adrenaline for three seconds after killing an enemy. This encourages a more active playstyle because you will receive a few different buffs, including 100% increased damage, 25% increased attack/movement speed, and 10% additional physical damage reduction just by continually killing enemies on the map.

Bisco’s Leash is another leveling unique you can obtain at level 30. With this heavy belt equipped, you get a damage and movement speed buff that gets increasingly better the more enemies you slay. The boost in item rarity per 15 Rampage Kills is awesome, particularly when you're playing your first character in a new league.

Hyrri’s Truth is an incredible amulet that is highly sought after by many Deadeye players in Path of Exile. That is because this amulet allows you to activate a level 30 Precision aura, which takes care of your accuracy without looking for it on your other pieces of gear. Hyrri’s Truth also empowers your attacks to instantly kill enemies that are below 10% life due to Culling Strike.

Unless you are lucky and have obtained equipment that significantly boosts your critical strike chance, you might not have enough after completing the game’s main campaign. Fortunately, one inexpensive way to resolve that is by putting The Interrogation jewel on your passive tree.

The Interrogation is a unique small cluster jewel that enables you to inflict Scorch, Brittle, and Sapped via Secrets of Suffering. You only need to concern yourself with Brittle because you have an increased crit chance against enemies that are affected by this debuff. 

Secrets of Suffering does aid you in landing critical strikes against monsters early on, but it does come at the cost of not being able to inflict Ignite, Chill, Freeze, and Shock. Do not worry because the latter two ailments can be rectified by activating Summon Skitterbots anyway.

If you are ready to take things to the next level, the Headhunter is a good upgrade that you can feel whenever you are mapping in the higher tier maps. Of course, the Mageblood is on the table, but only get this if you have saved up a ton of PoE Currency.

With all of that said, should you pick this build for your next league starter? Absolutely! If you love the ranged archetype but are tired of using Tornado Shot, then the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye is a very good choice!

1. Lightning Arrow Deadeye

So, which build took the top spot in our list of the best league starters in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League?  Nope, it is definitely not Tornado Shot. Rather, it is the Lightning Arrow Deadeye! This build is almost exactly the same as the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye, so you just have to read the previous section to find out the mechanics of these bow builds. 

Anyway, our primary skill on this build is, of course, Lightning Arrow. This is a bow attack skill gem that converts 50% of your physical damage to lightning damage. However, even though this build is based on your physical damage, you do not need to focus on that because you will scale your damage in a different way. 

You see, the Lightning Arrow Deadeye utilizes a tri-element bow, as well as the Trinity Support Gem, to dish out insane amounts of elemental damage. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, Trinity is a support gem in PoE that provides you with more elemental damage and elemental penetration if you are able to satisfy its Resonance mechanic.

By using the tri-element bow, you will be able to consistently get full Resonance of all of the three elemental damage types (fire, cold, and lightning). Look for the icon on the top-left corner of the screen to see if Trinity is in full effect.

While Lightning Arrow has no issues destroying most enemies on the map, it does suffer from mediocre single-target damage. Because of this, you may need a bit more time to eliminate tougher monsters. The good news is that you can easily resolve the problem by including the Artillery Ballista in the build as well.

Artillery Ballista lets you drop a few ballista totems that will bombard enemies with fire damage. To make this skill less clunky to use, you will insert Focused Ballista Support, which dramatically boosts your totem placement speed. 

Take note that Focused Ballista effectively removes the auto-attack nature of your ballista totems. In other words, your Artillery Ballistae only fires at enemies whenever you do.

For your notable ascendancy passive skills, you should go for the usual nodes, such as Far Shot, Endless Munitions, Gathering Winds, and Focal Point. Ricochet is not desirable on this build due to the nature of how Lightning Arrow operates with Returning Projectiles Support. So, instead of chaining projectiles, you want your Lightning Arrows to pierce through enemies. 

Thankfully, you can achieve that simply by taking the notable passive skill, Piercing Shots. This causes your arrows to pierce two additional targets; just enough to maximize the Returning Projectiles Support.

Once you are able to get a Medium Cluster Jewel (Projectile Damage), you can remove Piercing Shots in favor of Aerodynamics. This is a notable passive skill that grants your arrows the ability to pierce through enemies. Aerodynamics also boosts your projectile speed and projectile damage by 10%. Use Harvest Reforge Speed for a higher chance of obtaining the said passive skill.

How about unique items? Are there any that can provide a ton of value to this league starter? Absolutely! Aside from the items mentioned in the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye section, there are other viable options you can take.

The Taming, which can be acquired via vendor recipe, is a ring that heavily boosts your elemental damage. Besides that, Shadows and Dust is a unique pair of gloves that raises your crit chance and critical strike multiplier. They possess the Rampage mechanic as well, similar to Bisco’s Leash that was discussed earlier.

Hyrri’s Ire can be a bit expensive in the first week of a new league, but if you can save up enough PoE currency, we highly suggest that you get one. The 30% chance to suppress spell damage modifier on this body armor is just too hard to pass up, especially if you are not into crafting items in Path of Exile.

While the build can get benefits from using the Mageblood, the Headhunter makes more sense here considering that the Lightning Arrow Deadeye puts a lot of emphasis on landing critical hits. When you have acquired the “Soul Eater” buff from the enemy, you will feel the true power that this build is capable of!

The Lightning Arrow Deadeye is still one of the most popular builds in the game. Because of how fun, easy, and damaging this build is, it really deserves to be in the number one spot for the best league starters in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League!


Path of Exile: Necropolis League did not shake things up as much as the previous expansion did. However, there are changes that forced popular builds in the past to be downgraded to mediocre ones today. The good news is that some builds have emerged from obscurity and into the top of the standings, such as the Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant and the Elemental Hit of the Spectrum Deadeye.

No matter which build you intend to play from our list, you can never go wrong with any of them. It really boils down to your style of play. Do you want a pretty laid-back character that can take a beating? The Righteous Fire Chieftain is a good pick.

On the other hand, if you have the knack for destroying enemies as quickly as possible, the Lightning Arrow Deadeye and Splitting Steel Champion are worthy contenders.

So, there you have it! We hope that you have enjoyed our recommendations for the best league starters in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League! 

With all of that said, good luck on your adventures in Wraeclast, Exile!

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