Best Class Tier List in Path of Exile 3.24

28.03.2024 - 17:30:39
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE Gameplay Guides

Best Class Tier List in Path of Exile 3.24

Path of Exile is one of the most unique ARPGs out there. Aside from the gem and equipment interactions that make builds work, there are plenty of classes to choose from.

We acknowledge the difficulty of choosing which class to play in Path of Exile here at RPGStash. That is why we have created a class tier list to help you decide. We will not only provide you with information about what makes a certain class stand out, but we are also going to give you some builds that work best with a particular ascendancy class.

So, without further ado, this is our Path of Exile classes tier list!

Classes and Ascendancies

Before we begin, we must define some terminologies to help you navigate our class tier list. An important distinction has to be made between "Classes" and "Ascendancy Classes" so that you can better understand what we are going to talk about here.

"Classes" refer to the base classes in Path of Exile. These are what you will choose at the very beginning of the campaign. That said, there are seven character classes in the game, such as the Marauder, Ranger, Witch, Duelist, Templar, Shadow, and Scion.

The first three classes are considered "pure classes" primarily because they are aligned with the core attributes of the game. The Marauder is known for his brute power and has the highest STR attribute for a base class.

The Ranger, as you can tell, is an agile combatant that has a naturally high DEX stat. This class is best known for utilizing bows and fast-attacking weapons like daggers and one-handed swords.

Then, there's the Witch - a base class that is adept at spells and arcane magic. This class can wield wands and sceptres to great effect, mainly because of its naturally high INT attribute.

The Duelist, Templar, and Shadow are deemed as "hybrid classes" because they excel in more than one attribute. The Duelist is a great class to use if you utilize Strength (red) or Dexterity (green) skill gems.

The Templar, which is a class that represents both Strength and Intelligence quite well, is pretty good at wielding staves and sceptres. Thus, this class is perfect for builds that require the use of many red and blue skill gems.

The Shadow is proficient at using Dexterity and Intelligence skills. This is the only hybrid class that can use traps and mine skills effectively, so if you want these skill archetypes, then the Shadow, as well as its ascendancy classes, are the way to go.

To round out the base classes, you have the Scion. Unlike all of the other classes mentioned above, the Scion needs to be unlocked first by playing the campaign. More specifically, there is a mini-quest that you can do to help free her from captivity in Act 3, thus allowing you to choose her once you create a new character.

What about "Ascendancy Classes" in Path of Exile? What are they exactly? Think about them as subclasses that provide you with a different set of notable passive skills. Also known as ascendancy nodes, these passive skills can greatly influence how a build performs.

For example, the "Demolitions Specialist" from the Saboteur increases the effect of auras from mines by a significant degree, which makes this ascendancy class an appealing choice if you are going to use a Mine skill.

Each character class in Path of Exile has three different ascendancies, except for the Scion which only has one. You can choose an ascendancy class after finishing the first Labyrinth (or "lab" for short).

Here is a rundown of all the classes and ascendancies in PoE:

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  • Berserker
  • Chieftain
  • Juggernaut


  • Deadeye
  • Pathfinder
  • Raider


  • Elementalist
  • Occultist
  • Necromancer


  • Champion
  • Slayer
  • Gladiator


  • Inquisitor
  • Hierophant
  • Guardian


  • Assassin
  • Trickster
  • Saboteur


  • Ascendant

How We Came Up with Our Tier List

As you can see, there are a lot of classes and ascendancies in PoE. To help you make an informed decision, we created our tier list based on different criteria, such as build popularity, map-clear speed, bossing potential, and ease of use.

The choice of skill gems and spell skill gems also factor into the equation. For instance, projectile-based skills like Tornado Shot or Lightning Arrow will not work well with, say, the Necromancer, but they are definitely perfect for the Deadeye.

With all of these things settled, here are our picks for the top classes in Path of Exile 3.23 Affliction League:


The S Tier is composed of ascendancy classes that are quite popular in the current league. These are what we consider the cream of the crop, mainly because they can take on whatever content there is in the game without any issues!




The Path of Exile community has deemed the past few leagues as the "bow leagues" simply because of the popularity of bow-based projectile skills like the aforementioned Tornado Shot and Lightning Arrow. For this reason, the Deadeye is placed in the top spot of the S Tier due to the fact that this ascendancy class can use projectile skills to great effect.

Endless Munitions is amazing because it gives you the ability to fire two additional projectiles just by taking this node.

Gathering Winds greatly boosts your attack speed and movement speed, thus enabling you to clear maps and slay bosses with incredible efficiency.

Tornado Shot, one of the most popular attack skill gems in PoE right now, can make use of the Ricochet ascendancy node. This allows projectile-based skills to chain one additional time. Furthermore, there is a slight chance for projectiles to chain when colliding with walls or other terrain.

Far Shot is another passive skill worth noting. This node essentially makes your projectiles hit harder, especially when they are fired from a considerable distance. You can always take advantage of this effect when you use the Returning Projectiles support gem and couple it with Lightning Arrow, for example.

Since "Mark" skills are always included in almost every build that utilizes projectile-based attacks, taking Focal Point is a no-brainer. This grants 75% increased effect of Marks, making your attacks more lethal as a result.

In the 3.23 Affliction League, the best builds for the Deadeye include Tornado Shot, Lightning Arrow, and Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation.

It is important to note that projectile-based builds, particularly those that choose the Deadeye as the ideal ascendancy class, are pretty expensive to put up. But, despite that, we deem the Deadeye as the best class on our tier list for Patch 3.23.




Flasks are an important part of any build in Path of Exile and no other ascendancy class can utilize them better than the Pathfinder. Due to the notable passive skills available to the Pathfinder, you can enjoy near-permanent uptime of your flasks, which is quite similar to the highly coveted Mageblood belt.

Nature's Adrenaline gives you free flask charges every three seconds. So, even if you are not attacking any monsters, you can still get your flasks filled and ready for use.

Utility flasks like the Jade Flask (evasion) or Quicksilver Flask (movement speed) are enhanced when you take Nature's Boon.

On the offensive side of things, the Pathfinder is one of the only classes in PoE that can use chaos skills really well. Nature's Reprisal is a node that increases the effect of the "Wither" debuff, causing enemies to take more chaos damage.

If you use the Caustic Arrow of Poison, which is an incredibly popular skill gem in the Affliction League, you can boost its damage immensely just by allocating points to get the Master Toxicist. This gives you a small chance to deal even more damage with your poisons, so long as you are under the effect of any of your flasks.

Aside from the said Transfigured Gem, the other skills that many players run the Pathfinder with are Penance Brand of Dissipation, Storm Rain of the Conduit, and Toxic Rain.




After being left in the dust by other ascendancy classes for the past several leagues, the Chieftain has become one of the best in Path of Exile, especially in the 3.23 Affliction League. That is because Grinding Gear Games has done a massive rework to the Chieftain in Patch 3.22, so much so that it has enticed other players to try this ascendancy class out.

The main reason why the Chieftain is so popular in the current league is that it has ascendancy nodes that work perfectly with Detonate Dead, Righteous Fire, and Firestorm, which are all fire spell skill gems.

Many players who go for the Chieftain often take Hinekora, Death's Fury as the first notable passive skill. This thing causes enemies you kill to explode, dealing massive fire damage to nearby monsters.

Elemental resistances are an essential part of your defenses in Path of Exile. If you do not have them capped, you will definitely have a hard time surviving out there. Having said that, thanks to the Chieftain's "Tasalio, Cleansing Water" node, you only have to think about increasing your fire resistance and your cold and lightning resistance will follow suit.

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Now, your fire, cold, and lightning resistances are normally capped at just 75%. If you go beyond that, the extra numbers will be considered as "overcapped resistances" and have no bearing on your survivability. Although you can raise that limit, in most cases, you only have the power to increase just one of the three. Well, with Valako, Storm's Embrace, you just have to increase your maximum fire resistance and it will apply to your maximum cold and lightning resistances as well.

If you intend to use Righteous Fire as your main damaging skill, you can take Ramako, Sun's Light to weaken the enemy's resistance to fire damage, effectively burning them to the ground with ease.

Although not as damaging compared to the Deadeye and Pathfinder, the Chieftain still deserves to be on the S Tier because of his insane survivability and fire damage modifiers.




If you want a class that can deal significant amounts of damage via critical strikes, then the Inquisitor is one of the top contenders. Righteous Providence and Inevitable Judgement pretty much give you the power you need to eliminate any monster foolish enough to come your way. The former increases your critical strike chance based on whichever is lower between your STR and INT attributes. The latter ignores enemy monster elemental resistances, provided that you've landed a critical hit. In the off-chance that you did not deal a critical strike, you still penetrate 10% of their elemental resistances.

Righteous Fire is a staple skill in Path of Exile because it is so easy to use, even a complete beginner does not have a problem with it. In the 3.23 Affliction League, Grinding Gear Games made a substantial change in the way RF's damage is calculated. Now, the bulk of Righteous Fire's damage is based on 70% of your life and energy shield, which are two things that the Inquisitor can recover quickly thanks to Pious Path.

The Inquisitor is the best choice, particularly when you are using any elemental-based attack skills. That is because of Augury of Penitence - a notable ascendancy passive skill that makes nearby enemies take increased elemental damage. This node also acts as a defensive layer for you since it causes nearby monsters to deal less elemental damage.

Because of the ascendancy nodes just mentioned, the Inquisitor is a pretty good choice for elemental damage-based skills. Some of the skill gems that are very popular right now are the Penance Brand of Dissipation, Righteous Fire, and Storm Brand of Indecision.

Moreover, you can make use of "trigger" mechanics that allow you to cast linked spells automatically just by using an attack skill like Cyclone. For instance, the Ice Spear of Splitting is one of the top skill gems for the Inquisitor and it is triggered by using Cyclone while mapping or bossing.


The ascendancy classes that are in the A Tier are great but not better than the ones mentioned in the S Tier. However, do not sleep on these classes because they are definitely fun and worth your time.




A good mix of offense and defense, the Trickster is one of the most fun ascendancy classes to use in Path of Exile. If you are talking about a viable league starter, you can pick the Trickster and couple it with the Warden of the Maji to give you a character that can tank almost anything the game throws at you.

A huge part of the Trickster's tankiness comes from Escape Artist. If you have a pretty good self-crafted body armor or helmet, you get insane amounts of evasion and energy shield as a result.

Spell suppression is a defensive layer in PoE that essentially mitigates the spell damage you take from the enemy's attacks by half. Although you can roll some spell suppression chance on your gear, you can simply take the Spellbreaker node to give you a huge boost to your "Chance to Suppress Spell Damage".

The Trickster has a huge amount of energy shield as well. To help you recoup that faster, you can take advantage of ES leech with the help of Soul Drinker. This notable ascendancy passive skill acts like an "overleech" which means that you continually get the energy shield leech effects even if your ES is already full. Additionally, you gain a huge boost to your attack and cast speed while leeching.

Most builds in Path of Exile take at least five or six different Masteries. Polymath capitalizes on that by providing you with a 3% damage boost for each different type of Mastery you have allocated. The life/mana/es recovery on kill is just a nice bonus!

In terms of the best skill gems to use on the Trickster, the current meta suggests the Penance Brand of Dissipation, Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation, and Splitting Steel. If you are going to try Kinetic Bolt of Fragmentation, make sure that your PC can handle it because the said skill gem can be quite taxing on your system!




The Occultist is a great ascendancy class to choose if you are going for skill gems that deal cold or chaos damage. In the 3.23 Affliction League, many players use the Occultist with Cyclone as a trigger skill and Ice Nova of Frostbolts or Forbidden Rite as the main damage-dealing spell. If you like the simplicity of Cyclone, then you might want to put the Occultist on the top of your list.

Anyway, Profane Bloom is a very popular node from the Occultist's kit. This makes cursed enemies explode upon death, dealing a quarter of their maximum life as chaos damage.

Speaking of curses, Unholy Authority is an undeniably good node to take simply because it allows you to apply an additional curse on your enemies. If you are unaware, you can only apply one curse in PoE unless you have the "Whispers of Doom" passive skill or the Unholy Authority from the Occultist.

In addition, Void Beacon reduces the chaos and cold resistances of monsters within your vicinity. Not only that but you have Withering Presence and Frigid Wake to elevate your chaos and cold damage, respectively.

Power Charge-stacking builds are very popular in PoE nowadays and the Occultist is the way to go if you are into them. That is largely due to Forbidden Power, which is a notable passive skill exclusive to this ascendancy class that grants plus one to your maximum Power Charges. This synergizes well with Cyclone because every Power Charge you have increases the skill's damage and area of effect by 6%.




In terms of damage output, the Ascendant, which is the lone ascendancy class for the Scion, is an amazing choice. That is due to her unique passive tree which is unlike the other classes in the game.

If you look at the individual nodes, you will find that they are actually named after the different ascendancy classes in Path of Exile. Because of this, the Ascendant gives you a ton of flexibility in terms of the builds you can play.

*insert ascendant skill tree*

The only downside here is that if you are going to choose this class, you have to be ready to spend a ton of PoE currency. That is because builds for the Ascendant almost always require expensive items, such as the Wardloop Ice Spear and the Smite Armor Stacker.

Other than that, the Ascendant deserves to be in the A tier of our class tier list.




When it comes to build diversity, the Elementalist is one of the ascendancy classes in Path of Exile that you can consider. Whether you want to run a minion build or use a skill gem that can ignite enemies, the Elementalist has got you covered.

Right now, the top three skill games that other players use in the 3.23 Affliction League are Detonate Dead, Explosive Arrow, and the Ethereal Knives of the Massacre. This is not surprising at all considering the nodes that you have access to when choosing this ascendancy class.

One of the most common notable passive skills that other players take when using the Elementalist is Shaper of Flames. This makes all of your hits inflict the Ignite status effect on your enemies, causing them to take fire damage over time in the process. This is further improved by Shaper of Storms - a node that causes you to Shock enemies, making them take increased damage from all sources.

Now, the next two passive skills depend on the build you are running. But for the purpose of this class tier list, let's say that you are going to use Ethereal Knives of the Massacre. In this instance, you take Mastermind of Discord and Heart of Destruction to improve your elemental damage output. The former reduces the monster's elemental resistance depending on the elemental exposure you have applied, while the latter grants you a buff that gives you more elemental damage for several seconds after hitting a unique enemy.

If you are asking whether it's possible to use a minion skill gem on the Elementalist or not, the answer is a resounding yes! This ascendancy class enables you to maximize golems thanks to Liege of the Primordial. With this node, you not only have the power to summon one additional golem, but the buffs these golems provide are amplified by 100%. Besides that, whenever your golems die, they are resummoned automatically after several seconds, thus alleviating the need to press buttons!

You can even take things a step further by allocating points to acquire Elemancer. This notable passive skill allows you to summon another golem to add to your minion army. But more importantly, your summoned golems are immune to elemental damage, which is actually huge since most enemies in higher-tier maps attack you and your minions with damaging elemental spells!

Even though there is a lot to love about this ascendancy class, it does have one glaring weakness: its defenses. Most of the nodes focus on improving damage or providing utility, with only a couple that boost defenses in some way.

However, if you are fine with its shortcomings, the Elementalist is a solid choice for your next build!

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Ascendancy classes that are on the B tier of this list are generally good enough. They just lack a few things to make them increase their ranking. Still, we can recommend any of these classes because they are incredibly fun and relatively easy to use.




Dying in any game sucks and Grinding Gear Games thinks so too. Hence, the company made an ascendancy class that offers a good balance between offense and defense and that is the Champion.

Among the many classes that you can start a new league with, the Champion is always one of the best. Why is that? Well, that is because this ascendancy class is incredibly tanky even with a minimal investment.

Fortitude and Unstoppable Hero pretty much increases your physical defenses by a significant degree. You just have to sort out your elemental resistances to ensure that you survive longer on the battlefield, which is easily achieved by putting some mods on your gear.

First to Strike, Last to Fall gives you a huge damage boost whenever your HP falls below 50%. This can be forced by casting Corrupting Fever. Just use the said skill whenever you need a bit more oomph while mapping or bossing.

If you like to use Splitting Steel, you can make it more devastating by taking the Champion's Master of Metal node. This makes the Impales you inflict on the enemy become more damaging. Not only that but you gain a slight increase in armor every time you Impale enemies with your attacks as well.

As for the top three skill gems for the Champion, we recommend Splitting Steel, Corrupting Fever, and Explosive Arrow. You know what's interesting about these? They can be used quite effectively early on in the game, making the Champion a great league starter!




If the Champion is a more well-rounded character, the Slayer is a potent killing machine. You should choose this ascendancy class if you are going for pure offense, mainly using attack skill gems like Boneshatter, Cyclone, and Flicker Strike, to name a few.

The Slayer gives you access to some pretty incredible offensive nodes. For starters, Impact helps resolve any accuracy issues you may have early on. Plus, it increases your melee strike range by quite a bit, making it the perfect first node to take if you use Boneshatter or Cyclone.

Enemies can run you over if you are not careful. Fortunately, the Slayer has Brutal Fervour - a notable ascendancy passive skill that provides you with increased life recovery from life leech. If you have heard of the "overleech" mechanic from other players, this is the node they are referring to.

Flicker Strike builds utilize Frenzy Charges to a great extent. The Masterful Form node from the Slayer ascendancy not only increases your Frenzy Charge by one, but it also makes your Maximum Endurance Charges equal to your Maximum Frenzy Charges, thus giving you some survivability as well.

Headsman is another amazing node to take if you choose the Slayer. When this is allocated, you instantly slay monsters that are below 20% of their maximum life. Besides that, you gain a 10% attack speed and movement speed boost when you kill a rare or unique enemy.

Now, you are probably asking: is the Slayer a good league starter like the Champion? The answer to that is a resounding yes! You just have to take advantage of the overleech mechanic to stay alive and that's it!




The Juggernaut used to be a top ascendancy class in Path of Exile but has now fallen a couple of pegs due to the changes GGG made in Patch 3.23. This does not mean that the Juggernaut is no longer worth taking. This is just to say that, when compared to the ascendancy classes mentioned above, it is slightly less effective than it once was.

Anyway, the Juggernaut is a tanky boi thanks, in large part, to his Unbreakable notable passive skill. This node effectively doubles the armor value of your equipped body armor, making you an indestructible force on the battlefield.

Untiring is an aptly named passive skill that gives the Juggernaut access to immortality. Just kidding! You can still get hit by the enemy, but because of the massive life regeneration this node provides, any damage you sustain is negligible.

Undeniable is great for STR-stacking and Boneshatter builds primarily because this node gives you not only heaps of accuracy rating but attack speed based on the amount of STR attribute that you have as well.

Boneshatter and Righteous Fire seem to be the go-to skill gems by many players, so if you are interested in using either of them, the Juggernaut is a pretty good ascendancy class!




If you were to ask us to describe the Guardian in one word, it would be "mid." This ascendancy class is the definition of mid because although it has been reworked, and it has increased offensive capabilities as a result, the Guardian still lacks something to make it reach the A Tier.

In terms of defenses, the Guardian is one of the best out there. It has defensive nodes like Bastion of Hope that greatly increase your block chance against spells and attacks. There is also the Time of Need, which is a node that regenerates 100% of your life over one second and removes any debuffs on you every four seconds.

Despite the notable passive skills mentioned, the Guardian is best played using a minion skill gem, specifically the elemental version of the Summon Raging Spirits. This is due to Unwavering Crusade which allows you to summon an elemental relic that grants a buff equal to a level 27 aura gem. The auras in question are Hatred (cold), Anger (fire), and Wrath (lightning).

Thanks to the notable passive skills available to the Guardian, you can use this class as a league starter, which has the capability to take you well into the red maps.

Now, the reason why we think the Guardian is "mid" is that this class can only achieve so much damage and does not go beyond that ceiling. Even if you spend a ton of currency, you can expect diminishing returns at higher investments.

However, if you want a comfortable class that allows you to run minion builds without worrying about survivability, then the Guardian is highly recommended!

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In this part of our class tier list, you will find ascendancy classes that are just average at best. You can make them better, but then, you'd have to invest a boatload of currency to make that happen. Even if you do that, the ascendancy classes found in the higher tiers still trump them with relative ease.




The Saboteur is classified as one of the best classes in Path of Exile that you can use as a league starter. By utilizing traps or mines, the Saboteur can make quick work of the enemy, especially very early on in the league.

The Hexblast Mines Saboteur, for example, is one of the classic builds you can run with the said ascendancy class. You have Explosives Expert to increase your damage against enemies affected by Ignite, Shock, or Chill.

Demolitions Specialist boosts the effectiveness of the auras inherent in your Mines, making them deal significantly more damage. Then, you have Pyromaniac that helps you survive by making you immune to Shock and Ignite, as well as regenerate a portion of your life per second for each mine or trap your enemies have triggered recently.

Of course, you have Born in the Shadows to further improve your chances of survival by not only granting you the ability to blind enemies but amplifying its effects as well.

Aside from Hexblast Mines, you can go for the Saboteur if you intend to use the Blade Blast of Unloading. This Transfigured Gem can clear maps with ease, but the nodes you will take for this build are different compared to Hexblast Mines.

Since you will use Arcanist Brand to trigger some curse spells, you are going to take the Perfect Crime node so that you can summon invulnerable Triggerbots to trigger the spells for you. What makes them better than trigger support gems is that these minions can activate the spells more frequently.

Because Blade Blast of Unloading is an AoE skill gem, you can take great advantage of the Saboteur's Bomb Specialist notable passive skill. With this node, you have a 20% chance to boost the damage of Blade Blast of Unloading by 50%!

While the Saboteur is good when utilizing traps, mines, and certain skill gems, it does fall short in other areas. Still, if you want to lay down devastating mines/traps, then the Saboteur is the perfect ascendancy class for the job!




The Raider used to be a very good ascendancy class in Path of Exile. Nowadays, it is just one that you can use to start a new league with, but ultimately transition to the other Ranger ascendancy classes once you finish the campaign. Why is that?

The reason is simple: most skills in PoE, especially those that are used in the endgame, just scale better with the Pathfinder or Deadeye. The only skill gem where the Raider excels at is Flicker Strike, but its power can only be felt if you are willing to spend hundreds of Divine Orbs for the full cold damage conversion.

Where the Raider shines is in league start scenarios, especially when you use Lightning Strike and Rain of Arrows.

After completing the first labyrinth, you can take Rapid Assault so that you have a permanent Onslaught buff. This grants you 20% increased attack speed and 20% movement speed, which enables you to breeze through the earlier acts in the campaign.

If you have reached this part of our class tier list, you know how important spell suppression is in terms of your survival, right? Well, the Raider's Quartz Infusion node grants you a whopping 40% chance to suppress spell damage. That's not all! You also gain permanent Phasing - a buff that allows you to move unhindered. This is quite helpful since monsters will not be able to block your advance if you have this notable passive skill allocated.

For your third ascendancy node, you can either improve the effects of Onslaught by taking Avatar of the Chase or boost Quartz Infusion by getting Avatar of the Veil.

Avatar of the Veil is very useful during league start because it not only applies elemental exposure to nearby monsters, but grants you a 50% chance to avoid elemental ailments like Chill, Freeze, Shock, and Ignite as well.

If you really like the Raider and would like to try the cold-conversion Flicker Strike build,- you can remove all of the Onslaught nodes in favor of ones that improve the effects of Frenzy Charge, namely Way of the Poacher and Avatar of the Slaughter.

In Patch 3.23, the Raider is typically used only as a stepping stone to reach the early red maps. Once you have the right pieces of gear, you can switch to the Pathfinder and Deadeye, which are classes that yield exponentially better results.

Unless Grinding Gear Games makes another set of substantial changes to Path of Exile, the Raider will, sadly, still be in the C Tier in future leagues.




Another ascendancy class for the Shadow is in the C Tier and that is the Assassin. This is a purely offensive class that enhances critical chance and critical strike damage to kill enemies. When you combine the Warden of the Maji and the Assassin, you could go for a poison skill gem early on in a new league, but for the most part, you are going to capitalize on critical strike damage.

Right now, the most popular skill gems for the Assassin are the Penance Brand of Dissipation, Blade Vortex, and Vortex of Projection which is triggered by Cyclone. The last one is interesting because this Transfigured Gem interacts with Frostbolt to cause area damage where the Frostbolt projectiles are on the screen.

Now for the ascendancy nodes. Power Charges are a great way to improve your crit chance and the Assassin has a couple of notable passive skills that can enhance their effects. Unstable Infusion gives you a higher chance of gaining a Power Charge if you hit enemies with a non-critical strike. Deadly Infusion is the real deal because it amplifies the effect of Power Charges by granting you a 5% critical strike multiplier and 1.5% to your critical strike chance for every charge that you have.

Rare or unique enemies will cower in fear at the mere sight of you when you take the Opportunistic notable passive skill. That is because you deal 25% more damage if there is at least one of such monsters within your vicinity.

Ambush and Assassinate is a node that can be a great opener and closer depending on the enemy's current health. For instance, if you intend to attack enemies that are on full life, you deal 40% increased critical strike damage to them. This node also makes it very likely that you will land a critical hit!

In terms of the Assassin's viability when it comes to using poison skill gems, Noxious Strike increases your chance of inflicting poisons on your enemies. Toxic Delivery capitalizes on that by making your poisons deal more damage with critical strikes.

Surely, from an offensive standpoint, the Assassin should be a home run, right? However, its lack of defensive capabilities makes it a hard ascendancy class to recommend, especially in the late game.

As to whether you should pick the Assassin or not, that really depends. Do you want to see those high damage numbers via critical strikes? Then, go ahead with the Assassin. However, if you like a well-balanced character in PoE, you are better off choosing another class instead.




The Hierophant specializes in spells, most notably brands and totems. This ascendancy class gives you access to nodes that not only increase your mana, but make you efficient in utilizing the said resource as well.

Divine Guidance gives you a significant amount of mana. Furthermore, any mods that increase your mana can boost your damage at 30% of their value thanks to this node's inherent "Transfiguration of the Mind" effect.

Sanctuary of Thought has three noteworthy effects. First, it improves your mana reservation efficiency by 25%, allowing you to activate another aura. Second, it reduces the mana cost of your attack skills and spells by 50%. This acts as a defensive node as well since it provides you with extra energy shield based on 20% of your maximum mana.

As previously mentioned, the Hierophant is the best ascendancy class when utilizing brand and totem skills. Pursuit of Faith enables you to summon one additional totem with increased totem placement speed to boot. This makes it so that you can set your totems up quickly without wasting a lot of time.

Sign of Purpose is one node that you should take if you like to use brand skill gems like Penance Brand of Dissipation. That is because it increases the brand's activation frequency by 100% if it's about to be detached from the enemy.

In terms of utilizing spells, the Hierophant can take advantage of an improved Arcane Surge buff thanks to Arcane Blessing and Illuminated Devotion.

With so many useful nodes, why is the Hierophant well below the C Tier as opposed to the higher tiers on this class list? To put it bluntly, this ascendancy class only shines when you spend a ton of currency. The Hierophant is typically played either as a "mana-stacker" or a totem/brand specialist, but to maximize this ascendancy class, you'd have to get your hands on some pretty expensive items, such as the Mageblood and Forbidden Jewels.

This is not to say that the class is bad; it's just that it is not that good without a high investment. Having said that, if currency is not an issue, the Hierophant deserves your attention.


The ascendancy classes in the D Tier are just not that good. You could choose them if you want to try out some niche stuff. However, in the current state of Path of Exile, we do not recommend them at all.




When you look at the Berserker, you might think that this is a great class due to its ascendancy nodes. But, inspect them a bit closer and you will find that they actually have downsides that you'd have to take into consideration.

Aspect of Carnage provides a significant boost to damage. However, this comes at the cost of 10% increased damage taken. In a league start scenario, this is not good as it makes you susceptible to dying.

How about Blitz? Sure, it grants you increased attack speed once you reach the maximum Blitz Charges, but your critical strike chance is significantly reduced in the process. You could circumvent this by equipping certain items, though you'd have to spend currency that you might not have at the beginning of a new league.

Despite certain downsides, the Berserker does have some redeeming qualities. War Bringer makes your "exerted" attacks deal significantly more damage. If you are wondering what they are, exerted attacks are those that you initiate after using a warcry.

Flawless Savagery boosts your critical strike chance and critical strike multiplier. Not to mention that you get added physical damage if you've hit an enemy with a critical strike in the past several seconds.

If you still want to pick the Berserker, what skill gems can you use with the said ascendancy class? The most popular skill gem for this class in the 3.23 Affliction League is Venom Gyre. Other players who use the Venom Gyre Berserker build are Strength-stackers, which require a considerable amount of currency to pull off.

Another staple skill gem for the Berserker is the General's Cry. This is a warcry that summons six powerful mirage warriors from corpses. You can get the needed corpses to activate General's Cry by linking Cyclone with Cast While Channelling Support and Desecrate. Although this build is doable on a 50-Divine Orb budget, it does feel a lot better to play if you spend a lot more currency.

Do we recommend the Berserker in Patch 3.23? Yes, but only if you have the budget to address its downsides.




To round out our class tier list, you have the Gladiator. If there's one ascendancy class that we would definitely not recommend, it is this one. The Gladiator is just not in a good spot right now. This is primarily because its ascendancy nodes have been pretty lackluster since the Gladiator's rework in Patch 3.16.

The only build that is viable for this class is the Bleed Puncture Gladiator. That is, in large part, thanks to Gratuitous Violence - a node that causes bleeding enemies to explode, dealing a small portion of their maximum life as physical damage.

When you try to stack Frenzy Charges with the Gladiator, you could take Outmatch and Outlast. This notable passive skill provides 10% more physical damage per Frenzy Charge, which is fine. But, since physical damage scaling in Path of Exile pales in comparison to elemental damage and chaos damage, you can see why this class is quite underwhelming.

Again, the choice of ascendancy class really depends on what you are looking for. If you are bored with other classes and you want to go against the grain, then and only then can the Gladiator be an option to take.

Final Thoughts

Path of Exile has a wealth of classes to choose from. That is why it is great to put them on a tier list so that it will be easier for you to select the best.

For several leagues now, the Deadeye has taken the top spot mainly because bow-based projectile skill gems are quite popular. Their damage scaling is great and you can take things a step further by spending more currency. Unless GGG does something drastic to mix things up, the Deadeye might still be the top ascendancy class in PoE for the foreseeable future.

The Chieftain is surprisingly good after it was left in the dust for quite some time. If you are looking for an ascendancy class that has great survivability with enough damage nodes to help you slay monsters with ease, it is definitely a top contender.

Classes on the A Tier are well worth your time and investment. They are safe to use, are versatile enough to utilize different skill gems, and are fun to play. It is just a matter of preference, really. We can easily recommend the Trickster, Occultist, Ascendant, and Elementalist on any day!

The classes found on the B Tier and C Tier are average at best. While you can spend currency to make them a bit more competitive, you might be better off choosing any of the ones mentioned in the S Tier or A Tier.

As for the D Tier, the Berserker and Gladiator are reserved for niche builds. Unless you are the type of person who goes against the norm, you should stay away from them like the plague!

Anyway, we at RPGStash hope that you found our class tier list helpful. Be sure to bookmark this list for future reference.

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

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