[Top 10] Path of Exile Best Class Builds (PoE Best Class for Max Damage)

Path of Exile
"This is fine." - Chieftain, while on fire.

This article goes in-depth about which builds are the best to pick in Path of Exile in order to deal the maximum amount of damage.

As we Path of Exile players know, there are many builds out there that can deal a great amount of damage to monsters and bosses alike, even in a matter of seconds. It all depends on choosing the right class, the best Ascendancy path, and of course the perfect combination of items to achieve huge DPS numbers – but beware the Path of Building warriors!

In this article, we shall explore some of the best builds in PoE in terms of damage, but we will also explore how and why these builds are so much better performing than others. Lastly, there will be a list of pros for picking each build, so that you can navigate through the list and see if there is something you might want to play.


10. Slayer Cyclone Build

[3.13] Cyclone Build | Slayer | Ritual | Path of Exile 3.13

Cyclone has always been a very popular skill since its release and over the years it has changed quite a lot, while still retaining its popularity and undeniable strength. One of the most prominent features this skill offers is that you can, well, “spin to win” – which means, your character moves through the environment while biting chunks off of monsters’ health bars. This means that the build is quite fast and that it is great at both killing bosses and staying alive thanks to the synergy it has with the Slayer’s abilities. Namely, it has a built-in enhanced version of “Culling Strike” (which in PoE means that enemies will instantly die when hit while at 10% hp or less, including bosses) that works at 20% health points. The Slayer has great AoE improvements that benefit Cyclone greatly and is also quite tanky thanks to its improved Life Leech capabilities.

What Slayer Cyclone Excels In:

  • Keeping your character alive, through investment in Life Leech and the Slayer’s Brutal Fervour node.
  • Slaying bosses and powerful enemies faster than most other characters thanks to the Slayer’s Headsman & Bane of Legends nodes.
  • Smoothly breezing through content as early as level 28 – when Cyclone first becomes available.
  • Running all map mods (including Physical Reflect, which is avoided through the Slayer’s Headsman node) with the right combination of flasks and passive skills allocated.

Pick Slayer Cyclone If You Like:

  • Easy builds that don’t require you to play the piano on your keyboard (i.e., having to press a lot of buttons for them to work).
  • Having high DPS without giving up on a great amount of Life and general tankiness.
  • Dealing damage while moving, thus increasing your character’s clear speed.
  • Running maps semi-mindlessly, not having to worry too much about mods.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/Na74Z9Fv


9. Arc Archmage Ascendant/Assassin Build

【Path of Exile 3.13 RDY】Arc Archmage Scion/Assassin –Build Guide– Godly Bossing | 3000+ Mana Casts!

Much like Cyclone, Arc always was a beloved skill. Up until June 2018, it lacked decent boss damage capabilities, but with the 3.3.0 patch, it gained another awesome perk that lets it deal more damage when it hits an enemy based on the number of remaining Chains it has. Another great addition to the game and, specifically, to Arc’s single-target DPS is Archmage. Archmage is a support skill gem that adds flat Lightning Damage to supported skills based on their Mana Cost – which is coincidentally increased by Archmage itself. This combination turns Arc into a tool of mass destruction, while also having it pulverize bosses. This build can be played as either the Scion or the Shadow as your starting character, and then Ascend into either the Ascendant or the Assassin, respectively.

What Arc Archmage Ascendant/Assassin Excels In:

  • Being very fast at clearing maps, killing monsters screens away, even.
  • Great boss damage output thanks to great amounts of Mana and thanks to the Arcane Cloak skill, that further adds Lightning Damage to your skills based on the Mana it spends.
  • Having several defensive layers that can keep your character alive most of the time.

Pick Arc Archmage Ascendant/Assassin If You Like:

  • Having versatility in your ascendancy path, and more than a single ascendancy choice to play the build as you like.
  • Builds that require to press more than a single button to be played.
  • Spell-based builds that can safely kill enemies from afar.
  • A fast-paced playstyle that is also quite satisfying, thanks to Arc chaining between enemies.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/M4NVWNte


8. Glacial Cascade Miner Build

Path of Exile 3.13 - Glacial Cascade Mines Saboteur Build

Glacial Cascade is a skill that pairs up particularly nicely with Mines thanks to its immense single-target damage output when detonating tons of mines all at once. Throwing mines and detonating a small amount of them can also be both satisfying to watch and effective in terms of clear speed, thanks to Glacial Cascade Mines targeting either a specific enemy or a general location based on where your cursor is when using the Detonate Mines action or skill gem. The Saboteur is the perfect ascendancy class to choose for this build, as its skills revolve around using and improving both Mines and Traps. This build has been known for a long time to be one of the greatest boss-killing builds without requiring Mirror-tier equipment to shine. In fact, this is oftentimes a very consistent pick for starting a new League.

What Glacial Cascade Miner Excels In:

  • Clearing maps very fast.
  • Destroying bosses, especially those who feature phases, thanks to multiple mines detonating at once.
  • Being a great League Starter that requires little-to-no investment for it to work properly.

Pick Glacial Cascade Miner If You Like:

  • Fast-paced gameplay with tons of satisfying shatter sounds to boot.
  • Builds that require very little investment to get going and destroy the end-game.
  • Having mines do the work for you, while you simply throw them around and walk.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/UXpuaXAK


7. Fire Blade Vortex Chieftain Build

[3.13] Blade Vortex Build | Chieftain | Ritual | Path of Exile 3.13

Blade Vortex was always a very popular skill, as it is quite similar to Cyclone in terms of gameplay. You cast it sparsely, blades pop up around your character, then you walk through enemies and they die. Easy-peasy. The addition of Conquerors and Conquerors modifiers on items spiced things up thanks to an Affix for Body Armours that synergized amazingly well with Blade Vortex – namely, the Crusader’s so-called “Explody chest”.This Affix makes enemies explode on kill, dealing Physical Damage to other nearby enemies. This made Blade Vortex even more popular, as its clear speed capabilities are quite unparalleled. This version of the build spices things up even more with Blade Vortex’s damage being converted from Physical into Fire through the Chieftain’s “Ngamahu, Flame’s Advance” node and by using a bow as your main weapon, in order for the Quiver slot to become available for slotting The Signal Fire for full conversion.

What Fire Blade Vortex Chieftain Excels In:

  • Extreme clear speed and boss damage.
  • Being a fun build that successfully combines several aspects of the game to achieve uniqueness.
  • Scaling really well into the end-game the more you invest into it.

Pick Fire Blade Vortex Chieftain If You Like:

  • Destroying everything in your wake as you walk.
  • Being able to witness what happens on the screen while playing, having freedom of movement thanks to having to cast the skill only every now and then.
  • Unusual elements in builds and/or fire-themed characters.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/TPmfi4A5


6. Toxic Rain Deadeye Build

PoE 3.13 - Toxic Rain Deadeye build guide

Path of Exile’s 3.13 patch made Toxic Rain (a skill that has been quite popular for a long time now) viable for another Ascendancy path, thanks to the changes that were introduced. In fact, the Ranger was already a great class choice for Toxic Rain, but as of now the Deadeye Ascendancy made a great comeback, and it synergizes perfectly with the iconic chaos-based bow skill. The Deadeye now changes how the Mirage Archer Support Gem works in a very favorable way for Toxic Rain builds, as Mirage Archer has now a limit of 3 unmovable ghosts using your skill over and over up until they disappear. Considering Toxic Rain is a skill that needs a lot of stacking for it to have considerable DPS, the changes made the Deadeye amazing, as one can easily stack the skill’s toxic pods by self-attacking with Toxic Rain and letting up to three ghastly friends do the same. The damage is insane, and the build definitely deserves a shot.

What Toxic Rain Deadeye Excels In:

  • Versatile damage scaling, thanks to damage ramp-up based on Attack Speed, Skill Effect Duration, number of Projectiles, Area of Effect, Wither stacks, and more.
  • Mobile and fast playstyle due to the combination of Asenath’s Chant and Mirage Archers.
  • Great balance between clear speed and boss damage.

Pick Toxic Rain Deadeye If You Like:

  • Cheap builds that can scale well into late/end-game based on the investment.
  • Having a tanky character that does not need to worry about any sort of Reflected Damage.
  • Having the option of adding into the build another skill to shake things up, such as Caustic Arrow.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/3ShUhLH8


5. Carrion Golem Necromancer Build

Carrion Golems Aura Stacking Low Life Necromancer End Game Build Guide for 3.13 Ritual League

Summon Carrion Golem has quickly become one of the most used skills in Path of Exile thanks to its very effective scaling, clear speed, and boss-melting capabilities. Playing it as a Necromancer offers a different take on the build, for which usually the Elementalist ascendancy path is chosen instead. The Necromancer benefits from having Zombies summoned at all times, by having both offensive buffs and defensive boons. Another advantage the Necromancer brings to the table is that Auras have further intrinsic bonuses, making Aura stacking quite the juicy option. On top of all that, the Necromancer has of course a natural synergy with having a lot of minions up and about, which perfectly adds up to this devastating build.

What Carrion Golem Necromancer Excels In:

  • Having ridiculous amounts of damage output in the form of friendly minion units.
  • Being able to manually dodge telegraphed attacks and spells by moving out of them.
  • Insane clear speed thanks to the minions doing all the work, while you can simply run.

Pick Carrion Golem Necromance If You Like:

  • Not having to worry too much about Map negative modifiers.
  • Having a naturally fast and tanky character with which you can easily run all content, including Uber Labyrinth and end-game bosses.
  • Builds that are nearly unstoppable once they get going.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/ehNJH8jP


4. Cast on Critical Strike Ice Nova Elementalist Build

[3.13] CoC Ice Nova Build | Elementalist | Ritual | Path of Exile 3.13

Ice Nova is one of those skills that have peculiar synergistic mechanics with other skills – namely, with Frostbolt, another Cold type skill that shoots projectiles. Ice Nova normally casts an AoE spell around your character, but by casting it on a Frostbolt projectile it deals increased damage and originates from that point, instead. This makes it a great skill when combined with Cospri’s Malice and the Cast on Critical Strike Support Gem. The former is a Unique Item that casts Cold spells socketed in it when you deal a critical strike with the weapon. The latter is a support gem for attacks that makes critical strikes obtained with them automatically cast all spells linked to it. This combination is especially deadly when used with Cyclone, as the build gains intrinsic clear speed and attacks super fast, thus increasing the number of critical strikes achieved in order to cast the maximum amount of spells. The recently reworked Elementalist class simply pairs well with this build archetype, making it potentially much more devastating.

What Cast on Critical Strike Ice Nova Elementalist Excels In:

  • Being one of the fastest builds in the game versus both regular monsters and bosses.
  • Scaling in the end-game the more investment is put into the build.
  • Being very straightforward when following a build guide, due to the complex nature of some threshold calculations.

Pick Cast on Critical Strike Ice Nova Elementalist If You Like:

  • Crispy shattering sounds from killing frozen enemies.
  • Interactions between specific skills, Unique Items, and game mechanics.
  • Fast builds that don’t need much to get started, but can easily carry you through the whole game.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/VQfZAQUF


3. Intelligence Stacking Power Siphon Trickster Build

What Intelligence Stacking Power Siphon Trickster Excels In:

  • Being one of the highest damage dealers in the game thanks to its vast scaling.
  • Being an absolute beast at tanking damage, with insane Energy Shield values, Curse Reflection, Dodge, and Evasion.
  • Having almost all the damage it deals coming from stacking a single stat.

Pick Intelligence Stacking Power Siphon Trickster If You Like:

  • Attribute-based builds that can stack the chosen attribute up to over 2000.
  • Very expensive builds to throw your currency at once you peek with starter builds.
  • Unique interactions that make your build feel kind of special.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/Rqf5dvM1


2. Accuracy Stacking Tornado Shot Juggernaut Build


We just talked about how unique and fun attribute stacking is in Path of Exile. Well, there’s not only attribute stacking, as players can also stack other stats to make great builds. Here we are looking at a prime example of creativity, where stacking Accuracy (an often otherwise overlooked stat in the game) can make a build so powerful that it can break the game, in a sense. The Juggernaut’s synergy with Accuracy always made it look like a nice build on paper, but the introduction of new items and the interactions with pre-existing ones made the damage in Ritual League skyrocket for all those who were brave enough to make this sort of build.

What Accuracy Stacking Tornado Shot Juggernaut Excels In:

  • Taking advantage of niche items and a niche Ascendancy Class in order to obtain otherworldly DPS values.
  • Being an extremely all-around build that can deal with all the content the game has to offer.
  • Tanky builds that allow you to stay alive through most of the fights.

Pick Accuracy Stacking Tornado Shot Juggernaut If You Like:

  • Being creative with power creep and how you can take a build to its extreme.
  • Taking advantage of unused or overlooked items to destroy the game.
  • Thematic builds that feel satisfying to see unfold.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/RQQQxNeK


1. Shattering Steel Impale Champion Build

Strongest Endgame Bosser I've ever played | Path of Exile 3.13

Lancing Steel and Shattering Steel were very recently reworked, namely in patch 3.12, with Heist League. Specifically, this build takes a look at how we players can deal over 150 million damage per second by exploiting Shattering Steel’s mechanics. Yes, you read that right. Shattering Steel is a projectile skill that deals More Damage (that, please note, is a sort of multiplicative way of scaling damage after the main calculations are done) to monsters the nearer they are to the character using it. This of course pairs extremely well with the Point Blank Keystone, which does the exact same thing, and thus adds to the damage Shattering Steel deals. On top of that, the Champion is naturally prone to dealing insane Impale Damage thanks to its skill-set. This makes this build an incredible boss killer.

What Shattering Steel Impale Champion Excels In:

  • Possibly one of the highest DPS values in the whole game.
  • Destroying the entire game by sometimes one-shotting even bosses, or at least taking them to the next phase with a single hit.
  • Clearing Maps with the same skill that’s used for bosses without the need to switch gems over.

Pick Shattering Steel Impale Champion If You Like:

  • Fast builds that are even faster at killing bosses than most other builds.
  • Projectile-based builds that feel sort of melee due to the projectiles dealing more damage to nearby enemies.
  • Naturally tanky builds with lots of Life and optimal defences.

Full build details: https://pastebin.com/HHTwEN4h


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Coming from the "hand-signals tribe" (also known as "the Italians"), Andrea is not as belligerent as the Romans, yet she loves strategy. As an existentialist, she thrives on cosmic horror and pizza.
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Path of Exile, AFK Arena, Borderlands 3, Brawlhalla
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