[Top 5] Path of Exile Best Class for Beginners

Path of Exile Best Class for Beginners, poe Best Class for Beginners
The Path of Exile class options who will journey with you on your adventure across Wraeclast. Choose wisely.

What Are The Best Path of Exile Classes for Beginners?

Path of Exile has often been called an intimidating game for new players to delve into.

The game boasts a massive skill tree, allowing every class to be interconnected, complicated build paths, ascendancies, a robust economic system, and item gearing and crafting.

Yet, there is nothing to be discouraged about, because alongside these complexities there are plenty of easy to master options for new players to join in on the fun.

Each of the character classes has easy options available, and there are an unlimited number of playable options within each set class.

Buckle up, it’s a long ride. 

5.  Ranger

A woman of the wilds, the Ranger mastered life in the forests of Oriath, living in solitude and becoming one with nature. Believing that land has no owner, and subsequently banished for poaching, she traverses the land with respect and dignity. 

The Ranger is a damage-heavy class that concentrates on dexterity and evasion. Most Ranger builds use ranged skill gems, though there are also builds, and one ascendancy, which are meant for melee. The Ranger is known for her ability to clear large numbers of mobs very quickly and is great for currency farming. Rather than having a large amount of life, this class prioritizes damage and speed. Your main form of defense is evasion and dodge chance, so watch out for heavy hits, because dodge is not a 100% guarantee. 

Why the Ranger is Great for Beginners:

  • The Ranger steers clear of enemies by attacking from afar. 
  • She has super easy clear speed, so it’s unlikely you will get surrounded by a horde of enemies.
  • The Pathfinder ascendancy offers a boost to survivability through its use of flasks (potions). 
  • Due to the fast clear, it’s easy to earn currency, and the Ranger even has builds built around currency farming.
  • It’s unlikely you will struggle with damage at any point.
  • No need to worry about balancing attributes (strength, dexterity, intelligence), as she is primarily dexterity based. 
  • Quick leveling, quick mapping, quick bossing.

Choose the Ranger If You Enjoy: 

  • Going through areas very quickly, with high movement speed, clear, and damage potential
  • Ranged playstyle, particularly bow abilities
  • A class that clears “trash” mobs quickly and effectively, but boss fights which require a bit more mechanical prowess
  • A test of skill in which your own ability to dodge plays a major role in survivability
  • The dialogue of a female Robin Hood

In terms of Ranger build path and ascendancy, for new players I would recommend Scourge Arrow/Toxic Rain Pathfinder, for well-rounded damage output and survivability, or Lightning Arrow/Barrage for good clear and single-target damage. 

4. Duelist

The typical swordfighter, the Duelist longed for the spotlight of the arena and suffered the consequences of his thrill-seeking. Equipped with a sharp blade, and an even sharper tongue, all he cares for is the duel.   

The Duelist is another damage-heavy class which has a variety of new player-friendly builds to choose from. Most of the ability set and many of the skill tree nodes are geared towards melee weapons, attacks, and skill gems, though ranged builds are possible. The class is best known for favoring play styles that enjoy heavy single-target damage, and is a prime choice for any boss killing. The Duelist is a hybrid class, and uses  both strength and dexterity attributes. 

Why the Duelist is Great for Beginners: 

  • The playstyle is similar to a variety of other games, so if you are familiar with melee, the transition will be easy as pie. 
  • The Slayer ascendancy allows for absurd life leach, so it’s easy to stay alive through longer fights. 
  • The class tends to have a large life pool, but doesn’t compromise damage output to do so; you can take heavy hits while dealing heavy hits. 
  • The high single-target damage makes boss slaying low risk. 
  • Fairly decent leveling speed and safety. 

Choose the Duelist If You Enjoy: 

  • Rewarding single-target damage resulting in quicker boss fights
  • A class with both single-target and multi-target damage potential
  • Primarily a melee, or at the very least, a closer range fighting style
  • The risk and reward of prioritizing damage; the Duelist can and will hit like a truck if you do
  • Life-leech as a primary source of sustainability (Slayer)
  • Sassy/flirtatious dialogue

Of the many build paths that can be taken on the Duelist, I would recommend Cyclone Slayer or Blade Flurry Champion. Cyclone slayer is good for its sustainability and clearing potential, whereas Blade Flurry is going to be great for single-target damage and boss fighting. 

3. Marauder

A health-stacking tank with a tendency towards tribal belief and destroying everything in his path, the Marauder traverses the lands of Wraeclast and Oriath blazing a trail of destruction in his wake.

The Marauder is a tank-based class. When playing a Marauder, the build paths are almost exclusively melee as the class is considered purely strength-based. Overall, Marauder will take primarily health skill nodes. You will be able to take large hits and regain health quickly through regeneration. The damage of the Marauder is consistent, but normally a bit lower than other classes due to the trade-off of survivability. 

Why the Marauder is Great for Beginners:

  • High life means less worry about taking damage. 
  • This class is particularly well suited to late-game boss fighting. 
  • High damage mitigation from the armor defensive stat on top of a high life pool means your chances of dying are very low compared to other classes.
  • Quite a few of the build paths allow you to do fair amounts of damage even with high defense. 
  • There are build options that allow for passive damage dealing. Something else will deal damage for you, so you can focus even more on not dying (ex: totems, auras).
  • No need to balance attributes, you’re primarily going to stack strength. 

Choose the Marauder If You Enjoy: 

  • Low-risk gameplay
  • Being virtually unkillable late, especially with the right amount of currency put into the build
  • Easy boss-fighting, though often at the cost of clear speed
  • Melee playstyle
  • Confident dialogue that often references in-game religion/culture 

In terms of Marauder builds, the best choices for newer players are Molten Strike Juggernaut, Cyclone Chieftain (Ngamahu’s Flame), or Ancestral Warchief Chieftain. Molten Strike Juggernaut will have high sustain through leech and health, and will have better clear potential than most Marauder builds. Cyclone Chieftain will have balanced clear and single-target damage, as well as good survivability. Ancestral Warchief is a totem build with high single-target damage, just place down your totems and let them whale away on your enemies.

2. Shadow 

In the dark of the night, the Shadow stalks his prey, quickly dealing high damage and taunting his enemy as he mercilessly kills.

The Shadow is a hybrid class and utilizes intelligence and dexterity as his primary attributes. He is known for his extremely high damage output, and can draw from the various different defense types for survival. The class tends to be fairly low-life but has plenty of sustain options. The Shadow is perhaps the most versatile class in the game and can be played as a caster, as a ranged damage dealer, or as melee. The class is particularly well-known for its strength in builds that utilize critical hits, elemental damage, or damage over time (i.e. poison/chaos).  

Why the Shadow is Great for Beginners:

  • You can play him in any way that you would like, ranged, melee, caster, and he will excel. 
  • His ascendancies are all very well-rounded and thus he has a lot of very popular build options. 
  • The ascendancy options often include ways to sustain life, energy shield, and/or mana, making it easy to maintain both your life pool of choice (ES or Life), and your mana. 
  • He has an extremely high damage output through all stages of the game..
  • Being able to hybridize his armor-type and the ability to use either energy shield or life, means that you can choose which suits your playstyle best, making him very customizable. 
  • A lot of Shadow builds do not require you to get close to your enemies
  • If you do have to get close, there are good defensive mechanisms built in so that you can avoid damage (example: blind). 
  • Has access to almost every mobility gem right away, so you can pick which one you are most comfortable with.
  • Great single-target damage and general clear. 

Choose the Shadow If You Enjoy: 

  • Both high damage and fair survivability
  • The ability to choose to prioritize damage (high-risk, high-reward) or survivability 
  • The ability to customize a build to suit your needs (there are plenty of guides available for different styles of the same build to help newer players)
  • The ability to choose between a variety of different fighting styles 
  • Fast-paced gameplay
  • Damage over-time (poison) builds; you just use your ability and watch enemies slowly fall
  • Playstyle options that can be as engaging or as laid back as you desire
  • Dialogue that is sarcastic, taunting, and cocky 

The Shadow has many beginner-friendly builds, but I would recommend Essence Drain Trickster, Trap Saboteur (you can choose almost any trap, most are easy/high damage), and Toxic Rain/Caustic Arrow Trickster. Both Essence Drain Trickster and Toxic Rain Trickster are DOT/Poison based builds where you simply cast your ability and wait, leaving you to prioritize dodging. Trap Saboteur builds have a lot of benefits; you can set traps up prior to mobs or bosses moving and get early damage in, you are immune to any form of damage reflection since you are not technically the damage source, and you get to prioritize dodging with this build as well. 

1. Witch

Cast aside out of fear for her sorcery and banished for her retaliation (a heinous crime), the Witch plans to take her vengance against the nobles who shunned her through Elemental magic, Necromancy, and Hexes. 

The Witch is a caster class that primarily uses intelligence. She is typically a spell caster due to the ease of access to caster skill nodes and her affinity for spell-based skill gems. She is primarily ranged and typically uses either elemental damage or necromancy, though she can also use some melee abilities, aura spells, and damage over time skills. In terms of defense, the Witch is most commonly played with energy-shield as her sole defense mechanism and is capable of reaching a life pool equivalent of around 10,000 energy shield.

Why the Witch is Great for Beginners: 

  • A massive pool of energy shield means you probably won’t get one shot, which in this meta, is super important. Seriously, everyone is getting one shot. 
  • There are energy shield alternatives, such as Mind over Matter. In MoM your mana becomes a secondary life source, helping to give extra defense if you prefer life over ES.
  • She typically plays at a very far range soyou do not have to get close to your enemies. 
  • Most Witch builds are very straightforward, and similar to caster-type classes from other games. 
  • Her early-game damage is high enough that going through the acts will be fairly quick
  • Her late-game damage does not suffer for this early advantage. 
  • She has great single-target damage and general clear potential in the majority of her builds. 

Choose the Witch If You Enjoy: 

  • Caster playstyle
  • Playing as a class that utilizes elemental damage
  • Playing as a class that utilizes necromancy/minions (skeletons, spectres, zombies, etc.)
  • Damage over time builds (either chaos/poison or cold)
  • A balance of survivability and damage output
  • Option to sacrifice survivability for increased damage (high-risk, high-reward)
  • A number of extremely safe and player-friendly build paths
  • Clearing out mobs quickly in highly populated zones
  • A life-option that reduces the risk of one-shots (ES)
  • Dialogue that airs on the side of aloofness and hints at an extremely dark background 

If you are a new player, I highly recommend you play as the Necromancer and choose a minion build. Minion builds are by far the easiest build to play as a newer player in Path of Exile. You simply summon your minion(s) of choice and watch as they do the majority of the work; your minions tank damage for you, you are immune to damage reflection, and you almost never have to get in close contact with your opponent. In terms of elemental builds, Vortex/Cold Snap Occultist has great energy shield options and utilizes cold damage over time by placing an AOE on the ground that damages enemies as they pass over it. Arc Elementalist is another popular elemental build that has great clear potential, but is a bit slower in boss fights. 

Builds can be found on youtube, on poebuilds.cc, or through a Google search.

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Born and raised in the mountains, I have dedicated my life to story-telling of vast and wide realms. I live to enjoy the worlds of others, through role-playing and video games.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: PVP
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