[Top 10] Path of Exile Best End Game Builds

Path of Exile Best End Game Builds
Shaper's guardian, Minotaur, ready for you to rise to his challenge.

Ready to take on some end game content in Path of Exile, but unsure if your build can stand up for the task?  Go ahead and give these 10 a try. 

Hello, Exiles.

Today we will be talking about the best builds for end game content. There are many builds that will excel at conquering the world of Path of Exile, and any build is viable with the right price tag. However, some stand far above the rest in terms of ease of play, cost-efficiency, survivability, and damage output.

Here are my picks for the top 10 end game builds. 

10. Ancestral Warchief

The Ancestral Warchief Chieftain takes on all foes with the assistance of his totems, empowered by the spirits of the Karui. 

Ancestral Warchief is a Marauder build that usually takes the Chieftain ascendancy. You will use the skill gem by the same name, an ability which places totems to deal damage. The clear on this build is a little bit rough; your totems can only reach so far, you are limited in how many can be up at a time, and casting them has a small delay. But stack them on one target and watch those bosses fall. This build is perfect for the tank lovers out there, as it prioritizes defense while still taking offensive skill nodes when easily and readily available. 

What’s Good About this Build: 

  • Good mix of offense (damage) and defense (mitigation and health) 
  • Ability to move around easily while letting your totems do damage, so you can  focus on dodging
  • Extremely affordable for those lacking funds, but also has min-max options for those who want to optimize the build
  • Damage is outsourced to totems, so no need to worry about pesky late game reflect
  • Safe single-target damage; just pop your totems and try not to die

Ancestral Warchief gameplay and build guide. 

9. Glacial Cascade Miner

Watch as ice cascades from his mines, as the Glacial Cascade Miner shatters all in his path. 

Glacial Cascade Miner is a Shadow build that takes the Saboteur ascendancy. A miner deals damage by throwing mines that detonate after a second trigger cast or a set period of time. Glacial Cascade mines are widely known to have one of the fastest and safest AOE clears, making them ideal for players who want to quickly farm endgame maps. You can stack damage during boss fights by laying down traps during phase periods when bosses give their famous villain talk or simply are standing still. Once the traps go down stand back and wait for the inevitable onslaught of damage, thus quickly and safely eliminating most major bosses. 

What’s Good About this Build: 

  • Great clear speed for “trash” mobs, without sacrificing too much in the way of single-target damage for boss fights 
  • Most enemies will shatter due to increased critical strike chance, so it is unlikely you will die from an after-death effect (detonate dead, porcupine spikes, etc.) 
  • Speed is often a priority, which helps with both clear speed and player reaction times
  • Damage is outsourced to traps, so reflect is null and void
  • Saboteur has plenty of defense stats, such as blind, built in to help with survivability

Glacial Cascade Miner gameplay and build guide. 

8. Bladefall/Blade Blast

Blades fall from the sky in a rain of fire that surrounds enemies, only to shortly explode, dealing massive amounts of damage as the Marauder shreds through his adversaries. 

Bladefall/Blade Blast is played by both the Shadow, with the Assassin ascendancy, and the Marauder, with the Chieftain ascendancy, but for the sake of this list we are choosing Chieftain. Chieftain is easily affordable, with min-max optimization for damage late, and prioritizes survivability. The build is great for clear and single-target damage, and will quickly destroy most late game bosses. While it is impossible to run any maps with elemental reflection without self-destruction, the build will do well with all other content and map modifications. 

What’s Good About this Build: 

  • Insane life pool, up to 9k life
  • Gearing is a piece of cake, because the available skill tree options make reaching maximum mitigation for physical and elemental damage, high life, good regeneration, and high block chance virtually effortless
  • Great mana regen and high mana pool to allow for a multitude of aura effects, and/or you can replace your mana flask with a better flask option
  • Strong clear and single-target damage without sacrificing defense

Bladefall/Blade Blast Chieftain gameplay and build guide. 

7. Cremation/Ignite Archmage 

The Archmage traverses the lands of Path of Exile, scorching her way through dead and living alike. 

Cremation/Ignite Archmage is a build that takes the Witch’s Necromancer ascendancy. It uses the ignite effect combined with the Archmage support gem, which allows for better mana management as well as provides a bit of extra damage. Cremation explodes the corpses of nearby enemies, creating a fire projectile that will shortly explode. The build has good single-target and clear potential, though it will require you to have corpses available, so you will want to use a skill such as  Desecrate to summon corpses. Cremation is mostly damage-centered, and therefore will be a bit low on defenses, but the good news is you never really have to get close to deal damage. 

What’s Good About this Build: 

  • High damage output, of all kinds, but especially clear due to all the bodies 
  • You don’t have to cast frequently and your mana costs are low. Infrequent casting also lets you keep on the run most of the time, reducing your chance of being hit.
  • You can sacrifice some damage nodes for survivability as needed
  • Or, if you wanna go for the glass cannon style, the build’s high range makes focusing damage fairly safe
  • Since corpses are the primary source of damage, you have easy access to the offering skills, which boost defense

Cremation/Ignite Archmage gameplay and build guide. 

6. Archmage Storm Brand

As a wielder of Storm Brands, this Archmage casts his brands onto nearby enemies, where they attach, sending rivulets of lightning through their bodies. 

Archmage Storm Brand is typically played as the Templar and takes the Inquisitor ascendency. The build uses the Archmage support gem, which takes a percentage of your mana cost and adds lightning damage to your main skill; typically mana cost is a burden, but in this case, it is a reward. Storm Brand works by placing a brand on the ground, which will then deal lightning damage to the enemy it attaches to, and this damage will chain to all nearby enemies. Once brands are placed on the ground, you won’t need to do a whole lot of casting until you need to move, making mana management easy and reducing your chance of being hit. Plus, you can run auras to increase damage and defense, making for laid back and easy gameplay.  

What’s Good About this Build: 

  • Extremely safe to play
  • The build doesn’t rely on many other skills to go along with Storm Brand, so skill management and mana management are both easy
  • Critical hits for days, with great clear from chain and fair single-target from brand stacking
  • Well-rounded defensively and offensively

Archmage Storm Brand Inquisitor gameplay and build guide. 

5. Impale Cyclone    

The Champion spins in a circle, acting as a human blender for those who come into contact with his blades. 

Impale Cyclone has several variations for class and ascendancy, and most are commonly played. The most well-rounded build, however, is likely the Duelist with the Champion ascendancy. Impale Cyclone takes the Impale support gem, which deals pre-mitigation damage (i.e. armor), and the Cyclone primary skill gem, which deals damage in a circular area around the caster as if they are spinning. The ability works as a channel, so as long as you hold it, you will become a whirlwind of destruction. Through the Champion ascendancy and the Duelist skill tree, you will amass plenty of life, damage, defense, and leech to survive most hits while continually dealing out damage of your own. 

What’s Good About this Build: 

  • Well-rounded damage output; both for single-target boss fighting and general mob shredding
  • Moves while channeling rather than having to stay stagnant like other channel builds
  • Can take plenty of repeated small hits due to leech
  • Decently tanky, so can also take most hard hits without death
  • Quick mapping and zone clearing

Impale Cyclone Champion gameplay and build guide.

4. Summoner

The Summoner amasses an army of the undead to aid in her quest for vengeance across the lands of Wraeclast and Oriath. 

The Summoner is a Witch build which takes the Necromancer ascendancy. The idea of a Summoner build is to gather a large number of minions to create an army of the undead. This can be done by picking one type, such as spectres, or mixing and matching multiple minion types. For the most part, your minions will simply rampage across the lands of Path of Exile, but occasionally they will need some guidance; such as letting them know when and what to attack or pulling them back to you for safety. Through the skill tree, you will buff both their stats and your own, giving you plenty of defenses to simply sit back and watch your army do your bidding.

What’s Good About this Build:

  • Can be executed effectively with very little currency 
  • While the minions do the work and take the majority of enemy aggro, you can focus on surviving and dodging attacks
  • Solid single-target and clear
  • The build has been one of the top builds for a while now, so it’s thoroughly developed and there are many variations available to choose from
  • Easily customized to do more damage, have more survivability, or a healthy mix of both depending on the playstyle of each individual

Summoner (Necromancer) gameplay and build guide. 

3. Toxic Rain

The Pathfinder rains poisonous arrows down on her foes, watching as they slowly fall to its lasting effect. 

Toxic Rain is a chaos oriented build that deals poison damage and is usually played as either the Ranger, with the Pathfinder ascendancy, or on the Shadow as Trickster. Comparatively, Pathfinder has identical damage and tends to give a little more survivability, making it stand out slightly over Trickster. Toxic Rain is a bow-based projectile attack that will put a damage over time effect onto whatever it hits; you will be able to use the attack quick enough that it should never wear off. With Pathfinder, you will need to focus on flask management for both damage and survivability, but the payoff for this extra challenge is well worth it. The build is strong against any and all endgame content, and no map modification is impossible to run. 

What’s Good About this Build:

  • Great on-hit damage and damage over time
  • Chaos damage goes through energy shields, which weakens endgame bosses that rely on them for extra defense or regenerate energy shield  during battles with multiple phases
  • Pathfinder’s affinity for flasks makes the build not only customizable to player needs, but offers super high sustain for life and mana, boosted resistance, added damage, and increased speed. 
  • If you can manage flasks well, the rest of the gameplay is easy
  • You never have to get close, and if you need to take a breather to focus on dodging, your DOT will keep on ticking away at enemy health

2. Essence Drain Trickster

The Trickster spreads chaos among the lands through infecting those around them with a blight that slowly kills. 

Essence Drain is another chaos ability and is used almost exclusively on the Shadow as a Trickster. Essence Drain fires a low-damage projectile that leaves a hefty damage over time effect in its wake.Part of that damage over time is then regenerated as life, helping to boost survivability. The use of an AOE skill like Contagion helps account for the low area covered by the projectile, and you will definitely want to take either Contagion or Blight. Boss fights are a little slow compared to the build’s clear speed, which is simply insane, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit.

What’s Good About this Build:

  • You could almost fall asleep while playing and still be fine since one of your primary sources of offense is also your defense; built in life regeneration is definitely a win
  • Extremely fast at clearing “trash” mobs in maps 
  • Relatively easy to gear
  • Can tackle the issue of low boss damage by investing more currency in your gear 
  • This is one of the most popular builds out there, guides and variations, so it isn’t hard to make this build work best for your individual playstyle or to find advice on endgame progression.

Essence Drain Trickster gameplay and build guide. 

1. Impale Ground Slam

The Champion slams his weapon into the ground, causing spikes of earth to cascade outwards into enemies, impaling them where they stand. 

Impale Ground Slam is played either as the Duelist with the Champion ascendancy or as the Marauder with the Berserker ascendancy. Ground Slam is a melee ability that deals damage in a cone-shaped wave, decimating all that is in its path. As Ground Slam’s wave travels, it increases the chance of stunning enemies, an added bonus which is nothing to laugh at.The Impale support allows for 10% of this damage to occur prior to an enemy’s mitigation (i.e. armor), giving a significant boost to your damage output.  The build is known for being well balanced in damage and defense, offering a high life pool, good damage mitigation, and high AOE damage output.

What’s Good About this Build:

  • You can’t get hit if your enemy can’t move
  • Even if you do get hit, you will have plenty of life and mitigation to spare
  • Your survivability does not come at the cost of damage; you won’t die due to either lack of offense or defense, and the skill being AOE does not hinder your sin 
  • Compared to other builds, you don’t need a secondary skill (i.e. like ED Trickster using Blight), making skill management simple
  • Overall this is a laid back and chill build to play with little need to worry about much of anything

Impale Ground Slam gameplay and build guide. 

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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.
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