[Top 10] Path of Exile Best Gems

Path of Exile
Witch is the best gem in Path of Exile?

Path of Exile includes a lot of Skill Gems, and they can either be Active Gems or Support Gems. These tools shape the game to be the way it is, and as such the choice of which to use is a critical one.

Path of Exile is a game that features many options for every player when it comes to building your own character the way you want to play it. One of such categories of options comprises Skill Gems. These little stones can be socketed in your gear based on their color and the color of the item’s sockets, thus providing either a new skill entirely (in the case of Active Skill Gems) or new effects to the skill they are supporting (in the case of Support Gems).

Gems are game-changing, and they often undergo revision on GGG’s part, be it because they are simply too strong and meta-defining, or because they could use a little improvement to see more playability. Each new patch usually features new ones as well, so the competition for Path of Exile’s best gems is quite fierce.


10. Hatred

Hatred Supreme Ego Pathfinder 100% Deli Bow Skill Showcase (PoE 3.13)

Path of Exile features a wide selection of Aura skills, which are used by reserving a percentage of a character’s total Mana or a set amount of Mana. Auras are buffs different in nature from one another and they stack on top of each other. Auras also affect the other characters in the player’s party and can act as very powerful tools for improving the multiplayer experience. For example, there are popular “Aurabot” builds around that solely focus on stacking a lot of Auras (such as Guardians or Ascendants) and increase their effectiveness in order to become walking buffs for friends and random players alike. Hatred is a great Aura because it is versatile, and it can be used in a plethora of builds. 

What Makes Hatred Awesome:

  • It comes with two buffs: the first makes the caster and their party gain Cold Damage based on their Physical Damage, while the second makes everyone deal More Cold Damage. 
  • The effects are cumulative and playing a conversion-based elemental build makes Hatred an incredibly overpowered tool.
  • It can be played even in Cold Damage Over Time builds thanks to the More Cold Damage buff, and it can add up to the bonuses offered by Malevolence (another DOT-specific Aura).

Hatred details:

  • You and nearby allies gain (16-25)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage
  • You and nearby allies deal (14-18)% more Cold Damage
  • +(0-19) to radius


9. Toxic Rain

[Path of Exile 3.13] Guide - Amazing Fast League Starter Build - Toxic Rain/Caustic Arrow Pathfinder

Toxic Rain is a Bow Skill in Path of Exile, and it is one of the most commonly used skills to start a new League ever since its introduction, in patch 3.4.0. Toxic Rain is a Damage Over Time skill that launches arrows into the air that, when they land, create deadly spore pods. In fact, these pods deal Chaos Damage Over Time to enemies near them and slow them. Having high Attack Speed and Increased Area of Effect values greatly increases the skill’s damage, thanks to the pods overlapping and new pods being created very fast. Great Ascendancies for this skill are the Trickster, the Pathfinder, and the Deadeye.

What Makes Toxic Rain Awesome:

  • It is a skill that can carry you into the end-game on a very low budget, perfect for new Leagues.
  • It can be scaled very well with gear and currency, speeding up the creation of pods and increasing their damage.
  • It deals Chaos Damage, which cannot be reflected and against which monsters and bosses have generally lower Resistance.

Toxic Rain details:

Deals (50-72.8)% of Base Attack Damage

  • Base duration is 1 seconds
  • Deals (7.9-285.1) Base Chaos Damage per second
  • Fires 4 additional Arrows
  • 50% of Physical Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
  • Each Spore Pod applies 10% less Movement Speed to nearby Enemies, to a maximum of 60%
  • Modifiers to Projectile Damage apply to this Skill's Damage Over Time effect


8. Summon Carrion Golem

PoE 3.13 - Carrion Golem Elementalist Build Guide

This Gem is a spell skill that does exactly what it says on the tin: it summons a Carrion Golem. Carrion Golems are minions, so they work naturally well with characters stacking auras, with characters taking advantage of Golem perks (such as the Elementalist), or with minion-focused classes like Necromancers. The Carrion Golems can both be used to buff other minions you summon, or they can be the focus of your whole build and kill everything for you on their own. A large number of Carrion Golems can, in the appropriate build, destroy all the content the game can throw at you. They can kill Sirus in a matter of seconds, and their AI is quite good when compared to other minions’.

What Makes Summon Carrion Golem Awesome:

  • Its versatility, working either as a buff to other minions to enhance the general Summoner experience or working as your primary source of damage.
  • Great synergy with Zombies, as they can be quite tanky meat shields to absorb damage, all while buffing the Carrion Golems’ own damage.
  • Amazing speed in clearing content while speeding through all areas, and an aesthetically pleasing Skill Gem in game.

Summon Carrion Golem details:

  • Maximum 1 Summoned Golem
  • Golems grant (7-27) to (11-41) additional Physical Damage for Non-Golem Minions
  • Golems deal 5% more Damage per Non-Golem Minion near them, up to 50%
  • (30-68)% increased Minion Maximum Life
  • (0-10)% increased Character Size


7. Cyclone

An All-Time Favourite SPIN TO WIN - Cyclone Slayer Leaguestarter [Poe 3.13]

Arguably one of the best Gems in the whole game, Cyclone is an evergreen pick for melee-enthusiasts and spell casters alike. Cyclone is one of the few Gems in Path of Exile able to dish out damage consistently while also allowing your character to move, which makes it a very appealing choice. It can work well with any melee-focused Ascendancy, such as: Gladiator, Champion, Slayer, Raider, Juggernaut, Chieftain, Berserker, Inquisitor, Assassin, and more. All it needs is a bit of investment in the form of a powerful melee weapon (or two, for Dual Wielders) and it’s ready to kill. The great thing about this skill is that it can easily work with supports like Cast on Critical Strike and Cast while Channeling, so that you retain the aspect of the skill that makes you move while attacking but add to it the benefit of casting one or more Spells while doing so. This skill is just fun, no matter what.

What Makes Cyclone Awesome:

  • Versatility, once again. It can be used in any sort of build depending on its premise, and it is also effective at what it does regardless.
  • Great utility and “quality of life” in the form of the ability to move while attacking, which is way too sparse in the game right now, thus making Cyclone king.
  • It gains more Area of Effect the more you keep channeling it, potentially allowing AoE builds to hit monsters screen-wide.

Cyclone details:

  • Deals (44-54)% of Base Attack Damage
  • 30% less Movement Speed
  • First Hit deals 50% less Damage
  • Gains 1 Stage every (0.33-0.17) seconds while Channelling
  • +1 to radius per Stage
  • Lose 1 Stage every 0.33 seconds while not Channelling
  • (5-28) to (8-42) Added Attack Physical Damage
  • Maximum (3-6) Stages
  • 8% increased Area of Effect per 1 additional Melee Strike Range


6. Blade Vortex/Vaal Blade Vortex

Poison Blade Vortex Assassin - Destroy Bosses on a Budget - League Start Guide - Path of Exile 3.13

Very much like Cyclone, Blade Vortex is one of those skills that lets you kill stuff while walking, albeit it does so differently. Blade Vortex is not a Channeling skill like Cyclone, but it is a Duration skill, and it is a Spell. This is relevant because, as such, you can invest in Skill Effect Duration to keep the Blades up longer or you can use it with Unleash (or you can do both!). Unleash is a Support Skill Gem that accumulates stacks the longer you are not casting. Once you cast, though, the supported skill will be cast an additional time per consumed stack. This makes Blade Vortex incredibly fast because you only must stop walking very briefly to recast it, occasionally. Vaal Blade Vortex, instead, casts a vortex of blades much like the one the original skill casts, but rather than spinning around your character it is hurled across the map, destroying enemies from afar. Considering you can use a skill and its Vaal equivalent with a single gem, the deal here is very juicy.

What Makes Blade Vortex & Vaal Blade Vortex Awesome:

  • The ability to play the game almost as if it was purely a walking simulator. “Almost” because you still need to stop every now and then to recast the blades.
  • The sheer amount of damage, which is further increased the more Blades you have up simultaneously.
  • The fact that the skills deal base Physical Damage, making them open to conversion-based elemental builds and builds that favor gaining extra elemental damage based on base Physical Damage.

Blade Vortex details:

  • Deals (3-101) to (5-151) Physical Damage
  • Base duration is 5 seconds
  • Can have up to 10 active spinning blades
  • 10% increased Critical Strike Chance for each blade
  • 35% increased Hit Rate for each blade
  • 35% more Damage for each blade
  • +(0-4) to radius

Vaal Blade Vortex details:

  • Deals (14-331) to (20-496) Physical Damage
  • Base duration is 3 seconds
  • +(8-12) to radius
  • Hits Enemies every 0.13 Seconds
  • 100% increased Critical Strike Chance
  • Has 10 blades
  • Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention


5. Trap Support & High-Impact Mine Support

Purifying Flame Mines Saboteur - Screenwide Destruction - League Start Guide - Path of Exile: 3.13

These two support skills offer the chance to play the game entirely differently, thanks to Trap Support transforming linked Ranged Attacks or Spells into traps, and thanks to High-Impact Mine Support transforming linked Spells and Ranged Attacks into mines. These support skills are game-defining, and as such they are among the best Path of Exile can offer. Their value is transformative, because linking any suitable Active Skill Gem to either of these supports dramatically changes the way that single skill is played. Traps and Mines alike are commonly played paired with the Saboteur class, making them stronger and making gameplay smoother. Traps are laid on the ground and are triggered when enemies enter their trigger radius; there are ways to make them go off after a few seconds too, regardless of trigger radius. Mines are thrown at specific locations and require pressing another button to be triggered. This is achieved by using the Detonate Mines skill or Skill Gem.

What Makes Trap Support & High-Impact Mine Support Awesome:

  • The game-transforming aspect they both have, thanks to them turning other skills into Traps and Mines respectively.
  • The fact that they allow for greater build diversity within the game.
  • They have a dedicated Ascendancy class to make them even stronger, allowing the player to specialize in either Traps or Mines.

Trap support details:

  • Trap lasts 4 seconds
  • Supported Attack Skills cannot be used with Melee Weapons
  • Supported Skills have (0-19)% increased Trap Throwing Speed
  • Supported Skills deal (0-38)% increased Trap Damage

High-Impact Mine Support details:

  • Mine lasts 5 seconds
  • Each Mine from Supported Skills applies 2% chance to deal Double Damage to Hits against Enemies near it, up to a maximum of 100%
  • Supported Skills have a Base Mine Detonation Time of 0.25 seconds
  • Supported Skills deal (30-20)% less Damage
  • Supported Attack Skills cannot be used with Melee Weapons


4. Spell Totem Support & Ballista Totem Support

One-shot Machine! - Stormbind Totem Hierophant [3.13/Ritual]

Much like with Traps and Mines, Totems are characteristic elements in Path of Exile and these two support skills definitely make a lot of builds much more interesting. The allure of having other entities doing the casting or attacking for you is quite irresistible, especially so if you can move around freely and just stop every once in a while to cast a bunch of angry totems or arrow-loaded ballistae onto enemies. This is especially beneficial for clearing the game faster and for unlocking niche playstyles. You can have several totems up at the same time and they will all use the Active Skill Gem they support. The potential to “shotgun” bosses and/or covering the entire screen with flashy spells is there, and many players end up going for it. The Hierophant Ascendancy class furthermore enhances totem gameplay, and it has powerful interactions with them. 

What Makes Spell Totem Support & Ballista Totem Support Awesome:

  • The ability to have Totems/Ballistae using skills for you and focus on the environment and dodging deadly stuff thrown at you.
  • Creating niche interactions between regular skills and Unique Items, classes, and perks in general that are Totem/Ballista-specific.
  • Having allied entities that benefit from Auras or other similar buffs.

Spell Totem Support details:

  • Supported Skills will summon a Totem which uses that Skill
  • Totem lasts 8 seconds
  • Supported Skills deal (35-26)% less Damage
  • Spells Cast by Totem have 30% less Cast Speed

Ballista Totem Support details:

  • Supported Skills will summon a Ballista Totem which uses that Skill
  • Totem lasts 8 seconds
  • Supported Skills deal (42-33)% less Damage
  • Attacks used by Totem have 50% less Attack Speed
  • Supported Skills have +2 to maximum number of Summoned Ballista Totems
  • Supported Attack Skills cannot be used with Melee Weapons


3. Enlighten Support


As we saw with Hatred, Path of Exile offers many Auras to players willing to reserve their Mana for significant bonuses that can make or break a build, or Curses, turned into AoE debuffs for enemies that are close enough via Blasphemy Support. Enlighten is the only support skill that can have an impact on how much Mana is reserved in a build, and more often than not it can help you throw in another Aura or Curse (with Blasphemy) into the mix. The fact that the stat it provides is so scarce makes this Gem extremely powerful, expensive, and sought-after. Most Leagues will see Level 4 Corrupted Enlighten Support priced at over 3-5 Exalted Orbs, which is quite a lot of currency for a single item unless of course, you can farm multiple Exalted Orbs per day. Still, this gem has the potential to be an obligatory investment for end-game builds to fit in that extra buff. Honorable mentions are its kindred Gems, Empower and Enhance, which respectively increase the Level of supported Gems and the Quality of supported Gems.

What Makes Enlighten Support Awesome:

  • Its ability to dramatically reduce the amount of Mana that supported skills will reserve, potentially allowing for an extra Mana-reserving skill to be used.
  • The fact that it is quite rare to loot, but very rewarding to level up and even Corrupting, trying to turn a Level 3 Gem into a Level 4 Gem (being Level 3 the default maximum for Enlighten).
  • The extreme value of its bonus is further increased by the scarcity of it in other forms.

Enlighten Support details:

  • Mana multiplier (100-92)%


2. Second Wind Support

Second Wind Support and Shared Cooldowns

There are Skill Gems in Path of Exile that have a cooldown, meaning they have limitations in terms of the number of uses and/or restrictions due to time. Most of these skills fall within the utility category, meaning that more uses or shorter waiting times before you can recast them are highly beneficial and can save your character from impending death. That is precisely what Second Wind does. In fact, it grants any skill with a cooldown both one extra use and Increased Cooldown Recovery Rate. This makes this gem a spectacular asset in nearly every build. It works with Movement Skills like Dash, Frostblink, and Flame Dash; it works with Warcries such as Enduring Cry, Seismic Cry, and Intimidating Cry; lastly, it works with spells and attacks as well, some of which include Cold Snap, Frost Bomb, and Reckoning. All in all, Second Wind is a truly amazing Gem and rightfully deserving of being placed so high in this list.

What Makes Second Wind Support Awesome:

  • Its vast utility, helping builds that include cooldown skills to be faster and perform better.
  • The extra Cooldown Use for cooldown-based skills can be what separates life from death in certain situations.
  • The ability to play cooldown skills in a rotation if they are all linked to Second Wind, like Warcries in Earthshatter builds to pop all those crispy spikes.

Second Wind Support details:

  • Supported Non-Instant Skills have +1 Cooldown Use
  • Supported Skills have (5-24)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate


1. Cast when Damage Taken Support

[POE 3.13 Ritual] - Scion CWDT Blade Blast/Bladefall - Insane Speed/DPS - Destroy all content

Path of Exile is a game that has a lot going on the screen, oftentimes so much so that it’s hard to see. PoE is also a game of speed to most players, as in kill everything as soon as possible so that it doesn’t kill you. These things combined ask that players make the most out of their sockets and utility Gems without having to cast them directly, spending valuable time that could mean they end up dead or that their damage stops for a while. Enter Cast when Damage Taken – CwDT in short. What this amazing Gem does is, it has a threshold of damage that when reached or surpassed makes it trigger all linked skills. This is an exceptional tool, probably the most unique in the entire game. It lets you simply play without a care in the world, knowing your favorite buffs will be up all the time if you set CwDT up correctly. About to die to Physical or Elemental Damage? Don’t worry, CwDT will save the day and cast Immortal Call. Want to step back from the fight if things get too intense? Easy, take some damage and CwDT will cast Dash for you. Eager to try some fancy looped build that casts over ten spells via taking damage? Done, wish granted.

What Makes Cast when Damage Taken Support Awesome:

  • Its incredible versatility and utility, casting what you need whenever you are in danger.
  • A unique flavor to it, making it a fun choice as your main source of damage if you can sustain being continuously damaged.
  • The fact that you can have more than one CwDT setup in your build, allowing for more things to be cast at the right time and/or when different thresholds are reached.

Cast when Damage Taken Support details:

  • Trigger Supported Spells when you take a total of (528-3272) Damage
  • Supported Skills deal (-70-6)% more Damage
  • This Gem can only Support Skill Gems requiring Level (38-70) or lower
  • You cannot Cast Supported Triggerable Spells directly

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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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