With the highly anticipated Path of Exile 3.10 Delirium league right around the corner, players are asking on a daily basis in both the forums and on Reddit what builds people are going to start the new league with.
03.19.2020 UPDATE: Adjusted the chart and builds, provided new Links and PoBs.
Unlike 3.9 Metamorph, it appears Delirium will focus on breach-style “zerg” mechanics, which means area of effect and clear are probably going to be stronger requirements than single-target boss killing builds. While builds that can both clear well and boss are included in this overview, a solid starter will probably want to focus more on area clear than single target.
OFFICIAL PATCH NOTES UPDATE!
BUFFED: Assassin Ascendancy was buffed, the changes to Tempered/Transcendent Flesh are solid. Commander of Darkness now grants +30% Elemental Resists (from +20%). NERFED: Skeletons (40% less damage), Spirit Offering (no longer provides ES and lost elemental resist but gained chaos resist), Carrion Golem Damage (5% vs 8% and 50% vs 80%), Feeding Frenzy (No more Damage, but global so can link to Golem), Bone Barrier Ascendancy no longer grants Elemental Resistance per Minion (30% loss), Baron Helmet(Loss of 2 Zombies at 1500 Strength, 1.5% vs 2% Damage), Precision (20% Critical at Level 1 vs. 50% prior). MORE: Fossil crafting was fundamentally changed, but we can still craft what we’re looking for; just differently. Impale was not changed at all!
3.10 PATCH IMPACT ON THESE BUILDS
Yes, Summoners were hit, but with the Cluster Jewel enhancements available, they are still rock solid (especially Zombies) and will perform exceptionally this league! Brunowa (the author of the King of All Summoners) wrote: “Overall, I think it was a fair nerf and we are set to still be one of (if not still) the strongest build in the game! And I’m sure once we get into the game and start playing around with things and improving upon it we’ll only get better.” I agree with him completely. While the biggest hit to the Zombie build was the nerf on Spirit Offering and lack of elemental resistances from Bone Barrier (which is now Chaos, which is actually good), the summoner builds will do just fine!
To clarify, with the introduction of Cluster Jewels, every build in the game is going to have the potential of evolving beyond any currently defined guide, but it will take time for the enhanced version of a build to be refined (which can only happen after the 3.10 launch). As such, don’t worry about following a guide at launch as nobody knows what the evolved Cluster Jewel version of a build will be for days or even weeks after the league launches. As time passes, build guides will be updated to include the expanded growth and use of Cluster Jewels. As that happens, the content provided herein will be updated accordingly.
I want to preface by saying I spent weeks testing each one of the top builds (and many in the follow-up list) as SSF/Leveling to end-game to verify their viability as they compare to each other as potential league starters for 3.10. This includes verifying their performance while leveling on as little as a 3-link to Act IV, their overall survival, bossing, clear speed, and scaling potential based on the first and second day of the league (which is often more SSF for players until the market grows and stabilizes).
Relative to this overview, I want to acknowledge how important play style is. Some people hate totems while others only play totem builds. Some like Melee while others love bow builds. The diversity of PoE is one of its greatest features, but also one of the most complex aspects of the game. While a build may be listed as “best” or “top”, some players may disagree because of the style(s) they prefer – but one thing is assured – the builds listed herein are all rock solid and viable for their represented roles as great league starters for 3.10 Delirium.
Before I present the list, I want to say something very important: just because it’s on the top list doesn’t mean it’s a “best build”. I’m presenting this list based on my personal experience as well as the feedback of other gamers and streamers. I’m sure there’s a few solid builds that could make the top 5 list that I have either overlooked or personally don’t care for the play style of (but others could really enjoy). One thing to keep in mind is 3.10 Delirium focuses on breach-style mechanics; as such, I’ve chosen builds that either focus on clear (with proper survival), or a balance of clear and bossing.
I created the above list of builds based on my personal experience from 3.9 and the changes that are anticipated for 3.10. Everyone thought Summoners would be nerfed hard in 3.9, but they still came out on top. Even with the nerfs to Summoners in 3.10, the above chart is still accurate, and summoners will still be one of (if not the) best league starters!
When it comes to a league starter, my core goal is to have a build that can easily handle yellow-tier maps on self-found gear and farm enough currency to “kickstart” any other build I want to try; but I also want a build that is capable of growing into and handling nearly all content if I want to stick with that build for a long period of time.
In addition to the above, here are the qualifiers I used to put together the list:
Easy to Gear (SSF to T6-T10 Maps).
Easy to acquire skills during leveling.
Works on 4L to T6 Maps.
Solid Survival (most are HC Viable).
Can Delve “well”.
Fun to play.
Let’s get started!
The 3.10 Delirium Best Starter Builds List
Note there are more than 20 build guides/PoB links below. If the build you were hoping to find isn’t in the top ten, check the following section!
Here is the list of what I believe the top ten Path of Exile 3.10 Delirium top Starter Builds are, omitting the pursuit of the new Ranged skills and minion nerfs. I also cover a number of other builds after the list for reference.
Make sure you check the Notes section of any PoB you download; that’s where most of the leveling information will be found!
Build – #1 Cyclone Impale Champion
Pros:Steady and solid, well-balanced, all content, good damage & survival, great delver. HC Viable. Cons:Can be a bit slow and steady in the beginning. Not everyone likes Spin to Win. Play Style:Spin. Win. Flask. Leap. Spin. Win some more. Impale. Death abounds! Build Links: (Updated 03.16.2020)Custom PoB with Leveling Notes (updated for 3.10 and based on AlkaizerX’s build, also used by top end-game Champion Cyclone builds in 3.9 for HC and Deep Delving)
This is probably one of the best builds for 3.10 that’s balanced across the board and unlikely to be nerfed at all. While it doesn’t have the best clear speed, it makes up for it by being steady, reliable, and having better bossing potential than other faster clear builds. It’s also a build that can ultimately do all content in the game and is also a great delver.
03.15.2020 Note: I league started with this build, and it’s awesome. I recommend it as the #1 option with how RIPpy Delirium currently is. The PoB has been updated to level with Axes. Switch to Cyclone as soon as you get a 5-6 link!
Build – #2 Storm Brand Hierophant
Pros:Great starter (level 12), good clear and single-target, HC, SSF and All Content Viable Cons:Can be squishy, have to be very careful in Lab (Traps) Play Style:Toss down those Brands and let them work over your targets! Recall and ZAP! Build Links: (Updated 03.19.2020)My PoB (Leveling notes) based on Nugiyen’s L99 HCSSF build.
Quickly becoming one of the most popular builds, Storm Brand saw a huge burst of damage from the new Archmage skill as well as the new Cluster Nodes. It’s fun, does great damage (both single target and clear), delves well, and can do all content (with the right gear) while being HC and SSF viable. Nugiyen almost hit L100 in HCSSF with this build but accidentally ran an elemental reflect map.
Lacerate Gladiator is one of the best builds I’ve ever played (3.8 and 3.9), and enabled Steelmage to hit Level 100 in HCSSF 3.10 Delirium first. This build levels as Bladestorm with Axes, and once in maps, switches to Axe/Shield and Lacerate. If you want one of the most balanced melee builds in the game that can do all content, is SSF and HC viable, bounces and bleeds, and can delve deeper than 600; this is it.
I can’t speak highly enough about this build; it’s simply awesome. The Gladiator version is quick to level, has great damage, clears very well, downs bosses with Puncture as they bleed out running to chase you. The Champion version is a bit slower but has better survival. If you’re playing non-HC, I recommend the Gladiator variation. If you want to survive Hardcore, I recommend the Champion version.
Steady is good, and Holy Flame Totem is exactly that. While Freezing Pulse Totems is my favorite for end-game totem murder, that build requires two unique jewels (First Snow) and a Soul Mantle to really shine. Without Soul Mantle, a socket must be taken by Spell Totem. With HFT you don’t need to socket a Spell Totem. The damage is good, bosses melt, survival is great, and it’s solid all the way to T10 maps on just a 4-link, which makes it an awesome league starter.
Build – #6 Ball Lightning Mines
Pros:Cheap, good clear, awesome bossing, excellent delver. Cons:Start at L28. Mine play style can be clunky. Play Style:Mines creating a lightning wall of death that destroys EVERYTHING. Build Links: Ball Lightning Miner Video Guide by PoE Builds
Ball Lightning Mines destroyed all content in 3.9, equally melting the screen just the same as all bosses. There’s something magical about the flashing balls melting everything on the screen. This build is very powerful on just a 4-link, it delves excellently, and is easy to level once you get the skill at 28.
Build – #7 Toxic Rain Mines Saboteur & Trickster
Pros:Cheap, start at Level 12, good clear, good bossing, HC viable, fun. Cons:Miner play style; nonstop key-pressing and clicking. Self-cast trickster is good alternative. Play Style:Ranged Mines; lots of clicking OR self-cast ranged attack; Poison/Chaos Damage (DoT) Build Links: TR Mines PoB (Octavian) (updated for 3.10, includes leveling notes), Toxic Rain Trickster Guide by typicaldemon
TR Miners and self-cast tricksters did great this league, and will continue to be excellent performers. I’m wrapping both the miner and self-cast versions into this single entry for those who want to pursue different play styles. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Toxic Rain melting the entire screen in just a second or two.
As mentioned in the patch notes, Summoners were nerfed, but each of these builds should still be viable; the Skeleton damage hit may make using SRS while leveling more viable, but once in maps, Skeletons should perform just fine. One of the key play styles of a Summoner are the mechanics of monster targeting fo survival, so not only do our buddies wreck enemies, they also taunt and take aggro from us, which increases our survival greatly. Each of these builds should be awesome as a league starter, with the only concern being associated with the Cold Skeleton build, since Skeletons lost 40% of their damage, which will be felt during leveling – but here’s the thing, they were way too powerful in 3.9. The 40% nerf may make them “great” instead of “op”. Ultimately, if you want to play skeletons, you should be fine; and we need to remember the new Cluster Jewel nodes enhance our summoners even more! As such, I’ve provided three top build references; two for zombies, and one for skeletons. For those who like to cast on top of a target to kill it, go with Skeletons. If you just want to just cyclone through everything and have your Zombies clean up around you, go with Zombies.
03.15.2020 Update: Zombies are doing just fine, it’s just that everyone has jumped on the Animate Weapon bandwagon; the problem is AW is dying like crazy in Delirium, so it’s very squishy. If you want a Minion build, Zombies are still solid.
Essence Drain & Contagion is going to be very popular this league because it’s one of the best clearing builds in the game. While the single target damage is average at best (compared to other builds), it is quite enjoyable to destroy the entire screen (and even off-screen) with a single cast. Spread the love around!
Build – #10 SRS Necromancer
Pros:Fun, Start at Level 4, good clear, good bossing. Cons:Can be squishy and doesn’t delve well. Play Style:RELEASE THE HOMING MISSILES OF FACE-EATING DEATH! Build Links: Angry Roleplayer’s SRS guide
I’ve always loved Summon Raging Spirits. It’s just fun, especially to level. While it’s not a top contender by any means for reaching 100 or pushing delve, as a first character, it’s enjoyable to play, easy to gear, and has great clear. It’s great for building the currency and item base for your next build.
What about the other great builds?!
There are a ton of other great builds to consider as league starters for 3.10. Here’s the continued list for consideration.
Make sure you check the Notes section of any PoB you download; that’s where most of the leveling information will be found!
Storm Burst Trickster is one of the best caster builds I’ve ever played. You can destroy the entire screen in seconds and melt bosses like few other skills (with very little investment). It’s very fun, scales well, and is a great league starter, able to quickly get you to maps. Just be prepared you could die a few times, and make sure you level with a physical melee skill until you get Storm Burst at level 12. Here’s a link to Esoro’s 3.9 Storm Burst Trickster PoB (details in notes).
Caustic Arrow Trickster is another top performer that is likely to remain untouched with the 3.10 patch, Caustic Arrow is fun, has great survival, balanced clearing and single-target, and is just plain fun. It’s also easy to scale and build your own 6 link chaos bow in SSF. Here’s a link to My PoB with Notes (Updated for 3.10 with leveling notes, 3.4M DPS)
Poison Blade Vortex Assassin has grown popular this league. It’s fun, clears well, and is also good at delving; it’s just a bit squishy and prone to 1-shots. Here’s a link to Gr0bb’s Poison BV Build Guide.
CI Vortex Occultist is one of the best end-game builds, but it’s not the friendliest for SSF or easy leveling. However for those who are experienced in the game, they can make it work both as a starter and in SSF mode. Here’s a link to Ghazzy’s Vortex Cold Snap Occultist build.
Cyclone Impale Slayer is solid, tried and true, but is very slow to level up without solid gear investment. Here’s a PoB based on Duel Wield Ahn’s Might. It rocks, and is a great league starter because Ahn’s Might is very common and cheap.
Bane is fun, fast, and solid, but doesn’t boss nearly as well as the top builds in the list. Some players also prefer Bane with Essence Drain rather than Contagion. Here’s the PoB of a Bane ED Trickster. It’s solid.
Rain of Arrows Poison Pathfinder is a ton of fun. It’s faster clear than Caustic Arrow but bosses a bit slower. Here’s the PoB of this build. It’s fast, fun, and is a great farmer. Here’s a link to Astarift’s Pathfinder Poison RoA build (the one I ran, which rocks). Rain of Arrows received a 10% damage buff in 3.9.
Freezing Pulse Totems is one of the best totem builds in the game; balanced for clear, bossing and delving, once you get the jewels and “good” equipment, you can do all the content PoE has to offer, which includes shattering the entire screen. It’s just not the best league starter because you need two First Snow jewels and a Soul Mantle to make it really work. Once you have those, the build rocks. Here’s Wallach’s Freezing Pulse Totems build guide.
Vortex Trickster is solid for those who like the play style, and for end-game it’s one of the tankiest and most steady builds out there, capable of doing all content. Leveling to 28 with Stormblast mines is cake (and fun), and unlike Occultist, the Trickster variant can start using Vortex at 28. Vortex is also one of the best delvers in the game. It’s just a bit slow to ramp up, requires a switch to CI around level 70-75 and is a different play style from other builds. It’s also a bit squishy prior to CI due to the combination of life and ES (both around 1500 in SSF/league start before transition to CI), but once you get Ghost Dance and Escape Artist, it has great survival and solid damage; and the cold slows everything down. Here’s a PoB based on Gryphenprey’s build.
Soulrend Trickster is a solid build guide (I actually ran it in 3.8, but it’s performance was just “ok”). With the buff from 3.9, Soulrend could become one of the best new league builds/starters. Here’s a link to Syreith’s Soulrend Trickster build guide. Soulrend received a substantial buff of 50% higher duration in 3.9.
There are definitely other great builds that could have made it on the list, but I believe the above list is solid for what we’ve learned in 3.9 and what should carry to 3.10 Delirium as Top Starter Builds.
I hope this list helps the PoE community; here’s to the continued success of Path of Exile and the fantastic job Grinding Gear Games has done with the game!