Path of Exile 3.13 Ritual Top Build Overview & Statistics
Breaking the normal 3-month content release schedule players have been enjoying for years, the Path of Exile Ritual League launched after a 4-month development cycle on January 15, 2021. This league included the Echoes of the Atlas expansion, focusing on end-game mapping, and the new Ritual system, which has greatly enhanced the ability to play the game in SSF.
Links to numerous complete guides for some of the strongest builds in the game can be found below.
Below is a snapshot of the buffs, nerfs and other adjustments this league.
3.13 saw numerous changes to ascendancies and skills where most nerfs were applied to Ascendancies and Buffs to skills. Necromancer was hit hard, but is still rock solid. The Shadow and Ranger Ascendancies (Trickster, Pathfinder, Raider, etc.) saw numerous enhancements and changes. Elementalist received a complete redux. Gladiator bleed was also nerfed a bit, but as seen below, is still a top tier build. Saboteur took substantial hits, and hardly anyone is playing it this league (compared to other builds). People are now choosing Mage Skeletons over Spectres, and Bladefall/Blade Blast (both Chieftain and Poison Assassin) are still top tier. The complete 3.13 patch notes can be found here.
The launch of Ritual was quite smooth, except for the new texture streaming system, which is causing a lot of problems for people. GGG made a public statement about this new system and how they’re focusing on refining it for the upcoming POE 2.0.
Ultimately, Ritual is a great and fun league, breaking all previous records for concurrent players.
While last league (Heist) was dominated by Spectres and Blade Blast, the top skills this league are Carrion Golem, Detonate Dead, Blade Blast and Earthquake, however, we have more of a diverse range of follow-up skills and ascendancies than last leagues “Spectre league”, and surprisingly enough, Carrion Golem is still the #1 choice in Ritual (non-SSF because of the Jewel requirements).
Normal | Carrion Golem Necromancer & Blade Vortex Assassin (Tie)
HC | Detonate Dead Necromancer & Cyclone Slayer (Tie)
SSF | Blade Blast Chieftain
SSFHC | Earthquake Gladiator
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. There are other more powerful builds, but they generally are much more complex, expensive, require respecing, and specific uniques — but the reality is most of these builds don’t provide enough of an advantage to the core requirements to outperform the below recommendations.
Before we begin, Path of Building is a very important tool to have when following a build guide since many of them share PoB links. Additionally, make sure you have a good loot filter. I personally recommend NeverSink’s Loot Filter.
Getting to maps and farming while surviving and having the ability to do all end-game content are key requirements for each of the recommended builds. This guide does not include ultra expensive builds for players who have accumulated a large amount of currency. This overview is perfect for new players, late league starters, or those who just want to try another build that will work for end-game and is fun.
The Leaderboard and Top Builds
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”. Many (if not most) of the top players run builds that are designed solely to push 100 and nothing more (farming specific maps and pulling in a minimum XP/h amount); however many of these builds are capable of doing all content (Shaper & Uber Elder), and delving deep. People on the top list are hardcore (play style not HC mode), experienced, and pushing 100 (while also delving) is an art all of its own that generally has no application to the average player – but we can still learn from these players and builds. I also want to elaborate on how I interpreted the top build from the leaderboards. These characters can be found on poe.ninja builds. There are three core categories to consider: Softcore, Hardcore and SSF (and variations of each). Keep in mind those who are 95+ and do not play SSF often group with others (including aura bots), which includes sharing items and maps. This augmentation can misrepresent the viability of an end-game build and its capability to run without a party and reach 100 as quickly as it has. This means SSF is the best indicator of a build’s capability to progress without aura bots and party support. SSF players that push 95+ are a special breed of dedicated folks who usually put 8-12+ hours of game time in each day. These are not average players; but average players can learn from them.
Below are the statistics pulled from the poe.ninja builds top characters in each league subsection. Note many profiles are set to private, so this data is only based on public profiles that have their skills shared with the community. The below list is in order of popularity and use.
As we can see, there is a bit more variation this league than last relative to what is “top” depending on HC/SSF, etc. As mentioned above, the top builds this league are Detonate Dead, Carrion Golem, Bladefall/Blade Blast, and Earthquake. Detonate Dead deletes … everything (but requires the two cast play style which many people don’t like). Carrion Golems allow for AFK play of Blight maps (but require jewels, which is why it’s not in the SSF list), Bladefall/Blade Blast is just as strong as last league (Chieftain for fire and Assassin for Poison), and Earthquake is the king melee skill.
While Necromancer is the dominant Ascendancy due to the sheer number of people playing it (many more play non-SSF) due to its Detonate Dead, Skeleton and Zombie support, Elementalist is the next most popular Ascendancy this league because of the total overhaul for 3.13, with most players using Divine Ire and Vortex. Gladiator is the third most popular across the board with a focus on Earthquake as the number one melee skill.
The top 10 used skills for Softcore (SSF and non-SSF) are:
Blade Blast (Bladefall)
Split Arrow / Puncture
The top 10 used skills for Hardcore (SSF and non-SSF) are:
Blade Blast (Bladefall)
The top Delve builds for this league are:
Normal | Icicle Mine Pathfinder | Depth: 6592 (Same as last league)
Before I dive into the Top build list from the statics, I wanted to share my favorite builds from Harvest so far.
I started this league with a Caustic Arrow / Toxic Rain Trickster Miner build as my initial SSF farmer, and it was one of the best starters I’ve ever used. It’s prefect for speed running low to mid-tier maps with no gear investment (non-HC because it’s a bit squishy), and just fun because you bind detonate to LMB, so all you need to do is right-click (CA) and space bar (TR) and run around while everything dies (including bosses). I think this will be my go-to league starter from now on as it destroys everything on a mere 4L and easily punches through yellow maps with no investment at all. Build Links: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (CA/TR Trickster Miner) | TR/CA Trickster Mine Build Video (Tripolar Bear)
Explosive Arrow Hierophant is another all-content build that’s HC/SSF viable. The only caveat is you need a 6L to really make it work. This means farming a Tabula to start out with; and even though getting the 6L Imperial Bow is pretty easy, rolling the sockets is ultra difficult and requires harvest. Nonetheless, it’s a fun build that uses elemental proliferation of fire to obliterate… everything. Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Exploding Arrow Hierophant)
I was surprised at how fun and powerful the Cyclone Staff Slayer is. The build uses Shockwave, which is something the traditional Champion/Facebreaker builds can’t use – and it makes quite the difference in clear (Slayer is already the fastest cyclone clear in the game; Shockwave makes it even faster). With more than 8K life and amazing leech, this build is all content & HC/SSF viable. Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Cyclone Staff Slayer)
I wanted to try a SRS Necromancer this league, and was not disappointed. While nobody has taken it beyond 95 this league (as of yet), it does delete bosses, and this tankier version performs very well for those who want to launch face eating balls of chomping death against their victims. Once you get unleash, the build really comes to life. Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (SRS Necromancer)
Even though it was statistically in the minority, the Vortex Trickster build was the best for hitting 100 in SSFHC, however the most popular is the common Vortex Occultist. I really enjoyed the trickster because it uses Spellslinger with Frostbolt and Creeping Frost prior to converting to ES. As such, it clears maps great and is just a lot of freezing fun. I apologize for not having a good build guide to the Occultist version; best recommendation is check out builds on poe.ninja. Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes including Life>ES Transition (Vortex Trickster)
Top 3.13 Ritual Builds List
As mentioned, the below list is based upon the Statistics pulled from poe.ninja; not just normal mode, but hardcore as well (which indicates fantastic survival). I will include links to what I consider to be the best build guides, many of which I have used myself.
Divine Ire Elementalist came out of nowhere, and it’s the most popular Elementalist build for SSF (non-HC). I haven’t had a chance to put together a PoB as of yet, but hope to have one built in the next week or two. In the meantime, here’s the lead Divine Ire Elementalist SSF character.