Learn how to progress your gear, important Milestones, Budget Items, Earlygame, Endgame & Crafting for the Caustic Arrow Poison Ballista Trickster Build.
The Item Progression in Path of Exile is not as rigid as in most other games. Unique Items can provide easy upgrades early, but overall your gear mostly consist of Rare Items. This means that flexibility is key. The game won't always give you exactly the item you are looking for, so you need to adapt. Even if small upgrades seem insignificant, the sum of them decides whether your character fails or succeeds.
If you want full context to everything, watch my fully detailed Video Guide on Youtube as well. It is linked at the end of the article! You can also check out my stream on twitch.tv/palsteron and ask me questions or simply hang out!
To make itemization less confusing, there are no Resistances on Rare Items anywhere. You can get them wherever you want and they do not have to be on specific items. Resistances are incredibly important though, DO NOT forget about them when choosing which items to craft or buy! Make sure to check your Reistances in your Character Sheet (C, Defense Tab) whenever you switch your gear around.
Milestone 1 - Get decent Rare Gear
After the campaign, you encounter a steep difficulty increase, which becomes a problem unless you upgrade your sub-optimal gear into something more appropriate. This is where random currency you dropped during the campaign comes in. Spend all Chaos Orbs you have on gear upgrades so you can progress through the game.
You are looking for Life on every single gear piece, as well as enough Resistances to cap them at 75%.
A good trick to get some Life on your items is using: Screaming Essence of Greeds on items that are already appropriately linked and coloured.
Look out for Accuracy on Gloves, Rings or on your Quiver and make sure you have 100% chance to hit at all times in the character sheet.
Note: Your Accuracy decreases with levels since enemies get stronger, so going for more Accuracy rather than less pays off later.
Milestone 2 - Get your Sockets, Colours and Links in order!
After you have some starter gear, make sure you can use all your Gems. You need to use your Jeweller's Orbs, Orb of Fusings and Chromatic Orbs to adjust your items appropriately. Use the Skill Gem Section to check if you have the right colours on your items!
Milestone 3 - Mark of Submission
Mark of Submission is simply incredible. It's cheap, easy to use and applies one of your Curses automatically, giving you more time to place Ballistas or dodge enemy attacks. The Curse of choice is Despair, which you socket into the Ring! Other sources of automatic cursing significantly reduce the power of your Curse, because they only triggers a Level 1 version of it. Mark of Submission makes it possible for you to apply a FULLY LEVELED Despair with Quality, making it a must-have to beat highly resistant enemies, even in lategame scenarios!
Milestone 4 - Tabula Rasa
Getting an early six-link can be expensive, but Tabula Rasa provides a cheaper solution. Going from a 4-link to a 6-link almost doubles your damage, and is a complete game changer. It does not have any defensive mods however, so until you replace it you'll be a lot weaker defensively. In order to get the Currency to buy a Tabula Rasa, use the Chaos Orb Recipe or farm some Heists.
Milestone 5 - Flasks
Next up, inspect your flasks and see if they are adequate for the content you are farming. The base flasks you want at this point are:
- Eternal Life Flask
- Divine Life Flask
- Quicksilver Flask
- Quartz Flask
- Jade Flask
Use Orb of Transmutations, Orb of Alterations and Orb of Augmentations to craft some important Suffix mods onto your 3 utility flasks:
- Increased Attack Speed during Flask effect
- Increased Evasion during Flask effect
- Increased Movement Speed during Flask effect
For Life Flasks you want your Life Flask to have extra Amount Recovered, similar to this one: Saturated Divine Life Flask of the Cure. This increases Poisonous Concoctions damage, for more Info on that, check out the Skill Gem Section!
Milestone 6 - The Big Respec
Here is what you need in order to change from Poisonous Concoction to Caustic Arrow:
- A crafted Bow like this: New Item, which is made by applying a Shrieking Essence of Envy on a Bow, preferably a Thicket basetype. Use Essences until you get a good mixture of mods, including any sort of Physical Damage, Attack Speed or Damage over Time Multiplier, then finish it on the Crafting Bench! (depending on what you are missing on the weapon after Crafting).
- Snakebite Gloves. Be sure that you can make up for the stats you lose from replacing your current gloves! (Accuracy, Resistances)
- A Rain of Splinters Jewel
- Respec your Passive Skill Tree accordingly (Passive Tree Section)
- Redo the Gems & Colours of your Gear accordingly (Skill Gem Section)
After this, try out your new setup in an easy environment (for example A9 Blood Aqueducts), to check for mistakes before you get back to mapping!
Milestone 7 - Doedre's Damning
Your default Curse limit on enemies is 1. This first Curse was Despair, which you apply with the Mark of Submission you bought earlier. However, in order for us to use Temporal Chains, which almost doubles our damage against bosses, you need to get your Curse limit to 2.
This is where Doedre's Damning comes in. Its stats are not great, but it gets the job done for now! In case this Unique is for some reason expensive, your alterative is Windscream.