Gear Progression

Last Updated: August 16th 2023

Trial of the Ancestors 3.22

Share on Social

Learn how to progress your gear, important Milestones, Budget Items, Earlygame, Endgame & Crafting for the Explosive Arrow Ballista Elementalist 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 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.

Early Game

Early Game Goal
Our goals in the early game are to establish our skill setups by socketing, linking and colouring our gear appropriately and to start leveling our Gems.

Since we are wearing "Act Gear" at this point, we need to focus on upgrades to get our necessary Attribute Requirements and cap our Resistances.

Early Game Gear Overview
Milestone 1 - Get decent Rare Gear

After the campaign, you will encounter a steep difficulty increase, which becomes a problem unless you upgrade your suboptimal 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. Reminder: you should have both Skirmish and Storm Cloud at this point, they are vital to the build!

Milestone 2 - Get your Sockets, Colours and Links in order!

After you havesome 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 - 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 therefore a complete gamechanger. 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 4 - 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
  • Granite 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 Armour during Flask effect
  • Increased Evasion during Flask effect
  • Increased Movement Speed during Flask effect

Prefixes are not super important right now, but do check the gear-sets if you want to craft perfect flasks. For Life Flasks we want one life flask to be semi-instant for quick recovery, similar to this one Effervescent Eternal Life Flask of Insulation. The second Life Flask should be normal speed but it has to grant protection from bleeds, similar to this one: Divine Life Flask of Allaying.

Milestone 5 - +2 Gem Level Bow

This is where you upgrade your Storm Cloud to an endgame Bow.
To get your craftable 6-linked Short Bow, you need to buy or farm 6xThe Porcupine cards.

Once you have the Bow, use a Shrieking Essence of Dread on it to get +2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems. Do this until you have an open Suffix to craft on "increased Attack Speed" with the Crafting Bench. At the end, use Chromatic Orbs to colour your Bow to socket your Explosive Arrow into it, so it can be affected by the +2 to Gem Levels.

Milestone 6 - Upgrade your Body Armour

Now that you don't need the 6-link in your Body Armour anymore, sell your Tabula Rasa and upgrade to something more appropriate with the currency you get back. If you want an easy Unique to go for early, get a Belly of the Beast with as much Life as you can.

Otherwise, buy a rare body armour with Life and Spell Suppression to prepare for the later stages of mapping. It would look something like this: New Item
The rest of the stats can be a mixture of Resists and Attributes, depending on what you need.

Milestone 7 - Get 2 Jewels for your Passive Tree

Jewels are incredibly strong. Get 2 for your Passive Tree and socket them into the Jewel Sockets along your travel path (both require only 1 Passive Point per). Your priorities should be (in this order):

  1. Increased Attack Speed with Bows
  2. Increased Maximum Life
  3. Increased Burning Damage
  4. Increased Fire Damage over Time Multiplier/Damage over Time Multiplier
  5. Increased Attack Speed
  6. Increased Damage over Time

Try to get at least 2 of the stronger mods or a mixture of 3 of them. The Jewel Sockets that you have to travel to are going to be filled out later; don't worry about them for now.

© 2023 Maxroll Media Group, All Rights Reserved