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Essence League Guide


Introduction

Welcome to our Essence Guide, Exile! Essence was introduced as part of Essence League in Patch 2.4.0 alongside the Atlas of Worlds expansion in August 2016. After the league ended, it became a core mechanic and is still useful to this day.

This League Mechanic is one of the simplest in the game. You occasionally find Essence monsters in stasis, which you can release and kill for special crafting Currency. These Currencies reroll an item with a fixed outcome for one of its affixes. Some Essences even provide special affixes that can't be rolled otherwise, which are great for specific endgame crafting projects. Let's walk you through it!


Essence Monsters

  • Starting in Act 1, you may find imprisoned Essence monsters, highlighted by their blue icon on the minimap.
  • These monsters are inactive until released by repeatedly clicking on them. This gives you time to clear the surrounding area or lets you skip it if it's too risky.
  • Essence monsters are similar to rare monster packs, but are further empowered by their Essence modifiers. Depending on their type and tier, they gain special abilities and more Life & Damage.
A trapped Essence monster

Essence Types & Tiers

There are 24 different Essence types that are categorised into 6 different groups. Each of them contains 4 Essence types and dictates at which level they can start spawning, with up to 8 Essence tiers available. The difficulty of Essence monsters as well as the crafting outcomes increase towards higher tiers. All regular Essence types have at least tier 5, 6 and 7 available to them.

3 Essences of a lower tier can be combined to create 1 Essence of a higher tier, up to tier 7 (by vendoring them or using the Essence Stash Tab shown below). Most lower tiers have very low value both for crafting and in the market. Only tier 5 and above should be used once in endgame. In addition to upgrading a normal item to rare (similar to Orb of Alchemy), tier 5+ Essences also offer the option to just reroll a rare right away (similar to Chaos Orb), saving the Orb of Scouring if applied to the same base.

Tier Prefix Obtained from
1WhisperingLvl. 1+ drop
2MutteringLvl. 12+ drop
3WeepingLvl. 30+ drop
4WailingLvl. 48+ drop
5ScreamingLvl. 68+ drop
6ShriekingAtlas Passives, Upgrading & Corrupting tier 5 Essences
7DeafeningUpgrading & Corrupting tier 6 Essences
8-Corrupting tier 7 purple Essence monsters only

Corrupted Essences

Similar to Vaal Orb for items, you can use Remnant of Corruption to Corrupt an Essence monster. The possible outcomes are: +1 tier, instantly release the monster or nothing at all.

Tier 8 corrupted Essences are exclusively obtained by using a Remnant of Corruption on an Essence of the last group, the purple Essences commonly abbreviated with MEDS - Misery, Envy, Dread, Scorn (like one in the screenshot above).

Essence Monster with:

  • Screaming Essence of Scorn
  • Screaming Essence of Envy
  • Screaming Essence of Misery
  • Screaming Essence of Dread

May turn into:

  • Essence of Insanity
  • Essence of Horror
  • Essence of Delirium
  • Essence of Hysteria

To achieve the most value in Trade Leagues, it's generally a net profit to corrupt any purple Essence you find, although this might change depending on the meta and the economy. It can be profitable to corrupt Essences with multiple "Shrieking" (Tier 6) modifiers as they may upgrade into "Deafening" (Tier 7), which are worth a lot more as they offer the highest possible mods for crafting.


Essence Crafting

Each Essence type has specific outcomes based on the item type it's used on and always forces that roll in addition to other random modifiers. Tiers 1 to 4 effectively double as an upgraded Orb of Alchemy while tiers 5 to 8 also work like a Chaos Orb. Being one of the simplest crafting methods in the game, Essences have straightforward use cases. These can be categorised in the following ways:

  1. League Start
  2. Simple Spamming
  3. Endgame Crafting Projects

At any point in your progression (especially when playing Solo Self-Found), Essences can be a great way of upgrading your gear. When you start out with your first character in a new League, low-tier Essences are helpful to add modifiers to 4- or 5-link bases you may find and constitute a cheap alternative to the much more precious Orb of Alchemy. If you see one and can defeat it in a matter of seconds, it's worth grabbing it along the way!

When you are progressing towards higher Maps and have accumulated lots of Essences either through farming or trade, they can be used to target craft specific gear for your own needs (like Shrieking Essence of Hatred if you're trying to max out Cold Resistance, for example). This strategy is even more effective when used on Fractured Items to guarantee two mods at the same time!

Essences may also be used in certain endgame crafting projects. In these cases, people buy up hundreds of Essences of the highest tier in order to try again and again until they hit a specific outcome to then continue with other crafting methods. Depending on the item type and your goal with it, you may roll a great item worth multiple Exalted Orbs within a few hundred attempts.


Essence Stash Tab

Essences have their own dedicated stash tab acquired from the ingame Shop, which is a great boon to easily organise and upgrade them. All Essences are sorted by their type, tier and group and all the information of this article is embedded into the tab by design. In Trade Leagues, lower tier Essences (5 and below) are worth next to nothing and it's quite possible to manage them without the tab by focusing only on high value drops.

In addition to neat sorting, the tab also offers an easy way of upgrading Essences by simply clicking on them with the "Upgrade" button enabled.


Atlas Passive Tree

There are a total of 4 wheels on the Atlas Passive Tree, located mostly towards the left and central areas of the Tree, each with one notable buffing Essences in some way. All the Notables and most of their small nodes are synergistic and make the most sense when they are picked up together.

Small Passives

  • Essence Rare Chance
    • Imprisoned Monsters in your Maps have 25% chance to drop an additional Rare Item with an Essence Modifier
  • Essence Chance
    • Your Maps have 5% chance to contain an additional Essence
  • Imprisoned Monster Additional Essence Chance
    • Imprisoned Monsters in your Maps have 5% chance to have an additional Essence
  • Remnant of Corruption Essence Chance
    • Monsters Imprisoned by Essences have a 10% chance to contain a Remnant of Corruption

Notables

  • Prolific Essence
    • Your Maps contain an additional Essence
  • Crystal Lattice
    • Imprisoned Monsters in your Maps have 15% chance to have 3 additional Essences
  • Crystal Resonance
    • Monsters Imprisoned by a Shrieking Essence in your Maps will be Duplicated when released
    • Corrupting Imprisoned Monsters in your Maps cannot release them
  • Amplified Energies
    • Essences found in your Maps are a tier higher

Essence Farming

Farming Essences using the Atlas Passives is a simple yet effective strategy to make extra Currency on the side without investing much thought or time into it. The encounters are fast and Essences can be sold to other players once they start piling up. You may also find some to keep for your own crafting needs down the line. Investing into Essences basically means you are printing a bit of Currency out of thin air every single Map! That being said - if your build can't handle the (sometimes) really tough enemies released from their prison and has rather low single-target damage, you might want to think twice about investing into Essences in higher tiered Maps and farm easier League Mechanics instead.

To maximise your gains, keep an eye out for Essence monsters with multiple Shrieking (Tier 6) or at least one of the purple MEDS Essences (Misery, Envy, Dread, Scorn) and apply Remnant of Corruption to them for a chance of an upgrade. If you're running low on these Remnants, buy a few stacks from the market and keep them in your inventory for quick access while mapping. This strategy works best when combined with the Essence Kirac Mod that guarantees multiple extra Essences Monsters per Map (if it's present in the current League).

Selling Essences Efficiently

The best way to convert Essences into Currency is via bulk trading. Typically, only the highest tier Essences (Deafening) are worth more than 1 Chaos Orb and used in endgame crafting projects. The first step is to upgrade ALL of your Essences to the highest tier, starting from the lowest. While there are cases where 3 of a lower tier are worth more than 1 of a higher, the time required to actually sell them is rarely worth it. One notable exception is Shrieking Essence of Dread, which is most widely used for its "+2 to Level to Socketed Bow Gems" mod on Bows for builds such as Toxic Rain, Explosive Arrow or similar skill-scaling Bow builds. The Deafening (Tier 7) version provides the exact same modifier, so upgrading it is a waste. It's strongly recommended to get the Essence Stash Tab for this purpose, as upgrading Essences and keeping an overview is way easier with it.

Accumulating tons of Essences allows you to convert them into Deafening easily and sell many of them at once, lowering the time spent trading while getting more Currency per unit as you can charge bulk buyers at a premium. In order to maximise your profits, keep an eye on the markets, understand which Essences are the most valuable and how much you can overcharge. As long as you don't need any quick Currency, it's generally better to keep holding onto your Essences. The more, the merrier!


Summary

  • When you find Essence monsters, click on them to free and fight them for their special drops.
  • Due to their easy use, high availability and rather low cost, Essences can help you as a first step in crafting your own gear more reliably while remaining useful all the way until the end.
  • They are categorised in different types and tiers with their own modifiers, some of which are unique in the game. Remnant of Corruption has a chance to upgrade them when used on imprisoned Essences Monsters, which is the only way of obtaining the highest tier.
  • Essence crafting is useful both for simple spamming until you get a good result, or as a first step in an extensive crafting project for endgame.
  • Farming Essences with its dedicated Atlas passives is a great way to make Currency without any extra investment. Selling in bulk leads to the biggest profits!
  • Essence monsters can present a formidable challenge when they are heavily stacked up with extra modifiers and Map mods. Beware!

Credits

Written by wudijo.
Reviewed by Enki & MacroBioBoi.


Changelog

Mar 30th 2022
Article Created.