Harbingers entered Path of Exile with the Fall of Oriath 3.0 expansion and the Harbinger League. They are otherworldly blue alien-like enemies which can only be defeated by destroying the waves of minions they summon. Harbingers drop shards of currencies, including shards for exclusive Harbinger currencies such as Ancient Orbs and Harbinger's Orbs.
Harbingers can also attack Exiles by empowering their minions, such as creating a Righteous Fire aura around a monster or making monsters use Flame Dash. Harbingers can also summon Obelisks that can attack, power up minions or protect them with a proximity shield.
Note that there are two types of Harbingers: Basic and Powerful. Powerful Harbingers have a crown and a cape and drop more Currency Shards (As stated in 3.0.1 patch notes : More powerful Harbingers now appear more frequently. The volume of shards they drop has been increased, and they are also better dressed). Lastly, you can also encounter Harbinger Bosses:
The reward for killing Harbingers is Currency Shards. They can drop regular shards, exclusive shards for regular currencies, and also exclusive shards for exclusive currencies:
- Alteration Shards
- Alchemy Shards
- Chaos Shards
- Regal Shards
- Binding Shards
- Horizon Shards
- Engineer's Shards
- Annulment Shards
- Ancient Shards
- Harbinger's Shards
- Exalted Shards
- The elusive Mirror Shard!
While Orb of Annulment, Orb of Horizons and Orb of Binding were exclusive to the Harbinger league, they progressively got added to the core drop pool. Engineer's Orbs, Harbinger's Orbs and Ancient Orbs are still exclusive currencies to Harbingers, however.
The Beachhead is a specific unique map not on the Atlas that can only be obtained through the special Harvest recipe from the Primal Crushclaw blue Tier 3 seed or by using Harbinger's Orbs on maps. Harbinger's Orbs are used to raise the tier of a map, but they have 15% chance to turn the map into a Beachhead. The map will turn into a Tier 5, 10 or 15 Beachhead depending on the tier of the map the Harbinger's Orb is used on. Beachhead maps are Corrupted by default.
Beachhead maps are a decent way to farm experience, but there are better ways. The unique trait of the map is that the portal Boss drops a Harbinger Piece which is used to reforge an Harbinger Item when sorted with the other pieces in the correct order in your inventory:
- The 2 Pieces of Time are used to reforge The Flow Untethered.
- The 3 Pieces of Directions are used to reforge The Fracturing Spinner.
- The 3 Pieces of Storms are used to reforge The Tempest's Binding.
- The 3 Pieces of the Arcane are used to reforge The Rippling Thoughts.
- The 3 Pieces of Brutality are used to reforge The Enmity Divine.
- The 4 Pieces of Focus are used to reforge The Unshattered Will.
The Infused Beachhead
The Infused Beachhead is obtained by sacrificing a Unique Harbinger Piece or Item for the Harvest recipe granted by the Tier 3 seed Primal Crushclaw. Regardless of the item, chances are roughly 15% to get one. You get a T5/T10/T15 regular Beachhead most of the time.
The Infused Beachhead is a "Uber Version" of The Beachhead, which is a Tier 16 map, with 100% more Monster Life and Monster Damage. The area contains 20 extra Harbingers. The unique trait of this map is that the portal boss drops a Harbinger Scroll, which is used to upgrade an Harbinger Item:
- Time-light Scroll used to upgrade The Flow Untethered into The Torrent's Reclamation.
- Fragmentation Scroll used to upgrade The Fracturing Spinner into The Shattered Divinity.
- Deregulation Scroll used to upgrade The Tempest's Binding into The Tempest's Liberation.
- Electroshock Scroll used to upgrade The Rippling Thoughts into The Surging Thoughts.
- Haemocombustion Scroll used to upgrade The Enmity Divine into The Yielding Mortality.
- Specularity Scroll used to upgrade The Unshattered Will into The Immortal Will.
Harbingers cannot naturally spawn in maps. The only exception are Kirac missions with defeating Harbingers as objective. However, there are plenty of mechanics to determiniscally encounter them in your maps:
- Rusted Harbinger Scarab - Area contains 2 additional Harbingers.
- Polished Harbinger Scarab - Area contains 3 additional Harbingers.
- Gilded Harbinger Scarab - Area contains 4 additional Harbingers.
- Winged Harbinger Scarab - Area contains 7 additional Harbingers.
There is one Sextant modifier related to Harbingers:
- Map Bosses are accompanied by a mysterious Harbinger. Map Bosses drop additional Currency Shards. Harbingers drop additional Currency Shards.
In Delve you can find the Runed Cavern room which contains a Harbinger portal similar to the one found in The Beachhead. You have to fight several Harbingers in a row to complete the encounter.
Kirac can sometimes sell you Maps with an implicit modifier:
- Area contains 3 additional Harbingers.
Harvest has a few recipes related to Harbinger:
- The Tier 2 Wild Chieftain seed can give you one use of the Infused Harbinger modifier for your map device, which grants "Area can contain Mysterious Harbingers. Area contains 4 additional Harbingers" to your map.
- The Tier 3 Primal Crushclaw seed can give you the recipe "Change a Harbinger Unique or Unique Piece into a random Beachhead Map" which is the only way to obtain the Infused Beachhead map.
There are a few Divination Cards related to Harbingers:
- The Journey - A set of 3 cards rewards an Harbinger's Orb.
- The Landing - A set of 4 cards rewards a Tier 15 Beachhead Map.
- The Messenger - A set of 4 cards rewards an Harbinger Piece.
You can find quite a few passives and notables related to Harbingers spread in 3 wheels in the Atlas Passive Tree:
- Additional Harbinger Shards
- Harbingers in Areas have 20% chance to drop an additional Currency Shard.
- Additional Harbinger Chance
- Areas have a 5% chance to contain an additional Harbinger.
- Ominous Arrival
- Areas contain an additional Harbinger.
- Unspeakable Offensive
- Harbingers in Areas have 60% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate.
- Harbingers in Areas summon 60% more Minions.
- Currency Shards dropped by Harbingers in Areas can drop as Currency Items instead.
- First Wave
- Harbingers in Areas have 25% chance to be replaced by a powerful Harbinger boss.
Harbinger is a simple, fun and rewarding mechanic. They are a good source of consistent income through Exalted Shards with the burst of adrenaline from an elusive Mirror Shard drop. Atlas Passives and Scarabs makes it relatively easy for players to encounter and farm them.
Written by Chewingnom.
Reviewed by Raxxanterax.