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Affliction Meta Report Week 1

Last Updated: December 15th 2023

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Affliction 3.23

Welcome to the Path of Exile Affliction Meta Report Week 1 Maxroll news wrap-up. We're covering major events within the community, which hottest builds break the meta, economy updates and more!

Community Headlines

Before we get into the meta, let's start with the hottest community headlines from Affliction League Week 1 where we're happy to announce that Build of the Week has returned for a new season.

Have a Unique Build?

If you have a unique or unusual build, consider submitting it to Path of Exile's official Build of the Week series! This series is a longtime Path of Exile tradition, which has often focused on the weird and wacky. Maxroll's very own Crouching_Tuna was featured in Season 12 with his & Cptn_Garbage's Tornado Shot Lightning Warp Deadeye.

Affliction League Starters

What are some of the builds people have found the most success with in Affliction Week 1, and what are some of the builds that have fallen out of the META? Let's take a look at Day 3. Due to the sweeping changes to Skill Gems and quality in PoE 3.23 there's a lot of uncertainty as to the best build in the game.

10 Trial Of the Ancestors Starters

Biggest Winners

The king, Lightning Arrow Deadeye remains unchallenged. In fact, bow builds in general represent a strong showing by taking up the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 9th slots on the list (yep a full 50% of the meta starters are bow builds!). On day 3, 16% of players used Lightning Arrow and 28% picked the Deadeye Ascendancy.

The quality changes made league starting Tornado Shot much easier than before. As a result, excited Exiles have been jumping on the skill with an amazing 9% play rate by day 3 (compared to 3% in Trial of the Ancestors). In Trial of the Ancestors players had access to additional projectiles via Tattoos, this has been replaced with Charms from the new Wildwood Ascendancies.

Lastly, the new non-channeling Scourge Arrow of Menace rounds out the bow dominance coming into 9th place. Most of the builds are using it to scale Poison but it's perfectly viable as a hit/crit build as well. As a new skill this isn't fully explored, but you can check out content by Tenkiei and Palsteron to find out more.

SRS Guardian, and Steel Champion

Summon Raging Spirit Guardian burst onto the scene overtaking Necromancer in the early game and offering one of the smoothest ways to get your 4 voidstones. The build has defenses to spare making for a really comfortable playstyle. SRS Minions are fast and aggressive, allowing them to stick to and overwhelm enemies making for an unstoppable combo.

The newly reworked Splitting Steel Champion has also been finding significant success in the early game. Leveraging Champion's natural defenses and the easy accessibility to Impales during Affliction League this build has stolen a moment in the spotlight.

Biggest Losers

Righteous Fire has been one of the comfiest mappers for a long time. But it's nowhere to be seen in the top 10 starters. We're inclind to go so far as saying it's not league start viable, as about 1% of players are finding ways to make it work. But at this point, you're playing RF because you want to not because it's the best choice.

Spark lost the much needed projectile speed for less needed additional projectiles. As a result the play rate is much lower on league start. With so many cool reworked spells & transfigured gems, there's no reason to play a build that was just nerf.

Finally, Cold DoT lost a lot of ground. Previously, Vortex was an instant cast skill allowing you to place it on left click and go. Unfortunately, in Affliction League it now has a 0.75s cast time. While numerically the build is able to clear, the playstyle is much worse. Before you walked through enemies to clear now you need to stop and cast.

Wildwood Ascendancies & Build Making

Early on the Warden of the Maji ascendancy was extremely popular due to Oath of the Maji providing Resistances and movement speed. However as we see more players making it into the endgame, Primalist is becoming increasingly popular. Charms add a lot of power and they can be customized to suit your build perfectly. Warlock of the Mists also represents a lot of power through the Warlock Curses, but has thusfar been underrepresented in the meta.

To learn more about Wildwood Ascendancies in Path of Exile Affliction League, check out our guide here.

Currency News

With a new league comes a new farming meta, and Affliction League week 1 is no different! Here's a few of the ways industrious Exiles are generating massive amounts of Divine Orbs.

Viridian Wildwood Farming

Like with Delirium, Wisps from the Viridian Wildwood interact with monsters in your map. but they don't interact with every mechanic equally. Luckily, our currency specialist Grimro has been hard at work testing the mechanic to find all the juice!

Wisps Empower the monsters in your map, making them more dangerous but also more rewarding. So far it seems like Wisps prefer to Empower monsters of higher rarities.

Monsters Empowered by Primal Wisps

Best Mechanics for Affliction

There are several stand out mechanics including Harbinger, Abyss, and Legion. If you want to know more about incorporating these mechanics into your farming strategy be sure to check our currency section! Going Wandering Path, enhancing the effects of map modifiers and fighting Possessed monsters are all great ways to increase the rewards from Affliction regardless of the specific mechanics you farm.

Monsters spawned by Harbingers can be inhabited by Wisps gain all the bonuses associated with this. Harbingers are a great way to add rare monsters to your map, and the enemies they spawn aren't overly tanky. Because there's so many enemies you get flask charges, explosions and frequent on-kill effects making this relatively beginner friendly.

But if you want oodles of rare monsters it's best to specialize in Abyss. This mechanic is especially potent when combined with Affliction due to the special loot multiplier on Abyssal rares. Empowered Abyss monsters are more difficult to handle than Harbingers, but if your build is up to the challenge this is by far the best mechanic to farm. Furthermore, Wild Wisps add additional projectiles to the monsters they empower, and the monster spawning mini-Abysses from Stygian Spires count as projectiles!

Note: Wild Wisps adding projectiles to Stygian Spires may be patched in the future so be sure to check the patch notes forum.

Legion has incredible synergy with the Empowerment from the Wildwood Wisps, offering multitudes of easily accessible rares. But compared to Harbinger, or Abyss Legion is incredibly difficult and dangerous. Legion monsters have lethal abilities which become increasingly problematic the more rares you break out at once. Farm Legion with caution, but if your build can handle it the rewards are worth the time it takes to gear up and prepare.

Beyond & Delirium offer insane amounts of loot when Empowered by Wisps, but also have insane difficulty. Most builds simply won't be able to farm these mechanics, but the loot is nothing short of insane. Using Endless Tide you're able to flood the map with highly rewarding rare monsters.

Blight is also worth giving an honorable mention. It's not as impactful because you don't spawn many Rare monsters with Blight. However, you do spawn massive numbers of normal monsters. This results in more Anointed Jewelry dropping from the pump at the end, use an Oil Extractor on the most valuable anointments for a chance at Golden Oils.

Don't Farm These

Some mechanics result in monsters that are insanely dangerous, without scaling their rewards proportionally, so we don't recommend the following mechanics if you want to maximize your Affliction farming.

Essence has tough monsters with a lot of extra mechanics that multiply together. Empowerment is often the straw which breaks the Camel's back resulting in an unkillable god which follows you through the map burning all your portals as you fail to escape. Worse yet, they have no special loot multipliers so the drops will be extremely underwhelming in comparison to the difficulty. When running essence your goal is to enter a map, fight the imprisoned monsters and leave as quickly as possible making Affliction anti-synergistic if you plan to farm Essence.

Ultimatum is another mechanic that's anti-synergistic. The monsters don't drop loot, and based on our findings so far this remains true when they're empowered. So Empowered Ultimatum monsters greatly increase the difficulty, but don't contribute to the rewards.

What's the Best Color?

All 3 Wildwood Wisps offer unique bonuses to the monsters they empower.

  • Vivid Wisps grant an item Quantity Bonus.
  • Wild Wisps grant an item Rarity Bonus.
  • Primal Wisps grant Currency item Drops.

Pink is the juicing color because of the way it interacts with Abyss to add a bonkers number of rares to your map. The additional rarity means more Uniques, but also far more powerful loot conversions (similar to the "loot goblins" from Archnemesis). Which means you get more rare Divination Cards, Winged Scarabs, and tier 1 currency items.

Primal on the other hand, is the best Wisp for low investment and solo mapping. If you can only get 1 color as a solo player always aim for blue. It adds a chance for all empowered monsters to drop a variety of currency items. This drop chance is a bit special though, because it includes non-basic currencies like Eldritch Exalted Orb, Eldritch Chaos Orb and Eldritch Orb of Annulment. When Magic Finding, or playing in a group, Primal Wisps are less impactful due to the effects of loot conversion.

Vivid is somewhat underwhelming by itself, but has powerful synergies with other Wisps. After getting a good amount of Wild or Primal Wisps, adding Vivid means you're getting a multiplier to all the loot. Therefore the strongest way to play the mechanic is to get a little bit of everything, rather than focusing exclusively on 1 color.


Whenever you encounter one of the Azmeri Wanderers you should take a minute to check their inventory. If you find the Wildwood Primalist, you can use a Trade Macro like Awakened PoE Trade to check all the charms. Many charms sell for 100+ Chaos Orbs, or even multiple Divines. The Breaker of Oaths sells corpses, most of the flawed ones aren't worth much but you should always check "Perfect" Corpses as many sell quite well. The Tinctures sold by the Warden of Eaves are a bit more difficult to price. The community is still learning which mods are best, but you should always price check the Tinctures offered and keep an eye out for highly desirable mods like Rage or Additional Projectiles.

Looking Ahead

That's what we've found out about the meta for farming Affliction in week 1, but the community is still discovering new interactions every day, so stay tuned for updates as we learn more!


Hungry for More?

That's the Meta Report for Affliction League Week 1 including community highlights, top builds, and currency news.

Then head over to our Discord and select the Path of Exile role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development. Stay sane, Exile!

Written by: Tenkiei

Reviewed by: Dredscythe

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