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Affliction Meta Report Week 2

Last Updated: December 23rd 2023

Affliction 3.23

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Welcome to the Path of Exile Affliction Meta Report Week 2 Maxroll news wrap-up. We're covering which hottest builds are breaking the meta, economy updates, Magic Find and more!

Transfigured Gems to Watch

This league added a ton of new builds in the form of Transfigured Gems. So for Affliction Week 2, we're going to dive into some of the new builds players are finding success with. Unlike Alternate Quality Gems, Transfigured Skills function differently from the base skill. This often means building your character in totally new ways when using them.

Note: We're only 2 Weeks into Affliction league, there are plenty of powerful builds yet to be explored!

Well Explored

  • Scourge Arrow of Menace
  • Boneshatter of Complex Trauma
  • Penance Brand of Dissipation
  • Storm Brand of Indecision

Up and Coming

  • Rage Vortex of Berserking
  • Ball Lightning of Static
  • Ice Nova of Frostbolts
  • Righteous Fire of Arcane Devotion

Well Explored

If you caught last week's episode, Scourge Arrow of Menace will already be familiar to you. Players are finding success using this to inflict Poison on enemies, or as a medium-budget Tornado Shot replacement. If you want to maximize single target damage, use Arrow Nova Support. Alternatively, to turn the skill into a screen-clearing monster, simply add projectiles and Projectile Speed for more immediate damage.

Boneshatter of Complex Trauma is doing well as an upgrade to the regular Boneshatter gem. You have better control over the damage taken and don't need to stack Attack Speed for infinite ramping. There's a lot to be said for greater reliability over having the highest top-end damage potential. With Complex Trauma you have plenty of damage and much lower chances of self-inflicted experience loss.

Brand New Builds

If you want absolutely massive single target damage, consider the new Penance Brand of Dissipation or Storm Brand of Indecision. Both skills have great single target scaling and excel when used as boss killers, or Sanctum farmers.

Penance Brand of Dissipation works by building energy on a target to enhance the energy Pulses whenever your Brand activates. The Pulse deals 60% More damage with Hits for each energy after the first, scaling up to 1,140% more damage at 20 energy. Players are combining this with Power Charge Stacking to deal immense damage. However, many of these characters are quite fragile. These builds excel at Forbidden Sanctum where your damage completely overwhelms the monsters and you don't have much need for defenses. Alternatively, after a short delay the Brand will chew through a boss's entire health bar. Of course, you can build more defenses but your damage ends up lower as a result. The noticeable ramp-up time to reach 20 energy and limited AoE makes the build's mapping performance mediocre.

Up and Coming

There are several upcoming Transfigured gems which have a lot of potential. Now that we're in week 2 of Affliction league, powerful new builds are emerging to upset the META. This is far from an all encompassing list, as the League continues keep an eye out for new builds which may destroy the META.

Righteous Fire Returns

Righteous Fire has been popular for as long as I can remember. However, with the change in 3.23 it's seen a significant decline in popularity. But at the eleventh hour, GGG revealed the new "Arcane Devotion" Transfigured version of the gem. This exchanges Life scaling for Mana scaling and removes the Spell Damage bonus in favor of the DoT scaling off of Spell Damage modifiers. Players are combining this with the Hierophant ascendancy and finding great success. Mana builds have extremely high top end damage scaling and a relatively low barrier to entry. Just be aware they're often squishy without good gear.

Many of these builds leverage Indigon, spending Mana to ramp their damage and reach the DoT cap. The most popular way to play this is as a Low Life Attribute Stacking build combining Coruscating Elixir with The Ivory Tower and Shaper's Touch to build up a massive pool of Energy Shield.

Ball Lightning Overlap

WARNING: It's currently unknown as to whether or not using Totems to effectively bypass the cooldown for Ball Lightning of Static is intended, or if it will be fixed in a future hotfix.

Normally, Ball Lightning of Static has 3 Cooldown Uses and a 1.5 second Cooldown, limiting your ability to spam the skill. Clever Exiles found a way around this by supporting it with Spell Totem Support. You expend 1 Cooldown use to summon a totem, which then has its own 3 uses for Ball Lightning of Static. Unlike the normal Ball Lightning Skill, you don't need to worry about Projectile Speed or Duration to get the optimal number of ticks. Just drop your Totems near an enemy and watch the Zaps unfold, scale a bit of Cooldown Recovery Rate for even more damage. This build has a lot of potential and works well in budget gear but has been underrepresented in the META due to the uncertainty around a potential hotfix.

Other Up and Coming Builds

Lastly, we have our eye on Strength Stacking Rage Vortex of Berserking and the good old Cast on Crit Ice Nova of Frostbolts using Cospri's Malice. Rage Vortex is a snapshottable skill, and the Berserking variant is fueled by your rage, literally. When combined with the new Tincture modifier which gives a chance to gain Rage when hitting an enemy you've got a real shot at becoming the living Bladestorm you've always dreamed of being. Alternatively, if you enjoyed the old Cast On Critical Strike Ice Nova builds, the "Frostbolts" variant restores Ice Nova's ability to expand from Frostbolt projectiles. This can be used for massive screen clear, or strong single target damage as you can get up to 4 expansions per trigger which should mean 4 overlaps with enough area of effect.

Currency News

With a new league comes a new farming meta, and Affliction League week 2 is no different! Here's a few of the ways industrious Exiles are generating massive amounts of Divine Orbs.

Viridian Wildwood "Magic Finding"

Even without a proper Magic Find build, the Wisps in the Viridian Wildwood function similarly, providing Quantity, Rarity, and Currency drops. Personally I've been farming a modified City Square Harbinger strategy with Abyss and Ritual based on Grimro's advice from last week and it's gone well. But this isn't the only viable option, over the past week players have been finding success with Legion, Delirium and more.

The key lies in following Wisp Trails to get 4000-5000 (or more) across all colors. Blue is often the most desirable color to target as a solo player. Each Wisp you collect adds both value and peril to your map. This is amplified by using league mechanics to add Rare monsters to your map due to their inherently higher loot bonuses. Once you run out of Light remember to backtrack and collect any remaining Wisps.

If you're unable to find Wisp trails to follow and end up with below 4000 Wisps; it can be worthwhile to leave your map and go again. You lose the Map, Scarabs and Sextants invested into it. But you keep your time and these maps often take a considerable amount of time to clear. All of your "juice" multiplies together, making a perfect map exponentially more rewarding than multiple mediocre maps. But, you'll have to make this choice for yourself depending on the strategy you're playing.

For more information on how to farm Wisps in the Viridian Wildwood and use them to Juice your maps, check out our guide here!

MF Builds for the Wildwood

The most ubiquitous Magic Find build is Tornado Shot Deadeye. Tornado Shot spams projectiles, clearing enemies from screens away. Instead of wearing items to increase damage, Magic Find builds wear items to increase their loot. The Item Quantity stat increases the number of drops and Item Rarity stat increases their quality. Because most of the gear you wear doesn't contribute to your damage and defenses, Magic Find Builds often rely on higher budgets, or farm lower tier maps.

Coming Soon: If you want to Magic Find using Wisps, stay tuned for our upcoming Viridian Wildwood MF Strategy.

Self-Ignite Chief MF

For a different take on Magic Find, check out Crouching_Tuna's Self-Ignite MF Chief! The self-Ignite Chieftain uses the ascendancy notable Hinekora, Death's Fury and The Fulcrum Staff as its means to inflict damage. Thanks to the fact that Chieftain has easy access to being "unaffected by Ignite" you are able to freely use the Staff to reflect ailments you inflict back onto yourself. This includes the Ignite stemming from an on death explosion that deals 500% of a monster's HP to nearby enemies.

Finally the build uses an obscure mechanic with the Fan the Flames Cluster notable. This node proliferates Ignites to enemies in a radius which is scaled by your area of effect. This allows you to spread the self inflicted ignite back onto enemies in range of this proliferation, keeping the chain reaction of explosions and self inflicted Ignites going for as long as the Ignite duration lasts.


Hungry for More?

That's the Meta Report for Affliction League Week 2 including emerging builds, Magic Find and currency news. Transfigured gems are bringing a lot of cool new builds to PoE and what we showcased today barely scratches the surface. Be sure to check out our Affliction Farming guide to learn how to properly leverage the league mechanic and stay tuned for more information on our Magic Find Strategy.

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: Crouching_Tuna, Northwar

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