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Top 5 Hardcore Ancestor League Starter Builds

Last Updated: August 17th 2023

Trial of the Ancestors 3.22

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Here are our Top 5 Hardcore League Starter builds for PoE 3.22 Trial of the Ancestors League. The Maxroll team decided on the following builds and guides for players looking to League Start in a Hardcore setting, so we've focused on tanky builds with great early game scaling. With Skill Tattoos, Support Gems and new Uniques there could be some surprises waiting to be discovered after launch! Check out our top 5 builds (in no particular order) below!

If you prefer softcore trade, check out our Top 10 Ancestor League Starter Builds.

Detonate Dead Elementalist

Detonate Dead Ignite is one of the best ways to kill Bosses on a budget, in SSFHC btw. The build scales its damage by increasing the Life of corpses generated leaving a lot of room to gear for defenses.

The build leverages a multitude of defensive layers including Spell Suppression, Armor, Evasion, and even the Elemental Aegis from Bastion of Elements. This build won't be the fastest option on the list, but if your goal is to avoid death, slow and steady wins the race.

Zizaran's guide details the best way to use Detonate Dead Ignite Elementalist to take down bosses by guiding you through the gearing and providing comprehensive notes on how to level.

Detonate Dead Ignite Elementalist by Zizaran

This is a two-button build, so the playstyle might not appeal to all players but provides extremely easy scaling.

Cold DoT Elementalist

The Cold DoT Elementalist combines damage from Vortex, Creeping Frost, and Cold Snap to deal with clearing and bosses alike.

Cold DoT Elementalist by Zizaran

This build is a great all-rounder, Chilled enemies move and act more slowly making this build a joy to play. The build leverages Eye of Malice for damage, and deals with Physical hits by taking them as Elemental to get the most out of the Elementalist Ascendancy.

If you want to know more about how to play Cold DoT Elementalist use Zizaran's guide from 3.21, it's still good in 3.22. He's included multiple defensive setups, SSF leveling options and how to craft endgame items.

This is a great starter, but has quite a few buttons. However, you don't need to press them often and your main damage can be put on left click.

Boneshatter Juggernaut

The Boneshatter Juggernaut is supremely tanky. Stack Trauma to deal more damage but be aware you take Physical damage when gaining Trauma.

Thankfully, the build has more than enough defenses to survive the damage you deal to yourself! Boneshatter fuels Untiring providing Life Regeneration, and the build has plenty of damage on minimal investment. If you want to leap into battle to smash your foes this build is easily one of the top hardcore Ancestor League starter builds.

Goratha's guide was made in 3.21 but remains relevant in 3.22. He keeps the explanation short, covering everything you need to know to get ready to break some bones.

Boneshatter Juggernaut by Goratha

Boneshatter struggles to clear against Stun Immune enemies so be aware of this when rolling your maps..

Righteous Fire Juggernaut

This build uses Righteous Fire to clear and Fire Trap for single target. Juggernaut is an excellent defensive Ascendancy which leverages Regeneration and Armor to survive almost anything Wraeclast can throw at him!

Righteous Fire Juggernaut by Zizaran and Pohx

Juggernaut is an Armour specialist laughing in the face of Physical and Elemental damage alike. This lets you get up close and personal to Burn things by walking past them. This build is buttery smooth and has massive Regeneration, trivializing the damage you take from RF.

For this guide Zizaran collaborated with Pohx to make a spectacular resource covering everything you need to get right into playing a Righteous Fire Juggernaut. This was written in 3.21 but still applies in 3.22.

While Righteous Fire Juggernaut is one of the tankiest options on this list, it does have slightly lower single target damage while you're gearing up.

Explosive Arrow Champion

The Explosive Arrow Ignite Champion uses totems to stack Fuses on enemies. These fuses Explode inflicting a massive Ignite which proliferate to clear entire screens!

The build has plenty of access to defenses including Armor, Evasion, and Fortify. Additionally, enemies often waste their time trying to kill your Ballistae leaving you free to run around and dodge. Explosive Arrow Ignite Champion can be played in softcore, but it's favored over Elementalist in hardcore due to the additional defenses.

Zizaran's guide includes detailed information on the leveling process, additional resources to help with the gearing process, and plenty of step by step instructions to guide you on your journey.

Explosive Arrow Champion by Zizaran

There is a slight delay to the damage as Fuses build up, and the Ignite burns an enemy to death which may feel bad for some players but in most cases the Proliferation more than makes up for this delay.

If you want more content from any of the above creators, here's where you can find them:

Hungry for More?

Boss Kill Event

3.22 Patch Notes

New Atlas Keystones

Those are our top 5 Hardcore Ancestor League Starter builds, but which build will you pick? There's a lot to look forward to in Trial of the Ancestors, and you haven't already done so, check out our ExileCon Wrapup for some Path of Exile 2 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

Contributions by: The entire Maxroll Path of Exile Team

Reviewed by: Facefoot

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