Welcome to the Path of Exile Trial of the Ancestors Week 4 Meta Report and Maxroll news wrap-up. This week we're talking about the meta-breaking builds players have been assembling using new Support Gems!
If you've ever played Dark Pact or Forbidden Rite, scaling damage via stacking Life should be a familiar concept. The new Sacrifice Support works similarly, you sacrifice a portion of your Maximum Life to gain added Chaos Damage based on a portion of the Life sacrificed. Now that we're in week 4 for Trial of the Ancestors, the meta has solidified enough to see if there are any interesting builds using Sacrifice Support.
Here's a quick example:
- With 10,000 Life, 2,000 Life (20%) is Sacrificed.
- 44% of the sacrificed Life (880) is added to the supported Spell as Chaos Damage.
- This is roughly equal to a level 41 Added Chaos Damage Support!
Scaling your Life
Beyond simply wearing Life modifiers on your gear, there are several ways to increase your Maximum Life in Path of Exile. You can replace small Attribute passives on your skill tree with Honoured Tattoo of the Oak for +2% to Maximum Life per, and depending on how many attributes you have to spare, this adds up very quickly. Grand Spectrum gives 5% increased Maximum Life per Grand Spectrum jewel, so if you use 3 of them that's 15% per, for a total of 45% increased Maximum Life.
Furthermore, Dissolution of the Flesh provides up to 30% more Maximum Life in addition to some great defensive benefits! If you're sacrificing Life, taking damage from enemies can be more than just an inconvenience. Dissolution of the Flesh prevents Life loss from damage, reserving your Life instead. Preventing all damage is pretty great, but it won't make you immortal because reserving all your Life still results in death. What it does enable, is a way to ignore Life of recovery. When paired with Sacrifice Life Recovery becomes a requirement again, so many builds use Eternal Youth to recharge Life to replace what is Sacrificed.
Note: The Reservation from Dissolution of the Flesh counts as damage for the purposes of interrupting Life Recharge from Eternal Youth.
More Damage from Life
The Rathpith Globe is a one stop shop for turning Life into damage. It gives 5% Increased Spell Critical Strike Chance and Spell Damage per 100 maximum player Life. With 10,000 Life, the shield gives 100% of both which is roughly on par with Tier 1 modifiers. It also sacrifices 10% of your life when you directly cast a spell, but remember that this is already accounted for with the Eternal Youth and Dissolution of the Flesh combination. From here it's all about finding a spell with a high effectiveness of added damage like Hexblast, or one which scales directly off your Life like Dark Pact.
Note: Forbidden Rite is anti-synergistic with Dissolution of the Flesh, because it "damages" you continually reserving your Life.
Here are some of the setups utilizing Sacrifice Support in Path of Exile 3.22 Trial of the Ancestors.
- Hexblast Occultist
- This is a Life stacking setup relying on the high damage effectiveness of Hexblast and Resistance mitigation to 1-shot everything on the screen.
- Dark Pact Occultist
- Take your Sacrifice to the next level with a double sacrifice for twice the scaling.
- Forbidden Rite
- Eschew Life stacking in favor of inflicting chaos DoTs on yourself for infinite healing to fuel a sacrifice/damage loop. You inflict Poison on your enemies, then reflect them back to yourself for infinite healing via Tainted Pact.
- Wave of Conviction Ignite
- When all damage Ignites, any source of flat damage is valuable, however this setup is a bit weaker than the more traditional versions of the build which scale Physical Damage as Extra.
Because sacrificing your health can be a risky business, having well rounded defenses in addition to the Life pool is highly recommended!
Flamewood Support got off to a pretty rough start, at league start it was accidentally tagged "Attack" instead of Spell, so the Avenging Flame mortar checked its Accuracy against enemy Evasion. Because there's no way to obtain Spell Accuracy, this didn't go well. This was fixed in 3.22.0b.
The reworked Chieftain ascendancy is pretty niche, but one of its features (totem taunt) synergizes nicely with the new Flamewood Support. Avenging Flame causes your totems to retaliate with a mortar projectile when struck so taunting enemies into attacking your totems is a crucial part of using Flamewood Support. Like with Sacrifice, Life scaling is important. But this time you're scaling Totem Life instead of your own.
Note: Flamewood does not trigger from Reflected damage or "self hits" an enemy must hit your totem to trigger the effect.
It's a bit difficult to gauge the damage on a Flamewood setup. You can estimate hits via Path of Building, but this doesn't account for enemy behavior. The damage from Avenging Flame scales off of Totem Life, therefore increasing this raises your damage. As a ground-targeted AoE Projectile, using Greater Multiple Projectiles Support should add more overlapping Projectiles, increasing the damage for hit based Avenging Flame builds.
Ascendancy wise, Chieftain provides totem taunt, allowing you to use Searing Bond in place of Decoy Totem. The reworked Ramako, Sun's Light allows DoTs to ignore enemy Fire Resistance, instead treating it as -20%. This raises the floor, but lowers the ceiling on your damage scaling. Since you're stacking Totem Life anyway, the Torchoak Step provides a nice boost in damage when enemies hit your Totems.
The Avenging Flame from Flamewood Support has a base cooldown of 1 second. This greatly limits its usefulness for hit based builds, where more triggers is better. But you can resummon the totem to bypass this. It's still pretty clunky, and the damage still only happens each time an enemy attacks making it hit or miss for bosses.
There aren't many Flamewood Support builds, Flamewood Totem Ignite is normally being used as a single target or secondary skill and combined with something that has better clear like Righteous Fire, or Searing Bond. However, some innovative Exiles have put together uber viable Flamewood builds!
Flamewood Support has been catching on in Hardcore as a supporting or utility setup. Decoy Totem taunts nearby enemies providing a nice layer of safety. Link this to Flamewood Support, Multiple Totems and Culling Strike to taunt enemies away, and Cull them.
Another Support Gem being featured for Week 4 in the Ancestor League Meta Report is Spellblade Support. By default, Attacks in Path of Exile use the local modifiers on your weapon, whereas Spells interact with global modifiers. Effects like Battlemage from Instruments of Virtue, or the Disintegrator Warstaff say Gain Added Spell Damage equal to the Damage of Your Main Hand Weapon. This allows you to use local weapon damage modifiers to scale your Spells. In Trial of the Ancestors, the newly added Spellblade Support does the same thing, (and yes it does stack with Battlemage)!
The primary way to scale Spellblade is by equipping a good weapon, but Damage Added to Attacks with This Weapon, like you get from Brutus' Lead Sprinkler does not count for the purposes of Spellblade! With that caveat aside, you can use almost any weapon you want. One of the most popular options is the special weapon generated by Energy Blade. This weapon replaces whatever you have equipped and scales its base Lightning Damage using your maximum Energy Shield. Because Spellblade Support applies damage from One-Handed Melee Weapons, don't wear a Two-Handed Melee Weapon when you activate Energy Blade.
Alternatively, you can use a Unique or Crafted Rare with high Physical or Elemental Damage. Spellblade Support supports dual wielding, splitting the damage contribution across both equipped weapons. So for example if you equipped 2 weapons, each of which had 322-572 Physical Damage. The total contribution would be 322*.6*1.4*2 = 541 and 572*.6*1.4*2 = 961, for a total of 541-961 Physical Damage added to your Spells. Both Spellblade, and Battlemage ignore the weapon's Critical Strike Rating and Attack Speed.
There are two major archetypes using Spellblade. The first is Poison Impending Doom Support Pathfinder. Doom Blast has extremely limited scaling options, because as a Support it doesn't have access to global Gem Level modifiers. In previous Leagues there were two popular ways to scale this. First up, Forbidden Shako which provides base damage through a level 25+ Impending Doom Support. Second, The Covenant which requires you to give up your chestpiece. Now you can use Spellblade Support and a high Physical or Chaos Damage weapon. This also allows you to wear a different chestpiece like Dendrobate for damage, or Lightning Coil for defenses. It's also a lot more cost efficient than the Shako.
The other build using Spellblade Support is Low Life Inquisitor Cast on Crit Energy Blade Stat Stacking. The Ivory Tower gives you Energy Shield based on reserved Life. You then stack Strength and Intelligence to cap your Crit, while providing Accuracy and bolstering your Energy Shield. This gives you a massive Energy Shield pool even after the penalty from Energy Blade. Coruscating Elixir prevents Chaos Damage from killing you by bypassing your Energy Shield. This setup definitely isn't beginner friendly as there's a lot of intricate mechanics at play. Spellblade Support provides a massive damage boost, offering most triggered Spells 50% more damage than previous supports!
Note: Stacking Spellblade and Battlemage isn't always ideal. Some builds have a lot of damage multipliers, and benefit from the base damage. Others get plenty of base damage from Battlemage, and need more multipliers.
What we Talked About
We've highlighted several Unique items in the week 4 Meta Report for Trial of the Ancestors. If you're thinking of playing around with these, here's a quick list of the item prices (as of September 18, 2023).
WARNING: Prices constantly change, this may not be accurate in the future.
- Jewel: Grand Spectrum, 20 Divine Orbs.
- Shield: Rathpith Globe, 20 Chaos Orbs.
- Amulet: Tainted Pact, Chaos Orb.
- Jewel: Dissolution of the Flesh, 30 Chaos Orbs to 4 Divine Orbs.
- Boots: Torchoak Step, Chaos Orb.
- Gloves: Black Zenith, 10 Chaos Orbs.
- Body: Lightning Coil, 5 Chaos Orbs.
- Flask: Coruscating Elixir, 5 Chaos Orbs.
- Gloves: Shaper's Touch, 3 Chaos Orbs.
- Jewel: Split Personality (Str/Int), 6 Divine Orbs.
- Body: The Ivory Tower, Chaos Orb.
For Week 4, see Tenkiei's thoughts on how the new supports can break the Meta in Trial of the Ancestors.
Hungry for More?
We hope you enjoyed the Path of Exile Trial of the Ancestors Week 4 Meta Report and Maxroll news wrap-up. This is our last Meta Report for 3.22, but we'll be back with more in 3.23!
Week 1 Meta Report
Week 2 Meta Report
Week 3 Meta Report
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: Xtra37