The Trial of the Ancestors has introduced a large variety of Passive Skill Tattoos. These Tattoos range from small quality of life upgrades, to increases in Life and defense, or completely build enabling effects! Check out the guide below for tips on how to maximize Tattoos in your build.
What Are Passive Skill Tattoos?
Passive Skill Tattoos are a new Currency type item added in Path of Exile Trial of the Ancestors League. Tattoos are applied to Passive Tree nodes to change their behavior. Tattoos vary in their requirements, with some needing to be placed on a travel node (+10 Strength, Dexterity or Intelligence pathing between Notable clusters), a +30 Attribute node or having to be connected to 7 allocated nodes.
There are seemingly infinite use cases for these Tattoos, as every build in the game can make use of some of them. A Winter Orb build can allocate Projectile Speed with Tattoo of the Ramako Sniper, which is incredible quality of life, at the cost of some Dexterity nodes. A Tornado Shot build can get additional projectiles from Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga.
The Price of Power
Tattoos come at a cost, however, as you need to hit your attribute requirements for gear and Gems. Tattooing every single travel node will leave you unable to equip your items! Further, Attributes have inherent bonuses that are lost.
10 Strength grants:
- An additional 5 maximum Life
- 2% increased melee Physical Damage
10 Dexterity grants:
- An additional 20 Accuracy Rating
- 2% increased Evasion Rating
10 Intelligence grants:
- An additional 5 maximum Mana
- 2% increased maximum Energy Shield
If you are not scaling Mana or Energy Shield, then Intelligence's inherent bonuses do nothing for your build, and turning them into Tattoos causes no loss. However, a Life based melee build losing Strength will feel the loss.
Solving the Attribute requirement loss can be done in a few ways such as high attribute rolls on gear. There is also a Timeless Jewel Notable that gives Supreme Ostentation, this allows you to ignore all Attribute requirements, but also loses the bonuses from Attributes. With this Keystone, you can Tattoo your whole Passive Tree!
Tattoo Use Cases
Here are some of the most common uses for Passive Skill Tree Tattoos. Some Tattoos are easy to use, others require other items, or specific builds to truly shine.
Unnatural Instinct is a Unique Jewel that grants all bonuses of unallocated small Passive Skills in the Jewel's radius. Unallocated travel nodes in radius can be Tattooed and will grant their bonuses. Aer0's Winter Orb Occultist uses this tech here to grab 4 Dexterity nodes, turning them into 32% Projectile Speed, on top of all the bonuses given by the Jewel already. There are an impossibly large number of use cases for this. Check your build to see if you can fit in this unique and powerful interaction!
Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga
- Replaces a small Dexterity Passive Skill
- Grants "Skills fire an additional Projectile"
Projectile skills got a huge buff in 3.22 with the addition of Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga. This Tattoo is a favorite of Casters and Attack-based characters alike. The league's most popular endgame juicer, Tornado Shot Deadeye, is finding many ways to use this. The +1 Projectile Tattoo is enabled when connected to 7 passives, as seen below.
Warrior's Tale is a unique Jewel that doubles the effect of all Tattoos in its medium radius. This can be particularly powerful in locations that double large amounts of Tattoos, or double Tattoo's that are particularly strong. In the below example, the Warrior's Tale Jewel touches the bottom right node using a Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga, also connected to 7 nodes, to give TWO additional projectiles.
Journey Tattoo of Makanui
- Replaces a Keystone Passive Skill
- Limited to: 1 Keystone Tattoo
- Grants a Random Keystone
This Tattoo is obviously a powerful way to try and grab a far away Keystone that can be build enabling, such as Eldritch Battery or Ancestral Bond. However, there is a more niche use case that can help enable other Tattoos. Some of the more powerful Tattoos have requirements that 7 or 8 nodes are connected. In this case, a Keystone that ruins your build could be the required point.
In the above instance, a player may want to use the travel node to connect to 7 nearby nodes and allocate a Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga for an additional projectile. However, it is almost certainly the case that taking Perfect Agony would brick the build, as it makes hit based builds do 30% less damage. However, with a few rolls of the Journey Tattoo of Makanui, the player could find themselves with a useful keystone, or more likely, one that simply does not effect the build. Should a bow player roll Necromantic Aegis which grants all bonuses from an equipped shield to apply to minions, this would have no impact on the build and could be freely allocated.
Honoured Tattoo of the Pa
- Replaces a +30 to Strength Notable Passive Skill
- Grants "Melee Hits Fortify"
- Limit 1 Attribute Notable Tattoo
Fortify grants up to 20% less damage taken from hits, and is now immediately available to any build that can grab 1 of these tattoos. Some Strength based builds may have a hard time pathing to a +30 Strength notable, but a player can always anoint this on their amulet.
- Passive in Radius of (Keystone) can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
Impossible Escape can allow a player to reach far off travel nodes and notables to allocate points they would otherwise not be able to grab. In this unique example, the player can allocate 4 Tattoos of the Arohongui Makanga for +4% to maximum cold resistance.. These require the node to be only connected to 1 other node. Because of the unique ability of an Impossible Escape to allocate any nodes in the radius, 4 is easily achieved.
Tattoo of the Tukohama Warmonger
- Replaces a Small Strength Passive Skill
- Grants "+1 to Melee Strike Range"
Strike skills are often limited to very short range due to a lack of strike range available on gear and the Passive Tree. However, this Tattoo opens up the player to huge strike range, making some melee skills like Frost Blades feel like ranged attacks, and area of effect skills that scale with strike range (Cyclone) cover the screen!
Every build should have a Loyalty Tattoo. These are limited to 1 per character, and the buffs they grant have an 80 second cooldown. However, for boss fights, or just in a pinch, these can make or break the fight! A powerful example is the Loyalty Tattoo of Rakiata. When you crit a unique enemy that has a Mark applied to it (Sniper's Mark, Assassin's Mark, etc), the player is granted a buff that raises their minimum action speed to 110% of base value, increasing by 2% for each allocated Tasalio tattoo. Five Tasalio Tattoos would put the player at 120% of base value, which is the equivalent of a fully juiced Tailwind effect from the Deadeye! The movement, attack and cast speed can help burst down the boss at great speed.
- Passive Skill Tattoos are obtained from Trial of the Ancestors and applied to Passive Tree nodes to change their behavior.
- Most are applied to Attribute Nodes replacing the Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence.
- Journey Tattoo of Makanui instead replaces Keystones.
- Loyalty Tattoos offer a powerful effect on a fairly long cooldown.
- Combine Tattoos with Radius Unique Jewels for powerful synergies!