• Which Gems Should You Pick Up

    Gems in Path of Exile and their values

    With the recent influx of new players I see this question asked multiple times in chat channels, including my guild chat. There’s a ton of different gems and understanding their value when you’re just beginning with the game can be confusing for newbies. This post will provide you with some basic rules about (non-quality) gems and their value in Standard league so the next time you’re offered a choice after finishing a quest you’ll know exactly what to take.

    High(er) value gems

    Most gems in Path of Exile can be obtained from quests but some only drop from monsters, therefore they usually have higher prices.

    • Portal – drop-only gem, not particularly useful since Portal Scrolls drop in abundance but they can usually be sold for 1-3 Chaos Orbs.
    • Cast When Damage Taken – only rewarded from one quest in the game, “A Fixture of Fate” in Act III Merciless difficulty. Basically means that unless it drops for you (still rare), you can only get one of these gems on each character, so they are constantly being traded. Having a level 31 requirement also means it will take quite awhile until you’re able to get it, so the price is usually around 4-6 Chaos.
    • Chain – drop-only gem but only useful for very few builds in the game. The cost is typically 1 Chaos.
    • Multistrike – rewarded from “A Fixture of Fate” quest, otherwise a drop-only gem and fairly rare. It’s being used by almost every melee build in the game, but fortunately that doesn’t reflect its price: it can be obtained for 3 Chaos only.
    • Cast When Stunned – typically you’re able to sell it for 2 Chaos, although it’s much easier to obtain one yourself.
    • Empower – 10-20 Chaos
    • Enhance – 8 Chaos

    What about other gems?

    • Auras are generally sought after and can easily be sold for 1 Fusing or even 1 Chaos each, or 2 Chaos for Purity which is a bit less common. Grace, Hatred and Clarity are likely the most popular ones and easiest to sell.
    • Most attack and similar skill gems (such as Dual Strike, Cleave, Heavy Strike, Raise Skeletons etc.) are extremely easy to come by from the first few quests in the game and you’ll have a tough time trying to find buyers for those.
    • Curses generally can be sold for 1 Alchemy in case someone’s looking for a specific one, but stashing dozens of them and waiting for a seller is usually just a waste of time and space.
    • Support gems are generally what’s being traded the most, even though a majority of them are easy to come by. Players often need multiple so the demand is always there. Support gems that I see sought after on a daily basis are:
      • Reduced Mana
      • Blood Magic
      • Faster Attacks
      • Melee Splash
    • All of the above can fairly easily be sold for 1 Chaos Orb each fairly easily.
    • Slightly less used support gems are Fork, Culling Strike, Mana Leech, Faster Casting, Lesser Multiple Projectiles and Greater Multiple Projectiles, Life Leech, Item Quantity, Item Rarity, Melee Physical Damage, Multiple Traps, Curse on Hit. Most of these sell for 1 Fusing each.

    Note about prices

    As with all things in Path of Exile gem prices are determined by the seller and the buyer, and you may be able to sell them for either lower or higher amount of currency. Trading values (based on Standard league) I provided are just to give you a basic understanding of their potential value in general, so hold your horses.

    What does it all mean?

    If you come across some of these gems or are presented with a choice from a quest, this is roughly your priority:

    1. Gems you need or will use later on
    2. Any higher value gems you can sell
    3. Support gems
    4. Auras

    Hope that helps. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments below!

  • New Recipe Discovered: 20% Quality Gems

    Quality gem recipeNew vendor recipe has recently been discovered that many players are already taking advantage of. I’ve seen the trade chat filled all day long now with people selling 20% quality gems, typically well overpriced. Just in case you were to fall prey to hundreds of players currently trying to earn a few coins make sure to remember the recipe.

    It’s overly simple and frankly it’s surprising it wasn’t already well-known. All you have to do is trade a level 20 gem and one Gemcutter’s Prism to a vendor and you’ll get back a level 1 gem with 20% quality.

    Getting any gem to level 20 takes an enormous amount of time still but this might actually help with the situation. If you start using a gem at (your character’s) level 1 it should be level 20 around the time you hit level 85! By using the recipe you’ll be able to obtain 20% quality gems much sooner and cheaper so having all of them improved and leveled will be less of a burden for alternate characters.

    Some gems are often not even leveled all the way due to attribute requirements. Certain support gems with +20% quality also become more efficient at level 15 or so than their non-quality counterparts and getting them to that level will not take long.

    In the long run this should reduce the prices of maxed quality gems but also make level 20 gems more valuable. If you intend to sell your level 20 gems right now just be sure you know the drawbacks and understand that your abilities may have lower damage until you get the gems to a certain level. Basically, it might not be worth it.

    Remember that gems don’t suffer any experience penalties like your character, so speedfarming Docks in merciless is a pretty efficient way to level them up. Also this is one additional reason why you should always keep a few gems in your alternate weapons. Even if you don’t end up using the gems you can still sell them once they reach level 20.

  • [Outdated] Dual Wield Physical Damage Duelist/Marauder Build

    Dual Wield Physical Damage Duelist & Marauder Build

    Dual Wield Physical Damage Duelist & Marauder BuildAfter leveling several characters and even more full respecs I’ve had trouble finding a fun and effective build that I wanted to play with. That is until I decided to make my own dual-wielding Duelist class build focused on Dual Strike and Cleave as main DPS tools. The point was to make a melee character with strong DPS and even better survivability to be able to solo any content in Path of Exile.

    Note that this build (which I named The Shredder) can easily be used on a Marauder as well with barely any adaptations. More on that below.

    Important note: the build on this page is outdated. See this post for an updated version of the Shredder after the patch 1.0.0 nerfs to Cleave!


    Why Dual Strike & Cleave

    Dual Strike deals massive single-target damage and doesn’t need a 6-link item to be effective. With fairly decent weapons my Dual Strike deals 12k DPS with only 3 support gems (no +quality). You can easily obtain 4-link items throughout leveling and you will quickly notice how fast and easy it is to speed through levels with this build.

    My Cleave currently deals 8k DPS, also with only three support gems again without +quality. It’s a good AoE tool to dispense groups of monsters and you will be using it a lot.

    I haven’t found any other abilities which would work even nearly as well as Dual Strike and Cleave.


    • Not dependent on gear: you don’t need any specific expensive unique items to make this work. There are a couple that help greatly but they aren’t necessary to make the build work.
    • No 5 or 6 link items required: that’s right, you can deal tons of damage without having to spend a single exalted on an expensive chest.
    • High survivability: with Kaom’s Heart chest I currently have 5k health which is enough to survive in a majority of high-level maps. My resistances are maxed but with my build you can easily put just one or two points into specific elemental resistance if you’re lacking. I’m running Grace (evasion) and Determination (armor) auras and have 67% physical damage reduction at level 86, along with 38% block chance (dual wield).
    • Defensive skill tree build: most points are put into defensive stats for increased armor, health and resists. If you end up hating the build for some reason you could easily change the build to something else entirely with 10-20 regrets.
    • Great mobility: Leap Slam and +30% movement speed help you get wherever you want to faster, or even jump out of tough situations.
    • Versatility: you can do any kind of maps; you are virtually unaffected by reflect which is the bane of many other builds. Even Blood Magic maps are easily done, you just need to be a bit more careful due to low armor (since you won’t be able to use Determination).
    • Fun to play: obviously everyone enjoys different things, but dying constantly isn’t fun for me which is why I prefer this build. Also shredding everything in your path with 8 attacks per second is unbelievably entertaining to watch.


    • Needs high health and resist gear: fortunately these are the only two stats you need to focus on. If you desperately need a specific resistance you can always put one or two points into the skill tree. Nearly all of your gear should have +health, until (or if) you get Kaom’s Heart at which point you can focus on anything else (chaos resist, damage, IIR/IIQ).
    • Needs one mana leech item: you will need gloves, ring or amulet with 2% mana leech. It’s not hard to get but you may have to sacrifice more useful stats because of it.
    • Half regen maps: you might have somewhat decreased DPS in half-regen maps due to the inability to leech mana at a normal rate (funnily enough no regen maps can be done without issues).
    • Low IIQ/IIR: it’s hard to get Increased Item Rarity and Quantity on equipment for this build, but then again every build except dual spark totem has the same issue.

    Of all the builds I’ve seen I have to say that this one may very well be the one with least downsides. You have plenty of damage, you’re incredibly durable, fast to level up, works great even with average equipment, and no particular monsters are a problem.

    Passive Skill Tree

    My current level 86 passive skill tree build (104 points). It’s for the Duelist class but as you can see it goes all the way to the Marauder starting points and can be used by either class.

    Key points: take health, dual wield block chance, armor, and resistances. There’s only about 10 points into pure damage and regardless you will have more than enough of it. If you’re needing an extra few points you can always take away a couple from damage and put into a specific elemental resistance (next to Diamond Skin in Marauder section).

    Skill tree progression

    There’s no clear benefits to playing either of these classes each one has its own advantages. Marauders can get to resistances and Resolute Technique earlier, Duelist can pick up Block Chance and more damage. I recommend you play whatever class you prefer, you can get to most important skill points early enough to enable the build to work well with either one.

    Note that the skill point progression is more of a suggestion or a guideline rather than set in stone. If you’re needing extra armor while leveling don’t be afraid to go for it, it’s always just a couple of points away. If you need extra Intellect you can also pick up Ancestral Knowledge (Marauder) or Wisdom of the Glade (Duelist) earlier, and you can always remove the points if you don’t need them later on. A huge upside to this build is its flexibility, and you will get about 15 respec points throughout leveling from quests which will be more than enough to fiddle around with a few points as you see fit.

    As a sidenote, if you want to maximize your experience gain read my leveling guide. With my build you won’t even need a group, they’ll just slow you down.


    • Iron Reflexes: converts all your evasion rating into armour. It maximizes the benefits you get from both armor and evasion on gear, passive skill points that further increase it and Grace and Determination auras. Your physical damage reduction won’t be under 50% even with the worst of gear. I mainly prefer armor over evasion due to its consistency: it’s better to get hit for low damage than for high damage every other time. You can always react with flasks, Molten Shell or just run away if you’re taking too much damage, while with evasion you’re typically dead if you don’t dodge several times in a row.
    • Unwavering Stance: with this point you can no longer be stunned, and if you have Alpha’s Howl (pictured below with equipment) you can’t get frozen either. You’re literally unstoppable.
    • Resolute Technique: there’s no point in worrying about +accuracy and +critical on your equipment or worse in your passive skill tree. It’s a waste of stat, and potential damage you lose from not being able to critically strike is more than made up for by never missing attacks. Try to get to RT as fast as possible. It also makes sure your mana leech is consistent.

    Other notes

    • Expertise (+30 Dexterity above Marauder starting location): I needed extra +dex to equip a weapon: one of my weapons requires 212 Dexterity and this build doesn’t waste any points into it. If you don’t find the need for it feel free to put a point (or three) elsewhere.
    • Just below expertise you can put a point into Ancestral Knowledge if you wish to level up your Hatred aura further, although it’s not necessary. There is already one +30 Int point, Wisdom of the Glade, which is necessary.
    • Why no Blood Magic? Because we can’t run three auras with it. Plus it’s not necessary as Mana Leech covers all ability costs.
    • Why Celerity (+8% movement speed)? It’s just one extra point and I like to move fast.
    • Why 1 point into Lightning resistance? I’m at 68% lightning resistance currently so this point makes up for lack of it on my equipment.

    Recommended Equipment

    As mentioned very few specific items are required. Once you start farming maps focus on getting as much health as you possibly can and try to max out your resistances. If you need a mana leech item just buy a ring or an amulet for 1 chaos. Using a Mana Leech gem is a possibility, but it will drop your DPS significantly unless you have a 5/6-linked chest.

    Two items which are amazing for this build are Alpha’s Howl head and Kaom’s Heart chest.

    Alpha's HowlAlpha’s Howl

    Once you get it you will be able to run Hatred Aura, but more important you can’t get Freezed any longer. Getting frozen by bunch of caster skeletons is the number one reason why I died before getting this headpiece so set your goals towards obtaining this: it costs 2 Exalted Orbs at most with a maxed roll, but you can purchase it for just over 1 Ex as well if you’re patient.

    Another upside to this headpiece is that it enables you to use a third aura (Hatred) due to its 8% reduced reserved mana for auras, and it also adds 2 additional levels to auras you use in this item so your Grace and Determination are at level 22 and have increased effectiveness.

    Kaom's HeartKaom’s Heart

    Pretty much the bread and butter of every melee build in this game, nothing beats a +1000 health chest. I got lucky and it dropped for me but otherwise you might need to spend even 25 Exalted Orbs or more for this item. It’s not a realistic goal if this is your first character so use a chest with high armor or evasion, high health, and resists. You could purchase one for far less than 1 Exalted, unless you want 5 or 6 linked sockets (which as mentioned isn’t necessary).

    With several % health regen skill points and Kaom’s I have over 200 health regen/second in addition to life leech from items (and 2% from passive skill tree). 95% of the time I’m at max health, only in extreme cases you have to resort to using Flasks, Rejuvenation Totem, or escape the engagement.


    Any kind of weapons will do. Obviously you’ll focus on physical damage rather than elemental, but the upside is they are much cheaper if you want to buy them. Having lifesteal is helpful but not mandatory. I prefer swords (Rapier, Foil etc.) for their higher attack speed.


    My current weapons. Higher attack speed can sometimes cover for a lack of higher physical damage. I currently have 12k/9k DPS with these average swords.


    In general your equipment should prioritize resists, health, armor and evasion (in that order). Get one item with mana leech so you don’t need to use a gem, and try to save enough currency to buy Alpha’s Howl: the ability to use Hatred aura will increase your DPS quite a lot.

    Mana Leech Gauntlets

    The stats are far below average on my current gloves but having mana leech is crucial to making this build work.

    Skill Gems

    Dual Strike

    Dual Strike

    Your main single-target ability. You don’t need +quality since it only increases your critical strike chance which you have 0% due to taking Resolute Technique in the passive skill tree.

    Support gems: Multistrike*, Melee Physical Damage, Faster Attacks (none are required with +quality but if you’re rich of course get them).



    Multi-target damaging ability. Having +20% quality increases its attack speed by 10% so buy it if you can afford.

    Support gems: Faster Attacks, Multistrike, Melee Physical Damage.

    Leap Slam

    Leap Slam

    Since it scales with attack speed you can jump around the map extremely fast. I find it very useful in many situations especially as an escape tool if things get rough, but you’ll also be able to leap over some ledges or jump to pick up your loot quickly.

    Support gems: I use Faster Attacks, but none are required. Blood Magic is preferred so you don’t need to worry about the cost. No +quality required (adds stun duration).

    Rejuvenation Totem

    Rejuvenation Totem

    Extremely helpful when you run out of health and want to regen quicker. Quality adds increased totem life, helpful but by no means necessary.

    Support gems: none required, you can use Blood Magic or Faster casting if you wish.

    Molten Shell

    Molten Shell

    Shield absorbing over 2000 damage at max rank? Yes please. It also adds 1000 additional armor, further increased by your passive skill tree. When you expect damage, walk into tons of melee mobs or fight against particular bosses it helps prevent a lot of damage and might just save your life. +Quality only adds chance to ignite monsters so don’t bother with it.

    Support gems: none required, I use Blood Magic. Faster Casting is also a good choice. No quality necessary.



    Adds 1300ish additional evasion rating at max rank, further increased by multiple points in your passive skill tree. Incredibly helpful as it increases your armor substantially. +Quality only adds radius so feel free to skip it.

    Support gems: Reduced Mana, Blood Magic if you don’t have Alpha’s Howl and think you can afford losing 400 health. +Quality on Reduced Mana gem does not work on auras (intended).



    Further increases your armor by 50%. A must have aura with no +quality required.

    Support gems: Reduced Mana.



    Unless you have high amounts of health you don’t want to use it at first. You can use it as soon as you get your Alpha’s Howl. +Quality only adds increased radius therefore not necessary. Be careful about Intelligence requirements: you might not want to level this gem past level 10 (it has miniscule DPS increase anyway).

    Support gems: Reduced Mana. No +quality needed.

    * Multistrike is not a frequent skill gem drop and you may have to purchase it (typically around 3 Chaos Orbs). It can not be obtained from quests. As an alternative you can use Added Fire Damage until you can obtain Multistrike.

    All the other gems are easily acquired from quests or drops, and if you happen to need one you can easily buy it for as little as 1 Orb of Alchemy.

    Gem rewards from quests

    Skill gem Duelist Marauder
    Dual Strike Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Normal) Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Normal), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Normal)
    Cleave Dying Exile (Act 1 Normal) Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Normal), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Normal)
    Leap Slam The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal), Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal) The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal), Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal)
    Rejuvenation Totem Lost in Love (Act 3 Normal), Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel) Lost in Love (Act 3 Normal), Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel)
    Molten Shell None. The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal)
    Grace Enemy at the Gate (Act I Cruel), The Caged Brute (Act 1 Cruel), Lost in Love (Act 3 Cruel) Enemy at the Gate (Act I Cruel)
    Determination Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel) Enemy at the Gate (Act 1 Cruel), The Caged Brute (Act 1 Cruel), Lost in Love (Act 3 Cruel)
    Hatred The Caged Brute (Act 1 Normal), Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal) Intruders in Black (Act 2 Normal), Lost in Love (Act 3 Normal)
    Faster Attacks (x2) The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Cruel and Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Cruel and Merciless) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Merciless)
    Melee Physical Damage (x2) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Cruel & Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Merciless)
    Reduced Mana None. Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Cruel & Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 2 Cruel & Merciless), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Merciless)
    Added Fire Damage (x1) The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Normal) The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Normal & Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Normal & Cruel), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Normal & Merciless), Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel)
    Blood Magic Mercy Mission (Act 1 Merciless), Sharp and Cruel (Act 2 Merciless) Mercy Mission (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), The Siren’s Last Cadence (Act 1 Cruel & Merciless), Sever the Right Hand (Act 3 Cruel & Merciless)

    Just now when compiling the list above I noticed how Marauders have easier access to most skill gems you need so you may want to try my build with Marauders rather than Duelists. I hope the table helps you plan your quest rewards and figure out which gems to take. However none of these skill gems are expensive and you could buy everything you need for just a few Chaos Orbs.


    If you’re running a 5 or 6 linked chest you can use Added Fire Damage as an additional support gem, or even as an alternative to Multistrike if you for some reason prefer. AFD deals less damage than Multistrike but only slightly.

    Also you may want to consider using Increased Item Rarity and Increased Item Quantity support gems on Dual Strike once your Cleave is strong enough for fast clears. My Dual Strike linked with Culling Strike + IIQ + IIR support gems still deals 5k damage, more than enough to finish bosses and rare monsters for noticeably increased drops.

    At later stages when your Cleave reaches about 10k DPS or above and you get your Kaom’s, you can consider completely removing Dual Strike. Four added gem slots will enable you to switch Grace for Haste (or even Purity) aura in your head piece, and use Grace, Anger and Wrath with a Blood Magic support gem. That way you can run 6 auras for increased damage at the cost of only 600ish health.

    As a bonus you can also run Clarity for increased mana regeneration if you have problems in half-regen maps.


    Rejuvenation Totem and Molten Shell are definitely not mandatory in this build. It’s just the way I like to play but you could switch them with some curses if necessary.

    • Enfeeble – affected monsters have reduced Accuracy, Critical and Damage. Even a rank 1 Enfeeble reduces monster damage by 25% so if you have trouble surviving in some situations or against particular bosses feel free to consider it.
    • Vulnerability – increases your physical damage by 25%-34%. Be careful about leveling it fully as level 20 Vulnerability requires 151 Intelligence.
    • Warlord’s Mark – you gain increased life and mana leech on affected monsters: 3%-7% life leech and 1-3% mana leech depending on gem level. You can easily level it to 20 as it only requires Strength. If you need extra life leech or can’t get mana leech any other way consider using Warlord’s Mark.


    • Normal: help Oak and get +40 health
    • Cruel: help Oak for +18% physical damage
    • Merciless: kill them all (+1 skill point)


    I prefer using a setup of 2 health flasks, 1 hybrid (for cases if I run out of mana), 1 Granite and 1 Amethyst. You can see the flasks that I currently use below:


    They aren’t perfect rolls (except the Hybrid one) but they serve the purpose. I think it’s very important to have one “instant recovery when on low life” flask for situations when you suddenly drop near death, due to my low Chaos resist I like having an Amethyst one in case it’s needed, and the Hybrid one helps in case you happen to run out of mana and need to Leap Slam or use a Rejuvenation Totem.

    I also like all my flasks to have either bonus Armour or Evasion on use which is further scaled with the passive skill tree. Doubling your armor for nearly 5 seconds with a Granite Flask is crucial to surviving things like Vaal’s smash and such.

    With the high movement speed and overall mobility of my Shredder build I never felt the need to use Quicksilver Flasks, although I did notice that many players often use 3-4 of them for reasons unknown to me.

    Gameplay Videos

    I recorded several map runs so you can watch the build in action. My full gear at the time of recording it is here. As you can see besides the two unique items my gear isn’t anything special.

    You can watch many more of my boring map runs in this playlist, also embedded below.

    If you have any specific map run requests or something else let me know!

    Closing Thoughts

    From all the builds I’ve seen the Shredder is the most versatile in my opinion. There’s no monsters or skills you need to be afraid of and unlike many other builds it doesn’t require 50 Exalted Orbs to be viable, in fact it doesn’t require any specific gear. It’s very flexible while leveling and enables you to overcome shortcomings on your equipment with a few skill points into armor, resistances or health which are always conveniently placed. The build’s extremely high attack speed (I’m currently doing 8 attacks per second) is a thing to behold and you’ll probably spend the first few hours laughing your ass off at how ridiculous it looks.

    In all my Wraeclast adventures I came across one or maybe two dual-wielding Duelists with (possibly) the same build so this isn’t extremely popular among players. If you’re looking for a fun, effective, fast leveling, low-cost melee build that isn’t used by every other player than this might be exactly what you’re looking for.

    Questions? Feel free to ask me anything about the build and I’ll do my best to answer it.

  • Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Playing Path of Exile

    Like every other game Path of Exile has its intricacies, perhaps even more than other games in fact. Even after months of playing the game and leveling several characters and classes there’s still a ton of stuff I need to learn. I still remember how some “basics” were extremely confusing for me when I started playing PoE so I decided to make a list of things I think new players might find useful to know. It’s by no means a comprehensive list but I still hope you find it helpful.

    1. Follow a skill tree build

    The first thing you should do when you make your first character (or preferably just before) is to find a good skill tree build and follow it. I know we all want more damage but in Path of Exile building a glass-cannon character simply doesn’t work in endgame. A majority of your points usually need to be in defensive talents, because simply put a dead character isn’t dealing any damage.

    If you’re confused with picking a class you can take this as a basis:

    • If you want to play a ranged caster mage pick a Witch
    • If you want a ranged archer pick a Marauder or Duelist
    • If you want a tank pick a Marauder or Templar
    • If you want melee DPS pick a Marauder, Templar or Duelist
    • If you want a melee caster pick a Shadow
    • If you want a dual-wielding melee beast pick a Duelist

    Also worth noting is that having good weapons will increase your DPS more than having a majority of damaging skill points in your passive tree, so once again, focus on building defense via the skill tree. Additionally having 3 or more support gems linked to your main damaging ability will immensely increase your DPS.

    2. Don’t throw away skill gems with +Quality

    They are valuable and can be traded to other players, or even vendors in bulk for very valuable currency items called Gemcutter’s Prism. Most gems with less than +12% quality are best to simply sell to vendors (in bulk for Prism, not single!). The recipe works the same way as other +quality items: sell gems with a combined quality of 40% and you’ll get a Prism. Anything over 12% quality should be either used by you or traded to other players.

    3. Don’t spend currency on low-level items

    And by low-level I mean anything below 60. I know it’s tempting to turn those “useless” white items into rare (yellow) ones when you’re level 30 or 40 but you will out-level them very quickly. Orbs of Alchemy and Chaos Orbs are much better used for high-end items so save them, you will need every single one.

    Blacksmith’s Whetstone and Armorer’s Scraps on the other hand are fairly easy to come by and if you find a decent piece of gear you will use for awhile feel free to improve its stats, but don’t go overboard. Just remember you’ll replace those items pretty quickly.

    4. If you don’t know the value of an item, don’t trade it

    I still don’t know the value of a lot of items and sometimes it’s hard to determine it, but if you think something is really good don’t just sell it for an Alchemy Orb. A good example is the aforementioned +Quality gems: high-level characters often prey on lowbies in Normal difficulty and try to buy out their gems for Alchemy Orbs. If a gem is 6% quality or less you can trade it away for an Alchemy Orb, but anything above that is more valuable (look above at tip #2).

    Once you hit the endgame knowing the value of items becomes even more important. Check out some of the trading sites like poe.xyz.is or poexplorer.com and search for an item with similar stats to yours to get an idea of how much it could be worth.

    5. Pick up all orbs

    I must admit I haven’t made this mistake myself (I still pick up most Wisdom scrolls even though they are pretty much useless), but don’t skip picking up any orbs that drop for you. All of them can be traded for higher valued currency items and once you figure out what their value is you’ll start probably need as many as you can get your hands on. In fact even Wisdom Scrolls can be traded, but if you’re building a high MF character you might even need to buy them off of other players.

    Even common currency items such as Orbs of Alteration and Chromatic Orbs are worth picking up. Once you get your hands on a 6-linked item you might end up spending hundreds of Chromatic Orbs to get the socket colors you want. Even lower-value orbs like Chance can be used much more efficiently at endgame so don’t skip picking them up.

    Another thing I’d like to say is that you should never use Divine or Exalted orbs before endgame. They are extremely valuable and hard to come by and best used on the highest quality gear, or even traded for decent items.

    6. Pick up items with linked 3-color sockets

    If you see an item drop that has 3 LINKED gem sockets of different colors pick it up and sell it to a vendor for a Chromatic Orb. Even though Chromatics are fairly easy to come by chances are you will need a lot of them, and of course you can trade them for something more useful if you have extra. If you don’t pick them up, you won’t have any extra.

    Once you approach level 50 or so and start grinding Merciless be sure to re-read this loot guide and remember all items you need to pick up. Never forget to pick up items with 6 sockets (even white ones), and you better click like a madman when you see one with 5 or 6 linked sockets. They are extremely valuable.

    7. Grind experience in groups

    You get more items, more experience and you’ll kill monsters quicker. Path of Exile was built for playing in groups so take advantage of it. If you need advice on where to grind experience read my leveling guide. If you’re having trouble picking up your own loot in groups and hate ninjas just find a group with Permanent loot allocation, or create your own.

    Grinding in groups is also helpful when you’re undergeared or underleveled for a particular area so just hit up that Social panel if you’re having trouble.

    8. Be prepared to spend money

    Although it’s admittedly not a very helpful tip, I’d just like to point out that you will need to spend a few bucks on this game after awhile. You can’t buy items or anything like that, but you will need stash tabs. If you intend on leveling multiple characters you will run out of inventory space in your stash fairly quickly so be prepared to spend about $20. I know a couple of people who loathe spending money on online games and this is a deal breaker for them, which I honestly think is sad, but to each its own.

    I currently have about 80 stash tabs — it’s way, way above what an average player will ever need but I’m a hoarder. 20 stash tabs should be more than enough for an average player, but fortunately it’s not overly expensive.

    9. Not all areas have waypoints

    Before you search the same area three times looking for a waypoint, you might want to take a look at my list of zones which have waypoints, it might just save you some unnecessary searching. In most cases you don’t even need to bother finding waypoints (in Normal and Cruel difficulties) as you’ll simply progress further quite fast and won’t really have a use or need for them later on. Just remember to always try and get to a waypoint before you finish playing as it’s the only way to save progress.

    For the completionists out there who always want to fully clear an area before moving on, remember to use the /remaining command in chat. It will show you how many monsters are left in a particular area before you move on to the next. Also you can type /help for a full list of slash commands.

    10. Trade low-value currencies with a vendor

    Vendors are more than just bots where you dump your trash. They can actually exchange (some) currencies for you so you don’t have to bother spamming the trade channel if you’re missing a few Fusings. You can take a look at the table below for some of the trading ratios:

    Sell: You get: Note
    Jeweller’s Orb x3 Chromatic x1 Not worth it unless you desperately need one or two Chromatics.
    Augmentation Orb x4 Alteration x1 Worth it when you end up with tons of Augmentations after awhile.
    Alteration Orb x2 Jeweller’s Orb x1 Same value.
    Orb of Fusing x1 Orb of Chance x1 Not worth it as 1 Fusing is worth 4 Chance Orbs.
    Jeweller’s Orb x4 Orb of Fusing x1 Market value.
    Orb of Regret x1 Orb of Alchemy x1 Player trade value is around 3.5 Alchemy for 1 Regret.
    Orb of Chance x4 Orb of Scouring x1 Market value.
    Orb of Scouring x2 Orb of Regret x1 Market value.

    This is actually one of the basic ways how low and mid value orb prices are determined on the market. If a vendor exchanges 2 Orbs of Scouring for 1 Orb of Regret it’s a reasonable assumption players won’t exchange them for a different ratio, unless someone is trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge about the pricing system.

    As you may notice some trades are definitely not worth doing at vendors since you can trade with players with a better ratio, but if (or rather when) you find yourself with hundreds of Alterations rather than bothering with finding a player to trade with for something more valuable you can exchange them at vendors for Jeweller’s or Orb of Fusing: they are also more sought after and thus easier to find players to trade with, not to mention you might need them yourself as well.

    You can take a look at my other post for the currency values to get a better understanding of them, but do note that the in-game prices among players vary often and can be either higher or lower, so it’s more of a guideline than a rule.

    11. Check vendors for items

    Chromatic Orb from Hargan

    One Chromatic Orb won’t make you rich, but it’s still a good trade.

    Vendors sometimes sell items that can be sold back for Chromatic Orbs (see tip #6) for a measly Orb of Augmentation which has a much lower value. Even though a Chromatic isn’t a very valuable orb, it’s still a good trade. Also pay attention to items with 6 sockets and as previously mentioned more importantly 5 and 6 linked sockets, as you can trade them to other players for a whole lot more than they cost. Do note that vendors sell these rarely, but if you check it every once in awhile you may come across one.

    Other resources:

    • http://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/wiki/faq – really helpful and organized general information about the game
    • Item mods spreadsheet – probably better for more experienced players, you don’t need to pay attention to this until endgame
    • Accuracy and Evasion table – how much hit percentage you have with a certain amount of Accuracy (quick tip: consider Resolute Technique passive node and you’ll never miss)
    • Currency values – current trade ratios for various forms of currency in Path of Exile
    • Official forums – you might want to take a look at it from time to time, there’s often useful information you can find or even ask other players
    • PoExplorer – if you ever want to buy an item this is the place. Also useful for determining prices in case you want to sell something.
    • ExaltingPoE – when adding additional stats to an item with Exalted Orb this helps you figure out what mods you can get

    If you have any of your own tips or resources, by all means you’re welcome to share them in the comments below.

  • Duelist Skill Tree Builds

    Path of Exile Duelist Skill Tree Builds Guide

    Path of Exile Duelist Skill Tree Builds GuideDuelist skill tree builds range anywhere from a tanky two-handed beast to an elemental bow ranger. They are in fact one of the least played classes in Path of Exile but there’s no real reason for it: since PoE has such a modular passive skill tree you can easily build your character to fit your play style.

    Most duelists however choose either bow builds, or melee builds with dual wield or one-handed weapon and shield. Of course as with all other classes there isn’t a best choice and it’s entirely up to you how to build your character. Fun fact is that Duelists make better archers than the Ranger class due to easier access to some defensive skill points, so it’s no surprise many players choose this class over Rangers. Below you can take a look at some of the most popular Duelist passive skill tree builds which should help guide you in the right direction.

    Lightning Arrow Archer

    This is a fairly standard ranged build based around Lightning Arrow, a must-have skill gem that most rangers use. Besides providing plenty of DPS it also has just enough defensive skill points to help you survive almost anything. The build can also be easily modified depending on your current equipment or wishes, so you can choose to take a few more defensive points and increase your Evasion if necessary.

    For ranged duelists focused on bows you can take a look at our build choices for other classes and simply adapt them for Duelists with a few points.

    Lightning Strike Build (With 7 Auras!)

    Very fun build focused on taking down monsters with Lightning Strike as your main damage tool. Since it has such a long range it’s often much safer to use than Sweep or Cleave, in addition to maintaining 3 shock stacks on all enemies continuously. It’s fairly easy to play and flexible on equipment, but the end-game gear can be costly: you will need a 6-linked item to make the most out of this build.

    Considering you’ll be using seven different auras (Anger, Wrath, Grace, Hatred, Haste, Determination, Purity) this is probably the ultimate group supporting build.

    2-Handed Lightning Strike Build

    This is a very tanky build with significant damage output (10k+) based around Lightning Strike and a two-handed weapon. With proper gear your resistances should be maxed and your health pool over 5000 (obviously the numbers depending on your equipment). Kaom’s Heart (1000 HP chest) is almost a must-have with this build, as is a 6-linked weapon, so take into account that it may cost you a significant amount of Exalted Orbs to build this properly.

    This build also used 4 different auras (Determination, Hatred, Anger and Clarity), and uses Dual Strike as a single-target main attack. It’s also possible to adapt it to work with dual-wielding if you prefer.

    1H+Shield Lightning Cyclone Build Guide

    This build uses a 1-handed weapon and shield along with Cyclone as its main AoE skill and Double Strike for single target DPS. It has a good mix of damage and survivability with maxed resistances and over 50% block, enabling you to spin your way through packs of monsters, apply shock stacks and easily take them all down.

    The build isn’t cheap and will take quite an effort to obtain, but it’s not nearly as expensive as some other builds out there.

    Tanky High DPS Cleave Duelist

    Another build that uses 7 auras to support your damage output and survivability, but this one is based on using Cleave as your main damaging ability. Since it boasts up to 20k DPS and armor you’ll easily be able to clear maps by yourself. You can also (choose to) get Unwavering Stance, Inner Force, Iron Reflexes and Resolute Technique passive nodes which are all extremely useful.

    Like all melee builds it requires decent equipment but nothing extremely expensive. Considering how easy it is to farm with this you shouldn’t have any problems getting good gear.

    Dual Wield Physical Cleave Build

    Elemental damage my be superior, but that doesn’t mean physical can’t be good as well. This is a fairly simple build with a lower amount of damage nodes and mostly focused on survivability. You don’t need any specific gear to make this work well, and you just need to aim for defensive stats. The only great items you need are two high-DPS weapons; of course a 6-linked chest is always going to increase your DPS but it isn’t mandatory early on.

    Glacial Hammer Build

    Glacial Hammer isn’t a widely used skill gem on a Duelist, but this build can work well if you want to invest the time and currency into it. It uses Melee Splash and Multistrike support gems for Glacial Hammer making your attacks extremely fast and able to hit multiple enemies, as well as shatter them once they hit a third of their life.

    Dual Wield Dual Strike/Cleave Physical Build

    This is the build I’m using myself after several unsuccessful attempts to have fun playing rangers, witches, tanks and whatnot. It features high damage with even higher durability and is extremely gear independent. Great for beginners or anyone else who want a dual-wielding powerhouse without spending any currency whatsoever to make it viable.

    The builds listed above are just some of the most popular ones that players are using, therefore if you need a basic guideline on how to build your Duelist it should give you a good idea on which skill gems and passive skill tree nodes to use. As always I recommend you to adapt everything to your own preferences, so if you don’t need insane DPS don’t be afraid to take a few +life nodes or some other skill points. Also Duelists and most of these builds can work well with multiple abilities such as Cleave or Lightning Strike so you should be able to adapt the build to your play style.

    Be sure to comment on the builds and tell us your experiences below.