PoE Pathfinder guide - build your Pathfinder correctly in Path of Exile
Pathfinder is one of the Ascendancy classes available to Ranger. This character is proficient at using flasks since she has access to multiple passives that affect this category of items. They can significantly increase her damage output, through buffs to many stats – most notably Elemental Damage, including Poison and Chaos.
The build that we're going to talk about is based on two powerful active gems: Kinetic Blast and Barrage. Currently, it's a strong and versatile build. It's a great league starter, but at the same time, it doesn't fall off later on into the season. This setup is exceptionally efficient at training mobs and collecting experience. Besides the strong AoE damage, it also offers strong defensive capabilities and relatively simple playstyle. Its single target DPS is not optimal, though, so it can struggle against the strongest bosses.
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The general idea behind this build is straightforward. Its objective is to clear maps as quickly as possible while staying alive. It utilizes high Evasion and Movement Speed to remain relatively safe while dealing the massive AoE damage. It utilizes a wand as the primary weapon since Kinetic Blast is a wand-exclusive gem, and it's crucial to make this setup work.
Veteran Bowyer – provides 10% Elemental Penetration, gives you 10% of your Physical Damage as additional damage based on a random element. Moreover, whenever you kill an enemy that was affected by an Elemental Ailment, you receive 100% increased Flask Charges.
Nature's Boon – it reduces the amount of Elemental Damage you receive by 6%. This passive also grants you additional Flask Charges over time and provides a 20% chance that Flasks you use won't consume any charges.
Master Alchemist – this passive only works when you're under a Flask effect. It provides immunity to Elemental Ailments, 40% extra Elemental damage, and a 20% chance to inflict Shock, Freeze, and Ignite with your actions.
Nature's Adrenaline – another passive that only turns on while you're affected by a flask. It increases your Attack Speed by 20% and Movement Speed by 15%.
Master Surgeon – grants you a Flask Charge whenever you land a Critical Hit. It also increases the Life recovery from Flasks by 30% and removes Bleeding whenever you use one.
Nature's Reprisal – It increases your Chaos damage by 30% and makes the Area of Effect of your Chaos skills 50% larger. Moreover, whenever you kill a poisoned enemy while being under the effect of a Flask, the target will explode, poisoning all nearby enemies.
Master Toxicist – it makes your skills deal 10% additional Chaos Damage, grants 10% of your Physical Damage as extra Chaos Damage, and converts 10% of your Physical Damage into Chaos Damage. Moreover, the poisons that you inflict while under a Flask effect have a 50% chance of dealing double damage. Finally, it makes you lose Virulence 50% slower.
Barrage is the most critical tool for single target DPS and killing bosses with this build. It's still not perfect, but it has an incredible value in this AoE-focused build.
Barrage – the active ability that lets you shoot multiple weaker projectiles in quick succession.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support – increases the amount of Elemental Damage that you deal with each Barrage hit.
Added Lightning Damage Support – adds a fixed amount of Lightning Damage.
Elemental Focus Support – increases Elemental Damage, but makes it impossible to inflict ailments with Barrage.
Lightning Penetration Support – allows you to ignore a portion of enemy Lightning Resistance – obvious synergy with one of the previous gems.
Slower Projectiles Support – decreases the speed of your projectiles, but increases their damage. It's an optional gem, but you're likely to use Barrage from a close range often, so we would recommend it.
Kinetic Blast Link
Kinetic Blast is the vital part of this build's quick AoE clears. It's the essential active gem in the whole setup. While we encourage experienced players to experiment with their builds, all four of these gems are extremely valuable, and we recommend using them all.
Kinetic Blast – a wand attack that causes a series of small explosions. When combined with some other parts of this build, it enables the Pathfinder to clear whole screens of mobs extremely quickly.
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support – makes Kinetic Blast shoot additional projectiles and create more explosions, it decreases their base damage and increases mana cost, but the multiplier makes it a considerable value gain.
Elemental Damage with Attack Support – once again, it increases the Elemental Damage dealt by the supported skill. It's really valuable for the AoE clear speed.
Pierce Support – makes the Kinetic Blast projectiles pierce through additional enemies.
Herald of Ice Link
The second key link that mostly increases AoE damage of this build. It adds extra cold damage to your other skills (making the Elemental Damage gems more valuable). It allows you to shatter enemies, causing them to explode and deal more AoE damage. It provides a ton of additional value to your Kinetic Blast.
Herald of Ice – an active gem that uses the Mana reservation mechanic to be used (it blocks a portion of your Mana, as long as it's active). This buff makes your other skills and attacks deal additional Ice Damage. It also makes the frozen enemies that you kill, explode, and deal the extra AoE damage.
Onslaught Support – whenever you hit or kill an enemy, this gem can proc a buff that increases your Attack Speed and Cast Speed by 10%. It's easily activated with Kinetic Blast.
Assassin's Mark – curses your enemies, making them receive more damage from Critical Hits. Whenever you kill an opponent affected by this debuff, you will regain a fixed amount of Life and Mana.
Curse on Hit Support – allows you to apply Assassin's Mark with your attacks and spells.
This link is responsible for adding extra Lightning Damage to your skills. It's valuable, but not as crucial as the previous three. If you're following this build precisely, it will significantly empower your Barrage.
Wrath – an aura skill that gives your attacks a fixed amount of Lightning Damage and increases the amount of Lightning Damage done by your actions. It reserves 50% of your Mana.
Enlighten Support – reduces the amount of Mana Reservation of your Wrath.
Empower Support – increases the level of the supported gem – making Wrath deal even more damage.
Summon Ice Golem – an active gem that summons an Ice Golem that deals damage and increases your Critical Chance.
Vaal Grace Link
This is a mostly defensive and mobility-focused gem link.
Vaal Grace – an aura that provides extra Evasion. As every Vaal skill, it's fueled by the souls of slain enemies.
Phase Run – a buff that increases your Movement Speed and lets you pass through enemies. Moreover, it makes you harder to detect by the enemies.
Increased Duration Support – it makes your Phase Run last longer.
Blood Rage Link
This link is responsible for sustain, by letting you lifesteal off of the powerful AoE spells. It also generates Frenzy stacks.
Blood Rage – an active buff that gradually consumes your Life and Energy Shield, but it makes you regain a percentage off of all the Physical Damage dealt as Life.
Empower Support and Enhance Support is used to make Blood Rage more effective.
Piscator's Vigil – the optimal choice for a build based on Kinetic Blast. It provides additional Attack Speed, Critical Chance, and Accuracy. Moreover, it significantly empowers Elemental Damage and pierces through some Elemental Resistance. This weapon is relatively easy to get, and it can be enough until the very endgame.
While choosing a shield, make sure to get one based on Dexterity, since they increase Evasion and it's the most important defensive stat in this build. Then, focus on flat Life, Elemental Resistances, and further improved Evasion.
Brinerot Flag is recommended as a secondary Off Hand that you should swap into for the single target fights.
Queen of the Forest is 100% necessary to play this build. It provides additional Movement Speed, based on your Evasion Rating. It also provides every defensive stat that you need: maximum Life, Evasion, and Elemental Resistances. Before you're able to get it, just use whatever you have – Tabula Rasa, with proper gems, is always the right choice for early levels.
The most important stats on a Helmet are Evasion, Critical Chance and Attack Speed. Moreover, you might also want Dexterity, maximum Life, and resistance. That makes Rat's Nest and Sarkonja's Head some of the best options for this slot.
For the most part, rare Gripped Gloves are one of the best options for this build. This glove type empowers your projectiles what's valuable in this setup. The stats to prioritize remain mostly the same: flat maximum Life, resistances (if necessary), Attack Speed and Evasion. As for unique items, Thunderfist Murder Mitts are an excellent choice for this slot, thanks to the additional Lightning Damage.
It would be difficult to find better boots than Atziri's Step. They provide a lot of Evasion, maximum Life and Movement Speed, while also giving a hefty amount of Spell Dodge. Until you get them, use anything that gives you at least some of these stats. Overall, they're an essential part of this build.
While choosing accessories, focus on maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, as well as Lightning/Elemental Damage, Attack Speed, and Accuracy.
Pathfinder's ability to get additional value from flasks is a huge part of this build. These consumable items can be quite expensive, especially early on. Don't worry too much if you're not able to get your hands on the optimal ones – it might slow down your clear quite a bit, but as long as you're capable of progressing, it's not the end of the world.
That being said, you should aim to be under the effect of a flask for 100% of your clearing time. The best offensive flask is Dying Sun since it makes your skills fire additional projectiles – this feature scales extremely well with your build. Of course, you can replace it with another damage-boosting option. You will also need some Evasion Flasks since they provide extra movement speed thanks to Queen of the Forest.
Conqueror's Potency – it further increases flask effectiveness. It actually pushes the build over an extra 50%, making the Dying Sun fire an additional projectile. If you're not using this flask yet, you don't have to get this jewel.
Watcher's Eye – it provides extra power to Wrath. You should prioritize the variant with additional Critical Chance and/or Lightning Damage.
Beyond that, we will prioritize the Abyss Jewels. The most valuable ones can provide some of these stats: Maximum Life, Electric Damage, Critical Chance, Critical Damage, Attack Speed, and % Chance to get Onslaught buff on a kill (a single jewel with this effect is enough).
The safe approach is to help Alira and kill the other two bandits. However, if you're confident, you can choose to kill all of them. The first option is easier to progress with, but the second one is more geared towards endgame optimization.
We recommend that you choose one of these two:
Soul of Lunaris – provides extra movement speed and damage reduction. Additionally, let's avoid more damage when it's fully upgraded.
Soul of Solaris - this one gets a lot stronger when it's fully upgraded. It can help you survive enemies' AoE, critical hit chains, and ailments.
Soul of Shakari – the best general choice. It reduces the amount of Chaos Damage that you take and grants you immunity to poison.
The recommended Ascendancy order is Nature's Boon, Master Alchemist, Veteran Bowyer, and Nature's Adrenaline. This setup provides a lot of extra power when using flasks.
Progression with this build
As many other great PoE builds, the Kinetic Blast Pathfinder relies heavily on numerous synergies and interactions between its parts. This is what allows us to clear maps incredibly fast when the build is fully operational. On the other hand, lacking some of the key elements will make this setup much less effective. It is incredibly important, especially in the early progression.
Kinetic Blast is a wand build, but it doesn't mean that you have to use this type of weapon right away. We believe that it's better to go through early levels with a bow. To make a successful transition into this build, you're going to need at least the Kinetic Blast, Herald of Ice, Wrath, Queen of the Forest, and some stuff to boost your Damage (most notably Lightning Damage) and Evasion. Until you collect all those critical parts, you probably should use a bow instead. You can use bow gems with extra Lightning Damage, to make your final transition a bit smoother. Of course, you can also start using the wand much sooner if that's your preference.
When you get closer to completing the final build, you will notice its colossal potential. Your character will shoot out tons of projectiles and explosions with the Kinetic Blast and Herald of Ice combination and all the extra damage from other components. You should be able to reach the extra movement speed cap provided by Queen of the Forest thanks to high amounts of Evasion. It will allow you to zoom through the maps and kill every enemy that you can see on your screen in no time! If this idea sounds nice to you, make sure to try it out! Just keep in mind that reaching the final build may take a while.
Whatever enhances your attack skills, is worth it. If you don't have access to the best gear, something with Increased Attack Speed, Increased Movement Speed, Increased Elemental Damage should do fine.
PoE Pathfinder guide
Currently, it is probably the most meta Pathfinder build, for Metamorph too. The insane clear speed makes it an excellent choice for many purposes –, especially mapping. The whole identity of Pathfinder as a PoE class revolves around flask usage. This AoE-heavy wand build can get impressive amounts of value from these consumable items. If you're looking for a more traditional, bow-based Ranger build – take a look at the two remaining Ascendency classes in the game – Raider and Deadeye.
Of course, there also are some other Path of Exile Pathfinder builds that feature bows as main weapons. Attacks like Toxic Rain can be used to strike multiple enemies. They're just currently not as effective - at least in terms of sheer clear speed - as the setup that we discussed in this guide. Do you have any other favorite builds for Pathfinder or Ranger in general? Please, make sure to let us know in the comments!
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