7 weeks ago

Ascendancy Thumbnail3.24 Splitting Steel 2H Axe League Start - Leveling Guide in Notes3.24

Life: 2,88280%
ES: 16
Mana: 209
Resistances: 78%/78%/79%/27%
Evade: 61%
Armour: 28,147
Evasion: 13,329
DPS: 535,817
Speed: 4.88
Hit Chance: 100%
Config: Frenzy
Bandit: Kill All
Pantheon: Soul of Solaris, Soul of Ryslatha


Sinvicta's MettleThrillsteelLioneye's VisionMercenary's LotDawnstriderCarnage HeartAmethyst RingTwoStoneFCBelt of the Deceiver
Divine Life FlaskThe Overflowing ChaliceAmethyst FlaskGranite FlaskJade Flask


Splitting Steel
Chance to Bleed
Vicious Projectiles
Returning Projectiles
Herald of Purity
War Banner
Herald of Ash
Purity of Elements
Blood Rage
Sniper's Mark
Mark On Hit
Molten Shell
Cast when Damage Taken
Ancestral Protector
Leap Slam
Faster Attacks
Warlord's Mark
Enduring Cry

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Precise TechniquePrecise Technique
Accuracy MasteryAccuracy Mastery
  • +500 to Accuracy Rating
  • -2 to Accuracy Rating per Level
Armour MasteryArmour Mastery
  • You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
Armour and Evasion MasteryArmour and Evasion Mastery
  • Immune to Bleeding if Equipped Helmet has higher Armour than Evasion Rating
  • Immune to Poison if Equipped Helmet has higher Evasion Rating than Armour
Axe MasteryAxe Mastery
  • 10% more Damage with Hits and Ailments against Enemies that are on Low Life
  • Attacks with Axes or Swords grant 1 Rage on Hit, no more than once every second
Evasion MasteryEvasion Mastery
  • 10% increased Movement Speed if you haven't taken Damage Recently
Impale MasteryImpale Mastery
  • 10% chance on Hitting an Enemy for all Impales on that Enemy to last for an additional Hit
  • Call of Steel has +4 to maximum Steel Shards
  • Call of Steel causes 10% increased Reflected Damage
Leech MasteryLeech Mastery
  • 10% of Leech is Instant
Life MasteryLife Mastery
  • Skills Cost Life instead of 30% of Mana Cost
  • +50 to maximum Life
Mana MasteryMana Mastery
  • 12% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Protection MasteryProtection Mastery
  • Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you
Reservation MasteryReservation Mastery
  • 8% increased Damage for each of your Aura or Herald Skills affecting you
Spell Suppression MasterySpell Suppression Mastery
  • Chance to Suppress Spell Damage is Lucky
Two Hand MasteryTwo Hand Mastery
  • 3% chance to deal Triple Damage



**** THIS BUILD USES 'PRECISE TECHNIQUE', SO ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR ACCURACY IS HIGHER THAN YOUR LIFE - (Use low-level Precision, or Rare Jewelry with Accuracy as necessary) ****


GUIDE URL: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3337868

-::- Leveling Notes/Tips -::-

** An "Instant Recovery" Life Flask is a MUST in this game! Try to get one ASAP!

** Grab a 2H Axe/Sword ASAP! 2H damage will feel much better early on. If you can only start with a 1H weapon, try to grab a Shield until you get a 2H.

** I recommend starting with Spectral Throw + Volley Support + Chance to Bleed. Keep in mind that Spectral Throw does the most damage at its max range, where it spins while starting to return to you, so keep bosses in that area when attacking with it. Try to attack backwards, after passing packs, so that you can kite them for more Bleed dmg, the projectiles last longer and you continue to do damage as you move forward.

** Use Dash until you get Leap Slam. You can also use Frostblink right after a Leap Slam.

** At level 12 you can swap to Spectral Helix + Faster Attacks/Momentum + Chance to Bleed, as it doesn't require as much positioning work as Spectral Throw, but if you prefer, you can stick with Spectral Throw.

** At level 38 you can switch to Splitting Steel when you get 4L with Returning Proj. and Pierce (either gem or from Lioneye's Vision).

** If you go with Splitting Steel from the start, I recommend Pierce or Culling Strike while running around, and Vicious Projectiles, Momentum for bossing, then add Cruelty, or you can just run Vicious Projectiles, Momentum or Cruelty all the time. Just don't boss with Pierce (unless you already have Returning Proj.) or Culling Strike (fine if on Ancestral Protector or Leap Slam) linked to Splitting Steel (unless you know what you're doing).

** Under each skill I added additional unchecked gem options where appropriate. I recommend checking the DPS calculation of each, by mousing over their checkbox and seeing which is best; also take the time to read the full gem description, so you understand how it works.

** Use this Checklist link to see from who, for how much, and when to grab your Gems while leveling: https://tinyurl.com/324gemsv3

** Bandits: Help Alira first and then switch to Kill All. Or you can just Kill All...

** For your starting gear, be on the look out for 3/4-Linked items with Green and Red sockets, Resistances, and boots with Movement Speed. Copy/Paste this vendor regex search string to find Axes, 3L and MS boots from vendors: g-[gr]-r|r-[gr]-g|g-r-g|r-g-r|nne|rint|s:.+ax

** An Iron Ring early on is very nice for some extra DPS, and along with Medium/Large Mana Flasks will make early bosses much easier.

** A Sapphire Ring for Merveil/Dominus/Daresso, a Topaz Ring for Fidelitas/Peity/Dominus/Shavronne, a Ruby Ring for Gravicious/Kaom/Malachai/Avarius/Kitava, and an Amethyst Ring for Weaver/Maligaro/Ryslatha/Arakaali can also be very helpful; in-short try to keep your Resistances as close to 75% as possible. 

** When DPS starts to feel low, buy a new 2H Axe from a vendor and upgrade it with the "+% Increased Physical Damage" recipe. Sell to a vendor: 1 x 2H Axe + 1 x Magic/Rare Rustic Sash + 1 x Blacksmith's Whetstone. (Use unwanted Essences on Rustic Sashes to turn them Rare)

** 2H Axe base progression: Level 2 - Stone Axe > Level 13 - Woodsplitter > Level 18 - Poleaxe > Level 23 - Double Axe > Level 28 - Gilded Axe > Level 33 - Shadow Axe > Level 41 - Timber Axe > Level 45 - Headsman Axe > Level 52 - Noble Axe > Level 60 - Sundering Axe > Level 62 - Ezomyte Axe > Level 66 - Despot Axe. (You can also use 2H Swords, until you start grabbing Axe related Skill Tree nodes)

** 2H Axe unique progression: Level 13 Limbsplit > Level 18 Wideswing > Level 33 Reaper's Pursuit > Level 58 Kaom's Primacy > Level 62 Sinvicta's > Replica Wings. None of the Axes before Sinvicta's are required, but they do make leveling much smoother, so if you can get one, def do.

** Remember to use your crafting bench to improve Resistances and to add more Physical Dmg. mods to your Weapons and Jewelry, and also try to open White Chests along your path, as they contain a lot of Wisdom Scrolls which help a lot early on; just don't go out of your way to open them.

** If low on sockets, prioritize: Ancestral Protector + Maim Support + Culling Strike, Leap Slam + Faster Attacks, Blood Rage, Warlord's Mark, Vitality, War Banner, Herald of Ash, Precision (only if Accuracy is lower than Life, and max level 3).

** Switch to Purity of Elem. + Herald of Ash + Herald of Purity, once you get Inspirational as your last Ascendancy. You shouldn't have to use Purity of Elem. while using leveling/craftable gear with Resistances; it's only required once you switch to the Unique set of gear, since most of it doesn't provide Resistances at all.

** At level 38 you can switch to Splitting Steel + Returning Proj. Supp. + Pierce Supp. + Chance to Bleed, Mark on Hit + Poacher's/Sniper's Mark, Cast When Damage Taken (level 2) + Molten Shell (level 11) and Hextouch (keep the level at the max your Intelligence allows) + Punishment to your Leap Slam; make sure you use Pierce Supp. with Returning Proj., as Piercing is mandatory for it to work properly. You should also already have Berserk by this point. 

** You can add Culling Strike to either Splitting Steel itself, or to Ancestral Protector, or to Leap Slam as a 5L on your 2H axe, and even to the Heralds, but that would increase their Mana Reservation cost.

** As your 5th link, Cruelty is the most DPS, Momentum is also good and Culling Strike for mapping feels very nice (and is easy to switch with Momentum for bossing). Brutality is also an option, but it disables Herald of Ash, which feels pretty good early on.

** If you want to be tankier, make sure you have all Spell Suppression nodes (~60%+ with Lucky Spell Suppression is good), have good Granite/Jade Flasks, an Instant Recovery Life flask, fit in Arctic Armour and Grace, and try to get a Defiance of Destiny and Progenesis for endgame.

** Once you acquire a Lioneye's Vision, you can drop Life/Mana Leech from the Skill Tree and Pierce Supp. Try to buy 2 x Lioneye's Visions, then 6S both, 4L one to use, while you try to 5L the other. Once you get a 5L, switch to using that one, then try to 6L the other. You can do the same with Sinvicta's and Replica Wings, but it's not required.

** Replica Wings of Entropy is an incredibly fun weapon, and I highly recommend you buy a well rolled one as soon as you can. You want to get as high AS and Phys Dmg. rolls as you can afford. Don't worry about the Crit rolls, we don't Crit, since we use Precise Technique. Once you have one, keep Sinvicta's as your OH Weapon, then swap to it and kill a mob to start your Rampage bonus, then switch back to Replica Wings. I've also added other useful/cheap uniques you can buy while leveling.

** The Call of Steel masteries are only in the tree so you know they are there when when you start using Splitting Steel of Ammunition. You also really only need the +4 Shards one, the other one is optional. Either way, don't grab Call of Steel masteries, if you aren't using Splitting Steel of Ammunition.

** Ascendancy Order: Master of Metal > Fortitude > Inspirational.

** Keep in mind this is a League Start PoB and is meant to help you get going farming Red Maps, but it's NOT an Endgame PoB. There are many PoB exports showcasing End Game setups/gear/trees from previous Leagues for you to look at.

** This setup was basically my 3.22 Shifting Stones character imported and cleaned up. I have tested this setup well into Red Maps, with every item costing just a few chaos, so you should be able to league start with this very cheaply/safely, then continue to invest in it, or farm for whatever else you want to play.

** Collection of PoE links/tools: https://grinding.zone

** Skill Tree Nodes/Notables/Masteries Allocation Order from level 1 to 90+:

1) Art of the Gladiator
2) Fury Bolts
3) Mana Flows
4) Bravery
5) Life and Mana Leech (Here you can optionally grab Spirit Void + 10% Instant Leech for faster Life/Mana Leech. You can drop all Leech from tree once you have Lioneye's Vision)
6) Weathered Hunter (+500 Accuracy)
7) Precise Technique
8) Thick Skin (30% Mana Cost)
9) Freedom of Movement (10% Movement Speed)
10) Graceful Assault (Bleed Immunity)
11) Point Blank (Skip if using Spectral Throw)
12) Feller of Foes (Rage on Hit)
13) Forceful Skewering (See previous note about Call of Steel masteries)
14) Revelry (12% Inc. Mana Res.)
15) Cloth and Chain
16) Golem's Blood (+50 Life)
17) Merciless Skewering
18) Soul of Steel (30% Reduced Crit Dmg Taken)
19) Harvester of Foes (10% More Dmg on Low-Life Mobs)
20) Lust for Carnage (10% Instant Leech. You can drop Spirit Void once you grab this, if you grabbed it earlier)
21) Kinetic Impacts (3% Triple DMG)
22) Versatility
23) Heart of the Warrior
24) Bannerman (8% Dmg per Aura/Herald)
25) Diamond Skin (if you need the Resistances)
26) Entrench (Lucky Supression)
27) Call to Arms
28) Bloodless
29) Courage
30) Expert Hunter (Frenzy on Hit) or Prismatic Skin (CB Immunity)
31) Born to Fight or Diamond Skin (if you need the Resistances)

-::- Regarding Curses/Marks -::-

This build juggles three curses in the following manner:

1) Warlord's Mark: Self-cast this on any mob and then Leap Slam it to gain 20+ Rage; doing this allowed me to level with a very high uptime of 50 Rage. You can do this on bosses too, and as long as Leap Slam is the first attack to hit the boss, you will gain the 20+ Rage, as Leap Slam guarantees a Stun on mobs on Full Life. Just make sure your Ancetral Totem is not close by, else it will hit the boss before you can Leap Slam it, making it no longer be at Full Life.
A good usage example would be during Brine King's encounter, where a bunch of small crabs rush from the water; they are perfect to cast Warlord's Mark on and then Leap Slam to gain Rage for the Boss fight portions.
2) Punishment: When you Leap Slam mobs, they will be cursed with Punishment, making packs pop much faster, since we also pick up the 10% More Dmg on Low-Life mobs mastery. This will overwrite any Marks that are active, but before it overwrites Warlord's Mark, you will gain the 20+ Rage (if you happen to Stun the mob afflicted by it).
3) Poacher's/Sniper's Mark: Use either on tanky mobs and bosses for additional single-target DPS.

Mercenary's Lot gloves help with keeping Marks active, by casting them faster, and proliferating them; not to mention a very nice bonus to single-target DPS on the Marked mob.

Once you get Corrupted gloves with Vulnerability on Hit and a Carnage Heart with +1 Curse, this setup really shines:

* Mobs you Leap Slam will be cursed with Vulnerability + Punishment.
* One Rare/Boss will be cursed with Vulnerability + Sniper's Mark on Hit, and if there are additional bosses or mobs in the area, they can be cursed with Vulnerability + Punishment, if you Leap Slam them.
* Continue to self-cast Warlord's Mark and Leap Slam to gain Rage as necessary. 

Early on, you can also achieve this double-cursing with a Doedre's Damning Ring or Windscream Boots.