Path of Exile is a free to play action role playing game that draws plenty of comparison to the Diablo series and in particular Diablo 2. The game is widely praised as capturing the best of Diablo and expanding on it with its own unique and well-polished ideas.
There are several character classes in Path of Exile, revolving around three primary attributes – strength, dexterity, and intelligence – or using a mix of two or all three, such as the duelist, a melee class that relies on strength and dexterity. The Ascendancy classes were introduced to Path of Exile with other updates.
There are 19 Ascendancy classes, each with its own additional Ascendancy Skill Tree to master. Upon completing the Lord’s Labyrinth for the first time, you can pick an Ascendancy class from one of the three available for your class. The first time you complete the Labyrinth on each difficulty, you will receive two Ascendancy Points for its skill tree.
Ascendancy Class for Duelists
The Duelist is Path of Exile’s strength/dexterity hybrid class, making him unmatched at dealing and avoiding damage.
The Slayer class focuses on raw power and maintaining sustainability as they fight. They possess bonuses to life leech and stun and passives such as Bane of Legends gives them an edge against tougher monsters. Due to the minor nodes all having increased attack speed and two-handed damage bonuses, this class is well suited for attack skills for two-handed weapons and bows.
The Gladiator takes the hybrid nature of the Duelist a step further, with a combination of speed, power, and protection. The Gladiator works well with dual wielding or one-handed weapon (including wands) and shield combinations. The class offers opportunities to build around applying bleed, improving the player’s blocking, and enhancing Endurance and Frenzy Charges.
The Champion is a defensive/support class that can act as a tank for their party by taunting enemies, buffing their allies with an aura, or Intimidate enemies to reduce their defenses. They also have access to passives that grant them offensive bonuses while they have Fortify and uniquely possess the ability to permanently Fortify themselves. The tree grants increased armour and evasion rating across the board to further bolster their survivability as well.
Ascendancy Class for Shadows
The Shadow is Path of Exile’s dexterity/intelligence hybrid class. He prefers to use fast-hitting weapons such as daggers or claws to dart in and out of battle, while laying traps or remote mines and controlling the flow of combat.
The Assassin is a offense-oriented class centered around critical strikes. The class offers enhanced crits on full or low life enemies and enhancing their power charges. His tree also has options for damage over time with bleeding and poison with added synergy with critical strikes.
The Saboteur focuses on improving his traps and mines with utility bonuses rather than straight damage or critical strike increases. This class also expands on blind as an offensive and defensive mechanic.
The Trickster is a versatile hybrid class that mixes high speed, maneuverability, and slippery defenses. It is well-suited for Shadows that deal damage over time, as Swift Killer and Patient Reaper both grant significant enhancements to damage over time effects. Swift Killer also grants a reliable way to generate Power and Frenzy charges while increasing the maximum of both. Ghost Dance and Shade Form provide powerful hybrid defenses while further increasing the Trickster’s speed. Finally, Weave the Arcane and Walk the Aether grant bursts of mana and speed, respectively.
Ascendancy Class for Marauders
The Marauder is Path of Exile’s pure strength class, which means that he’s great at taking hits, and even better at dishing out punishment.
The Juggernaut class revolves around defenses, providing physical damage reduction through armour and endurance charges, protection against slows and stuns, and accuracy.
The Berserker is geared towards being in the heat of combat, with many of their skills requiring killing or being hit recently. These bonuses include life leech, attack speed, damage reduction, and warcry enhancements. This class aims for attack-oriented character builds.
The Chieftain focuses on dealing additional fire damage through his attacks and totems. He can greatly enhance the utility of his totems, making them more resilient, taunting enemies they hit, and weakening nearby enemies. The Chieftain can also boast large amounts of life regeneration through his enhanced Endurance charges and life leech through the fire damage he and his totems deal, making him surprisingly tough to kill in the heat of combat.
Ascendancy Class for Witches
The Witch is Path of Exile’s pure intelligence class, making her an unmatched master of the elemental and dark arts.
The Necromancer is a class that mainly focuses on summoned minions. She can buff their defenses, attacks, or her own auras to benefit her minions. However, Necromancers are not limited only to summoning builds. Her mastery of death through Mistress of Sacrifice, Spirit Eater, and Beacon of Corruption gives her wide utility over using and consuming corpses and all grant the Necromancer herself large personal boosts.
Elementalists deal in all things elemental. They have access to conditional but powerful element damage bonuses, which users of multiple elements can benefit the most effectively from. They can also specialize in elemental status ailments with Shaper of Desolation, allowing them to apply elemental status ailments from all types of damage, even physical or chaos damage.
Occultists are suited for Witches with a focus on chaos damage or curses. Malediction greatly enhances curse specialists, while Profane Bloom and Void Beacon amplify the output of chaos damage. Occultists are well-served by builds that rely on & maximize energy shield. Occultists also may serve as a generic way to generate Power Charges in builds which lack other means of doing so.
Ascendancy Class for Rangers
The Ranger is Path of Exile’s pure dexterity class, which befits her slim and graceful appearance.
The Deadeye is an offense-oriented class that focuses on projectile damage and area of effect. This class is obviously suited for bow attacks but most of its modifiers apply to any sort of projectile, meaning most projectile attacks (such as those fired from Wands) and some spell projectiles also benefit from them.
The Raider focuses on maintaining buffs, gaining Frenzy Charges, Onslaught, or Phasing through kills. She can specialize in one of these buffs to enhance its effect, greatly boosting her speed and evasion. Despite what the class icon shows, this class doesn’t have any modifiers specific to melee damage, so ranged attacks will receive those bonuses as well.
The Pathfinder’s focal point is her flasks, which she can improve to grant additional offensive or defensive bonuses. The Pathfinder is a flexible class; her tree allows using both spells and attacks effectively, and any damage type (elemental, physical or chaos).
Ascendancy Class for Templars
The Templar is Path of Exile’s strength/intelligence hybrid class, a perfect balance of brawn and wits.
Inquisitors focus on elemental damage. They can, among other things, specialize in critical strikes, elemental penetration or buffing themselves with consecrated ground. Most of their skills are compatible with both attacks and spells.
The Hierophant deals and takes damage in unconventional methods rather than in a straightforward way. Hierophants can utilize totems effectively, and have the ability to summon 2 additional totems, at the cost of less damage per totem. They also work well with builds that utilize high amounts of Mana by converting it into defensive bonuses. Templars who rely on multiple skills can take Illuminated Devotion to enhance multiple skills with one of three powerful effects.
Guardians are a powerful option for tank/support Templars dedicated to partying, possessing passives with an emphasis on enhancing and protecting a party. Guardians can specialize in Auras, granting up to 4 additional unique and powerful defensive auras to their party. They also have passives that protect and enhance allies in a number of other ways. Even as a solo character, Guardians themselves can benefit from its selection of defensive passives, or use their auras and buffs to command an army of minions.
Ascendancy Class for Scions
The Scion, the daughter of corrupt nobles, was exiled to Wraeclast for killing her husband on their wedding night.
The Ascendant offers flexibility more than any other class by allowing the player to take passives based on other Ascendancy classes. These passives offer similar benefits representing the class’s overall tree, but with mitigated effects. Only one Ascendancy class passive can be taken from each base class. The Ascendant can allocate up to two Ascendancy class passives and can further invest onto one class’s path to gain the ability to use that class’s starting point on the passive skill tree as a second starting point.
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