Path of Exile: Delve Starter League Build Thoughts

With Delve coming out tomorrow, I’ve been pondering with the recent patch notes the build I will be choosing. There have been some anguishing nerfs but I expect that is due to the mechanics of Delve that will discourage current league mechanics. Where Incursion league’s meta was “Go-Go-Go!”, Delve’s mechanics seem to be all about caution, tankiness and slowness. How will that influence my choices?

The big two things I’ve been hearing all day are bow poison builds with Caustic Arrow and minion builds. There are a few skills and classes that make either shine but I’m wondering whether at the start of the league, these will be affordable.

I’m very cautious in using bow builds due to gear requirements and the issue of single target vs AoE. It’s hard to say whether or not Caustic Arrow and poison changes will change this so I’m probably going to stay away unless this changes.

Minion builds are good and I have been thinking about a Vaal Skeleton summoner with Necromancer. I did see one for Scion but I believe that Scion works as a late character because of the gear, ascendancies and nodes that the Scion need to make a build work. I don’t know if Baron’s will be a thing again but I don’t think it’ll take much to get a basic Zombie/SRS summoner going.

The other build I’m eyeing is a Hierophant Arc Totem build. This was more meta in last league but Arc has not been nerfed. So this still seems feasible. I like the idea of 4 totems and the low gear requirement make this build a possible good league starter still. What I like is that to get just 2 totems, you need Ancestral Bond, which isn’t too difficult to obtain. And right around the corner from that is Normal Lab where you can get your third totem. I think if I can get shield charge early on, then this setup will be very feasible.

The only piece of gear that I might consider down the road if I get the chance is the Soul Mantle chest piece. I saw RaizQT running that build and using 5 totems. It looked pretty sick, even at the risk of having a level 20 curse being cast on you. But hopefully by that point, you won’t have to worry and have some form of mitigation with a potion or ring.

The last build in my head is another Vaal Ancestral Warchief Chieftain build. My biggest hesitation in using this build is that Sunder, which is my go-to leveling ability for duelist and marauders, is getting a pretty big nerf. That really shouldn’t be a problem by the time you’re ready for Ancestral Bond.

However, the only two remaining concerns are finding a Facebreaker and Tukohama’s Fortress. Yes, there are other ways to level an Ancestral Warchief, but it’s hard to deny what I have right now setup in standard.

Right now, I’m leaning towards Arc Totems just because they still sound good. I would do a summoner build if something surfaces before that point. I am hearing good things with the Guardian ascendancy rework and one of the new skills. I haven’t spent a lot of time reading the patch notes and it would make another ascendancy/build/class to cross of my “I’ve done it” list. Yet what I want is something both new and familiar enough where I can do my normal routine without feeling issues in starting from scratch.



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