Path of Exile: Metamorph Build Review

So Metamorph league is ending and soon Delirium will start. After checking out Mathil’s league build review, I wanted to do something similar. I didn’t want to use his rating system but use my own while going over the various builds I tried (or tried and gave up on) during this league.

Basic rating system will go as follows:

  • Clear speed
  • Single target (boss)
  • Cost
  • Leveling
  • End Game
  • Starter Potential
  • Overall enjoyment

Necromancer Vaal Skeleton/Zombies

This probably was the build of the league overall. Smooth leveling, can handle all content within reason and scales very well into the end game. Biggest issues I’ve seen with this build was really min-maxing, the issues with Geofri’s Sanctuary and having Zealot’s Oath on a hybrid life build. The latter issue mostly manifests for lab since you lose the ability to regenerate life. If you intend to go this path, you should make sure you have another armor handy as certain lab layouts can spell disaster for this build.

Now, the min-maxing part was mostly in the gear. While you can do fine without all the really high end gear, once you start moving towards Barons and aiming for 1k strength, things become quite costly. Also, if you want to really go high end for your Animate Guardian, you can try getting the Kingmaker to have a better uptime on Fortify and get Culling Strike. But you really would need to get a solid high regeneration chest piece with the Temple mask piece. It’s more of a nice to have if you have the money.

One thing I never did was switch to a 2H weapon and go cyclone with cast while channeling. I honestly prefer manually summoning my skeletons. I think it would be a bit awkward doing Cyclone and re-summoning skeletons.

  • Clear speed: 9
  • Single target (boss): 9
  • Cost: 5 (1 for the really high end stuff)
  • Leveling: 9
  • End Game: 10
  • Starter Potential: 10
  • Overall enjoyment: 9

Saboteur Pyroclast Miner

At one point, I had sworn off miners. But I did give an Icicle miner a try last league. It wasn’t my cup of tea but felt far better than that wretched Glacial Cascade thing I tried a while back. But mines are in a much better position although it can get hectic.

The thing for me was that I got super lucky and found an Inspired Learning gem which practically funded a bunch of my builds, including getting me a 6L Tremor Rod for this guy. In turn, I got a good opportunity to really get a solid feeling for this build. Most of it is solid but the single target boss fights can get really hectic compared to traps. Also, the visual clutter is just terrible and it can get messy once you lay a ton of mines down.

  • Clear speed: 8
  • Single target (boss): 8
  • Cost: 6
  • Leveling: 8
  • End Game: 8
  • Starter Potential: 7
  • Overall enjoyment: 7

Explosive Arrow Pathfinder

This was originally going to be my 3rd major character but I ended up not pushing this character much. I found Explosive Arrow to be quite painful to level as a ranger even though I ended up buying a 6L Quill Rain. This build just gave me a ton of trouble whether it was mana issues or single target. It’s while I ended up giving up pretty fast.

Part of it just was getting Ignite to play nicely. The trick, I heard for this build, was to use two Quill Rains. That’s pretty stupid in my opinion because it makes the leveling process horribly painful. I’m not even sure if Pathfinder was the right choice.

I know the build has some insane potential as I was inspired to play it after watching DatModz get it to end game. And unlike Mathil who focused on scaling the fire damage aspect, I was trying to go for Ignite. But the tree is just weird and it takes quite a bit of work to get the really good Ignite and fire nodes to make this build feel like it can do damage. I think I’ll have to revisit this build once I mess around a bit more but it’ll have to be on Standard.

  • Clear speed: 8
  • Single target (boss): 5
  • Cost: 7
  • Leveling: 4
  • End Game: ?
  • Starter Potential: 4
  • Overall enjoyment: 4

Ascendant Poet’s Pen Volatile Dead/Unearth

I had seen a previous build version of Poet’s Pen with Volatile Dead going against Blight Maps and it looked quite appealing. I saw some write ups on going Ascendant and wanted to try it out as I had some funds from my Inspired Learning jewel I sold early on.

Boy, what a mistake.

This build was quite bad. I think the combination of Poet’s Pen being nerfed and Volatile Dead I think having the number of balls being lowered along with targeting make a build like this stink. It was just hard to level especially for various boss encounters. Piety Act 4 was particularly terrible and almost made me want to delete the character outright.

Originally, I thought I could use the Necromancer aspect in conjunction with Pathfinder. There seemed to be some interesting synergy as an Ascendant between the two. But you pretty much can only use a second major ascendancy in this build after you get the full Pathfinder stuff since you’re putting a lot of points into attack speed.

The reality I think is that this build is just better off as a pure Necromancer. You really don’t get anything great from playing an Ascendant here and I am convinced that they need a ground up re-work of the Ascendant class in terms of the benefits one gets at each Ascendancy. The basic stuff is just too mediocre especially since other ascendancies got some really good reworks.

  • Clear speed: 6
  • Single target (boss): 2
  • Cost: 7
  • Leveling: 2
  • End Game: ?
  • Starter Potential: 1
  • Overall enjoyment: 2

Champion Shrapnel Ballista

I don’t have a lot to say honestly about this build. I started it off but never got it off the ground. In general, it was a bit painful and I haven’t heard anything good about Ballistas since the rework. I think GGG will have to take a second major look at Ballistas to make them viable, particularly their low life and placement aspects.

  • Clear speed: ?
  • Single target (boss): ?
  • Cost: ?
  • Leveling: 1
  • End Game: ?
  • Starter Potential: ?
  • Overall enjoyment: 1

Juggernaut Sweep with Starforge

This might have been my biggest mistake of the league. I had found a build for Sweep using Starforge and saw Mathil’s Ascendant Voidforge build and wanted to give it a try. It started out really good with the one shot damage. As I progressed throughout the acts, the build just got super painful to play.

The biggest problem probably was in how I ended up choosing the wrong ascendancies to start. I considered going for an Atziri’s Disfavor since it was cheap and in theory could do good damage. But at one point, I just realized it was going to take too long before I could make use of one and ended up buying a 6L Starforge instead.

I think Sweep probably still isn’t bad but my choices weren’t all that great. In truth, I was going to use this character to handle all the trials since I wanted a super tanky build that could hop around all the traps. However, it just felt super slow and the ability was pretty muddy, overall demotivating me to go with something else.

  • Clear speed: 6
  • Single target (boss): 6
  • Cost: 6
  • Leveling: 6
  • End Game: 6
  • Starter Potential: 5
  • Overall enjoyment: 6

Guardian Herald of Purity/Dominating Blow Scourge

I have no idea what got in my head in deciding to try this build out for the 3rd time. On average, I had pretty bad experiences with Guardians and Herald of Purity. But I noticed Guardians becoming quite popular and ended up giving this build a try one last time.

I think the biggest difference was taking a fresh look at some of the gear choices. Before, I would use a Chaber Cairn, which meant my movement was limited to Leap Slam. In those instances, the build just felt ass slow and clunky. Worse yet, I could get near 5k life with some energy shield but get wrecked out of nowhere once I got into maps.

Here, a few different things I tried was using zombies for the leveling process and using the Circle of Guilt ring along with an Impresence. I did mention using the Scourge but the key here for me was the combination of things that I changed up to add a little more survivability.

However, at the moment, my zombies consistently die so I’m thinking I might have to alter the build again. I might try out another Animate Guardian. Also, I’m still missing decent gloves to move Dominating Blow into from sharing my 6L Belly of the Beast chest. I think I’m just missing out on too much DPS from my Herald of Purity there.

  • Clear speed: 6
  • Single target (boss): 6
  • Cost: 6
  • Leveling: 8
  • End Game: 6
  • Starter Potential: 8
  • Overall enjoyment: 7

Assassin Mjonir Cyclone Cast While Channeling Ball Lightning

Here’s another unfinished build. Again I found this one from the same sight. But I didn’t get very far as I used my Poets Pens to level. While this certainly was better than my Scion, I could feel similar issues. Honestly, I feel I should have gone with Storm Brand for leveling, similar to how I did a CoC Cospri Malice Cyclone Assassin a while back. The skill tree isn’t much different but I wouldn’t have the same problems with Poet’s Pens by comparison. I might still give that a try but I do have other plans right now.

  • Clear speed: ?
  • Single target (boss): ?
  • Cost: ?
  • Leveling: ?
  • End Game: ?
  • Starter Potential: 2
  • Overall enjoyment: 2

Vaal Burning Arrow Elementalist Golemancer

Okay, finally I found a decent build that really interested me. Since Golems got reworked and with Elementalist getting nicely buffed from them, I decided to see how this build would far. To me, this is the ignite build that Explosive Arrow wishes it could. It’s much tankier, the single target feels better and it’s just generally interesting because of the use of multiple golems.

Now, the main down side is ensuring the survival of your golems. Mostly, you get that through numerous Primordial Eminence so your golems can have high life regeneration. But the real problem is that when they die, it’s a fucking pain to resummon them. The problem mostly is in UI where you have to cycle through to get the right number of golems.

The other major problem is that single target can be good but you really need great aim. For Metamorphs, I found myself in prolonged fights where I just miss targeted. The worst part was using Vaal Burning Arrow and just completely missing the target since these bastards would bounce around with their shitty ass teleports.

  • Clear speed: 8
  • Single target (boss): 6
  • Cost: 7
  • Leveling: 6
  • End Game: 8
  • Starter Potential: 4
  • Overall enjoyment: 7

Juggernaut Herald of Agony/Cyclone/Holy Relic

Okay, this is where I’m at. I thought I’d never do this build because it looked boring…but oh boy was I wrong! This is actually a damn fun build to run. It’s super tanky and can do those annoying trials easily. The only real issue I’ve encountered thus far is my Holy Relic dying frequently. While your poison scorpion is immune to damage, your Holy Relic is another major contributor to both your damage and regeneration.

While I’m sure you can do all content in the game with this, I found the frequent dying of my Holy Relic to be super annoying. I don’t think you really need it but your overall damage will suffer. You could go for more tankiness just by using a Kaom’s Heart in place of a 6L chest. But it does take a long time to kill things.

Really, I feel that this build’s best purpose is served in doing trials. I regret not doing this build prior to the Sweep guy I made since I’m still trying to get my last trial a day before the league ends. Nevertheless, I’m pretty impressed by the overall tankiness with this build. I think once I get my last trial, this build should handle things quite well since I will take even less damage.

  • Clear speed: 6
  • Single target (boss): 6
  • Cost: 6
  • Leveling: 6
  • End Game: 10
  • Starter Potential: 8
  • Overall enjoyment: 7

Overall, I wish I had another week to finish up the trials and complete a few of these builds. I would like to nuke my Ascendant sometime and just go with a Necromancer instead to see how that feels for Poet’s Pen. But I just don’t have the time at the moment with only a day to go. I think if I want to try something before the next league, I might give that build a go on Standard but just for fun. Same thing with finishing up that Assassin.

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