path of exile

Path of Exile: Legion Review

I wasn’t excited when I heard about Legion after the fatefully awful Synthesis League. The promise of it being a melee league with various skill changes made me very skeptical at first, especially Immortal Call. Overall though how has Legion been as a league?

For the most part, I feel this has been a pretty good league just in terms of the basic league mechanic. It’s not horribly baffling like Synthesis nor Betrayal. People have been calling it Breach League 2.0 or perhaps Essence League 2.0. Whichever way, it’s been a lot of fun…but only if you choose the right builds.

Pretty much the league mechanic demands a high area effect type of build that can quickly move from sections of targets to unlock the most potential. Thus, a lot of people have also designated this as a Cyclone league since it’s the primary skill being used and the one that has received the biggest and seemingly most targeted rework in melee.

The league mechanic itself is straightforward: you encounter a monolith, you tap on it to activate, two armies appear, you break the enemies out by attacking them and then you face them as they face each other. You’re given a time limit to break as many free as possible. Ideally, you’ll focus on enemies with a symbol above their head, including a special general. The ones with symbols will have special drops or shards for doing the bigger multi-way battles.

Once you accumulate enough of these shards (100), you’ll convert them into an emblem which is usable in your mapping device. You need at least two to start up a multi-way battle and four will unlock a fifth slot for a giant five way battle. In turn, each of these battles will have timers that increase with the number of armies you face within this realm. Once the timer is up, the reward you get is determined by the enemies you defeated that also have the special symbol above their heads. As you defeat enemies, you can respawn them by returning to the center.

So for myself, I made a Holy Flame Totem chieftain as my league starter. Needless to say, it was a mistake since leveling was very painful and the clear speed was quite abysmal. However, it got the job done which paved the way to my next character: Ngahamu’s Flame Cyclone Slayer. I bought some additional leveling gear for this character and what a difference did this Cyclone build make!

So previously, I felt that Cyclone was quite bad. Even when I played my Assassin Cospri Malice Cast on Critical Hit Cyclone Ice Nova character (which was very fun), I hated it for the most part. Cyclone was one of those skills that locked you into motion when the temptation to hold down your right click was there. So you had to plan just enough of your attack to prevent being locked into motion.

That’s what the so-called fix for animation canceling was partly there to do. It would help certain play styles (notably channeling/melee) that would get locked into place. Mostly, I would say that cyclone, movement skills like leap slam and shield charge (especially early game versions of these) and multistrike were the worst offenders. I have yet to play multistrike this league but I think if you’re able to break away from the lock down, it might feel better.

At any rate, my 2nd character was a huge hit for me. Very easy leveling experience along with me finding a random 6L chest that synergized well with the build and being able to purchase a very cheap Ngahamu’s Flame. I was so lucky with this build that I also managed to find tons of exalts (probably 11 this league) and a few key cards that allowed me to make some key purchases, including a Xoph’s Blood (2ex) and later a Starforge (8ex).

However, the real meta of this league has turned out to be the physical version of Cyclone. There’s a few variations with almost every ascendancy getting their own version. But the top tier ones are Slayer, Berserker and Champion. I ended up making a 2nd Slayer once I got the Starforge and have been working on him since.

The Starforge Slayer definitely has a lot more damage potential. However, the real winner here is the crazy AoE when you combine the new Pulverize support gem with various +1 reach passives. The end result is a screen covering Cyclone, which can clear a good part of the Legion, especially on open maps.

Along with this Starforge Slayer build, I started an Essence Drain/Contagion Trickster. Because spell casters weren’t as popular this league, it turns out ED remains huge, especially with Trickster. Why? This build can nuke the hell out of Legions! The spread just is insane and I even managed to get the 150 challenge on lower tiered content from this.

The best part about the ED Trickster build though is the general cost of gear. Shavronne’s Wrappings are at 5-6c. So I ended up buying two, one for 6L and one for a 5L that I got from a prophecy. In addition, I bought a Blessing of Chayula and made myself a Presence of Chayula, which was pretty expensive in the previous league from what I remember. I still have to finish getting to maps on this character but I think it’ll be a knock out once I do.

I did start a Lacerate character with the intent on making a Gladiator. However, I’m on pause just because I’ve found Lacerate to be a pretty wretched skill. I’ve seen crazy Lacerate builds but so far this one has been poor in performance. I guess after Cyclone and ED, everything else just feels like trash.

That said, because I was bored the previous night, I decided to create a Scion with the aim of doing Scourge Arrow. I saw an interesting, high damage build that involved the Elementalist ascendancy along with Slayer. Pretty much it makes you immune to all reflect maps. However, what caught my eye was the use of both the Shroud of the Lightless and other Abysal Armor along with 5 of the Heralds.

Since I haven’t done an Ascendant in a while and because it’s not really meta, I decided to give it a try. The main purchases I made were two Might of the Meeks because they’re a low 20c this league. Unnatural Instinct still is horribly expensive at 2.8 ex, but I’m going to hold off on that until I can get my character further in (I still have 3 ex left). Shroud of the Lightless isn’t that expensive neither at around 20c while even a 2 socket is at 10c. I can hold off on having two socket Tombfist and Bulbonic Trail as well for now. But the overall build cost might not be that high. Also, the main weapon is a Doomfletcher’s Prism. It’s easy to just buy a prophecy and complete it.

I want to say that the only reason I can do some of these builds is that this league has been decent in terms of currency. It could’ve just been my luck that I managed to find stuff that generated a fair amount of currency. But I think the league mechanic, with the incubators especially, has allowed for more accessibly farming and currency generation. Heck, I even found a Windripper (but that was through Beast Crafting).

I can’t really complain about this league outside of bugs compared to last league. It has a good balance of things and encouraged me more than usual to play harder just because the carrot on the stick felt more attainable. Also, the key items that I normally could not afford have dropped significantly in value. That has allowed me to acquire a lot of dream items that I can use in the future for other builds (as in on standard)

I suppose the last dream I really have for this league is to be able to take a few of these builds up very high. I feel that I can achieve some of these goals because of the items I acquired and my understanding of the game has significantly improved. Of course, some things such as 6L my Starforge are still a pain but I think they’re absolutely doable.


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