Being an Exile is hard, being a poor Exile is even harder.
There are hundreds of Path Of Exile class guides out there to build a strong end game Ranger class, but in this guide we’re going to focus on players just starting out and under level 50 that has little to no currency to help you get started and build a strong character that you can actually use.
For this guide I will be using the Shadow class to build an archer, but you can use any class you want as long as you follow the guide and choose your passive skills correctly. Follow the link to view My Shadow Archer Passive Skill Tree that used about 40 skill points, with 10 left over for whatever you would like to choose to customize the build to your liking.
The first 30 levels or so will allow you to put majority of this class build together without having to trade with other players. Most of the items you can find from monster drops or buying them from one of the NPCS in town. Use the one jewel socket on the skill tree to increase your power, I would recommend the “Poacher’s Aim” jewel, which is given to you early on as a quest reward for increased projectile and piercing damage.
The base for the build is to consistently regenerate your life while shooting multiple arrows. This build will also use gems to convert your physical damage to fire elemental damage to kill large clusters of enemies all at once. If you choose to, you can switch the skills around to deal out lightning or ice damage instead, but I found that fire works the best for this build. Is this the strongest build you can make? Of course not, but you are poor so you take what you can get!
The items and gear you will use are items that are pretty common and easy to find, making this build perfect for those that can’t afford to buy fancy items or that has just started playing Path Of Exile for the first time.
Choosing Skill Gems
Split Arrow: This will be your main source of damage since it shoots multiple arrows that spread out and hit multiple targets at once.
Fork: When your arrow hits a target it splits out and “forks” into two more arrows, spreading your damage even farther for every target you hit. When you combine this with split arrow and fire, well… let’s just say you create a hellfire of arrows.
Life gain on hit (Support Gem): Link this with the two above gems. All those arrows you are shooting will now bring you back life. For every enemy you hit, that’s more life for you.
Burning arrow: I use this for precision shots if I want to shoot long range and focus damage on a single target. The skill tree will help aid you in dealing out more fire damage.
Herald of Ash (buff): This is what makes your “hellfire” volley of arrows deadly, it converts all of your physical damage to fire and burning damage, causing you to deal out massive damage across a wide area. For every enemy that dies by this attack they will explode and cause the next enemy next to them to also catch on fire, creating a chain reaction of death and fire if you kill one enemy in a cluster. You can probably see why this works so well with split arrow and fork. You can switch to Herald of Thunder, but the chain lightning damage doesn’t stack and spread as far in my opinion.
The below gems help support this build, but are not required. If you find them and want to use them, by all means go ahead. But they don’t make or break this class build.
Increased burning damage (support): Like adding fuel to the fire.
Lesser multiple projectiles (support): Stacking more wood onto the fire to create a wider area of effect.
Point blank (support): Enemies close to you will suffer more damage.
Increased physical damage (support): Exactly what it sounds like, skills connected to this will deal more damage.
Blood Rage: You quickly lose life, but gain a great deal of damage in exchange. Pretty much makes you a vampire.
Mirror/Blink Arrow: Blink arrow is great to teleport across broken bridges or move away from a dangerous enemy. I use it more strategically to navigate around my enemies. As a bonus, it creates a clone of you to distract and confuse enemies. You know those fast running guys that grab you and explode? Sometimes teleporting away and sacrificing your clone is a great way to clear them out. Blink arrow works similar, but instead of teleporting it just shoots a clone to the target area to kill enemies. Using both together creates two clones that shoot at enemies. If you link a support gem to it, say lesser multiple projectiles, all of your clones will shoot a barrage of arrows off. If you have Herald of Ash activated they too will gain the added fire damage. Ever heard of having an army of one? This is it!
Barrage: This skill is like a machine gun with burst fire mode turned on. You shoot a quick succession of arrows off in a straight line, but the accuracy is poor. I link Point black with this skill and use it when enemies get too close to quickly wipe them out. This skill is optional because Split arrow and burning arrow will cull most of your enemies.
Note about stats:
I want to first point out how stats work. Every 10 points of Dexterity adds 20 points of accuracy, and every 10 points of Dexterity adds 2% to your evasion rating. Evasion has a chance to completely dodge attacks so that you don’t take any damage. Evasion doesn’t work for dodging spells, unless you take the “Phase Acrobatics” passive skill which gives you a 30% chance to help dodge spells. However, You don’t want to focus too heavily on evasion because then your armor rating will be too low and you will die quickly if things go bad. Balancing your life and armor stats will help you to survive, and your passive skills and gems will do the rest of the work for damage.
Gear you will need –
Three linked slot helmet: I put Burning arrow, Increased burning damage, and fork here. Two slots work as well if you leave out fork.
Four linked slots for armor: this might be hard to find if you look for blues or yellows, but if you find a common white armor with four linked slots you can always upgrade it with orbs. You will need 1 red and three green slots. This is where I put Split arrow, Fork, and Life gain on hit. use the extra slot to make your build stronger with a support gem or another attack.
Two or more linked slots for bow: More slots the better, but most of your gem items will be on your body.
Belt: I used a leather belt that grants maximum life and armor. If you get some life regen, great!
Gloves: For this build it doesn’t matter, just try to focus on balancing your armor and evasion so that you don’t die.
*Optional gloves: Four linked slots with at least one blue (or red) and three greens. Set your blink arrow, mirror arrow, and lesser multiple projectiles here. If you have a red slot you can set your burning damage gem here, if you have blue then you can set added lightning damage. This will make your clones stronger
Boots: Same as above. Find what works best for you.
Quiver: Sharktooth Arrow quiver to regenerate your life with each hit. Mine was yellow with added elemental and physical damage. This is a poor man’s build though, so we aren’t picky. If it regenerates your life, it works!
Potions: Two health, one magic, use the other two slots for whatever you want.
Jewelry: Necklace, rings, etc. I just choose whatever works best for me. Balance your armor, evasion, and health. More armor means you won’t die as much, so try to keep it at a decent level. You could also go pure evasion, but if enemies get close you might be in trouble.
As a final note with the passive tree, if you wish you could skip out on acrobatics and instead invest points into Sniper and the Assassination passive skills. Sniper will allow you to deal more damage, while Assassination will allow you to deal more critical damage. If you stick with acrobatics you can work towards getting the spell dodge skill.
Did you find this guide helpful? Comment below and share your thoughts.