Path of Exile Betrayal [3.5] League Starter Builds

Introduction: Path of Exile Betrayal [3.5] League Starter Builds

Welcome to the guide Exile. This is going to be somewhat of a special format build guide. Due to minimal time that I have around work, streaming and league launch activities, I generally never have time to produce a proper League Starter Build or Compilation. However, I figured I would try something new this league. Here I want to provide at least one new build to the channel, summarize a few existing builds that I have made and updated, and show some builds from the Forums that would make for good league starters.

NOTE: Full Video Guide Below!

Special/All Credits to: Original Author –> Engineering Eternity

This will not be a full feature rich build guide video, as I do not have the time to do so. It will be a very basic showcase, demonstrating builds where I can, speaking to their finer points and providing detailed Path of Building files for further information. So let’s get right into the new build, a Profane Decay Occultist.


Profane Decay Occultist

This was a build that I originally created a few months ago to casually go through the mapping process for the Atlas Guide. The goal was to pair the Greyspire staff, which grants global increased damage and maximum resistance, along with minion damage, chaos damage and curses to scale the Occultist’s Profane Bloom and Decay as far as we can. Along with new updates to the Occultist and Chaos Damage over time nodes, it has seen quite a nice bump in damage!


This build is quite easy to level, excels as fast mapping and does well with early boss encounters. It certainly isn’t an endgame boss killer, but many people wanted a guide on this build, so I figured it would fit here great as it can be built from no gear! This build is completely capable of starting on just rare items and moving into the uniques I have showcased on it, the Greyspire is NOT a required item, but an excellent item once you can get it.


Path of Building:



Our goal with this build is to apply Decay to enemies via Blade Vortex as we run by them, such that they die in a short enough time to still be cursed by our Blasphemy Curse auras, and subsequently have a chance to explode via Profane Bloom dealing large amounts of chaos damage. This explosion can then chain, causing whole packs of enemies to pop from one explosion! So it will be Decay, Blight and Profane Bloom that are dealing all of our damage, not Blade Vortex. We choose Blade Vortex as an applicator since it can be casted and left automated to apply Decay while we Phase Run through enemies. Since Decay can only be applied once, we only really need one stack of Blade Vortex and then extend its length as long as possible so we do not have to cast it as often! So we will be scaling Skill Effect duration, which will also help Decay’s total damage, as well as the Hinder from Blight! All the synergies!


To enhance the damage of all of these damage sources, even Profane Bloom, we get some help from the freshly buffed Chaos Damage nodes in the tree, the Occultist Ascendancy, Spiritual Aid, Curses, Wither Totem and the Grey Spire staff. Remember Spiritual Aid makes Minion Damage increases apply to us, and Minion Damage is effectively Global damage!


Since we are Occultist, we can easily go Chaos Innoculation for a sizeable HP pool, even with minimal gear! We also get great sustain in maps with Vile Bastion. When leveling and even in mapping you can go with a Hybrid Variant, but I highly recommend switching to CI as soon as you can.



Now for the playstyle of the build. In general, you are going to want to cast 1 or 2 Blade Vortexes, press Phase Run, roll your flasks and run through enemies. Most all enemies should widdle down and explode, causing whole packs of enemies to disappear into a purple haze. For more difficult enemies, you can apply a quick hinder to them via Blight, causing them to take increased damage, so long as you have the spreading rot jewel(s) placed in your tree. If they are a bit tougher, you can hold the Blight.


A nice trick while mapping, is to weapon swap to a Dancing Dervish, get a few kills and then swap back to your main weapon, the Greyspire. This will trigger the Rampage counter from the Dancing Dervish to provide you more speed and damage as you kill more monsters!



For Bosses, you will just want to ensure you have a Blade Vortex up to maintain the Decay, the Wither Totem placed down to increase the Chaos Damage they take and hold Blight down on them! Use your flasks accordingly here!


Passive Tree

In the passive tree, we aim to get as much Chaos Damage as we can, along with Energy Shield. The tree progression is straight forward, and you will want to be leveling as Life & ES Hybrid and swapping to Chaos Innoculation once you have 5,500+ ES and Vile Bastion. As always, I have provided leveling trees within the Path of Building file!


The Ascendancy Order is:

  1. Profane Bloom
  2. Wicked Ward
  3. Vile Bastion
  4. Void Beacon


You will want to kill all of the Bandits!



Gems & Gearing


I will not be listing all of the Skill gems and supports on screen as per usual, but will go through the links within Path of Building. I have included Skill links for Endgame gear and Budget gear as separated by the denotations. Here I will just speak to the Endgame selections and since we are effectively socket starved, there won’t be too many to mention!


As we spoke about previously, we are using Blade Vortex in the chest to apply Decay and supporting Decay with Chaos and Damage over Time supports!


In the Boots Phase Run and Wither Totem are placed together so we can link an Increased Duration with them.


In the Helmet, we place Despair, Temporal Chains and Discipline. Since we are going to be using Heretic’s Veil, the curses will automatically be supported by Blasphemy and this leaves an open socket to toss in an Enlighten if we want more mana space later on. To start, you will have to use a Blasphemy before the Veil of course.


In the Gloves we are just placing supports since we are choosing the Allelopathy gloves which provide Blight! Since you won’t have these right away, you can drop Void Manipulation for a Blight Gem.



As for gear, you will want to look for the following on rare gear:


  1. Energy Shield
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Off Stats: Dexterity/Strength
  4. Flask Effects: Reduced Charges Used/Increased Duration
  5. Chaos/Over Time Damage


I have included an Endgame and Budget gear set within the Path of Building file. Take a look at these to get an understanding for the affixes I get.


As for specific unique items I have chosen to use:

  1. The Greyspire – Provides global damage to scale all of our damage sources, as well as Maximum resistances for further defense.


  1. Heretic’s Veil – A great source of Energy Shield as well as making our Blasphemy curses stronger and reserve less mana.


  1. Allelopathy – These are a must have when you can get them to extend your Blight to a 5+ link, as well as some good damage boosts.


  1. Atziri’s Splendour – I picked this chest up later in the league when making the character. It turns out to be a good base of ES, Resistance and Gain on Kill for mapping. It also makes the coloring of the sockets much easier. Not required by any means.


  1. Bated Breath – Since we had resistances covered, this belt gives a solid amount of ES as well as generic damage! A win win!


For Flasks, you will want a Quicksilver and Silver flask to improve your running speeds! A Sulphur flask is great for damage and recovery. Basalt flask for some mitigation and finally a Witchfire Brew is a excellent choice for Damage over Time and Blind.



For jewels, you will want to get 2 Spreading Rots to enhance your Blight’s Hinder to make enemies take 50% Increased Chaos damage. This is a massive buff to all the damage chaos damage you deal.


For rare jewels look for:

  1. #% Increased Maximum Energy Shield
  2. #% Increased Chaos Damage
  3. #% Increased Damage over Time
  4. #% Increased Damage
  5. Minions Deal #% Increased Damage


Abyss jewels aren’t so great in this build aside from onslaught on kill or conditional effects.


Check the PoB File and Written guide for leveling tips!



As for leveling this build, you will want to start as a normal Hit Based Blade Vortex character, grabbing the appropriate supports to level as you can and swapping to Decay and Blight after you get it around level ~38.


I started with the following:


Level 1

  • Freezing Pulse – Onslaught – Arcane Surge (Fit this in if you have a 3L)
  • Grab a Blight when you can to start leveling it!


Level 4

  • Frost Bomb – Use this as often as possible, it is very strong!


Level 10

  • Flame Dash
  • Clarity


Level 12

  • Blade Vortex – Onslaught – Arcane Surge
  • Drop Freezing Pulse / Frost Bomb


Level 16

  • Herald of Purity
    • You can take other Heralds (Ash/Lightning/Ice) to stack if you want, as we will be leveling with regular Hit damage with BV until Decay


Level 18

  • Blade Vortex – Onslaught – Faster Casting – Controlled Destruction


Between these levels, you will want to be focusing on gear upgrades and possibly swapping Onslaught out for AoE/Concentrated Effect if you get a Silver Flask.


Level 38

  • Blade Vortex – Decay – Swift Affliction – Void Manipulation
  • Wither – Spell Totem – Increased Duration
  • Blight – Controlled Destruction – Swift Affliction
  • Blasphemy – Despair


This should now be powerful enough to carry you through to mapping!


JUGG of All Trades

The JUGG of All Trades is a build designed to start out simple and scale into a Lab Farmer, Content Clearer and Endgame Boss killer. It is a very malleable critical strike based Juggernaut that can make use of any melee skill that utilizes a sword. I started 3.4 Delve League with this build and had great success.


Unfortunately, this build saw a minor nerf in the latest patch notes, no longer being able to use stat sticks, such as the Nebuloch. This is what you will see across the board with almost all dual wielding melee builds, especially those that used Stat Sticks. With the 3.5 patch, skills used while dual wielding will now always alternate hands and require that both weapons work with the skill. This means you will need two skill viable weapons to deal damage, and both will count for damage.


Luckily, this doesn’t completely kill the build and it can work just fine slotting in a second Ahn’s Might only dropping 20% of the damage you had prior. You don’t even need a pacifism, as a regular rare jewel will provide more damage! This still leaves the JUGG of All Trades in a good spot and a great build to run as a league starter still. All the footage seen here is using two Ahn’s Mights.


As for leveling this build and all dual wielding builds now, you will have to be upgrading both main hand and off hand weapons. This can be a bit more difficult in the beginning acts, but after you have a decent amount of currency, performing the Physical Weapon vendor recipe every few levels is easy! For more information on this build and how to leveling it, including appropriate recipes, check out the full guide linked via the card and in the description!



The THICC JUGG Mk II was a rework of the Original THICC JUGG Eternal Labyrinth farmer I had created back in patch 3.0. It was designed to supersede that build in both offensive and defensive power. It can crush Izaro and Argus while ignoring Labyrinth Traps, providing a nice and relaxed Labyrinth Farming experience that will shower you in returns.


Unfortunately, this build also saw a nerf due to the loss of the Nebuloch as an offhand weapon just like with the previous JUGG of All Trades. But just like with the Jugg of All Trades, this build is not dead! It just lost a bit of damage and some mitigation. However, it hasn’t fallen behind the original version and is still very potent. Just like with the previous JUGG, we simply slot in another of our main hand weapons, the Ichimonji sword. We can then continue using Blade Flurry, Reave, Lacerate, Double Strike or even fallback to Cleave! All the footage seen here is using two Ichimonjis.


As for leveling this build, it is just like the previous, requiring the upgrading of both weapons as you progress. It will be a bit more complicated to start, but will get very manageable as you go on.


So in summary, I can still highly recommend this for Labyrinth Farming for those who wish to ignore Izaro and traps and complete Lab on any day of the week! Check out the full guide in the card or linked in the description!


Phantastic Soulwrest Necromancer

This is a build that caught much more attention that I had realized and many people are wondering if it would make a great league starter. Now that the patch notes are out, I would have to say yes as there were no major changes to the build!


This Necromancer build is based around the Soulwrest Staff that summons Phantasms whenever you consume a corpse. Pairing this with Bubonic Trails and Offering Skills, you are able to perpetuate up to 20 of these Phantasms, and crush maps by simply running through them, much like the Decay Occultist! However, with more investment on this build, you can easily take on the endgame.


Leveling this build is quite easy, as it starts as a basic Summon Raging Spirits build. The SRS build archetype has been covered to death and is easy for most anyone to look up and follow if they need more information. You are also able to perpetuate SRS into mapping and the endgame before you get your hands on a Soulwrest staff.


If you are looking for a dynamic summoner build to start your league with, I can recommend this one! Check out the full guide in the card or linked in the description.


Other Great Starters

Here I will provide some staple starter builds from the forums that have been working extremely well the past few leagues on minimal budget! All of the credit for these builds go to the respective build owner’s and their names will be shown accordingly.


Windz’s Glacial Cascade Mines


Up first is Windz’z Glacial Cascade Mines. This build has been crushing all content since its introduction and has only gotten better with time. The mine playstyle can be off putting for some, but both mines and traps can be geared on a minimal budget and still be able to take down T16 Bosses like they were nothing. They also have the benefit of not caring about reflect and many other modifiers that would keep other builds from Vaaling and completing High Tier Maps. This is definitely a build and build style you will want to check out if you plan to push high tier maps as soon as possible!


Hierophant Totems

Ah, good old Spell Totems. Totems, like Mines or Traps, are great starters on minimal budget and allow you to take on much of the endgame system without breaking the bank. Spell totems can certainly be done on many different classes, but the Hierophant gives so much quality of life and power, it’s hard to pass him up. The other great benefit to the Hierophant and Spell Totem tree pathing, is that you can interchange many different spells with minor changes to gearing, allowing you to pick a spell that works for you! Here I will provide 3 different powerful options to choose from.




Arc is of course an excellent choice as it was extremely powerful prior to 3.5 and was untouched!


Freezing Pulse


Freezing Pulse is another good option with its recent rework and ability to crowd control with freezes and far reaching projectiles.


Glacial Cascade


And finally, Glacial Cascade. As we saw with Windz GC Mines, the power of Glacial Cascade can be transferred to Totems as well!


Enki’s Arc Witch


Finally, there is of course a self casting option. That is Enki’s Arc Witch. This is a tried and true build that has stood many patches of testing and still remains strong to this day! I have had many viewers and friends use this build as a starter and they have not been disappointed. So I can certainly recommend this to anyone looking for some self casting action.


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