Path of Exile Scourge: Best Starter Builds for PoE 3.16

PoE Update 3.16 could be one of the best Seasons around. We are again introducing you to strong builds from the community for a strong start in the new league.

On Friday, October 22nd, 2021, PoE: Scourge starts the new league in the long-running action role-playing game Path of Exile. After the last season was labeled by many players as one of the worst leagues of all time, Scourge is eagerly awaited due to many positive changes. You can read what these are in our overview:

As always, we have selected the best starter builds for Path of Exile Patch 3.16 so that you can break into the new league with a strong plan.

What is a starter build anyway?

Many experienced PoE players recommend starting each new season with a “League Starter Build”. These builds have the advantage that they are easy to level and also work without extremely expensive items. If special unique items are required for a build, these can be obtained relatively cheaply by trading with other players.

With our presented builds, you will reach the endgame more easily so that you can farm strong items and currency there on the maps. These in turn finance your equipment for twink characters, who can be min-maxed even better.

Path of Building will help you

Path of Building is a program with which you can plan your PoE builds down to the smallest detail. In our case, the most important function is that you can import builds from the linked guides, which are usually shared via a Pastebin link.

To do this, download Path of Building in the Community Edition, click on “Import / Export Build” in the top left corner and on the bottom of the screen on “Import from Pastebin” – then simply copy the link in, confirm, done!

You should now be able to see the distribution of skill points in the skill tree. Many builders divide the skill tree into several levels so that you know where to put your points first when leveling.

The strongest starter build: Toxic Rain Champion

The strongest League Starter Build in PoE: Scourge is expected to be the Toxic Rain Champion penned by PoE streamer Lightee .

For this build, you choose the ranger and concentrate on the skill Toxic Rain. With this, you shoot a volley of arrows in the air, which then rains down on your enemies. The right items and support gems not only drive the damage to extreme heights (4 to 8 million DPS), but also increase the radius of this area attack.

The big disadvantage, however, will be that the strength of this build has already got around in the community and accordingly many players will choose it – this leads to high prices for the recommended items when trading. Fortunately, Lightee has created a guide video in which he explains in detail how you can craft a strong bow for this build yourself.

For gameplay and further explanation of this build, check out the video from PoE pro-Zizaran:

Advantages :

  • Strong defense through Auras, many HP and Fortify
  • Even better offensive
  • Many required items can be farmed or crafted even without trading
  • Strong defense through mind over matter

Disadvantages :

  • Mana problems, which is why at least one mana flask is mandatory
  • Important items are in demand and are accordingly expensive in trading

Pastebin for Path of Building:

For beginners: Forbidden Rite Totems Hierophant

As always, we recommend a totem build for the Scourge League, because this is one of the simplest builds in the whole game and is especially suitable for newcomers and those returning to the game.

After repeatedly recommending the Freezing Pulse Totems Hierophant for a long time, we have been relying on Forbidden Rite since the Expedition League. This skill causes enormous damage, but normally also 40 percent damage to its caster’s health and energy shield. You can avoid this penalty if you couple Forbidden Rite with a Totem Support Gem. These then work the skillfully automatically until they bless the temporal – but you can simply set them up again at any time.

Thanks to its simple gameplay, the build is particularly suitable for players who are trying out PoE for the first time or who have no previous experience with similar action RPGs. In addition, it is extremely cheap and works very well even with rare (yellow) items.

However, the Forbidden Rite Totems Hierophant also relies on one of the most unspectacular game variants that PoE has to offer: You set up your totems, they fire at all nearby opponents and you only have to collect the loot.

Advantages :

  • Very beginner friendly
  • Very good clear speed due to high AoE damage
  • Works very well to a certain extent, even with rare (yellow) items
  • Strong defense through mind over matter

Disadvantages :

  • Playing style can get boring in the long run
  • Will require expensive cluster jewels later
  • Endgame bosses are comparatively difficult to do

Click here for the full build in the PoE forum

The best hand-to-hand fighter: Earthshatter Berserker

It’s back: The popular Earthshatter Berserker (this time in a variant of the Quantrik streamer )

Just like all other starter builds, the Earthshatter Berserker is an extremely powerful and easy-to-play build that stands out in particular for its really absurd area damage. With one hit you can hit almost all enemies on your screen at the same time.

The skill works like this: First, you hit the enemies with the Earthshatter, then spikes shoot out of the ground when you use Leap Slam or War Cry. In this way you clear large numbers of enemies out of the way at lightning speed, over five million DPS should be possible.

In addition, there is an absolutely powerful defense: With a large pool of life points and several warcries that reduce damage and increase your regeneration, the build becomes extremely tanky.

Advantages :

  • Extremely difficult to kill thanks to high HP, Leech, Warcrys and a whole 26 Fortify stacks
  • Big AoE damage
  • Requires only a few, inexpensive items and no expensive cluster jewels
  • Very mobile because you can always jump around with Leap Slam

Disadvantages :

  • Elaborate skill rotation, because you have to keep your Warcries active
  • Ideally needs at least one 5-link item as all support gems are important
  • Constant mana problems, especially in the early game

Pastebin for Path of Building

For Summoners: Cold Skeleton Necromancer

As always, we are introducing a pure Summoner build again this time – ideal for everyone who liked to play the necromancer in Diablo 2 and the remake D2: Resurrected. This time we recommend the Cold Skeleton Necromancer. He fully relies on the bony helpers, who this time come to your support as warriors, archers or magicians – depending on what you feel like doing!

Besides the totem build, there is probably no better skill for beginners: You summon your servants and let them do the work while you only have to collect the loot. Since the skeletons also attract the attention of enemies and take damage, this is one of the safest ways to play.

Even the boss fights in the endgame can be mastered relatively easily with this build, as you can concentrate on dodging and internalize the mechanics of the encounters.

After the summoner had to lose around 30 to 40 percent of his damage in the last patch, he gets some DPS buffs again with patch 3.16.

Advantages :

  • Very beginner friendly, easy to play
  • Even create red maps with inexpensive items worth 2 Exalted Orbs
  • Lots of items to work towards for great strength boost
  • Maximum DPS while focusing on survival


  • Bad overview due to many servants
  • Summoner play style is not for everyone

Click here for the full build in the PoE forum

For advanced players: Ball Lightning Miner Saboteur

Mine-based builds are a little more difficult to play, which is why we’ve happily avoided them in our starter builds in the past. However, the so-called miners in previous leagues were extremely powerful, so they simply belong on this list.

Miners are therefore more challenging to play because we first throw our mines at the opponents and then have to ignite them with an additional keystroke – in combination with consuming our potions, this can lead to quite a »button mashing«.

However, the mines themselves do not cause any damage, after all we have to combine another skill with them, which is then triggered by the mines – here you use the lightning spell “Ball Lightning”.

Those who dare to cope with the increased effort (and become happy with it – the constant detonation is not fun for everyone) will get a strong build, which, according to the guide author g00fy_goober in 3.16, is even stronger than in the last update will be.

Advantages :

  • Incredible single target damage against bosses
  • Shock, inflame, hypothermia and freeze opponents
  • Nearby enemies are blinded
  • Can handle all map mods
  • Any content can be completed, even the toughest endgame bosses
  • Strong defensive capabilities
  • Easy to equip, but also with strong upgrade potential

Disadvantages :

  • Endgame equipment can be very expensive
  • The gameplay is more challenging as it requires more buttons than other builds

Click here for the full build in the PoE forum

What’s new with PoE 2?

As you probably know, developer Grinding Gear Games has been working on the official successor Path of Exile 2, which was announced at ExileCon 2019, for some time. It should be ready by next year at the latest and we can finally play the long-awaited title ourselves – at least in a beta version.

In her video preview, our esteemed colleague Natascha explains what you can expect from PoE 2 and has also summarized all the facts and details from the latest gameplay trailer for you.

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