The Legion expansion made a lot of changes to Path of Exile, and one of the most important among them is the overhauls for the melee builds. This is to make them as competitive and, in turn, as likable as those based on spamming AOE skills. One of them would be the Viper Strike Pathfinder. So get your PoE Orbs ready because it’s time to go path-finding!
All About Being Skilled
While traditionally a ranged class, the Pathfinder also works well as a melee class, thanks to its great offense, balance, and versatility. It also helps that Viper Strike is a solid DPS and deals a ton of damage over time. For the passive skill tree, click on this link:
Now, onto skill gems! For your core skill, it’s obviously the namesake skill. Have it with Ancestral Call, Melee Splash, Deadly Ailments, Added Chaos, and Vile Toxins support to get the most raw damage and damage over time.
To further raise your chances of poisoning your enemies, have Herald of Agony with Minion Damage, Pierce, and Maim support gems.
Mobility is another important thing you should explore. For that,Whirling Blades is a good choice as it can serve as a secondary DPS skill. Have it with Faster Attacks and Fortify respectively for faster attacks and higher defense when the skill is active.
Another good secondary DPS skill is Double Strike. For your support gems, put, Faster Attacks, Withering Touch, and Increased Duration. Lastly, there is defense and utility. Your best bets for the former are Arctic Armour and Ancestral Protector, while it’s Cast When Damage Taken with Summon Lightning Golemfor the latter.
On the Rare Side
Next up would be gear. If you’re going to get Rare gear, it should be for the following slots and bonuses:
- Helmet – elemental resistances, life, and Viper Strike damage.
- Gemini Claw – 200 Physical DPS, 20% Attack Speed, and 60% chance for Poisons inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage; preferably with added Potion Duration and Added Chaos Damage.
- Boots – life and elemental resistances, increased attack and cast speed.
- Rings – life and elemental resistances.
- Amulet – life, intelligence, mana, strength, accuracy, and physical damage.
- Jewels – life, chaos damage, and global accuracy rating.
It’s not easy to get these mods, so either you trade up PoE Currency for them, or use it on the gear you have until you get it right.
Uniques and Flasks
On the other hand, if you want Unique items, here are the gears you should get:
- Helmet – Starkonja’s Head , which offers much dexterity, life, critical strike chances, attack speed, and evasion.
- Body – Belly of the Beast for more life, armor, Elemental Resistances, and Flask Life Recovery rate.
Note: An alternative to this is The Perfect Form, which gives increased life, cold resistance, lower mana reservation forArctic Armour, and to have your evasion uncapped by cold resistance.
- Weapon – Wasp’s Nest for increased physical, poison, and chaos damage, critical strike chance, and accuracy. This is more recommended than the Rare Gemini Claw, so get it if you can.
- Gloves – The Embalmer, which gives increased chaos damage, life, chaos resistance, and increases poison duration.
- Jewel – Growing Agony so that you can have more Viper Strike Damage.
Last, but definitely not least, are flasks. For this build, you need these 3 unique ones: Coralito’s Signature, Witchfire Brew (Unique), which grants 100% increased Evasion Rating, and Atziri’s Promise (Unique) for huge DPS boost and life leech. As for the other two, have a Divine Life Flask of Staunching for healing and to cure bleeding, and a Silver Flask of Heat for higher movement speed and to cure chills and freezing.