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Explosive Arrow Raider Build - POE 3.21 League Starter

Apr 07, 2023

I always liked Explosive Arrow Ballista. But honestly, old builds bored me and I wanted to make something totally new, especially after I saw the unique helmet Wilma’s Requital. I also wanted to make something really fast that could farm content easily.

As a result, I chose Raider with Wilma’s Requital. I also decided to make a non-ignite version because I always was curious about what it could do. So, if you like Explosive Arrow but you’re done with Elementalist or Champion, then maybe my build is exactly what you were looking for.

Build Overview

I will start my overview with the most important thing, which is DPS in my build. I managed to get 26 million, which is quite good. Also, this is not a super optimized build. So, in theory, you can increase the DPS even more.

As for defense, we have 26,000 Evasion rating and 13,000 Armour and that’s without flasks. On top of that, we have over 4,000 Life and 500 Energy Shield with Ghost Dance and of course 100% chance to Suppress Spell Damage. So, my build is a pretty good defense on top of good DPS and the cherry on the cake is our speed. We are very fast, which makes the game comfortable dynamic and allows you to farm content very quickly.

POE Wilma's Requital

Also, I would like to say a few words about my choice of ascendancy because many of you may be surprised that I chose Raider. Personally, I love Raider especially as a league starter choice because it gives us a quality of life that makes starting a league very comfortable.

We get a plus 40% chance to Suppress Spell Damage, permanent phasing and Onslaught with increased effect. Also, we have Elemental Exposure and we can easily get 100% chance to avoid Elemental Ailments. All ascendancy have their pros and cons and if you haven’t played Raider before, I highly recommend it. Maybe you will like it like me and change your negative opinion about it.

Build Showcase

A lot of people think that non-ignite Explosive Arrow has a very bad mapping speed because we don’t have Ignite Proliferation. But frankly, that’s not entirely true.

As for single target damage, this build won’t have much trouble with bosses.

Next, I want to tell you why I’m using Blast Rain in this build. We need this skill to cover enemies and ash on hit because Anomalous Blast Rain gives us a chance to do it. Polaric Devastation is usually used to get this effect.

POE Polaric Devastation

But I decided to test a budget tech because at the beginning of the league, Polaric Devastation will cost a few Divine Orbs and Anomalous Blast Rain can be bought for a couple dozen Chaos Orbs. So, this might be a good option at the beginning of the league until we’ve farmed some POE Currencies for a unique ring.

Although we can keep Blast Rain in endgame gear because it will allow us to use a very good rare ring in our build, which will be much better than Polaric Devastation.

Gear And Items

First of all, you need to purchase Wilma’s Requital because it is a key item in the build. We use Haste and we also have permanent Onslaught with 100% increased effect, which gives us a lot of extra attack speed, which is exactly what we need for an Explosive Arrow to maximize our damage.

POE Skin of the Lord

Skin of the Lord with Elemental Overload and 6-Link Bow with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems and +2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems should be your top priority because these are our main sources of damage. We need the Skin of the Lord to get the important Keystone Elemental Overload and to increase our defense. Also, in the future, it will allow us to turn level 3 Enlighten into level 5, which will allow us to use a lot of our auras.

In POE 3.21, a new Mastery was added to the game: 15% increased maximum Life if there are no Life Modifiers on Equipped Body Armour, which is perfect for us and makes Skin of the Lord the ideal choice for us.

Rain of Splinters is a must-have item for us, so I recommend saving up POE Currency to purchase this Unique Jewel. In POE 3.21, the developers slightly redesigned the skill tree and now we have access to additional projectile, so Master Fletcher and Multishot will be a good option until you purchase a Rain of Splinters.

POE Rain of Splinters

Next, we’ll need to purchase clusters: two large (Rapture Hope), two mediums (Eagle Spark & Bramble Star) and one small (Ghoul Bliss).

And finally, let’s add Forbidden Flesh and Forbidden Flame with Avatar of the Chase. Thread of Hope with a large radius gives us access to good options and it can be a great addition to this build. You’ll need some really good items to compensate for the minus to all Elemental Resistances and, of course, the price. I have a strong feeling that Thread of Hope is going to cost a lot of Divine Orbs in Path of Exile Crucible.

Many of you are looking at all these items and thinking how to start the league on this build when you need so many expensive items for it.

First of all, these items are not expensive and some of them you can easily purchase on the first days. Secondly, it’s endgame gear, which you will purchase step by step.

And considering the fact that Explosive Arrow Ballista is a good league starter, even with cheap gear, you will have about two to three million DPS. That’s enough damage for Atlas completion, getting your Voidstones and farming POE Currency to improve your build further. That’s probably all the important information about the items.


As for leveling for this character, I recommend the following tips:

From level 1, start with Caustic Arrow.

At level 12, change Caustic Arrow to Rain of Arrows and add Shrapnel Ballista for single target damage.

At level 28, we get access to Explosive Arrow and, in theory, we can already use it. But I’d recommend waiting till you find the right 4-Link and also it would be good to level up your gems a bit.

At the same time, we still use Rain of Arrows because it’s a very good skill to use until the end of the campaign. After you go to the white maps, you can only use Explosive Arrow Ballista as your main damage skill.


Next: Lightning Trap Saboteur/Assassin Build - POE 3.21 League Starter
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