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Potential Ascendancy Reworks We May Get In POE 3.22 And Beyond - New Archetypes & Interesting Stats

Jul 12, 2023

I’m going to be discussing the many potential ascendancy reworks that we could be getting in POE 3.22 and beyond. 

Introduction

This became a much more interesting topic following the reworks in POE 3.21, which included some unexpected changes to the Pathfinder and Saboteur.

The main reasons these were so unexpected is because there is a whole line of ascendancies that deserve reworks before these ones did. But the changes themselves align in a big way with some of the comments made by developers during the 2019 ExileCon, when they said that old ascendancies would essentially require rebalances to bring them to a similar level as the new Path of Exile 2 ascendancies.

Potential Ascendancy Reworks We May Get In POE 3.22 And Beyond - New Archetypes & Interesting Stats

We know that the Path of Exile 2 ascendancies will have a focus on granting just one or two impactful stats on each notable. This is something we can already see coming through on the reworked Pathfinder and Saboteur. 

So, the idea of other ascendancies being reworked in a similar way is interesting, especially when you consider the support for new archetypes that were added to the Saboteur with both the Trigger bolts and the cooldown recovery rate notables. I think that most (if not all) of the ascendancies will receive changes in some form prior to Path of Exile 2.

Now, I think all bets are off when it comes to trying to guess which of the ascendancies will be reworked next. We know which ones really need it first. But with the Pathfinder and Saboteur being changed before stuff like the Gladiator and Assassin, who knows what’s next?

So, I’m going to talk a bit about each of the other ascendancies.

Guardian 

Let’s start off with some of the ascendancies that probably need the changes. First, I want to talk about Guardian, which is a Templar ascendancy.

Guardian is largely more favorable in hardcore leagues due to the defensive nature of the class. And these leagues are typically one of the average popularity ascendancies sitting around the middle of the pack when it comes to the play rate of classes.

But in non-hardcore leagues, it’s been largely unpopular ever since the changes to Mana Reservation Efficiency and Aura stacking characters in general.

The Guardian’s kit is mostly made up of stats. And these stats buff nearby allies, which makes it a decent option for many minion builds and a good option as a support character in groups.

But the kit is quite bland, and it really lacks any kind of interesting stats other than the Radiant Faith notable, which provides armor based on Reserved Life and Energy Shield based on Reserved Manner.

Path of Exile Radiant Faith

Guardian is the foster class when compared to Necromancer for minion builds. But, it’s usually outclassed on endgame builds by the Necromancer. 

So, what could a Guardian rework look like? What new archetypes could a reworked Guardian ascendancy support? 

One skill type that I feel is extremely underrepresented on both ascendancies and on the passive tree is Herald abilities. 

  • Herald of Agony
  • Herald of Ice
  • Herald of Thunder
  • Herald of Ash
  • Herald of Purity

And I think support for the Herald archetype would have no better home than on the Guardian. Interesting ways to augment Herald skills, such as things that we already have access to on POE Items, like Storm Secret or The Coming Calamity, would provide new avenues to explore in regards to builds using Heralds as main abilities.

What about Time of Need reduced curse effects? Instead of this stat, imagine a start on Guardian, which converts reduced curse effect into reversed curse effects (something similar to reverse chill), allowing the character to benefit from previously dangerous curses with enough investment and potentially open up the way for new self-curse build options. 

Path of Exile Time of Need

I’d also love to see Radiant Faith explored a little more, especially the life reservation portion and expand on this a little more by using Life as a resource like spending life with things like Blood Magic or Lifetab. 

Assassin 

Next, let’s take a look at another ascendancy, Assassin. Assassin is a Shadow ascendancy and has consistently been one of the least popular ascendancies for many leagues now.

This has been the case since patch 3.15 when poison was globally buffed, making it deal about 50% percent more damage for everybody while Assassin was nerfed by about the same amount to compensate for this change.

As a result, the other ascendancy options became more appealing to poison. Even though I feel this was generally a good change, Assassin lost its niche, so it needs to get that back in some way.

I think one of the main focuses of the Assassin ascendancy should be the Elusive buff. The class should have many ways to augment Elusive. Now, Elusive is above the grant’s movement speed and chance to avoid damage and its effectiveness diminishes over time until it reaches no effect, at which point it’s removed.

Path of Exile Elusive

One of the changes that was made to Elusive recently was to nerf the Nightblade Support by making it so that you couldn’t refresh the Elusive buff. Instead, you now need to wait until its effect is reduced to zero, at which point is removed and then you can reapply on your cell.

One of the augmentations for Elusive that the Assassin should have is the ability to invest into a notable that strips Elusive at a threshold, so you’re able to reapply it sooner. For example, Elusive is removed at 25% of its original effectiveness rather than 0%. This would go a long way in improving Assassin’s defense whilst also buffing the usage of things like Nightblade, specifically on the Assassin ascendancy.

I’d also love to see ways to change exactly what bonuses the Elusive buff provides with additional stats, like attack and cast speed. And I think the Assassin should have support for all critical ailments, not just poison. This is an archetype, which really deserves to be explored further. And I think things like Critical Bleed and Critical Knight should be supported in some way on this ascendancy, too. 

Chieftain

Let’s move on to the Chieftain ascendancy. This is a Marauder ascendancy. And this one is also consistent in the bottom three or four ascendencies in popularity in each league and has been for quite a while.

I do feel this has a lot to do with the general state of melee right now. But I do think that Chieftain’s kit could do some updates, especially as a lot of the stats are available to other classes through unique items and in other places. 

So, let’s start with the Tasalio, Cleansing Water notable and this is the one that’s taken almost universally on all Chieftain builds. This notable is in a good place. I just think it needs one change, and that’s the physical damage taken as fire stat. This shouldn’t be limited to hits in the current Path of Exile. It should also work for damage over time, just like the Cloak of Flame and Dawnbreaker. With that change, this notable would be great.

Path of Exile Tasalio, Cleansing Water

And the Valako, Strom’s Embrace notable. This one should have a way to expend Endurance Charges. Because the problem with this damage modifier that exists on this notable is that it’s limited to spending Endurance Charges. And that interaction is limited to just a few skills and items or waiting for Endurance Charges to run their full course, which is awkward. 

Path of Exile Valako, Strom’s Embrace

So, I’d like to see the Valako notable have a stat, which spends Endurance Charges when you take a Savage hit. And this grants you a short defensive buff, which will help to provide you with the defense you need in that little duration when you don’t have any Endurance Charges. 

The Ngamahu, Flame’s Advance notable really needs to provide consistent damage rather than this rotating damage buff, which is kind of awkward for any character that isn’t a physical conversion ignite build. And it’s even awkward for them sometimes. You’re just kind of waiting for this buff to be active, which is quite annoying.

I don’t feel that Chieftain needs that much else direct changes to the melee will affect this class in a big way. And I thought that melee totems, specifically Ancestor Totems, need to be reviewed. So, it’s possible that the entire part of the Chieftain ascendancies gets changed at some point. 

But that’s one of the worst things about melee right now is having to use these two totem buffs up all the time to be able to get the best damage output. Seriously, just bake these two buffs directly into melee abilities at a baseline level. Then, remove those buffs from the Ancestor Totems altogether and improve them as damage abilities. And then, we’re going on the right path.

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