Character Class

Path Of Exile Guide: Archetypes For Each Class

Compared to other Diablo-style games like Diablo III and Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, Path of Exile has a much higher emphasis on playing multiple characters.

Gamers who playing Path of Exile knows that skills provided to each class is determined by the base class only, not the ascendancies. For beginners it's highly recommended that you follow certain archetypes for each class.

Duelist: The Duelist excels at both Strength and Dexterity skills, and fights with swords and axes. He utilizes both the attack speed and evasion from Dexterity and the damage and armour of Strength to quickly deal large amounts of damage while staying safe from physical attacks. The Duelist's Ascendancy classes are Slayer, Gladiator, and Champion.


The Slayer specializes in melee two-handed weapons. This ascendancy is recommended when you want a larger area of effect with your melee abilities and wanting to killing enemies quicker than normal.


The Gladiator specializes in one-handed weapons. This class is recommended when you want to play a block build (a chance to negate damage when hit) or you want to cause bleeds (damage over time after striking an enemy).


The Champion is generally chosen for its inherent tankiness with permanent Fortification (less damage taken when hit). Use this ascendancy if you want to have innate tankiness. There are also other effects (taunt and intimidation) that grants more damage to enemies under certain conditions.

Shadow: The Shadow is proficient with Dexterity and Intelligence skills, and fights with daggers and claws. He can deal strong critical strikes with weapons or spells, and his traps and mines can disable enemies or deal high damage. The Shadow's Ascendancy classes are Assassin, Saboteur, and Trickster.


The Assassin specializes in critical strikes (a chance to deal more damage and potentially cause more effects). Pick this ascendancy if you want to focus purely on doing damage instead of defensive options.


The Saboteur specializes in traps and mines. Use this class if you don't worry about damage reflection and prefer to kite enemies around as they run into your traps or mines.


The Trickster is a defensive utility ascendancy specialized with energy shield builds. This ascendancy is not recommended for beginners as it is mainly for energy shield builds.

Marauder: The Marauder is Strength character class. He wields maces to deal high physical damage, and Strength armour pieces grant him physical damage reduction. Monsters aligned with Strength generally hit hard and take many blows to defeat. The element aligned with Strength is fire. The Marauder's Ascendancy classes are Juggernaut, Berserker, and Chieftain.


The Juggernaut specializes in being highly defensive. This ascendancy is recommended when you want to take much less physical damage and shake off certain slowing effects.


The Saboteur specializes in traps and mines. Use this class if you don't worry about damage reflection and prefer to kite enemies around as they run into your traps or mines.


The Chieftain specializes in totem builds (builds that involve summoning a totem in a fixed position that will attack or cast spells for you), especially ones involving fire. This class is a staple for most totem builds.

Witch: The Witch is Intelligence character class. She wields weapons like the wand and sceptre with improved critical strikes, and her Intelligence armour pieces grant the wearer a mystical energy shield which protects them from damage and can recharge when they are out of combat. Monsters aligned with intelligence are often spell-casters who can be dangerous if not immediately dealt with. The element aligned with Intelligence is lightning. The Witch's Ascendancy classes are Necromancer, Elementalist, and Occultist.


The Necromancer is the class specializing in summoner/minion builds. If you want to have summons deal damage instead of dealing damage yourself, this is a good choice for you.


The Occultist a utility class for builds involving curses, critical strikes, chaos damage, and energy shield. As a utility class, this is not recommended for beginners.


The Elementalist specializes in it's namesake; elemental damage. This class is recommended for any build involving elemental spells and golem builds.

Ranger: The Ranger is Dexterity character class. She uses bows and rapiers to attack quickly and accurately, and Dexterity armour pieces grant her the ability to evade enemy blows more often. Monsters aligned with Dexterity are nimble and difficult to hit, often attacking from a distance or with multiple weapons. The element aligned with Dexterity is cold. The Ranger's Ascendancy classes are Deadeye, Raider, and Pathfinder.


The Deadeye is a staple choice for beginner bow builds. This class provides extra effects to most projectile abilities, letting them hit more enemies and dealing more damage in general.


The Raider specializes in moving and attacking quickly. Use this class if you want to go very fast and do not plan on using spells.


The Pathfinder specializes in using flasks, the potion mechanic in Path of Exile. This class is not recommended for beginners because it is built around utilizing various unique flasks that aren't easily obtained.

Templar: The Templar represents Strength and Intelligence, and fights with staves and sceptres. He can become a powerful spellcaster or use his elemental damage to perform strong melee attacks. The Templar's Ascendancy classes are Inquisitor, Hierophant, and Guardian.


The Inquisitor is a class generally chosen to specialize in elemental critical strike builds. Its greatest strength is the ability to ignore the elemental resistance of enemies whenever dealing a critical strike.


The Hierophant is a class specializing in totems and having various utility options. This class is currently not recommended for beginners due to stronger alternatives for beginner builds.


The Guardian specializes in supporting his allies by casting many auras and providing supporting effects. This class is not recommended as it requires a great amount of knowledge of auras and generally not as useful in solo play. If you plan to always play with friends, it may be workable.

Scion: The Scion is aligned with all three attributes, and is therefore the most flexible class in terms of character design and skill use. She starts at the center of the passive skill tree. The Scion has one Ascendancy Class: the Ascendant.


The Ascendant is a class that has access to modified ascendancies of other classes. Once again, not recommended for new players.

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