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Best Starter Builds for Crucible League and Patch 3.21

Best Starter Builds for Crucible League and Patch 3.21

Our top recommendations for Crucible League Starters

The Best Starter Builds
for Crucible League
[Patch 3.21]

The Crucible League is about to start, and with it, a lot has been changed. The most important alteration that will affect all the builds is probably the one done to the Masteries and the Passive Skill Tree in general. The disappearance of some Masteries is grieved among the community, especially the removal of "increased Reservation Efficiency" for some specific Auras like Grace or Determination. A lot of Unique items have also been adjusted. We're not going to summarize the Patch Notes here, you should go check them out yourself if you haven't done so already, as we will support our reasoning with these changes here and there.

To sum up this expansion - it's overall a power creep to all builds that use weapons and/or a shield, so the vast majority. The details about the Passive Skill Trees for them are yet shrouded in mystery and we can only speculate what's going to be over-or-underpowered, but it's safe to assume that all kinds of builds will receive a substantial buff. It's also the reason why we would not recommend playing Hollow Palm, Facebreaker, or Concoction builds.

Now, with no further delay, let's see the builds.

Note: not all the builds are updated for Patch 3.21, but they all are in a state which will allow you to get started while we work on updating them



coming soon


Toxic Rain has been one of the most popular league starter Skills for a long time now - it would be pointless to explain it in detail here. The upcoming Pathfinder changes irradiated the most valued characteristic of it, and that's why everyone is so excited to try it, despite Toxic Rain being the same it was before. Pathfinder is a Ranger's class specializing in dealing Chaos Damage or its excellency in employing efficient usage of Flasks. The reworked Pathfinder can very easily apply Withered debuff on Hits, increasing its effect by 50% by allocating the new Nature's Reprisal. You can get something in the shape of the "Enduring" Prefix on all Life Flasks from Master Surgeon, which is normally reserved for Mana Flasks. With the new Multishot notable you can get an extra Arrow which is great too. It's a build that uses Rare items only and has a separate setup where you can implement Caustic Arrow instead of Toxic Rain. It would hasten your clear speed. You can even implement Wilma's Requital for more damage, but keep in mind that this Helmet will be very expensive early on.

For the full Guide, you can check: Toxic Rain Pathfinder


Boneshatter is a very appealing Melee Skill that's fundamentally an upgrade of the default attack. You have to be very careful with this one as when you Hit an enemy you'll receive a Trauma Stack that accumulates to deal more and more damage to your character as well as its target. To endure the enormous pressure of Physical Hits you could either pick Juggernaut which simply mitigates the damage, or Slayer, which thanks to Brutal Fervour can over-leech and have an enormous Life Recovery Rate. This build too, doesn't require any Unique items, so it's as good as you can afford it to be. It's probably one of the tankiest choices on this list, it simply has to be extremely durable to work at maximum efficiency. It is good for clearing maps due to the Pulses you release on Stun, and it's good for bossing as well - it is when you can continuously build up the stacks and accelerate your DPS more with each Hit.

We have complete Guides for both those classes available here:


The Lighthouse Map has been added back to the Atlas. It's where you can easily find the Redblade Banner, one of the most impactful Shields for a Berserker. It grants Infinite power to all warcries and increases Warcry Cooldown Recovery Rate by 50%. There are many Berserker builds we could recommend - some are more adapted for a starter build, and some of them can reap immeasurable benefits from Rage and Exerted Attack mechanics. Frost Blades or an Attack linked to the General's Cry are our two recommendations. Frost Blades is a quite basic Attack that has a large Strike Range and releases Projectiles on Hit so that you can slay enemies far away - it's a great merit in a melee build. General's Cry Earthshatter is a build that relies on constantly using General's Cry with a greatly reduced cooldown to create Physical-Damage-dealing Mirage Warriors. These builds should be cheap, but again, it's mostly rare items that you're going to spend the most on.

You can check one of the builds based on this mechanic here: Earthshatter General's Cry Berserker


Ice Shot is about to be one of the most deadly starters in this expansion. There are plenty of new Mark-oriented clusters on a Skill Tree, Multishot Notable for an extra Projectile, and of course, the new Vaal Ice Shot which summons a firing squad or mirage archers - it looks like a substantial upgrade. Ice Shot has never been a particularly good boss-killing Attack, its purpose was to quickly shatter entire packs of enemies and is predominantly played on a Deadeye to further enhance the clear speed with the permanent Tailwind and Gale Force. Now it will be more capable of actually dealing with big single targets with ease. Be aware that this one is the brittlest build on the list, the most meaningful layer of defense is the distance you're supposed to keep from your enemies, which is of course easier if they're frozen, but in some instances the damage is unavoidable. We sincerely recommend this one for players wanting to transition into a quick Tornado Shot build down the line to create the end-game shredder with immense potential.

You can find the full Guide here: Ice Shot Deadeye Build However, it is an end-game variation, and may not entirely work for the leveling process. You can also find a leveling POB here: Ice Shot Deadeye Leveling POB


Corrupting Fever is probably the best DoT Spell for an early-game Physical Damage dealer. This Spell is just a buff and so it has to be used alongside an additional Physical Spell or Attack to apply the DoT effect. That's where Kinetic Blast and Reap fit like a glove. Reap is a Spell that deals inherently Physical Hit and DoT Damage. Moreover, modifiers to Spell Damage apply to damage over time making it slightly easier to start with. Patch 3.21 introduced a new Vaal Reap which creates a pool of Boiling Blood that causes tons of additional Physical Damage over Time on top of Bleeding and Corrupting Fever. It requires Haemophilia Unique Gloves for more damage, but it's a cheap item. It's not a build that can quickly reach good single-target damage, but it's excellent at clearing and is also relatively tanky due to the two Fortify-related Ascendancy Keystones if you play as a Champion, but you can also run it on Gladiator for more damage and explosions. With the additional damage from Vaal Reap, it can hopefully ascend into an S-tier starter.

Check the full Guide right here: Corrupting Fever Gladiator Build


Fire Damage over Time, and particularly Ignite, is especially powerful on an Elementalist. With Shaper of Flames, you're guaranteed to Ignite with each Hit, dealing even more Burning Damage if it's mostly Fire Damage that causes it, and in most cases it is. Fire Trap is a top-tier Spell of this type as it offers two sources of powerful Fire DoTs - the Burning Ground and Ignite from Hits. You can alternatively use abilities like Righteous Fire or Flamewall, both as an addition to Fire Trap or as standalone builds.  For mobility, you can use Divergent Flame Dash or Frostblink, which by adding one Support Gem will deal predominantly Fire Damage too - enough to kill these smaller foes, doing so extra fast with Ignite Proliferation. It's one of the best Elementalist starters that requires little to no investment, and no unique items whatsoever. The Damage against Bosses is extremely high for its price, but its weak point is its survivability - it's not very tanky.

You can view some of the Guides for this archetype here:


Shield Crush Trickster is a build that requires Emperor's Vigilance Shield and Seething Fury Jewel, the price of which will undoubtedly be high at the start, but it will quickly fall after a day or two. It's otherwise a cheap build that uses this exact Shield to deal Cold Damage with an Attack that cares little about your weapon's local stats. Usually, Tricksters have great defenses and recovery tools but lack Armour to mitigate Physical Damage. With this build, it's not a big issue, as it's rather easy to reach meaningful Armour levels with a Shield that has close to 2000 of it. Combine it with Polymath for instant Life, Mana, and ES recovery on Kill, ES over-leech, capped Spell Suppression, Ghost Dance, high Block Chance, and maybe some of the new Recovery nodes. You can also implement multiple cheap uniques like The Pandemonius, Perseverance, or Obliteration. It's a Melee Build so it won't be especially good at fast map clearing, but it can face-tank most of the bosses in the game.

For the Full Guide please check the following article: Shield Crush Trickster Build


Absolution is already established as one of the best Leveling Minion Spells. If you slay an enemy by Hitting it with Absolution, or shortly after, it summons a Sentinel that you can have up to three of that last ten or so seconds. It's a standard Minion build that uses Offerings, Carrion Golem, Zombies, or even Spectres and Animated Guardian. What makes this build fresh and exciting is the new Vaal variant of Absolution that summons an additional colossal Sentinel that by looking at numbers, will significantly improve your DPS. We've selected Necromancer as it's a standard go-to Minion Class, but Guardian is suitable too. Minion Masteries, Gems, and key items have been left relatively untouched, so if you've enjoyed some other Minion build that you'd like to pick again this time around, there should be no additional obstacles.

You can view the Full Guide here: Absolution Necromancer Build


The Hierophant is usually associated with Totems or Brands, but thanks to the new changes to the Arcane Surge it looks very promising for a classical caster build just as well. Additional Cast Speed, permanent Power, and Endurance Charges, enormous Mana Reservation Efficiency, and Energy Shield bonuses are all very valuable on a fresh character without access to more advanced gear options. Firestorm Spell also got a major improvement: a new Vaal Gem. like many others in this update, it is focused mostly on increasing the single-target potential. Firestorm is definitely not the king of mapping, but it is proving to be a good mix of clear speed and single-target capability, allowing you to steadily progress your Atlas without any major obstacles. For Fire abilities that use Critical Strikes, the regular Ignite is not very useful - it is much better to reach out for alternative ailments instead. The close proximity to block-related and recovery notables allows this build to become quite tanky at a reasonably low cost. 

Link to the leveling POB: Spell Caster Hierophant Starter (Guide will be released soon)


It might be a bit surprising that we did not include a Saboteur here. The Saboteur Class now specializes in Trigger-type builds, and this change diluted its Ascendancy Skill Tree to be more versatile, so it's not an obvious go-to class for all Trap and Mine builds. His Trap Skills that heavily rely on Cooldown, such as Seismic Trap, are affected - it now requires you to take the "Like Clockwork" Keystone that increases the global Cooldown Recovery Rate. Some universal merits remained - Born in the Shadows for Blind specialty, Pyromaniac for recovery, and Explosive Experts for mixed Elemental Ailments are still there, unchanged. This new Saboteur is a nerf addressing the beyond-powerful starter builds using Traps and Mines. Look at other classes as equal when selecting such builds from now on. As for the new Trigger specialty - it looks promising when looking at the Triggerbolts and extra Cooldown Recovery Rate, but we have yet to create builds for it, so stay tuned.

All the builds briefly mentioned here are described in full detail on our website and in their video counterparts, you can find them using provided links. Our build guides will help you understand the purpose and inner workings of each element implemented, explain the leveling process step by step, and suggest minor changes if the build allows for any adjustments. If you enjoy this type of content, subscribe to our Youtube channel as we often cover the hot new popular builds as well as some niche and interesting ones you might find of interest. And don't hesitate to suggest the topics you'd like us to cover, leave feedback to let us know how's the work, or help us improve our presentation formula.


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