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Explosive Arrow Miner Saboteur Starter Build

Explosive Arrow Miner Saboteur Starter Build

Extremely fun to play Starter build which is based on massive AoE explosions caused by the reworked Explosive Arrow Skill

Explosive Arrow
Starter Build

Updated for Patch 3.10

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Estimated budget: medium
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Guide notes
March 20, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.10
March 31, 2020
-Updated gameplay video


The Saboteur is the most popular character class in Patch 3.9 and the Metamorph League. With the difficulty level raised globally, you will enjoy playing a Miner character, since they guarantee solid defenses and massive burst DPS by default. We also feel like Explosive Arrow is the most interesting Skill that was addressed in Patch 3.9. Explosive Arrow makes your projectiles apply a fuse to the enemy on Hit, and after a duration, all fuses will explode dealing massive AoE Damage, whereas each fuse's damage is added to each explosion. This makes Explosive Arrow deal massive damage, and by using Mines, we can stick additional fuses and a much faster pace than regular Rangers using the Bow Attack directly.

This is a great starter build, since our damage scales from the Skill Gem itself thanks to its high base Fire Damage, and Saboteur grants amazing self-sustain on its own. It's also all content viable, and the best end-game Weapon is quite easy to craft on your own. 

You may also want to check our other Path of Exile builds here: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List


1. Gameplay

This is a regular Miner build. You are going to rush through Maps spamming Mines and detonating them dealing massive Area Damage. This build allows you to disregard regular enemies simply by running across them as they die in fiery explosions caused by your Explosive Arrow Mines. This build is based purely on Fire Damage and high Crit. As a Miner, you can easily plant all Mines before Boss encounters, to deal massive damage just a few seconds into the fight. This build offers amazing burst DPS being extremely viable against end-game Bosses. For the defenses, we utilize high Life, Life Regeneration, and Blinding enemies by Smoke Mine and Born in the Shadows Passive. Overall, Miner playstyle and this combined is more than enough to stay alive in most of the encounters. 

0:08 Tier 15 Caldera
0:43 Tier 15 Lair
1:07 Tier 16 Carcass
1:30 Tier 16 Shipyard with Veritania Stronghold
2:40 Tier 16 Shrine

This video was recorded on a level 92 Saboteur on Standard League in Patch 3.10

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • budget-friendly with no expensive gear requirements
  • smooth leveling
  • great damage both single-target and AoE
  • amazing burst damage
  • fun to play
  • immune to Reflect Map Mods
  • can easily run into Mana problems when on a budget
  • has limited end-game capabilities


3. Leveling tips

Leveling with a Miner Saboteur is very easy. Mines deal insane damage regardless of what Items you have or what skills you want them to cast. All you should worry about is providing your character with enough Life and Mana Regeneration. This build is no different - if you manage to get Silverbough you are set until Tier 10 Maps. There is also no backtracking and refunding any Passives, as you can just follow up the Skill Trees directly as they are. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Stormblast Mine
Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine - you can use any other Mine Spell you want, though Stormblast happens to be available from level 1 and offers decent AoE
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - grants flat Lightning Damage to your Skills
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - grants flat Cold Damage to your Skills
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support
Explosive Arrow Mines
Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow - the primary Skill used in this build. You can start using it at level 28 
Remote Mine Support Blastchain Mine Support - allows you to plant Mines that will use Supported Skills once detonated
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support
Inspiration Support

Inspiration Support - increases the Elemental Damage of your Mines and reduces their Mana Cost

Utility Gems
Clarity Clarity - increases your Mana Regenerated per second
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - recommended Curse for this build
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - increases your Critical Strike Chance
Herald of Ash

Herald of Ash - increases your Fire Damage and causes enemies to burn for a percentage of your overkill damage

Smoke Mine Smoke Mine - great Movement Spell which creates Smoke Cloud on use and increases your Movement Speed


We recommend helping Alira for the increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier, Mana Regen. and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

33 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Blood Siphon 2) Saboteur 3) Volatile Mines 4) Successive Detonations

62 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) High Explosives 2) Blast Wave 3) Herbalism 4) Acrobatics

Recommended leveling items:

SilverbranchSilverbranch - a great leveling Bow which increases the level of all Socketed Gems. You can also use its Fated version which will work until Mid Tier Maps
+1 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+10 Mana gained on Kill
+30 to Accuracy Rating
PraxisPraxis - one of the best leveling Rings which will solve your Mana problems entirely
+(20-25) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
(3-6) Mana Regenerated per second
-(8-4) to Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - this pair of Boots provide a great Mana recovery mechanic and a solid increase to Movement Speed
+15 to Dexterity
+15 to Intelligence
(100-150)% increased Evasion Rating
15% increased Movement Speed
(5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
10% increased Movement Speed for you and nearby Allies
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - one of the most popular leveling items in Path of Exile. If you have solved the Mana problems, Tabula Rasa will be the best pick for your Explosive Arrow Mines setup
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)


4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree
115 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Bomb Specialist
  2. Pyromaniac
  3. Explosives Expert
  4. Born in the Shadows


Major God: Soul of the Brine King You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Garukhan +5% chance to Evade Attacks if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently 


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Explosive Arrow Mines
Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow - the core skill in this build. It is triggered by detonating Mines and thanks to the use of Mines, we can stack a lot of fuses in a very short time
Remote Mine Support Blastchain Mine Support - allows you to plant Remote Mines that will cast Explosive Arrow once detonated
Trap and Mine Damage Support Mine and Trap Damage support
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - increases the Damage you deal with Explosive Arrow
Empower Support Empower Support - allows us to increase the Gem level of Explosive Arrow by an average of 5 levels if it's socketed in the recommended Bow
Combustion Support Combustion Support - increases Fire Damage of Supported Skills, and makes enemies Ignited by it have reduced Fire Resistance
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Smoke Mine
Cast when Damate Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts supported skills after you take enough damage. Keep this Gem at level 5
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief immunity to Physical Damage. Keep this Gem at level 7
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increased the duration of Immortal Call and Smoke Mine's effects
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - the recommended Curse for this build. It generates Power Charges, grants extra Crit. and Life and Mana Recovery on Kill. Keep this Gem at level 8
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - an alternative Movement Skill that can be used in this build. It will also grant Arcane Surge which increases your Mana Regeneration Rate 
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - grants increased Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration after you spend enough amount of Mana on Supported Spell. Keep it at level 8 to gain the buff after each Dash
Increased Duration Suppor Increased Duration Support
[UTILITY] Aura and Skitterbots
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - increases your Fire Damage and causes enemies to burn based on your overkill damage
Precision Precision - grants increased Critical Strike Chance and Accuracy Rating
Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Skitterbots are used to Shock and Chill enemies, as well as help you detonate your Mines. They also directly increase your Mine DPS
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the amount of Mana Reserved by Supported Spells
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - for the Golem setup, use CwDT at maximum level
Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - increases your chance to Critically Strike
[UTILITY] Smoke Mine
Smoke Mine Smoke Mine - used as a Movement Skill. On top of teleporting you to its location, it will give you increased Movement Speed for a short duration
[UTILITY] Clarity
Clarity Clarity - you can surely squeeze a level 1 Clarity in your build for some extra Mana Regen.

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5. Gear Setup

Now to one of the most interesting parts of Path of Exile builds. Below you will find all the required and recommended Items for our Explosive Arrow Miner Saboteur. Since we have decided to make it a Starter build, mostly Rare Items will be used, and we will give you some tips on how to craft your own end-game Bow.

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Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Fire Damage
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Mana/Mana Regeneration Rate
Rare helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - with the highest defensive stats possible
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
40 maximum Mana
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Socketed Gems are Supported by level # Trap and Mine Damage/Increased Mine Damage
Hrimnor's Resolve(Helmet) Hrimnor's Resolve - grants solid bonus Damage and makes you immune to Freeze and Chill making it a great choice for the Helmet slot
(30-40)% increased Fire Damage
(100-120)% increased Armour
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+30% to Cold Resistance
Cannot be Chilled or Frozen if you have used a Fire Skill Recently
Helmet enchantment:
40% increased Explosive Arrow Damage
Tabula Rasa(Body Armour) Tabula Rasa - should be more than enough for this build. Getting a corrupted piece which will increase the level of socketed Gems shouldn't be a problem either even with a low budget
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Corrupted implicit modifiers:
+2 to Level of Socketed Trap or Mine Gems
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - the recommended end-game Body Armour for this build. It grants very high bonus Area Damage and increases the radius of your Explosive Arrow, greatly increasing clear speed
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
(40-50)% increased Area of Effect
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore

Rare Bow(Weapons) Rare Crafted Bow - crafting your own +3 Bow is quite easy in this build since most of the possible affixes are useful. In the most budget scenario, all you need is to get +1 to Socketed Gem levels with Alteration Orbs, and regal it and not get a prefix. Then you multi mod the Bow, Craft +2 to Support Gems and Mine Damage and you are done. You can also optionally get Crit. Multiplier or Added Fire Damage

Min. requirements:
+1 to Socketed Gem Levels
+2 to Socketed Support Gem Levels
Increased Mine Damage
Optional affixes:
Added Fire Damage
Critical Strike Multiplier
Silverbough(Weapon) Silverbough - a great alternative that increases your Explosive Arrow Damage by 3 extra levels if you are using Empower. It will work great until Red Maps and should be cheaper than getting six-links on the Rare Bow
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
+1 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (15-25) to (50-60) Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+10 Mana gained on Kill
+30 to Accuracy Rating
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - again, aim for high Movement Speed and defensive stats
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30 Dexterity
70% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Boot enchantment:
Adds 45 to 68 Fire Damage if you've Killed Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Stygian Vise  - with decent Life and Elemental Resistances
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
30% Elemental Damage with Attacks
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet 
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
40 Dexterity
20 Strength
30% increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Chance
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Recommended Anointments:
Primeval Force
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Rings
Min. requirements:
65 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Chance
Elemental/Fire Damage
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - will be the optimal choice if you are missing some Elemental Resistances and maximum Life
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
300 Accuracy Rating
Added Fire Damage to Attacks
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewel - you should get Abyss Jewels with extra Damage and Chance to Onslaught to increase your mobility
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Fire Damage to Attacks/Bow Attacks
chance to gain Onslaught on Kill
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - increased Life and DPS. You can also get some extra Attributes in case you lack them
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Fire Damage/Damage with Bows
increased Critical Strike Multiplier with Elemental Skills
Optional affixes:
Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - increases the number of Explosive Arrow's projectiles and the radius of the explosion
+50% to Fire Resistance
20% less Fire Damage taken
(-10-10)% increased Charges used
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
(15-25)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - assuming your Fire Resistance is the highest, Wise Oak grants a significant damage boost
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 10% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Adrenaline (Inc. Movement Speed) or "of Heat" if you aren't using Hrimnor's Resolve
  3. Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Warding (Curse Immunity)
Dying SunThe Wise OakDivine Life FlaskDiamond FlaskSulphur Flask

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We hope that you have enjoyed this kind of guide, and we are looking forward to your feedback. We would love to hear your suggestions about which build should we work on next. Let us know in the comments below. 

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.

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