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Toxic Rain Pathfinder Starter build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Toxic Rain Pathfinder Starter build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

One of the best Ranged Starter builds in Path of Exile

Toxic Rain Pathfinder
Starter Build

Updated for Patch 3.21

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Guide notes
April 6, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.21
Build Overview



Boss DPS:



Toxic Rain is one of the best Skills to level up a brand new character with. It is a Chaos/AoE Bow attack that shoots several arrows in the air that fall dawn rapidly creating spore pods. Arrows deal damage when they hit enemies, Spores deal damage over time to nearby enemies, and after a short delay, they explode dealing Chaos Damage in a small area. With Pathfinder's Ascendancy, you're well equipped to deal a lot of Chaos Damage due to the increased Wither effect. Another quality of this class is its amazing Flask sustain and effectiveness, and as Flasks are extremely impactful, you can easily elevate your build with these cheap additions. With the 3.21 rework and Passive Skill Tree upgrades that affect the number of arrows fired it's considered the best early-league pick.

Toxic Rain Pathfinder remains a very good pick for a League Starter build. You can play this build with pretty much any set of rare items, and it's capable of killing Uber bosses after some investment as well. Its damage is tied to Attack Speed, Area of Effect, Chaos Damage over Time, and Skill Effect Duration - you want to set up numerous spore pods that will continuously deal damage to surrounding targets. An extremely valuable quirk of this skill is the fact that the damage of spore pods overlaps with each other for something of a "shotgun effect". The build is not very tanky, its main defensive layers are Evasion Rating, Spell Suppression, and Maximum Life.

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds at Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List


1. Gameplay

This is a typical Ranged build that relies on taking down your opponents from a distance as it shows limited defensive capabilities. It is based on high DoT damage dealt by Toxic Rain's pods, which stacks and deals massive damage to enemies affected by several of them. Primarily this build was oriented on stacking Poison with Toxic Rain, however, it appears that the Damage over Time effect is much more viable in terms of dealing with mid and high-Tier Map Bosses. This build provides decent defenses based on Life (over 5,000 with our low-budget items listed) and a high chance of Dodge Spells and Attacks.


In this video we have used Devouring Diadem with Determination enchantment, which allowed us to use Malevolence as a permanent Aura, and instead of using Vaal Haste, we were able to use its' regular version as a Blessing

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • solid Ranged DPS
  • no specific item requirements
  • good clear speed
  • smooth gameplay
  • can do any map mod
  • budget-friendly
  • very easy to level up
  • mediocre end-game Boss DPS


3. Leveling tips

To level up efficiently, use our leveling guide: Ranger Leveling Guide with Bows/DoT. It's actually made specifically with this build in mind as it's often picked as a league starter.


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

33 Points Skill Tree 
Start with some Damage over Time, Skill Effect Duration, Chaos Damage over Time, Maximum Life, and Multishot Notable

92 Points Skill Tree
Pick Master Fletcher, Herbalism, and Blood Drinker. If you want to use more Auras, allocate Charisma. Head for the Exceptional Performance, and then pick up the various Bow Clusters scattered around Vaal Pact for more damage.


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Nature's Reprisal
  2. Nature's Adrenaline
  3. Master Surgeon
  4. Nature's Boon


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: 60% reduced Effect of Shock on you


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Toxic Rain setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - Primary Attack Skill in this build. You focus on increasing the Damage over Time effect and ignore the on-hit damage it deals.
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - Increases Chaos Damage dealt by Supported Skills.
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - Much more Chaos Damage over Time, but slightly less Attack Speed.
Efficacy Efficacy Support - Increased Skill Effect Duration and More Damage over Time.
Empower Support Empower Support - Increases the level of your Toxic Rain and its' base DoT DPS. You can further increase Empower's level by socketing it in the Crafted Bow that we recommend getting if you want to push this build to its limits. It's expensive, so you can switch it with Cruelty Cruelty before being able to afford it.
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - Creates a Spectral Archer on your back which will use Toxic Rain with reduced Attack Speed even while you are moving.
[DPS] Toxic Rain Ballista setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - In this setup, it's fired via multiple Ballista Totems.
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support
Ballista Totem Ballista Totem Support - Toxic Rain becomes a Ballista Skill so that you can have it up by your side while attacking yourself.
Focused Ballista Focused Ballista Support - Ballistas can be set up much quicker and they fire as fast as your character.
Multiple Totems Multiple Totems Support - Allows you to place more Totems for more firepower.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Grace  Grace - More and increased Evasion Rating to dodge Attacks.
Determination Determination - More and increased Armour to mitigate Physical Damage.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Increased Reservation Efficiency for Linked Skills.
[UTILITY] Guard Spell setup
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - Will automatically activate all linked Spells after taking some damage.
Steelskin Steelskin - Grants very strong damage reduction bonuses for a short duration and stops bleeding.
[UTILITY] Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - increases your Attack Speed and generates Frenzy Charges for more Damage, but drains your life which is actually a big issue in this build, so you might not want to use it.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Malevolence Malevolence - increases your DoT multiplier and Skill Effect Duration making it the best Aura for this build.
Divine Blessing Divine Blessing Support - Malevolence is a temporary Aura you can activate in dire need of more damage. It will cost a lot but you can lower it by choosing the Divergent version of Divine Blessing.
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Lowers Mana Cost of Maleveolnce, use the Divergent version if it's still too expensive.
Dash Dash - Movement skill which can be used with Bows and will be faster than Blink Arrow because of your low Attack Speed in this build. You can also use Flame Dash instead to hold more charges.
[UTILITY] Vaal Haste
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - Use it for a temporary bonus to your Attack and Movement Speed, and activate during boss fights much like Malevolence.
[UTILITY] Despair
Despair Despair - A curse that simply lowers Chaos Resistance. It can be gained via Rare Ring Affix and afflict enemies with each Hit.

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended gear for this build. All the items are easy to obtain and should be relatively cheap. Also, this build is perfect for beginners and solo self-found mode. None of the items are mandatory and can be easily replaced by Rares. By far the most important piece of equipment is the Bow where you can score the most damage. On the rest of your gear just seek Life, Resistances, Attributes, and Spell Suppression.

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Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Gem Level of Toxic Rain
  4. Chaos Damage/Damage over Time
  5. Skill Effect Duration
  6. Attack Speed
  7. Area of Effect
  8. Spell Suppression Chance
  9. Chaos Resistance
  10. Evasion Rating
  11. Intelligence and Strength
Starkonja's Head(Helmet) Starkonja's Head - A decent and budget-friendly option for this build. It offers high defensive Utility and extra Attack Speed.
50% reduced Damage when on Low Life
+(50-70) to Dexterity
10% increased Attack Speed
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(100-130)% increased Evasion Rating
+(80-100) to maximum Life
150% increased Global Evasion Rating when on Low Life
Devoto's Devotion(Helmet) Devoto's Devotion - Another budget option. It increases Movement Speed, Attack Speed, Armour, Evasion, Dexterity, and Chaos Resistance.
+(50-65) to Dexterity
10% reduced Global Physical Damage
16% increased Attack Speed
(150-200)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(15-25)% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Mercury Footprints
Devouring Diadem(Helmet) Devouring Diadem - The best Helmet if you need more Reservation Efficiency. With it, you won't ever have to worry about the Mana Cost of Skills.
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems have 25% increased Reservation Efficiency
Trigger Level 15 Feast of Flesh every 5 seconds
(180-220)% increased Energy Shield
10% chance for Energy Shield Recharge to start when you use a Skill
Eldritch Battery
Veiled Suffix
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Preferably an Evasion-based with high defensive stats like Maximum Life and Spell Suppression.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantment:
Toxic Rain fires 1 additional Arrow
Toxic Arrow deals 40% increased Damage
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - This is one of the best Armours for this build as with increased AoE, you will be able to stack more DoTs on a single enemy.
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
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - The most basic chest with defensive stats in bug quantities would be great. The most valuable would be Maximum Life, Spell Suppression, and Resistances.
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
Spell Suppression Chance
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
Bow(Weapon) Crafted +3 Bow - The best in the slot. It will be quite expensive if you want it to increase your Empower level by 3, but this makes this build capable of completing high-Tier Maps.
Min. requirements:
+1 Level to Socketed Gems
+2 Level to Socketed Support Gems
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Attack Speed
Chaos Damage
Quiver(Weapon) Rare Quiver - Simply aim for high defensive stats at the start, but later expand it to obtain more valuable offensive mods for Chaos Damage over Time or Attack Speed.
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Area of Effect
Attack Speed
Chaos Resistance
Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow
+#% to Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
increased Damage with Bow Skills
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - With high Life, and Movement Speed bonus. You can also try getting Boots with Elusive or Tailwind if you plan to do high Tier Maps with this build.
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
35 Intelligence
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Spell Suppression Chance
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Aim for defensive stats and Strength. You can also use Stygian Vise for the extra Abyss Socket.
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
40 Strength
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Flasks applied to you have #% increased Effect
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Maximum Life and Chaos DoT Multiplier are great but try to have some Attributes and Resistances too.
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
20% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Strength and Intelligence
Optional affixes:
20% Damage over Time Multiplier
Elemental Resistances
Chaos Resistance
Extra Gem Level for the Toxic Rain
Recommended Anointments:
Hardened Scars
Potency of Will
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - With defensive stats, Attributes, and possibly craft Mana Cost Reduction for non-channeled Skills here.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Non-Channelling Skills have -8 to Total Mana Cost
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
increased Chaos Damage
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - One of the few Items on which you can get Chaos DoT multiplier, so it's preferred if you look for such a pair (or craft it).
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Attack Speed
Chaos Resistance
Spell Suppression Chance
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - These should provide extra Life and damage bonuses for Chaos Damage over Time.
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Chaos Damage/Damage over Time/Area Damage
Watcher's Eye(Jewels) Watcher's Eye - Not exactly a "Starter" build item, but if you plan to use this build for longer, that's where you can improve it greatly. Just pick a Jewel which grants bonus Chaos DoT Multiplier while you are affected by Malevolence
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura modifier:
+(18-22)% to Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Enduring Hallowed Life or Hybrid Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Jade Flask with increased Evasion Rating
  3. Granite Flask with increased Armour Rating
  4. Silver Flask with increased Attack Speed
  5. Quicksilver Flask with increased Movement Speed
Hybrid FlaskSilver FlaskJade FlaskGranite FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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If you have any other build requests, please leave that in the comments below.

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

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