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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 3.14

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Estimated budget: low
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Guide notes
September 19, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.12
Major changes:
-None; this still remains Top Tier Starter build
January 20, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.13
April 18, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.14


Toxic Rain is one of the skills introduced in Patch 3.4. It is a Chaos/AoE Bow attack that shots 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 Chas Damage in a small area. With Pathfinder's Ascendancy, your Poison deals greatly increased Damage and spread to nearby enemies, making it a deadly weapon even without any expensive items. Quill Rain which was one of the core items for this build has been nerfed in Patch 3.5, but Toxic Rain Pathfinder still remains a very good pick for a League Starter build. You can play this build with pretty much any set of random rares, and if players could kill Uber Elder with a level 5 weapon, you know that something is truly overpowered.

Toxic Rain received reasonable buffs recently it's among the best Starter builds to play in Echoes of the Atlas Expansion and Ritual League. 

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 clouds, which stacks and deals massive damage to enemies affected by several clouds. 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.

0:08 Ancient City Tier 14
0:20 City Square Tier 14
0:59 Coves Tier 14
1:16 Siege Tier 14
1:42 Burial Chambers Tier 15
2:04 Crimson Temple Tier 15

This video was recorded on a level 91 Pathfinder with a Crafted +3 Bow, Carcass Jack, and random Rare equipment. It ended up having 5,300 Life and approximately 90k DoT damage from Toxic Rain's clouds each

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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

Your primary objective should be getting Quill Rain after you reach level 5. Even a 4-linked one will do for most of the campaign. You should start your adventure with Caustic Arrow as it has no level requirement, and then add Toxic Rain at level 12. Caustic Arrow is best to be used initially to summon the Mirage Archer for some extra DoT, and then attacking enemies with Toxic Rain while it's up. Other than that, just focus on defensive gear and you should be more than fine throughout the entire process.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Caustic Arrow setup
Caustic Arrow Caustic Arrow - very efficient leveling skill when combined with Mirage Archer Support Gem.
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - Mirage Archer uses the supported skill with slightly reduced Attack Speed and Damage
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - increases Chaos Damage
Toxic Rain setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - Toxic Rain is the primary skill in this build. You can start using it after you reach level 12
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - listed here mainly because of low-level requirements. After you reach level 31 you should replace it with Added Chaos Damage Support
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - grants very high bonus Chaos DoT to supported Projectile-based skills
Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support - greatly increases your Poison Damage
Utility Gems
Herald of Agony Herald of Agony - increases your Chance to Poison and Poison damage
Summon Lightnin Golem Summon Lightnin Golem - grants increased Attack Speed, which helps you stack more Toxic Rain clouds 
Blink Arrow Dash - recommended Movement Skill used in this build


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree 
Priorities: 1) Finesse 2) Aspect of the Eagle 3) Method to the Madness 4) Master Fletcher

65 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Hunter's Gambit 2) Blood Siphon 3) Growth and Decay 4) Atrophy

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - one of the best leveling Rings for this build
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
5% increased Physical Damage
Adds 1 to 3 Chaos Damage to Attacks
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(2-4) Life Regenerated per second
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
Quill RainQuill Rain - the core weapon for both the leveling phase. It has very high Attack Speed which lets you stack more Toxic Rain's DoTs 
100% increased Physical Damage
+(10-20) to Dexterity
100% increased Attack Speed
+(25-50) to Accuracy Rating
+2 Mana gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(50-100)% increased Projectile Speed
40% less Damage

Karui WardKarui Ward - the best leveling Amulet for Bow/Ranged characters

+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Strength
+100 to Accuracy Rating
30% increased Projectile Speed
10% increased Movement Speed
30% increased Projectile Damage

Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - this pair of Boots grants high bonus Movement Speed and extra Mana Recovery, which is very important when you want to spam your Toxic Rain without interruptions

+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


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. Nature's Reprisal
  2. Nature's Adrenaline
  3. Nature's Boon
  4. Master Alchemist


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] Toxic Rain
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - primary Attack Skill in this build. You focus to increase 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
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - greatly increases DoT damage dealt by Supported Skills
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 to get if you want to push this build to its limits
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 
[UTILITY] Wither Spell Totem
Wither Wither - a duration Spell that applies a debuff on enemies increasing Chaos Damage they take
Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support - allows you to summon a Totem that will cast Wither
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to summon more Wither Totems to apply the debuff faster
[UTILITY] Golem/Immortal Call
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically resummon your Golem. Use a level 11 Gem to make the casts more frequent
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Attack and Cast Speed. Use a level 13 Summon Lightnin Golem Gem
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants a very strong damage reduction bonuses for a short duration. Use it also on level 13 so that it's triggered by CWDT Gem
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support
[UTILITY] Blood Rage
Blood Rage Blood Rage - increases your Attack Speed and generates Frenzy Charges for more Damage
Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone - makes nearby enemies blinded and reduces the damage you take from enemies further ahead when you use it in the Sand Stance
Malevolence Malevolence - increases your DoT multiplier making it the best Aura for this build
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces Mana Reservation Cost of Supported Auras 
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
Second Wind Second Wind Support - increases the number of Charges your Dash has and reduces its cooldown 

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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. 

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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. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Chaos Damage/Damage over Time
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Evasion Rating
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
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - preferably Evasion-based with high defensive stats
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
30% Cold 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
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 here and possibly increased Area of Effect if you can afford it
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Area of Effect
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
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - aim for defensive stats. You can also use Stygian Vise for the extra Abyss Socket
Min. requirements:
120 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - basically Life and Chaos DoT Multi
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
10% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Chaos Damage
Elemental Resistances
Recommended Anointments:
Hardened Scars - best defensive Utility but requires you to get Enduring Hybrid Flask
Potency of Will - longer Toxic Rain duration which means higher DPS
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - with defensive stats, Attributes, and possibly craft Mana Cost Reduction for non-channelled Skills here
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Non-Channelling Skills have -8 to Total Mana Cost
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
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 pair (or craft it)
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Chaos Damage/Damage over Time/Area Damage
Searching Eye Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - if you are using Stygian Vise, you could try getting an Abyss Jewel with a Chance to gain Onslaught on kill
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Chance to gain Onslaught on kill for 4 seconds
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage if you have killed recently
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
Witchfire Brew(Flask) Witchfire Brew - another important Flask for this build. It increases your Damage over Time
100% increased Evasion Rating
Creates a Smoke Cloud on Use
50% increased Charges used
(25-40)% increased Damage Over Time during Flask Effect
Grants Level 21 Despair Curse Aura during Flask Effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Enduring Hallowed Hybrid Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Jade Flask of Adrenaline (Inc. Movement Speed)
  3. Ample Quartz Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  4. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
Witchfire BrewHybrid FlaskJade FlaskQuartz 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.