Best Beginner Builds For Path of Exile Ultimatum
The Path of Exile 3.14 Ultimatum league will start soon and it brings a lot of new content-- the Ultimatum Trials, a Trialmaster domain boss, new items & reward reworks and much more! Since you're reading this article, you're most probably a new player or you have no clue which build to pick for Ultimatum...and that's fine. All of the Path of Exile 3.14 builds in this article link to the proper (and detailed) Ultimatum build guides on the PoE forum, which were written by experienced players that will provide you with all the information you could ever need-- such as a passive tree, gem progression, gear progression and much more!
Check out our best PoE Expedition builds — an updated version for the latest league.
Essence Drain/Contagion Trickster
A few years have passed and an ED Contagion build still remains as one of the best Ultimatum builds you can pick for a league start. Although Trickster suffered some minor movement speed nerfs during Ritual, the build is still incredible as it clears multiple screens of mobs at once while also doing decent single target damage for bossing. The Maven features multiple bosses on screen at once so placing your DoTs on them and just running around & dodging their spells is what makes this build so good, especially for new players. The ED Contagion Trickster costs nothing and it can pretty much reach maps in a SSF 4 link-- which makes it an excellent 3.14 starter build for any type of player.
Toxic Rain Pathfinder
Toxic Rain remains a very powerful starter build for the Ultimatum league because it only requires a 4 link to be viable in maps. The skill deals a lot of poison damage while slowing enemies and bosses. Also, it has incredible AoE so it's a great build for both Ultimatum trials and Maven events, along with any other content the game has to offer of course. Like any other bow builds, the build has a rough time during the early game as you can't really scale it very well and the damage will be low as you won't have any access to uniques during league launch but the build starts scaling incredibly well towards maps. To counteract it, most experienced players will run Caustic Arrow for leveling and then swap to Toxic Rain once it starts scaling. If you're looking for a fun bow build that's viable for Hardcore Ritual then this is a nice pick.
Cyclone is arguably the best beginner skill gem because you just hold the right mouse button and move around while killing anything in the way. It's fast, has good clear speed and incredible single target damage as well as being budget friendly which makes it an excellent Ultimatum starter build for any beginner wanting to use a physical damage skill. Slayers received a minor buff in this Echoes of the Atlas expansion which improved their survivability through leech even more. Zizaran made a very detailed video guide with node to node passive progression which you can check out here. Even though the video guide was made for 3.13, all of the gear progression and leveling strategies can be applied to Ultimatum as well.
Summon Spectres Necromancer
Every new league release has new monster types that are often overtuned and quite powerful to use as a Spectre. For those of you that don't know, the Summon Spectre skill gem lets you summon multiple dead monsters to fight by your side. It is often a very safe and tanky build as the summons don't require a lot of damage nodes to be incredibly strong which lets you focus on health, energy shield and other various ways to mitigate damage. Spectre builds are most often the safest Uber Elder farmers and they will be perfect for the Maven event. This build requires no investment and it can run maps on a 3 link if need-be (as long as you summon the proper spectres).
Ball Lightning/Crackling Lance Inquisitor
Crackling Lance was supposed to be a great starter skill for 3.12 but it turned out to be trash. Therefore, it has received quite a substantial buff in Ritual (3.13) along with a buff to Inquisitor. This setup is still very much viable for 3.14 it's quite fun to play. The passive tree as shown in Ziz's video guide is very flexible which means you can use pretty much any lightning skill (ball lightning, arc..) to clear most content in the game and only minor modifications will be needed to run the build for Ultimatum.
Earthshatter is probably the most fun melee skill I've ever used. Annihilating enemies with one click is always so satisfying and being very tanky due to the Juggernaut nodes will make this build great for any new player trying to play on a HC league. Earthshatter offers incredible AoE with substantial amounts of single target damage which is great for the Maven Event and with the Uber Lab enchant reward rework you can also use it to farm Uber Lab very efficiently and become crazy rich in the first month of a league start. Juggernaut builds were usually very slow but it has received buffs to attack speed (it scales with accuracy) and there's a new unique for accuracy stacking which means this build has a lot of min-maxing that can be done.
Cobra Lash/Venom Gyre Pathfinder
Cobra Lash received a substantial buff to damage with the last patch (+5% more damage per remaining chain) which means that this skill is going to be melting enemies even faster than before. I've ran my fair share of Cobra Lash builds and this skill is very fun to use, it offers a fast playstyle while having a lot of survivability due to dodge/evasion which makes it hardcore viable for most of the content. If you are playing on softcore then you sacrifice some survivability for more damage and you'll destroy any boss in the game within seconds. A thing to note is that if you intend to play this build in the endgame, be ready to sink a lot of money on good Claws as min-maxing the damage for red tier maps can be heavy on the budget.