The Path of Exile 3.12 Heist League will begin soon and you should start picking a build so that you can be prepared when the league goes live. The Heist brings a lot of new and interesting mechanics to the game, new items, new gems and much, much more. As you’re just starting out in the Heist Challenge League (be it HC, SC or SSF) it’s gonna be really tough, so you should pick between strong, budget and beginner friendly starter builds for the Path of Exile 3.12 Heist league, especially if you want to race the ladders. All of the Beginner Heist builds in this article link to the proper (and detailed) guide that will provide you with all the information you could ever need– just click the build name!
Other PoE Heist Guides
- Top 3.12 Heist Loot Filters
- Ultimate Beginner’s Leveling Guide, Tips and Tricks
- Three Best Magic Find Builds For Heist
- Delve Fossil locations list
The information in this article applies to Path of Exile Heist on PC, Xbox and PS4.
Earthshatter offers incredible AoE and good single target damage that synergizes well with the Marauder Juggernaut Ascendancy. Earthquake Juggernauts used to be the main build people would go for if they intend to farm Uber Lab for crazy amounts of money, but Earthshatter can do the same– and even better! This build is incredibly cheap and fun to play which makes it one of the favorites for the Heist league launch. With the huge amounts of Armor, Health and damage reduction from Endurance Charges you’ll be able to facetank most bosses in the game and run through lab without having to dodge traps which makes it the perfect beginner build or a HC Heist starter.
Toxic Rain Pathfinder is an excellent PoE Heist 3.12 Starter Build because it offers a quick but safe playstyle that uses DoT and debuffs to stay safe at range. Whenever I’m playing a HC league and want a safe, reliable build, I always pick Toxic Rain/Scourge Arrow (you can basically switch between those two because they scale in similar ways). The build takes some time to get going on SSF but once you start scaling the poisons and get a few gem levels it just takes off like crazy. When you play Toxic Rain expect to easily do all content as a beginner, clear packs fast on a budget and farm currency like never before.
Yes, Essence Drain Tricksters still remain the top league starters out there (viable for HC, SC and SSF). With no nerfs to ED in Heist league, this build is still perfect to run a four link and do all content the game has to offer. The ED contagion build costs absolutely nothing which makes in an excellent 3.12 beginner build. On top of that, it’s also relatively tanky and has incredible single target damage (provided your gems are at least one level higher than the zone). Also forgot to mention the playstyle is incredibly simple– cast 2 skills, watch ALL monsters in a 3 screen radius just get annihilated, pick up loot, repeat.
I’m a HC league player but every time I’ve gone on SC to play with my friends I’ve always ran a Frostblade build. Frostblade offers a very smooth and quick playstyle that will freeze enemies and shatter for huge icy clusters on the screen. Frostblade Raiders are very squishy and often-times require a lot of investment to be viable in HC so that’s why you should only attempt this build in Softcore Heist. Nonetheless, Frostblade Raiders can do all the content in the game and having high evasion & dodge allow them to be played efficiently even by new players.
If you wanna be “non meta” and still destroy all the content Heist has to offer, along with easy T16 maps, Uber bosses and Delves then Blade flurry is the skill for you. Assassins are one of the strongest Ascendancies in the game right now and Blade flurry is ridiculously strong when paired with one. Though, running a “non meta” skill comes at a cost which makes this build a bit expensive for engame (~25ex for all content). Blade flurry is an excellent boss killer that can be done on a budget with a downside of being squishy– which makes it perfect for SC Heist. If you want to attempt Blade flurry on HC make sure to get more life on the skill tree.
Impale Cyclone Slayer is a great build of choice for the Heist expansion because it’s a fun, strong and easy build to play that will feel great in the hands of any PoE Heist beginner. Very versatile 3.12 build that can do ALL CONTENT the game has to offer, whilst being very tanky. Excellent for delving as well due to its high life gained on hit, you can basically out-regen the darkness degen by cycloning into a pack of invulnerable monsters (provided you’re running life gain on hit). Cyclone is definitely one of the best beginner Heist builds out there because it annihilates endgame bosses on a budget of less than 10 exalts. Cyclone Slayers offer incredible sustain which makes it a Hardcore Heist viable build as well.
For those of you that have no idea what you’re doing in PoE, or just like the summoner playstyle– the Spectre Necromancer. This build revolves around summoning specific enemy monsters which will act as summons at your side. It is a very safe Heist build that is excellent for players that want to try out playing on hardcore for the first time. With such high effective HP (7000-10000) it’s the safest Uber Elder farmer build out there which most people prefer to run. On top of that, you’ll also have a lot of physical reduction, decent regeneration and solid mapping speed considering it’s a summoner build. The only real downside of this build it’s that it relies on summon AI– which a lot of players don’t like.
Lastly, a totem build that scales with your melee weapon’s damage. Ancestral Warchief totem builds have been great league starters for about six leagues now because they never get nerfed and their viability remains consistent every league launch. The Chieftain AW build can acquire about 6k life with 2000 life regeneration per second and 90% physical damage reduction (easy Uber Lab farmer). It can do all map mods (so you don’t have to spend currency on re-rolling maps– this is crucial for beginner starter builds) and the single target damage is incredible. The only real downside of this build is that you rely on totems to deal damage for you.