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Path of Exile's new league has tower defense mechanics

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Patch 3.8 and the new Blight season are now live

Path of Exile's 3.8 content patch goes live today, and brings with it the Blight Challenge League, introducing a surprisingly refreshing league mechanic (for an ARPG, at least): tower defense.

Throughout the league, players will be fighting The Blight, the spread of which will need to be stopped in a tower defense-style minigame present in each zone. In the end-game, some maps will be entirely ridden with Blight!

Like most Path of Exile leagues of recent times, Blight brings with it Softcore (the regular game type where dying is not punished too heavily) and Hardcore (where each character only lives once and death means you need to start over from scratch) leagues, including a Solo Self-Found (where trading and party-play are disabled, so effectively a full single-player experience) version of each, and is expected to last roughly 3 months.

Aside from the fresh start that comes with each challenge league, Blight 3.8 brings with it a large number of changes and additions (the full list of which can be found in the 3.8 Patch Notes). Here are some notable aspects:

  •  Oils are a Blight-specific mechanic that lets you enchant rings and amulets with special properties. Ring enchants allow you to improve your towers, while amulet enchants will provide a Notable Passive Skill from the Passive tree.
  •  Summoners have been the focal point of the balance changes for this patch, with the Necromancer Ascendancy getting a fresh face.
  • The Assassin Ascendancy was refreshed and Poison Assassin is back thanks to new skill and support gems.
  • Saboteur (together with the Mine mechanics) have also been revamped significantly.
  • The Master mission system has been reworked to be less frustrating and grindy, now giving you the freedom to run your master missions in maps of your choosing, and without the daily reset constraints.
  • Many new skill and support gems as well as Unique items have been added to the game.
  • Legion (3.7) has gone core, so its mechanics are (mostly) part of the Blight league.

PoE Vault image

PoE Vault has updated nearly all of their builds for Blight 3.8, and here are a few that stand out to us as most interesting to try out in this new league. All of them are great league starters, so you can safely begin Blight with them.

  • The Ultimate Raise Spectres Necromancer Build is a true powerhouse: amazing DPS, astonishing survivability, and a great league start to boot, this summoner build was exceedingly strong before Blight, and it has only gotten stronger!
  • This Summon Raging Spirit Necromancer Build is cheap, tanky, has great clear speed and is generally an all-round strong league starter.
  • If this is your first foray into Necromancer builds in Path of Exile, then this simple Zombie Necromancer Build will be right up your alley. It is a great league starter that can complete all the content the game has to offer.
  • The last of our featured Necromancer builds is our The Baron Zombies & Skeletons Build. This Strength-stacking build is a great boss killer that has a simple playstyle and great sustain, allowing you complete all the game's content.
  • The Icicle Mine Saboteur Build lets you enjoy the reworked Saboteur Ascendancy. This Hardcore-viable, budget-friendly league starter is a great choice for players wishing to play around the Mine mechanics.
  • This Crit-Based Elemental Hit Deadeye Build is a timeless classic boss-killer with excellent clear speed and a very low currency investment to get rolling. It steers clear of the rewords and changes of the league, but if Bow builds are your thing, it will serve you well.
  • The Cyclone Cast on Critical Ice Nova Assassin Build plays on last league's extremely popular reworked Cyclone mechanics, but is still as viable as ever, providing incredible damage output, solid and well-rounded defenses, and extremely fast clear and movement speed.
  • The Raider Ascendancy received a number of changes and reworks this time around, and our Tornado Shot Raider Build is a great way to experience it all. This build is fast, having arguably the fastest clear speed in the game, and it's safe, fun to play, has tremendous DPS and boss-killing potential and can even be played as Magic Find if raking up currency is your desire.
  • Our Cobra Lash Poison Assassin Build makes full use of the Assassin rework and the new Cobra Lash skill to combine into a versatile ranged boss-killer.
  • The Holy Flame Totem Chieftain Build may not be the fastest build out there, but it is very durable and can complete all the content in the game on a budget.
  • Players looking for a different experience can try out our Uber Lab Earthquake Juggernaut Build. This build is tailored to be extremely potent in the Uber Lab, where it can help you farm copious amounts of currency (all while being very cheap to start itself). The drawback: it is not suited for any other kind of content.

Regardless of the build you choose to play, we wish you the best of luck in the new league, and we hope that the tower defense mechanics will be as enjoyable as they appear!

[Icy Veins is part of the Enthusiast Gaming Network! Hearth back to the inn and listen up for their World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Heroes of the Storm tips. Also now providing you with Path of Exile builds.]

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