The Witch is Path of Exile’s answer to the mage class that’s become a staple in role-playing games. That, however, doesn’t mean you’ll figure out this spellcaster right away just because you have experience being one in another game. For that, here are a few tips on how you can play the Witch right, and what items you should get from POE Trade.
Your First Real Wand
We’ll begin with a weapon in mind: The Thunder Lord’s Goat’s Horn. This is the weapon you’ll be using in your leveling journey. This wand is important because it gives additional 10% spell damage and adds one Basic gem level to level on it. In fact, it should be good enough to carry you into the mid-game, where you will eventually find better weapons.
To craft it, you will need a resist ring, a magic wand, and a piece of PoE Currency – an alteration orb. Those PoE items should not be too hard to get.
Relying on The Mind
Another rather basic piece of advice would be to stick to Intelligence gems. While Path of Exile allows much creativity, the game does not always reward it. Sometimes, players get punished by the game’s content when they come up with creative but bad builds. The same goes with the Witch. While there are certain Strength and Dexterity skills that can fit with the Witch quite well, nothing works as perfectly as Intelligence skills.
Speaking of spells, the Witch should have a diverse but synergistic set of spells. A lot of Path of Exile Witch builds are centered on a specific skill that they spam over and over again. They’re great PoE builds, but they’re not exactly beginner-friendly. Thus, it’s important for those that have only begun their journey in Wraeclast to have an assortment of spells. This way, they won’t have problems when they suddenly face enemies that are resistant to their main spell.
It’s All Good
Among the seven base classes, the Witch is one – if not the only – class whose all three Ascendancies are equally viable. The choice which Ascendancy to take up depends completely on player preference. For those that want to focus on dealing a lot of elemental damage, it should go without saying that the Elementalist is the best choice. For those that want to rely on dealing damage and debuffs through curses, the Occultist is the way to go. Last but definitely not least would be the Necromancer, which is the go-to for builds that count on minions.
Whichever you choose, it should be noted that the advantage of the Witch’s Ascendancy classes is the fact that they give the class unparalleled mastery over a wide body of skills. There are lots of elemental skills, as well as curses and summon skills. This makes the Witch such a great starter class.
Jack of All Trades
Mind you, the Witch doesn’t only provide many options for growth when it comes to Ascendancies, but also in choosing a role. While the most common and most basic build of the Witch is a spammer DPS Elementalist, it can also serve as a tank and support.
Contrary to the class’s archetypal weaknesses, the Witch is not a soft class in Path of Exile. This is because she naturally has high intelligence, which means a high energy shield. In fact, it’s tankier than Ranger, Duelist, or Shadow. In fact, when it comes to taking damage, it comes after Marauder and Templar classes, which are designed to really endure hits. She is not exactly designed to draw attention because none of her Ascendancies improve drawing of attention, but she can definitely be as tough as the big boys.
At the same time, the Witch is also one of the best support classes in the game. Only outshined by the Guardian and the Champion, the Occultist can debuff enemies so that the rest of the party deals more damage and receives less damage from them as well. Plus, while she doesn’t have any passives that enhance auras, she can have many auras all at once because of the sheer size of her mana pool.
Becoming the Summoner
Finally, we go to a rather popular Witch play style – the summoner. It’s not an official Ascendancy; rather, it’s what the player base calls Necromancers that are focused on calling forth their own personal armies. What’s great about the summoner is that minions can deal damage, take damage, draw enemy attention, and provide auras.
If you decide to be a summoner, it’s important to mix and match your summons. One kind of summon can be good in one kind of situation, and the rest excel in another. It’s up to you to figure out which to call forth.
In Path of Exile, it’s always Witching time, thanks to how good the class is. So, are you going to try the resident dark arts dabbler? You better.