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Path of Exile 3.13 Ritual Top Build Overview & Statistics

Breaking the normal 3-month content release schedule players have been enjoying for years, the Path of Exile Ritual League launched after a 4-month development cycle on January 15, 2021. This league included the Echoes of the Atlas expansion, focusing on end-game mapping, and the new Ritual system, which has greatly enhanced the ability to play the game in SSF.

Links to numerous complete guides for some of the strongest builds in the game can be found below.

Below is a snapshot of the buffs, nerfs and other adjustments this league.

3.13 saw numerous changes to ascendancies and skills where most nerfs were applied to Ascendancies and Buffs to skills. Necromancer was hit hard, but is still rock solid. The Shadow and Ranger Ascendancies (Trickster, Pathfinder, Raider, etc.) saw numerous enhancements and changes. Elementalist received a complete redux. Gladiator bleed was also nerfed a bit, but as seen below, is still a top tier build. Saboteur took substantial hits, and hardly anyone is playing it this league (compared to other builds). People are now choosing Mage Skeletons over Spectres, and Bladefall/Blade Blast (both Chieftain and Poison Assassin) are still top tier. The complete 3.13 patch notes can be found here.

The launch of Ritual was quite smooth, except for the new texture streaming system, which is causing a lot of problems for people. GGG made a public statement about this new system and how they’re focusing on refining it for the upcoming POE 2.0.

Ultimately, Ritual is a great and fun league, breaking all previous records for concurrent players.

While last league (Heist) was dominated by Spectres and Blade Blast, the top skills this league are Carrion Golem, Detonate Dead, Blade Blast and Earthquake, however, we have more of a diverse range of follow-up skills and ascendancies than last leagues “Spectre league”, and surprisingly enough, Carrion Golem is still the #1 choice in Ritual (non-SSF because of the Jewel requirements).

Let’s dive into the league!


Quick Links!
Leaderboard & Stats
Favorite Builds
Top Builds from Stats

The top builds for this league are:

  1. Normal | Carrion Golem Necromancer & Blade Vortex Assassin (Tie)
  2. HC | Detonate Dead Necromancer & Cyclone Slayer (Tie)
  3. SSF | Blade Blast Chieftain
  4. SSFHC | Earthquake Gladiator

Relative to this overview, I want to acknowledge how important play style is. Some people hate totems while others only play totem builds. Some like Melee while others love bow builds. The diversity of PoE is one of its greatest features, but also one of the most complex aspects of the game. While a build may be listed as “best” or “top”, some players may disagree because of the style(s) they prefer – but one thing is assured – the builds listed herein are all rock solid and viable for their represented roles. There are other more powerful builds, but they generally are much more complex, expensive, require respecing, and specific uniques — but the reality is most of these builds don’t provide enough of an advantage to the core requirements to outperform the below recommendations.

Before we begin, Path of Building is a very important tool to have when following a build guide since many of them share PoB links. Additionally, make sure you have a good loot filter. I personally recommend NeverSink’s Loot Filter.

Getting to maps and farming while surviving and having the ability to do all end-game content are key requirements for each of the recommended builds. This guide does not include ultra expensive builds for players who have accumulated a large amount of currency. This overview is perfect for new players, late league starters, or those who just want to try another build that will work for end-game and is fun.

The Leaderboard and Top Builds

Before I present the list, I want to say something very important: just because it’s on the top list doesn’t mean it’s a “best build”. Many (if not most) of the top players run builds that are designed solely to push 100 and nothing more (farming specific maps and pulling in a minimum XP/h amount); however many of these builds are capable of doing all content (Shaper & Uber Elder), and delving deep. People on the top list are hardcore (play style not HC mode), experienced, and pushing 100 (while also delving) is an art all of its own that generally has no application to the average player – but we can still learn from these players and builds. I also want to elaborate on how I interpreted the top build from the leaderboards. These characters can be found on builds. There are three core categories to consider: Softcore, Hardcore and SSF (and variations of each). Keep in mind those who are 95+ and do not play SSF often group with others (including aura bots), which includes sharing items and maps. This augmentation can misrepresent the viability of an end-game build and its capability to run without a party and reach 100 as quickly as it has. This means SSF is the best indicator of a build’s capability to progress without aura bots and party support. SSF players that push 95+ are a special breed of dedicated folks who usually put 8-12+ hours of game time in each day. These are not average players; but average players can learn from them.

Below are the statistics pulled from the builds top characters in each league subsection. Note many profiles are set to private, so this data is only based on public profiles that have their skills shared with the community. The below list is in order of popularity and use.

Path of Exile 3.13 Ritual Top Skill List

As we can see, there is a bit more variation this league than last relative to what is “top” depending on HC/SSF, etc. As mentioned above, the top builds this league are Detonate Dead, Carrion Golem, Bladefall/Blade Blast, and Earthquake. Detonate Dead deletes … everything (but requires the two cast play style which many people don’t like). Carrion Golems allow for AFK play of Blight maps (but require jewels, which is why it’s not in the SSF list), Bladefall/Blade Blast is just as strong as last league (Chieftain for fire and Assassin for Poison), and Earthquake is the king melee skill.

Path of Exile 3.13 Ritual Top Ascendancies List

While Necromancer is the dominant Ascendancy due to the sheer number of people playing it (many more play non-SSF) due to its Detonate Dead, Skeleton and Zombie support, Elementalist is the next most popular Ascendancy this league because of the total overhaul for 3.13, with most players using Divine Ire and Vortex. Gladiator is the third most popular across the board with a focus on Earthquake as the number one melee skill.

The top 10 used skills for Softcore (SSF and non-SSF) are:

  1. Blade Blast (Bladefall)
  2. Carrion Golem
  3. Cyclone
  4. Detonate Dead
  5. Blade Vortex
  6. Toxic Rain
  7. Vortex
  8. Earthquake
  9. Split Arrow / Puncture
  10. Caustic Arrow

The top 10 used skills for Hardcore (SSF and non-SSF) are:

  1. Detonate Dead
  2. Earthquake
  3. Blade Blast (Bladefall)
  4. Vortex
  5. Earthshatter
  6. Skeletons
  7. Toxic Rain
  8. Caustic Arrow
  9. Cremation
  10. Armageddon Brand

The top Delve builds for this league are:

  1. Normal | Icicle Mine Pathfinder | Depth: 6592 (Same as last league)
  2. HC | Stone Golem Elementalist | Depth: 385
  3. SSF | Vortex Occultist | Depth: 521
  4. SSFHC | Mage Skeleton / Zombie Necromancer | Depth: 488

My Favorite Builds from 3.13 Ritual

Before I dive into the Top build list from the statics, I wanted to share my favorite builds from Harvest so far.

  1. I started this league with a Caustic Arrow / Toxic Rain Trickster Miner build as my initial SSF farmer, and it was one of the best starters I’ve ever used. It’s prefect for speed running low to mid-tier maps with no gear investment (non-HC because it’s a bit squishy), and just fun because you bind detonate to LMB, so all you need to do is right-click (CA) and space bar (TR) and run around while everything dies (including bosses). I think this will be my go-to league starter from now on as it destroys everything on a mere 4L and easily punches through yellow maps with no investment at all.
    Build Links: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (CA/TR Trickster Miner) | TR/CA Trickster Mine Build Video (Tripolar Bear)
  2. The Bladefall / Bladeblast Chieftain is simply amazing, and my favorite all-around all content SSF build. It’s tanky, fun, and explosions explosions explosions!
    Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Bladefall / Blade Blast Chieftain)
  3. Explosive Arrow Hierophant is another all-content build that’s HC/SSF viable. The only caveat is you need a 6L to really make it work. This means farming a Tabula to start out with; and even though getting the 6L Imperial Bow is pretty easy, rolling the sockets is ultra difficult and requires harvest. Nonetheless, it’s a fun build that uses elemental proliferation of fire to obliterate… everything.
    Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Exploding Arrow Hierophant)
  4. Skeleton Zombie Necromancer rocks, especially once you can get Skeleton Mages. If you find a Dead Reckoning jewel, play this build. It’s all content viable, and if you get a Femurs of the Saints staff, you are good to go for everything including delving down to 500!
    Build Links: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Skeleton / Zombie Build without Dead Reckoning) | PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Skeleton Mages with Dead Reckoning)
  5. Even with the nerfs to bleed, Earthquake Gladiator is the best all around melee build this league. It’s fun, robust, and can do all content. It’s also a ton of fun to play.
    Build Link: PoB With Leveling Tree and Notes (Max Block Bleed Earthquake Gladiator)
  6. I was surprised at how fun and powerful the Cyclone Staff Slayer is. The build uses Shockwave, which is something the traditional Champion/Facebreaker builds can’t use – and it makes quite the difference in clear (Slayer is already the fastest cyclone clear in the game; Shockwave makes it even faster). With more than 8K life and amazing leech, this build is all content & HC/SSF viable.
    Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Cyclone Staff Slayer)
  7. I wanted to try a SRS Necromancer this league, and was not disappointed. While nobody has taken it beyond 95 this league (as of yet), it does delete bosses, and this tankier version performs very well for those who want to launch face eating balls of chomping death against their victims. Once you get unleash, the build really comes to life.
    Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (SRS Necromancer)
  8. Even though it was statistically in the minority, the Vortex Trickster build was the best for hitting 100 in SSFHC, however the most popular is the common Vortex Occultist. I really enjoyed the trickster because it uses Spellslinger with Frostbolt and Creeping Frost prior to converting to ES. As such, it clears maps great and is just a lot of freezing fun. I apologize for not having a good build guide to the Occultist version; best recommendation is check out builds on
    Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes including Life>ES Transition (Vortex Trickster)

Top 3.13 Ritual Builds List

As mentioned, the below list is based upon the Statistics pulled from; not just normal mode, but hardcore as well (which indicates fantastic survival). I will include links to what I consider to be the best build guides, many of which I have used myself.

  1. Detonate Dead Necromancer is really the top build for Ritual because it deletes bosses and has great survival. It’s definitely getting nerfed next league.
    Build Link: Zizaran’s Steelmage DD Necromancer Build Video Guide
  2. Carrion Golem & Stone Golem Elementalist is also one of the most popular builds this league, even with the nerfs. While it’s not recommended for SSF because the jewels are so hard to get in a non-trade league, those who don’t play HC opt for Carrion Golems while those who play HC opt for the Stone Golem version.
    Build Links: Von Vikton’s 3.13 Carrion Golem Elementalist Build Video | Grimro’s Ultimate Guide to Carrion Golems Video Build Guide
  3. Divine Ire Elementalist came out of nowhere, and it’s the most popular Elementalist build for SSF (non-HC). I haven’t had a chance to put together a PoB as of yet, but hope to have one built in the next week or two. In the meantime, here’s the lead Divine Ire Elementalist SSF character.
  4. Vortex Elementalist / Occultist is also a top performer.
    Build Link: Coldslinger Vortex Elementalist Video Build Guide (includes link to Occultist version)
  5. Bladefall / Blade Blast Chieftain / Assassin is fantastic. I prefer the Chieftain version for survival and HC, but either performs fantastically.
    Build Links: PoB and Leveling Trees with Notes (Chieftain BF/BB) | BF/BB Poison Assassin PoB | Ghazzy’s BF/BB Poison Assassin Video Build Guide | Esoro’s BB Assassin Video Guide
  6. Earthquake Gladiator is the #1 melee skill for Ritual. It’s fantastic for SSF and HC. Everyone should play this build at least once.
    Build Link: PoB With Leveling Tree and Notes (Max Block Bleed Earthquake Gladiator)
  7. Skeleton / Zombie Necromancer has replaced Spectres due to the Skeleton Mage buff from the Dead Reckoning Jewel. It rocks… and makes your screen light up with multi-colored confetti projectiles.
    Build Link: PoB with Leveling Tree and Notes (Skeleton Mages with Dead Reckoning)
  8. Caustic Arrow / Toxic Rain Trickster are one of the best generic starters in the game. Damage scales well with self-found gear, projectile bubbles around enemies have no effect on the AoE damage (which can be annoying with Bleed Split Arrow), and these builds can do all content in HC and SSF. What’s interesting is the stats show that CA, or CA+Toxic Rain or CA+Essence Drain each seem to perform about the same; this means the player can adopt the play style they prefer. Trickster is more single-target focused while Raider is better for speed farming and Pathfinder is a bit tankier. All perform roughly the same in Delve.
    Build Links: CA/ED Trickster PoB for HCSSF (Trees & Notes) | CA/TR Pathfinder PoB (Trees & Notes) | CA/TR Raider PoB (Tree & Notes) | Esoro’s Toxic Rain Trickster Video Build Guide | Big Ducks Toxic Rain Trickster League Start Video Guide | TriPolarBear’s TR/CA Trickster Mine PoB (Tree & Notes)
  9. Cremation Necromancer is very popular this league due to the Ritual mechanic’s close quarters combat and the effective high damage melting ability of Cremation.
    Build Link: Cremation Necromancer PoB Complete with Leveling Trees and Notes
  10. Split Arrow Gladiator is a favorite league starter by many because of how easy it is to level and get into maps. It’s also fun to see all of the mobs run and bleed out, dying at your feet or before they reach you. The nice thing about this build is it can easily convert to a Max Block Bleed Earthquake or Lacerate build at late game.
    Build Links: Split Arrow Bleed Gladiator PoB with Build Trees and Notes | Esoro’s Bleed Bow Gladiator Video Guide
  11. Cyclone Champion / Slayer is also solid this league. Players use Champion for HC and Slayer for non-HC. The interesting part is players are using both 2H Swords and 2H Staves (for block), which provides some diversity and survival, especially for the Slayer. Like last league, the preferred build for Champion is with Facebreakers and a shield.
    Build Links: Path of Exile Builds Axe Impale Cyclone Build Video | Path of Exile Builds Facebreaker Champion Cyclone Build Video

There are definitely other great builds that could have made it on the list, but the above list represents the most popular (and “meta”) builds players are embracing this league.

I hope this list helps the PoE community; here’s to the continued success of Path of Exile and the fantastic job Grinding Gear Games has done with the game!

  1. That was an interesting read, many thanks for all the effort you put into this! Quite an interesting spread of builds too, I can definitely see why BF/BB is among the top ones I don’t think I’ve ever had a build stomp on the act bosses quite so fast before on a 4-link. If the Ritual mechanic remains for following leagues it’s going to make a lot more builds possible for SSF I think.

  2. Yah they did a good job supporting build diversity in 3.13. I agree RE: Ritual and SSF. It’s fantastic. I only play SSF now, so I really enjoy the mechanic.

  3. That they have, it’s making it hard for me to choose one build over another to take all the way through the atlas this time! I have about… 4 characters on the go now. XD

  4. Thank you a lot!! Cant wait to try some of those. These league I planning on reaching at least 90, and killing Sirius with all 6 classes, and yours build ideias and evaluations helps a lot!

  5. “Poison Spellslinger Poet’s Pen Blade Fall/Blast” is so awesome too i recommend to check it out. i hit a wall in PoE this league and this build broke it. its so fun and fast and strong and cheap. the type of op 1 button build you love to build to clear everything like you are a Omega Level Mutant

  6. After blowing up a good half the Atlas with the BB Chieftain I’ve started looking for a second build to put all my SSF goodies to use with. Then I noticed your Cyclone Slayer build and wondered if it required the unique staff it mentions or if it’s just a helpful bonus to have it?

  7. Hey Majin! Which build are you referring to? Remember, PoB doesn’t always accurately represent the true end-game DPS. For example, if you’re running totems, the DPS will only be for one totem – you then multiple it by the number of totems deployed and the enhancements for the deployments.

  8. Thanks, appreciate the help as ever! I was looking at your explosive arrow Hierophant build too and I think I noticed an error in it. There is a hypothermia in the six-link instead of I am assuming ignite proliferation?

  9. If I recall we use Hypothermia in Delve and for high tier maps to freeze and shatter mobs; my apologies, I can’t remember the exact reason offhand – been playing Valheim! 🙂

  10. Thanks for putting this out there man, hope you’ll do another for 3.14!!! I’m looking forward to it!

  11. Hi mate

    As always, great summary! I wanna go for SRS as a league starter but I can’t decide whether to choose minion instability (going the explodey route) or not. Any tipps that may help? 🙂


  12. That’s a tough one! I love SRS; it just doesn’t perform nearly as well as other skills for SSF and survival as so many others. But IMO it’s more fun than most others.

    If I recall, getting the most from MI requires a unique, which may be tough in SSF. We have a week or so before the new league – I recommend trying the two builds out over the next week (as SSF) and seeing which feels the most fun. Good luck!

  13. ….went from SRS to CA to TR and now back to CA due to patch notes. I’m gonna try your CA trickster since I wanted something new, wish me luck! 🙂 and happy league start for you!

    (And yes you’re right, you need a legion-only amu for SRS 🙂 )

  14. Hey, what do you think about Blade Blast nerf? Is it dead or still valid choice for Ultimatum league? I was playing it in Ritual and I think it’s the best build I ever played in terms of tankiness/dmg output ratio. Also imba fun because of the explosions. Will you prepare league starters for 3.14 too? Would be great. Thank you for your work. I’ve never been disappointed when taking build proposed by you 🙂

  15. Hi, I just wanted to drop by and mention that I really appreciate all the work you’ve put to write builds overviews. Your site is amazing source of information about builds before each league start. Thank you.

  16. Thanks a ton for the support! I think it’ll still be very solid; just less DPS. I agree – the Chieftain version was amazing. It’ll be interesting to see what builds climb to the top of the ladder the first week!

  17. Still wondering what should I pick as a starter… What do you think about BF/BB as raider? According to this build it might be even better than chieftain. Seems to have higher dps but never played raider and have no idea about it’s tankiness in practice, where chieftain has great def for sure. Thanks!

  18. Morning! Sorry I didn’t get around to putting together a 3.14 compendium; been too busy. I didn’t run a Raider version – Chieftain was my favorite (and AFAIK it’ll still perform very well). But if it looks like the new Raider version will be better, go for it! 🙂 One reason I prefer Chieftain is because of how tanky it is… it’s not hard to get high DPS in PoE, but it’s tough to get good DPS and survive everything without dying…

  19. Hi David, these guides were best reference for me through many leauges. Do you think you will have a time for 3.14 sum up or starter builds for future leagues? Thank you 🙂

  20. Hey David; my apologies, but I’ll be skipping this league. I found the Ultimatum mechanic to be incredibly boring and too limited in fun factor to endorse playing the league to players. I know other are enjoying the mechanic, but it just didn’t do anything for me. They should have renamed this league “Path of Exile: Run in Circles”. 🙂

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