3.17 Siege of the Atlas Logo

Path of Exile 3.17 Archnemesis Top Build Overview & Statistics

The latest Path of Exile Archnemesis League launched on February 4, 2022. This league included the Siege of the atlas expansion, focusing on a complete redux of the Atlas system, which added a completely new skill tree mechanic to end-game mapping.

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

While no new active skills were introduced with 3.17, the number of refinements and Atlas changes made this one of the best received leagues in years. The complete 3.17 patch notes can be found here.

While last league (Scourge) was dominated by Toxic Rain, the top skills this league are:

  1. Explosive Arrow
  2. Skeletons
  3. Seismic/Exsanguinate Traps
  4. Poisonous Concoction
  5. Spectral Helix

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 | Skeletons, Lightning Strike & Explosive Arrow
  2. HC | Explosive Arrow, Skeletons & Exsanguinate/Seismic Trap
  3. SSF | Explosive Arrow, Spectral Helix, Poisonous Concoction
  4. SSFHC | Explosive Arrow, Seismic Trap/Exsanguinate, Detonate Dead

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, Maven, Eater of Worlds), 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 poe.ninja 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 poe.ninja 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.

Archnemesis 3.17 Top Skills

As with most new leagues, we see a different collection of top builds across the different difficulties. As mentioned above, the combined top 5 builds this league are Explosive Arrow, Skeletons (Mages), Seismic/Exsanguinate Traps, Poisonous Concoction, and Spectral Helix. Explosive Arrow is simply amazing; it hits hard, clears maps and bosses, and has great ignite proliferation. Skeletons delete bosses, and the mages are awesome at mapping. Seismic/Exsanguinate Traps are just as strong as they were last league, both mapping and bossing very well – but the play style isn’t for everyone. Poisonous Concoction is still very popular due to its ability to zoom through maps, and Spectral Helix is also very popular due to its combined clear and bossing abilities. Sadly, melee doesn’t perform well at all this league, and few people are playing melee builds compared to previous leagues.

Archnemesis 3.17 Top Ascendancies

While Necromancer is the dominant Ascendancy due to the combined use of Detonate Dead, Skeletons, and Absolution, we see one of the biggest variations in secondary Ascendancies in quite some time. Champion is the second most popular for Hardcore, but for SSF, Elementalist is tied with Necromancer, with Occultist coming in third. Surprisingly, Inquisitor is #3 in HCSSF. Needless to say, the top Ascendancies this league really depend on the difficulty people are playing, which is a very good thing.

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

  1. Skeletons (Mages primarily, but melee as well)
  2. Lightning Strike
  3. Explosive Arrow
  4. Poisonous Concoction
  5. Cyclone
  6. Seismic Trap
  7. Righteous fire
  8. Exsanguinate
  9. Tornado Shot
  10. Spectral Helix

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

  1. Explosive Arrow
  2. Skeletons
  3. Exsanguinate
  4. Righteous Fire
  5. Seismic Trap
  6. Spectral Helix
  7. Poisonous Concoction
  8. Detonate Dead
  9. Absolution
  10. Arc

The top Delve builds for this league are:

  1. Normal | Blight Occultist | Depth: 1259
  2. HC | Herald of Agony Cyclone Juggernaut | Depth: 409
  3. SSF | Poisonous Concoction Pathfinder | Depth: 752
  4. SSFHC | Boneshatter Slayer | Depth: 488

My Favorite Builds from 3.17

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

  1. Exploding Arrow Hierophant was my favorite build this league, and it was my starter. Ultra easy to level, and facerolls bosses with ease based on SSF gear (and is HC viable) into red maps. There’s a reason it’s the #1 build this league.
    Build Links: Zizaran’s EA Hierophant / Champion 3.17 Build Guide | My personal PoB for EA Hierophant, complete with leveling trees and notes
  2. Next, we have Skeleton Mage Necromancer. I got very lucky in SSF and a Dead Reckoning jewel dropped the second day into the league on my EA Hiero. Skeleton Mages decimate everything, plus it’s just fun!
    Build Link: Von Vikton’s Skeleton Mages 3.17 Build Guide (includes leveling without Jewel)
  3. I prefer to play HC builds, and for this reason, Righteous Fire Inquisitor comes in at #3 for me because of how tanky it is. It’s also fun to run around and melt everything. The only thing this build requires is some strategic placement and planning with more dangerous groups – you really have to kite nasties, especially Harbinger bosses and their groups.
    Build Link: Pohx’s RF Inquisitor 3.17 Build Guide | My personal PoB for RF Inquisitor, complete with leveling trees and notes
  4. I will actually tie the above RF Inquisitor with the Vortex Cold Snap Occultist, which also performed exceptionally. While it maps slower and doesn’t kill bosses as quickly as other builds, the cold AoE and ranged variation in play makes it great for all challenges.
    Build Links: Palsteron’s Wintertide Brand Occultist 3.17 Build Guide | Ziz/ShakCentral’s Cold DoT Occultist 3.17 Build Guide | My personal PoB for HCSSF, complete with leveling trees and notes
  5. And finally, I was very impressed with the Physical (Seismic / Exsanguinate) Trapper this league. It deletes bosses, has great survival, and is a lot of fun to play – and surprisingly, it has solid clear speed.
    Build Link: BigDuck’s Seismic / Exsanguinate Trap 3.17 Build Guide

Top 3.17 Archnemesis Builds List

As mentioned, the below list is based upon the Statistics pulled from poe.ninja; 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. Explosive Arrow (Hierophant or Champion) is the #1 build this league.
    Build Links: Zizaran’s EA Hierophant / Champion 3.17 Build Guide | My personal PoB for EA Hierophant, complete with leveling trees and notes
  2. As mentioned above, Skeleton Necromancer is the second most popular and powerful build this league. While some are playing the Absolution variation because it’s still considered a new skill, the reality is Skeleton Mages outperforms Absolution on all fronts, and can melt both maps and bosses.
    Build Link: Von Vikton’s Skeleton Mages 3.17 Build Guide (includes leveling without Jewel)
  3. Seismic / Exsanguinate Trap Saboteur is also dominating the leaderboards due to its ability to map quickly and melt bosses.
    Build Link: BigDuck’s Seismic / Exsanguinate Trap 3.17 Build Guide
  4. You can’t go wrong with a Righteous Fire Inquisitor. Tanky, melty, and fun!
    Build Link: Pohx’s RF Inquisitor 3.17 Build Guide | My personal PoB for RF Inquisitor, complete with leveling trees and notes
  5. Poisonous Concoction is still very popular this league. I personally don’t care much for the play style, but plenty of other players love it.
    Build Link: Zizaran’s PC Pathfinder 3.17 Build Guide
  6. Spectral Helix (Deadeye & Champion) is also quite popular; I admit my experience with Spectral Helix is very limited (I used it shortly while leveling up other builds), so I can’t comment on how “good” it is, but people seem to love it!
    Build Link: KobeBlackMamba’s Spectral Helix Trinity Deadeye Build Guide for 3.17 | Lectric’s Spectral Helix Champion 3.17 Build Guide
  7. Detonate Dead Necromancer is another crowd pleaser, and it was in the top 3 builds for people pushing 95+ in HCSSF. Ultimately, it’s an ignite proliferation build that has no gear requirements, which means players can focus on survival (which is why it’s so HC viable).
    Build Links: dslily’s Detonate Dead Necromancer 3.17 Build Guide | My personal PoB for Detonate Dead Necromancer, complete with leveling trees and notes
  8. Absolution Necromancer is new and fun; basically the Necromancer’s new type of Dominating blow, but with phantasms!
    Build Link: BalorMage’s Absolution Necromancer 3.17 Build Guide
  9. Both Arc and Spark Inquisitor are popular this league due to the damage buff; I played both and enjoyed Spark the most (which can also decimate maps).
    Build Link: CaptainLance9’s Spark Inquisitor Build Guide | Zizaran’s Spark Inquisitor Build Guide | Subtractem’s Arc Witch 3.17 Leveling Guide |
  10. Wintertide Brand / Vortex / Coldsnap Occultist are still a top builds, able to do all content, and is HCSSF viable; the only drawback is the cold DoT builds are slower than many of the above for mapping, but if you don’t mind taking it slow and easy, these builds could be perfect for you!
    Build Links: Palsteron’s Wintertide Brand Occultist 3.17 Build Guide | Ziz/ShakCentral’s Cold DoT Occultist 3.17 Build Guide

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!