Struggling to pick a class for your first character? Check out our PoE best solo class guide to get some pointers and insight on why the Marauder is probably the best class you can pick when starting out.
If you’re just starting out in Path of Exile – wrapping your head around all of the different classes, ascendancies and skills in the game might be quite a challenge.
Trying to choose the best PoE solo class to waltz through the rich campaign and hit the endgame? Before you get started, you’ve got to pick and choose between 7 characters. You’ll get 6 right off the bat, and the 7th will become available once you free the Scion during Act 3.
But, as amazing and viable as each of the classes is throughout the game – there’s one class that stands a mile above the rest when it comes to the most efficient solo play through for newbies.
Introducing The Marauder
When I first jumped ship over from Diablo 3 – I instantly rolled a Witch and assumed that I’d have an easy breezy time.
After all, the Wizard was one of the most traditionally overpowered classes in Diablo 3, and the Witch is basically PoEs take on the Wizard, right?
Boy, was I wrong!
The harsh reality that most new PoE players struggle with is the fact that the whole combat system is way different compared to other popular mainstream ARPGs.
In fact, it’s as unforgiving as it is in-depth and complex – but hey, that level of depth is precisely what makes Path of Exile an absolutely amazing game (once you get familiar with it).
So, if you’re a fan of the “cushy and comfy” approach, allowing you to settle into the overwhelming degree of depth that the game offers without punching a hole in your monitor – the Marauder is probably the best solo class for you.
What Makes Marauder The King Of Our PoE Best Solo Class Guide?
Before we delve any deeper, let’s cover the essential upsides to playing a Marauder as your first solo character in Path of Exile.
Here are some of his biggest strengths:
- He is seriously tanky (without the need to sacrifice any damage output).
- His build-options are incredibly versatile.
- The META-popular Marauder builds are ever-green between seasons and you can use nearly any gear to run through the lower brackets of the endgame content PoE has available.
- He is one of the quickest classes to level thanks to zero-gear dependency and the fact that you get most of your core damage & support gems from the get-go.
Let’s talk about them in a tad more detail.
High Survivability (Tankiness)
Of all the benefits, I’d honestly say that the most important upside revolves around the Marauder’s survivability.
This may not be a huge point of concern early on in the game. But, once you hit Act 6 and your resistances take a nosedive, you’ll be thankful that you’re playing a character that can actually take a couple of hits with zero issues rather than being stuck in an endless impasse in the form of a “die, revive, then die again” loop.
Low Gear Dependency
Aside from that, the fact that the Marauder isn’t very gear-dependent (even when it comes to the top-tier META builds) is also very lucrative.
This means that you won’t need to farm up hundreds of exalts just to make the character viable.
In fact, you can easily get away with the random gear you find up until red maps! Nifty, huh?
Great Early-Game Gem Availability
This one may not seem like such an important point. But if you’re just starting off a new season, having played previously, you’re likely already familiar with how big of a pain in the butt it is to get those essential gems to make your levelling build work.
On the other hand, the Marauder gets his key damage gems in the first act of PoE, with most of the best-in-slot supports following closely after.
This makes leveling a total breeze, and allows you to have an easy-peasy stress-free time clearing the acts one after another.
The Best Marauder Starter Builds – Updated For Heist League
Now that you’re up to speed on why you should probably roll a Marauder as your first character or even as a league starter – let’s take a look at some of the best builds that you can run.
I’ve picked out some of my personal favorites, as well as those that are getting a lot of traction in this league.
Below, you’ll find a brief overview of the builds sorted by ascendancy. I’ll cover what each build offers, as well as the essential pros and cons to help you pick out the best one for yourself.
My Top 3 Juggernaut Builds
When it comes to defense, the juggernaut is hands-down the absolute best ascendancy for the Marauder. And it’s this exact sturdiness and reliability that make the Juggernaut one of the best picks for top-tier endgame content.
The Impervious HoA Juggernaut
Are you keen to clear all content in the game easily, without taking so much as a nick of damage? If so, this rendition of the Herald of Agony Juggernaut is one of the best mechanically-relaxed builds for you to play.
- No need to cast much – keep your buffs up, spin around with Cyclone, and you’re set!
- Insane tankiness thanks to Saffel’s Flame and Glorious Vanity.
- Can be run with cheap or self-found gear.
- Lots of room to scale up, without much of a bottleneck.
- Super viable for Hardcore and Deep Delve.
- This is a minion build, which poses a slightly less intuitive play style than a “walk through it all” tank.
- You don’t actually deal damage yourself (the minions you summon carry you).
Hybrid’s Molten Strike Juggernaut
How would you like to stand around, right click, and tank just about anything that PoE throws your way?If you’re game with that sort of playstyle, then this build should definitely tickle your fancy.
- Strong pseudo-melee build that scales projectile damage towards some insane numbers.
- Very smooth playstyle that doesn’t require a lot of mechanical skill or game knowledge to pull off correctly.
- Can easily clear all content in the game with minimal investment, with lots of room to scale up.
- Does require some investment to scale up into the top-tier endgame content, at least to a point where it’s “100% right-clickable”.
- You’ll need to run a few rares with specific modifiers rolled on them, which can be expensive depending on which point the league is at.
The Earthquake (EQ) Juggernaut V3.0
If you’re not a huge fan of mechanically-complex builds and want to run a do-once-kill-all style build to carry you through all in-game content, the Earthquake Juggernaut is one of the best builds that you can roll to meet the goal. Get ready to jump around, stomp your enemies into the dust, all in total comfort and coziness thanks to this ascendancy’s amazing defensive prowess.
- Amazing AoE (Area of Effect) build that shreds all content, even on a budget.
- Incredibly tanky with over 15,000 armor and 8+ endurance charges, and over 90% physical damage mitigation to keep you safe and sound.
- High HP regeneration, allowing you to completely forget that traps and DoT (Damage Over Time) mechanics exist.
- Can be run with Staves or Maces depending on your preference.
- You’ll need to pay a little bit of attention to make sure your endurance charges are always up, otherwise you’ll lose a fair bit of your defensive capabilities.
- This build is somewhat prone to elemental damage.
The 3 Best Chieftain Builds To Play
If impenetrable defence just doesn’t quite sound like an “up your alley” approach – the Chieftain is an amazing ascendancy thanks to it’s absolutely overpowered synergy with any sort of fire or strength-themed setups.
The Classic Ancestral Warchief Chieftain
Kicking things off, let’s take a look at a great spin on the classic Warchief Totem Chieftain by Angry_Roleplayer. This totem build is super cheap to gear, is viable for nearly all content in the game, and can scale to some really insane damage without a whole lot of currency investment.
- Absolutely massive single-target damage (perfect for bossing).
- Over 8,000 life, with some insane HP recovery to support your defences.
- Incredibly cheap to gear into endgame content.
- Can easily do any reflect modifiers on content.
- Not a fast mapper by any means.
- Definitely not as tanky as the Juggernaut.
- Isn’t very viable for deeper Delve pushing.
The One-Shot Tectonic Slam Chieftain
While well-balanced builds are cool and all, sometimes you just want to enjoy the sheer pleasure of deleting every enemy (bosses included) off your screen with a single attack. As it would happen, the Tectonic Slam Chieftain is actually perfectly-geared for that exact scenario!
- Insanely high damage output (around 120+ Million DPS).
- Quite tanky with 7 endurance charges, 90% reduction in physical damage, 40% block, fortify, some dodge mixed in, and even high chaos resistance.
- Clears the entire screen in one hit – making it fantastic for mapping and bossing alike.
- Relatively safe thanks to the fact that Tectonic Slam’s damage zone is relatively long-range.
- Very smooth playstyle, with a satisfying and enjoyable skill visual/sound effect.
- Absolutely can not do elemental reflect modifier maps/content.
- Not a build geared towards “lazy” people, as it involves a lot of “moving parts” that you’ll have to pay attention to in order to make full use of the build’s mechanics.
My 2 Favorite Berserker Builds In PoE 3.12
If you don’t mind throwing caution to the wind in exchange for some of the most insane damage output in the game – the Berserker may just be the best-suited ascendancy for you. Making use of the unique Rage mechanic, Berserker builds can help you melt all content in the game, on a minimal budget, with the potential downside of being a tad more complex than the average META-build.
The Epic Frost Blades Berserker
Being of the most visually-satisfying and best-scaling skills in the game, it’s no surprise that Frost Blades synergizes so darn well with the Berserker ascendancy and its unique Rage mechanic. This is a build that you can gear into top-tier endgame content on a next-to-zero budget, with lots of extra room to scale and fine-tune your setup as you rack in tonnes of wealth from easy-peasy bossing or mapping.
- Tonnes of damage on a penny-budget, with tons of room to scale your DPS with practically no bottleneck.
- Relatively straightforward playstyle, with minimal casting or rolling mechanics to keep in mind.
- Easy clearing for all content in the game once you get the hang of how this build works.
- Not very survivable, so you will need to put a good amount of attention towards dodging and moving around to stay alive.
Cramer’s Impale Cyclone Berserker
If you’re a fan of the Whirlwind Barbarian in Diablo 2 or 3, then this crafty take on the popular Impale Cyclone Berserker should feel right at home for you. Aside from a very straightforward playstyle, this build offers great damage, stun immunity, and a good deal of super-speedy map clear to really spruce up your PoE adventures.
- Super fast clear speed for all content & great single-target boss damage to boot.
- High mobility with a very smooth non-mechanically-demanding playstyle.
- Complete stun immunity and fairly survivable without excessive investment into your defensive layers.
- Nearly infinite scalability, depending on your budget.
- Lacks the 25% culling strike that you’d otherwise enjoy with the Duelist’s Slayer ascendancy.
And there you have it Exiles! If you’ve kept up with me this far into the article, you should now have a pretty clear idea of why the Marauder is king when it comes to a PoE best solo class nomination.
He’s easy to level, super tanky, and offers one of the simplest ways to get into the endgame without having to break the bank or drain your sanity hunting for specific gear.
Check out some of the recommended builds to get a better feel for the class – and then go right ahead and breeze through Heist league!