Ever since the release of Ambush League in patch 1.1 – strongboxes have been a core gameplay mechanic that dominates the world of Wraeclast. But surprisingly, many players don’t know what exactly they need to do with these strongboxes, and as such – they’re losing out on hefty profits they’d otherwise have.
Today, let’s dive into an all-in-one PoE strongbox guide to explore and dissect this prominent mechanic – we’ll dive deep into how strongboxes work and what you need to know and do to profit from them!
What Are Strongboxes in PoE?
Strongboxes are a type of “chest” that spawns a pack (or several) of mobs that guard it once you interact with it. If you manage to kill the guardians, you get the loot inside – simple, eh?
There are various types of strongboxes that correspond to the type of item they’ll drop, and they can come in varying rarities as well. When you first encounter them, they will generally be Unidentified, and you’ll need to use a Scroll of Wisdom to identify the mods your strongbox has rolled. Keep in mind that aside from just using a Scroll of Wisdom, you can actually craft strongboxes as well via other currency like Alchemy Orbs and Chaos Orbs. But at the end of the day, you don’t actually need to identify a strongbox to open it.
So by now, you might be thinking – “okay, cool they drop some items and spawn some mobs, but where’s the profit at?” Strongboxes don’t just throw on a little extra quantity and give your cyclone duelist a little more meat to slice through – the crafting mechanic along with their strong base mod rolls allow for an absolutely insane profit potential. And to show you exactly what we mean, let’s start off by covering the different types of strongboxes that exist in Wraeclast.
The Types Of Strongboxes
Instead of going through each different type of strongbox individually, we’ve put them together in a handy comparison table that you can reference back to at any point in time after reading our PoE strongbox guide. In our table, you’ll find three columns – the type of strongbox, it’s chance to spawn in your map (relative to other types of strongboxes) as well as the potential rewards it features. Now, overtop of this, keep in mind that strongboxes are not always guaranteed to spawn in a given area.
|Type of Strongbox||Spawn Chance||Potential Rewards|
|Arcanist’s Strongbox||4.3%||Currency Items (Except Quality Currency)|
|Armourer’s Strongbox||6%||Various Armour Items, Divination Cards (The Mayor & The Body)|
|Artisan’s Strongbox||6.9%||Quality Currency Items|
|Blacksmith’s Strongbox||5.7%||Various Weaponry|
|Cartographer’s Strongbox||Varies (Can’t Spawn In T13+ Maps)||Various Maps|
|Diviner’s Strongbox||1.9%||Various Divination Cards|
|Gemcutter’s Strongbox||3.3%||Various Gems (Vaal Included), Divination Cards (The Gemcutter)|
|Jeweller’s Strongbox||7.5%||Various Amulets, Jewels, Rings, Belts & Divination Cards (The Hubris)|
|Large Strongbox||4.7%||Assorted Mix Of Items|
|Ornate Strongbox||2.8%||Assorted Mix Of Items|
|Strongbox (No Particular Type)||56.3%||Assorted Mix Of Items|
|Unique Strongbox||0.6%||Assorted Items & Themed Unique Item|
This data comes from a documented test where 2,218 strongboxes were ran though the Monstrous Treasure prophecy to figure out the chance-wise distribution of rolls among all the types and prefixes.
Among all of the types of strongboxes, the majority are relatively straightforward in what they are and what they do. However, to clear up any potential confusion, let’s take a closer look at the Cartographer’s, Large, Ornate and Unique strongboxes.
Just as it may sound – it drops maps. Simple, right? Here’s the twist – they’re INCREDIBLY rare. In fact, you’re likely to only see them once or twice a league, given that you spend most of your time mapping efficiently. While they used to spawn far more commonly, they were nerfed back in time – they will no longer spawn in maps higher than T12 (so anything T13 and above is out of the question).
Large & Ornate Strongboxes
These are prefix-less strongboxes just like the good old normal strongbox itself. However, the advantage they have over the normal strongbox is the fact that they have raised base modifiers. The large strongbox features increased quantity, while the ornate strongbox features increased rarity over the normal strongbox. As such, this makes them a heck of a lot more desirable than their normal counterpart.
At the moment, there are ten different types of unique strongboxes in Path of Exile, which we’ll cover in today’s PoE strongbox guide. However, overtop of this – there are several different “special” unique strongboxes that don’t quite fit into the rule scheme that we’ve laid out above. For example, at the end of Oba’s Cursed Trove, you’re rewarded with five chests, out of which three are unique strongboxes (namely Oba’s Glittering Stash, Oba’s Prized Chache and Oba’s Riches). Where these types of unique strongboxes differ from the general lay of the land is that they don’t always contain guardian mobs, or reward a static category of items for example. Take a look at this page if you want a comprehensive overview of all the different unique strongboxes in the game at the moment.
Strongbox Prefix Modifiers
Just like many monsters in your map, strongboxes get their own set of prefix modifiers that can really add some spice to your gameplay experience. From making your strongboxes wildly profitable to potentially annihilating your character in one go – here are the strongbox modifier you should watch out for:
|Strongbox Modifier||Modifier Description|
|Arctic||Freezes your character when it’s activated.|
|Contaminated||Spawns caustic ground around it when opened.|
|Contested||Spawns a rogue exile when opened.|
|Frigid||Casts an ice nova when opened.|
|Incandescent||Ignites your character.|
|Intimidating||Spawns magic bloodline monsters.|
|Menacing||Spawns rare bloodline monsters.|
|Ossified||Spawns skeletons with bloodline mod.|
|Putrifying||Casts corpse explosion around the strongbox.|
|Rallying||Spawns a stream of monsters.|
|Reaper’s||Nearby monsters are revived with Onslaught mod.|
|Scorched||Spawns a firestorm on the box’s location.|
|Unstable||The strongbox explodes.|
|Vibrating||Spawns a lightning storm on the box’s location.|
|Whispering||The player receives a random curse when activated.|
For a more detailed peek into the various prefixes and modifier rolls that you should expect to see, check out PoE’s strongbox prefix mods page.
How To Get More Strongboxes In Your Maps
So now that we’ve covered the various types and prefixes you should know, let’s dive into the second section of our PoE strongbox guide – how to actually get them. Thankfully, there are a plethora of ways that you can use to get a bunch of extra strongboxes in your maps – in fact, below we’ll show you how you can get 51 strongboxes, rare and corrupted in your maps with ease.
The Monstrous Treasure Prophecy
This prophecy is absolutely insane and amazing. In a nutshell, it takes all the monsters that the map is supposed to spawn and packs them inside of 36 strongboxes that will be scattered around the map. Not only does this give you 36 strongboxes to craft and go crazy with, it also allows you to roll up the pack size and density of the map for optimal additional loot.
This prophecy can stack with other ways to get strongboxes. To get one, you’ll need to fork out 6.1 Chaos according to POE.ninja, or farm up / acquire 9 “Valley of Steel Boxes” divination cards.
Bountiful Traps Prophecy
Just like the Monstrous Treasure Prophecy, this one gives you MORE strongboxes. If you stack it with the Monstrous Treasure, you’re looking at a total of 42 strongboxes thanks to the extra 6 that Bountiful Traps offers.
If you don’t mind running Betrayal’s, then the Ambush Scarab is another excellent way to get extra strongboxes into your maps. A rusted ambush scarab will add 3 more strongboxes, a polished variant will add 4, and a gilded scarab will add 5 extra strongboxes. Combined with everything else we’ve covered so far, this could bring the total up from 42 to 47 if you stack it with Monstrous Treasure and Bountiful traps which are detailed above in our PoE strongbox guide.
Zana’s Ambush League Modifier
Last but not least, to close off this section of our PoE strongbox guide, we can throw in another 2 strongboxes into a super-juiced up map for 2 chaos orbs by buying Zana’s Ambush League modifier and applying it to our map. This could bring the grand total of strongboxes up to 49. We’re not going to cover the entire breadth of Zana’s modifiers in today’s PoE strongbox guide, however – it’s important to note that this is the only one that features any real purpose for our purpose.
Optional: Atlas Strongbox Modifiers
With Path of Exile saying good bye to sextant mods like hunted traitors in favor of atlas modifiers – the final option you have is to grab an additional two strongboxes via the “MapAtlasStrongboxesAreCorruptedAndUnided2” atlas modifier. In a nutshell, you’ll get a potential total of 51 strongboxes with this mod. And they will all be of at least rare quantity, however, they will all be corrupted.
If you find crafting too confusing, or simply don’t feel that it’s worth the hassle – this modifier already makes them rare and corrupts them for some sweet extra mods – so it’s a pretty awesome next best alternative to crafting the mods yourself. As such, it’s sort of like our PoE strongbox guide layman’s quick-fire button to just mod and run your maps quickly without having to stop and craft each individual strongbox. And finitely, it’s also a heck of a lot cheaper as you don’t have to spend currency on each individual strongbox to roll it. But again, the trade off is the unpredictability of what you’ll actually be getting.
Note: there is also a version of this atlas modifier that only offers 1 extra strongbox, but retains the rest of the modifiers.
A Quick Guide To Crafting Your Strongboxes
If you’ve made it this far – you now have the basics down pat. You know what types of strongboxes exist in Path of Exile, and how you can spawn them in your own maps. And with that, we arrive at the third (and possibly most important) part of our PoE strongbox guide – when and how to craft them for maximum profit.
Should You Craft Your Strongboxes – Is Every Variant Profitable?
As with most other loot-mechanics in the game, not every strongbox is profitable. This is why it’s important to understand that depending on your playstyle, approach to crafting and value-perception, the types of strongboxes you’ll want to craft will vary from player to player.
When it comes to universal profit, the three types of strongboxes you’ll want to craft for profit are:
- Cartographer’s Strongbox – they offer incredibly valuable maps, especially towards the start of each league. However keep in mind that you won’t find any of them in T13 or higher maps.
- Diviner’s Strongbox – these drop divination cards, some of which are utter garbage, and some are insanely expensive. Thankfully, crafting is one of the ways to stack your luck a bit when it comes to the loot from these.
- Arcanist’s Strongbox – while they’re not as profitable as diviner’s strongbox, if you’re not currency shy, these are fatastic to roll as well. However, don’t bother throwing down anything over a chaos orb on them.
You might be wondering – “wait, why are there only three strongboxes mentioned here?” You see, not every single type of strongbox in Path of Exile actually benefits from crafting. In some cases, crafting just doesn’t make a sizable enough difference for the currency invested, and those types of strongboxes are best left as they come. In addition to this, unique strongboxes are impossible to craft to begin with, so that somewhat rules them out here as well.
How To Craft & Roll Your Strongboxes
When it comes to the crafting section of our PoE strongbox guide, the entirety of the process is actually quite simple as it works the same way that crafting an item does in Path of Exile.
You’ll start out with your typical crafting currency (Transmutation, Alteration, Alchemy & Chaos Orbs) and add in some situational currency (Scouring, Regal, Vaal & Engineers Orbs).
Here are the exact steps that we take when crafting the strongboxes we find in our own PoE maps:
- Start our by using a Transmutation Orb or an Alchemy Orb on the box.
- If you used a Transmutation first to upgrade it into a magic stronbox, roll your desired mods with an Alteration Orb and upgrade it to a rare strongbox with a Regal Orb once you’re happy with the mods. Alternatively, if you used an Alchemy first, you’ll need to roll with a Chaos Orb. Of course, going the Chaos Orb route is more expensive, but it does provide extra mods, some of which are generally better to begin with.
- Vaal the strongbox if you’re okay with the risk-reward ratio, or simply pop it open and cash in.
Before you go off crafting the strongboxes you’ll find, it’s important to have a good idea of what mods you want on them to begin with. Here’s our PoE strongbox guide priority list and order for the mods we look for when crafting or running a Diviner’s Strongbox (which is a good reference for almost all type of strongboxes in PoE):
- Additional Items (General)
- Additional Quality Of Items (Diviner’s)
- Additional Divination Cards For Unique Items (Diviner’s)
- Additional Divination Cards For Currency Items (Diviner’s)
- Additional Divination Cards For Corrupted Items (Diviner’s)
- Additional Silver Coins (Diviner’s)
- Additional Chest Level (General)
In addition to this, you can also stack up the quality of a strongbox by using an Engineer’s Orb on it before rolling the mods. You’ll need to reset it to a normal Diviner’s Strongbox first with a Scouring Orb. Once you’ve raised the quality to 20%, you can safely roll your desired mods.
It’s also worth noting that Orbs Of Chance work the same way here as they do on items. So for example – you can turn an Armourer’s Strongbox into a Kaom’s Cache, so it may be worthwhile if you don’t use the Atlas Modifier we covered earlier to rare and corrupt your strongboxes.
Note: If you’re gearing up a character at the start of a league, this same approach from the above section of our PoE strongbox guide might be worthwhile with an Armourer’s Strongbox as well since it can land you some sweet 5-links and 6-links early on.
Congratulations! Having made it this far – you’ve now conceptually mastered the strongbox mechanic in Path of Exile. In our PoE strongbox guide we’ve covered what the different types you should watch out for are, what prefixes they can spawn with, how you can get more of them in your maps and what you need to know about crafting them for the maximum profit potential.
With everything said and done – it’s time for you to put everything we’ve covered into action. Go our there, grab your own Scarabs and Monstrous Treasure and go make some insane currency. Best of luck!