[3.0] Gilded Cage's Comprehensive Guide to Maps

YJDX2gb


Note

Mapping hasn't really changed from 2.6 to 3.0. The major difference is that bosses are more difficult - namely they have more life than they used to. I have been travelling overseas for several months so I haven't had a chance to reevaluate the relative ratings of each map. Will do a large update when I return home to New Zealand which will probably be around the release of 3.1

Preface

Lyralei’s original guide which helped me learn about maps when I first started playing over three years ago is horribly out-dated. This guide aims to help both beginners learn how the end-game map system works in Path of Exile as well as help those looking for a reference on which map bosses and mod combinations are dangerous.
I am by no means a master of maps but rather someone who has put a lot of time and research to provide something that I think would be useful for the community. Please feel free to point out any errors and provide suggestions to how I can improve this guide. I will try to maintain it best I can :)
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Contents
Preface
Map Basics
  • What are maps?
  • How do I find maps?
  • How do I run maps?
  • What is the purpose of mapping?

Other Map Information
  • Zana Master Cartographer
  • Vendoring maps
  • Shaping maps
  • Unidentified maps
  • Corrupted maps
  • Vaal Fragments
  • Cartographer's Sextants
  • Cartographers Strongboxes

Art of Mapping
  • Starting Mapping
  • How to roll maps?

Affixes Guide
Map by Map Analysis
References and Additional Resources
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Map Basics

What are maps?
Maps act as Path of Exile’s end-game content. They serve as items which can be placed into a map device (and then consumed) to generate an instance. This map instance contains monsters and a unique boss at the end of each map. Maps have varying difficulty ranging from tier 1 maps (level 68 mobs) to tier 16 maps (level 83 mobs).

Maps are very similar to other items in Path of Exile in that they have varying rarities and affixes. A map can be normal/magic/rare/unique. Magic maps have one or two affixes (A prefix and a suffix) and rare maps can have up to 6 affixes under normal circumstances (up to 3 prefixes and 3 suffixes). A map affix or mod acts to make the map instance more difficult while increasing the rarity and quantity of items in the zone. For example the Hexproof prefix mod makes monsters immune to curses while giving the player 16% increased item quantity (IIQ) and 8% increased item rarity (IIR).

Maps can also be crafted similar to other items in Path of Exile. For example using an Orb of Transmutation will transform a normal map into a magic map or using an Orb of Alchemy will transform a normal map into a rare map. Maps can also have quality. Like other items quality is a maximum of 20%. Each 1% of quality increases the IIQ and IIR of the map by 1%. The Cartographer’s Chisel currency item can be used to increase the quality of maps. It gives 5% quality to normal maps, 2% to magic maps and 1% to rare maps. Details on how to craft maps are given below.

How do I find maps?
Tier 1 maps drop from monsters in Act 2 Merciless onwards. When running maps, maps of any tier equal to or below the tier of the map you are running may drop. In addition bosses, magic and rare monsters in the map have a chance of dropping a map one tier above.
Within a map the chance to find other maps is based on the Increased Item Quantity of the map. Increased Item Quantity on gear does not affect the drop rate of maps.

How do I use maps?
Maps can be activated by being placed into the map device in the Eternal Laboratory in Act 3 Merciless. To find the Eternal Laboratory go from the Solaris Temple waypoint left through the big open doors after completing Lady Dialla’s quests. The Eternal Laboratory contains its own waypoint for easy access. Players can also get a map device in their own personal hideout by completing one of Zana, master cartographer’s missions within a map. You can then talk to her in the Eternal Laboratory where she can be invited to your hideout to give you a map device. More on Zana missions below.

What is the purpose of mapping?
The purpose of mapping is to progress up through the map tiers where bosses become more difficult but the items become more lucrative. Also as your character levels past level 76, zones in Act 4 Merciless give diminishing experience. High level maps are the best way to gain reasonable experience. Therefore, it is important to run maps that are appropriate to your character’s level. This experience penalty chart (credit fragmentations) shows how much experience diminishes. For example at level 78 tier 1 maps give 91% of experience while at level 84 tier 1 maps give only 19% of experience.
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The Atlas
With the 2.4 expansion GGG introduced the Atlas as a new way of progressing through the map system. The Atlas visualizes all maps, helping you understand which maps drop in each area. To open the Atlas simply press g on your keyboard. Your Atlas is shared between all characters in your league.

The connections on the Atlas display which maps can be drop when running a particular map. When you complete a map (kill the unique bosses) it can then be dropped in other maps not connected via the Atlas. Each map also comes with a bonus objective – completing the bonus objective of the magic awards you with a 1% cumulative chance for map drops to be upgraded by one tier.

Note you can still engage in the map system without ever opening the Atlas, however it is unadvisable due to the potential benefits that manipulating your Atlas can provide.
For more details on the Atlas see here.
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Other Map Information
Zana Master Cartographer
Spoiler
Zana is a secret Forsaken Master that only appears within maps. When you find her she will open up six portals (or one if you’re unlucky) to another map instance with a similar monster level as the map you are currently running. She will give you a mission that once completed will gift master experience with her. Completing your first Zana mission is very important as once you complete one of her missions you can invite her to your hideout from the Eternal Laboratory. In your hideout she gives you your own map device. Using this map device is far more convenient as you no longer need to travel to the City of Sarn to vendor items when your inventory is full. While Zana is in your hideout she gives daily missions that are in essence free maps. However the monster level in these maps is usually pretty low. It is important to level up Zana as each time you do so you get 1% extra IIQ from every map you run using the map device in your hideout.

Shaping maps
Spoiler
As a map completion bonus, certain maps in the Atlas will drop a Shaper’s Orb of a particular tier. You can apply a Shaper’s Orb to a map of the specified tier in your Atlas. Shaped versions of maps mean that all future maps of that name drop 5 tiers higher. For example, if you shape a tier 2 Beach map you can now find tier 7 Shaped Beach maps. Note unshaped tier 2 Beach maps will no longer drop. Shaped maps are identical to normal maps, only with higher monster levels.

Trading up maps
Spoiler
Trading three of the same maps to any vendor will give you a single map of the next tier up. For example trading three tier 1 Jungle Valley maps will yield one tier 2 Oasis map. This vendor recipe is very useful to make use of very dangerous or undesirable maps such as Mud Geyser without having to run them. For details about what each map upgrades to see here.

Unidentified maps
Spoiler
Magic and rare maps will drop unidentified similar to other items. An unidentified map can be placed in a map device. When running the map you will get an additional 30% IIQ bonus (does not work with unique maps though); however you will not be able to view the mods on the map. You will however be able to see the IIQ, IIR and pack size of the map (this can help you infer which mods may be present). You can usually tell some of the mods present automatically. For example curses will appear in the upper left corner, chilled ground will appear on the ground, you can check your elemental resistances for –max resists and your life regeneration for half/no regen. Especially in hardcore I advise not running unidentified maps with certain builds as certain mods such as elemental reflect could instantly kill you. However if you do, proceed very carefully.

Corrupting maps
Spoiler
Maps like any other item in Path of Exile can be corrupted using a Vaal Orb. Corruption can have no effect or it can transform into a new map of the same tier, a tier one below or a tier one up. It can also reroll the affixes on the map or unidentify the item keeping the affixes the same. Bosses in all corrupted maps can also drop Vaal fragments or Vaal skill gems. Corrupting high tier maps is required to get the Atlas completion bonus. It is also the only way of getting the tier 16 Vaal Temple map.

Vaal Fragments
Spoiler
Notice the map device has four slots. You can add up to three different Vaal fragments (found in corrupted areas throughout Wraeclast) along with the map to increase the IIQ of the map by 5% per fragment. You can also add a single Vaal Fragment to the device to generate a random corrupted area. The level of the corrupted area depends on which Vaal fragment (Note: the lowest is level 66 for Sacrifice at Dawn). Adding all four of the Sacrifice Vaal Fragments to the device will open up the Apex of Sacrifice where Atziri resides.
Caution: Sacrifice at Midnight and Mortal Fragments are exceedingly valuable and should not be used to improve the quantity of maps or be run as single instances.

Cartographer’s Sextants
Spoiler
Sextants are relatively rare currency items that drop in maps. They can be applied to maps in the Atlas to add an extra mod to that map and all maps in a small radius. These mods can make maps easier, harder or even provide extra valuable rewards. A sextant mod has three uses, after which it will disappear from your Atlas.
Sextants drop as either Apprentice, Journeyman or Master’s. Apprentice sextants can only be used on low tier maps (tier 1-5), Journeyman can be used on mid-tier maps (tier 1-10) and Master’s can be used on high-tier maps (tier 1-16).

Cartographers Strongboxes
Spoiler
Coming across one of these in a high level map is every mappers dream. They are extremely rare strongboxes that drop exclusively maps. If found inside a high level map it is usually wise to spend significant currency trying to roll good affixes such as increased item quantity and increased chest level.

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Art of Mapping

Mapping can be a controversial philosophy. Take what I say with a grain of salt. What may work well for me, a predominantly solo, hardcore player may not for you. There are several strategies people use for mapping which are usually tied to specific goals. Strategies may aim to maximise making currency, gaining experience or reaching end-game content such as the Shaper. If people have some good suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Starting Mapping


What should I have done before I start mapping?
You will find a few maps naturally while playing through Merciless difficulty. One you get to Act 4 do the Indominatable Spirit quest to get the final passive point from Tasuni. After this I would recommend not progressing through the rest of Act 4 as the difficulty level increases greatly and there are no more important quest rewards. Most people will then farm the Dried Lake till about level 75 before starting mapping. You do not need to do this as although Dried Lake will provide the best experience it is monotonous and mapping is fun. I recommend you start mapping when you can confidently clear Dried Lake and have a small map pool of around 4-5 tier 1 maps.

Which map should I start with?
I recommend not doing the Desert map initially as the boss is over-tuned. The best map for beginners is probably Jungle Valley as it has a relatively easy boss and is open and linear (see individual map analysis below).

How do I run a map?
Once you have rolled the map you want to try (see below) go to the map device in the Eternal Laboratory and put in the map. Note the map device has four slots but for the majority of maps you will only need to use the one slot. After activating you will notice six portals appear. This represents how many times you can exit and re-enter the map. After using all six portals the map cannot be entered again. After entering the map you can start killing monsters. The unique boss at the end of each map provides lots of loot so you should always make the effort to kill it. A useful tip for knowing whether you have adequately cleared the map is using the tab key, the number of mosters remaining will show in the top right corner (if less than 50). If less than 20 monsters remain and I’ve killed the boss I usually consider that a completed map.

Hopefully after clearing your first map you have found some more maps. Be aware that sometimes you will have a bad streak of maps where no other maps drop. This is expected as other times a single map will drop lots of maps. The aim of mapping is to find maps of higher level tiers.

What maps should I be running?
Generally I recommend running any maps that can potentially drop new maps in your Atlas. Always aim to get the map completion bonus when running a map for the first time. Completing the Atlas as much as possible is definitely the best way to go for the majority of players. More experienced players may want to look at different strategies you can use to optimize your Atlas for gaining currency or experience (listed later).
Some people argue you should always run your highest tier map, other people say you should build a strong base on each tier before progressing to the next tier. In my opinion there is no right or wrong answer. My strategy is usually to run any maps that does not give me diminishing experience. (experience penalty chart). For example, at level 80 I will run tier 4-5 and above maps and at level 84 I will tier 8-9 and above maps. Eventually after level 87 or so it is hard to avoid some form of diminishing experience.

How to roll maps?
I find 90% of maps drop as white (no rarity) so you should always spend some currency improving the quantity of the map by making it either magic or rare. One of the biggest questions every new player has is how much currency should I spend on rolling good mods on maps? The rough answer is the amount of currency spent should be proportional to how much the map is worth. I’ll be a bit more specific; if you can buy a Tier 8 Canyon map for 3 chisels from poe.trade then it is not worth using 4 chisels on the map when you could buy an entire other Canyon map for less currency.
With the Altas of worlds changes it is now harder to sustain a pool of maps early on, but much easier to sustain a pool of high tier maps later on. Therefore, it is usually good practice to use more currency when rolling maps early on then using less currency of each map when you have a strong pool of maps. Purchasing maps (using poe.trade) is also a very good idea to get maps you do not yet have in your Atlas.

My rules for crafting white maps:
  • Up to tier 5 you should be able to sustain a map pool running only magic maps. To roll a magic map first use an Orb of Transmutation. If there is only a single mod use an Orb of Augmentation to add another. If the pair of mods is dangerous or they impact the clearing ability too much consider using an Orb of Alteration to reroll the mods. The maps up to tier 5 are not worth very much so be conservative when using Orbs of Alteration (no more than 3 or so).
  • From tier 6 you will want to use an Orb of Alchemy on white maps. This can lead to some dangerous mod combinations which may not be runnable by your character. For tier 6-9 I will not use a Chaos Orb to reroll the mods as it is a waste of currency. Either I will leave the map in the stash to run by another character at a later time, try to sell it or trade it up later to the next tier of maps.
  • Tier 12 is when I start chiselling every map. At this stage I will no longer run unidentified maps and instead scour, chisel and then alch the map. Remember only ever chisel white maps as it takes only four chisels to yield the maximum quality for the map. If the map mods are dangerous I will use Chaos Orbs to try get safer mods.
  • After tier 15 I will begin to use Chaos Orbs to ensure I maximise the IIQ and pack size of the map. You should be looking for 90+ IIQ or 70+ IIQ with increased pack size/magic monsters/rare monsters.
  • At the start of a new league it is sometimes beneficial to spend more currency then normal trying to sustain a map pool as high level maps are scarce and relatively expensive.


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Affixes Guide
This list contains a description of each affix as well has how dangerous it is in my opinion. Certain mods will be a cakewalk for some characters and near impossible for others. Also some mods may be relatively harmless on their own but when combined with others could become potentially lethal.

Note I have listed affixes by their effect, not by their name. This is because people usually refer to the affix effect, not the name (eg 'elemental reflect' instead of ‘mirrored’). To view the name for each affix just go to the list of prefixes/suffixes on the PoE Wiki listed below

The format for each affix is:

Mod Name Danger Rating/10 (IIQ%/IIR%/Pack Size% (if any)) - Description

Note: Danger rating is reflected in how dangerous the mod is when it affects the character (eg how dangerous X% Monster Elemental Resistance affix is for characters that deal exclusively fire damage). Do research to figure out which mods affect your character and which don't.

Prefix
Spoiler

List of Prefixes courtesy of the PoE Wiki.

Monster type mods:
  • Area is inhabited by Humanoids 3/10 (15%/8%) - Humanoids are generally easy mobs so this mod tends to make the average map easier. However there are a few to watch out for, like the Flicker-Striking, Discharging Undying Grapplers or Cannibals whose barrage of firebombs can quickly kill you.
  • Area is inhabited by Goatmen 5/10 (16%/8%) - Goatmen are quick and leap dealing large amounts of physical damage. Take caution in these maps as they can spring upon you out of nowhere.
  • Area is inhabited by Demons 4/10 (15%/8%) - Whipping/Tentacle Miscreations, Avian Wretches and Voidbearers make up the most dangerous of demons. These mobs will probably make the average map more difficult.
  • Area is inhabited by Abominations 4/10 (12%/6%) -Contains monsters from the Belly of the Beast in Act 4. Watch out for Gut Flayers which use a quick Puncture ability and Stygian Revenants which revive monsters and Detonate Dead.
  • Area is inhabited by Ranged Monsters 2/10 (12%/6%) - Tends to be an easy mod for mobile characters as ranged monsters have lower life. Be careful when this mod is combined with extra projectiles or chaining.
  • Area is inhabited by Animals 5/10 (15%/8%) - Devourers and Plummeting Ursas can be extremely dangerous if unprepared. Keep mobile throughout these maps.
  • Area is inhabited by Skeletons 1/10 (6%/3%) - Skeletons are extremely fragile and do very little damage. Very easy mod.
  • Area is inhabited by Sea Witches and their Spawn 1/10 (6%/3%) - Extremely easy as Sea Witches are easily killed by most builds with decent area of effect. Take caution with the exploding spawn or Sea Witches which can Freeze. Fun mod when paired with the Beyond mod.
  • Area is inhabited by Undead 3/10 (10%/5%) - Undead can be an annoying mod as the map is filled with Necromancers that are constantly resurrecting minions. Not too difficult but me mindful of Bone Rhoas that deal ample physical damage and can stun.
  • Area contains many Totems 3/10 (12%/6%) - Usually not too impactful of a mod but you should be careful of a few of the totems. Vaal totems can prevent enemies from dying or cause monsters to do a lot more physical damage. Detonating totems can cast Detonate Dead on large minions causing huge amounts of fire damage. Diamond totems cause monsters to get Critical Strikes all the time.
  • Rare monsters each have a nemesis mod / X% more Rare 4/10 (12%/6%) – Very desirable mod as more rare monsters means more higher tier map drops. Be familiar with all the possible nemesis mods. Notably Volatile Flame/Ice/Stormblood and Corrupting Blood (Make sure you always have a remove Bleeding flask when mapping).
  • Area is inhabited by 2 additional Rogue Exiles 4/10 (15%/8%) - Additional rogue exiles cannot drop maps but usually come with some sweet loot. Some rogue exiles are particularly dangerous like Igna Phoenix, Magnus Stonethorn and Xandro Blooddrinker. Eventually you will have encountered all the rogue exiles and know what each of them does.
  • Area contains two Unique Bosses 4/10 to 9/10 (12%/6%) - Map bosses drop a lot of loot so double boss is usually an amazing mod to roll. The danger of this mod is determinant on the danger of the map boss (you can find out how dangerous each map boss is in the map by map analysis below).
  • Slaying Enemies close together can attract monsters from Beyond 8/10 (12%/6%) - Beyond monsters cannot drop maps but usually give good loot. When combined with high monster density maps/strongboxes you can expect some dangerous Beyond demons to spawn. Watch out for the unique demons, especially Abaxoth, Haast and Bameth.
  • Area has increased monster variety 1/10 (10%/5%) - It feels like this mod does nothing to the map at all. Be wary as you are more likely to introduce dangerous mobs like Devourers.

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Monster defence mods:

  • +X% Monster Physical Damage Reduction 5/10 (12%/6%) - Lowers clear speed drastically for physical damage characters.
  • +X% Monster Chaos Resistance and +Y% Monster Elemental Resistance 5/10 (12%/6%) - Lowers clear speed for Chaos and elemental damage characters.
  • Monsters have a X% chance to avoid Poison, Blind and Bleed 2/10 (18%/9%) – Poison and Bleeds are usually supplement your main damage source so this mod won’t impact too many builds dramatically.
  • X% more Monster Life 3/10 (15%/8%) - Slows down clear speed a little bit. Very noticeable in higher tier maps where monsters have almost 50% more life.
  • Monsters are Immune to Curses 7/10 (16%/8%) - Many builds rely heavily on curses for survivability or damage.
  • X% less effect of Curses on Monsters 4/10 (15%/8%) – Crazy to think that Hexproof only gives 1% more item quantity over this mod. Curse reliant characters will still struggle but at least curses like Warlord’s Mark and Assassin’s Mark can still be used to generate charges.
  • Players gain X% reduced Flask Charges 4/10 (10%/5%/10%) – Impactful on builds that rely on flasks, especially for sustain on tough bosses. Portal back to your hideout if you want to refill your flasks if you run out in a tricky situation.
  • Monsters cannot be Stunned and X% more Monster Life 3/10 (18%/9%) – Stun is an important survivability mechanic for many caster and melee builds to keep enemies at a distance. For the great majority of builds this mod is negligible.

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Monster offense mods:
  • X% increased Monster Damage 7/10 (18%/9%) - Can be very dangerous when paired with several other damage mods. The amount of increased damage is huge in high level maps.
  • Monsters deal X% extra Damage as Fire/Cold/Lightning 6/10 (15%/8%) - Extremely dangerous when paired with –max resists or several other damage mods. Try to avoid maps with too many of these types of mods.
  • X% increased Monster Movement Speed, Monster Attack Speed and Monster Cast Speed 6/10 (20%/10%) - Faster monsters means you are more likely to be killed out of nowhere. Avoid on maps where mobility is key – for example avoiding Dominus’ Touch of God slam in Residence or Rek’tar’s Leap in Gorge.
  • Monsters cannot be Taunted. Monsters cannot be slowed below base speed. 3/10 (16%/8%) – Some squishy builds such as casters rely on taunts such as Decoy Totem or Golems to pull threat away from their character.
  • All Monster Damage from Hits always Ignites 7/10 (12%/6%) – Paired with the Vulnerability curse, monster critical strike chance/multi or -max resistances this mod can be extremely dangerous, especially for builds with little regeneration. Bring along an Ignite removal flask.
  • Monsters have a X% chance to cause Status Ailments 6/10 (18%/9%) – Shocks, Freezes and Ignites are all extremely dangerous for different reasons. Ensure you bring along a Freeze removal flask and have capped elemental resistances.
  • Monsters' skills Chain 2 additional times 7/10 (15%/8%) - Free mod if you don’t have any minions/totems or are in solo play. If you only have a golem I suggest not using it when running a map with this mod. When this mod is present keep your distance from other friendly characters/minions, especially in maps where bosses have deadly projectiles (eg Orchard).
  • Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles 6/10 (15%/8%) - Similar to the Chaining mod in that it tends not to be too dangerous for solo play or without minions. Avoid this mod for bosses that have fast powerful projectiles as they can become harder to avoid (eg Malformation Piety).
  • Unique Boss has X% increased Life and Area of Effect 2/10 (10%/5%) - Area of effect is not too dangerous for most non-Summoner builds. To care on bosses where avoiding certain area abilities is imperative – for example Puruna’s Ice Nova in Atoll.
  • Unique Boss deals 25% increased Damage and has 20% increased Attack and Cast Speed 2/10 - 8/10 (10%/5%) - Obviously depends on the boss of the map you are running. Do not do this mod on maps with extremely dangerous bosses (see map list below to find out which bosses are lethal).
  • Monsters reflect X% of Elemental Damage 10/10 (16%/8%) - Extremely dangerous for most elemental characters. Very few elemental characters can safely do this mod. For physical characters it is usually useful to replace any elemental auras with defensive ones (e.g. Hatred for Grace).
  • Monsters reflect X% of Physical Damage 10/10 (16%/8%) - Extremely dangerous for physical damage characters. Some non-crit physical damage tanks can out-leech/regen the reflected damage, but for most physical damage characters you should avoid this mod. Especially in high level maps, combined with many other dangerous mods.
    (Sidenote: I have lost at three characters on Hardcore after foolishly running unidentified maps with reflect mods and instantly getting one-shot. One day I will learn…)




Suffix
Spoiler

List of Suffixes courtesy of the PoE Wiki.

Note: mods with * can only appear on Mid-tier maps and higher (7 and above). mods with ** can only appear on High-tier maps (12 and above).

Monster offense/defence mods:
  • Magic Monster packs each have a Bloodline Mod / X% more Magic Monsters 4/10 (12%/6%) - Great mod as more Magic monsters means morehigher tier map drops. Make sure you know the dangerous bloodline mods, especially Corrupted Bloodlines, Voidspawn of Abaxoth, Flame/Frost/Storm-Bearers and Herald of the Obelisk.
  • Monsters Poison on Hit 5/10 (16%/8%) - Tends not to impact most characters with high life regen/leech. When paired with other damage mods such as Vulnerability the mod can become deadly.
  • Monsters have X% chance to Avoid Elemental Status Ailments 2/10 (18%/9%) - Slows down clear speed for some elemental damage dealing characters. Absolutely punishes fire damage characters that rely heavily on Ignites as on high tier maps this mod gives 100% resistance to Elemental Status Ailments.
  • Monsters have X% increased Area of Effect 2/10 (15%/8%) - Usually not noticeable. More dangerous for Summoners/party play. Again watch out for boss Area of Effect abilities as they become harder to avoid.
  • Monsters have X% increased Critical Strike Chance and Y% increased Critical Strike Multiplier 8/10 (18%/9%) – The majority of deaths from experienced players come from one-shot attacks that in many cases are near unavoidable. This mod greatly increases the probability of a one-shot occurring. Critical strikes can also Shock, Freeze and Ignite which provide additional danger. This mod is extremely dangerous when paired with other damage mods.

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Player impairment mods:
  • Area has patches of burning ground 3/10 (12%/6%) - Burning ground is usually negligible for players with capped fire resistance and decent life regeneration. Can provide some frustration for energy shield characters looking to safely recharge.
  • Area has patches of chilled ground 4/10 (12%/6%) - Chilled ground is extremely annoying, especially for melee characters. It slows your movement and clear speed.
  • Area has patches of shocking ground 7/10 (12%/6%) - When standing in shocking ground you take substantially more damage from monsters. Because the shocking ground is hard to see and is everywhere this is sometimes unavoidable. Take a lot of care in these maps.
  • Area has patches of desecrated ground 4/10 (12%/6%) - Similar to burning ground in that it degenerates your life. It tends to be more dangerous as Chaos resistance is hard to cap (no problem for Chaos inoculation characters though. Avoid this mod in maps with the Vulnerability curse.
  • Players have Elemental Equilibrium 3/10 (10%/5%/10%) - Hurts the clear speed of builds that only use a single element for damage. For most builds this mod is negligible though.
  • Players have Point Blank 2/10 (15%/8%/12%) – Point Blank makes projectiles deal more damage closer to enemies and less damage when further away. Therefore, this mod is negligible for any non-projectile based character. For range characters clearing closer to monsters provides a damage increase, although if you still opt to fire from range the damage penalty shouldn’t be too noticeable.
  • Players have X% less Armour and X% reduced Block Chance 6/10 (15%/8%/12%) –Due to diminishing returns in scaling 40% less Armour does not mean you take 40% more physical damage. Also, Armour based characters are usually backed by other physical mitigation methods such as Fortify or Endurance Charges. Block reduction means Block based characters get hit much more often.
  • Monsters have X% increased Accuracy Rating. Player Dodge chance is Unlucky. 7/10 (15%/8%/12%) – Unlucky means you have to roll twice to get a successful dodge. For example, if you had a 40% chance to dodge attacks, the probability of a successful dodge is 0.4*0.4 = 0.16, which is a net 24% reduction to dodge attacks. Higher accuracy means that monsters will hit through your Evasion rating more often as well. Getting hit more often is particularly problematic for Evasion/Dodge based characters which usually have little Life or mitigation underneath.
  • Players have X% less Area of Effect 2/10 (12%/6%/10%) – Slightly slower map clearing for characters that rely on area based skills. Consider an Increased Area of Effect gem for quality of life if you fell.
  • Players deal % reduced critical strike damage 2/10 (10%/5%/10%) - Hurts crit builds only. Even for crit builds it is not really noticeable and far less punishing than the Enfeeble mod for instance.
  • Players Recover Life and Energy Shield X% slower 8/10 (20%/15%/15%) - Hurts builds that require high amounts of life regeneration and hybrid life/es builds. Often swapping in a Life Leech gem is needed.
  • Players have no Life, Energy Shield or Mana Regeneration * 9/10 (20%/10%/12%) - Almost impossible for Energy Shield characters without Ghost Reaver or other ES gaining mechanics. Frustrating and dangerous for characters that rely of life/mana regeneration. Adding a Life Leech or Mana Leech gem can work. Drop Blood Rage buffs and watch out for other degeneration such as desecrated ground if running this mod.
  • Players are cursed with Elemental Weakness * 3/10 (18%/9%/14%) - If your elemental resistances are sufficiently over-capped (169% for High-tier maps and 164% for Mid-tier maps) then this mod is negligible. To over-cap resistances you can usually substitute one of your auras with Purity of Elements. Don’t run this mod if your resistances are not adequately over-capped.
  • Players are cursed with Enfeeble * 6/10 (18%/9%/14%) - Enfeeble reduces the damage of all characters, greatly reducing clear speed. It is especially punishing for characters that use their high damage as a defensive mechanic. It also disproportionately affects attack-based crit builds due to the way Enfeeble affects both accuracy and critical strike chance.
  • Players are cursed with Temporal Chains * 9/10 (18%/9%/14%) - Temporal chains greatly reduces your attack, cast and movement speed. This mod is especially dangerous for bosses that require high mobility. This mod can kill your clear speed like no other mod can.
  • Players are cursed with Vulnerability * 8/10 (18%/9%/14%) - Vulnerability means characters take more physical damage and damage from damage over time effects. Physical damage is hard to mitigate in Path of Exile so this mod is particularly dangerous. Avoid this mod for high physical damage bosses (eg Carnage in Tower). Be careful as Vulnerability also decreases your stun threshold.
  • (-X)% maximum Player Resistances * 9/10 (18%/9%/16%) - A deadly mod for almost all characters. Use Ruby/Sapphire/Topaz flasks to help raise your maximum elemental resistances. Avoid this mod for bosses that deal high amounts of elemental damage (eg Piety in Overgrown Shrine).
  • Cannot Leech Life or Mana from Monsters ** 9/10 (25%/12%) – Similar to reflect mods, in that builds that are dependent on leech (e.g CoC Discharge with Vaal Pact) may find this mod almost impossible to run. Physical builds that leech mana can also struggle, so mana gained on hit jewels or a Blood Magic support could be used as potential substitutes. li]




Last edited by GildedCage on Aug 29, 2017 6:17:21 PM
Last bumped on Oct 1, 2017 1:56:25 AM
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Map by Map Analysis

The format for each map is:
Map Name [Difficulty/10 | Clearing Ability/10] - Map Description

Difficulty represents how dangerous the map is based on the tileset, signature monsters but most importantly the map boss.

Clearing ability is influenced by the pack density of mobs, whether the map can be cleared in a logical fashion without backtracking and whether the map is open or whether there is many obstacles.

In each tier the maps are ranked from best to worst in my opinion. I do not cover unique maps.


Low Tier Maps

Tier 1
Spoiler

Jungle Valley [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
With the Riverways tileset this map is linear and fairly pleasant to clear. It reminds me of a wider Tropical Island. The boss lies in a large room at the end of the map and is based on the Weaver spider from Act 2. Throughout the fight spiders will continuously spawn. The spiders Flicker Strike so try to stand near the edges of the room to avoid engaging all the spiders at once. The boss itself will appear after a short while. The boss fires projectiles which deal fair amounts of chaos damage. However, the boss is relative harmless, with being overwhelmed by spiders representing the real danger in this fight.
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Crystal Ore[Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
Based on the Crystal Viens in Act 4, the map layout is fairly concentrated with good sized corridors. Not too much backtracking is required. Note this map has two bosses, with both residing in their own rooms. The first is a unique Shrieker based on Voidscream. This boss is fairly weak but summons sandstorms which deal large amounts of physical damage over time if you stand in them. The second boss based on Hammerstorm also isn't too problematic. Watch out for the Vaal Spectral Throw which can do substantial damage if you don't actively avoid it.
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Desert [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A wide open outdoor map with good mob density and a roughly linear layout, based on the Dried Lake tileset. The unique boss here is notoriously hard for new players when they start out mapping. The boss Mirage of Bones is based on the unique archer Nightwane in the Dried Lake. It teleports and summons multiple copies of itself using Blink and Mirror Arrow. These copies deal substantial damage. I advise making sure you are attacking the right copy and also taking cover using the nearby tents. Only the real copy moves around. Unless your character is adequately geared I advise skipping this map boss early on. Avoid the additional projectiles affix (and chaining while in groups) for this map.
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Arcade [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
This map has in my opinion one of the worst mob densities in the game and is extremely frustrating to clear due the presence of many obstacles and annoying statues. The only good thing going for this map is that there are two unique bosses, based on the unique ribbons found in the Solaris Temple. Make sure your fire and lightning resistances are capped before attempting the bosses, as they apply Flammability and Conductivity to lower your fire and lightning resistances respectively.

Tier 2
Spoiler

Beach [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 10/10]
A very pleasant, small linear map with a bright Coast tileset. This map has great mob density and along with Oasis presents the fastest levelling experience for low level maps. For efficiently clearing the map note mobs can spawn south of the portal and out in the water. The boss based on Hailrake from the Tidal Island, lies alone in a cave about midway along the beach. Hailrake spits out a barrage of ice spells, which can easily freeze your character, especially with low life. Ensure cold resistance is capped and you have a flask that provides freeze immunity.
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Oasis [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
An open, circular map with the Dried Lake tileset, centered on an oasis. To clear the map I recommend heading in either direction around the outside then spiralling inwards towards the oasis. The boss, based on Voll in the Dried lake, can be encountered near the North-Western corner. Voll is fairly easy as long as you avoid his clearly telegraphed attacks. With multiple damage mods his slam may one shot.
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Ghetto [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A difficult map to manoeuvre due to the multiple ramps and stairs. Based on the Slums, this map has relatively good mob density. The boss of this map Perpetus casts Ethereal Knives and Bear Traps which deal large amounts of physical damage. If you get stuck in one of his Bear Traps it is likely you will die soon after so watch the ground around you.
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Factory [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
Based on the indoor areas in the Warehouse this map's large open corridors is let down by poor monster density and a confusing layout. The boss, based on Strangelcharm in the Shipyard Cave, can be found in their own room. Similar to the Beach boss, this boss combines multiple cold spells such as Ice Nova, Vortex and Frostbolt. Overall the boss is fairly easy but be wary of the Vortex spell if in melee range.

Tier 3
Spoiler

Arid Lake [Difficulty 1-8/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
This used to be one of my favourite tier 1 introductory maps, now it is in tier 3. It is no more difficult than it used to be. The map itself is small and open centred about a small lake. The boss is a unique Rhoa with chaos degen similar to the one found in the Mud Flats. Be wary about the boss’s charge attack which can inflict a large amount of physical damage. The boss is very easy unless enraged. By crushing each of the three Rhoa nests in the boss room, the boss becomes enraged gaining the life and damage of a tier 10 boss as well as dropping superior loot. When enraged the boss can become very difficult for underleveled/undergeared characters. However, I find a levelled Decoy Totem can be used to trivialize the fight.
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Channel [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
Another kind of linear map with great mob density. To clear zig-zag up and down each aqueduct. The unique boss is located in the North-West corner and is a giant bird based on the Hundred Foot Shadow in the Aqueducts. The boss hits hard, has high health and summon adds. Keep mobile during the fight to avoid the boss’s physical Slam and Cleave attacks.
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Marshes[Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
An open map with the Fetid Pool tileset spread over three islands connected by bridges. The bridges can be hard to spot without looking at the mini-map. The boss, based on Barkhul from Daresso's dream can be found in his own island zone. The bosses has high health and dishes out a fair amount of fire and physical damage. Watch out for the ground slam attack which can inflict a deadly ignite.
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Vaal Pyramid [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
Based off of the Vaal Ruins, this map is split up into four levels. There are several rooms and obstacles making this map annoying to clear. One odd thing about this map is there is a large amount of monster variety and you will likely find new mob types on each level. There are three bosses, a Whipping Miscreation, Tentacle Miscreation and Reaving Miscreation based on the three encountered in the Dominus fight. The Tentacle Miscreation buffs nearby enemies and shoots easily avoidable projectiles. The whipping miscreation can inflict a ton of damage, even with high armour/life. Luckily the bosses spawn one at a time (Whipping, Tentacle then Reaving) meaning you can usually kill one before the next spawns as they don't each have particularly high health.
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Sewer [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
Great mob density paired with narrow hallways make this a great map except for its confusing layout. The Unique Boss is a spider called Arachnoxia. The boss casts a deadly chaos spear which should be avoided. The boss also leaps slams and summons additional spiders throughout the fight. These spiders release caustic clouds which deal damage over time. This fight can be problematic for characters with low life and chaos resistance. Consider an amethyst flask.
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Grotto [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
A very spacious map based on the Caverns tileset. However the layout of the map is hard to predict so there can be a lot of backtracking. The boss here is a unique Chaos Sentinel that has a Ground Slam attack and a chaos damage Firestorm. The boss periodically summons a group of pocked miners. The boss hits hard especially with multiple damage mods. For casters try to keep your distance and off-screen the boss. As common sense dictates stay out of the Chaos-Firestorm.
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Cavern[Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 2/10]
One of the worst maps in the game for clearing. It has narrow walkways, many obstacles, low mob density and a confusing (although roughly cyclic) layout. The boss however comes in a nice open area. The new boss here is the Eroding One, a unique Stone Golem that spawns tornadoes. The boss is relatively harmless so the fight should be easy. The boss explodes after a delay which deals a fair amount of damage so be sure to retreat to a safe distance before collecting loot.


Tier 4
Spoiler

Acid Lakes [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
The layout of the map is basically the Belly of the Beast with wide, open corridors. The map is linear and can be cleared by simply hugging the wall around the perimeter. The boss is again Mirage of Bones from the Desert map. Although somewhat annoying the boss doesn't feel any more difficult (in fact maybe easier) than it's tier 1 counterpart.
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Phantasmagoria [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
Great map to clear as it is one long linear corridor based of Belly of the Beast in Act 4. The mob density isn't too amazing though. At the end of the map is a room with Doedre Darktongue from act 4. For ranged characters it isn't too hard to avoid her dangerous projectiles. For squishy melee characters in can be hard to kite her out of the dangerous curses (namely Vunerability) as well as avoiding her projectiles so take extra caution. ________________________________________________
Graveyard [Difficulty 1-8/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
Players spawn in the middle of a cathedral in a map that resembles the Fellshrine. Kill mobs in an outward spiral fashion. The boss, a unique Colossal Bonestalker, will be located alone in thier own room. This boss can be deadly for players that use curses (including those applied by Blasphemy). On being cursed the boss will unleash a very powerful elemental nova which may one shot. It is therefore recommended to disable curses during the fight. Aside from this caveat the boss is relatively harmless. When damaged the boss will create roaming curse (Enfeeble/Temporal Chains/Vunerability) auras which are easily avoidable.
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Waste Pool [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
This map is almost identical to the Sewer map, suffering from the same issues in terms of backtracking. The boss here is a unique Boiling Ambusher that casts Arctic Breath and Ice Nova similar to that of the Factory map. Again, try to stay out of the chilled ground, have capped cold resistances and carry a freeze removal flask.
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Academy [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
This map based on the Library has lots of rooms with great mob density but a confusing layout. The unique boss resides in his own room and is based on Trinian, Intellectus Prime from the Archives in Act 3. The boss throws books, inflicts various curses (hexfont) and summons tornados. Do not stand in the tornados as they deal an insane amount of quick physical damage, especially for evasion based characters. The boss also has Far Shot meaning his projectiles do more damage the further away you are from him.
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Villa [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
A large map with many rooms based off of the Lower Sceptre of God in Act 3. The passive mobs here include Chimerals and Evangelists which are generally dangerous. The boss is based on Caliga Imperatrix and is located in her own room. She throws a multitude of powerful traps, so watch the ground beneath you. Getting caught in a Bear Trap can usually spell imminent death. The Lightning Traps and Fire Traps hit hard so make sure your elemental resistances are capped.
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Dungeon [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 2/10]
This map is just plain frustrating. Based off of the Prison tileset it has low mob density, lots of obstacles and poor layout. To add insult to injury the unique boss is based of Brutus so he hits like a truck. Watch out for the spikes on the ground during the fight as well as the boss’s lethal Ground Slam attack.

Tier 5
Spoiler

Dunes [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
This map is one of my favourite in the game due to its simplicity. A bright open, circular desert with great mob density. The unique boss based of Hillock can be found chilling in an area to the side of the main map. Hillock is a fairly straightforward boss. After going to half health he will heal and gain a leap slam ability that summons multiple zombies that release poison clouds on death. These poison clouds deal a lot of damage so stay clear.
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Mesa [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
Continuing the trend of maps with great layouts in tier 5 is Mesa. Mesa is a small circular map with few obstacles, great mob density and a straightforward layout. To clear the map travel in either direction around the lower, outer tier then move up and clear the central upper tier. The boss Oak can be found alone in his arena in the centre of the map. Oak is fairly tanky but doesn’t seem to put out too much damage. He can be easily nullified with a decoy totem. Avoid the Ancestral Warchief totem which supplements Oak's damage. Note that Oak also uses Immortal Call periodically making him immune to all physical damage. For physical damaging characters using auras such as Hatred or support gems such as Physical to Lightning or Added Fire Damage can mitigate this problem.
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Peninsula [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
A wide-open map based on the Old Fields. This map is circular so you begin and end at the entrance. The boss is located down in a room along a cliff-face. He is a unique Rock Golem which is relatively easy on its own. However this boss has the ‘other allies cannot die’ aura which means that if the magic pack of monsters that spawns with the boss is dangerous this fight can become very difficult. Luckily, the boss takes some time to appear so try to kill of the blue pack before he comes up. With the double boss mod this fight becomes a puzzle as you need to figure out how to separate one boss from the other.
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Primordial Pool [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
Similar layout to the tier 4 Acid Lakes map. Note that mobs can appear on ledges adjacent to the outer walls. The boss is located in their own room and ohh shit it's Malachai! Don't panic too much. What makes Malachai so difficult in the first place is the fact that you have so little space to work with. Hopefully you are reasonably experienced with this fight so you can easily dodge most of his abilities. Don't get hit by his tentacle slam as it will likely one shot. Ensure your fire resistance is capped and try to avoid his mines. Luckily Malachai doesn't have too much health so you should be able to down him before being overwhelmed. ______________________________________________________________
Pit [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
The map is based on Daressos’s dream. The layout is fairly linear but can require a bit of backtracking. The corridors in this map allow for very efficient clearing. The boss is based on Barkhul (same as Marshes map) so try to avoid his Ground Slam ability. The boss room in this map can be very dangerous due to the quantity of mobs spawning. I advise ignoring the boss and just clearing the additional mobs in a corner to avoid getting overwhelmed.
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Spider Lair [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A linearish map which mixes the Chamber of Sins and Weaver's Chamber tilesets. The boss Thraxia, lies in a small room so be cautious. Based on the Bone Queen in the Belly of the Beast this boss can be a nightmare. Thraxia's lightning damage projectile spray can chip away a lot of your health quickly. Thraxia constantly summons multiple bone Rhoas and skeletal beast adds that are hard to see and can charge out of nowhere for a lot of physical damage. To make it even worse the boss can Detonate Dead the corpses of these skeletal beasts for massive amounts of fire damage. Definitely a boss to avoid with difficult map mods in Hardcore.
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Burial Chambers [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
A fairly large map with poor monster density split into four areas. Two square outdoor areas and two underground Crypt areas which can be accessed from the burial chambers in the open areas. The boss based on Alira can be found in a side room within one of the underground areas. Avoid standing on corpses which can be exploded or the Desecrate (green stuff on the ground) which deals substantial damage over time. Alira has the Soul Eater effect which makes her stronger whenever a nearby enemy is slain. It doesn't help that zombies will continually spawn which provide her with more corpses and souls. Therefore, try to focus on killing Alira as quickly as possible. One other note, if this map has the double boss mod do not stand on the corpse of the first killed boss as the Detonate Dead from the other boss will one-shot you.
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Tower [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
This map has a layout reminiscent of the Crematorium map with four floors of the Prison tileset to be cleared before the boss. Each floor has a linearish layout but some backtracking may be required. The ladder to the boss room is found in the centre of the fourth floor. At the top of the tower is a large room which contains Carnage, AKA Kole from the Lunaris Temple. Carnage dishes out massive amounts of physical damage and can use his chain to pull ranged characters into his vicinity. The main danger in this fight is Carnage's deadly slam ability that should be avoided at all costs for characters with low health/defences. Luckily the slam has a relatively small radius and is easily telegraphed.

Mid Tier Maps

Tier 6
Spoiler

Strand [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 10/10]
This map is pure bliss. It feels like you are running the Twilight Strand again. It is a straight line map to the boss with easy passive mobs. Do note that mobs can be hidden in the water. The boss is a copy of Calaf Headstaver from the Crossroads as well as Kraityn from the Broken Bridge. Both bosses deal modest physical damage so I recommend not trying to engage both at once. Again a Decoy Totem can trivialize this fight. Happy mapping :)
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Canyon [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
Based on the Climb is Act 1 this is a very pleasant map to clear. The map is a wide open area with good mob density and is linear, similar in shape to Jungle Valley. The boss is the unique Chicken and Pitbull pair from Daresso’s Dream. Make no mistake this duo are nowhere near as easy are they are in Daressos’s Dream. They both deal insane damage and once one of them dies the other starts enraging and going ham. The chicken fires Poison Arrow and Vaal Rain of Arrows which can prevent you from moving. Do not let the pitbull charge you as he does insane amounts of physical damage and also inflicts a deadly bleed. I highly recommend killing the Chicken first, as it is the most dangerous when enraged, then not letting the pitbull touch you. Decoys help against the pitbull. I would avoid this map with double boss or boss speed mods.
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Racecourse [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
The amazing layout makes running this map with a fast build like Cast on Crit Discharge extremely fun. The map is split into two oval 'racecourses' which can be cleared simply by wall hugging. Some backtracking may be required to exit to the next area. The bosses of this map can be notoriously difficult. All three bosses deal large amounts of physical damage. The Gladiator in particular inflicts a deadly bleed so bring along a remove bleed flask. The Centaur will periodically cast a yellow aura which will reflect a portion of all the elemental and physical damage you deal. I recommend not engaging all three bosses at once as together they prove a deadly combination.
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Wharf [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
A great linear map based off of the Docks tileset. The map does however contain quite a few obstacles which can impede clear speed. The unique boss Stone of the Currents, is a unique Lightning Golem that outputs a variety of Lightning Spells. If your lightning resistance is capped this boss will prove little challenge. When damaged the boss will summon 6 Flood Orbs which Cyclone. Don't worry they do almost no damage.
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Ramparts [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A pleasant linear two-stage map. In the first stage you move through a forest area akin to Jungle Valley along the base of a castle wall. At the end of the wall you can climb some stairs atop the wall. Follow the ramparts until you get to the boss room. The boss is a unique Blackgaurd Avenger which uses Double Strike, Leap Slam and Cleave. These attacks are fairly slow and somewhat avoidable but do output a large amount of physical damage. Note on attack the boss will leave patches of Burning Ground which do a good amount of fire damage over time so make sure you stay out.
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Thicket [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
Most of the maps in this pool have great clearing ability. Based off of the Dread Thicket this map has narrow corridors and good mob density. A little bit of backtracking may be required but generally you can clear the map by circling in a clockwise fashion. The boss is the Primal One, a large gorilla. He is generally easy, dealing fair amounts of physical damage. After taking damage the boss will start spamming Sunder against your character so be mindful although it isn't too dangerous.
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Spider Forest [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A wide open map the progresses from right to left. However it is very wide so zig-Zagging and backtracking may be required. The unique boss, found in her own cave is again Alira so the exact same precautions should be taken here as in the Burial Chambers map. Namely avoid standing on corpses or in her Desecrate. After some time, a large zombie called Avatar of Rot will spawn from the nearby cauldron. The zombie hits fast and does reasonable physical damage so be mindful of its arrival.
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Vaal City [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A picturesque map with Vaal Ruins structures on a floating island. The island is fairly dense but can be hard to manoeuvre due to the presence of many obstacles. The boss is based on Spinecrack, the Whipping Miscreation from the Lunaris Temple. She can be found in an open square approximately in the centre of the map. She casts Lightning Strike and inflicts Vulnerability on hit. Although the boss has low accuracy she hits for a ton of damage. Lightning projectiles also spawn which should be avoided. The true danger in this fight is that she periodically spawns a group of Shocked Miscreations, which will all simultaneously Lightning Warp on top of your location. This can shock you and deal large amounts of Lightning damage so make sure to move away when this occurs.
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Quarry [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A nice open map that can be hard to manoeuvre due to multiple different elevations. The boss here the unique Chaos Sentinel from the Grotto map that has gained a few new abilities as well as being located in a small area making it significantly more dangerous. Again watch for the boss's deadly Ground Slam attack and avoid standing in the chaos damage Firestorm. The boss also summons large whirlwinds which deal chaos damage over time (yet another thing to watch out for in this hectic fight). Lastly the boss will periodically summon miners that will attempt to release magic Chaos Sentinels from the walls. These Chaos Sentinels are not to be underestimated so I recommend trying to kill the miners before they have a chance of releasing them.

Tier 7
Spoiler

Arachnid Tomb[Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
I absolutely love the feel and design of this arachnophobe's nightmare. Easily my favourite out of the numerous spider themed maps. Split into two stages this map is fairly linear and has great mob density. In the boss room you will find a Hybrid Widow based on Black Death from the Chamber of Sins. The boss has a fairly strong Viper Strike attack that can inflict poison. The boss will continually summon little spiders to try kill you. Every so often the arena will be engulfed by a large spider web which lowers your attack and cast speed as well as your damage. During this period you can kite the small spiders into the nearby fires to burn them off. Even if you don't the fight should still be manageable and fairly quick.
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Ashen Wood [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
An open layout map based on by Old Fields. It has quite a few obstacles so it can be hard to logically path through all mobs. The boss, Lord of the Ashen Arrow, fires an array of fire based attacks. Stay out of the Blast Rain which is easily avoidable. The Vaal Burning Arrow does a fair amount of fire damage and can inflict a powerful ignite. It also leaves burning ground so keep moving. Generally if your fire resistance is capped this boss is extremely easy
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Castle Ruins [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
The map is a nice open map based on the Broken Bridge in Act 2. It can be annoying to fully clear all mobs as many lie within the ruins. The boss is located across a large bridge is you guessed it, Kraityn. Kraityn should be no real threat at this stage for your character. He Flicker Strikes, Blade Flurries and can also Blind. Not really a difficult fight.
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Armory [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A roughly cyclical map with good mob density based on the Labyrinth and Warehouse Tilesets. This map can be annoying to clear to due to having to side track into surrounding rooms to clear mobs. The boss is located across a bridge to the north and is based on General Gracivius. This version of Gracivius is not very strong and player's with capped fire resistances should have no problem.
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Catacombs [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
A cyclic map similar to the Crypt. There are lots of rooms and obstacles which make quickly clearing this map a pain. The boss is located in a room half way round the map. The boss is a unique Necromancer that does nothing except resurrect nearby monsters and cast Spirit Offering. The boss also resurrects a unique pack of skeletons that don't provide too much threat. Focus on killing the boss, as the boss will continually resurrect the unique skeletons.
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Mud Geyser [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
This is a small cyclic map with a central lake based off of the Fetid Pool. The boss in this map is a unique Devourer that lays hidden on the opposite side of the lake. The boss can be hard to spot and is extremely dangerous so take care in that part of the map. If you keep moving around the boss he will not get you so take time at the start to clear out all the other mobs. The boss has extremely dangerous projectile attacks that must be dodged for ranged characters. One is three fast projectiles and the other is a large, single slow projectile. The latter may one shot many characters, even with capped resistances. For melee characters always fight facing away from the boss. The boss does do a strong melee physical auto-attack which you will have to tank through.
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Cells [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 1/10]
Based on the Crematorium this map is incredibly frustrating to clear. There are a lot of small dark rooms with doors and other obstacles. The boss is based on Fire Fury in the Coast. The boss is extremely dangerous if your fire resistances are not capped. The boss’s will continuously cast long duration Firestorms which can stack on each other so it is imperative you stay out. The boss summons adds which can be used to recharge flasks. On death the boss will leave behind a Cast on Death firestorm so be mindful when collecting loot. Avoid this map with the minus maximum resistances mod.

Tier 8
Spoiler

Tropical Island [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
One of my favourite maps to clear. Bright, spacious and linear. The tileset is based on the Southern Forest and the unique boss is a Monkey Chief with the “allies deal substantial extra damage” aura. The boss is extremely slow but can hit hard for those that have poor physical damage mitigation as well as frenzying nearby allies. The boss also summons two smaller unique monkeys akin to those found in the Dread Thicket at 50% health. They come with haste and slowing auras. These monkeys don't have much health so they don't pose much of a threat. Be careful not to be overwhelmed by all the monkeys though.
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Atoll [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 10/10]
Another one of my favourite maps. Even when I’m a high level I sometimes just a run an Atoll map to get into the mapping mood. The map has great mob density and is cyclic. To clear the map follow the path around the outside then come back up through the inner path. The only detractor is that GGG decided the map was too fun so they gave the map a deadly boss. The boss is located just off the top of the outer path. Although it looks like Kuduku this totem deals exclusively in cold spells. Freezing pulse hit extremely hard. The boss summons small Frostbolt totems which can perma-freeze when stacked. If you don't kill these quickly you may find yourself dead from the barrage of Frostbolts. You definitely want a freeze immunity flask. The most dangerous part of this fight is the boss's Ice Nova that is cast every 10 seconds or so. It deals huge amounts of cold damage and can easily one-shot if ill-prepared. If playing a ranged character stay well away from the totem as the Ice Nova area of effect is not small.
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Shore [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
Another one of my favourite maps due to the very high monster density and open layouts. The map is divided into three tiers, you start at the top tier and the boss is located on the beach at the bottom tier. The boss, Belcer the Pirate Lord, is based on Fairgraves so you should be familiar with his Spectral Throw and Summon Raging Spirit attacks. At 50% health he summons a Tormented Bootlegger which when absorbed by Belcer causes him to throw fire bombs and gain power charges. At 25% health, a Tormented Buccaneer is released which when absorbed by Belcer causes him to gain Frenzy charges and use Vaal Spectral Throw. Belcer doesn't have much health so you usually kill him before he uses any of these new abilities. Belcer leaves behind a chest of pirate treasure that when opened summons a pack of weak skeletons.
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Arachnid Nest [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A similar map to the Thicket map with a slightly better layout and mob density. In our continuation of Spider bosses the Spinner of False Hope is almost identical to the Jungle Valley boss. The boss lies in a large room identical to that of the Weaver spider from Act 2. Throughout the fight spiders will continuously spawn. Some of them will be rare and contain dangerous auras such as substantial extra physical damage and increased accuracy and critical strike chance. The boss itself will appear every so often and then disappear again. The boss fires projectiles which deal large amounts of chaos damage. This is can be a long fight and you can’t run away so life gain tools are required. For Energy Shield characters there is nowhere safe to recharge.
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Bog [Difficulty 1-7/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
This map based off of the Fetid Pool is small and circular. To clear the map, I suggest skirting the boundary then spiralling inwards. The boss is located in a room near the centre of the map. The boss is the skeletal version of the Rhoa boss in the Arid Lake map. Again the boss has a powerful charge attack and inflicts chaos damage over time. If you break the three Rhoa nests in the room then the boss will enrage gaining extra health and damage as well as dropping better loot. Do note the enraged boss is far stronger. Again a Decoy Totem works great against this boss.
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Arena [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
This map is akin to the Grand Arena in Act 4 containing several arenas throughout. This map can be frustrating to clear as you may need to backtrack to ensure you have visited each arena. Explore both sides when you come to a fork as there is usually an arena either side. When entering an arena be careful as many mobs can spring upon you in an instant. The boss is the trio from the Grand Arena just before the Daresso fight. Try to kite the Cycloner away and kill him first. Watch out for the Flameblasts and Fire Traps from the other two. This map gives great loot especially when it has the double boss mod.
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Cemetery [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A nice open map based on the Fellshrine with many obstacles. Can be annoying to clear due to the presence of evangelists (the bubble dudes found in the Sceptre of God) as passive mobs. There are three bosses in this map located in a small crypt based on Chatters and Ironpiont the Forsaken from Act 1 as well as a unique Skeleton Archmage. The bosses have Union of Souls which mean they gain more health and damage when their friends die. This map can be lethal for the unprepared and becomes decidedly harder with double bosses. Ironpoint has a very strong and fast physical Rain of Arrows. Thunderskull casts Lightning Warp so keep moving. Chatters is generally easy to kite and avoid. I recommend killing the archer first, then the Archmage. Do not underestimate these bosses like I have...
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Pier [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
This map provides the worst of the Docks tileset. Many obstacles and multiple piers that need exploring to fully clear. The difficulty of the boss of this map will highly depend on your character build. Characters without leech, regen or other sustain mechanics will struggle. You will basically run through three stages in a gauntlet. Each stage requires you to run through a series of Labyrinth traps and then engage the boss. The boss does large amounts of physical damage and also spawns spike traps under your character. After doing enough damage the boss will teleport to the next gauntlet. Because there are no mobs within the gauntlet I recommend teleporting out to refresh flask charges when needed. A Decoy Totem is a great way to prevent your character taking damage from the boss.
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Barrows [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
If you hated the layout of Burial Chambers then you're gonna hate Barrows. This map is pretty big and has one of the worst mob densities in the game. Within the map are three barrows which are small dungeons filled with mobs. The boss, based on the Great White Beast, is located in one of these barrows. The boss will charge on you entering the cave so be cautious. The boss has a simple physical attack along with telegraphed charge and slam attacks (which as far as telegraphed attacks go aren't too bad). During the fight stones will fall from the ceiling. An easy boss for ranged characters to kite and at this stage melee characters should have sufficient physical mitigation.

Tier 9
Spoiler

Promenade [Difficulty 4-10/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
A nice linear map with the Barracks tileset that requires a little bit of backtracking due to the presence of an upper and lower tier. The unique boss is a Blackguard Avenger and Tempest. The tempest summons Conductivity auras on the ground which are easily avoidable. The Avenger has a simple Cleave and Double Strike physical attack. This boss is insanely dangerous for characters that deal multiple hits in quick succession such as Cyclone, Blade Flurry or Blade Vortex due to the Tempest casting Lightning Thorns. Even with this knowledge I have still lost two high level hardcore characters to this boss pair. Kill the Tempest first, if the Avenger has Lightning Thorns circling his torso I recommend not attacking until the buff disappears.
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Reef [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
A nice open, linear map with decent mob density. The unique boss lies in a small arena in a shipwrecked pirate ship near the end of the island. Continuing the series of pirate bosses in coastal areas is First Mate Cratus who is almost identical to Telvar from the Coves map. Along with the fire and physical projectiles, Cratus also spawns breakable barrels which release burning ground when smashed. The burning ground is fairly strong and can stack so keep moving during to fight. Also don't kill this boss too fast as after a short time the boss will unlock the treasure chest in the canter of the room which gives additional loot. ______________________________________________________________
Coves [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A small circular island map where the player starts in the centre. Traverse the map in any direction you please. The unique bosses Telvar the Inebriated and his golem buddy Pirate Treasure will be located randomly by a pirate ship around the coast. Telvar is a pirate ghost that throws fire bombs which leave burning ground - these aren't too dangerous if your fire resistance is capped. He also throws barrels which do large amounts of physical damage and spread tar. The golem just has a strong physical auto attack. Together they can pump out reasonable damage so I recommend not engaging both bosses at once.
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Orchard [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A pleasant map to clear based on the Imperial Gardens with wide pathways and great mob density. Always be careful of porcupines for non-evasion/freeze based characters, especially with mods like Vulnerability. The boss in this map is a the Vision of Justice that accompanies Izaro in the Labyrinth. The boss has a lot of abilities so pay attention. The boss casts a barrage of green projectiles on the players that should be avoided (these can shotgun). The boss spawns fountains of fire and purple areas of chaos damage over time so stay out. The boss also summons skeleton adds and teleports periodically. The most dangerous ability of this boss is her channelled laser beam which locks on to the player dealing huge amounts of damage over time. The only way to interrupt this channel is to hide behind the columns in the arena.
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Temple [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A wide open map with very poor mob density based on the Solaris Temple. The Unique boss, the Riftwalker, is located at the top of the map. He provides an introduction to the danger of the Shaper's mechanics. The Riftwalker has a powerful Spectral Throw that should be dodged. The shaper also casts Black Hole Frostbolt's which leave a spacy Vortex on the ground on hit - stay out of these. The danger in this fight comes from the Riftwalker's telegraphed slam attack that will one shot your character if you are standing under it. The slam will also release a massive Black Hole Vortex that does significant damage over time. After losing 20% of health the boss will teleport and a slowly increasing black hole will open up so quickly get to the nearby portal to find the boss in the next area. Keep hopping platforms until the boss is dead. To exit the boss area you need to transition through the portals. When you find one labelled "Temple" it will return you to the main map.
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Overgrown Shrine [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A large map with the Chamber of Sins level 2 tileset. The map has small rooms with high mob density. The Unique boss is located at the top of the map in the only room with stairs and is based on Piety’s lightning form. She is extremely dangerous, dishing out insane amounts of lightning damage. Her Ball Lightning ability is relative harmless but stay out of her Lightning Storms which can stun preventing you from escaping. I advise trying to off-screen her if you are a ranged character. If you need to be in close proximity use a Topaz Flask with the immune to shock mod and quickly kill her. Retreat when necessary to recover. ______________________________________________________________
Crypt [Difficulty 3-9/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
This map with the Crypt tileset (surprise), requires you to clear the left side and right side from the entrance with the boss being located somewhere on a large platform at the back of the map. There are many obstacles and low mob density making it largely underwhelming. The boss, based on Archbishop Geofri is extremely dangerous if you use curses. Geofri randomly inflicts two curses on your character. Any curses you inflict on Geofri that expire will cause him to release an extremely powerful punishment nova that can easily one shot. If the elemental weakness curse is on your character and your resists are low then this will probably spell game over. Therefore disable all curses when attempting this boss. With curses disabled the boss only has a powerful auto-attack that is easily avoidable.
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Museum [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
Based on the Library this map has good mob density but contains an annoying layout with lots of small rooms. The boss room can be found by pulling down the loose candle on the back wall. The boss here is Maligaro which spells danger. Maligaro deals obscene amounts of chaos and physical damage as well as filling the room with nasty chaos cluster traps. Maligaro also uses Desecrate combined with Detonate Dead so make sure to keep moving. Although Maligaro does not have much health he can do insane amounts of damage in a small period of time so be cautious.

Last edited by GildedCage on Dec 2, 2016 1:44:16 AM
Tier 10
Spoiler

Quay[Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
A pleasant linear map with great mob density along the Warehouse waterfront. The only annoying thing about the layout is that you sometimes have to go down stairs to clear mobs (if not a ranged character). The boss, Unravelling Horror, is aptly named. Like a Russian Doll after being killed a smaller version of himself will pop out. You have to kill the boss 4 times before any loot will drop. The boss has powerful puncture and blast rain attacks. In the last two stages of the boss areas of the room will fill with small, hard to see arrows which can be problematic if you are not being observant. The boss isn't too bad but the fight can be incredibly long so you may need to portal to town to regain flask charges.
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Courtyard [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
An open rectangular map based on the Imperial Gardens. Not as spacious as the Orchard but also not as troublesome to clear as the Terrace. The boss, based on the trio of unique Blackguards at the start of the Dominus fight, reside in their own room in the top left corner. One casts Spark Totems while Lightning Warping, one is a Cycloner that leaves chilled ground and one Leap Slams and casts multiple Fireball projectiles. Avoid engaging all the bosses at once as they all do large amounts of damage. You can isolate them quite easily as the room is fairly large. In my opinion the leap slammer is by far the most dangerous so always keep an eye on him. Three boss’s means almost triple the loot so I usually try to roll the best mods I can on this map.
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Underground River[Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
Another linear map with good mob density based on the Caverns tileset. The boss is based on the unique dropbear Q'uru found in the Caverns. Q'uru will continuously spawn dropbears from above that dish out decent physical damage. The main threat of this fight is when the Q'uru disappears a powerful Earthquake aftershock will occur where he was located. This will also occur when he re-appears. This aftershock does some serious physical damage so continually moving away from the boss's location is a good idea.
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Colonnade [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A nice linear map that is similar to the Promenade. It has both a lower tier and upper tier. Note there are mobs in both directions from the starting point. I advise clearing the lower tier first then progressing to the upper tier. The end of the upper tier contains the boss room with a version of General Gravicius awaiting in the tent. This version of Gravicius is much more difficult than the one found in the Armory map. His Firestorms, Molten Shell and auto attacks hit much harder. What makes this fight hard is the fact that Gracivius has extremely high energy shield. At 2/3 and 1/3 life Gravicius will return to his tent and regain his entire energy shield back. This is a long fight where it is hard to avoid taking damage. I advise setting a portal in his room to regain flask charges if you run out.
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Terrace [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
As of the Talisman leagues this map no longer lays claim to the worst layout in the game although it is still pretty poor. This map still has obstacles everywhere and aptly used to be called the Labyrinth. Having a movement ability like Lightning Warp, Leap Slam or Blink Arrow greatly helps traversing the map. The unique boss is a Plummeting Chimeral called Sallazzang that fires a barrage of hard to dodge projectiles that slow your attack and cast speed. What makes this boss tricky is that fact that it constantly devours nearby corpses, meaning if your character doesn’t deal enough damage this can be a painful fight. After consuming corpses, the boss regains life as well as increasing its damage. Add to that the boss will summons Devourers. Detonate Dead or Devouring Totem can help remove corpses for the boss to consume. Note Sallazzang can spawn rare Devourers which can come with deadly auras.
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Arsenal [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
Notorious for its annoying layout this map consists of an outdoor area based on the Warehouse District in Act 3 as well as several warehouses. Upon entry to the boss room you will be greeted by waves of animated weapons which are have fairly low health. After about the forth wave or so the boss, the Dancing Dervish an animated sword, will appear. The boss has fairly weak Cyclone and Lacerate physical attacks which provide little challenge at this tier of maps. Ranged characters do note the area of the Lacerate is quite large so keep your distance.
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Malformation [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 2/10]
Same tileset as Phantasmagoria but with a confusing layout, poor visibility and horrible mob density. This boss based on Act 4 Piety can be insanely dangerous for certain characters. Without good mobility or a movement skill this fight will be very difficult. Getting touched by Piety’s lightning beam can one-shot certain characters. The beam inflicts a deadly bleed so ensure you have a remove bleeding flask. A tip to avoid the beam is to Whirling Bladed through it when it comes around. I recommend not running this map with double boss, damage mods or multiple projectiles. The boss is a mechanical fight so if you have experience on it in Act four it should be doable.


High Tier Maps

Tier 11
Spoiler

Wasteland [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
A nice outdoor map based on the Dried Lake in Act 4. The boss here is based on Voll from the same area. If you have experience with the Voll fight in Act 4 this boss is a piece of cake. His slam and charge attacks are easily telegraphed so make sure you get out of the way. The adds he summons release poisonous clouds on death similar to the Dunes boss so make sure you stand clear of them. As a ranged character you should take no damage and as a melee character you should be able to tank his auto-attacks.
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Precinct [Difficulty ?/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A nice open, outdoor map with the Slums tileset. The bosses don’t have their own room so take caution with running around the map. The boss is a group of random rogue exiles (3-6 I think but I'm not 100% on this). The twinned affix increases the probability of more exiles appearing. Note these exiles can drop maps (normal exiles cannot). Rogue exiles tend not to have much health but can pump out incredible amounts of damage quickly. The particularly dangerous exiles are Magnus, Wiliron, Igna, Antilie, Vickas and Xandro. Often the fight is great fun and not too difficult but every once in a while you may come across a perfect combination of dangerous exiles that absolutely destroys you.
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Chateau [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
Rhymes with Plateau. A polarizing map in terms of layout. The first area of the map is a mazy garden reminiscent of the Terrace map which is frustrating to clear. At the south of the map are wide indoor corridors similar to the Armory map. The boss is based on Argus from the Labyrinth. Luckily Argus seems to have less health, resistances and damage than in the Labyrinth so he should be manageable. He is very easy for ranged characters to kite, although be careful of his Sunder.
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Bazaar [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
The exact same layout as the Arcade this map suffers from the same problems in terms of obstacles and low mob density. The unique bosses lie in a warehouse at the end of the map. The main boss in the Ancient Sculptor similar to the boss found in the Pier map. He hits hard and has a powerful multiple projectiles Spectral Throw. Patches of liquid gold will appear which reduce your movement speed. At 2/3 health the Sculptor will release the second boss Marceus the Defaced from the Marketplace. Marceus is tanky and has a strong Lightning Strike attack. At 1/3 health the Sculptor will release the Goddess of Purity from the Solaris Temple. She is by far the easiest of the three bosses and should pose no problem. For this fight try not to engage all the bosses at the same time - they are all easily kitable.
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Excavation [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
Based on the Mines in Act 4 this map has good mob density and wide passageways but a horrendously confusing layout. Sometimes the map layout just works out but often a lot backtracking may be necessary. The bosses are a trio of unique mobs based on those found in the Mines. One is based on Pikerivet who used a quick ground slam attack and places circles on the ground which you need to avoid. Another is based on the Burning Man, so stay out of his Righteous Fire and avoid his fire projectiles. The last one is a unique Pocked Goliath that uses a slam attack as well as throwing projectiles. These projectiles are hard to avoid and hit a ton on evasion based characters. What makes this fight hard is the bosses have Phylacteral Link which means you can only damage one of them at a time, the one with the shiny aura at the base of the boss. This is a long difficult fight for characters that do not have much physical mitigation or general sustain. Good luck trying this map with double boss :)
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Torture Chamber [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 2/10]
This map definitely lives up to its name. Based on the Upper Prison the layout is confusing and hard to navigate similar to the Dungeon map. Add to that the boss of this map Shock and Horror is lethal. Based on Merviel’s lightning daughter, Shock and Horror resides in her own little room. This is a mechanical fight that should be learned before attempting. The boss summons five Lightning Warp totems that deal large amounts of lightning damage and creates shocking ground which causes you to take extra damage. The boss will resummon these totems so ignore them till the fight is completed. Keep mobile during the fight so that the totems do not stack on top of you, especially on shocking ground. What makes this fight deadly is the boss’s honed laser beam that deals an insane amount of continuous lightning damage. You need to pop a topaz flask when this happens and take cover behind one of the pillars in the chamber. After the beam is finished it cannot be used again for 20 seconds so take the opportunity to quickly finish the boss.
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Underground Sea[Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 1/10]
Horrible, horrible map based on Merviel's Caverns. The mob density is low, the corridors are narrow and the lots of backtracking is required. The unique boss is the first form of Merviel. A straightforward fight, just avoid her Icestorm/Ice Spear attacks and avoid all the chilled ground.

Tier 12
Spoiler

Plateau [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
A slightly smaller, worse Atoll which maintains a nice cyclic layout. Basically the boss of the Atoll map has been taken and made twice as hard. Now we have another totem in the boss area along with Purina called Poporo which uses a variety of lightning spells. Don't worry while they are both together they simply use a weak frostbolt and spark attack. Once one is killed the other will heal to full health and go berserk. For melee characters I recommend killing Purina first (the ice one) and ranged characters to kill Poporo first (the lightning one). While in melee range Poporo will simply use Lightning Projectile spells. Periodically Poporo will cast an extremely dangerous Vaal Storm Call that you must evade (you thought Piety's is bad this is a whole level worse), luckily it has a small area of effect. Again if you let Purina live the Ice Nova can one shot so if playing a ranged character stand well clear. A hard map with minus maximum resistances or double bosses.
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Estuary [Difficulty 3/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
Basically the Beach map if a volcano had just erupted and spewed fire down from above. The map is small and linear but also quite wide. In the boss arena you will find a zombie spellcaster Sumter the Twisted. Sumtar fires four projectiles, two fire and two cold, which can overlap and hit for a good amount of elemental damage. Avoid the Ice and Fire Storms that appear during the fight although they are not too threatening. At 2/3 and 1/3 health the boss transforms into a unique fire and ice golem respectively. These golems have generally low health and are not very threatening. Oh and if you like opening lots of chests this map is for you.
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Vault [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A brighter version of the Armory map with a nice twist. To clear the map travel to each of the corners of the map and activate the levers. These will open doors which contain nearby mobs. Once all three levers have been pulled you can open the Vault door on the east side of the map. This leads through to an arena filled with gold and a particularly dangerous stone golem. The boss has a powerful physical Leap Slam and Smash attack which can be hard to avoid. Throughout the fight the boss will summon animated weapons and animated guardians. The guardians are quite tanky and deal a good amount of physical damage. If you leave the boss too long he will disappear and place yellow circles (the same as Undying Evangelists in the Sceptre of God) all over the ground. These explode for massive physical damage. As an extra reward for killing this boss you can loot the golden treasure piles around the arena. Note it pays to kill this boss fast as every animated guardian spawned by the boss reduces the number of treasure piles you can loot by one.
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Ivory Temple [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
Similar to the Chateau map, this map mixes open corridors (Solaris Temple tileset) with the gardens from the Labyrinth. Down some stairs in a large room lies a randomly chosen boss from the Perandus Manor map as well as multiple Perandus mobs which continually spawn during the fight. This room can be crazy so approach with caution. The Perandus boss, similar to the Warbands bosses is incredibly tanky while also outputting serious amounts of damage. I haven't experienced this map enough to know which bosses are the most threatening, but from my experience they are all extremely hard. After killing the boss don't forget to loot the Temple Stash. Following on from the boss room in the adjacent garden area is a passage that takes you to a large room filled with several mobs.
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Shipyard [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
Based on the Docks tileset this map is rectangular with lots of obstacles, you start in one corner and the boss is located in the diagonal opposite corner. This marks the first in a series of map with Warbands mobs as bosses. Warbands are powerful groups of foes that combine attacks of a single element. In the case of Shipyard this is the lightning Warband Brinerot. Make sure you are overcapped on lightning resistance or have a Topaz flask as the Soothsayers cast conductivity. A shock removal flask may also be neccessary. The Warband is fronted by a Warband leader which is incredibly tanky so I recommend dealing with the other warband mobs first. I haven't done these maps enough to know the ins and outs of each of the three possible warleaders but they all seem fairly consistent in their difficulty.
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Necropolis [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
With the same tileset as the Crypt this map has a lot of rooms and obstacles. It is roughly linear, just be sure to clear all the side rooms. The boss is a unique bonestalker called Butok. He has a fairly strong auto attack as well as throwing strong physical projectiles (not too hard to dodge). Do not do this boss without some form of movement skill (Leap Slam, Whirling Blades, Flash Dash, Blink Arrow etc). The boss will create a circular frost wall around your character preventing you from moving. Spiking ground will then spawn under your feet dealing massive amounts of physical damage over time. It is imperative that when you get trapped by the frost wall that you use a movement skill to escape.
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Crematorium [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 2/10]
Based on the Crematorium in Act 3 this map is split up into four levels. Try to clear each level before progressing. The boss Fire and Fury, based off Merviel's fire sea witch, occupies the bottom level. The boss uses a Flame Surge ability which deals fair amounts of fire damage. Small fire elemental and relatively harmless fire projectiles also flood the arena. Periodically the boss will teleport into one of the four corners where the furnace fire will allow her to regenerate health. Pulling on the corresponding timed crank will disable that furnace for a short time. The boss is fairless harmless but the fight can be rather drawn out. Teleport out if you are running short on flask charges.
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Residence [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
A multi-tiered map based on the Upper Sceptre of God with Dominus’s first form residing at the top. Frankly a terrible map due to the poor layout and low monster density, some of the rooms don't even have mobs in them! Clear the adds before engaging with Dominus. You should have experience with this fight so you know that movement is key. When he charges his “Touch of God” get out of the way, it will one shot you. While he is lightning beaming run in a circle. The adds he summons can be used to your advantage to regain flask charges. You may want to avoid mods that increase the boss’s attack speed.

Tier 13
Spoiler

Gorge [Difficulty 4/10 | Clearing Ability 10/10]
This is the gold standard for any map. Few would argue this is the best map in the game for experience. The map is one long corridor with great mob density and no obstacles. There is a reason this map is used in speed clearing videos. The boss is a large Goatman called Rek'tar. When you first enter the room a group of tanky unique goatmen will spawn which will all leap at you. They deal substantial physical damage so don't underestimate them. You can try killing them or just run around for a bit (note they drop good loot), eventually Rek'tar will pop down killing all the little goats. Rek'tar is a simple fight, he jumps around for a while then gets tired and rests. The amount of damage his leap does is proportional to how directly he hits you. Squishy ranged characters beware - a direct hit from Rek'tar's leap will one shot you. Avoid doing this boss with mods that raise the boss's movement speed or lower yours (Temporal Chains for instance).
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Beacon[Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
Continuing the theme of maps in this tier with great clearing ability is the Beacon map. Basically a linear map akin to the Atoll map until we reach a giant pyramid. Circle the pyramid base then spiral to the top where you will find the Redblade fire Warband. Take the same precautions as you would in the Shipyard or Sulphur Wastes map. Fire Warbands can inflict deadly ignites so carry an ignite removal flask. Luckily if you are getting low on health/flasks it is relatively easy to retreat to recuperate.
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Waterways [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A map with the same layout and mob density as the Channel map. The boss is located in the same place in the top left corner of the map. The boss is a unique Ice Golem that spawns multiple other Ice Golems of varying rarity. The boss also drops ice bombs that if you walk over deal a modest amount of cold damage. The boss doesn’t do too much damage but every so often will freeze and stop attacking. When this happens do not attack the boss. The boss gains thorns so builds that deal lots of attacks in quick succession such as Cyclone will drop instantly.
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High Gardens[Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A visually stunning map consisting of an upper and lower tier similar to Promenade map. At the end of the walkway you will reach a large garden square which contains mobs on all sides. At the back of this garden is the Suncaller Asha, based on Soulmourn from the Fellshrine ruins. Asha is slow moving and hits with a strong Molten Strike. She will Leap Slam on your character if you are standing away from her but it is easily avoidable. Range characters can easily kite this boss avoiding all damage. Slow moving beacons of light will appear and target your character. These beacons do a lot of fire damage over time so make sure you actively move away from them. ______________________________________________________________
Sulphur Wastes [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
This map has the same layout as the Dunes map except with annoying raised ledges in the center. The bosses can be found in an arena to the side. This map contains the Mutewind (Ice) Warband. They exist in a small arena so be careful not to engage all of them at once. You can't escape the arena easily so teleport out if you need flask charges. Again the warband leaders are extremely tanky so deal with all the other enemies first.
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Lair[Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
You arrive in a serene forest surrounded by not so friendly wolves. Follow the path into the cave ahead. Not quite as easy to clear as the Undergrtound River but not as sprawling as the Grotto map. At the end of the cave you enter a glade and who awaits in the middle but the baddest wolf of them all, Rigwald. Rigwald is pretty tough, he has a lot of health and resistances and hits like a truck. When he starts shooting wolfs at you make sure to hide being a tree. When in dog form he hits hard and fast so I recommend trying to avoid him during this phase by kiting him around the arena.
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Scriptorium[Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A sprawling map based with the Library and Museum tilesets. The map layout is a giant rectangle with the boss room lying approximately in the centre. The boss here is Shavronne which can be extremely deadly for many characters. Topaz flasks are recommended to deal with Shavronne's large amounts of lightning spell damage. Similar to the Promenade boss Shavronne will periodically cast Lightning Thorns on herself. This reflects lightning damage for each hit made. If playing a fast hitting character such as Cyclone or Blade Vortex you will almost instantly die. Therefore, I recommend only attacking her for a short period after her Lightning Thorns have fell off. Although you probably already have experience with this boss in Act 4 do not underestimate her.
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Plaza[Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
A horrible map layout based on the garden areas in the Labyrinth. I think I dislike this map even more than Terrace. Note some mobs can only be accessed by pulling levers. The boss is located in an arena at the top of the map. The boss is the Guardian of the Goddess from the Orchard map. This time she comes with spiky pillar traps and less places to hide. When she channels her deadly beam get behind one of the two pillars on each side of the room or get as far away as possible from the boss. Watch out that the boss doesn't teleport you onto one of her traps.

Tier 14
Spoiler

Springs [Difficulty 2/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
This map hasn’t really changed from when it used to be Tier 3. The layout has four distinct regions centered about the middle rock outcrop. The unique boss is Oak again who resides in his own little fortress. Oak isn't really that much more difficult than he is in the Mesa map although remember he is quite tanky. He summons more ancestral totems than before so ensure you are out of range them. All in all this map is a small break from the true challenges that await in these higher tiers.
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Volcano [Difficulty 6/10 | Clearing Ability 6/10]
A nice wide linear map with a few obstacles based on Kaom’s path in Act 4. The unique boss is a totem based on the invasion boss Jikeji. The boss summons lots of small saplings which use various elemental attacks with elemental equilibrium. Because of this it is extremely important that your resistances are overcapped as elemental equilibrium reduces two of your resistances by -50%. Keep moving during the fight as the magma orbs and lightning warps will burst you down quickly. The boss continually summons the saplings so ignore them and focus on killing the boss. Apparently if you are getting overwhelmed by the saplings you can move a screen away and wait for them to de-spawn.
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Maze[Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 4/10]
Formally called the Conservatory, this map has the same tileset as Vaal Pyramid, except it is only on a single floor. The Shadow of the Vaal is located across the bridge on the familiar platform it resides on at the top of the Ancient Pyramid in Act 2. The boss fight is mechanical and rather easy. When he starts shooting laser beams start running in circles and pop a remove shock flask. Do not get caught by the boss’s slam attack as it will almost definitely one-shot you. This fight can get a bit more hectic with double bosses.
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Palace [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
Similar to the Residence map except on a single tier rather than multiple levels. The layout of the map is rectangular with nice open rooms, although many rooms are empty. The boss resides in his own room at the back of the map. The fight is first and second phase Dominus which should be familiar, except since it is a tier 14 map the boss becomes much more dangerous. Again, make sure to stay out of the first phase Dominus’s Light of Divinity punch. I find attack speed modifiers, multiple projectiles or the double boss mod can introduce errors even for experienced players. Most strong builds can tank the second phase of Dominus. Obviously make sure you are carrying a remove bleed flask to remove the corruption stacks.
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Shrine [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A map based on the area in Lunaris Temple leading up to Piety. The passive mobs in this map are miscreation’s so be careful. The layout should be familiar, go through the golden doors then up the stairs, at the top of the stairs you will find the first form of the boss Piety. This form of Piety is similar to that in Overgrown Ruin, so again a Topaz flask is recommended against her powerful lightning storms. Run away if things get too dangerous. After the fight Piety will disappear, go through the portal to begin the second phase of the fight. This phase is the same as when you fought Piety in the Lunaris Temple. Some builds can tank her fire form, if you cannot try to run away. All builds should take cover behind pillars when she is firing her Ice Shots as they deal a ludicrous amount of cold and physical damage.
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Mineral Pools [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
Traversing this map is a major challenge. There are ledges everywhere and rocks in all sorts of annoying places. The walkways are small and mobs hide around all sorts of nooks and crannies. Yeah, the only thing this map has going for itself is that it is kind of linear. At the end of the map is Merviel on a small platform with lots of obstacles. This time we have to face both phases of Merviel. Second phase Merviel can be quite dangerous due to the amount of stuff going on. Watch out for the Heir of Flame and Storm when they appear. Stay out of the geysers which do large amounts of cold damage.

Tier 15
Spoiler

Abyss [Difficulty 5/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
A darkly lit map that resembles Volcano. The map is split into four distinct sections. At the end of the west and east section will be a portal to teleport you back to the middle. The boss, King Kaom, resides in his familiar room at the top of the mountain. Out of all the tier 15 bosses Kaom is probably the easiest. His ground slam attack is telegraphed and hence easy to avoid. Don't get hit though as it can easily one-shot with certain map mods. Kaom doesn't have too much health so the fight isn't as gruelling as others in this tier.
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Dark Forest [Difficulty 7/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
Whereas the Lair map was bright and cheerful the Dark Forest is well dark... Follow the ominous road to clear the map, note it branches at one point. At the end of the road we find a familiar large room containing our familiar friend Rigwald. Rigwald is no more difficult than in the Lair map but does have a few new tricks. On each island he will have a different special effect which tends to be something like spawning adds or placing stuff on the ground to avoid. Every so often Rigwald will teleport to a new island so you have to run around and find him again.
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Colosseum [Difficulty 8/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
A mixture of Daressos's Dream and Arena. The pits section has great mob density and nice corridors while the arena section is annoying to manoeuvre. The boss here is Daresso who does cold and physical damage. Bring remove freeze flasks and some form of physical mitigation if possible. Be careful of the swords which spawn dealing massive amounts of quick physical damage. Evasion characters may have a tough time due to Daresso's Resolute Technique ability which means he will never miss attacks. It may pay to bring a decoy totem along in this case.
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Overgrown Ruin [Difficulty 9/10 | Clearing Ability 5/10]
Previously a tier 1 map, this map has the same tileset as the Overgrown Shrine map. The layout of the map is similar to the Vaal Pyramid in that it is divided into four tiers with the boss residing at the bottom. This is final and most dangerous in our series of Warbands bosses. Here you will find two of the Chaos Warbands leaders in a small room. Chaos Innoculation characters won't have much problem but for all other characters high chaos resistance or an Amethyst flask wouldn’t go amiss. In fact I would be surprised in any melee life based character would be able to survive double boss on this map.
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Core [Difficulty 10/10 | Clearing Ability 3/10]
An absolute mess of a map. Tiny, claustrophobic corridors from the Harvest ensure that no matter what pack-size you roll here, it all gets swallowed up. Luckily (or unluckily) we get to fight 4 bosses. You must first clear Malachai's familiar friends Maligaro, Shavronne and Doedre. These sub-bosses have much less health than their counterparts in previous maps. However they still dish out absurd damage so kill them quick. Consult the explanations on Phantasmagoria, Museum and Scriptorium for detailed information on how to approach each sub boss. After these three are down we get to fight Malachai in all his glory. Since patch 2.4 Malachai has been nerfed, although he can no longer claim to be the most difficult boss in the game that doesn't make him easy. I trust at this stage you know how Malachai works. Just note that all of his abilities do insane damage and it is very hard to avoid getting hit by everything. Good luck :)

Tier 16
Spoiler

Tier 16 Guardians are on another level compared with tier 15 bosses. These bosses probably have 20 times the life of Kaom in the Abyss map. They are all mechanical fights where mistakes get punished. These bosses along with Shaper and Uber Atziri represent the hardest content Path of Exile has to offer. Enjoy :)

Note: I have only attempted these bosses once. I need more experience on these bosses in softcore leagues so I can write better descriptions. Sorry but for now these are just footnotes.
Check out Incredible Witnesses guides on his Youtube channel.

Maze of the Minotaur[Difficulty 10/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
Immune to Bleeding and Freeze/Chill. Strong physical attacks - 30% converted to lightning. Burrows underground and springs upon your character with powerful attack. Telegraphed slam attack which leaves circle of falling rocks. Summon stone golems that can be used to recharge flasks. Don't run through lightning fences as they inflict a shock that cannot be removed by flasks.
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Pit of the Chimera[Difficulty 10/10 | Clearing Ability 8/10]
Immune to Bleeding, Poison and Freeze/Chill. Lowest health of all Guardians. Quick flurry of physical/fire/chaos attacks. Can inflict powerful Bleeds. Has several add phases. Adds have high health and do a lot of damage. Disappears leaving clouds of smoke. Run through clouds to re-discover boss - he does significant damage while hidden.
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Forge of the Phoenix[Difficulty 10/10 | Clearing Ability 9/10]
Immune to Ignite and Freeze/Chill. Do not do map with -max resistances as fire damage everywhere. Phoenix does cyclone and melee auto-attacks. Watch out for telegraphed Discharge explosion. Boss summons fire tornados and phoenix adds. Kill adds as they can do a lot of fire damage and don't have too much health. Applies stacking debuff of 1% maximum fire resistance lost per 10% of boss' health lost. This debuff cannot be removed by leaving the area.
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Lair of the Hydra[Difficulty 10/10 | Clearing Ability 7/10]
In my opinion the most dangerous of the four Guardians. Immune to Poison and Freeze/Chill. Physical and Cold ranged attacks. Telegraphed Barrage which deals significant damage. Blast rain in front of boss. Constant stream of large/slow projectiles which should be dodged - more projectiles as boss gets closer to death. Disappears periodically summoning weak adds that give flask charges and leave Vortex on death. When boss reappears does a very powerful fork shot which is incredibly powerful.
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Vaal Temple[Difficulty 10/10 | Clearing Ability ?/10]
The trio of Miscreations from the Alluring Abyss. Only obtainable after corrupting a tier 15 map. I haven't run this map.

Last edited by GildedCage on Dec 2, 2016 5:31:46 AM
Unique Maps

Spoiler

Acton’s Nightmare [Base: Overgrown Shrine (76) | Difficulty 2/10]
Do not play this map without the music on! The soundtrack is among the best within the game. The map is filled with spooky skeletons that will not lie down. The Restless Dead map mod means that monsters come back to life 10 seconds after being killed unless their corpse is removed (via shatter or corpse explosion for example). The resurrected skeletons don’t provide and experience or drop any loot. Use the mini-map to ensure you have visited each room in this mazy map. In the North-Western corner are the bosses – two Necromancers, Thorn and Rose, which can resurrect any monster, even each other. This means the fight is eternal unless you kill both bosses at approximately the same time. As reward open the Large Chest to receive a heap of loot.
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Caer Blaidd, Wolfpack’s Den [Base: Underground River (77) | Difficulty 7/10]
The map contains two types of mobs. Firstly, wolves which Puncture inflicting a severe bleed. Ensure you bring along a bleed removal flask. Secondly, wolf cultists which deal use Caustic Arrow and Viper Strike to inflict chaos damage – these guys aren’t too frightening. Walking through this linear Den you will encounter two unique wolves which deal substantial elemental damage. Winterbite has a powerful Ice Nova and creates Frost Bombs on the ground. Storm Eye casts a Lightning Storm as well as using a strong Lightning Strike attack. Both of them can also Leap Slam.
At the end of the Den is a Cave which contains Winterbite, Storm Eye and Solus, the most powerful wolf of the three. Solus deals exclusively in fire spells, dishing out very fast Flameblasts and multiple projectile Magma Orbs. Because the cave is small there isn’t really anywhere to hide. My recommendation is to keep moving, you may eventually be able to kite one of the wolves away from the others.
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Death and Taxes [Base: Necropolis (79) | Difficulty 8/10]
At the start of the map run along the walkways past all the orange portals. At the last platform running over portal will spawn the boss, the Avatar. In his first three forms the Avatar will use a range of powerful elemental spells of a single element. After killing each form the Avatar will become immune to all damage and start chasing the player. At this point you must kite the Avatar back the way you came to the orange portal on the next platform. Along the way animated weapons will spawn which can be used to regain flask charges. The Avatar has massive AoE, so watch out for the Flameblasts, Ice Nova (almost the whole screen) and Storm Calls. On the last platform, the Avatar will go from using a single element to using all three concurrently, effectively making the fight thrice as difficult. Pop all your flasks and kill him fast or he will kill you. Retreat behind the pillars if you need to recuperate but beware of his Ice Nova which has massive range.
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Hall of Grandmasters[Base: Promenade (76) | Difficulty 10/10]
Probably the most unique out of all the unique maps. GGG has immortalized players who had purchased a Grandmaster supporter pack in the game by allowing them to add a character of theirs (mirrored gear and all) into this map. You fight about 30 waves of 5 grandmasters at a time. As you progress the waves become more difficult. The map is split into three halls which contain 50 grandmasters. At the end of each hall is a Grandmaster’s Cache which are comparable to Izaro’s chests at the end of Uber Labyrinth.
The fact of reality is that 90% of builds cannot complete this map. For example, many of the grandmasters are running Chaos Innoculation so pure chaos damage builds are ineffective. Some grandmasters do too much damage or are too tanky (Aegis Aurora + Max Block) for the majority of characters to kill. Do not do this map on Hardcore (seriously it is probably harder than the Shaper). If in Softcore try this map out for fun and see how far you can get. There are many caveats for a lot of the grandmasters which can’t all be covered here. I found this really great video by Incredible Witness here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ty6ziUP_-k which goes into greater detail about how to approach this map.
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Hallowed Ground [Base: Graveyard (71) | Difficulty 6/10]
The monster level of this map can range from 70 to 82. Only five monsters are present in this map (Hey it’s not as bad as Death and Taxes). Heading south you come to a large room where you will find Kole from the Lunaris Temple, at this point he cannot take damage so just run on past him. The map splits off into four branches. At the end of each branch is a sub-boss that when killed buffs Kole in some way. Only once all the sub-bosses are down only then can you kill Kole. The sub bosses are the Vaal Oversoul, Hillock (from the Dunes map), the Weaver and Loathe – these guys aren’t too bad. When you return to the middle you find not one but TWO Koles. Luckily once you kill one the other dies. The Koles are hasted, have a heavy hitting ground smash and can grapple you from distance with their chains. Characters with good physical mitigation can simply tank them Squishy ranged characters will have to put in some effort trying to kite these two.
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Maelstrom of Chaos [Base: Atoll (75) | Difficulty 2/10]
A lovely map if you like the Atoll map layout and the Lover divination card. Not so lovely if you hate chilled ground. Quite uninteresting for a unique map. Head in either direction around the island. About halfway around a path will lead you to a cave containing Merviel the Returned. Merviel is no more difficult than in the Underground Sea map, although you do have to face both forms. Enjoy all the rare loot.
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Mao Kun [Base: Reef (76) | Difficulty 8/10]
Monsters deal 175-190% extra damage as lightning. Bring multiple Topaz flasks. A Purity of Lightning is also recommended for the additional maximum lightning resistance. Clearing the trash mobs doesn’t really matter; you can if you want but the loot isn’t anything special. At the end of the island you will find the ghost of Fairgraves. Interact with him and all the remaining monsters in the map will die.
Running over monster corpses will resurrect them as ghosts. While running over corpses you will encounter Booty chests. When opened, these chests give lots of currency items and after a few seconds Fairgraves himself will appear. Note at this stage Fairgraves can’t die so just run around for a while, dodging his Spectral Throw (which hits hard) – after 10-20 seconds he will disappear.
Keep running around the map until you have found and opened all 8 Booty chests (this can be tedious, note some corpses may be in the water). On the 8th chest (it pays to count) the final form of Fairgraves will appear surrounded by ghost pirates. Finally mortal, Fairgraves is more dangerous than before. Avoid his Spectral/Vaal Spectral Throw as well as his Summon Raging Spirits. Kill him to complete the map – hopefully you found some good currency along the way.
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Oba’s Cursed Trove [Base: Torture Chamber (78) | Difficulty 5/10]
In this map it pays to be fast. After nine minutes (6 if in a group) a 10 second countdown will be initiated. Any players remaining in the map after those 10 seconds are automatically killed. The map consists of 6 rooms. Each room contain a variety of monsters that must all be killed before moving through to the next room. The monster level of each sub-subsequent room is increased by one.
After completing the 5th room Oba states you are a mighty adventurer. At this point the clock stops and the map will no longer become deadly. Venture into the 6th room to find a small area will 5 strongboxes; 2 rare Ornate strongboxes and a unique Jeweller’s, Gemcutter’s and Arcanist’s strongbox.
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Olmec’s Sanctum [Base: Catacombs (74) | Difficulty 5/10]
Similar to the Hallowed ground map except with mobs. You start in a large central room with four passages leading to boss rooms. Each passage contains mobs that deal a particular type of damage (fire, cold, lightning and chaos). The boss at the end of each passage is a unique totem that deals that type of damage. In particular, watch out for Izioc, the Abyss who can pump out serious chaos damage with Ethereal Knives and Caustic Arrow if your chaos resistance is low. Also, watch out for Achioc, the Glacier who can freeze your character easily with its Arctic Breath.
After killing all four sub-bosses you will face Olmec in the middle of the central room. Olmec uses a variety of abilities of different types – none of which are too threatening. The dangerous part of the fight is that Olmec resummons copies of the four unique totems you just killed. Together they can provide a headache. Note that even after killing these totems Olmec will resummon them after a time. Therefore, it is best to focus on killing Olmec. The room is large so you can head to the corners to avoid engaging all the bosses at once.
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Poorjoy’s Asylum [Base: Temple (76) | Difficulty 9/10]
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ahh, this map is pure chaos. 140-160% increased damage as well as the Fleet affix is not to be underestimated. The map is a large square based on the Lunaris Temple level 2. The mobs here are various Miscreations as well as Mortality Experimenters. For many characters this map is a case of get hit, you’re dead. Mobs move fast and hide around corners. Even experienced players may have a hard time navigating this map deathless.
Whipping Miscreations are quick, accurate and hit for a massive amount. They also inflict Vunerability so a second hit will likely spell death. Tentacle Miscreations destroy non-evasion based characters but are easily dodged. Avoid standing on corpses as Mortality Expermienters use Detonate Dead – the increased life affix stacks with the increased damage affix on the map. My best advice is don’t rush through this map. In the top-left corner lies the boss, a unique Tentacle miscreation, that when compared to the rest of the mobs here doesn’t feel too threatening. She drops 10-15 rare items of a specific class. Although the real reward from this map is the amount of experience you can gain, as long as you don’t die…
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The Coward’s Trial [Base: Crypt (76) | Difficulty 3/10]
A great map for levelling due to the number of enemies. The map is split into 4 rooms. In each room you will face up to 6 waves of undead monsters – this includes magic and rare monsters. On the final wave a rare necromancer will spawn which will quickly raise all those undead you just laid to rest. Repeat this task for four rooms. On the forth room during the last wave a unique necromancer called the Infector of Dreams will appear. This boss resurrects undead at an insane rate. You may suddenly find the whole room has just been revived. Fight through the horde of undead and kill the necromancer who will drop a guaranteed unique item.
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The Perandus Manor [Base: Chateau (78) | Difficulty -/10]
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The Putrid Cloister [Base: Museum (76) | Difficulty -/10]
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The Vinktar Square[Base: Courtyard (77) | Difficulty -/10]
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Untainted Paradise [Base: Tropical Island (?) | Difficulty 4/10]
A unique, unique map in that it will never drop as an item. Untainted Paradise can only be found through a Zana mission if you are very lucky. Monsters in this map drop no items but give greatly increased experience. Untainted Paradise is the fastest levelling experience in the game (that I know of).
The map itself is a quaint island never touched by civilization (probably why the Rhoas here don’t drop items like axes). You will find a variety of enlarged animal species such as Apes, Chimerals, Maws, Beasts and Rhoas. Watch out in particular for Devourers who come in large dense packs which can spring upon you in an instant. A cave near the north of the island contains six unique animals that have little life and aren’t very threatening.
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Vaults of Atziri [Base: Vaal Pyramid (70) | Difficulty 0/10]
A map with no monsters whatsoever (although Tormented Spirits and Rogue Exiles can still spawn for some reason – who knows how they got into Atziri’s vault?). This map contains only chests with 1800-2000% increased item rarity. Simply walk around the two large rooms and loot every chest. At the center of the second room is a chest that contains large amounts of Sacrifice Fragments and Vaal skill gems.
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Whakawairua Tuahu [Base: Strand (73) | Difficulty 7/10]
Notorious for a few reasons, not least for its difficult to pronounce name. Coming from New Zealand myself I know how to speak and translate a bit of Maori. The map is pronounced “Fuck-a-why-rue-a Two-a-who” and roughly translates as sacred place where two waters run together.
You arrive on a misty island similar to the Ship Graveyard and start with reduced light radius. Killing monsters increases your light radius and also your IIR and IIQ. Not killing monsters causes you light radius to fall. Once you have cleared the island make your way to the cave at the top of the island.
Inside the cave activate the Vaal seal. A Shade of an Exile will spawn depending on your class. This exile can be fast and dangerous so take caution in avoiding their attacks. After you have killed the exile you face the true boss of this map, some people say this is the *HARDEST* boss in the game. Okay that is probably a lie but it is definitely the most annoying. I don’t really want to ruin the surprise so play and find out. A Juggernaut, Flicker Strike or Scorching Ray character will have zero problem – for other builds this could be an interesting fight…

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Advanced Topics

I will get to writing on these topics in a bit more depth soon. For now I will provide links to resources which can provide helpful information.

Atlas Strategies
Spoiler

Two main methodologies. Either optimize your Atlas for currency farming or maximizing experience gain. Usually this involves completing all maps up to tier 10 (for the completion bonuses). This is because after level 88 or so experienced players will only be running high tier maps so low/mid tier map drops are irrelevant.

Video from General_Tsos_Chicken for optimizing Atlas for currency gain.

Video from Zizaran for optimizing Atlas for experience.



Which maps to Shape?
Spoiler

This is mainly personal preference. My recommendations:
  • Tier 1: Jungle Valley
  • Tier 2: Beach or Oasis
  • Tier 3: Arid Lake
  • Tier 4: Acid Lakes or Phantasmagoria
  • Tier 5: Dunes or Mesa
  • Tier 6: Strand (Canyon or Racecourse if you like tough bosses)
  • Tier 7: Arachnid Tomb or Ashen Wood
  • Tier 8: Tropical Island then Atoll
  • Tier 9: Promenade then Reef then Coves
  • Tier 10: Quay or Courtyard (for triple boss) then Underground River



Zana mods
Spoiler


List of Zana Mods, effects and prices.


Due to the cost of adding a Zana mod to a map I wouldn't recommend using them on any maps below tier 13.


Divination Farming
Spoiler

Some maps contain valuable Divination cards that can only drop in these zones. I am not a fan of farming a map for specific Divination cards as a means of making currency. How efficiently a map can be cleared is more important. I believe you have a better probability of finding rare Divination cards in Diviner's strongboxes. I may make a list of the valuable Divination cards and the maps they occur in the future.

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References and Resources

References
Thanks to Lyralei for his original guide. I have tried to keep the format of my guide similar.
Thanks to youtubers such Ziggy D, Zizaran, Boxsalesman and Grocery who do Path of Exile guides on Youtube. I watched their videos when writing my map analysis to get second opinions and pick up useful tips and tricks.
Thanks to the people that maintain the PoE Wiki where most of the technical details in this guide are sourced from.
Finally, thanks to GGG for producing this amazing game :)

Further Resources
Here I will include links to further resources that can help people with mapping. Will add a lot more stuff here soon.

Last edited by GildedCage on Dec 2, 2016 5:34:57 AM
This is really well done! Awesome job!
Really nice resource here! Thanks for the time and effort you put into it but I'd like to make a small suggestion. Under the "unidentified maps" section it would be nice if you included that unique maps do not receive the unid'd bonus.

"
Completed 1 ChallengeQarl wrote:
You can now play unidentified Maps by using them in the map device. There’s a 30% quantity bonus, but you can’t see what mods they have while playing them. This doesn’t apply to unique maps.


Source
I knew a transsexual guy whose only ambition is to eat, drink, and be Mary.
Last edited by Shovelcut on Dec 8, 2015 3:55:49 PM
Thanks for this resource, it's really detailed and well-written.

I would suggest adding a note on when to start using Zana mods (e.g. Onslaught or Ambush).
"
Completed 39 ChallengesShearscape wrote:
Thanks for this resource, it's really detailed and well-written.

I would suggest adding a note on when to start using Zana mods (e.g. Onslaught or Ambush).


Haha, completely forgot about Zana mods. I'll make sure to add an extra section on them at a later date.
"
Completed 15 ChallengesGildedCage wrote:
"
Completed 39 ChallengesShearscape wrote:
Thanks for this resource, it's really detailed and well-written.

I would suggest adding a note on when to start using Zana mods (e.g. Onslaught or Ambush).


Haha, completely forgot about Zana mods. I'll make sure to add an extra section on them at a later date.

While you're here, when would you suggest starting to use them? I usually add Onslaught for high tier (12+) maps for the quant, but I haven't had enough high tier maps fall in my lap to get an idea of if that's worth it or not.
"
Completed 39 ChallengesShearscape wrote:
"
Completed 15 ChallengesGildedCage wrote:
"
Completed 39 ChallengesShearscape wrote:
Thanks for this resource, it's really detailed and well-written.

I would suggest adding a note on when to start using Zana mods (e.g. Onslaught or Ambush).


Haha, completely forgot about Zana mods. I'll make sure to add an extra section on them at a later date.

While you're here, when would you suggest starting to use them? I usually add Onslaught for high tier (12+) maps for the quant, but I haven't had enough high tier maps fall in my lap to get an idea of if that's worth it or not.


To be honest I haven't played around with Zana mods too much. I tend to neglect them in hardcore for whatever reason and tend to only use them in softcore when I want to play a fun map (eg double beyond). I'll have a look into what other people suggest. I wouldnt say I'm the best person for end game map crafting so I would love get some other opinions.

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