With Path of Exile: Synthesis, we'll be introducing two new Chaos spells: Soulrend and Bane. Additionally, we're planning to improve the chaos spell style by changing some of its interactions and mechanics.

Soulrend fires a projectile that weaves through enemies, turns towards targets in front of the projectile and pierces through any enemies hit. As the projectile travels, it applies a damage over time effect in a medium sized radius to enemies. The damage over time effect is very potent, but only lasts a short duration.

When enemies are hit by the projectile they'll take a small amount of chaos damage and grant a large amount of Energy Shield Leech (4% at all gem levels). Although Soulrend is designed to work on its own for most encounters, it also works well alongside Essence Drain to combine their significant damage over time effects while restoring both Energy Shield and Life.

On that note, Essence Drain now applies its damage over time effect in a small area on impact. This should make it easier to apply the damage over time effect to a specific target if there are other enemies clustered around it.

Bane is a new skill that instantly applies a damage over time effect in a large area. It also applies your linked curses to enemies, up to your curse limit. The damage over time deals more damage for each curse Bane applies (up to 47% more damage at level 20 of the gem). The effect has 50% increased duration for each curse Bane applies.

Bane has the Curse skill type, letting some modifiers on the passive tree like Skill Effect Duration of Curse Skills, Area of Effect of Curse Skills, and Cast Speed of Curse Skills apply to casting Bane. These passive tree stats have been updated to match this behaviour.

To further our effort to improve Chaos Skills, we've also changed the Blight threshold jewel. Previously, the Spreading Rot jewel caused enemies affected by Blight's Hinder to take 50% increased Chaos Damage. This damage bonus was significant enough that we had to balance chaos skills around using Blight and Spreading Rot. We've changed this threshold jewel to instead cause each pulse of Blight to also apply Wither for 2 seconds per jewel. This lets Blight easily apply a damage bonus that can be accessed by chaos characters via other sources if they don't happen to want to use Blight. As a result, we've been able to push the damage of chaos skills higher than before.

We're very excited to see what kind of chaos the community creates with their builds as they slay their way across Wraeclast.

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Grinding Gear Games

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