[3.24] fezz's Toxic Rain Champion - Step-by-Step PoE Build Guide for Beginners & Casuals

Note: This guide primarily addresses new players, beginners and casual players who want to have a smooth (first) levelling experience through both the campaign and the endgame. It also has quite an unconventional/unusual approach, but I think it’s the best one when it comes to players who are looking for an actual guide rather than only a summarized collection of skill tree, items and gem setups.

Hello Exile,

if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly league starter build guide which leads you through the sometimes very confusing and intimidating world of Path of Exile without the need of watching hour-long videos, downloading and understanding complex third-party programs, acquiring rare uniques to make the build actually work or researching important information in the World Wide Web all the time, you are at the right place.

The goal of this guide is to give you the information you need at the time you need it without being too complex and without being too demanding in terms of knowledge. Therefore, it comes with a simple build that scales well to the endgame without the need of having to invest hundreds of Divine Orbs, namely Toxic Rain Champion, and with a handy step-by-step checklist which guides you through your journey and is intended to be your primary - if not only - source of information needed to reach the endgame. On top of that, it comes without the need to trade at all (if that’s your preferred way to play).

Now that you know what this guide does, let’s also point out what this guide doesn’t do: While it doesn’t leave you completely alone in terms of a lot of stuff that isn’t connected to the build itself, it doesn’t provide you with information on how and when to do campaign quests or league mechanics. But don’t be afraid, the game gives you just enough information to smoothly progress through these things (via tutorials). And where it lacks important information, the guide will jump in to help you to navigate through them.

Are you in? Let’s get started!


Impact of the 3.24 patch notes on the build

The build was completely spared by the 3.24 patch notes.

My assessment therefore remains unchanged: The build is ideal for new and casual players. It offers solid damage, strong survivability, is easy to equip, and is not too complex. So ... I can still recommend this build with a clear conscience to anyone who wants to explore the world of Path of Exile ;)

TL:DR about this build guide

League starter build
Beginner- & casual-friendly
Highly flexible
Very tanky
All content doable
SSF & SSFHC viable
Step-by-step checklist for gem & item progression
Extensive crafting guideline for essential items
Elaborate descripton of endgame milestones
Numerous skill tree options (both offensive & defensive)
Comprehensive explanation on damage scaling & survivability
Detailed explanation of item acquisition
Links to PoE Trade website for essential items
Build-related loot filter
No prior game knowledge required
No unique items required
No 3rd party software required (e.g. Path of Building)

Gameplay video

I have received feedback several times that a gameplay video would be helpful. I don't have any gameplay footage myself, but if you want to see how the build plays, I recommend watching the 'Gameplay and Build Showcase' part (starting at 0:22) of this video from Zizaran.

Note: The build in the video is a slightly different one than in my guide, but the gameplay is pretty much the same.

Path of Building Pastebin (for more experienced players)

I’m convinced that having Path of Building (PoB) or other 3rd party tools as a requirement to follow a build guide, is not only very intimidating, but also daunting for new players. Therefore, this guide doesn’t require Path of Building in the first place - at all. Nevertheless, PoB is the default way to share builds nowadays so you can find the pastebin here, but if you are a completely new player, you really shouldn't bother with this - at least in my opinion. Instead, you should just follow the written guide since it will be way less demanding, especially if you are not familiar with using heavy tools such as PoB.

Guide reviews (from past leagues)

FINALLY someone explain how to craft stuff. I really like your guide. Perfect for new players AND SSF !

Thank you for making my first time in the game really fun. I have enjoyed it immensely!

I would like to thank you for the build/game guide, it's very informative and it's been the smoothest play through I think I've ever had. I haven't played much in the last 4-5 years (or more) so this was a great refresher and you've provided me with info that will carry through to my other characters and future play throughs. I've learned a lot :)

Thanks for this build guide. I started playing the game towards the end of ToTa and after my own build failed once I got to maps I started to look at build guides and followed a few different ones, but this one is hands down the best new player-friendly guide out there. I've got all my voidstones this league and I'm absolutely in love with this game and a big part of that is down to this build guide easing you into the game bit by bit. I would recommend this build and guide to any and all new POE players.

I’ve tried 3 times to get into POE…and frustratingly quit each time…(Tried Zizarian University etc all that jazz) but found this build guide about a week ago and thought I’d pick the game up again after a good while away from it as only had about 30 hours put into it! This guide explains everything it’s like a POE for Dummies like myself and has given me the route I needed to get into the game and enjoy it…Brilliant Guide…Brilliant explanation covers most things to get started and the further you get into the game the more you understand YouTube videos…Top notch mate appreciate it

This guide was PHENOMENAL as a first time player! Thank you!

Thanks for all the work! [...] It's a great guide, probably one of the best in existence. Not just for n00bs either. There is plenty of stuff for people like me that know the game mechanics in general but not this type of build all that well.

This is the best Beginner Guide for PoE and it should even be promoted by GGG for new players!

The gear section of the guide, noting what stats are important, as well as the snapshots of the ideal item is fantastic! Has given me a lot of guidance when upgrading my gear.

First of all, thank you so much for this guide. As a new player starting this league, it was absolutely invaluable, I've seen no other guide as detailed and noob friendly as this one.

New player here. This guide is amazing. I tried many times to get into PoE, but it never clicked. I followed your guide, and just completed the campaign. Excited to continue on to the endgame farming section! Thank you for this.

This is by far the most informative and broken down guide I have ever seen. I am a long time player (started back on Prophecy league) so this isn't something I would need anymore, but if I found something like this back in that time I would have lived by it.

I'm going to be trying this build out, and I had to make a post and say your google doc guide is SO DETAILED and wonderful! Thank you so much for your time and effort in making it! :)

So I'm not a complete new player, but I'm so glad that I've found this build. This is my current league starter and it's working just fine. I even managed to get faster through the story than last league start, yay. At first I was kinda doubtful because I didn't like Toxic Rain but it turns out, that this is a nice solid choice for me since I love to play Duelist^^ thanks for the build and the smooth league start.

New player here using this guide,Its awesome man,Saved me lots of time. I just reached act 10 and it would probably have taken me 10x longer without this guide.

Im using this guide and its awesome..i played a few other season but never managed to do more than completing the campaign and farm a few maps cause at some point i struggled to get gear/know what gear to use. But right now i feel like this guide will help me getting to the so often called bosses any time soon. All these crafting advices are also awesome thanks!

I'm a casual player, know nothing about craft or efficient farm. I'm using this guide and i had the best progression of my life. I have like 3 EX investment so far and doing T16 easily.

There's so much good in this guide for newer folks, and everything being in text and images and broken down helps a lot. Unique one-of-a-kind guide that will likely not show up ever again. Looking forward to setting up my end game build and shedding my tabula! Thank you so much!!

I had 400+ hours in previous leagues before picking up this guide this league. It is one of the best guides I have used with only the Cold DoT guide by ShakCentral coming close. Highly recommend using following this guide unless you have a vast amount of knowledge of this game.

Brilliant build mate. My 10 year old is following along and really really enjoying it. [...] It's the first guide he feels comfortable with man, everything laid out for him. I enjoyed watching him, so i started one too! very well done, super comfortable.

i have been playing this build for 3 days total game time so far, and im at lv 87 xd super nice build and the effort put in to the writte guide is awesome, so thxxxxxxxxxxx alot for taking the time to do this!!!, i cant open path of build so this help me alot to enjoy this league xd

Thanks for this insane supreme awesome guide!! as a casual player this guide provide me with so much information is insane! love it!

I played PoE casually in a few leagues and now is the first time I made it to T10 maps without problems. Thank you for this awesome guide.

Just wanna thank Fezz for this amazing easily digestible guide for noobs like myself that wants to jump into the game but have little to no knowledge on contents and what works. I have attempted to follow as closely as possible and Fezz was very detailed in his explanation when requested for build fixing! Can totally vouch for this build! Got me to level 91 and counting, t16 maps no problem. Could do Shaper map but a little challenging for me but thats a me problem.

I just want to say thank you for such an incredible guide! It really helps new players "catch up" with all the new mechanics in the game. Now that I've essentially finished my goal of 38/40 and managed to do ALL content solo minus The Feared. I can only imagine how potent this build would of been pre nerf. I've gotten to the point where every piece is a 2-4ex+ upgrade so it's time for a new build :~) TL;DR Can HIGHLY recommend this build to new/returning players.

I am French:
Thank you for this very comprehensive guide. I'm not a new player but a lot of things have been very helpful to me. Fast, tanky enough, and the almost unlimited flasks are pretty darn cool. My build is not optimized, my flasks are bad and I am currently in T7. If you are a new player and don't want to play minions, I recommend this guide (and it works on console)

Hey man, awesome guide! TR was the first build i started this game with, back in rituals, but that's the first guide i read that told me alo of the "whys" of this build! thank very much!!

Thank you for your guide, it's the first time I completed Act 10 and it really helped to reduce the feeling of overwhelming information that this game throws at a newbie.

I have attempted to get into Path of Exile for the better part of the past few years. Every league it was the same story -- tried to follow some general build guide on YouTube, then failure. I never made it past Act 4 in the past.

By the time I started this league, I had almost 100 hours in Path of Exile. 100 hours and I never even beat the game. That is how disrespectful this game can be with your time if you don't have the proper help or know what you are doing.

With this guide, the campaign went from being a confusing slog to very enjoyable, especially when I hit level 33 and actually got to use Toxic Rain. I beat almost every boss without dying a single time. I had zero issues in any of the labyrinths. Most importantly, I felt very ready to transition to mapping when the campaign was over. For the first time after trying and failing repeatedly to do so for several years.

This guide was clearly a labor of love, and I think it should be a stickied post on the subreddit and this forum every single league. Path of Exile has a major new player retention/attraction issue. This guide is what GGG should explain in-game, but do not. It is, in my opinion, an actual solution to having a new person play and enjoy Path of Exile. [...]

TL;DR: Your guide kicks major ass, and I wish you were a developer at GGG because they lack, in a very serious way, this type of insight into attracting new players. That being said, PoE has always overcome its flaws because of its community. In my opinion, using this guide as a new player should be just as standard as downloading a loot filter or Path of Building. Otherwise, this game can be quite unenjoyable.

I started looking at this guide because I wanted to try something different that was not squishy. The quality of this build guide is amazing - For a newer player, this would be invaluable.

This guide is a true labor of love! I tried other guides before, but yours is on another level, really appreciate. For the first time I'm enjoying the end game. Thanks very much for this!

This guide has been my very first experience playing through PoE. I’m currently still only on Act 7 but This guide has been so informative. I don’t have to spend hours delving down different rabbit holes trying to learn mechanics. The guide seems to give me the main information I need when I need it, allowing me to continue forward without the confusion. I have learned so much just from playing alongside this guide I’m genuinely excited to keep pushing! I don’t have much to compare it to, but it’s like night and day compared to trying to play this game blind. Thanks for all the effort you put into this guide!!!

Perhaps the single best source of information (for casual/beginning) players around... thank you SO much for doing this guide and keeping things up-to-date! Looking forward to the next league, and will be starting it off with your build :)

Hey Fezz, I'm now getting around to writing some feedback at the end of the league. Thanks very much for this guide, it was great and useful, and while I haven't used it to the final endgame stages, I have seen it through most of the way and found it very helpful. For context, I've really only played one other league, Harvest, to level 85 on an ED-C Trickster in SSF, so it was very different.[...]

As a second time player, following it has helped me at each stage, working through the acts, progressing a build, and gearing for the end game. I've filled my Atlas, I'm working on Elder and Shaper guardians and Conquerors, and I'm going to take a shot at all the T16 bosses (Elder, Shaper, pinacle, Maven) before the end of the league. I've hit the plateau of gearing, and realistically i'm not going to manage to get all the endgame gear (not enough currency at this point) but I can see where to go from here. Thank you very much for the guide!!!

I wanted to thank you for this extensive guide! Your explanations regarding crafting the endgame items really has helped me a great deal in understanding how this crucial part of the game works. I am now comfortably running up to t14 and depending on mods t15 and don't really die, which is a great change to my first build I did xD

Thanks for this excellent guide! I've been playing for A WHILE, but I sometimes like to turn my brain off and just follow a set of clear instructions that allow me to crush my enemies and see them run before me, you know? And this is pretty much exactly what I need right now - from the excellent PoB to the step-by-step instructions on your site, it's all just A+ Build Guiding, and I'm having more fun than I've ever had with a non-cyclone build so far (I did switch to TR a bit sooner than you recommended, and can't seem to stop myself overlevelling, but I'm having a great time).

Thanks for putting this together. It's super helpful!.

First guided try in this game. This guide is perfect and I was able to learn a lot from it. Best beginner guide I've found. Thank you for your time.

So I wanted to give some more feedback on this guide. I am now level 75 in SSF HC and started mapping. The build feels very safe and damage feels okay as well. As I said although I started playing this game 10 years ago it feels hard to get into it if u skipped some leagues, so I am still very thankful for this guide. Good concept, easy to follow and get into, well explained, good job.

Thanks for the guide. It is my first time playing POE and the guide is wonderful helping me going through Act 1-10. I am now running Tier 1 maps.

Great guide, was able to complete atlas for the first time with this build.

Always wanted to try this awesome game but it felt so hard to learn! After trying some random league starter builds for like 2 weeks, i found this thread and its awesome! i thought i knew some things, but this guide showed me alot more! Ty for the hard work! you are awesome and i'm sure u are helping many others like me to get in the game! its a masterpiece! cheers

Thanks for the guide I really wouldn't have been able to get half this far without one.
I just beat the Searing Exarch for the first time.

I really enjoy this build, and I've been playing for a while. Your guide is very in depth and very well put together.


This is amazing. Honestly, thank you so much for putting this guide together. Exactly the type of guide I was looking for since I am coming back after a bit of a break.


I'm using this build guide after being away for 20 leagues, and this has been very helpful for getting me back in the groove and figuring out all of the new league mechanics. Thank you!


Thanks for the step-by-step. As a casual player that never went hardcore, and always dipping in and out of play, this is the best build guide I've used


I am sure you get these often but I wanted to thank you for your stellar PoE beginner guide. With its help I finally got anywhere in this game. Just transitioning into early endgame and doing my first maps ever. Honestly they should pay people like you for getting people like me into PoE because without you I'd had moved on by now.

Hello, ancient poe casual gamer here. Basically re-learning the core game every couple of months since 1500hours. THANK YOU for the guide! [...] Thanks for all your effort towards the community

Thank you immensely for this guide man, if it wasn't for you I would probably never truly got into the game! it's really, really good.

I just want to say as someone new to POE, this guide is the absolute best. It explains EVERYTHING, it is so easy to follow and click through the instructions on the website. It is not like most beginner guides that all of sudden drop that you need certain uniques or need 80 chaos orbs at the endgame. Just so so amazing of a guide, I am going to pass it along to friends that want to try POE because it does the best job you could ever imagine of introducing someone new to the game. Tons of tips and tricks, reminders, and preparation for things you will experience in say the next act or upcoming to prepare for BEFORE you need it.

Awesome guide, perfect for beginners and not only it walks though acts to make it a breeze this build also scales well into endgame without much investment. I was able to do early red maps with act gear, and after crafting the bow t14 maps were very smooth. I really enjoy that it doesn't force you to go trade, because as a new player I wasn't really comfortable with trade in the beginning, most of my gear is drop only and it's enough for me, this build overall feels very forgiving. I farmed some currency and later on switched to another build I wanted to try. Next league will probably try pathfinder TR to freshen things up. Great guide, thank you!

[...]Fezz, you did a great job with this guide and hope that TR will not see anymore nerfs.

Thanks for your guide, I'm finding it really helpful as someone who is just retuning after Betrayal league. [...]

Best guide I've ever seen, and I've been around for awhile.

Your friendly neighborhood Exile!
Last edited by fezz8386 on Apr 12, 2024, 5:04:33 AM
Last bumped on Apr 14, 2024, 2:17:22 PM
Thank you for the guide.
excellent guide! logged in just to post this, very informative!
Thank you for the guide.

You're welcome! Going to try it for 3.17?
Last edited by fezz8386 on Feb 3, 2022, 3:53:14 PM
Garphunkyl wrote:
excellent guide! logged in just to post this, very informative!

Thanks! Will you try it for 3.17?
Last edited by fezz8386 on Feb 3, 2022, 4:42:30 PM
Hi, thanks for such impressive work!
I am considering to try a TR Champ build, never played one myself, because skipped last league when it was meta. But I heard some concerns about damage nerf to TR, considering it already been not the most damaging skill. What you think about changes? How much of a struggle will it be to eventually beat all content on this build in 3.17?
arronax1 wrote:
Hi, thanks for such impressive work!
I am considering to try a TR Champ build, never played one myself, because skipped last league when it was meta. But I heard some concerns about damage nerf to TR, considering it already been not the most damaging skill. What you think about changes? How much of a struggle will it be to eventually beat all content on this build in 3.17?

TR won't be a meta skill in 3.17, but there's no reason to believe that it's not viable to do all content in all available modes (trade, ssf, ssfhc). Especially new players will benefit from the crazy defenses this build has and I expect both the leveling and endgame progression to be very smooth - regardless of the nerf.

On top of that, the item acquisation of the build is very simple and straight forward.
Last edited by fezz8386 on Feb 3, 2022, 3:53:26 PM
// Update - 02.02.02
- Added 'Curse on Hit Ring' task to the 'Endgame Milestones' section
- Added an optional Cast When Damage Taken setup to the task which provides information on what to do once you use Grace and you have a body armour with ‘Gain #% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield’
Last edited by fezz8386 on Feb 3, 2022, 3:53:38 PM
hi, seems wonderful guide. I played TR at 3.13 and i was thinking play that league as well but i was thinking with ranger. Is damage enough for bossing with low investment ?
Osbury wrote:
hi, seems wonderful guide. I played TR at 3.13 and i was thinking play that league as well but i was thinking with ranger. Is damage enough for bossing with low investment ?

Both Ranger and Champion should be fine. Ranger will have more clearspeed/damage than Champion, but Champion will have way more defenses. In terms of investement ... TR never was very demanding when it comes to items and item acquisition (which is why it's so good for SSF)
Last edited by fezz8386 on May 5, 2022, 7:16:36 AM

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