Path of Exile: The Awakening introduces more than a dozen new gems to use against the denizens of Wraeclast, including two new categories of skills.
The first new category of skills are the Golems. These conjured allies are more durable than regular Path of Exile minions and have one important rule: You can only have one Golem out at a time - summoning a new one immediately replaces the current one.
The Awakening includes a second category of skills called Warcries. The Warcries all share a cooldown, and are helpful in group play. Warcries scale in effectiveness based on how many monsters are nearby when the skill is used.
Hurl an orb of magma on a parabolic trajectory that explodes on impact. In its initial form, Magma Orb chains once, with the explosion releasing a second Orb in the same direction. Fire users enjoy the malleability of this skill as its behavior can be heavily augmented with support gems, increasing both the number of orbs and how many times they chain.
Rather than specialising in a single type of elemental mastery, some Exiles rely on surprising their opponents with equal specialisation in all elements. Wild Strike is a melee attack that converts some of your damage to a random element and releases a fiery explosion, arcing beam of lightning or an icy wave, depending on the element chosen.
A great starting tool for melee characters specialising in cold damage. With a single thrust, Frost Blades will pierce deep into the body of your foe. When the strike lands, shimmering razors of ice erupt out in all directions, chilling and damaging nearby enemies. This icy effect is excellent for keeping large packs of monsters under control.
A useful part of every pyromancer's arsenal, Flame Dash allows you to travel instantly from one point to another, leaving a trail of burning ground behind you. Useful for both entering and leaving combat, Flame Dash works best on characters who have an affinity for fire.
Tap into the dark, frigid heart of Wraeclast with the devastating new Ice Crash skill. With a single stroke of a melee weapon, a wielder of Ice Crash causes a ring of razor sharp rime to spring forth from the ground, stabbing upward to impale those standing nearby. Anything that survives the initial piercing assault will likely fall to the two subsequent aftershocks.
A new tool for flame-loving trappers, the Fire Nova Mine will surely delight. A short time after it's deployed, the mine will explode violently, blasting everything around it with three rings of scorching fire. Each subsequent ring does more damage than the one before it, laying waste to anything caught near ground zero. You can decrease the interval between the fire rings with higher casting speed, and overlap the blast radius of multiple mines.
An old favorite from Path of Exile's original Beta makes a triumphant return in The Awakening! The Phase Run skill will make you a zephyr on the battlefield, a gust of wind that passes right through your enemies as you flash past. If you come out of a Phase Run by using an offensive ability, your blows will land with tremendous extra force.
Mines are truly lethal tools with one central weakness: timing. With the new Detonate Mines support gem, players can control exactly when their devices explode, allowing for maximum carnage. Detonate Mines can be linked up with trigger gems for crazy, chaotic pyrotechnics.
A perfect tool for players specializing in the art of trap setting and mine laying. If you love this style of play, the Trap and Mine Damage Support will be an invaluable piece of your explosive arsenal.
Strike terror into the hearts of your foes, make their blood run colder than an Arctic Winter. The Ice Bite Support Gem is a perfect complement for a melee character looking for a little extra crowd control. Each strike with a supported skill has a chance to freeze an enemy in its tracks. On top of that, every frozen enemy destroyed with a skill supported by Ice Bite has a chance to grant a Frenzy Charge.
Another perfect support for the arsenal of a cold specialist. The Hypothermia Support Gem will greatly augment your damage output against chilled enemies.
The new Innervate Support Gem introduces an entirely new way to decimate your foes. Every time you deal damage with the supported skill, you have a chance to electrocute the nervous system of your foe. If you slay anything in this shocked state, you'll receive a huge buff to attack, casting and movement speed. Keep the shocking and killing chaining together, and you'll rip through Wraeclast's denizens faster than ever.
A seething, crackling companion, the Flame Golem best serves a player who likes to fight in the thick of battle. Rather than joining his master on the front lines, this incarnation prefers to keep its distance, bombarding foes from afar with a powerful mortar attack. When engaged up close, the Flame Golem buffets enemies with a periodic wave of scorching fire. It can also expel a gout of steady flames when its other abilities are on cooldown. The Golem grants its master a global buff to all damage dealt.
A glistening, frigid companion, the Ice Golem best serves agile characters with high mobility. It is a blur on the battlefield, whirling through packs of enemies, charging to and fro. It periodically transforms itself into an icy turret, firing a barrage of serrated rime. The Ice Golem is the most damaging of the trio, striking down foes with a powerful melee attack when engaged up close. It grants both increased accuracy and a substantial global critical strike chance buff to its master.
A hulking, armored companion, the Chaos Golem best serves characters who value survivability over offense. The Golem is robust and fortified, covered in a carapace of hardened crystal. These crystals contain a powerful, chaotic energy that periodically envelops the incarnation, damaging everything nearby. It can also focus this energy into a beam, blasting a line of advancing foes. In close quarters, the Chaos Golem uses its bulk to pummel enemies. It grants physical damage reduction to its master.
Abyssal Cry is an ideal skill to use when you're surrounded and outnumbered. It blasts outward in a shimmering wave, assaulting your enemy's senses and driving them mad. Affected monsters are slowed in direct proportion to their numbers. A deep malice temporarily takes hold in their bones, causing them to detonate violently if they're slain. Any afflicted by the Abyssal Cry lose all sense, mindlessly pursuing the player who uttered it.
Vigilant Strike is an unerring melee attack, dealing substantial single target damage with a huge defensive benefit. Whenever a player lands a blow with Vigilant Strike, they gain a brief boost to damage reduction called Fortify. Fortify reduces most incoming damage by 25%, regardless of type or origin. Damage over time effects are unaffected by Fortify.
The Fortify Support Gem grants the benefits of the Fortify buff without commitment to a specific melee skill. Any melee skill supported by Fortify gains a modest boost to damage and grants the Fortify buff whenever it hits. The Fortify buff does not stack, but refreshes to four seconds each time it's applied.
Lay waste to your foes and delight in their gushing wounds. With the Bloodlust Support Gem, characters deal massive extra damage to anything already suffering a bleed effect. The catch with this Support Gem is that you cannot apply a bleed directly with the supported skill, so clever interweaving of abilities is necessary. Bloodlust shines in a party situation, where your allies are also causing enemies to bleed.