Path of Exile

What’s The Life / Mana / Energy Shield In PoE

At the beginning of your journey in Path of Exile, every character you create will have two basic resources – life and mana. These two are pretty straightforward – life represents how much damage you can take before you die and mana is used for casting spells and using auras.

You scale the amount of life on mana using items with such mods as (+ x to maximum life / +x to maximum mana or %increased maximum life/mana etc) and using passive skill tree mentioned earlier. There is another option – Energy shield.

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Energy shield is like a barrier that absorbs damage before it gets to life – for example, if you had 1000 life and 2000 Energy shield, monsters would have to deal 2000 damage to you before they get to your life, so effectively you have 3000hp.

But there is one important thing you should be wary of when using Energy shield without some unique items or keystone – by default chaos damage can directly bypass it and attack your life while ignoring your Energy shield – that’s why most Energy Shield builds use Chaos Inoculation (widely known as CI) keystone that turns your build into purely Energy Shield character (The drawback of keystone is that you have maximum life of 1 but you are immune to chaos damage).

While talking about life, I will also give a little explanation about flasks in this game. There are two big categories of flasks – recovery flasks and utility flasks. The first ones provide you with the ability to regain health and mana (or both when using hybrid life+mana flask) and utility flasks give you various other buffs such as movement speed, resistances, damage, defense and so on.

When you are playing Energy shield builds, you have no option of using life flasks to quickly regain health as you do have when playing life builds. Like other items, there are unique versions of flasks, some are very strong and can boost power of your build by quite a bit. You can see a few flask examples in the image below, but you can always visit PoE Wiki and see the list of all flasks.

There’s a lot more players guide on, so be sure to check out if you need some guides.

PoE Shadow Basics And Leveling Guide

I start PoE build as a Shadow and, as such, went with the Assassin sub-class. You could also start as a Ranger, but do not forget to collect enough poe orbs, and go with the Raider sub-class for even crazier attack speed. You could also run as a Champion for perma-fortify.

You’re going to use Dual Strike and Lightning Strike as your main attacks throughout the entire game. The synergy of these skills is excellent since you can hit enemies at range with Lightning Strike and kite them or get up close and personal and tear faces off with Dual Strike. Lightning Strike is great for open areas, clearing trash, and physical reflect monsters or volatile monsters you can’t get close to. Dual Strike is major DPS and you can clear most trash faster than LS with it in a lot of cases.

Path of Exile

Since this is a life-based build, your end-game survivability comes from having a decent life pool, some block, and killing shit before the game even spawns it. Your life pool should be at least 5000 in the end game and your block chance should be a bare minimum of 25% without Rumi’s flask.

You will use Whirling Blades to dart around from pack to pack and/or to evade bad situations. It will also fortify you as you move into combat territory. If you feel the need for an alternate movement skill, like Leap Slam, you can put Bright beak and a defensive shield in your alternate weapon slots.

If between that and mana flasks you are still having mana problems, pick up mana regen on jewelry, find something with Mana-On-Hit, or simply don’t run certain auras that reserve your mana. You will deal less damage but it will also be less annoying. All other leveling gear, including a Tabula Rasa will work, provided you deal with the mana problem first.

As with any character, try to keep your resists high enough to minimize dying. Goldrim is an excellent helm to start for this. Your jewelry can provide flat physical damage and life (and resists if you’re lucky or rich) and you can run Jade and Granite flasks for additional defense.

Some people have asked which weapons are good to level with and the answer is: all of them. There are some nice unique swords, axes, claws, really anything with good damage that you can dual wield is fine. Lakishu’s Blade gets a shout out for the free Multistrike built in.