Path of Exile

Three relatively unknown “Gotchas” in POE defensive mechanics

Content of the article: "Three relatively unknown “Gotchas” in POE defensive mechanics"


There are many defensive mechanics you can invest in on your character in PoE. While some of these defenses cannot be countered (for example there is no way an enemy can inflict an ailment on a character with immunity or 100% ailment avoidance), others can be countered in specific situations or against specific enemies. Some players may overestimate the effectiveness of these defenses in certain situations, putting their character at risk without knowing, until it is too late.

I will cover three examples of assumptions players might make and attempt to explain why making this assumption could be dangerous.

Reduced Curse Effect

The assumption: 100% reduced effect of curses is the same as unaffected by curses

Soul Mantle was reworked in a mid-league patch to self-curse with more effect instead of increased effect, so with 100% reduced effect of curses players would be unaffected by the curses applied by Soul Mantle. In 3.11, curses on maps had a level associated with them, which was modified by the map tier and awakener level. Players with 100% reduced effect of curses would be unaffected by these curses on maps. As of 3.12, the map tier and awakener level instead modify the "increased effect" of the curse which is additive with the reduced effect that the player has. In addition, certain map bosses apply curses with a certain level now apply curses with "increased effect" – for example the Crimson Temple map boss which used to read "Curse Enemies with Level 15 Temporal chains on hit" which could be lethal in certain situations.

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Chill effect

The assumption: 100% reduced effect of non-damaging ailments is the same as unaffected by chill

There are certain enemies that can apply increased effect of chill. For example, the maze map boss creates chilled ground with "200% increased effect of chill" which is additive with your total reduced effect of non-damaging ailments. I tested this one myself and saw my action speed modified by -20% even though I had 100% reduced effect of non-damaging ailments.

This stat can also exist on more common enemies. For example, Unstable Wetas on-death Cold Snap has 100% increased effect of chill.

Minimum Shock Effect

The assumption: 100% reduced shock effect is the same as Unaffected by shock

Modifiers to shock effect, such as X% increased Effect of Shock, apply to the effect of the shock before the minimum or maximum effect is enforced.

So if you have 100% reduced effect of shock but an enemy can apply shock with a minimum effect, that minimum effect would be enforced. Whereas if you are unaffected by shock, the shock would have no effect.

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Minimum shock effect is uncommon but does exist. One example is the green lightning volatiles in laboratory heists from Senior Heretech


Don't overestimate your defenses. If possible, invest in mechanics that cannot be countered over mechanics that can be countered.


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