Path of Exile Update 2.5.0 Skill Balance Changes

The new Path of Exile Update 2.5.0 brings with it new bosses, the Breach Challenge League, and a wide variety of PoE items. Some of the skills in the game have been rebalanced as well.

Skill Balance Changes:
• Blade Vortex has been refactored, such that the blades now increase the frequency and amount at which damage is inflicted on all enemies within striking radius. The new base hit frequency for Blade Vortex is 600ms, with hit rate per active blade increased. Blade Vortex damage is also reduced by 30% across every level, and it deals 30% more damage per active blade.

This translates to a nerf at low stacks (5 stacks or so) but a buff at 20 stacks or more.

• The maximum number of Summoned Raging Spirits has been reduced to 20. However, as the gem levels up, damage has also been increased.

Hopefully this balance change affects Spectral Spirits from Essence of Insanity, otherwise it is unclear how this is a good thing.

• Ancestral Warchief damage has been reduced by 10 percent. The skill now has a greater melee range at all levels, and the occurrence of the slam will always be centered at melee range away from the totem.

This fixes an issue where the weapon range was previously far off target in previous updates.

• Scorching Ray now inflicts 10% more damage at gem level 20.

This encourages players to work on Scorching Ray builds.

• Raise Spectre now grants +30% elemental resistances to its minions.

This is a sizeable buff for minions, with possible implications for summoners as well.

• Decoy Totems are no longer able to evade, and a 4-second cool-down has been implemented.

With such a long cool-down, decoy totems have pretty much been rendered useless.

• The “More Attack Speed” modifier for Blade Flurry is reduced from 65% down to 60% more attack speed. Targeting range and damage radius are also reduced.

This makes Blade Flurry especially effective in Breach.

• Blight's damage has been increased by 5% damage at level 1 of the gem, up to 35% more damage at level 20 of the gem.

Blight’s AoE has not been increased, however. For many players, this buff is still not enough to make Blight worth using.

• Totems and all other minions, including those without previous resistances, now have 40% elemental resistance and 20% chaos resistance.

This is quite a generous buff all around for minions.

• Fire Golem has 70% resistance, and damage increased by 200%. Cold Golem has 70% resistance, and damage increased by 75%. Lightning Golem has 70% resistance and damage increased by 75%. Chaos Golem has 60% resistance, and damage increased by 65%. Stone Golem damage has been increased by 100%,

Since Fire arguably has been the strongest Golem to begin with, buffing Lightning and Ice Golems to a greater degree might have made them more useful.

• Melee Skeletons now deal 25% more damage. Summon Skeletons and Vaal Summon Skeletons skills now have a reduced cast time of 0.8 seconds.

For players gravitating towards a Skeleton build, this is great news.

• Some triggered skills have been granted greater range.

By buffing triggered skills, this may make the related Path of Exile items more valuable to acquire.

• The damage penalty on Ranged Attack Totem has been reduced from -50% to -35%. At gem level 20, it is reduced from -31% to -26%.

• The Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance support gem scales from 10% at level 1 to 19% more elemental damage at level 20.

Since there is a lack of support for the Searing Bond totem and RF totems, these support gems are a welcome addition.

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