How to use POE Gems to Gain Competitive Edge
Having the best setup with Gems is just as important as having the correct Path of Exile items and skill layout. Gems take your Exile’s strength to the next level and is very critical at the latter part of the game, even more so with PVP. Some players are often surprised to be taken down by a similar build in PVP. Most likely, the reason behind it is the Gems they have equipped.
Before we get in to the nitty gritty details of Gems, here are the basics to help you sort through the hundreds of Gems that you would pick up:
• Red Gems often have Strength Modifiers, excellent for Marauders or other builds dependent on Strength.
• Green Gems usually focus on Dexterity Modifiers; Rangers can take of advantage of Green Gems or any other build that rely heavily on Dexterity.
• Blue Gems are aligned with Intelligence Modifiers; Witches always look out for these Gems.
Take note that checking the Gem is a must. Do not rely solely on the color of the Gem if you just finished a farming session to sort what you have picked up.
With that set aside, let’s now discuss the Gem Types:
• Skill Gems – these are skills that you can use with a command or hotkey. A few examples of Skill Gems are Double Strike, Cleave, and Freezing Pulse. They have specific requirements before you can place them onto a socketed item. In case you haven’t met the Strength requirement yet, don’t dump it, just level up your character or switch to items which gives a bigger Strength Boost. As you level them up, what a measly attack was at first could be a flashy move once the Skill Gem is maxed out.
• Trigger Gems – unlike Skill Gems, Trigger Gems are activated automatically when condition/s are met. The beauty of Trigger Gems is that they don’t eat any Mana Points at all. Some are inclined towards offense such as “Cast on Melee Kill”, while some are defensive. A Witch would find “Cast when Damage Taken” coupled with Frost Wall to put some distance between him or her and monsters for breathing space.
• Support Gems – these Gems augment or boost whatever Skill Gem is linked to them, making them far more effective. It is possible to link multiple Skill Gems to just a single Support Gem and vice versa. However it is important to take note that when a Skill Gem is linked to two identical Support Gems, only the Higher level gem would take precedence.
As you can see by now, boosting your best offensive skills and coupling your defensive options with support and trigger gems is the only way to go and survive the harsh areas of Path and Exile. Experimentation will always pay off. Try several combinations and take note of what’s best for your build.