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Path Of Exile Atlas passive tree explained, plus passive tree strategies for league start

Still sane, Exile?

Looking for all the details on Path Of Exile’s Atlas passive tree? Path Of Exile is best known for its massive, complex passive skill tree, so it should be no surprise that the Siege of the Atlas expansion introduced another. Siege of the Atlas consolidates the old Atlas region trees, then expands them into a single, massive tree that affects your entire Atlas. There are a ton of options here, and the good news is nearly every node on the tree is powerful. You can absolutely just grab nodes for content you enjoy without fear of falling behind the progression curve. Plus, the Sentinel league expansion is adding new Atlas keystones and nodes that remove content you aren't interested in. If you’re unsure of how the tree works, or you're looking for some strategy suggestions, this guide has you covered.

How to use the new Atlas passive tree in Path Of Exile

After killing Kitava to complete the Path Of Exile campaign, players will be greeted by a new epilogue sequence. We don’t know the details of the new epilogue yet, but by the end of it, you will have access to a map device and be ready to start the new Siege of the Atlas endgame. If you open the Atlas (G is the default keybind) and hover over a map, you will see a “bonus objective” for the map, which typically requires you to run the map at a specific rarity and kill the map boss. Each bonus objective you complete will award one point to spend on your Atlas passive tree.

For most of the endgame, it’s really that simple. Run more maps, progress up the new Atlas, and boost your maps through the tree. There are 117 maps to complete, and this will provide the bulk of your Atlas passive points. There are also an additional 11 points you can earn from the Maven and her invitations, the new Eldritch bosses, and the Uber Elder. Most players are unlikely to earn all 128 points though and should plan on having 80 to 100 points to work with in the late endgame.

How to respec the Atlas passive tree

Mercifully, respecing the Atlas passive tree is very straightforward. Just right-click on an Orb of Unmaking to consume it and gain a single respec point, which you can use at any time. Orbs of Unmaking are tradeable, and part of the global drop pool. Plus, you can buy an unlimited number of them from Kirac for two Orbs of Regret each. So, for a relatively modest cost, you can respec as much of your tree as you want at any time. It will be feasible to change trees and strategies multiple times throughout the Archnemesis league if you desire.

Recommended Atlas strategies for league start

It is very difficult to go wrong with the new Siege of the Atlas passive tree, but some nodes will be especially powerful for the first couple weeks of the Archnemesis league. Below we’ll break down some of the best options for new characters and players.

A basic Atlas passive tree base with the center Kirac Wheel and the Shaping wheels

The Kirac and Shaping wheels

The center Kirac wheel feels the closest to mandatory of any part of the new tree. Access to more Kirac missions means access to more maps. Access to more maps means access to more Atlas passives. You get the idea. Taking the left side of this wheel plus the Shaping the Mountains, Valleys, Seas, and Skies nodes will form the base of a generically powerful tree for any build. If you’re overwhelmed by the tree and have no idea where to go, start here.

An Essence Atlas passive tree


Essence nodes are very easy to recommend because every player can make use of Essences. While Essences form the base of many complex crafts, they’re also one of the easiest, most accessible ways for inexperienced players to acquire better gear. If you need generic stats like resists or attack speed, you can easily get them with essences. You can guarantee an Essence in every map with your first four points, and boost their tiers and availability with the higher wheels. Combine Essensces and Harvest for easy, powerful crafting in the first few weeks of Sentinel league.

A Harbinger Atlas passive tree


Ominous Arrival is another easy recommendation, as any build can quickly drop a single Harbinger for some extra value in their maps. Combining this with the later Harbinger nodes will add a lot of monster density and potential currency to your maps, especially with the Harbinger map device craft. However, these nodes also make Harbinger packs much more dense and dangerous. You can comfortably take Ominous Arrival early, but hold off on the other Harbinger wheels until you’ve geared up a bit.

A shrines and strongboxes Atlas passive tree

Shrines and Strongboxes

These two mechanics are another great way to add some guaranteed monster density to your maps. Plus, they’re close enough together to easily invest in both mechanics without much travel. Shrines, in particular, look interesting, as later nodes add extra modifiers. It’s possible to get some compounding effects going here to really boost your clear speed. The Strongbox nodes also serve as a great source of early Scarabs, helping you juice up your maps for little investment.

A Heist and Expedition passive tree


Expedition remains one of the most valuable league mechanics to farm, especially with extemely high-damage builds like Seismic Trap Saboteur that can deal with a large number of Remnants. The vendor reroll currencies sell well in bulk, and Logbooks are worth 20-40 Chaos in trade throughout most leagues. Expedition's vendors are also very powerful in their own right. Tujen is a nice source of raw currency, and Rog creates excellent early-league items.

A Legion Atlas passive tree


While I wouldn’t personally invest in Legion in the first few days of a league, it is definitely worth considering for certain builds. The Emblematic node will help you gather up Timeless Emblems faster. Plus, the connected small nodes help you target the more valuable Maraketh and Templar emblems. These will be valuable in trade throughout the league. However, you won’t really get value out of Legion unless your build clears fast enough to release entire Legions consistently. Most builds won’t be able to do this in the first few days of a new league. Builds that can proliferate poison or ignite are among the exceptions and may consider rushing Legion nodes.

An advanced atlas tree with Blight, Beyond, and Delirium

Blight, Beyond, and Delirium (advanced)

More experienced players can invest heavily in the left side of the tree to drive monster density through the roof. Beyond has been the best way to scale monster density for years now, Blight spawns tons of mobs and stalls the Delirium fog timer, and Delirium’s rewards scale exponentially with monster density. These mechanics are all nestled together on the left side of the tree and synergize beautifully. However, the compounding monster spawns create compounding danger, and can quickly overwhelm new players. I wouldn’t recommend this type of strategy until you’ve put some time into the game and understand your character’s power level.

That's all it takes to get started with the new Atlas passive tree in Path Of Exile: Siege of the Atlas! There are loads of powerful options, and you can mix and match these strategies as you prepare for the new endgame bosses. If you haven't picked your league starter yet, use our guide to picking your Sentinel league starter to get started. If you're a new player and need advice for the campaign, check out our guides to Path Of Exile skill point locations and the Trials of Ascendancy.

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