Sanctum guide 3.22 – Path of Exile


    Image via Grinding Gear Games

    Forbidden Sanctums were a popular addition to Path of Exile back in early 2023’s 3.20 update. After a whole league without this feature, it’s finally returned in the core game in update 3.22, but GGG has made some notable changes to it. I have been playing quite a bit of 3.22, and I’ve managed to figure out most of the changes, new best practices, and other things that will help those unfamiliar to get the most out of their Sanctums.

    Changes to Sanctum in Path of Exile Trial of the Ancestors league

    So far, the biggest change is the addition of the Forbidden Tome item. These are sellable, tradeable items that represent both the Sanctum itself and your progress inside it; when you complete the floor, a new item is created representing your progress in the Sanctum, from Boons to Afflictions to how much Resolve you have remaining.

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    On top of that, the difficulty for later floors was boosted, more Boons and Afflictions were added, and some other tweaks were made to make the Forbidden Sanctums more fun and rewarding. You can also expect a greater variety of hazards in rooms as well as room layouts. Another big change is that Primary defenses can protect Resolve.

    Tips and strategies for Forbidden Sanctum

    Image via Grinding Gear Games

    For those who missed the original Sanctum league in late 2022 to early 2023, Sanctums are basically a self-contained dungeon. You head inside and get Resolve, and every time you are hit by a monster or make an error, you lose some Resolve; once it hits zero, you die and the Sanctum ends.

    There are Boons that can raise your Resolve, speed, and other things that might help to get through the Sanctum, as well as Afflictions that have negative repercussions. In order to get all the way through a Sanctum, you need to choose a path through the dungeon based on which Afflictions a room will give.

    • When choosing the next room to head to, make sure to always pick ones that have multiple paths out. Some Afflictions are run killers, so it helps to have a couple of choices when heading from one room to the next.
    • Resolve is easily lost and not so easily regained, meaning avoiding damage in the first place is much better than tanking. Choose your build accordingly (see below).
    • In the same vein as the tip above, ranged attacks will usually do much better than melee, since it keeps your avatar out of the reach of a lot of monsters.
    • Don’t worry too much about failure; dying in Sanctums is part of learning how to do them properly, and they will be exceptionally difficult early game. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to get another Tome to try it all over again.
    • Thinking you can just outrun everything and sprint to the end? Unfortunately, that’s not much of an option since both monsters and traps scale up in speed to match yours. Focus on builds that will slow enemies rather than speeding you up. Crowd control is your friend in Sanctums.

    Best builds for Forbidden Sanctum

    With all the changes made to Sanctum in 3.22, you may be wondering what some of the best builds would be to get through Tomes with ease. Below are some suggestions to get the most out of Forbidden Sanctums in Trial of the Ancestors.

    Related: Best new Keystones in Trial of the Ancestors – Path of Exile 3.22

    • While Spark and Tornado Shot were both great in 3.20, you will probably want to avoid them in 3.22. Since enemies off screen will no longer take damage, both these builds are not as viable as they used to be.
    • Cold damage over time (DoT) that slows enemies is super effective, so a Cold DoT Occultist or Elementalist can both be effective builds for this league. I prefer Occultist because of how Frigid Wake makes enemies hits weaker, but Elementalist can be better for early game and leveling.
    • Another great build for both Sanctums and early game is Rain of Arrows Champion. I like RoA for its versatility, as it can deal both great AoE damage as well as single-target. If you play it, add a Tattoo of the Ramako Makanga from the Trial of the Ancestors’ tattoos to get additional projectiles over a small Dexterity node.
    • While Righteous Fire builds are amazing for the league mechanic, they don’t do so well in Sanctum, since it’s poor at avoiding damage.
    • Totem builds can be great for Forbidden Sanctums as the totems can block the constant barrage of fireballs in Find Exit Sanctum rooms.
    • One of my favorite overall builds for leveling, Trial, and Sanctum in 3.22 is Explosive Arrow Ballistas. This totem build is all about placing turrets to deal damage while allowing you to dodge incoming damage yourself. It is a fairly inexpensive build at the time of writing, allowing you to deep dive into all the content PoE has to offer without spending tons of Divine Orbs to do so.

    For more Path of Exile, check out Path of Exile vs Diablo 4 – Similarities and Differences on MyFullGames.


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