The Forbidden Sanctum launches in Path of Exile later today. We’ve updated the guides on our sister site PoE Vault to ensure that you’re well-prepared, as you make your way through the Sanctum’s dangerous halls!

The Forbidden Sanctum Challenge League

In The Forbidden Sanctum league, we will discover The Forbidden Sanctum which is an ancient Templar enclave hidden beneath the Fellshrine Ruins.

Abandoned for a long time, it is now controlled by a malevolent entity. You must explore it, uncover its secrets, and deal with the evil that lurks within.

This Path of Exile December expansion introduces the Sanctum challenge league with the following:

Improvements to Path of Exile’s Endgame

2 new Skill Gems

7 new Vaals Skills

15 new Unique items

Balance changes to jewels, hexes, monster modifiers, and unique weapons

Ruthless mode: an optional new way to play Path of Exile with extreme item scarcity.

For more information, please head over to the PoE Vault League Hub.

Recommended builds for the Forbidden Sanctum League

We’d like to give you a few recommendations of what we believe to be some of the strongest league starter builds (although any build tagged as a League Starter and updated for 3.18, is a very solid choice)

GhazzyTV’s Summon Raging Spirits

is going to be the best minion build of The Forbidden Sanctum league, this build excels in not only getting your maps clear but it’s an excellent boss killer. With the new Atlas bosses, this build will not let you down and is described as the most OP minion build of the league.

GhazzyTV’s Dark Pact Necromancer is a classic build that has stood the test of time for many leagues. Giving good clear speed and consistent bossing damage, the build is perfect for both beginners and veterans alike and a solid league starter choice.

GhazzyTV’s Chains of Command Animate Weapon is one of the most prominent choices for the trade league. This build brings very enjoyable clear speed as well as efficient bossing to the table. It has very interesting mechanic, which summons weapons to fight for you.

TbXie’s Toxic Rain Dot Trickster is back on the table as one of the most popular builds both in league-starting and later environments, it is one of those guides that we felt could not be missing. Toxic Rain is an interesting skill gem and can be built around in multiple ways for mapping and bossing.

TbXie’s Poisonous Concoction Pathfinder offers incredibly clear speed and an old overlapping style of scaling its damage to the point where it becomes an absolute powerhouse. For players who like to blast through the game on a  budget and want a build that is expandable with an acceptable amount of currency and incredible returns, this is a one of a kind build. 

TbXie’s Explosive Arrow Ballista Champion has been one of the most popular builds for newer players for the longest time. Especially after recent tree changes it pushed its single target boss killing capabilities up by quite a significant amount, this build is an excellent one for both new and experienced players alike.

Pohx Righteous Fire Inquisitor been a staple of league starts and solo self-found alike. Righteous Fire has been a true Path of Exile staple since the skill gem was introduced. The concept of running through maps while hordes of monsters die around you is a true Power Fantasy.

Pohx Righteous Fire Juggernaut version can easily hold his own. Juggernaut has a much easier time getting the defensive layers online. Also, no need for anything complex as this build is great for first-timers since your main defensive layers come from Armour stacking. If you are new to Righteous Fire, this version is excellent for you.

Velyna’s Spectral Shield Throw Raider is the build for you if like throwing a shield around like Captain America, shattering enemies as it bounces and splinters within packs! Spectral Shield Throw scales DPS based on the armour value of your shield, meaning you don’t need to buy an expensive weapon and an excellent build as league starter.

Velyna’s Ice Trap Saboteur For most of PoE’s history traps have been known as a strong league starter, not requiring expensive uniques or heavy crafting to kill bosses early, and this remains true today. If you want to Cruise through the acts into endgame quickly and easily this is the build for you.

Velyna – Storm Brand Inquisitor offers a smooth campaign experience and a very smooth investment curve throughout early maps and easily helps you farm currency for future upgrades. This build is primarily a mapping build and thrives off creating explosion chains that delete most of the screen in a satisfying manner. This build is to be suitable for anyone, both new and returning players.

CasualDanPoe – Minion Army Necromancer is a cheap league starter that will enable you to farm tier 16 maps on a budget. Fast, deadly, with a lot of quality of life features. If you’d like to feel like a General of an Undead Army, then try out this league starter and you’re not going to be disappointed.

PoE Vault – Arc Mines Saboteur is a premium build that remains a powerhouse league in and league out. If you enjoy trappers/miners, or you want a welcome change of pace or style, then this build will be more than capable to let you enjoy traps. Very easy play style and a recommendation for new players.

PoE Vault – Spark Inquisitor This build is an excellent league starter and requires very little investment to start rolling over maps and bosses. Due to range and nature of Spark, even content that outstrips your current character or power level can be easily approached at a distance and eliminated. A very good recommendation for this League.

PoEVault – Lacerate Gladiator can reach similar heights on significantly less gear, and with a unique style and flair that few other melee skills have. This is partially because Lacerate is not really a true melee skill — in the end game, you will be able to obliterate packs nearly a full screen away. If you like a more melee style build, be sure to check this build out!

To make your leveling experience easier, you can pick up our Quick Reference Levelling guide.

If you’re thinking about getting into Path of Exile (it’s free-to-play!) with this newest league, our mods are available to answer any of your questions, so please feel free to join their Discord.

We wish you an amazing league start.

Team Poe-Vault