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A Guide to Toxic Rain Builds

In Entertainment
December 13, 2020
A Guide to Toxic Rain Builds

How to grow and build your own

Toxic Rain remains one of the most useful and balanced skills in Path of Exile. It deals mainly Chaos Damage over time—something enemies rarely resist. A build with this skill at the core can get you through all kinds of maps and bosses. You might need a significant investment of PoE currency though, but it’s also good when starting.

This article will walk you through the mechanics and what classes and gems mesh well with this skill. It’s not a full build guide, but it should be enough to let you make adjustments when following other guides.

Toxic Rain Mechanics

When you use the skill, your character fires a default number of 5 arrows to the air, landing on a specified area. Pods will grow from each arrow fired, and they deal damage over time as well as slow enemies within its range. After a specified duration (default 1 second), these pods explode, dealing damage and triggering spells with the ‘on hit’ modifier.

Different modifiers change the behavior of the skill. Adding projectiles increases the number of pods the skill makes. That also affects its spread, as there cannot be more than one pod in the same area. Moreover, additional projectiles change the hidden variables of the pods’ placement radius. In short, more projectiles equals more pods equals a more spread out area affected by pods.

In-game, that results in about two of your pods appearing close to your cursor, while the rest are spread out. You might think that’s a little counter-productive. However, this is the only way to increase your clearing speed because of the increased AoE.

Actual area of effect modifiers influence how far the pod’s toxic vines reach, as well as the explosion’s radius. It affects overlap damage as well, therefore increasing single-target damage. This is the best way to improve the skill’s effectiveness, other than increasing chaos damage and damage over time. With more arrows, the chance to get overlapping pod areas increases as well.

Increasing skill effect duration lengthens the time the pods stay in their place before exploding. That lets enemies within the skill’s range take its effects for longer.

While the system designates Toxic Rain as a projectile, certain modifiers such as Pierce, Fork, or Chain will not affect it. There’s also some confusion as to whether the skill’s DoT effects proc before or after the pods explode. To clarify, it’s before. The vines or tentacles give both the DoT and slowing effects.

The skill automatically converts your Projectile Damage passives into its Chaos Damage Over Time effects. As stated in its description, it also converts any additional Projectile Damage increase modifier from equipment.

Further Improvements

The best modifiers to get to increase the build’s DoT effects are:

  • Generic % damage increases (Chaos damage, damage, Projectile Damage, Area Damage)
  • Increased Skill Effect Duration
  • Percentage increase to Attack Speed
  • + to Damage Over Time
  • + to Chaos Damage Over Time
  • Percentage Damage Over Time multipliers
  • Percentage Chaos Damage Over Time multipliers

As for supporting gems, here are the most recommended ones:

  • Mirage Archer
  • Vicious Projectiles
  • Swift Affliction
  • Empower/Efficacy
  • Void Manipulation

These should be linked to your Toxic Rain gem. Replace Empower with Efficacy as soon as you can, as the latter gives a better boost. If you have the PoE orbs for it, Awakening these gems will increase your damage output even further.

For the rest of your equipment, here are some good gem combinations:

4-linked sets

  • Immortal Call
  • Cast when Damage Taken
  • Increased Effect Duration
  • Vaal Haste


  • Malevolence
  • Enlighten
  • Flesh and Stone
  • Skitterbots


  • Wither
  • Faster Casting
  • Multiple Totems
  • Spell Totem

Other gems to consider:

  • Portal
  • Precision
  • Dash (or other mobility gems) + Second Wind

Immortal Call and Flesh and Stone are your main survivability gems. Malevolence can push your damage, though you should switch to Flesh and Stone if you’re having trouble surviving. You’re not going to have enough mana to get both active at the same time. Wither gives you extra DoT effects from its debuff.


The Quill Rain is the best PoE unique weapon for this build. Despite the 30% less damage modifier, its benefits outweigh that small detriment. Toxic Rain does DoT damage, which isn’t affected by that global reduction modifier. It’s also cheaper than most other bows you can find.

There’s no specific quiver to recommend, but you may use one with good life and resistance modifiers. Other modifiers to look for are Chaos Damage or Damage Over Time multipliers, attack speed, more projectiles, and maximum Life. Rare Ornate Quivers can also be good for that extra gem socket. 

For helmets, Devoto’s Devotion gives you great boosts to attack and movement speed. It may have a global 10% reduced damage modifier, but, like with Quill Rain, you can ignore it. This helm is quite cheap on PoE trade, though enchanted ones will be more expensive. When looking for enchantments, pick either a +1 to Toxic Rain’s projectiles or a 15% reduction of Malevolence’s mana reservation.

Carcass Jack is the best in slot body armor for this build. With boosts to Area of Effect and Area Damage, it can increase pod overlap and damage at the same time. It also gives good boosts to Evasion, Energy Shield, and Life. Lastly, it can have good implicit modifiers such as increases to the levels of socketed gems as well.

As for gloves, rare gloves with increases to Life, Chaos Damage Over Time, Attack Speed, Elemental Resistances, or Area of Effect would be good.

Your boots should give you boosts to Life, any Elemental Resistance, and Movement Speed. When looking at enchantments for them, don’t get any that gives a boost when you’ve killed recently. That’s not going to help in boss battles, and that’s where you’ll need the most help.

Get an amulet that increases Strength and Intelligence, as well as maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. For a more expensive option, those that do the above and increase Chaos Damage Over Time and certain gem levels would be better.

Any Life and Resistance ring will do, but you need to have at least one Vermillion, Coral, or Two-Toned Ring with you. With it, you can cap your resistances and increase Life. You might also want to get one that reduces mana cost to non-channeling skills, though it’s not a priority.

Finally, your belt is a low priority and most will do. A rare belt with increases to Intelligence or Strength, Life, Chaos Damage, Elemental Resistances, or attack speed when under the effects of a flask would be good. If you’re crafting, look for these modifiers:

  • Increased Flask effects
  • Increased Damage
  • Increased Flask effect duration
  • Regenerate Life when under a Flask’s effects
  • + to any Elemental Resistance


While Path of Exile’s in-game systems lets any class use any skill, there will always be one or two that synergizes better than the rest. For Toxic Rain, those classes are the Trickster and Pathfinder.

Toxic Rain Mine Tricksters are stronger in the early stages. They have a good defensive option in Ghost Shroud, plus some survivability tricks Pathfinders don’t have. On the downside, they can’t run all map modifiers, and their damage scales lower nearer the endgame.

Pathfinders need significant investment in their PoE items. That means they’re certainly weaker than Tricksters in the start. However, once you’ve got the best gear, you can run all kinds of maps and bosses. They also have better damage scaling in the later parts of the game than other classes.

Tricksters are for those who can’t heavily invest time to play the game. Pathfinders are for those willing to invest time and effort into playing.

Of course, this shouldn’t deter you from using Toxic Rain with other classes other than these two. Everything is up to your preference and how you want to play. In terms of gameplay mechanics, these two classes have the best skillsets to take advantage of the skill’s effects.


Toxic Rain is certainly one of the best skills you can use in any league, map, or boss. Sure, you can’t easily ignore the costs of PoE currency, time, and effort to make a viable build. However, it’s worth it when you can literally rain on all of your enemies’ parades.

You’ll find Ascendancies, passive skills, and all of the other more specific stuff in the various build guides for the classes. This article only gives you a general idea of the build, and you don’t have to follow any guide to the letter. You’re free to adjust and tweak things to your preference.

Hope this helps you find a use for Toxic Rain. Enjoy Path of Exile!