In Path of Exile 3.21, there are some new Masteries added into Crucible League. But the Masteries that players are familiar with are often those that are very powerful and eye-catching at first sight, such as Instant Leech Masteries. In fact, there are still many strong passive tree Masteries worth exploring in the new league.

Armour & Energy Shield Mastery

We’re starting off with the Armour and Energy Shield Masteries and in particular this one here: 10% of Armour also applies to Chaos Damage taken from Hits. 

Now, the reason Juggernaut is so tanky at the moment is because of the node that gives you 8% of Armour applying to Elemental Damage from Hits and, of course, the most dangerous damage type in the game is Elemental Damage. Most of the things that kill you are Elemental Damage. So, obviously that’s why that’s so strong.

At first glance, you may think that 10% of Armour are playing to Chaos Damage Hits is not that powerful because there’s really not that many Chaos Damage Hits. In the game, a lot of it is combined with other damage and it’s a lot of damage over time and things like that.

But realistically, this can actually be used to be really beneficial to you if it’s applied in the correct way. There are things like Divine Flesh and Incandescent Heart. For example, if you use those two together, you’ll be taking 75% of Elemental Damage from Hits as Chaos Damage and you can then scale your Chaos Resistance and then the damage from those Hits will go through your Chaos Resistance for first and then the 10% of Armour will be kicking in. 

And that’s going to be really strong for mitigating a lot of that Elemental Damage incoming. It’s also great against penetration. This is a really strong combination. But it doesn’t stop there because you could actually use this new Mastery on Juggernaut itself because if you already have the Unbreakable node and POE Currency selected and you’re already applying 8% of your Armour to Elemental Damage. You can actually use Divine Flesh on Juggernaut with this new Mastery.

And how this works now is that whenever you take Elemental Damage, half of it is going to be taken as Chaos Damage and the other half is going to be taking as that Elemental Damage and your Armour is actually going to be applied to those damage values separately.

For example, if you took a thousand damage and 500 of it went to Chaos Damage and 500 of it has taken as a particular element. Let’s say Fire. Then the 500 damage will be applied to the Chaos Mastery and 10% of your Armour will be applied to that and then for the 500 damage that’s taken as Fire, 8% of your Armour will be replied to that because of Unbreakable. 

That means that you’re going to be massively reducing the amount of damage you take just by using this combination of mechanics. And I think that’s just a really strong Mastery, particularly the Divine Flesh and Incandescent Heart combination that can be used in any class and any ascendancy as long as you have enough Armour to take advantage of that. It’s going to be a very strong way of mitigating damage, so that’s just a great Mastery.

Armour & Evasion Mastery

Next up, we’ve got the Armor and Evasion Masteries and it’s the Immune to Poison while Equipped Helmet has more Evasion Rating than Armour and Immune to Bleeding while Equipped Helmet has more Armour than Evasion Rating.

Generally, this is just a very good node obviously because being a means of Poison or Bleeding, it’s just a significant advantage to have, especially Bleeding, it’s very dangerous.

But I think the question here is if you’re equipped with a pure armor helmet or a pure evasion helmet, do they work? Do you want to buy POE Currency to level up them?

It should do because obviously by definition, your helmet does have more Armour and Evasion if it has only Armour. We have to wait and see if this works. But that’s just a great Mastery and I can see a lot of builds picking that one up. By the way, if you want to make a strong build, then it will be a good choice to learn POE builds making guides and POE Currency buy a lot in advance.

Caster Mastery

Then, there’s the Caster Masteries: 6% increased Cast Speed for each different Non-Instant Spell you’ve cast recently.

This is just a great Mastery. At first glance, I didn’t really think much of it. After reading it again, this is actually going to be great for any build that is self-casting because most of those builds have maybe three, four, five or even more spells that they cost themselves (things like movement skills). 

You’ve got your main skill, maybe some setup skills. It could be a two Bond build, for example, like Detonate Dead or something like that. You may have a curse skill. You may have a skill that gives exposure. We’re talking about six different skills, so this is going to give a ton of increased Cast Speed for that build and it’s just a great Mastery.

Elemental Mastery

Next up is the Elemental Mastery: Hits have a 25% chance to treat Enemy Monster Elemental Resistance values as inverted.

Now, I have to admit when I saw this, I was wondering what is that? There’s actually a special interaction I want to mention with this particular Mastery and the skill of Hexblast because Hexblast has a line that says: Chaos Damage with Hits is resisted by the Lowest Resistance instead.

Now, I couldn’t really find any other use cases for this Mastery. I’m sure that other people will find ways to use it. But with Hexblast, what this means is you’re using Hexblast normally in a hit-based build and you’re using Despair to lower monster Chaos Resistance.

Let’s say that the enemy monster has -10 Chaos Resistance. Every hit where this Mastery doesn’t proc, you’re going to be dealing damage as if the monster has -10 Chaos Resistance. Then, when this procs, let’s say the monster is a boss, and it has 50% Elemental Resistance. It’s going to proc, and it suddenly has negative 50% Elemental Resistance, and that’s going to be a massive increase in your damage. You can actually take this one step further as well because you can use the Eye of Malice unique helmet and POE Orbs.

Now, this has a unique modifier – nearby enemies have 50% increased fire and cold resistance. Usually, how you use this is you’d get the enemy into a large amount of negative fire or cold resistance and then that would further scale into the negatives using this helmet modifier.

But, let’s say you’re using it with the Mastery and with the example that we used before, the enemy boss now has 75% fire and cold resistance and whenever this procs, they have negative 75% fire and cold resistance and that’s going to be a huge increase to your hit damage.

Fire Mastery

Finally, we’ve got Fire Masteries: Critical Strikes do not inherently ignite 100% increased Damage with Hits against Ignited Enemies.

Now, to do a bit of a double take on this one because I’m not really sure why the increased damage is so high on this. This would have been a good Mastery if it was half as much increased damage. But it’s a 100% increased damage. It hits against ignited enemies. This is just a great pickup for any hit-based fire build. Realistically, it could be used with any hit build really as long as you have a way to ignite.

So, you just need a tiny portion of fire damage and a bit of ignite chance and you’re really strong. Any Heatshiver build would love to pick this up because it’s generic increased damage, not just fire damage, and this is just a crazy and good Mastery.