Here, I want to go over everything we currently know about the mechanic and rewards of Path of Exile 3.22 Trial of the Ancestors League, as well as the implications this league mechanic will have on, what build you should play, the league’s economy, and Atlas strategies.
That way, you can jump into the league with everything you need to hit the ground running!
Matches & Tournaments
First up, let’s go over everything we know about the league mechanic.
Trial of the Ancestors, which I’ll be referring to as “Trials” from now on, is an autobattler-inspired league mechanic. You’ll be recruiting and upgrading Warriors over the course of a tournament, strategically placing your team at the start of each match to counter the enemy team.
Each position you can play a Warrior has an associated role, which determines how that Warrior behaves in battle. Some will have them on the offense, others on the defense, as well as other specialized roles.
Unlike a traditional autobattler, you will fight alongside your team, much like how Blight is a tower defense game where you fight alongside your towers.
Each Warrior, including the player, has a totem that they revive at a short time after being defeated. If a totem is destroyed, that Warrior instantly dies, and will no longer respawn for the duration of the match. The goal of each match is to destroy all of the enemy team’s totems before your totems are destroyed.
Each match represents a single game in a larger tournament. These tournaments are double elimination. You can lose once without getting knocked out. But after two losses, you have to start over in a new tournament.
Before each match, you’ll get to view each team and what the reward for beating that team is. You then pick your opponent, and pay the entry fee – one Silver Coin, per match.
In addition to the rewards you get from winning each match, you get additional rewards for successfully winning the entire tournament.
Many of the best rewards seem to be exclusively available from tournament wins, so you definitely want to make sure you’re winning the whole thing!
Every time you win a tournament, your ranking will increase. The better your ranking, the higher the difficulty and the better the rewards of future tournaments.
It’s likely that consistently winning and being able to do extremely high-ranking tournaments will be the most profitable way to farm Trials.
Favour & Teambuilding
In between matches, you will get to spend tribe-specific Favour that you receive from winning matches, to recruit new Warriors for your team, and to purchase Equipment and Field Items.
There are a total of 10 different tribes, and each has a different selection of Warriors and Equipment for sale. Mixing and matching will probably be key to creating a strong team.
Field Items can be placed on the battlefield the same way a Warrior can, and serve as single use consumables that you can activate by clicking on them, to get a beneficial effect when you need it most in a match.
Equipment is given to your Warriors, to enhance their abilities. Based on the Equipment GGG has previewed, these POE Items are not simple stat boosts, but are often transformative in nature. For instance, the equipment Dying Roar makes your Warrior explode on death.
Figuring out what Equipment to buy, and what Warrior and Role to use that equipment on will probably be key to victory. For instance, the explosion on death equipment probably combines well with a tanky character, perhaps on a defensive role where they will be fighting enemy Warriors
All of these progression mechanics - Warriors, Field Items and Equipment, are tournament-specific progression only. None of them carry over. You start every new tournament from scratch.
Skill Point Tattoos
So, what are the rewards from doing all this, anyway?
Well, the Trial of the Ancestors League has some pretty spicy new rewards. The first of which are Tattoos.
Tattoos are a new consumable item, which can replace attribute passives on your Skill Tree.
So, for instance, you can overwrite a +10 strength travel node with one that gives 8% Fire Resistance, or another that gives 1% Mana Reservation Efficiency.
These tattoos are permanently applied to the skill point, unless you use an Orb of Scouring or overwrite them with another tattoo. These tattoos offer an incredible amount of power to min-max your character build to levels never seen before!
Every single build needs to take some number of travel nodes. In the past, there really hasn’t been anything you can do about that. But now, you’ll be able to turn all of those travel nodes into far more useful stats. I expect some of these tattoos to be very pricey.
Another new type of consumable item available from the Trial of the Ancestors League is Omens.
Omens are automatically triggered and consumed from your inventory upon meeting some trigger condition. For example, one of the Omens previewed creates a portal on death, and another gives you Soul Eater upon leveling up.
While some of these seem marginally useful for mapping, the real money here is in the rare ones, such as the Omen of Fortune, which guarantees your next orb of chance will upgrade an item to a unique.
In order to prevent players from feeling like they need to fill their inventory with Omens, there’s a restriction of only one Omen being able to trigger per zone.
The final reward available is a powerful new endgame crafting currency, Hinekora’s Lock.
Hinekora’s Lock has a very unusual effect. It allows you to “foresee” the result of the next currency item used on it.
It’s unclear exactly what this means, and people have different interpretations. Some claim that you have to actually use the currency item, like an Eternal Orb, whereas others believe you’ll be able to see what the outcome would be without actually using it.
Regardless of how it ends up working, one thing is clear: this is an incredibly powerful crafting option that rivals the power of the Eternal Orb. And the Eternal Orb was removed from Path of Exile for being simply too powerful at crafting.
Hinekora’s Lock will end up having a very similar effect. With enough Hinekora’s Locks, you will be able to deterministically craft, getting the exact outcome you want at every step. If it foresees an outcome you don’t like, you simply change the item’s quality, use another Hinekora’s Lock, and check again.
I expect that all of the most powerful items created in the Trial of the Ancestors League will rely heavily upon the use of Hinekora’s Lock. Regardless of how rare or common it ends up being, this will be a chase reward worth many Divine Orbs.
So, now that you know everything there is to know, the question remains: what should you do to best prepare for the Trial of the Ancestors League?
Well, as far as builds go, it’s likely that strong, single target ranged DPS builds will be king in Trials tournaments. Being able to quickly burst down Warriors and Totems will allow you to simply delete the enemy team, without having to overly rely on the rest of your team.
In addition, POE 3.22 marks the return of the Sanctum league mechanic, which is a league mechanic, and also incentivizes strong single-target DPS builds.
Another consideration is that you may want to pass on playing a stat-stacker. Stat stacking builds won’t be able to take advantage of tattoos in the ways other builds will, and might end up falling short in terms of character power this league. Or at the very least, you’ll miss out on the fun of playing with the new character progression mechanics.
As far as your Atlas and Farming strategies go, it’s worth noting that the new Maven keystone also incentivizes single-target DPS. Boss killers may find that they thrive in this league.
Other than that, something I want to highlight is the way that you interact with the league mechanic. You spend Silver Coins to play matches, but these Silver Coins are just regular POE drops.
As far as we know, they aren’t limited to one per zone or come from special league chests, or anything like that. It’s worth emphasizing just how unusual this is.
GGG hasn’t done a league mechanic like this in years. The last time they had a league mechanic that you started through regular drops off of enemies was Legacy league in 2017, over 6 years ago.
The reason why they normally don’t do this and what makes this so interesting is that it means the amount of Silver Coins you find will scale with player and area Item Quantity, as well as pack size. This means that you have the ability to specialize in farming Silver Coins by magic finding. And some players will be able to farm Silver Coins at absolutely obscene rates.
My understanding is that the current go-to strategy for magic finding is to use the strongbox sextant with the Wandering Path.
It’s worth noting that even though Strongboxes aren’t on the map device this league, the new “Seventh Gate” keystone will allow you to add strongboxes to the map device. And if you go for this niche strategy, you may be able to farm a fortune in Silver Coins, even if you don’t engage with the league mechanic directly.
Other than that, my last observation is that because Hinekora’s Lock only works with crafting POE Currency, other crafting methods that aren’t currency may be far less valuable than usual this league, as players look to craft endgame items via means they can use deterministically.
These would be things, such as Aisling T4 in Betrayal, Harvest, and possibly even fossils.