Stats and Mods II The Help Panel
Stats and Mods II: What to Look Out For
Character builds in Path of Exile are extremely varied, and which items and passives are important to a character is highly dependent on what that character is trying to achieve, but there are some things almost everyone should look out for.
Unless you're in a coordinated group, every character needs a way to kill monsters. Figure out how you plan to deliver damage and look for items that amplify that. If you plan to shoot arrows at monsters from afar, a high-damage bow, as well as passive skills that benefit your chosen weapon, are a must. If you plan to cast spells, look for weapons with 'increased Spell Damage'. If you're strictly dealing fire damage, look for things that boost your fire damage. A fire spell like Fireball benefits from increases to fire, spell, and projectile damage. A character who wants to smash things with a one-handed mace should look for modifiers to one-handed weapons, maces, attacks and melee attacks specifically.
You can't kill monsters if you're dead, so you should also carefully consider your defences. Most characters will want some armour, energy shield or evasion, or some combination of the three. Sources of life and increases to it are a great way to extend your lifespan, but you'll also want to seek out ways to mitigate the damage before it ever touches your life pool. Fire damage, such as the fire from a cannibal's thrown torch, can be mitigated by sources of 'Fire Resistance'. Merveil's spells deal cold damage, so 'Cold Resistance' is very useful against her. If a certain spell or attack deals significantly more damage to you than anything else, it might be of an element that you don't have much resistance to. If you're ever unsure where you spend your next passive point, it's almost always worth investing in a relevant defence.