Movement Skills

Gotta Go Fast

Because Path of Exile's endgame is primarily about grinding for drops to sell, efficiency is a big part of planning a proper build - and a big part of efficiency is making sure you don't spend too much time walking!

As a result, most builds include at least one Movement Skill. Since these skills can have quirky mechanics and are not main sources of damage, most guides don't cover them in any detail, but they're too important not to discuss here. In fact, the only reason I waited this long is that they can be a good way to get yourself in to trouble if you don't know what you're doing.

These skills are almost never used as part of a primary damage build, and are instead used for quick movement secondary to your main skill. This is not an exhaustive list of every Movement skill in the game, only of the ones most commonly used in standard builds.

At this point you should have completed Siosa's quest A Fixture of Fate, meaning that you have access to almost all gems by purchasing them from Siosa. For future runs, however, these skills can be obtained at some point in Act 1 by certain classes.

Shield Charge (Strength gem)

Probably the most popular Movement skill, but one that comes with a lot of restrictions. In particular, you must equip both a shield and a melee weapon to use Shield Charge - it's a very common mistake to try to use it with a Wand. (Technically, you can also use it while unarmed if you have a shield, although none of the builds described in this guide are Unarmed builds.)

Shield Charge moves you rapidly to a targeted location. Its movement comes in three parts: a startup, the actual movement, and an attack at the end. Attack Speed modifiers on your weapon (but not its base Attack Speed) modify the startup and the attack, but not the movement time. Movement Speed modifiers modify the movement time, but not the startup or the attack.

Shield Charge can move over flat land, but cannot cross gaps or climb ledges.

Leap Slam (Strength gem)

Somewhat slower than Shield Charge, but with different restrictions: to use Leap Slam, you need to be using a Sword, Axe, Mace, or Staff. Note that Sceptres are, mechanically speaking, Maces, and thus are eligible for Leap Slam.

Leap Slam allows you to leap to a nearby location, dealing minor damage and knocking back targets in the area. The speed at which you move depends on your Attack Speed - Leap Slam adds a fixed amount to your weapon's attack time (i.e., is slower than a normal attack). Note that this speed does not depend on how far you're moving: Leap Slam takes the same time to travel any distance.

Unlike Shield Charge or Whirling Blades, Leap Slam can climb ledges and cross gaps. This makes it a useful skill to have around for the leveling experience, despite its slightly slower base speed.

Leap Slam has an odd quirk relative to other Movement skills: the area it can target is a square, not a circle, centered on your character. It is therefore possible to go further diagonally than it is vertically or horizontally. Flame Dash is the only other skill to share this unusual behavior.

Whirling Blades (Dexterity/Intelligence Gem)

A less popular skill, but sometimes the only one you have available. Usable with Daggers, Claws, and One-Handed Swords. Much slower than the two skills above.

Whirling Blades sends you spinning towards a targeted location, passing through enemies on your way. The speed at which you move depends on your Attack Speed - Whirling Blades adds a fixed amount to your weapon's attack time (i.e., is slower than a normal attack). Unlike Leap Slam, however, Whirling Blades' travel time does scale with distance traveled, and the base speed will be proportionally faster for shorter distances.

Whirling Blades, like Shield Charge, cannot climb ledges or cross gaps.

Blink Arrow (Dexterity Gem)

Blink Arrow is the Movement skill of choice for Bow-using characters. Usable only with Bows (not with Wands, as with other skills with 'Arrow' in the name).

Blink Arrow shoots an arrow to a targeted location. When the arrow lands, you'll be teleported to that location, and a clone of you that can attack enemies is left behind. If any effect that would prevent you from moving, like a Stun, is applied before the arrow lands, you will not be teleported.

Blink Arrow has a fixed base Attack Speed. This base speed is independent of your main weapon, but is then modified by modifiers to Attack Speed (including any Local modifiers on your weapon). Once fired, the time it takes for the arrow to land is affected by Projectile or Arrow Speed.

Blink Arrow can climb ledges and cross gaps.

Lightning Warp (Intelligence Gem)

Lightning Warp places a glowing circle on the ground. After a brief delay, you are teleported to the circle, dealing damage around you as you do so. It is a Spell, and therefore has no restrictions on weapon type (and in particular may be used with a Wand).

The teleport delay can be shortened or lengthened by modifiers to Movement Speed (faster Movement = shorter delay) and Skill Effect Duration (increased Duration = higher delay).

Lightning Warp can cross gaps and climb ledges.

Flame Dash (Intelligence Gem)

Flame Dash moves you quickly to a nearby location, leaving a trail of burning ground in your wake that deals Burning Damage to enemies standing in it.

Unlike the other movement skills listed here, Flame Dash has a cooldown, and works on a charge system, recovering one charge every 3 seconds. It is a Spell, and its cast time therefore affected by Cast Speed modifiers (but its cooldown is not).

Despite being a dash and this making absolutely no sense as a result, Flame Dash can cross gaps and climb ledges.

Flame Dash has an odd quirk relative to other Movement skills: the area it can target is a square, not a circle, centered on your character. It is therefore possible to go further diagonally than it is vertically or horizontally. Leap Slam is the only other skill to share this unusual behavior.

Charged Dash (Dexterity Gem)

Charged Dash is available later in the game than the options above, but is a viable choice for melee-weapon-using builds. It requires an equipped melee weapon, but has no restrictions on the type of melee weapon, meaning it is available to any non-Bow, Wand, or Unarmed build.

Charged Dash creates a ghostly clone of you that can be steered as long as you hold down the cast key by moving your mouse around, up to a maximum distance from your character. When you release the cast key, your character will teleport to the location of the clone, dealing damage in areas spaced along the path.

The speed at which the clone moves is affected only by your Movement Speed, and not by your Attack Speed. As a result, Faster Attacks (normally a good support choice for movement skills) is useless unless you're building around Charged Dash as a main source of damage (which is not covered here).

Movement Skill Supports

Just because you're not primarily dealing damage with your Movement skills doesn't mean that finding Support gems for them doesn't matter! Instead, we'll focus on Support gems that improve their utility to you.

For Shield Charge, Whirling Blades, and Leap Slam:

  • Fortify Support, which grants a substantial damage-reduction buff to you when you hit.
  • Faster Attacks, to, uh, go faster.
  • The third support is optional, but common choices are things like Culling Strike (allowing the movement skill to execute monsters, typically bosses, below 10% Life). Alternately, you can put this setup in a 3-link in a 1-hand weapon or shield.

For Blink Arrow:

  • Faster Projectiles, to make sure the arrow lands as quickly as possible.
  • Faster Attacks, to make sure you get the shot off quickly.
  • The third support is optional, but common choices are things like Culling Strike (allowing the movement skill to execute monsters, typically bosses, below 10% Life).

For Lightning Warp:

  • Faster Casting, to lay the marker faster.
  • Less Duration, to reduce skill effect duration in order to teleport faster.
  • Swift Affliction, to reduce skill effect duration in order to teleport faster.

For Flame Dash:

  • Faster Casting, to move more quickly.

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