The newly discovered 20% quality gem recipe is a real game changer for PoE. Knowing about it now means that we have a few different considerations if we want to be able to effectively and cheaply improve our character when they reach endgame.
In case you haven’t seen the recipe yet it goes like this:
Any Level 20 Gem + 1 Gem Cutter’s Prism to Any Vendor
Same Gem at Level 1 with 20% Quality.
As you suspect it means that if you want to get 20% quality gems for your character then you are going to need to make sure you have level 20 gems! In the rest of this article I’ll share how you can go about leveling additional gems while you progress, how you can efficiently power level your existing gems and what gems you should actually use this recipe on!
If you prefer to watch and listen why not check my video version of this guide? You can also use the list of gems below as a referral while you watch.
How to Level Additional Gems While You Progress
Fun fact: you don’t have to use skill or support gems to level them up, in fact you don’t even have to have them in your current weapon set!
With this new 20% quality gem recipe in the common knowledge level 20 gems are going to be something you want to invest your time into creating. As such, you should be taking as many as you can into battle with you. I recommend either equipping gems you may want to use and quality recipe at end game or simply taking popular gems to sell off later for a bit of extra currency.
An easy way of leveling up additional gems while you progress is to simply put them into sockets in your alternate weapon set. They still gain XP and they wont take up sockets useful to your build. You can pick up two 3-linked 1-handed weapons in Normal difficulty and use them as gem holders for the rest of the game.
How to Efficiently Farm Gem Levels
The first thing to know is that skill and support gems do not suffer from XP penalties like the player character does.
Note that for most people it wont be worth your time to specifically farm for gem XP, you’re probably better off just continuing to map and progress your character in other ways. But for information’s sake I wanted include this section.
This means that the fastest way to level your skill gems is to find the highest level zone that you can farm quickly, even if it means your normal experience income is suffering from level based penalties.
For most players interested in using this recipe this zone will probably be The Docks in Act 3 Merciless. This is because it takes a few weeks of grinding to get level 20 gems, and most players will be in maps by this point. As such, clear speed of The Docks should be very fast.
However, if you want to be sure you are leveling your gems in the most efficient way possible then you can use the following method to find out your Gem XP/h:
- Record the current XP of one of your equipped gems (preferably one that isn’t about to level).
- Do one run of the zone you would like to test while recording how long it takes.
- Record the same gem’s XP after the run.
- Use these two figures to calculate the XP/h
- Calculate run time as a fraction of an hour (eg. 5mins = 1/12 hr).
- Calculate XP difference (After XP – Before XP. eg. 5,000).
- Multiply XP difference by run speed calculation (eg. 5,000 x 12 = 60,000 XP/h)
- Repeat for other zones and compare XP/h (repetitions of same zone will give greater accuracy).
What Gems Should You Use this Recipe On?
There are three general rules to answer this question:
- Is this a gem you can actually level to 20 in the first place?
- Can you afford to re-level that gem / will de-leveling the gem break your build?
- Is the 20% quality bonus on the gem worth 1GCP + Time?
Question 1 – This is pretty simple for most builds. If you cannot afford the mana costs or stat requirements to level a gem to 20 then this recipe is no good to you. HOWEVER, there is a way around this if the problem is mana: level another copy in your off-hand slot!
Question 2 – If taking a gem back to level 1 (even with the % bonus) will break your build then it’s not worth it. After all, you cannot exactly farm gem levels if you cannot farm…
Question 3 – Check out the list below for some gems I recommend (and look for other gems with similar effects).
- Power Charge on Crit – A 20%, level 1 PoC gem gives a 50% chance to gain a power charge on crit. This is 1% more than a level 20, 0% version of the gem… there is no drawback to this one.
- Immortal Call – Again, better at 20% level 1 than it is a 0% level 20. It’s a natural progression for the gem to use the vendor recipe.
- Warlord’s Mark – Gives you a ton of extra chance to gain endurance charges (which can mean you don’t have to use Enduring Cry).
- Faster Attacks and Faster Casting – Both gems will give the same speed boost at 20% level 10 as they will at 0% level 20. It takes no time at all to get back to level 10.
- Melee Splash & Infernal Blow – Trade some damage in (temporarily) for a boost to AoE, well worth it.
- Enfeeble – Quality grants further reduction to enemy accuracy, which is crucial for evasion based builds.
- Detonate Dead – Quality gives cast speed and the bonus for a leveled detonate dead is pretty underwhelming. Only issue with this is no-one actually levels up this gem…
- Freezing Pulse, Ice Spear & Spark – Both gain projectile speed from quality, which is amazing. The only issue is that you cannot do this if one of these spells if your main skill as your damage will drop back to level 1. Level them in your off-hand set and prepare for a long term investment.
- Lightning Strike – Trade in some damage temporarily for pierce chance, absolutely worth it.
- Added Lightning Damage – Quality gives chance to shock and shock duration, which is more important for most builds than the gem’s actual damage.
- Pretty Much Any Melee Gem with an Elemental Build – Gem levels for these gems typically give physical damage, which is useless for builds like Elemental Cleave.
- Same as Above for Bow Skills in Pure Elemental Builds!
- Increased Item Quantity & Increased Item Rarity – Using the recipe will sacrifice some magic find stat for a while in exchange for higher potential.
- Temporal Chains – 20% at level one gives 35% slowdown to enemies. 0% at level 20 gives 34%…
- Life and Mana Leech – Quality gives increased leech rate, which can be a big survivability boost once you re-level the gem.
Notice a few themes amongst these? Most of the ones that are really worth it either equal out really quickly and then surpass their non quality level 20 counterparts or they give some additional benefit that you cannot normally get. Be careful with spells though as you cannot revert your main spell to level 1 and still expect to deal damage!