PoE Eternal Youth Keystone Guides: mechanics, interactions, and Use in builds
In this series, we explore various Keystone passive skills in Path of Exile, discussing their mechanics, interactions, and their applications in different builds. If you want to explore more Keystones, check out the full Keystone Highlight playlist. Today, we'll be diving into the Eternal Youth Keystone. Previously known as a Timeless Keystone, Eternal Youth was added to the core passive tree in version 3.11. However, you can still obtain this Keystone in Standard League by using a legacy Glorious Vanity Jewel named Zurfy. It is located on the left side of the passive tree, between the Templar and Marauder start locations.
Eternal Youth comes with three modifiers:
- 50% less life regeneration rate
- 50% less maximum total life recovery per second from Leech
- Energy Shield recharge instead applies to life
Let's first discuss the downsides of Eternal Youth. The 50% less life regeneration rate and the 50% less maximum total life recovery per second from Leech significantly reduce the effectiveness of life recovery. These downsides ensure that you can't stack multiple sources of recovery simultaneously, as it halves the effectiveness of life regeneration and life leech.
To counterbalance these downsides, you can make use of the Zealot's Oath Keystone. This Keystone applies any life regeneration modifiers you have to energy shield instead. For example, percentage-based life regeneration will scale from your total energy shield pool. It's important to note that the Eternal Youth modifier, which reduces life regeneration rate, does not affect life regeneration applied to energy shield through Zealot's Oath. This is because it's no longer considered life regeneration; it becomes energy shield regeneration.
Alternatively, if you have a small amount of life regeneration or no life regeneration at all, you could consider using the Vaal Pact Keystone. This Keystone completely disables life regeneration but doubles the maximum total life recovery from leech. When used in conjunction with Eternal Youth, the upside of Vaal Pact cancels out the downside of Eternal Youth. Without any other modifiers to life leech, you'd have the normal baseline maximum life leech of 20%.
Focus on the upside of Eternal Youth
Energy Shield recharge instead applies to life. Energy Shield recharge is a mechanic exclusive to energy shield. Normally, it recovers energy shield at a rate of 33.3% per second, starting after a period of two seconds without losing any energy shield from damage.
With Eternal Youth, this recharge mechanic is applied to life instead, recovering life at a baseline rate of 33.3% per second. However, the recharge will only begin after a two-second period where your character hasn't lost any life from taking damage. If life is lost due to damage during this period, the recharge will be interrupted. But don't worry, the recharge won't be interrupted by spending or sacrificing life, such as using life to pay for skill costs or sacrificing life with unique items like Ravpith Globe.
You can enhance the recovery from recharge by using modifiers that increase energy shield recharge rate, such as the one found on the Bated Breath unique belt. This will boost the rate at which life is recharged while using Eternal Youth, as the recharge mechanic is now focused on recovering life. However, modifiers to energy shield recovery rate won't apply to this recharge mechanic. Instead, you can increase the recovery from recharge with modifiers to life recovery rate, such as the one found on The Chieftain's Tukohama, War's Herald notable.
To reduce the waiting time for recharge to begin (the two-second delay without taking damage), you can utilize modifiers that provide a faster start of energy shield recharge. An example is the modifier found on the Heartbreaker unique Rune Dagger. By investing in damage avoidance, such as evasion, attack and spell block, spell dodge, and direct damage avoidance from modifiers like Elusive, you can fully prevent the damage of a hit, allowing the recharge to start without interruption.
Eternal Youth synergizes exceptionally well with the Dissolution of the Flesh unique Jewel in combination with Petrified Blood. Dissolution of the Flesh causes any life loss from damage to be reserved as life reservation instead. From the perspective of Eternal Youth, the character is technically not losing any life from damage but rather reserving it. Therefore, this reservation doesn't interrupt recharge or prevent it from starting. By using Dissolution of the Flesh with Eternal Youth, the recharge mechanic is always active and cannot be interrupted.
Additionally, when combining Petrified Blood with Dissolution of the Flesh, your actual life will be at 50% for the purpose of activating Petrified Blood's buff. However, you'll still be able to reserve 100% of your life against damage. Petrified Blood's buff will cause Dissolution of the Flesh to reserve a smaller portion of the damage taken, with the rest of the damage being lost over time from your actual life. This portion does not count as damage, so it won't be reserved. But keep in mind that this portion is still lethal if it brings your life to zero. Luckily, the recharge from Eternal Youth will easily recover this lost life since it's always active.
The Wicked Ward Keystone also works in tandem with Eternal Youth
Wicked Ward's modifier ensures that energy shield recharge is not interrupted by taking damage if recharge began recently. This modifier synergizes with Eternal Youth, preventing damage to life from interrupting the recharge if it started in the last four seconds. However, be aware that the 40% less energy shield recharge rate modifier from Wicked Ward will heavily reduce the amount of life recovery provided by the recharge mechanic. Due to the recharge mechanic's reliance on the delay period without taking damage, investing in damage avoidance becomes crucial to allow time for the recharge to begin.
Currently, the most popular use of Eternal Youth in the game involves pairing it with the Dissolution of the Flesh unique Jewel. This combination is commonly utilized in Rage Vortex Berserker builds that focus on life stacking to gain substantial damage from the Bloodthirst support gem. The Berserker's Rite of Ruinous Energy notable causes a percentage of life loss per second based on the amount of rage you have. However, this life loss is not considered damage and doesn't interrupt life recharge. Many of these builds also use any life regeneration they have to regenerate rage using the Calm Spirit gloves, as they no longer rely on life regeneration due to Eternal Youth.
In conclusion, Eternal Youth is a niche Keystone with specific use cases where it excels as a powerful option for life recovery. However, it's unlikely to be a great choice for an average build on this side of the passive tree without significant changes. If you found this article helpful, please like and subscribe to our channel, and hit the bell icon to receive notifications whenever we release new content.
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