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davidbloom

When you start playing Path of Exile, you may have run into one or two items with the word "Corrupted" in its description. You may be wondering what that means? Corrupted is simply a special modifier that can be applied to items and strongboxes. Any poe items, including skill gems, that are Corrupted may have unique, implicit modifiers.

Examples include leeching a percentage of elemental damage as life or increasing the level of equipped Vaal Skill gems by one or two. The downside to this interesting mod is that you cannot alter the item any further with any path of exile orbs. If you have a Vaal Skill Gem on hand for instance, having an item that increases the level of that gem is extremely useful, given the way that these particular skill gems work.

Vaal Skill Gems are vastly superior versions of a few normal Skill Gems, such as Fireball or Detonate Dead. Unlike the normal skills, Vaal skills are much more powerful and can be devastating when used properly.

Something this powerful, however, has a cost; in this case, you'll need the souls of your slain enemies to use the skill. Each enemy you slay adds one soul to your skill counter and once you've collected enough souls, the gem will be charged with one use. It might seem lame that you only get one use, but these skills are so ridiculously powerful, sometimes one use is good enough.

You're probably thinking, "Where can I find one of these?" There are many ways to find Vaal gems. An easy way to find one is by locating and entering a Corrupted Area. I found my first Vaal gem by entering one of these during my travels.

After I defeated Brutus, the Warden of the Prison in Act 1, I explored the Prisoner's Gate area until I noticed something strange. My screen dimmed to a reddish colour and I saw bloody tendrils beckoning me to follow them. When I reached the source, I discovered that I stumbled upon a Corrupted Area.

Upon entering the map (here known as the Deadly Remote Gulch), I noticed the monsters dealt more damage, but yielded more rewards as a result of their defeat. Battling my way to the back of the area and defeating the boss (Sheaq, Maker of Floods), I discovered a Vaal Vessel. Breaking it open yielded my first Vaal Skill (Vaal Detonate Dead) and opened a portal to return back to the Prisoner's Gate.

I'm not 100% sure what the chances of finding a Corrupted Area are, but you're bound to run into one sooner than later. It's well within your interest to find, enter and clear out these unique areas, since you'll gain plenty of experience as well as a valuable Vaal gem for your trouble.

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