PoE Strongbox Guide

Special chests, called Strongboxes, can be found throughout Path of Exile. Unlike ordinary chests, Strongboxes are protected by monsters that must be defeated before the Strongbox will relinquish its treasures. Although Strongboxes are not technically items, they do share some special traits in common with many of Path of Exile's items. Specifically, Strongboxes have mods and, like items, these mods can be changed with the use of currency. There are several different kinds of Strongbox to find, each one providing different amounts or kinds of items.

How to increase the chance to open more Strongboxes?

Completing Open Strongboxes encounters is one of the PoE challenges.

The Ambush league introduced Strongboxes. By doing the following means, you can open more strongboxes.

  1. Atlas Passive Tree: Ambush
  2. Zana’s map device: Ambush mods.
  3. Monstrous Treasure prophecy: Go to a map area. The area contain 36 strongboxes where all non fixed-placed monsters are packed into.
  4. Bountiful Traps prophecy: The location contains six extra strongboxes.
  5. Ambush Scarab

1.1 Atlas Passive Tree: Ambush

Name Stats Region Category Distance from start
Strongbox Pack Chance
  • Strongboxes in Areas have 25% chance to be guarded by an additional Pack of Monsters
Glennach Cairns Ambush 1
Twice Tempted
  • Areas contain an extra Strongbox
  • Strongboxes in Areas have 10% chance to be openable a second time
Glennach Cairns Ambush Notable 2
Strongbox Pack Chance
  • Strongboxes in Areas have 25% chance to be guarded by an additional Pack of Monsters
Glennach Cairns Ambush 3
Tamper-Proof
  • Strongboxes in Areas are Corrupted
  • Strongboxes in Areas are at least Rare
Glennach Cairns Ambush Notable 4

1.2 Zana’s map device: Ambush mods

Name Zana’s league modifiers Cost
Ambush Area contains 3 extra Strongboxes. 3x Chaos Orb Chaos Orb

1.3 Monstrous Treasure prophecy

Go to a map area. The area contain 36 strongboxes where all non fixed-placed monsters are packed into.

Note: This prophecy stacks with Zana's ambush mod.

  • Area contains 36 strongboxes.
  • Only available in map.
  • All non fixed-placed monsters are packed into a strongbox.
  • Able to stack with other sources of strongboxes (Ex. Zana's ambush mod, Ambush Scarabs, Bountiful Traps).

1.4 Bountiful Traps prophecy

You will enter a map that holds six additional Strongboxes. The prophecy is able to stack with Zana's Ambush mod.

1.5 Scarab

Scarabs are a type of map fragment. They do not open portals to new areas, but are instead used to augment existing areas with various effects.

Name Stats
Rusted Ambush Scarab Area contains 3 extra Strongboxes
Polished Ambush Scarab Area contains 4 extra Strongboxes
Gilded Ambush Scarab Area contains 5 extra Strongboxes
Winged Ambush Scarab Area contains 9 extra Strongboxes

Buy PoE Currency Cheap

  • Buy Cheap PoE Currency Instant Delivery using a 6% off coupon: poeitems. Mulefactory is a reliable PoE currency website that offers cheap Exalted Orbs, Chaos Orbs, PoE Items, etc. Payments: PayPal, Skrill, BitCoin.

Strongbox Cheat Sheet

Strongboxes come in different base types which determine the kinds of items that can normally be obtained from them. Modifiers can further alter the loot contents, such as granting additional rare items or gems.

With 2218 strongboxes pool,  done via Monstrous Treasure prophecy, users expect the following kind of distribution. Note that test was made in Tier-13 and higher maps, where Cartographer's strongboxes cannot spawn. This experiment was done in 2016, which may not reflect the current spawn rate of the game.

Base Type Contents Count Spawn rate
Arcanist's Strongbox Currency that do not affect quality 96 4.3%
Armourer's Strongbox Armour, The Body, The Mayor 132 6%
Artisan's Strongbox Currency that affect quality 155 6.9%
Blacksmith's Strongbox Weapons 125 5.7%
Cartographer's Strongbox Maps, The Cartographer - -
Diviner's Strongbox Divination cards 42 1.9%
Gemcutter's Strongbox Gems, The Gemcutter 74 3.3%
Jeweller's Strongbox Amulets, rings, belts, jewels, Hubris 167 7.5%
Large Strongbox Assorted items (increased quantity) 104 4.7%
Ornate Strongbox Assorted items (increased rarity) 62 2.8%
Strongbox Assorted items 1247 56.3%
Vaal Reliquary Assorted corrupted items, Vaal Orbs ? ?
Unique Special 14 0.6%

Like chests, increased Item Quantity from gear does not increase the number of items dropped from a strongbox. However, map quantity and the number of players do increase the number of items dropped from most strongboxes. The only exception is the Cartographer's Strongbox, where the number of players does not increase the amount of map drops.

PoE Strongbox Crafting Guide

Generally speaking, it is only recommended to spend money on crafting Diviner’s Strongbox, Cartographer’s Strongbox, and Arcanist’s Strongbox.

1. Diviner’s Strongbox

It drops Divination cards. It has a high value. Use Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy + Chaos Orb Chaos Orb or Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy + Orb of Scouring Orb of Scouring to get desired mods. Choose the cheaper one and look for “Contains additional Divination Cards” mods.

2. Cartographer’s Strongbox

It drops Maps, The Cartographer.

  • Use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation in low tier maps for a chance at added maps or +levels. Use Vaal Orb Vaal Orb corrupts low tier Cartographer’s Strongbox is a viable strategy to produce a large number of corrupted maps. Corrupted maps can drop Sarficie Fragments, produce higher tier maps, and rare maps with 8 affixes.
  • In high tier maps, using Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation, Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation, and Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration to them.
  • It may be worth to use Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy and Chaos Orb Chaos Orb in very high-level maps. Buy only in leagues where progression is slow and map drops are scarce.

3. Arcanist’s Strongbox

It drops currency that do not affect quality. Use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation, Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation, and Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration to it. Craft for (30 to 60)% increased Quantity of Contained Items, Contains (3 to 8) additional Items. Notice that the more you invest crafting, the less profit you will have.

4. Artisan’s Strongbox

It drops currency that affect quality: Blacksmith’s Whetstone Blacksmith’s Whetstone, Armourer’s Scrap Armourer’s Scrap, Glassblower’s Bauble Glassblower’s Bauble, Gemcutter’s Prism Gemcutter’s Prism, and Cartographer’s Chisel Cartographer’s Chisel. Use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation for a chance at additional items. The expected returns are not high enough to invest Orbs of Alchemy Orbs of Alchemy or Orbs of Alteration Orbs of Alteration into it.

5. Strongbox, Ornate Strongbox and Large Strongbox

They contain generic loot and have a low value. You can just open it to maintain clearing map speed. Or, use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation on endgame maps to get good mods.

6. Blacksmith’s Strongbox

It only drops weapons and has a low value. You can just open it. Or, you can use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation for the chance at extra monsters in higher level maps.

7. Jeweller’s Strongbox

It drops Amulets, rings, belts, jewels, and Hubris. Use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation in regular endgame maps. Some maps(tier 12 to tier 15) drop Steel Rings, Opal Ring, and Crystal Belts. These can be worth quite a lot. Therefore in these maps, use Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy on white Jeweller’s Strongbox.

8. Gemcutter’s Strongbox

It drops Gems and The Gemcutter. Use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation in endgame maps for a chance at “Contained Items have (1 to 20)% Quality” and “Contained Gems have Experience”. Meanwhile, you can use Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration to get decent mods.

9. Armourer’s Strongbox

It drops Armour, The Body, The Mayor. Basically, use Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation and Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation in low tier endgame maps. Use Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy on white Armourer’s Strongbox in high-level maps looking for large numbers of additional items bonus points for “Contains Mirrored Items”. If you get the above, use a Vaal Orb Vaal Orb to corrupt all the Armour in the box for a chance at 6 links.

Strongbox Use Currency

The strongbox behaves exactly like an ordinary item in your inventory. Items that affect rarity or change modifiers can be used on strongboxes as well.

1. Common used currency

The following are the most common PoE currency that can be used in a strongbox.

Currency Function
Engineer’s Orb Engineer’s Orb Improves the quality of a Strongbox. Each Engineer’s Orb Engineer’s Orb increases a normal strongbox by 5% quality, a magic strongbox by 2% quality, and a rare strongbox by 1% quality.
Orb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation Upgrades a normal strongbox to a magic strongbox
Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation Enchants a magic strongbox with a new random modifier
Orb of Alteration Orb of Alteration Reforges a magic strongbox with new random modifiers
Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy Upgrades a normal strongbox to a rare strongbox
Orb of Scouring Orb of Scouring Removes all modifiers from a magic or rare strongbox
Chaos Orb Chaos Orb Reforges a rare strongbox with new random modifiers
Regal Orb Regal Orb Upgrades a magic strongbox to a rare strongbox
Vaal Orb Vaal Orb Corrupts a strongbox, modifying it unpredictably

It is often worth carrying some currency items with you, so you can modify any strongboxes you happen to come across. The difference between a normal Strongbox and a well-crafted magic Strongbox can be quite significant.

2. Strongbox Quality Currency: Increases “Item Quantity”

An Engineer’s Orb Engineer’s Orb is a currency item that can be used to improve the quality of a strongbox. More quality means more item quantity. Right-click Engineer’s Orb Engineer’s Orb then left-clicks a Strongbox to apply it. Each Engineer’s Orb Engineer’s Orb increases a normal strongbox by 5% quality, a magic strongbox by 2% quality, and a rare strongbox by 1% quality. The maximum quality is 20%.

3. Strongbox Scarab

Scarab is a kind of map fragment. Instead of opening a portal to a new area, they are used to extend the existing area with various effects.

Item Stats
Gilded Ambush Scarab Area contains 5 extra Strongboxes
Polished Ambush Scarab Area contains 4 extra Strongboxes
Rusted Ambush Scarab Area contains 3 extra Strongboxes

4. Strongbox Sextant

A Sextant is a currency item that can be used on a Watchstone to add a special modifier to all the maps on the region where the Watchstone is socketed.

Name Lvl. Stats
MapAtlasStrongboxesAreCorruptedAndUnided 1 3 uses remaining
Strongboxes in Areas are Corrupted
Areas contain an extra Strongbox
Strongboxes in Areas are at least Rare Rarity
MapAtlasStrongboxMonstersEnrageAndDrops 1 3 uses remaining
Strongbox Monsters have 500% increased Item Quantity
Strongbox Monsters are Enraged
Areas contain an extra Strongbox
MapAtlasStrongboxesAreCorruptedAndUnided2_ 1 3 uses remaining
Strongboxes in Areas are Corrupted
Areas contain 2 extra Strongboxes
Strongboxes in Areas are at least Rare Rarity

5. Strongbox Prophecy

Monstrous Treasure is a prophecy. You will travel to a map where the monsters lie in wait, open the boxes they guard and slay them all.

  • Area contains 36 strongboxes.
  • Only available in map.
  • All non fixed-placed monsters are packed into a strongbox.
  • Able to stack with other sources of strongboxes (Ex. Zana’s ambush mod, Ambush Scarabs, Bountiful Traps).

PoE Strongbox Guide

There is a technique for understanding strongboxes and effectively crafting them: prefixes are all “bad” because they make strongboxes more difficult, and suffixes are all “good” because they change the loot inside (both have exceptions, but this is the general rule). If you find a magic strongbox with “Freezes you when activated” on it, and you use an Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation, you will definitely get a mod that can improve your loot. Meanwhile, if you find a magic strongbox with an improved loot modifier, the Orb of Augmentation Orb of Augmentation will always make the box harder for no reason.

There are different types of strongboxes, only Diviner’s Strongbox, Cartographer’s Strongbox, and Arcanist’s Strongbox are worth a lot of investment. Others may be better or worse, but remember that you want a good return on your investment. A basic strongbox with the appropriate affixes is usually less than a couple of Chaos Orbs Chaos Orbs. A Diviner’s Strongbox or Cartographer’s Strongbox with three suffixes is worth far more than average. Before spending all your currency in a strongbox, find out what each strongbox will drop and what its value will be.

1. Strongbox Loot Contents

There are different basic types of strongboxes, which determine the type of items that are usually available from them. Modifiers can further change the amount of loot, such as (1000 to 2000)% increased Rarity of Contained Items.

Base Type Contents Spawn rate
Arcanist’s Strongbox Currency that do not affect quality 4.3%
Armourer’s Strongbox Armour, The Body, The Mayor 6%
Artisan’s Strongbox Currency that affect quality 6.9%
Blacksmith’s Strongbox Weapons 5.7%
Cartographer’s Strongbox Maps, The Cartographer
Diviner’s Strongbox Divination cards 1.9%
Gemcutter’s Strongbox Gems, The Gemcutter 3.3%
Jeweller’s Strongbox Amulets, rings, belts, jewels, Hubris 7.5%
Large Strongbox Assorted items (increased quantity) 4.7%
Ornate Strongbox Assorted items (increased rarity) 2.8%
Strongbox Assorted items 56.3%
Unique Special 0.6%

Like a chest, the modifier “increased Item Quantity” equipped by items does not increase the number of items dropped from the strongbox. However, the number of maps and players do increase the number of items dropped from most strongboxes. The only exception is the Cartographer’s Strongbox, where the number of players does not increase the number of map drops.

2. PoE Strongbox Prefix Mods

Generally speaking, most prefixes make farming more difficult. Prefixes can release more monsters or bounce traps, making ambushes more dangerous. Certain prefixes are very bad and you should avoid using it, such as “Freezes you when activated”.

Name Lvl. Stats
Arctic 8 Freezes you when activated
Contaminated 8 Spreads Caustic Ground
Chest plays warning sound (Hidden)
Contested 12 Guarded by a Rogue Exile
Frigid 1 Casts Ice Nova
Chest plays warning sound (Hidden)
Incandescent 1 Ignites you when activated
Intimidating 10 Guarded by a pack of Magic Monsters
Items will not drop until all Bloodline Daemons are killed. (Hidden)
Menacing 35 Guarded by 3 Rare Monsters
Items will not drop until all Bloodline Daemons are killed. (Hidden)
Ossified 2 Summons Skeletons
Items will not drop until all Bloodline Daemons are killed. (Hidden)
Putrifying 4 Detonates nearby corpses
Chest plays warning sound (Hidden)
Rallying 35 Guarded by a stream of Monsters
Reaper's 1 Revives nearby dead Monsters with Onslaught
Scorched 10 Casts Firestorm
Chest plays warning sound (Hidden)
Unstable 1 Explodes
Chest plays warning sound (Hidden)
Vibrating 25 Casts Lightning Storm
Chest plays warning sound (Hidden)
Whispering 15 Casts a random Curse when activated

3. PoE Strongbox Suffix Mods

In general, most suffixes are good and increase the number or quality of your looting. The suffix can change the contents of the loot in different ways, such as granting additional items or increasing the number of sockets on the item, such as the modifier (30 to 60)% increased Quantity of Contained Items.

Suffix Lvl. Effect Strongbox,Large Strongbox,
Ornate Strongbox, Armourer's Strongbox,
Blacksmith's Strongbox
Jeweller's Strongbox Arcanist's Strongbox, Artisan's Strongbox Gemcutter's Strongbox Cartographer's Strongbox Diviner's Strongbox
of Abundance 1 Contains (3 to 8) additional Items 
of Affluence 8 Contains (1 to 3) additional Rare Items  - - -
of Ascendance 1 +(1 to 5) Chest level 
of Augmentation 12 Only contains Support Gems - - - - -
of Bounty 1 (30 to 60)% increased Quantity of Contained Items 
of Complexity 20 Contained Items have (1 to 2) additional Sockets - - - - -
of Corruption 1 Contains an extra Vaal Gem - - - - -
of Curiosities 4 Contains (1 to 5) additional Magic Items  - - -
of Facets 40 Contained Gems have Experience - - - - -
of Kalandra 40 Contains Mirrored Items - - - -
of Quality 1 Contained Items have (1 to 20)% Quality - - -
of Singularity 45 Contains an additional Unique Item - - -
of Treasures 4 (1000 to 2000)% increased Rarity of Contained Items - - -
of Unity 40 Contained Items are fully Linked - - - - -
of Wisdom 1 Contains Identified Items - - -
of Prophecy 1 Contains (2 to 4) additional Silver Coins
of the Vaal 1 Contains additional Divination Cards that give Corrupted Items - - - - -
of Reward 1 Contains additional Divination Cards that give Currency - - - - -
of Renown 1 Contains additional Divination Cards that give Unique Items - - - - -

Related PoE Currency, Gem, Skills Build Guide