If you're following along with Path of Exile in recent days, then you'll know we're in the age of the MF culler meta, better known as the Magic Find Culler Meta. This refers to a specific kind of build meant for a specific game mechanic. In this article, we'll explain why MF cullers are so meta and why the community is upset about it all.
What's the Point of MF Cullers in Path of Exile
In Path of Exile, most of what drops in the game is impacted by item rarity and item quantity modifiers. These modifiers, behind the scenes, work together to decide what loot you're getting, among other modifiers. These modifiers are generally relegated to different map juicing mechanics and League mechanics, but not in every case.
See, there's a subset of gear in Path of Exile that increases item rarity and quantity. You can equip this stuff, and then when you kill a particularly beefy mob, you'll be rewarded with more, rarer loot. When you do this, for example, in endgame super-juiced maps, you can see pretty big rewards.
And when you add in Culling Strike to a build like this, it makes it easy to set up a particularly beefy mob to be culled for its items. You can simply reduce its health low enough to be culled, then you have your MF culler kill it and drop big rewards. Considering parties also increase item rarity and quantity, having a MF culler in a 6-man party makes a lot of sense.
Especially when you consider that MF gear is usually weaker compared to builds that are just trying to become as strong as possible, and it's usually extraordinarily expensive. There are lots of legacy items that can no longer be obtained that massively increase item rarity/quantity in Standard, for example.
In League, not only does this gear tend to be expensive, there are fewer options than in Standard, so it's generally a fairly niche build, as it's hard to make, and you generally need a party to take full advantage of it; however, this has changed a lot with the 3.19 update to the game.
MF Culling in Path of Exile 3.19
In many ways, the idea of MF culling in 3.19 isn't different than it has ever been. However, it is a lot more relevant. See, the game is focused more and more around not juicing high-end maps, no, but rather randomly stumbling across mobs with a few particular modifiers.
Related: Can GGG Save Path of Exile 3.19?
The God-Touched Archnemesis modifiers massively increase the loot a mob drops, and now, these mobs are the best, most effective way to loot in the game. A single mob can drop multiple Mirrors or over 50 Divines all at once. High-end maps can't come close to that anymore, no matter what you to do them.
The problem, though, is that without an MF culler, you'll get, maybe, a Divine at best, and really, you'll need a well-geared culler with a full party to get those crazy numbers. So, the endgame of Path of Exile, right now, is about randomly searching for the right mob, quitting, hiring a MF culler, and then bringing him to the map to kill the mob you've damaged enough to make it easy.
Then, of course, you split the profits with the culler, with usually a third going to him. This whole process is the only way to get huge loot explosions, similar to what it was like at launch for Diablo 3.
Why This Is a Problem
Unsurprisingly, this kind of playstyle just sucks to a lot of people. It's not built to be especially strong or powerful on its own, so it's frustrating to level, while logging out for your MF character when you find a particular mob or hiring a culler through Discord is also a pain.
What's more is that MF gear continues to be expensive, and considering the state of the meta, it's probably not getting any less expensive anytime soon. The only alternative out there, really, is to build a set of MF gear for your particular build, and then you can swap out to it to kill any relevant mobs.
This is, also, a not particularly well-liked playstyle; plus, it's expensive, and it's also much less effective than a dedicated culler, so you're effectively leaving loot on the ground. All told, the MF meta just isn't great.
If MF characters were a lot easier to build or MF gear was easier to source, maybe the meta would feel less punishing. If, for example, item modifiers were more common, it could be realistic to have these modifiers on your main gear, but unfortunately, none of that is actually the case.