Path Of Exile: All in the last 2 championships
I made fire based SRS, popcorn SRS, cold switch SRS and poison SRS. All in the last 2 championships. All up to level 95+, all with roughly the same investment. Tbh, they all destroyed everything.
My least favorite is popcorn, I don't really mind that, I just like the hits more and feel more consistent. That said, the fire version is simpler in terms of equipment since srs is fire based, you just need to scale that. You can dig a little deeper into how ignition works, but the way ignition works is that the bigger the blow, the more intense the ignition. Since srs does small mosquito hits (but lots of them), burning is not the best way on a large scale.
The cold transition is a lot of fun for me. Harder in equipment and requires more colors. But seeing things freeze and break is so satisfying. I also ran zombs on all builds to apply -res/curse. Pob's fire/cold stats are similar. About 30-35 million if I remember correctly. You won't really notice a difference in dps when both are fully scaled. Poison is the most interesting and also the fastest map. But it also comes with a much higher entrance fee. Poison is in good shape now and of course the streamers are making it more expensive for everyone. Poisons are also much harder to get in ssf. Even cold conversion is not required to run in ssf. All you need is a trio and lots of chrome/jeweler.
In general in commercial tournaments, imo, Poison > cold > fire > pop
Ssf league, fire/pop > cold > Poison
Sorry for the typo, I'm on Mobil
But to answer your original question, popcorn is an easy, inexpensive, and consistently effective snack. If you are interested in cold conversion, check out CantripN's guide to cold conversion. I edited it a bit, dropped fantasy and used srs directly. It's a good guide on how to effectively convert to cold and how to minimize that damage. Please check my main account, the toon is called Cold hearted soul srs.
All versions of srs are very similar, in the end you have to decide your direction to go on defense. Normally you rely on life/armor, then pick up the aegis aurora and go to the end of life/es. You can also create life and use surrender and stack regeneration. Both work very well. Everyone loves Aegis (I think it's popular with streamers) and while it works great, it requires a lot of investment in cluster gems. Aegis is effective at absorbing smaller, more frequent attacks, but lacks defense against large hits.