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[3.1]Starter Lightning Strike Crit. Inquisitor - Odealo's Crafty Guide

[3.1]Starter Lightning Strike Crit. Inquisitor - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Crit/Elemental Inquisitor provides one of the highest dps in Path of Exile. One of the cheapest builds to kill the Shaper

Lightning Strike
Crit. Inquisitor
Build updated for Patch 3.2

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Estimated budget: moderately low (350 Chaos Orbs)
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Guide notes
March 4, 2018
-Updated Skill Trees to Patch 3.2

Inqusitor was meant to be one of the highest crit/elemental dps classes out there. All of this class's major Ascendancy passives grant significant buffs to both elemental damage and critical strikes. On top of that you get to completely ignore monsters' elemental resistances with critical strikes after picking up the Inevitable Judgement passive. This build's defenses are also extremely well balanced, providing high Life pool and high evasion/dodge provided by Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics nodes. Our suggested build revolves around the use of Claw as your main-hand weapon. Claws have moderately high base critical strike chance, as well as very good life leech, not to mention extremely powerful Shadow class's Claw nodes.

If you have been looking for something else, you might want to check our other Path of Exile builds in the following article: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Basic gameplay

This is extremely straightforward build. It becomes powerful early on, and stays that way untill late game. It also scales well with proper gear, allowing facetanking any boss in game. In general, this is an elemental/melee build, with amazing aoe damage provided by the Lightning Strike active skill gem. The skill itself can be replaced with Molten Strike for higher single target damage, and the change will only require you to swap the skill gem and replace two jewels, with the Molten Strike tresshold jewels. There is no need for kiting or positioning, you simply travel around maps with Whirling Blades or Shield Charge (up to your personal preference) and use LS/MS by holding down just one button, and dealing immense damage.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • extremely high dps which is in the Path of Exile's top tier
  • easy to level up with no expensive item requirements
  • great sustainability through combination of moderately high Life pool and Shadow's class evasion and dodge mechanics
  • budget-friendly - making it possible to clear all poe's content on just few Exalted Orbs budget
  • nearly impossible to clear elemental reflect mod maps
  • mid-game leveling requires investing few orbs in gear as you will not be getting major dps nodes for around 20 levels

3. Leveling tips

Your main attack skills are obtainable very early (Molten Strike at level 1, and Lightning Strike at level 12). They are both extremely powerful, with MS being more of a single-target dps skill, and LS providing better aoe. It is a great idea to socket them both in Tabula Rasa, linking them to the same support gems. 

Suggested leveling gem setups:

Molten Strike/Lightning Strike setup
Lightning Strike Lightning Strike - your main dps skill. It is the best for farming/leveling because of its' great aoe
Molten Strike Molten Strike - another great skill. You can level up solely by using ML, or you can keep it around for bosses and high single-target dps
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - good early dps buff
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
Mana Leech Support Mana Leech Support - linking your skills together with 4-5 support gems greatly increases their mana cost. This gem solves this issue entirely
Utility gems
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - increases your critical strike chance and accuracy rating. Pretty much the best pick for crit templars
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - adds extra lightning damage to your attacks
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - adds extra cold damage to your attacks


We recommend killing all bandits for the additional 2 passive points

Leveling skill trees:

32 Points Skill tree
Priorities: 1) Retribution 2) Elementalist 3) Catalyse 4) Constitution

69 Points Skill tree
Prorities: go straight for the claw nodes - Soul Raker and the Claws of the Magpie 

Recommended leveling items:

Hand of Thought and MotionHand of Thought and Motion - great leveling claw. It provides amazing dps that scales well with your level. If you can afford some high int gear this might actually work well untill late game
+12 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(20-25)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Adds 1 to (50-60) Lightning Damage
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
Adds 1 to 5 Lightning Damage to Attacks with this Weapon per 10 Intelligence
PraxisPraxis - great leveling ring if you are using high mana cost dps setups (usually that is the case when using Tabula Rasa)
+(20-25) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
(3-6) Mana Regenerated per second
-(8-4) to Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - one of the best leveling items in Path of Exile. It gives you 6links as early as level 1
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

Wake of DestructionWake of Destruction - this boots give this build extra dps. They work untill late game

Adds 1 to 120 Lightning Damage to Attacks
(20-60)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(10-20) Life gained on Kill
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
15% increased Movement Speed

The IgnomonThe Ignomon - quite nice leveling amulet. It grants a lot of extra dps

(12-20)% increased Rarity of Items found
+10 to Dexterity
Adds 12 to 24 Fire Damage to Attacks
+(100-150) to Accuracy Rating
+(100-150) to Evasion Rating
+20% to Fire Resistance

Fertile MindFertile Mind - if you are using Hand of Thought and Motion this will grant a lot of extra dps if socketed just right of Duelist starting zone

+(16-24) to Intelligence
Dexterity from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points and Pantheon

Final skill tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree
117 Points Path of Building link

First go for Vaal Pact and Bravery. In the next step pick up all the Shadow's crit nodes and jewel sockets.

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Instruments of Virtue
  2. Righteous Providence
  3. Inevitable Judgement
  4. Augury of Penitence


Major God : Soul of the Brine King - You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God : Soul of Gruthkul - 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%

5. Final gems links

[DPS] Lightning Strike/Molten Strike setup
Lightning Strike Lightning Strike - your main dps spell. Can be replaced with Molten Strike for highest single target dps
Molten Strike (optional)Molten Strike - used mainly vs bosses. When using it you also need 2x Wildfire unique jewels equipped and it is advised to grab the Point Blank passive
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support 
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - this greatly increases your dps, but your LS can no longer shock. If you are using this gem remember to link Innerveate to your Herald of Ice 
Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
[AURA] Herald of Ice setup
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - adds a good portion of your dps. It is also the only skill in this build that can apply shock
Innervate Innervate Support - grants extra dps and allows you to shock enemies (neither LS or Herald of Thunder cannot apply shock)
Onslaught Onslaught Support - this will make your Herald of Ice apply another great offensive buff
[DEFENSE/UTILITY] Immortal Call setup
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will cast supported spells after certain amount of damage is taken by the player (528 at level 1). Do not upgrade this gem above level 1
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - increases attack speed
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - link all 3 gems together to increase their duration
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief immortality
[MOBILITY] Shield Charge setup
Shield Charge Shield Charge - your main mobility skill, can be replaced with Whirling Blades - which is up to your personal preference
Fortify Support Fortify Support - grant extra defensive bonuses with melee hits
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
[CURSE/UTILITY] Orb of Storms CoH stup
Ball Lightning Orb of Storms - great spell that will apply your curse and generate power charges for extra crit
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support - supported spells will apply the supported curse
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - will generate power charges through critical hits by Orb of Storms
Enfeeble Enfeeble - the best defensive curse in Path of Exile, not to mention it works really well in evasion/melee builds
[UTILTY] Other gems
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - adds some extra dps
Ancestral Protector [3L]Ancestral Protector - this Totem increases your attack speed while it's active
Lightning Golem [3L]Lightning Golem - the best golem for this build
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Support [3L]Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Support - since you have the extra socket, you can add some little extra defenses to your golem and the Ancestral Protector totem

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5. Gear Setup

Each item on our list included minimum stat requirements and estimated price. We will also try to both beginner friendly and end-game gear options. If you can't afford some of the items, you may want to visit our Path of Exile marketplace and get some cheap PoE Currency required to complete this build. Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully
  3. Save you at least a couple of hours!

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Added Elemental Damage to Attacks
  4. Increased Elemental Damage/Elemental Damage with Attacks
  5. Attack Speed
  6. Critical Strike Chance/Critical Strike Multiplier
Starkonja's Head(Helmet) Starkonja's Head - amazing helmet for melee/evasion characters. Provides great balance between offensive and defensive stats
50% reduced Damage when on Low Life
+(50-70) to Dexterity
10% increased Attack Speed
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(100-130)% increased Evasion Rating
+(80-100) to maximum Life
150% increased Global Evasion Rating when on Low Life
Rat's Nest(Helmet) Rat's Nest - another good helmet slot option. It provides better dps buffs than Starkonja's has lower defenses. It works well in low and mid tier maps
15% increased Attack Speed
(60-75)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
150% increased Evasion Rating
(20-25)% increased Rarity of Items found
10% increased Movement Speed
10% reduced Character Size
Lightning Coil(Body Armour) Lightning Coil - extremely powerful armour. It provides great dps boost and mitigates big portion of physical damage taken.
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
Adds 1 to (20-30) Lightning Damage to Attacks
(90-120)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(60-80) to maximum Life
-60% to Lightning Resistance
30% of Physical Damage taken as Lightning Damage
Gemini Claw(Weapon) Rare Gemini Claw - with as high attack speed and elemental damage as you can afford
Min. requirements:
220 elemental DPS
20 increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Chance
Ornament of the East(Weapon) Ornament of the East - this is used in a budget-friendly variant of the build without the Lycosidae shield (which is the most expensive item on the list). It provides high attack speed and the "Your hits can't be evaded" stat, which is necessary to fully utilize this build's potential. This works well with the rare shields listed
+44 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(160-180)% increased Physical Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 10 Faster Attacks
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
25% increased Stun and Block Recovery
+1 to Level of Socketed Dexterity Gems
Hits can't be Evaded
Lycosidae(Shield) Lycosidae - it provides the mandatory "Your hits can't be Evaded" stat and some extra defensive stats
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
+(10-20) to maximum Life
+(120-160) to Armour
+(30-40) to maximum Life
Your hits can't be Evaded
+(3-5)% Chance to Block
Adds 250 to 300 Cold Damage to Counterattacks
Imperial Buckler(Weapon) Rare Evasion/Life/res shield - use this combo untill you can afford Lycosidae shield and a proper ele.dps claw
Min. requirements:
800 Evasion
60 maximum Life
60 total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Evasion Boots(Boots) Rare Life/res boots - preferably with dexterity attribute requirement and some additional Evasion
Min. requirements:
250 Evasion
80 maximum Life
24% Fire Resistance
36% Lightning Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Rare life/res belt(Belt) Rare Life/res belt - and with increased elemental damage with attack skills. Picking up a dual-res belt with will make it totally affordable even on a tight budget
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
36% Cold Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Life/%Evasion amulet - amulets with this stats and added elemental damage to attacks (any element will do) may be impossible to find with additional resistances. We will skip it on the amulet slot and aim to cap resistances with gloves and rings
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
16% increased Evasion Rating
Added 16 Elemental Damage with Attacks (any element)
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Global Critical Strike Chance
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Coral RingCoral Ring(Rings) Rare Life/res rings - with added elemental damage to attacks. Opal rings are the most suitable for end-game content (and wealthier players)
Min. requirements(1st ring):
60 maximum Life
Added 9 Elemental Damage with Attacks (any element)
45% Fire Resistance
18% Cold Resistance
Min. requirements(2nd ring):
60 maximum Life
Added 9 Elemental Damage with Attacks (any element)
45% Lightning Resistance
18% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Evasion Rating
Dexterity Gloves(Gloves) Rare Life/res gloves - again, best to pick dexterity-based pair
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Melee Damage
Attack Speed
WildfireWildfire - Molten Strike tresshold jewel, use only if you are actually using this skill
(10-15)% increased Fire Damage
With at least 40 Strength in Radius, Molten Strike fires 2 additional Projectiles
With at least 40 Strength in Radius, Molten Strike has 25% increased Area of Effect
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare jewels - as usual rare jewels are mainly used to increase your maximum life and damage output
Recommended affixes:
% increased maximum Life
% increased Generic/Elemental/Melee Damage
Optional affixes:
% increased Attack Speed
% increased Attack Speed while holding a Shield
% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - one of the most popular Flasks in Path of Exile. Grants additional chaos damage and extra life leech
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (10-15)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Vessel of Vinktar(Flask) Vessel of Vinktar - grants additional dps and amazing leech. It requires a Shock Immunity Flask to be used right after Vessel
(80 to 100)% increased Charges used
Shocks nearby Enemies during Flask effect, causing 10% increased Damage taken
You are Shocked during Flask effect, causing 50% increased Damage taken
Adds (25–105 to 35–130) Lightning Damage to Attack during Flask effect
20% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (bleeding immunity)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (immunity to freeze and chill effects)
  3. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Grounding (extra crit and shock immunity)
Atziri's PromiseVessel of VinktarDivine Life FlaskDivine Life FlaskDiamond Flask

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