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Crest of Desire's Herald of Thunder Autobomber Build

Crest of Desire's Herald of Thunder Autobomber Build

Elementalist build which uses Herald of Thunder located in a Crest of Desire as a main source of Damage

Crest of Desire - Herald of Thunder
Elementalist Build

Updated for Patch 3.21

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Guide notes
September 24, 2021
-Build created
May 17, 2023
-Updated for patch 3.21
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Crest of Desire is a very interesting Unique Helmet - it has almost no stats directly benefiting the character and just one socket for a Gem which will be upgraded by up to 8 levels, 50% in Quality, and deal Double Damage. It's a place for the Herald of Thunder which not only adds Lightning Damage to your Skills but can deal damage by itself - as you kill or Shock enemies a Storm is created that hits enemies dealing Lightning Damage. To further enhance the damage of this effect, use six Medium Cluster Jewels with Dark Messenger and Empowered Envoy, two Storm Secret Unique Rings, Lone Messenger Keystone, and Agnerod South. Your Herald of Thunder will reach the maximum possible level and its damage is now multiplied many times over. Lone Messenger Disables your Aura Skill, but you can still Use Aspect of the Spider and Arctic Armour - the skills which Reserve Mana.

It's a build that uses Life and Energy Shield, your total Health pool should reach 5k or more, use Glorious Vanity for Corrupted Soul which grants ES based on your Maximum Life. Spell Damage and Cast Speed will have little to no effect, Herald's Storm Damage is not affected by Spell Damage and has fixed Hit frequency. Your Character will need a lot of Lightning Resistance as Storm Secret deals Lightning Damage to you, Agnerod South will increase your Maximum Resistance to that Element. You will also need Life Leech - From Doryani's Lesson Notable, and Energy Shield Leech - from Storm Drinker or Heart of Thunder. It also ensures that your Cast on Damage Taken setups will be activated very frequently. Elementalist's Ascendancy offers some great offensive and defensive Keystones

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1. Gameplay

It's fully automated, all you have to do is to walk and all the Skills will be triggered automatically. Herald of Thunder, Aspect of the Spider, the Skills which apply Curses, Exposure, and Supported by Culling Strike are Cast as you take Damage from hits - from your Storm Secrets. The only skill you can use occasionally is Flame Dash to dodge attacks.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • simple, one-button gameplay
  • damage is really great, it can reach millions of DPS
  • clear speed determined by your movement speed, it's as good as you can afford
  • great defenses thanks to Primal Aegis, can run reflect maps
  • not really engaging gameplay
  • limited options for skills and gear
  • moderately expensive - Helmet and Cluster Jewels


3. Leveling tips

The essential Item - Crest of Desire is available at level 58, until then play as a Lightning Spellcaster. Use Arc and Ball Lightning for tougher encounters. Look for Maximum Life and Lightning Damage on your gear. Try to find suitable Cluster Jewels early on as they will be important. At Level 68 all of the Unique Items you should wear will be available. Use Essence of Spite, Torment, or Vendor Recipes to quickly craft some gear.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Arc setup
Arc Arc - Arc is a pretty good Spell to hunt down small game and deal with bosses in the first acts
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - one of the best Support Gems available early in the game, used for more Mana Regen, Spell Damage, and Cast Speed
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds Flat Lightning Damage to your Skills
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - Inspiration will lower the Mana Cost of Skills and add Elemental Damage to them
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - one of the quickest and most versatile Movement Spell
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Speed of Flame Dash
Auras setup
Wrath Wrath - Wrath is an Aura that increases your Lightning Damage
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - it adds flat Lightning Damage to your Skills and creates Storms that Hits enemies


Killing all three Bandits for two Passive Skill Points is the best option, but if you need Mana Regen, Crit Multiplier, and Elemental Resistances - Help Alira

Leveling Skill Trees:

30 Points Skill Tree
Pick up Lightning Damage and Maximum Life, start with Heart and Soul, Lightning Walker, and then go for Heart of Thunder, and if you don't mind refunding some of the Passives later - you can also take the shortcut through Spell Crit under Annihilation to grab those Passives faster

~70 Points Skill Tree
Start allocating Cluster Jewels to increase Herald of Thunder DPS and to allocate Calamitous Visions for Lone Messenger


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - it provides you with Damage and Elemental Resistances, an excellent Ring for leveling
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - a popular choice for a Helmet, it has very high Elemental Resistances
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - a Body Armour that has a huge potential for it has six, linked, white sockets
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
LifesprigLifesprig - great staring weapon for all spell-casters, can be used since level 1
(8-12)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Spell Gems
(20-28)% increased Spell Damage
(5-8)% increased Cast Speed
+(15-20) to maximum Life
+(15-20) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (6-8) Life over 1 second when you Cast a Spell

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

78 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels nor Glorious Vanity)
115 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Shaper of Storms
  2. Mastermind of Discord
  3. Heart of Destruction
  4. Bastion of Elements (or Liege of the Primordial for more Life Regeneration)


Major God: Soul of Lunaris 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

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

[UTILITY] Storm Brand setup
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - in this setup, the Gem is going to cast Storm Brand. You can keep this setup at maximum level, as while it's normally desirable to trigger the Spells constantly, you may not have enough Mana to do so
Storm Brand Storm Brand - Storm Brand is amazing for applying Shock quickly to enemies all around you, and triggering Herald of Thunder's Storms. It will also apply a linked Curse with Hextouch if needed and grant other bonuses
Hextouch Support Hextouch Support - will allow you to apply a Curse with hits from Storm Brand
Conductivity Conductivity - the recommended Curse for this build. It reduces the monsters' resistance to Lightning Damage which is the main type of damage that you are going to deal
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the trigger rate of Storm Brand and the frequency it shocks enemies
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - your Storm Brand will instantly kill enemies below 10% Life, which is extremely useful vs. Bosses
[UTILITY] Low-level triggered Spells
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - in this setup, on the other hand, you are going to trigger several low-level Spells for various bonuses and extra Shock procs. It's recommended to use somewhere between level 1-10 Cast when Damage Taken here, depending on your Mana sustainability
Cold Snap Cold Snap - Cold Snap will allow you to generate Frenzy Charges by killing enemies in the chilling areas it creates. Keep this Gem at level 1 to minimize the Mana cost
Purifying Flame Purifying Flame - creates Consecrated Ground by releasing a wave of Fire and Physical Damage that after its initial burst creates another one. Keep this Gem at level 1 as well, and try to get a Divergent version for increased damage
Innervate Innervate Support - You gain Innervation upon Killing a Shocked Enemy with Supported Skills. Innervation as well as this support gem adds Lightning Damage.
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies Lightning Exposure to enemies hit, reducing their Lightning Resistance. Use a level 1 Gem here as well
Life Leech Support Life Leech Support - You could implement Life Leech Support for a small portion of the damage to be Leeched back to you. It's optional.
[UTILITY] various gems
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - here you are going to use a level 1 Cast When Damage Taken to increase the frequency at which Immortal Call is cast
Immortal Call Immortal Call - briefly decreases the damage you take from Physical and Elemental Hits. Keep this Gem below level 4
Phase Run Phase Run - grants you Phasing, which increases your Movement Speed for a duration. You can use it at level 3 so that it's also triggered automatically, or cast it manually if using a higher level Gem
Shock Nova Shock Nova - a Nova-type Spell dealing Lightning Damage around you, this skill has a second stage that is similar to the first one. Again, do not upgrade it above level 1.
[DPS] Herald of Thunder
socketed in Crest of Desire
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - It's the most important Skill Gem, make sure it has high Quality and Level, which can be done by corrupting it. It adds Lightning Damage to your Skills and creates Storms, which are the main source of DPS in this build
[UTILITY] Arctic Armour
Arctic Armour Arctic Armour - since you can't use any Auras, and have a lot of unreserved Mana, it's one of the best Spells you can fit here. It chills attackers and grants you immunity to Freeze
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - allows you to Dash to the targeted location leaving a path of burning ground behind
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - keep it at a low level to make the Arcane Surge Buff trigger after a single Flame Dash is cast, it grants more Cast Speed, Spell Damage, and Mana Regeneration
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - stores an additional Charge for Flame Dash

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5. Gear Setup

Around the time you finish the Acts, you should already be able to equip most of the Unique Items, be wary, with two Storm Secrets and no Agnerod South, you will take a lot of Lightning Damage. Crest of Desire is by far the most expensive gear piece, be sure you can afford it before you start with the build. Lightning Resistance shouldn't be an issue, a lot of your Unique Items provide this stat. There shouldn't be any problem with getting the required Attributes, but you might be lacking some Strength and Dexterity if you won't have any additional sources of it. You don't need to look for Spell Damage or Cast Speed on your Gear, it won't affect Herald of Thunder, Look for Lightning Damage and Penetration instead. Your Defense will consist of both - Maximum Life and Energy Shield, focus on Maximum Life, it's more beneficial. You won't need to 6-link your Staff and Body Armour, 5-linking is good enough and it won't make any difference. Remember to have an item with one Free Suffix so you can beast craft Aspect of the Spider.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS, Life, and ES to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Lightning / Elemental Damage
  4. Energy Shield
  5. Life and Recoup
  6. Strength and Dexterity
  7. Chaos Resistance
  8. Armour or Evasion
  9. Aspect of the Spider Suffix
Crest of Desire(Helmet) Crest of Desire - this is where you should put your Herald of Thunder to squeeze all the potential this single Skill Gem has to offer. This is the build-defining Helmet that boosts the DPS of socketed skills significantly
Has 1 Socket
+(5-8) to Level of Socketed Gems
+(30-50)% to Quality of Socketed Gems
Socketed Skills deal Double Damage
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
Helmet enchantments:
40% Increased Herald of Thunder Damage
Agnerod South(Weapon) Agnerod South - it pushes your required Strength to 158 but it's the best Weapon for this build due to the increase in Maximum Lightning Resistance, Level of Lightning Spell Skill Gems, Lightning Damage, Lightning Penetration, and Intelligence
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
40% increased Strength Requirement
+(80-120) to Intelligence
(30-50)% increased Lightning Damage
+2 to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems
+5% to maximum Lightning Resistance
Damage Penetrates 20% Lightning Resistance
The Annihilating Light(Weapon) The Annihilating Light - Triples your damage. It is the most powerful staff but introduces a few problems that you'll need to solve - reduced Elemental Resistances, and no extra Lightning Resistance.
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
(70-60)% reduced Elemental Resistances
Deal Triple Damage with Elemental Skills
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - it's a Body Armour that grants Shock Immunity, Maximum Life, increased Damage and the effect of Shock, and makes enemies Explode
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(20-50)% increased Damage if you have Shocked an Enemy Recently
(15-25)% increased Effect of Shock
Shocked Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 5% of
their Life as Lightning Damage which cannot Shock
Unaffected by Shock
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Elemental Resistances, Maximum Life, and increased Movement Speed are the most important mods to look for
Min. requirements:
70% Total Elemental Resistances
70 Maximum Life
25% Increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Dexterity or Strength
increased Energy Shield
Storm's Gift(Gloves) Storm's Gift - it's a nice boost to Lightning Resistance, Energy Shield, and it inflicts Shock on more enemies, the Synthesised Implicit mods could be really useful too
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
(20-30)% increased Damage over Time
(250-300)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
Enemies you kill are Shocked
Shocks you inflict spread to other Enemies within a Radius of 15
Algor Mortis(Gloves) Algor Mortis - if you can consistently create Chilling Areas via Skills like Cold Snap, you can use this pair of Gloves, these perform better against Bosses
+(50-70) to maximum Energy Shield
+(15-20)% to Cold and Lightning Resistances
(20-30)% chance to Sap Enemies in Chilling Areas
Enemies in your Chilling Areas take (25-35)% increased Lightning Damage
(15-20)% increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances will be the stats that you should aim to get a lot of here
Min. requirements:
90 Maximum Life
100% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Strength and Dexterity
increased Lightning Damage
increased Damage with Hits against Chilled Enemies
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Crusader's Amulet has a Prefix which makes you Penetrate Lightning Resistance, look for this one with this specific mod, the rest of the mods should be Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. Optionally, you can get one with Aspect of the Spider for extra damage
Min. requirements:
60 Maximum Life
#% Total Elemental Resistances
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance
Strength and Dexterity
Optional affixes:
% of Damage recouped as Mana
Chaos Resistance
Grants Level 20 Aspect of the Spider Skill
Voice of the Storm(Amulet) Voice of the Storm - You will rarely deal any Critical Strikes. Combined with a huge range of Lightning Damage Hits it makes the "Lightning Damage with Non-Critical Strikes is Lucky" very good.
+(20-30) to Intelligence
50% increased Lightning Damage
+(10-15) to all Attributes
(10-20)% increased maximum Mana
Lightning Damage with Non-Critical Strikes is Lucky
Recommended Anointments:
Circle of Life
Whispers of Doom
Storm Secret(Ring) Storm Secret - These Rings are absolutely required, although you will take a lot of Lightning Damage as Hits, it enables your build to have few CwDT setups with a reliable cast frequency. Your Herald of Thunder is vastly improved, striking more often and creating more Storms.
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(20-30)% increased Lightning Damage
(10-15)% chance to Shock
Herald of Thunder also creates a storm when you Shock an Enemy
Herald of Thunder's Storms Hit Enemies with (30-50)% increased Frequency
Take 250 Lightning Damage when Herald of Thunder Hits an Enemy
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - there are a lot of affixes to choose from, aim for Maximum Life and Lightning Damage, corrupting one might result in an Implicit mod that makes you immune to Corrupted Blood

Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
increased maximum Energy Shield
Elemental Resistances
increased Elemental / Lightning Damage
Strength or Dexterity

Calamitous Visions(Jewel) Calamitous Visions - Lone Messenger is a Keystone that disables your Auras but enhances the effect of the one single Herald you're using
Adds Lone Messenger
Grand Spectrum (Viridian Jewel)(Jewel) Grand Spectrum (Viridian Jewel) - put three of these in your Jewel Sockets for 135% increased Elemental Damage
15% increased Elemental Damage per Grand Spectrum
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - with the Doryani Version of this Jewel you can transform a Keystone into Corrupted Soul for more ES, the best place for it is near The Agnostic Keystone
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of (Ahuana-Doryani-Xibaqua)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - the base of increased Lightning Damage with 8 Passive Skills and two or three of the Notables that are common for such Cluster Jewels should be easy to get. You should use two of these
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson (mandatory)
1 Added Passive Skill is Supercharge (just one, high priority)
1 Added Passive Skill is Storm Drinker
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - four Medium Cluster Jewels with these two specific Notables are the best way to enhance the build
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Dark Messenger
1 Added Passive Skill is Empowered Envoy
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - with properly adjusted Elemental Resistances it offers a lot of Lightning Penetration which is an impactful stat
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 10% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - a great defensive Flask that boosts your Chance to Block
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - increases your Critical Strike Chance (somewhat irrelevant here) and increases damage taken by enemies on Consecrated Ground
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(20-40)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Flask effect
Progenesis(Flask) Progenesis - The most effective defensive Flask in the game, especially when combined with Life Recoup. It is however very expensive.
+35% to Chaos Resistance
(20-10)% reduced Charges per use
(-35-35)% increased Duration
When Hit during effect, 25% of Life loss from Damage taken occurs over 4 seconds instead

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Silver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Mobility)
Life FlaskBottled FaithRumi's ConcoctionThe Wise OakSilver Flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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