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Penance Brand Inquisitor Templar Build

Penance Brand Inquisitor Templar Build

Non-meta build based on the newly added Penance Brand which has a unique way of periodically increasing its Elemental Damage

Penance Brand
Inquisitor Templar Build

Updated for Patch 3.11

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Guide notes
August 29, 2020
-Build created


Penance Brand is one of the newly added Brand Spell which offers very unique playstyle. It feels as if you were playing a Channelled Brand Spell, which builds up damage and releases AoE explosions after a certain duration. It offers a very unique playstyle while providing decent Area Damage and clear speed and reasonable single-target damage - though dealing with end-game Bosses does feel way too slow for the investments you have to put into this build. We have decided to make this build around Inquisitor Class which offers very high DPS for Crit/Elemental builds, allowing you to entirely ignore Elemental Resistances and use and type of Elemental Damage in this build. Also, some additional utility from Consecrated Ground comes in handy. Overall this is a solid and unique build, but you should acknowledge that you will surely underperform to a lot of other builds. If you have decided upon trying out Penance Brand, this is one of the most well-rounded and simple setups for this Skill. It offers solid damage and reasonable defenses, unlike the more popular Glass Cannon Assassin variations.

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1. Gameplay

This Penance Brand Inquisitor is a typical Brand build that gives you a feeling of playing a Channelled Spell. Penance Brand builds up stacks and deals Area Damage with each pulse, exploding when it expires  or when the enemy it's attached to dies. The explosion deals massive damage usually clearing your entire screen. In this build, you need to support Penance Brand with Swiftbrand Support which helps it increase the pulse frequency (and how fast the stacks are gained) but, at the same time, it reduces Penance Brand's duration. So in this build, unlike what you might have experienced with other Brand Spells, it's quite important to recast your Brand frequently - even if you use Brand Recall which slightly extends their duration. For the defenses this build utilizes Life and high Block Chance via Glancing Blow Passives (you should have approximately 75%/60% Chance to Block Attacks/Spells), and Mind over Matter Passive.

0:08 Tier 14 Tropical Island
0:24 Tier 16 Cage
0:54 Tier 16 Chateau
1:14 Tier 16 Promenade
1:52 Tier 16 Toxic Sewers

This video was recorded on a level 90 Inquisitor on Standard League Softcore. Our character had Inpulsa's with random Rares equipped, resulting in 5,300 Maximum Life and approximately 3,4kk Penance Brand's hits with explosions at 20 stages. This is, of course, a fully buffed value

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • unique playstyle
  • solid AoE and clear speed
  • reasonable budget
  • multi-layer defenses with capped Block Chance
  • mediocre single-target Damage
  • not recommended for end-game content


3. Leveling tips

Leveling up with Penance Brand is quite easy. It has solid base damage regardless of your equipment, and there is a number of cheap Unique Items that can boost your DPS. Initially you want to use Ethereal Knives as Penance Brand is not available until level 28. Just like the Brand, Ethereal Knives deal base Physical Damage, so all sources of Physical Added as... will apply to it as well. Just focus on increasing Spell Damage, Life, Mobility, and obviously some Resistances or you will find it hard to kill Bosses. Below you will find the recommended basic Gem setups for the leveling part. And whether you continue to use EK after you get Penance Brand or not, is up to your personal preference.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Ethereal Knives setup
Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives - one of the first Spells available in the game. It fires 9 Ethereal Blades in front of you which deal base Physical Damage
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Speed
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds extra Fire Damage based on EK's base Physical Damage
Efficacy Arcane Surge Support - increases Spell Damage, Cast Speed, and Mana Regeneration Rate when you spend a certain amount of Mana on linked Spell. Don't increase its' level too high so that it is triggered with every few casts
Penance Brand setup
Penance Brand Penance Brand - primary Spell used in this build which deals high Area Damage after reaching 20 stages
Swiftbrand Support Swiftbrand Support - increases activation frequence allowing Penance Brand to build stages faster and explode after a shorter interval
Controlled Destruction Controlled Destruction Support - greatly increases Spell Damage of linked Spells
Reduced Mana Support Inspiration Support - reduces Mana Cost and increases Spell Damage and Crit. Chance significantly
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
Utility Gems
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants extra Fire Damage based on your Physical DPS
Hatred Hatred - the best Aura on lower-levels. Later on you can replace it with Wrath for slightly higher DPS bonus
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Cast Speed which is very useful in this build
Dash Dash - recommended mobility Spell


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

32 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Light of Divinity 2) Devotion 3) Divine Wrath/Fury/Judgement 4) Runebinder

62 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Purity of Flesh 2) Elemental Overload (just for the leveling phase) 3) Shaman's Dominion 4) Cruel Preparation 5) Arcane Guarding


Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifesprig - one of the best leveling Wands which is available as early as level 1. It grants high DPS bonuses and extra Life, Mana, and Life Regeneration
(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
PraxisPraxis - amazing Ring for leveling as Spell Caster. Will help you spam your Spells by increasing your Mana and reducing Mana Cost of Spells by a lot
+(20-30) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (3-6) Mana per second
-(8-4) to Total Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - another great leveling Item, which not only increases your Movement Speed but also grants an additional Mana Recovery mechanic
+15 to Dexterity
+15 to Intelligence
(100-150)% increased Evasion Rating
15% increased Movement Speed
(5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
10% increased Movement Speed for you and nearby Allies
Tasalio's SignTasalio's Sign - a great leveling Ring which adds a ton of flat added Damage to your Spells
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
Adds (7-10) to (15-20) Cold Damage to Spells and Attacks
+(200-300) to Evasion Rating
50% chance to Avoid being Chilled
10% chance to Freeze
Adds 40 to 60 Cold Damage against Chilled Enemies
GoldrimGoldrim - the best and the most popular leveling Helmet in Path of Exile which grants 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)


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

113 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Passives allocated with Cluster Jewels/Thread of Hope)
113 Points Path of Building(PoB) link (includes all Jewels and Passives)

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Sanctuary
  2. Pious Path
  3. Righteous Providence
  4. Inevitable Judgement


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

[DPS] Penance Brand setup
Penance Brand Penance Brand - the primary Spell used in this build. It will deal purely Elemental Damage with the majority of it being Lightning Element. It's very flexible since you are going to ignore All Elemental Resistances as an Inquisitor anyway
Swiftbrand Support Swiftbrand Support - increases activation frequency of Penance Brand and reduces its' duration, triggering the explosion much faster
Controlled Destruction Controlled Destruction Support - increases Spell Damage greatly at the cost of slightly reduced Crit. Chance
Hypothermia Hypothermia Support - greatly increase Damage you deal to Chilled enemies
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - increased Elemental Damage, Crit. Chance, and reduces Mana Cost of your Penance Brand
Concentrated Effect Concentrated Effect Support - greatly increases your DPS at the cost of reducing Penance Brand's AoE
[UTILITY] Dash/Enduring Cry setup
Dash Dash - the recommended Mobility Spell for this build. Allows you to progress faster through Maps and avoid incoming damage
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry Support - generates Endurance Charges for extra defenses and quickly Recovers like in a similar fashion to Instant Life Flask
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - adds extra charges to linked Spells and reduces their cooldown
Urgent Orders Support Urgent Orders Support - greatly increases your Warcry Speed which makes it usable even without any Warcry-related Passives allocated (the +2 second Cooldown will not apply to Dash)
(Socketed in Devouring Diadem)
Wrath Wrath - one of the best DPS Auras for this build which grants high Lightning Spell Damage multiplier
Zealotry Zealotry - another great Spell DPS aura which also creates Consecrated Grounds for Inquisitor's bonuses
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - adds additional Fire Damage based on your Spell's Physical DPS
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces Mana Reservation Cost of linked Spells
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically summon your Golem whenever you take a certain amount of damage. You need to match this Gem's level with your Golem so that it works together
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Attack and Cast Speed
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - if you don't have a Curse on your Ring make sure to add Assassin's Mark in here - you can also try lowering the level of all the Gems with CwDT at around 10 for more frequent casts (match the level of other Gems as well)
[UTILITY] Immortal Call/Tempest Shield
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast linked Spells after you take a certain amount of damage. Use this Gem on level 1 for most frequent casts
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - increases your Block Chance. Keep this Gem on level 7 or lower so that it's triggered automatically by CWDT Support Gem
Innervate Support Innervate Support - killing enemies with Tempest Shield (and it occasionally will thanks to Culling Strike) will increase your Lightning Damage
Culling Strike Culling Strike Support - hits from Tempest Shield will instantly kill enemies below 10% Life
[UTILITY] Immortal Call
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - again, use a level 1 Cast when Damage Taken here
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief but potent defensive buff which reduces Elemental and Physical Damage taken by your character. Keep this Gem at level 1
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

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5. Gear Setup

In this section, you will find all the recommended equipment for this build. This build is very flexible and can be played with any random Rare equipment. The only Unique we highly recommend getting is Devouring Diadem - it allows you to use additional Auras, Mind over Matter, and have no problems with casting Spells as it will be fueled by Energy Shield that you are constantly Leeching. Using the opportunity, we would like to invite you to visit our PoE Marketplace section. If you are looking for cheap PoE Currency you definitely have to check it out. It's accessible by links on top of the page.

The recommended items from our list will:

  1. Help you cap your Elemental Resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Energy Shield
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Critical Strike Multiplier
  4. Added Physical/Elemental Damage to Spells
  5. Spell Damage
  6. Critical Strike Chance
Devouring Diadem(Helmet) The Devouring Diadem - the best possible Helmet you can use in this build. It allows you to use additional Auras by allowing you to reserve up to 100% of your Mana and reducing the Mana Reservation cost of socketed Spells. Also, you can use Mind over Matter for a high damage reduction bonus, as some of the damage will be taken from Energy Shield which you constantly Leech
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems have 20% reduced Mana Reservation
Trigger Level 15 Feast of Flesh every 5 seconds
(180-220)% increased Energy Shield
10% chance for Energy Shield Recharge to start when you use a Skill
Eldritch Battery
<One Veiled Mod>
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - if you can't obtain Devouring Diadem you can either go high defensive stats (Life + Resistances) or a Helmet with high Added Damage to Spells
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Added Physical/Elemental Damage to Spells
Elemental Resistances
Helmet enchantments:
Wintertide Brand has +4 to maximum Stages
Wintertide Brand deals 40% increased Damage
Rare Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - the only viable option. You can get a lot of different affixes on a Wand with either flat added Damage to Spells and Spell Damage, or Spell Damage + % of Physical Damage added as Elemental Damage etc. 
Min. requirements:
50% Spell Damage
30% Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Added Physical/Elemental Damage to Spells
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Lightning Damage
Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - primarily focus on Life bonus here, but if you manage to get a shield with extra Energy Shield, it will help you sustain ES for Mind over Matter
Min. requirements:
40% Spell Damage 
80% Critical Strike Chance for Spells
80 Maximum Life
50% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
ES Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - all-around best Armour for this build. Aim for high Life and possibly increased Spell Crit. Chance. Preferably use a INT base for some extra Energy Shield
Min. requirements:
110 Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Socketed Spells have +#% Critical Strike Chance
Energy Shield
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - Inpulsa's offer high DPS bonuses and greatly increases your clear speed by making enemies explode. It offers low defensive utility though
+(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
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - aim for Life, Attributes, and some DPS bonuses. Rare Amulets offer the highest flexibility and with proper investments, they are the BiS here
Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
40 Dexterity
30% Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Spell Damage
+1 to Level of All Intelligence Gems
Recommended Anointments:
Heart of Thunder
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - it's important to get one Ring with Assassin's Mark on Hit, and then just focus  to get extra Life, Resistances, and missing Attributes
Min. requirements:
60 Maximum Life
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Curse enemies with level # Assassin's Mark on Hit
Optional affixes:
Elemental Damage
Rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get the highest maximum Maximum Life and Movement Speed bonuses you can afford. It's great to invest in a pair with Elusive on Critical Strike which offers amazing defenses, and you will be able to use it in plenty of your other builds as well
Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Elemental Resistances
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - preferably Stygian Vise with additional Abyss Socket to get some extra Life/Added Damage to Spells on it
Min. requirements:
90 Maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Abyss Socket
Increased Damage/Global Physical Damage
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - basically aim for high defensive stats, but if you can afford a pair with Chance to Unnerve enemies on Hit it will greatly boost your DPS
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chance to Unnerve enemies on Hit
Spell Damage
Damage while Leeching
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - since you are using two "big" Auras, it's quite easy to get a very powerful Watcher's Eye Jewel with two Aura modifiers for a reasonable price. Just get bonuses to Wrath/Zealotry
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura modifiers:
(100-120)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground while affected by Zealotry
Gain (15-25)% of Physical Damage as Extra Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
Consecrated Ground you create while affected by Zealotry causes enemies to take (8-10)% increased Damage
(40-60)% increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
Thread of Hope (Jewel) Thread of Hope - a mandatory Jewel for this build. You need to get one with a Medium Ring modifier, which will allow you to pick up 5 important Passives for this build without having them connected to your Tree
Only affects Passives in <size> Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Passives Allocated:
Divine Wrath
Divine Judgement
Divine Fury
Arcane Capacitor
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - an expensive Jewel, but it will give you a ton of Extra Life, Energy Shield, and some additional damage. It should be socketed right below Melding Passive
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - we recommend using one Large Cluster Jewel with increases to your Elemental Damage, where you can socket additional Small/Medium Cluster Jewels 
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Conjured Wall
1 Added Passive Skill is Essence Rush
1 Added Passive Skill is Mage Hunter
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - Medium Jewels should boost your Brand damage
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Grand Design
1 Added Passive Skill is Remarkable
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewel - here you should only aim to get Fettle Passive for extra Life
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Fettle
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - simply get extra Life and DPS bonuses
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage/Area Damage
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - the best Flask for Damage Conversion builds as you get the extra Added damage twice
+35% to Chaos Resistance
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
Taste of Hate(Flask) Taste of Hate - a great Utility Flask which adds a ton of extra damage and grants very strong defensive bonus by converting some of the Physical Damage taken to Cold
+50% to Cold Resistance
20% less Cold Damage taken
20% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Flask effect
30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Flask effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - one of the strongest Utility Flasks in Path of Exile. It adds a ton of additional Crit. Chance and valuable bonuses related to Consecrated Paths you create.  If you can't afford it, just use a regular Sulphur Flask or a Quicksilver Flask for extra mobility
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-50)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
+(1-2)% to Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
Suggested Rare Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleed Immunity)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
Atziri's PromiseTaste of HateBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskDiamond Flask

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