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Penance Brand Inquisitor Templar Build

Penance Brand Inquisitor Templar Build

The Best Brand build in the game that uses Penance Brand of Dissipation to deal massive single-target DPS

Penance Brand of Dissipation
Inquisitor Build

Updated for Patch 3.23

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Guide notes
December 30, 2023
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



The new Penance Brand of Dissipation is one of the best weapons to bring into a boss fight. Normally, the Penance Brand explodes after it reaches 20 Energy i.e. after activating 20 times on a single enemy. This one deals less damage but expires only after its duration ends. Additionally, it deals much more damage per Energy on an enemy. To make the best use of this alteration, extend the Brand Duration and increase its Activation Rate, which can be done by simply increasing your own Cast Speed. It can quickly reach the cap of 20 Energy after 5 seconds with enough Cast Speed and last an additional 5 or 7 seconds dealing damage at its maximum potency. We encourage allocating the Hierophant's Sign of Purpose via a pair of Forbidden Jewels as it doubles the Brand's Damage as it's close to expiring. It even continues dealing damage after the character's death, which combined with Brand's attaching nature, guarantees to significantly damage or even kill any boss no matter if you can withstand its damage. It's a Skill specifically made for killing bosses so that's what we leaned into. It's not very tanky and bad at clearing maps, but a few Brands are usually enough to eventually kill any enemy.

You can build around this skill any way you like, but we've settled on an Inquisitor with its Inevitable Judgement and capped Critical Strike Chance. It has to be a Hit-based build, the extra Damage per Energy works only on Hits, not Ailments like Poison or Ignite. Pious Path will help you sustain Righteous Fire which grants more Spell Damage. We've also made it a low-life build to benefit from Pain Attunement for even more damage. It's important to convert the remaining 50% of your Brand's Physical Damage to Elemental Damage, preferably Lightning. It can then be Converted, partially or fully, to Cold Damage with one or two Call of the Brotherhood Rings. It opens a lot of new possibilities and improves the build with Cold Ailments. To improve your Brands specifically, invest in Medium Cluster Jewels with Grand Design for Brand Duration and Remarkable for Brand Cast Speed. Large Cluster Jewels are excellent in this configuration too on account of Notables like Stormrider, Snowstorm, and Sadist. These are so good that would recommend getting 3 Large and 6 Medium Cluster Jewels.

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1. Gameplay

Use Penance Brand and wait for it to kill enemies. With enough Damage, it should kill the weakest enemies in one hit anyway. Mark the tough enemies with Assassin's Mark, and activate Vaal Haste to boost your damage. Flame Dash and Enduring Cry should be used if needed. Righteous Fire shall be on permanently. Your passive skills are Zealotry, Wrath, Hatred, Petrified Blood, Vitality, and Herald of Purity. One of the more expensive Auras can be linked to Divine Blessing Support if you have Eldritch Battery, or to Dark Marionette Spectre if you prefer the Guardian's Blessing version.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • extremely high damage against bosses
  • one brand lasts for over 10 seconds, damaging the enemy it's attached to even after the character dies
  • offers a lot of liberties in terms of how you want to build it - we've opted for a glass cannon boss-killer
  • very vulnerable to Physical Damage
  • poor clear speed


3. Leveling tips

Start as a Lightning Spell Caster - just follow our leveling guide. You can transition to the proper build at any time, but we recommend acquiring good items first.


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

82 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: Soul of Solaris: 6% additional Physical Damage Reduction while there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50% less Area Damage from Hits

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 of Dissipation setup
Penance Brand of Dissipation Penance Brand of Dissipation - Deals half-converted Damage with Hits each time it activates - the rate can be increased with Cast Speed. The Damage and AoE grow after each Hit and reach their maximum after 20 activations. This Maximum Energy is assigned to the enemy, not the Brand.
Added Fire Damage Added Fire Damage Support - Adds a lot of Fire Damage sourced from Physical Damage. Use the Awakened version for an extra Gem Level. If you lack a source of Damage Conversion, use Physical to Lightning Physical to Lightning instead.
Swiftbrand Swiftbrand Support - The Brand has less duration, but activates more often. It results in the damage being delivered fester, but if you want your Brands to last long, use Hypothermia Hypothermia instead and be sure you're wearing Call of the Brotherhood.
Increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage Support - Increases Critical Damage, which is the BiS Gem if your Crit Chance is 100%.
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Increases Crit Chance, Elemental Damage, and Reduces Mana Cost of Skill.
Empower Empower Support - It's simply the most efficient way to increase your Damage if the Skill Gem Level is below 30, which it probably is.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Zealotry Zealotry - Use it for more Spell Damage and increased Critical Strike Chance.
Wrath Wrath - More Spell Lightning Damage, which is the Element you've Converted to from Physical.
Petrified Blood Petrified Blood - It affects the bottom half of your Life Pool by shifting a big portion of incoming Hit Damage to be taken as Damage over time instead, which is good as your Life Pool is not high.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Linked Skills Reserve less Mana.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Vitality Vitality - Regenerates your Life over Time to sustain Righteous Fire.
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - Use it for more Physical Damage. It affects your Brand even after the damage gets Converted.
Arrogance Arrogance Support - Linked Skills Reserve Life so that you can benefit from Petrified Blood and Pain Attunement.
[UTILITY] Dark Marionette Blessing setup
Raise Spectre Raise Spectre - Buy a Dark Marionette that gets re-summoned after it dies all by itself. It will come back quickly after it dies only to host your Aura again.
Guardian's Blessing Guardian's Blessing Support - You can attach the Linked Aura to a Spectre and it will affect your character.
Hatred Hatred - Adds 25% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage, and makes you deal more Cold Damage. It's one of the best Auras for such a build.
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash and Enduring Cry setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Used to move quickly and dodge attacks.
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - Use to rapidly Regenerate Life and gain some Endurance Charges for Physical Damage Reduction.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Keep it at a low level. Arcane Surge buff increases Cast Speed and Mana Regeneration Rate.
Faster Casting Faster Casting Support - Linked Skills have increased Cast Speed.
[UTILITY] Various gems
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Assassin's Mark causes the target to be more likely struck Critically and take increased Critical Damage.
Righteous Righteous Fire - RF grants you more Spell Damage as it's active. Try to sustain it eventually.
Steelskin Steelskin - Set it up as your movement key. It's a Guard Spell that absorbs some incoming Hit Damage.
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - Vaal Haste is to be used during boss fights for a major boost to your Cast and Movement Speed.

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5. Gear Setup

You don't need any Unique Items, and to be honest, the Rare ones are the best in every gear slot given your budget is high. We still recommend wearing one Call of the Brotherhood Ring to Chill and Freeze. The type of Damage is not important anyway - you're not specialized in any particular type of it. As an Inquisitor, you don't need any Penetration or Exposure, enemies' Resistances are always 0%. You still need to reach a 100% Critical Strike Chance, which can be done by accumulating Strength and Intelligence. After that's done, focus on Critical Multiplier, and try to obtain Physical Damage as Extra Elemental Damage wherever it's possible. Your base Damage is Physical, 50% of which is already Converted to Lightning, and the remaining 50% should be too - it can be done with one pair of Rare Gloves, Watcher's Eye, or a Physical to Lightning Support Gem in your Brand setup. To sustain RF Damage you need a bit of extra Maximum Fire Resistance, Ruby Flask, and Life Regeneration Modifiers on your Rare Belt or Body Armour. If you need to be more durable, seek modifiers that would reduce your Physical Damage taken, a source of Endurance Charges, or shift a portion of incoming Physical Damage to be taken as Elemental Damage. Life Recoup may also help.

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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. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Gem level of Penance Brand
  4. Critical Strike Chance
  5. Physical Damage gained as Extra Elemental Damage
  6. Critical Strike Multiplier
  7. Cast Speed
  8. Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
  9. Attributes
  10. Maximum Fire Resistance
  11. Life Regeneration
  12. Chaos Resistance
  13. Physical Damage mitigation
  14. Life Recoup
Blizzard Crown(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Get a Blizzard Crown for Added Cold Damage with no downside, and aim for basic defensive stats. For more Damage, seek specific modifiers listed here as optional. You can also find a Helmet with built-in Support Gems that you would want to use in your main Penance Brand setup such as Hypothermia and Concentrated Effect, and if that's the case, the Body Armour will be able to host your Auras setup instead.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies take increased Elemental Damage (Shaper's Suffix)
Adds Elemental Damage to Spells
+1 to Maximum Power Charges (Warlord's Prefix)
embedded support gems for Penance Brand (optional)
Heatshiver(Helmet) Heatshiver - If you're using two Call of the Brotherhood Rings, you can consider this Helmet for a major damage boost. It's very cheap for how much it contributes to the overall DPS.
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
60% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
Gain 1% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage per 1% Chill Effect on Enemy
Gain 30% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage against Frozen Enemies
Rare Wand(Weapon) Rare Weapon - We recommend dual-wielding a pair of Wands or Maces with modifiers to Spell Damage, Crit Chance, and Level of your Physical/Lightning Brand Skill. Try to get a "+2 Wand/Sceptre" with such stats.
Min. requirements:
80% increased Lightning/Spell Damage
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
+1 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
+1 to Level of Spell Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - Spirit Shield may be similar in terms of damage to a weapon with modifiers like increased Spell Damage, Crit Chance for Spell, and extra Gem Level for Physical or Lightning Spells, and that's on top of a Maximum Life Prefix, which can be crafted.
Min. requirements:
70% increased Spell Damage
+70 maximum Life
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
+1 to Level of all Physical/Lightning Spell Skill Gems
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Elemental Resistances
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - Inpulsa's the Body Armour you can use to improve your clear speed. It detonates shocked enemies you kill and renders you immune to Shock.
+(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
Stasis Prison(Body Armour) Stasis Prison - With Petrified Blood you will take a lot of Hit Damage over 4 seconds as DoT, so if you struggle with survivability, Stasis Prison seems like one of the strongest options - it will Recoup all that damage you've taken recently. It's even stronger with Progenesis, more Recoup, and Ashes of the Stars for extra Quality for Petrified Blood.
+(20-25) to maximum Mana
(140-160)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(80-100) to maximum Life
Temporal Rift has no Reservation
(80-100)% of Damage taken Recouped as Life
Debuffs on you expire (80-100)% faster
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - The best overall option which you can upgrade with Eldritch mods for more Maximum Resistances, Crit Multiplier, or increased effect of Auras. Look for Maximum Life, Life Regeneration, and Resistances. The Prefix that shifts Physical Damage to Fire and Lightning can be Crafted.
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Regenerate 100 Life per Second
#% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage
#% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage (crafted Prefix)
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Additional Physical Damage Reduction
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - If you've decided to wear a Rare Amulet it better be a good one as the Uniques are also extremely powerful. You should have an Amulet with +2 or even +3 Levels to your Brand Skill with Maximum Life and damage-oriented modifiers on top.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life (can be crafted)
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Lightning Skill Gems
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
Mana Reservation efficiency
Elemental Resistances
+1 to Level of Spell Skill Gems
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - Ashes improves your damage slightly and the extra Quality contributes to that as well. As of 3.23, it's very cheap.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
(5-10)% increased Experience Gain of Gems
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
+(20-30)% to Quality of all Skill Gems
Replica Dragonfang's Flight(Amulet) Replica Dragonfang's Flight - Possibly the best choice due to the extra 3 levels to the Penance Brand Skill, additional Reservation, and reduced Attribute Requirements.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+3 to Level of all <Random Skill> Gems
+(5-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
(5-10)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Items and Gems have (10-5)% reduced Attribute Requirements
Recommended Anointments:
Brand Equity
Doom Cast
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - The best Rings have to be Essence-crafted to gain the additional 10% of Physical Damage as extra Fire Damage. There are also quite a few good Crusader mods worth looking for. Other than that, seek the most basic Attributes and Resistances, especially Dexterity.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
60% Total Resistances
Optional affixes:
Gain 10% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage (Essence)
Gain Life per enemy Hit with Spells (Shaper/Crusader Prefix)
Adds # Lightning Damage against Shocked Enemies (Crusader Prefix)
increased Cast Speed
Call of the Brotherhood(Ring) Call of the Brotherhood - We recommend using at least one such Ring to cause Freeze and Chill. It lets you make use of some of the best notables on Large Cluster Jewels, upgrades the damage from Hatred Aura, and the Ailment itself is a big upgrade in terms of safety.
+(12-16)% to Cold and Lightning Resistances
+(15-25) to Intelligence
(15-25)% increased Lightning Damage
(30-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
40% of Lightning Damage Converted to Cold Damage
Your spells have 100% chance to Shock against Frozen Enemies
Rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Get a pair of regular Boots and upgrade them with Eldritch mods for Maximum Fire Resistance to sustain RF, and extra Physical Damage as some other type of Elemental Damage, preferably Lightning. For the Affixes, get the most basic stats with Movement Speed.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
50% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain Onslaught on Kill (crafted)
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - The Belt's function is to provide you with a lot of Maximum Life with Resistances. Life Regeneration, Attributes, and some of the Flask modifiers are also of great value.
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike
Life Regeneration
increased Maximum Life (Hunter Prefix)
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Rare Gloves with Eldritch Implicit to Unnerve enemies on Hit, and to Convert Physical Damage to Lightning will be important. If you don't need to Convert Damage, go for Life Leech from Elemental Damage. For Affixes, seek Maximum Life, various types of Resistances, and Attributes. Up to 25% of Physical Conversion can be Crafted as a Prefix.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
70% Total Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage
Increased Elemental Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently (crafted)
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
25% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning (up to 50% in total with Eldritch Implicit)
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - You can go for 2 or even 3 Large Cluster Jewels, they're very potent in this build. Use Cold or Lightning Jewels and prioritize notables such as Snowstorm, Sadist, and at least one Stormrider and Doryani's Lesson.
Recommended Passives:
1 Added Passive Skill is Inspired Oppression
1 Added Passive Skill is Sadist
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson
1 Added Passive Skill is Snowstorm
1 Added Passive Skill is Stormrider
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread destruction
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - Medium Cluster Jewels are also very fitting. Get the Brand Clusters with Remarkable and Grand Design. Remarkable increases Cast Speed and with 3 of these, you're guaranteed to spawn 2 Brands instead of one. Grand Design increases Duration, which is extremely good here, Damage, and Attachment Range.
Recommended Passives:
1 Added Passive Skill is Remarkable
1 Added Passive Skill is Grand Design
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Flesh - Sign of Purpose is the best. It doubles your Brand Damage as they're at the peak of their performance.
Allocates <Random Ascendancy Notable> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Allocates <Random Ascendancy Notable> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Here, get Maximum Life, Attributes, and Resistances if you're still short on that. If not - prioritize Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier.
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Cast Speed
Critical Strike mods
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - If you haven't converted your Physical Damage, get Wrath's Physical to Lightning Conversion here. Cast Speed and Critical Strike mods from Zealotry are excellent. Your other Auras are Hatred and Vitality.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Progenesis(Flask) Progenesis - Combined with Petrified Blood, it prevents a lot of incoming Hit Damage, which you're especially vulnerable to - the Maximum Physical Hit you can take is extremely low. It's good with Life Regeneration and Life Recoup.
+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
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - Increases Critical Strike Chance and improves your DPS as long as you and your target are affected by its Consecrated Ground.
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced 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
Suggested Rare Flasks:
  1. Life Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Ruby Flask with reduced Curse Effect on you or increased Movement Speed
  3. Diamond Flask with an increased Critical Strike Chance
  4. Silver Flask with increased Cast Speed
Ruby FlaskBottled FaithLife flaskSilver FlaskDiamond Flask

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