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Storm Brand Assassin Build

Storm Brand Assassin Build

Storm Brand Build for Assassin which is structured around Power Charges and Critical Strike mechanics

Storm Brand
Assassin Build

Updated for Patch 3.15

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Estimated budget: medium to high
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Guide notes
September 14, 2021
-Build created
September 19, 2021
-Added gameplay video

 

Assassin is an ascendancy class that specializes mostly in Critical Strikes, it enhances the effect of it, grants bonuses, and has some strong synergies with Power Charges. Brands are typically associated with the classes on the upper side of the Passive Skill Tree - namely Hierophant, Elementalist, and Assasin. The Critical Strike mechanics can be really pushed to its limit in this build - your character is stacking Power Charges, up to 10 or maybe even more of them. Take Deadly Infusion and Mistwalker from your Ascendancy Skill Tree for some great Scaling with Charges. You will need two Void Batteries and a Badge of the Brotherhood - it's a trademark of all Power Charge-reliant builds. Now with 10 Frenzy Charges, your Cast Speed and Damage will skyrocket.

Storm Brand is a simple Brand Spell that attaches to an enemy and deals Lightning Damage in fixed intervals to the opponent it is attached to, and the surrounding enemies. It's possible to have up to 5 or 6 Brands, two of them on one opponent at a time, so when fighting with bosses, the best configuration is to have three enemies two or there that can host your Brands and strike the neighbors. It's a Hybrid build - it uses Life and ES to stay alive, allocate Corrupted Soul with Glorious Vanity for more Energy Shield. Your combined Life pool should reach 4k to 5k, that's not terrible given your constant Elusive buff. The damage of this build is really great, with the Brands automatically attaching to the enemies it has also great clear speed. The downside of this build is its price - it isn't a good league starter, the items are quite expensive so keep that in mind.

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1. Gameplay

There aren't many Active Skills, Storm Brand is obviously the one to be used frequently, do deal with bosses and smaller foes. it's a good idea to link the Hydrosphere with Hextouch, Hydrosphere's Drench and Conductivity will significantly lower the Lightning Resistance of your opponents. Brand Recall can be used to summon all your Brands to your location with an increased attachment range. Use Flame Dash as your Movement Spell. It's a good idea to have your Immortal Call linked with Cast when Damage Taken on the lowest possible level. To increase your damage for a short duration use Vaal Righteous Fire.


This video was recorded on a level 94 Assassin on Standard dual-wielding Void Batteries and using random Rare equipment. We had around 1kk DPS per Brand, which may not seem that much, but because of the skill's mechanic, it's more than enough to melt most of the Bosses in the game. And this number can be easily multiplied by more expensive Influenced gear. You should be able to notice, that our gear was nothing extraordinary here


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • really good single target and AoE
  • Brands will attach automatically to nearby opponents
  • great mobility
  • one of the best end-game builds
CONS
  • really expensive
  • not too good defenses

 

3. Leveling tips

Start by using Brands right after level 12, before that, you can use any Lightning Spell such as Arc - you will need to increase your Spell, Elemental, or Lightning Damage. These mods are very common and easy to find, even early on. For Critical Strike Chance use Essences of Scorn on your Shield or Weapon, Essence of Torment adds Lightning Damage to Spells, while Essence of Woe increases your Spell Damage. Vendor recipes could be useful early on to craft a magical item with just one mod that suits you. By level 68 you should be able to equip Void Batteries and Badge of the Brotherhood and by that point, your Maximum Power Charges should be 9 or 10. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Storm Brand setup
Storm Brand Storm Brand - your main DPS skill that will be used through the leveling process into the end game
Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support - increases your Critical Damage which it's important even early in the game
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - generates you Power CHarges and increases damage based on the number of them
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - reduces Mana Cost, increases Crit Chance and Elemental Damage
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - used to dash from one place to another
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the cast speed of your Flame Dash
Curses and Auras setup
Conductivity Conductivity - a Curse that reduces Lightning Resistance of our opponents
Wrath Wrath - an Aura that increases Lightning Damage for your Spells
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - adds Lightning Damage and hits your enemies with a Storm 

Bandits:

KIlling all three Bandits for two Passive Skill Points or Help Alira for Mana Regen, Crit Multiplier, and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Skill Tree
increase your Critical Strike Chance, Damage, Lightning Damage, Maximum Life, and Brand Utilities

69 Points Skill Tree
allocate all the additional Maximum Power Charges, Runebinder Keystone, Disciple of the Forbidden, and Maximum Life

 

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - this Ring provided a lot of Elemental Resistances, increases your Damage and Attributes
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 - The best option for a Helmet if you lack 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 - Grants you a 6-link with all-white sockets, and it's available at level 1
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Storm PrisonStorm Prison - it has some great synergies with Power Charge builds, one of the best Uniques to level with
(11-15)% increased Spell Damage
(40-60)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 1 to (35-45) Lightning Damage
(15-25)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
(25-35)% chance to gain a Power Charge on Kill


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

87 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels nor Thread of Hope)
113 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Unstable Infusion
  2. Deadly Infusion
  3. Mistwalker
  4. Opportunistic

Pantheon:

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 Ryslatha Life Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a Life Flask Recently

 

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Storm Brand setup
Storm Brand Storm Brand - Creates a Brand that attaches to an enemy and constantly deals Lightning Damage to the target it's attached to and the surrounding targets. Your Cast Speed affects the strike frequency.
Power Charge on Critical Strike Support Power Charge on Critical Support - increases the Damage of the brand based on how many Power Charges you have, it grants you more Crit Chance and generates Power Charges as you Crit
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - lowers the Mana Cost of the Skill, increases your Critical Strike Chance, and Elemental Damage
Swiftbrand Support Swiftbrand Support - Brands duration is much shorter, but with a much higher activation frequency
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds flat Lightning Damage to your Brand
Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support - it penetrates the Lightning Resistance of your opponents, you can alternatively use Concentrated Effect SupportConcentrated Effect Support if you're using Call of the Brotherhood
[UTILITY] Hydrosphere setup
Hydrosphere Hydrosphere - creates a sphere of water that can be Hit to deal Lightning Damage, it's used to Drench enemies lowering their Cold and Lightning Resistance
Hextouch Support Hextouch Support -  allows you Hydrosphere to curse enemies on Hit
Conductivity Conductivity - the Curse that lowers the Lightning Resistance of your opponents
[UTILITY] Immortal Call setup
Immortal Call Immortal Call - a Guard Spell that lowers the Damage you take for a brief amount of time, keep it at level 3
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - with this Gem at level 1 your Immortal Call will be activated more frequently
Portal Portal - it has no value in combat, it's used to save Portal Scrolls
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash and Brand Recall setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - one of the best Movement Skills you can use, it's instant and can relocate you over obstacles
Brand Recall Brand Recall - use it to recall all your brands to your location, upgrading their Attachment Range
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - keep it at a low level, so that a singular Brand Recall or Flame Dash will grant you a bonus of Spell Damage and increased Mana Regeneration
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - stores an extra charge for your Brand Recall and Flame Dahs
[UTILITY] Mana Reservation setup
Wrath Wrath - an Aura that is specifically designed for builds that deal a lot of Lightning Damage for it increases your Lightning Damage
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - creates Strom that can Hit enemies, it also increases your Lightning Damage
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - lowers Mana Reservation for linked Spells
Zealotry Zealotry - increases Critical Strike Chance for Spells, increases your Critical Strike Multiplier, your Damage, and creates Consecrated Ground
[UTILITY] Golem setup
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - grants you more Spell Damage, use the Divergent version to increase this effect even more, it removes a huge portion of your Life Pool on cast
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - Vaal Righteous Fire can last much longer
Enhance Support Enhance Support - if you have Divergent Vaal Righteous Fire, use Enhance Support

 


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5. Gear Setup

Two Void Batteries and Badge of the Brotherhood are obligatory uniques. The Amulet is moderately expensive, not as expensive as it used to be, the price of other uniques should be low - Asenath's Gentle Touch or six-linked Inpulsa's Broken Heart are optional, but their price is valued at around a few Exalted Orbs. The Rare Helmet is required to have a mod for +1 to Maximum Power Charges. There should be no problem with Attributes, the required Intelligence is easily obtained, Strength might be a problem if you want to level up Gems like Increased Duration Support. Generally, you should seek Critical Strike Multiplier and Chance, then Lightning Damage and Cast Speed. For Defences, you will need Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, Maximum Energy Shield is also used, but it shouldn't be priorities over Maximum Life.

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. Damage per Power/Frenzy Charge
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Lightning/Elemental/Spell Damage
  7. Energy Shield
  8. Strength
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Focus on Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. You will need to have +1 to max Power Charges on it later in the game.
Min. requirements:
60 Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Lightning Resistance
Maximum Energy Shield
Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
Storm Brand enchantments
Void Battery(Weapon) Void Battery - two Void Batteries are necessary, they exceed your Limit for Power Charges ad grant you a lot of Damage that scales with Power Charges, not to mention the Crit Strike Chance and Multiplier
(36-40)% increased Spell Damage
80% reduced Spell Damage
(10-20)% increased Cast Speed
(50-65)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(40-50) to maximum Mana
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
25% increased Spell Damage per Power Charge
ES Armor(Body Armour) Rare Armour - with the mod that provides you with a chance to gain Frenzy Charge on kill, a Rare Body Armour with decent stats in your best option
Min. requirements:
70% Elemental Resistances
90 Maximum Life
10% chance to gain Frenzy Charge on Hit
Optional affixes:
Enemies you Kill have a #% chance to Explode, dealing a tenth of their Maximum Life as Physical Damage
Elemental and Chaos Resistances
Maximum Energy Shield
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - if you have other means to generate Frenzy Charges you should probably go for Inpulsa's, it has some great stats and really improves your clear speed
+(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 - It's one of the best sources of Elemental Resistances, you don't need any overly expensive mods, the usual defenses and Movement Speed are enough
Min. requirements:
70% Elemental Resistances
70 Maximum Life
25% Increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Inya's Epiphany(Boots) Inya's Epiphany - it grants you a moderately high Damage that scales with Power Charges, Maximum Life, decent Movement Speed, and Intelligence but provides no Elemental Resistances
+(50-70) to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
(5-8)% increased Intelligence
5% increased Damage per Power Charge
25% chance that if you would gain Power Charges, you instead gain up to
your maximum number of Power Charges
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - on Rare Gloves you should focus primarily on Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, but there also are some offensive mods that you can chase such as added damage
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
Increased Damage with Hits against Chilled enemies
Adds # to # Lightning Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Asenath's Gentle Touch(Gloves) Asenath's Gentle Touch - Be sure that you can apply more than one Curse on the enemy before putting this pair of gloves on. They are great when it comes to improving your clear speed, but if you have Inpulsa's Broken Heart, it might be overkill. These Gloves provide no Elemental Resistances
+(20-30) to Intelligence
+(60-80) to maximum Life
+(60-80) to maximum Mana
Curse Enemies with Temporal Chains on Hit, with 40% increased Effect
Non-Aura Curses you inflict are not removed from Dying Enemies
Enemies near corpses affected by your Curses are Blinded
Enemies Killed near corpses affected by your Curses explode, dealing
3% of their Life as Physical Damage
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - This is where a bulk of your Maximum Life and Elemental Resistance should lie, additionally Stygian Vise offers an Abyss Jewel Socket which is almost always better than a regular Implicit Mod.
Min. requirements:
100 Maximum Life
100% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
#% increased maximum Life
Strength
increased Damage with Hits against Chilled Enemies
Badge of the Brotherhood(Amulet) Badge of the Brotherhood - it's the obligatory item, it has a great scaling with Frenzy and Power Charges, just be sure you have a way to generate Frenzy Charges
+(16-24) to Dexterity and Intelligence
(7-10)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills per Frenzy Charge
(7-10)% increased Effect of Elusive on you per Power Charge
(20-25)% chance to lose a Frenzy Charge when you use a Travel Skill
(20-25)% chance to lose a Power Charge when you gain Elusive
Your Maximum Frenzy Charges is equal to your Maximum Power Charges
Recommended Anointments:
Infused
Disciple of the Slaughter
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - the default option due to the flexibility it offers, as usual, your focus is on Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. Don't forget that there are many offensive mods to choose from, many of them are rare or expensive. 
Min. requirements:
60 Maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+1 to Minimum Frenzy Charges;
(3–4)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill (veiled)
Added Cold Damage per Frenzy Charge
Chaos Resistances
Attributes
Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier
Call of the Brotherhood(Ring) Call of the Brotherhood - It provides you with a moderate amount of Cold and Lightning Resistances, Intelligence, Lightning Damage, and Mana Regeneration. It converts your Lightning Damage to Cold Damage - be sure not to invest heavily in Lightning Penetration and Reducing Lightning Resistance if you decide to wear one or two of these Rings.
+(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
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewels - you can put one in your Stygian Vise if you're using such Belt, get some Maximum Life and offensive mods
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Phasing on Kill
Critical Strike Multiplier
added Spell/Elemental/Cold Damage while Dual Wielding
added Spell/Elemental/Cold Damage
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Get one with a  high roll for Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances are also good. There are a lot of offensive mods to choose from, be sure to have one or two.

Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier
Elemental Resistances
Increased Spell/Elemental/Cold Damage while Dual Wielding
increased Spell/Elemental/Cold Damage

Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - Look for the Doryani variant and transform your Pain Attunement Keystone into Corrupted Soul - since you're relying on both - Maximum Life and Energy Shield it's a great keystone to have.
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of (Ahuana-Doryani-Xibaqua)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Historic
Transcendent Flesh(Jewel) Transcendent Flesh - You can use it to increase your Critical Strike Multiplier when you socket it where a lot of Strength is located, like Near Stamina or Devotion Notables.
-1 Strength per 1 Strength on Allocated Passives in Radius
+7% to Critical Strike Multiplier per 10 Strength on Unallocated Passives in Radius
3% increased Life Recovery Rate per 10 Strength on Allocated Passives in Radius
2% reduced Life Recovery Rate per 10 Strength on Unallocated Passives in Radius
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - place it next to Instability and look for a version with a Large Ring so that you can allocate 3 or more extremely useful Notables
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - There are few Aura mods to choose from, especially the ones mentioned here as recommended. It's an expensive item and completely optional.
(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:
Critical Strikes Penetrate (8-10)% of Enemy Elemental Resistances while affected by Zealotry
(70-100)% increased Critical Strike Chance while affected by Wrath
Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Lightning Resistance while affected by Wrath
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - The usual Elemental Damage Cluster Jewels with suitable Notables are good, the role of this Jewel is also to have more space for Medium Cluster Jewels
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson
1 Added Passive Skill is Disorienting Display
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Snowstorm
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Vast Power scales AoE with Power Charges so it's a great choice, but not as great as the Notables you can find in Bases that are specialized in Brand Damage, you should definitely look for these
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Brand Loyalty
1 Added Passive Skill is Grand Design
1 Added Passive Skill is Holy Conquest
1 Added Passive Skill is Vast Power
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - increases Damage, Critical Strike Chance, and creates Consecrated Ground which is good when combined with Zealotry
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

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding for 1 second if used while afflicted)
  2. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
  3. Experimenter's Quartz Flask of Curing (immunity to Poison for 1 second if used while afflicted)
  4. Bubbling Life Flask of Heat (immunity to Chill and Freeze for 1 second if used while afflicted)
Life FlaskBottled FaithQuicksilver FlaskDiamond FlaskQuartz Flask


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