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Storm Brand Hierophant build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Storm Brand Hierophant build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Powerful build based on one of the newly added Brand spells - the Storm Brand

Storm Brand/Lightning Spire Trap
Shocking Hierophant Build

Updated for Patch 3.6

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Guide notes
March 13, 2019
-Updated for Patch 3.6
March 14, 2019
-Added gameplay video

Storm Brand is one of the newest skills added in Patch 3.5 and Betrayal League, bringing around completely new playstyle. Brands are an attachable spell, which every short period of time casts Lightning Projectiles that shoots from attached nearby enemies dealing massive AoE damage and attaching themselves to another nearby enemy after the first one is killed. Brand Recall is another spell, that allows you to summon all summoned Brands to your position, automatically attaching them to nearby monsters. This build is also utilizing Lightning Spire Trap for additional single-target damage, that can help with killing Bosses on red Maps and above. Sign of Purpose Ascendancy Passive increases Damage taken by enemies for 10% per Brand attached, so with a maximum of 5 Brands with this build, it's a terrific DPS boost. Arcane Blessing node provides Elemental Ailments immunity, making us invulnerable to Freeze or Shock so we can invest into offense oriented flask like Vessel of Vinktar or The Wise Oak.

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1. Gameplay

This is probably one of the most satisfying builds for clearing Maps. After casting 5 Brands at the beginning of the Map you are running around recalling them all to you, and Brands will be attached to nearby enemies automatically, shooting Lightning Bolts all over the screen. Lightning Spire Trap is the main single-target DPS skill that we should only be used against tough rare enemies or Bosses, because of 8 seconds cooldown. Try to put them directly on the Boss, because they are casting Lightning Beams in 3 directions, which with Increased Area of Effect should overlap on Bosses, making them receive hits from all three beams at the same time.

0:06 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
0:41 Tier 14 Double Boss Palace
1:10 Tier 15 Lava Lake
1:48 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
2:13 Tier 16 Elder Underground Sea

This video was recorded on a level 90 Hierophant. I was dual-wielding Rare Spell Daggers and the maximum Life was slightly over 4,000 (with a small upgrade here would easily deal with Shaper/Uber Elder)


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • amazing AoE with lightning projectiles fired all over the screen
  • very fast clear speed
  • high defense thanks to Mind Over Matter Passive
  • great damage even on budget equipment
CONS
  • Lightning Spire Trap is mandatory for endgame single-target
  • vulnerable to elemental reflect map mods

3. Leveling tips

For leveling, we are going to use Arc before we acquire all nodes on the Passive Skill Tree that let us use at least three Storm Brands at once. All supported gems that will be linked to Arc are also being used in endgame version of the build. You should buy Storm Brand at level 12 and socket in a free slot in your gear, so it will be ready to use at 33 skill points invested into the skill tree.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Arc setup
Arc Arc - great Lightning leveling spell, recommended until you can switch to 3+ Brands setup
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds a lot of Lightning Damage 
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - allows you to cast Arc much more frequently
Lightning Spire Trap setup
Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap - it's your single target skill, that will be also used in endgame build with all linked gems. Get it as soon as you hit level 28
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - definitely the best gem for Trap. While it might not be noticeable in Path of Building or tooltip DPS, it is highest Damage boost, because it increases Lightning Strikes frequency
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - increases Trap Damage by a lot
Utility Gems
Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - the recommended Golem for this build which increases your Critical Strike Chance
Assassin's Mark Conductivity - perfect Curse for our build because it lowers Lightning Resistance of cursed enemies
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - very good leveling Aura, that will grant additional Lightning Damage and strikes nearby enemies with Lightning Bolts
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - recommended mobility skill 
Assassin's Mark Faster Casting - increased casting and movement speed of Flame Dash

Bandits:

We recommend helping Alira for increased Critical Strike Multiplier and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

33 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Runebinder 2) Light of Divinity 3) Explosive Runes 4) Amplify

64 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Inspiration 2) Quick Recovery 3) Heart and Soul 4) Cruel Preparation 5) Blast Radius 6) Heart of Thunder

Recommended leveling items:

Malachai's Simula Malachai's Simula - great leveling Helmet for Lightning Builds. If you wear it then you should not use any Aura for leveling
(15-30)% increased Spell Damage
+20 to Strength
(20-30)% increased Lightning Damage
+10% to Lightning Resistance
Blood Magic
 
Maligaro's VirtuosityMaligaro's Virtuosity - powerful gloves, will make our Critical Strikes hit a lot stronger
+(20-30) to Dexterity
5% increased Attack Speed
50% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(20-30)% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
(60-80)% increased Evasion Rating
 
Stone of LazhwarStone of Lazhwar - grants a lot of Chance to Block Spell Damage and Cast Speed, which increases both Arc and Lightning Spire Trap Damage
(12-15)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
(10-15)% increased Cast Speed
+(30-50) to maximum Mana
 
Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - perfect choice for the whole leveling process, it's recommended to use it on both ring slots
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - best leveling weapon in the game for spellcasters. A lot of Additional Damage to Spells and an insane amount of Critical Strike Chance for them. It's recommended to dual-wield them
(4-6)% increased Cast Speed
(100-140)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Fire Damage to Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Cold Damage to Spells
Adds 1 to (10-12) Lightning Damage to Spells
 

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

118 Points Final Skill Tree
118 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Sign of Purpose
  2. Illuminated Devotion
  3. Arcane Blessing
  4. Divine Guidance

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

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Storm Brand setup
Storm Brand Storm Brand - your main skill for clearing Maps and dealing AoE Damage. It's perfect to use on Bosses
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds a lot of Lightning Damage 
Faster Casting Faster Casting - will increase your Brands attachment and cast frequency
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - increase Area Damage of your Brands by a huge amount, at the expense of slightly decreased AoE
Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support - your enemies have lower Resistances versus Storm Brand
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - huge DPS increase that comes at the cost of slightly reduced Critical Strike Chance
[DPS] Lightning Spire Trap setup
(Gloves Only)
Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap - it's your primary single-target DPS skill. Use it against Bosses and tough Rare Enemies. Try to cast all the Traps directly on the enemy for highest DPS
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
Faster Casting Faster Casting
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - replace it with Increased Area of Effect if you have required Support affix on Gloves
Optional gem options (these are only used if you are wearing recommended Shaper's Gloves):
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support - increases Lightning Beams AoE, making them overlap each other, striking Bosses with all 3 of them at the same time
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
[CURSE/DEFENSE] Conductivity and Immortal Call setup
Conductivity Conductivity - main Curse, which reduces enemies' Lightning Resistance. Will be cast automatically thanks to Cast when Damage Taken Gem. Keep it at level 5
Cast When Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically cast Immortal Call and Conductivity after receiving enough damage
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants Physical Damage immunity for a short period of time
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of Immortal Call buff and your Curse
[AURA] Wrath
(Socketed in Essence Worm only)
Wrath Wrath - increases Lightning Damage. Socket it only in Essence Worm if you have it
[UTILITY] Lightning Golem
 
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast your Golem
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Attack and Cast Speed
[UTILITY] Ball Lightning Power Charge Generation setup
Ball Lightning Baal Lightning - it will be cast automatically thanks to Cast when Damage Taken. Keep it at level 4
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast supported spells after a certain amount of damage is taken by your character. Do not upgrade it above level 1
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - it will generate Power Charges when you Critically Strike with Ball Lightning
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - will increase the number of Ball Lightning projectiles
[MOVEMENT/UTILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - recommended mobility skill 
Assassin's Mark Faster Casting - increased casting and movement speed of Flame Dash
Brand Recall Brand Recall - after casting it will resummon all attached Brands to your position and inflict them to nearby enemies


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5. Gear Setup

This Storm Brand is one of the cheaper builds, with no required uniques. If you are using Choir of the Storm or The Wise Oak invest the most into Lightning Resistance for higher DPS. Below you will find all the recommended gear. If you would like to have the end-game items also added here please let us know in the comments below. 

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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. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance & Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Cast Speed
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - this is our best choice for fixing both Elemental Resistances and Dexterity requirements

Min. requirements:
30 to Dexterity
70 to maximum Life
30% to Fire Resistance
35% to Lightning Resistance

Helmet enchantments:
Lightning Spire Trap strikes and additional area
Storm Brand has an 18% chance to Chain additional time
Storm Brand Damage Penetrated 12% of Branded Enemy's Lightning Resistance
Void Battery(Weapon) Void Battery - a great alternative to a high-end wand. Grants a lot of Cast Speed, Spell Damage and Critical Strike Chance. It's recommended to dual-wield it
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
Rare Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - definitely the best in the slot for this build. If you want maximum DPS, feel free to dual-wield them. Otherwise, use it in your main hand only
Min. requirements:
80% increased Spell Damage
Adds 6 to 90 Lightning Damage to Spells
80% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Lightning Damage
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - shield will provide a lot of Life and additional Cast Speed and Spell Damage
Min. requirements:
50% increased Spell Damage
80 to maximum Life
12% to all Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - all-around best Armour for this build. Increases clear speed thanks to explosions, Damage for all our Spells and effect of Shock which scales your damage up
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(20-50)% increased Damage if you have Shocked an Enemy Recently
(25-40)% increased Effect of Shock
Shocked Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 5% of
their Maximum Life as Lightning Damage which cannot Shock
Unaffected by Shock
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - basically any armour will do, just try to get with the highest Life and Elemental Resistances

Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
40% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Dexterity

Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - with the stats listed, it will be a great boost for your DPS
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
20% increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
15% increased Spell Damage
20 All Attributes
Optional affixes:
Increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Attributes
Choir of the Storm(Amulet) Choir of the Storm - insane amulet for this build. It will immensely increase your DPS and with very high Critical Strike Chance it will shot Lightning Bolts all the time
(10-20)% increased maximum Mana
Critical Strike Chance is increased by Lightning Resistance
50% increased Lightning Damage
Trigger Level 20 Lightning Bolt when you deal a Critical Strike
Essence Worm(Ring) Essence Worm - perfect Ring to socket Warth Aura
Has 1 Socket
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems Reserve No Mana
40% increased Mana Reserved
Rare RingRare Ring(Ring) Rare Opal Rings - it will fix your Elemental Resistances and increase maximum Life
Min. requirements:
40 to maximum Life
15% to all Elemental Resistances
40% to Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Lightning Damage
maximum Mana
Rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get the highest maximum Life and Movement Speed bonuses you can afford
Min. requirements:
70 to maximum Life
25% to Fire Resistance
25% to Cold Resistance
40% to Lightning Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Damage Penetrated 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Strength
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Stygian Vise - with the same stat as the regular belt. Will grant Abyss socket and allow you to use one more Abyss Jewel
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Strength or Dexterity for meeting attributes requirements
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Shaper Gloves - this is your highest single target Damage boost. Socket Lightning Spire Trap setup into them
Min. requirements:
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 16 Trap And Mine Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 16 Faster Casting
20% increased Trap Damage
10% increased Cast Speed
30 Dexterity
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Voidbringer(Gloves) Voidbringer - a cheaper alternative for Shaper Gloves, that will increase your Critical Strike Chance by a lot
+1 to Level of Socketed Elemental Gems
(125-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
(180-250)% increased Energy Shield
(80-40)% increased Mana Cost of Skills
+(15-20) Energy Shield gained on Kill
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - if you prefer to change Skill Tree for Jewel sockets these affixes are recommended
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
increased Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - main priority is maximum Life and flat damage to Spells
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Elemental Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
increased Cast Speed

The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - a great boost for your Lightning Penetration and additional 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

Vessel of Vinktar(Flask) Vessel of Vinktar - insane Flask. It provides Life Leech, Lightning Penetration and increased Shock Effect on enemies

(80-100)% 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
Damage Penetrates 10% Lightning Resistance during Flask effect
20% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Suggested Flasks (we are immune to Freeze/Ignite/Shock so we can focus on different effects):
  1. Bubbling Hallowed Hybrid Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Warding (immunity to Curses)
  3. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
Vessel of VinktarThe Wise OakHallowed Hybrid FlaskDiamond FlaskQuicksilver Flask


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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below.

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