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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 Brand spells - the Storm Brand

Storm Brand
Shocking Hierophant Build

Updated for Patch 3.17

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Guide notes
July 22, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.11
February 05, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
Build overview
Tags: [CASTER] [ELEMENTAL] [LIFE] 

Budget: 

Defenses: 

Boss DPS:

AoE:

 

Storm Brand is one of the skills added in Patch 3.5 and Betrayal League, which brought around a completely new playstyle. Brands are attachable Spells, which damages nearby enemies at a very high frequency shooting from enemies they are attached to. Brands deal massive AoE damage and attach themselves to another closest foe after the first one is killed. Brand Recall is another core Spell for this playstyle, that allows you to summon all summoned Brands to your position, automatically attaching them to nearby monsters. Storm Brand, which you'll be using, uses a chaining beam to Hit up to three enemies + the one it is attached to. This build is based on Brands, Hierophant is one of the Ascendancy Classes with a specific Keystone dedicated just for this type of Spells. You should be able to reach 100% Crit. Chance with over 500% Crit. Multiplier when utilizing the Void Batteries and 6 to 7 Power Charges with Inner Conviction. There are three Brand-specific Clusters on the Skill Tree you can take and additionally two Medium Cluster Jewels dedicated to upgrading your Brands even further. It's a Life build with Life Leech and Life Regeneration, you should also have a fairly high Spell Block Chance with Willclash. Assassin is often picked for its synergies with Critical Strikes, you can find the guide for it here: Storm Brand Assassin Build.

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

 

1. Gameplay

This is probably one of the most satisfying builds for clearing Maps. Storm Brand shoots Lightning Bolts all over the screen killing enemies nearly instantly. You also get one of the most potent Guard Spells - Immortal Call linked with CwDM, which grants a very strong defense bonus. To increase your Crit. Chance use Ice Golem or Lightning Golem for more Cast Speed, also linked to a Cast when Damage Taken Gem alongside Wave of Conviction to apply Exposure. Wrath and Zealotry are your damage-increasing Auras, while Assassin's Mark is the Curse you can apply manually or via Ring Affix. The only skills you should use are the Brand itself, Brand Recall, Sigil of Power, Vaal Righteous Fire and Flame Dash.


0:08 Tier 16 Caldera
0:28 Tier 16 Pit of the Chimera
1:00 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:33 Tier 16 Jungle Valley with Purifier
2:04 Tier 16 Park

This video was recorded on a level 92 Hierophant with 3,900 Maximum Life and around 10,000 Mana. We ended up with approximately 2.5 kk Shaper DPS with Storm Brand which let us farm pretty much all of the content in the game, and apparently, none of the items cost over a few Exalted Orbs with six-link Body Armour being the most expensive one


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • amazing AoE with lightning projectiles fired all over the screen
  • very fast clear speed
  • moderate defenses thanks to the high Block Chance
  • great damage even on budget equipment
CONS
  • reliant on Items that enhance your Power Charges
  • 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 the 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 the 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
Clarity Clarity - grants increased Mana Regeneration allowing you to spam your Spells on lower levels
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 Spell
Assassin's Mark Faster Casting - increased casting and movement speed of Flame Dash

Bandits:

We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Go for the Runebinder and Runesmith first, then some more Life and Elemental Damage

70 Points Skill Tree
Allocate two more Brand Clusters and the big Lightning Cluster at the top of the Skill Tree; you can then get more Maximum Life

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
Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - amazing low-level pair of boots that grants high bonus Movement Speed and 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
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:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Sign of Purpose
  2. Arcane Blessing
  3. Illuminated Devotion
  4. Conviction of Power

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 works best against bigger packs, but also offers high sustained single-target damage
Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support - Lightning Damage penetrates Lightning Resistance resulting in increased damage
Added Lightning Damage Added Lightning Damage Support - each Spell Hit has added Lightning Damage to it
Increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage Support - your Critical Strikes deal increased Damage
Increased Critical Chance Increased Critical Strikes Support - the Chance to land a Critical Strike is much higher, but if it's high enough already you can use Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
Power Charge on Critical Power Charge on Critical Support - increased Crit. Chance, Chance to gain Power Charge on Critical Strike, and more Damage per Power Charge
[UTILITY] Brand Recall/Flame Dash setup
Brand Recall Brand Recall - allows you to recall your Brands to your location and make them reattach to close-by enemies. It has a maximum level of 6  so supporting it with Empower yields great results
Flame Dash Flame Dash - the recommended mobility Skill used in this build
Faster Casting Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Speed of linked Spells
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - allows you to carry additional use of Brand Recall and reduces its' Cooldown Recovery Speed
[UTILITY] Sigil of Power/Vaal RF setup
Sigil of Power Sigil of Power - creates an area that will increase your damage as you spend Mana within its radius
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - increases your Spell Damage for a short duration. Use only the Vaal Skill for this purpose
increased Duration Support increased Duration Support - linked Skills last longer
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Wrath Wrath - increases Lightning Damage. Socket it only in Essence Worm if you have it
Zealotry Zealotry - you have more Spell Damage, increased Crit. Chance, and chance to create a Consecrated Ground during boss fights
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - linked Spells reserve less Mana
[UTILITY] Lightning Golem setup
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast your Golem after you take a certain amount of damage
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - increases your Attack and Cast Speed while active, you can swap it for the Ice Golem Ice Golem for more Crit. Chance
Meat Shield Support Meat Shield Support - Golem is more durable, it stays close to you, and might Taunt enemies on Hit
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - will cause your Lightning Golem to instantly kill enemies below 10% Life
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - It's the recommended Curse as it grants you more Critical Strike Chance and increased Crit. Multiplier, Life, and Mana on Kill. If you can cast apply more than one you should go for Conductivity Conductivity.
[UTILITY] Wave of Conviction/Immortal Call setup
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies your linked Curse and Lightning Exposure on Hit - reducing monsters' Lightning Resistance. Keep it at level 1.
Immortal Call Immortal Call - Having the Guard Spells being cast automatically is a big advantage, Immortal Call is the best one to fill this role. Keep it at level 3.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - keep it at level 1 for more frequent casts
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - linked Spells cost Life instead of Mana.


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5. Gear Setup

This Storm Brand is one of the cheaper builds to start with, but the price of it grows later. All Uniques listed can be replaced with random Rares, but items like Void Battery and Willclash are highly recommended. Try to reach 100% Crit Chance and then invest heavily in Elemental Spell Damage and Critical Strike Multiplier. Items synergizing with Power Charges are especially desirable. There should be no problem with getting enough of each Attribute as the level of Second Wind or Lifetap Support is not that important. Below you will find the recommended equipment for our Storm Brand Hierophant build, with all the desired stats listed.

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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. Maximum Mana
  4. Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
  5. Cast Speed
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - this is our best choice for fixing both Elemental Resistances and Dexterity requirements
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Dexterity (Crafted)
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance
Adds Lightning Damage to Spells
Willclash(Helmet) Willclash - With Inner Conviction you can't lose all of your Power Charges, and your Power Charge generation is insanely fast, so the only downside of this Helmet is non-existent. It grants you a lot of Spell Block Chance and Damage.
(350-400)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+5% Chance to Block Spell Damage per Power Charge
(3-5)% increased Elemental Damage per Power charge
Gain a Power Charge every Second if you haven't lost Power Charges Recently
Lose all Power Charges when you Block
Helmet enchantments:
Storm Brand has an 18% chance to Chain additional time
Storm Brand Damage Penetrated 12% of Branded Enemy's Lightning Resistance
Rare Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - it's good for a start, look for a regular Spell damage-increasing mods
Min. requirements:
60% increased Lightning/Spell Damage
Adds min. 45 Lightning Damage to Spells
increased Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Mana Regeneration Rate
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 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Elemental Resistances
Attributes
Void Battery(Weapon) Void Battery - Every build using more than 5 Power Charges to deal Spell Damage should use two of these, as should you. These might get expensive but you can use Rare Wands until you can afford them.
(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
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - The best Unique Armour if you lack clear speed, Life, and Damage. It makes you unaffected by 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
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - basically any Armour will do, just try to get with the highest Life, Elemental Resistances, and Crit Chance for Spells
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
+1% to Spell Critical Strike Chance
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Dexterity
increased Maximum Life
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - there are undoubtedly some of the most powerful mods in the Crusader-influenced Amulets you can look for
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Attributes
increased Spell Damage
increased Damage per Power Charge
Mana Regeneration Rate
Damage Penetrates #% Lightning Resistance
Elemental Resistances
The Ephemeral Bond(Amulet) The Ephemeral Bond - The best Amulet in terms of Damage, it also grants you some Elemental Resistances. the downside of Less Power Charge duration should not be an issue as you can get them extremely fast.
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(25-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(15-25)% to all Elemental Resistances
+(30-40)% to Critical Strike Multiplier if you've gained a Power Charge Recently
(1-2) to (36-40) Lightning Damage per Power Charge
90% less Power Charge Duration
Recommended Anointments:
Infused
Doom Cast
Heartseeker
Constitution
Whispers of Doom
Cerulean Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - it will fix your Elemental Resistances and increase maximum Life and Crit Chance, Get the mods with added Lightning Damage per Power Charge. You can also aim for Assassin's Mark on Hit.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
# Lightning Damage per Power Charge
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Trigger Assassin's Mark when you Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy and have no Mark
Optional affixes:
increased Lightning Damage
Adds # Lightning Damage against Shocked Enemies
Attributes
Rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get the highest Maximum Life, Resistances, and Movement Speed bonuses you can afford
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
50% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Replica Inya's Epiphany(Boots) Replica Inya's Epiphany - the best-in-slot boots that increase your Movement Speed, Damage, and Life Regen per Power Charge with the additional bonuses to Maximum Life and Intelligence
+(50-70) to maximum Life
Regenerate 0.5% of Life per second per Power Charge
(5-8)% increased Intelligence
5% increased Damage per Power Charge
5% increased Movement Speed per Power Charge
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - the regular defensive stats in huge quantities should be enough
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Damage/Elemental Damage
increased Maximum Life
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - mainly for defensive stats and then some damage on top of that
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage
Adds # Lightning Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Attributes
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - you can potentially use a Medium Cluster Jewel with extra Brand utility bonuses
Recommended Passives:
1 Added Passive Skill is Brand Loyalty
1 Added Passive Skill is Holy Conquest
1 Added Passive Skill is Seeker Runes
Militant Faith(Jewel) Militant Faith - get the Dominus version of it to transform the Mind Over Matter into Inner Conviction, the additional Devotion bonuses in the best case can increase your Brand and Elemental Damage
Carved to glorify (2000-10000) new faithful converted by High Templar Dominus
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Templars
Historic
<two random mods of devotion>
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - a copy of this Jewel with a Medium ring variant allows you to allocate two of the best Notables - Heart of Thunder and Breath of Lightning without spending 7 additional Skill Points
Only affects Passives in Medium Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - simply get extra Life and DPS bonuses
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
Attributes
Elemental Resistances
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - the best Aura modifiers to look for are the ones increasing your Crit. Chance or Lighting Penetration
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>

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

+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 6% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (5-8)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - the best Flask for build such as this one, it's expensive but completely optional
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. Quicksilver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Life Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Diamond Flask with random ailment removal
The Wise OakBottled FaithLife flaskQuicksilver FlaskDiamond Flask


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Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.