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Storm Brand Inquisitor

Storm Brand Inquisitor

The most powerful Brand-build for the current League with high DPS and wide AoE coverage

Storm Brand
Shocking Inquisitor Build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
December 14, 2022
-Build created
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 by firing 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, but we've decided to use Inquisitor - it's overall much better with Elemental Damage and Critical Strikes. You should be able to reach 100% Crit. Chance with over 500% Crit. Multiplier. 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. This build does not use Badge of the Brotherhood, but it can be easily implemented with little to no tinkering. If you're interested in such a build you can check the other versions of it, which we also conveniently covered before. 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.

Full gameplay video:


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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 it 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.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - More Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate.
Lightning Spire Trap setup
Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap - It's your single target skill, that will be also used in the 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 the 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
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Recommended mobility Spell.

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 - A 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:

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

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.
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - Lower Mana Cost, increased Elemental Damage, and Critical Strike Chance. You may use Awakened Elemental Focus Awakened Elemental Focus in the later stages of the game, but be careful with it, its downside is significant.
Swiftbrand Swiftbrand Support - Brands have a shorter Duration, but much higher Activation Frequency, which is Cast Speed.
Increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage Support - Your Critical Strikes deal increased Damage.
Concentrated Effect Concentrated Effect Support - More Damage, but less Area of Effect.
Hypothermia Hypothermia Support - Hits against Chilled enemies deal more Damage, so it's great with Call of the Brotherhood Ring.
[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.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Grants more SPell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate, but keep it at a low level.
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - Allows you to carry additional use of Brand Recall and reduces its' Cooldown Recovery Speed
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark/Vaal RF setup
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.
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - Increases your Spell Damage for a short duration. Use the Divergent version.
Enhance Enhance Support - Increases Quality of linked gems.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Wrath Wrath - Grants more 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.
Purity of Elements Purity of Elements - Grants more Elemental Resistances and immunity to all Elemental Ailments. You will definitely use it with The Annihilating Light. If you have enough Resistances already, use Determination Determination instead.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Linked Spells reserve less Mana.
[UTILITY] Life-Reserving Auras
Vitality Vitality - Use for life regeneration.
Clarity Clarity - Use for mana regeneration.
Precision Precision - Use for an increased critical strike chance.
Arrogance Arrogance Support - Use it if you want to reserve half of your Life pool and reap the benefits of Pain Attunement Keystone.
[UTILITY] Petrified Blood
Petrified Blood Petrified Blood - You may want to use Petrified Blood as a defensive layer, to mitigate Hit damage. It's good if you're on Low Life at all times.
[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. Excessive if you have 100% Crit. Chance with Inevitable Judgement.
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 some items 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 Inquisitor 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. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Gem level of Storm Brand
  4. Critical Strike Chance
  5. Critical Strike Multiplier
  6. Spell Damage/Lightning/Cold Damage
  7. Cast Speed
  8. Attributes
  9. Chaos Resistance
Blizzard Crown(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Rare Helmet is the best choice for fixing both Elemental Resistances and Dexterity requirements. Blizzard Crown would be especially good as it adds a lot of extra damage.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Dexterity
Adds Elemental Damage to Spells
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
embedded support gems for storm brand (optional)
Willclash(Helmet) Willclash - Your Power Charge generation could be insanely fast, so the only downside of the Willclash Helmet is the lack of Life and Resistances. It grants you a lot of Spell Block Chance, Evasion, Energy Shield, 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
Heatshiver(Helmet) Heatshiver - Heatshiver could be good after investing more into Cold ailments to freeze bosses, so two Call of the Brotherhood Rings is a must-have.
(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 100% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage against Frozen Enemies
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 - Rare Wand is good for a start, look for regular Spell damage-increasing mods and Gem Level for Storm Brand. One of these wands can increase your gem level of storm brand by up to two, and that would be extremely good.
Min. requirements:
60% increased Lightning/Spell Damage
Adds min. 45 Lightning Damage to Spells
increased Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
+1 to Level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems
Mana Regeneration Rate
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - A shield will provide a lot of Maximum Life and additional Cast Speed and Spell Damage, but you can go for two Wands too.
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 6 Power Charges to deal Spell Damage can use two Void Batteries. 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
The Annihilating Light(Weapon) The Annihilating Light - The annihilating light is an extremely powerful weapon for any elemental damage spell build but requires much more elemental resistances, thus more expensive gear.
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
(70-60)% reduced Elemental Resistances
Deal Triple Damage with Elemental Skills
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 powerful mods on Crusader-influenced Amulets. Critical Strikes, reduced mana cost, extra gem level to storm brand, and reservation efficiency are the best ones.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Attributes
increased Spell Damage
increased Damage per Power Charge
Mana Reservation efficiency
Elemental Resistances
+1 to Level of all Lightning Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
The Ephemeral Bond(Amulet) The Ephemeral Bond - The Ephemeral Bond is the best Amulet in terms of Damage, it also grants you some Elemental Resistances. the downside of Less Power Charge duration can be an issue if you can't generate them efficiently enough.
+(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 - Rings will fix your Elemental Resistances, Attributes, and increase maximum Life and Crit Chance. Additionally, you could get extra cast speed or reduced mana cost of skills here.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Critical Strike modifiers
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Lightning Damage
# Lightning Damage per Power Charge
Adds # Lightning Damage against Shocked Enemies
Attributes
Call of the Brotherhood(Ring) Call of the Brotherhood - Call of the Brotherhood is a very popular choice that implements Cold Damage into the build, it's great for the Inquisitor as now you will be able to Chill and Shock.
+(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 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 - Boots that increase your Movement Speed, Damage, and Life Regen per Power Charge with 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
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - Large Cluster Jewels have some great notables - Inspired Oppression, Sadist, Prismatic Heart, Doryani's Lesson, Snowstorm, Cold to the Core, and Stormrider. You can find these on Elemental or Cold Clusters.
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 Cold to the Core
1 Added Passive Skill is Stormrider
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread destruction
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 Militant Faith 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>
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - Glorious Vanity, the Doryani's variant, could get you the Corrupted Soul for more Energy Shield, and if you're not using Militant Faith, definitely go for this Jewel instead.
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of Doryani
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Historic
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Flesh - On your Forbidden Jewels, you can get Sign of Purpose, Harmony of Purpose to generate all kinds of Charges, or Conviction of Power for 4 Power and Endurance Charges.
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 - On Jewels get the increased Maximum Life and increased Critical Strike Chance, Resistances, or Attributes.
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
Attributes
Elemental Resistances
Cast Speed
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - The best Aura modifiers to look for on a Watcher's Eye are the ones increasing your Crit Chance or Lighting Damage from Zealotry and Wrath.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>

Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - Atziri's promise is extremely cheap and adds a decent portion of chaos damage, chaos resistance, and life leech.

+35% to Chaos Resistance
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
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 an increased Critical Strike Chance
The Wise OakBottled FaithLife flaskQuicksilver FlaskDiamond Flask


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