[2.4] Mjolner Lightning Strike - The Lightning Cone of Death [SC]

Hello fellow Exiles. This is my first build guide, and constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated. Ever since I stumbled across Mjolner on the wiki, I've wanted to make a build around it. However, the legacy versions of it were just not powerful enough on their own, needing other expensive unqiues to function. With the new trigger changes in 2.4 and the buff to Mjolner, however, suddenly a ranged lightning "caster" became viable.

The goal of this build is to abuse the attack speed from Multistrike and the shear number of projectiles from Lightning Strike to generate the titular Lightning Cone of Death. This build is rather expensive, though less expensive than one of the legacy Discharge varients. Without further ado, let's get into it.


Skill Tree

Pros: Fast clears, absolute blast to play
Cons: Expensive, hard to level, ele-reflect ruins your day

Lightning Strike>Double Strike>MS>FA>(Optional)PtoL>WED
Ball Lightning>Arc(clearing)/Spark(bosses)>Lightning Penetration
Orb of Storms>Power Charge on Crit + Wrath
Herald of Thunder>Curse on Hit>Conductivity>Temporal Chains/Enfeeble
Shield Charge>Leap Slam>Fortify>Faster Attacks
Cast on Damage Taken>Immortal Call>Increased Duration>Lightning Golem

First, let’s analyze the item that is the heart of this build. The weapon base is underwhelming, with stable but low base damage and a frankly worthless implicit. Next is a moderately large percent increase in physical damage. Without any additional damage, this results in a very low PDPS. So, we aren’t going to be dealing damage by scaling our weapon damage.
Next, we have a very unique modifier “Skills chain +1 times.” At the very least this is a very nice quality of life feature, and it is quite useful for our build. This lets us get away with no pierce or other such projectile duration effects, and has the added benefit of causing projectiles to continue on even if they roll a miss.
Next, we have a small percent increase to lightning damage with weapons. Like the phys damage increase earlier, this is nice but not the real reason we are interested in this item.
The next two lines are the weapon’s drawback: +200 Strength Requirement and +300 Intelligence Requirement. These are not trivial requirements, needing either a large investment in gear or skill points.
Finally, the last line reads “Cast a Socketed Lightning Spell on Hit” with a hidden modifier that socketed spells have a .1 second cooldown. This is the heart of the build, letting us get as many as 30 casts per second while bypassing their mana costs.

The next thing we need to analyze are the lightning spells.

These are all the lightning spells that can be triggered by Mjolner. Let’s start with Discharge. This skill has the highest damage potential, but requires several expensive items to be viable. There are other builds on this forum if you want to use Discharge, so I will defer to them.
Next, Shock Nova and Storm Call. Neither of these skills are particularly viable, for different reasons. Shock Nova does underwhelming damage, and requires being in melee range for maximum effect. Storm Call has a lot of damage but is just awkward to use, requiring scaling the area in order to clear packs, something the other skills don’t need. This leaves us with three viable skills: Arc, Ball Lightning and Spark. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Arc is the best skill for clearing trash mobs, but falls off when there aren’t secondary targets to bounce to.
Ball Lightning has a good balance between pack clearing and single target, but due to the limited area of effect it can be awkward to clear with.
Finally Spark has the highest damage potential against a single target (since you can usually get two hits per cast) but due to projectile death is bad at clearing.

The last mechanics thing to discuss is the actual gem layout in Mjolner. Specifically, the choice between the number of active gems and the number and type of support gems. The first configuration I’ll consider is 3x active gems. This is probably the worst setup, simply because generating 30 hits per second consistently, especially against a single target, is not viable. The other setups require discussing the available support gems.

Any one of these would be better than a third active gem, but not better than a second active gem. The general math is each of these support gems result in about a 45% more multiplier, whereas the second active gem is an effective 100% more multiplier. Of special note is the Iron Will support gem, which with the huge strength requirement results in about 70% increased spell damage. However Iron Will is available from a unique item so we don’t need to use it here. Of the other support gems, the biggest question is: are you scaling crit? Considering most of the build’s damage comes from spells, and the build generates an absurd number of hits, I would consider it worth scaling and this build does that. However it’s perfectly viable to use ResTech at which point you could consider Elemental Focus or Controlled Destruction. For a crit build, it’s hard to tell whether one of the crit gems or LPen is stronger, but I find in general penetration is more valuable than more crit chance/damage, especially since EE and additional LRes exist as map mods.


3L in Mjolner: Ball Lightning>Lightning Penetration>Arc/Spark

Arc is great for clearing trash mobs, and ball lightning does good damage in all circumstances. I swap in Spark for killing bosses, especially those that do not have a lot of ADs to clear out. Get them against or near a wall and use the bounce mechanic for extra damage

3L: Orb of Storms>Power Charge on Crit + Wrath

This is to maintain power charges against bosses, for clearing our power charges come from the passive tree. Wrath is another more multiplier for our spells, though you could substitute one of the defensive auras if you want more survivability.

6L: Lightning Strike>Double Strike>Multistrike>Faster Attacks>Physical to Lightning>Weapon Elemental Damage

Only the first four are necessary, since the damage of our weapon hits aren't all that important, but the number of hits per second is everything. Getting a 6L is a very low priority for this build, spend your currency on other aspects like jewels. Double strike is for bosses that don't give you a lot of ADs to hit with Lightning Strike.

4L: Herald of Thunder>Curse on Hit>Conductivity>Temporal Chains/Enfeeble

Our curse setup. Conductivity is obvious, the second one is preference. I like TempChains since it gives you larger windows of opportunity to stand in front of a boss smacking it with Double Strike before Charging away from their attacks, as well as making your shocks last longer on bosses.

4L: Shield Charge>Leap Slam>Fortify>Faster Attacks

Our mobility setup. Pretty self-explanatory.

4L: Cast on Damage Taken>Immortal Call>Increased Duration>Lightning Golem

I use a high level CoDT/ImmCall since we will generally have 5 endurance charges all the time. You can honestly use any golem but in case you hadn't noticed there's a bit of a lightning theme here.

Skill Tree

Final Tree, 118 points

Bandits: Life>Passive>Frenzy Charge

Notable Features: 6 jewel sockets, 5 of each charge, more spell damage per power charge, additional curse

The first question to answer is: why Scion? The answer is fairly simple: we need to do a lot of traversal across the tree, and no class is better positioned to do that than the Scion. Another point in her favor is the nature of this as an elemental crit build. Basically, we need to spend a lot of points on the left side of the tree, but some of the most efficient crit and elemental damage nodes are over by the Shadow start. With the Scion, we can take both. Additionally, we can use the Ascendancy points in Assassin and Ranger to generate charges Power and Frenzy, something that is otherwise very difficult to do.

The second question to answer is: why scale with crit? The crit scaling on our tree only accounts for about 10 points, which translates into a loss of about 100% increased damage, and a 10% more multiplier for taking the Berserker ascendancy instead of the Assassin one (keep in mind this is less than the 20% more multiplier from having 5 power charges). Additionally, we hit about 10-15% more often with our weapon skill, and free up our amulet slot, which I’ll cover in the gear section. In contrast, with full power charges we have 26% chance to crit for 240% damage (295% versus full health). This is an effective 60% more damage multiplier that stacks multiplicatively with other more multipliers. Add on to this all of our damage inflicts shock and it becomes obvious that crit is going to give way more damage.

The last question to answer, and probably the biggest problem with the build, is: how do you level this? The answer is pretty slowly, or very expensively. I would recommend leveling with Resolute Techniques and some points invested in the nodes around Duelist. I ended up spending about a dozen Regrets in addition to the free respec points from quests. Did I mention this build is expensive?


This build doesn’t have the strictest gear requirements, however I will go through what I believe is best in slot for each. One thing worth mentioning is instead of focusing on maximizing one defensive attribute, difficult to do with the varied color and stat requirements of the build, we layer a moderate amount of all the defensive stats. Another thing to remember is we get a large amount of resists from our skill tree so our gear requirements are a bit more lenient in that department.

The heart and soul of the build, and the only mandatory unique. The roll on this is frankly irrelevant

Good stats across the board, especially since we don't care about the drawback. The lack of a life roll is annoying, but as a primarily ranged build it isn't too big of a loss.

This unique is sweet, with multiple layers of defense on its own. The built in endurance charge generation is hard to duplicate elsewhere in the build, so while I won't say this item is mandatory, it is strongly recommended. The drawback isn't particularly bad either, as most of the times you get hit will proc Immortal Call stripping you of your Endurance charges anyway.

Even with the worst roll this adds 40% increased spell damage. The increased attribute requirement is a nonissue for this build, and while it doesn’t have a life roll, it does have a substantial amount of ES for a pair of gloves. Atziri’s Acuity is better, but also costs more than the rest of the build combined.

This unique is what lets us get away without Resolute Techniques, even in maps with evasion and accuracy modifiers. The drawback of course is no resists or life, though the dodge helps mitigate that.

This belt is practically made for this build. Again, no life is a bummer but I would still say it's worth investing in.

Another strongly recommended unique. It is quite expensive, but will quickly pay for itself in the extra map mods you can run.

For my rings, shield and boots I recommend rares with life, resists, and spell damage where applicable.
Last edited by KnotPainTension on Nov 28, 2016, 12:50:16 AM
Last bumped on Apr 12, 2017, 7:23:30 PM
I appreciate the guide, but in the future it'd be better if you linked the actual support gems for people to mouse over and see rather than just using an image of them and assuming everyone knows what they are. Newer players might have a harder time following.
can i ask? how good or maybe a comparison of this version of build of yours compared to other class like, marauder, templar, duelist mjolner build?

***i just played PoE a few months ago, so i'm still kinda learning to other skill/item mechanics. and i want to change my lvl89 scion's build to this if possible.
Good question. When I was theory-crafting this build I made a tree for every starting class, just to look at viability. While I haven't actually played them, I can at least offer my thoughts on the various classes as Mjolner-wielders.

Shadow, Witch, and Ranger: none of these really work, mainly because getting 400 STR requires a huge point investment in traversing the tree, losing out on lots of % increases.

Marauder: this one is interesting, as there is a variant of this build that uses Juggernaut's Endurance charges and Discharge to great effect. That's a very different play style, however, and requires loads more currency to be viable. The closest port for this build would be a Berserker, but due to the more ranged nature of this build you would miss out on "when hit" triggers. Additionally, there isn't much in the Marauder starting area that we particularly want.

Duelist: while it would be very easy to adapt my skill tree to start from the Duelist, I don't think it would be worth it. The biggest loss here is in the power of the Ascendancy classes. Slayer is focused on 2handers and AoE, Gladiator's block nodes are nice but the bleed nodes do nothing, and Champion is just underwhelming since the nerfs. I think Champion might work if you wanted to make a support build, but who wants to do that?

Templar: Inquisitor is really really good. The tree is very easy to convert, though you have to do some inefficient pathing to stay even on life. I'm fairly sure triggering still counts as casting so both halves of the "attacked recently/cast recently" node will be on all the time, and pretty much everything else in that ascendancy (that doesn't involve Consecrated Ground, anyways) is good. I still think Scion is better, though, for two main reasons: charge generation built into the passive tree, and the super-efficient elemental damage and crit nodes around the Shadow starting area. I toyed around with the idea of doing a CI version but I just couldn't get the tree to work out. If you can figure that out, Inquisitor is probably better.

Hope that helps
Last edited by KnotPainTension on Nov 28, 2016, 12:41:12 AM
thank you for the explanation... another question, if i have some few exalts to spend, what are the better gears for this build?

*example... voll's amulet, kingsguard, etc.
Last edited by uswh0le on Nov 27, 2016, 5:42:16 AM
The biggest place you can sink currency is probably the gloves. Both Atziri's Acuity and Null & Void are fantastic, and insanely expensive. If you can afford a near-perfect rare ring, Valeko's Sign is another option. Beyond that, most of the items I listed are the most appropriate for the build. If you can stand living without endurance charges (or running Warlord's Mark), you could pretty easily sub in one of the top-end chests, really a preference thing. As for Voll's, check out one of the Discharge Mjolner builds if you want to use that.
Last edited by KnotPainTension on Nov 27, 2016, 7:49:23 PM
Hey , I love your build Idea in general and I am currently trying to make it work for me :D I just have some questions regarding the endgame setup :

1. where did you get the rest of the stat requirements from? only from your gear or did you take some extra passives as well ?

2.Do you think this will still be viable with the mjölnir nerf to 250ms instead of 100ms ? Can you still recommend going for this build at all ?

3.Would you make any changes for 2.5 ?

4.Is there any support that you would recommend using for a 6l lightning strike setup? I would just swap the LS for double strike in boss fights then instead of wasting a whole link...

5.Can you give some examples for good Jewels to use ? And could you link your complete current gear ?

Overall I like the way you designed the build in the tree ^^ I know that 4 of the questions above are pretty useless if 2. isn't the case XD but I'm curious and I hope you reply :D

Kind regards, Pack
You can get a good portion of the missing stats on gear, and make up any deficits on jewels. Other good jewel affixes: life, resists, lightning damage, crit chance or multi for lightning skills, attack speed, and life on hit.

I think this build will still be viable with the Mjolner trigger CD nerf, the main changes I would make is socketing a third active gem, and reducing some of the investment in attack speed.

The other change, and getting at your fourth question, would be investing more into LS as a damage source. I'd link it something like this:
Lightning Strike>Multistrike>Physical to Lightning>Weapon Elemental Damage>Physical Projectile Attack Damage>Iron Grip

Then swap to the following for single target:
Double Strike>Multistrike>PtoL>WED>Culling>Melee Physical

You can probably get away without the swap for all but the most solitary of bosses. Since we're going to be capped at 12 casts per second, and without Faster Attacks I'm sitting at about 7.5 attacks per second, finding room for Vaal Haste would probably make more sense than switching three gems.

As for my gear, try here.

can you link your jewels?

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