[3.0] The Thunderer - CI Ball lightning Inquisitor.

CI Dual-Wield VB Crit Ball Lightning ZO based Inquisitor.

Hello. There i'll explain my motives on playing that build(which i think is needed at least for me to make a good guide or get a good start for a guide since it's my first guide(tautologyguideguidetautologyguidetautology)).
Since Essence League where i have met the inquisitor and his Inevitable Judgement passive i was doing a lot of builds with him. From dfp elemental hit(which inevitably turned into barrage/blast rain dfp inq build) to fire conversion ice trap or full elemental EK. In the Breach League i even tried wanquisitor(though compared to flaskfinder/raider wanders it sucked, mostly due to lack of leech and point blank as it was too far away on the st)and (pre-version of this build) dual vb LL Storm Call inquisitor w/o any leech or good es recharge stuff(it sucked again as some of my other inq builds(we all can make mistakes sometimes, right, right??)), then i tried it again in Legacy but with vp and gr and it did become better though i have left this build after some time for some unexplainable reasons.
In 3.0 patch Inquisitor's Pious Path got buffed and ZO inq's builds did get better and more viable. Several of my builds become possible to play w/o constant meeting with death log. This is one is one of them. PP along side with ZO made this build feasible to assemble and play even after all retarded CI changes which weren't as right as they could be(still required though). Note that this build hardly hc viable and not mean to be cheap or league starter whatever. Without more meaningless words in the preface i'll start explaining the build.

List of content:

0)Preface - upper lol.
1)Some more league's related info about this build.
2)Core mechanics behind the build.
3)Pros and cons of the build.
4)Passive tree.
5)Required gear/recommended gear/versatile capability of the build's gear.
6)Gem links, bandits, pantheon.
7)A bit of leveling guide(kinda like general inquisitor lvling).
8)Tips on the gameplay of the build.
10)Shaper Bloede Hoel, indeed.

1)Legacy stuff etc.
Even though this build utilizes some legacy items (i'm playing on standard atm because all my characters crash in one zone in a5 which makes them stuck in the a5 (one have passed this somehow?)) and one legacy unique it's completely possible to create it in the temp league. The unqiue ring
can be obtained in the league but isn't going to be cheap (55-more chaos). The same number of es can be reached by swapping
for amulet with high flat es and high(18+)%es on it( it will drop the dmg numbers but can help with geraing). DD can be swapped for Sin Trek or other high es boots and the Bated Breath can replace crystal belt for the purpose of more es( not much more though). And second Void Battery can be exchanged for a rare spell damage/crit shield with resistances(like this one

2)Core mechanics.

This build (ab)uses the unique Inquisitor's ascendancy passive Inevitable Judgement which in simple words makes all your elemental damage deal "true" elemental damage on critical strikes by ignoring all enemy's elemental resistances.
Some lightning spells in this game have an amazing damage and fit well in this build. My spell of choice for this build and guide became Ball Lightning as i have never played it before and wanted to try it out.
Ball lightning has it's peculiar mechanics which are explained at the high level in the video guide made by ZiggyD
For those who like reading poe-wiki also has understandable explanations of this skill's meachics(https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Ball_Lightning).
By a few words. This skill fires an aoe-projectile of moving ball lightning which damages all enemies in his way with a little coldown (up to 5 times per ball per second). Upon one cast only one ball can hit the target thus firing 5 projectiles won't shotgun or AoE overlap and will make only one deal the damage(though spell echo'ed-ball counts as a separate casted projectile and can hit the target which makes spell echo a must for such build). The unqiue flask
is used only for map clearing and does nothing in terms of damage for bosses(expect helping wth killing his ads or making the casted ball hit enemies with little hitboxes more. Support gem slower projectiles also makes balls hit more the solo-target as it reduces it's speed and increases the number of hits.

As gr - vp interaction got nerfed in the 3.0 patch ci casters should now rely on other ci related defences to make their build at least playable. There comes a renewed inquisitor's passive - Pious Path. PP in the synthesis with ZO forms a different kind of ci survivability and with native es' recharge makes ci build end-game viable. A Dodge-Regen/Regen-Dodge paystyle, or D-R/R-D.

3)Pros - Cons.

Pros of the build:
1)As an inquisitor you're doing really high damage - both single target and while clearing the map(which brings us to one of the Conses).
2)Breches, strongboxes, Harbingers(i'm sure) while wearing
can't harm you at all since everything is frozen and your Yugul's passive with Sibyl's prevents reflect from killng you.
3)With lightning warp (lw) and good flexible fingers eou can effectively avoid any damage.
4)Good es regen when several conditions are fulfilled - hit by an enemy with regen enchantment, on cons ground and have living stone golem( pretty much always(still can't stand under Shaper's beam sad face)).
5)Good aoe with aoe setup and DS makes this build surprisingly a good map clearer.
6)Can ignore ele res, EE map's mods
7)Being a thunderer feels great, gonna slay some giants in the future.
8)Caster playstyle.

Cons of the build:
1)No filthy vp zerker-like leech thus can't survive by leeching while being attacked by like both Shapers or all together Chimera's snakes adds. Sad face.
2)(ref to 1) of the pros) - Reflect from rares won't kill you, but can at least put you in the dangerous spot and make more vulnerable to other monster/burning ground/traps(which have died most already most of the time as the rare reflect mob usually dies the last). As a map mod reflect will kill ya so this mod is first you want to avoid.
3)Quite low es numbers - with my setup on standard i achived only 7.2k( can get more even in the league - the 5th paragraph of the guide), still Shaper deathless and all guardian expect Chimera (smoke phase is retarded btw). Didn't try Atziri/Uber Atzriri. And i don't count uber labyrinth as a challenge.
4)With this setup no whirling blades or shield charge - thus no fortify - only lw, only hardcore.
5)Some map mods(reflect one, no regen one) are impossible to deal with. Less recharge, vulnerability, temporal chains(which i wouldn't recommend to run ever) are all doable but in some cases may lead to the death log.
6)Surprisingly PP doesn't give enough mana regen for your BL spam (i have more than 100 mana per cast with high cast speed) thus for maps vaal clarity is recommended, for bosses(all up to the t15 die under one charge of VC, so only for Guardians/Shaper) mana flask is mandatory. The usage of warlord's mark is possible(slef-cast/CoH) but i'm in the bad relationship with it and hate using it.
7)Spell echo might make you fixed for a brief period of time.
8)With slower proj/helm ench - no off-screen boss' kills for ya. Not a sad face.
9)Caster playstyle.

4)Passive Skilltree - no pob.

As i said in the list of content this build is versatile and can use several pst. This is the ci passive skilltree for lvl 89 which i use at the moment (my char is only lvl 88 tho and didn't get to the Sniper passive):

The LL version of the build - lvl 89 (has different from CI version setup, maybe i'll add it in the future)

The life-based verion of the build - lvl 93 - for those who like/want facetank. Now only one aura in the Essence worm to get full MoM effectiveness. Didn't try this one, may need some major improvement.

5)Gear section.

Requirements for gear for the CI version of the build

Two well-rolled Void Batteries(more cast speed means you don't have to get that on jewels). If es isn't high enough you can use high es shield(300+) with spell crit/spell dmg.
Rare 600+es body armor for CI version.
Rare 300+ helmet with resistances. Might use helm enchant for reduced BL proj speed but then you'll have to drop lesser proj for faster proj for clearing - less clear speed.
Rare 200+ es gloves with resistances. Essence of Insanity crafted ones is an option to boost lw cast speed. Enjoy crafting these.
Death's Door unique boots - bleed immune, strength, resistances. Not mandatory, Rare es boots, Sin Trek, Steppan eard are all options.



Choir of the storm for amulet(rare es amulet if not enough es)
Rings with resistances, flat es. Crafted for crit multi opals are prefered. For master craft - Leo's faster start of recharge if you'r playing in league, Elreon's %es if you have some in standard.
For mapping use CotB with Sibyl's Lament for offensive defences.

For bossing swap CotB and SL for similar setup
For the belt slot i use rare crytal belt but both Bated Breath/rare chain belt are possible options.

Requirements for jewels(diff CI setups)

If you're struggling with attributes then get some of them on jewels(not more then on two of them - multi is to precious for inq)
Some jewels might have res on them.
The damage mods which are bis on the jewels:
+n% to critical strike multilier for spells
+n% to critical strike multilier with elemental skills
+n% to critical strike multilier with lightning skills
+n% to critical strike multilier while dual wielding(only on dual vb version)
+n% to global critical strike multilier
%Increased lightning damage
Don't need other mods since spell damage provided by the dual vb is huge. Only need multi to multiply these spell damage numbers.


At least one mana flask. Divine base is bis. It has to be rolled with Of Heat suffix if you're using DD, Of Staunching if you decided to pass DD and use other es boots(Sin Trek/Rare high es).

A diamond flask is another mandatory item since even with 8 power charges you won't get more than 70%-ish crit and crit is all for inquisitor.

Sulphur flask. If you're for some reason not getting the ZO passive then get the Sorrow of the Divine unique flask. The magic Sulphur must have Of Dousing suffix as you have DD equipped. The non-DD version might use other suffix.

Dying Sun. I'm playing at the standard and using legacy one though the difference between l nad non-l isn't big since AoE changes.

Atziri's Promise is also an option for more damage( no chaos penetration/enemy's chaos res decreasing tho).

Other setups(LL/Life based) will unsurprisingly require different items. Inasmuch as i played only CI version of the build i don't have the fitting items for other versions and might post it if someone will like this build enough to ask for that.

Gear which my character has right now(with boss setup).



6)Gems etc.

Bandits - Help Alira for extra multi/resistances.

Since this build doesn't have any stun immunity Soul of the Brine King is bis for Major gods (and actually will help very well. So well that i'ce decided to pass stun immunity).
Yudul's soul for mapping, Tukohama's for bossing (change b/re the fight/if you died).

Gem links

Main damage setup - Ball Lightning:
Swap Lesser Proj for Slower Proj and Added Lightning for Elemental Focus for bosses.

Power charge generation setup:

Auras setup:

Decoy totem:
Mainly used to be a kamikaze-guardian for some bosses. Lives fast, dies fast. Worthless for shaper.

Lightning Warp setup:

Vaal auras setup:
. Note that while vc is active your Arcane surge won't trigger.
CDWT setup:
CWDT - Temporal Chains

Golem setup:

7)Some lvling advices.


It's clearly that you can't lvl as a ci.
For lvling i'd recommend using different tree with some life% taken(which will be respected at high lvls). There are two possibilities for lvling tree: either it's up to 68 for main gear or up to lvl 80 if you're going to use opals/crystal belt to balance your resistances well(or can struggle with theory-res-balancing).
I'll provide two lvling pst for both version(respec at lvl 68 and respec at lvl 80). i'll post only CI vers lvling trees.

Lvl 68 lvling tree


Lvl 68 switch tree

Lvl 80 lvling tree


Lvl 80 switch tree

All these tree will require respeccing when switching to the CI version. Might need some regrets as respec point from quest may run out.
I'd also recommend using these standart (not literally) lvling uniques as they provide a big lvling boost and make it smooth:


Don't die.


Tooltip w/o Gifts from above:


Tooltip w Gifts from above:




10)Bearded Bloede Hoel.


I'm not a native english speaker so this guide may have some language related problems, feel free to indicate them(recommended). Indicating build's/guide's related problems more recommended(as it's my first baby step guide).
I have played a lot of builds in the past and have a lot of .... builds! in the mind and may as well post some later on.
And i'm really really sorry as this guide has so much words in it. I know some of you guys are in infinite hurry and want some Ziz-like 5 minute guides and all you get there is a lot of reading. Sad face.
I also have some other builds i'm running atm: Tornado Shot RotC Berserker, LL BV Occultist, LL Flame Totem Inquisitor, Facebreakers Ice Crash Raider. Will post guides on some of them later(maybe).
Last edited by RisusTerrae on Oct 2, 2017, 8:17:53 AM
Last bumped on Nov 6, 2017, 6:14:00 PM
Hey man. I started playing POE since August 2017. I don't have any experience regarding ES build before 3.0 nerf. I already played life-based Inquisitor with MOM but didn't enjoy it because I kept running out of mana and could't move. I actually prefer die to one hit rather than getting raped ! I am trying hybrid life ES build but run out of points and all of my gears have more ES now. I found your build interesting. I know CI build is nerfed because of no instant leech any more. But I have Ghost Reaver(again nerfed) and Pious Path and can sustain t16 maps (no facetanking because I play Dota 2 where only noobs facetank ) . I am wondering if I should go CI. Have you tried your build with Ghost Reaver ?

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