[3.10] LL Storm Brand Hierophant 8k+ ES, 10k Mana, 10M+ DPS per brand

This is my first time posting a "guide", so please be gentle. First build I think might be worth sharing as well.

I've been building optimizing this based on some past experiences with brands and think it performs quite well so far. (Killed a conqueror while affected by Delirium...).

By now I've taken the build to do basically everything. Deathless Woke8 Sirus, Deathless Simulacrum with both bosses on a wave 19, 100% Delirious Juiced t16 Maps. Uber Elder (not deathless yet). Shaper, Elder and their guardians just get deleted.



Pro / Con
Pro:
Clears most things very quickly.
Can Shred bosses as long as you know what you are doing.
It's hilarious to have 5k+ Mana as a non guardian.
Archmage is just an insane support. With the mana this build has you end up with a single brand costing about 2500 mana, which means 3000+ Added lightning damage to your brand.

Con:
Very expensive to optimize (watchers eye, skyforth, unnatural instinct, etc. You can probably sink 2 mirrors worth of gear into this build and still not have optimal gear)
Not a leaguestarter, even though I managed to transition from mine.
You can't facetank things. This build strives on putting brands on its target and waiting until said target dies.

Gameplay Description

The build plays pretty much like any life base stormbrand build with the difference that your mana is somewhat your life.
One brand costs like 5ish% of your mana, so when you spam it, you run oom pretty fast, for that reason you should only recast them when you really need to and else use brand recall to reposition.

Bosses tend to melt pretty quickly if you use storm call and RF, phased bosses can be a bit of a pain.

During clear you are generally invincible as long as you don't run into packs like a berserker. Cast brands, see if things die, normal packs can usually be charged, but with Delirium you always have to be careful.
If you die to explosions or porcupines, you probably are better off using Immortal call instead of arcane cloak, but you are losing dps, especially against bosses.

While the build does not have the mana regen to sustain itself, thanks to a bubbling mana flask it doesn't have many issues with mana.




Current POB

(Note that the gems are awakened, so switch out for your stormbrand setup if you want to roughly see your damage)
https://pastebin.com/QnJ41hmh

there are two trees in there one for a level 90 goal and another one that I'm currently using for my own goal at level 95-100.

This is using the Open identity community fork, so might cause issues on the normal POB.

This goes up to 4 million shaper DPS per brand with my current setup and 5.3 million or more with the more expensive endgame stuff I'm aiming for.



leveling

Since somebody asked how I leveled this

First a note: you will need regret orbs to make the transition. I'd say about 20-30 Respec points will get you through depending on how you build. I do not recommend just levelling with my tree, but using a "normal" mom to start out from.

Here a pob with multiple trees:
https://pastebin.com/pNWD5vqC
(again using the fork, so might be normal POB doesn't like it)

First you wanna rush runebinder, then pick up mom as soon as you have some half decent gear. I'd recommend using Atziri's foible from level 17, that alon will probably make mom work.
As for gear, go with the usual tabula + lifesprig + Goldrim and wanderlust and you should be good. If you have an essence worm on hand then grab that too and throw a wrath in there until you go lowlife.

Before going low life I suggest picking up the following ascendancies:
Sign of purpose -> illuminated devotion -> conviction of power.

Illuminated devotion gives you a tiny bit of spell leech during arcane surge and will give you some extra survivability. However if you do not want to spend the extra 10 regrets, go for divine guidance directly. Flasks should be able to keep you alive no problem.

Once you transition the tree assumes you have a foible, ivory tower, prism guardian and mind spiral.

Then grab a Voidbringer and make sure to cap your resistances via rings, belt and boots, worst case even a weapon. If you do not need the weapon Slot for resists Apeps rage is a good substitute for a fevered mind.

Your next goals then should be to get the jewels sorted out and grab a fevered and healthy mind. Healthy mind should be cheaper and higher prio to get as it will massively boost your mana and ES.


Gear

Helmet
Get Mindspiral with a good mana and mana as ES roll.


Lategame you want a mindspiral with a perfect roll and stormbrand enchant. Which is probably gonna be a bitch to get.

Chest Armor

I'm using Ivory Tower.

It's somewhat of a pain to color, but unless you are as unlucky as I was, you'll probs get it done under 500 Chroms.

The alternative is obviously shavs, but I wanted my mana to tank the chaos damage.

Weapon
Decent Crit weapon with some mana. Later you can go for fancy things like + lightning gems, arcane surge or whatever floats your boat, but simple is usually best.



Another very good option for max dps is a trigger socketed spells weapon with the following setup:

Again, crit and mana + socketed spells trigger. That allows you to run Wave of Conviction + Conductivity + Blade blast for unnerve and 10% more dmg if it is active.

For buying one, you want an open suffix to craft trigger spells when you use a skill on it if you want to replace my setup.
The most important stats are in order of importance:
Mana (get at least 120, 150+ is better)
Crit chance (80+)
Crit Multi(as high as you can afford)

other good mods are:
+ lightning gems
Spell dmg%
Cast speed%
Lightning dmg%
Curse with conductivity on hit (frees up a socket)
Gain lightning damage as extra chaos. (free "more" multi)


The poor mans version to start out would be an Apep's Rage:

This can also be used if you cannot yet afford your fevered mind jewels.

Shield
Since we go lowlife, there is not really an option here. And we use prism Guardian.


Technically you can use an aura with the blood magic support, but why bother. Prism has resists en mass and some dex.

Rings

Two rares with mana es and resists if you need them. You can also use the rings to fill out extra strength requirements, but the current tree takes care of that.


Later on you can use a rare + Dream Fragments. Or if you wanna be fancy keep using rares. Personally I like this combo because it frees up a flask slot to be unique.


Very late game you probably want two cerulian rings, but you will give up your freeze immunity for that, so make sure to have a flask of heat when you do!



2 of these I crafted myself, the other I sniped for 10c. All in all you'd probably want much better stats and possibly conductivity on hit, but if you have a Lvl 20 conductivity in your weapon you can skip the on hit rings.


Amulet

You can use a Chayulas, however a Atziiris Foible feels much much smoother:

For annointing you can go the expensive route and get Tranquility, however I'd recommend getting Utmost intellect for mana and es scaling, or if you wanna extensively use arcane cloak get mind drinker for 2% mana recovered on kill.
Once you have a skyforth and drop Sanctuary of thought, I recommend getting Racane Chemistry for mana, flask effect, less charges used and increased flask effect. See the lategame setup spoiler for more details.

Gloves
Voidbringers are perfect for the build, get max crit and max cost and you are golden. Synergizes really well with using as much mana as possible.

Boots
High ES rares with resists. Also get movement speed.

Lategame you want a skyforth to be able to drop Sanctuary of Thought and pump your mana cost to 8-9k. (Note, before you Drop Sanctuary of thought make sure you still have a decent ES pool afterwards! I highly recommend having a clarity watchers eye before dropping it!)




Belt
Stygian Vise with resists, mana and ES. If you can get mana recovery during flask effect.

Ideally for the abyssal jewel get phasing on kill, makes life much easier. But ES/Mana and some damage work nice as well. Onslaught on kill also makes clearing and the simulacrum much smoother and faster:


If you are struggling with the strength requirements it's also fine to use a rare heavy belt, but the highest mana can be achieved with stygian + jewel.



Flasks


Rumis gives a ton of survivability and helps mitigate damage.
Atziris can be swapped for Cinderswallow, but most deaths with this build will be oneshots and mana regen + flask is usually enough to keep you alive through chaos damage. However Cinderswallow is insane QOL once you have a ES watchers eye and drop sanctuary of thought.
Later you want a Bottled Faith, but those are unreachable right now for me.

An honorable mention should be made for Cinderswallow + A jade flask, as DoctoreSpartan pointed out Cinderswallow basically makes you unkillable during mapping and the jade helps a lot with porcupines and delirium in general.



10m + DPS per brand endgame setup

This is basically just my current gear, going to around 12.7 million shaper dps per brand: https://pastebin.com/6kui0aPv

There still are some things that can be optimized, i.e. a helmet with lightning pen. Technically I could also get a better watchers eye with pen. There also is the option of getting cerulian rings with the delve mod for %Increased mana. But those are most likely mirror tier items with the other stats we need.









Gems

Chest Armor:
Storm Brand - Archmage - Concentrade Effect - Controlled destruction - Energy Leech -Lightning Pen
If you feel you need more clear, get a white socket and slap a chain in for lightning pen.

Late game:
Storm Brand - Arch Mage - Concentrated Effect - Awakened Lighting Pen - Awakened Controlled destruction - Awakened Elemental Focus
(I'm running these myself and it works like a charm)


You can also use other supports, like Added Lightning or Elemental Focus. But these theoretically do the highest damage.
A lot of people seem to also really love to chain in their setup for clear, if you want that get a white socket unto your Ivory tower and swap as needed.

Weapon (Trigger spells variant):
Blade Blast, Wave of Conviction, Conductivity

Weapon(Non Trigger):
Cast when dmg Taken (lvl1) - Conductivity (lvl5) - Wave of conviction (lvl 7)

Shield:
Zealotry, Discipline, Wrath

Helmet:
Cast when damage taken - Arcane Cloak - Increased Duration - Summon lightning Golem
Personally I use lvl 9 CWDT but you can max out if you want to.
You can also instead use a immortal call setup. Makes dealing with shotgun effects much easier.

Gloves:
Brand Recall - Arcane Surge (level 2) - Flame Dash - Second Wind
orb of storms would probably be better here, be I'm too lazy to change it now that the item is linked and Orb does minimal damage compared to the brands.

Boots:
Orb of storms - Power Charge on Crit - Archmage - Portal
If you really want to try hard to get even more damage (which you don't need) Try icebite in here. If you get frenzy charges somehow the Builds damage explodes even further.


Jewels

You'll need a healthy mind and two Fevered Mind. It's fine to start out with one fevered mind first and use that. I went to t12 maps that way without issues.


As for the fourth socket, I'm using a cluster jewel (which also provides a fifth socket:

This is probably the highest damage combination you can get, but there are a bunch of brand nodes out there that are interesting as well.

In the cluster I then have another small jewel with mana nodes:


Scintillating ideas is great for extra damage and mana while Mind Shaper grants additional ES. You'll notice that both of them are three pointer jewels instead of 2pointers. The reason for that is that the build needs some extra strength. My end goal is to have one that gives +10 Strength on each node so I can drop Retribution and use the point for something else. There are also other interesting jewels out there like chaos res, but so far I have not had a problem with chaos damage as long as you know what to look for.

Annother option is to get a voices unique cluster jewel:

Here you can smack in extra fevered minds, which greatly improve damage.

If you got the cash for it you can also add in an Unnatural Instinct.
Personally I put mine to the right of the shadow area for some es, mana dex and other stats. You can also put it to the right of witch to get ES and mana, but fiddling around with both sockets, this way seems better to me.



As for possible watchers eyes:
The perfect watchers eye would probably be Wrath pen + Zealotry Pen on Crit + Clarity mana as ES.
If you get any 2 of those on an eye you are probably good. If you get a clarity one, just sacrifice the archmage on Orb of storms, or the portal for a level 1 clarity, reserve the 20 mana and enjoy your free 1k+ extra ES


Bandits
Just grab Alira for crit multi mana reg and resists.


Ascendency

Sign of Purpose -> Illuminated Devotion -> Divine Guidance -> Sanctuary of Thought

Lategame, when you have a skyforth and watchers eye with clarity es, you can drop Sanctuary of thought and go for Arcane Blessing instead and get that sweet sweet Ailment immunity. You can go for Arcane Blessing without the watchers eye, however you will be much more squishy since you lose a bunch of ES!


Pantheon
Major: Brine King for stun. Unless you have skyforth then the goodl old SOlaris/Lunaris switcharoo
Minor: Ralakesh or Shakari depending on taste really.


Bad Map Mods

Ele Reflect: You die
Phys reflect: Take out wave of conviction or you can die.
No regen: Can be run, but is a massive pain.

Also: Anything with procupines and multiple proj/crit is a total bitch to run.


FAQ

Q: Why no Indigon?
A: Because it would completely break everything. it gives 50% increased mana cost per 200 mana spent recently. That's like socketing an extra 12 Fevered minds into your tree for the second cast. You won't have the mana for another cast and the item becomes useless.

Q: I can't use all my auras with prim guardian, what's the issue?
A: You need the Sanctuary of Thought node from Hierophant before you can reserve all your life. If you transitioned over from life based and used essence wurm before also make sure that that is no longer equipped!

Q: What lab enchants are good?
A: I honestly don't bother with these too much because they are one big RNG fest, but the storm brand lightning pen one would be amazing. But take what you can get.

Q: Does this work with inquisitor?
A: Maybe? I doubt you'd be able to go low life with an inquisitor. Instead you'd probably go the MOM route and try to push as much damage to your mana as possible. But I have never done a build like that, so I got no clue.

Q: What about a third fevered mind?
A: Heck why not? Technically fevered mind gives more damage than an average watchers eye, so you can go all out. I'd say after the 4th it loses a lot of punch though.

Q: Corruptions?
There are a few that would be nice, like +gems and + dmg on chest, +auras or plus aoe on shield. But like lab enchants these are rng-fests so I just farm money and wait what shows up on the market.




Old version with chayula

Current POB

https://pastebin.com/3CN240qK

This is using the community fork, so might cause issues on the normal POB.

As is this already does 244k shaper dps per brand, but it does not take into account Archmage correctly. So the real number should probably be around 435k DPS per brand. With RF and curses up and on a 5 link. Topend is probably around 1 million per brand with a godly watchers eye.


Gear

Helmet
A good rare with ES, Mana and resists. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but ES still scales.


Chest Armor

I'm using Ivory Tower.

It's somewhat of a pain to color, but unless you are as unlucky as I was, you'll probs get it done under 500 Chroms.

The alternative is obviously shavs, but I wanted my mana to tank the chaos damage.

Weapon
Decent Crit weapon with some mana. Later you can go for fancy things like + lightning gems, arcane surge or whatever floats your boat, but simple is usually best.


Shield
Since we go lowlife, there is not really an option here. And we use prism Guardian.


Technically you can use an aura with the blood magic support, but why bother. Prism has resists en mass and some dex.

Rings

One essence worm for wrath + a rare. There might be rings that give more damage than essence worm, but I'm socketstarved as is and wanted to use it. Also, I still had it when I transitioned and saw no reason to replace it.

For the rare, just get mana, ES and maybe some crit. Also fill out resists. Later an assasins mark or conductivity ring might be better.

Amulet
Again, lowlife kind of demands a Chayula. If it's too expensive for you, then probably don't play this build. As without the 60% chaos resist your mana will suffer.

Make sure to annoint Mind Drinker on whichever amulet you use, it is somewhat broken for this build allowing you to recover 2% Mana on Kill, which means you can't run out of mana during normal clear.

Gloves
High ES rare with the resists you need. Fingerless gloves are nice, but damage isn't really a problem.

Boots
Again, High ES rares with resists. Also get movement speed.

Belt
Stygian Vise with resists, mana and ES. If you can get mana recovery during flask effect.

Ideally for the abyssal jewel get phasing on kill, makes life much easier. But ES/Mana and some damage work nice as well.

Flasks
The weirdes thing is probably a bubbling eternal mana Flask of staunching. Yes. You read that right. Works like a life flask and you use it in the same way.

Later you probably want a Bottled Faith, but those are unreachable right now.



Gems

Chest Armor:
Storm brand - Faster Casting - Concentrated Effect - Archmage - Elemental Focus - Lightning penetration
You can also use other supports, like energy leech or added lightning. But these theoretically do the highest damage. I originally planned on using controlled destruction but can't get enough crit to make it consistent with crits.

Weapon:
Cast when dmg Taken (lvl1) - Assasins Mark (lvl5) - Wave of conviction (lvl 7)
Conductivty technically deals more damage, have been playing with both and like the more consistent crits more until I get more crit from somewhere.

Shield:
Zealotry, Discipline, Clarity (low level, whatever your gear supports)
Clarity is mostly there so you can smack in a watchers eye later for even more ES.

Helmet:
Arcane surge (lvl 2) - Brand Recall - Flame Dash - Empower
Maybe can drop one link for a golem when you have arcane surge on weapon.

Gloves:
Vaal Storm Call - Reduced Duration - Controlled Destruction
Just a fun button to press when things need to die.

Vaal Righteous fire
Boss CD

Boots:
CWDT (lvl 4) - Arcane Cloak (lvl 9) - Increased DUration (max lvl)
I like using level 9 of arcane cloak since it uses about half your mana.
Alternatively, just use Immortal Call, depending on maps and playstyle it feels a lot more "safe", but I wanted to have as many of the new gems in as possible, so arcane cloak was my choice.


Jewels

You'll need a healthy mind and a Fevered Mind. Technically you can go without the fevered, but then your mana is not doing much. I've even toyed with the idea of using two.


In addition, I'm using three cluster jewels:

The first is a lightning cluster with 2 Notables and a socket.
The most interesting notable is storm drinker which gives 8% Lightning Pen
The other is simple damage for now, but there are better cluster jewels out there.


The second is Medium and simply gives an extra brand and Brand loyalty which gives dmg per attached brand.


The third one is a chaos jewel which makes my chaos res go over 75% and gives mana as well as some needed strength.



Bandits
Just grab Alira for crit multi mana reg and resists.


Ascendency

Sign of Purpose -> Illuminated Devotion -> Divine Guidance -> Sanctuary of Thought
(safer choice, easier to play)

Sign of Purpose -> Conviction of Power -> Divine Guidance -> Sanctuary of Thought
Expensive choice, you'll need a skyforth, void battery or a power charge on crit/orb of storms to keep this up.


Pantheon
Major: Lunaris for clear, Solaris for Bosses.
Minor: Ralakesh or Shakari depending on taste really.



Changelog

2020-03-17: Initial Post with Chayula
2020-03-18: Reworked tree with new items
2020-03-18: Added Video of me being crappy at the game
2020-03-18: Added some leveling stuff because somebody asked nicely.
2020-03-20: Updated everything and added a new video.
2020-03-20: Added deathless sirus kill
2020-03-22: Added lategame tree and updated stuff. Also added more jewels and rings.
2020-03-23: Added new POB link since Open Identity added archmage support.
2020-03-23: added Sirus woke 8 and updated some leveling stuff
2020-03-31: Added my current endgame setup and rewrote some stuff
2020-04-03: minor updates and some details regarding weapon stat prio
2020-05-07: Clarified (hopefully) that watchers eye should be there before you drop sanctuary of thought.
Last edited by vaizard27 on May 7, 2020, 6:42:48 AM
Last bumped on May 23, 2020, 4:55:19 PM
Seems like a nice build! Would you see this working without going for critical chance at all?
Technically it could, but passing up the crit multi even when you cannot crit 100% of the time reliably for ele overload does not seem worth it.

I've changed a bunch of things since posting it as well, trying different things to make it more survivable and a bit cheaper too.

Wasted 6ex trying to sixlink that damn chest armor too.

Bottom line: yes you can play with ele overload instead of going full crit, would free up a utility potion slot, but topend wise you'd lose damage.
Possible to get a t16 map clear video? and or some endgame boss kill.
Working my way to t16 atm... stuck at 14 cause I didnÄt play during blight and I don't get how the watchstones work... Would buy the maps but I still don't have a 6link in my chest... wasted 2k+ fusings and no dice. Saving for a prophecy now.
But I might just buy a t16 and make a video.
I'm surely missing something, but where are the Power Charges coming from?
From the Conviction of Power Ascendancy node. During clear they are up on bosses usually not so much depending on the fight, but they are just "nice" to have and don't do too much for the overall damage.

Later on maybe from a skyforth. But I'm not sure it's worth the investment just for theoretical stun immunity.
I'm still torn between conviction of power and illuminated devotion, to be honest, and with how socket starved the build is, it might make more sense to drop the power charges altogether.
Or drop storm call and use orb of storms + power charge on crit.
Last edited by vaizard27 on Mar 18, 2020, 2:53:23 PM
Hey, really cool build!

I`m doing something similar but I just can`t use templar since I hate his animations too much and his model doesn`t fit my MTXs, so I`m using elementalist witch with heralds and I`m thinking about changing to occultist for power charges and curse pops. If you`re familiar with witch builds can you give me some advice?
Last edited by markfidelix on Mar 19, 2020, 8:41:05 AM
Glad you like the build Markfidelix.

If you want to go witch you lose out on a lot of energy shield, round about 3k, I would guess. Damage wise you will also never go to the level that Templar can reach, but it is certainly possible.
If you want to go full on damage, I'd suggest using elemantalist with wrath in an essence wurm and heralds (ice and thunder) + discipline in your shield.

However, you'll top out at about 6,5k ES that way, which might feel way too low. And as said, the damage isn't comparable.

For occultist you gain stun immunity but again loose about 30% of the energy shield. The pops are satisfying, but the trade off in effective life is imho not worth it.

In the end, if I had to chose I'd probably go with occultist and see if I can fit in two curses somehow. But all said, it's probably not going to work nearly as well as Templar in damage or defense ^^"
Last edited by vaizard27 on Mar 19, 2020, 10:48:31 AM
Thanks for the answer!

Yeah, I'm going for occultist trying to scale power charges a bit, with Forbidden Power I basicly have permanent full charges. Also trying to figure out how to use 2 curses, for now i'm just using an assassin's mark ring. And by the way, the pops almost dont happen to be honest, which is kinda sad.

I'm still in yellow maps, pretty budget but until now the damage still looks absolutly insane, I'm only having problems with chaos damage since I have -30 res and only 3.6k mana to tank it.
Last edited by markfidelix on Mar 19, 2020, 4:15:03 PM

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