[3.20] ⚡Velyna's Storm Brand Inquisitor⚡ Leaguestart | Smooth Mapper | All Uber Bosses Down

3.20 Updates

Losing 50% increased effect of our consecrated ground is a nerf for sure, but not going to kill the build it's still fine.

Tons of damage and the ability to hit while moving make brands a strong build choice. Easily capable of all content with investment, this build is perfect for upgrading slowly over the course of a league to hit insane numbers.

Latest PoB updates + Help: https://discord.gg/velyna

Path of Building: Leaguestart | Midrange | Endgame

Twitch Stream: https://www.twitch.tv/Velyna

Build Video: https://www.youtube.com/velyna

1. Introduction

1.1. Why brands?

Brands offer a highly mobile and therefore very safe playstyle, it's basically like a little totem that sticks to things and can't be killed. Along with the changes in 3.11, storm brand had its damage increased and I'm enjoying the more active playstyle. It's also a fantastic levelling skill.

1.2. Pros/Cons
  • Smooth levelling: We use storm brand all the way through into endgame and the power curve feels great. In addition to being strong, it's an insanely fast skill for levelling with its drop and go playstyle.
  • Big scaling: We have tons of options, with all the aura's we run and the ability to scale them our potential is massive. This is a fantastic build to work on over time.
  • Safety: The playstyle of brands offers superior mobility compared to most other skills. We can spend our time focusing on staying alive.

  • Ramping: This build can take some investment to comfortably steamroll uber bosses, and may have low boss dps when starting out. Can end up being expensive. Will feel fantastic with the investment though.
  • Not immortal: We don't have fortify or a massive health pool, you need to use your mobility well.

1.3. Videos

Bosses and Stuff

1.4. HC/SSF/Leaguestart Viable?

This can be leaguestarted in softcore, I have no idea if it's hardcore viable but imagine it is with decent gear.

SSF viable, but would be high effort.

1.5. Upgraded PoB

This version is updated faster and has extra features. The PoB links in the guide all use this and there might be differences from the standard one.

Uninstall PoB before installing this or you might get errors.

2. Leveling

Leveling Trees

- The trees for new characters can be found in the Leaguestart PoB at bottom left. -

This will show what I used and how I specced while levelling a simulated leaguestart. We go life and armour at first while gathering gear for LL, if you have gear already feel free to skip this section and level however you want. I had a very easy time through the acts following this path.

Act 1

I brought a ranger into town for pierce and ran this spark setup for the first 12 levels.

---Level 1-12 Setup---

When storm brand becomes available, swap immeditately to this setup.


---Secondary DPS---



I use Freeze Pulse until brands.

You can use either 2 wands or a shield for now, but you will need 2 good wands before you take the dual wield nodes later.

Don't level Arcane Surge at all, and only level clarity until you can barely sustain mana.

Sell some blue items unidentified for transmutes to buy gems.

Pick up some BBB BBG BBR 3Links along the way for later.

After doing tidal island and opening the cave you can get Frostblink, Flame Totem and Steelskin in town.

I put Steelskin on my move button so it autocasts as a free defence layer. You might need an Amber Amulet to meet STR requirements for awhile. IF the mana cost is too much stop leveling it or take it off entirely for awhile.

You get Clarity/Vitality after killing Brutus, I wear both if I have the transmutes to buy them. If not just get clarity.

Act 2


---Secondary DPS---




You will get Herald of Thunder and Concentrated Effect as quest rewards.

Help Alira.

Act 3


---Secondary DPS---




Near the end of this act once you have a 4L setup for Storm Brand, test out putting a point in Runebinder and running without flame totem. If its good, you can remove those gems forever we're done with them. If not just remove Runebinder until later.

Do the library quest and buy Determination, Petrified Blood and Arrogance to start leveling in a weapon swap setup.

Take Righteous Providence from first lab.

Act 4-6


---Secondary DPS---




After killing Kaom and Daresso you can get CWDT from the vendor, link it to Immortal Call and Stone Golem for a nice defence layer.

Act 7-10


---Secondary DPS---




Second lab around level 52, take Inevitable Judgement.

Third lab take Sanctuary.

To see about gear setup once reaching maps, check the Leaguestart PoB.

Last edited by Velyna on Dec 4, 2022, 3:44:22 PM
Last bumped on Aug 15, 2023, 8:11:06 AM

3. Gear

This is a rough breakdown of the upgrade path from early league to endgame bosses, each section will refer to one of the PoBs near top of guide.

Phase 1: Leaguestart

Use Leaguestart PoB

This first PoB is designed to get you through acts, into maps and early atlas unlock on a budget.

Get used to the brand playstyle and take advantage of its strengths. You don't have to stand next to a mob while dealing damage, so you shouldn't be. Precast brands on things like essence, strongboxes, etc where you know mobs will appear. Run around/between packs not directly at them. And especially don't dash into a pack BEFORE dropping brands, drop first then dash in.

Armour/ES 6L: Theres a divination card set for Holy Chainmail so bases will start to come up pretty quick. I just bought a white chest and rolled for life then used a regal + crafted.

Crown of Inward Eye: The "Transfiguration" mods mean that your life/ES nodes also give damage. This helm can be expensive at first, don't worry and just wait a bit for prices to drop.

Oskarm: Our ascendency scales massively off crit chance, Oskarm is a very easy way to get assassins mark running.

Call of the Brotherhood: Having cold damage helps with chill/freeze and feels very cozy. Because inquisitors don't benefit from penetration, split damage is much easier to scale.

Flasks: You want corrupted blood and shock protection ASAP, these slots are flexible but PoB has recommendations. Also freeze protection if you don't have the pantheon for it yet.

----------------------------Before Maps / T1 Maps--------------------------------

-Match the gem setup in Leaguestart PoB.

-75/75/75 elemental resistance, life on every piece and as many armour or armour/ES bases as possible.

-Check trade for some early DPS boosts like +1 lightning or Spell gem wands, corrupted 5L chest etc.

--------------------------------Early Mapping Goals---------------------------------

-Hit 3.5-4K life.

-For getting a 6L you have 2 options, buying one corrupted that has your colors or waiting for white bases to come up. I bought a base and rolled life then regalled + crafted, worked very well for me.

-Get the uniques in Leaguestart PoB ASAP, especially the belt and gloves.

-Get 2 Divine Vessels and upgrade Brine King for freeze immune.

-Utility flasks crafted with 'gain charges when hit' and a useful suffix, then gather some Enkindle orbs and bench craft 'Use when charges reach full' if you want.

-Life flasks I use 'gain charges when hit' on leaguestart. After turning on Petrified Blood that changes to '% More recovery if used while on Low Life'

-Look for +1 lightning gem wands with one of:

%spell dmg
%lightning dmg
Cast Speed
# added lightning to spells.

If you get a wand with open suffix, you can use it for a trigger wand later.

-Buy one Call of the Brotherhood.

- Look at the next section for info about Petrified Blood.

Phase 2: Midrange

Use Midrange PoB, and look to Endgame PoB for upgrades.

Make sure to check the new gem setup.

This is the gearing phase between early maps and late endgame, we are saving for some important items (Inpulsas, cluster jewels) and also potentially upgrading through crafting.

Gloves and boots can be crafted with harvest, and eldritch currency for implicits can also be gained from mapping. Amulet and ring are also harvest craftable, although the ring probably won't be expensive to buy since it just needs life/DEX/Resists.

Petrified Blood:
Petrified blood is part of our defensive layering, it works by cutting our incoming damage in half before applying most of that prevented damage as a DoT to us. The downside is it empties the top half of our life globe, and we can only restore it temporarily by flasking.
We maximize the benefit by splitting incoming damage between life and ES with our belt, and having regen+leech for both pools. The belt also grants us Supreme Decadence, allowing flasks to increase ES in addition to life.

The other benefit is we can now reserve most of the top half of our life. Hopefully you have been leveling the gems for this since Act 3 (Determination, Arrogance, Petrified Blood), if not you may want to grind them to level 15 or so before switching to the full gem setup in PoB.

Inpulsa: There is nothing we don't like here. Corpse explode, shock immune, life. Easy choice.

Wands: Generally you want +1 lightning on both and 2-3 other good mods, plus open suffix on one for trigger craft.

Spell damage and lightning damage are both good, basically interchangeable

Cast speed

Added flat lightning to spells (good, usually cheaper for high rolls)

Crit chance (good, but loses value as you approach crit cap)

Crit multi

Open prefix or suffix (you can search for this on trade)

Cold damage (we dont want to scale this ever)

Penetration (doesnt work with inquisitor)

Belt: This does a lot for us. It divides incoming damage between our life and ES pools. On top of that it allows us to recover both ES and life with flasks. Then it gives us some of our life pool as extra ES. Very powerful.

Boots: These are not ideal, I just crafted them quickly to illustrate, but they work. Important parts are movement speed, life (or open prefix to craft), and resists. Implicits can be applied after you buy or craft the boots. Ideally, you want the same '% increased life regeneration rare' mod that the gloves have (NOT the flat regen). You can also go for a crafted movement speed/Onslaught on kill.

Gloves: Life, resists, % increased life regeneration rate. For the implicits I recommend Unnerve on hit for single target damage or shock proliferate if DPS is already high and you want clear speed.

Cluster Jewels: I do recommend having all 3 shown here with these exact notables, but you can get a large with more than 8 added passives at first if money is tight. A small with 3 added is also fine at first. Make sure to replace them later though as you will need the points.

Watchers Eye: The zealotry mod for increased damage taken while on consecrated ground is usually cheap and adds quite a lot of damage.

Other Jewels: You have a lot of jewel slots used for uniques later, meaning they are a great place to gain damage/life/resists/stats in this phase.

Flasks: By now you should have quality on flasks and decent rolls for ailment protection etc.

Phase 3: Endgame

This is the last phase, with gear approaching finished.

Helm: Same helm, with either Determination or Zealotry reservation enchant. If you don't have this you can't run Precision as shown in Endgame PoBs gem setup.

Chest: Unique chests are nice because you can reliably work towards high value corrupts. In this case +2 to socketed Duration or AoE gems is a massive boost.

Wands: Same goals, just a lot more expensive now. Still stacking up +1s, crit multi, cast speed, spell damage.

Gloves: The important parts are still life/resist/implicits. Anything else is a bonus.

Boots: These were truly unnecessary, just having the ailment avoid implicit and onslaught/movement craft with high life and resists will feel fine for a long time.

Ring 1: I made this to cover the resist lost from crafting my boots up crazy. Don't worry about the basetype shown here unless you want to do the same. Often some dex will be needed here.

Call of the Brotherhood: Same ring, you can boost it with some elemental catalysts though.

Belt: There is a lab enchant available from Dedication to the Goddess that gives additional crit chance against enemies unnerved by you. If you are using unnerve on glove implicit at all, consider getting it.

Amulet: Possible damage mods here are +1 lightning, +1 all spell, and crit multi. All of these are expensive but ultimately worthwhile. Otherwise, we need life and resists plus whatever stats are in short supply, usually DEX.

Forbidden Jewels: These are a late-game purchase running a decent cost for the pair, and it's totally worth it. Having 12% phys damage reduction, 12% all res, 12% more damage and 120% increased crit chance while mapping at the cost of 2 jewel slots is a fair trade imo.

Impossible Escape: Another late-game purchase. This allows us to gain 3% increased maximum resistances, 30% increased armour and +150 flat armour for 2 talent points. There is also access to a high value damage node.

4. Misc

4.1 Ascend
  • Righteous Providence
  • Inevitable Judgement
  • Sanctuary
  • Pious Path

4.2 Bandit

Alira gives us 3 things we like a lot so we help her.

4.3 Pantheon

Major: Brine King

Minor: Ralakesh

Last edited by Velyna on Jun 21, 2022, 9:15:35 PM
This may be exactly what I was looking for for a friend of mine. She's only into casters, but wants something tanky and inexpensive.. She rips too much, I was thinking inquisitor but this may fit her better in late game
Rakie1337 wrote:
This may be exactly what I was looking for for a friend of mine. She's only into casters, but wants something tanky and inexpensive.. She rips too much, I was thinking inquisitor but this may fit her better in late game

Brands + guardian makes for a very safe playstyle compared to other casters, I'm playing this as a leaguestart in harvest right now and did Sirus 8 deathless a few days ago. As for price I would say its a medium price tag to get started, and skies the limit for upgrading.
Interested to see what this can do with a bit of investment, DPS seems solid.
Oh man thank you for that, I was really wanting to play a Guardian for some reason but I all builds I could find were either aurabots or heralds.
Pretty shitty drops this league despite sinking over 200 hours only got a single ex so I'm pretty scared of LL but let's do this.
Im fallowing your build on console. I have to say im having a real blast so far. Iv never played guardian. Thx for posting this build.
Im fallowing your build on console. I have to say im having a real blast so far. Iv never played guardian. Thx for posting this build.
werchiel wrote:
Oh man thank you for that, I was really wanting to play a Guardian for some reason but I all builds I could find were either aurabots or heralds.
Pretty shitty drops this league despite sinking over 200 hours only got a single ex so I'm pretty scared of LL but let's do this.

LowLife can be expensive and/or intimidating for sure, working on some changes to the guide that should help with the process of transitioning into LL and gearing up.

A linked shavs is the main expensive thing at first, every other piece in the Midrange PoB should be affordable.

Last edited by Velyna on Jul 7, 2020, 3:59:23 PM
gloryous1987 wrote:
Im fallowing your build on console. I have to say im having a real blast so far. Iv never played guardian. Thx for posting this build.

Nice man glad to hear you're enjoying it!

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