Fyregrass' Comprehensive Storm Brand Assassin Guide - All 3.13 Content Viable - Act 1 to Maven 9



Introduction:

Storm Brand Assassin is one of the strongest builds in the entire game, excelling at virtually every activity the endgame has to offer, it is a fast/potent map clearer, an S tier Boss Killer, it can farm 100% Delirium and it's also pretty good for things such as Delving and Blighted Maps.

One of the biggest advantages of being an extremely versatile yet powerful build is the ability to generate currency efficiently and the ability to do all challenges with a single character and that's one of the main reasons why you should play Storm Brand. No need to reroll to do content, no need to have different mapping and bossing characters. Storm Brand does it all.

Proof:
Spoiler

This was taken less than two weeks into Ritual League's Launch:

I have mained Storm Brand since its release about two years ago now and below you will find what is by far the most extensive and thorough guide to this playstyle available anywhere. It contains a highly detailed look at every facet of the build, including numerous options for each slot of gear, in-depth explanations of the mechanics we use to scale our damage output and links to the trade website in order to purchase your gear without much hassle.

Video Guide:



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Content:
1. Levelling Guide
2. Passive Tree + POBs
3. Core Mechanics Explanation
4. Cluster Jewels
5. Gem Links
6. Gear + Budget Options
7. 100% Delirious T14-16 Setup
8. Survivability (How to level to 100)
9. Pantheons & Bandits


How to contact me:

If you have any questions to ask, feel free to hit me up with a private message here. Alternatively you can find me at:

Discord: Fyregrass#6288 (Recommended)
In-Game: @Fyregrass
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Levelling Guide:

The following is an explanation of the steps I take each league in order to efficiently league start as Storm Brand getting to maps within 6 hours whilst using as few regret orbs as possible to respec my tree later on.

Spoiler

Generally we spend most of the campaign as a Lightning Slinger, taking the skeleton of a Storm Brand tree, it is ideal to transition into Storm Brand by about Tier 3-5 maps when you have generated the currency to buy a 5-Link.
Included below is a link to a levelling skill tree that I highly recommend using, it contains an act by act breakdown throughout the early campaign as shown below

POB:
https://pastebin.com/d41KewpL




Act 1:
Note: Throughout Act 1, you want to be picking up and vendoring magic (blue) items for transmute shards, whilst saving Wisdom Scrolls to Identify and sell rare (yellow) items for orbs of alteration. We will use these later to buy skills and equipment. You will also need 2x essences and 2x Iron Rings (or 2x Topaz Rings), be sure to acquire any essences you can whenever you find them.

1. Take Freezing Pulse upon beating Hillock, Sell everything you have to a vendor except the Viper Strike gem which you will use later as part of a Vendor Recipe. Buy 2x Wands. Use Freezing Pulse to get to Submerged Passage, take the waypoint back to The Coast, clear Tidal Island, pick up the Portal Scroll that drops off Hailrake, log out (do not use Portal Scroll).

2. Hand in completed quests, Take a Quicksilver Flask + Onslaught Support from Nessa and then buy Frost Bomb from Nessa. Take Frostblink + Orb of Storms from Tarkleigh's Quest Rewards. Try to link both Frost Bomb + Frostblink to Onslaught Support, however if you must choose, it's ideal to put Frost Bomb with Onslaught Support.

3. Take the waypoint to Submerged Passage, as you clear through this area, you can/should use the portal scroll when you encounter the bridge, as you can come back here later to kill Dweller of the Deep. if you aren't confident in completing Step 4 within the next 15 minutes, its best to detour and kill the Dweller of the Deep now instead.

4. Clear up to Brutus using Frostblink + Frost Bomb to kill packs of enemies quickly while refreshing Quicksilver Flask charges. You can do this by placing a Frost Bomb on a pack, then either Frostblink into the pack or out of the pack as such:



5. Upon beating Brutus, take the waypoint back to town and take your previously placed portal back to the submerged passage to kill the Dweller of the Deep. When you beat the Dweller, logout and back in to quickly return to town.

6. Clear through the rest of Act 1 being sure to obtain the Allflame and complete the Fairgraves quest. Upon reaching Caverns of Anger, take the waypoint back to town and obtain Arc + Added Lightning Damage Support + Blastchain Mine Support. This will replace Frost Bomb + Onslaught Support as your main damage dealer now. You may also begin using Orb of Storms to trigger additional damage when placing Arc Mines. Finally, purchase Flame Dash + Arcane Surge Support as a movement skill set up to replace Frostblink, additionally, you can add in Smoke Mine for extra movement speed although this is optional.


Act 2:
1. Complete Act 2 as normal using the skill set used to defeat Merveil. Continue to look for alteration orbs, transmutes, Iron/Topaz rings, in addition to any Blue-Blue-Blue socketted/linked gear.

2. Obtain Herald of Thunder after completing the Intruders in Black quest. Use it for some passive extra damage.

3. Upon beating Root of the Problem, obtain Wave of Conviction + Skitterbots from Yeena. Kill all Bandits for the +2 skill points as we need as many as we can get.

4. Upon reaching Vaal Ruins or Northern Forest, you should reach level 20, this is the point in which you will craft lightning damage wands that you will use for the rest of the campaign. You want 3 Blue Socket wands ideally, use an Orb of Transmutation on them to make them magic items (blue). Next, Vendor 2x Iron Rings with Viper Strike + Any Other Green/Dex Skill Gem to a vendor to obtain Topaz Rings. After this step, use essences on your rings to make them rare items (yellow). Finally, Vendor your 2x Magic Wands, 2x Rare Topaz Rings and 2x Orbs of Alteration to obtain 2x Wands with Tier 6 Added Lightning Damage. This will double your damage and be enough to carry you through the rest of the campaign.
5. Complete the rest of Act 2.


Act 3/4:
1. Obtain Conductivity from completing the quest Lost in Love at the start of Act 3.

2. Upon beating 'Sever the Right Hand', return to town ASAP to switch to your Spellslinger set up. At town, purchase Ball Lightning + 2x Spellslinger. Sell Herald of Thunder, Skitterbots, Added Lightning Damage Support & Blastchain Mine Support. Link Spellslinger to Ball Lightning + Wave of Conviction + Arc and use your basic attack to trigger these spells.

3. Complete the rest of Acts 3 & 4. Nothing else changes for now.

4. You can optionally complete the library to obtain Storm Brand early, or you could have a Witch/Templar/Scion friend purchase it for you. However it is usually faster to just obtain it in Act 6.

5. Beat Lab and Ascend at the end of Act 3, taking Mistwalker (for Elusive).


Act 5:
1. Early in Act 5, around the time you kill Avarius, you reach Level 7 Spellslinger + the reduced mana nodes on the tree (Level 42) if you obtained Storm Brand, you can add it in as your 4th Spellslinger spell, alternatively you can add Conductivity in for now.

2. Complete the rest of Act 5.


Acts 6-10:
1. Do lilly's quest to Obtain Storm Brand and add it to your Spellslinger setup. This marks the final change you will make to your build.

2. Obtain your 3rd and 4th Ascendancy points after the end of Act 7.

3. Obtain your 5th and 6th Ascendancy points right before completing Act 10 as Kitava will reduce your resists and make it much harder to kill.

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Passive Tree + POBs:

Below are example PoBs of my characters under different circumstances and stages of the league. It is important to note, especially for the Budget PoB, these are not provided to be copied exactly, but to provide an outline of what the build looked like under those conditions.

Spoiler
Budget POB: https://pastebin.com/Pg4UVsN6

This is a Budget version of the build, a snapshot of my heist character used to beat Awakener 8 on day 2. It uses only a single large cluster jewel set up with an Agnerod West staff + some staff nodes. This is an example of the very minimum level of investment you can expect to beat Sirus on AL8 and do T16 maps early in a league.


Premium POB: https://pastebin.com/pbT2xXfj

This is a premium version of the Storm Brand character we're building, a snapshot of my Ritual League character used to beat Maven 9 deathless, farm 100% Deli content (including Oshabi and Elder Guardians) and do The Hidden/Feared/Formed/Twisted farms. This is not a BiS set up, although higher levels of investment will be discussed in the gear section. This is merely to show how much you will need to invest into a character that can do the highest levels of content near effortlessly. This iteration utilises 3 Large Clusters and 6 Medium Clusters in addition to Void Batteries and Synthesised Rings.

God Tier POB: https://pastebin.com/08m1jQAy

The completed build at 12 Power Charges with near BiS in every slot. Coming in at 16 million DPS without Vaal Haste/RF up. If you have 50-75ex to blow on this build, this is the POB you should use. This is a snapshot of my character when it did the 7 second 'The Twisted' kill shown at the top of the guide.

Ascendancy Order:

Mistwalker > Opportunistic > Unstable Infusion > Deadly Infusion


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Core Mechanics Explanation:

The easiest way to understand what is going on with this build is via a breakdown of the various mechanics used to scale its damage, here is a quick list:

Spoiler

Brand Recall

Whilst exact mechanics are explained below, it is important to know that the most ideal way to utilise Brand Recall is by having it on left click. This way, you can hold down left click and drag your mouse to move, while Brand Recall will automatically cast whenever it is off cooldown and available.

Storm Brand Attachment Range

The way Storm Brand works is that the attachment radius is a large circle around the position that Storm Brand is cast, and the only way to alter this attachment radius is through the use of Brand Recall. The attachment radius does not dynamically update anymore (since Harvest league) as Storm Brand attaches to an enemy.

In the example below, we can see that Storm Brand CAN attach to enemy #1, but it CAN'T attach to enemy #2 unless we were to brand recall. In this example, a brand attached to enemy #1 CAN send out beams and hit enemy #2, however since Storm Brand does 135% More damage to the target it is attached to, these beams deal about only 42% of the damage being dealt to enemy #1.

Beams can no longer shotgun (Since Legion league) either.



Storm Brand Summon/Attachment Limit

With the Runebinder keystone on the passive tree, we can have 2x Storm Brands attached to a single target and a baseline of 3x Storm Brands out at once. For the sake of increasing our map clear speed, we take 2x "you can cast an additional Brand" effects from the passive tree to increase our coverage by having 5x Storm Brands out at once. We avoid taking the 'Explosive Runes' notable to have a 6th Brand out because it is a 6 point investment for us and does not yield much more benefit beyond what we already achieve.

Storm Brand Duration

The easiest way to understand Brand Duration is to consider that a Storm Brand will despawn once it has consumed either of its durations. For example, if Storm brand has an attached duration of 5 seconds and a detached duration of 6 seconds, this means that a summoned Storm Brand can sit at a location for 4 seconds unattached, then attach to a target, kill it over the course of 4 seconds, at which point it will now remain unattached for 2 additional seconds before it despawns. If a second target walks into its attachment range during this 2 second window, it will reattach itself, but only for a maximum of 1 second before despawning.

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Power Charge Scaling - We stack approximately 10 Power Charges (9-12) in this build and gain the following bonuses from these sources:

1. 48% Critical Strike Chance per Power Charge via inherent Power Charge bonuses + the passive tree node 'Critical Strike Chance per Power Charge' for a total of 480% inc. crit chance (+1.5% base crit chance via our Ascendancy)

2. 54% Increased Spell Damage per Power Charge via 2x Void Batteries and the 'Spell Damage per Power Charge' passive tree node for a total of 380% inc. spell damage (540 - 160 from void batteries)

3. 8% Increased Damage per Power Charge via the 'Disciple of the Forbidden' passive tree notable - 80% total (460% total including the above bonuses)

4. 5% Increased Damage (and Movement Speed) per Power Charge via Replica Inya's Epiphany

5. 10% Critical Strike Multiplier via the passive tree node 'Critical Strike Multiplier per Power Charge' and the 'Deadly Infusion' ascendancy notable for a total of 100% crit multi

6. 7% More Spell Damage via the 'Inner Conviction' keystone from a Dominus Militant Faith Timeless Jewel and the 'Power Charge on Critical Support' Gem

7. 2-45 Added Lightning Damage per Power Charge via the Ephemeral Bond amulet, for a total of 235 Added Lightning Damage (Equivalent to an Awakened Added Lightning Support Gem which gives 234)



Essentially, by scaling 10 Power Charges, we're getting 1.5% Base Crit Chance, 480% Increased Crit Chance, 510% increased damage, 70% More Damage, 100% Crit Multi, 235 Added Flat Damage and 50% movement speed. These bonuses can be increased by an additional 20% each if you reach 12 Power Charges

We obtain power charges from the following sources:

1. 3x Baseline

2. 3x From the Passive Tree

3. 1x From our Ascendancy Notable 'Unstable Infusion'

4. 2x From our double Void Battery Set up

5. 1x From a Warlord Influenced Helm Mod

6. 2x From Synthesised Rings (Extremely expensive)

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Culling Strike + Unnerve:
These two effects stack for approximately a 22% overall damage increase (a bit less with brand cluster jewels) and can be obtained primarily from 3 sources each:

1. A cluster jewel as shown below:



This jewel is very expensive, although there are budget alternatives we will discuss later in the Cluster Jewel section

2. Awakener Slamming Hunter Gloves with Unnerve chance with Warlord Gloves that have Culling strike as such:



This option will set you back by a similar amount of currency. The first option will cost you 1 of 6 Medium Cluster Jewel slots, which will mainly mean less damage and Brand Attachment Range, on the other hand, this option typically will only cost you some life and resists (as you are unlikely to be able to remove all the bad mods from a slam even with Harvest crafting).

3. Blade Blast + Culling Strike Support. Blade Blast unnerves enemies and slapping Culling Strike on BB or Wave of Conviction is a much cheaper alternative to obtaining these debuffs from external sources, however it comes at the cost of only being able to use them against bosses

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Curses:
Typically we run Conductivity and/or Elemental Weakness to massively reduce enemy resistances, below are the options for obtaining these:

1. Corrupted Gloves, typically a cheap option, gloves can come with Elemental Weakness on hit as a corrupt implicit however pursuing this option will often leave you with gloves that have bad/useless stats

2. Synthesised Rings, this option gives you Conductivity on Hit as a ring implicit, probably my favourite option as you can freely craft the rest of the ring using whatever means you wish, allowing this slot to double up as a solid source of life/resists



3. Crusader Rings, can come with Conductivity on Hit, however this option is far more limiting as this curse effect is not an implicit and therefore deprives you of the ability to craft the rest of the item

4. Hextouch Support, whilst this option is restricted to bosses (as you won't be casting other spells while clearing maps), it does enable you to apply your curses at a very low investment whilst also applying level 20/21 versions of these curses allowing you to debuff the enemy even harder. If your clear speed is strong enough, this is definitely a favourable option

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Elemental Exposure:
We obtain this via hard casting Wave of Conviction. A weaker version of this can be obtained via Cluster Jewels however Wave of Conviction applies -25 lightning resistance, a higher amount than the cluster jewel can, additionally, unlike curses it's not reduced vs bosses making it a very strong source of additional damage against bosses.



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Arcane Surge:
We link a level 1 Arcane Surge Support to Flame Dash in order to gain this buff every time we flame dash allowing us to keep 100% uptime of this buff without having to try hard. This buff is worth approx 15% more damage.



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Vaal Skills:
1. Vaal Haste, this adds about 10% overall DPS whilst it is active, it has a base duration of 4 seconds but increased duration support can get it to around 6 Seconds. This is optional, but helps a great deal in bursting down T16 Bosses before they can react.

2. Vaal Righteous Fire, this grants 28% more damage whilst active, similarly it also has a duration of 4 seconds which can be buffed to 6 seconds in the same link as Vaal Haste + Inc Dur Support.

The above buffs total to about 42% more DPS while active.

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Inpulsa's Broken Heart:
Storm Brand is a predominantly single target ability and while it does have the inherent ability to chain to additional targets, this effect is actually fairly minor when you consider that Storm Brand deals 135% MORE damage to the target its actually attached to. Additionally, our Brand Cluster Jewels cause attached enemies to take 50-60% more damage as well, a bonus which is additive with Unnerve only and multiplicative to everything else.

For this reason, Inpulsa's Broken Heart is absolutely necessary for helping our AoE out. A non-elevated Explosion mod chest unfortunately is out of the question, we do not scale phys or area damage and thus the explosions from the Crusader mod chest are very lacklustre. We do not buff lightning damage significantly either, but the minor amount of lightning damage we do gain from the tree combined with Inpulsa's innately higher % damage mod makes it the best choice for us. Crafting an elevated explosion mod body armour is discussed in the gear section.



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Cluster Jewels

Aside from the Curse Cluster Jewel that we optionally run, one of the most important parts to this build are the Brand Cluster Jewels, which grant us massive DPS in addition to utilities such as Brand Attachment Range and Brand Duration. Given how important these are, I've decided to give them their own section.

Spoiler


Medium Cluster Jewels
Generally you want 3-6 Brand Cluster Jewels in your medium slots, depending on how many large clusters you are fitting into your build and whether or not you're using a curse cluster.

You will want 4 or 5 passive jewels, as this allows you access to the jewel slot + 2x notables for only 4 points. If you must buy a 6 passive jewel due to budget constraints/league starting, it is usually ideal to forego the small cluster jewel socket. These slots would be worth two points under normal circumstances, however if you're purchasing 6 passive jewels due to a budget, its very unlikely you would have access to regular jewels that are actually worth the two points they cost to take.

1. Holy Conquest + Brand Loyalty/Grand Design x1
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/JK5OyXvsl (~20c)

You only want one medium jewel with a Holy Conquest notable. Holy Conquest causes your brands to jump around allowing them to utilise Inpulsas a little better, it also prevents the uncommon occasion wherein a brand gets stuck on a beefy rare mob and as a result the pack of mobs surrounding the rare stays alive. Additionally, Holy Conquest also enables us to swap in Penance Brand later on if we're delving or farming 100% delirious content as this notable is an absolute necessity for Penance Brand.


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2. Brand Loyalty + Grand Design x2-5
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/LBwbjz7Cn (~1.2ex)

This will cause each medium cluster to grant 40% Brand Attachment Range, 10% increased damage taken to attached enemies, 10% increased brand duration and 10% cast speed (good for getting brands out faster AND for higher activations per second)



The exception to this is when you are still in the early league start/budget phase of this build and have a Agnerod West staff instead of double void batteries. In this scenario, you are lacking about 40% cast speed which makes it harder to get brands out fast. As such, substituting Brand Loyalty or Grand Design for a few 'Remarkable' notables will alleviate alot of the danger associated with being Brand starved. Due to this option's higher price, this step can be skipped.

Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/MYXGrERIJ (~50c-60c)


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3. Evil Eye/Master of Death/Wish for Death x1
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/DKrO2Dgt5 (Budget Jewel ~40c-50c)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/vK7g3GWCE (Premium Jewel ~7ex)



This jewel will typically set you back 7-8 Exalts and there aren't any cheap ways to craft this. If you're looking for a budget alternative, grab one of these notables with the Evil Eye notable. Evil Eye + MoF/WFD jewels are MUCH cheaper and still provide 5% inc damage taken in addition to giving your build a means of applying blind (50% evasion)

If you pickup the budget jewel, you will need to obtain either Culling Strike or Unnerve from something else, the options are explained above in the Core Mechanics Explanation section. Either way, you only need one Curse Cluster, even if you go for the budget version, I highly recommend against using a second Curse Cluster to obtain the other notable as this is too inefficient for our build.

Another consideration here is that the premium option costs the same as awakener slammed gloves that give the same thing typically. It is more efficient to obtain these from gloves so you can fit in more brand cluster jewels, however if you need life/resists from your glove slot, in some situations it can be warranted to go with the premium jewel

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Large Cluster Jewels
While our Large Cluster Jewels are not the most important part of the build, optimising them can help significantly with squeezing out alot extra DPS. Typically we take the Large Cluster jewels on the Witch/Templar and Witch/Shadow boundaries of the tree, when we have enough points to afford it, we finally take the Large Cluster Jewel slot on the Templar/Marauder Boundary. We have two options here for large clusters.

1. 12% Lightning Damage per node, 8 passives, Vengeful Commander + Storm Drinker + Widespread Destruction
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/E3jbXW0H5 (~50c-1ex)



This set up positions the unimportant suffix notable (widespread destruction) in the middle at the back allowing us to get the two strong notables + 2 jewel sockets for a mere 5 point investment. Jewels like this cost about 1-2 Exalts usually but are the best options by a longshot.
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2. 12% Lightning Damage per node, 8-9 passives, Vengeful Commander + Storm Drinker WITHOUT Widespread Destruction
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/ypWR4nrIR(~5c-10c)



This option, albeit much cheaper, costs us two additional points due to the absence of a third notable.
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Finally, upon a league start you can pursue even cheaper but slightly less effective notable options:

Tempt the Storm: This option grants Conductivity 25% increased effect. Against bosses like Sirus and with a level 20 gem (applied by hextouch), this is a mere 4% reduced resist and even less if you're cursing via rings.



Scintillating Idea: This notable gives us 5% lightning penetration making it weaker than Storm Drinker, but in some situations, close in value to Vengeful Commander and in niche scenarios it can even pull ahead slightly, although it might compromise your notable positioning as the suffix notables (Widespread Destruction) do not always neatly sit at the back.



Doryani's Lesson: This is a suffix notable that provides elemental life leech, one of the only sources of life leech in the game that will work for spells, whilst it is not necessary, it definitely can help out during a league start, especially when your defences are lacking.




Tradesite Link: ~2c
https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/32P9XrGc5

The Regular Jewels used in the Small Cluster Jewel sockets will be covered in the gear section.

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Gem Links:

Spoiler
6 Link Setup: (Staff/Body Armour)

1. Storm Brand
2. Swiftbrand Support
3. Divergent (or default) Inspiration Support
4. Power Charge on Critical Support
5. Concentrated Effect Support
6. Controlled Destruction/Awakened Controlled Destruction Support (6th Link)

This set up offers us the largest possible DPS output excluding Elemental Focus, however we prefer to shock targets both for the Shock damage bonus AND for Inpulsa functionality.

Swiftbrand's duration penalty is countered completely from all the brand duration nodes we acquire and Inspiration support helps to alleviate mana costs.

Typically we run this 6 link in our Inpulsa's Broken Heart, however if you are running an Agnerod West early in the league as a budget option, it allows you to skip out on having a 6 Link Inpulsa.

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Brand Recall + Flame Dash: (Boots/Helm/Gloves)

1. Brand Recall
2. Flame Dash
3. Level 1 Arcane Surge
4. Second Wind

This set up allows Second Wind's cooldown recovery to double up on both Flame Dash and Brand Recall whilst the level 1 Arcane Surge gives us access to the Arcane Surge buff every time we Flame Dash
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Wave of Conviction + Blade Blast (Boots/Helm/Gloves)

1. Wave of Conviction
2. Low Level Blade Blast
3. Culling Strike
4. Increased Duration

or

1. Wave of Conviction
2. Level 5+ Awakened Hextouch Support
3. Conductivity
4. Elemental Weakness

The first set up allows us to apply Elemental Exposure, Unnerve and Culling Strike whilst increasing the duration of the debuffs applied.

The second set up is ideal for bossing and allows us to apply Elemental Exposure and two max level curses at once. However this set up requires us to run Unnerve/Culling Strike gloves.
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Auras: (Gloves/Boots/Helm)

1. Wrath
2. Zealotry
3. Level 4 Enlighten
4. Level 1 Precision

or

1. Wrath
2. Level 12-16 Clarity
3. Level 1-10 Vitality (Depending if you're using Vitality for Regen or Watcher's Eye mod)
4. Level 1 Precision

You should only run the first set up if you have a watcher's eye with Wrath and Zealotry mods. Otherwise the second set up will provide much more comfortable mapping offering a solid amount of life and mana regen passively, letting you hold brand recall down on left click without ever running OOM. We run level 1 precision due to the free crit it gives, levelling it up is not worth the additional mana reservation cost.
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Buffs: Wands

1. Level 7-10 Vaal Haste (Depending on your Dex)
2. Vaal Righteous Fire
3. Increased Duration Support

This grants 6-7 second Vaal Buffs which is useful for nuking down Maven Invitation bosses and T14-16 Map Bosses.
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Portals: Wands

1. Cast on Death Support
2. Portal
+
3. Unlinked Portal

We die alot in this build while mapping. Having a portal cast each time we die will inevitably save us hours upon hours of wasted time in a given week of farming. Most people consider this idea laughable or will see it as a sign of a bad build, these players however have probably never even owned a mirror of kalandra and don't understand the value of time when it comes to farming/grinding.

Our unlinked portal lets us portal out of a map without having to manually unlink our CoD portal temporarily. CwDT portal is also acceptable if you want to shuffle other gems around and fit things like Chaos Golem or Immortal Call into the build. This decision is up to you ultimately as these gem set ups are merely recommendations.

If using an Agnerod West, your wand links belong in your body armour or vice versa.

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Last edited by Fyregrass on Feb 20, 2021, 3:17:08 AM
Last bumped on Mar 1, 2021, 6:17:23 PM
Gear + Budget Options:

This will provide an in depth explanation of what items you can seek to acquire in each slot depending on your budget, goals and availability of these items. They will be accompanied with pre-filtered trade site links so that you can purchase these items easier.

Spoiler
Helmet:

Budget: Enchanted Helm with Life/Resists
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/o7wr7Khl



You can buy these really cheap about 4-5 days into a league typically. Once you obtain an enchanted helm, you can Scour+Alch/Essence it yourself until it gets good life & resists as it will maintain its enchant. This enchant is very powerful compared to most other BiS skill enchants. Ideally you want a Hubris Circlet base for the highest possible Energy Shield, however this isn't super important.
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Midrange: +1 Power Charge Influenced Helm
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/XLX7DWFP



These will usually cost a few exalts but offer much more power than an enchanted helm.
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Premium Option 1: +1 Power Charge/Added Lightning Damage to Spells Enchanted Hubris Circlet
Tradesite Link: N/A



This particular option carries a lot of power and can be made fairly deterministically. The best and most cost efficient method to make this item is as follows:

1. Obtain a ilvl 75+ Hubris Circlet (or other base) with the 12% Lightning Penetration Storm Brand Enchant.

2. Apply a Hunter Exalted Orb to it.

3. Scour it and apply Metallic Fossils to it until it rolls the Tier 1 Hunter mod "Adds (2–7) to (88–93) Lightning Damage to Spells". Ensure the item has no other Hunter mods on it. It will take 7 Fossils on average to hit.

4. Obtain any Rare +1 Power Charge helmet that has no other Warlord influence mods on it. Item level and base type do not matter.

5. Awakener Slam them together, clicking the +1 Power Charge Helm first and the Enchanted Hunter influenced helm second.

6. Harvest craft life/resists on after the fact optionally.

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Premium Option 2: +1 Power Charge/Nearby Enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance Enchanted Hubris Circlet
Tradesite Link:



This option usually has less than a 1% DPS difference with the above option however if you are starved for penetration, this one pulls ahead:

1. Obtain a ilvl 85+ Hubris Circlet (or other base) with the 12% Lightning Penetration Storm Brand Enchant.

2. Apply a Crusader Exalted Orb to it.

3. Scour it and apply Metallic Fossils to it until it rolls the Tier 1 Crusader mod "Nearby Enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance". Ensure the item has no other Crusader mods on it. It will take 7 Fossils on average to hit.

4. Obtain any Rare +1 Power Charge helmet that has no other Warlord influence mods on it. Item level and base type do not matter.

5. Awakener Slam them together, clicking the +1 Power Charge Helm first and the Enchanted Hunter influenced helm second.

6. Harvest craft life/resists on after the fact optionally.


This option will also cost 7 exalts approximately.

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Premium Option 3: +1 Power Charge/5% Reduced Mana Reservation Enchanted Hubris Circlet
Tradesite Link:



This is the strongest DPS option however it comes at a small cost to comfort. With this helm, you can fit Zealotry into your build, taking out Clarity/Vitality/Precision and applying a level 4 Enlighten with no changes to the rest of your gear or tree. This nets about 10% MORE dps, with a Cinderswallow Urn, during map clear, your mana should be fine, however on bosses, you will want to cast storm brand only twice every 3.5 seconds approximately. Additionally, we drop second wind from our flame dash to drop its mana cost down and apply inspiration support or blood magic instead:

1. Obtain a ilvl 75+ Hubris Circlet (or other base) with the 12% Lightning Penetration Storm Brand Enchant.

2. Apply a Redeemer Exalted Orb to it.

3. Scour it and apply orbs of alteration to it under it hits "(4–5)% reduced Mana Reserved". Ensure the item has no other Redeemer mods on it.

4. Obtain any Rare +1 Power Charge helmet that has no other Warlord influence mods on it. Item level and base type do not matter.

5. Awakener Slam them together, clicking the +1 Power Charge Helm first and the Enchanted Hunter influenced helm second.

6. Harvest craft life/resists on after the fact optionally.


Like the above options, this will cost approx 7 exalts.
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Amulet:

Budget: Ephemeral Bond
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/Keye7jyU5



This option will cost 10-20c in the first few days of a league but will very quickly drop to 1c. It is one of the largest raw damage sources in the entire build and has virtually no alternatives. You should apply Turbulent Catalysts to this amulet, however it is acceptable to apply Prismatic Catalysts if you really need the resists (you shouldn't).
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Premium: Badge of the Brotherhood
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/YpBymdrhY



This choice is not recommended. This build utilises the Dominus Militant Faith Jewel for the Inner Conviction keystone which prevents us from being able to gain Frenzy Charges. At 10 Power Charges, that notable grants us 30% More Spell Damage. Badge of the Brotherhood providing 10 Frenzy Charges at max gives us 40% More Spell Damage and 40% Cast Speed, only marginally stronger, but putting us in the position of needing to obtain a Frenzy Charge on Hit Body Armor (at the expense of wearing an Inpulsa's Broken Heart). Whilst this option frees up our Timeless Jewel for a Doryani Glorious Vanity, we are still losing loads of power from the Lightning Damage per Power Charge scaling of Ephemeral Bond.

Ultimately, Badge reduces our single target AND AoE damage but gives us additional movement speed via Elusive Effect and additional EHP via the corrupted soul Timeless Jewel keystone. It costs 15-30ex most leagues and is only really useful if you want to level, otherwise it is highly recommended to just use Ephemeral Bond. Especially since Corrupted Soul can be obtained via a Replica Soul Tether in the belt slot if you really want it.
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Annoints:

Budget: Explosive Runes
Oils: Amber + Azure + Azure



This provides a lot of early usability to your Storm Brand before you can invest in Cluster Jewels. It's obscenely cheap even on day 1 of a league
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Midrange: Counterweight
Oils: Clear + Amber + Silver



This annoint is very strong if you're using Agnerod West as a budget weapon. Although you can often just skip this annoint if you don't intend on using an Agnerod for long as it is not much cheaper then the premium choice.
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Premium: Infused
Oils: Crimson + Silver + Silver



Our best annoint, it saves us 4 points on the tree and doesn't even cost a Golden Oil making it a no brainer. There aren't many other alternatives to consider.
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Weapons:

Budget: Agnerod West
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/grwpv7IQ (5 Link)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/greKwjFQ (6 Link)




This weapon is usually very cheap at the start of the league and should be your first upgrade upon transitioning from the lightning-slinger levelling set up. It adds alot of additional base damage to Storm Brand and grants a whopping 20% lightning penetration. Whilst this weapon is considerably weaker than Void Batteries, its price makes it an easy choice. It is advised to buy it as a 5 or 6 Link item since you will not usually be able to afford a 6 link Inpulsa's Broken Heart early in the league. The only rare items that are stronger than this are usually more expensive than our Void Batteries. One of the major benefits of Agnerod West is that it lets you take the powerful Staff nodes on the tree as shown in the budget PoB.
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Premium: Void Batteries
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/XoayDeCP



Usually these wands cost 5ex at the start of the league, however by week 2-3 of a league they are already down to about 30c each. You will want to wait until you can afford two of these. Additionally, dropping your Agnerod West means you will now need to buy a 5 or 6 Linked Inpulsa's Broken Heart. Void Batteries offer an insane amount of power and are worth the price.
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Body Armor:

Budget: Inpulsa's Broken Heart
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/wB2Wn9ib (5 Link)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/3vJXpJF5 (6 Link)



The core of our build. Clear speed increases drastically upon acquiring this item as the AoE explosions carry our AoE damage and this option is significantly cheaper than the premium option.
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Premium: Elevated Explosion Mod + Spell Crit/FCoH Vaal Regalia
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/qPnvQrvug (FCoH Variant)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/E4gYMqzu5 (Spell Crit Variant)



This option usually sets you back 22-35ex as a minimum and it is only a marginal upgrade from an Inpulsa's Broken Heart, so this should be one of your last upgrades, though it is absolutely unnecessary. If using Badge of the Brotherhood, you should get the Frenzy Charge on Hit variant, otherwise go for T1 Spell Crit. I will outline the steps below to craft one yourself slightly cheaper than what you can purchase it for.

1. Obtain an ilvl 85+ Crusader body armor

2. Apply Jagged Fossils to it until you have "(11–15)% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Lightning Damage" and "Reflects (25–50) Physical Damage to Melee Attackers" as prefixes. Ensure the item has no other Crusader mods

3. If you have an open prefix slot, apply an Augment Physical harvest craft to guarantee the "Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 3% of their Life as Physical Damage" mod. If you don't have an open prefix, use a Non-Phys to Phys harvest craft instead to force it on

4. Apply a Maven Orb to this base. If it elevates the explosion mod, proceed to step 5, otherwise repeat steps 1-4

5. Acquire an ilvl 84+ 6-Linked Vaal Regalia Base

6. Apply a Hunter's Exalted Orb to it if you want Spell Crit, otherwise apply a Redeemer's Exalted Orb if you're using a Badge of the Brotherhood to generate Frenzy Charges

7. Use Aetheric Fossils on your Hunter Base, you will need an average of 11 to hit T1 Spell Crit. If you're using a Redeemer Base, you will need to use Orbs of Alteration to land Frenzy Charge on Hit and it will take an average of 333 Orbs of Alteration. In either case, ensure there are no other influence mods on the item

8. Awakener Orb these two items together, first click the Crusader Body Armor with your elevated explode mod on it, and click the Redeemer or Hunter base second.

9. Additionally, try to free up a prefix slot to apply the craft "Gain (9–10)% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield". This craft can be obtained from unveiling Gravicius veiled Body Armours.

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Belt:

Budget: Stygian Vise with Life/Resists
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/QZXYOwvtw



Not much to say here. These belts are always cheap enough and have room for an abyssal socket so that you can fit some additional stats in.
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Budget: Doryani's Invitation (Lightning Leech)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/aL79lr8ue



These belts are cheap starting from the first day of the league, their only downside is having no max life, but they give a minimum of 60% resists, they provide Strength to help make meeting Agnerod West's attribute requirement easier and they offer lightning damage leech, one of the only sources of spell leech in the entire game.
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Midrange: Replica Soul Tether
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/903L2ZyTK



These belts won't even appear until 3-4 days into a league due to being only obtainable from Grand Heists, and they will cost 5-7ex, however they give us a ton of EHP via Corrupted Soul and make boss killing possible.
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Premium: Headhunter
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/mKn0PZwH6



One of the best items in the game, this will set you back 80-100ex. This item offers tons of additional clear speed, in addition to making many league mechanics trivial (Legion, Beyond, Delirium, Harbinger). Inspired Learning helps in case you can't afford one of these but this will be discussed later.

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Gloves:

Budget: Sorceror/Fingerless Silk Gloves with Life/Resists
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/ZmnQr7zuQ



Always an extremely cheap option even from day 1 of the league. Gloves are one of the lower impact slots and the premium options aren't a major upgrade in the way that they are for other slots, so its pretty ideal to use gloves to obtain life/resists.

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Midrange: Ele Weakness on Hit Gloves
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/K86gornF5 (Rare)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/5EPYMydsa (Hands of the High Templar)



One of the few ways to obtain offensive curses on hit is via glove corruptions. Earlier in the league you can obtain rare gloves with this curse reasonably cheap, however Hands of the High Templar tends to be a better option as it offers baseline Life + Resists and it can also have spell crit and some other things.
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Midrange: Synthesised Curse on Hit Gloves
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/OgqWB9KsE



An alternative to corrupted gloves, this option will allow you to roll the rest of the item more easily for high life and resists, however it usually costs more than corrupted gloves.
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Premium: Unnerve On Hit + Culling Strike Fingerless Silk Gloves
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/gVneRldFQ



Usually these will cost 7-8ex to buy or make these. This option lets you save space on your tree, dropping the recommended medium curse cluster jewel for another medium brand cluster jewel. A potent option, however without harvest crafts it can leave you resist/life starved, as such, it is better to upgrade to this option when you have some harvest crafts stored up or the additional currency to purchase these crafts. I will outline the steps to craft these gloves below up to the point displayed in the picture.

1. Buy ilvl 73+ Warlord or ilvl 85+ Hunter influenced Fingerless Silk Gloves

2. Apply orbs of alteration to your influenced base until it hits "Culling Strike" (Warlord) or "(7–10)% chance to Unnerve Enemies for 4 seconds on Hit" (Hunter) and no other influenced mod. It will take about 350 Orbs of Alteration on average, with Unnerve on Hit chance being slightly easier to hit

3. Buy any gloves with the other mod

4. Awakener Orb these items together, clicking the gloves from step 3 first, and your alt spammed Fingerless Silk gloves second

If you are using the budget medium curse cluster jewel, you can get the effect you are missing (unnerve OR culling strike) from your gloves without worrying about the awakener orb component of this option. This usually works out to be the cheapest way to obtain these effects. Though it is better for your economic budget, it isn't best for your power budget, as fitting both Cull + Unnerve onto gloves frees up an entire medium cluster jewel.

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Rings:

Budget: Two-Stone Ring/Vermillion Ring with life/resists
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/LKGBz9Xun (Two-Stone)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/5294VeJSa (Vermillion)



On a league start these should be your go to, and it would be worthwhile to buy these for a few chaos orbs as soon as you get to maps. Vermillion Rings will cost usually 5-10c but give a lot of extra life which is useful to have when you are just getting started and can't just blow up entire screens at a time. With Two-Stone Rings, using Prismatic Catalysts are the best option as they buff resists from both the implicit and explicit modifiers. Likewise, Fertile Catalysts suit Vermillion Rings for the same reason, they buff the implicit and explicit life modifiers.

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Midrange: Conductivity/Elemental Weakness On Hit Synthesised Rings
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/pw7Yenec0



These rings cost 50-80c most of the time and are pretty good ways to apply an offensive curse to enemies. Given that the curse is an implcit, you can craft the rest of the ring using your desired method, this makes for a much more efficient way to apply curses compared to using corrupted gloves. You will only need one of these rings, as our build doesn't have many good or worthwhile ways to apply a second curse without utilising Awakened Hextouch Support.
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Midrange: Assassin's Mark on Hit Rings
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/B2kJK8wS8



These rings cost 30-100c usually depending on whether they have life and resists. These rings are stronger than Conductivity/Ele Weakness, however their benefits are only applied vs Rare/Unique mobs, which is usually fine in non juiced maps. They tend to feel useless when doing Delirium/Legion/Beyond content as only one mark can be active at a time and those league mechanics spawn LOTS of rares. This is the strongest bossing curse however as unlike the other curses, this one is not reduced in effect vs bosses.

Be wary of the fact that with a high investment character, most of this mod's power will be wasted. It adds 1.5% base crit chance and this build easily hits the crit cap with a bottled faith. At higher levels of gear and in higher level content, it would be ideal to run one of the other two curses.
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Premium: +1 Maximum Power Charge Synthesised Rings
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/v03BRwMtE



Starting a week into a league, you should expect to find mirrored (fracture fossilled) versions of these rings. Getting a decent one with some life and resistances will cost 5-10ex usually. It is very worthwhile obtaining at least one of these as they offer an insane amount of additional power to your build.
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Ultra Premium: +1 Maximum Power Charge + Ele Weakness on Hit Synthesised Rings
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/853kz6bFV



You can expect these to begin popping up on trade about two weeks into a league, finding a good one with life/resists will set you back 25-100ex. However, given the ridiculous amount of DPS this adds to storm brand and given that it allows you to hit the maximum amount of power charges whilst still fitting in curse on hit, its worth getting a cheaper mirrored one that may not have life or resists on it. Even if the ring has zero useful explicit mods, it is worth getting just for its implicits. You also only need one of these. The other should be a simple +1 power charges ring.
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Boots:

Budget: Two Toned Boots with Life/Resists/Low MS
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/32ad9jJs5



These are very cheap at any stage of a league, boots are by far the least important slot in your entire build so you should do your best to get the highest possible amount of resistances from this slot as you can afford. Anything with at least 15% movement speed will be workable. If we weren't resist and attribute starved, it would be more feasible to prioritise 35% movement speed boots, but we can do without.

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Budget: Inya's Epiphany
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/L5y7n7in



These boots can be expensive on the first day or two of a league but quickly drop off. At the baseline 7 power charges, this option offers 35% increased damage and gives some solid EHP. Due to usually being resist starved, its typically not ideal to pursue this option, but if you don't need the resists, this is better than a set of two-toned boots when starting out.
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Midrange: Replica Inya's Epiphany
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/k73emKjT5



With a 10 Power Charge set up, these boots give 50% increased damage, 50% movement speed and 5% life regen per second in addition to a solid amount of life and ES. This is a genuinely solid option you should seek out as an alternative to regular boots if you don't need resistances.

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Premium: Tailwind Boots with Life/Resist/MS
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/LKG9jvGUn



It's important to consider that Storm Brand is one of the few skills in the game that does not gain a DPS increase from your character having Tailwind. Tailwind will allow you to cast faster, however Storm Brand activates at its standard activation frequency, it DOES NOT get 8% faster.

An Assassin with Mistwalker has a max Elusive effect of 48% movement speed, or an average of 24%. You gain 70% MS from having a Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline, an additional 20% MS from onslaught. 8% Tailwind will therefore add about 17% MS to your character. With a 20-30% MS roll on your boots this adds about another 2%. Therefore you should consider Tailwind to be worth 15-20% movement speed.

Boots that have 35% Movement speed + Tailwind offer the highest possible movement speed increase available, but less than 35% offers less than a Replica Inya's Epiphany. Given that these boots with life/resists/midrange MS set you back by about 6-7 exalts, you should pursue this option only if you need the resists. If you don't need resist from your boot slot, then Replica Inya's Epiphany is better. However, given that boots are the least important slot, you should prioritise this slot last, and therefore, if you aren't playing with near perfect gear in every other slot, you will almost inevitably need to obtain Tailwind Boots with resist/life over a Replica Inya's Epiphany.
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Watcher's Eye:

Budget: Lighning Damage or Crit Chance with Wrath
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/OKBbBY0tE



You should plug these options into your own PoB to determine which is better for you, the lightning damage option is usually weaker for single target but it affects Inpulsa explosions making it better for AoE. Usually whichever is cheaper in a given league is probably the better way to go. There are instances where you can reach crit cap without even having a Diamond Flask or Bottled Faith and in that case, a Crit Watchers eye may not be right for you.

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Midrange: Lightning Penetration with Wrath
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/JK6a7YOUl



Slightly better in most set ups than the budget options, and usually only a few exalts, this is a solid staple option.

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Midrange: Lightning Damage/Pen/Crit Chance with Wrath + Leech with Vitality
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/w0X0vMrsb



Going this route is a very cost efficient and power budget efficient way to boost your survivability and damage without expending much. Usually these cost 1-3ex, but offer life leech at the cost of running a low level Vitality. This helps counteract alot of deadly DoT effects which will reduce deaths when mapping and bossing. This is my personal favourite option and something I'd highly recommend.
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Midrange: Two Mod Wrath/Zealotry Watcher's Eye
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/mKRKKPRU6



Two mod options range from 2-20ex usually depending on whether you pursue 2 budget mods, 2 powerful mods or one of each. This helps you cram extra damage into your build but at the expense of needing to fit Zealotry in elsewhere which will require running a Hybrid/Mana Flask (since you have no room for Clarity) and will require a level 4 Enlighten + Possibly even some reduced mana reservation via jewels or passives. I only recommend this option for bossing, as you want to be using Brand Recall on left click so it is passively used whenever its off cooldown when spamming maps (using it as needed requires far more attention/brain power and this will usually result in faster burnout, additionally the playstyle will feel high maintenance as opposed to smooth and low effort)
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Premium: Double Penetration with Wrath/Zealotry
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/qP6P4JpTg



Like above, I'd only recommend this for bossing, but it offers a hell of alot of additional damage vs bosses. It will usually set you back 20-30ex.

There is the possibility to obtain 3 mod watcher's eyes, but they still require zealotry and often if they don't contain both of these mods, they end up being weaker than the above watcher's eye anyway. Additionally, they are extremely rare, at the time of writing this guide, none exist on the trade site, and even if they did, they would likely cost 60ex+ whilst being weaker than this
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Flasks:

Whilst you can order these flasks in whatever configuration is comfortable for your usual keybinds, I'm going to discuss how I feel you should fill each Flask Slot out given your options.

Slot 1: Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline/Heat
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/Zmam0vYSQ



Quite simply, this flask slot will give 40% increased movement speed which simply lets you do content faster and helps to keep on the move which adds a lot of indirect survivability to a build which desperately needs it. The suffix also either gives an additional 20-30% MS or Freeze/Chill removal and immunity which is will allow you to fearlessly interact with strongboxes (they will often freeze you when summoning mobs)

If you use a Cinderswallow Urn in Flask Slot 2, you should use the 'of Heat' suffix in this slot instead and go without the additional movement speed from Adrenaline.

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Slot 2: Cinderswallow Urn or Quartz Flask/Silver Flask of Adrenaline/Heat
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/yV0V6zjcR (Cinderswallow Urn)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/oPJPzBwFl (Silver Flask)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/K848azqF5 (Quartz Flask)




Silver Flask provides Onslaught, giving you 20% Movement Speed + 20% Cast speed, making it a powerful option. Cinderswallow Urn provides onslaught in addition to Life/ES/Mana regen AND a suffix that either gives even more movement speed and stun avoidance, more life regen, critical strike chance or reduced mana cost. All these options are pretty good and whilst they will vary in price, the choice is up to you. Crit chance offers the most damage, the movement speed veiled suffix does not stack with the Adrenaline mod, and the only mod you want to avoid is item rarity. Cinderswallow will cost 1-2ex usually making it the premium alternative to a Silver Flask.

Please note that Cinderswallow requires a fire damage to spells jewel (or ring, but we usually can't get it on our ring), this is discussed in the jewel section below.

A quartz flask offers a move defensive option to this slot, granting Phasing + Spell/Attack Dodge. Quartz flasks are a good option if you intend to farm delirium content.
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Slot 3: Seething/Bubbling Divine Life/Hallowed Hybrid Flask of Staunching or Enduring Eternal Mana Flask of Staunching
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/Lapznv7Un (Life Flask)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/kVg3Jy3i5 (Hybrid Flask)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/K84nmV6i5 (Mana Flask)



The Life flask is by far the best option, it allows you to chug flasks for instant recovery which can help you survive lots of situations you should otherwise die in. The staunching suffix can be beastcrafted on via Einhar if you're making your own flask and this helps remove bleed effects, a necessity in our build.

If you are using Zealotry, you lose the ability to include Clarity into your aura set up, and therefore you may want to consider subbing your Life Flask out for a Hybrid Flask. If your survivability is suitable and supported well by other means, you could opt for a mana flask, though this is not recommended
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Slot 4: Bottled Faith/Diamond Flask
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/mk9R4gwf6



This flask tends to cost around 10 exalts at most stages of a league, however it provides an enormous DPS increase while active. This flask tends to be best when you're on the cusp of being able to kill Conquerors and Maven Invitation Bosses within 15-20 seconds as this will allow the flask to have a near 100% uptime as it drastically reduces boss kill time.

If you can't afford one yet, it is usually best replaced by a Diamond Flask. Diamond Flasks are a massive DPS increase when we have between 40-80% crit, but as we start to go above 85% crit, its benefit starts to diminish, adding a bottled faith in here will put you at the crit cap AND give you a 40% inc damage increase accompanied by enemies taking 10% additional damage (less due to unnerve and brand jewels)
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Slot 5: Wise Oak
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/90pJroRTK



This flask requires configuring your resistances so that your lightning resistance is higher than cold/fire resistances when uncapped (the numbers in the bracket, i.e. the raw stat). It offers 10-15% more DPS if your resist penetration/reduction already brings a boss to zero, and much more if it doesn't yet. You should try to obtain these in a max roll.

If you can't configure your resistances to benefit from the penetration here, it is best to remove this and sub it out for a Silver or Quartz Flask depending on which option you didn't take for Slot 2. You can also slot an Atziri's Promise in here.

This flask can be min maxed by perfectly balancing resists however this is difficult, bothersome and often won't make much of a difference since this build tends to get one shot by most of the large sources of elemental damage present in the game anyway.
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Honorable Mention: Atziri's Promise
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/PPKE8QGcL



This gives 10-15% additional elemental damage as chaos, which equates to roughly 10% more DPS. You should try to obtain a max roll on this mod. These typically sell pretty cheap from day 2 of a league and also provide some added leech and chaos resistance which are nice bonuses to have for free. This is a solid alternative to running a Wise Oak before you can afford one, or while your resists do not suit having a Wise Oak.
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Timeless Jewels:

All timeless jewels will go in the spot shown below for easiest access to a timeless keystone node, this position is located above the shadow starting area:



Budget: Militant Faith (Dominus) with random Devotion bonuses
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/woQ5WjKUb



This jewel provides us access to the 'Inner Conviction' keystone which allows us to gain 3% more spell damage per power charge at the expense of not having frenzy charges (we do not have frenzy charges anyway). Typically this jewel is worth 1 exalt at the start of a league, it diminished very quickly however. Be wary, you cannot reroll the devotion bonuses on these keystones, only the keystone.

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Midrange: Militant Faith (Dominus) with Double Devotion Bonuses
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/LKG5dWGSn



Be aware that the above link only searches for dual bonuses and NOT for a Dominus influenced keystone. The reason for this is that it is usually cheaper during a league start to Divine Orb your jewel into a Dominus jewel rather than find one with the bonuses you want AND Dominus.

The Devotion bonuses available are 4% brand/ele/area damage per 10 Devotion and 2% ele resist per 10 Devotion. An ideal tree only picks up 55 Devotion however, meaning you are only gettting 20% inc damage + 10% all resist or 40% inc damage. Either way, it will not cost much more to obtain a jewel with these bonuses, therefore you should pursue them over the budget option. Additionally, because Corrupted Soul is available via a Replica Soul Tether for bossing, I would personally recommend using this over the Premium Alternative.
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Premium: Glorious Vanity (Doryani)
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/eR4Z3dbIL



This jewel gives us access to the Corrupted Soul keystone, similar to a Replica Soul Tether belt, it grants 20% of max life as extra max ES and allows half of the damage we take to pass through ES. This bonus increases our EHP by 20% basically. You should only take this if you're use Badge of the Brotherhood, as that amulet requires frenzy charge generation and the Budget/Midrange options here negate frenzy charge generation. I would personally recommend against this set up. Using an Ephemeral Bond Amulet + Militant Faith gives much more damage than a Badge/GV combo. This is only a defensive option that is best suited to pursuing additional levels. Given that we aim to kill everything quickly and off screen most threats, combined with how few defensive layers we have access to, I find that building defensively only benefits newer players who cannot handle the high speed/higher risk playstyle, however unfortunately in this case, a Glorious Vanity jewel sets you back 5ex early in a league (diminishing to about 1 exalt later on) whilst Badge of the Brotherhood will cost 15-30 exalts.

Only take this if you really prefer the higher EHP pool and also want to opt for a Headhunter for map clear as opposed to Replica Soul Tether. And no, this does not stack with Replica Soul Tether, you can only gain this bonus from one of these sources, not both.
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Jewels:

This build typically has access to 5-7 small jewel sockets between our tree and medium cluster jewels.

Budget: Life + Resist + Str/Dex Jewels
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/E4WrRGyC5



The very lowest level of budget. These offer additional life, however the extra affix spots should be spent attaining Strength and Dex as needed for your build. If you're using Steelskin or an Agnerod Staff, your build will require additional strength and running higher dex means you can have a higher level Vaal Haste, although 103 Dex is the minimum required to wear Inpulsa's Broken Heart. These jewels are always very cheap.
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Budget: Life + Damage Mod Jewels
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/mKRw9qMh6



These jewels are usually still quite cheap, however they are only marginally better than the above option. Go for these jewels if you don't need or want the extra resists or attributes
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Midrange: Life + 1x Crit Multi + 2x Damage Mod Jewels
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/b2rEGkRuL



A large DPS upgrade for a jewel slot, these usually cost 50-90c, though its common to find them priced cheaper by mistake.
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Premium: Life + Double Crit Multi Jewels
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/JK6WE0Rsl



These offer crazy amounts of increased DPS for a jewel, however they cost 2-4 exalts usually.
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Ultra-Premium: Life + Triple Crit Multi Jewels
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/2qlpqG5hk



These jewels should be illegal. They can alone provide a whopping 10% MORE DPS per jewel which is insane considering that on your medium clusters they are literally a one point investment and you have access to several of these slots. They will cost 7-8 exalts each however.

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Cinderswallow/Deli Jewel: Added Fire Damage to Spells + Added Chaos Damage to Spells + Life
Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/LJvnjmVun



These jewels are used to give us fire damage so that we ignite in order to gain the 10% inc damage taken benefit from Cinderswallow Urn. Additionally, we add chaos damage to spells here so that our Deli set up is capable of poisoning. This is explained below. Do not look for phys damage to spells, as Penance Brand fully converts this damage to lightning AND it makes us susceptible to phys reflect.



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100% Delirious T14-16 Setups:

In order to easily do 100% Delirious maps, we make a handful of changes to our standard set up and they are explained below:

Note: Do not do 100% Delirious Maps unless you know how to craft them. There are many youtube videos explaining how to do so. This guide simply explains how we approach it.

Spoiler


1. Running chaos damage to spells via a jewel to enable poisoning
- Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/PoBDvvqtL

2. Adding The Golden Rule Jewel to enable self poisoning
- Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/za0WOjLF4

3. We swap our Mistwalker Ascendancy to Noxious Strike to give us poison chance

4. We swap Storm Brand + Concentrated Effect Support gems to Penance Brand + Phys to Lightning Support

5a. We equip a Maw of Conquest (unique helm)
- Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/X4Mgj7cP

5b. Or we equip a boots with the elevated mod "Unaffected by Poison"
- Tradesite Link: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Ritual/dDVmJbIJ

6. We apply the Poison Sextant that reads: "Players deal 12% increased Damage for each Poison on them, Players have 6% increased Movement Speed for each Poison on them" We use awakened sextants to apply this.

7. We MUST use a map that has the enchant "Does not consume sextants", acquired from a Harvest craft to keep this sextant mod on permanently, and we use fractured fossils to run this map. Again, do not do this if you do not know what you're doing. Numerous content creators such as Grimro and PathofMath have great videos explaining the steps you must take to prepare delirious maps and if you do not educate yourself on this topic, you will lose LOTS of currency.

This set up costs us a jewel slot + our helm and this is a lot of damage lost, additionally, we already gain several hundred % increased damage via void batteries and our tree. As a result, the poison sextant buff of 1200% inc damage only gives us about a net 10% more dps buff. The main reason we run this sextant however is because, the void battery damage only counts towards spells, whereas our Inpulsa's or Explode chest does not benefit from this, thus, the poison sextant buffs it from 5% life explosions to 65% life explosions.

On the other hand, using the elevated 'unaffected by poison' mod on boots give us about 80% MORE dps since we get to keep our helm. The boots are not in any way needed, but they will make your deli maps faster/smoother.

Likewise, penance brand isn't neccesary either but it makes our clear much smoother. Once you have cleared the map, you should swap to Storm Brand to kill the boss and straggler beyond spawn mobs.

Below is a link to the same video at the top of the guide, this video shows what clearing a deli map looks like with a fully invested character:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYpYZpqFqTs&ab_channel=Fyregrass



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Survivability (How to level to 100)

Spoiler



Whilst this build is a glass cannon, there are actually a few things we can do to become moderately tanky without sacrificing our damage or brand functionality. I levelled in Ritual league to 100 with a combined eHP pool of 7815 between life and ES. Below are the steps I took to achieve this:

1. Replaced Clarity with Level 21 Discipline. Make sure to have Cinderswallow Urn if you do this, as the flask will be your only way to sustain mana whilst mapping and it must be always active.

2. Replaced Militant Faith with Glorious Vanity for the Corrupted Soul Keystone mentioned in the gear section. This adds to our ES pool a lot.

3. Applied the "10% Life as ES" craft to my body armor

4. Made sure all 6 small jewels in my build had 7% increased max life on them as well as putting life rolls on almost every piece of gear

5. Scoured all my maps. Map Mods are extremely dangerous and are the main way we die when mapping. Most loot comes from league mechanics and end of map boss drops. It is entirely possible to sustain your map pool with scoured maps most leagues as long as you have a fully completed Atlas.

6. For grinding xp, there are two main options I would recommend.

6a. The first and most expensive is using Pure Chayula Breachstones. These cost about 1.5ex each, although in a ROTA in the 820 global channel, this will buy 6 runs. These runs provide 90m xp per hour approximately at level 99.

6b. The cheaper alternative is to run the Terror, Misinformation, Stalwart Defenders and War Among the Stars Ivory Watchstones whilst running scoured T15 Canyon maps in Valdo's Rest with the Harbinger Nodes active. Additionally, you should apply awakened sextants to each watchstone, run Beyond from the Map Device, apply Alva as master missions to each map and also apply rusted Elder, Harbinger and Ambush scarabs (optionally adding breach scarabs). Each map yields almost the same XP as a single Pure Chayula Breachstone run, however it will take a little longer to fully complete, providing about 60m xp per hour at level 99. For 12 of these maps, the cost is about half of buying 2 breachstones and doing 12 breach runs. This is primarily due to the fact that these runs will refund about half their cost in Harbinger currencies and other loot. You should only do this method if you have a headhunter and enough DPS to instantly kill the Canyon bosses. You should absolutely avoid Rituals, Blights, Metamorphs and Delirium whilst being very careful when opening the strongboxes provided by Ambush scarabs.

Levelling PoB:
https://pastebin.com/i76x3CDC




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Pantheons & Bandits

Spoiler
Always kill all 3 Bandits. The best major Pantheons are Lunaris for mapping and Solaris for Sirus. As for minor Pantheons, Gruthkul, Abberath and Shakari tend to all be good choices, whilst Ryslatha is good for running lab.
Last edited by Fyregrass on Feb 19, 2021, 7:25:35 PM
Looks very interesting and detailed. One might even say very granular. Book marking for future reference.
Finally an updated guide, thank you so much for this.
I'm rerolling an Storm Brand Assasin myself and atm with CotB rings it feels like shit :(
I will try your method with exploydy chest now (as I have bought it already).
DAMN this was a detailed build, I only did storm brand archmage hierophant using the ivory tower before they nerfed brand recall and stuff, I might give this a try though.
PoE 2077

Einhar: Wake the fuck up exile we have Wraeclast to burn and beasts to capture!!
Thank you for this build.I would be interested for a video clearing Valdo's rest map fast to see the mapping speed of the build again harbinger and how fast it completes a map.
Thank you.
When the lifecycle of PoE will draw to an end many years from now,
there needs to be a final patch making it available offline.
What do you think how much would need to be invested into it to start out?
Hi. I love Brand playstyle. What abou defence in your build?
I wanna try this in HC.
What do you think? Is it viable?
I am really interested to see what the build can do in farming mode
One of the most detailed build guides I have ever seen, very informative to read through, thank you for posting! Also really like that you post the relevant trade links, it's very convenient. I would be interested in a simple video showing Legion clear, as the only ones I could find are outdated. If you could post one, that would be great.
Last edited by xelc on Feb 4, 2021, 3:22:24 PM

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