[3.18 HC] Black Cane Stormburst Raider (Video)

Playing around with Black cane Storm burst builds has been my pet project through 3.17 in hc. It is an experiment I had run in a previous league with some success, but it had lacked a bit of damage in the endgame. When I saw that self cast storm burst was getting a substantial buff to added damage effectiveness in 3.17 (from 25% to 35%), I decided I had to try it again, and I was not disappointed.

Over the course of the league I have play-tested many variants including several each as Hiero, Inquisitor, Trickster, Elementalist, Necromancer (a mistake) and Raider. As a group they have been inexpensive, super easy to level from 50-90, and quite fun to play, each with its own plusses and minusses. I have been able to run T16s smoothly and do all of the new bosses, Shaper, Elder and Sirus. I regret I am still not technically skilled enough at Maven and Uber Elder to have passed those fights, but I believe that the build is capable of doing so if piloted competently. At the end of the league, my definitive favorite is the Raider variant, and that is the build I share with you below.

Caveat: There are definitely stronger builds out there both offensively and defensively. What you may have a hard time finding is a build that will do more for you with less up front investment. The Black Cane (which runs 3-10c right now depending on rolls) is literally the only absolute requirement until at least red maps. Everything else can be farmed up and added later.

Build Overview:

If you are not familiar with the Black Cane, it is a relatively inexpensive unique that grants the phantasmal might buff for each summoned phantasm. Phantasmal might grants added physical damage to spells based on the level of the phantasm summoned. At level 20, phantasmal might grants 43-64 added physical damage per phantasm for up to 10 phantasms. If one can maintain 10 phantasms, this nearly doubles the base damage of a level 20 stormburst. Stormburst synergizes well with this mechanic for a few reasons: First, it is a phys converted to lightning spell, so any effort we put in to convert the base spell to lightning also automatically applies to the phantasmal might buff. Even more importantly though, stormburst scales its damage significantly via increased duration and cast speed. Increased duration and cast speed also make it dramatically easier to maintain phantasms.

The build uses two separate Storm burst set ups:

The first is storm burst>Spell totem>Multiple totems>Summon Phantasm>Inc duration>Lightning Penetration (with the last two being entirely optional until late endgame). The totem setup gets very good up time for the phantasms during fights against rares and uniques, when they are needed most, and maintains a reasonable number of phantasms even while mapping.

The second setup is self cast, and is the primary source of damage. It uses Storm Burst>Infused Channelling>Increased Duration>Lightning Penetration. For the last links, my current favorite endgame setup is a Storm burst enchanted helmet crafted with an essence of insanity, which grants 50% of phys as lightning. Since stormburst is a phys based spell, converted, and the phantasmal might damage is also all phys, that one mod on the helm is a 50% more multiplier, and it essentially acts like a 5 3/4 link. If you are going with a more traditional 6L, I would use Inspiration and Elemental focus for the last two links. (Conc effect, imo, is a trap and will make the build feel less good even though your tooltip damage will be higher.)

Add to this Arcane surge via flame dash, Vaal Cold snap, which does well at keeping up frenzy charges, and orb of storms, which adds innervation, cull, and a little extra damage of its own.


1. Black Cane Storm Burst Raider vs. Moderate rolled T16 Strand w/ T20 Abyss & Lich https://youtu.be/Wi_nP6sEFKo

Pastebin for lvl 95
https://pastebin.com/4dyki6nr Please note that summon phantasm is not actually used as a link in the self-cast set-up. It is included in the pastebin only so that POB will accurately show the damage, which for some reason it will not do with summon phantasm only in the totem setup. I have verified through play that summon phantasm is not needed in both places.

Rough Defensive Specs at lvl 95:

Life Approx: 4400
Mana Approx: 1900 (MOM)
Evasion w/ Flask: 40k
Armour w/ Flask: 10k
Attack Block: 36%
Spell Suppression: 100% to suppress 53% of damage

Stun Immune
Ignite Immune
Freeze/Chill Immune
Shock Immune
Corrupted Blood Immune
Resses: 76 all elemental, 75 chaos
Movement speed without boots: +99%
Curse Reduction: 30%

Rough Offensive Specs at lvl 95:

Mapping total rough dps: 2.25M
Pinnacle Boss total rough dps: 1.25M

Recommended Links:

Storm burst>Infused Channelling>Increased Duration>Lightning Penetration>Insanity Crafted Helm or >Inspiration>Elemental Focus (Helm or Chest)

Storm Burst>Spell Totem>Multiple Totems>Summon Phantasm>Increased Duration>Lightning Penetration (Boots)
(Elder boots with inc duration are great for midgame. Elder boots with Spell totem and Inc duration are ideal for endgame. Because of the absurd amount of movespeed we get as a raider, Movespeed on the boots themselves is not a requirement for this build). While leveling (And really until you are well into red maps) leave off inc duration and pen. A nice mid level option, until you get the elder boots is socketing this setup in Kalissa's grace, which will add in faster casting. (And moving the glove setup to whatever boots you are using temporarily).

Flame Dash>Arcane Surge (lvl 7)>Increased Duration>Culling Strike (Gloves)

Orb of Storms>Innervate>Increased AOE>Culling Strike (4L in chest or helm if using 6L)

Summon Stone golem>Vaal Cold Snap>Culling Strike (Sceptre or Shield)

CWDT>Immortal Call>Inc Duration (Sceptre or Shield)

Grace>Eternal Blessing (2L in 6S chest if main skill is in helm. If main skill is in 6L chest, Move stone golem to immortal call setup, replacing inc duration, remove culling strike from cold snap setup, and put eternal blessing linked to grace in sceptre or shield with unlinked cold snap.

This is only one example of a set of gear currently on a lvl 89 character. The ONLY required piece is the black cane. Everything else is some degree of optional, depending on your tastes and budget. (Before anyone asks, the crit mod on the amulet is entirely wasted in this build, since we use ele overload--it dropped that way and I didn't have anything better for the other stats)

Not Pictured are the following jewels:

1. Clear Mind
2. 3 rare jewels that combine among them the following:
a. 48-52% reduced chance to be stunned (If 52%+ save one 4% life node near the ranger start area
b. 20% reduced chance of two out of three types of ailments (shocked / ignited / Frozen&chilled (Note, the build will be fully functional without these, but for each 20% reduced chance to suffer an elemental ailment, you can save one small node in the crystal skin cluster)
c. As much life/mana/res as you can find with those stats

Lightning damage leeched as life is good QOL, but not really necessary until very late game. It is optional to find it on the gloves as an eater mod or on a ring as a delve mod. Conductivity on hit is also not really necessary until very late game and can be acquired either on a delve ring, a crusader ring, or as a glove corruption. Unnerve on hit is BIS Exarch mod for the gloves offensively.

For the chest there are many options. I favor Daressos for the combination of decent evasion/armour, endurance charges, and onslaught effectiveness.

The shield was crafted using essence of doubt--I recommend this method.

Divine judgment is a relatively inexpensive but effective amulet annoint. If you find yourself short on resists, I recommend using Sanctuary or cloth and chain instead.


Kill them all


Solaris or Arakali/ Ralakesh
I favor the upgraded Solaris primarily for the protection it gives to suffering more than one crit. Ralakesh makes bleeding largely not a problem. Arakali is also worth considering, as the build does not have much regen and is a little weak against DOTs.

Ascendancies in order:

1. Rapid Assault
2. Avatar of the Chase
3. Quartz Infusion
4. Avatar of the Veil

Leveling advice (All level numbers are rough)

1-20: Grab Primal Spirit, then head directly to Battle rouse and also get the mana mastery there. This will help leveling QOL immensely.

21-30: Journey to MOM grabbing the +50 life mastery as you pass through the big life wheel.

30-40: Grab Ele Overload, Crackling Speed and the Phys converted to lightning mastery

41-50: Collect the heart and soul cluster, Lightning walker, and Cruel Preparation (Take the 10% inc life mastery here also). At 50, Equip The Black Cane and the real fun begins.

51-60: Heart of Thunder, the Lightning lucky non-crit mastery, Iron Will, Exceptional Performance and the 10% more skill effect duration mastery.

61-70: Heart of Oak, Deep thoughts, Asylum with the no corrupted blood Mastery, and Crystal Skin with the 20% reduced chance to be stunned Mastery. Also add in your jewels at this point

71-80 Proceed through Quickstep, Intuition, and Herbalism. Head up to Inveterate.

After: Ash Frost and Storm, Potency of Will, Relentless, Graceful Assault (with mastery for 5% of evasion added as armour), Quick Recovery

Happy to answer questions for anyone trying out the build. Hope some of you have as much fun with it as I have.


Last edited by Orion72 on May 13, 2022, 11:42:58 AM
Last bumped on May 13, 2022, 3:53:08 AM
Quite an interesting build, especially in HC setting. Might give it a try next league!

I'm curious however, how exactly did the Necromancer version do not too well?
Not using the 6-link seems like a waste of resources.
So there wasn't any good skill combo to put into a 6L?

Re Necromancer Version:
I had initially hoped that the +2 lvls to minion gems ascendancy would apply to summon phantasm, but it applies only to skill gems. I think my disappointment at that got the better of me. I also got distracted by other ideas. The duration boosts do synergize well and it might be worth attempting again at some point.

Re: Not using the 6-link
This is a combination of budget and really liking Daresso's defiance both offensively and defensively. A 6L will indeed give you around 10% more damage than the 5 3/4 link helmet. The hard part is coloring it, though that could surely be done with vorici's help and/or harvest crafts. In short, nothing wrong with using a 6L late game, but the real point of the build from my perspective is to be extremely easy to get up and running through T16s.

Last edited by Orion72 on May 13, 2022, 3:49:49 AM
Thank you for this brilliant & unique build.

Is it possible to league start this?

What would the gem set up priority links be, from 3L to 4L to 5L to 6L while leveling and hitting maps?

What skill would you recommend leveling, since Storm Burst is not available for purchase for Ranger until Act 3 Library (Unless buying)?

How do you regen so much mana as the PoB shows only 94.6 regen?

Last edited by Xetter on May 4, 2022, 2:01:47 PM
Xetter wrote:
Thank you for this brilliant & unique build.

Is it possible to league start this?

What would the gem set up priority links be, from 3L to 4L to 5L to 6L while leveling and hitting maps?

What skill would you recommend leveling, since Storm Burst is not available for purchase for Ranger until Act 3 Library (Unless buying)?

How do you regen so much mana as the PoB shows only 94.6 regen?

Most welcome

Yes, I do think one can league start with an aim toward this build, since the unique is not that uncommon. When leveling a raider, I usually start with a combination of galvanic arrow (for clear) and shrapnel ballista (for bossing). This is a very reasonable set up until you reach act 3 and level the needed gems until they are up to par (by putting them in offhand). When you switch over to stormburst, I would make sure to use both self cast and totem as well as orb of storms while leveling. As far as priority for 3-5 links on the self cast one while leveling, I would add them in this order: Stormburst>Infused Channelling>elemental focus>inspiration>increased duration. Ele pen replaces ele focus later when you will want it more for bossing. You'll be looking to make your essence crafted helmet as soon as the essence becomes available, at which point you can remove inspiration. For the totem you will want Stormburst>Spell totem>Multiple totem>inc duration (which you replace with summon phantasm once you have the cane and add back in via elder boots later.

As to the mana, that 94.6 regen gets upped some by arcane surge and provides most of the regen necessary to operate the character. Because we are MOM, I also run a mana flask which does not tend to run out of charges.

Do please keep in touch if you decide to run it--I always enjoy hearing about people's progress when trying out one of my builds.

Last edited by Orion72 on May 5, 2022, 5:37:56 PM
Welp, 12 hours to league start and 0 balance changes, so planning to go with this as my Sentinel starter in hc trade. Feel free to wave hello if you catch me in game.


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