[3.4] The Consecrated Storm | Orb of Storms Inquisitor 550k Shaper dps

Are you disappointed that Lightning Tendrils doesn’t quite give the feeling of unlimited power? Do you wish Ball Lightning could hit a lot more frequently, and be made a LOT slower? Like completely still maybe? Do you miss the Reduced Mana Support and wish it had a worthwhile use? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should consider Orb of Storms for your next build.

Lair of the Hydra (T16)
Forge of the Phoenix (T16)
Shaped Siege (T15)
I will try to get a Shaper video, but for now this will have to suffice.

Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/UgXkMPez
Character link

In 3.3.0 Orb of Storms was massively buffed to have higher per-hit damage and added damage effectiveness than Ball Lightning. In the same patch Tempest Shield’s cast time was reduced to 0.25. Since Orb of Storms has no internal cooldown and triggers every time a lightning skill is used, we can easily scale cast speed and double or triple Ball Lightning’s hit rate.

In 3.4.0, Consecrated Path was introduced, which can be used to give a large amount of cast speed for Inquisitors. Being an attack, Consecrated Path triggers +30% cast speed from Instruments of Virtue, and standing on the consecrated ground it creates gives another +25% cast speed due to Pious Path.

Casting Tempest Shield repeatedly plays similarly to the various channeling skills, so the build can easily get full benefit from standing on consecrated ground a majority of the time. And because Orb of Storms is a short-range skill, the bonuses against nearby enemies from Augury of Penitence will be active most of the time.

Damage Calculation:
168% Increased Cast Speed (global)
49% Increased Cast Speed (20/20 Faster Casting)
16% More Cast Speed (Essence of Insanity gloves)
14.71 casts/sec: Tempest Shield (4.0 * (1.00 + 1.68 + 0.49) * 1.16)
+2.68 bolts/sec: Orb of Storms (base) (1.0 * (1.00 + 1.68)
=17.39 bolts/sec: total
* ~32000 average damage/hit (Shaper)
= ~550k Shaper dps

Pros & Cons:
+ Doesn’t require any special uniques or passives; you can start using the build as early as level 16 (though mana costs will be rough).
+ Cheap to get started, but scales well with investment.
+ Flexible. This guide is for an Inquisitor, but the core mechanic can work with a variety of Ascendancies (see below)
+ Orb of Storms auto-targets nearby enemies, saving you the trouble of aiming.
+ A reason to use the Reduced Mana gem for the first time since 2.0!
- Tempest Shield has a base mana cost of 17, so you will need to sacrifice at least 1 gear slot to be able to sustain the cost (e.g. Atziri’s Foible, Praxis/Elreon Jewelry, Clarity Watcher’s Eye).
- While not technically channelling, you will find yourself standing still much of the time.
- GGG could easily nerf this either by changing Tempest Shield to an Instant Cast (with cooldown) ability, or giving Orb of Storms an internal cooldown.
- Consecrated Path is not an ideal movement skill since it has to target enemies for you to teleport.
- Unlike most other spells, casting Tempest Shield causes characters to briefly yell about half the time. You will hear this sound a LOT. I suggest lowering the sound effects volume slider.

This build uses a 3 button rotation: Consecrated Path up to the enemy, drop Orb of Storms, then “channel” Tempest Shield. The Fortify buff icon (5 second duration) will help remind you of how long Instruments of Virtue’s buff lasts (4 seconds), as well as how soon the Orb itself will expire (6 second duration).

It’s important to try to always be standing on consecrated ground and to master the timing of quickly placing Orb of Storms before “channeling”. While getting the hang of playing the build, it’s easy to accidentally start Tempest Shielding without having actually placed an Orb of Storms. In my experience Temporal Chains maps are especially problematic in this regard. Since this build doesn’t use Resolute Technique (because it uses Elemental Overload), Consecrated Path can miss and thus not create consecrated ground. In these situations, don’t panic - use a Sulphur flask to quickly regen mana (6%/second), place the Orb of Storms and carry on.

4-link: Orb of Storms - Added Lightning Damage - Controlled Destruction - Lightning Penetration
Orb of Storms rolls for critical strikes for each bolt so even with a mere 5% crit chance, Elemental Overload will be up the majority of the time, and it’s not worth bothering to try to build for crit.
5-link: Innervate for general mapping, Elemental Focus for bosses. Personally, I didn’t bother with this gem swap until I had a 6-link, as that one makes a much bigger difference for single target.
6-link: Chain for general mapping, /Culling Strike for bosses.

4-link: Tempest Shield (max lvl 3) - Faster Casting - Arcane Surge (lvl to taste, I prefer fairly low) - Reduced Mana. Do not level up Tempest Shield, that will needlessly increase the mana cost.
If at all possible, this 4-link should be in gloves crafted with an Essence of Insanity for 16% More cast speed.

3-link: Consecrated Path - Faster Attacks - Fortify. Use this frequently to proc Instruments of Virtue’s +30% cast speed. Note that it only lasts 4 seconds and doesn’t have a buff icon, but Fortify lasts 5 seconds.

4-link: Lightning Golem - Minion Life - Blind - Herald of Thunder..

Clarity is helpful with mana costs early on and may be worth keeping if going with a Mind Over Matter variant, or if using a Watcher’s Eye that reduces mana costs.

I’m using Wrath and Discipline - Blood Magic for my low life version of the build.

As mentioned earlier, there are no truly required items for the build’s core mechanic. Energy Shield makes sense as the primary defense because Pious Path gives 6% of energy shield regenerated per second and Zealot’s Oath lets us double up, converting the normal 6% life regen from consecrated ground into additional ES regen. Chaos Innoculation is certainly a viable option, but low life with Shavronne’s Wrappings gives more damage due to the Pain Attunement keystone and being able to reserve an additional aura or herald.

It’s worth noting that Consecrated Path doesn’t work with wands or daggers, so sceptres will be the weapon category of choice. The new unique sceptre Cerberus Limb has large amounts of increased elemental/spell damage, cast speed, and most importantly life leech. As an alternative Doryani’s Catalyst is both more expensive and has overall worse stats, but doesn’t have the 30% block requirement for its life leech.

To pair with Cerberus Limb, any armour-based shield with at least 30% block is what we’re looking for. Ahn’s Heritage gives about 200-250 flat energy shield, and can be corrupted to push the block chance over 30%. Combined with 2 Fragility Jewels, it also gives permanent Onslaught (20% cast speed!) and +3% to maximum resistances.

Without the Reduced Mana gem, Tempest Shield (+Faster Casting +Arcane Surge) will have a mana cost of 22/cast, which would mean spending over 300 mana per second. A 20/20 Reduced mana lowers that to 14/cast, but more help is needed. Atziri’s Foible gives a huge amount of mana regen, and also lowers attribute requirements. Praxis, a piece of Elreon jewelry, or a Clarity Watcher’s Eye gives a flat cost reduction, bringing the cost down to something reasonable. While you certainly could reduce the mana cost to 0, that doesn’t benefit much as Orb of Storms itself still has a high base mana cost, so it’s not like you’d suddenly be able to reserve all your mana.

Lori's Lantern gives all resist, move speed, a big chunk of chaos resist, and "Enemies are Unlucky when Damaging you".

Other gear:
Obviously we want ES and resists on all pieces of rare gear. Strength and Dexterity are also important, as Ahn’s Heritage has a fairly high Str requirement (159) and Culling Strike/Chain require 111 Dex at gem level 20.

Increased Orb of Storms Area of Effect is the preferred helm enchant.

There are quite a few useful boot enchantments, but Damage Penetrates Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently will be the most helpful for single target.

It can get expensive trying to craft with Essences of Insanity (especially since it’s a suffix), so you may need to accept that you won’t get multiple other useful stats on your gloves.

If you can find Increased Lightning Damage (suffix) or Increased Spell Damage (prefix) on rare jewelry, so much the better.

None of these jewels are critical, just nice to haves if investing heavily.

* Don’t forget that Pious Path gives elemental status effect immunity, negating Vessel of Vinktar’s drawback. The resistance penetration variant is superior to added lightning damage to spells.
* Atziri’s Promise is a cheap source of extra damage and chaos resist.
* Phasing in general is helpful for Delve, and a Quartz Flask of Adrenaline is good for getting out of tight spots.
* A Sulphur Flask is important to have as a backup source of consecrated ground, particularly useful for opening strongboxes.

Tempest Shield will eat a ton of mana, so even though you can start spamming it at level 16, you may find it easier to level with another skill until you can get the cost under control. Some combination of Clarity (lvl 10), Survival Secrets (Act 2 quest: Through Sacred Ground), Atziri’s Foible (lvl 16), Praxis (lvl 22), and Reduced Mana (lvl 31) will be enough. Also, mana flasks obviously.

On the passive tree, prioritize energy shield, cast speed, elemental/spell/lightning damage, and mana regeneration. Elemental Overload should be taken early, as soon as you’re ready to start spamming Tempest Shield. Precision and Spiritual Aid both give accuracy to help ensure Consecrated Path hits semi-regularly. I think the passive tree is otherwise fairly self-explanatory.

Passive tree (Level 93)

Despite mentioning Instruments of Virtue several times above, that should probably actually be one of the last ascendancy nodes taken. Sanctify then Pious Path is absolutely the top priority, due to all the benefits the latter gives on consecrated ground. Augury of Penitence provides more defensive benefit, but not quite as much offense as Instruments of Virtue.

Other class ideas:
Hierophant: Sanctuary of Thought would help a lot with mana costs, Illuminated Devotion gives spell leech, and Conviction of Power could make Power Charge on Crit a support to consider.
Elementalist: Beacon of Ruin is OP and would enable Mind of the Council as a sustain option. Paragon of Calamity gives leech and reflect immunity.
Trickster: With a large enough mana pool, Weave the Arcane alone may be enough to sustain mana costs without additional gear.

Kill them all. But if you want extra help sustaining the mana cost, are going with a Mind over Matter variant, or are willing to respec this decision later, helping Alira isn’t unreasonable.

This build involves standing still much of the time so Soul of Tukohama is a natural fit. But the upgrade from Tahsin, Warmaker is pretty minor compared to all the other life regen this build already gets.

This build generally stays in short range, so the “nearby” bonuses from Soul of Lunaris should often be active. None of the upgrades are particularly noteworthy, but every little bit of defense helps.
Last bumped on Dec 8, 2018, 5:32:26 PM
I love the build idea. Have you thought about using Indigon to boost the spell damage since you can cast Tempest shield so fast, and it has a high mana cost?
(reposting this comment from reddit)

I considered Indigon, but my issue is this: you will eventually run out of mana and have to stop casting. For Poet's Pen builds this isn't an issue because Frenzy will simply fall back to default attack. For Blade Vortex/Essence Drain, it will keep doing damage for several seconds.

Just using the raw numbers from my build, on its own Orb of Storms only zaps at a rate of 2.68 per second. But while "channeling" it hits at 17.39/second, approximately a 550% more multiplier. If my math is right (and it may not be) I'd need to get about 3300% Increased damage from Indigon to make up the difference. So I'm a bit skeptical of an Indigon variant being significantly better, but I'd be very interested to see someone try.
I don't quite understand why you use Tempest Shield rather than Lightning Tendrils (which has a fractionally faster cast speed then Tempest Shield & substantially lower mana cost, you could probably get away with 1 elreon mod) unless proper channelling doesn't get affected by cast speed or doesn't count as using a skill for the additional bolts from Orb of Storms?
Last edited by Llama8 on Oct 10, 2018, 12:00:32 PM
Llama8 wrote:
...doesn't count as using a skill for the additional bolts from Orb of Storms?

This is the reason.
It looks like Tempest shield's gonna get an internal cool down now that its instant. do you have any ideas for replacement skills?
I'm really bummed about the Tempest Shield change, and what would have been the 2nd fastest way to trigger it, Quill Rain, also got nerfed.

For a replacement, Storm Call may be the way to go with its 0.5 cast time.
That's half the speed of the old Tempest Shield but at least it would provide damage, which Tempest Shield did not.

Another possibility would be Smite with a very fast foil. Attack speed is easier to scale than cast speed, and Fidelitas' Spike would be a very cheap option. Smite gives the lightning damage aura and Fidelitas' Spike buffs Herald of Thunder, so the per hit damage of Orb of Storms would be higher, though the proc rate would be much lower.
Wait, I might be wrong here.When I tested tempest shield out it seems like nothing has changed with tempest shield except for the added 3% spell block chance. It dosent seem like the skill is instant either. Im still quite new so Im not sure if this is a bug or Im doing something wrong
The patch notes claimed that Tempest Shield would be changed to an instant cast. But that didn't happen in game, so yes, the build would still currently work.

The big question though is if it was intentional or not that the cast time wasn't changed. I would be reluctant to invest in this right now until we get some sort of statement on the matter.

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