[3.8] Storm Brand Assassin | Crit based | In depth/PoB update | Deathless Uber Elder | All Content!

Introduction

Hello, I am Kevic. This is my Storm Brand Assassin.

Boss Kill Videos
Spoiler


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3.6 Update
Path of Building has been updated for 3.6 Skill Tree!

The nerf to Storm Brand was not bad at all! If my math is correct it should be around a 25% dps loss from the nerf. Our damage should still be fairly comparable and fine for doing all bits of content. When we finished this league my PoB on bosses was around 800k dps ON shaper which is plenty of damage.

Here are the changes if you have not seen them.
Spoiler

Storm Brand
Mana Cost at gem level 20 is now 21 (was 20).
Now deals 2 to 7 Lightning damage at gem level 1 (from 3 to 8) and 75 to 225 Lightning damage at gem level 20 (from 97 to 290).
Now has an added damage effectiveness of 30% (from 35%).


What in the world does this build do?

This build is designed to Clear effectively using power charges and critical strikes which have culling strike built in because of the ASSASSIN ascendancy! It summons Storm Brands that shock and crit which decimates packs of mobs both on screen and off. With Brand Recall we can pull the brands with us to a new screen, clear it AND extend the duration of the brands themselves. It has good single target for map bosses because if 2 brands attach themselves to the same target, it increases the damage EACH BRAND DOES BY 50% MORE DAMAGE.

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Pros
+Assassin Ascendancy means we gain culling strike on crits and we gain insane benefits from Power charges!
+Massive amount of Damage Potential via Power charges!
+Clears effectively and looks cool as HECK
+Can do all content!
+Can sometimes do elemental reflect - must hit a crit chance breakpoint

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Cons
-Low hp

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How it Works
Assassin = Stronger & More Powerful Power Charges + Culling Strike on Crit
Storm Brand + Brand Recall keeps your skill around you to re-position without having to stop moving often to cast because Brand Recall is Instant Cast

Critical Strike Chance

Critical Strike chance cannot go higher than 95% with the exception of Trypanon and a Diamond Shrine. Critical Strike chance is rolled once unless you have Critical Strike Chance is Lucky. This rolls twice and picks the higher of the two rolls. For us, the way we get it is through a Diamond Flask.


This is also commonly called effective Critical Strike chance.

How is Critical Strike Calculated

Spoiler

{CriticalStrikeChance} = { ( {BaseCriticalStrikeChance} + {AdditionalCriticalStrikeChance} ) * (1 + {IncreasedCriticalStrikeChance} ) }

For example, if the player is using a weapon with 5% chance to crit, and has +1% to Critical Strike Chance and 50% increased Critical Strike Chance, he will have a 9% chance to score a critical strike.



Skills
Storm Brand is a skill that was introduced in Betrayal League. Storm Brand creates a magical brand which can attach to a nearby enemy. It periodically activates while attached, firing beams which deal damage to nearby enemies and those around them. The brand will detach if the enemy dies.

Brand Recall is a skill that was also introduced in Betrayal League to go with both Brand skills. Recall your brands to you, detaching them from enemies, then cause them to activate. The brands will have increased attachment range until they next attach to an enemy.

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Damage Skills

Storm Brand - Main damage ability
Storm Brand > Concentrated Effect Support > Power Charge on Critical Strike Support > Controlled Destruction Support > Increased Critical Strike Support > Lightning Penetration/Elemental Focus

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Gear

This build can fill multiple roles including: Boss Killer, Map runner, Uber Lab farm, Delve Farmer

The gear needed changes based on what specific piece of content you want to run. Luckily for us, the swap from Map runner to Boss Killer is very minimal.
Spoiler

Weapons
Void Battery give us + 1 power charge along with 25% increased spell power PER power charge. We want two to double all of the benefits it gives us.

GLOVES
Spoiler

Shaper Gloves

Shaper Gloves for the faster casting Shaper mod

OR


Shadows and Dust


Amulets and Ring
Spoiler



This is where i fit in aspect of the spider.

Rare ring with Warlord's Mark


Using this ring as a placeholder because my resistances are generally fine. At the beginning of the league I would opt for one with more resistances to make it easier to cover with my other items.


Flasks
Spoiler

Wise Oak

Make Lightning resistance the highest so we can gain 15% penetration.
Vinktar

Gives us more regen options along with a veiled mod. The mod we would ideally want is the crit strike while we have flask's active.


Rare Boots and Belt
Spoiler

Headhunter

If you have this congratulations. This is the ultimate Mapping item. If not, thats alright just use a stygian vise!

High resistance, at least 30% movement speed boots to fill resistance issues we have and Stygian Vise for the extra jewel slot along with more resistance gap filling.


Cheap Gear - Prices are relative to the league
Total - 1 exalt 40 chaos


Expensive Gear - Prices are relative to the league
Total - Low End 28+ exalts - High End 78+ exalts
Spoiler


MultiMod Mace/dagger

Mace - 2.5+ Exalts
https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/Q7Jmy3Hw

Void Battery -

https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/eRy9IL

Rare Helm - Lightning Pen + brand enchant -

https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/Kd0lDRF5

Aspect of the Spider - base value of item + 1 Exalts
This is a bit hard to price as you can have this on any rare piece of gear that isnt your weapon. I would say this will increase the price of the item by around 1 exalt or so. Finding an appropriate piece that can fit this on it is definitely something good to do as we still gain some damage BUT with the insane benefit of everything around us being slowed by 30%-90%

Stygian Vise w/ Good stats - 1.5+ Exalts
What I mean by good stats is, stats that cover what you need AND health and if you can afford it - Lightning damage

https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/6WO7PkCG

Bisco's Leash - Fairly Cheap starting at 28 chaos going up to 90~ ish

https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/LKdYIn

Headhunter - 50+ exalts

https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/12bdck

Loreweave - 4.5+ exalts

https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/8K9avVSV




Ascendancy
Spoiler

Ambush and Assassinate > Unstable Infusion > Opportunistic > Deadly Infusion


GEM LINKS
Spoiler

4-link - Optional
Vaal Storm Call > Less Duration Support > Lightning Penetration > Concentrated Effect

4-link
Cast when Damage Taken(lv 1) > Immortal Call(lv 1) > Increased Duration > Vaal Righteous Fire(lv 20)

3-link
Herald of Ice > Enlighten(lv 3+) > War Banner
Turn off Herald of Ice when we do bosses in conjunction with Mind over Matter for more effective HP

3-link
Brand Recall > Empower > Arcane Surge (lv 4)

2-link
Flame Dash > Faster Casting

Aspect of the Spider
Use this when you can attain the gear.


Boss Killer

Spoiler

Loreweave



Loreweave is an incredible item that gives us great defensives and offensive capabilities

Flask


Belt


Ring

Dream Fragments

This is an option instead of using a quicksilver of heat flask.

OR

Mark of the Shaper

Gives us a ton of damage in conjunction with the Warlord's Mark ring but we would have to use a freeze flask

Helmet

Rare Helmet with the enchant and possibly the -9 Lightning pen delve craft OR starkonja's with the enchant as it provides a TON of health, Evasion and Global Critical Strike Chance.

Crafted Helmet


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Pantheon
Soul of the Brine King > Soul of Yugul

Stops us from getting chain stunned from bosses

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Gem Link

I took off Herald of Ice and switched a single 5% health node for Mind over Matter so I could gain a huge amount of effective health via the Warlord's Mark Mana leech. This helps us do Uber Elder much more effectively and safely.


JEWELS

Rare Jewels that we could potentially fit in are any with Cast speed/Cast speed on Critical Strike, Lightning Damage to Spells and if you can afford it, Health.

Jewel DPS Mod Tier List
1 - Cast Speed/Cast Speed on Critical Strike
2 - Critical Strike Multiplier: to Spells, with Lightning Spells, Global
3 - Lightning Damage
4 - Lightning/Cold Damage to Spells
5 - Critical Strike: Global, to Spells, with Lightning Sells

* - Increased Maximum Life - Flat Or Percentage (IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT)

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BANDITS
Kill all for +2 points or Alira - Both are great for us

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PATH OF BUILDING & SKILL TREE
Spoiler

This is my Path of Building link and I created skill trees for every 10 levels leading up to my current level. You can toggle through them by clicking the default menu on the tree screen in PoB at the bottom left of the screen and choosing whichever one you need.

https://pastebin.com/8RJGTcKU

Notables

Runesmith, Explosive Runes - +1 brand eachShaman's Dominion - A LOT of Crit and Crit Multiplier in this ENTIRE node
Alchemist - this node gives us flask effect
Annihilation - More Damage
Power Charge x 3 - the more power charges we have the MORE damage and crit chance we have because of the support gem Power Charge on Critical Support + the ascendancy

Keystones

Rune Binder - Can attach 2 brands to 1 target - Damage Doubles on single target


Leveling Guide

You can easily level as Storm brand/arc even as Shadow. Since Storm Brand/arc has great clear its perfect for traversing the story. League start you would ideally craft a +1 lightning wand and use Arc until storm Brand (lv28).
Links for leveling until Storm Brand - Arc > Added Lightning Damage > Added Cold Damage Support
Links for leveling once you have Storm Brand > Faster Casting > Added Lightning Damage > Added Cold Damage Support

Leveling Uniques
Spoiler

Lifesprig - wand - gives you all the stats you need to get going and casting your spells FAST.
Tabula Rasa - chest - 6 link white socket - makes your main skill basically 1 shot everything in the story
Goldrim Leather Cap - helmet - gives you some nice resistance
At level 38 replace Goldrim with The Gull - helmet - if you want to make your experience leveling more FUN
Wanderlust - boots - cannot be frozen, gives mana regen and Movement speed
Atziri Foible - amulet - gives us mana regen and lowers the gem stat requirement which could be very useful
Perandus Signet - ring - May be more expensive to get but it definitely helps the leveling process
Wurm's Molt - belt - stats and health


Special thanks to Roolstar who has been helping me test everything you see here in the guide!

Thanks for reading everything! If you like my content/guide please give me a follow for more of it!

Storm Brand Pathfinder Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2299346

Feel free to PM me in game
Twitch.tv/poopsmith504
Guide Forum posts: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2461277
Last edited by Kevic on Sep 10, 2019, 4:36:59 PM
Last bumped on Nov 21, 2019, 9:34:18 PM
SAVED
Twitch.tv/poopsmith504
Guide Forum posts: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2461277
tsos3
What would you say the pros and cons are of this build versus the PF build? They seem pretty similar overall.
Hey!

I would say that the weapons are definitely easier to get at any point in the league as they are unique vs the rares in the pathfinder build. Culling strike is amazing for bosses along with map clear, so more stability in that department along with an easier time getting the crit necessary to constantly shock bosses because of how high the crit multi is in this build. The skill tree is closer to the brand nodes which gives us more points for hp/damage via mana/health OR we can even go towards the scion part of the tree and get a unnatural instinct.

This build has more options for free diversity but suffers from being forced to use something that deals with freeze/chill. I think that trade off alone is big enough to warrant a guide because of what items you must consider in order to do relevant content.

Thanks for reading both guides!
Twitch.tv/poopsmith504
Guide Forum posts: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2461277
Hi Poopsmith

I'm fiddling around with a similar build but using Trickster and MOM instead of Assassination and Evasion, but for the life of me can't figure out if it's worth while or not.

https://pastebin.com/uaW89mA8

on paper it's more damage, as we are using frenzy charges as well, but the defences are maybe worse and, well, i'm just not sure how it will hang together over the course of a season.

The lack of movement speed, and a total unsurety of what to do with the 4th pair of ascendancy points, Never really assassin'd so meh.

Also been fiddling with ways of making curses work in this sort of build. Herald of thunder/Curse on hit/Conductivity should add a nice chunk against non-hexproof things, but is a bit temperamental. a Lightning Impressence could be an option as well via blasphemy, though leaves a big hole in other resists. Old favourite Wrath in a Essence worm ring again helps out murdernuke thigns, but then resistances start to suffer.

Another curse option someone showed me was to use a rare wand with a crafted "trigger this spell when you cast" and trigger conductivity, or even Warlords mark using that.

It's just so complicated :)
"
Iteken wrote:
Hi Poopsmith

I'm fiddling around with a similar build but using Trickster and MOM instead of Assassination and Evasion, but for the life of me can't figure out if it's worth while or not.

https://pastebin.com/uaW89mA8

on paper it's more damage, as we are using frenzy charges as well, but the defences are maybe worse and, well, i'm just not sure how it will hang together over the course of a season.

The lack of movement speed, and a total unsurety of what to do with the 4th pair of ascendancy points, Never really assassin'd so meh.

Also been fiddling with ways of making curses work in this sort of build. Herald of thunder/Curse on hit/Conductivity should add a nice chunk against non-hexproof things, but is a bit temperamental. a Lightning Impressence could be an option as well via blasphemy, though leaves a big hole in other resists. Old favourite Wrath in a Essence worm ring again helps out murdernuke thigns, but then resistances start to suffer.

Another curse option someone showed me was to use a rare wand with a crafted "trigger this spell when you cast" and trigger conductivity, or even Warlords mark using that.

It's just so complicated :)


Hey Iteken,

I will explain a few things in a bit more detail in hopes that it helps you with the problems that you are having along with addressing some of the concerns you have about the build in general. I have also taken a look at the character that you are using for this build to get a general idea at where you are at in terms of conversion to this build and what nodes you are opting for vs what I have in the PoB. (Check the PoB and go to the level 70 option for the skill tree and try and switch to that WITH MoM.)

The build itself already uses MoM because it is one of the most effective defensive options we have in the game. I pickup Acrobatics because the point investment is worth because we pick up a lot of dexterity along with some HP/resistances on our way to that node. Acrobatics gives us a free 30% DODGE which is a great backup even though it isn't entirely guaranteed. Acrobatics is a big defensive option as well and I dont think skipping out on it is something that you should in search for more mana nodes. Our mana pool isnt big enough to warrant taking every mana node available instead of Acrobatics.

I was originally confused as to why you said evasion but I believe that you mean acrobatics.

I do not believe we actually need any more damage than what we have already. The only thing that felt bad for me was figuring out a way to gain mana regen in some form and I wanted to stay away from Essence worm as the ring itself is bad to use because it doesn't provide anything but the buffed aura. The only way it would be worthwhile is if we use it in conjunction with Mind Over Matter with wrath being the ONLY aura we use and a Wrath Mana Leech Watcher's Eye. The assassin Ascendancy gives us a ridiculous amount of damage that can be manipulated with a few items. Void Battery gives us +1 power charge and we want to stack AS MANY power charges as possible within our budget. I currently have 9 power charges so the Deadly Infusion Ascendancy node gives us 72% EXTRA critical strike multiplier. We have effectively 100% crit with our diamond flask which also makes us reflect immune along with guaranteeing power charges as storm brand travels. This also rules out the option for using rare wands with the trigger socketed spell. I personally don't think you should focus on the curses to be as important with the exception of warlord's mark IF you do not have any other way to sustain yourself. If you are absolutely set on having a curse that isnt warlords mark I highly recommend using a conductivity ring: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Betrayal/qRjGZlTg as this does not reserve mana and it is a great/cheap tool to get what you are specifically looking for. I used one in my Pathfinder Storm Brand build for a really long time and it worked out very well.

Another thing I noticed is that you were using less duration and chain support gems. Now chain isn't that bad of an option but less duration does a lot more harm than help because we want storm brand to be active and killing for as long as possible. For replacements I would highly consider either Concentrated Effect Support or Lightning Penetration Support if you can get the right colors on the chest piece. Power charge on Critical Strike should also be #1 priority on your link as it gives us 4% MORE DAMAGE per power charge which is insane since the build manipulates power charges along with giving us bonuses per power charge. The ideal Link would be something like this: Storm Brand > Concentrated Effect Support > Power Charge on Critical Strike Support > Controlled Destruction Support > Increased Critical Strike Support > Lightning Penetration/Elemental Focus. The gems that are the most variable are the lightning Pen/Elemental Focus.

If you want to try Trickster I would recommend this: Weave the Arcane, Swift Killer, Patient Reaper, Harness the Void. To further exploit Patient Reaper I would get some form of fire damage on storm brand through a jewel or armor as it will put ignite on the mob and thus making patient reaper give us the bonus 70% recovery. Trickster lowers our damage by a fairly large amount and gives us worse clear since assassin gives us Culling Strike. If you do have issues with clear after you swap gems out try using Herald of Ice because it potentially can freeze every pack you encounter. I would not underestimate the amount of damage assassin gives you as it is a lot.

Also, try and fit in Brand Recall as it makes clearing more consistent/easier along with adding some extension in duration for storm brand itself.

All in all, I would continue to level your character to give yourself some room to work with in terms of skill points.

Thanks again for checking out the guide.
Twitch.tv/poopsmith504
Guide Forum posts: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2461277
Last edited by Kevic on Feb 26, 2019, 9:24:26 PM
Thanks for the post.

My char is a bit of a wreck at the moment as i have been tearing gear from random alts to put him together - but your advice does make good sense thanks.

Sadly the carcass jack is corrupted (cost an ex - yay) so i'm stuck the 5B-1R setup. Less duration sucks, but chain is ace for clearing maps. i'd definitely recommend it if you manage to get a White socket in the chest.

Agreed on the silly curse offhand too. damage all the way :)

I am a bit confused though, none of the POB's you've linked show MOM selected, are you getting it from someplace else or are we talking cross-purposes ?

I'm really trying to persuade myself to start with this next league....
Last edited by Iteken on Feb 27, 2019, 1:42:18 PM
Hey!

So in the boss killer spoiler section of the guide at the bottom it talks about Mind over Matter and how we utilize it for a specific aspect of the game.

"Gem Link

I took off Herald of Ice and switched a single 5% health node for Mind over Matter so I could gain a huge amount of effective health via the Warlord's Mark Mana leech. This helps us do Uber Elder much more effectively and safely."

If you arent comfortable with using MoM for everything and need the mana to reserve aura's for more dps then by all means do that. I personally use MoM for every bit of content since I have the warlords mark + my rare gear has a ton of hp.

However, I do not recommend using MoM if you are lacking gear OR levels. Just play without it and try and build up your gear and go from there. I would highly recommend looking into a loreweave as they are probably super cheap right now in the last few days of the league or in standard if you want to continue to try the build and see how it feels on the later end of levels. For leveling I think the process will be very smooth as storm brand itself is insanely good. and will generally carry you to higher tier maps with ease.

Thanks again!
Twitch.tv/poopsmith504
Guide Forum posts: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2461277
pretty good guide
can you compare assassin vs elementalist though ?

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