[3.9] Storm Burst Trickster - The Tesla Tower

Build is now updated for 3.9
Keep in mind with the enemy defense revamp elemental penetration is that much more important, I've added some comments in the gear section for ideas to help with that.

This is my first build guide, so let me know if you see anything I can improve. I haven't seen Storm Burst get much love in the forums since its update in 3.6. I've seen UberDan's Occultist from back in March and a couple guides here for Tricksters, but with Blight I think there's untapped potential. There are a couple Trickster Storm Burst guides out there and I took inspiration from a couple of folks I saw on POE Ninja during Legion league when I was looking at league starters for Blight.

The core of this build is converting Storm Burst to full lightning, then using two Call of the Brotherhood rings to convert 80% of that to Cold in order to give us easy shock procs. It's not a new concept (see above), but I think it works really well here.

It's a hybrid Life/ES build, but Eldritch battery/Mind Over Matter could work if you can get more life on gear. It's meant to be a league starter and a powerful Blighted Map clearing machine.

Updated 16/02/2020
Added a deathless Shaper clear for 3.9 since he got a massive HP bump the old video for 3.8 isn't an accurate representation of the fight anymore.


Updated 28/01/2020
Added a couple notes in the gear section and gem link section for improved clearing options. Inpulsa is a huge boost to clear, combine with Herald of Ice instead of Arctic Armour for even better clear. This combo dramatically speeds up our mapping and delving. For boss encounters I'd still recommend Arctic Armour and a high life chest.

Updated 20/01/2020
Major update to the guide detailing everything I'm using and hopefully a better explanation of why. Added FAQ section to address common issues. We'll call this version 1.0 of the guide.

Update 20/01/2020: Added Sirus Awakener Level 7 kill video. I have some tidying up to do in the guide to make it current but I think it's mostly done at this point.

Update 18/01/2020: Added T14 Awakener Level 6 Veritania kill video, Added Al-Hezmin kill video, and Drox kill video.

Update 15/01/2020: Added T15 Awakener level 5 Baran, The Crusader kill video. Sirus Awakener level 0 killed. Didn't grab a video cause honestly I thought I was going to lose. Only died once though.

Update 13/01/2020: Updated Current Gear section, Successfully cleared Shaper and Elder.

Update 01/01/2020: Updated PoB and Current Gear sections for 3.9

Update 21/09/2019: Added videos for Red Elder and Shaper deathless.

Update 16/12/2019: 3.9 does a couple good things for us.
1) Easier ailment application so our chills and shocks happen more reliably
2) Orb of Storms does less damage while leveling, and given Metamorph's mobility Storm Brand is a better applicator of innervate and ES leech
3) Yugul + Sybil's Lament provides us with enough elemental reflect resist that we can run those maps if we have to. Tested on Atziri to confirm. Keep in mind any "Adds X to Y physical damage to spells" will apply to Orb of Storms and Wave of Conviction so keep that in mind for physical reflect maps.

Update 16/02/2020

Why Trickster?
The ease of getting frenzy and power charges from Swift Killer mean we get a significant boost to crit chance and damage that we can charge up easily before big boss fights. The extra cast speed means more Storm Burst orbs, which means more damage. The extra protection offered by Ghost Dance and Escape Artist means you should have enough time to Flame Dash/Shield Charge out of serious danger. Harness the Void is the real prize giving us a silly amount of extra damage as Chaos. If you can snag a 6L Eternity Shroud this becomes even crazier.

I run around maps dropping Orb of Storms to do most of my trash clearing, then blast yellows and bosses with Storm Burst. Other guides play similar, notably cmillion's Popcorn Trickster.

Some important notes about Storm Burst:
Increased AOE only affects the ball explosion radius not the spread of the balls.
Increased Duration (tree or gem) increases the length balls linger before exploding. This is a crucial damage boost because when we stop channeling, all the balls immediately explode dealing 75% of their damage per 0.4 seconds remaining PER BALL. So you want to get as many balls out as quickly as possible, that last as long as possible, then pop them for massive damage. This bonus isn't (afaik) calculated by path of building so it's hard to quantify how good this is but it's absolutely noticeable and worth the 3 skill points in skill duration.

Once you break into higher tiers/awakener levels and Orb of Storms' damage starts to lag I switch to a combo move of Flame Dash-->Orb of Storms-->Wave of Conviction-->Channel Storm Burst to kill. As I reach max balls I'll self-cast Wave of Conviction, Flame Dash, or Orb of Storms to pop the balls, reposition, and reapply debuffs. In Blight encounters you can use Orb of Storms as a pseudo tower, and combined with a Wave of Conviction Spell Totem you can cover two additional lanes pretty handily. For bosses, especially ones you can prepare for, I like to channel Storm Burst until I'm topped off on charges, then drop Orb of Storms, Wave of Conviction totem, and pop all my flasks and focus on the boss. This has been incredibly effective in the non-Elderslayer encounters I've run (Normal Atziri, Yellow Elder, Red Elder, 75+ Vaal Oversoul, Uber Izaro, Blighted Maps, etc).

For the Elderslayers and the Awakener you need to swap things around a bit. They hit hard and move fast so Totems die quickly or get out of range. See the gem link section for details but you will likely need to move to a self cast Wave of Conviction. With the defenses at our disposal from Arctic Armour, Infusion, blind, minion taunt, and an enfeeble curse we're able to survive some pretty nasty things. We're not going to face-tank Metamorphs or Elderslayers but we can survive long enough to get out of harm's way most of the time. See the Videos section for demonstrations.

Update 19/09/2019: Red Elder went down super fast (see Videos section)

I haven't yet reached Guardians or Shaper but I think it will work well. I do think Chimera will pose a threat, and maybe Minotaur if I get caught.
Update 19/09/2019: Phoenix went down super fast.

Shaper is so mechanics-heavy that knowing the fight is more important than anything else, so I'd expect no trouble there unless I'm grossly underestimating my damage somehow.
Update 21/09/2019: Shaper down Deathless, see Videos. Died to a nasty Chimera map but the other guardians also done deathless. I feel like I'm grossly underselling the damage of the build after running this.

Uber Atziri is going to be rough due to reflect mechanics. Since you need to lose a ring to wear Sibyl's Lament your DPS takes a big hit. Once you max out the weapon it might be more doable but I wouldn't recommend this build for this fight. Haven't tested since the Sibyl's Lament update. Damage/Sustain may be an issue but reflect won't kill us anymore.

Uber Elder is doable with smart positioning but only once you're really maxing out the gear.

Elderslayers are very manageable even at high awakener levels, just pick your battles and don't stand and fight a losing battle.

Sirus requires knowing the fight since at the highest awakener levels he hits very hard and has a metric ton of life. Again finding good DPS windows is huge. You cannot stand and burn during this fight.

3.9 PoB Pastebin Update 22/01/2020

3.9: https://pastebin.com/XZ3LZkqp
3.8: https://pastebin.com/R1zzQdQc

3.9 Tree Update 20/01/2020

Pros and Cons
+High Damage
+Great clear
+Orb of Storms/Storm Brand and Wave of Conviction Totem act as extra towers during Blight encounters and boss runs
+Cheap to get up and running

-Survivability is very gear dependent. I wouldn't say glass cannon, but it's no juggernaut.
-Requires significant mana cost investment either through reduced costs or increased regen to maintain channeling.
-Chaos damage is scary. I have a lower life pool with a decent ES pool, so Chaos Damage bypassing ES can be a problem (especially in the Chimera fight). You can go all-ES on gear and go CI, but as a league start that's a bit tricky. It's expensive but worth it to grab chaos res on gear as you go. Dropping move speed from boots reduces the price you'll pay for some cheap resist there.
-Elemental Reflect is a no-go. With Yugul and Sybil's Lament you can survive given the changes to Sybil's lament just don't forget about any added phys damage to spells.

Save Alira. We need Mana Regen ASAP and the resists help ease gear requirements later. If you can swing the regen and resists elsewhere, kill all of the bandits and grab more Life with the points.

Lunaris (mapping)/Solaris (bossing) and Shakari. Chaos Damage is a big problem and poison immunity saves us a flask affix. If you go Chaos Innoculation, then Lunaris and Tukohama are great. Drop Shakari for the Elderslayers and use Ryslatha except on the Hunter. Keep Shakari for that.

Swift Killer-->Ghost Dance-->Escape Artist-->Harness the Void
Swift Killer helps keep our damage up until we can equip Moonsorrow. Ghost Dance and Escape Artist keep us alive. Harness the Void is last because it's pure damage and we can't do much damage if we're dead.

Current Gear:

Update 20/01/2020:

Updated 20/01/2020

3.9+ Note
With additional enemy defenses penetration and reduced resistance is much more useful. Temple helms with "Nearby Enemies have -9% Resistance to Cold" and replacing ES Leech and Chain on Orb of Storms/Storm Brand with Curse on Hit + Frostbite may work for harder targets.
2x Call of the Brotherhood rings

-This is the crux of the build. The ease of shocking enemies and getting to use Herald of Ice/Purity and Hatred is a huge boost to safety from chill/freeze and damage from shocks.


Incursion Amulet with Cold Damage life leech. We don't have many ways to recover life and the life leech on an Incursion or Shaper amulet is really nice. The Mana regen from a Paua Amulet helps with our Mana sustain issues early as well. Other stats to look for are Resists, more mana regen, Life, Crit Chance, and Crit Multiplier.
Anointing is up to you. Crackling Speed was the best I could manage with my oils at this time. You can use this to slot more Mana Regen via Deep Thoughts, Mystic Bulwark, or Mental Rapidity while leveling since I believe those are fairly cheap to anoint. If you want to go big Heart of Ice grants more damage, Penetration, and ES Leech.


Due to Escape Artist, you want as much ES on a helmet as you can find. From there you want resists, Life, reduced mana reserved, and Storm Burst or Orb of Storms enchants are great. For Storm Burst enchants, Damage is a safe bet, but I believe Create Additional Orbs gives you more damage. For Orb of Storms enchants you want increased AOE, then crit chance, then damage. Orb of Storms does a surprising amount of damage, but its main purpose is to clear trash, leech ES or blind/cull, and proc innervate, since a larger AOE means you can hit things further away. It also helps it work as an additional tower during Blight encounters.


Eternity Shroud is the goal. If you snag one, go either 5B 1G sockets or 4B 1R 1G if you want to use Hypothermia/Cold Penetration (check your PoB to see which is better for you). Then stack as much Shaper gear as you can and profit. On a budget any 6L Evasion/ES chest with Life and Resists work great. For a reliable option, a Shroud of the Lightless adds a lot of survivability through Shade Form and is a much easier pseudo-6L to get than most other options. Carcass Jack is a stellar option for clear speed and a solid upgrade from Shroud of the Lightless if you can get more life elsewhere. For me I'll sacrifice some ES for life and that's reflected in my current slot.

Another clear option is Inpulsa's Broken Heart. Since we shock damn near everything we always have a huge damage bonus and the explosions combine with Herald of Ice for amazing chain explosions. Great option for Delve and Blight and much cheaper than the crusader mod. That said, if you can get a truckload of life and the crusader mod then DO IT.


Asenath's Gentle Touch is a great choice for a unique. Temporal Chains and Blind are big boosts to survivability but it's real expensive. Failing that, Shaper Gloves with Blind support is a nice budget option. You want Resists, Life, and Cast speed primarily. You'll want to socket Orb of Storms here if you don't grab a Shaper Helm with Innervate built in. Once you start pushing endgame you'll want incursion gloves with Increased Damage against Chilled Enemies. This is almost always a pretty big damage bump. For me stat priority was Life-->Damage against chilled-->Chaos Res-->Other resists

For enchants, Reflection is helpful for another distraction but nothing is super vital.


Kaom's Roots if you need life and want to skip the freeze flask.
Evasion and/or ES boots with movespeed, resists, and life are a boring but obvious choice. Shaped boots are nice, especially with Chance to Dodge Attack Hits. Once you're pushing endgame look for or craft Cannot be Frozen on to boots with life, resists, and movespeed. If you can get greedy add chaos resist and/or Chance to Dodge Attack Hits.
For enchants there's a lot of good for us.
For mapping: cast speed on kill, dodge attacks if you've taken a crit recently, damage leeched as life if you've killed recently, etc
For Bossing: Look for Damage Penetrates Elemental Resistances if you haven't killed recently. It's a pretty big damage bump especially against Elderslayers.

If you do go with Kaom's then I'd drop Wave of Conviction or use it in a 3L over Shield Charge like this: Wave-->Phys to Light-->Spell Totem. Depends on how important Fortify or exposure is to you.


Stygian Vise with life and resists as needed. Add an Abyss jewel with life and some combination of physical, lightning, or cold spell damage (while holding a shield). A Shaped belt with increased mana recovery rate can go a long way, too. A Cold Doryani's Invitation is a great starter belt for running maps.


I'm using a Light of Lunaris shield since it's the best balance of damage and survivability for me right now. The Unshattered Will is another excellent choice, especially if you need the resists. A rare spirit shield with some combination of Life, ES, resists, and spell damage would also work fine. I've played around with the +1 to all lightning spell skill gems too and that's a decent damage bump as well.


I went with wands, but I believe sceptres can work just fine too. In the early game a Storm Prison is solid, upgrading to a Cerberus Limb and then Moonsorrow when you can. Ideally you want to end with a meta crafted shaper/Crusader weapon with physical as extra lightning, elemental as extra chaos, spell damage, cast speed, crit chance, and % increased lightning/cold damage. If you tweak your regen and leeching in the tree, Shimmeron can be a really strong damage option. You can also look for +1 to Physical or Lightning Spell Skill gems. Elder wands have the Add X to Y physical damage to spells and are quite a strong DPS boost too. This is a flexible slot and should grow with your character as you put the other pieces in place.

The unique options here are NOT best in slot, they are reliable options while you look for upgrades. Keep checking PoB with other options. We have a lot going on under the hood with chill, freeze, shock, and other semi-conditional mods (inspiration charges, frenzy/power charges, arcane surge, etc) so some weapon that looks really tasty might be a DPS downgrade.


Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching
Atziri's Promise
Experimenter's Diamond Flask of <Dousing/Warding/Heat>
Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of <Dousing/Warding/Heat>
Experimenter's Silver Flask of <Dousing/Warding/Heat>
You can swap the "of Heat" flask with Taste of Hate.
If you're too squishy, lose some damage and use a stibnite, jade, or quartz flask.

Early on you'd want a mana flask with either increased cast speed or more recovery but slower recovery rate. Ideally an Enduring mana flask will keep you topped off if you're really struggling with mana.

If you don't have to worry about one of the above ailments you can swap in a Rumi's Concoction for more damage and security as I have done. I keep an anti-curse sulphur/silver/quicksilver flask for temp chains maps though.

For end game you want to drop a standard flask and grab Taste of Hate and if you balance your resists, Wise Oak. Even if you just get cold to be your highest resist Wise Oak is a good damage option if you can spare the flask slot. If you get Awakened Cold Penetration it then you can probably drop wise oak for Sin's Rebirth. The extra damage and burn removal is nice and, if you're not running blind, the smoke cloud gives you an extra layer of protection.

I can't say enough good things about a Ghastly Eye Jewel with Life, Chaos Resist, and Minions have a chance to taunt on hit. If you go the Herald of Purity route in the Auras link this provides huge windows for damaging bosses. Check the Veritania video for an example.

Otherwise look for a Cannot be inflicted with Corrupted Blood. I died to this ailment one too many times so I always grab one even if the rest of the jewel is junk and upgrade when I can.

From there, Life, Spell Damage, Increased Lightning/Physical/Cold Damage to spells (while holding a shield). If you use Shroud of the Lightless stick to abyss jewels with similar stats. This is a decent slot to grab chaos resist for fights like the Hunter.

If you get rich, a Watcher's Eye with any Hatred mod would work quite nicely.

Gem Links in order of importance
Update 20/01/2020:
Storm Burst-->Physical to Lightning-->Inspiration-->Infused Channeling-->Concentrated Effect-->Hypothermia/Elemental Focus
If you use Shroud of the Lightless, drop the 6th gem. Use Elemental focus if you're ok losing the shock/freeze from storm burst, and relying on Orb Of Storms/Storm Brand/Wave of Conviction to proc that instead. Elemental Focus is a good damage option to swap in during 90% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments maps too.

Orb of Storms-->Blind-->Innervate-->Culling Strike
Orb of Storms is a beast. Innervate gives us more damage, blind boosts our evade chance, and cull is an MVP for endgame. It's a pseudo tower in Blights and it's just an all-around great skill. Storm brand can work here too, but I think Orb of Storms is better in Blight. If you can get a shaper helmet with innervate support swap in something like Chain, or Onslaught to improve damage or survivability.

Spell Totem-->Wave of Conviction-->Physical to Lightning-->Increased Duration
This gives us another tower and boosts our damage through cold exposure. Increased duration can be swapped with increased AOE, multi totems, or any damage gem if you don't mind recasting more often. Just keep in mind that duration also affects how far out the wave goes as well as the exposure debuff. You could swap this to a Cast When Damage Taken setup if you don't want to actively cast it. If you do that, then move Stone Golem here and drop increased duration.

You can also Self-Cast to free up a link for a status like Curse on Hit, Enfeeble, and Physical to Lightning Damage.

Hatred-->Herald of Purity-->Vaal Clarity-->Enlighten
Use Enlighten if you want more mana available, it's not strictly required though. Vaal Clarity should only need to be leveled enough to even out mana spending while casting Storm Burst. This will depend on your gear and tree so I can't give a specific level, but for me right now it's level 6. Once you can even out mana issues drop Clarity and replace it with Arctic Armour for more physical damage protection. We're often flat footed so it helps to get a bit more protection. You can also try Flesh and Stone in Sand Stance to blind nearby enemies and reduce damage from further away enemies. If you do, then
replace the Blind link in Orb of Storms with Chain. If you want better clear speed then drop Clarity or Arctic Armour for Herald of Ice. I'd go this route for mapping/delve but it's not nearly as nice as Arctic Armour for safety in big boss encounters.
Summon Stone Golem Arcane Surge-->Flame Dash
Get Arcane surge to the level it will always activate with Flame Dash and self cast Stone Golem when needed. Arcane surge is a nice overall buff to mana regen and spell damage. Stone Golem helps us regen and is super helpful when our flasks are depleted in a boss encounter.

Shield Charge-->Fortify-->Increased Duration/Faster Attacks
We get increased duration from the tree, but more is nice so we don't have to charge into danger too much. Faster attacks would let us zoom around more. I think it's preference more than anything. Physical damage is a problem if we get hit through our evasion, and this helps mitigate some of that.

As you transition to endgame I feel like this isn't as useful as in 3.8 so I'd recommend swapping to what I'm currently using Cast When Damage Taken lvl 1-->Tempest Shield lvl 7-->Immortal Call lvl 3. This gives us more block chance and a frequent and decent bit of Less Damage that stacks nicely with Arctic Armour.

Leveling Guide
Helm: Goldrim
Chest: Tabula Rasa
Gloves: Lochtonial Caress
Shield: Springleaf
Weapon: Lifesprig --> Storm Prison/Axiom Perpetuum -->Cerberus Limb-->Moonsorrow
Boots: Wanderlust

Start by grabbing freezing pulse until you can get Storm Burst, then switch weapons to Axiom Perpetuum or Storm Prison.

Get as many mana regen nodes and spell damage/crit chance/crit multi nodes as you can. Lucidity should be priority 1, then Arcane Will, Stormweaver, and Shaper.

Add clarity and Herald of Thunder until you get Call of the Brotherhoods, then swap to Herald of Ice.

As early as you can (level 40ish) grab an amulet with Cold Damage leeched as life after you get the CotB rings. Until you grab the amulet pick up some spell damage leeched as energy shield nodes. Around level 47 you can use Cerberus Limb with Light of Lunaris to get some consistent life leech, just make sure your Light of Lunaris has 30% chance to block (+7% chance to block or better). Until then cycle life flasks to keep you topped up.

Once you're safe on mana regen you can add Hatred.

Upgrade to Moonsorrow at level 59. The increased damage means you won't need the leech from Cerberus Limb, and the 10% chance to blind on hit is nice because we hit a lot. Keep an eye out for Shaped Prophecy Wands with gain physical as extra lightning or elemental as extra chaos damage. Opal wands are super expensive and I've found a couple decent deals on Prophecy wands.

If you're running short on stats (likely dex) then grab the +30 node Alacrity either via Anointing (3x clear oil) or grabbing it while leveling. Craft stats on gear as needed.

Q: Why use Hatred instead of Wrath if we're starting with lightning damage?
A: Wrath's added damage to lightning attacks doesn't help us. Hatred's Physical Damage as Extra Cold does. So while we're losing out on the full effect of the More Cold Damage multiplier we still come out ahead of Wrath.

Q: I have trouble staying alive, help!
A: Don't stand in the fire, check your resists, grab minion taunt, and beef up your life. Also if you juice a metamorph to 800% More life and 85% more damage you're going to die. There isn't much we can do against that unless it bugs out or we win the dodge lottery. We aren't going to facetank so positioning is key. Get cold damage leeched as life ASAP. Stone golem is a supplemental boost not our sole source of life sustain.

Q: I hit like a wet noodle, how to I boost my damage?
A: Some easy boosts is grab Incursion gloves with increased damage against chilled enemies. Make sure the target has exposure. Swap the curse on hit to use Frostbite. Keep Arcane Surge up. Check your anointment, increased duration is a nice damage boost for Storm Burst, there may be a cheap one there. Jewels with increased Lightning/Cold damage and crit multiplier will also help out.

Thanks for reading, if you have any suggestions to improve the build I'm all ears. If you use the build and like it let me know. Once I get to some more interesting content I'll try to record some videos.

Last edited by Bladeslaw on Feb 16, 2020, 1:54:49 PM
Last bumped on Feb 11, 2020, 2:39:59 AM
This build has been working pretty well for me so far. I'm going through the campaign and at 43 with a Tabula and old gear from Act 1, I'm mowing down everything in sight. That's with Storm Burst 5-linked to keep mana costs down, plus I haven't even bothered with Orb/Wave yet. I'm looking forward to mapping soon. :)
Glad it's working out! I've updated the guide with a couple videos showcasing its single target damage. Once Blight maps stop crushing my PC I'll try and record a clear to show off its tower-ness.
Just wondering about your pob - how do you get a 50% shock effect on bosses like shaper?
Would it make sense to change herald of ice with skitterbots for 19% shock effect?
AnakinSky wrote:
Just wondering about your pob - how do you get a 50% shock effect on bosses like shaper?
Would it make sense to change herald of ice with skitterbots for 19% shock effect?

There's a couple ways.

I went with anointing Static Blows. Skitterbots would probably be better for boss encounters over herald of ice, but for clearing HoI pops really help out. There's probably an enlighten setup that can work to roll in both but I haven't played around with it too much.
do you think Storm Burst is a good starter for 3.9 Metamorph?
Last edited by supervi1 on Dec 11, 2019, 5:58:43 PM
Definitely, the skill is still strong and the gear progression for leveling is still pretty smooth. I haven't gone through all the changes but I'll get an update out when I can.
This build is super fun to play with a mana guardian, the phys->lightning->cold conversion lets all the auras really kick it up a notch (my POB DPS goes from 330k to 1.6M with the auras...of course, some of that is smoke and mirrors since you would normally run an aura yourself, but still very impressive).

Thanks for the guide.
Hi, We still need a call of the brotherhood ring with Sybil's Lament?
You only need Sybil's lament for Elemental Reflect maps (or Atziri). The rest of the time 2 Call of the Brotherhood rings should be used. Since we're scaling cold damage we want to make sure we don't lose too much of that benefit when we have to drop a ring.

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