[3.8] Slayer Lightning Strike | Inpulsa + Storm's Gift | Insane clear-speed | All end-game content
This build utilizes fully elemental converted Lightning Strike skill to reach one of the highest levels of map clear and still have optimal single target dps.
Because of Lightning Strike mechanics this build could be considered a middle ground between melee and ranged, thus allowing fun and unique playing experience.
To someone who needs a short demonstration:
I'm sorry for bad quality and lags - my old laptop is by no means suitable for video editing.
Video showcases T16 Maze of the Minotaur map clear, lvl 83 Alva Incursions, T16 Blight encounter, depth 350 Delving, lvl 83 Legion Monolith, lvl 83 Uul-Netol Breachstone, Shaper + some other lvl 83 bosses.
I will discuss passive tree later but if you can sort everything out yourself here's my PoB link:
Obviously, it's an ideal boss damage that is nowhere near the usual one. For Uber Elder fight you will have around 1.5 mil DPS without charges and most temporary buffs.
Why Lightning Strike
—Quite underappreciated melee skill with good base damage % + added lightning damage.
—Up to 8 (at gem lvl 21) projectiles that hugely increase aoe potential.
—Cool looking visuals (although no available MTX yet)
—20% Culling Strike, 20% more damage against Uniques helps to solve possible single target problems.
—7.5% Critical Strike Chance for low-crit weapons, additional Critical Strike Multiplier.
—Overleech / AoE + Accuracy
Ascendancy passives will be reviewed more deeply under "Ascendancy" spoiler.
This build uses an interesting combination of several unique items:
Inpulsa's Broken Heart explodes shocked enemies you kill, dealing part of their maximum life as lightning damage. With enough lightning damage bonuses you can effectively make these explosions able to destroy everything in their radius. However, that damage itself cannot shock which breaks the possibility of prolifing chain explosions.
This is where Storm's Gift comes to the rescue! "Enemies you killed are shocked" modifier effectively gives us 20% shock proliferation within a radius of 15 of any dead enemy. Now, to chain-explode several screens of monster packs we only need three enemies close enough to each other.
First enemy is killed and shocked with your Lightning Strike. His body then gets exploded by Inpulsa. This explosion also kills second and third enemies. The second monster upon death gets automatically shocked by Storm's Gift and prolifs this shock to the third enemy. Thus, chain reaction of shocks and explosions clears the whole pack.
You can help to guarantee this proc by increasing AoE damage (which scales Inpulsa's Explosions) and adding Ancestral Call (+ Melee Splash) support gems. Do not worry about losing damage - you don't need that much anyways!
Pros and Cons
+ Insanely satisfying clear speed
+ Very good for delving, legion, breaches, blight
+ Good for mapping, currency farming
+ Good single target damage
+ Up to 80% avoid any attack / 30% avoid spells chance
+ Somewhat unique gameplay
- Low eHP, can get oneshotted sometimes
- Cannot facetank end-game content
- Cannot deal with elemental reflect maps
- Not good for the Hardcore mode
- High optimizing gear cost
You can find full PoB under the corresponding spoiler above.
We focus mainly on the western and eastern parts of the passive tree in order to get maximum Sword bonuses + Critical Strike Chance & Multiplier. Remember that pure modifiers to melee damage don't affect Lightning Strike projectiles so any source of lightning/elemental/physical damage is much better for overall skill efficiency. Additionaly, we pick all nearby Life nodes + northern Life cluster in order to get at least 150% total maximum life increased. This is important to not make the build too squishy to play.
Point Blank allows Lightning Strike projectiles to deal up to 50% more damage in close range which positively synergises with melee nature of the skill. Picking this node is crucial for ensuring good area damage.
Acrobatics adds an additional separate dodge chance in the cost of less armour, energy shield and block chance. Luckily for us, the only downside of this Keystone is approximitely 5% less block chance which is not really important comparing to the positive effect you get.
Vaal Pact doubles life leech per second and maximum recovery from life leech, effectively granting double leech possibilities. However, in return you lose the ability to regenerate life. Even though this build doesn't possess any strong life regen capabilities, in some maps or against some bosses the inability to withstand even small portions of periodical damage could create some problems. Additionaly, damage over time from your skills like "Blood rage" will be much more nasty to deal with.
Phase Acrobatics grants additional 30% chance to dodge spell hits (+ additional 10% chance to dodge attacks from 3 previous passive points. In general, it is highly recommended to pick this keystone if you've already invested into "Acrobatics". However, if you need a bit more damage and are sure about your survivability, you may choose not to use it.
I) Headsman and Bane of Legends are the only important passives you need to get as fast as possible. They gradually boost overall damage and make it much easier to deal with unique enemies.
II) Overwhelm should be picked if you have any weapon with low base Critical Strike Chance %. Up to 100% additional Critical Strike Multiplier is a good secondary bonus as well.
III a) Impact helps to increase Inpulsa explosions, adds some proximity damage and accuracy rating but is not that important if you have enough map clear and hit chance.
III b) Endless Hunger provides life leech, stun and bleed immunity but is not very effective without following Brutal Fervour notable. So if you want to invest into leech make sure you have enough Crit and Hit chance first.
Just kill everyone. You may choose to leave Alira for some additional critical strike multiplier and elemental resists but it's not that crucial.
Soul of the Brine King if you have stun+freeze problems. Otherwise, Soul of Lunaris.
Soul of Tukohama to increase defences while stationary (for example, dealing with strong bosses), Soul of Garukhan for map clear, Soul of Yugul against Uber Elder.
In general, Pantheon choices is mostly up to you as they don't affect gameplay that strong.
You will need around 3000 accuracy rating in order to ensure you will always hit lvl 83 enemies. Without enough hit chance any attack-based build will not work. Fortunately, with high lvl Precision you should have almost no problems reaching the cap.
In PoE you simply cannot play without having all of your elemental resistances fully capped at 75%. Without that, even a smallest source of random elemental damage will almost certainly result in your death. Thus, your first objective should be to get as much resistances on rare items as possible. I'd recommend to focus on helmet, boots and belt as they're quite popular and cheap mods on them that are easy to find.
—Critical Strike Chance
The build relies highly on your enemies being shocked. One of the best ways to inflict elemental ailments is to deal critical strike damage to the enemy. Make sure to have around 50% critical strike chance in your hideout (without Diamond flask).
—Critical Strike Multiplier
Largely increases your overall damage, resulting in faster map clear, better shocks, larger explosions, satisfying gameplay. 500% Critical Strike Multiplier should be good enough but the more you get the better.
As was previously mentioned, you should get at least 150% increased maximum life from your passive tree. Sometimes your dodge and evade chances will not prock, so you must have reliable life pool to live through enemy damage. In general, this only becomes problematic with End-game bosses like Uber Elder and deep enough delve. Otherwise, your insane damage and clear speed should ensure you will almost never get hit.
Getting a good amount of flat added Life from your rare items should also be the obvious necessity. I will discuss this in more depth under "Gear" spoiler.
—Life + mana leech
Ensuring some sort of life leech is good for build survivability and mana sustain is necessary for being able to attack anything reliably. You can choose to pick small passive node near "Vaal Pact" keystone to not worry about leech at all. However, you may also use any source of "X% of attack damage leeched as life/mana" on your items. Lightning Strike mana cost could also be decreased to 0 with special crafting modifier on rings or amulet but finding a good one can be costly.
From the passive tree you should have more than enough Strength and Dexterity, however reaching 155 intelligence for Wrath could be problematic. This can be done either by a combination of +30 intelligence passive tree nodes with amulet anointment ("Utmost Intellect" grants +40 to intelligence and 8% increased intelligence) or reaching the cap with mods on rare items.
I currently use +60 int amulet, +30 int ring, +20 int implicit on Storm's Gift, +30 int from passive tree notable.
Because your main layer of defense is to rely on avoiding enemy attacks, gear with high Evasion base should be your priority. Armour or Energy Shield items don't have much synergy with "Acrobatics" Keystone.
Very good for the overall build damage but becomes outshined by Crit Multiplier at some stage. Having around 5 attacks per second (without multistrike) should be ok.
All sources of potential flat added damage have positive synergy with the build. Note that even though added physical damage is strong and quite easy to find, added lightning damage gives more pure dps (because of larger numbers and full conversion). You should focus on added damage if you're satisfied with other stats.
Every cheap source of increased damage can be good for the build but in general you get enough from the passive tree. This includes increased damage with swords, while dual wielding, physical damage, lightning damage, elemental damage with attack skills. Note that melee damage or projectile damage will affect only the corresponding part of Lightning Strike.
Please, don't pay much attention to gem sockets in this section, this will be discussed separately later. Just use item links to see what uniques and rares you should aim at.
Cost: average (~50c each)
Stats to look for: attack speed, added lightning damage, added physical damage
Because of good amount of added damage of different types, a pair of Rebuke of the Vaal swords is more than capable of dealing with all content the game can offer. I personally still use them.
Additional benefits of these swords include fire damage which helps to ignite your targets, thus making it possible to utilise Cinderswallow Urn Silver Flask. Cold damage portion freezes enemies and gets rid of their corpses on-death effects, resulting in much safer gameplay (forget about Porcupines!). You can also combine it with Herald of Ice to provide additional explosions.
Cost: very high (~5ex each)
Stats to look for: increased physical damage, attack speed, quality
You can use a couple of Paradoxicas to ensure even higher damage, however it may cost you a lot to find good mods. Because of higher critical strike chance there's no need to invest into Overwhelm ascendacy node but without added accuracy you may need to spend some passives to increase your hit rating.
In general, good rolled Paradoxicas should give you around 25% more dps than previous swords.
Other rare swords x2
Stats to look for: added lightning damage, increased lightning damage, attack speed, global critical strike multiplier, elemental/lightning resistance penetration, increased physical damage, added physical damage, quality.
Good physical damage / lightning damage jewelled foil with high attack speed and critical strike will work as well. The cost may vary depending on your budget.
Cost: high (3ex for 6-linked)
Stats to look for: maximum life, increased damage if you have shocked an enemy recently
Inpulsa is the most important item for this build. Can you play without it? You can, but it won't be the same build anymore. You may use the 5-linked version without much problems though.
Depending on your gem choices (will be discussed below), you may also have to spend some chromatic orbs to roll 4 red sockets, which is not that easy. Alternatively, you can use Syndicate Vorici crafting bench to make some white sockets to not worry about possible gem swaps.
Cost: low (up to 10c)
Stats to look for: lightning resistance
Lab enchants: doesn't matter that much, any damaging Commandment (Force, Blades)
Another mandatory item. Try to find Storm's Gift with good lightning resistance roll. Because this item has synthesis implicit and relatively low initial cost, you may try to look for something helpful for optimizing the build (+intelligence, resistances, damage sources, attack leech, etc).
Cost: average (up to 2ex) [without lab enchant]
Stats to look for: resistances, maximum life, evasion rating
Lab enchants: Lightning Strike pierces 3 additional targets (huge benefits but expensive)
Lion pelt with good rolls should help you to cap elemental resistances and give a good amount of flat life. You may perfectly play without Lightning Strike lab enchant, however if you really wish to maximize your playing experience, you will have to spend much more currency.
I bought a Lion Pelt with the necessary enchant, increased its quality with Perfect Fossil and crafted with Metallic Fossil to get "Nearby enemies have -9% to lightning resistance" mod with good enough life and resistance rolls.
What if you got no problems with defences? Then try to look for something like Starkonja's Head, Devoto's Devotion, Fractal Thoughts with "Lightning strike pierces 3 additional targets" enchant.
Cost: average (up to 3ex)
Stats to look for: resistances, maximum life, movement speed, evasion rating
Lab enchants: Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently, Increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't Crit Recently, Damage Penetrates % of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently, Adds Lightning Damage if you haven't Killed Recently, Increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently
The same as with the helmet, except try to get at least 25% movement speed to move more freely across maps.
Cost: high (from 100c)
Stats to look for: lvl 12 assassin's mark on hit, maximum life..... resistances, intelligence, damage sources
Assassin's mark on hit ring gives you additional critical strike chance and grants power charge on kill which results in huge dps boost. Getting this ring is quite important, although not essential.
If you want to invest more into this ring, try either to look for resistances and intelligence to optimize your build or fully go into damage with mods like added lightning damage, critical strike multiplier, elemental damage with attacks.
Cost: low (~5c)
Stats to look for: increased maximum life, increased attack damage if your other ring is a shaper item
Cheap and reliable option with good life and damage modifiers. Interestingly, even a small portion of added cold damage may help you to freeze some enemies even in high tier maps.
If you have additional currency, might as well look for some better rare ring with mods I described above.
Stats to look for: maximum life, ?
Anointment: life bonus (Discipline and Training), damage + accuracy (Honed Edge), resistances (Holy Dominion), Intelligence (Utmost Intellect), etc...
Having free amulet slot is very important part of "polishing" the build. You may look for additional elemental resistances, intelligence to reach cap, life/mana leech, or just additional damage sources. I've linked my current amulet but it's mostly up to you.
Makes your critical strike chances lucky, gradually increasing overall dps.
Cost: low | average (from 40c)
Onslaught grants you additional attack and movement speed. Do not use Cinderswallow Urn if you haven't got any good source of fire damage.
Cost: low | low (from 15c)
Life flask can save you from the death sometimes and highly usable in Delve. In maps without lots of dangerous mods I usually don't use it.
A good cheap source of additional damage if you wish.
Quicksilver flask is not must-have but highly beneficial and recommended to use.
Lion's Roar in general is not that effective as it buffs only the melee part of the skill. Bottled Faith is extremely expensive and I don't feel like it's really worth it.
Make sure to have Bleed + Freeze immunity on your flask as they are one the main sources of character deaths.
It is also beneficial to get rid of ignite and curses but don't focus on it too much. Thanks to Inpulsa you are unaffected by shock so may not care about this one.
If you haven't picked Endless Hunger ascendancy passive node you may sometimes be stunned as well. Luckily, it almost never becomes a problem because you avoid most of attacks anyways.
Cost: high (1 ex each)
Jewels provide you with final dps boost and life bonus but are not that essential for the build. If you have enough currency, look for something with "increased maximum life" and a couple of "multiplier" mods. The final mod may be some resists or bonus to intelligence. For example, you may use this search: http://poe.trade/search/simetasuomihaz
Cost: very high (from 5 ex)
The build utilises two passive auras: Precision and Wrath that may be further improved with Watcher's Eye Jewel. Depending on what mods you're looking for the price may vary but getting good double rolls may cost 10-20 ex. Buy this jewel only if you have enough currency to spend. Example search: http://poe.trade/search/arakitanomohuk
The total cost of the gear below should be ~1 ex.
Use double Dreadbeak (20c).
Use 5-linked Inpulsa's Broken Heart (50c).
Use average Storm's Gift (5c).
Use Starkonja's Head (1c) / Devoto's Devotion (10c) / Fractal Thoughts (20c) / any rare helmet with good enough rolls (15c).
Use Atziri's Step (1c) / any rare boots with good enough rolls (30c).
Use any lvl 8 assassin's mark ring with 50+ life roll (50c).
Use Mark of the Elder (3c).
Use Hyrri's Truth (10c).
Use magic ones (1c each).
Use jewels without life/with one critical strike multiplier mod/attack speed or less impactful dps mods (10c each).
Note: this is not very budget friendly build. I don't recommend it as a league starter.
Vaal Lightning Strike — our main source of damage. Vaal part of the skill can be helpful but I rarely use it. I recommend to find a lvl 21/23 quality version of the skill as it's not very expensive.
Physical to Lightning — helps to fully convert physical damage part of the skill into lightning element.
Elemental damage with attacks — must-have damage support gem.
Ancestral Call — must-have AoE clear gem. Can be swapped on bosses.
Fortify — add for better survivability. Unfortunately, melee damage bonus doesn't synergise with projectile part of the skill. You may use Fortify in your movement skill as well but remember to always have it active.
Ruthless — strong dps boost, has the same disadvantage as Fortify support.
Inspiration — incredibly strong gem that grants you up to 40% more elemental damage and additional critical strike chance.
Melee Splash — helps with AoE, can be used in combination with Ancestral Call for extra fast map clear.
Added Lightning Damage — additional dps, no downsides.
Lightning Penetration — same as added lightning damage but a bit weaker.
Multistrike — lots of players use this support gem and it seems to be really strong for the build. However, when I last tested it was still kinda bad compared to original version. Maybe it got better, need further testing.
AoE Clear setup:
Vaal Lightning Strike—Physical to Lightning—Elemental damage with attacks—Fortify—Ancestral Call—Melee Splash
Singe target setup (only on hardest bosses):
Vaal Lightning Strike—Physical to Lightning—Elemental damage with attacks—Fortify—Inspiration—Ruthless/Added Lightning Damage/Lightning Penetration
Whirling Blades—Faster Attacks—Blood Magic—Innervate
Whirling Blades with Faster Attacks is one of the best movement skills.
Blood Magic support is optional but really beneficial as you don't have to spend mana on this skill.
Innervate support actually procks pretty often and even in highest maps you're still able to explode monster packs with just Whirling Blades. Innervation effect is global, meaning it boosts your Lightning Strike damage as well, plus it lasts for 8 seconds.
It is possible to add Fortify support as well, freeing main skill socket. You may also be lucky to find good boots with "Socketed gems supported by level # Fortify" mod but it's not that easy.
Wrath—Precision—Flesh and Stone—Enlighten (lvl 3)
Wrath simply gives you lots of dps. Keep Precision at level where you hit chance is at 99%-100%, this will save additional mana. Use Flesh and Stone in Sand Stance which blinds nearby enemies and reduces the dmg of others. This skill is really helps with overall survivability. Support all of these skills with at least lvl 3 Enlighten support to reduce their mana reservation cost.
Ancestral Protector—Ruthless—Added Lightning Damage—?
This totem gives you a good damage boost and has a relatively high dps itself. It's good to use it against bosses or in blight encounters. You may choose to support the totem with some damaging skills to increase its overall eficiency.
Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 10)—Immortal Call (lvl 12)—Blood Rage (lvl 13)
Gives you additional layer of defense and activates Blood Rage which provides frenzy charges on kill. Remember that Blood Rage damages your character over time so you may choose not to use in some maps or against some bosses.
Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1)—Wave of Conviction (lvl 7)
It's good to proc WoC as often as possible - it gives enemies Lightning Exposure on hit reducing their lightning resistance by 25%.
Other possible gems:
Summon Golem — use Lightning golem for additional attack speed or Ice golem for Accuracy + Crit Chance.
Phase Run — additional damage, movement speed, phasing, less visibility to enemies. You may wish to activate it through CwDT setup or press manually.
Herald of Thunder — dps boost but you have to sacrifice some other aura for its mana reservation.
Herald of Ice — has strong synergy with Rebuke of the Vaal swords, allowing even more explosions and better clear. Don't use without any reliable source of cold damage.
Dangerous map mods
Unfortunately, this build cannot do any maps with "Reflected elemental damage" modifiers. "You cannot leech life and mana from enemies" is almost impossible too.
"You character is cursed with Vulnerability" is very nasty for this build as well as "Enemies have 90% chance to avoid elemental ailments". It's still more than doable though.
Most of other mods can be done pretty easily, no matter how many of them together you're dealing with.
You can use Lightning Strike from level 12 so I recommend specing into it as fast as possible. After all, low-level gaming experience is still experience!
Overall, you'll only need Tabula Rasa for the fast and comfortable leveling. If you have a will to buy other uniques, focus on resistances and evasion ones.
Try to focus on the Duelist's southern part first, then follow to the eastern part, then to the western. Pick all sources of increased damage and nearby life nodes. Do not invest into crit chance + multiplier until maps. Complete the whole nothern life cluster before starting maps. Pick critical strike nodes in early maps. Pick jewel socket nodes in the last priority.
For the ascendancy, go Headsman -> Bane of Legends -> Overwhelm -> whatever you wish.
I will add here FAQ (if there will be a necessity) or some other ideas later.
—You may use "always attack without moving" option so your character will not try to run into melee range everytime (thanks @Wiizper for the advice).
—Lightning Strike projectiles being blocked by terrain and random objects can be a bit problematic, especially when you try to attack enemies standing much higher than you. However, it's not that bad as people might think.
—Raider Ascendancy with dual Claw wielding may be potentially better in some parts.
—It's still a little bit weaker than MS optimized builds and ranged meta skills. Luckily, you won't feel that much behind.
To conclude, I'm having an absolute blast playing this build and haven't enjoyed the game that much before. It's really good for fast atlas missions, farming, delving, dealing with all the content. The only small difficulties were Uber Elder fight and some Delve bosses whose mechanics I don't know very well. I'm really looking forward to your feedback!
Last edited by Karpoavel on Nov 7, 2019, 2:58:16 PM
Last bumped on Nov 4, 2019, 7:48:37 AM
on Oct 21, 2019, 11:16:42 AM
Shame you haven't gotten much feedback on your build so far.
Respecced to this earlier since it seems to be quite difficult to find a speed mapper.
Haven't done much on it yet, a couple maps maybe.
Did do a T15 Siege Blighted maps, wasn't much of an issue. Died twice to face tanking bosses.
In terms of gear, i could improve greatly.
I currently only have 4200 health. Since im one of those filthy people who play with a Headhunter, i found it quite difficult to sort my resistances out, but i managed in the end.
on Nov 3, 2019, 10:56:18 AM
For some reason I completely forgot about blighted maps but it's good to know the build feels satisfying in high tiers.
Yeah, HP and resistances can be a problem, especially if you use additional uniques. I currently have ~5.5k life, and I believe 5k should be comfortable enough for most of game content.
Thanks for your feedback!
Last edited by Karpoavel on Nov 4, 2019, 4:42:39 AM
on Nov 4, 2019, 4:40:55 AM
I think if i changed some items around and didn't use headhunter i could probably break 5k hp, i mostly just threw some items together just to try the build out, been eyeing it for a few days before actually trying it.
Im hoping that soon i'll be able to do a full gear revamp on this character to see if i can get more health.
I did forget to change my lightning strike to always attack without moving when i did the T15 Blight map which is probably why i died, character kept walking into the bosses face and literally taking blows to the face.
If i had done Lightning strike attack without moving setting on the blighted map im certain i could have done it deathless. It was probably one of the easier clears of a blight map for me so far. ( I dont play summoner and i know they are very smooth, summoner just isn't for me.. ).
I did die to syndicate, but i can't expect to survive syndicate encounters with 4200 health tbh.. :p
All in all, it's a very fun and fast build. Im quite surprised noone else seems to have tried it. It's definately off meta and extremely fun.
on Nov 4, 2019, 7:15:16 AM
I've got the same problem, I actually forgot there is an option to attack without moving. It's especially problematic on guardians. I will add it to the first post, thank you!
Summoner is really strong right now but I dislike its "gameplay" as well.
Syndicate can be tough, especially with dangerous map mods. When I fight them I usually go full damage and hope to kill them before they can make any attack.
on Nov 4, 2019, 7:48:37 AM