[3.10] Pledge of Hands Storm Brand Assassin All content clear. 6mil+ Shaper dps

This is my first build guide so feedback is appreciated. As of writing this I've cleared 100% Delirius T16s, 20/20 simulacrum, and Sirus A8 with this build, all deathless at least once but I do die if I'm not paying attention. I've also killed every guardian and conqueror in the timed fog(except Chimera... so many phases) It's really fun, fast and built to clear fog and farm Simulacrum splinters. It's not the tankiest but I was able to do 20/20 Simulacrum deathless so if you're paying attention it will do the trick.

Build Premise
This build is built to be tanky enough to clear any content if needed, but is focused on farming timed fog easily without worry in almost any layout. We use Pledge of Hands built in Greater Spell Echo to scale up the mana cost of our Storm Brand. Which combines with the Archemage support which gives flat lightning damage based on mana cost to give some insane damage for very little investment.

We take assassin for a few reasons
1. Because of the huge damage boost vs full life enemies which makes your pack clear feel like you have explosions.
2. The huge damage boost against low life enemies and single unique enemies means your boss damage is off the charts, and once you get to 35% the boss is basically dead.
3. The built in movespeed from Assassin helps farm the fog, if you aren't careful on some layouts you will actually outpace the fog and have to wait for it.
4. The archmage archetype either scales Elemental Overload or crit. With the built in crit on the Voidbringer gloves having all of the Assassin crit bonuses is huge.


Footage goes Hydra in T16 Fog > 100% Delirius Summit Boss > 100% Delirius Axe boss in Summit
I was going to get footage of every boss but I got a streak of only Hydra/Chimera maps and I wanted to keep the video short.

At first I put this build together with 1-3ex, I rolled a couple fevered minds myself and didn't use any cluster jewels. After clearing a T16 100% delirius and dropping a skyforth I went all in and dumped a lot of currency crafting/buying the awakened gems and what not to take it to the next level. The gear I have is not mandatory and I will try to put in some budget alternatives below.

Unique Items

Pledge of Hands - Currently 3 Chaos

Ivory Tower - Currently ~15 Chaos

Atziri's Foible - Currently 3 Chaos

I'd highly recommend annointing Mind Drinker unless you path to it, the mana regen on kill is a huge QoL improvement

Voidbringer Conjurer Gloves - Currently ~1-5 Chaos

These gloves are your single biggest damage armor item, the mana/crit multiplier are huge

Crown of the Inward Eye - Currently ~2 Chaos

The Crown is the greedier option with less ES/Mana but more damage. When you are first gearing up I'd advise going for a,

Mindspiral Aventail Helmet - Currently 3-5 Chaos
You will get way more mana/es out of this item. Damage isn't generally our problem so go tanky first and worry about more damage when you aren't dying.

Rumi's Concoction Granite Flask - Currently 5 chaos

This adds a nice bit of tankiness, and combined with the block on our staff gives us up to 38% chance to block attacks.

**Skyforth Sorcerer Boots** - Currently 13 Exalted Orbs

**These are not mandatory, but the stun immunity(almost) is huge, and the reduced mana reserved allows us to take discipline and flesh and stone. Before these you can use any boots you want. I used a nice set of rare boots I crafted, Rainbowstride are also a cheap(1 chaos) alternative. I got lucky and dropped these in a T14 60% delirius map and that's when I decided to dump most of my currency on this character.

The nice part about this build as a starter or second build is that it's mainly unique items that are cheap, other than the boots everything listed above amounts to ~45 chaos at the most.

Because of all the uniqes you are only left with two rings, a belt, and boots to shore up your resistances. When you are first starting out all you want is movespeed on the boots, cap your resists and then fill in ES/Mana/Dex/Strength where you can. Something I did not do well is get enough Dex on my gear so I'm stuck using a level 13 chain support. I'd recommend making sure to get dex or str on your rings so you can save 2 points on the tree by not picking up the +30 Str/Dex nodes.

My Rare Items

**Ele Weakness on hit is not necessary, we have plenty of space in our links to have a self cast conductivity for bosses which is actually a dps increase. This ring is just QoL for map clear and let's me use wave of conviction instead of conductivity**

**EDIT** Not only is ele weakness not necessary, it may be worse than just getting a good %mana %ES ring with dex so you can use a higher level chain. I'll be looking at replacing this ring after I take a short break to try out Last Oasis. Ele weakness puts the PoB dps around 4.6mil and lvl 20 conductivity would be closer to 5mil if you self cast or do a curse on hit setup.




There is a lot of wiggle room for flasks, I've been super greedy because I want to farm the fog. So I'm using a quartz/quicksilver flask of adrenaline. You could throw a cinderswallow, atziris or any other flask in. Just make sure you have your standard bleed/freeze flasks. I'm not running with ignite or poison and it hasn't hurt me much but better safe than sorry!
Rumi's is a huge upgrade for defense so it's highly recommended. My ideal mana flask is the "half is recovered instantly" or "recovery is instant" so you can Arcane Cloak and then spam your mana pot to get back up to full and get your super juiced brands out.

Gem Links

Pledge of Hands
Storm Brand-Archmage-Lightning Penetration-Concentrated Effect-Energy Leech-Chain Support
Chain support is a huge boost to our pack clear and this build feels 20x better with it. Rolling the staff with 5 blue 1 green can be annoying so you'll need a good amount of chromes, I recommend putting a level 3 Vorici in research and getting 2-3 White sockets. This will save you some chromes and allow you to swap Chain support out for a single target support on certain bosses/guardians.

Storm Brand-Archmage-Awakened Lightning Penetration-Concentrated Effect-Energy Leech-Chain Support With a white socket you'll swap out Chain Support for Concentrated Effect for fights like Sirus/Shaper/Guardians if you want to

4 Link Options
You have two-three mandatory setups depending on how you link them. Then you have 1-2 free 4 links that are up to your playstyle

Mandatory -Auras- Pre Skyforth
Blood Magic -Precision- Clarity-Discipline
This is to reserve as much life as possible to convert into ES through the Ivory tower. You also get a little crit and regen but mostly it's for the ES boost. You will need to level your Precision/Clarity to different levels based on how much life you have as they reserve amounts not percentages

Mandatory -Auras- After Skyforth
Blood Magic-Flesh and Stone- Discipline-Enlighten
To be able to fit this you need reduced mana reserved somewhere on your gear,Enlighten 4, or from the talent tree. This is why we path to the Top Right mana nodes and take one point in reduced reservation. My next big buy will likely be enlighten 4 to drop the mana nodes and pick back up the staff crit nodes.

Mandatory -Arcane Surge/Brand Recall
There are a few ways you can do this, you can fit both in a a single 4L with
Second Wind-Arcane Surge-Arcane Cloak- Brand Recall

I prefer

Because I like having Arcane Surge and Increased Duration Support attached to Arcane Cloak

I recommend getting enough Dex on your gear to use level 20 Dash with Second Wind instead of Flame dash. At the moment I don't have enough Dex so am scrubbing it up with Flame Dash instead. I think an ideal 6L chest if you have enough dex would be
Increased Duration Support-Empower -Dash-Second Wind-Arcane Cloak-Arcane Surge

Now depending on how you set up Arcane Surge and Brand Recall you will have 1-2 free 4 Link setups, or a 4L and a 6L. A couple setups that are nice for the leftover links are

Wave of Conviction - Curse on Hit - Conductivity - Physical to Lightning -

Vaal Haste- Vaal Righteous Fire - Wave of Conviction - Physical to Lightning

These are both great damage options. There are more, you could put Orb of storms in your 6L for even more output, but I haven't 6Linked my chest yet so I haven't played around with that too much

PoB Link and Calculation Note

Something really important to note is that PoB does not calculate our damage correctly. For the full damage setup PoB Does not count the 25% more multi from the Opportunistic Ascendancy. It also does not calculate the Pledge of hands mana multiplier, or the 35% more multi on the brands from Greater Spell Echo. You'll see the mana cost in PoB is 5,214 but in game my mana cost is about 7,800-8,000.

PoB notes and Cluster Jewels
You will have 1 Large Cluster, 1 Medium Cluster, and 2 Small Clusters. One of the small clusters is socketed into the Large Jewel, the other into the Medium Jewel.

Large Cluster
You want a Large Cluster Jewel with Lightning damage as the base, and 8 or 9 passive skills added. You need Scintillating Idea, 2 jewel sockets, and any other 2 passives. Getting Storm Drinker is nice in theory but it always seems to spawn on the backside of the wheel. So the other notable is what you will be pathing through. This build is very point hungry so Storm Drinker almost never beats any other 2-3 point investment.

Medium Cluster
You want a Brand damage base with 4 or 5 added passives, this one is easy to roll as you only need Seeker Runes which is mandatory, and any other brand notable you like. I prefer Grand Design because the 20% duration is a big QoL improvement and the extra brand helps for pack clear since we are not Hiero and we don't take explosive brands on the tree. You only need one of these because you are taking this for QoL and OP Seeker Runes, there are better nodes on the tree for pure damage

Small Cluster
These are the least expensive to buy/roll but are worth 676 ES each on my tree. You want an Increased Maximum Mana, or Energy Shield base with 2 added passives. Ideally with flat ES but it's not necessary, you can use this to fill in holes in stats/resistances if you are close. Will shaper is the big ticket here as it gives you 5% of your maximum mana as extra maximum Energy Shield. You will make two of these jewels.

Ascendancy Info

If you're leveling and feel squishy Trickster is always an option, I tried it out but the speed/clear from Assassin was way too fun for me to pass up and it felt much better.

My Current Setup
Ambush and Assassinate
Unstable Infusion
Deadly Infusion

We always take Unstable Infusion and Deadly Infusion because we're scaling crit and this is how we generate our power charges. We also get 10% movespeed while at max charges.

We always take Ambush and Assassinate because this makes our brands 1 shot most regular mobs, and basically cull any bosses below 35% with a huge damage increase and then culling strike on crit.

The last choice is up to you and your playstyle,

When I first made this build I took Mistwalker for the elusive damage reduction and move speed, it felt great and it adds a nice little defensive layer and is a great option.

As I got more ES and wasn't dying in harder content I tried out Opportunistic for fun and I was surprised to find I didn't feel that much squishier. It isn't all that much faster than having Mist Walker because the movespeed on elusive is great. But the extra 25% more multi against bosses is amazing and I've stuck with it since then.

Last edited by Skerplet on Apr 7, 2020, 10:59:43 PM
Last bumped on May 5, 2020, 9:34:02 PM
Haven't played it myself yet, but I've seen this build in action and it is -absolutely nuts-
Very nice build i have build it myself now and have to say its Insane with "little" investment. If you have time could you check my Build and tell me what i could upgrade ? Btw i was to lazy to put in Gems into the Boots but still got Sirus lvl8 (1 death cuz bad), elder, uber elder(2 deaths) , shaper, hydra, phoenix and Simulacrum 20/20. Also is it starter viable? Since im thinking about starting with it next league already xD
Any alternatives to skyforth?
Did you kill all the bandits?
What gem links should i run if i only have a 5L Pledge of Hands?
Pewpewjukeu wrote:
What gem links should i run if i only have a 5L Pledge of Hands?

Storm Brand > Archmage > Lightning penetration > energy leech > concentrated effect or chain
Yes I killed all the bandits
Sidhuraj wrote:
Any alternatives to skyforth?

Alternatives would be any rare boots, I know rainbowstride is also popular. But there are no mandatory stats on your boots
I'm glad to hear it! Sorry I took a break to check out Last Oasis and haven't been on at all but I'll take a look real quick

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