[3.10] Tanky MoM Pledge of Hands SB Hiero- 12k Ehp, 2k life regen, 10m+ shaper dps per brand

This Storm brand variant was originally designed to be able to live through the extreme fps drops caused by my poor laptop specs during delirium encounters while being easy to play (hold down brand recall press flasks) and maintaining decent dps.

The main difference from most other storm brand builds with this variant is the use of pledge of hands and the agnostic keystone from the militant faith timeless jewel. Pledge provides a 150% mana multiplier from greater spell echo as well as a decent mana bonus, good spell damage, some block chance and an additional six link slot to play around with. Agnostic greatly synergizes with our massive mana pool and mana regen by converting it into massive amounts of life regen at the cost of foregoing all of our energy shield.

11/04/2020-updated current POB, Added videos for 100% delirious chimera and promenade, edited gem section to include clarity.
11/04/2020-added 5 way legion video
13/04/2020-added sirus a8 video, edited the flame dash entry in the gems section.
13/04/2020-updated current POB (switched to the community POB version) edited cluster jewel section to place higher priority on brand clusters, added uber elder video
14/04/2020-added level 90 trees to the leveling trees section
14/04/2020-added an edit to the section on brand recall cooldown and sustaining brands, edited the cwdt gem section
17/04/2020-added bladeblast to the cwdt section
22/04/2020-added simulacrum video (with no awakened gems/no mods on belt), added fertile catalysts to highly recommentded, added a minimum t2 life/mana recommendation for rare gear in the gearing section.
29/04/2020-updated mana cost scaling section, updated section on small cluster jewels and healthy mind, fixed level 90 leveling trees.
30/04/2020-updated current POB

Current Build Achievements and Videos

-deathless uber elder
-deathless hall of grandmasters
-deathless a8 sirus
-deathless full 20 wave simulacrum run (including double boss on wave 20)
-deathless 100% delirious juiced t16 map
-deathless delirious chimera + t16 metamorph

Mapping Video: Pit of the chimera mapping demonstration

T16 100% delirious juiced promenade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtT28U7wVns&feature=youtu.be

100% delirious Chimera + Metamorph kill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ivP-cf9be4&feature=youtu.be

5 way legion - domain of endless conflict: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpgFZJA5ICw&

A8 sirus kill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmOAxe-Y5To&

Uber Elder kill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qEw9eK6wDg&

Simulacrum waves 15-20, no awakened gems, no stats on belt - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG1lY7th1_I&

Build Highlights & budget + current POB
Current POB:

Note that I've used a jewel to simulate some of the effects POB is not taking into account such as the mana multiplier from greater spell echo.

Edit: It has been pointed out to me that the jewel is unnecessary if you are using the community version of POB. I've now switched over to this version but in case people are still using the original, the jewel originally had 50% More mana cost of skills (greater spell echo) and 25% increased brand activation frequency (chip away).

the core of the build can achieve:

-12k Ehp. (4.8k life and 9k mana with 60% of damage taken from mana before life)
-20? million shaper dps per brand when fully buffed. reliable sustained dps number is still 10+ million shaper dps per brand. with awakened chain instead of conc effect this drops to 7 million (I'm not sure how accurate these numbers from the communinty POB are).
-2000 base life regen per second from agnostic which allows permanent rf and blood rage. A life recovery mod on your belt can increase this to over 2.5k
-55%/35% attack/spell block with rumi's concoction up (35%/25% without)
-fortify linked to leap slam for mobility and physical mitigation

Budget POB, 8 ex, 6-link pledge, watchers eye, no cluster jewels, 4 fevered minds:

-similar Ehp just under 12k
-6 million shaper dps fully buffed, 3.6 million sustained.
-1600 life regen
-55/35 attack/spell block with rumi's (35/25 without)

extreme budget POB, 2 ex, no cluster jewels, 5 link pledge, no watchers eye, 2 fevered minds

-9k Ehp
-2.5 million shaper dps fully buffed, 1.5 million sustained
-1500 life regen
-55/35 attack/spell block with rumi's (35/25 without)

Build Downsides
-Cannot run reflect maps, no regen maps are difficult and rely entirely on your mana flask and/or cinderswallow
-leap slam can feel sluggish compared to the dashes
-No inherrent stun immunity. Boot enchant, flask mods or soul of the brine king can help remedy this.
-Not enough Gem slots to run everything I want

Build concept
Maximum Mana scaling
Our mana pool is our first priority. Scaling our mana gives us:
-Flat lightning damage from archmage
-Increased spell damage from transfiguration of mind
-Ehp from mind over matter
-Regen from the agnostic

Scaling our mana costs
Our next aim is to get our mana cost as high as possible without exceeding our mana pool. For this we use pledge of hands for the 150% multiplier on spell echo

and up to 4 fevered mind jewels which provide an additive 50% increased mana cost

With these items and a 6 link setup our brands cost just under 100% of our mana pool, maximizing our damage from archmage. This also means you should actively avoid having any other sources of increased mana cost as that might cause your brand mana cost to exceed your total mana pool.

Sustaining our brands
Our massive mana cost means we never want to actually have to cast our brands in the middle of a map or boss fight. Our goal is cast our brands at the start of the map, and then sustain them permanently with brand recall.

Brand recall has a base cd of 3 seconds and extends brand duration by 1.2 seconds. This means you theoretically need 150% cooldown reduction on brand recall to have permanent brand uptime (3/(1+1.5)=1.2). The sources of CD available to us are listed below:

-hierophant sign of purpose gives 30%
-brand recall gains 10% cooldown recovery speed per level so a level 7 brand recall gives you another 60%
-empower can increase the level of brand recall by up to 3. So a level 4 empower gives 30% cooldown recovery (a level 3 empower gives 20% and is much cheaper if on a budget).
-A 20/20 second wind gives another 29% cooldown recovery
-Shaper or Crusader influenced Belts can have a cooldown recovery mod of up to 20%. There is also a craftable cooldown mod from unveiling that goes up to 12%.
-Shaper or Crusader influenced Boots can have a cooldown recovery mod of up to 15%.
-It has also been pointed out to me that corrupted gloves can roll a +1 to the level of all socketed gems implicit that could give another 20%

In this build a level 3 empower, 20/20 second wind, level 7 brand recall and at least an 11% cooldown recovery mod on either your boots or belt is enough to permanently sustain brands while mapping.

Edit: It has been reported that Brands will sometimes time out even after hitting the 1.2 second cd threshold for brand recall.

After doing some testing in hideout, 1.15 seconds seems to be the true ingame cooldown threshold for permanent sustain on my machine. At a 1.2 second cooldown my brands time out after approximately 2.5 minutes. Others have reported different brand durations and it has been suggested that this discrepancy is due to delays caused by ping.

This should not have too much impact on the build but note that you may need to recast your brands once or twice per map if your cooldown is above 1.15 seconds unless you have extremely low ping. It also means that you may need an extra 10% cooldown recovery in addition to the setup described above

Note that you can use numlock to ensure brand recall is spammed on cooldown without holding the key down manually (see the link below for further details)


Ehp and defenses
Up to 60% of our damage is taken from mana before life. This is achieved by using cloak of defiance, the divine guidance ascendancy node and a clarity watcher's eye. This means that 1 point of life gives us an additional buffer of 1.5 mana, meaning 2.5 points of Effective hp. Because brand recall means we never have to spend mana on our brands, all of our mana can be saved for defensive purposes.

The militant faith timeless jewel is used to the convert elemental equilibrium keystone into the agnostic which sacrifices 20% of our maximum mana per second to restore the same amount of life while not at full life.

This can easily be sustained with added flat % mana regen from cloak of defiance and arcane surge, increased mana regen/damage taken gained as mana from our gear and passive tree, as well as our enduring mana flask

This regen can also be used for offensive purposes, by allowing us to permanently sustain through the degen from righteous fire and blood rage.


Essential Gear


Pledge of hands is a very effective damage boost that provides 100% increased maximum mana, a large amount of spell damage, an additional 6-link slot and most importantly a 150% mana multiplier from greater spell echo (I am currently operating under the asumption that the more multiplier from greater spell echo repeats does NOT work with brand skills).

A 5 linked pledge can work if on a tight budget but the damage will be substantially lower and I highly recommended upgrading as soon as you can afford it.

I would also aim to get vorici into research during jun missions in order to white socket your pledge of hands (aiming for 5b 1w).


Cloak of Defiance gives us flat mana, mana regen, and 10% damage taken from mana before life. It also saves us one passive point from having to take mind over matter on the tree.

A 4 link is perfectly fine if you're on a budget though you will want to upgrade to a 6 link eventually.


Atziri's foible is a fairly cheap unique that gives us a massive amount of mana and mana regen while also helping to reduce the strength and dexterity requirements on our gear and gems.

For anointments I have chosen to anoint runesmith rather than path to the right side of the tree. Other options you can go for include dreamer or Mind drinker if you want more mana sustain.


An essence worm socketed with wrath provides a good dps boost at the cost of a ring slot. Alternatively you can just use 2 rare rings with mana, life and resistances if you want more ehp and an easier time maxing out resistances.

Rare rings can also have a "mana + X% damage taken gained as mana over 4 seconds when hit" mod crafted on via jun unveiling and the crafting bench which is extremely useful for this build.

Boots, Belt and gloves
These slots can be filled by cheap rares. As mentioned earlier a cooldown recovery mod on your boots or belt is needed to achieve permanent brand uptime. As for the rest of the stats, Prioritize mana, life (i would aim to get at least tier 2 life/mana on all rares), movement speed (on boots) and resistances in that order.


A militant faith timeless jewel (converted by Venarius) will convert nearby keystones into the agnostic. This provides the build with extremely high regen. If you don't care about the devotion stats you can get a cheap one for under 20c. If you want one with good devotion stats prepare to shell out at least 100c.

As mentioned earlier you will eventually want 4 fevered mind jewels. Even if on a budget I would still place high priority on getting at least 2. Remember the spell damage roll doesn't particularly matter unless you are in the final stages of min-maxing.


I strongly recommend using an enduring mana flask of warding for even more mana sustain and curse immunity while mapping.

I also use a life flask with the "of dousing" suffix to remove righteous fire if i start taking heavy damage

The remaining flask slots are flexible. I am currently using Wise oak, , Atziri's promise and Rumi's concoction. Other valid options are Cinderswallow, Vessel of Vinktar, or even just regular quartz and basalt flasks.

Stat requirements

Lastly you may also need to get some dexterity on your gear if you intend to use high dex requirement gems such as chain or blood rage.

Highly Recommended Items

Cluster Jewels

Which cluster jewels you use will depends largely on preferences or budget. I have chosen to use one large, two medium and one small cluster jewel.

For large jewels look for a lightning damage jewel with as few passives as possible and one or two jewel sockets depending on how many medium/small jewels you want to use. There are a number of good notables for this build but I suggest prioritizing scintillating idea if you can.

For medium jewels I would suggest either brand or flask based jewels. For brands, Chip away provides a massive brand activation frequency boost 99% of the time (brand recall is NOT treated as a brand skill in this case of this notable). Brand loyalty's effect was previously only available from the hierophant ascendancy and provides a significant boost to single target damage.

For flask jewels Liquid inspiration is a very efficient flask notable that provides both mana and increased mana recovery from flasks.

For small cluster jewels I would once again recommend scintillating idea as the most efficient node you can get.

If you are rich and want to specifically make the sirus fight far easier, you can also look for a "corrupted blood cannot be inflicted on you" mod on one of your cluster jewels.

Watcher's eye
A clarity watcher's eye with "(6-10%) of damage taken from mana before life" provides up to a 25% boost to our ehp and can usually be bought for under 3 ex. If you're looking to splurge for a jewel with 2 or more relevant modifiers, damage taken gained as mana and increased mana recovery rate are also good for bolstering our mana sustain.

If you have opted to use wrath and essence worm there are a number of good wrath mods you can look for including increased lightning damage and damage penetrates x% of lightning resistance while affected by wrath.

Helm, Boots and Lab Enchantments
For helms, I have chosen to use a helmet with Storm Brand Damage Penetrates 12% of Branded Enemy's Lightning Resistance for improved single target damage.

For Boots I would recommend either stun avoidance if you've killed recently or mana regen on spell cast.

Healthy Mind
A perfectly rolled healthy mind can be a good substitute for scintillating idea small cluster jewels giving the same ammount of mana and saving you 2 skill points.

Healthy mind can also be slotted into the jewel socket above the witch starting area. This gives a nice boost to our damage output and mana pool but comes at the cost of a substancial ammount of life, which makes us more prone to getting one shot when arcane cloak is down. For this reason I would only recommend trying this setup if you are already comfortable with you hp pool.

Other luxury mods
Tailwind and onslaught are luxury mods you can consider on boots. Belts can roll generic life and mana recovery rate mods as well as flask duration/effect all of which benefit this build.

quality and catalysts
Fertile catalysts can improve mana/life mods on your belt, rings and amulet by up to 20% which can provide a significant boost. Due to the relatively high cost of fertile catalysts this should only be done once you have gear you are confident you will not need to upgrade for a long time.

Gems and Links

Pledge of Hands 6 link
Storm Brand - Archmage - Concentrated Effect - (awakened) Controlled Destruction - (awakened) Elemental Focus - (awakened) Lightning penetration

You can also swap in (awakened) chain if you want faster clear at the cost of some single target dps.

Chest 6 link
If you have a 6 linked cloak: Brand Recall - Empower - Second Wind - Arcane Cloak - Increased Duration - Arcane Surge

This setup gives you permanent uptime on a high level arcane surge just from spamming brand recall, while also providing support gems for your arcane cloak.

If you only have a 4 link, Arcane cloak and Increased duration can be cut. This will require you to use a lower level arcane surge if you want permanent uptime.

Movement skill
Leap Slam - Fortify - Faster Attacks - Endurance Charge on Melee Stun (optional)

Leap slam is my movement skill of choice due to the ability to proc fortify. Endurance Charge on Melee Stun can be used if you want endurance charge generation while mapping for even more physical mitigation.

Cast When damage Taken Setup
I am currently using:

Cast when damage taken (level 1) - Wave of conviction - Curse on Hit - Conductivity

If you have curses from another source you can socket in bladeblast for the extra damage from unnerve. Alternatively a defensive setup with steelskin, immortal call or a defensive curse is another option if you want even more survivability. If you plan on using steelskin or immortal call, bear in mind they share a cooldown with arcane cloak so you should aim to only cast cloak before bosses for the dps boost.

flex slots

One of the remaining gem sockets should be a lightning golem which provides a good cast speed boost for our brands and attack speed for leap slam.

Clarity should be included once you have the currency for the Clarity Watcher's eye. I suggest Keeping it at level 1 as the flat regen is pretty meaningless with how large our mana pool is.

Vaal righteous fire provides a strong dps boost against bosses. You can also choose to keep the normal RF skill permanently active at the cost of some regen, just remember to have a dousing flask on hand if you start taking heavy damage.

Blood rage gives more attack speed for leap slam and frenzy charge generation while mapping. With the life recovery from agnostic the degen is negligible and can be kept permanently active alongside rf.

Flame dash can be used if you greatly dislike the attack time on leap slam. Also greatly recommended as a swap in for the Sirus fight.

Orb of storms - Curse on hit - conductivity , is another option if you have opted for a defensive cwdt setup and want a reliable method of applying conductivity and procing elemental overload.

General Playstyle
-Cast all of your brands at the start of the map (i suggest removing archmage before casting brands and resocketing before you start moving in order to save time)
-ensure brand recall is spammed on cooldown either by holding down the key manually or with numlock
-activate blood rage and rf (optional)
-run/leap slam through the map occasionally pressing flasks
-use vaal rf at the boss
-if you have a white socket in your pledge of hands you can replace conc effect with chain while clearing and swap it out before bosses
-you can also bind arcane cloak to left click if you're lazy like me and don't care about it activating at the optimal times

Leveling trees and Ascendancy

30 points

50 points

70 points

level 90 trees

My final tree (excluding cluster jewels)

kill all


Normal lab - Sign of purpose
Cruel lab - Divine Guidance
Merciless lab - Illuminated Devotion
Uber lab - Arcane Blessing/Conviction of power (both are valid choices. I chose arcane blessing for the elemental status immunity. If you choose conviction of power you will need freeze/chill removal from another source)

Last edited by mrmorzan on Apr 30, 2020, 9:20:54 AM
Last bumped on May 25, 2020, 2:15:30 AM
is this build viable if play ascendant?
dumbdmub wrote:
is this build viable if play ascendant?

You could probably make it work with ascendant, the hierophant + trickster mini ascendancies would be pretty good together. You do miss out on some QOL stuff (elemental ailment immunity, additional brand etc.) but those aren't a core part of the build.

The main issue would be finding another way to get transfiguration of mind (maybe with crown of the inward eye or anointing the crusader notable?) and making up the loss 30% of cooldown recovery speed for brand recall. I think you would need a level 4 empower, and cooldown recovery mods on both your belt and boots (for a total of at least 31%) to hit the 150% threshold for permanent brand sustain.

Otherwise the tree mostly stays the same due to already pathing close to the scion starting area.
mrmorzan wrote:

Note that I've used a jewel to simulate some of the effects POB is not taking into account such as the mana multiplier from greater spell echo.

Both the standard version and fork version of PoB seems to support the mana multiplier of Greater Spell Echo on Pledge of Hands. You can check this yourself by editing out the Greater Spell Echo line on PoH.
WilliamGoosen wrote:
mrmorzan wrote:

Note that I've used a jewel to simulate some of the effects POB is not taking into account such as the mana multiplier from greater spell echo.

Both the standard version and fork version of PoB seems to support the mana multiplier of Greater Spell Echo on Pledge of Hands. You can check this yourself by editing out the Greater Spell Echo line on PoH.

My Current version of POB (1.4.169) does not seem to support greater spell echo (Removing storm brand from pledge of hands doesn't change the dps, storm brand mana cost in calcs is 6k compared to 9k in game). I have been informed that fork version fixes many of these issues in which case the jewel can be ignored/adjusted.
Last edited by mrmorzan on Apr 11, 2020, 6:48:27 PM
(i suggest removing archmage before casting brands and resocketing before you start moving in order to save time)

I was under the impression that if the mana was not spent to cast the brands, that the brands would not receive the base lightning damage, even if they are recalled. Is this not the case?
Nice build, had been playing low life and swapped to this to try it, this has a similar power level and maybe more tankynes than ll for 1/5th of the cost or less
Just wanted to say that I switched my CI Whisp Ice Guardian to this (changing to Hiero) and it has been exceptional so far. Haven't had a chance to do a solo Simulacrum yet, but I think it will demolish everything (already does in maps).

The gear was quite "cheap" to get, especially compared to the LL version. Just trying to get the right rings (got 1 so far) and then farming Syndicate for the ring enchant... nothing yet!

Super tanky, will be even more so with the ring enchants, can walk through Uber lab traps without so much as a scratch, which feels amazing! I got the 70% mana regen boot enchant (decent Uber lab layout today) just need the helm enchant next.

It feels like the single target is not as amazing as your videos (still very solid though), wondering if I am just detaching brands often or something, I have it on L mouse (so I can walk and it follows) but wondering if that is causing some issues.

Unsure how to link my gear, but this is my char pastebin (note that I have not added a jewel that takes into account the mana and dmg from Pledge/Arc mage): https://pastebin.com/0bF87WEm

The jewel socket that looks empty is the Venarius Legion jewel that provides agnostic without wrecking any of the other passives in the area.

Awesome build man, most fun I've had in ages!!
IGN: SeriousSlam (Perandus)
Hey, build looks really interesting. Thanks for sharing it!
I started to play it right after I saw the concept.

But could you please advise where to place militant jewel? There is no such in your pastebin copy.
New player here.
Excellent build. Leveling up is so easy as well
Couple of questions
Would you recommend any other passives for the last small cluster jewel other than scintillating idea?
What Major pantheon would you recommend for this? for Mapping and Bossing

Thanks again, Hope to see more videos in future. Sirus A8 if possible?

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