[3.11] Mantra of Flames Incinerate Inquisitor || Build Breakdown

Hi everyone! For my league starter in 3.11 I sort of accidentally ran an Incinerate Inquisitor and it's gone so well that I wanted to write up a post about it. This is based heavily on a guide by Claeysken (that I've linked in several locations below) so I won't go into too much detail, but I felt that my version was different enough that I should showcase what I did. In that sense, this is less of a build "guide" and more of a build "breakdown."

I appreciate you stopping by and hope you find something of use in this post. Happy mapping!

Why this build

My original plan was to run Magma Orb as a starter, since it actually got some substantial buffs int he patch notes. However, things did not go as planned and I soon found myself without a usable character. After doing a little searching, I found this guide by Claeysken for a very tanky Incinerate Inquisitor and thought I would try a low budget version of that build.

I then found a Mantra of Flames in Delve and thought I would try a really low budget version of that build.

So here we are.


Coming Soon!


Since I didn't really change the core of this build, I won't go into to much detail on how it works (I guess this is an overview of the overview?). If you're interested I would recommend the original guide. I've used essentially the same tree and the same ascendancy nodes and if you would like to see those I've included a PoB link later on in this post.

This is a build that prioritizes survivability over damage and clear speed. It uses life+ES regen, armour, block, and a healthy amount of effective HP to stay alive. Most notably this build makes use of the Aegis Aurora shield, which recovers an amount of ES (based on your armour) when you block. It's pretty tight.

I've also invested a little bit more into ES leech. I noticed that the DPS decrease from swapping Controlled Destruction for Energy Leech was negligible; combined with Essence Rush from a large cluster jewel the damage stays competitive while providing some extra sustain.

Mantra of Flames

While trying to decide what kind of build I wanted to run, I found a Mantra of Flames in Delve. This is a unique jewel that adds a flat amount of fire damage to spells (and attacks, but that doesn't matter for this build) based on the number of buffs active on your character. I saw this and thought, "If I have a lot of buffs active, I will have a lot of added fire damage." I thought this because I am a genius.

While this may not be the greatest rendition of this build, I've had a lot of fun making it work and I think it performs quite well on a reasonable budget.
The Buffs

Here are all the buffs that I was able to get going. Some are always up (such as auras), some are up reliably but still need to be procced, and others are usually up but not always.
- Determination
- Discipline
- Precision
- Clarity
- Herald of Ash
- Arctic Armour
- Consecrated ground
- Infusion (reliably active)
- Tempest Shield (reliably active)
- Molten Shell/Vaal Molten shell (usually active)
- Arcane Surge (usually active)
- Ice Golem (not always active)
- Ice Golem Wrath Aura (not always active)


I'll just be honest: this is not a high DPS build. The damage is high enough but this will never match VD spellslinger or whatever the meta is these days. The DPS is also a little weird to calculate and isn't super consistent.

First off, since not all buffs are always active, the added damage from Mantra of Flames can vary quite a bit. Even just activating Vaal Molten Shell can make a noticeable difference in how fast the HP bars are moving.

Second, a good chunk of the DPS comes from the flasks, namely The Wise Oak and Atziri's Promise. When the flasks are down so is the damage.

Finally, Incinerate is a channeling skill. This means the damage ramps up as it gains stages. While there is a little extra damage when releasing at max stages, the ramp up back to max stages causes the DPS to be less consistent.

All of this is to say that tooltip damage and PoB DPS aren't reliable indicators of the actual damage. If I had to put a number on where my damage is right now, I'd call it a millionish Shaper DPS. As I explain in a later section, there are still a few things I can do to improve my damage by a good amount but the bottom line is that this is not and never will be a top tier meta build.

What I Did

Here's a look at what I was able to do with this build when I ran it.

Here's a path of Building link for my character, including my passive tree, gear, and gem links at level 94. Note that PoB doesn't have full support for all notables from cluster jewels (in particular, it doesn't grant Arcane Surge from the Arcane Adept notable), and I'm not sure how accurate it is when it calculates buffs for Mantra of Flames. As a result, I haven't really bothered to configure the build completely and the DPS is lower in PoB than in reality.
PoB Link


Here you can see the gear I'm currently running at level 94 and the gem links that I have set up. I don't have too much to say about any of it; if you want a detailed breakdown of what's going on with the gems and links check out Claeysken's original guide here. My gear is on a much friendlier budget and based around scaling damage with Mantra of Flames (hence the double Essence Worm shenanigans).

What I Still Need

There are a few things I still need to get done on this character, and most of them will add nice improvements to the DPS. These are:

- Helmet Enchant: I still need +2 Max Stages, which is the single biggest source of damage that I'm still missing.

- +1 Warlord Amulet: I've been working on crafting this, but I'm still missing the "+1 to All Fire Skill Gems" mod.

- Final Jewel Slot: I need to take one more jewel socket on the passive tree, which requires two more skill points. Once I do this I can get a Blue Nightmare on the left side of the tree. The jewel I currently have in there is much more important so I haven't made the swap yet.

Finishing Touches

There's always more I can do, and if I decide to keep playing this build to max level there are a couple of very expensive final touches I want to make:

- 21/23 Incinerate: Honestly I can afford to get this now but I feel like I want to put currency into other builds first.

- Medium Cluster Jewel: At the moment I have a large cluster and a small cluster. My small cluster is quite nice so I don't want to put a medium in until I'm able to respec some points from elsewhere on the tree. I'd need to be at or near max level to do this.

- Rares: Most of my rares (belt, boots, gloves, jewels) are pretty nice. But, of course, they could always be better. If I go for max level I'll start looking into these more but for now they're fine.

- Anointed Amulet: I honestly haven't even thought about this. Something block related?

Final Thoughts

This is my favorite build I've ever run, and to be honest I think it has given me the best results I've ever had in this game. I'm still fairly new and by no means a top tier player, so being to gear out a character so well and so quickly is something that I'm pretty proud of. Getting to level 94 is also a new record for me (previously 92), and I'm debating taking this character all the way to 100. I had a pretty rough first day of the league, but I'm glad I ended up with this character and I hope that some of you give it a try.

Last bumped on Aug 4, 2020, 11:10:54 AM

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