[3.10] Max Block Storm Brand Ascendant: Budget Friendly, Ultra Tanky, Fast Mapper, Deathless Sirus 8
Taking a break from the game next league, I won't be updating this guide to 3.11, feel free to use anything you like from this! I think max block with MOM will still be strong, just need to find the best MOM skill.
Until players discovered five herald stacking, archmage support storm brand was without any question GGG's intended new meta build for 3.10. Archmage support easily out damages any other sixth link plus wrath AND zealotry combined, without any damage stats on gear. You can put everything into mana and mana regeneration to make Mind Over Matter strong. You also get arcane cloak as molten shield equivalent for casters.
However when you are casting high cost spells, you are still very vulnerable when you reach low mana for a brief moment, and you still can't really face tank T16 delirium content . . . until now.
What Makes This Build Special
By combining Scion's insanely strong Necromancer/Gladiator ascendancy combo, we can reach max block gladiator level of block chance, which was never intended for squishy casters builds! But that is not all! By using Doryani version of Glorious Vanity, we can build a super strong triple layer defense with life, energy shield and mana, and thanks to bone offering and rare shield mods, on every block we restore two or even all three defensive resources!
High EHP, high avoidance, high sustain on an insanely low budget! On top of high mapping/bossing damage thanks to Archmage Storm Brand, it is truly the best of both worlds!
Whitewolf Ultra Luxury POB: https://pastebin.com/MWYSXNVg
Deathless Simulacrum Wave 17-20 - https://youtu.be/eer3TQefRTU
Deathless Sirus 8 in less than 3 minutes - https://youtu.be/lqGnz4nCLsc
Deathless Sirus 8: https://youtu.be/LRHTSaHxMbY
Pros & Cons
1) Strong from level 1 to 100, does not require any expensive items or cluster jewels to shine, super easy to gear as you benefit from life, mana and energy shield
2) One of tankiest builds in the game even on a budget:
a) Any damage you take is reduced by 40% from mana, and 50% from energy shield, so 4K life is really 13K EHP
b) 69%/59% block without flasking, 78/69% with flask, this is not lethal pride take 50% damage max block, it is the real deal gladiator max block and it is completely OP on a caster or archer
c) Restore up to 10% health, 5% energy shield and 5% mana on every block for massive sustain, and this can trigger many times per second if you are surrounded
e) 20%-30% mana regenerated per second depend on gear level, energy shield leech
f) Arcane cloak, fortify and endurance charges
g) High chaos resistance, chill/freeze immunity
3) Full screen clear on every brand recall with chain, one of the fastest clearing builds in the game on a budget. Easy power and frenzy charges.
4) While you can safely shield charge into the middle of packs and press brand recall, the cast two brands, run circles around the boss playing style is available to you to easily beat Sirus 8, and the build does as much as 2 million damage per brand on a budget
1) Can not do elemental reflection and like most other builds, hates can not regenerate maps
2) Unlike CI builds, vulnerable to chaos damage over time, as it goes through energy shield and it can not be blocked, so we only have life and mana defensive layers. As a result this build probably can not delve past 800-1000 unless you are super selective on nodes.
3) Like any block build, you can still die to bad RNG while doing super difficult content, although the super high EHP goes a long way in protecting us, especially if you keep flasks up
4) Archmage support will definitely be nerfed next league, but even at 75% or even 50% damage of 3.10, this will still be an insane budget build for all contents
Starter Gear - 3800 health, 2800 energy shield, 7200 mana, up to 2.5 million damage per brand
Body Armour - Cloak of Defiance
Standard Mind Over Matter armor and also gives us tremendous mana and mana regeneration. Mana is our damage AND defense so it is very hard to beat this item for the price! You will still allocate Mind Over Matter but Glorious Vanity will change it to Corrupted Soul. Ideally you want 5 blue with 1 or more white socket from Vorici Research so you can use chain for everything except Sirus 8, where you will switch to Controlled Destruction for more single target damage. It is perfectly OK to use chain for everything as 1.5 million damage per brand is still enough to kill everything.
Helmet - Crown of the Inward Eye
Just perfect for a build that focus on life, energy shield and mana. Gives us a lot of damage AND defense.
Amulet - Atziri's Foible
Standard amulet for MOM builds with huge mana and mana regeneration, and also greatly reduce the strength and dexterity requirement on items and skill gems, extremely hard to beat. Spend a few extra chaos to buy a well-rolled one because you will want to add 20% mana quality and a fairly expensive enchant like Heart of Thunder later.
Look for a wand with good % increased spell/elemental/lightning damage, cast speed, extra chaos damage and flat mana. Critical chance is also helpful to activate elemental overload consistently. Most important thing is open suffix for "trigger a socketed spell when you use a skill" as you will need this to auto cast desecrate and bone offering.
Look for restore % mana on block, and if you can afford it, either restore % energy shield on block OR "gain an endurance, power or frenzy charge when you block. When you are on a budget just the mana mod is sufficient. Other than that, you want life, mana, energy shield, and resistance.
You can also use a pure defensive shield like Magna Eclipsis, Lioneye's Remorse or any rare shield which gives us huge defense.
Ring 1 - Dream Fragment
Popular MOM ring with huge mana and mana regeneration, and chill/frozen immunity. Can be replaced with "Can Not Be Frozen" on boots.
Rare with life, mana, resistance, the ideal ring will have 50% or more mana regeneration as well, but it is totally fine if you can't afford this mod initially.
Rare with high life, mana, and resistance, try to get chaos resistance here.
Rare with high life, mana, resistance, the ideal belt will have 20% or more mana recovery as well, but it is totally fine if you can't afford this mod initially.
Rare with high life, mana, resistance, look for 30% movement speed if possible. You will want to farm Uber Lab for "70% increased Mana Regeneration Rate if you've cast a Spell Recently" for huge mana regeneration OR "120% increased critical Strike Chance if you haven't crit recently" for easier activation of elemental overload if you can't get critical chance on any other piece of gear.
Glorious Vanity - Doryani variant For "Corrupted Soul"
Fundamental for this build, a huge problem with life/energy shield hybrid is when you are taking damage on energy shield, your life regeneration/leech is useless. Corrupted Soul solves this problem perfectly and allows us to take damage evenly between the two pools, plus an extra 1300 energy shield! We are putting this next to Mind over Matter as we already get Mind over Matter from Cloak of Defiance.
The passives don't matter as we are for the most part avoiding allocating points into the radius, but if you get a super strong keystone feel free to allocate or oil it.
Fundamental to archmage support builds, greatly increase your lightning damage by increasing the cost of the spell. You can use up to 6 of them, just need to mash storm brand and brand recall together so whenever you are full on mana, you cast the next one. If you really hate playing with 6 you can try 4-5, but because you only need two brands to clear most screens and max out your single target damage, I prefer higher mana cost and more damage.
When used in the socket below Pain Atonement, allows you to take three extremely strong notables and saves quite a few passive points.
Two Medium Cluster Jewels: Grand Design + Brand Loyalty
Too cheap to not include in the budget version (Thank You Gothic90!), gives a lot of brand damage and 40% brand duration, 80% brand attachment range, 2 extra brands is a huge damage upgrade for T16 100% Delirium maps.
Large Cluster Jewels
Doryani's Lesson and Scintillating Idea, plus two jewel sockets so we can get damage, mana and life leech and fit in Watcher's Eye. You need a third skill to save passive points.
Gain % mana as energy shield, % mana recovery rate and % damage taken from mana before life are all great mods. 10% extra damage taken from mana before life when using clarity is ridiculously cheap and strong, let's say you have 4000 health, with 40% MOM from Cloan of Defiance, you get 4000 / 0.6 / 0.5 = 13333 EHP. With 50% MOM it is 4000 / 0.5 / 0.5 or 16000 EHP, a 20% increase of EHP!
Double or triple clarity is totally insane with this build if you can afford it.
A solid upgrade over Intuitive Leap, saves a few passive points and provides mostly the same benefit.
Storm Brand penetrates #% lightning resistance
Storm Brand deals #% increased damage
Are both good choices. A budget friendly option is Wave of Conviction applies #% lightning resistance.
Body Armour: Storm Brand - Archmage Support - Elemental Focus - Concentrated Effect - Lightning Penetration - Chain
Swap chain for controlled destruction vs Sirus 8. With 6 Fevered Mind this will cost almost all of your mana, but you will get it right back from blocking, killing enemies, high regeneration and mana potion.
Helmet: Brand Recall - Empower - Second Wind - Arcane Surge
You will spam this after shield charging into a pack. Arcane Surge should be low enough level to trigger after every brand recall.
Gloves: Wave of Conviction - Physical To Lightning - Curse On Hit - Conduit
Spam this between Brand and Brand Recall to apply lightning resistance reduction to enemies. Our build also gives us more mana for hitting and killing cursed enemies.
Boots: Shield Charge - Fortify - Faster Attacks - Vaal Discipline
Shield charge to trigger fortify, you can replace with Flame Dash if you prefer. Vaal Discipline is used as an energy shield potion.
Weapon: Desecrate - Bone Offering - Clarity
Used in conjunction with "Trigger Socketed Spell When You Use A Skill" to keep Bone Offering up for massive attack and spell block.
Shield: Arcane Cloak - Increased Duration - Cast When Damage Taken
I prefer level 7 Arcane Cloak and level 1 Cast When Damage Taken for maximum frequency. You can use higher level Cast When Damage Taken or replace Arcane Cloak with Steel Skin or Immortal Call if you don't want to handle the mana usage.
Flasks & Oil
a) Life flask with bleed removal
b) Enduring mana flask with ignite removal
c) Rumi's Concoction to cap block and boost armor
d) Remaining flask can be whatever you like, I chose quicksilver for movement speed.
Path of Building & Skill Trees
Ascendancy, Pantheon & Bandits
Take them in this order:
1) Gladiator for dexterity and easy 15% attack/spell block
2) Necromancer for self bone offering once you get trigger wand
3) Ability to start in witch area so you save an extra passive point
Soul of Brine King, protection against stun locks
Soul of Lunaris, adds quite a bit of overall defense
Soul of Garukhan Extra movement speed for mapping.
Bandits: Kill all, we need the two skill points.
Start with freezing pulse from level 1-12, once you get storm brand it is smooth sailing. Go for mind over matter, elemental overload and rune binder as soon as possible. Here is a level 27 leveling tree to get all three.
Level 27 Tree: http://poeurl.com/cQOQ
Level 57 Tree: http://poeurl.com/cQWs
From there, focus on life and mana nodes on the tree, don't worry about energy shield until level 52 when you can equip Cloak of Defiance, that is when you can use Glorious Vanity to change Mind Over Matter into Corrupted Soul.
Look for good leveling uniques like Lifesprig or Axiom Perpetuum, you can dual wield either into maps. You get your damage from archmage support and mana so weapon doesn't really matter.
Tabula is always helpful. Aziri's Foible and Dream Fragment gives you a super strong Mind Over Matter set up at early levels, they generate so much mana that when you take hits your mana doesn't even go down. Start adding 1-2 Fevered Minds as soon as you can afford the sockets to greatly increase your leveling damage to crush all act bosses.
Notable Boss Fights
Sirus Awakening Level 8
The beautiful thing about brand playing style is once you have the two medium cluster jewels, they have huge attachment range and duration, you don't need to aim or figure out which one is the real one, just throw them in his general direction and brand recall if needed. Your single target damage with controlled destruction instead of chain is really strong.
Once brands are attached you can easily run circle around him to avoid the "die" multi-hitting lasers. You can also pop enduring mana and rumi potion to tank it if you do get hit, but it is risky if you get hit by other attacks especially in phase 3.
Soul of Ryslatha is helpful here if you have a healing potion with bleed removal. Your mana and energy shield both regenerate quickly without help, healing potion charge is useful if you are trying to deathless it.
1) Why Mind of Matter when I already have Cloak of Defiance?
We will use Glorious Vanity to convert it to Corrupted Soul, which is fundamental for this build.
Questions & Suggestions welcome! I hope to keep this guide updated!
Last edited by hitmantb on Jun 14, 2020, 12:42:14 AM
Last bumped on Sep 17, 2020, 9:06:57 AM
on Apr 17, 2020, 12:28:54 AM
I loved your HoaG build in 3.9 and i've never played a Scion so I HAVE to try this build, I've also been looking for an end-game build to do Sirus!!
One quick question though, how much are you look at to get into the build and how much would end game budget be?
on Apr 17, 2020, 4:47:15 PM
Thank you for the support! This is a MUCH simpler/cheaper build than Mana Guardian. The bulk of the cost is 6 link Cloak of Defiance, everything else is measured in chaos not ex. 5-10EX is more than enough.
on Apr 17, 2020, 7:49:53 PM
I played using your guide (added some of my mostly stupid personal tweaks, for example, the chest clear BIS is cloak of defiance, but I'm using an Inpulsa for more explody) in Chinese forums, and is my most smooth leveling to 94 yet.
This is one of the best all-arounder this league with a low budget, it is also probably SSF friendly as most gear can be rares (most are also quite standard) and key uniques can be easily farmed. The rare shield mod is also not absolutely required.
I also personally think we can either link Storm Brand to max level Arcane Surge, or use another skill linked to Archmage (like Orb of Storms, fitting OoS in should be easy) to proc max level Arcane Surge. Since we get 60% increased effect of AS through Arcane Capacitor, the boost from a low level AS to a max level one is pretty substantial.
Cloak of defiance is BIS for this build and a huge upgrade, but is not absolutely required. In SSF, This build can work with a standard 6L rare with life/mana/resists, or even a Tabula. Atziri's foible is a cheap and great upgrade, but a Xopec mod amulet can be used in SSF before it drops. The main problem in SSF is that you have to corrupt your Fevered Mind jewels by yourself.
Cluster jewels are not required, but imo they add quite a lot of flexibilities to the build even if the nodes on large cluster jewels are not particularly great (I got one of my elemental damage small node, 8 passive, 3 notables, 2 socket LCJ for 40C). Consider that each large cluster would change one jewel socket into two, and we want quite a few jewel sockets due to Fevered Mind Stacking.
Basically, for two LCJ each linked to two MCJs, you still have four sockets that can socket SCJs. Feel safe, want more boss damage? Socket in one more Fevered Mind. Want more HP? Get a SCJ with Fettle. More mana/chaos resist? Openness, Blessed, Holistic Health, you name it. You can also look for corrupted jewels with immunities to corrupted blood and other QOL and so on.
The flexibility is also Scion's strength. With 5 more passive pts, you can easily stretch your points around to hit all the nodes you want, which is quite a bit tougher on a Hierophant or Trickster.
The medium Cluster jewel nodes that can help this build:
1) Curse based MCJ: Wish for death and Master of Fear are the best, Dark Discourse can also be helpful if you are tired of spamming alt/regals
2) Elemental ailment based MCJ: Cold conduction opens up a lot of possibilities and may have synergies to some notables on LCJ (Snowstorm, stormrider, etc), may even use Hypothermia but it may lower your damage since Hypothermia is only 120% mana
3) Brand based MCJ: I feel one or two Brand based MCJ are good QOL upgrades. Grand Design increase brand duration and can be helpful since our brands cost so much mana
on Apr 17, 2020, 8:36:15 PM
Thank you for your support coming all the way from NGA!
The ultra luxury POB is nowhere near 100% optimized. There are almost infinite possibilities to tweak things, and I think a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Will continue to see what other storm brand players are using. Our core strength is max block and triple defensive layer.
I will see if I can include Conjured Wall and Mage Hunter (10% spell block), and one medium jewel for brand, one medium jewel for curse, will drop one fevered mind which should make the build even smoother to play. Will need to spend some time to see what to actually remove.
Last edited by hitmantb on Apr 18, 2020, 12:42:11 AM
on Apr 18, 2020, 12:19:47 AM
Thanks for a great build! Enjoying very much right now.
A couple of suggestions about the skill links:
= In body armour, you got elemental focus twice. I think you meant concentrated effect or controlled destruction.
- In gloves, you got brand recall. I think you meant wave of conviction.
The PoB got it right though.
Please keep us updated about the min-maxed version of the build please. Cheers!
on Apr 18, 2020, 3:49:22 AM
I have to say that now i start to be totaly addicted to all your builds. the Mana gardian was great, this one seems much better and closest to my play style.
Thank you so much, you give me again nice foods for my week end.
Not to say that my wife and my children hate you ! :)
on Apr 18, 2020, 4:10:11 AM
I'm also looking into 4x Flexible Sentry (also from Block based small cluster jewels) to get complete immunity to Elemental Ailments.
Though ironic to the name, pursuing this route makes the build quite inflexible due to the SCJs slotted in every sockets granted by LCJs.
If we go this route, however, it is also possible to consider dropping Gladiator for another Ascendency, like Hierophant, Trickster, Slayer or Pathfinder.
Last edited by Gothic90 on Apr 18, 2020, 9:05:54 AM
on Apr 18, 2020, 7:09:17 AM
Never played scion before. This build looks promising.
on Apr 18, 2020, 12:07:47 PM
wanted to give you major kudos for that Hoag build, most fun I've had playing this game. Really intrigued about your Scion archmage build, I'm super noob and need things laid out, hopefully you'll be updating the build with end game options in the near future
on Apr 18, 2020, 12:42:59 PM