Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant - Path of Exile: 3.24

28.03.2024 - 17:53:22
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant - Path of Exile: 3.24

There are plenty of viable builds that you can use as a league starter in Path of Exile. Some of the usual builds include the Righteous Fire Inquisitor, Lightning Arrow Deadeye, and Elemental SRS Guardian, to name a few. But, if you want to go off-meta and try something unique, then perhaps you can give the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant a whirl.

We will provide you with the information you need to create this amazing league starter. So, if you want to ride the lightning, then read further! This is our comprehensive build guide for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant in Path of Exile 3.23 Affliction League!

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As you can already tell by its name, the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant relies heavily on the Storm Brand spell. If you are new to Path of Exile, brands are a type of spell that sort of acts like a beacon. They attach to enemies and deal damage depending on the specific type of brand that you use.

Having said that, Storm Brand is a lightning-based spell that attaches itself to nearby enemies. When that happens, the affected enemy, as well as those around it, are struck by lightning several times before the brand detaches itself. It boasts significant single-target damage and can clear maps with ease thanks to the spell's synergy with notable passives and gear.

While the regular Storm Brand is already quite good, this build actually uses the Transfigured version called the Storm Brand of Indecision. Unlike its regular counterpart, Storm Brand of Indecision only attacks foes once. However, it attaches itself to a new enemy nearby after it activates every 0.3 seconds.

So, why is the Transfigured Gem (TG) better than the base version? Well, that is because Storm Brand of Indecision deals more damage, has faster activation frequency, and boasts quicker cast times. Sure, it only strikes opponents once every time it activates, but because it does so very quickly, you will not notice a significant difference at all from the regular Storm Brand in terms of clear speed. If anything, you'll see enemies quickly turn into dust whenever they are struck by lightning due to the TG version's higher overall damage potential.

The Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant takes advantage of a bunch of different mechanics to make it shine. For one, you will be stacking as many Power Charges as you can. On top of that, this build utilizes several pieces of gear that make great use of Power Charges, including Void Battery, Graven's Secret, and Badge of Brotherhood. More on these in the gear section of the guide.

Here are the mods that you should look for on gear to improve the damage of this build:

  • Lightning Damage
  • Elemental Damage
  • Brand Damage
  • Area Damage

This build is no slouch when it comes to defenses as well. For example, Mind Over Matter - a keystone passive that absorbs 40% of the damage you take and deducts it from your mana before your HP, is one of the defensive options you can take.

You can also utilize Immortal Call linked to Cast When Damage Taken Support to further improve your survivability without having to press buttons manually.

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Now, you might think that the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is clunky to play due to the fact that you just attach brands to your enemies, but that is far from the truth. This is one of the better builds to use out there because of its high mobility and great damage potential.

When you enter a map, use Shield Charge as your main travel skill. When you come across juicy packs of monsters, throw your Storm Brand of Indecision at them and the spell will do the rest.

Because of the passive skills that you will allocate on this build, you actually throw a few brands instead of one for faster clear speeds. After using Storm Brand, you can then move freely as the said spell is doing the work. That is why this build is great for beginners because you can actually get out of harm's way after hurling a brand at the enemy.

Whenever you encounter tougher foes, cast Sigil of Power and stay within its area of effect to take advantage of the bonuses it gives.

The Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant utilizes Raise Spectre to summon a minion that allows you to cast Wrath. This is because the aura gem is linked to Guardian's Blessing Support, turning Wrath into a temporary buff that lasts as long as an active minion is alive on the battlefield.

To ensure that you won't have any problems, use Raise Spectre on an Imperfect Dark Marionette. This is one of the consumable corpses you can purchase from the new NPC in 3.23 Affliction League, the Breaker of Oaths.

The reason why Imperfect Dark Marionette is great for this setup is that it revives itself a second after being killed, meaning, you no longer have to stress yourself out by re-summoning the minion every time it dies.

That said, Wrath provides a significant boost to lightning damage, so you want to use it whenever you come across tougher enemies or bosses.


So, why are we going for the Hierophant rather than the Inquisitor for this build? Well, that is mainly because Storm Brand's damage is scaled not only by the maximum Power Charges you have, but also by how much mana you spend each time you cast it. The Hierophant has nodes that perfectly synergize with this spell, which is why it is the preferred one over the Inquisitor.

Arcane Blessing is the first notable ascendancy passive you should take for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant. This allows you to have almost permanent uptime of Arcane Surge, which is a buff that grants a 10% increased cast speed and a 30% improved mana regeneration rate.

Next, you will take Conviction of Power. This ensures that you will always have at least four Power Charges and Endurance Charges at all times. Furthermore, this notable ascendancy passive raises the maximum Power Charges/Endurance Charges you can have by one. Endurance Charges improve your survivability by reducing the physical damage you take by 4% and increasing your elemental resistances by the same amount per charge.

Divine Guidance is the third node you should get for this build. This particular node is balanced because it improves your damage and defenses at the same time. It increases your damage due to Transfiguration of Mind, where increases and reductions to maximum mana also apply to damage at 30% of their value. Since the Hierophant is capable of having enormous amounts of mana, you'll gain great benefits from Divine Guidance. Additionally, it works really well with Mind Over Matter when it comes to improving your defenses. That is because it deducts 10% of your mana when you receive damage before life gets reduced.

For the last node, you have a couple of choices depending on whether you want higher damage or more survivability.

If you want to deal as much damage as possible, you should go for Sanctuary of Thought. This node is best paired with Divine Guidance. Why is that? Well, this node gives 25% mana reservation efficiency so that you have more mana to work with. Besides that, you gain a significant increase in area of effect the higher your maximum mana is, which is quite easy to do in this build.

On the other hand, Illuminated Devotion is appropriate as a defensive option, mainly because a portion of your spell damage is used as the basis for how much life you can leech from your enemies. The increased area of effect this node provides is just an added bonus.


Ascendancy Passives for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant.


The Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is dependent on Power Charges to deal the most amount of damage. As such, you will equip certain uniques that utilize or improve Power Charges in one way or another.


The weapon of choice for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is Void Battery. This unique Prophecy Wand increases your maximum Power Charge by one. But more importantly, it increases your spell damage by 25% for each Power Charge you have.

Do not be fooled by the "80% reduced spell damage" mod on the weapon itself. It is negligible when you really stack Power Charges to at least seven or eight.


Malachai's Loop is the perfect accompaniment to Void Battery as it increases your maximum Power Charges by two. Besides that, this unique Harmonic Spirit Shield provides a whopping 250% energy shield, thus improving your tankiness.

Now, you might have noticed that this spirit shield has a line that says, "Lose All Power Charges on Reaching Maximum Power Charges". Do not worry about this downside because it is rectified by another unique piece of gear, which is going to be mentioned later in the build guide.

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Body Armor

For this build, there are two prevailing body armors that you can use. The most common is Incandescent Heart - a unique Saintly Chainmail that grants 20% elemental damage as extra chaos damage, making your Storm Brand even deadlier. It also has another unique effect where 25% of the elemental damage you take is converted to chaos damage. Since you will be allocating the Chaos Inoculation keystone on the passive tree, the elemental damage you take is considerably lower as a result, especially when you're wearing the Incandescent Heart.

The other body armor you can use is Cloak of Defiance. Besides the whopping increase in evasion rating and energy shield it provides, the Cloak of Defiance allows you to regenerate 1% of your mana per second, which is huge for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant. In addition, this unique Lacquered Garb allocates the Mind Over Matter keystone, saving you some points that you can use to allocate other passive skills.


Just like the body armor, the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant has a couple of options for the helmet slot. If you equip the Incandescent Heart, you should pair it with Eber's Unification. This unique Hubris Circlet gives you the power to use a level 10 Void Gaze every time you hurl your Storm Brand. Void Gaze reduces the chaos resistance of affected enemies by 20%. Since this helmet also grants up to 8% of elemental damage as extra chaos damage, you now know why it perfectly complements the Incandescent Heart.

Now, if you prefer using the Cloak of Defiance, then you should go with the Crown of the Inward Eye. This unique Prophet Crown provides a considerable boost to your energy shield, life, and mana. But, the main reason why this is great is due to the three "Transfiguration" buffs it gives. They are:

  • Transfiguration of Soul

    • Increases and reductions to maximum energy shield also apply to spell damage at 30% of their value
  • Transfiguration of Body

    • Increases and reductions to maximum life also apply to attack damage at 30% of their value
  • Transfiguration of Mind

    • Increases and reductions to maximum mana also apply to damage at 30% of their value

If you have enough PoE Currency at your disposal, get any of these helmets with the following corrupted implicit modifiers:

  • Socketed Skill Gems Get a 90% Cost & Reservation Multiplier
  • +1 to Maximum Power Charges


The Breathstealer is certainly one of the best gloves you can use for this build. What makes it quite interesting is that you can actually put an anointment on it, similar to amulets. You can anoint it with Whispers of Doom (3x Golden Oils) so that you can apply Conductivity and Elemental Weakness at the same time for maximum damage.

Another reason why the Breathstealer is too hard to pass up is that it creates a Blighted Spore when you kill a rare monster with Storm Brand. Blighted Spores can grant a random aura that lasts for 10 seconds. In Path of Exile, that is more than enough time to kill the next rare monster on the map.

Assuming that you put Whispers of Doom on these gloves, where do you get Elemental Weakness? Well, you can corrupt the gloves with a Vaal Orb for a chance of obtaining the said implicit mod. Alternatively, you can purchase a Breathstealer with the mod already on it from the trade website.


Remember Malachai's Loop from earlier? The unique spirit shield has a downside where you lose all of your Power Charges when you are at the maximum. To circumvent the issue, you will use Ralakesh's Impatience as your boots for this build.

These boots are amazing because you always count as having your maximum number of Endurance, Frenzy, and Power Charges at all times. So, even though Malachai's Loop technically "removes" all of your Power Charges, Ralakesh's Impatience negates that due to its unique effect.

That said, purchase a Ralakesh's Impatience with the implicit modifier, "+1 to Maximum Endurance Charges" to improve your survivability.


The Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is one of the only builds in Path of Exile that utilizes all of the charges a character can have to maximum effect. That said, the Badge of Brotherhood is great for this build. And here's why:

You see, this unique Turquoise Amulet makes your maximum Frenzy Charges equal to the number of Power Charges that you have. So, what you will do is stack as many Power Charges as you can and the Badge of Brotherhood will have your Frenzy Charges sorted out.

Frenzy Charge is huge because it increases your damage and cast speed by 4% per charge. If you have 10 of them active, you can destroy anything and everything that comes your way for sure!

For the anointment, go for Infused (Crimson Oil, 2x Silver Oil) for an increase to your maximum Power Charges!

If your maximum charges do not go beyond five yet, you can use Atziri's Foible as an alternative. This grants 100 flat mana, increased maximum mana, and mana regeneration rate - mods that work great with the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant. On top of that, items and gems that you use for the build have 25% reduced attribute requirements, allowing you to equip stuff that has a high DEX requirement with no issues.


For the ring, the Precursor's Emblem is tough to beat. Get the Topaz Ring version as it contains mods that provide you with additional bonuses per Power Charge. Here are some of the bonuses that you need to look for:

  • % Increased Energy Shield
  • Gain % Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
  • Adds # to # to Lightning Damage
  • % Increased Damage

Ideally, you equip a couple of Precursor's Emblem Topaz Rings for two additional maximum Power Charges. However, if you run into issues with elemental resistances, you can craft a rare ring using the Two-Stone Ring as a crafting base. Spam it with Essence of Sorrow to guarantee DEX until you get the mods that you need.


There are three great choices for the belt slot. The cheapest is a self-crafted Redeemer-influenced Stygian Vise with the mod, "% Increased Mana Recovery Rate". You can craft this by using Essence of Sorrow until you obtain the said influenced mod, as well as other useful explicit modifiers, including chaos resistance, elemental resistance, and life, among others.

When you've gained enough currency, you can transition to Graven's Secret. This greatly improves your survivability by converting all of your Power Charges into Absorption Charges. What makes this special is that you recoup energy shield based on 12% of the elemental damage you take per Absorption Charge. Since you have plenty of Absorption Charges thanks to all of the pieces of gear mentioned thus far, you will be incredibly tough to defeat. The only downside here is that your crit chance suffers as a result of using this belt. But, if you're okay with it, then Graven's Secret is a viable option.

In the endgame, you can replace Graven's Secret with the Mageblood. This unique Heavy Belt fixes a lot of common issues with the build, such as mana cost, life regeneration, and elemental resistances. Because of the utility it provides, the Mageblood is quite expensive. However, this is a chase item that you can go for if you want to take the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant to the next level.


  • Jade Flask
  • Granite Flask
  • Diamond Flask
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Life Flask (for league start)
  • Bottled Faith (for endgame)
  • Oriath's End (also for endgame)
  • Taste of Hate (for more survivability)

Flask Mods

  • Gain Immunity to Bleeding and Corrupted Blood
  • 17% Increased Cast Speed During Effect (of the Horsefly)
  • 60% Increased Armour During Effect (of the Armadillo)
  • 55% Increased Critical Strike Chance During Effect (of Incision)
  • 14% Increased Movement Speed (of the Cheetah)


The Watcher's Eye is a staple in many Path of Exile builds. For the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant, get one with any of the following mods:

  • Gain Energy Shield per Enemy Hit While Affected by Discipline
  • Damage Penetrates % Lightning Resistance While Affected by Wrath
  • % Increased Lightning Damage While Affected by Wrath
  • Consecrated Ground You Create While Affected by Zealotry Causes Enemies to Take % Increased Damage
  • % of Physical Damage Taken as Fire/Cold/Lightning Damage While Affected by Purity of Elements

Next, craft a Large Cluster Jewel (lightning damage) using Harvest Reforge Lightning until you get the following notable passives:

  • Overshock

    • 30% Increased Lightning Damage
    • 40% Increased Effect of Lightning Ailments
  • Scintillating Idea

    • 20% Increased Maximum Mana
    • Damage Penetrates 5% Lightning Resistance
  • Widespread Destruction

    • 6% Increased Area of Effect
    • 20% Increased Elemental Damage
  • Storm Drinker

    • Damage Penetrates 8% Lightning Resistance
    • 0.5% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Energy Shield
    • Note: Good alternative to Widespread Destruction

While not really mandatory for the build, a Medium Cluster Jewel (brand damage) can certainly improve quality of life. Use your Horticrafting Station's "Reforge Caster" option until you get these:

  • Brand Loyalty

    • Enemies Take 3% Increased Damage for Each of Your Brands Attached to Them
  • Remarkable

    • 8% Increased Cast Speed with Brand Skills
    • Skills Which Create Brands Have 35% Chance to Create an Additional Brand

Militant Faith is a unique Timeless Jewel that works wonders for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant. Use the Timeless Calculator to help you find a Militant Faith with any two of these modifiers:

  • Regenerate 0.6 Mana per Second per 10 Devotion
  • 4% Increased Area Damage per 10 Devotion
  • 4% Increased Brand Damage per 10 Devotion
  • +2% to All Elemental Resistances per 10 Devotion
  • Note: Make sure to get a Militant Faith with "New Faithful Converted by High Templar Dominus" so you can get the Inner Conviction keystone passive

That Which Was Taken is a new unique jewel that was added in 3.23 Affliction League. This enables you to obtain several Charm modifiers that can complement any build in Path of Exile. For the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant, specifically, aim to purchase That Which Was Taken with any of these mods:

  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier per Power Charge
  • % Chance to Gain Phasing for 4 Seconds on Kill
  • % Chance to Gain Onslaught for 4 Seconds on Kill
  • Gain % Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield
  • Regenerate % Energy Shield per Second
  • % Increased Evasion Rating per Frenzy Charge

If you have the Mageblood equipped, you have the option of inserting Healthy Mind as well. This unique Cobalt Jewel increases your maximum mana by 20%. On top of that, any life nodes within its radius are transformed to apply to mana at a whopping 200% of their value.

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The Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant does not have enough flexibility when it comes to gems. You may be able to swap Raise Spectre with Righteous Fire, but apart from that, your choice of gems for this build is limited.

Body Armor

  • Storm Brand of Indecision
  • Archmage Support
  • Swiftbrand
  • Power Charge on Critical Support
  • Awakened Lightning Penetration
  • Increased Critical Damage

Your main attack skill for this build is the Storm Brand of Indecision. This has higher damage effectiveness compared to the base version of the gem.

Then, you scale its damage by adding some very useful support gems - one of which is Archmage Support. This support gem grants additional lightning damage by increasing the mana cost of Storm Brand. That is why it is imperative that you have plenty of mana regeneration mods on your gear and passive tree to mitigate the huge mana cost.

Storm Brand of Indecision activates pretty quickly on its own. However, you can take it a step further by putting Swiftbrand. This support gem increases Storm Brand's activation frequency by up to 50%!

Awakened Lightning Penetration is just a means of reducing the lightning resistances of enemies hit by your Storm Brand even more.

You accentuate the build's insanely high crit chance by improving its critical strike damage, which is done by adding Increased Critical Damage Support.


  • Determination
  • Purity of Elements
  • Zealotry
  • Enlighten

Determination grants a huge amount of flat armor. If you prefer boosting your evasion rating, you can swap this with Grace. Better yet, use Vaal Grace because that "Vaal" portion of the skill gives you a buff that you can rely on whenever you are in a sticky situation.

Purity of Elements not only boosts your elemental resistances considerably, but it also makes you immune to elemental ailments. Goodbye to being frozen or shocked with this one!

Zealotry increases your spell critical strike chance and provides more spell damage. But, the main reason why this aura is included in the build is so that you can create Consecrated Ground when fighting rare or unique monsters.

Enlighten Support is added to let you activate these auras with some mana left for use on other things.


  • Raise Spectre
  • Meat Shield Support
  • Wrath
  • Guardian's Blessing

This setup allows you to raise the Imperfect Dark Marionette. It is linked to Wrath and Guardian's Blessing so that the said aura is active so long as the minion is still alive. Meat Shield Support is just there to mitigate the damage the minion receives by 29% at the max level.


  • Sigil of Power
  • Intensify
  • Second Wind
  • Increased Area of Effect Support

Cast Sigil of Power to gain a boost to Storm Brand damage. When you are within its area of effect, you not only gain lightning damage for Storm Brand but you take less damage from all sources as well.

Both Increased Area of Effect Support and Intensify widen the area of Sigil of Power, giving you enough space to work with whenever you have to dodge enemies or whatnot.

Second Wind is just there to allow you to cast Sigil of Power again if you need to reposition yourself.

If you want more damage, you can replace Second Wind with Conductivity. This is a curse that reduces the lightning resistance of affected enemies. The only problem, in this particular situation, is that you'll have to cast the curse manually due to the lack of support gems that enable automatic activation.


  • Immortal Call (lvl 2)
  • Cast When Damage Taken Support (lvl 1)
  • Discipline

Immortal Call reduces the elemental and physical damage you take. It is linked to Cast When Damage Taken Support so that it gets activated the moment you receive enough damage from your enemies. Immortal Call should be left at level 2 and CWDT at level 1 so that the damage threshold is not too high.

Discipline is an aura gem that provides a huge boost to your energy shield. When paired with a Watcher's Eye that has the "Gain Energy Shield per Enemy Hit" mod, you are going to be pretty tough to kill!


  • Shield Charge
  • Faster Attacks
  • Flame Dash

Shield Charge is your main movement skill. It is linked to Faster Attacks primarily to make the skill feel less clunky to use. Use Flame Dash whenever you are mobbed by the enemy or if you come across an obstruction that prevents you from charging through.

Secondary Ascendancies

The secondary ascendancy that is best for the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is none other than the Wildwood Primalist. Aside from the secondary inventory provided by Might of the Bear, the Wildwood Primalist gives you access to three slots where you can insert Charms with some pretty nifty modifiers, such as:

  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier per Power Charge
  • You and Nearby Allies Have +% to Elemental Resistances
  • Recovery 2% of Life/Mana/Energy Shield on Kill
  • Culling Strike
  • % Chance to Gain Phasing for 4 Seconds on Kill
  • % Increased Effect of Onslaught on You

Passive Tree


Passive Tree for Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant


Main Setup

With Mageblood


The Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is a great build that feels good even with minimal investment. It is quite tanky due to its many defensive layers, so you can do bossing with it if you want.

Despite using brands to kill enemies, this build is not clunky to use at all. And, the fact that you hurl brands and let them do all of the slaying allows you to run freely and move out of harm's way.

All in all, the Archmage Storm Brand Hierophant is a fun build that is great as a league starter and good for the endgame with enough investment!


+Great league starter

+Tanky due to many defensive layers

+Stacks and abuses Endurance, Frenzy, and Power charges to achieve the build's maximum potential

+Highly mobile


-Brand playstyle may not be for everybody

-Gem flexibility is limited

-Uses specific unique items to make it shine

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