Vaal Arc Inquisitor - Path of Exile 3.24

30.03.2024 - 14:04:21
Game Guides , Path of Exile , POE build guides

Vaal Arc Inquisitor - Path of Exile 3.24

Arc is one of the spell skill gems in Path of Exile that has been buffed considerably in the 3.23 Affliction League. It is now even more devastating against map monsters and can be fine-tuned to make it a competent boss killer as well.

With the many changes in Patch 3.24, is this build still viable? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding YES! However, there are some slight changes, particularly in the endgame setup. Despite this, the build still performs great.

If you are looking for a league starter with so many upgrade options later down the line, then we encourage you to read this article to completion. This is our ultimate build guide for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor in Patch 3.23!

Learn to Craft the Best Items for This Build


Arc is the main damaging spell for this build. This is a lightning spell skill gem in Path of Exile that got buffed recently. So, what has changed? Well, this skill now takes into account how many chains it has left and deals 15% more damage with hits and ailments for each remaining chain.

A 20/20 Arc gem can chain up to 10 times, so you are seeing a very huge improvement in the damage department. So, what does this all mean? It means that the skill is not only great for mapping but it also deals significant single-target damage now.

To enhance your map-clearing speed, you will use Galvanic Field as well. When activated, Galvanic Field provides you with a buff that lasts for a short duration. Whenever you shock an enemy, you create a spherical field of energy that attaches to the monster you have shocked recently. The field is worth noting because it fires beams of lightning at nearby enemies.

Increase your lightning penetration and shock effectiveness to boost the damage of the build even further. The former ignores a portion of the enemy's lightning resistance, while the latter makes monsters take increased lightning damage.

This build stacks Power Charges to bring out the best out of Shimmeron. This unique wand grants you more crit, spell block, and lightning damage per Power Charge. However, this comes at a huge cost as you receive flat lightning damage every time you deal a critical strike.

Do not worry about the weapon's negative effect because, in this case, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. You can address Shimmeron's self-damaging component with the vast amounts of energy shield that is possible with this build.

Speaking of energy shield, your survivability is affected by two specific keystone passives - Ghost Reaver and Zealot's Oath. When looking at their descriptions, you might think that they cannot work together since the former has the line "Cannot Recharge Energy Shield", while the latter says "Life Regeneration is Applied to Energy Shield Instead".

The thing is, ZO is regen and GR is recharge, which means that they do not have conflict with one another. In other words, both of the keystone passives just mentioned can work together nicely. So, whether you are actively attacking enemies with Arc or you just stay in place for a bit, you will have your energy shield replenished regardless!

The build can be used as a league starter. It can function with just self-found gear crafted using basic Essences or the many options available at the Horticrafting Station. Of course, to truly elevate this build's capabilities, you will need to wear unique items - a lot of them.

You can increase your damage output by looking for the following mods on your gear:

  • Added Lightning Damage
  • Increased Lightning Damage
  • Increased Elemental Damage
  • + to Critical Strike Multiplier
  • +1 to Maximum Power Charges


The Vaal Arc Inquisitor is easy to use and fun to play. When you are mapping, simply activate Galvanic Field and run around the map until you find groups of monsters. The more closely packed they are, the better.

Then, simply spam Arc until they are defeated. The build feels even better as you accumulate more Power Charges. Use the Vaal skill whenever it is available.

When fighting against bosses or tougher enemies, you cast Hydrosphere and hit it with your main spell to apply lightning exposure. This makes your Arc and Vaal Arc more deadly, particularly because the debuff reduces the lightning resistance of affected enemies.


As you can already tell by the title of this build guide, the ascendancy class that you will settle with is the Inquisitor. That is because this is one of the only classes in Path of Exile that excels in slaying enemies with critical hits.

Sanctuary grants you the ability to create Consecrated Ground while you stand still for a couple of seconds. This is a special thing to note because enemies that are standing on Consecrated Ground take 15% increased damage.

Righteous Providence gives you a significant boost to your crit chance early on. This notable ascendancy passive skill gets even better as soon as you get your hands on some good equipment.

Inevitable Judgement makes your critical hits even more devastating. That is because this node empowers your critical strikes to ignore the enemy's elemental resistances. If you are unable to land a critical hit using Arc or Galvanic Field, this node still penetrates 10% of the monster's elemental resistances

Pious Path has been watered down on this build. That is because this notable ascendancy passive skill does not work with the Zealot's Oath keystone. However, there is still value to this in that the effects of Consecrated Ground linger for several seconds. This means that even if enemies are able to get out of the Consecrated Ground, they still take 15% increased damage for a short period of time afterward.


Notable Ascendancy Passive Skills for the 3.23 Vaal Arc Inquisitor


The Vaal Arc Inquisitor is a league starter because it can operate with self-found gear. However, to truly elevate this build's potential, you must equip certain pieces of equipment, some of which require a ton of PoE currency to obtain.

Buy Cheap PoE Currency and Items


During league start, you can use a Tornado Wand as a crafting base and spam it with Essence of Wrath until you get some useful modifiers, such as lightning damage, crit chance, critical strike multiplier, cast speed, and +1 to lightning spell skill gems. Alternatively, you can use Harvest Reforge Lightning if you have enough blue crystallized lifeforce.


Self-crafted Tornado Wand (Early to Midgame)

If you have already amassed some Chaos Orbs, snipe the trade website for a Storm Prison. This is a great weapon to start with, especially if you do not want to do some crafting yourself.

The Storm Prison gives you a bit of lightning damage, but what makes it good is that it increases your maximum Power Charges by one. This is a level 24 wand, mind you, and it already gives you a considerable boost early on.


Storm Prison

Ultimately, you are going to use the Shimmeron. This unique wand gets even more powerful if you have upwards of seven Power Charges. The Shimmeron grants increased crit chance, critical strike multiplier, spell block, spell damage, and lightning damage per Power Charge.

It is important to keep in mind that the said wand has a notable downside, where you take lightning damage if you have dealt a critical strike recently; which, in this build, happens quite often. Only use the Shimmeron if you are already wearing some good pieces of gear.




Grab a good Spirit Shield and use Harvest Reforge Lightning for a chance to obtain the "+1 to Level of All Lightning Spell Skill Gems". Energy shield mods, elemental resistance, and chaos resistance are nice to have as well.


Self-crafted Spirit Shield

The Prism Guardian is the shield that you will use for the endgame. This Archon Kite Shield has a unique effect, where the gems that you insert into it reserve life instead of mana. For this reason, you will socket your main aura gems into the shield.

If you are going to purchase one from the trade website, get a Prism Guardian with the "+2 to Level of Socketed AoE Gems" corrupted implicit modifier for good measure.


Prism Guardian

Body Armor

While you can wear any energy shield-based armor for this build, we highly encourage you to get your hands on Shavronne's Wrappings as soon as possible.

The reason is that this unique body armor improves your survivability immensely by making chaos damage affect your energy shield before your HP.

You see, chaos damage in Path of Exile would bypass energy shield by default. That is just how it works in the game. But that is addressed by Shavronne's Wrappings, which is why it is commonly used in builds that have incredible amounts of energy shield.


Shavronne's Wrappings

In a league start scenario, you can craft your own piece of equipment by grabbing a pure energy shield-based armor like the Vaal Regalia and spamming it with Essence of Woe (Energy Shield). Aim to get elemental resistances, chaos resistance, INT, and energy shield mods.

For the implicits, use Eldritch Ichors to get either the Discipline or Wrath aura effect and Eldritch Embers for the critical strike multiplier for spells. Increased lightning damage is not bad for the Searing Exarch implicit, though.


Self-crafted Vaal Regalia


Geofri’s Crest is an amazing and inexpensive unique helmet you can get very early on. This shouldn’t cost you a lot of PoE currency, so be sure to shop for this particular item on the trade website. This thing helps you deal with your elemental and chaos resistances on a budget; not to mention that it grants you a hefty boost to your energy shield as well.


Geofri's Crest

When you find a rare energy shield-based helmet, use Harvest Reforge Chaos to get chaos resistance, elemental resistance, energy shield, and some INT.

If you are struggling with mana, make sure to get the mana reservation efficiency implicit mod by using Eldritch Ichors. For the Searing Exarch mod, you can go for cast speed or increased damage per Power Charge.


Self-crafted Hubris Circlet

A couple of days after the league starts, if you have enough PoE currency, you will then transition to the Crown of the Inward Eye.

The said unique helmet grants you huge amounts of armor, life, and energy shield. But more importantly, modifiers to energy shield also grant some spell damage thanks to Transfiguration of the Soul.

If you are able to snipe one from the trade website, make sure to find a Crown of the Inward Eye with the "+1 to Maximum Power Charges" corrupted implicit mod to maximize the helmet slot.


Crown of the Inward Eye


The Thunderfist is an affordable pair of gloves that work perfectly with the Vaal Arc Inquisitor. This is primarily due to its unique effect, where socketed gems are supported by level 30 Added Lightning Damage Support.

These gloves are important because this is where you will insert your Galvanic Field spell skill gem. In addition, the Thunderfist amplifies the effects of Shock by 100%, making these gloves incredibly tough to beat.




The boots are a great way to rectify any issues that you may still have with the build. That is because you are going to craft one, preferably using Deafening Essence of Spite (INT) until you get chaos resistance and one more suffix of your choosing. You can refer to our ultimate crafting guide so that you will learn how to craft a pair of Onslaught or Tailwind Boots.

For the implicit modifiers, spam Grand Eldritch Ichors until you get "23% Increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills" and Grand Eldritch Embers for "+11% to Chaos Resistance".


Self-crafted Sorcerer Boots

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For the amulet, you can obtain an ilvl 75+ Citrine, Turquoise, or Onyx Amulet early on and use Harvest Reforge Lightning until you get "+1 to Level of All Lightning Skill Gems".


Self-crafted Amulet (Budget)

When you have enough currency, you can either craft a +2 amulet with the lightning gem level mod or purchase the Presence of Chayula from the trade website.

The Presence of Chayula is pretty awesome for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor because it not only provides you with a ton of chaos resistance, but a sizable portion of your maximum life is converted to energy shield as well.

No matter which amulet you end up using, do not forget to anoint it with Charisma (Opalescent Oil, 2x Golden Oils) for that 16% increased mana reservation efficiency and 6% increased effect of non-curse auras from your skills.


Presence of Chayula


A couple of Precursor's Emblem Topaz Rings can go a long way on this build. Make sure that the rings have "+1 to Maximum Power Charges" and "Regenerate % of Life per Second per Power Charge" to enhance both your offensive and defensive capabilities.

In the endgame, you have the option of obtaining a synthesized ring with "+1 to Maximum Power Charges" and "% Increased Spell Damage per Power Charge" as implicit modifiers to bring out the best of the Vaal Arc Inquisitor.


Precursor's Emblem Topaz Ring

Use the synthesized ring as a crafting base and spam it with Deafening Essence of Scorn (critical strike multiplier) until you get cast speed and another suffix you are happy with. Once you have achieved the desired outcome, lock your suffixes and use a Veiled Chaos Orb.

Bench-craft "+ to Maximum Life" and then head to Jun to unveil. You are looking for the mod, "+ to Maximum Mana, 7% Reduced Mana Cost of Skills". When you have it, go to the Crafting Bench again and put the non-channeling mod. If you still have an open prefix, use an Exalted Orb to fill it up.

To complete the craft, spam the ring with Unstable Catalysts to maximize the critical strike multiplier suffix.


Self-crafted Synthesized Ring (Endgame)


You have a couple of options to choose from when it comes to the belt for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor. The first is a self-crafted Stygian Vise with a Crusader mod.

To craft the belt, get an ilvl 82+ Stygian Vise and spam it with Deafening Essence of Spite (INT) until you get chaos resistance, life, energy shield, and another suffix. Make sure to leave at least one prefix open.

The next step is to use a Crusader's Exalted Orb for a chance to obtain the mod: "% Increased Critical Strike Chance Against Shocked Enemies". You have a 25% chance of getting this modifier. Do not worry, the other modifiers, lightning damage, and maximum energy shield, are beneficial to the build as well.


Self-crafted Stygian Vise

The second belt that you can use for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor is the Mageblood. This unique belt needs no introduction; it grants you the effects of four magic utility flasks at all times.




  • Granite Flask
  • Diamond Flask
  • Quartz Flask
  • Quicksilver Flask
  • Oriath's End/Amethyst Flask

The Diamond Flask ensures that you have enough critical chance to deal huge amounts of damage to the enemy. That is why it is a flask that you need to use for the build.

The Granite Flask is just there to increase your armor a bit.

If you are wondering why the Quartz Flask is included in the setup, it is to help you reposition yourself for maximum damage. This is because it grants you Phasing, which allows you to move through enemies unhindered during the flask's effect.

Quicksilver Flask makes your mapping experience a lot smoother, especially if you are wearing the Mageblood belt.

For the fifth flask slot, you have two viable options. If you do not have the PoE currency yet, you can go for an Amethyst Flask to boost your chaos resistance. However, in the endgame, you can transition to Oriath's End.

When the flask is active, Oriath's End gives you a 30% chance to explode enemies on kill, dealing a portion of their maximum life as damage of a random element.

Flask Mods

  • 60% Increased Armour (of the Armadillo)
  • 17% Increased Cast Speed (of the Horsefly)
  • 20% Additional Elemental Resistances (of the Rainbow) OR 14% Increased Movement Speed (of the Cheetah, only if your elemental resistances are capped)
  • Corrupted Blood Immunity
  • Abecedarian/Alchemist/Dabbler (Prefix, for Mageblood)


The good news is that the Vaal Arc Inquisitor does not require any specific jewels to work. However, this does not mean that you shouldn't use jewels. In fact, there are some that can greatly enhance the damage potential of the build.

Start by getting a Watcher's Eye with any of the following modifiers:

  • Gain Arcane Surge for 4 Seconds When You Create Consecrated Ground While Affected by Zealotry
  • Gain % of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield While Affected by Clarity
  • % of Physical Damage from Hits Taken as Fire/Cold/Lightning Damage While Affected by Purity of Elements
  • % Increased Lightning Damage While Affected by Wrath

Next, obtain a Militant Faith with the line: "Carved to glorify new faithful converted by High Templar Dominus". The reason why you need this specific jewel is so that the nearest keystone passive transforms into Inner Conviction, which gives you 3% more spell damage per Power Charge.

Large Cluster Jewels (Spell Damage) contain some pretty amazing notable passive skills. Get a couple of these because each one will have a different set of nodes.

On the first Large Cluster Jewel, use Harvest Reforge Caster until you get these:

  • Seal Mender

    • Skills Supported by Unleash Have 30% Increased Seal Gain Frequency
  • Burden Projection

    • 30% Increased Spell Damage
    • 8% Chance to knock Enemies Back on Hit with Spell Damage
  • Sap Psyche

    • 20% Increased Spell Damage
    • 30% Increased Mana Regeneration Rate
    • Regenerates 1% of Energy Shield per Second if You've Cursed an Enemy Recently

On the second Large Cluster Jewel, use Harvest Reforge Caster again. Only this time, you are looking for Seal Mender, Mage Hunter, and another notable passive skill. The last node should be situated at the center so that you can save a couple of points.

If you still have PoE currency to spare, you can purchase the Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh jewels with "Conviction of Power" as the matching modifier. This notable ascendancy passive skill grants "+1 to Maximum Power Charges" and gives you the effect of four Endurance/Power Charges at all times.

The rest of the jewel slots can be populated with base jewels. Search for any of these mods:

  • % Increased Spell Damage
  • % Increased Maximum Energy Shield
  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier for Spell Damage
  • +% to Critical Strike Multiplier with Lightning Skills
  • +% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  • % Increased Cast Speed While Holding A Shield
  • +% to All Elemental Resistances
  • Corrupted Blood Cannot Be Inflicted on You (corrupted implicit mod)
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Even though most of the gem setups for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor are reserved for specific gems, there are a few slots that allow you to use any gem of your choosing.

Body Armor

  • Vaal Arc
  • Awakened Added Lightning Damage Support
  • Awakened Unleash Support
  • Power Charge on Critical Support
  • Increased Critical Damage Support
  • Empower Support (lvl 4)

Arc is your main damaging spell for this build. It has been buffed in Patch 3.23, where it now deals significantly more single-target damage than ever before. Aside from its improved boss-killing potential, Arc can still clear maps quite effectively. Be sure to use the "Vaal" portion of the skill whenever it is off cooldown.

New to this setup is the Vaal Arc of Oscillating. This is a transfigured version of the Arc spell skill gem. What makes this great is that it deals a significant amount of damage based on its remaining chains. Use this particular version only when you are fighting pinnacle bosses in Path of Exile. You can corrupt this gem with a Vaal Orb for a chance to turn it into the Vaal Arc of Oscillating.

Awakened Unleash Support is incredible because it not only increases the spell damage of Arc but also casts the said spell several times due to its "seal" mechanic. The Seal Mender notable passive skill from the Large Cluster Jewel boosts your chances of gaining seals, which is why you should obtain one as soon as you can.

Awakened Added Lightning Damage, Increased Critical Damage Support, and Power Charge on Critical Support make your Arc even more devastating.

Spell skill gems in Path of Exile perform better the higher their gem levels are. For this reason, you will socket a level 4 Empower Support as well. This particular support gem raises Arc's level by three.

During league start, you can safely use the base versions of the support gems. However, we encourage you to get the awakened versions simply because they are leaps and bounds better in terms of the stats and bonuses they provide.


  • Galvanic Field
  • Awakened Elemental Focus
  • Increased Critical Damage Support
  • Power Charge on Critical Support

Since you are using the Thunderfist on this build, you will socket Galvanic Field into this pair of gloves. Awakened Elemental Focus is just a means of improving the damage output of Galvanic Field. Plus, it also raises the level of the said spell skill gem by one.


  • Determination
  • Purity of Elements
  • Herald of Thunder
  • Enlighten (lvl 3)

You have a couple of aura setups for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor. The boots contain your main defensive auras, including Determination and Purity of Elements. The former grants more armor, while the latter increases your elemental resistances to a considerable degree.

Herald of Thunder is a buff that gives you some added lightning damage. However, this particular gem is included mainly to improve your map-clearing speed. This is due to the storms that you create whenever you kill enemies that are affected by the "Shock" status effect.

Enlighten lvl 3 is just there to enable you to activate these auras with some mana left for your more active skills.


  • Clarity
  • Vitality
  • Steelskin
  • Cast When Damage Taken

Clarity is a useful buff for this build because it increases the mana you regenerate per second. Aside from that, because you take the Zealot's Oath keystone passive, using Vitality is quite beneficial as well.

Now, you do not have a ton of armor because most of your gear are energy shield-based. That is why the guard skill you will use is Steelskin. This guard skill is no slouch as it makes you immune to bleeding for a short period of time.

Steelskin is supported by Cast When Damage Taken Support so you do not have to worry about manually activating it.


  • Discipline
  • Wrath
  • Zealotry

With a huge chunk of your mana already used up by the auras mentioned earlier, the only way you can activate a few more is when you use the Prism Guardian as your shield. This is the reason why you will socket Discipline, Wrath, and Zealotry into it.

Discipline provides you with a significant boost to your energy shield. Wrath grants you more spell lightning damage, thus giving more oomph to your Arc, Vaal Arc, and Galvanic Field. Lastly, Zealotry increases your spell damage and spell critical strike chance, so its inclusion in the setup is a must.


  • Hydrosphere
  • Faster Casting
  • Flame Dash

Hydrosphere allows you to create a sphere of water that "drenches" nearby enemies. Enemies that are within the sphere's area of effect will be affected by lightning exposure, effectively reducing their elemental resistances by 10%. Use this whenever you encounter tough monsters or take on any of the pinnacle bosses in Path of Exile.

Faster Casting is a support gem that makes Hydrosphere much smoother to use.

Flame Dash is your only movement skill for the Vaal Arc Inquisitor. It gives you three charges, allowing you to move forward a few times in quick succession. You can utilize it to help you search for monsters around the map. Alternatively, use it defensively by getting out of harm's way.


Yes, you have read that right! The Tattoos are back in Patch 3.24 and there are some that can help elevate the Vaal Arc Inquisitor. Here are the ones that we recommend:

  • Tattoo of the Valako Shaman

    • 5% Increased Lightning Damage
  • Tattoo of the Hinekora Warrior
    • 3% Increased Maximum Energy Shield
  • Tattoo of the Hinekora Storyteller

    • +3% to Chaos Resistance
  • Tattoo of the Arohongui Shaman

    • 5% Increased Effect of Herald Buffs on You

Passive Tree


Passive Tree for the 3.23 Vaal Arc Inquisitor


Main Setup

Endgame Version

Final Thoughts

There is a reason why the Vaal Arc Inquisitor is still quite popular to this day. It is capable of dealing huge amounts of damage even on budget gear. However, when you have decked it out with the right items, this build shines even more!

The Arc spell skill gem itself has been buffed in Patch 3.23. It is not only an amazing spell to use for mapping, but it can now handle bosses with relative ease as well.

The Inquisitor is the perfect ascendancy class for this build. With access to nodes that increase your crit chance immensely, you can slay enemies even if you still do not have better equipment yet.

If you are looking for a league starter that is fun and easy to use, with the prospect of taking it well into the endgame, then the Vaal Arc Inquisitor is one that we can wholeheartedly recommend!

With all of that said, good luck on your adventures in Wraeclast, Exile!


+Highly mobile character

+Deals considerable damage on a budget

+Scales really well into the endgame

+Multiple upgrades you can take later down the line

+Very good map-clearing potential

+Decent boss killer thanks to newly buffed Arc spell skill gem

+Still amazing in Patch 3.24


-Some of the upgrades are quite expensive

-Not ideal for SSF

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