When we kill Dominus to open the portal to Twilight Strand, it also means that Ruthless mode is about to start. We did everything in the last month and a half of Crucible league. So I learned how classes are balanced differently, how builds work differently in Ruthless mode. I even ended up developing a trick for Ruthless Atlas.
Trial of The Ancestors has just launched, so I wanted to share all these tips with you. Currently, I have created the best POE 3.22 Ruthless mode league starting lineup. But as Ascendancy changes, you can adjust it further.
Now, if you want a nice POE 3.22 league starter build, you can actually try Storm Brand Inquisitor build. The core strength of this build and the reason I switched from Hierophant to Inquisitor is based on Inevitable Judgement in Ruthless mode.
Because any starter build based on Elemental will bog down once it encounters enemies with high resistances in level 5-10 maps. But Standard League players can easily overcome this with Support Gems.
But in Ruthless mode, they just drop as POE Currency. You can’t rely on their Inevitable Judgment allowing us to bypass monster resistance. We can do this only by selecting different damage mechanics from the level 70 build. And Storm Brand will end up with about 50% critical chance.
In terms of defense, at level 70, it increased your max life by 159% and it increased your armor by 124%. And you get access to a lot more, but you get pretty tanky with Caster.
Next, I want to talk about how this build uses Keystone, Elemental Overload. We only used this Keystone for end-game upgrades if you don’t master it. It cuts off your own principal source of damage, critical strike damage.
This Keystone effectively reads Storm Brand, increasing the damage you do by 40% when you level up with 6% critical strike chance. So it’s always active and you have to take Elemental Overload early on.
The main build can use Storm Brand’s Orb of Storms and Lightning Tendrils when you’re using Inevitable Judgement. Once you’re in Act 3 and get your first Uncarved Gemstone. You can substitute Lightning Tendrils for Arc, Ball Lightning, or Spark, and all three are valid choices.
You’ll need to start with tier one skill gems for these skills, but you’ll get more damage from an Orb of Storms and Storm Brand. If you want to play Storm Brand Inquisitor build, it is actually pretty easy to buy POE Currency in advance.
Your first step is to create a farm Witch and take her to complete “Breaking Some Eggs” quest in Mud Flats. This will return your Fireball, Raise Zombie, and Orb of Storm to town and put all POE Items in your stash.
Don’t forget your Flasks, then remove your farm role. Then you need to make your Storm Brand Inquisitor Templar after killing Hillock. You will get Lightning Tendrils. The combination of Orb of Storms and Lightning Tendrils will easily wipe out any monster packs you come across, helping you amass a lot of POE Orbs and resources.
So your job is just to have enough Zombies so you have some tanks to hide behind and you can pick up Holy Flame Totem.
Once you’ve completed “Breaking Some Eggs” quest with Templar, you’ll be able to use it for a few levels. And you get it after killing Brutus.
You can choose Vitality or Clarity. Clarity allows you to keep your gem level low. It pretty much eliminates your need for Mana Flask, and you’ll probably take Clarity off at the end of the game. As your mana pool gets big enough, you don’t need it anymore, but it’s very handy.
And Vitality is a better, safer option. As far as the endgame build is concerned, because it matters. Then remember, once you reach Cavern of Wrath Waypoint, take that Waypoint back to town and pick up Storm Brand.
Passive Tree Leveling
If you want to upgrade your Passive Tree ASAP, follow this path directly to Templar starting Life nodes. Then get Holy Dominion and Light of Divinity. Then we head to Runesmith cluster and get Brand Mastery. You can mint two additional Brands and get Runebinder Keystone.
After that, when you get Storm Brand, you’ll have five Brands, three of which are more or less attached to any one enemy. But you need to invest some POE Currency in Storm Brand before you can get Elemental Overload.
If you’re battling injuries, you can opt for Crackling Speed cluster. Otherwise, your goal is to find Unwavering Stance as quickly as possible. After you take Unwavering Stance, you can use Diamond Skin for more resistance. Then go inwards into the life wheel and get Constitution and Iron Will.
The ultimate step to complete the path is to traverse between Cruel Preparation and Lightning Walker. Your path is almost done.
One thing I’ve learned about Ruthless is that you have to be flexible when it comes to endgame. Depending on what gear and skill gems you find, your need for passive trees above level 70 will actually change. So I have some advice for you, but ultimately all endgame development options come down to your defense.
I know Ruthless mode in POE 3.22 league is tough. But for a starting lineup in this league, you can go head-to-head and push deep into the endgame. I think there are some builds that might work as well, but this is the only one.
The last secret of Ruthless Atlas will allow you to really enjoy interesting endgames. That’s it, all Exiles, see you in the game.