Ethereal Knives Inquisitor Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Vvckd

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Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

Introduction

The Ethereal Knives Inquisitor shined brightly in the Abyss league, when Lightpoacher Lightpoacher was way too strong. After the nerf of the helm this build still remains great at clearing and also has some decent single target damage output. Ethereal Knives is a physical spell that fires projectiles in a cone, when Ring of Blades Ring of Blades is used, this cone becomes a nova around the character. This allows for much better area coverage. The skill has great base damage and the 6% critical chance is very solid when it comes to building a critical spell-based character.

The Inquisitor is a very powerful ascendancy class when it comes to critical-oriented builds that aim to scale a lot of elemental damage, simply because your critical strikes ignore enemies’ elemental resistances via Inevitable Judgement.

We fully convert Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives’ physical damage into elemental damage by using Hrimburn Hrimburn and Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support. By converting the damage we are able to ignore elemental resistances when we critically strike, at the same time this also allows us to deal great amounts of Lightning and Cold Damage, which essentially allows us to utilize very strong Shock and Freeze ailments.

Build Summary

In general, the Ethereal Knives Inquisitor requires few semi-expensive items in order to start clearing very fast, but it can definitely be started on a budget. Ring of Blades Ring of Blades is an Act 5 quest reward, this unique jewel does not cost more than 1 Chaos Orb Chaos Orb. Hrimburn Hrimburn gloves are “fated” version of Hrimsorrow Hrimsorrow, which means they are upgraded by using a Prophecy called “Fire and Ice”. Inpulsa's Broken Heart Inpulsa's Broken Heart is one of the expensive items of the build that immensely boosts clear speed. Besides that, well rolled rare items will do the work.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed
+ Can be played on a budget
+ Can Shock and Freeze most foes

Cons

- Lacks single target damage if not well geared
- Not ideal for killing high-end bosses

Playstyle

Offensively, the build has very active playstyle. Most of the time you move from pack to pack by using Shield Charge Shield Charge, exploding enemies with a single cast of Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives. Using an attack like your movement skill is very important, considering the synergy between spells and attacks you gain from your ascendancy node Instruments of Virtue.

Defensively, you need to keep your distance, since you do not have many layers of defence. The build mainly relies on the fact that it deals tons of cold critical damage, which Freezes enemies before they have the chance to get to you. Running an Elder ring with Warlord's Mark Warlord's Mark on hit will allow you to have reliable life leech.

The Ethereal Knives Inquisitor is a caster that utilizes strong critical strikes in order to obliterate enemies. The build has the potential to be top-tier when it comes to clearing. Inpulsa's Broken Heart Inpulsa's Broken Heart‘s lightning corpse explosion mechanic scales very well into late game, simply because the more life monsters have, the more damage explosions will do. When playing an Inquisitor, certain map modes like additional monster resistances are irrelevant, you also do not have to invest into any elemental penetration, which allows you to scale your damage even further.

Passive Tree

This is what the endgame passive skill tree should look like.

For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Lightpoacher Lightpoacher
Amulet Karui Charge Karui Charge
Chest Inpulsa's Broken Heart Inpulsa's Broken Heart
Gloves Hrimburn Hrimburn
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Rare Rune Dagger
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

The character can be very easily leveled by using Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex. It has more damage early on compared to Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives. Levelling items are helpful but not mandatory. We recommend having 300 life per Act, for example in Act VII you should have around 2100 life.

Leveling Trees

This is what your passive skill tree should look like around level 50-55. At that level you are ready to ascend into Inevitable Judgement and start building around critical strikes.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your levelling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Socketing Blade Vortex Blade Vortex into Lifesprig Lifesprig will fill your damage needs early on.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility.

At level 12, you can replace Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse with Blade Vortex Blade Vortex.

  1. Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex
  2. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  3. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 16, you should add Herald of Ice Herald of Ice for additional damage.

At level 18, your Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex link should look like this.

  1. Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  5. Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support
  6. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 24, you should add Hatred Hatred for additional damage.

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

You will one-shot yourself to Elemental Reflect. No regeneration maps can be done but not in combination with Hexproof or Cannot Leech. Besides that anything else should be doable.

How bad is the single target at endgame?

Honestly the build’s single target is not that bad, it still has the potential to do the toughest of bosses, but with Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives it will be clunky. If you want the build to do great amounts of single target damage you can swap Ethereal Knives and few of its support gems with a Blade Vortex gem setup. Both skills are physical spells and scale in similar ways and with Blade Vortex you will destroy bosses, but its clear speed is way worse compared to Ethereal Knives.

Conclusion

The Ethereal Knives Inquisitor is a very viable choice if you want to clear fast and efficiently. If you are looking for a self-casting killing machine, this build is a good choice.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build is passively getting buffed with all the weapons that can add global level to active skill gems.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7. The build remains as efficient and strong as before.

  •   

    Updated passive skill trees.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Synthesis 3.6. Recent changes to spells are a buff for the build.

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  1. Posts
    1

    The tree for the build is still using the 3.5 skill tree. As well, do any of your guys’ builds have PoB links? Would make it much easier to follow the guide.

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    Hey Asocialite, unfortunately we do not have PoB links at the moment, we are working on replacing 3.5 Passive Trees with 3.6 ones as we speak. This particular build will have an updated tree in couple of hours.

  3. Posts
    1

    Where do I put Ring of Blades, I can not find an easy spot

  4. Posts
    1

    Where do you link your ring of blades at in the skill tree?

  5. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    The jewel socket below Scion has exactly 40 Dexterity, this is the one you should be looking for.

  6. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    There seems to be a problem with the poeplanner site we are using for passive skill trees, the threshold jewel Ring of Blades Ring of Blades should be used right below Scion.

  7. Posts
    1

    If possible, kindly update the passive tree.

    As of the tree now, if you are saying RoB should be placed right under Scion, that would be 8 skill points away.

    Kindly advise where do we respec these 8 skill points from?

  8. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    Please check the passive skill trees again, thank you for the patience.

  9. Posts
    1

    where to use inspired learning ? i dont see wnyway in the tree to activate it

  10. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    On 11/04/2019 at 1:32 PM, CreazyX said

    where to use inspired learning ? i dont see wnyway in the tree to activate it

    Hey, here is where you can use Inspired Learning Inspired Learning for this particular build.

    1 Templar: Power charge, Endurance charge, Faith and Steel, Devotion and it seems to be in range by a pixel on Catalyse and Light of Divinity

    2 Witch: Power charge, Annihilation, Blast radius, Alchemist, Dark arts, Mind Barrier

    3 Shadow area: pick 4 out of 5: Frenzy, Power Charge, Blood Drinker, Mind Drinker, Nullification

    Edited by Vvckd on April 11th, 2019

  11. Posts
    1

    Do u mind explaining where to put the Ring of Blades jewel? I dont see any way u can activate this jewel with the suggested skill build.

  12. Vvckd

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    643

    On 07/09/2019 at 2:01 AM, Lastino said

    Do u mind explaining where to put the Ring of Blades jewel? I dont see any way u can activate this jewel with the suggested skill build.

    Hey, there are two Jewel sockets you can use for this purpose. The Jewel socket below Scion can be used early on, the one next to Shadow (right above Blood Drinker) is the second spot.

  13. Posts
    3

    Above is said that the build can be played MF, but if don’t take into count those Ventor’s, the build has nothing that gives him IIQ. What can you suggest to swap into MF?

  14. Vvckd

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    643

    On 16/09/2019 at 2:53 PM, Farian said

    Above is said that the build can be played MF, but if don’t take into count those Ventor’s, the build has nothing that gives him IIQ. What can you suggest to swap into MF?

    Hey, two Ventor's Gamble Ventor's Gambles and a Shaper-based Amulet with Quantity roll or Bisco's Collar Bisco's Collar is enough for going MF. Goldwyrm Goldwyrm and Sadima's Touch Sadima's Touch are the next items you should invest into, but at this point you might become too squishy for higher tier maps, depends on what you aim to farm.

    Edited by Vvckd on September 16th, 2019

  15. Posts
    1

    I have one question. Will it be worth changing slower projs for extra fire dmg?

    Thx for the reply <3

  16. Vvckd

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    643

    On 29/09/2019 at 7:51 PM, Dophamin said

    I have one question. Will it be worth changing slower projs for extra fire dmg?

    Thx for the reply <3

    Hey, you can definitely do that, it will also allow you to not swap between gems if you don’t want to.

  17. Posts
    2

    How come we are taking minion nodes when not using minions?

  18. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    On 05/10/2019 at 5:18 AM, N8XP said

    How come we are taking minion nodes when not using minions?

    Hey, Spiritual Aid allows Minion Damage to also affect us.

  19. Posts
    2

    oh okay thank you! Do you i think i can use pledge of hands so i can be lazy and only have to switch the projectile speeds and then as the 7th have hypothermia?

  20. Vvckd

    Moderator

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    643

    On 05/10/2019 at 5:41 PM, N8XP said

    oh okay thank you! Do you i think i can use pledge of hands so i can be lazy and only have to switch the projectile speeds and then as the 7th have hypothermia?

    You can definitely try it out, it should work just as fine.

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