Lightning Strike Pathfinder Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

Vvckd

6


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 Lightning Strike Pathfinder (based around Vaal Lightning Strike Vaal Lightning Strike) specializes in dealing great amounts of Lightning and Cold damage while using a Claw for the weapon slot. The build can achieve great clear speed, decent single target damage and survivability. When properly built, the Lightning Strike Pathfinder can easily off screen clear multiple packs of monster because of how far the skill’s projectiles can travel, if they not stopped by terrain obstacles of course.

The main reason we choose Pathfinder is because of all the utility this ascendancy class provides via very strong flask effects, additional Physical damage gained as extra Elemental damage, Resistance Penetration, and elemental Ailment immunities.

Build Summary

The build does not require a lot of currency to get started, but has the room for immense improvement once you are ready to invest. We mainly focus on scaling our damage by having a decently rolled rare Physical damage Claw, considering we convert most of our Physical damage to Elemental damage allows us to stay safe by Freezing most mobs and gain additional damage by Shocking them. You can essentially play on a 7-link gem setup by using the Lioneye's Vision Lioneye's Vision unique body armour.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed
+ Relatively safe, considering you can attack from long range

Cons

- Will lack single target damage if you do not have good gear

Playstyle

Offensively, you will have great mobility via Whirling Blades Whirling Blades in combination with your high Attack Speed. One or two strikes will be enough to clear one side of the screen when fighting common monsters. For single target, you can make use of Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief, Vaal Lightning Strike Vaal Lightning Strike and War Banner War Banner‘s Adrenaline buff. Blood Rage Blood Rage is another offensive tool that should be used.

Defensively, keeping your distance and mostly relying on your Evasion and Dodge chance is what will keep you safe. The build easily achieves over 6,000 Life and has decent sustain via Leech. Freezing enemies is great defensively speaking, they will be disabled even before being able to attack you.

For playstyle, staying in safe spots and good repositioning with Whirling Blades Whirling Blades will be key for effective clearing and survivability. Once you are a bit more experienced with the build you will be able to smoothly clear while also not worrying about taking that much damage.

Passive tree

This is what you should be aiming for when it comes to the endgame passive skill tree.

We focus on picking all the efficient Claw nodes, Elemental damage, Projectile damage and Life along the way. Druidic Rite and Primal Spirit in combination with the Pathfinder ascendancy will make sure we never go out of flask charges. Keystone notables we focus on are Acrobatics, Phase Acrobatics, Arrow Dancing and Point Blank.

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 Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Loreweave Loreweave
Gloves Tombfist Tombfist
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Opal Ring Opal Ring
Weapon Rare Claw
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

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

Lightning Strike Lightning Strike is not a great leveling skill, this is why we recommend using Molten Strike Molten Strike early on.

Leveling Trees

With this passive skill tree you will easily be able to reach Blood Aqueduct in Act IX.

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 leveling 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. While using Molten Strike Molten Strike, you can make use of the following unique weapons : The Screaming Eagle The Screaming Eagle, Hand of Thought and Motion Hand of Thought and Motion, Story of the Vaal Story of the Vaal, or The Gryphon The Gryphon.

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. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support

At level 4, you should add Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector for additional single target damage. At this point your Molten Strike Molten Strike link should look like this.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support

At level 10, add Whirling Blades Whirling Blades for additional mobility.

At level 16, add Herald of Ash Herald of Ash for additional damage.

By level 18, your Molten Strike Molten Strike link should look like this.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support

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

FAQ

Are there any map mods the build cannot do?

Elemental reflect. A combination of No Regeneration and No Leech cannot be done either.

Conclusion

The Lightning Strike Pathfinder is a fast paced character that specializes in dealing incredible amounts of elemental damage with its electrically energized attacks.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. Changes to Shock are indirect buff to the build.

  •   

    Updated passive trees for Blight 3.8. The build remains unchanged and is still as decent as before.

  •   

    Updated several gear recommendations along with the Flask section. Improved the Playstyle section.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7. Improved the Gem and Gearing sections along with changing passive skill trees.

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  1. Posts
    3

    Hi,

    The endgame skilltree with ALL skillpoints gives 74 int.
    There is not a single claw in POE with 300pDPS i can use with 74 int.
    And the gear page doesnt mention any intelligence rolls on the items. How is that supposed to work?
    Every good claw needs intelligence and this build doesnt have any.

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 15/12/2019 at 10:08 AM, sunfiresan said

    Hi,

    The endgame skilltree with ALL skillpoints gives 74 int.
    There is not a single claw in POE with 300pDPS i can use with 74 int.
    And the gear page doesnt mention any intelligence rolls on the items. How is that supposed to work?
    Every good claw needs intelligence and this build doesnt have any.

    Hey, in order to cover Intelligence requirements you can easily get Amulet, Rings, Helmet and more items with Intelligence. If you are struggling that much you can pick some 30Int passives on the tree.

  3. Posts
    3

    On 15/12/2019 at 3:52 PM, Vvckd said

    Hey, in order to cover Intelligence requirements you can easily get Amulet, Rings, Helmet and more items with Intelligence. If you are struggling that much you can pick some 30Int passives on the tree.

    Now i got a claw with like 250 pDPS, 4 linked Lightning strike with the suggested gems and skilled the skilltree properly. I finished act 10 but now it takes me like 20 seconds to fight yellow mobs. I got 6k DPS. Did i forget something important?

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 16/12/2019 at 4:28 PM, sunfiresan said

    On 15/12/2019 at 3:52 PM, Vvckd said

    Hey, in order to cover Intelligence requirements you can easily get Amulet, Rings, Helmet and more items with Intelligence. If you are struggling that much you can pick some 30Int passives on the tree.

    Now i got a claw with like 250 pDPS, 4 linked Lightning strike with the suggested gems and skilled the skilltree properly. I finished act 10 but now it takes me like 20 seconds to fight yellow mobs. I got 6k DPS. Did i forget something important?

    Hey, if you provide a link to your character I could give you hints on how to improve your DPS.

  5. Posts
    3

    On 16/12/2019 at 6:39 PM, Vvckd said

    On 16/12/2019 at 4:28 PM, sunfiresan said

    On 15/12/2019 at 3:52 PM, Vvckd said

    Hey, in order to cover Intelligence requirements you can easily get Amulet, Rings, Helmet and more items with Intelligence. If you are struggling that much you can pick some 30Int passives on the tree.

    Now i got a claw with like 250 pDPS, 4 linked Lightning strike with the suggested gems and skilled the skilltree properly. I finished act 10 but now it takes me like 20 seconds to fight yellow mobs. I got 6k DPS. Did i forget something important?

    Hey, if you provide a link to your character I could give you hints on how to improve your DPS.

    http://poe-profile.info/profile/expogi/WhoIsFreddieDredd

  6. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 16/12/2019 at 6:51 PM, sunfiresan said

    On 16/12/2019 at 6:39 PM, Vvckd said

    On 16/12/2019 at 4:28 PM, sunfiresan said

    On 15/12/2019 at 3:52 PM, Vvckd said

    Hey, in order to cover Intelligence requirements you can easily get Amulet, Rings, Helmet and more items with Intelligence. If you are struggling that much you can pick some 30Int passives on the tree.

    Now i got a claw with like 250 pDPS, 4 linked Lightning strike with the suggested gems and skilled the skilltree properly. I finished act 10 but now it takes me like 20 seconds to fight yellow mobs. I got 6k DPS. Did i forget something important?

    Hey, if you provide a link to your character I could give you hints on how to improve your DPS.

    http://poe-profile.info/profile/expogi/WhoIsFreddieDredd

    Hey, your main problem when it comes to dealing little damage is probably monster resistances, things like Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness should help a great deal. Atziri’s Promise is a unique flask that will increase your damage even further. Playing a Pathfinder on console is bad in the long run because you stip yourself of one Flask, which is one of Pathfinder’s strongest sides.

    Edited by Vvckd on December 17th, 2019

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