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:
The Lightning Strike Pathfinder (based around 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.
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 unique body armour.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed
+ Relatively safe, considering you can attack from long range
- Will lack single target damage if you do not have good gear
Offensively, you will have great mobility via 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, Vaal Lightning Strike and War Banner‘s Adrenaline buff. 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 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.
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.
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.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Rings||Rare Opal Ring|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
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 allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. While using Molten Strike, you can make use of the following unique weapons : The Screaming Eagle, Hand of Thought and Motion, Story of the Vaal, or 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.
Using 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.
At level 10, add Whirling Blades for additional mobility.
At level 16, add Herald of Ash for additional damage.
By level 18, your Molten Strike link should look like this.
- Molten Strike
- Ancestral Call Support
- Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
- Elemental Focus Support
- Melee Physical Damage Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
At level 24, you should add Anger for additional damage.
Are there any map mods the build cannot do?
Elemental reflect. A combination of No Regeneration and No Leech cannot be done either.
The Lightning Strike Pathfinder is a fast paced character that specializes in dealing incredible amounts of elemental damage with its electrically energized attacks.