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 Shock Nova Inquisitor is a Crit-based caster that specializes in dealing tons of Lightning damage. The character achieves this by taking advantage of Inquisitor’s Inevitable Judgement, which allows you to penetrate enemies’ elemental resistances with Critical Strikes. This results in Shock Nova‘s incredibly big hits essentially being “true” damage. The build also does great work of utilizing Energy Leech Support in combination with Eldritch Battery and Mind over Matter.
There are no mandatory items the build requires in order to work. The Devouring Diadem can save up some passive tree points if you choose to use it. Carcass Jack greatly increases the area of effect of the character, which can result in smoother clear speed. A well-rolled Shaper-based Staff might be the most expensive part of the build along with a decent Watcher's Eye with Wrath mods.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Good balance between clear speed and single target damage
+ Has the potential to Shock bosses
- Cannot do Elemental Reflect
Offensively, placing down an Orb of Storms and casting Shock Nova is what you should be doing. Vaal Ice Nova can be used in a 4-Link to clean up weaker monster packs. While fighting bosses, keep Intensify Support in mind, because that gem makes it so that you do more damage closer to you the more you cast.
Defensively, you will kill most things before they even have the chance to strike back. Energy Leech Support in combination with Eldritch Battery and Mind over Matter will result in a reliable Life buffer.
For playstyle, while clearing try to keep a little distance between you and the enemies and cast Shock Nova. When you need to deal great amounts of single target damage make sure your Diamond Flask is active and stay close to the target for maximum damage output.
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|
|Weapon||Rare Shaper-based Staff|
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.
The early passive skill tree is very straight forward. As in order build guides, we recommend transitioning to Critical Strikes around level 60 or above, at this point you should have Inevitable Judgement and you should start picking up efficient Critical nodes like Doom Cast and Assassination.
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.
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 4, you can add Frost Bomb for better damage output.
At level 10, you should add Flame Dash for additional mobility.
By level 18, your Freezing Pulse link should look like this.
- Freezing Pulse
- Onslaught Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Arcane Surge Support
- Added Cold Damage Support
- Faster Casting Support
At level 38, your Shock Nova link should look like this.
- Shock Nova
- Spell Echo Support
- Intensify Support
- Energy Leech Support
- Increased Critical Strikes Support
- Faster Casting Support
What map mods are impossible to do?
Elemental reflect is impossible to do. No Regeneration and Cannot Leech should also be skipped.
The Shock Nova Inquisitor is a Critical-oriented caster that excels at dealing tons of Lightning damage, which penetrates enemies’ resistances. The character’s damage potential is exceptionally high when properly geared and has enough survivability to deal with the endgame content.