Storm Brand Elementalist offers excellent clear speed and capable boss damage. I used it as my league starter for Betrayal league, and it exceeded my expectations.
Gameplay is smooth thanks to the instant cast nature of brand recall, as well as the instant damage from Storm Brand (as opposed to Armageddon Brand).
Brand elementalist is a popular build, with several streamers running something similar. My take on
the build is fairly defensive, with an eye towards being able to do all map mods and all content, including safely farming uber elder.
Bandits, Pantheon, Ascendancy
Bandits, we’re non-crit, so we’re killing all the bandits for that sweet +2 skill points.
Pantheon, we’re not stun immune, so brine king. Whatever you like for minor. Flask refill can be nice, so can poison immune.
Ascendency starts with Shaper of Desolation -> Beacon of Ruin. Beacon of ruin is our power node, and the entire reason to be an elementalist. Prolif and 20% min shock (with increased shock effect, ~33%) is simply amazing.
After that, most storm brand builds out there are going for Pendulum of Destruction -> Mastermind of Discord to get that sweet 25% lightning penetration while Herald of Thunder is up. This is not what we’re doing.
There’s no doubt that the pen is nice, and pendulum is cool too. But we can get reflect immunity to be able to run literally all map mods, gain damage and cast speed from extra golem, and very importantly, make our golems immune to elemental damage.
We’re basing a significant part of our single-target damage capability off of getting EE from a flame golem socketed in:
As such we’d like to keep that flame golem alive. Immunity to elemental damage is huge for that. Most of the AoE and ranged type abilities that waste golems do elemental damage. Not all, unfortunately, some of the syndicate guys can wreck your golems pretty good. But the golems stay alive very well for the most part. We get 1% life regen for minion in tree, as well, so incidental damage gets healed and we don’t have to re-cast.