Edit Guide

My Brands - Brand of Deception & Subjugation Runemaster Build Guide

Posted By Theorycrafter on October 29, 2023
Last updated on October 30, 2023




The Brand of Deception & Brand of Subjugation build is a relatively simple build that relies on scaling the two ailments unique to Runemaster. They come from Brand of Deception 6/6 and Branding Cold 1/1 respectively and we will leverage both here to the best of my ability.

The two ailments are different than other ailments, say, Ignite. First off, they come with a much higher base damage, however they do not stack.

Brand of Deception in addition is also flexible as any 15+ mana lightning skill that can hit can apply it, which makes it powerful when built around the right skill - I chose Static and Static Orb for this purpose.

Unlike other skills, you can scale *more* damage with the Brands with SuffixChance to Shock on Hit and SuffixChance to Chill on Hit gear for Brand of Deception and Brand of Subjugation respectively, making it very scalable with gear.

The two modifiers are surprisingly rarer than they look, as we may only use generic chance - that leaves a couple uniques/set items and suffixes on weapons/amulets left and they are really worth their weight in gold.

The build specializes in zooming through Timeline echoes with great speed, but it is not useless against Bosses - given enough prep it can unload a massive Static Brand of Deception dealing millions worth of damage over 3 seconds as your boss killer tool.

Since it does not require any particular uniques to function, the build is well servicable in SSF.

The build has a low barrier of entry as it already starts with a high base damage ailment and has a noticable payoff for each item upgrade. Also unlike Ignite, you do not need to focus on applying hundreds of Ignites to deal meaningful damage.

I highly recommend the build to players of each level.

Pros & Cons



  • Major boss damage - while significant - requires prep and has downtime, it is reliant on 200 charge Static (not required for regular bosses)
  • Does not generate as much ward as cast speed stacking Runemasters; as such it needs item investment to stay alive against more challenging content like T4 Bosses
  • Does not like to remain stationary; Flame Rush is a significant source of ward and damage reduction

Gameplay / Mechanics

MY BRANDS gameplay loop:

  1. Throw an unspecced Fireball.
  2. Flame Rush in the same direction, triggering an orbiting Static Orb, which triggers Brand of Subjugation and Brand of Deception.
  3. After accumulating 200 Static charges, pop it on a large boss, triggering a 800% more damage Brand of Deception.
  4. For defenses, use Runic Invocation for Reowyn's Frostguard.
  5. Use Flame Ward just before using Flame Rush if available.
  6. Enjoy!


The build relies heavily on stacking SuffixChance to Shock on Hit and SuffixChance to Chill on Hit modifiers to scale Brand of Deception and Brand of Subjugation. Order's Imposition 6/6 allows the former to scale with shock chance; Branding Cold 1/1 allows the latter to scale with chill on hit chance. The ailments scale via the applying skill's More damage multipliers and provide 1-2% more damage per 1% shock/chill on hit chance.

Since Brand of Deception is flexible on what applies it and merely has a requirement of 15+ mana cost, I use a weaker version of it via Static Orb for clearing and use Static with its massive 4% more damage multiplier per Static charge (up to 200 charges/800% more damage!) for bosses.

Mechanically, mind that Brand of Deception or Brand of Subjugation do not scale with conditional shock/chill chances, such as PrefixChance To Shock On Hit With Lightning Skills or Circle of Elements but only generic chance. If the shock/chill chance does not appear on your character sheet, it does *not* work with the two. Yes, this means The Invoker's Static Touch does *not* scale Brand of Deception!



Stat Priorities


Your items focus on maximizing SuffixChance to Shock on Hit for Brand of Deception and SuffixChance to Chill on Hit for Brand of Subjugation.

I otherwise focus on PrefixIntelligence, PrefixElemental Damage Over Time, PrefixDamage Over Time cap my resistances with suffixes. Wherever otherwise possible, I try to get more Ward, e.g. via PrefixExperimental Ward per Missing Health.

If you cannot get those stats, PrefixElemental Damage or PrefixLightning Damage are slightly weaker alternatives.

No uniques are necessary to get going, however the few unique/set item sources that I equipped provide a significant amount of shock chance or PrefixLightning Penetration, which translate directly into a multiplier of more damage.

I use SuffixIncreased Cooldown Recovery Speed for quality of life. As long you Rush less than each 3 seconds including charge - you're good.


Vilatria's Storm Crown

Boneclamor Barbute or an exalted helmet like a Runed Visage are fair alternatives.



PrefixWard gained per Rune consumed with Runic Invocation

Necessary resistances or SuffixArmour is valid.

Body Armour

Static Shell

The item provides high armor and damage against shocked enemies and boosts your Static.

An exalted chest e.g. Vul'kaur Regalia will do great too.

For LP:


For Exalted Chest:



SuffixArmour and Reduced Bonus Damage from Crits


Necessary resistances


Stormcarved Testament

Elder Eye can carry you until then.

For LP:

PrefixElemental Damage Over Time

For Exalted Catalyst:

PrefixElemental Damage Over TimePrefixIntelligence

Necessary resistances


Spine Rod

Argent Sceptre or Crescent Axe are fair alternatives if you wish to have access to a Catalyst or a shield. As no shock/chill on hit offhands exist, I use a two-hand Staff.


Opulent Focus

Fair alternative. Allows you to use Mental Catalysis 6/6 instead of a less desirable passive.


PrefixDamage Over Time

Necessary resistances

Ring 1


An Exalted ring e.g. Ivory Ring would do great.

For LP:


For Exalted Rings:


PrefixElemental Damage Over Time

Necessary resistances

Ring 2


An Exalted ring e.g. Ivory Ring would do great.

For LP:


For Exalted Rings:


PrefixElemental Damage Over Time

Necessary resistances


Bone Amulet

My base preference to cover my resistances.


You prioritize PrefixChance to Shock on Hit on idols. Fill suffixes depending on preference, I use mine for resistances and additional SuffixShared Lightning Damage.


I prioritize Shock & Chill chance via Grand Heart of Ice and Grand Cruelty of the Meruna and otherwise focus on defensive Blessings elsewhere.

The Age of Winter
Spirits of Fire
Fall of the Outcasts
The Stolen Lance
Blood, Frost, and Death

Build Variants


Until level 30~, use a different skill such as Fireball with Conflagration 4/5, Spreading Inferno 4/4 and Wildfire 5/5 - Just a suggestion, but feel free to use another skill if you're willing.

Once available, switch to Flame Rush. Brand of Subjugation should get you going for the campaign.

Then, layer Static Orb and Static once you have access to Brand of Deception, around level 50.


End-game goals involve:

  1. Hunting for Grand blessings via Corrupted timelines.
  2. Cap out your critical strike avoidance or critical strike reduction via SuffixArmour and Reduced Bonus Damage from Crits modifiers on Belts, Gloves and Boots or SuffixCritical Strike Avoidance in combination with Grand Survival of Might.
  3. Finding uniques with SuffixChance to Shock on Hit such as Stormcarved Testament, Oceareon or Vilatria's Storm Crown.
  4. Finding said shock chance uniques with Legendary Potential and gamble at them with Temporal Sanctum. Prioritize PrefixIntelligence and PrefixElemental Damage Over Time on them.
  5. Acquire more Ward via rare dedicated Ward uniques. You got a lot of options here, e.g. Twisted Heart of Uhkeiros, Frostbite Shackles, Vessel of Strife and more. Adjust as needed if you feel like you need more ward.

Loot Filter

Feel free to use the Build Planner loot filter; personally I sought items that had least one affix I needed, then two, then filtered out items that do not have at least one affix I needed or class-specific items. I recommend you build it as you go and narrow it down according to need.

Spine Rod, Argent Sceptre and a high penetration Crescent Axe are great weapon bases for this build.


What about Brand of Trespass?

While Frost Wall is a decent applicator, generic ignite chance is not as available on uniques. I find it a bit too mana costly and unwieldy, personally.

If you wish to pursue this path, swap Flame Rush for it, swap SuffixChance to Chill on Hit modifiers with SuffixChance to Ignite on Hit modifiers and use Static Orb manually.

Personally, I'd recommend using Maehlin's Hubris and bleed chance sources to have a dedicated ignite + bleed chance build.

What are some other Runic Invocation options?

Plasma Orb has great coverage and uptime.

Covenant Arc gives you valuable shock chance, but its range is stubby and the limit on targets makes it awkward to use outside of a single-target scenario, in which case I'd rather have a defensive option.

Trinity of Elements is great early on, however since we do not scale any spell damage, it will eventually fall off.

Do I need Brand of Subjugation? Why not focus on just one element?

While you should primarily focus on hit SuffixChance to Shock on Hit, it's not necessary to focus on both brands. In that case, get SuffixChance to Slow on Hit on your weapons as your secondary suffix as an alternative.

I need *more* shock chance! Where can I get more?

Static Orb provides up to 100% via Charged Allies 5/5.

Glyph of Dominion provides up to 80% via Shocking Grasp 4/4.

Covenant Arc gives 100% per stack. It technically stacks , but since each stack lasts only 4 seconds, you can rarely get more than that. I find using Runic Invocation and applying my source of damage only every third and fourth cast way too clunky.



  • +1 FAQ question, formatting polishing
  • Build guide was published


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