Ryan's all-round Summoner Build.
About the Build
This is a build that I made by myself because I felt it was all of the elements needed for a perfect character. I call it an all-round build because it covers all 3 areas of combat; Offense, Defense and Support.
The build relies on minions for almost all of its damage output, most of which comes from Spectres. I will cover everything you need to know about Spectres later on in the guide.
It also has extremely high Defensive and Supportive capabilities, which will be covered below.
EDIT: I should note that I'm currently level 75 if you need to refer any of the information about my current progress below back to my level.
I am also going to upload some video footage to give you an idea of how well the build performs soon.
How the build covers each aspect of combat:
The build has 10 Zombies, 4 Spectres and 14 Skeletons. Skeletons are mainly a form of distraction, as they don't have much DPS to offer - Use these if taking a very big group of mobs to take some strain off of your Zombies and Spectres. However, Zombies and Spectres are capable of huge amounts of damage, both in AoE and Single Target combat.
The build offers extremely high defensive capabilities, both for your character itself and because of the fact that all the time you will be standing behind a wall of Zombies and Skeletons. Most Summoner builds I have come across completely ignore optimization of your characters defenses and leave the physical resistance extremely low. I have picked up some talents which enables the build to have high physical resistances as well as health and elemental resistances without sacrificing any essential nodes for the build.
In this build, I have chosen the 'Whisper of Doom' Passive Node, as well as using the unique ring 'Doedre's Damning'. Both of these allow me to use 3 curses at once, which will support both my minions and my teammates.
Pros & Cons of the Build
• It's a diverse build which covers everything greatly without weakening other elements
• Amazing soloing capabilities
• Useful in any type of team
• It's not gear dependent to be effective
• Able to use 3+ curses*
• Huge DPS
• Great survival
• I find it very fun
• A few extra choices in the Skill Tree to fit many different play styles.
• It requires a number of Unique items to reach full potential
• As mentioned above, it's not gear dependent to be effective, however it is quite gear dependent to reach it's maximum performance
• Minions are not very effective when playing in Normal difficulty - They get good in Cruel
• A small number of people don't like having summoners in their party as it makes them lag/clutter the screen.
* You will need Doedre's Damning to get the 3rd curse. You can use 2 for 4 curses, however you may need a ring for resistances.
There are a few options you are able to take in this build which will adjust it to your play style and current gear. I will list these in this part of the guide.
You will notice that I have left out a lot of minions nodes near the beginning. This is because the minions aren't very useful until about level 30. It's best to get some of your survivability nodes out of the way at this point and just level using spells.
IMPORTANT: If you are using a 1 handed weapon and shield, do not take step 4, 5 and 6. Continue from step 3 by taking step 4b and onwards, located at the bottom of this section. However, It is worth reading step 4, 5 and 6 to get a good insight into the options you are able to take during the build, as they are explained in more depth there than they are in the additional section, 4b.
My Final Build
Note that the switch between using the 2 +10 intellect and 2 +10 Dexterity nodes picked up in step 3 to the Energy Shield Delay and Deep Wisdom nodes will have been done after you have taken Eldrich Battery. It will save you an extra point while leveling if you do it this way and won't cost anything as you will have many unused Respec Points spare.
1. Passive Points 1-20
Here you just want to pick up some health nodes so that you're able to quest without any bother, since in this build you won't be picking up any spell damage increase nodes, and at a low level that's all you'll have.
2. Passive Points 21-40
Here you will want to complete the group of health nodes that you saw cut off in points 1-20. After you have those, depending on your current survivability state, you can take the additional health nodes first (north-east of starting point) or go for the minion nodes.
I mentioned that Minions don't get good til around level 30, but you will need to start picking up nodes now, else you won't have minions worth using until around level 40.
3. Passive Points 41-60
By this point, you should have a good enough amount of survivability to head for the health nodes featured in this skill point range after you have picked up the minion nodes. If not, go ahead and pick up the health nodes first.[/i][/b]
4. Passive Points 61-80
Finish off that group of health nodes from the last link and then start picking up the rest of the minion nodes. If resistances are are big problem for you at this point, you may want to take the resistance nodes first. Note that I missed out the Cold Resistance on purpose.
5. Passive Points 81-100
At this point, you are able to make a few big decisions yourself, depending on your play style and character status. For example, if you are using Doedre's Damning at this point and 2 curses are fitting your play style perfectly, you may want to skip Whisper of Doom and go straight for Eldrich Battery so that you can have more auras active. (I would only advise this if you have a strong level of survivability.)
Another option to take if you are having issues staying alive is to skip both Whispers of Doom and Eldrich Battery and go straight for Body and Soul + the health nodes.
If you want to follow the same pattern as me, I chose Whispers of Doom first and then went down to Body and Soul. This is only because my survivability was good enough at this point.
Here are two alternate links to give you a visual idea of the different choices you are able to take at this point:
6. Passive Points 101-120
This is the final stage of the build where you are able to make any small tweaks you like. If you decide that you don't want either Eldrich Battery or Whispers of Doom, you can use your free points where you like. I would suggest spending them on extra Energy Shield if you're using Armour/ES gear like me, for that extra survivability.
Note that in this part of the build, the Elemental Resist nodes have been taken away. This is because at this point you will most likely have all the gear needed to support those needs without the aid of the passive nodes.
4b. IMPORTANT: People using 1 handed weapons and a shield consider this (61-83 points)
If you are using a 1 handed weapon and a shield, this will help your survivability out greatly as it allows you to gain extremely high resistance boosts in just 2 points, as well as boosting the armor given from your shield. This saves you from taking the resistance nodes shown in points 61-80.
You may want to take these nodes as well as the resistance nodes if you are still struggling with your elemental resistances. However, doing so will mean giving up some extra Energy Shield near the end of the build.
I should note that I am planning to take this step once I have gotten the Midnight Bargain wand. I'm just waiting until I have the correct level of gear, as it reserves 30% of your maximum health.
For your convenience, I will add a different set of links that will take you to 120 points, since this step requires a different route.
Note that these are the steps I would take. You can adjust the order of each character changing node to your liking. For example, Whispers of Doom and Eldrich Battery. If you decide not to take either Eldrich Battery or Whisper of Doom, I would suggest spending the spare points on Leadership, so that you are able to offer support more frequently to party members. You may want to put the remaining points into extra Energy Shield for more survivability or Mana. It would also be possible to reach some more health nodes, such as the ones featured in this link:
For the Bandit rewards I chose:
Normal: Help Oak - 40 Health
Cruel: Kill all - 1 Passive Point
Merciless: Kill all - 1 Passive Point
This is because the rewards in both Cruel and Merciless were useless to the build, meaning there was no need for increased cast speed or Charges. Charges are not used in this build, although you get the occasional Endurance Charge from Warlord's Mark, but this is not why you use it. Cast speed is unnecessary as you are not required to have good DPS from your character in this build and Curse speeds are fast enough as it is. So for that reason, I chose 2 Passive Points in Cruel and Merciless.
In Normal, I chose the health because in the final build, there was nothing else that would benefit me more than what the 40 health would.
Items recommended for this Build
This section will cover all of the equipment that is recommended in this build.
Currently, I am using 4 uniques in this build, which you can see below.
I am currently using Queen's Decree instead of Midnight Bargain as I am lacking the amount of health needed that I would feel comfortable using it with. (It'd take me down to approximately 1.2k) But the sword itself is very useful, mainly as it allows you to summon an extra Spectre, which will be dealing the most amount of damage for you at higher levels. But it also an extra Zombie and 2 Skeletons, which is also helpful.
The only use of Doedre's Damning in this build is for the extra curse. This isn't essential if you're happy sticking to Whispers of Doom and staying at 2 curses.
The boots are sadly Energy Shield based, which is a shame because this build supports Armor greatly as well as Energy Shield. But those are also essential for the extra Spectre.
The necklace is used for buffing your minions with extra Movement speed, Health and Damage. If you are having issues with your resists and health, it may be a good idea to skip this item for something more appropriate until you have fixed your survivability.
Spare Armor slots, Gems and Links
As mentioned above, this build uses Armor/ES gear, so you will first of all need to find some of that to fill in your spare Armor spaces after equipping your Bones of Ullr.
For the links in your armor, you will need the following:
4Link in gloves with the following gems:
4Link in Helmet with the following gems:
3-6Link in chest for your Spectres using the following 3 gems:
The extra spaces in your armor can be used to drastically change the way your Spectres attacks act. For example, you can add GMP to a Spectre that is usually a single target one to change it into an AoE one.
These are the slots you will be using on your attack*, Auras and Curses.
* I'd recommend a spell which can easily hit an enemy so that your minions will run to them on demand, such as Arc.
Armor modifications are the extra 'stats' that are added onto armors. For this build, there are going to be 6 preferred modifications. In order of priority, these are:
• Fire resistance
• Lightning Resistance
• Cold Resistance
• Increased Health.
• Increased Armor %
• Increased Armor
These are the 6 main ones. Armor because the build is designed to have a high Physical resistance as well as Elemental, to ensure maximum survivability.
If you have capped Elemental resists without the need of having them on a piece of armor, you will have new modifications to choose from. Again, in order of Priority, these stats are:
• Increased Health
• Increased Armor %
• Increased Armor
• Increased Energy Shield
• Increased Energy Shield %
• Increased Mana (If you aren't using Eldrich Battery
• Increased Mana Regeneration (If you are using Eldrich Battery)
This section is a small one dedicated to which Auras to choose.
These are the Auras that will be the most useful to you:
First off, you will want to be using Clarity. I have currently stopped leveling mine at level 12 (280 Mana reserve). This is because I am not using Eldrich Battery at the moment and I need to save on as much Mana as Possible, as it's very limited without the Passive.
Next in line is either Determination or Purity. Use Purity if you're low on elemental resistances, or Determination if you are fine with your current elemental resists and would like a physical resistance boost.
At any point of using Eldrich Battery, always use Discipline. This is because from the amount of Energy Shield nodes you would have picked up, it will grant you much more Mana than it costs to maintain, so keep this up at all times if you're using Eldrich Battery.
Once you have these auras covered, you can use whatever you think would benefit the people around you best, as they won't really help you out much. The most obvious ones would be Anger, Wrath and Hatred as these will increase everyone around you, including your Zombie's DPS.
Note that if you're not using Eldrich Battery, you will not be able to have many Auras active at once. If this is the case, use Clarity and Determination/Purity. If you have enough Mana after this to maintain an additional Aura, I would recommend Discipline, since it will increase your survival rate by effectively giving you an extra amount of health (Energy Shield).
Like above, this is another small section dedicated to Curses.
These are the main curses you should be using:
The Curses I am currently using are Vulnerability, Enfeeble, Warlord's Mark and Elemental Weakness. I can only have 3 active at once, but I will change them depending on the Spectres I am using.
If I have Spectres that use purely Elemental Damage to deal damage, I will swap either Warlord's Mark or Enfeeble with Elemental Weakness. This is to increase the Spectres damage, which is important because they are your main source of damage.
If the enemies you are fighting are fairly weak and not much of a threat to you or your minions, you should swap Enfeeble with Elemental Weakness, as this is only used to reduce damage dealt to you, your party and your minions.
If they are a threat to you and others around you, then you should swap Warlord's Mark for Elemental Weakness, as this is mainly only used for a massive amount of potions charges. It does offer a life leech % to anyone that deals physical damage to the target, but if your Spectres are Elemental based, what use is that? It's not a problem if your Zombies die as you will have Minion Instability which deals a large amount of damage on the death of on of your Zombies.
If your Spectres aren't Elemental based, then Elemental Weakness is out of the question and it's an easy decision.
The potions you should use for this build are the following:
The first one for obvious reasons, to heal your minions. It is also used to heal you if you're not in a rush to get your health up.
Second on along is what you should use if you're in a dangerous situation and need health fast. For example, if you run into a large group of mobs and they bring you below 35% health, you would want to use this.
The third one helps for when I'm solo farming maps like Docks. It allows me to get around quicker to complete the map quicker to gain faster experience or currency/loot. It is also extremely useful if you're in a dangerous position and need to escape quickly, as it allows you to run really fast.
The 4th one, Granite Potions is very common in most builds. It gives you a temporary boost in physical defenses which is very high. This one is best when it has the suffix 'Iron Skin'. This is what gives it the increased armor during the effect, which can potentially double the effect of the flask.
The 5th flask is simply there for me when I am casting Curses a lot. I currently have a fairly low Mana regeneration of 60 per second, which means in cases like summoning another 10 Zombies or Cursing a lot of enemies, I will need to use it. If you have a high enough Mana Regeneration rate, you should use an extra Granite Flask.
This is the final part of the guide, but one of the most important.
Many people have trouble picking the right Spectres, but I have been doing some experimenting with them all lately and I have narrowed it down to the main ones you will want to use in the correct situation. First of all:
1. Burned Miscreation
These are those highly annoying people that run around in Lunaris Temple that cast Righteous Fire. They are capable of killing you in a matter of seconds. I have been testing these recently and found that it's only useful to have 1. But you should have 1 at all times.
The reason it's only useful to have one of these in your group of Spectres is because their Righteous Fire ability damage doesn't stack with others'. Meaning that having more than 1 is a waste of a Spectre as the output will be the same as having 1.
These are by far the best AoE Spectres and are not to be ignored.
One amazing thing about these is that their Righteous Fire ability doesn't damage them at all, meaning they can run around dealing damage with it at no cost. The only downside to these Spectres is that they're melee based, so will try to run and hit enemies, which means they are more prone to death than any ranged Spectre. Thankfully though, this is the only melee Spectre you will have to use.
2. Tentacle Miscreation
Another enemy from Lunaris Temple, these are capable of firing very quickly, with a high amount of damage at targets from a medium range. The range is enough to keep them out of harm so it makes them a great Spectre to have active.
These Spectres are the ones I recommend to have active in maps with a lot of scenery and tight spaces. This is because they're quick and are not likely to get stuck behind walls and other bits of scenery. I use them when farming Docks as it's a crowded area and makes the next potential Spectre that's worth using out the question.
These are capable of extremely high damage, but lack AoE capabilities. However, this is easily fixed by attaching a Greater or Lesser Multiple Projectiles to them, turning them into an extremely useful single target and AoE Spectre.
3. Carrion Queen
These are found in Act 3 areas such as Sarn Slums and Marketplace. In my opinion, they have the highest spread out DPS out of all Spectres. By that I mean their AoE and single target damage are both really good and balanced, but for example may be won over in single target by the Tentacle Miscreation.
These are very slow Spectres, which means they are only useful in open areas such as Fellshire Ruins. This is because there is not much scenery to get in their way and stop them from hitting enemies.
Other than the Burned Miscreation, I think these are the best Spectres for AoE, as their fireballs deal extremely high amounts of splash damage. Attach LMP or GMP to these and both their single target and AoE DPS increases. The reason their single target DPS increases is because the fireballs that land either side of the enemy will deal splash damage to it, effectively making it take almost 3x as much damage. However, they need to be fairly close for this to happen so that the fireballs don't spread too far away from the target.
Spectres that didn't quite make it to being useful
There were 2 other Spectres that were close to viable in the build and those were the Voidbearers from Docks and the Flame Sentinels from Solaris Temple.
A lot of people find these the main issue in The Docks, because of their extremely high damage. Especially the ones with additional projectiles. So surely a Spectre with added projectiles would have the same effect on enemies?
Well... they are good, but the fact that they stand still when breathing their fire makes them less useful than they seem. The fact that enemies will be attacking your Zombies means that they're going to be running all over the place, because that's what Zombies seem to do. This means that they will run out of the way of the flame and take little to no damage.
Another issue with them is that they have such small range, meaning they will be going within melee range of targets and will get attacked, meaning they are likely to die when compared to other ranged Spectres. On top of that, with a high range Spectre, it will have more time to attack before its enemy is killed meaning they will in the end get more damage in on the kill.
2. Flame Sentinels
These seem to be a lot of people's favorites, mainly because they fire a lot of fireballs. I would like to point out that their fireballs have next to no splash damage, mediocre overall damage and a fairly slow fire rate when compared to something such as the Tentacle Miscreation.
This, for me puts them out of the question because if you ask me, they're just a slower firing version of the Tentacle Miscreation and take up more space. (Space is an issue with minions as they aren't able to clip through each other.)
So if you ask me, attach LMP or GMP to a Tentacle Miscreation and you have a much faster firing version of the Flame Sentinels.
That's the guide finished. If you have any questions you'd like to ask, feel free to PM me or post here. My IGN is: AnotherRyan
This is the first guide I have created and would like to know what you guys think.
If I get good feedback on this one, I will be posting more in the future about other stuff and different builds.
Thanks for taking a look at my guide and if you feel something is unclear or I have missed something out, please let me know and I'll change it.
Last edited by Ryan1745 on Feb 22, 2013, 2:03:12 PM
on Feb 21, 2013, 10:07:59 PM
Added a new section to the guide that I had forgotten about.
This was Armor Modification section.
on Feb 21, 2013, 10:35:03 PM
Okay, you took some +8% Chaos Res but you didn't take +16% Chaos Res.
I guess you forgot about it!
Anyway, good text!
And, if you are going to use Arc (as you mentioned), how about getting Static Blows for.. hm, 8% Energy Shield? Seems to be a fair trade!
Actually, you could drop +20 Int and +20 Dex (4 skillpoints) for that ES Delay and Deep Wisdom (2 skillpoints) and keep all connected. You will, then, have 2 more skillpoints (Static Blow, +30 Dex, +16% Chaos Res...).
I guess it is a little bit better version of your build (118 skillpoints).
Last edited by SirLawliet on Feb 21, 2013, 11:12:01 PM
on Feb 21, 2013, 10:52:46 PM
This is very true and I'm a little annoyed at myself that I didn't realize it. I wouldn't take Static Blows however. This is because the duration on debuff effects is based off of the amount of damage you do, and in this build, there is nothing to support that. The duration wouldn't be worth having.
Last edited by Ryan1745 on Feb 21, 2013, 11:31:50 PM
on Feb 21, 2013, 11:23:13 PM
Hm, I never tested it, to be honest. I just read a guide about Arc Summoner and that sounded good. He didn't take any lightning/spell dmg node, just Static Blow. As he is already at level 70+, I just trusted him. Maybe the dmg isn't enough, maybe it is...
Anyway, I hope that suggestion helped you.
Another thing is that you could just go straight to that ES, ES Delay and ES Delay (3 skillpoints) instead of taking Arcane Focus (4 skilllpoints) if you believe that you can get something better with that extra skillpoint.
on Feb 21, 2013, 11:40:24 PM
I don't think there would be anything better in reach. And the Arcane Focus helps with survivability as well as granting more Mana with Eldrich Battery.
The ES Delay is useless when using Eldrich Battery also.
on Feb 21, 2013, 11:43:23 PM
Sorry, here I am again!
So, I'm a new player (just one and first toon, Double Totem Witch level 67) and I may be pointing out some obvious/dumb things. Also, english isn't my native english... so, I'm sorry again!
I'm bothering you because I plan to use something near your build on my next toon, a summoner witch.
Okay, so, I figured out a new path. You said you don't aim to max your dmg. So, why not just drop that +10% Spell Dmg?
You don't lose anything, just get a new skillpoint instead of "wasting" it with that node.
Also, you now have access to that Leadership. I don't think you are going to take, but, you know, we are at OB. Maybe if you had 130 skillpoints...
So, I was thinking, where to spend that new skillpoint? Inner Force came to my mind. I read a couple of times (yes, I read a lot about PoE before messing up with my toon) that Inner Force become a good choice if you ran 3+ auras, and guess what, with EB you can ran a lot more (4~7).
If you manage to get 2 more skillpoints, that seems to be a good deal. I mean, whats your opinion?
I would suggest that path (ES, ES Delay, ES Delay), or drop some resistance/max mana.
Or, if you wanna do something more aggressive, you could drop that +20 STR and +24% Life that was really good when you had them in your path (but now, it is a extension, making them less effective).
A lot to think about, I guess...
Anyway, I hope I helped!
Last edited by SirLawliet on Feb 22, 2013, 12:30:37 AM
on Feb 22, 2013, 12:25:28 AM
Verry nice work.
I can see you have put a lot of effort in it and it looks clean.
Only 1 thing its not realy allround more a Pure summoner build
Other than that you have made a nice guide.
on Feb 22, 2013, 5:44:35 AM
Very nice build ryan,would you mind writing down your stats?resists/hp etc also does this build perform well in end game and maps?
on Feb 22, 2013, 6:08:19 AM
Glad to see someone else is using the Burned Miscreation Spectres!
if you like those you might also consider the dogs or whatever they are in docks. They are cool to watch and have good AI.
on Feb 22, 2013, 6:29:52 AM