[3.0] HC - NecroGuard - Guardian Hybrid Summoner

- Read first -

Before you continue reading, this is a build from a more or less casual player.
I managed to play it up to level 90 in HC and had a lot of fun doing so. Additional
I really love the Guardian class and often try to figure out good combinations.
This build guide is mainly written for people who like to play non-meta builds
and love the guardian class and want to try something different.

The build in its current state also only uses a 4l.
All skills are level 19 at the time I write this.
So the build is far from being optimal.

- Video & Pro/Cons -

https://youtu.be/dogr7c71oWo lvl90 T11 Wasteland, no special mods.
Mainly just to showcase the build. I never progressed further in HC until T12, so hopefully if people are interested in this build I can come up with some other videos.

- Very satisfying to work to the 1000 strength goal
- Save gameplay due to high eHP and minion playstyle
- Gear is relativly cheap except baron helmet
- Traps and Lab is not really dangerous due to good life regen and high eHP
- Damage is quite good (decent)
- You have always friends around you (through, no brain)

- Minion playstyle is not for everyone (similar to dmg over time playstyle)
- Damage over time needs attention
- If you minions die your dps dies
- Probably not enough dps for shaper / guardians (not sure)

- General build info -

Basically a strength based baron summoner which uses zombies and skelettons / SRS as main damage skill. The strength is then converted into ES by using Geofri's Sanctuary (5 str = 2 es) and shaper gloves which give %ES for strength and mana which scales with guardian into ES as well. This enables a hybrid life/ES summoner with a high amount of survivability for HC. The main mechanics for survival are the relativly high ES pool where our life regeneration is applied to and through 1000 strength the life leech from zombies is applied to our life counter acting the risks of chaos damage which bypasses energy shield.

If you compare the build with the necromancer (witch) counterpart you sacrifice offence for defence but for general mapping and playing the content the dps is still fine.

- Main attack skills -

Our two main damage sources are zombies and skelettons. Alternativ option would be SRS instead of skelettons. I personally prefer skellies somehow. It is less maintenance and they somehow suit my playstyle more than SRS. Additional the build doesn´t get a lot of cast speed making it really hard to keep SRS up without investing points into skill duration notes. Skelettons don´t really need duration at all.

- Gearing & Costs -

Since I only play PoE very casually I don´t have a lot of currency. Therefore the build doesn´t really cost that much and therefore is also relativly good as a leauge starter build or for beginner players. The only expensive item is the baron helmet which is around 5ex in HHC atm.

Gear that I currently use with explanation:

cost around 1-10c

Through the high strength that we will have in the end this gives a lot of flat ES. Additional zealoth oath on the chest saves us some points in the skill tree.

cost around 10c (non-corrupted)

Similar to our body armor this has a good synergy with strength and our first layer of defence ES.

costs around 1c - 3c

One of the best items to increase your strength.

cost around 25c - 40c

One of the bigger dps increases for our minions with Necromantic Aegis. It gives 100% hit chance to our minions which directly adds to the overall dps.

Well, this is your main key item. The build doesn´t work without this item.

The weapon itself is probably the most flexible and you can choose it based on your preferences.
I did choose Mon'tregul's Grasp because in later maps the zombies die relativly fast. This item helps a lot with this issue. Other options would be Ephermal Edge if you want to increase your ES pool further (defensive option) or Severed in Sleep Cutlass / United in Dreams. I think United in Dreams could be the final "go to" option, but its to expensive in HHC for me to test it. Severed in Sleep does increase our dps but you have to recast your zombies a lot.

remainig gear:


You need two Efficant training (30c each) and a lot of Brawn Crimson jewels (2-3c each) with 6% strength and 10% reduced int.

you basically value stats like:

Resistances > Strength > ES/Life > Minion DMG > Life regen > mana

Mainly for HC I did concentrate on defences as much as I could. However you need a certain amount of damage as well.

- Gem links -

Above in my gear you can see all gem links. Here are just some basic thoughts for some of the setups.

Cast when damage taken + Convocation
Actually this is one of the things I really started appreciating. When ever I receive
damage my minions get teleported to me murdering everything around me and then spreading
again. Another benefit is that my animate guardian uses Zahndethus' Cassock Sage's Robe
which creates consecrated ground on block. This happens in most cases since our animate
guardian has over 50% block due to his own shield and Necromantic Aegis. This adds
ontop of our already good regen if it proccs.

Hatred + Generosity

Since you don´t benefit from Hatred at all, run it on Generosity to boost the bonus
for your minions even further

Zombies + Minion speed
I know its a dps loss compared to minion damage. However I find it more handy that
zombies move faster from target to target reducing their downtime. Since our life
leech is bound to the fact that zombies attack I find it quite useful that they
reach their destination faster instead of hitting harder.

Specter in this build
I use it mainly as utility. Carnage Chieftain apes give frenzy charges or
if I need a curser etc. or if I just want some fancy looking solaris fire champions
adding some effects to the show. Overall not really needed but nice to have.

- Talent tree -


Pastbin: https://pastebin.com/hKnRZt11
(I only use it to roughly check)

- Stats unbuffed in hideout -

For life regen when the guardian ascendency kicks in it goes up to 2.6k ES.
In general this is not super crazy but its perfectly fine to counter traps and general damage over time sources.

Resistances look like shit I know that but its really hard to get them overcapped if you use that many uniques. With better gear and the next note which gives 5% all resistance this should be a solvable issue. I also tried to get some chaos resistance so that I would get over 0% resistances
when I use a my flask.

- DPS information -

Path of Building shows ~37k per Zombie after using a warcry and ~40k per Skelleton.
In general this would add up to something like ~540k+ dps under best conditions.
However I´m not really sure if this is really the dps. All I can say is that
for now its pretty ok. Uber Lab is no problem and all bosses up to T11 died
relativly fast (Except for my Wasteland video where I fucked up the combo ^^).

This is with lvl 19 gems, no quality, on a 4l setup without empower lvl4 etc.
So there is no real min-maxing happened for this build yet.
If anyone knows the dps and could let me know it would be a great help.

- Final thoughts -
For someone like me who doesn´t know all mechanics or with slow reaction speed
this is a pretty chill build to play in HC. You don´t need much attention and
you can either go full dps mode by running flesh offering and warcry constantly
and vaal haste or you can just chill and have a more relaxed playstyle and
let your minions do the job. I also enjoy a lot gaining strenght and watching
how life, ES and dps increase at the same time.

I hope the build gives some joy to others as well if they test it out.
Additional if anyone has input how I could improve the build further please
let me know. I´m always open for improvements.

Last edited by Mephos on Oct 18, 2017, 5:21:06 PM
Last bumped on Oct 18, 2017, 4:45:40 PM

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