[3.5] FunRoom's Crit Herald of Agony PathFinder [Starter] [All Contents] [Quill Rain Friendly]

This build is immune to 3.5 nerf. Details in 3.5 spoiler below.

This is a long guide. Try Ctrl-F to find what you need.

Also, some items have poe.trade links to Betrayal League. Hope that helps getting into the build.
*All Contents except Hall of Grandmasters. I guess this is a global definition.



"Which Agony build is the best?"

Some of you may have noticed that there are variations of this build using the same skill, but different gears and ascendancies.

The truth is, there is no such thing as the "Best Build". Each player makes his own build to serve certain purposes.

Gladiator excels at pushing max block and survives most situations.
Necromancer does quite well going hybrid with other minions.
Occultists improves the AoE of the Agony Crawler's skills.
And I simply choose Pathfinder for quality of life: perma-phasing with the fastest movement and clear speed, plus ailment immunity for carefree mapping. I can farm whatever I want with this build.

I stopped improving my gears because I think they are "good enough". So you will find lower dps and tankiness here than other guides, but mine is already more than enough to do all contents, including uber elder and deep delve areas, because my standard of "good enough" is high.

Well, so just read more posts and find the best one that suits your play style!

_______________________________Introduction______________________________

This is a summoner build maximizing the damage of the Agony Crawler.
Agony Crawler comes from the skill Herald of Agony (introduced in 3.4).
About the skill
- When Herald of Agony is active, you gain Virulence stack each time you poison an enemy, up to 40 stacks. This stack decays quickly.
- An Agony Crawler spawns when you have Virulence.
- The Agony Crawler has 1000-1200 base damage at level 23. This is a rough estimation tested by myself.
- The Agony Crawler gains 4% attack speed and 63-117 physical damage per Virulence Stack at level 23.
- This means at the maximum of 40 stacks, Agony Crawler has 160% increased attack speed and 3520-5680 physical damage, including base attacks.
- 40% of this damage is then converted to Chaos damage by default (according to ZiggyD ???). This means that other kind of conversions would also be done base on the base damage before this conversion.
About the minion
- Agony Crawler cannot be damaged.
- Agony Crawler has 2 attack moves: the split arrow and the mortar.
- Split arrow fires 5 projectiles and is constantly used.
- Mortar fires 6 projectiles occasionally and can shotgun to deal tons of damage.
3.5 Patch Notes
The 3.5 nerf is harsh. I feel sorry about those meta players losing directions to play the game.
Good news for us, this build has dodged perfectly between bullet rains and is unharmed by the nerf hammers. It is even slightly buffed due to banners.

1. Regarding to Herald of Agony nerf
The base damage we are using in this build are pure physical damage given from Herald of Agony skill itself.

The increased physical damage per virulence modifier will apply to this base physical damage before we convert it to other elements.

This change would only cause non-physical damage added to minions to not getting the multiplier.

Nerfed examples: added lightning damage support, added cold damage support, added chaos damage support, innervate support, anger aura, wrath aura, envy aura, added elemental damage to minions mods from abyss jewels, added chaos damage to minions mods from abyss jewels.

Since we are not using any of these stuffs, we are clean from the nerf.

Unharmed examples: added fire damage support, hatred aura, grip of the council, physical to lightning support, added physical damage to minions mods from abyss jewel.

And we never used any of the nerfed supports in this build. DPS would still be the same.

2. Regarding to Quill Rain nerf
Quill Rain is nerfed from "40% less weapon damage" to "40% less damage". This means any source of indirect damage that you deal would be nerfed.

Attack-related stuffs e.g. poison, ignite, bleed, damage over time from caustic arrow and toxic rain, explosion from explosive arrow, etc. will now receive the less multiplier.

All spells will also receive the less multiplier. Cast on Crit with Quill Rain is gone.

However, this nerf is only applied to all self-casting skills. Only YOU will be nerfed. Minions are unaffected.
Pros and Cons
Pros:
- High DPS even if budget(see build progression). Ideal for League Starter.
- You need 0 mandatory uniques. SSF-able.
- You are ranged and minion shatters enemies. Fairly safe.
- Unlimited flasks for boss sustain.
- Can do all contents. Including all kinds of boss fights, map mods, delving deep, and even phasing through darkness for fossils when you are out of sulphite.

Cons:
- You need to adapt to the sometimes-buggy minion AI. I have this fixed here.
- Proximity Shields are annoying.
- Mods that reduces chance to poison will be a bit harder.
- You have almost no armour or evasion. Survival would be based on your crowd control skills and flasks.
- Not HC viable in my opinion. Some gears in this build provides decent dps but bad survival stats, and is never considered by HC players. This build is written for softcore players and is meant to just push farming speed to maximum prior to survival. You won't die a lot I guarantee, but random unlucky things will happen, you never know.
36 challenges
Not easy anymore after 3.4.3c patch. I am sorry.
Anyways, this build can finish any encounter challenges as long as you can find it. I will be updating this if someone wants to know how.

__________________________Mechanics Fully Explained________________________

Elemental Equilibrium
- Agony Crawler has pure physical damage added to its attacks. 40% of those would be converted to Chaos by default. While players can try to boost its physical damage, I personally prefer converting the physical damage to elemental ones.
The Conversion
In this build, Agony Crawler would optimally have:

40% phys damage converted to chaos damage
50% phys damage converted to lightning damage (phys to light support)
29% phys damage added as extra lightning damage (phys to light support)
55% phys damage added as extra cold damage (Hatred)
20% phys damage added as extra cold damage (grip of council)

which results in a maximum dps including:
10% Physical Damage
40% Chaos Damage
75% Cold Damage
79% Lightning Damage

Where those 154% elemental damage would gain benefit from Elemental Equilibrium, resulting in an even higher dps.

- Only my attacks have EE. This means that I can attack the enemy once and EE effect will stay for a full 5 seconds for my minion.
- Getting fire damage to your attacks is easy. You can get one from rings, quivers, gloves, amulets and abyss jewels. Just make sure you don't have other damage types and it will be fine.
Minions and Power Charges (Crit with Assassin's Mark)
- You can give minion power charges by either using Necromantic Aegis on a Victario's Charity, or by Assassin's Mark curse.
- Minions gain 200% increased critical strike chance per power charge.
- Assuming a minion is having 5% crit chance, 3 power charges would give them a 35% chance to crit.
- Since we have physical damage converted to cold and lightning, this means that our minion can now freeze and shock when it critically strike.
- With level 12 Assassin's Mark, enemies have an extra 8% chance to receive a critical strike. That makes it a total of 43%.
- Given that our minion's base damage is so high, we can often find it perma freezing T15 bosses.
Choosing the Right Skill for Poison Stacking
There are various skills that is capable of stacking poison:
1. Caustic Arrow
- GMP shotguns single target. AoE is not ideal for packs.

2. Barrage
- Stacks the fastest against single target. Minions from behind are dangerous.

3. Toxic Rain
- The delayed explosion shotguns in a very large AoE radius. This as well apply slow to the enemies. Initial hit does not have an AoE though.

4. Rain of Arrows
- Comparing to Toxic Rain, the initial hit has an AoE, shotguns and hits a large area. This is a more instant version than Toxic Rain to stack poison.

5. Blade Vortex
- You can hit enemies while moving. Poison stacking is effective too. This is a counteract to the quill rain downscaling problem in party play.

6. Tornado Shot
- Good for packs, but way less efficient than Caustic Arrow in single target.

7. Firestorm / Abberath's Hooves
- Using Volkuur's Guidance, you can make all elemental skills poison. Firestorm and Abberath's Fury would have the fast hit rate you need for poison stacking.

8. Molten Strike
- If you are not playing with bows, using molten strike can definitely proc poison with an insane speed.

Here I choose Rain of Arrows because it gives the fastest animation and response time. It also have a huge area coverage and shotgun capability for both packs and single-target.
Minion Movement Speed
The Minion Movement Speed is crucial in this build. Due to the nature of fast movement speed in Pathfinder, your minion would often fail to catch up with you. If it cant catch up with you it will be less likely to attack as well. Boosting Agony Crawler's movement speed would result in a way more comfortable experience as you can rely more on the minion's attack.

Getting used to minion AI is the biggest challenge in this build.

The simple solution here is to give our agony crawler as much move speed as possible. This can be achieved by:

1. Minion Speed Support Gem
2. Socketing several Apparitions jewel
3. 20% Quality Herald of Agony Gem
4. Gears (rings) with "minion movement speed" mods that can be farmed from delves and crafted by essences

In early games you may struggle to obtain these items. So another option (not recommended) here is to boost your own movement speed instead, to a level that the crawler will frequently teleport to your location due to being too far away. This can be achieved by:

1. Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
2. 30% Movement Speed Boots
3. Nature's Adrenaline Ascendancy Node
4. Gears (quivers and belts) with "movement speed" mods that can be dropped or crafted.

And at last, I have to mention that the timing for convocation is really important. Try to use it as your last resource. You will also need it to deal with Proximity Shields.
Minion Accuracy
This build is fully relying on the damage of Agony Crawler. While in deep delves, due to the narrow path and enormous pack size, if the crawler misses a hit, you are very likely to be dead. Good thing is we have a bunch of new minion accuracy nodes in skill tree after 3.4 patch now. Using the new unique glove Command of the Pit would even make life better, but this is optional as long as you have enough minion accuracy on tree.
Perma Phasing
Concept video by Ghudda

This is the final upgrade of this build. Using "You have phasing while affected by Haste" mod from Watcher's Eye, you will be able to become transparent all the time. This allows you to phase through darkness in delves without voltaxic sulphite and open all chests you encounter.

Please note that:
1. You need 75% Darkness Resistance to perform darkness roams.
2. Flare light radius upgrade is recommended (150%) for killing mobs effectively when you refresh darkness debuffs.
3. With phasing, minions in darkness would not hit you unless you stand still or hit them.

Also, since this is not the 1hp build, you can run everywhere, but should still flare and kill mobs before opening boxes.

How to Properly Delve
Current Depth: 483 (Oct 1)
Gaining Voltaxic Sulphite in the most cost efficient way:
1. Do all maps except T8, T9, T10. You can shape some of those to T13-16, but leave none left.
2. Shape a T3 map to T8. I recommend Arcade because the layout of Burial Chambers is stupid.
3. Alc and go on Shaped Arcade Maps. When you have sufficient supply of them, skip fighting monsters and pick up Sulphites only.
4. The reason why we want T11-16 maps to be fully completed is because delve outposts could drop a lot of those after depth 300. This means profit.

For Non-boss delves:
1. Use Summon Phantasm on Kill for your Herald of Agony. Phantasms would absorb a lot of minion aggro and keep you safe.
2. Use Knockback to blow away monsters that stuck at doorways. This would as well trick your minion AI into walking through doorways before you do.
3. Use Blind to reduce chances to get hit by attacks. Still you would want to dodge skills by walking as much as possible. Especially those rares who can't even be knocked back.
4. Use Wise Oak only when you have same uncapped elemental resistances. The 10% elemental damage reduction is insanely good.
5. Try to lower your movement speed if you find your minion difficult to clear packs. Use a 0 speed boots like Kaom's Roots if necessary.
6. I personally have Phasing so I can get away situations, but if you do not, just proceed slowly and carefully like I said in (5).
7. Always avoid the exploding blob in azurite fights. Don't even think of tanking it.

For boss-fights:
1. If you are looking for challenge completion, practice it on your friend's mine. If the host leave before boss is dead, your can always try again with a sulphite cost.
2. Boss fights are actually really easy. Keep hydrated (drink flasks), be active (move around) and stack virulence. Flare in darkness phase means no worries at all.

__________________________Main Skills and Gem Links_________________________

Herald of Agony
- Minion Speed (swap: Elemental Focus)
- Damage on Full Life
- Minion Damage
- Pierce (swap: Vicious Projectiles)
- Physical to Lightning (swap: Summon Phantasm on Kill)
Other swap option: Critical Damage
Explanation
- Minion Speed is required since we have fast movement speed and the crawler need to catch up with us. Less move time = more attack time.
- Crawler is immune to damage, so Damage on Full Life is easily the BIS.
- We are using physical to elemental conversion for Elemental Equilibrium. Either added fire damage or physical to lightning would can do depending on your socket color. I choose lightning because lightning can shock.
- Pierce is used for pack clearing. Fork and Chain are also a decent replacement.
- Vicious Projectiles replaces Pierce on boss fights.
- Critical Damage is a replacement to Physical to Lightning if you couldn't manage to get EE proc for lightning (e.g. sadima's touch)
- Summon Phantasm on Kill is a really nice solution for survival. We cannot use Zombies because there are too few minion life and resist nodes on our skill tree. Phantasms on the other hand are refreshable, deals decent damage and can even absorb damage. Not suitable for boss fights though.
- Elemental Focus is our final damage buff gem for this build. I have been using Minion Speed all the time and have no issues on minion dps. I am adding this just in case someone needs it.
Rain of Arrows
- Poison
- Life Gain on Hit
- Blood Magic
- Curse on Hit
- Assassin's Mark
Optional: Culling strike, Blind, Knockback, Chance to Flee, Maim
Explanation
- Blind helps reducing chance to get hit by minions. Combining with Knockback you will be free from both melee and ranged minion attacks.
- Knockback is a good support for safety plays. It can also knock back some rare monsters which Chance to Flee cannot.
- Chance to Flee is one of the good support in Delve(no joke). It helps cancelling most white/magic minions' attack and spells and thus you can survive much easier.
- Applying maim would slow down the enemies so you will die less often. I recommend getting this on a quiver instead.
- Life Gain on Hit is crucial for sustaining in packs, but you still can't face tank bosses even with barrage. Just learn and try dodge those predictable attacks.
- You can use a curse setup here because we don't need GMP to sustain 40 stacks even with single target. I suggest Assassin's Mark for maximum dps. If you want to run multiple curses, Projectile weakness and Frostbite are also very nice.
- Getting Assassin's Mark on your ring would save you 2 links for the crowd control supports. This is also highly recommended. Mark of Submission is one of the choice to do so.
- I added Culling Strike for 3.5. This is for those who want to trigger the adrenaline effect from War Banner. You can't do that effectively if you don't cull for kills.
- Mirage Archer does not stack poison. Thus this is not an option in out build.
Hatred
War Banner
- Generosity
Explanation
Generosity is a must to allow us triggering EE without dealing cold damage.
The new banners added in 3.5 is hard to stack because it requires player to kill/stack impale.
I chose War Banner to provide a permanent accuracy aura for my minion.
This way I would be able to use Grip of the Council instead of Command of the Pit.

Abyssal Cry for faster pack clears. Minion Damage nodes do affect its damage since you are also affected by those nodes.

Spirit Offering
Immortal Call
- Increased Duration
- Cast on Damage Taken
Explanation
This cast on damage taken setup utilizes everything.
- Immortal Call for a short physical damage immunity
- Spirit Offering for 20% extra chaos damage.
- It would be fine to level your cwdt setup to 20 if you have high life, so your immortal call can actually have a better duration.

Vaal Haste or Vaal Impurity of Ice
Explanation
- Haste would only be used for Aul's Uprising and Watcher's Eye combo.
- Vaal Haste gives a little bit more dps buff to minions for boss fights.
- Vaal Impurity of Ice lets your minion's cold damage to ignore cold resist. This is good for map mods that gives monsters extra resistance. Remind you that you have to stand near the enemies as well.
- Note that Vaal Impurity of Ice says "ignore minion's resistance". If the monster does not have high cold resist (more than 50) and your EE has already reduced it to negative, using this vaal skill would actually lower your dps instead.
- FYI If you hover on a monster and it says "resist to cold" it means it has 40%+ cold resistance.

________________________Recommended Unique Items_________________________

Quill Rain
- This allows us to poison as fast as possible, and maximizing the Life Gain on Hit effect.
- Since the attack speed is so high, we have to use Blood Magic to bypass mana issues.
- One little trick is to get a "+2 mana gain on hit" jewel. This would allow you using skills without Blood Magic.
- You can also use a "+2 energy shield gain on hit" jewel if you are using Eldritch Battery. But EB is currently not recommended since mana leech mobs will stop your energy shield recharge.

The Coming Calamity
- This gives +2 level to Herald of Agony, allowing its attack speed per Virulence stacks to reach 4% from 3%.
- It also caps the herald skill at 45% mana reservation so we can user Hatred to further increase our damage.
- If you can't get yourself a 5L, Tabula Rasa will be a better choice.

Rumi's Concoction
- This is one simple choice of defensive flasks. Despite of Acrobatics, the block it gives still help a bit.
- Just keep drinking it all the time. You are a pathfinder so you can do this.
- Using with a Basalt flask (with x% increased armour) works even better.

The Wise Oak
- We only use the defensive part of this flask.
- To achieve this, your uncapped elemental resistances must be the same. Do not use this if you can't.
- With flexible and cheap crafting mods, you can adjust minor resist differences by rerolling them.
- Using a blessed orb on your resist ring can also be useful.


__________________________Optional Unique Items____________________________

Perquil's Toe
- Lucky hits on average gives 15% more damage, but you also take a lot more lightning damage as well.
- Not good for high level delves unless you have methods to mitigate lightning damage taken.

Grip of the Council
- 20% more cold damage added to attacks.

Command of the Pit
- 1000 Accuracy would make your minions more reliable to use.

Thief's Torment
- Item quantity FTW.
- High elemental resistance plus life gain on hit.


___________________________Skill Trees and Gear Log__________________________

Link to my character
IGN 3.4: DoubleDeeping
IGN 3.5: TheQuillRain
Bandit: Kill all
Pantheon: Solaris, Garukhan
Progression 3.4

September 5 Gear - doing T15 maps with 5Ls
- I used two Jeweller's Touch Prophecies to get 5 links.
- Using Tabula and a "supported by poison" glove would do the same trick but you will lose that 50% extra cold damage from Generosity-Hatred.
- Grip of the Council will be cheap when more people do prophecies.



September 6 Gear - you need Zana to drop T16 maps
- Sustaining red maps is hard.
- One simple way is to replace my amulet with a Bisco's Collar, but man I am poor.
- So the other way is to get Zana to level 7 for that shaped T15 map mod. My T10 maps are waiting for it.
- Perquil's Toe is killing me so I replaced it with a random amulet. It will still be useful in non-lightning damage fights, aka Atziri, Shaper, Elder, Chayula, Ulaman, etc.
- Got the helmet enchantment with 35c. Thanks Jesus Chris Wilson this is not a meta build.



September 7 Update - Zana 6 to 7 in 1 day
- Here's how I reach Zana 7 today:
1. I have been storing "A Gracious Master" Prophecy (SSF) since league start.
2. I will occassionally pop one of them when Zana appear in high level maps.
3. So I started with Zana 6 10% this afternoon, did 1 rotation, finished 6-10th memory fragments by doing elder red maps, and got "A Master Seeks Help" Prophecy from Navali. Super lucky.
4. I then proceed to hit the prophecy on a T16 Chimera Map. So I popped another Gracious Master. Boom level 7.

- With Zana 7 you can do T10 maps as a shaped T15 with 6c cost.


- And I swapped amulet again. This one gives life regeneration, so it makes you tankier I guess.
- Ultimately I would like to have Aul's Uprising with Hatred mod. Then I can go maybe Haste/Herald of Purity/Aspect.
September 9 Build - Still 5L but dominating everything



- Switched gears to be slightly MF now. Need some currency for final upgrades
- It seems that our attack speed is fast enough to stack 40 virulences on single target with Rain of Arrows.
- I am currently using this build to level up my friends with the downscaling system.
- The downscaling is bad and will treat quill rain as 0 damage, I can't poison mobs with 0 damage so I had to use blade vortex instead.

- With 2500 Voltaxic Sulphite you will be able to get your friend from level 1 to level 64 in one go. It takes around 4 hours and they won't have a chance to visit mud flats before you run out of sulphites.
September 11 Gear - Almost finalized




September 16 Map and Delve Setup





This final setup is for delving into darkness. With perma phasing, you can walk anywhere and ignore minions to get those juicy chests. And I get immune to temp chains for high level mapping which would slow you down when you are cursed.
September 22 Uber Elder Setup







These are optional setup. If you have 20Q herald you don't need that ring. My personal experience tells me that Quill Rain is way better than a rare fossil bow. The attack speed + life gain on hit is just too good to give up.

Progression 3.5
December 9 Gear
I wasted my first day levelling a Winter Orb build. That damage was so horrible that it is worse than a 2L HoAg. So I go ahead and use the stuffs I farmed and started levelling this build.
5 hours later I finished Act 10. I am addicted to this build I guess.

Items and Setups for no-brainer leveling:


3.4 Final - September 30 Gear






Gem Setup For Delve
Gem Setup For Very Tanky Boss
Path of Building

3.5 POB: https://pastebin.com/KqAwaXAN

3.4 POB: https://pastebin.com/Ydwmg0Z7


__________________________________Videos__________________________________


Uber Atzizi 0 deaths

Uber Elder 1 death

Random Delve 460 Run (safety farming gameplay)
The only build that Quill Rain survived after 3.5:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205988
Last edited by FunRoom on Dec 12, 2018, 6:29:50 AM
Last bumped on Dec 13, 2018, 11:14:50 AM
Bandit choice?
"
Completed 6 ChallengesFoam_Bananas wrote:
Bandit choice?

Kill all
The only build that Quill Rain survived after 3.5:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205988
hows the build at keeping stacks against bosses? is gmp CA enough for keeping stacks at a reasonable level?
Last edited by jeric26 on Sep 3, 2018, 12:24:00 AM
"
jeric26 wrote:
hows the build at keeping stacks against bosses? is gmp CA enough for keeping stacks at a reasonable level?

Yes. GMP CA would shotgun a mob with 5 projectile hits on your cursor location. In addition to the proc from pierce, you can get 6 poison stacks by hitting the boss once. So after 7 hits you will be able to maintain your stacks at 30-40, depending on whether you are moving or not.
The only build that Quill Rain survived after 3.5:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205988
"
Completed 9 ChallengesFunRoom wrote:
"
jeric26 wrote:
hows the build at keeping stacks against bosses? is gmp CA enough for keeping stacks at a reasonable level?

Yes. GMP CA would shotgun a mob with 5 projectile hits on your cursor location. In addition to the proc from pierce, you can get 6 poison stacks by hitting the boss once. So after 7 hits you will be able to maintain your stacks at 30-40, depending on whether you are moving or not.



interesting, have you tried lioneye's to any extent? or are you fully commited to the homie?
Don't think this is going to be terribly efficient just yet. Crawler has terrible AI. Often attacks dead bodies.

I just been using it to spread decay since you'll be damned by the time it actually attacks something alive.
"
Completed 2 ChallengesGhoulz666 wrote:
Don't think this is going to be terribly efficient just yet. Crawler has terrible AI. Often attacks dead bodies.

I just been using it to spread decay since you'll be damned by the time it actually attacks something alive.


The AI is only terrible when you are around doors and narrow bottlenecks. Using convocation would help a lot and I don't feel too bad about it.
The only build that Quill Rain survived after 3.5:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205988
Updated some information.

I am expecting to get to Shaper on or before Friday.
I will probably do it with a 5L since I can't 6L my armour.
A video will be recorded when I do this.
The only build that Quill Rain survived after 3.5:
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205988
I am awaiting your video uploaded. lol!
Hope you finish the endgame bosses soon.

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