[3.8] S3 || Stag's Soulwrest Summoner || Minion Buffs, Much Power || Revamped guide, Updated Videos

Overview
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Welcome,

This is a guide designed to help you get the most out of your Soulwrest setup. The build is quite flexible, you have options, and as such you need to spend some time figuring out what you want.

In my opinion, this character is best at speed mapping and delving. However, this build is still more than capable of bossing quite well. It is a fairly lazy build, most things are done automatically and you usually only have to input commands once or twice a map.

This is not a 2-second uber elder killer and some bosses are nigh impossible (uber atziri).
Everything else in the game can be done.

With the blight update (3.8) we gota a few new toys, and the necro rework to boot!

I will stress -- Please do not add/whisper me in-game, ask questions in this post
I would like to play the game while in-game.

A guide is a guide, modify it to suit your play style and gear. Most of all, enjoy!

Guardian or Occultist are also fine options for this build.
Occultist thoughts
With Occultist make sure you don't use Brutality in your gem links as you won't get the benefit of profane bloom. The Occultist would be better with a chaos Phantasm version, probably using 4 blue triad grip with Vis Mortis. I'd replace Pride with Hatred and use cold to fire instead of Brutality
Guardian thoughts
Guardian is practically the same build wise, but it could be better for an es based Phantasm. Incorporating some mana guardian ideas into the build could work. Food for thought.


The SoulWrest Phantasm builds excel at fast clearing maps. If you want to supplement your single target damage incorporating Summon Skeletons will help massively.

next addition to the guide will be more videos (I have a terrible upload rate)

Mechanics
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Spoiler

This is a summoner build. Your character supports the minions it summons.
On its own Summon Phantasm is an absolutely shocking gem, but the unique Soulwrest changes that.



When we destroy a corpse with Soulwrest equipped we summon a Phantasm. The Phantasm is supported by any gems socketed in the Soulwrest. If we place Minion Damage in the Soulwrest we summon a Phantasm supported with Minion Damage.

This interaction means we DO NOT need a 6 linked Soulwrest

6 sockets are all you need (save or sell your fusing)

There are several other items in POE that use this mechanic, Whispering ice, Doryani’s fist and Death’s Oath are a few that come to mind.

Now all we need to do is create, and destroy corpses
There are two main ways to create corpses. Kill creatures or use a spell.
Desecrate or Unearth are two of the corpse generating skills. My preference is Desecrate as it summons more corpses faster and it doesn’t require any other links to work.

In Blight Desecrate is far better as the cool down is removed. Use it.

We destroy the corpses with one of the following spells, span color="#0080ff"]Flesh/Spirit/Bone offering[/span]. Any of the offerings consume corpses to increase their buff duration.

The second way we destroy corpses is with the unique boots Bubonic Trail.



The “Death Walk” ability explodes nearby corpses as you walk past them. This is the beginning of our automation. Phantasms kill, we walk past, summon more Phantasms that kill.

Minions cannot be too far from their owner either. If a Phantasm falls behind you do not have to wait for it. It will reappear when you get far enough away from it.

There is one last extremely important thing to know about summoners.

If gear or passives do not say “Minions” or “allies” it does not affect your Minions.

+10-15 fire damage on an amulet does not give Minions that bonus.
Minions deal 10-15 additional Fire damage will, regardless of where it appears.


Phantasms never attack. They cast spells.

Play Style
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Spoiler

This build is momentum based. The slower you go… the slower you’ll go. Sounds dumb Stags, duh.
The slower you go, the more you’ll have to re-summon your Phantasms. This slows you down again.

Learn to push your speed to the limits.

Every map starts exactly the same.
Desecrate
Use your offering and summon your initial army
Phase Run through to the end of the map.

The Phantasms will do the rest.

You will come across tanky rares or blue mobs, Convocate near them and move on. Convocate instantly draws all your minions to your current location

Skill Trees and POBs, Your Character choices
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Spoiler

Before you start planning your character, Decide what you want to get out of it.

Do you want to delve deeper?
Magic Find low-level maps?
Run high-level maps?

With your goal in mind, you have two sets of options

Tanky or Squishy

Elemental or Physical
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A Super Important Rory Note ----- read, and read again

"The +2 to all Minion Skill Gems does not apply to the Phantasm Support or other minion supports, nor does it apply to minion skills that come directly from items like Soulwrest, as they're not actual gems."


For the following POB's all rare gear just need life and whatever resistances you need. The gem levels are all 21/20. I'd rather see the build 'ceiling' than anything else.

Why is EK in my POB??
PoB can not calculate Phantasm damage off just Soulwrest itself. You won't be able to see the damage without a Skill that is linked to Summon Phantasm Support. The clear/single target setup is a 7 link in PoB and that's not an error. EK is there as a proxy to show the minion damage. -- thank you Monti_Jones for the explanation. Completely forgot to explain my reasoning hah.

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In general, a Tanky Character will deal reduced damage for higher survivability.
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Common options include:
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High Block Chance, The Original Build
This was the original iteration of the build. Staff Block nodes are some of the best in the game. Couple it with Bone Offering and Rumi’s Concoction you’ve got yourself a very Tanky build. This build excels at Farming maps and medium delving (300 depth or so). This is best in anything where you will get hit often for less than your full hp.

https://pastebin.com/v06UfhWR

8k hp, 75/60 block with 445 life gained on block. 2.3 million shaper DPS when you have 21 phantasms up.

Quick update: I forgot to that pride does not affect you nor your phantasms, as such you have another two options. Essence worm + War banner or just use Plaugebringer.

Mind over Matter (MOM)
For a Mom character, I would use the Devouring Diadem, a unique that allocated the Eldritch battery Keystone. This allows us to use auras while also having Mom’s defenses. I would aim for at least 40% of your life as energy shield. The Crafted mod “Gain 10% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield” on body armor is also a good pickup. You can also drop the Bubonic trail boots as the Diadem has an automatic corpse destruction spell too.
This Character could also be played as an Occultist or Guardian.

https://pastebin.com/1Mfd1aqJ

7.5k EHP (effective Hp), more gem sockets for other minions if need be. 3 million shaper DPS with 21 phantasms up.

This would be the easiest build to add summon skellys to. You could pick up a Maim body armor and go ham single target

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A Squishy Character exchange survivability for damage.
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Pseudo Aura Bot
Increasing the power of your auras, when combined with commander of darkness node will increase the damage of your phantasms significantly.

https://pastebin.com/MCA7XSH6

~5k hp, no defensive layering but hey, when Vaal Haste is up you have 9.6 million DPS (drops to 7.4 million when the Vaal haste buff runs out)
EB is allocated so we can cast our spells while reserving all our mana.

Jewel Stacking
Stacking more and more damage Jewels will increase the Phantasms damage while increasing your own defense.

This is the most expensive option and will be even more expensive in Blight.

https://pastebin.com/5E5B61ab

for tombfists, I wouldn't bother with anything but ghastly jewels

6.7k hp, up to 48% of your hp back when you get savagely hit, ~5.7 million Shaper DPS

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Elemental or Physical?
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At the end of the day they both have practically the same playstyle. Elemental probably has a higher top end DPS but lower low end and Physical has a better average DPS. This is because higher level mobs usualy have elemental resistances but almost no Physical resistance.

However, with Elemental Equilibrium and Curses you can reduce the elemental resistance to lower values.

Do not use the Brutality gem when doing any elemental damage.

I will not be covering the Elemental Version as I enjoy the Physical but I will add notes where you may like to diverge. My Character will be Physical jewel stacking + mini aura bot.

Pantheon
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Spoiler


I use the Soul of Lunaris for the [chained projectile avoidance].
Enemies with the "Chain" affix can easily destroy you in one hit, regardless of your defensive layering.

Minor pantheon can be anything, nothing really stands out. I take Garukan for clear speed, Shakai for everything else.

Gems
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Spoiler


These are the gems every Soulwrest Character needs, gems that can not be cut.

Convocation
Flesh/Bone/Spirit offering

Desecrate
Phase Run
+ Increased Duration

Flesh, go fast
Bone, be tankier
Spirit, a middle ground (do not use in the physical build, more optimal with a chaos damage EB MOM build – not covered)
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For the Physical build
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Socketed in the Soulwrest: ---- remember: just 6 sockets, does not need links.

Clear setup
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Minion Damage
Controlled Destruction
Summon Phantasm

Brutality gem
Greater Multiple Projectiles
Faster Projectiles


The Summon Phantasm gem overrides the maximum Phantasm count in the Soulwrest. Without the gem 10 Phantasms, with the gem 20 (with another added at Summon Phantasm lvl 21)
Note: Summon Phantasm gem gets no benefit from quality. Do not bother.

This will be your normal Mapping set up. Faster Projectiles + Greater Multiple Projectiles increases the Phantasms reach. I will probably replace Controlled Destruction with one of the new gems, Feeding Frenzy

For Single target
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Minion Damage
Controlled Destruction
Summon Phantasm
Faster Casting

Brutality gem
Slower Projectiles

I will be replacing Slower Projectiles with Death Mark. Huge buff, actually pointing your Phantasms to the correct target.

To get both of these working you need two Soulwrests. One single target on weapon swap, the other clear setup. If you only have one, use the clear setup.

From here you have options. You have only used 6 sockets in your staff and 5 elsewhere (with 1 being a 2l) you have up to 14 sockets left.
Other gems to Consider, and why
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Zealotry
Summon Specre

Pride
War Banner
+ Generosity
Vulnerability
Flesh and Stone
(+ Maim)
Aspect of the Spider
Aspect of the Avian
Projectile Weakness

Curses are easy to add to the build. If you link Curse on hit to the given Curse and then socket them into the Bubonic trail, your death walk will automatically curse whatever it touches. Usually tanky creatures will have at least one corpse near them, otherwise, you can make your own.
Note: This works well with the elemental equilibrium if you're an elemental version.

Probably the best specter option is Carnage/host chieftains. One gives power charges, the other gives frenzy. Frenzy charges are absolutely nuts for minion builds. Personally I don't use them as I usually cannot spare the gem sockets. If you do go this route make sure you link Summon Specre to Blood Magic as this makes the chieftains cast much more often.

Note: Another option would be Undying Evangelists linked with Meat Shield. This will keep them close to you and, more importantly, keep you near their Prox shield.

Flesh and Stone + Maim. In Sand stance this increases our defense, In Blood stance increases the amount of physical damage the enemies take. Knowing when to swap will take time to learn. Supporting Flesh and Stone with Maim increases the amount of physical damage enemies take when in blood stance.

Aspect of the Spider/Avian are late-game options, Spider is slightly more defensive + consistent.
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Elemental version, swap out:
Brutality gem for Physical to Lightning

Pride for Hatred + Generosity
Vulnerability for Elemental Weakness

Make sure you pick up Elemental Equilibrium in the skill tree also. Death Walk will proc it while exploding a corpse giving you a huge DPS boost.

Single Target Ideas
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Spoiler


SoulWrest excels at clearing maps. What do you do against tankier bosses?

In an optimum world, there would be a spell-based physical casting minion. To my knowledge, there isn't any available (with a decent single target DPS). Everything other option is slightly unoptimal, however, melee phys minions will still be fine. Through our pathing, we have already got enough minion accuracy to make missing hits nearly a non-issue.

You have a few options.

Option 1:
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Vaal Summon Skeletons -- Socket into your body armor. Pop on the boss. You will need a 5/6 link for it though.

Skeletons > Minion Damage > Death Mark > Brutality > Maim/Empower 4 > Melee Phys

You could also just use normal Skellys on weapon swap. Do note Vaal Skelly will not gain charges if it's not part of your "active" gear.

Option 2:
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Weapon Swap single target Phantasm. Self-explanatory, Second SoulWrest for single target.

Summon Phantasm, Death Mark, Minion Damage, Brutality, Faster Casting, Controlled Destruction.

Not as good as Option 1, Phantasms are squishy and slightly annoying to summon in extended fights. Their DPS is also erratic as they need to hit with their spell.

Option 3:
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There is probably a half-decent single target Spectre or zombie setup, but you would have to change your tree to accommodate. Picking up minion life, health regen and resistances are a must. This makes Option 3 a little sub-par.

Zombie/Spectre > Minion Damage > Death Mark > Brutality > Maim/Empower 4 > Melee Phys

I'm not sure what phys melee spectre you'd use. I'd steer clear of this option unless you have a specific plan in mind.

My Niche option:
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Summon Spectral Spirits. I chose these pure phys immortal srs as they arent targeted by enemies and they are pure phys. Impale and dread banner + aura effect works wonderfully with them.

Have a look at my blight character for ideas. Video's can be found in the first comment below

Gearing
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Spoiler


For Newer Players: always cap resistances then get as much life as you can, then minion damage.

Obviously the Build centers around the Soulwrest Staff.



Focus on getting a higher minion physical damage, if possible. All other rolls are secondary. It does not make a massive difference, maybe 15% damage at the top end vs bottom?

Phys damage>daylight>cast speed>mana regen>daylight>spell damage

Then, to make life easier, automated corpse destruction.

Bubonic Trail – 1 socket will be fine


From here you are open.
I like picking up a careful planning jewel

place it between the Witch and Templar. It will significantly reduce the strain on the rest of your gear. (Due to the area of the tree we are dexterity starved, do not feel bad picking up a 30 dex node while leveling)

Rares can fill every other slot, High life and Resistances are something to look out for.




Minion Speed or accuracy is not needed in this build so it can be ignored.

For your rare belt, I would recommend a Stygian Vise.

It adds another jewel socket and that’s better than any other belt for this build.

Do not buy Commandment of the Pit. It is not useful at all for the build (outside of the jewel sockets).
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More Expensive or Niche Options
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Asenath’s Gentle touch can be helpful to increase your clear speed, it is usually cheap so test it out.
Rumi's Concoction is great on a max block build.

look for high spell block, then as much attack block as you can afford.


Is expensive AF atm, Get it after all your other gear is done.

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Jewel Stacking
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2 Socket Tombfist/1 Abyssal socket rare gloves
2 Socket Light Poacher/2 Socket Hale Negotiator/1 Abyssal socket Bone Helmet
2 Socket Bubonic Trail/1 Abyssal socket Rare Boots
Shroud of the Lightless
Darkness Enthroned
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Aura Stacking → choose one
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Victario’s Influence → add all your auras in here.
Devouring Diadem → add your auras into the helmet.

if you need slightly more mana reservation
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Curse Stacking → probably better played as an occultist.
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Heretic’s veil → socket a 20 quality blasphemy into the helmet to get the increased effect of curses
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Enchantments → not needed.
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Helmet:
War banner effect>Curse effect (proj>vuln)>Phase Run duration>Convocation cool down>Aura reservation reduction.

Note: if you are going slightly different, Different enchantments will help. Aura bots might need reservation, curse bots will like increased curse effect.

Gloves: nothing useful
Boots: Life regen if hit>Movement speed if not hit → nothing else is that useful
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Jewels
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your rare abyssal jewels should have
maximum life>minions deal xx to xx additional physical damage>minions have xx% increased damage if you’ve used a minion skill recently>minions have xx% increased cast speed>everything else

eg:


rare cobalt jewels
%maximum life + minions deal xx% increased damage → look for a third mod like resistances or dexterity if you need it.

Careful Planning can be corrupted to have Cannot be Silenced>Corrupted blood cannot be inflicted on you>Minion damage>Hindered=Maimed>mana reservation

Mana reservation goes up the pecking order if you are aura stacking.

Videos from the Potato pc
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Spoiler


If I can do this with no fps, you can do it too.

t14 Primordial blocks 40% phys resistance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QhvnzDPGcI

Red Elder, with Spectral Spirits as single target:

https://youtu.be/PvrhN3--qac


Last edited by Stagsnetti on Sep 19, 2019, 2:34:07 AM
Last bumped on Sep 18, 2019, 6:33:12 PM
Variant I am playing now, Video
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Spoiler
I am mixing it up slightly and trying a hybrid aura/jewel build, Using Spectral Spirits as single target.

I just like the idea of single target dps that can't be killed.

Spectral Spirits are the reason I'm using Dread Banner over War Banner and Vulnerability over Proj Weakness. Once I get it up and properly running I'll post a POB and a video.
Single Target on a more life Minotaur
https://youtu.be/WCaoD_R7n8Q

super end game POB

https://pastebin.com/BzreP20s

Charisma is anointed. Impale at 95%, with a ~2.04 multiplier.

Yes all the things are on, 21/20 gems. Vaal Haste isn't for shaper.


Another Considered Variant
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Spoiler

Another variant I considered is returning to the roots of this build with essence worm BM max block.

https://pastebin.com/dwYSca6k

Anointing Disciple of the Unyielding onto a +1 end charge Ammy - big brain moment.
Reasonable DPS, stupid high block.

27% phys reduction, because why not.




Mix and match to your own playstyle, Enjoy.
Last edited by Stagsnetti on Sep 19, 2019, 11:40:21 PM
Looks like a cool build. Gonna try it. Only thing i dont rly understand is why you use an Essence Worm. Wouldnt an Unset ring with a lot of Life/Res be better?

Edit: Nevermind, I just saw that we are going Blood Magic :D
Last edited by imperiialm on Sep 10, 2018, 12:17:35 PM
gmp + faster proj + ele focus + controlled des + minion dam + summon phantasm on kill, is what i am using for my gems.

Thinking of going your direction with blood magic, since it seems i do not really need the srs.
I dont think necro is the best class for soulwrest. I think champion with permanent fortify and EE + taunt will do more damage is better in survivability if you stack very high regen.
"
llxiaxio wrote:
I dont think necro is the best class for soulwrest. I think champion with permanent fortify and EE + taunt will do more damage is better in survivability if you stack very high regen.


hey, for starters they do spell damage, so the taunt doesn't do anything. If you use might of the meek, you can't use EE. If you don't use a second might of the meek you can drop cold pen for added fire and use ball lightning. Fortify for ~ 100% minion damage, i'd prefer the damage but test it out and get back to me :)

I also use phase run so that mobs don't target me as often, Taunt goes against that play style unfortunately.

late edit: this is wrong, you can use Might of the Meek and pick up EE
Last edited by Stagsnetti on Sep 6, 2019, 8:49:09 AM
"
imperiialm wrote:
Looks like a cool build. Gonna try it. Only thing i dont rly understand is why you use an Essence Worm. Wouldnt an Unset ring with a lot of Life/Res be better?

Edit: Nevermind, I just saw that we are going Blood Magic :D


Yeah the next setup i'm going to test is with no hatred or Grip of the council and using brutality, should easily get over 10k life - hopefully with semi respectable damage.
"
asolar wrote:
gmp + faster proj + ele focus + controlled des + minion dam + summon phantasm on kill, is what i am using for my gems.

Thinking of going your direction with blood magic, since it seems i do not really need the srs.


i'd opt out of ele focus, if you're not going 3g i'd swap ele focus for added fire. It'd give you more damage in the long run. (i'd only go 3g if you've got a Grip of the council)
Last edited by Stagsnetti on Sep 10, 2018, 9:17:26 PM
"
Stagsnetti wrote:
"
llxiaxio wrote:
I dont think necro is the best class for soulwrest. I think champion with permanent fortify and EE + taunt will do more damage is better in survivability if you stack very high regen.


hey, for starters they do spell damage, so the taunt doesn't do anything. If you use might of the meek, you can't use EE. If you don't use a second might of the meek you can drop cold pen for added fire and use ball lightning. Fortify for ~ 100% minion damage, i'd prefer the damage but test it out and get back to me :)

I also use phase run so that mobs don't target me as often, Taunt goes against that play style unfortunately.


The taunt is more for more regen + 20% increased damage taken by enemies you taunt (this affects your minions also). Your minions also take 10% reduced damage.

The permanent fortify allows you to be able to use lightning warp or flame dash without having to worry about proccing fortify, which allows you to be able to be more agile.

Why do we need might of the meek? also i use EE still with hatred + generosity so that hatred only applies to minions and not to me. This allows me to either use Vitality for more regen or grace w/e i see fit.

Here is a POB of my current build.

https://pastebin.com/y2u2MVt7

I just did a t14 shaped tower map no problem. I pretty much face tanked the boss btw.
Last edited by llxiaxio on Sep 10, 2018, 9:35:23 PM
"
llxiaxio wrote:
"
Stagsnetti wrote:
"
llxiaxio wrote:
I dont think necro is the best class for soulwrest. I think champion with permanent fortify and EE + taunt will do more damage is better in survivability if you stack very high regen.


hey, for starters they do spell damage, so the taunt doesn't do anything. If you use might of the meek, you can't use EE. If you don't use a second might of the meek you can drop cold pen for added fire and use ball lightning. Fortify for ~ 100% minion damage, i'd prefer the damage but test it out and get back to me :)

I also use phase run so that mobs don't target me as often, Taunt goes against that play style unfortunately.


The taunt is more for more regen + 20% increased damage taken by enemies you taunt (this affects your minions also). Your minions also take 10% reduced damage.

The permanent fortify allows you to be able to use lightning warp or flame dash without having to worry about proccing fortify, which allows you to be able to be more agile.

Why do we need might of the meek? also i use EE still with hatred + generosity so that hatred only applies to minions and not to me. This allows me to either use Vitality for more regen or grace w/e i see fit.

Here is a POB of my current build.

https://pastebin.com/y2u2MVt7

I just did a t14 shaped tower map no problem. I pretty much face tanked the boss btw.


I use the two might of the meeks to change 2 5% nodes to 10% and 2 to 7% (in the scion health square). I also get more resistance so gearing is easier.

You are also using kaom's roots, which doesn't allow the auto summoner style - try using bubonic trail (they are 1c as of now). I'll write up a jewel section a little later but Minion Speed isn't that important for the way I play.

I would say our builds would have similar damage outputs, and it's a toss up between 70%ish block (necro bone offering) or fortify. I'd also pick up a little duration in your tree, just for Quality of life.

I'll upload another video of a t15 map tonight.

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