full 3.9 soon Dominating Blow Guardian-Uber Elder-Deathless Shaper/Red Elder

1/8/2020 update: I will update and overhaul the guide when I have the time, but if you are looking at this here is a new passive tree I have made and some item/skill choices I am working with in Path of Building https://pastebin.com/vsCjwZ36

I feel like there is a lot of flexibility now, but you certainly want all damage nodes for minions, and some tanky nodes too. Depending on how you feel you can take more tanky nodes. I have put in victario's influence, which I used on my leaguestarter after a bit. It yeilds a huge amount of damage even if you are not able to get all 4 red sockets. If you can only get 2 then just move maim/flesh and stone to your weapon, if you get three then you can just move the banner or not support flesh and stone with maim. To get all 4 requires a lot of currency and/or vorici so be prepared. (but it has the added bonus of not needing to be 6 linked, so that saves you a lot of money)

I have moved dom blow to the helm to accommodate the auras, the trade is worth it and putting a minion on a helm does not hurt its damage much, especially with a +3 helmet. These are quite easy to fossil craft, though can be pricey in the early part of the league. +2 helms on the other hand are so outrageously cheap to craft even on day 2 of a league, one should always be able to get one.

I do not feel jewels are as required anymore, now that we have so many nodes on the tree, but jewels may be the avenue you want to go especially if you want to pump even more damage. The old view I had on jewels should still hold up.

Lastly you are going to need to annoint a mana leech node, or get it on your neck. I no longer feel like it is worth it or necessary to go down to the bottom of the tree for hp nodes or the leech node. Infact with the new build not only do we get quite a bit more damage, but also far more life from tree.

Thanks to all the people who have checked out my guides and helped me with this one over the last while, I hope to update for real soon.

12/16/2019 update: The full guide has not been updated since 3.6. But this league I started with dominating blow, and will be doing an in depth update and full overhaul of the guide once I have downed the bosses and such on my current build. For now this is what I can say. For items victario's chest or shield are both very good (probably pick one, idk if both are good together) I personally used the chest given all the good new auras. I would pick every notable that gives minion damage, then go for hp (I will be updating the tree soon. I would take zombies instead of herald of purity minions, since last league they are very good for non-necromancers (even post life nerf). I strongly recommend them. I personally would go full physical dps now, that means brutality support, because nowadays there are far better auras and support for pure phys. Pride, warbanner, flesh and stone + maim support, haste, vulnerability, punishment. All are good. Side note, feeding frenzy support is not needed because we are melee, our minions attack freely.

Do you like doing good damage while surviving? Are you a fan of minion builds, but don't like how boring it is to stand back and watch zombies kill everything for you? Do you like the excitement of melee? If yes to the above, then you may like my build.

Betrayal league was my first league ever, before hand I had barely played ARPGs in general. I messed around with a few builds. I liked my melee character, but also my necromancer. So I decided to make my own melee minion build. I was able to take down Uber Elder. I delved past 290 quite easily, killed the syndicate boss, killed Shaper/red Elder/Atziri deathless. And did the delve bosses other than crystal king, who eluded me. Through life (7k+), life regen (1.2k per second in combat), leech(1.4k on hit), and defenses this build can face tank most damage up to Uber Elder, and boasts over 2 million Shaper dps in the very non-optimal I was wearing.

3.6 changes
Hatred is getting a small nerf for minion builds. However its still going to be a large dps increase, and is still worth using. However, this does make the choice to not take the Sovereignty notable more acceptable.

Loreweave is getting a fairly big nerf to its defenses. It is not longer as mandatory for end game content, but will probably still be good. Its not a massive hit to the build as a whole though.

Bone helmets have been changed, so they are worse now unless you are getting an enchant on them. This changes hyper min maxed builds, but it would require a lot of currency to get an elder bone helm with a relevant enchant. If you don't have the time to get an enchant, getting an elder bone helm versus a different elder helm is no longer as big of a deal. However it is still a nerf, even if it is a small nerf that doesn't effect the build I killed Uber elder with.

Without fear of constant interventions as we had in Betrayal, Atziri's reflection is no longer as good for mapping. You could switch it out, or keep it as it helps with leeching and some damage (not to mention there is still some chaos damage), but this isn't a big deal.

All in all, the build is barely being touched, which I expected since this patch is all about caster changes. I am considering league starting on this build, however the new totem has caught my eye. I will probably play it at some point in the league and update though, even if I don't start on it. Stay safe exile!

Bandits: 2 skill points

Ascendancy Order: Radiant Crusade, Unwavering Crusade, Bastion of Hope, Time of Need.

Suggested leveling tree:
Start with smite: www.poeurl.com/cilJ
Around the time you get dominating blow: www.poeurl.com/cilQ
As you're leveling up: www.poeurl.com/cilU
Finishing off the tree: www.poeurl.com/cilY
Final build, getting jewel sockets as you get usable jewels and picking up sovereignty when you need to (with the 5 link on purity is when its necessary, can be nice before): www.poeurl.com/ciln

To be honest I leveled this character to 70 using consecrated path and elemental overload, then bought The Scourges and swapped to dominating blow. Other than elemental overload, I kept the same build, so there was no need to use regrets. I feel like you could do dominating blow all the way up, but its clear speed before you have The Scourge is somewhat lacking. Once I made the swap it was instantly easy. Getting past 90 smoothly required buying some jewels to increase my dps, but it wasn't rough. I found delving with the build to be quite easy, and a good source of experience. So I used gilded sulphite scarabs on 16 maps and delved away.

Sidenote:Until you get the Scourge terror claw, I recommend Bright Beaks or a bright beak and a shield.

Passive Tree Pastebin/Poeplanner

New 3.6 Poeplanner for level 90 (advised): www.poeurl.com/ciln
New 3.6 Poeplanner for level 90, no sovereignty: www.poeurl.com/chQ1

Pastebin (Uber Elder kill): https://pastebin.com/n6NcHiNH
Poeplanner (Uber Elder kill): www.poeurl.com/ceOO
Getting Sovereignty allows you to use hatred and use a good 5 link on your Purity minions. This comes out as a decent amount more damage than using brutality without an aura, or not using melee physical damage support on your Purity minions.

I didn't use sacrifice or minion life leech until Uber Elder, since on all other content its easy to maintain max minions. On Uber Elder they tend to die without support (some more support such as jewels for minion resistance may be good for that).

I pick up a decent amount of health nodes, and go for regen nodes, since this build's ability to leech is not huge. I grab the mana leech because otherwise I couldn't Dominating Blow 10 times a second. And I grab as many jewels as are close, because jewels are a big dps increase.

Weapon 1: Cast When Damage Taken/Desecrate/Flesh Offering
Weapon 2: Summon Holy Relic/Summon Stone Golem/Culling Strike
Helm: Herald of Purity/Melee Physical Damage Support/Ruthless Support/Maim Support/Minion Damage Support (from helm)
Chest: Dominating Blow/Ruthless Support/Multistrike Support/Faster Attack Support/Minion Damage Support/Melee Physical Damage Support
Gloves: Hatred/Cast When Damage Taken Support/Immortal Call/Enfeeble
Boots: Fortify/Blood Magic/Faster Attack Support/Whirling Blades

I don't find I need anything to aid the aoe of my minions for clearing, e.g., ancestral call, as it is plenty fast. Thankfully that means no annoying switching gems for bosses.

I use faster attack support with dominating blow, not because it is the highest dps option for the minions, but because it leads to more consistent uptime on minions. All other gem combinations where the highest dps options on path of building.

I think an unset ring to put hatred in would allow you to put minion health on the holy relic. That would allow it to live a lot longer, which is important as it helps you and your minions stay alive.
I run flame dash in my weapon swap for getting over walls. But whirling blades with my attack speed is just to fast to give up for leap slam.

Side note: You probably don't need level 21 Herald of Purity, or Dominating Blow. However, getting them is a large increase in dps if you have the currency.

Gear that I killed Uber Elder in

You could wear a shield, but honestly, the amount of damage you can output with two of The Scourge is large (edit: especially since each one gives 30% attack speed, and you should absolutely buy ones with max attack speed rolls). And you are tanky enough to not dodge pretty much everything other than Uber Elder Shaper balls.

You could also wear a different chest, like belly of the beast. But if you can get a Loreweave, I still think that 78 max res is pretty good.

The damage stats you are looking for are accuracy and attack speed to sustain maximum minions, and minion damage so they can go big.

You want an elder helmet for the 5 link, but you don't need it until Uber Elder really.

Lab Enchants
I never used one, as I didn't have the currency or time. They are also rather unnecessary, but if you really want one, the best would be dominating blow can summon 3 additional magic minions. This is followed by the 5th sentinel of purity. However for uber elder specifically, the 5th sentinel of purity is probably better since it is hard to stay on max dominating blow minions on that fight (but easy to be on max purity minions). Unless of course you are able to fit a lot of resist for your minions into your build, then the 3 additional dominating blow minions would be better. On a side note, having reduced mana reservation for herald of purity would open up 4 passives, so while it is not super good, at least is it relevant.


For most content:

For Uber Elder:
Switch out the onslaught flask for a Writhing Jar, and the Atziri's Promise for a Sapphire Flask of Heat (do this for shaper and elder as well, I only use Atziri's promise to make the Syndicate easier).

I go primarily for life (percent and max life jewels both offer about the same life with my current gear) and minion damage.
Attack speed is nice to get, but jewels with all three are expensive. Picking up minion resistances is helpful for Uber Elder. And finally, Having an abyss jewel with chance for minions to blind is a must to make you and them more tanky.
Edit: I should stress again that jewels add a lot to your damage, but can be pricey, since they also add a lot to your life. If you feel like you need more damage, simply invest in better jewels.

For Shaper/Elder/Uber Elder: Solaris (Major) - Yugul (Minor)
For all other content: Arakaali (Major) - Shakari (Minor) To be honest this is largely about preference.

Discussion on Mapping/Elder/Shaper versus Uber Elder

The build felt very strong on all content until I hit Uber Elder. You basically just whirling blade into a pack, dominating blow for a second, then move to the next pack. Bosses are a joke, you melt them and can easily face tank almost everything. This includes Shaper and Elder. However, it took me a while to figure out how to play the build on Uber Elder, let alone how to play Uber Elder as it was my first time. My minions were dying very fast, so I moved around some passives. This helped me maintain damage, and after I killed it I realized that I needed to change up my play style. To maintain high dps I think one should hit Elder/Shaper the whole time (other than add phase) and leave the adds that spawn degen up. Since this build boasts a max dps of over 2 million with my current gear, I think you should be able to zerg it down. When you go off to kill the degen adds, unless you have max adds already, you lose time spawning adds and eventually run out. I was using a writhing jar to build back up and help me kill the degen adds, with this strategy I don't know if this is necessary.
Final hint: something I realized during my kill is that while elder is building up his big aoe, and you are in the middle, you can hit him to spawn minions even if he is invulnerable. This will help you sustain minions for when you are able to go back to Shaper.

Kill Videos

Shaper: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/356036688

Red Elder: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/356991778

Syndicate Boss: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/358334176

Depth 248 Lich: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/359082528

Uber Elder (I messed up a lot, I hope to make one soon where I kill it without using so many portals): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/358340649

General Gameplay/map clearing: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/355580353

1/4/2019: gave the gems colors. Added Depth 248 Lich kill video. A noted edit to gems and to jewels. Added Poeplanner link by the pastebin link.

1/5/2019: added ascendancy order to leveling.

1/19/2019: added to final note.

3/6/2019: Changed some of the wording to pass tense in the opening. Added new Poeplanner links for level 90. Added change info for 3.6. Addition to final note. Changed gear part discussion loreweave. Added lab enchant portion.

3/7/2019: added suggested leveling path

4/1/2019: small change to gems regarding ancestral call.

Final Note
If you read this guide fully, thank you. I have been very excited about this game, and really enjoyed playing this character, and especially enjoyed messing around on path of building for 2 days straight. I just had to share. Its my first time doing something like this, so I apologize if the wording is weird or I missed something. If you have suggestions I will take them. Also if you liked the guide and enjoyed the videos, you can follow my twitch and watch as I play the build and test other ones.
One thing is certain, I love Path of Exile. Betrayal is my first league, but it won't be my last.

And it is not my last, I am returning for 3.6. I will update this build further as needed, answer questions, and will likely be playing it again in this league. Have fun exiles!
Last edited by Legarto on Jan 8, 2020, 6:10:42 PM
Last bumped on Jul 8, 2019, 7:45:56 PM
I'd suggest putting in links to the passive tree that don't require pastebin/PoB, and to look into formatting things (colours for the gems is always a nice touch). Other than that, seems solid! Good work!
Solid build. I'll try it out for sure! Do you feel Ancestral Call can be useful or the extra AoE clear is really not necessary?
@Lilyliciously Thanks for the tips. I will get to that soon.

@Yusheex. The dominating blow and purity minions do quite a bit of aoe on their own. I do not feel that anything is needed to help clear, unless there is a physical damage reduction mod or a large health mod (or both), I only need to spend about one second attacking most packs in a 16 map before I move on.
Cool build! Interested in trying this out. May i know your order of Ascendancy please or did I miss it out somewhere in the post?
Cool build! Interested in trying this out. May i know your order of Ascendancy please or did I miss it out somewhere in the post?

Oh man I completely forgot, Ill put it in, but just so you know, I go radiant crusade, unwavering crusade, Bastion of hope, time of need.
Cheers man!
Looking better and better! A personal preference is to use a light blue colour for blue gems. It's a lot easier to read on the dark theme of the forums. That's just nitpicking though.
this may be a stupid question but why not take the resolute technique keystone?
3pt14o wrote:
this may be a stupid question but why not take the resolute technique keystone?

Tbh thats not a stupid question. An earlier version of the build I was trying to have me personally do some of the damage so I had elemental overload. I switched out of that to full minion damage, and kind of forgot about resolute technique (since I've haven't used a character with it yet). TBH its probably the play. Im going to path of building a bit, change gear around, and update tomorrow if all goes well. Thanks fam.

Edit: upon first inspection of path of building, its going to take away from tankyness to take it. But it doesn't take away from tankyness to build accuracy. In current gear I'm at 91%, and could easily get more with some better gear. Still worth a thought and I will look into it more, but I don't think its necessary since with my accuracy I'm able to maintain about max minions easily on all but uber elder, in which the tankiness matters most.
Last edited by Legarto on Jan 5, 2019, 9:06:19 PM

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