[3.9] A LL HoA/Spiders Guardian - 60K armour, 1200 ES on block, millions of Shaper DPS [UE down]

Welcome to my guide, exile!

3.9 update

Not much was changed, just a slight damage nerf to Feeding Frenzy and a slight nerf to the minion movement speed in the skill tree. The build is still very strong and does metamorph encounters easily!

Quick introduction

This build is created to be rather defense-oriented; it has good clear, great survivability (basically unkillable), and great single target.

The Agony Crawler is a very interesting minion coming from the gem Herald of Agony. It follows you around, and has three attacks: one melee attack, which it basically never uses, one projectile attack similar to split arrow, and a barrage of explosive projectiles. It was designed to have decent damage without requiring investment in any minion nodes, so since this build is focused on it and thus takes minion nodes, it yields an amazingly strong and quick little guy.

On top of that, we use the dagger Arakaali’s Fang, which lets you raise spiders on kill. Using the Writhing Jar to summon them, they are effectively always up, even in boss fights, and have a very aggressive AI, which makes them great both for clearing and for bosses.



Post-3.7 videos:

Deathless rank 8 Sirus (Awakener) (by onlyjust5) (3.9)

2 minutes deathless Uber Elder (3.8)

T16 Uber Elder guardian (3.8)

T16 Uber Elder guardian (3.9) Courtesy of Pathdegilpaf, thank you! :)

T16 clear + Uber Elder guardian (3.8)

3.7 videos (before buff):

Deathless Uber Elder

First Uber Elder try (one death)

Full Minotaur run

Full Phoenix run

Bonus: Facetanking Abaxoth in a T16, without molten shell

If you want to contribute to the guide, you can record a video of you killing an end-game boss, and I will add it! :)




+ Good clear
+ Very good single target (Elder, Shaper and Uber Elder down on a 5L)
+ Great survivability with multiple defensive layers: over 8.5K ES, over 45K armour, 74% chance to block attacks and 75% for spells, 900 ES gained on block, huge ES regen every five seconds, 10K damage shield with Molten Shell, a lot of reduced effect of curses
+ Very easy to cap resistances
+ Can do all map mods (although no regen is more comfortable with –mana cost ring or a mana flask)
+ The minions we use are immortal, so there’s no need to worry about them dying
+ This is completely subjective, but I find this build to be very fun to play
+ Since this build uses almost only unique items, it’s very cheap to min-max
+ I don't play hardcore, but I would assume that this build is definitely HC viable, even though leveling will require some measures (e.g. leveling with zombies + SRS until you have all your gear, at lvl 68)

+/- It's a minion build, which feels clunky to some people and relaxing to some others

- Since this build uses almost only unique items, it requires a bit of investment to get started; I’d say you can start mapping comfortably on a 1 or 2 ex budget, and can take down Uber Elder on a 4 or 5ex budget. As a consequence, this build is not a good league starter (unless you’re a masochist like me).


Tl;dr: Path of Building


IMPORTANT: Read the notes in PoB (upper left corner, right next to "Import/Export")


Why Guardian? Why Cyclone?


Why Guardian?
The Guardian ascendancy is a very underestimated one (in my opinion) and fits this build for several reasons.

* This build stacks up a lot of mana and converts it to armour thanks to Memory Vault, and the Guardian ascendancy converts it to Energy Shield (ES), which makes us very tanky.

* Since this build is based on block, fights with lots of damage over time, like Uber Elder, can be tough. The Time of Need ascendancy makes those fights a lot easier by giving us free ES regen every five seconds.

* The Radiant Crusade and Unwavering Crusade ascendancies grant some more damage to our minions, makes them intimidate on hit (applying 10% increased damage taken), grants onslaught, and other very strong buffs.

Why Cyclone?
This build stacks up a lot of defensive layers, and can therefore be in the melee pretty much all the time. We use this freedom to apply poison in order to summon the Herald of Agony crawler. In order to do so, we need a skill that’s usable with a dagger (since we use Arakaali’s Fang, see Gear section for more info) and that hits very frequently in order to stack Virulence (HoA stacks).

Cyclone is a great candidate for such a skill, and works perfectly, but ultimately, if there is another skill you prefer, feel free to experiment with it!


Build mechanics (please read!)

I know reading a guide might be boring, but this part is very important, so I’ll try my best to keep it short.

Offensive mechanics

We use two minions: the Herald of Agony crawler, and Akaraali’s Fang spiders.

The Crawler spawns when we apply poison. The more poisons we apply, the deadlier he gets. We use Cyclone to apply poison, and run into enemies while poisoning them while the Crawler shoots them down from afar. We support HoA with Feeding Frenzy, making it aggressive and granting us the Feeding Frenzy buff, increasing our minion stats.

Arakaali’s Fang lets you raise spiders from nearby corpses when you kill an enemy. So in order to summon them, the easiest way is to use Desecrate to create corpses (either use spell cascade if you have the sockets, or cast it twice if you don’t, to create enough corpses), then use one of your Writing Jars to spawn writhing worms, and kill them to raise the spiders. They will then follow you around killing everything in a one screen radius. Their AI is already very aggressive, so there is no need to support them with Feeding Frenzy.

Defensive mechanics

This build stacks up many defensive layers, so there’s a lot to cover, but once again, I promise I’ll try my best to keep it short.

This build is played Low Life (LL), which means we reserve almost all our life and use Shavronne’s Wrappings to counter chaos damage. We get flat armour from reserved life thanks to the Guardian ascendancy. We get a lot of mana, both from the skill tree and gear, which grants us flat ES thanks to the Guardian Ascendancy, and flat armour thanks to Memory Vault.

On top of this very high effective HP pool, we get a lot of block chance, enough to reach 37% chance to block both attacks and spells. We use the Aegis Aurora shield, which grants a lot of armour and energy shield, and refills our ES by 2% of our armour on block. With our 65K+ armour, that’s over 1300 ES gained on block.

We then use the Lethal Pride timeless jewel, commanded by Kiloava, to get the Glancing Blows keystone, which doubles our chance to block attacks and spells, bringing us to 74% chance to block. The downside is that we take 50% of damage from blocked hits, but that is completely countered by the Aegis Aurora’s ES refill, making us virtually unkillable by hits. For fights with a lot of damage over time, we prioritize out survival over the application of poison, which means we don’t cyclone at all and let our spiders do the work while we run around. The build has enough damage to kill Uber Elder with spiders only.

Next, we use Fortify support on Cyclone, which means we’re always fortified. For tough fights like Uber Elder, one quick cyclone every 6 seconds is enough to keep fortify up and running. This is important because we take 50% damage from blocked hits, and fortify helps reduce this damage, effectively increasing the ES refill on block.

Finally, we use Molten Shell, which, with the amount of armour we have, can tank 10000 damage in our place, making the Shaper's and Elder's slams so weak they actually heal you. Just activate it before a hit that could get you low, and your ES will be full before you even know it.



5L or 6L for Herald of Agony?
There are two possibilities when coming to the HoA support gems: with the basic gear, you only have enough mana to use a 5L HoA. However, there is a unique synthesis ring, Circle of Nostalgia, which can reduce the mana reservation of HoA, thus allowing you to use a 6th support gem, on top of Aspect of the Spider (provided you use a lvl 3 enlighten; if you don't, you can drop Aspect of the Spider, but it would be a waste imo). In a nutshell, the 5L HoA setup is tankier (since we can get a ring with a lot of mana & ES) and cheaper, and the 6L setup is more expensive but has more damage. Choose your poison!

Gear breakdown
Notice: Don't follow the gem placement of the gear linked here, it comes from a league where I had gems socketed differently! :)

There some unique jewels that are necessary for this build, and some that work wonders for it. They are all listed below.

Arakaali’s Fang

This dagger allows us to raise spiders, and additionally grants us some chance to poison, which is useful for summoning the Agony Crawler. We use it in our main hand.
Trade site links
Any Arakaali's Fang (no important rolls)

Aegis Aurora

Lots of armour, lots of ES, and ES refill on block. I recommend getting one as soon as possible, and playing with spiders only until you do, as this item is the core of the build’s survivability.

Memory Vault

This build gets a lot of mana, and Memory Vault converts it to armour, which means less physical damage taken and more ES gained on block. You gain a lot from this item, even if it has a low roll, so don’t hesitate to buy such a roll.


Herald of Agony requires a lot of dexterity, which we don’t naturally get as Templar, so since we don’t really need any mod on our amulet, we use Astramentis to help us get dexterity. Plus, intelligence grants us energy shield and mana, so it does grant ES and armour. And this item is especially strong when used with the following item, Shaper’s Touch.

Anointing your amulet

There are many good notables to anoint. The best is Soul of Steel, which grants us lots of armour, maximum resistances, and physical damage reduction. However, it costs 3 golden oils to allocate (around 3.5 ex total at the time of writing), so if you're looking for cheaper alternatives, you can look at Inexorable (Crimson, Opalescent, Silver) and Adamant (Azure, Violet, Black), for instance.

Note that you can use Intrinsic Catalyst to improve the attributes on the amulet, raising the explicit up to 120!

Shaper’s Touch

Those gloves have several uses. First, we naturally have a lot of strength, which means those gloves grant us a lot of mana and ES. Second, we naturally have a lot of intelligence, which means they grant us a lot of accuracy rating, which is essential to get Virulence stacks for our Agony Crawler.

Note that Shaper's Touch with despair on hit are pretty cheap (compared to uncorrupted Shaper's Touch), and gives our minions a lot of dps, so I recommend checking it out!

Trade site links
Any Shaper's Touch
Shaper's Touch with a good roll
Shaper's Touch with Despair on hit
4L Shaper's Touch with Despair on hit

NB: Corrupted items can have their sockets modified, be it socket number, links, or colours; if you'd need, for instance, 25 chromas to recolour your item if it wasn't corrupted, you'll need 25 chromas + 25 vaal for the corrupted version. It might be more expensive than to buy a 4L, but it can be useful to know!

Shavronne’s Wrappings

This build reserves life, and thus uses Shavronne’s Wrappings to deal with chaos damage.

Trade site links
Any Shavronne's Wrappings
Shavronne's Wrappings with a good roll (only the ES roll is important, you should have capped resistances without a good lightning res roll)
5L Shavronne's Wrappings
5L Shavronne's Wrappings with a good roll


Those boots are very cheap for what they give: lots of elemental resistances, movement speed, mana, and most importantly, chance to block spells, which gets us to 74%.

Dream Fragments

This ring gives a lot of mana and, more importantly, makes us immune to freeze and chill, to which are naturally very vulnerable as a LL build. It is especially useful versus Shaper, Elder, and Uber Elder.

Trade site links
Any Dream Fragments
Dream Fragments with a good explicit roll (this shouldn't be necessary to cap your resistances though)

Circle of Nostalgia

As mentioned before, there are two possibilities for our HoA: either 5L with a rare ring granting a lot of mana & ES, or 6L with a well rolled Circle of Nostalgia. If you choose to go the 6L route, you have to wear a Circle of Nostalgia; for the roll, if you're using a lvl 3 enlighten on Discipline, you need 40% reduced HoA mana reservation. If you're not using Aspect of the Spider, any roll will do, and you can add Clarity to your auras to reserve more mana.

Trade site links


You can either:

1) Use a rare ring in the right ring slot (instead of a Circle of Nostagia), in which case you don't use Aspect of the Spider and can use whatever belt you want. The Darkness Enthroned is a really good choice: very cheap, and lots of easy stats, including minion movement speed.

2) Use a Circle of Nostalgia to reduce your HoA mana reservation, in which case you can use Aspect of the Spider on a rare belt of your choice.

Trade site links

Darkness Enthroned
Any belt with Aspect of the Spider
Any Stygian Vise with Aspect of the Spider
A Stygian Vise with at least 40 ES (you shouldn't need resistances on the belt; if you do, adjust the trade site form to what you need)
Fenumus, first of the night (Allows you to craft Aspect of the Spider on any item; counts as a suffit)

The Writhing Jar

We need to kill an enemy to raise spiders, and we use this flask to easily kill an enemy. I recommend using two, just to be 100% sure to always have spiders up during boss fights (which isn’t a problem since there are very few flasks that are useful on this build, and since we don’t need life flasks). Be aware that the flask charges used are a roll, and that you can buy a cheap one to start with, but you should aim for a good roll when you start min-maxing.

The Sorrow of the Divine

Apart from Writhing Jars, this build does not use any flask in particular, which leaves us with a lot of room for creativity. The new Sorrow of the Divine lets us apply life flasks to our energy shield, so we use one Sorrow of the Divine and one life flask. For the life flask, I recommend using a Panicked, which gives you instant recovery when below 35% ES, but a lot of people prefer Seething/Bubbling, which gives you less life, but does it instantly regardless of your current ES. Choose what you prefer!

Other flask

For other flasks, I recommend using a Quicksilver for movement speed, or a Basalt for even more armour for important boss fights with a lot of physical damage.

Jewels and corrupted blood

Damage over time is one of the only things that can kill us, so having a jewel with Corrupted Blood can't be inflicted on you is a really good choice. You can grab a rare jewel with some of the usual stats you want (ES/minion damage/...) with this corruption. One is enough.

Jewel: Lethal Pride, Kiloava

As explained in the “defensive mechanics” section, we use the Glancing Blows keystone to get to 74% chance to block attacks and spells, and counter the 50% of damage we take with high physical damage mitigation and ES refill on block. In order to do this, we need a Lethal Pride jewel commanded by Kiloava. We place it between the Templar and the witch start, and allocate Mind over Matter, which is transformed to Glancing Blows.

The name Kiloava ensures you get Glancing Blows, and the number on the jewel is a random seed to the added effects on notable. We grab one notable in the radius of the jewel, Arcanist’s Dominion, which means that if you want to min-max the build, you can buy lots of Kiloava Lethal Prides and try to get a useful stat, like 20% increased armour.
Trade site links
Any Lethal Pride

NB: I can't specify that I want to show only the jewels commanded by Kiloava, so you have to pay attention and buy the right one (any Kiloava jewel will do)!

Jewel: the Blue Nightmare

This jewel is what allows us to get such a high spell block chance. We socket it next to the Templar start, which means that in its radius, there is 12% all res in Holy Dominion, 8% all res in Faith and Steel, and 24% in Sanctuary and the small nodes before, for a total of 14% spell block chance, doubled to 28% with Glancing Blows.

Trade site links
The Blue Nightmare (no roll)
Alternatively, if there are no Blue Nightmares for sale or if they're too expensive, you can create yours from a Blue Dream and a Blessing of Chayula:
The Blue Dream (no roll)
Blessing of Chayula (no roll)

Jewel: Healthy Mind

We stack up a lot of mana, and Healthy Mind helps us do just that.

Jewel: Watcher’s Eye

There are several mods that can be useful for us on a Watcher’s Eye. The most useful one is Gain #% of maximum mana as maximum energy shield, but it’s very pricy (around 35ex at the time of the writing). Cheaper alternatives are +# to armour while affected by Determination and You take #% reduced extra damage from critical strikes while affected by Determination, which makes us even tankier, #% chance to block spells while affected by Discipline, which can help you get spell block before you get a Blue Nightmare, #% of maximum energy shield regenerated per second while affected by Discipline for a bit of extra regen, #% increased attack speed while affected by Precision which helps you stack Virulence quicker versus bosses…

Other slots

In all other slots, you can use unique items you like or rare items, but there should be nothing too expensive. Do note though that a high mana roll gives more ES than a high ES roll, and also grants armour, so when buying your ring, you should ideally aim for a paua ring with a high mana roll as well as an ES roll. You should be overcapped in resistances without needing a resistance on your ring.

You will find below some trade site links for rare items.

Trade site links
As a general rule of thumb, in both sections, the cheapest links will be at the top, and the most expensive ones near the bottom, though this may vary a bit.

Also, the estimated prices may differ from reality, since I don't have the time to update them every day :p They are just given as an estimation.

In all searches, I added a stat group for elemental resistances, modify it to add the resistances you need!

The stats we want on a ring, from most important to less important, are the resistances & attributes you need (if you need some), mana, ES, - mana cost of skills (crafted or from Atzoatl), and, very optionally, strength & intelligence.

Ring with some mana and ES (around 1c or less).
Ring with decent mana and ES rolls (between 1c and 5c).
Ring with good mana and ES rolls, and - mana cost of skills (luxury to deal with no regen maps) (between 10c and 50c).

As belt, we want a stygian vise. The stats we want, from most important to less important, are the resistances & attributes you need, ES, and armour. Another useful feature is to have one free prefix, since we can craft ES & armour in a prefix.

Belt with some ES (less than 1c).
Belt with some ES and some armour (between 1c and 5c).
Belt with good ES and armour (between 5c and 10c).
Belt with good ES and armour, and one free craftable prefix (between 5c and 50c, depending on the market).

Abyss jewel
The stats we look for in an abyss jewel, from most important to less important, are ES, minion movement speed, and, optionally, added phys/chaos damage to minion attacks.

Abyss jewel with good ES (less than 5c).
Abyss jewel with some ES and minion movement speed (between 2c and 5c).
Abyss jewel with some ES, minion movement speed, and added phys/chaos damage (price varies a lot based on market and availability).

About Helmet enchants

It's pretty hard to find Memory Vaults with the right enchants because it's not a very used helmet, so people don't enchant it a lot, and you will most likely have to play without any - not that you lose a lot, there aren't a lot of game-changing enchants for this build. I listed below the few that might be useful.

* Molten Shell buff effect

This enchant is a huge defensive buff, and can help versus really strong physical damage, like deep Delves.

* Reduced Herald of Agony mana reservation

If you manage to get a helmet with this enchant, it allows you to add War Banner.

* Reduced Discipline mana reservation

Having this enchant allows you to run War Banner on top of everything else, but you have to link a lvl 3 enlighten to Precision, Discipline, and War Banner.

* Cyclone attack speed

This enchant might help you apply poison a bit quicker, but that's about it.

Off-colouring your items

There's a trick to do that easily, but it requires the following crafting recipes: two, three and four sockets, and two guaranteed colours. First, set your item to 2 sockets, and guarantee two off-colours. Then, set your item to three sockets. The first two sockets will remain the same, so you will keep your 2 off-colours, only the third socket will be random. If the third socket is not an off-colour, go back to two sockets and try again. When you get an off-colour on your third socket, you do the same for the fourth socket until you get it. It's important to get the off-colours first since it costs less jewellers to go between 2-3-2-3-... sockets than between 3-4-3-4-...




Your Herald of Agony setup should be the following: (socketed in body armour)

Your Raise Spider support gems should be the following: (socketed in weapon 1 (Arakaali's Fang))

For hard boss fights, replace Melee Splash with Melee Physical Damage.

In order to apply poison stacks, we use Cyclone: (socketed in Boots; for help on how to off-colour your boots, please refer to the Off-colouring your boots subsection of the Gear section)

The auras that reserve your mana are Aspect of the Spider (if you have a Circle of Nostalgia), Herald of Agony and, finally, Discipline: (socketed in Gloves along with a level 3 Enlighten if you're using a 6 link HoA)

To reserve life, we use Determination linked with Blood Magic. Note that you need a high level blood magic gem in order to use Determination, I recommend using PoB to simulate the life reservation to find out what level your blood magic support needs to be so that you can use Determination, and leave it at the lowest level possible (the more life you reserve, the more armour you get from your ascendancy). (socketed in Weapon 2 (Aegis Aurora))

Our movement skill is Shield Charge. We support it with Faster Attacks, as usual. (socketed in Gloves)

In order to spawn our spiders, we need to use Desecrate: (socketed in Helmet)

Finally, we use Tempest Shield to cap our chance to block attacks and spells. It's only required to be lvl 1, since levels only grant damage to the spell itself (and not block chance), and we support it with Cast when damage taken lvl 1. That way, it will be cast very often, and naturally refreshes on block, so it will be up at all times. (socketed in Helmet)






Kill them all.

Easy choice: the only bandit worth helping on some builds is Alira, and since we do not profit from the crit multi, the two skill points are what we go for.




Here are the pantheons I usually run, along with the useful upgrades:

Soul of the Brine King allows us to escape chain stun situations (to which we are naturally vulnerable as a low-life character). Since we are very tanky, we can afford to get stunned once without dying, so this pantheon is more than enough to save us.

As a low-life build, another thing we are vulnerable to is chaos damage (to which we have a low res), especially over time (since we can't block it). This is why we use Soul of Shakari, along with its upgrade that makes us immune to poison.


Boss mechanics

For most bosses, you just cyclone into them and stick to them while facetanking everything they throw at you. ezpz. However, tough bosses like Uber Elder and Uber Atziri can hurt so much that you need to avoid them, and this is where you need some mechanics.

tl;dr: If you want to be safe, don’t care about your Crawler, just focus on raising your spiders when they disappear and surviving. If you want to be quick, trust in your defense and cyclone in the face of the boss.

In fights like Uber Elder, it is much easier to survive when you can let your minions do the work and focus on dodging. Just make sure to cyclone the boss every now and then to keep fortify up, and let your spider bros do the work. The exception to that rule might be the end of the Uber Elder fight, where the arena quickly turns into hell on earth if you don’t kill them quickly, and where another minion to deal damage is very welcome, which is why I cyclone a lot in the Uber Elder videos.



Before starting
There are some gems you'll need that aren't given as quest reward and can't be bought as Templar. Therefore, you will need to get the following gems before starting. For each gem, I noted where you can get it in the story and as which class, but remember that if you have a character that has access to act 6, you can buy all gems from Lilly at act 6 after clearing the Twilight Strand, as well as in act 10, or after completing Siosa's quest in act 3.

If you're starting the league with this character and don't have access to these, you have two options: you can level up with your prefered minion skill (zombies + skeletons/raging spirits), or you can try to ask in global if someone with the right class can buy those gems for you. People are usually nice and very helpful, but do as you prefer :)

Gems to grab before starting
‣ Pierce support [lvl 1] (on the Twilight Strand as Ranger)
‣ Lesser Poison support [lvl 1] (on the Twilight Strand as Shadow, after the Tidal Island ad Witch/Ranger/Duelist)
‣ Herald of Agony [lvl 16] (after killing Fidelitas and saving Helena as Shadow/Ranger/Duelist)
‣ Poison support [lvl 31] (only obtainable from Lilly or Siosa)

Gems & key gear

You can start leveling by using minions, starting with zombies at lvl 2. Then, when you get raging spirits (after the Mud Flats), you can actively summon those while your zombies take the damage for you, as well as skeletons if you prefer (after killing Brutus).

At level 16, you can equip Herald of Agony! You can equip your Herald of Agony + Pierce (+ Minion Damage/Minion Speed/etc.). To apply poison, you can use whatever skill you prefer linked with Lesser Poison. I recommend using a Quill Rain and applying poison with Rain of Arrows - Lesser Poison. The agony crawler will carry you all the way to the end game. At level 24, remember to grab Discipline.

If you use a skill that doesn’t deal physical or chaos damage, you will need to keep Lesser Poison, even after you equip Poison, since you need to deal physical or chaos damage to poison enemies and Lesser Poison adds chaos damage, while Poison doesn’t!

Concerning the attributes requirements, the templar gets a lot of strength and intelligence, but not a lot of dexterity, which is required for Herald of Agony. To counter that, just use a jade amulet until you can equip Astramentis.

Skill tree

Leveling skill trees are available in the PoB! Check the notes there to find out how to access them. In case you're too lazy (I know, I'm like that too), you will find below a summary.

Start by grabbing Spiritual Command (minion damage) and Sacrifice (minion life regen). You will refund Sacrifice once you stop using zombies. Then, go left and grab Sanctuary, which will give you a lot of elemental resistance if you’re using a shield. Go toward Redemption, Spiritual Aid, and Righteous Army, which will grant your minions a lot of damage. As soon as you start using an attack to apply poison, grab Resolute Technique, which will ensure you always hit until you get your Shaper’s Touch.

Then, go near the start of the Scion and grab the life ring near Constitution. These will make you tankier until you go full ES. You can also go grab the jewel socket near Sentinel for even more elemental resistances.

After that, you can go near the start of the Witch and grab Lord of the Dead and Cruel Preparation. After that, it’s up to your personal preference, but remember to use Healthy Mind jewels only when you have enough ES to survive.

Leveling & gearing

While levelling, always have some recent ES gear, especially body armour (unless you have a Tabula Rasa). ES armour can be bought from vendors, and an Essence of Woe will guarantee some ES on it and is very cheap (less than 1 alchemy for essences below lvl 60). On rings/shields, I advise to look for as much elemental resistance as possible.

Useful uniques:

‣ Tabula Rasa (lvl 1): easy 6L. Around 15c. Here's a link to buy yours.
‣ Crown of Thorns (lvl 1): lots of ES as early as possible. Link
‣ Springleaf (lvl 7): A bit of armour and ES and lots of life regen. Link
‣ Bated Breath (lvl 22): lots of ES & ES recharge rate. Link
‣ Shavronne's Pace (lvl 32): some ES and 35% move speed when you're on full life. Link
‣ Martyr's Crown (lvl 52): fated version of Crown of Thorns. Even more ES. Link


* Why is there an empty jewel socket in the PoB? Why are you using Mind over Matter?

I'm using the Lethal Pride timeless jewel (the Karui one), commanded by Kiloava, in the jewel socket that's left empty to transform MoM into Glancing Blows, which doubles our chance to block attacks and spells. More info about this can be found in Defensive Mechanics section.

* Why do you only have 37% chance to block?

We are using Glancing Blows, a keystone that comes from the Lethal Pride jewel, which doubles our chance to block, bringing it to 74% attack and spell block.
More info can be found in the Defensive Mechanics section.

* What timeless jewel should I buy?

You should be Lethal Pride, with the name Kiloava. The name Kiloava ensures that you get Glancing Blows from keystones, and the number on the jewel determines the additional stats that notables get. However, there is (at the time of the writing) no way to tell for sure what stats notables get without socketing the jewel yourself, so if you want to min max the build and get a good mod on the notable Arcanist's Dominion, like 20% increased armour, there is no other way than buying multiple jewels and socketing them one by one.

* Why do you only have 23% spell block in PoB?

For some reason, PoB doesn't grant the spell block that comes from the Blue Nightmare jewel, near the templar start. With all the elemental resistances in the radius of the jewel, it grants 14% spell block, which gets us to 37% without Glancing Blows, and 74% with it.

* How do I get 4 off-colour son my boots, and 3 on my gloves?

There's a trick to do that easily, but it requires the following crafting recipes: two, three and four sockets, and two guaranteed colours. First, set your item to 2 sockets, and guarantee two off-colours. Then, set your item to three sockets. The first two sockets will remain the same, so you will keep your 2 off-colours, only the third socket will be random. If the third socket is not an off-colour, go back to two sockets and try again. When you get an off-colour on your third socket, you do the same for the fourth socket until you get it. It's important to get the off-colours first since it costs less jewellers to go between 2-3-2-3-... sockets than between 3-4-3-4-...

* The spiders' PoB dps seems low, is that normal?

Two points: Remember there are 20 spiders, so you have to multiply the dps by 20.

* Why aren't you using the Bastion of Hope ascendancy?

We are already capped in block chance (well, almost, 74% attack and spell block), so we don't profit from the additional chance to block if we've attacked/casted a spell recently. The only benefit of this ascendancy is the stun immunity, and we use the Soul of the Brine King to avoid chain stuns. Since this build is very tanky, we can afford to get stunned once in a while without immediately dying because of it, even in end game fights like Uber Elder.

* Why aren't you using the Harmony of Purpose ascendancy?

The charges are only shared with party members, so our minions don't get them. The only benefit is the attack speed that frenzy charges grant us, and it's not worth it compared to other ascendancy nodes.

* My light radius is very low when I reserve all my life, is that normal?

Yes, it's normal since you count as low life. There are two ways to go about this: first, you can take Arcane Vision in the skill tree, near the witch start, to make your light radius scale with your ES instead of you life. Second, you can simply run maps as low life and get used to it, it might sound stupid but I did that and now that I'm used to it I don't even notice it any more. It's as you prefer!

* Determination with Blood Magic reserves more than 100% of my life, so I can't use it. Why?

First, make sure you grabbed the mana reservation nodes in the skill tree. Then, the level of blood magic support is important, it has a very high mana multiplier that decreases with the level. I recommend using PoB to simulate the aura and find out the level required to be able to use determination, and if needed, buy a gem at the required level from the trade site (quality is not important).

* I can't use all auras, I don't have enough mana. Why?

Make sure that you have all the mana reservation nodes, that your Circle of Nostalgia has 40% reduced HoA reservation, that there are no "accidental" support gems on Discipline, that you don't have a random Clarity aura that you used during leveling that you forgot to remove. If you did all this and still can't use all auras, post on a message on this thread with your Pob, and I'll take a look!



I would like to thank everyone who helped me with the guide and with the build itself, especially the following people:

* onlyjust5, who beat an A8 Awakener fight and allowed me to use the video for the guide.
* TheScalpel, who thought of a good Watcher's Eye mod to add to the list.
* Pathdegilpaf, who recorded an Uber Elder guardian video and allowed me to add it to the guide.



Thanks to everyone who read the guide, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any question, feel free to ask on this post or to send me a message :)

I hope you all have a nice day!

Last edited by Vatinas on Feb 3, 2020, 11:02:59 AM
Last bumped on Feb 17, 2020, 6:15:35 PM

07/01/20: Added gem placement to the PoB and to the guide. Updated the leveling skill trees.

30/12/19: Fixed the gems equipped in the gear featured in the Gear section.

25/12/19: Added a video of a deathless A8 Awakener kill, courtesy of onlyjust5.

20/12/19: Added Tempest Shield, which frees the anointment of our amulet. I recommend getting Soul of Steel if you can afford it, and if you want a cheaper anointment, you can look at Adamant and Inexorable, for instance. I also redrew the picture at the top of the guide to match 3.9 stats and buffs.

25/09/19: Changed the Arcane Guarding anointment to Deflection, making us gain armour and capping attack block on top of spell block.

24/09/19: Added more videos, and replaced Faster Attacks by Culling Strike on Cyclone.

19/09/19: Added Circle of Nostalgia to the build, allowing us to use a 6th HoA link and Aspect of the Spider.

18/09/19: Updated the build for 3.8, Blight league (sorry for doing this so late!)

09/07/19: Added instruction for off-colouring your gloves/boots.

06/07/19: Added trade site links for rare items (ring, belt, abyss jewel).

05/07/19: Added a full Phoenix run to the Videos section, and updated the Boss Mechanics section.

29/06/19: Added a full Minotaur run to the Videos section.

27/06/19: Added a deathless Uber Elder video (yay!), and added the Sorrow of the Divine to the build.

23/06/19: Added leveling skill trees, trade site links, and corrected some typos.

22/06/19: Created the guide. Hello world!

Last edited by Vatinas on Jan 7, 2020, 9:58:33 AM
Very nice build,lvl 80 on HCL atm.
just saying thank you for sharing
yarikx wrote:
Very nice build,lvl 80 on HCL atm.
just saying thank you for sharing

Hi, I'm glad you like the build! It's also interesting to hear from someone playing HC. I hope all goes well :)
Looking for a tanky mapping/bossing char and found your guide. How is it with legion? How much boss kills on 4/5 emblem fights? Does it release all legion on maps?
faraddox wrote:
Looking for a tanky mapping/bossing char and found your guide. How is it with legion? How much boss kills on 4/5 emblem fights? Does it release all legion on maps?


In my opinion, this build is a nice compromise of tankiness, mapping and bossing. I can, however, rarely fully release legions when the layout is not open. I haven't tried to run emblem fights, I'll try to run some tomorrow and give an update. :)
coloring a shavs in 3g2r1b will be a nightmare :(
How you generate endurance and frenzy charges ?
zidkun wrote:
coloring a shavs in 3g2r1b will be a nightmare :(

Indeed! That's why I told about a few methods to circumvent that problem :)

moncompte86 wrote:
How you generate endurance and frenzy charges ?

The screenshot is from a previous version on the build using the Harmony of Purpose ascendancy, which grants changes on hit; I used to think that this would grant my minions frenzy charges, but it only grants them to party members, so I changed the ascendancy to what it is today. :)

Edit: I ran a 4 emblem fight, and the damage of the build is, in my opinion, a bit too low to effectively tackle those fights. I only had the time to kill each general twice. It makes up for it by being unkillable by any general, but if your goal is to farm emblem fights, maybe this build isn't the best. :)
Last edited by Vatinas on Jun 24, 2019, 2:53:10 PM
Kinda of a cool concept and different type of build. Haven't played Guardian in awhile. Was lucky enough to find a 5 link 3G1R1B Shav's for like 90c. Going to have to do a little more currency farming and I'll be able to get the Nightmare and other jewels and be able to start playing.

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