[3.8] Brittleknee’s Unstable Spirits - An All Content, Defensive, Alternative to Pure-DPS SRS.

[3.8] Brittleknee’s Unstable Spirits - All Content Viable, Alternative to Pure DPS Spirits.





Greetings, Exiles! I’m Brittleknee.

This project started as a personal challenge in Legion to make a budget-friendly SRS build that can kill Uber Elder. I have a Pure-DPS SRS Build, but that one is, in general, a higher investment, higher DPS build, and can be a bit of a Glass Cannon.

So, I wanted to make a tanky, cheap, SRS build that could do everything, and after some trial and error, it came together and we did Uber Elder and the whole gambit of available bosses.

With the changes in Blight League to the Necromancer Ascendancy as well as the addition of new jewels and gems, this build may be subject to change, and the current minion-meta hype may drive up costs.

Disclaimer: Though piloted and found to be successful in Legion League, this build has not yet been fully min-maxed. This will be one of two major projects I intend to tackle in Blight league. As soon as I feel settled in on the gear, there will be an additional “Non-Budget” PoB provided.

Check out the Media section below for kill videos/clips!

Catch me Streaming on Twitch or in game as @Brittleknee!



Blight League Update

3.8 Blight League Update

13 Sept Update: Yes, I've seen how much Tavukai and Fortress Covenant are. So, this build for this particular league is not as cheap as it was last league. Hopefully the prices of these items drop, but due to the popularity of minions, the price may be high for the time being. Just like Atziri's Disfavor was 4Ex last league and is now 50C, what's current now may not always be. Meta will always influence prices.

Blight is going to be a pretty fun league. It has been particularly heartwarming to see some scrutiny and improvements made to minions. While some of the changes certainly aren’t ideal, it is nice to have some new tools in the ‘ol minion toolkit.

The re-worked jewel, Fortress Covenant, will be quite the game changer for this particular build. When used in the Templar area, our SRS will take up to 80% increased damage from Tavukai. This means 2-second or perhaps less Detonations are definitely possible. This, however, should only be used if you’ve got the helm enchant, and plan on using Echo or Unleash with sufficient cast speed.

We’ll also be using one of the new wands in lieu of a Temple Scepter, but the Trigger on Socketed Skill aspect of things will not change. At this time I have no plans to migrate this over to a dual-wield build.

Good luck, everyone, and have a wonderful league!

<3BK




Path of Building Links:

Popcorn SRS - Base Setup:

The only thing I've tentatively added is the new Fortress Covenant jewel, which I just wrote in the stats for and socketed so you could see where it would be optimally placed for the build. This jewel should bring us down to a ~2 second detonation time per SRS, so its likely one of the biggest DPS upgrades available to the build.




1.0. Introduction

1.1. Pros & Cons

Pros
This build is pretty versatile and offers a lot to new and veteran players alike.
  • Bosser - Has cleared all Boss content including Red Elder, Shaper, Uber Atziri and Uber Elder.

  • Mapper - No ‘Dead Mods’ to speak of. You can run anything. Reflect, no regen, no problem!

  • Budget - Uniques chosen are generally considered more common and budget, and though dependant on Tavukai to get started, this should still be a viable leaguestarter.

  • Defensive - Unlike the pure DPS variant, this build focuses heavily on mitigating incoming damage and invests considerably in secondary defenses.


Cons
This build does have some weaknesses that should be addressed.
  • Damage Halts - Bosses with powerful AoE (Phoenix, Shaper, Atziri) can wipe out your SRS with a single ability and thus halt your damage. With the helmet enchant and Unleash/Echo, you should be able to recover fairly quick.

  • Detonation-Dependant - Your SRS will hit like a wet paper towel until they detonate, as that is their primary source of DPS. This requires a slightly different playstyle that some minion veterans may not like.

  • Unique Required - This build does not function without Tavukai. The new Legion support gem could be a stand-in if it is too expensive, but is not nearly as effective.



1.2. Playstyle


Similar to Pure-DPS SRS builds, this build focuses on summoning as many spirits into existence as possible. However, rather than fight, the spirits explode for a percentage of their life as damage due to Minion Instability. Due to this fuse-delay, you will likely need to play a bit more defensively.
Incorporated into the build is also a number of secondary defenses, as well as a high eHP pool. Due to ES/Life/MoM you have an eHP of around 8900 fully geared. In addition, you will have a not insignificant amount of armor (18k) and Shield Block. If running the recommended shield, you’ll also gain an elemental damage protection bubble.

This should make up for the lack of zombies as meatshields.


1.3. Origins



This project started as a personal challenge in Legion to make a budget-friendly SRS build that can kill Uber Elder. I have a Pure-DPS SRS Build, but that one is, in general, a higher investment, higher DPS build, and can be a bit of a Glass Cannon.

So, I wanted to make a tanky, cheap, SRS build that could do everything, and after some trial and error, it came together. Boasting a not inconsiderable amount of DPS with fairly unoptimized gear, I have a lot of hope for what this build can and will be once fully configured.

That’s my goal, moving forward into this next league. Better gear, new jewels and passives, new ascendency, and so on. I’m thinking this could likely be competitive with pure DPS SRS builds.






2.0. Skill Trees, Ascendancy, and Leveling


Here you should find all the relevant information needed to get started.

2.1. Ascendancy Choices


Ascendancy Skills
While leveling, pick the Ascendancy skills:
  • Mindless Aggression(The Labyrinth)
  • Unnatural Strength (The Cruel Labyrinth)
  • Mistress of Sacrifice (The Merciless Labyrinth)
  • Bone Barrier (The Eternal Labyrinth)



2.2. Leveling Toolkit


If you would like to level this build from scratch as a Summoner, I recommend loosely following the leveling guide I wrote for my Pure-DPS SRS. You cannot equip Tavukai until level 54, so using the recommended Pure-DPS damage links will be best until you can transition to Minion Instability.

Leveling Trees










Invest your Mana Points into MoM and associated mana nodes when you're ready switch over to a more hybrid playstyle.


Main Attack Links


4 Link SRS - 4B
  • SRS, Minion Damage, Minion Life, Concentrated Effect


5 Link SRS - 5B
  • SRS, Minion Damage, Minion Life, Concentrated Effect, Elemental Focus


6 Link SRS - 6B
  • SRS, Minion Damage, Minion Life, Concentrated Effect, Elemental Focus, Combustion/Unleash/Echo (Pick one depending on where you are in the gearing process)




2.3. Pantheons


Major:
  • Soul of the Brine King - Make sure you get the bonus effects from the Divine Vessels.

Minor:
  • Soul of Ryslatha - This is nice for survivability but becomes insane when coupled with Blood of the Karui when you heal from Low Life.



2.4. Bandits


In Act 2, Kill ALL THREE Bandits to receive two passive points from Eramir.


2.5. Keystone Explanations


Minion Instability

This keystone causes minions to explode once they are reduced to low life, dealing 33% of their maximum life as fire damage to nearby enemies. Low life is considered 35% or lower life value. These explosions are our primary damage in this particular build, and only a few things can scale it effectively.

Those are the following attributes on the passive tree/gear:
  • Minion Life
  • Minion Damage


And the following support gems (not in any particular order):
  • Burning Damage Support
  • Combustion Support
  • Concentrated Effect Support
  • Elemental Focus Support
  • Elemental Proliferation Support
  • Fire Penetration Support
  • Increased Area of Effect Support
  • Minion Damage Support
  • Minion Life Support


Note that any fire damage taken on the passive tree will not affect the minion detonations.

The other indirect way to scale MI is by reducing the time it takes for minions to detonate. This is sometimes provided by items in the game as well as avoiding sources of Resistance, Life Regen and Leech from your minions so they cannot recover their life.



Elemental Equilibrium

Elemental Equilibrium is an amazing damage boost for this build. SRS uses physical and fire damage, and we add additional cold damage through Hatred. This leaves lightning as the remaining element to proc the effect, and this build includes three different ways to do so. EE lasts 5 seconds at a time and can be refreshed as needed to keep 100% uptime.

You will know when EE has been properly applied to an enemy by the Pink/Purple/Blueish spell affect at their feet, which is seen below:



You will also see a written confirmation that EE is both active and attuned to the correct element when you see “Vulnerable to Fire, Vulnerable to Cold” listed on the mob’s affixes. With trash this may be hard to see, but with rares and bosses, you should be able to see this on mouseover targeting. It will look like this:










Check me out on Twitch! http://www.twitch.tv/brittleknee
Last edited by brittleknee on Sep 13, 2019, 7:12:30 PM
Last bumped on Sep 18, 2019, 3:15:02 AM


3.0. Early Gearing & Budget Setup

3.1. Required Uniques


Tavukai
Introduced in Legion League (3.7) this amulet allows our SRS to detonate with Minion Instability due to a Chaos DOT that is inflicted on our minions. Remember to pick an ammy which reduces minion’s chaos resistance the most (-17%) so that they will detonate faster. It is also a great source of Minion Life% and Minion Damage%.




Bloodbond
This body armor was chosen due to its relative price, but more importantly because it scales Minion Life. Though it comes with a skill, Blood Offering, we will not be using this ability at all. Other armors are generally less preferred so here’s to hoping it stays affordable!




Magna Eclipsis
Unlike Pure-DPS SRS, this build does not utilize Necromantic Aegis, so we’ll be picking out a nice, defensive shield for ourselves. I picked Magna due to its high armor, +2 gems, Life and of course, Elemental Aegis. Elemental Aegis is a self-refreshing bubble which will absorb up to 1000 incoming elemental damage at a time.




Rumi’s Concoction
Another important part in the equation that helps mitigate incoming damage. This augments some of the block we already take from the passive tree and skills, and the granite base helps out Molten shell.




Lavianga’s Spirit
This is a powerful tool for MoM builds as it can quickly replenish your mana pool while you get n-cost casting during its effect.




Blood of the Karui
This potion is extremely powerful when combined with Ryslatha’s Pantheon, and passive tree nodes. It has the ability, when at low life, to heal you 8410hp over 1.67 seconds. This provides a tremendous amount of survivability, plus the instant heal to full life at the completion of flask effect is quite nice.



Careful Planning
Easily solve the Dexterity requirement most Summoners face with one simple jewel. Careful planning, when socketed in the jewel socket west of the witch starting area, provides a total of 114 Dexterity if it is a +24 Roll.




3.2. End-Game Gem Setup

Chestpiece:
Summon Raging Spirits, Minion Damage, Minion Life, Elemental Focus, Unleash/Echo (whichever you prefer), Concentrated Effect

Helm:
Shield Charge, Culling Strike, Fortify, Faster Attacks

Gloves:
Storm Brand, Curse on Hit, Flammability, Elemental Weakness

Boots:
Cast When Damage Taken, Vaal Molten Shell (2-Link), Flame Dash and Faster Casting or Portal.

Main Hand:
Desecrate, Flesh Offering, Tempest Shield

Shield:
Rallying Cry, Vaal Haste, Clarity


3.3. Flasks




Karui and Lavianga work in conjunction to buff out incoming damage. Sometimes you will need to hit both at the same time for it to function as a very powerful life flask.

Rumi’s the the best choice for augmenting some of the block values we’ve picked up from the passive tree and from using Tempest Shield.

The other two can be defensive, or one defense one quicksilver. Entirely up to you!


3.4. Jewels




Your priorities for stats on Abyss Jewels should be:
  • 1. + Life, Mana, or Armor (Pick whichever stat you can afford.)
  • 2. Minions have x% increased Maximum Life
  • 3. Minions Deal x% Damage when using a Minion Skill Recently



3.5. Crafting


Crafting Jewelry

Using a Essence of Fear on a ring or amulet will result in a minion movement speed affix. This is a huge quality of life improvement and works several ways synergistically with the build. It first helps by allowing your minions to chain between packs of mobs more easily, as this seems to lengthen their aggro radius since they can cover more distance. This contributes to the ‘rolling wave’ playstyle by limiting your need to resummon once you arrive at a new pack, allowing you to supplement your existing SRS as you go, rather than having to rebuild your SRS between packs. Furthermore, since this is a all-in-one build, faster minion speed means faster farming. It also means faster arrival time for your SRS to bosses which change positions during a fight, resulting in a higher DPS uptime.

Ideally, you’ll want high life (70+), a resist or two, and maybe a helpful stat such a Dexterity for a ring or amulet to be ‘good.’ But there are plenty of other combinations of stats which can also be useful, such as Mana Regen, + Mana, or even Rarity. A Screaming Essence of Fear will net you 19-22% minion movement speed per jewelry item.


Some examples are:



Budget Setup


Currently the only existing setup is the “budget setup.” After min-maxing the build, the budget setup will be found here.








5.0. End Game

5.1. Final Build Gear


This is what I ended up with at the end of the build experiment in Legion. The goal was to put together a build for under 200C. I ended up spending 180C. The plethora of Temple Items dropped by Legion Rares and the prevalence of 6L helped immensely. Bloodbond is not the most sought after Minion body armor but that could change in the upcoming patch, so take this with a grain of salt.




5.2. Improving Further


There is so much more that could be done with the build! Let’s get into a few:

First and foremost there are enchants I missed out on because I wasn’t willing to pay for the open affix to enchant, so that would definitely be the first and easiest way to buff damage.

In the upcoming league we will also be using the specific Minion Wand versus the temple rare, though making sure it has the socketed spells triggered enchant is a must for the build to still function.

Some legion jewels grant a tremendous amount of minion life (80%+) but will conquer some of the life nodes and block nodes in the Templar area.

The new jewel will bring us down to a 2 second Detonation which will sharply increase DPS, but also must go in the same place the Legion jewel would, so it would be a ‘choose one or the other’ situation.





Check me out on Twitch! http://www.twitch.tv/brittleknee
Last edited by brittleknee on Sep 5, 2019, 3:04:33 PM


6.0. Frequently Asked Questions

6.1. Frequently Asked Questions


How can I figure out my detonation delay?
Xayazi(Aeui) has created a handy tool which you can use:
https://tinyurl.com/yxsbykdg

How does Minion Instability scale?
The wiki has a wonderful article about scaling MI, found here: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Minion_Instability

What’s better, Minion Life or Minion Damage?
Increased minion damage and minion life are multiplicative for Minion Instability, so at a given moment, if you can increase them by the same absolute value, it’s better to increase whichever has the lower total value. Overall, you end up with much lower total minion life than minion damage, hence minion life will almost always provide more DPS.

Molten Shell? Flame Dash? You know how EE Works, right?
We use Storm Brand as a primary applicator for EE in this build. EE is applied on a spell-by-spell basis and the debuff lasts for 4 seconds, which means it can be over-written at any time. Even during your damage reflect phase from molten shell, or even if you flame dash through an enemy, it will be overwritten almost instantly due to Storm Brand’s activation/cast speed.

How do I know if I have enough Mana for MoM?
Ghazzy made an awesome MoM tool, which can be found here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/49yos2/mind_over_matter_ehp_calculator/


6.2. Troubleshooting Common Issues


This area will be compiled when there is more feedback from the thread.














8.0. Credits, Updates, Changelog

Credits


A big thank you to Xayazi, who is basically the PoB equivalent of Spellcheck. Thanks for always being willing to look over my builds, even when I send them over in the middle of the night. He also created the tool located in the FAQ section which helps calculate the detonation delay for your SRS.

I’d also like to thank all of my followers as well as subscribers, in addition to those of you in-game on the forums who have helped me work on this build and recommend things to try and content to write. You’re all legends!


Updates

Archived updates posted at the top of the guide at the beginning of a new league will be moved here at the league’s conclusion.


Changelog



5 Sept 2019 - Build Published





Check me out on Twitch! http://www.twitch.tv/brittleknee
Last edited by brittleknee on Sep 5, 2019, 3:05:54 PM
*UNNECESSARILY ANGRY COMMENT*
"
Sir_Brucible wrote:
*UNNECESSARILY ANGRY COMMENT*


You always know the perfect things to say.

Check me out on Twitch! http://www.twitch.tv/brittleknee
dank
Nice build, cought the rest of your stream today. I used this build with slight variations as my league starter for Blight and anointed Ravenous Horde on my Tavukai. Currently I'm level 92 and clearing the rest of my atlas from red tier maps.

For you setup of PoB I would suggest picking up Mystic Bulwark instead of some other mana node like Deep Toughts. I think the 8% additional spell block is worth it.

Personally I skipped a bunch of the Templar / Marauder area to get down to Battle Rouse, Soul of Steel and Bloodless. I'm also not totaly sold the Fortified Legion jewel for me because I use Solar Guard Specters in 6-Link Body Armour with Combustion, Elemental Army, GMP, Spell Echo, MD as Support for my SRS.

"
uTz84 wrote:
Nice build, cought the rest of your stream today. I used this build with slight variations as my league starter for Blight and anointed Ravenous Horde on my Tavukai. Currently I'm level 92 and clearing the rest of my atlas from red tier maps.

For you setup of PoB I would suggest picking up Mystic Bulwark instead of some other mana node like Deep Toughts. I think the 8% additional spell block is worth it.

Personally I skipped a bunch of the Templar / Marauder area to get down to Battle Rouse, Soul of Steel and Bloodless. I'm also not totaly sold the Fortified Legion jewel for me because I use Solar Guard Specters in 6-Link Body Armour with Combustion, Elemental Army, GMP, Spell Echo, MD as Support for my SRS.



For sure! Always adapt builds that suit you best and absolutely, Fortress Covenant is not a good idea if using other minions.

There was an early tree that had Mystic Bulwark, it was some four-node spell block wheel, but I went for more minion life instead. I am hesitant to drop below the recommended mana for MoM at this time because in this particular setup there's not much beyond flasking for regaining large amounts of mana during heavy damage.

The thought is to eventually work in the Clarity watcher's eye with mana recovery on skill (like a baby Weave the Arcane). This reliable recovery would allow for additional wiggle room, be it dropping Lavi's entirely for an additional defensive flask or allowing the MoM ratio to be a bit off.

This will be my second project of the league granted I can get my first build off the ground and I'm excited to fully min-max it.

Thanks for stopping by the stream!
Check me out on Twitch! http://www.twitch.tv/brittleknee
I also try to maintain above ~43% total unreserved Mana for MoM. I just get more total mana from Gear. (like the Xopec's Roll on gloves)

My planned build currently looks like this https://pastebin.com/rz5J2502
Could see me using Unwavering Stance with a armour based chest and/or Whsipers of Doom in the future.
"The new jewel will bring us down to a 2 second Detonation which will sharply increase DPS, but also must go in the same place the Legion jewel would, so it would be a ‘choose one or the other’ situation"


Name of this new jewel?

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