[3.18] Enki's CI Dominating Blow Guardian

Ashes of the Stars got really expensive. I'll eventually rework this build, for now you can use Shaper amulet with Mana Reservation Efficiency instead to fit all auras in.

Welcome to my Dominating Blow guide!

If you're looking for a tanky mapping build and don't mind the typical downsides of a minion build, then this one could be interesting for you!

Multiple defensive layers together with Chaos Inoculation, Aegis Aurora and the Guardian Ascendancy make this build pretty durable, an entire army of minions provide damage, distraction and make sure that you see absolutely nothing that's happening around you.

While the initial gear requirements are fairly low and make this a good starter build, getting the endgame setup running requires some specific gear and makes it mostly a build for trade leagues.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the help section within my Discord channel!

I also stream daily at twitch.tv/enki91!

Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/Q3z8VAAP
(Read the Notes inside to set it up properly!)
Requires the Path of Building Community Fork

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Videos

Maze of the Minotaur

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Pros & Cons

+ very tanky with the endgame setup
+ great clearspeed in linear maps and heists
+ low gear requirements to get started with the build
+ good damage for a tanky build with all minions summoned
- all the skills and buffs make it a button intensive playstyle
- summoning your minions in a new instance is painful
- requires gem swapping for endgame bossfights
- the endgame setup can get a bit expensive

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Main Mechanics

Minions

Minions are allies with their own stats, skillset and behaviour. They scale independent from the player with their own Minion modifiers, yet are also affected by auras and anything that modifies their skillgem. Most Minions persist until they either die or their duration runs out and will act on their own while summoned.


Energy Shield

Energy Shield is an additional hitpool that by default protects life and takes all damage until it's depleted, except for Chaos Damage. It can be leeched, regenerated and has its own Recharge mechanic, which by default starts if no damage was taken for 2 seconds and replenishes Energy Shield by 20% per second. Furthermore, having any Energy Shield grants 50% chance to avoid Stuns that is rolled seperately from other stun avoidance.

This build uses the Chaos Inoculation keystone to gain immunity to Chaos Damage. It also sets your maximum Life to 1, which makes Energy Shield your primary hitpool.


Block

Block prevents all damage and ailments from a hit, except for stuns. It's separated into Chance to Block Attacks and Chance to Block Spells, both having a default cap of 75%. Damage over Time can't be blocked unless it's applied through a hit and that hit was blocked.

This build uses the Glancing Blows keystone, which doubles all block chance gains but makes you take 65% of damage from a blocked hit. While not that great on its own, this works well together with the Aegis Aurora unique shield and provides great sustain against multiple hits.


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Act 1-10 Progression

Spoiler

This part contains everything you need to know about the build while getting through the acts.
If you're new, I recommend checking out my Beginner Tips and Act Progression guides.

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Notes

‣ You'll only get one gem as quest reward. If there are multiple gems from the same quest listed below, you have to buy the others from the currency vendor in that acts town.

‣ Your auras and buff minions don't need to be actively on your skill bar. You can activate them and then unbind them, or bind them to your secondary skillbar by holding CTRL.

‣ Set Dominating Blow, Flesh Offering and Flame Dash to Always Attack without Moving. You can find this option at the top when left-clicking the skill on your skillbar.

‣ Use Flesh Offering and Convocation while clearing, mark tough enemies and bosses with Predator and Poacher's Mark. Desecrate creates corpses for Flesh Offering during bossfights.

‣ After getting your hideout and unlocking recipes starting in late Act 2, use your Crafting Bench to add Resistances, Life, Attack Speed, Intelligence, Dexterity or Strength to your gear.

‣ Wear a Heavy Belt and Jade- or Lapis Amulet for early attribute requirements.

‣ You can use pretty much any One-Handed Melee Weapon, preferable are Foils or Claws with high Attack Speed. If you have any Essences of Fear, you can use them on a base with atleast 1.5 Attacks per Second and then add Attack Speed with your Crafting Bench, this will last you until your endgame weapon.

‣ You can craft a helmet with +1 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems with the recipes below. This is a nice boost in power with Dominating Blow socketed in there, or Summon Raging Spirit before Level 28.

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Recipes

Helmet with "+1 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems"
Magic Helmet + Life Flask of the Novice + Orb of Alteration

Life Flask of the Novice
any Life Flask + Bone Spirit Shield + Orb of Transmutation

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Passive Tree Goals

Act 1 | Act 2 | Act 3 | Act 4 | Act 5 | Act 6 | Act 7 | Act 8 | Act 9 | Act 10

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Bandits

Kill Kraityn | Kill Alira | Kill Oak

to gain 2 Passive Skill Points from Eramir in the Forest Encampment

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Gem Progression

Summon Raging Spirit (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1) -> Dominating Blow (Sever the Right Hand, Act 3)
+ Minion Damage (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Melee Splash (The Caged Brute, Act 1)
+ Predator (Sharp and Cruel, Act 2)

For Bossfights: Swap Melee Splash with Multistrike (The Eternal Nightmare, Act 4)

Steelskin (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Flesh Offering (The Siren's Cadence, Act 1)
+ Convocation (Lost in Love, Act 3)
+ Increased Duration (A Fixture of Fate, Act 3)

Desecrate (Intruders in Black, Act 2)

Poacher's Mark (A Fixture of Fate, Act 3)

Frostblink (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1) -> Flame Dash (The Caged Brute, Act 1)

Summon Holy Relic (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Summon Carrion Golem (Breaking the Seal, Act 4)
+ Feeding Frenzy (A Fixture of Fate, Act 3)

War Banner (Breaking Some Eggs, Act 1)
+ Clarity (The Caged Brute, Act 1) -> Pride (Lost in Love, Act 3)
+ Vitality (The Caged Brute, Act 1) -> Determination (Lost in Love, Act 3)

You need Sovereignty and its Reservation Mastery to swap Vitality to Determination.

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Flask Progression

Life Flask
Life Flask -> Quartz Flask (The Silver Locket, Act 7)
Mana Flask -> Basalt Flask (Safe Passage, Act 10)
Mana Flask -> Granite Flask (The Key to Freedom, Act 5)
Quicksilver Flask (Mercy Mission, Act 1)


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Passives & Ascendancy

Passives

Passives

Early Maps: Level 70 | Level 80

CI (Endgame): Level 80 | Level 90 | Level 100

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Masteries

Spiritual Command - 20% increased Effect of Offerings
Sacrifice - Convocation has 40% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate
Enduring Bond - Minions Attacks Overwhelm 20% Physical Damage Reduction
Indomitable Army - Minions have +8% to all maximum Elemental Resistances
Sovereignty - 15% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Influence - 14% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills
Unnatural Calm - Discipline has 25% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
Insightfulness - Gain 3% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield
Sanctum of Thought - Defend with 120% of Armour while not on Low Energy Shield


Early Maps only

Quick Recovery - +50 to maximum Life
Cruel Preparation - 10% increased maximum Life & 10% reduced Life Recovery Rate
Sacrifice & Sovereignty - same as above


Ascendancies

Radiant Crusade (Normal Labyrinth)
Grants 20% to Elemental Resistances and if there's atleast five allies around, also Onslaught and 10% more damage to you and nearby allies.

Unwavering Crusade (Cruel Labyrinth)
Speeds up nearby allies, gives them 30% AoE and makes them Intimidate and Unnerve enemies on hit to increase their damage output.

Time of Need (Merciless Labyrinth)
Makes you regenerate 30% of Life over 1s every 4s, which gets converted to Energy Shield Regeneration with Zealot's Oath and reduces the effect of curses on you by 80%, which is great to counter many mapmods.

Radiant Faith (Eternal Labyrinth)
Adds 10% of reserved Mana as Energy Shield, which is mostly needed once you switch to Chaos Inoculation and therefore your last Ascendancy notable to pick up.


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Gem Setup

Gem Setup before CI

Since this is only temporary for early maps until switching to the Chaos Inoculation setup, I won't go into much detail about the gems here.

Please read about Raise Spectre and Animate Guardian setups in the CI Gem Setup!

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Dominating Blow - Melee Splash - Melee Physical Damage - Predator - Brutality - Minion Damage
Raise Spectre - Animate Guardian - Meat Shield - Minion Life
Pride - Determination - War Banner
Molten Shell - Convocation - Flesh Offering - Increased Duration
Flame Dash - Desecrate - Poacher's Mark
Summon Holy Relic - Summon Carrion Golem - Feeding Frenzy


CI Gem Setup

Main Skill

Dominating Blow - Melee Splash - Melee Physical Damage - Predator - Brutality - Minion Damage

Dominating Blow is an attack that debuffs enemies on hit and spawns a Sentinel of Dominance with the affected monsters rarity, prefix and suffix modifiers if it dies while being debuffed, and also has a 25% chance to spawn a normal Sentinel of Dominance upon hitting a unique monster. The Sentinels count as minions, remain for a duration and up to 9 normal-, 3 magic- and 1 rare Sentinel can be spawned at the same time.

The support gems focus on increasing the minions physical damage and clearspeed. Predator lets you mark an enemy your minions should focus on, which is great for bosses and rare monsters. Additionally, the marked enemy also takes more damage.

For Endgame Bosses and Guardians, it's recommended to switch Melee Splash with Multistrike for better damage output.

The goal is to get Phantasmal Dominating Blow asap. Its quality bonus gives another normal Sentinel of Dominance per 10%, that's up to five additional ones with Ashes of the Stars!

On a very high budget, add in Awakened versions of all the support gems except for Predator, which has none.

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Buff Minions

Raise Spectre - Animate Guardian - Meat Shield - Minion Life

These minions are here to grant various buffs and are customizable.

Raise Spectre summons a monster from its corpse with additional damage, survivability and speed. By default, this build can summon two spectres. Good choices are either two Carnage Chieftains found in the Old Fields to gain Frenzy Charges, or just one of them and an Arena Master. These spawn in Drox-influenced maps and occasionally give a massive 20% Attack- Cast- & Movement Speed buff.

Animate Guardian summons a minion that can be equipped with a weapon, shield, body armour, helmet, gloves and boots. To do so, simply throw the items on the ground and use the skill while hovering them one by one.

Only one Guardian can be active at a time, and all its items are lost upon death. That's why it's advisable to not give it any items that you can't afford to lose, and wait with its endgame setup until you can make sure that it won't die.

Two item set recommendations for it can be found below in the Gear section.

The suppport gems make them tankier and change their behaviour to defensive.

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Auras

Pride - Determination - Purity of Elements - Enlighten

These auras reserve mana to grant permanent buffs, in this case a huge amount of armour, elemental resistances and elemental ailment immunity. Pride increases the physical damage that nearby enemies take, which goes up even more if they stay within range for 4s.

Enlighten reduces the amount of mana these auras reserve. A Level 3 Enlighten and a helmet with atleast 17% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency or 10% + Pride has 30% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency enchantment are needed to run all of these auras. Before that, disable Pride.

Divergent Pride and Anomalous Purity of Elements can be used for additional effect.

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Auras

Discipline - War Banner

Even more auras. These grants energy shield, accuracy for your minions and make nearby enemies take more physical damage. War Banner can be temporarily placed to gain a bigger effect, which is nice during bossfights.

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Mobility

Flame Dash - Convocation

Flame Dash is for your own mobility. It has three uses that replenish after a cooldown and lets you teleport almost instantly to a targeted point within range, and even lets you pass obstacles.

Convocation is for your minions mobility. It instantly teleports all minions around you and gives them life regeneration for 2s, then goes on a cooldown. This is good to get them out of sketchy situations or help them out if they get stuck behind something.

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Buffs & Curse

Vaal Molten Shell - Flesh Offering - Poacher's Mark

Vaal Molten Shell grants two skills, the regular Molten Shell and its buffed up Vaal version.
Both grant armour and an additional hitpool based on your total armour for a duration.

The Vaal version requires souls to be used, which are primarily gained by killing monsters or at certain thresholds during bossfights. After being used, it goes into Soul Gain Prevention for some time during which it can't be charged up for another use.

Flesh Offering consumes up to five corpses and grants your minions Attack-, Cast- and Movement Speed for a duration.

Poacher's Mark is a mark curse that makes enemies take more physical damage, adds physical damage to hits against them and grants life and mana on hit against them. Its dexterity requirement won't allow you to fully level it, keep it at whatever is the highest you can run.

Divergent Flesh Offering and Anomalous Poacher's mark can be used to maximize their effect.

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Buff Minions

Summon Holy Relic - Summon Carrion Golem - Feeding Frenzy

Summon Holy Relic summons a minion that triggers an AoE when you attack an enemy, which deals Physical damage to them and grants Life Regeneration to you and your minions.

Summon Carrion Golem raises a golem that grants additional physical damage to your minions.

Feeding Frenzy puts the linked minions into aggressive behaviour and gives them a chance to proc the Feeding Frenzy buff, which grants all minions 10% more damage and 10% Attack- Cast- and Movement Speed.

Anomalous Summon Carrion Golem can be used for a bigger buff effect.

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Unset Ring

Desecrate

This is needed to crate corpses for Flesh Offering during bossfights and to spawn your spectres. Since all sockets are already full at this point, this requires an Unset Ring to fit in.


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Gear & Flasks

Gear

Weapon

There's really only one weapon for this build, and that's The Scourge. This unique claw is decently fast to quickly get your Sentinels spawned, grants your minions Attack Speed and Damage if you've hit within the last 4s and makes any increases to Minion Damage apply to your damage at 150% of their value, which once again helps getting your Sentinels spawned.

Look for better Attack Speed rolls on a higher budget and eventually perfect rolls and an Attack Speed corruption.

Harvest Enchantment: +1 to Weapon Range per 10% Quality

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Shield

Your first shield should be Victario's Charity. It gives a chance to grant Frenzy Charges to nearby minions on hit to help with their uptime while spectre survivability is still low. Aside from that, it also gives some Life, Resistances and additional AoE for your auras, which helps keeping your minions affected by them.

Once you switch to CI, switch to Aegis Aurora. It has overall pretty good defensive stats, raises your maximum Cold Resistance by 5% and replenishes your Energy Shield by 2% of your Armour on Block. This has great synergy with this builds big armour pool and Glancing Blows, which helps keeping the investment into Block low.

On a very high budget, get an Aegis Aurora with Chance to Block Spells or increased maximum Energy Shield corruption, or even both.

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Body Armour

Your first body armour should be Armour-based and have 80+ Life and Resistances.

Once you switch to CI, get a Skin of the Loyal. It gives 100% increased Global Defenses, which affects your Armour and Energy Shield and also raises the Level of Socketed Gems by +1 to raise your Sentinels damage. It's sixlinked by default, but also has locked socket colours and therefore you need to get one with fitting colours.

On a very high budget, get a Skin of the Loyal with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems or +2 to Level of Socketed Duration Gems corruption, or even both.

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Helmet

Your first helmet needs to be Armour-based with 70+ Life, Resistances and +2 to Level of Socketed Minions Gems to raise the survivability of your Spectres and Animate Guardian.
The enchantment doesn't matter at this budget yet.

Once you switch to CI, you want to use a Hubris Circlet with atleast 200+ Energy Shield. If you want to use all auras, it needs to have either Pride has 30% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency or similar for Determination or Purity of Elements as enchantment and 10% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills from a Deafening Essence of Loathing or the Essence modifier and atleast 7% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills as Eater of Worlds implicit in addition to the Level 3 Enlighten. The latter solution allows you to get a more beneficial helmet enchantment instead.

On a very high budget, get a Hubris Circlet
with 250+ Energy Shield, 17%+ total increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills and an open suffix to craft +25 to Dexterity and Intelligence. Having atleast +2 to Levels of Socketed Minion Gems on top of that would make it an absolute GG helmet.

Eldritch Implicits: As previously mentioned, getting the #% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills Eater of Worlds implicit helps running all auras. As for the Searing Exarch, the implicits to aim for are #% reduced Mana Cost of Attacks to help with sustain or Minions have #% increased Movement Speed for better damage output.

Enchantment: Flesh Offering grants an additional 21% increased Attack Speed

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Gloves

Your first gloves should be Armour-based and have 70+ Life, Resistances and Attack Speed.

Once you switch to CI, you want gloves with atleast 150+ Energy Shield, Resistances and an open suffix to craft +25 to Dexterity and Intelligence.

On a very high budget, get the same but with 200+ Energy Shield instead.

Eldritch Implicits: The Searing Exarch modifier Strike Skills target 1 additional nearby Enemy helps with debuffing as many enemies as possible. The only interesting Eater of Worlds implicit here is #% increased Effect of your Marks.

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Boots

Your first boots should be Armour-based with 20%+ Movement Speed, 70+ Life and Resistances. The enchantment doesn't matter at this budget yet.

Once you switch to CI, upgrade to boots with 20%+ Movement Speed, 100+ Energy Shield, Resistances and an open suffix to craft +25 to Dexterity and Intelligence.

On a very high budget, get the same with 35% Movement Speed and 150+ Energy Shield.

Eldritch Implicits: Both influences have two choices here. The Searing Exarch offers Flesh Offering has #% increased Effect for damage or Drops Sapped Ground while moving, last # seconds, this requires luring the enemy onto this ground effect to reduce their damage. The Eater of Worlds has #% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills for Flame Dash or #% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate, which affects all skills with a cooldown.

Enchantment: 10% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently

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Amulet

All your first amulet needs is 50+ Life, Dexterity and optionally an open suffix to craft Minions have #% increased Movement Speed. The anointment doesn't matter at this budget yet.

Once you switch to CI, you want to use Ashes of the Stars. This amulet raises the Level of all Skills Gems by +1, gives increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills to help running all auras and adds up to 30% Quality to all Skill Gems. This is overall great, but has the most impact once using Phantasmal Dominating Blow. With 20% Quality on the gem and a 30% roll from this amulet, that will allow you to summon five additional normal Sentinels, which raises their limit from 9 to 14.

This amulet drops from the Eater of Worlds and can be farmed.

On a very high budget, get a 30% Ashes of the Stars together with +1% to all maximum Resistances or Pride has #% increased Aura Effect corruption, or even both.

Anointment: Charisma

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Rings

Your first rings need to have 50+ Life, Resistances, Mana Regeneration Rate and optionally an open suffix to craft Minions have #% increased Movement Speed.

Once you switch to CI, one of your rings needs to be Valyrium. This ring bases your Stun Treshold on your Energy Shield instead of your nonexistant Life, and also gives some Energy Shield and Fire Resistance, but lowers Cold Resistance.

The other ring needs to be an Unset Ring to fit in Desecrate, and should have Energy Shield, Resistances and an open suffix to craft +25 to Dexterity and Intelligence. 40+ Mana or 40%+ increased Mana Regeneration Rate are good additions for better mana sustain.

On a very high budget, add #% increased maximum Energy Shield to the Unset Ring and #% increased Effect corruptions for any of the auras this build uses on Valyrium.

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Belt

Your first belt just needs to have 80+ Life and Resistances.

Once you switch to CI, you want to use Darkness Enthroned. This belt has two Abyssal Sockets and increases the effect of socketed Abyss Jewels by 75%. Even with just Energy Shield + Minion Attack Speed jewels it's strong, and just gets better the better your socketed jewels are.

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Jewels

All your regular jewels, including the ones going into Darkness Enthroned should be Ghastly Eye Jewels with 25+ Energy Shield and Minions have #% increased Attack Speed. Good additions are Minions deal # to # additional Physical Damage or Minions deal #% increased Damage if you've used a Minion Skill Recently, one of them should also have Minions Leech #% of Damage as Life to increase their survivability.

Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh are optional choices that grant the listed notable from any of your classes Ascendancies if used together. The notable to go for is Sanctuary, it creates Consecrated Ground around you while standing still, which heals you and your minions and also makes enemies standing on your Consecrated Ground take 15% increased damage.

Watcher's Eye is another optional choice that comes with up to three aura-related affixes. The affix to aim for is +% Chance to Block Spell Damage while affected by Discipline to increase the effectiveness of Aegis Aurora. Good additions are below:

Watcher's Eye Affixes

‣ +# Energy Shield gained for each Enemy Hit while affected by Discipline
‣ Regenerate #% of Energy Shield per Second while affected by Discipline
‣ #% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge while affected by Discipline
‣ +# to Armour while affected by Determination
‣ #% additional Physical Damage Reduction while affected by Determination
‣ You take #% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes while affected by Determination


Animate Guardian Gear

Here are two setups for your Animate Guardian to raise its survivability and grant buffs.

Remember that all items are lost when Animate Guardian dies!

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Low Budget

Dying Breath - Buffs your auras, curses and makes enemies take increased damage.

Leer Cast gives a minor damage increase to you and your minions.

Ambu's Charge grants Life Regeneration and Endurance Charges if the Guardian receives a crit, which are shared to you and your minions.

Southbound gives your Guardian a lot of Life. Aim for a 16% Life roll.

Victario's Flight grants you and your minions 10% Movement Speed.

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High Budget

Don't change to this before you have a Level 21 Animate Guardian and the full set!

Kingmaker grants you and your minions 10 Fortification and Culling Strike alongside some less relevant stuff.

Garb of the Ephemeral prevents nearby enemies from dealing Critical Strikes, which is a massive survivability increase. It also prevents your and your minions Action Speed from being lowered below the base 100%.

Mask of the Stitched Demon removes all Energy Shield from your Guardian and turns it into Life Regeneration at 1% per 500 Energy Shield. Together with its huge lifepool and the 20% of Life gained as Energy Shield from Grave Intentions, this turns into a lot of sustain.

Southbound gives your Guardian a lot of Life. Aim for a 16% Life roll.

Victario's Flight grants you and your minions 10% Movement Speed.


Flasks

Before crafting any of these flasks, use an Orb of Scouring to make them normal-rarity and then use 4 Glassblower's Baubles to raise their quality to 20%!

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Sulphur Flask

Before you switch to the CI build, use a Divine Life Flask instead. It should have any reduced Amount Recovered/Instant Recovery when on Low Life prefix to stay safe, add of Sealing with the Menagerie to remove Bleed and Corrupted Blood.

Once you've switched to CI, replace this with a Sulphur Flask. It grants some damage and creates Consecrated Ground on use. Aim for any Maximum Charges or reduced Charges per use prefix together with a Grants Immunity to Bleeding.. suffix.

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Quartz Flask

This flask grants Phasing on demand, get any Increased Duration prefix here. Craft of the Deer with the Menagerie to remove Chill and Freeze before you switch to CI, afterwards switch to any reduced Effect of Curses on you.. suffix.

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Granite Flask

This flask grants a lot of armour. Get any Increased Duration prefix once again and add of the Conger with the Menagerie to remove Shock. After you switch to CI, replace it with any increased Armour.. suffix.

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Basalt Flask

This flask gives a huge armour multiplier and should be used in conjuction with the Granite Flask. Since it consumes 40 charges, aim for a prefix that either adds Maximum Charges or reduced Charges per use and add of the Urchin with the Menagerie to remove Ignite. Once you switch to CI, replace it with any Chance to Avoid being Stunned.. suffix.

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Quicksilver Flask

This flask grants additional movement speed for better mobility. Go for any increased Duration or reduced Duration/increased Effect prefix with any increased Movement Speed.. suffix.

The Quicksilver Flask from the Mercy Mission quest can't roll Movement Speed suffixes!


Upgrade Order

‣ Basic gear
‣ Flasks
‣ Low Budget Animate Guardian Gear
‣ CI Setup
‣ Phantasmal Dominating Blow
‣ Jewels
‣ Watcher's Eye
‣ Alternative Quality Gems
‣ Forbidden Flame & Forbidden Flesh w/ Sanctuary
‣ Level 21 Raise Spectre & Animate Guardian
‣ High Budget Animate Guardian Gear
‣ Awakened Gems
‣ High Budget Gear
‣ Awakened Multistrike


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Playstyle & Pantheon

Playstyle

Mapping

The first thing you'll notice is that this build requires many keybinds. To fit everything in, you'll have to make use of the secondary skill bar that gets toggled while holding CTRL.
My recommended setup, going from top left to bottom right is:

Molten Shell - Signal Prey - Dominating Blow
Flame Dash - Flesh Offering - Convocation - Vaal Molten Shell - Poacher's Mark
Secondary Skill Bar: Desecrate - Summon Holy Relic - Summon Carrion Golem

Having a mouse with side buttons really pays off here!

Before you enter any map, make sure that your Spectres, Animate Guardian, Holy Relic and Carrion Golem are summoned.

The first moments inside a new map are the most painful as you spawn without any Sentinels, but once you got them spawned it's pretty smooth. Just try not to backtrack too much, or your Sentinels will despawn. Unfortunately this also goes for league mechanics that require a choice first, or that give you no option to respawn your Sentinels such as the current Archnemesis.

Keep moving with Flame Dash and your Quicksilver Flask up, use Convocation if enemies are approaching and your minions aren't close enough or to get them out of danger and use your enemies corpses for Flesh Offering. If you see a rare enemy with a speed aura, attack it and mark it with Signal Prey to yoink that aura for yourself.

Recommended stats for tier 11+ maps
‣ CI Setup
‣ ~6k Energy Shield
‣ ~30k Armour without Flasks

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Mapmods to look out for

Don't try Hall of the Grandmasters, it will very likely kill your Animate Guardian!

Monsters reflect 18% of Physical Damage
Skip this, your minions would just kill themselves.

Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
Pretty risky and annoying, skip this.

Players have 60% less Recovery Rate of Life and Energy Shield
Another risky mod, but can be done if you play more cautiously.

Players have 40% reduced Chance to Block
Massively reduces the effectiveness of Aegis Aurora, and with that your sustain.

Area has patches of Burning Ground
Requires the Soul of Abberath upgrade to safely run, or just avoid the ground effect.

Monsters' skills Chain 2 additional times
Can be risky with some projectile-based monsters, especially if there's a lot of damage mods on the map. Soul of Lunaris with its last upgrade prevents projectiles to chain to you, but doesn't prevent any secondary effects these may cause that could still kill you.

Players have 60% reduced effect of Non-Curse Auras from Skills
Just generally annoying, why does this exist?

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Bossfights

Bossfights are for most of the part smooth as long as they aren't in a new instance or have a very long spawn animation. If you have your Sentinels spawned, cast Desecrate and Flesh Offering before starting the fight, then move to the boss and mark it with Signal Prey and Poacher's Mark, then keep attacking to keep your Sentinels up. Refresh Signal Prey and Flesh Offering when needed. Use your Granite- + Basalt Flask and Vaal Molten Shell if there's a lot of expected damage incoming, that you can't move away from.

If your Sentinels aren't spawned while approaching the boss, well, good luck. You have to keep attacking until they are spawned, with the boss very likely keeping focus on you.

If you want to do any iteration of Atziri, switch your Minor Pantheon to Soul of Yugul and use Sibyl's Lament to stay safe from her reflected damage.


Pantheon

Soul of Arakaali (Major Pantheon)
Its default effect reduces the damage over time you take. The first two upgrades are worth getting to recover your energy shield faster after taking damage over time and make debuffs affecting you expire faster.

Soul of Gruthkul (Minor Pantheon)
It's default effect gives you up to 5% additional Physical Damage Reduction based on the number of hits you took within the last 4s while its upgrade lowers enemies Attack Speed by 8% upon hitting you, and is worth getting.


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Other Guides

Arc Elementalist
Lowlife Bane Occultist
Ancestral Warchief Chieftain
Molten Strike Champion

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Thanks for reading! Hope you like the build and have a nice day!
twitch.tv/enki91
Last edited by Enki91 on May 22, 2022, 4:12:35 AM
Last bumped on May 26, 2022, 12:28:36 PM
Excellent guide.

One thing to note -- The Oak Plank Kite Shield is only available in standard now since it was removed with Prophecy content.

Edit: Spectres I assume are 1x Carnage Chieftain and 1x Host Chieftain from Act 7 Ashen Field??
Last edited by Nightyb on Mar 18, 2022, 6:44:40 AM
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Nightyb wrote:
Excellent guide.

One thing to note -- The Oak Plank Kite Shield is only available in standard now since it was removed with Prophecy content.

Edit: Spectres I assume are 1x Carnage Chieftain and 1x Host Chieftain from Act 7 Ashen Field??

Oof indeed, thanks for the heads up! Changed it to Dying Breath in the budget AG setup.

Spectres are either 2x Carnage Chieftains or Carnage Chieftain + Arena Master.
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do you have a life version of it?
im playing a Dominating Blow atm, do you have some tips to improve dominating blow damage? really good guide, thank you!

im trying to fit some abyssal jewel with life/damage when you use a minion skill and physical damage to minions.

improving Dominating blow gem level helps alot?
Last edited by mirolino on Mar 18, 2022, 5:28:36 PM
How many Refund Points is required to switch to CI?
Hey I was wondering is using high ES vaal regalia wouldn't be better. On standart i have 650es vaal regalia and it gives me +1000 es compared to skin of the loyal. only down side i see is it not having plus gem level but other that that is better in almost every regard. or am i missing something ?
I'm thinking of league starting this in the upcoming 3.18 Sentinel League. It looks rather simple and easy to gear, which is great! After having played a CI/Aegis character in Archnemesis, I can't play anything else!

What is your method of dealing with ignites and degens in general? From my experience, ignites were the only thing that can kill a CI/Aegis build.

E: Didn't see that you run Purity of Elements. My bad!
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Last edited by OriginalPhee on May 1, 2022, 1:16:28 AM
I just completed a practice run up to level 81 following the guide. The life based version was pretty rough. Died to one shots a lot, and it felt very clunky without certain optimizations. That being said, after I switched to CI the build felt infinitely better. I was able to go from dying in T4s to being able to speed through T16s.

Some recommendations if anyone plans to play this:
-Annoint Tribal Fury early, perhaps pick up a Carnage Heart or something. This will infinitely improve the gameplay feel.

-Don't rush into Dominating Blow. If SRS is still doing a good job, you can totally skip using Dom Blow until later on (Blood Aquaducts isn't a bad place to switch). Dom Blow suffers from requiring a good weapon early on, so leveling SRS will be more consistent.

-When you do switch to Dom Blow, you can try running Multistrike and Melee Splash together. It will be less damage but it helps with targeting and spawning your sentinels.

-Before switching to CI, level up to at least 82 and put 2 points into mana regen by the ES at Witch start. You will have enough mana to cast all your spells but not enough regen to cast them frequently.

Overall, pretty solid league starter. I'll probably do one more speed run to maps just to get the leveling down. Looking forward to trying the pinnacle bosses with it in 3.18!

Edit: Running Ancestral Cry is also a solid choice to make Dom Blow smoother!
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Last edited by OriginalPhee on May 4, 2022, 2:10:38 PM
Would this be recommended for a more beginner-intermediate PoE player? :D I am returning to this League after quite a bit of not playing (I come from Heist and Harvest), and have also never used a minion build before.
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MisterPanda81 wrote:
Would this be recommended for a more beginner-intermediate PoE player? :D I am returning to this League after quite a bit of not playing (I come from Heist and Harvest), and have also never used a minion build before.

It's a great starter and should serve you well. A great starter, and the one I'm going to use. (not necessarily this guide directly, but CI Dom Blow Guardian in general)

Switching from Life->CI can be tricky, so take your time and be cautious, but the build functions quite well as life.

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