[3.24] Dominating Blow Champion - Necropolis-Ready Crit Adrena-minions

Dominating Blow has been a steady league-starter for years. In recent leagues, however, more and more tools have been added to keep scaling minion damage deep into the endgame. Maata's Teaching is the latest addition to our toolbox, bringing with it a massive boost to the minion crit archetype.

And while it's often the case that builds get ported over to Champion to make a tanky but weaker version of that build, here it's done instead for pure damage.

3.24 Necropolis:

There are a few big changes coming to the build compared to last league. We'll miss things like Affliction's spectres and Penance Mark, and the removal of the "banner skills have no reservation" mod means our double banner setup is locked to Champion again for now. Necropolis still has unclear potential with spectres from the league mechanic and T17 maps, and its new crafting modifiers may also give us some interesting tools to work with.

The main change to the core build comes from the overhaul to instant skills bound to left-click. Alongside that, the Call to Arms keystone was replaced and turned into a support gem.

We previously had Battlemage's Cry bound on left-click to fully automate our Desecrate - Offering - Curse. Since offerings don't affect us, we didn't strictly need 100% uptime, but it was very convenient. Not only did the AoE taunt synergize with Champion's ascendancy, but warcry cluster jewels were a decent place for minion Onslaught. There are a few ways to try to work around the changes:

Battlemage's Cry
1. Non-instant Battlemage's Cry on left-click is playable but unpleasant as you are interrupted every ~6 seconds to warcry.

2. Binding Battlemage's Cry elsewhere and using it manually is doable, but you lose some uptime on Onslaught if using the warcry cluster, or you might find warcrying manually to only be worth the hassle for bosses.

3. Fitting in Call to Arms Support means taking either Desecrate or Curse out of the trigger setup. Moving the Curse to another socket means replacing something non-essential but convenient, like Shield Charge, and casting the curse manually. Removing Desecrate instead, the Offering still has decent uptime while mapping (even with Melee Splash consuming more corpses), but it doesn't work for single-target situations. Gem swapping might be the solution to that, but it would require a white socket.

4. Using Arcanist Brand instead of Battlemage's Cry loses the taunt synergy, the utility from warcry cluster jewels, and still has to be casted manually, but it does let you use Multistrike/Awakened Multistrike in your main gem links.

Minor changes:

The Convocation skill had some changes to its gem to give higher life regen, and it can also be granted by minion items. Given that our weapon slots are occupied by unique items, we'll still need to work around the socket pressure.

The new Warlord's Call keystone replaces Call to Arms. My overinflated ego takes some small measure of responsibility for it being changed to a minion keystone. Sorry, everyone. Anyway, while we would gain some benefit from Battlemage's Cry (the buff would grant up to 30% increased crit chance for our minions), the downside is not being able to exert attacks, i.e., trigger our spells. Unless there's some unlikely interaction between Warlord's Call and Rallying Cry, I'm not sure there's much application for this new keystone for us.

A minor nerf is that Soul Eater has been changed to have a cap as well as to have stacks decay over time. Refreshing an Ascended Sentinel from Vaal Domination to maintain Soul Eater through a whole map is a religious experience, so hopefully 45 stacks is still enough to have some fun.

Outside the game, PoB for a while was miscalculating minion builds, and a big patch came through to adjust things for accuracy. If you were noticing a difference in the numbers, that might be a reason why.

Build Overview

Why Champion?
Firstly, of course, to get Fortitude to have permanent fortif-

Oh. Nevermind then. (More on that later)

The real answer is banners. The strength of War Banner and Dread Banner make physical/impale with Champion arguably the best way to scale Dominating Blow's damage.

Champion's Inspirational frees up banner reservation, grants aura effect, and gives bonus incentives for actually placing banners.

Banners? Plural?

The Perfidy body armour lets us bypass the restriction of only having a single banner, and it also grants random bonuses to banner skills.

War Banner, for example, besides completely solving minion accuracy and increasing the physical damage enemies take, grants 2.5 seconds of adrenaline to us and our minions when placed at maximum stages. Perfidy can triple this duration, up to 7.5 seconds. Our skill effect duration and, optionally, the otherwise underused reservation mastery "Non-curse aura skills have 50% increased duration" can bring this to almost 11 full seconds of adrenaline for our entire army.

Dread Banner gives our minions a massive chunk of impale chance which is another huge damage scaler. It also reduces enemies' accuracy, letting us easily reach 95% evasion cap.

And then there's Bannerman:

Why Dominating Blow?
While this build might serve as a reasonable template for other physical damage minions like Skeleton Warriors, Carrion Golems, or Zombies, there are a few hurdles to overcome.

War Banner only generates stages when you kill an enemy, which is a pretty rare occurrence in a minion build. Dread Banner only gains stages when you impale an enemy. Perfidy, among its numerous aforementioned benefits to the build, lets us generate stages for both banners on melee hit. As a strike skill, Dominating Blow satisfies these constraints, giving us banner stage generation even on bosses.

The fact that we're always attacking lets us solve another issue arising from our use of a unique weapon. Other minion builds often automate the casting of Desecrate and an Offering by crafting trigger on their weapon, which is of course not possible on Maata's Teaching.

We could use Arcanist Brand, but Dominating Blow gives us the ability to trigger offerings through Battlemage's Cry. The spells are triggered by attacks exerted by Battlemage's Cry, and the warcry's AoE taunt also synergizes with Champion's Conqueror and Worthy Foe. Also, unlike the trigger craft or things like Mark on Hit Support, Battlemage's Cry doesn't come with a mana cost multiplier. Call to Arms Support does have a cost multiplier, but it only affects the warcry itself.

Minion survivability?
Guardian and Necromancer offer more direct benefits to minions' survivability, but Champion can also be a team player. Conqueror, besides giving ourselves 10% reduced damage taken, also gives our minions 20% less damage taken.

Grace and Dread Banner give our minions almost 90% chance to evade attacks. Purity of Elements alone caps minion resistances which we raise to a maximum of 83% through the minion defense mastery.

Matua Tupuna greatly scales our minion aura effect, and it also especially boosts our Animated Guardian's and spectres' levels.

The easy levels give us a maximum of 3 spectres, and the AG has roughly 90k-100k life. Our AG turns out to be the actual Champion, granting us and the rest of our minions +10 fortification by wielding Kingmaker.

Pros and Cons
+ Free wings MTX
+ Most participatory-feeling minion build
+ Vaal Domination carrying Soul Eater through a whole map
+ Reliable league-starter that can fill out the atlas with cheap uniques
+ Many incremental upgrades that give a distinct feeling of progression
+ High top-end damage at (currently) cheap off-meta prices

- Melee
- Vaal Domination carrying Lightning Storm through a whole map
- Mechanically disadvantaged for many boss fights, invitations, or Sanctum where you need to ramp up minions
- Champion's distance to minion nodes makes it more awkward to league-start than other ascendancies
- Button-intensive on bosses
- Stifling amounts of socket pressure
- Noisy hideout

PoB and Gameplay
Endgame Suppression PoB
Endgame Pre-suppression PoB, slightly more damage

Note: Other auras and support gems were added but unchecked so that you can adjust them as you see fit. Flasks and guard skills are also unchecked.

Baseline PoB
This level 92 PoB has no spectres, Animated Guardian, jewels or cluster jewels, eldritch or corruption implicits, level 21 or awakened gems, Molten Shell, flasks, or War Banner Adrenaline.

Don't actually take Ancestral Bond, though--that's just to remove the x9 Full DPS setting from incorrectly multiplying our strike damage.

T16 map - Maze of the Minotaur
Searing Exarch - 80% quantity

Apologies for the poor video quality.

Mapping is fairly straightforward. You're usually casting your Vaal Domination when it reaches 3 charges. When you Shield Charge to the next pack of monsters, press Convocation and your Ascended Sentinels will flatten the whole pack with crisscrossing Sunders. Play more carefully around strongboxes as the corpse detonation can be deadly to your Animated Guardian, especially on maps with the otherwise innocuous increased monster life modifier.

When you reach the boss, you have a lot of buttons you can press to nuke it. Dropping your brittle ground and sentinels on it with Convocation, Vaal Haste, two banners, Focus shock, Signal Prey. If you can only manage to remember to place your banners, that's overkill enough though, to be honest.

Map mods to avoid:
Avoid physical reflect and no regeneration. Note that reduced aura effect can bring your resistances perilously low if you're relying on Purity of Elements to cap them.

Gems and Gear

We previously ignored the discrepancy between gems that supported either our sentinels' default strike attack or their crusade slam ability, focusing on their strike.

Now that gem quality increases minion cooldown recovery, getting quality would lose damage because they use their unsupported slam more often. In that case, it makes sense to switch to slightly less optimal but more general supports like Meat Shield, Empower, or Increased Critical Damage that can support both the strike and the slam.

Main 3R3B or 4R2B six-link:

Vaal Domination - Awakened Minion Damage - Awakened Brutality

These rarely, if ever, change. The remaining supports can vary depending on your gear and preferences for single-target damage or map clear, respectively:

Awakened Melee Physical <-> Awakened Melee Splash
Predator and/or Meat Shield<-> Fresh Meat

Melee Splash isn't necessary at all while mapping, but it is very comfy for our army's upkeep and enemy corpse removal.

Another option that might make invitation-style encounters slightly easier is a dual five-link with Vaal Domination - Summon Skeletons. Note that getting Vaal Summon Skeletons here would divide your soul gain further.

Banner 3R1G four-link:

War Banner - Dread Banner - Arrogance - Precision

If you are struggling with sockets, drop Precision and replace it with your free reservation aura from Aul's Uprising. However, all of your aura effect makes Precision a 20% damage aura just from the amount of crit chance, so it's highly beneficial to try to fit it in eventually.

Battlemage's Cry four-link:

Battlemage's Cry - Desecrate - Spirit Offering - Assassin's Mark or Call to Arms Support

Battlemage's Cry can either be automated with Call to Arms or cast manually. Using Call to Arms Support means replacing either Desecrate (and thus the Offering uptime on bosses) or your Curse (moving it elsewhere to replace one of your utility links).

If you need to resummon your spectres, you'll need to unsocket Battlemage's Cry so that you can self-cast Desecrate.

Before swapping to crit, you can use Flesh Offering and Punishment instead. Also note that the order the skills are socketed into your gear changes the order that they are triggered, starting at the top left socket and ending at the bottom left socket. Color your gear's sockets appropriately for Desecrate to trigger before your Offering.

Support minion 2B1R three-link:

Raise Spectre - Minion Life - Animate Guardian

Put these in your shield for more levels. Reaching level 25 on the Raise Spectre gem gives us a maximum of 3 spectres, and the AG's survivability is naturally very important because of the gear it's equipped with. You can make do without these summons for quite a while, but I would definitely advise making use of them when you swap the build over to crit. If you want your AG to cover you with Kingmaker more closely, you can play around with Meat Shield instead of Minion Life.

Main Auras:

Pride - Purity of Elements - Vaal Haste - Grace or Determination

Fitting in Vaal Haste is why we go for Aul's Uprising, so drop it if you're not there yet. Champion gets a bit of both evasion and armour scaling from the small ascendancy passives, so either defensive aura will be good. Flasks can provide a decent amount of the other. Of course, you can aim for maximum tankiness instead by running both Grace and Determination instead of Haste.

Quality on these auras provides area of effect, which is actually a helpful bonus (especially with Pride) that gives you better coverage of your minion army.

Utility minion 2B two-link:

Summon Holy Relic - Feeding Frenzy

Because you are constantly attacking, Summon Holy Relic is used to reliably provide the Feeding Frenzy buff. Its healing aura is stronger than Stone Golem, and it gets into less trouble despite the Aggressive tag from Feeding Frenzy

Guard Skill 2R two-link:

Cast when Damage Taken - Immortal Call or Molten Shell

Change your guard skill depending on your defensive aura. Immortal Call pairs with Grace and Molten Shell pairs with Determination.

If your Cast when Damage Taken is level 1, then cap Immortal Call at level 3 or Molten Shell at level 10. Remember that Vaal Molten Shell will divide your Vaal skill soul gain, making it take longer for Vaal Domination to be ready.

Unlinked utility skills:

Shield Charge | Flame Dash | Convocation

Shield Charge is okay without Faster Attacks because of Spiritual Command and Haste giving us attack speed. If you spam Shield Charge, note that it will consume exerts from your Battlemage's Cry, but it's not overly concerning while mapping. Also, charging into packs works just fine because of your capped accuracy. If you desperately need socket space, you can consider dropping it.


Core Uniques:

Besides +2 levels, Maata's Teaching gives our minions base crit chance. You don't necessarily have to use it until you're ready to fully swap into crit, but it's an important piece of the puzzle when you do.

Not only is Perfidy very neat, as the overview elaborates, but it looks stylish too. The War Banner duration modifier is the only one that is impactful here. The corruptions to look for are +1 to Socketed Gems, +2 to Socketed Minion Gems, or +2 to Socketed Duration Gems.

Matua Tupuna is a very common unique, so it's another place to look for good corruptions. The bonus levels to minion gems free up one socket that would otherwise go to making our AG tanky enough, and being granted a defensive aura frees up another socket on a very socket-starved build. If you are okay on sockets, consider a physical damage taken as elemental implicit.


Look for +2 to Level of all Minion Skill Gems here. The helmet is also a good place to get a lot of Intelligence.

The fractured suppression helmet was rolled with Bound - Dense - Pristine fossils for +2 Minion Skill Gems. Important to note is that a hybrid ES base makes it harder to roll with fossils.

A meaningful upgrade from here would probably require a helmet with fractured +2 Minion Skill gems, spamming Deafening Loathing essences until you hit suppression.


You're looking for things like life, elemental and chaos resistances, suppression, attack speed, or Dexterity. Also, either gloves, rings, or rare jewels are where you need to get one roll of physical attack damage leeched as mana.

The Exarch implicit for either 1 or 2 additional strike targets is also quite important. Early game, or on league-start, you can pick up Tribal Fury and the Attack Mastery for additional strike target.


Because your spectres are socketed in Matua Tupuna, you don't need Elder boots here to raise their gem level to 25 for a third spectre.

Exarch implicits are quite good here, with brittle ground giving more base crit that is pretty reliable because of your melee range.


Darkness Enthroned is a no-brainer here. Look for ghastly eye jewels with life, minion attack speed, minion damage if you've used a minion skill recently, minions have a chance to blind on hit with attacks, or any stats that you may be missing.

Minions deal additional physical damage is okay but not as impactful here because of our minions' already high base damage.


Replica Dragonfang's Flight is a very strong amulet to start with before acquiring Aul's Uprising.

Prioritize getting either a Grace, Haste, or Purity of Elements Aul's Uprising as they will ease attribute requirements. Paying more for Haste specifically is only beneficial before you put Precision in your Arrogance setup instead.

For the rings, make sure you get mana leech if you don't otherwise have it from your gloves or a rare jewel. Round out your rings with life, resistances, attributes, and the -mana craft. Shock nearby enemies when you focus is more damage if you don't mind pressing yet another button on bosses (I never remember it).

This build makes good use of many unique jewels:

3x Grand Spectrums with minion crit multiplier give +90% total crit multi. With the changes to lab, they're much rarer and more expensive to acquire, however. Cheaper alternatives include Fortress Covenant and Quickening Covenant, ideally placed in cluster jewel sockets to negate their downsides.

Another niche alternative for your jewel sockets is a Brute Force Solution paired with the Rational Doctrine jewel from Uber Cortex. By carefully matching your Strength and Intelligence totals, this combo gives both consecrated ground for sustain as well as 100% increased crit chance from profane ground.

For a timeless jewel, Brutal Restraint is a very good option that also helps us out with our Dexterity requirements. Look for things like aura effect, minion speed, or minion damage. Elegant Hubris can potentially achieve similar results, but it's less straightforward.

When you gather together enough spell suppression on gear, a tree respec along with the Green Nightmare socketed by the Scion start can help you reach the cap.

For the Watcher's Eye, you can safely ignore most offensive mods, such as the Pride mods, because you're a minion build. Attack speed from Precision provides at least some help in ramping up our minion count.

Look for chaos resistance while affected by Purity of Elements if you're lacking it from the rest of your gear, and physical damage taken as elemental is always good. Flat evasion while affected by Grace lets us easily reach 95% evasion cap without relying on conditionals like blind or placing our banners. You can get suppression here as well to help you cap it. If you're using Determination, reduced extra damage taken from crits, flat armour, or physical damage reduction are all meaningful defensive mods.

Lastly, our cluster jewels are quite important as we get very high value out of an 8-passive large minion damage cluster with 3 notables:

Feasting Fiends is our source of minion leech. Champion has to go slightly out of the way to get more minion survivability than other ascendancies.

Rotten Claws gives a decent amount of impale chance, and impale is a big scaler of our minions' damage.

Vicious Bite is the other big damage notable, granting crit chance and multi.

On our medium minion life cluster, Blessed Rebirth gives our fresh minions temporary invulnerability, and Dread March is mainly for giving our AG more chaos resistance and physical damage reduction. If you're using Battlemage's Cry, a warcry cluster jewel can give high uptime Onslaught for you and your minions as well as some additional armour scaling.

A small armour cluster jewel is used for Enduring Composure. The Endurance charge generation is helpful to shore up our weakness to physical damage as a result of using Grace instead of Determination. If you are using Determination, then this cluster jewel can be replaced.


Because we have reached 95% evasion without needing a Jade Flask or an increased evasion suffix, you can pick up a decent amount of armour from your flasks instead. This armour, scaled by your ascendancy points and the passive tree, is sizable enough to feel comfortable while mapping.

If you're using Determination instead of Grace, then you can swap this around to pick up evasion from your flasks instead.

The crafted mod "Damage Taken from Hits is Leeched as Life during Effect" comes from unveiling Cinderswallow Urn dropped by Catarina and gives us some recoup-style recovery. Of course, feel free to use Progenesis if you have it.

Animated Guardian
I know many people dislike the Animated Guardian as a liability, but fortunately ours is relatively affordable to put together.

Kingmaker is too good to pass up as a minion crit build. Dying Breath is the dirt cheap alternative, just make sure you actually pick up Champion's Fortitude for fortify in that case.

Body Armour:
Gruthkul's Pelt and Doppelgänger's Guise are comparable here, giving our AG more survivability through life regeneration.

Windscream gives our AG an additional curse. If we don't increase either his or our curse limit, our curses will overwrite each other's.

We want gloves with the corruption implicit "Curse enemies with Vulnerability on hit." The Embalmer is a typical pick here as they're a very common unique that also gives our AG more chaos resistance.

Again, Leer Cast is cheap and common. The 50% increased damage gives more than a helmet with elevated "Nearby enemies take increased physical damage."

To start, I pathed through the 2-handed weapon nodes and used Spectral Throw. The tree after that is fairly straightforward. A low-level Precision can help as you travel towards Resolute Technique.

Dominating Blow is not accessible until level 28 at the earliest. Leveling with minions as a Champion is more awkward than for other ascendancies because of the distance to minion and duration nodes, so you can delay the swap until then.

Starting with getting the Spiritual Aid wheel, and especially after getting Spiritual Command, the build begins to feel very smooth. Pick up Tribal Fury when you switch to Dominating Blow. While picking up the minion nodes, fill in life nodes that you may have rushed past as you begin to feel squishier in later acts.

Master of Metal drops off late game as our minions' base damage outpaces it, but as your first ascendancy it can help carry your damage through the campaign. You can switch from War Banner to Dread Banner to enable it, and level War Banner in your weapon swap.

A claw with a 30% minion damage essence thrown on it was enough to get through the campaign until The Scourge became equippable.

You can use The Scourge through T16s and until you're ready to swap to crit with Maata's Teaching. After getting The Scourge, you may want to prioritize Replica Dragonfang's Flight for Dominating Blow if you can. It was included but not used in the Baseline PoB because of availability and potential price fluctuations, but it's a big boost to the build early on.

Why don't you use Multistrike?

Repeated attacks cannot be exerted. That means that using Multistrike to support Dominating Blow will break our Battlemage's Cry setup for automating our Offering. Feel free to swap that around to Arcanist Brand if you have an Awakened Multistrike, for example.

Is placing banners as bad as placing ancestral totems?

In the sense that a lot of your potential damage is tied up in doing so, yes. On the other hand, placing banners is instant, they are untargetable, and last for half of eternity. Because of the stages, it's slightly less forgiving to recast them, but Champion's Inspirational does give you back 40% of the stages when you reserve your banners again. Lastly, you typically have enough of a damage surplus to mow through Guardians or defeat Pinnacle bosses without placing your banners if you don't want to (or forget...).

If the spectres and AG are socketed in our shield, how do you flip the gems in your weapon swap without wanting to delete your character?

If you head back to town, you can swap to your other weapon set without poofing all of your summons. Just remember to swap again before going back to your hideout. Yes, minion builds are dumb.

What spectres are you using?

Arena Master, Demon Harpy, and Pale Seraphim are the usual suspectres. Sorry. The first can be found in Drox-influenced maps, and the latter two are from Beyond.

Is there any way to make invitations or bossing slightly less painful?

This is unfortunately the major mechanical weakness of the build. One option to consider is socketing Summon Skeletons alongside Dominating Blow to have a dual 5-link. This might help bridge the gap of starting with no damage-dealing minions while you ramp up your sentinel count.

3.23 Affliction
Patch notes

While the Trial of the Ancestors league mechanic is not going core, most of its uniques are entering the core drop pool. Maata's Teaching should thus be available, but its drop rate is unknown. If it's quite rare and expensive, the swap to crit could be delayed.

Similarly, Omens of Fortune made Kingmaker for the Animated Guardian relatively cheap and readily available at around 3 divines. Omens may be returning, but their availability is also uncertain.

League-starting and early game are mostly unchanged, but the gem quality and enchantment changes were unfortunately not too kind to Dominating Blow in the endgame. The helmet enchantments for either +3 maximum magic sentinels or +1 rare sentinel are gone, and neither have been rolled into the base gem or the transfigured gem.

The uncompensated loss of the Phantasmal quality for +2 normal sentinels is the main deficit. In combination with the other alternate quality gems being removed and barring any other changes, we lost roughly 27% of our DPS from what I can tell (~108M DPS → 79M).

In previous very high-budget builds, the Phantasmal quality could be pushed to +5 normal sentinels with Ashes of the Stars, for example, but now this additional scaling option has been severed.

Wildwood Ascendancy

While Dominating Blow is a strike skill, tinctures provide little to no benefit to our minions. Thus, Warden of the Maji is unlikely to be our chosen Wildwood ascendancy beyond Oath of the Maji which is amazing for early leveling.

The Wildwood Primalist is probably the strongest option in the end with its stackable ascendancy charms, but it could be quite expensive to get ideal combinations. Also, since we have a warcry on left-click and its quality bonus was changed to 40% cooldown recovery, Howl of the Wolf might be a lot of fun. Charms giving the Champion mod "Banner skills have no reservation" means you can potentially use our double banner setup on other class ascendancies.

The Warlock of the Mists is perhaps the most interesting ascendancy for our build, if only for its added curses. Penance Mark summons phantasms around the marked enemy when hit, ostensibly making it easier for us to ramp up our sentinel count in single-target situations. The Foul Pact node also gives Vaal soul generation from the phantasms, making it possible to Vaal Dominate on bosses. Penance Mark could be a major buff that addresses the biggest weakness of the build.

Instead of Penance Mark, the Affliction skill instead gives us recovery from afflicting our minions with a ramping physical DoT debuff. Foul Pact then gives our afflicted minions Onslaught.

The recovery on our build is usually adequate but not amazing, and this skill might give us a lot of sustain depending on its numbers. If we're running permanent minions like spectres and Animated Guardian in the late game, I'd be worried about accidentally tagging them with the Affliction debuff though.

The other ascendancy nodes are of less value to us, though. The Dark Effigy skill takes the damage that hits us, and we take 200% of the damage that hits the Effigy. Champion's Conqueror ascendancy definitely synergizes with Dark Effigy, but it remains to be seen how clunky it is or how big of a liability it is to enemies' AoE abilities.

Blood Hunt is the last relevant ascendancy node. The Ravenous ability gives us 15% less damage taken from a specific class of monsters. While this would probably be most impactful in boss fights, it could provide noticeable benefit while mapping as well. Pre-suppression, packs of enemies like skeleton mages and goatmen can be quite hard-hitting, for example. Further, maps can be rolled for monster types, e.g., "Area is inhabited by Undead/Goatmen/Demons," giving you map-wide less damage taken with a single use of Ravenous.

New Spectre PoBs
Note the configuration tab for the spectres' custom modifiers, using monster level values depending on the level of our Raise Spectre gem.

Budget PoB
The notes section has a list of price estimates. Barring any glaring oversights, I think roughly 15-20 divs is a conservative estimate to put this together, subject to change of course.

Endgame PoB
The main change is using the Perfect Guardian Turtle spectre to grant Determination which skyrockets our EHP. Using Molten Shell instead of Immortal Call then frees up the need for the Enduring Composure small cluster, and we can squeeze in a warcry medium cluster for Onslaught and another big chunk of armour.

With Lead by Example and Battlemage's Cry cooldown recovery per quality, left-click gives our army Onslaught with ~70% uptime on top of automating our offering and curse.

There are other places we can get Onslaught for our minions that come with their own opportunity costs. A charm can give it if you're using the Primalist Wildwood ascendancy instead of Warlock, and the new That Which Was Taken jewel can have the same mod. The Perfect Forest Warrior spectre is another option, but its effect potentially breaks when re-entering a zone.

Offloading more auras to our spectres, like Pride from the Perfect Blood Demon, should bring the cost and socket pressure down as well. Even the anointment is cheaper. We do lose the aura effect that running it ourselves would give, but not needing Aul's Uprising means something like Replica Dragonfang's Flight can compensate for damage lost.

The Perfect Dancing Sword's 150% life multiplier means it has 100k less life than our other spectres, but the buff is strong and it's dirt cheap to replace. Still, prioritize getting a level 21 Raise Spectre gem and +2 socketed minion gem corrupted Matua Tupuna for its survivability. If replacing the spectre gets too annoying, fall back on previous spectres or use another defensive one like the Perfect Warlord.

Experimental Scion version

Speculative PoB
This relies on Primalist charms or the new That Which Was Taken jewel for Champion's "Banner skills have no reservation" to run a similar double banner setup. I'm not 100% on this yet because of the fiddly gear tweaks to fit in everything, like suppression.

It does have several advantages, though. Offerings being able to affect us means we have the option to drop overkill damage from Spirit Offering and use Flesh Offering for more zoom or Bone Offering for over-the-top tankiness. With Rumi's Concoction and an offering effect charm, we can reach 75% attack/46% spell block in addition to 95% evasion cap, 40k armour, and 100% suppression. We can also use the extra points from Scion to go for 80% max res or just more life nodes.

Scion also has an easier time balancing strength/intelligence to get double benefit from the Rational Doctrine jewel. Along with brittle ground, we have become a ground stacking build. Consecrated ground gives us and our army 6.25% life regen, pushing us well over 1000 life regen per second for great sustain. Through charms, consecrated ground can also apply increased damage taken to enemies, which with profane ground's 100% increased crit chance means Rational Doctrine gives us almost 20% more damage on top of the survivability.

Scion also has more relevant Forbidden Flame/Flesh options than Duelist. For example, Deadeye for 25% increased mark effect and Tailwind for our whole army, or Guardian for even more block and recovery rate. This at least gives us more options for our jewel sockets than just Grand Spectrums.

For downsides, the leveling is probably even worse than Champion's. Although the required banner reservation mod can be found on the unique jewel, charms help fill so many gaps that you are still somewhat locked into the Primalist ascendancy. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does remove the option of Warlock's Penance Mark and Ravenous. Lastly, being so gear-reliant means more expensive in the end and less- or non-functional until enough pieces are in place.

Last edited by erdamus on Mar 29, 2024, 5:04:13 AM
Last bumped on Apr 6, 2024, 4:21:14 AM
Interesting concept, I'll give it a try.
Thank you for this wonderful build, great job! Any ideas or updates for the 3.23 patch?
AttikusFinch wrote:
Thank you for this wonderful build, great job! Any ideas or updates for the 3.23 patch?

The endgame PoBs have been updated, and a "baseline" PoB has been added.

For the suppression PoB, if you don't want to rely on a quartz flask to reach suppression cap, you can get the lacking chance to suppress from a Grace Watcher's Eye mod, or getting more mana reservation efficiency on the helmet will let you change your amulet's anoint to something like Entrench or Inveterate.

A Precise Technique Impossible Escape jewel is another, potentially quite expensive option.

Ideas for Affliction league have been added, but of course it is mostly speculation for now until we're into the league and know more.

As for leveling before Dominating Blow, you can reference Ruetoo's PoB for Spectral Throw leveling. If you want to switch to Dom Blow when it becomes available at level 28 in the campaign or very soon after, you can try to cut back on the axe nodes to reduce the regret costs.
erdamus wrote:
AttikusFinch wrote:
Thank you for this wonderful build, great job! Any ideas or updates for the 3.23 patch?

The endgame PoBs have been updated, and a "baseline" PoB has been added.

For the suppression PoB, if you don't want to rely on a quartz flask to reach suppression cap, you can get the lacking chance to suppress from a Grace Watcher's Eye mod, or getting more mana reservation efficiency on the helmet will let you change your amulet's anoint to something like Entrench or Inveterate.

A Precise Technique Impossible Escape jewel is another, potentially quite expensive option.

Ideas for Affliction league have been added, but of course it is mostly speculation for now until we're into the league and know more.

As for leveling before Dominating Blow, you can reference Ruetoo's PoB for Spectral Throw leveling. If you want to switch to Dom Blow when it becomes available at level 28 in the campaign or very soon after, you can try to cut back on the axe nodes to reduce the regret costs.
Thanks again. I'll still try this build, even if the main skill was remade a little worse. But even so, with the new mark the bosses should be easier, as you mention.
I hope they show us another version of the Dominating blow!
How to deal with the problem of two marks? what is better to replace, the assassin mark or the new ascension mark?
AttikusFinch wrote:
How to deal with the problem of two marks? what is better to replace, the assassin mark or the new ascension mark?

Because the new mark skill is granted by the ascendancy, it doesn't take up a socket on our gear but still appears in our skill bar to self-cast as we need it. There are a few options this gives us that I can see:

1. We can keep our own mark or curse socketed (probably unlinked from the automated Battlemage's Cry setup though) and overwrite Penance Mark whenever we want.

For example, you could use Penance Mark to quickly summon your maximum sentinel count, then cast your Vulnerability/Punishment/Assassin's Mark to get the most out of your DPS.

2. Drop your DPS curse and just rely on Penance Mark. This frees up a socket on your gear to reduce the socket pressure. While Penance Mark won't directly give you DPS, it will give you flask sustain, and eventually you'll be able to summon your ascended sentinels from Vaal Domination to add to your damage.

Starting out and under-geared, you might really feel the loss of your DPS curse. On the other hand, Penance Mark constantly enabling Fresh Meat support may make it quite competitive when you acquire more crit gear.

3. Ignore Penance Mark, e.g., if you feel like you're not struggling against bosses, if you're just blasting maps and ignoring bosses, if you've gotten amazing charms for the Primalist ascendancy, etc.

The Affliction skill doesn't take up a curse from your curse limit. If you're not having difficulties getting your sentinel count up, you can use the Affliction skill for minion Onslaught in combination with your DPS curse. We're still unsure about the physical DoT, but things will be clarified after a day or two.
Last edited by erdamus on Dec 8, 2023, 2:09:46 PM
I found this new spectres.
Is it worth replacing it with one of the ones we already have?
Last edited by AttikusFinch on Dec 10, 2023, 10:32:12 AM
AttikusFinch wrote:
I found this new spectres.
Is it worth replacing it with one of the ones we already have?

I'm not certain what our ideal spectre loadout is now, but the new corpses have immense potential for sure. The main concern with many of the new spectres now is survivability.

For example, the Demon Harpy was the previous weak link in our army as it was possible to occasionally lose it in very juiced content or bossing.

The Demon Harpy's life multiplier is 238% (Pale Seraphim's is 304%, and Arena Master's is 405%).

The Perfect Dancing Sword's life multiplier is 150%, in comparison. It might be a bit of a struggle to keep it alive. Its buff is very strong, though, about 13% more damage if I calculated it correctly, and it's not a temporary debuff like our current spectres' abilities.

Some of the new spectres have quite a big life multiplier, and they might be quite promising too:

1. The Perfect Forest Warrior gives Onslaught to nearby allies. If need be, this one might serve as a decent replacement for the Arena Master. The Arena Master's buff gives 20% increased damage on top of the speed, but it also causes us to take increased damage and it's temporary.

2. The Perfect Blood Demon that casts Pride and the Perfect Guardian Turtle that casts Determination have huge life multipliers.

Previously, we were somewhat locked to one defensive aura, either Determination or Grace, and the build didn't always feel HC-levels of tanky. We can use the spectres' auras to add the missing defensive aura, or allow us to drop Aul's Uprising for a different amulet with more damage, or both.

Anointing Death Attunement for another maximum spectre might give more "mana reservation efficiency" than Charisma, in the end.

One caveat is that the spectre versions of these auras don't benefit from our high aura effect investment. For example, the spectre's Pride caps out at 50% more damage taken, while ours is boosted to 91%.

Having not had a chance to play around with the new spectres, I'm not sure about what it means for them to "cast" their auras--whether they're permanent or, if temporary like a Blessing, what the duration and uptime are like. In invitations, for example, how long before our spectre's AI decides to cast its aura will have a big impact.

All of that said, and sorry for being long-winded, my first inclination is to keep the Demon Harpy, replace Arena Master with Perfect Forest Warrior, replace Pale Seraphim with Perfect Guardian Turtle (use Molten Shell instead of Immortal Call then). Replace Aul's Uprising with something like Replica Dragonfang's Flight for damage or Jinxed Juju for defense, anoint Death Attunement (get mana reservation efficiency on helmet if necessary), and use the Perfect Blood Demon as spectre #4 to drop Pride.

The theoretical top-end damage will be a little less, but there's slightly more consistency with the Onslaught buff compared to Arena Master's Presence. Also your EHP should go way up. If the lower-life spectres are able to be maintained reliably, we could end up swapping one or two of them in.
Last edited by erdamus on Dec 10, 2023, 4:03:35 PM
guyz help i cant make battlemage cry to trigger the gems in the early game i did it but then it stop

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info