[1.3.0] Too Many Clones! -- PvE Templar Archer Summoner


1.3.0 added two new bow skills, Blink Arrow and Mirror Arrow.

These skills are originally designed for PvP to give archers a way to deceive other players by teleporting and either leaving a clone behind or leaving a clone ahead. The skills suffer a three second cooldown each and the clones they generate are feeble minions that only use a default attack and only live for three seconds themselves.

Obviously, I saw a challenge. I had to make a PvE build out of these meager beginnings.


To start with, we have to overcome the cooldown and/or figure out a way to get more of them on the field at once. No matter how good the minions can be, if you only get two every three seconds, it's doomed to fail.

(Big thanks to user SkyCore for finding out most of these mechanics shortly after the patch.)

Firstly, Trap can be used to bypass the cooldown!
Secondly, increased duration (from the tree or otherwise) can be used to make clones live longer!
Thirdly, Multitrap can be used to summon three times as many minions!
Lastly, since Blink and Mirror Arrow are different skills, they do not share a cooldown on traps!

This is the core concept of the Cloner -- Blink/Mirror Arrow + Trap + Multitrap generates a large number of clones.


Now that we can generate a pile of clones on demand, we need to figure out how to get them to start doing real damage. They use the damage stats from your bow and quiver, but more importantly, they have "75% more Minion Damage".

This means that any aura effect you can give to them is 1.75x stronger than it would be on any other minion! My first step to massively boosting their damage was to run Wrath + Anger + Generosity. These two add hundreds of dps to each minion alone. The only quibble is that you'll need a fair amount of mana reservation reduction to be able to run several auras and still have mana to summon clones. Later on you'll want to have even more auras!

There is a possibility that the build can run a third aura with an Alpha's Howl. If you can do so, then either Haste or Hatred is a solid further damage boost.

Another good find was that Projectile supports do work on the minions, despite the attack itself not being a projectile. LMP/GMP are necessary to clear out large piles of enemies in an efficient way. Even with a pile of clones, if they're only attacking single targets, you're going to get swarmed.

Minion Damage support and on the tree/gear add a large amount of damage to the minions, so picking up sources of this stat when possible is a very good idea.

Minion Instability allows you to throw suicidal clones into dangerous mobpiles and extract far more damage from them than you would otherwise. You'll be happy you took MI the first time you turn the corner into a pack of tentacle miscreations that tear apart your minions before they can get a single shot off.

Lastly, just using a good bow and quiver helps immensely with damage. Try to get the most damage you can off these gear pieces, and you can devote amulet/gloves/rings purely to defense instead. I'll go into gear later.


So far, so good. Lots of clones, they get good auras and do good damage. But there's still plenty of room in the build for other links!

Flesh Offering is the first good minion buff you'll want to get. It adds a tremendous amount of attack speed to your clones and, given that you're already maxing out skill duration, it'll last a long time as well. (Also great for cleaning up corpses.)

Projectile Weakness adds a massive amount of damage to your minions as well as giving pierce (if you're not using Infractem) and knockback. All good things.

Convocation relocates your pile back to where you are, which if you have lots of piercing (or an Infractem) will massively boost your overall damage as they fire in unison across enemy mob piles. A CwS/CwDT + Convocation is also not out of the realm of possibility for when you quickly need to defend yourself.

You can support your summoning with yet more summoning in the form of Raise Zombie. These provide fantastic meatshields for your clone army to sit behind. Since you've already taken MI, the Zombies can utilize a Minion Life + Prolif + Chance to Ignite support linkage to maximize the output of their deaths.

You could instead use Animate Weapon or Summon Raging Spirit for more damage since you'd already be running duration and flat damage auras.

Another Blink Arrow can be used (sans Trap) simply for movement and to add yet more clones into the mix. The melee mobility skills cannot be used and Lightning Warp would not be usable due to the mass Increased Duration passives.

Vaal Haste is another strong minion buff for boss fights. It should start to feel like an SRS build by now with so many similar set pieces.

Of all of these options, you'll have roughly 2-4Ls to use what you like.
These secondary skills are currently in active experimentation to try and figure out what works and what doesn't.


Bringing it all together, here are the linkages and the tree (with progression)!

Core linkages:
GGGGBR 4-6L Bow/Chest - Blink + Trap + Multitrap + LMP (+Minion Damage (+WED))
GGGGBR 4-6L Bow/Chest - Mirror + Trap + Multitrap + LMP (+Minion Damage (+WED))
BRRR.. 4L Helm/Gloves/Boots - Wrath + Anger + RMC + Generosity

Support Linkages:
GRR... 3L Helm/Gloves/Boots - Haste/Hatred + RMC + Generosity
GGBB.. 4L Helm/Gloves/Boots - Flesh Offering + Blink Arrow + Convocation + Proj. Weak

Weapon Swap for bosses:
GBBR.. 4L Helm/Gloves/Boots - SRS + Spell Echo + Multistrike + FA

Consider strongly putting the aura linkage in an Alpha's Howl.
Failing that, the SRS linkage can work if your helm slot is free for a +2 minion helm.

Note that Deerstalker boots gives 2-4Ls (Blink + Mirror + Multi + LMP) and frees up a large number of sockets to be used for all the secondary options at the cost of only 4L clones.
Help Oak. Life is good.
Kill all. Aspd/Cspd/IPD don't help us tremendously.
Kill all. None of the charges help much.
At 41 points. Have taken both duration clusters, some life, some minion damage, and MI. The clones should be doing passable damage now.

At 67 points. Mana reservation reduction is in and you should have no problems running both Wrath and Anger.

At 88 points. Start spamming life% as cruel/merc is starting to take its toll.

At 115 points. 201% life in total. All the niceties obtained (throwing speed, minion stats, a little curse).


Gear has lots and lots of options. This is the most fluid section of the guide and I've still yet to hit high enough levels for there to be important gear tradeoffs. Here are a few interesting things so far.

Deerstalkers can be used for a "free" Trap link, and the trap throwing speed is quite nice.
Infractem is a powerful bow that grants 100% pierce which your clones will definitely use.
Drillneck is an even more powerful quiver, but requires a Pierce support gem on your clone linkages.
Sunblast can aid in getting the clones summoned if your trap aim is lacking, though its stats are weak.
Vis Mortis is a good source of minion damage if you can find one.
Sidehebreath is similarly decent for damage, though you'll probably need +stats from a Jade amulet.


There are a few other things to note or on the verge of testing.

Point Blank is potentially very interesting. With the gem and a Chin Sol, the minions could do a massive amount of damage, and due to the traps, they're naturally spawned in the middle of packs. That being said, a surprising amount of damage is done at range, so it seems questionable.

Low-life status appears to summon the minions on low-life (where they would explode due to MI), but it is only a visual trick. The clones have their own true health pools and their floating health bar just matches yours to aid in deception.

EDIT: Requires further testing. Mixed reports about them actually spawning with the life% that you are at at the time they spawn. In my testing this wasn't true, but others are saying that it is.

The clones appear to not use the base attack speed of the bow, for reasons unknown. As a result, you probably want to use slow bows with lots of damage over fast bows. This may be a bug and may be fixed. Also extremely hard to test since the tooltip does not show minion stats.

The Herald skills should not be affecting your minions in any way since they are a self-buff and not a change to your quiver or bow. That being said, there are mixed reports about them actually adding damage to the clones. If they do, HoI/HoT alongside Wrath/Anger seem extremely strong.


Please check out Naeblis720's Ranger Clone Summoner Variation as well!

Pantsless is a personal bias of mine, but the Ranger variation seems just as strong if not stronger!

(Currently level 82 in Torment. Killed Merciless Piety at level 60. Did not respec into this build.)
(IGN @OldMenWithBows)
Last edited by pneuma on Jan 15, 2015, 5:37:29 PM
I wonder if an animate guardian support tank wouldn't help. Also, weapon swap and necro aegis?
spartansainy wrote:
I wonder if an animate guardian support tank wouldn't help.

There's lots of non-clone buffing/support that would make sense in the build. Zombies, SRS, Skeletons, Spectres, Animated weapons and guardian, Frost Wall, Poison Arrow, and curses all come to mind. The problem is prioritizing which to use given the socket pressure.

Past that, I personally don't like Guardian support tanks purely because of the upkeep costs and micro. The Haku mod is a cool addition, but not very useful since the best Guardian chests are uniques (namely Cassock) and it doesn't apply to the rest of the gear you put on it.

That being said, a Leer Cast/Dying Breath Guardian would help damage on the clones considerably. I still think it's more trouble than it's worth.

spartansainy wrote:
Also, weapon swap and necro aegis?

Haven't thought of anything clever with Weapon Swap. I don't really care too much if my minions die since I have MI and it's not hard to spawn 3 in their place.

The tree does pass right by NA, though, so there might be something there and it's inexpensive to test.
Last edited by pneuma on Dec 14, 2014, 10:18:03 PM
Very interesting guide. I may have to try a modified version with my ranger.
Very interesting! :D Love how you took something and completely turned it around from its original intention. Would love to see a video of it in action if possible?
dlrr wrote:
Very interesting! :D Love how you took something and completely turned it around from its original intention. Would love to see a video of it in action if possible?

Highly doubtful on the video.

I can try some capturing software, but my gaming PC is... old. 9800 GTX+ isn't exactly a "killer video card" nowadays. :P

EDIT: I would be more than happy to show this build off to anyone that asks, however. :)
Last edited by pneuma on Dec 15, 2014, 12:03:11 AM
Very interesting :)

Good work
would love to see this build in action
just came in here to say that this build idea sounds fucking awesome. that is all.
ign: PhrozenFlame
Great idea man.

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