[3.4] LL Classic Summoner - Shaper/Elder/Guardian Farmer

3.5 Update: Not much changed for this build, we just got a little extra ES from the buffs to the Essence Surge cluster. Can still recommend the build to anyone who enjoys the summoner playstyle and wants to farm Shaper/Elder while also having good clearspeed.

Edit: I just realized the changes to resist flasks (they now reduce the damage taken from their respective element by 20% rather than giving 6% max resist) are a nerf. The new flasks grant as much mitigation to this build as 3.4% - 3.6% max resist would, which is obviously much weaker than the previous 6%. It's still nice mitigation but i'll test around with a few other flasks like Amethyst, Quartz and Stibnite.

Hi, I´m xxWolf and i have been playing A LOT of Summoner builds in the past, since Breach league i am playing a low life classic summoner that focuses on farming guardians and shaper using cannibal fire-eaters as spectres. Since this build can farm shaper deathless and fast (no deaths in the last 10+ runs) i am considering this it a success. I am sure i am not the first classic summoner who farms shaper, but because of the lack of summoner build guides that say about themselves they can reliably do that I decided to write one. This is the first guide i write, i´m happy about any tips/criticism! Also feel free to ask questions if something is not clear. :)

This build uses 4 spectres as dps source and 1 Golem + up to 10 Zombies as meatshield. It also reserves most of it's life and mana to use one Midnight Bargain, Arctic Armour and 6 Auras. Ball Lightning is used to apply Elemental Equilibrium and 2 Curses.

If you like sending an army of minions into the fight while you yourself lean back and watch hoards of monsters running against your zombie-wall and dying in the bullet hell your spectres create (in other words: the playstyle of classic summoners), while also being able to switch to single target mode to easily take down guardians and even shaper, this is your build!

Update: Added an FAQ section in the post below, it is not that large yet, but i will keep expanding it, so before asking a question in the thread please take a look at it! :)

- Can do any map mod exept elemental reflect.
Technically you can even do that, but you would have to switch spectres to physical ones (Undying Evangelists for example), which is not worth the time if you ask me. however if you found your first T15 and the vaal orb gave it ele reflect, u CAN still do it.

- Very good clearspeed even in high red maps.

- INSANE single target damage when using Cannibal Fire-Eaters, which you do when farming Guardians/Shaper. I´ll explain below how to get them easily on T16 Level.

- Very tanky thanks to purity auras, stun immunity, decent ES pool and a giant meatshield.

- Mentioned Purities and the Shield we use (Prism Guardian) result in over 100% all resist already, making it extremely easy to cap resists.

- Can do Shaper on a 5L.

- You have the choice between different spectres. If you can not see flame sentinels any more, there are other, potentionally even better options.

- You can do the job of an aura bot in partys, you grant great dps and survivability to your minio.. I mean Party Members! However, some people might complain that the "aurabot" does more damage than they do.


- Since this is a low life build you need a Shavronne´s Wrappings, which is not cheap, especially at the start of a league, which makes this not a good league starter.
EDIT: Actually in the past few leagues Shavronne's Wrappings was available for 15-30C, even in the first days of the leagues. This might change again in the future, but at least right now this build can be a very good leaguestarter!

- Playing an energy shield based character can be difficult to get used to, because you can not rely on life flasks. But don´t worry, Vaal Discpline serves as the ultimate "I CAN NOT DIE IN THE NEXT 5 SECONDS"-Flask.
EDIT: Vaal Discipline was nerfed in 2.6, from my testing it is still worth it. Popping it plus the defensive flasks results in you being almost unkillable.

- You need a lot of Strength (111) and dexterity (155), so you need to get a lot of attributes on your gear/jewels.

Required Uniques (ignore socketed gems):


While it is very cheap to get, that wand grants you and additional zombie and an additional spectre, which greatly increases your dps. it also has some nice minion damage and minion speed, which doesn´t hurt.

An other zombie and an other spectre! Try to get some with 15% Movement speed. Don´t worry about the low Movement Speed, your haste aura grants you about 15% movement speed (thanks to increased aura effectiveness), what means you are about as fast as if you were using 30% MS boots. Well, until you use flesh offering, which grants you an other 30% Movement Speed. And again, very cheap, even with good movement speed roll.

Unfortunately - not so cheap. You can farm the "The Offering"-Divination Card if you want. It can drop from Shavronne in Merciless (VERY low drop rate, i do not recommend farming her) and from the Boss in the T13 Scriptorium Map. What i like to do at the start of a league is buying a Scriptorium Map and leaving it as the only unlocked T13 in my atlas. So if a T13 drops, it is a Scriptorium. That way i can farm a lot of Scriptoriums, in my experience every 5th to 6th run a "The Offering" drops. You need 8 of the cards, this league i farmed 6 and bought the remaining 2, beacause i didn´t want to wait any longer. It should be mentioned, that the Scriptorium Boss also often drops the "The Aesthete"-Card, which has a chance to give you a Shavronne´s Wrappings. Also keep in mind, that only a 5l is required for farming Shaper/Guardians. The 6l mostly grants clearspeed, since it lets you add Faster Projectiles, for single target the 6th link (Pierce) gives you about 20% more damage in total, but it is kind of an overkill.

Edit: The Card can also drop from the Shavronne in a Core Map, but if you are running Core you probably already have a Shav´s.
Edit 3.1: Scriptorium is now a T9 Map, making it easier to sustain early in the league and the boss of Tribunal Map (T7) can also drop The Offering and The Aesthete. However Shav´s is not that expensive these days, so you might be able to afford one before you even reach T7 maps. Still for SSF players this is a very nice way to obtain a Shav´s. :)

That Shield enables you to run the 6 Auras + Arctic Armour while wielding a Midnight Bargain. What i also found extremely useful about this shield are the resistances on it. With them + the resistances from your purities it is extremely easy to cap your elemental resists, which gave me the opportunity to look for some chaos resistance on my other gear pieces. Try to get high Dexterity roll on it, it makes it easier to hit your attribute requirements.

Needed for Stun Immunity, very cheap these days. I was already using this over any other Amulet before Presence of Chayula got implemented, so if you can not afford Presence yet i still recommend going Eye of Chayula instead of some rare that grants you a little energy shield! Not getting stunned when trying to cast Vaal Discipline is usually much more valuable than an other 400 ES.

Other Gear:

The Prism Guardian + the Purities almost cap our resists already, but we miss 3% Fire and Cold Resist (and 4% Lightning resist without the Shavronne's Wrappings) to reach our cap, so make sure you get those somewhere on your gear (should not be too hard).
Look for a helmet with the +2 to Level of socketed Minion Gems affix with as much Energy Shield as u can (or want to) get. If you can get a "The Vertex Vaal Mask", that one works too.

Get some dex here if you need it combined with as much energy shield as u can/want to afford.

Energy Shield + some attributes are great here. What i like to do is buying a white Crystal Belt (very cheap since 3.0) and throw some Essences of Rage on it (makes it rare and guarantees a strength roll). If i do not like how it rolled i use an orb of Scouring on it and repeat the process, usually until i hit a decent energy shield (35+) on it. If it also rolled Resists or some flask stuff for example that´s a nice bonus.

Look for Unset rings with a lot of attributes and optimally some ES, one like this is perfect:

Edit: Since 2.6 it is possible to roll up to +3 to socketed gems on unset rings, this is a huge deal, since pushing our purity auras to level 23 grants even more maximum resists! Try to get one of those rolls if you can!

You need to fit in one Conqueror´s Efficiency Jewel, you get that one as a quest reward for doing the "The Wings of Vastiri" Quest in Act 8.

Also place one "Energy from within" Jewel next to the "Melding" Wheel.

Get increased minion damage and some dexterity + strength on the other jewels, increased maximum energy shield is also great if you can afford it.

I got asked about the threshhold jewels, in my opinion they are not worth it in this build.
The "Unending Hunger" jewel, that grants your spectres soul eater is kinda mediocre for ranged spectres, since they often are not in range to consume a soul. And IF they are in range they prevent you from getting the soul for your vaal discipline, since each soul can only be consumed once.

The "Violent Dead" jewel boosts your zombie dps, but they only serve as meatshield anyway. Since we do not scale their damage with support gems, the damage increase is very small. if i could get it for free, sure, doesn´t hurt, but considering i could get attributes/energy shield/chaos resistance and so on on a jewel i do not think it is worth using on this build.

Options for Endgame:

A crystal belt with an ES roll gives you a 500-600 ES, you can either buy one, or wait until you find one and use some chaos orbs on it until you hit a decent energy shield roll.
Edit: since 3.0 these are very cheap, i recommend to use the method i explain one part above this one to get yourself a great crystal belt without spending much money!

A midnight Bargain with the Elemental Weakness Corruption enables you to use a second curse without needing a socket for it. If u place Ball Lightning + Curse on Hit + Enfeeble in it, the Ball Lightning will apply the Enfeeble AND the Elemental Weakness. Thanks to the existence of the "The Lich" Divination card there are a lot of corrupted Midnight Bargains around, i got one for 2 Chaos and 1 day later a better rolled one for 4 Chaos. To 3 socket and 3 link a corrupted item u need to have Vorici at level 8 (or a friend who has him at 8)
Edit: This corruption is no longer available, however since we got back the lost "free gem socket" due to vaal skill changes (we do not need to use as separate vaal discipline gem any more) basically nothing changed, exept we can now choose which curse we want to apply. If you play standard and have access to this corruption you can drop one of the unset rings and run for a example a moonstone ring instead.

If you can hit your attribute requirements without needing to use 2 rings with attributes, you can use that ring instead to get some nice bonus energy shield and +2 to level of socketed aura (which is Purity of Lightning)
Since 2.6 you can roll up to +3 to socketed gems on rare unset rings, which makes Pariah less desirable. If you can get your hands on a lvl 21 purity of lightning however and do not need the stats your previous (+3) rare unset provided you can replace the rare unset with a pariah to get some energy shield, a lvl 21 purity still reaches lvl 23 in pariah (at 23 purities grant even more max resist).

An other (very expensive) option to increase your energy shield, while also granting you a big amount of Chaos resistance.

I should mention that i did not have a 6linked Shavronne´s, a Pariah Unset Ring or a Presence of Chayula when i started farming Guardians and Shaper!

My flask setup is the following:

Try to get one Freeze removal, 1 curse removal and 1 Bleed removal. Bleed removal is the most important. Also 23%+ reduced charges used on basalt is very nice, because it enables you to use it twice without recharging.

While mapping i just hit the 3 resistance flasks and the basalt flask whenever i enter a breach/open a strongbox/run into a large pack of mobs so my resists are at 90% and my physical damage reduction ist at 43%, which is pretty good for an energy shield based build if you ask me. the quicksilver is (who would have thought) for running faster, it´s nice for clearspeed and in shaper fight i pop it whenever he uses his slam, so he can not hit me. you dont need the increased effect/reduced duration mod, the speed mod is recommended however. since we have no movement skill like shield charge or whirling blades, the tactic is to hit it and dodge when we see a malachai slam, a shaper slam, a phoenix explosion, the hydra fork shot and so on.

Kill all. Always.

Passive Tree (updated for 3.4 Delve League!):
Don´t be afraid to take some of those +30 Strength or Dexterity nodes, you can respec them later!

Build works (Level 67):


Level 80:


Level 94:


If you prefer Puppet Master over Mistress of Sacrifice go for it, both are definitely viable, Puppet Master will grant you slightly more single target damage but less clearspeed,
personally i will still go for Mistress of Sacrifice. If you really like having A LOT of Zombies that also grant you some physical mitigation Flesh Binder is an option too, take what you prefer. :)

Should you push past that aim for additional jewel sockets or some ES nodes.

About the Abyss Jewels added in 3.1:
Abyss got added to the core game, so this Information goes for any League! Passive Trees have been updated.
In 3.1 four different Abyss Jewels Types got introduced, 1 of which is minion themed - the Ghastly Eye Jewels. They can roll various things, from "Minion damage if used a minion skill recently" to "chance for minions to blind enemies with attacks". I think these Jewels are very powerfull. If you want just raw damage you should probably watch out for jewels with a lot of cast speed for minions, but the reason why i think these things are strong is especially the mod that gives your minions a chance to taunt enemies on hit. It causes map bosses to simply ignore you and stutter around in confusion when trying to find out which taunting zombie to attack first. (However remember that The 4 Guardians can only be taunted every few seconds and Shaper can not be taunted at all, the same rules might apply for elder and his friends.) I try to get a flat energy shield roll and a the taunt mod on each of my jewels, preferably in combination with the "chance to blind" mod, which also seems pretty strong to me. If you want to see some example Jewels check my Character "Riella" in Abyss league. For this league i tweaked the passive tree slightly to get in a few more jewel sockets here or there, i also recommend using a Stygian Belt instead of a Crystal Belt in order to get an other Ghastly Eye in - remember to get flat ES on those jewels or you will end up with way less ES than usual. I do not know if these Jewels will stay in the game permanently, so for now this skill tree is only recommended for the 3.1 Abyss league, if you do not have access to the new jewels just follow the skill tree we used in 3.0.

Specialized Skill Tree for Abyss league:
Edit: Skill trees above are updated, nothing to see here!

You can also drop the Grave Intentions wheel in order to get an other jewel socket, which (from a tryhard perspective) would probably be worth it, however we would loose a zombie and at least for me going from 10 zombies down to 9 is rarely worth it. :P

Edit: Because of mentioned Abyss Jewels Stygian Vises are definitely an option and can replace a crystal belt if you prefer! They will grant more damage and utillity, but slightly less ES.

Spectre Gem Setup:
For all of the Setups you need 4 blue and 2 green sockets, 4B 1G if running a 5link. Try around and choose whichever you like for mapping. Only for Shaper Cannibal Fire-Eaters are a must.
Cannibal Fire-Eaters
The fire projectile they spit looks a bit like the one Flame Totems use. You use these guys to farm Guardians/Shaper. Their single target damage is absouletely crazy, especially if scaled with our auras. With the multi target setup they can easily clear T16 maps, their range without the 6th link is not that great, but they instakill anything they attack. And with single target setup they melt even shaper. 5link is recommended to farm Shaper.

Map Clear:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Elemental Focus - GMP - Spell Echo (5th) - Faster Projectiles (6th)

Single target:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Elemental Focus - Slower Projectiles - Spell Echo (5th) - Pierce (6th)

Solar Guards
Those got added in 3.0, they mostly spam a light fire projectile, which deals very good damage and is excellent for clearing maps. They also occasionally use a delayed beam, which looks awesome and definitely is not a gymmick - it obliterates packs. At the time of me writing this i mostly use this spectre to clear maps up to T15, their clear is about equal to that of Flame Sentinels and Undying Incinerators, their Single Target seems to be a bit better, they feel awesome to use and create less clusterfuck than some other spectres. I also sometimes switch to one of the other Spectres, but for now these are definitely my favourite.

Map Clear:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Spell Echo - GMP - Elemental Focus (5th) - Faster Projectiles (6th)

Single Target:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Spell Echo - Slower Projectiles - Elemental Focus (5th) - Pierce (6th)

Flame Sentinels:
They are very good for clearing maps, even on a 4link, they spam their fireballs a lot and do great damage. Just great spectres overall.

Map Clear:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Spell Echo - GMP - Elemental Focus (5th) - Faster Projectiles (6th)

Single target:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Spell Echo - Slower Projectiles - Elemental Focus (5th) - Pierce (6th)

Goatman Fire-Raiser
At long range they shoot fireballs like flame sentinels, but at closer range they start throwing magma orbs. The aoe of the magma orb can overlap, so multiple orbs can hit a single enemy in one cast, causing massive damage. They also cast molten shell ocasionally, however i rarely see any of those explode and they don´t need the armour. My problem with them is that sound they produce with their magma orbs. :D
Map Clear:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Spell Echo - GMP - Increased Area of Effect (5th) - Faster Projectiles (6th)

Single target:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Spell Echo - Slower Projectiles - Concentrated Effect (5th) - Pierce (6th)

Merveil Blessed:
They shoot Frostbolts, which deal good damage and freeze/chill a lot of enemys. At close range they cast a water wave, which not only looks nice, but also deals good damage. The only problem is the low projectile speed of the frostbolts, if u can not fit in a faster projectiles support gem that can hurt their clearspeed.

Map Clear:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - GMP - Spell Echo - Controlled Destruction (5th or 6th) - Faster Projectiles (5th or 6th)

Single target:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - GMP - Spell Echo - Controlled Destruction (5th or 6th) - Slower Projectiles (5th or 6th)

Undying Incinerators
I would say their clearspeed is slightly better than the other ones. They shoot fireballs around all the time (very loud ones) and they also throw down firetraps. The drawback is they are squishier than the other spectre choices and they explode on low life, so you might want to use bone offering versus some T15 bosses like daresso where they otherwhise could die in those flying swords (unfortunately they i could not teach them how to walk out of dangerous aoe damage yet)

Map clear:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - GMP - Spell Echo - Increased Area of Effect (5th or 6th) - Faster projectiles (5th or 6th)

Single target:
Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Slower Projectiles - Spell Echo - Concentrated Effect (5th or 6th) - Pierce (5th or 6th)

Other Gemsetups:
4L in +2 minion helmet (or The Vertex):

Raise Zombie - Summon Chaos Golem - Minion Life - Fortify/EmpowerLv3+

3S in Shield (no links required):

Purity of Ice - Purity of Fire - Haste

You can use a Vaal Haste gem instead of a normal Haste gem if you really want the clearspeed increase, however using it will lock you out of charging Vaal Discipling for a while, which i personally do not consider a good trade, i like having my defenses up.

3l in Weapon:

Vaal Discipline - Flesh Offering - Increased Duration

4l Gloves or Boots:

Ball Lightning - Curse on Hit - Enfeeble - Temporal Chains
If you want more Offense you can swap one or both of the defensive curses for Projectile Weakness and/or Elemental Weakness.

4l in Gloves or Boots:

Anger - Generosity - Desecrate - Convocation
(Generosity is very important here, if you dont use it, the anger aura will also apply to you, so your ball lightning will GRANT the enemies fire resistance instead of reducing it thanks to Elemental Equilibrium)
Also since you need 3 off colours here i recommend putting it in whatever has the lower intelligence requirement, which will usually be your bones of ullr, it will make it easier to colour.

1S in Ring (optimally with a +2 or +3 to socketed gems mod):

Purity of Lightning

1S in Ring:

Arctic Armour

How to get your persistent T17 Spectres after 3.0.2 Update:

Before you read how to get high level spectres let me explain why you do what you do:
The level of a spectre determines how much damage and health/ES it has, so the higher the better. The level of the Spectre is determined by the level of the corpse you raised it from. the level of the corpse depends on the level of the zone (when having the map overlay active you can see the zone/monster level in the top right). So in order to have a strong spectre we want to summon it from a corpse we found or created in a high level zone (for example in a T16 map).

1. Remove the Spell Echo gem from your spectre setup. this will prevent you from reanimating the wrong corpses, put the gem back in when the process is done.

2. Go to a zone where the spectre you desire naturally spawns, the level of the zone does not matter. (for example you would go to the Solaris Concourse in Act 8 if you wanted Solar Guards.) Use desecrate at the ground to create corpses until you find the corpse you are looking for, raise it as your spectre. one is enough, you do not need more. Look below for a list where you can find which spectre.

3. Go to the highest level zone you can access, this will usually be a map. Thanks to changes to desecrate it will now occasionally create corpses of any spectres you brought with you into the zone, which is why you brought your low level spectre from step 2. now desecrate and summon the number of spectres you want (with the fully functional build that would be 4). do not forget to replace the low level guy unless you enjoy running around with that "special" spectre that deals only a fraction of the damage that the others do. ;)
To get the (to my knowledge) highest possible spectre level you need to go to Shaper's Realm, which has monster level 84. Occasionally you will find 84 Zones in T16 maps too, for example areas opened by masters like Haku, Tora or Vagan will be Level 84, Trials of Ascendancy or Abyssal Depths work too. In those Areas you will be able to get T17 Spectres too.

In order for step 3 to work you need a high level desecrate! A low level desecrate can only create corpses up to a certain level (take a look at the gem to see what level of corpse it can summon currently). a level 20 desecrate will be able to summon corpses up to level 100 (however the corpse level can not exceed the zone level so you will never be able to actually create lvl 100 corpses). if your desecrate is not on a high enough level you can socket it into a source that grants it additional levels - for example a ring with a "+X to level of socketed gems".

In case you are new to Spectres and are afraid they will die: I did multiple hundred guardians and dozens of shapers in the last league alone and not a single spectre ever died.

Zones where you can find the Spectre for Step 2:

- Cannibal Fire-Eaters:
Shore Map. Unfortunately since 3.0 there is no story zone where you can find them, the easiest way to get them seems to be using Shore maps until you find them. If you do not find a single Fire-Eater in the first ~10-15 desecrates, open a new map. Make sure the maps have no "Area is inhabited by X" mods, those will prevent Fire-Eaters from spawning (exept "by Humanoids" and "by additional Rogue exiles",those are fine).

- Solar Guards:
Solaris Concourse (Act 8)

- Flame Sentinels:
The Templar Laboratory (Epilogue)
These Spectres already work very well on a 4link, so if you are playing on budget gear with a 4l Solaris Lorica you can get some flame sentinels from here and farm currency for upgrades - that´s how i do it at the start of a league. It is hard to hit many blue sockets on a solaris lorica, but you can get the colours 2B1R1G on average for 65 chromatic orbs, which let´s you socket Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Fire Penetration - GMP in it (switch GMP out for Slower Projectiles against strong bosses). The setup is not optimal obviously, but it works for the beginning and it is cheap.

- Undying Incinerators:
The Crematorium (Act 3)

- Goatman Fire-Raiser:
Prisoner´s Gate (Act 6)

- Merveil Blessed:
Any map with the "Area is inhabited by Sea Witches" Mod

Tips for Shaper fight (using Cannibal Fire-Eaters):
General Tips:
- Use Bone Offering, NOT Flesh Offering. It makes your Spectres able to survive anything Shaper does.

- Cast Desecrate on the Ground a few times before you start the fight.

- Your Zombies will die during the fight, do not worry, that does not matter. Even if you have mana for it, do not waste time resummoning them.

- Do not panic when your spectres take some damage from the beam, they will leech back to full in a blink. Unless shaper uses 4 Beams in a row (which he does not do) everything is fine.

- This is the most important one: Do not be frustrated if you brick a few sets in the beginning. This build has everything you need to take down Shaper, but it does not guarantee a success. You need practice at the fight to be able to reliably farm him. My first shper attempt was done with no portals left, my second run was a brick. after about the 10th i started to feel comfortable doing the fight,since by then i found out the mechanics of the fight and knew other things i will mention below.

Shaper uses Beam:
- No problem at all, thanks to your high cold resist you do not get melted by too fast, just move out casually.

- After moving out cast Ball Lightning at him so your Spectres keep attacking him. They will take some damage from the Beam, but they will leech back to full anyway.

Shaper throws yellow balls at you:
- You have to dodge those. I´m using a lv. 20 Purity of Ice and one ball deals like ~6k damage to me. just take a step to the side when he fires a salve. he always fires salves of 3, all 3 will fly in the same direction, so one side step per salve is enough.

- Try to cast a ball lightning between the side steps to keep your spectres attacking.

Shaper uses Slam (OH MY GOD!!! PANIC!!!! Not.):
- That is were you use your quicksilver flask. Use it and run around like an idiot, he will miss. He will probaly hit your minons, but again, doesn´t matter.

- Do not run into your minions. I am not 100% sure, but i think it is possible that he targets a minion with the slam. if he does and you run to that minion... well, rip. got baited.

- If your quicksilver is out of charges, hit vaal discipline instead, you will survive the slam that way. If you have no charges left and vaal discipline is not charged either, something went wrong. In that case just log (especially if playing HC), or run around without quicksilver and pray he targets a minion or misses you by an edge. i never had to do this however.
Edit: Vaal Discipline does not let you tank the slam any more, if you are not feeling confident yet running shaper you might want to bring a 2nd quicksilver flask for the fight, you can replace the topaz or ruby flask, since shaper does not deal any lightning/fire damage anyway.

Shaper spawns adds:
- Nice! Get back some sweet flask charges!

- Go to the portal he opens, call your minions with convocation and let them do the work.

- Cast some Desecrate so you have corspes for later.

- You can walk around a bit and check if there are any blue orbs incoming so you can pop them at the edges of the arena. if you do that however remeber to cast ball lightning every few steps so you minions stay at the monsters. I never lost zana during this phase.

Bullet Hell - Attack:
- Go under zana´s shield and cast desecrate once or twice below you, then use bone offering.

- Wait until he starts the actual attack (when the first dark projectiles are fired), then cast convocation, so your minions do not get hit by the full attack.

- Sometimes the spectres derp out of the shield, but that is not a big problem, as long as they do not get hit by the full attack and bone offering is up everything is fine.

- If a blue orb spawns and is going to come to you under the shield try to trigger it at the edge of the shield, without actually leaving it, then move to the opposite edge. If that happens, it sucks, but if you do not panic it is actually manageable.

About those blue orbs that chase you:
- This build kills shaper really fast, there will not spawn too many of them, because the fight is shorter.

- Even if one pops in a bad spot, that´s not a big problem. your minions do not really care for those and you can also survive a while in them thanks to your high cold resist.

- Running through the dot fields the orbs leave on the ground when popped is ABSOLUTELY no problem, again thanks to your high cold resist. do not see them as walls, more like... idk, some dog shit, you do not want to stay in it, but if everything behind you explodes you better walk through it and get rid of it later.

Videos: (now including my first Shaper run in Harbinger league)
Full Shaper Run:

Hydra Fight:

Getting Cannibal Fire-Eaters in a Hydra Map by following the steps i explained above:

My first Shaper run in Harbinger League:
A few things about this: i am incredibly sorry about the horrible sound in this video, it stutters a lot and is desynced, better just turn it off. Even the video stutters a bit, i can ensure you that is not how it looks when i play the game. Still i uploaded this to show you can reliably farm shaper deathless, as you can see in the end i get the Challange for Shaper, so it was my first run and not my 20th that coincidentally was deathless so i uploaded it. That was the last time i used Plays.tv however.

What changed in Patch X for this build?
What changed in 2.6 for this build?

Not much.
The passive tree got changed slightly, resulting in us having 1 more skill point to spend (This is a buff.)

Vaal Discipline got nerfed (not surprised about that). I think the nerf was justified, from my testing it still serves it´s purpose however. You find yourself in a massive amount of breach/perandus/strongbox monsters? Pop vaal discilpine + your flasks, casually cast convocation and watch them burn.

Vaal Haste also got nerfed. However IF you were using it previously (i personally prefer vaal discipline over it, but completely up to you) you can stick to it. The duration nerf does not really matter, this build scales enough duration and clears fast enough so you can have 100% uptime on it. The speed values on it also got nerfed, but considering the amount of aura effectiveness we are scaling you still want to use it IF you prefer clearspeed over the added safety that vaal discipline provides.

It is now possible to roll up to +3 to level of socketed gems on unset rings, this is a very big deal for this build! it is important to know that purity auras give an other 1% max resist on level 23. to get your purity aura to level 23 you can now place a lvl 20 purity aura into a +3 ring or a lvl 21 aura in a +2 ring. it is not that easy to hit +3 on a ring, but it is doable, i spent about 500 alterations + 200 augments to get 4 +3 rings (and a lot more +2s).
How i rolled them:
Get yourself some itemlevel 84 unset rings, transmute them.
throw alterations on them until you hit one of the following things:
- +3 to level of socketed gems - Jackpot! Augment it, regal it and you are good to go! (If you wanted to craft an optimal Ring you should not augment it, but instead just regal and multimod with Elreon 8 from there, but if you are crafting the ring for yourself there is no need to spend multiple exalteds to craft things on your ring you do not necessarily need.)
- +2 to level of socketed gems - Also not bad, if you hit smth good with the augment and the regal
(like high resist/high energy shield/high attributes) you got a good ring, especially if you manage to get yourself a lvl 21 purity gem!
- A SINGLE high resist or high attribute roll - augment it and hope for a +2 or +3 roll, regal if you got one.
- Do not spam click, take your time and look at it before using the next alteration. It is extremely frustrating when you realize you accidentally rolled over that +3 to gems roll.

Changes To Energy Shield in 3.0 and what it will mean for this build:
GGG recently announced, that Energy Shield will be nerfed in many ways. Values on items (including unique items) will be reduced, Discipline gets changed, Vaal Pact no longer works with Energy Shield, Chaos Inncoulation no longer has a more energy shield-node behind it, Ghost Reaver will have a reduced ES recharge modifier and craftable Mods get changed.

Now what does this mean for this build? I think it will be fine. Honestly i think most Summoner builds will be.

The defense of this character is made of:
- a decent energy shield pool
- very good elemental mitigation thanks to purity auras and decent physical mitigation thanks to chaos golem and flesh binder ascendancy node, both can be enhanced with flasks
- a big meatshield that keeps most projectiles and monster aggro away from us
- good sustain thanks to fast start of energy shield recharge and very high recharge rate, this synergizes very well with the meatshield, because it gives us time to start the recharge

I value each of them about equally high, maybe with a slight emphazis on the resistances.

Now since we do not care for changes to vaal pact, ghost reaver and chaos innoculation, the only point that gets nerfed for us is the energy shield pool, but at the same time our sustain (recharge) gets a huge buff: discipline provides lower energy shield, but gives additional recharge rate, you can no longer craft %ES on rings, but you can craft recharge rate. the additional recharge rate also synergizes with vaal discipline, since it makes your energy shield recharge. I dont think this patch will be a very hard nerf, it might even buff our overall survivability in the end. Especially if we make up for some of the lost energy shield by for example dropping a jewel socket and getting a few more ES nodes. it might also be cheaper to gear this character, since less people will play low life or energy shield in general.

additionally i heard a lot of streamers saying that some "bullshit meachanics" like volatiles will get reworked, so they might have a wind up, instead of being instant. the point of having a high total es pool is that you can survive oneshot mechanics, IF they remove some of those, sustain gets even more value compared to total ES. however i could not find an official comment from GGG about this, so do not take this one for granted!
Edit: Allright, take it for granted, Volatiles got reworked, now being actually fair in my opinion.

anyway, a build which´s defense previously consisted of a high es pool combined with instant leech and nothing else will be pretty much screwed, but this build has more to offer than just a raw ES number. we will see how much the changes will affect this build, but i will play it in 3.0 as my leaguestarter either way and will let you know about my opinion on what should be changed about gear/passive tree, but i can guarantee you if those es changes are all that changes for this build, i will continue having fun farming T15+ maps and shaper with it each league.

What changed in 3.0 for this build?
Note that i did not test the build in 3.0 yet, as i did not play Beta, the information i present here are gathered from calculations using Path of Building! At the time of me adding this section 3.0 patch notes are already released and taken into consideration. Anyway, let´s get to the changes:
I have played the Build to level 95 in Harbinger League so far in the meantime and can say what i mention below is correct.

As expected Energy shield values went down, with good end game gear (including Shavronne´s Wrappings with decent roll, The Vertex Vaal Mask, Presence of Chayula and one Energy from Within Jewel) you previously had about 8.2k ES, after 3.0 release you will have about 6.6k ES. Obviously a nerf, but it does not hit that build as hard as it seems. Take a look at the section above this one if you want a more detailed explanation from me.

Due to the nerf to the Commander of Darkness Ascendancy node we lost some damage, while previously all 4 Spectres together dealt about 2.2 Million dps they now deal about 1.8 Million dps. I do not see this as a problem at all, because math. Infinite minus 18% is still infinte. No seriously, i doubt i will even notice the damage loss, i do not mind if i need an extra 5 seconds for shaper and friends. Note that i did these calculations without Flesh Offering since we do not use it against the hardest bosses.

The Basalt flask got nerfed, just like the "Alchemist" cluster in the Passive Tree (Above the "Lord of the Dead"-Node), both are still worth using/picking up in my opinion.

Apparently (could not check that myself yet as i did not play Beta) there is no Story-Zone where you can desecrate Cannibal Fire-Eaters, which might make getting them a bit more annoying. Once i found out i will tell you what my best solution for that problem is, for now my suggestion is to just put Shore Maps (Tier 8) to the side whenever you find them and (if you want to take down some guardians/shaper) start your sessions with one of those, since they seem to almost always contain Fire-Eaters. I am hoping GGG will implement Log-Out persistent spectres soon, since they finally mentioned it is on their to-do-list. (I think they called it their "eventual goal".)

I think it is also worth noting that life numbers of high map bosses were increased significantly, that makes the ability to take down bosses fast (you asked for 1.8 million dps?) and safely (you asked for meathsield/distraction?) even more important.

What changed in 3.1?

At the time of me writing this i do not know which new items will get into the game and might be usefull for this build, i also had no chance yet to test the new support gems, even tho some look very interesting and might turn out to be very nice for our minions. From looking at the patch notes i can tell the following:

- The Spectres we use did not get nerfed, we did not use Wickermen or Tukohama´s Vanguards so that nerf does not matter to us.

- The Minion Life Support gem has been buffed, it now works multiplicatively, resulting in tankier zombies and a tankier golem (not like that guy was going to die any time soon).

- The chill effect Arctic Armour applies when we get hit has been buffed from 10% to 30%.

- Our minions will no longer deal or take damage while we are dead. To HC players this will not matter too much obviously, however for SC players this might come in handy sometimes. When you die your auras will be turned off, resulting in your minions being very weak without the resistances your Purities usually provide. This often causes your minions to die shortly after to some elemental AoE damage (Shaper greets), making the situation even more annoying. Not any more however. I guess this adjustment was done in order to nerf/kill the golem elementalist who could kill any boss while dead, but to us this means a little QoL improvement. :)

- Scriptorium Map is now a T9 map (previously T13), so if you plan to farm a lot of Scriptorium at the start of the league (like me) to get yourself a Shav´s this might have gotten a little easier. However they might have tweaked the drop rate of the "The offering" Div card, so i can not tell for sure yet if it will take longer or shorter.

- Summon Raging Spirits have received a little damage buff, which does not matter for the fully functional build as we do not use SRS, however they are nice for leveling and this comes in handy.

If i forgot anything feel free to PM me here or in game or leave a post in the thread, as always i will be very active in the first weeks/months of a league and usually reply very fast.

Edit: Yes, Spectres received an accuracy buff, but that does not matter for us, since our spectres use Spells, which do not need accuracy.

Pantheon Powers:
For Major God Power i chose Soul of Lunaris for one simple reason: Avoid Projectiles that have chained. That is very strong in the hands of a summoner, as the chain mod on maps can be very rippy for any minion or totem build - anyone who has experienced that running into 2 dozen porcupines in a chain map might cause sudden death knows what i´m talking about. with that pantheon not any more, hitting convcation (and optimally vaal discipline) will keep you safe when having this pantheon power.
The other Buffs the Pantheon provides are not as strong, but also not wasted. Being able to occasionally avoid some Projectiles or Spells is nothing i want to rely on, but we get it for free so we take it. The movement speed and Physical mitigation is also very welcome of course.

For Minor God Power i chose Soul of Abberath. Reduced Fire damage taken while moving is once again not too impactfull or reliable, but also not useless. being unaffected by burning ground comes in very handy, as it now does not interrupt our energy shield recharge any more. 50% reduced ignite duration also does not hurt, as we do not use an anti-burn flask.
Last edited by xxWolf on Dec 6, 2018, 3:03:56 AM
Last bumped on Jan 22, 2019, 3:05:05 PM
Frequently asked questioins:
Have you any Tips on how to level this Build?
- Do not level with spectres, that would be a very frustrating experience

- zombies are weak until you get some minion life regeneration

- use Summon Raging Spirit as leveling skill, you can use it from level 4 onwards, it will carry you until the point where you can go full spectres (around level 70). i recommend getting a 3linked Reverberation Rod, put Summon Raging Spirit - Minion Damage - Melee Splash in it (you can use the wand from level 24 i think, until then you can place SRS and whatever supports are available at the time in a life sprig or just in whatever links are free. you can switch in multistrike for melee splash against bosses. you can also go with a tabula rasa if you have one, put SRS - Minion Damage - Melee Splash - Spell Echo - Melee Physical Damage - Minion Speed in there, again replacing melee splash with Multistrike for bosses. Tabula makes leveling easier, but Reverberation Rod also makes leveling easy.

- while leveling best is to go life based, meaning while travelling to your minion nodes you should pick up any life nodes you travel by, also try to find some gear with life rolls while leveling (resists also do never hurt)

- do not be afraid to pick up some +30 strength or dexterity nodes in the skill tree if you need more of those stats to wear gear/level gems, you can respec them later, just like the life nodes

- if you already have a higher level character you can buy the gems the build requires from the vendor next to the waypoint in act 10 town and start leveling them with your summoner, once he can. for that purpose it is a good idea to put some 3 socket weapons in your 2nd weapon set (if you press X you swap weapon sets), you will not use those weapons, but the gems in them gain experience!

- for auras while leveling i recommend using purity of elements, it makes your life much easier. Hatred greatly increases your raging spirit´s and zombie´s damage, however if you run both you will want to use an elreon ring to negate your SRS´ mana cost, you can buy one with -8 to mana cost of skills for 1C on poetrade. if you do not want to use elreon + hatred you can use clarity instead.

- Bones of Ullr got a low level rquirement, you can use those from level 22, 4linking them is not a waste of fusings, since you will keep using them in the late game, making them a good place to put a 4link zombie setup in. Raise Zombie - Minion Damage - Minion Life - Melee Physical Damage is what i usually go with for leveling.

- with your first 2 ascendancy nodes pick up Commander of Darkness, it grants very good damage and those 20% all resist are really nice while leveling (and necessary when starting maps)

- once you got your merciless ascendancy points (pick up Flesh Binder and Soul Weaver) and are about lvl 70 you can do the respec. spec out of life nodes, replace your life gear with the energy shield/low life gear (replace Shavronne´s with Solaris Lorica if you can not afford it yet) and get your aura setup running (do not forget to put in one Conqueror´s Efficiency Jewel somewhere at the tree!). if this is your first energy shield character it will feel very weird in the beginning, since you can not rely on life pots and do not have a large ES pool yet. stay behind your minions and play defensively until you got used to it (and maybe some gear upgrades).
Edit: Getting a vaal discipline will greatly increase your survivabillity!

- on the solaris lorica try to get a 4link with the colours Blue, Blue, Red, Green. Link Raise Spectre - Minion Damage - Fire Penetration - Greater Multiple Projectiles in it. For (harder) bosses switch in slower projectiles for GMP. you hit those colours on the solaris lorica on average every 29 chromes. the setup is very squishy at this point without crystal belt, shav´s and presence of chayula, but also very cheap and - if played safely - able to farm up to red maps until you can get gear upgrades. last league i farmed T13 Scriptorium maps with it for the Shavronne´s wrappings, that is not necessary any more, since shav´s got much cheaper. (energy shield is dead, you know? i´ll tell you something: shaper didn´t notice.)

you do not necessarily have to do everything i mentioned, you can level without any of the uniques, you can level with energy shield gear and just dont pick up life and you could level as a completely different build (firestorm for example), but the things i described make the leveling process much more enjoyable (for me at least) and safe. i know that a lot of people do not like to do respecs, but i really recommend just picking up those life nodes, as ES is really weak while leveling and you get a lot of respec points just by doing the quests. and even if you had to spend a few regrets later ("few" means about 5, not 50.), that would be worth it, considering you needed 4 less hours for leveling and had 20 deaths less.

Why do you use Pierce in your 6link setup? Wouldn´t Controlled Destruction provide a bigger damage increase?
Controlled Destruction would indeed provide more single target damage, but that would require you to run a 5Blue 1Green setup in your chest, so you can not use Faster Projectiles in your Map Clear setup. In my opinion Faster Projectiles grants way too much clearspeed to be dropped in order to perform an absolute overkill on the single target damage - that is just my opinion of course, if you want that overkill, go for it! :D

What enchants do you recommend?
I do not recommend going for enchants at all, since it is hard to find a good enchant on a good gear piece - and if you find one, prices can get rediculous - and they do not even provide that great of a buff. Before you read what enchants i would recommend if you want to go for them anyway, let me tell that it is not worth picking up a bad item with a good enchant - do not use that 40% increased Spectre Damage helmet with 100 ES.

Glove Enchants:
Most of them are useless for this build, if you wanted to fit the Summoner theme you could go for the "of the Grave" Enchant, it spawns Icy Skull Minions, which deal a little extra damage. Make sure there is no Enchant on your Gloves that deals fire damage (like the "Inferno" enchant for example), it would proc your Elemental Equilibrium and grant the enemies fire resistance, which you obviously do not want.

Boot Enchant:
"Increased Movement Speed if not hit recently" is very nice here, anything that gives you dodge chance or smth like that is not useless either i guess. Note that none of the enchants applies to your minions, only to you, so there is no use in for example the Elemental Penetration enchant!
Again make sure not to have an enchant that makes you deal fire damage.

Helmet enchant:
If you can pick up a good helmet with a nice enchant, go for it, but as i said i do not think they are worth spending big amounts of money on them.
There is a large Variety of Enchants that are usefull for the build, however i think going for enchants that provide even more damage (inc. spectre damage for example) are complete overkill, and not even that much of a bonus, as we already have a large amount of increased minion damage, adding an other 40% is not a big deal. Because of that enchants i would recommend are

Convocation Cooldown Recovery Speed (yes, im serious, i actually think that is the best enchant, as it greatly lowers Convocation´s Cooldown, granting a bigger clear speed increase than any spectre damage enchant could ever do, while also increasing survivabillity)

Enfeeble Curse Effectiveness

reduced mana reserved for a Purity or Anger (it will free up a jewel slot, as you do not need Conqueror´s Efficiency any more and you have more mana to spend, which is not necessary, but nice if you are one of the poeple that keep spamming ball lightning. :P )

any Bone Offering or Flesh Offering enchant

increased chaos golem buff effect

desecrate creates X additional corpses.

Of course you can go for that Spectre damage/Spectre Cast Speed/Elemental weakness effectiveness or even Zombie damage enchant, but as i said i think they are overkill and do not even grant that much of a bonus.

I got the aura setup you explained, but now i am unable to cast spells, why is that?!
You need to fit in one Conqueror´s Efficiency jewel, you get it from a quest or you can buy it for an alch on poetrade, it grants 2% reduced mana reserved and will push your mana to an amount where you can cast your spells. I do mention the jewel in the guide, but i lately get that question a lot, so i probably did not point that out well enough.

Recent Updates:

- Added a section about the Energy shield Changes in 3.0 and my opinion on it.

- Added a "What Changed in 3.0" section, need to do testing to see if changes to skilltree are required.

- Updated Skilltrees, since PoeMate apparently died.

- Uploaded a video of my first shaper run in Harbinger League.

- Updated the "How to get map Lvl Spectres" section for 3.0.2
Last edited by xxWolf on Dec 21, 2017, 3:35:18 AM
hi, couple of questions:

1) What map would you usually find the cannibal spectres in then? You say coast but what would that translate to as the highest possible?

2) Any video of these shaper kills?

3) Any chance you could unlock your profile so we can see your character?
allana wrote:
hi, couple of questions:

1) What map would you usually find the cannibal spectres in then? You say coast but what would that translate to as the highest possible?

2) Any video of these shaper kills?

3) Any chance you could unlock your profile so we can see your character?

1) U can find them in ANY map, i explain that in the section at the end, it is called "how to get map level spectres". the trick is the following: if you enter a map while you have a spcific monster as spectre (level of the spectres does NOT matter) you can summon corpses of that monster in the map. so you go to the coast and get some cannibal fire-eaters, then you open a map and then you spawn new corspes, which will contain map level cannibal-fire eaters. then you can use those as your new spectres. the only thing that keeps that from working is if the map has any "area is inhabited by" mod, make sure it does not have those.

2) Not yet, my internet is not the fastest and uploading will take an eternity. :D I will try to upload one in the next few days however.

3) Done. Completely forgot about that, thanks for mentioning! The character name is Lunuara

Edit: I understand why at least some videos should be uploaded, since just walls of text might not look that appealing, uploaded a video showing me doing a full shaper run. I will add more videos in the future.
Last edited by xxWolf on Jan 8, 2017, 6:30:44 AM
hi, trying your spectre trick but so far doesn't seem to be working

The shaper killed looked solid though!
Thanks for posting your build. You're calling this lowlife but I don't see that you have taken the CI passive.
Nevermind, I see life is being reserved for auras.
allana wrote:
hi, trying your spectre trick but so far doesn't seem to be working

The shaper killed looked solid though!

make sure you open the map when you already have the spectres (from the coast for ex). it is key that you press the "activate" button on the map device while you have the spectres!
xxWolf wrote:
allana wrote:
hi, trying your spectre trick but so far doesn't seem to be working

The shaper killed looked solid though!

make sure you open the map when you already have the spectres (from the coast for ex). it is key that you press the "activate" button on the map device while you have the spectres!

holy shit it worked. This changes everything
Hii there, big chance you recognize me, but anyways, Im another creator of a shaper-killing summoner, good to see someone have a video down on it already!

Also, saw you found out something amazing about spectre summoner, truly thanks for that information, I didnt know that :D

Have my blessing my friend!

Build looks solid, and I can definetly recommend this as an alternative to anyone reading this.
Ign: Leary_AscendedNecro
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