Cartwheels on Ice (Golems) ⛄ Shaper-viable meme build

Hey All,

Thanks for checking out my Ice Golem build. This is still somewhat experimental, so forgive the warts for now. Feel free to ask questions, provide tips, or whatever :)

Basics of the Build
1) Build the golems for melee, not casting.
2) Walk around, dodge, and pop chests and stuff while the Ice Golems literally freak out on all the monsters.

Ice Golems have 3 abilities according to the wiki. Two are physical attacks and one is cold/projectile. From the limited examples I've seen on the internet, there seems to be a tendency to try and augment the cold ability because, hey, everybody loves projectiles, right? That's probably a mistake. I'm still doing a lot of experimenting, so don't take my word for it yet, but I think support gems need to be built more around the physical abilities.

More in the Skills/Gems section.

Rough Guide for New Players
1) Check out Engineering Eternity's Beginners Guide Series if you're completely new. Remember, the wiki is precious.

2) Start game as Witch (in a non-HC league unless you're a masochist).

3) Head to town.

4) Get your starter spell.

5) Start leveling/questing.
- Get secondary skills/curses/move skills from vendors as you progress
- - i.e. Flame Dash, Fire Trap, Faster Casting, etc.
- - Many progress from Freezing Pulse > Firestorm > Bladefall > main skill
- - Level other skills in free slots where possible and experiment
- - You'll get a feel for what's useful and/or interesting
- - You'll outgrow some/most of the skills you level up (stash or trash as needed)

6) Pick up gear upgrades from
- Avoid spending currency to craft your own items for now
- Try to stick with what you pick up or can find on < 1 chaos
- While leveling, it's usually easier to buy than craft, since people find more drops that are useful for builds other than their own.

7) Once you hit 41, get 2x Clayshapers.

8) Get a taste of each of the different golems with simple 4-links:
- Typical setups:
- - Chaos Golem>Minion Damage>Void Manipulation>Increase AoE
- - Flame Golem>MinionDmg>Greater Multiple Projectiles>Spell Echo
- - Ice Golem>MinionDmg>Multistrike>Melee Physical Damage
- - Lightning Golem>MinionDmg>GMP>Pierce
- - Stone Golem>MinionDmg>Melee Phys>Multistrike

Here's where you decide whether you really want to play Ice Golems or go with something more established (Flame/Chaos). Or maybe try my Lightning Golem build? :D Or heck, maybe you'll discover golems really aren't your thing :P

If you're still not sure, then you might want to turn back and consider some other build for now. Golem builds can be quite expensive to min/max (although you can say this about most builds tbh). Anima/Might jewels can run you upwards of a few exalts each. If this doesn't scare you though, then good luck! Dive right in and tell me how your journey goes. :)

Also, if you decide to go with Ice, Lightning, or Stone instead, do share your experience, as not many people have tried taking those to endgame.

I know this is a little sparse on details (hence "rough"), so let me know if you have any questions. More than happy to answer/help where possible. :)

The build is intended just "for fun" rather than serious content clearing. :D

Pros & Cons
+ Can lazy-mode (clear maps by just holding down the move key)
+ Okay clearspeed (about as fast as any other golem build)
+ Can do any map mod, but phys reflect is annoying, so skip that
+ Off-meta, non-poison, non-double dipping, unlikely to be nerfed
+ Easy on your computer (Flame Golems give me fps lag)
+ Watching Ice Golems can be pretty hilarious; the more minion speed, the funnier

- Relatively expensive (but can start cheap)
- Not much info available; lot of testing to do (maybe this is a plus?)
- Summoner playstyle isn't for everybody
- Not a facetank/faceroll build (need to dodge, which is kinda common sense really)
- Can kill bosses while dead (Yes, this is a negative. It rewards players for avoiding risk, robs yourself of a fun and fulfilling endgame experience, and also imbalances the economy. Golems should be unsummoned like other minions are when the summoner dies.)

My overall impressions of the build: Flawed, but fun.

You'll be able to clear comfortably, but there are other builds that can clear more efficiently.

You'll be able to boss comfortably, but there are other builds that can kill bosses faster.

The main problem with the build is that the Ice Golems can't use their cartwheel ability indefinitely. They inevitably switch over to one of their weaker moves at times. That said,
they're still fairly enjoyable. So if you're looking for something a little offbeat, they're worth a shot.

I don't really recommend this build for hardcore, but I was able to take this to 94 in AHC.


3.0 Shaper (LVL 21 golems, WIP)
3.0 Phoenix (boss fight starts at 2:20)
3.1 Chimera (Vulnerability, +boss dmg, AHC)

3.2 T12 Defiled Cathedral
3.0 T11 Shaped StrandOlder video for (nostalgia). It's funny to think about all the complaining about people running Shaped Strand all day. Fast forward several leagues later and people can't get enough of Delve (basically Shaped Strand on steroids) :P

2.6 Cheesing Minotaur with Stone Golems
2.6 Reeeallly old Shaper run from when I was still learning the build
3.1 AHC rip vs. Minotaur (be sure you're not in line-of-sight, even when Mino is offscreen)

3.0 Golem skill cooldown with and without Primordial Harmony
3.1 What stats are important on Primordial Harmony? All of them.
3.0 Victario's Charity vs. 2nd Clayshaper

To-Do List

- other bosses
- testing
- (open to requests)

The setup below is for the Necromancer version of this build. If you're interested in the Elementalist version, please see my WIP POB Pastebin in the Passives section.

6L Chest
1) Summon Ice Golem
2) Minion Speed/Minion Damage
3) Multistrike
4) Melee Phys
5) Empower4/Hypothermia/FasterAttacks
6) Ruthless

Go with Minion Damage on bosses or if your gems aren't leveled yet or if you're having trouble one-shotting packs. Keep in mind, this is kind of a joke build. So I recommend mixing in Minion Speed, Faster Attacks, Onslaught, and/or Victario's if you want max meme factor with turbo golems.

Why melee supports?
Many players tend to get sucked into projectile tunnel vision after seeing/playing Flame Golems. Focusing primarily on the Icicle Barrage though is pretty inefficient. It's actually their worst move.

2 of 3 Ice Golem abilities are (oddly) pure physical and used quite often. Although Ice Golems have a "Default Attack", their real default attack is the snowman spin (Cyclone), which they usually use as soon as they spot an enemy in within striking range. They only revert to the Icicle Barrage at close range. When mapping, the mobs tend to be dead already before they even get to that range, which skews the offensive mix even more towards melee attacks. This is why Ice, not Stone, is the best melee Golem. Although Stone Golems have a similar rolling attack, for some reason attempt to simply walk up to enemies and Default Attack far too much.

Boring analysis aside, Multistrike is required because it makes Ice Golems funny :P You can also swap in Hypothermia for some extra cool fun! (i apologize for the un-punny...)

4L Curse Setup
Curse on Hit
Ball Lightning or Orb of Storms

Why not Blasphemy?
I think a CoH is a more efficient use of clicks and gem slots. This setup allows you to proc EE and 2 curses with a single click. If you prefer Blasphemy,
feel free to go with that. It will be more difficult to run other auras though (this build recommends Discipline and Hatred).
About choice of curses
Curses are kind of in an awkward place since elemental damage isn't the focus of this build. You can still substitute Frostbite for Vulnerability if you want.

5L Spectres
Raise Spectre (Carnage Chieftain)
Minion Life
Blood Magic
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance or Minion Speed

5L? In a Hungry Loop?
Why Carnage Chieftains?
Since I'm more interested in getting the most possible out of the golems, I decided to go with a Lycosidae shield. This means giving up charges from Victario's. We can get the Frenzy charges back by using Carnage Chieftain (Ape) spectres (you can get them from The Ashen Fields in Act 7). I found the Chieftains to be tough enough to survive T16 reliably with just the minion regen nodes on the tree and without taking the Soul Weaver Ascendancy points. You'll want to slot Blood Magic for them so they don't run out of MP for their Frenzy Charge Warcry though.

Obviously, you'd probably get more mileage using some other spectres, like the Blade Vortex ones or everybody's favorite Tukohama's Vanguard. Like I said though, I'm more interested in keeping this a golem-focused build.

3L Auras

Since we're focused on the golems' physical damage, Hatred will be the best aura for scaling it. Also, you'll want to break your 3L into a 2L+1 so that Discipline affects you.

Recommended Utilities
Movement Skill
Vaal Discipline

Convocation is useful to pull the golems back and force another round of cartwheels if they get "locked" into close combat mode.

Other Utilities
4L: CWDT (LVL 1)-Frost Wall-Immortal Call-Spirit Offering
4L: CWDT (LVL 1)-Unearth-GMP-Desecrate

The Unearth+Spirit Offering combo offers another layer of tankiness by recovering ES when you get hit and also synergizes with the golems by giving them more offense and defense.

Feel free to modify or substitute these links with something else if you like. A lot of people prefer Bone Offering and some sort of FasterAttacks+Fortify+Shield Charge or Leap Slam setup.

Recommended order of major upgrades:
Anima > 6L > Might > LVL 21 Golems

Try to get a Clayshaper with a high minion life and minion phys dmg rolls. Grab Necromantic Aegis on the tree before using Victario's, which will give your Ice Golems even more zoom. Or grab a Lycosidae instead (thanks to CoolColJ for the tip!) to buff their accuracy for increased consistency and higher DPS than Victario's.

- stun mitigation especially helpful against Phoenix adds
- save 2 or 3 passive points if you somehow acquire a +1 curse version
- use a rare amulet with Brineking Pantheon if you're having trouble balancing resists

- great value stat-wise (no drawbacks, 2 mods worth of resists, and key immunities)
- chill immunity helps a lot versus Shaper Vortex pools
- use a rare ring if you're having trouble balancing resists

- 5L or cheap corrupted 6L is fine up until you get your 6L
- Vis Mortis is another option if you can get the right colors

- the main stats to focus on are Life, ES, and resists in that order

If you are super lucky/rich and manage to acquire an Elder Helm modded with an Essence of Insanity for Conc Effect, Minion Damage, and +Minion Gem Levels, that is possibly the biggest single damage boost you can possibly hope for on this build. With that sort of unicorn helm, you could push Cyclone DPS to well over 500K for a single Ice Golem

ES/Life boots w/ movement speed, ES/Life gloves, and an ES/Life belt round things out. Mod priority should generally be ES > resists > stats. Once you've optimized these basics, then you can look into Master/Essence crafts for minions.

If you can afford the defensive hit, feel free to work in a pair of these:

- 1x Anima Stone
- 1x Primordial Might (largely optional)
- Mix of Primordial Harmony and Eminence for the rest

+ Mapping:
- - x of Warding
- - x of Dousing
- - x of Staunching
- - x of Adrenaline
- - your choice for 5th

Also have an easy to swap Culling set that I use every once in a while, mostly just for fun. Glove swap would be more efficient though.

Passive Tree
This build is for the Necromancer Ascendancy, but is also doable as Elementalist (some of the videos were done as Elementalist). The tree is basically complete at level 85-ish. Anything beyond that is just picking up extra ES nodes and/or jewel slot(s).

Essential Nodes:
Mistress of Sacrifice
- Necromancer Ascendancy
Commander of Darkness
- Necromancer Ascendancy
Minion Life Regeneration
- to keep your Spectres alive
Necromantic Aegis
- charges from Victario's or 100% acc from Lyco
Minion Leech
- helps with golem survivability
and plenty of Life, ES, and jewel slots
- feel free to mix in some Eminence for more zoom :)

Here how the tree should look basically: (requires Path of Building to view)

Here's a WIP 3.3 tree for the Elementalist version:
I recommend dropping Spectres in the Hungry Loop and just running Flesh Offering instead.


1) Bandits?
Help out Eramir for points :)

2) Any significant changes in 3.1?
- incorporated Spectre/Hungry Loop into build
- incorporated Stygian Vise into build

That's about it. No other major changes. The new Shaped/Elder equipment don't synergize as well with Ice Golems compared to Flame Golems or fire-based Spectres imo.

3) 3.2 changes?
Mistress of Sacrifice got nerfed, but is still viable.

4) 3.3 changes?
Nothing major. See top post on page #2 for details.

These are builds I learned a lot from:

ZiggyD's Primordial Golemancer Build
5 x Chaos Golem build. All content done. Videos

(neither are Ice, but shout-outs regardless!)

Thanks for GGG too, for making a fun and engaging game :)
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
Last edited by tomatopotato on Jan 18, 2019, 7:45:29 AM
Last bumped on Aug 21, 2018, 9:01:32 AM
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
Last edited by tomatopotato on Nov 27, 2018, 11:05:12 PM
Added some videos of mapping and Minotaur.
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
awesome build! I tried something similar not that long ago, due to having to much lag with the flame golems. Didnt have the success you seemed to have had. Probably due to focusing so much on the ice machine gun (i know rookie mistake lol) but i am having great success and more fun now thanks to the guide hopefully you can push this even further! Have you experimented with Hypothermia more? i feel the six link you have now seems to be the best option out there for the build. Anyway keep up the good work love the build
maggots1450 wrote:
awesome build! I tried something similar not that long ago, due to having to much lag with the flame golems. Didnt have the success you seemed to have had. Probably due to focusing so much on the ice machine gun (i know rookie mistake lol) but i am having great success and more fun now thanks to the guide hopefully you can push this even further! Have you experimented with Hypothermia more? i feel the six link you have now seems to be the best option out there for the build. Anyway keep up the good work love the build

Hey, thanks a lot. I actually had the same problem with flame golems.

I've played with Hypothermia a bit, but ended up going back to Empower because the Guardians, Shaper, and Atziri are all immune to chill. Also, I'm a little too lazy to recolor my chest just for mapping.

That said, Hypothermia is a lot more flavorful for this build and more fun, so I definitely don't discourage using it up to a point. :)
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
Last edited by tomatopotato on Jul 7, 2017, 10:34:44 PM
3.0 beta trees and CI vs. Hybrid vs. Life comments added to the Passive Tree section.
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
Adjusted recommended gem links and added new 3.0 videos

T15 Shaped Underground River
T15 Abyss
T15 Core
T13 Gorge
T13 Shaped Atoll
Putrid Cloister
Xoph's Domain

(unedited raw video only, sorry!)
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
CoolColJ wrote:
100% accurate Ice Golems with Lycosiade shield might be even better, like it is with SRS

Dude... you're totally right. I completely forgot about that. I kinda miss the turbo golems with Victario's, but I like the increased smoothness. Thanks!
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
Updated for 3.1:
- updated recommended gem links
- converted to Necromancer (for more synergy with Spirit Offering)
- added Hungry Loop (for Spectres)
- added Lycosidae (to boost golem melee accuracy)
- added videos Chimera fight and mapping T11 Mesa

My overall impressions of ice golems after tinkering with them for a few leagues:
Flawed, but fun.

Can clear comfortably, but there are other builds that can clear more efficiently.

Can boss comfortably, but there are other builds that can kill bosses faster.

The main problem with the build is that the Ice Golems can't use their cartwheel ability indefinitely. They inevitably switch over to one of their weaker moves at times. That said, they're still fairly enjoyable.

I don't really recommend this build for hardcore, but took this to 94 in AHC just to see (insta-gibbed by a corrupted Minotaur that burrowed at me from offscreen).

See you all next league ⛄
⚡ Lightning Golems:
⛄ Ice Golems:
Last edited by tomatopotato on Feb 10, 2018, 9:40:10 PM
I really like this build. I've tried it a few leagues ago, and still playing it each league. Ice golems are real blast, they charge as hell and disrupt everything. Clearspeed may be a bit slower compared to flame/lightning ones, but there are no shiny graphics explosions each second, and it's more eyes-safe for relaxed playing. The sounds of cyclone charges are fantastic, the mobs literaly CRUSHED with freeze explosions granted by Hatred. Single target is a joke, the golems just charge and shred the boss in seconds.

General tips for newbies:
* The main source of golem AOE damage is Cyclone skill.
* Multistrike gives two additional charges to Cyclone. Its very efficient.
* Melee splash don't improve clearspeed. And probably slows its down due to less damage modifier.
* Clayshaper(41) grants 12 lvl golem skill that is VERY strong for early game. It can be boosted by support gems in the item. The sockets may even not be not linked.
* Steppan Eard boots have a lot of ES and can be used for this build efficiently.
* Vulnerability curse is a safe bet if you using only one curse.
* Golem MTX is strictly appreciated for this build.

* Best link colors for Ice golems seems to be G-B-R-R-R-R: Summon Ice Golem, Minion Damage, Multistrike, Melee Physical Damage, Damage on Full Life, Empower / (Added Fire Damage). The biggest multiplier available with some accuracy assumptions *
* Lycosidae seems efficient in terms of raw boss DPS, but double Clayshapers is usually better for clearspeed. Accuracy may be critical though, and there are no much options except Lycosidae, Accuracy Support and Poacher's Mark. It's more a question of personal preference what to sacrifice then.

Thoughts on 3.3:
* Harmonies now grant 30-45% impoved cooldown recovery for golems. It may be a huge buff, or may take no effect at all (depending on bug details that was not fully disclosed). If Ice golems were not fully affected by Harmonies bug in past, it would be a huge buff.
* We get new "The Rite of Elements" divination card that gives random 21 lvl golem gem. Its very useful not just for main golem skill, but for support ones as well (stone/chaos).

Personaly, I found this build very satisfying with boosted ES regen and physical mitigation. It's easy to get 1k shield regen with Zealot Oauth, stone golem and a lot of regen nodes from the tree, while still having 13-14 jewel sockets for harmonies. There is a version with boosted regen (15.7% + golem): Soul of Steel can be taken too, and Unwavering Stance may be useful for early game. 300 str can be converted to ES with Shaper Touch gloves.

Trick: Replace some Harmonies with Eminences and get a SOLID buff boost for stone/chaos golems. 4% phys mitigation can be scaled up to 20% and more WITHOUT sacrificing much DPS, since each Eminence gives +30% attack speed for golems. Clearspeed may suffer a bit, not the boss setup though. With +100% buff enchant for chaos golems, phys mitigation can be raised to ENORMOUS levels (~75% in bestiary with flask and crab barriers / ~35%+ constant).

Basically, this build is very fun to play with. It opens huge personalisation possibilities and can be effectively played during the season. Thank you for sharing and have fun.
Last edited by cyberxndr on May 30, 2018, 6:18:36 AM

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