[3.3] Physical Vaal Double Strike/Summoner Champion | [OUTDATED]

Spoiler


========== [3.2] Physical Vaal Double Strike/Summoner Champion ==========

// GENERAL //

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Introduction

This build attacks with Double Strike for raw physical damage, but also supports two to four Clones from Vaal Double Strike, four Zombies augmented by Mon'tregul's Grasp, and up to 20 utility Spectral Wolves from The Scourge. This build also revolves around the Champion ascendancy is for its unique interactions with selected skills and items.
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Pros & Cons

+ Easy to play! You only actively use three skills (Double Strike, Vaal Double Strike, and Whirling Blades) in combat, thus allowing you to better concentrate on your character's actions.

+ As of now, I can complete T12 maps relatively easily; my furthest push was T15.

+/- I made this build purely for fun :) As such, I take a more casual approach to this build and I probably won't make it a life goal to push it to being Shaper viable (or anything of the sort). You can view this as either a positive or negative (lol).

- As with many other summoner builds, it's slow to level. It's also a late bloomer as the key items in this build cannot be equipped until Level 70.

- If you're looking for a build that can clear end-game content, this probably is not for you as this build isn't designed to handle uber bosses.
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Why Champion?

(You can skip this if you're not interested)
Spoiler
First and foremost, I understand that the Necromancer has many minion-specific benefits. However, I firmly believe the Champion is a far better choice for a melee summoner.

Necromancer and Champion are fairly close in terms of increasing damage for the build, but Champion has one obvious advantage: "Worthy Foe," which prevents enemies from evading hits. This is massively beneficial as your character, Clones, Zombies, and Spectral Wolves will never miss. The potential defenses of the Necromancer aren't as defensively viable as the Champion's reduced damage taken, immunity to stun, and permanent Fortify. Lastly, the ability to Taunt is not only useful as a crowd control mechanic, but also a defensive mechanic that redirects attention away from your minions.

Overall, I've never really cared for meta builds and always loved the idea of melee summoners, which became increasingly plausible in recent game changes. However, most melee summoners I’ve seen are for the Witch; this is understandable, but I wanted to push the boundaries into the Duelist, a class that isn't traditionally known for summoners.

// SKILLS //

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Passive Skill Tree

[Here] is the current passive tree for Level 88. Much of the tree focuses on minion, maximum life, life leech, and skill effect duration nodes. The following is a leveling guide:

* Level 1-19
* Level 20-34
* Level 35-50
* Level 51-59
* Level 60-67
* Level 68-79
* Level 80+

The two jewel sockets near the Scion and Witch starting areas are for two Violent Dead for improving your Zombies, while the two jewel sockets near the Duelist starting area are for two Atziri's Reign for increasing the duration of your Clones.
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Ascendancy Allocation


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Skill Gems

Vaal Double Strike + Multistrike + Melee Splash + Maim + Brutality + Melee Physical Damage

NOTE: The support gems are in order of importance! Your Clones from Vaal Double Strike do not benefit from Multistrike. However, Maim makes affected enemies take more physical damage, which increases your Clones' and Zombies' damage.
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Raise Zombie + Multistrike + Bloodlust + Brutality

Melee Splash is not necessary because two copies of Violent Dead will make your Zombies use their slam attack all the time.
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CWDT (Lv.1) + [...]
Desecrate (Lv.7) + Flesh Offering (Lv.8) / Immortal Call (Lv. 3) / Blood Rage (Lv. 7)


Low-level CWDT Setups: Desecrate must be socketed before Flesh Offering to ensure the correct order of casting. The duration of Immortal Call is extended by endurance charges generated from Warlord's Mark. The degeneration of Blood Rage is managed by life regeneration and life leech.
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CWDT (Lv. 20) + Molten Shell (Lv. 20) or Summon Chaos Golem (Lv. 20)

High-level CWDT Setups: Use Molten Shell for short bursts of high physical damage mitigation, or Summon Chaos Golem for ongoing low physical damage mitigation.
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Blasphemy + Warlord's Mark + Vulnerability or Arctic Armour

Warlord's Mark gives your Zombies life leech and a chance to stun-lock enemies. If you have corrupted gloves with Vulnerability, you can change Vulnerability in this setup to Arctic Armour for increased defense and utility.
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Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks + Blind

NOTE: Put this setup in The Scourge! This setup makes your Spectral Wolves a powerhouse for inflicting Blind, which reduces enemies' chance to hit by 50%.

// ITEMS //

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Equipment


The Scourge is the first required item for the build. It ensures minion damage applies to you and it's your method for summoning Spectral Wolves. NOTE: Remember to put The Scourge in your main hand for Double Strike!


Mon'tregul's Grasp is the second required item. It cuts your maximum number of Zombies in half, but gives them a massive boost in life, resistances, and damage. Remember its "explosion" is negated by Brutality.


Lightning Coil is not required, but it's suitable for added defense (and I don't have any other life-based 6-link armors at the moment, lol). Windscream is also not required, but having something with +1 to curses is important; alternatively, you can use Doedre's Damning or a corrupted amulet with +1 to curses. Belt of the Deceiver is not required either, but permanent Intimidate on nearby enemies gives a substantial boost in damage.


The rest of your items should focus on core stats: Life, resistances, defense, etc. Corrupted gloves with Vulnerability allows room for Arctic Armour. For any rare jewelry, aim to use Deafening Essence of Fear for the increased movement speed for minions.
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Flasks


I recommend having at least two "Of Animation" flask to help maintain you and your minions' life pools. Some options for other flasks are Quicksilver, Stibnite, Sulphur flasks or flasks that remove bleeding, poison, or elemental status ailments.

// DISCUSSION //

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Videos

The following video is outdated and from the 3.2 version. I'll upload new videos soon.
Spoiler
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why not Necromancer?

This is undoubtedly the question I receive the most. Again, I understand the applicability of the Necromancer. Please refer to the "Why Champion?" subsection under "Introduction" for further details about my choice in Champion.

Q: What are the Bandit rewards?

Choose either Oak's reward (1% life regenerated per second, 2% additional physical damage reduction, and 20% increased physical damage) or Eramir's reward (+2 passive skill points).

Q: What about the Pantheon?

Since I'm using Lightning Coil, I plan on going with Arakaali for the major god to mitigate any shock on me. If you don't plan on using Lightning Coil, Solaris is most likely the best for its general defenses against bosses. For the minor god, go with Ryslatha because the "Of Animation" life flasks benefit both you and your minions.

Q: Are the Clones considered minions?

No, the Clones from Vaal Double Strike are not considered minions. Therefore, they do not benefit from any minion nodes or minion buffs (i.e. Flesh Offering). However, they do benefit from debuffs on enemies (i.e. Taunt, Intimidate, Maim, and Vulnerability).

// MISCELLANEOUS //

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Change Log

Spoiler
* 8/8/2017: Initial guide posted in the Duelist forum.

* 9/10/2017: Updated passive tree and skill gems. Included "Any other gameplay tips?" and "Why not use Haemophilia?" under the "Frequently Asked Questions" subsection. Added videos.

* 12/18/2017: Major 3.1 update. Bleeding is now more intuitive for the build. Bleeding is now applied by minions instead of the player. Grace has been replaced by a blasphemied Vulnerability; "Whispers of Doom" allocated for the additional curse. Spectral Wolves setup changed for Maim instead of Blind. The build does not invest in block chance anymore. Original build was named "The Overseer" - name has been removed as "Physical Melee/Summoner" is more descriptive.

* 3/7/2018: Major 3.2 update. The build now runs with Champion instead of Gladiator. Emphasis on "Explosion on Kill" has been lessened in favor of more consistent raw physical damage. Support gems rearranged for better use; bleeding is now applied by the player instead of minions. Mind Over Matter included for more defense and Vaal Pact removed to allow life regeneration to counter-balance various degeneration effects. Added Coruscating Elixir and Forbidden Taste for interaction with "First to Strike, Last to Fall." Updated the images in the "Why Champion?" and "Ascendancy Allocation" subsections. Removed outdated videos; uploaded new video.

* 6/17/2018: Major 3.3 update. Reave is replaced with Vaal Double Strike for the base Double Strike skill and Clone generation from Vaal Double Strike. "Inspirational" and "First to Strike, Last to Fall" [and Coruscating Elixir and Forbidden Taste] removed in favor of more consistent damage/defense from "Unstoppable Hero" and "Fortitude." Mind Over Matter, mana nodes, and dual-wielding nodes refunded; points used for skill effect duration nodes to benefit the duration of Clones, Spectral Wolves, and new buffs. Auto-cast and support gems rearranged for better use. Updated many subsections; condensed information to avoid blocks of text for easier reading.
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Conclusion

While this build isn't the strongest in the game, it's certainly a different take on a melee summoner that, to me, is both fun and exciting. Champion really makes this build shine as it allows for unique combinations that haven't been possible until recently. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy this build and I hope you try it out! Thanks for reading~

With 3.4, this build is outdated. You can still play it, but remember to make the appropriate changes. Check out my new build (which is a Chaos Melee Summoner)!
Check out my Chaos Melee Summoner!

* https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205053
Last edited by kaype on Sep 10, 2018, 3:16:05 PM
Last bumped on Jun 17, 2018, 9:38:28 PM
any videos mate?
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indesemus wrote:
any videos mate?

Working on it! My computer sucks, so it may be really crappy resolution (lol). I'll update the guide as soon as I get some videos uploaded.
Check out my Chaos Melee Summoner!

* https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205053
Added videos :)
Check out my Chaos Melee Summoner!

* https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205053
I'm testing variants with other ascendancy classes:

* Raider: Has very high attack speed and its on-kill mechanics fit nicely with the nature of this build. However, it does not synergize well with Bloodlust (which could be resolved by switching out the Bloodlust support for Melee Physical Damage). Also, there is a huge lack of DPS due to the loss of the Gladiator's explosion.

* Inquisitor: Semi-elemental variant. Grace could be switched to Hatred; Brutality gems switched to Melee Physical Damage. This variant's on-kill mechanic creates Consecrated Ground, which gives you and your minions more life recovery and damage (and for you specifically, elemental ailment immunity). However, the physical damage (which is the primary method for life leech in this build) is less prevalent.

* Scion (Gladiator/Inquisitor): Ignores the elemental damage and critical aspects of the Inquisitor node, but can still create Consecrated Ground. Bleeding is still given through the Gladiator node, but the explosion, Frenzy charge generation, and Frenzy/Endurance charge buffs are gone. However, using this variant may save some passive points.
Check out my Chaos Melee Summoner!

* https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205053
Last edited by kaype on Aug 14, 2017, 11:04:12 PM
Hey, is this a viable starter for HC?
Asking cuz this build looks amazing! :D
Not into meta builds :P
Hey this build definitely looks interesting and I'm definitely going to be giving it a try!
I had one question with what jewels you are using. I noticed you have three jewel slots and two are for violent dead, what would the third jewel for you look like?
Also are you able to utilize all of the effects of violent dead? It would seem you only have enough intelligence for one of the skills gems to utilize its other effects.

Thanks for the awesome build :)
Hi! Awesome build. :) I'm currently trying to make a Necromancer version of this work and leveling so far has been a breeze. Since even later on a huge bulk of the damage of this build comes from the Zombies I tried to figure out some ways to make them hit even harder, one of which being buffing them with Power and Frenzy charges. For the Frenzy Charge generation I came up with 3 different solutions:

1. Blasphemy + Poacher's Mark
2. Raise Spectre and raise some Carnage Chieftains
3. Get a strong Animate Guardian (Animate Guardian + Fortify + q20 Minion Life) with Victario's Charity

I think with all the Minion Life nodes etc. it should be possible to get a strong Animate Guardian, since he will generate the charges on hit, which also opens up some other cool things like equipping him with a Leer Cast for another %increased damage aura etc. Just make sure you give him stuff like Ambu's Charge to make him regenerate life and maybe some boots with the 2% life/mana reg. lab enchant. Since it's "on hit" generation you could also try and support him with Multistrike or give him a Brightbeak as his weapon (50% IAS).

Now I just need to figure out a good way to generate Power Charges. :)

Btw my Necromancer version of this build just gets the Scion Life Wheel and then stops going towards the Duelist nodes to pick up some Claw stuff in the Shadow area.

Thanks again for the idea, so far I'm having a blast! And I can't even use The Scourge, yet. ;)
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Completed 4 ChallengesAckeMclovin wrote:
Hey, is this a viable starter for HC?
Asking cuz this build looks amazing! :D
Not into meta builds :P

Well, it depends on how far you want to go in HC. Again, I made this build for fun and I never intended it to get super deep into end-game content. However, up until T13 or so, I haven't had any troubles with dying - life regenerates very quickly, my minions are a wonderful meat shield, and reflect is typically not an issue.

And I'm not into meta builds too (as made clear by this build, lol) :)


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Completed 6 ChallengesCroboy wrote:
Hey this build definitely looks interesting and I'm definitely going to be giving it a try!
I had one question with what jewels you are using. I noticed you have three jewel slots and two are for violent dead, what would the third jewel for you look like?
Also are you able to utilize all of the effects of violent dead? It would seem you only have enough intelligence for one of the skills gems to utilize its other effects.

Thanks for the awesome build :)

And thank you for reading! The third jewel slot is for any jewel; I use a jewel with +1 Energy Shield on hit (the build isn't based on Energy Shield, but if you have at least 1 Energy Shield before getting hit, it's a 50% reduced chance of getting stunned - with the build's very high attack speed, this defensive buff is essentially permanent).

I'm a little confused by your description of the Violent Dead jewel and the Intelligence requirement. Are you referring to the number of Intelligence passives I have allocated in the tree? If so, please note that you don't need to have assigned the Intelligence passives within the radius of Violent Dead; at least 40 Intelligence just has to be in range whether they're allocated or not. If this isn't what you're referring to, please clarify.


"
Completed 3 Challengeszuckerjoe wrote:
Hi! Awesome build. :) I'm currently trying to make a Necromancer version of this work and leveling so far has been a breeze. Since even later on a huge bulk of the damage of this build comes from the Zombies I tried to figure out some ways to make them hit even harder, one of which being buffing them with Power and Frenzy charges. For the Frenzy Charge generation I came up with 3 different solutions:

1. Blasphemy + Poacher's Mark
2. Raise Spectre and raise some Carnage Chieftains
3. Get a strong Animate Guardian (Animate Guardian + Fortify + q20 Minion Life) with Victario's Charity

I think with all the Minion Life nodes etc. it should be possible to get a strong Animate Guardian, since he will generate the charges on hit, which also opens up some other cool things like equipping him with a Leer Cast for another %increased damage aura etc. Just make sure you give him stuff like Ambu's Charge to make him regenerate life and maybe some boots with the 2% life/mana reg. lab enchant. Since it's "on hit" generation you could also try and support him with Multistrike or give him a Brightbeak as his weapon (50% IAS).

Now I just need to figure out a good way to generate Power Charges. :)

Btw my Necromancer version of this build just gets the Scion Life Wheel and then stops going towards the Duelist nodes to pick up some Claw stuff in the Shadow area.

Thanks again for the idea, so far I'm having a blast! And I can't even use The Scourge, yet. ;)

I'm glad you're enjoying it! What "on-kill" effects are you using for your Necromancer variant?
Check out my Chaos Melee Summoner!

* https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2205053
Last edited by kaype on Aug 30, 2017, 3:53:37 PM
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I'm glad you're enjoying it! What "on-kill" effects are you using for your Necromancer variant?


None! :) Well, the zombies trigger an explosion when they kill something thanks to Monty's Sceptre, so there's that. If you really desperately want an on-kill mechanic in your build you could go Occultist and take Profane Bloom. Actually that sounds like fun, I think I'll try that next. :p Hmm.. as an Occultist you can also easily generate Power Charges for the Zombies with Forbidden Power and Conduit. I think you could go for a pretty funny Poison/Zombie melee Occultist, if you want to go that route.

I'm still leveling (currently 62) so I can't say how the build works in maps, yet... but atm I'm using the zomies in a Tabula Rasa and they frickin wreck everything thanks to curses 'n stuff. My damage is absolutely negligible at this point, because I can't use The Scourge, yet... I think I could have levelled as a Zombie/SRS summoner, but there was no need, since the Zombies by themselves are so powerful already.

I have to say, though: accuracy might be a problem later on. My Path of Building build I made for level ~86 only has 85% accuracy.

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