[3.1] "The Pencromancer" by Loate - (Summon Skeleton/Dark Pact)(Shaper/Red Elder down) SC

The Pencromancer



Hello everyone, and welcome to another build guide! Today we're going to be doing a build utilizing the unique I designed - the Poet's Pen. I've had a blast playing it, and other than the cost of the Pens (which admittedly can be a decent amount now that everyone has figured out what they can do), shouldn't break the bank to put together. As always, if you want to read the stories I've written, you can find them here (last story in the series but contains links to all the others, I recommend reading them in order) https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1651034

On to the build!

BUILD VIDEOS

Spoiler

Atziri - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klreI1bINbM
Caldera Run - https://youtu.be/0A9H2U0sAFw
Lava Lake (Kitava) - https://youtu.be/Rp94Hr7jJUA
Forge of the Phoenix (crappy mods = deaths) - https://youtu.be/aSRVc0KJI30
Yellow Elder Guardians (enslaver sucks) - https://youtu.be/2tUNcvo2Dyo
Yellow Elder (could have gone deathless but not 100% confident with mechanics yet) - https://youtu.be/rJhBhQOXtO0
Twinned Colosseum - https://youtu.be/ll0b-KEm9FA
Red Elder (could have gone deathless again, still learning) - https://youtu.be/ws1ZlYZ1944
Shaper (My mechanical dodging skills suck) - https://youtu.be/RBisEKiaxZk


1. WHY DO I WANT TO PLAY THIS BUILD?

Spoiler
Are you kidding me? Have you seen what the Poet's Pen does? Trust me, you want to grab two of these things as soon as you can afford them. If nothing else, it'll make your leveling process a lot easier for every character from here on out.


2. FINE. WHAT DOES THE BUILD DO?

Spoiler
In this one, we utilize Summon Skeleton in one Poet's Pen and Dark Pact in the other to create an unstoppable army of exploding minions. Point, click, watch things die.



3. I AM INTRIGUED. HOW DO THINGS DIE SO FAST?

Spoiler
Well, the main reason is that we're scaling our skeleton's life pretty hard both from the gem levels inherent to the Pen, the Empower, and the plus minion life nodes on the tree coupled with the Increased Minion Life gem. Without going into all the math, what this means is that your Dark Pact is taking 6% of the skeletons life and adding that to the flat chaos damage already included in the spell, then chaining it three times in close succession with no damage dropoff penalties. Combine that with the negative chaos resist modifiers from Despair and the Occultist ascendancy for Scion, and it's a lot of damage.


4. I WANT TO SEE THE MATH! I LOVE NUMBERS!

Spoiler
Fair enough. Numbers are fun.

A Summon Skeleton gem level of 20 + 3 gem levels from the Pen + 1 gem level from level 2 Empower gives us level 76 skeletons, with 2531 life. With 71% increased life (56% from tree, 15% from quality 20 Minion Life gem), that becomes 4328 life. Then we multiply that by a 46% more multiplier from the Minion Life gem (currently level 17, will get a few percent more once it gets to 20), and that gives us 6319 life for our skeletons.

Now we multiply 6319 by .06 to get our base chaos damage added to Dark Pact, and that comes out to 379. Add that to a level 23 Dark Pact's (20 from gem, 3 from Pen) base chaos damage of 270-405 and we get a base chaos damage of 649-784. This is a lot of chaos damage to scale with modifiers from tree and gear (for comparison, Essence Drain is about 2/3 the value and is considered to hit fairly hard as is). In addition, we also utilize Despair (~33% reduced Chaos Resist), Occultist (flat 15% reduced Chaos Resist on cursed targets), and Wither (~60% increased Chaos Damage taken) to further multiply this already ridiculous number.

Then times that by three (Dark Pact chaining between skeletons). Oh, and we also poison. Because why not.


5. WUT

Spoiler
Yeah, it's pretty cool.


6. WHAT ABOUT THE SKILL TREE?

Spoiler
This skill tree is actually very reasonable! Especially in comparison to some of the other builds I've done.

PoE website link

Path of Building pastebin
Spoiler
https://pastebin.com/p40VzCut


When leveling, you want to build down to the attack speed cluster under the Scion wheel of life first, then up and over to the Shadow starting area, grabbing life when necessary if you feel you're getting a little too squishy. Then start branching out to the other notables in Templar and higher up in Witch. Don't worry about leveling with Dark Pact and Summon Skeleton - you can do it, but it's easier to just socket Frostbolt and Ice Nova with a couple Frostbolt threshold gems and then respec later. I leveled with Dark Pact and Summon Skeleton from level 28 to see how it would feel, and the build really doesn't start kicking into gear until around level 60ish or so (it's still good, just not blaze through content good). Grab MoM whenever you feel like you need it.


7. ASCENDANCIES?

Spoiler
Go for Shadow ascendancy first, then to the Shadow start nodes, then finish off Uber lab by grabbing the Occultist ascendancy. Easy peasy.


8. WHAT KIND OF GEAR DO I NEED FOR THIS?

Spoiler
Well, obviously two Poet's Pens. Other than that, I'd say the only other required piece is a Cospri's Will for your chest, so that your curses can hit hexproof enemies as well as poison them (we'll get into why this is important in a second). Luckily, Cospri's are currently selling for 1c each, so that's affordable for sure.

Spoiler


Nice upgrades include Lightpoacher for your hat, since it's awesome for clearing (though you may want to switch it out for a Starkonja's or Eber's Unification on tougher dedicated bosses with no adds (Starkonja's if you need survivability, Eber's for DPS)), and I like the Tombfist gloves as well to slow enemies down (coupled with an Abyss gem that gives your spells the chance to hinder on hit, you can drop most bosses to a crawl). Bear in mind that if you use both of these, you'll have to make up a lot of resists on your jewelry and boots. A good Watcher's Eye can also add some significant survivability to the build (I have one with chance to recover 10% mana on skill use while Clarity is up, and phys damage taken as lightning while Purity of Elements is up - feel free to use what you want).

Spoiler


Ideal gear would be a Diamond Ring with the mod "Curse enemies with level 12 Poacher's Mark on hit" and a necklace with +1 curse, but that's only if you're willing to throw multiple exalts into the build. Otherwise a pair of decent Diamond Rings will do just fine.
Spoiler



9. PANTHEON POWERS?

Spoiler
Brine King, and Tukohama. Avoiding chain would be nice, but stuns are what will kill you, and without a movement skill, we can't use Kaom's Roots, so Brine King it is.


10. FLASKS. YOU'RE GONNA MAKE ME SPEND A FORTUNE ON FLASKS, AREN'T YOU?

Spoiler
Nope! Basic flasks will do you just fine. I recommend a bubbling life flask, then a diamond, sulpher, stibnite, and quicksilver. Roll one with remove bleeding, another to remove freeze, and you're good to go.



11. ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Spoiler
For bandits, take Alira's juicy crit multiplier and resists (you'll need em). Your main gem links for each Pen are going to be Summon Skeleton -> Minion Life -> Empower, and then Dark Pact -> Increased Crit. Chance -> Vile Toxins. The reason for Vile Toxins is that you stack poisons incredibly fast, and with 9 poisons on a mob it's a 45% more multiplier to Dark Pact damage, as well as increasing the damage the poison itself does. This really shines on bosses, since you'll clear most trash mobs in 1-3 attacks anyway and you keep your AoE coverage by not going Concentrated Effect.

Main attack link is Barrage (level 1) -> Faster Attacks -> Life Gain on Hit -> Curse on Hit -> Despair -> GMP/Blind/Culling/whatever. Just make sure not to push your attack speed over 4aps. For my golem I use a Stone Golem for the life regen, but you could just as easily use an Ice or Flame depending on your personal preference. Auras are Clarity and Purity of Elements, feel free to swap Purity of Elements for something else depending on what kind of Watcher's Eye you get.

Also, don't do this https://youtu.be/izb4wh0al9w


Enjoy the build, and thanks for reading!


CHANGELOG/UPDATES

Spoiler
1/3/2018 - So I've been trying out a non-MoM version with a 6L Belly of the Beast (Conc. Effect instead of Vile Toxins), and while I think it's slightly more DPS, it's not a night and day difference, so feel free to stick with Cospri's if you can't afford/acquire a 6L Belly. If you want to run the non-MoM version, here's a PoB link for the skill tree.



Ultimately, I think that while the build is not as easy as a Volatile Dead/Unearth Pen build, it can still take on any content in the game and feel good doing so. You just have to pay attention and dodge the telegraphed stuff that will kill you (Shaper balls, Atziri flameblasts, slams, etc.). As a general map clearer it's fine for any tier level - I don't struggle on T16s at all (other than the bosses, and that's just because of the aforementioned higher skill floor and my reflexes being garbage these days).


OTHER NOTES

Spoiler
- Eber's Unification is very good for bosses, since it adds an additional -10% Chaos Resist. If a boss doesn't have any heavy add phases (i.e. Shaper), use Eber's instead of Lightpoacher.

- Differences between the MoM version and non-MoM version; I felt like the MoM version was tankier while doing general map clearing, and the non-MoM version was better against longer boss fights (Shaper, Red Elder, Vaal Temple Trio) due to having much more Life Gain on Hit from the Vitality Watcher's Eye.

- If possible, you want to grab one or two shaper mod rings with "+Life Gain on enemies hit by your attacks" (usually around 16-20 life back), as that will allow you to heal back up after taking damage with just a couple Barrage bursts. They can be expensive though, so that's more of a wishlist upgrade item than a necessity.

- If you want to do Uber Atziri, make sure you don't leave the fire enrage guy up last, because you *will* melt yourself instantly on his reflect mechanic. Ask me how I know!

- I wouldn't recommend this as a hardcore build. You could probably play it if all you wanted to do was clear maps and ignore bosses/abysses, but LGoH as your sole defensive mechanic is not sufficient in my opinion for hardcore play.
Last edited by Loate on Jan 3, 2018, 11:02:31 PM
Last bumped on Apr 16, 2018, 11:20:19 PM
Can confirm build is effective, also eye cancer.
Ruby light of Songbird dreaming,
Daring King of Swords deceiving,
Queen of Sirens left in grieving,
Star of Wraeclast evermore.
what's the Cons of this build? also is this build can do end-game maps?

sorry for my newb questions :P
Very interested in how this build fares in terms of damage and survivability in the end. I leveled with summon skeleton/DP this league and ehhh..

1) How reliable is the damage?
2) Have you tried it on the Elder yet?
3) Do you use the From Dust jewel that let's you summon 3 skeletons at once?
4) Is there a reason you go Scion instead of something else?
Seems interesting. I have been looking for a scion minion based build, it seems this is it.

Can you post a list of your gear and gems you are using? I see missing at least the amulet and the boots.

Thanks.
"
YoYo_Boi wrote:
what's the Cons of this build? also is this build can do end-game maps?

sorry for my newb questions :P


I'm currently getting footage of end game encounters as I get to the maps (just downed Phoenix with 3 deaths, but I blame the fact it was a corrupted minus max map so I couldn't roll out of it). So far it's doing pretty well, the only thing you have to watch for are mobs with chaining abilities (those damn kitava cultists can ruin your day if you don't dodge the magma orbs) and blowing up too many porcupines at once. Most bosses melt in the span of a diamond flask usage or two, unless they have immunity/reduced damage phases (looking at you, Rigwald).

The goal is to get a Shaper run filmed - I honestly have no idea how the build will fare until I try it.
"
Completed 5 ChallengesTotemLols wrote:
Very interested in how this build fares in terms of damage and survivability in the end. I leveled with summon skeleton/DP this league and ehhh..

1) How reliable is the damage?
2) Have you tried it on the Elder yet?
3) Do you use the From Dust jewel that let's you summon 3 skeletons at once?
4) Is there a reason you go Scion instead of something else?


1) Damage is very reliable. I'm sitting at about 50% crit without diamond flask, which is enough to melt packs, and then I flask for bosses (the only reason I don't flask for packs is I don't care if I'm not going ultra fast). I will say, though, that you really need that last gem level from 19 up to 20 if you want to start pushing higher maps. It makes a big difference.

2) I've downed white and yellow Elder so far, trying to get my atlas filled in so I can get red Elder to spawn. The fight isn't terribly hard once you know the mechanics. The most difficult part on yellow Elder was keeping Shaper alive with all the adds coming in (he was at about 2/3 life when he finally imprisoned Elder, so I'm leery about how red is going to go).

3) I do not, the jewels I use are Watcher's Eye, Eldritch Knowledge corrupted to ignore silence, and then a basic life/chaos damage/area damage jewel. You attack fast enough to get your skeletons out pretty quick, and once you have more than one out, the chaining rips through packs.

4) I went Scion because I felt it offered the most synergy for the build. I knew I wanted to go life so I could use Barrage and Life Gain on Hit, so about half the Witch/Occultist ascendancy nodes with ES would have been wasted if I went Witch, and I didn't feel the crit on going full Shadow/Assassin was worth giving up the points I'd have to spend traveling to the Scion life wheel. Overall, going Scion with Assassin/Occultist seemed to make the most sense out of what was available.
"
lourencor wrote:
Seems interesting. I have been looking for a scion minion based build, it seems this is it.

Can you post a list of your gear and gems you are using? I see missing at least the amulet and the boots.

Thanks.


Current gear (the links should be in the gear). I've spent probably around 100c putting all of this together, though I was fortunate to buy my Pens early at 8c apiece so the real price would probably jump close to 150c. The good news is that you can do incremental upgrades as you get currency or find better items, so it's not like you have to spend it all at once. My main upgrades left to go are to get a level 21 Summon Skeletons and Dark Pact, and to level my Empower to 3 (hoping it'll corrupt to 4, but I doubt it'll happen). I'm planning on either corrupting the gems myself, or saving up enough to buy one at a time if I get unlucky.

I could also probably use some better boots.

Spoiler
Last edited by Loate on Dec 23, 2017, 3:01:39 AM
I just leveling my assassin DP/Skeleton poet's pen build, damage feels ok but survivability sucks.
"
Completed 20 ChallengesLoate wrote:
"
YoYo_Boi wrote:
what's the Cons of this build? also is this build can do end-game maps?

sorry for my newb questions :P


I'm currently getting footage of end game encounters as I get to the maps (just downed Phoenix with 3 deaths, but I blame the fact it was a corrupted minus max map so I couldn't roll out of it). So far it's doing pretty well, the only thing you have to watch for are mobs with chaining abilities (those damn kitava cultists can ruin your day if you don't dodge the magma orbs) and blowing up too many porcupines at once. Most bosses melt in the span of a diamond flask usage or two, unless they have immunity/reduced damage phases (looking at you, Rigwald).

The goal is to get a Shaper run filmed - I honestly have no idea how the build will fare until I try it.



thx for reply, i will try this build, hope its fun! :D

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