[3.2] The Animated Arsenal (The Dancing Duo + Chains of Command)

The Animated Arsenal: A Build Guide




Overview

  • This is a quirky, unique-item heavy, summoner build using the Necromancer ascendancy class.
  • It has been planned with Standard in mind. Taking this build into Hardcore is up to you (and any changes you want to make).
  • The concept is centred around The Dancing Duo and Chains of Command - two unique items that help you summon animated weapons.
  • If you want to enjoy watching hordes of flying weapons slash and hack at the entire screen (while doing little yourself), this build may be for you.
  • If you want a build that clears at the speed of light, or something with a lot of active skills/buttons to press, this build may not be for you.
  • The build is not overly expensive, but will require some funding to get up and running. Overall, I would say it is a medium cost build.
  • There are a lot uniques involved to get started that require a high level - the build does not "start" till 70.





For anyone concerned about map bosses with this build, I used this character to complete every T11-15 map on my Atlas. It was - for the most part - quite smooth; a few bosses with longer/multiple "phases" like Kitava in Lava Lake gave me a bit of trouble.




The Concept

Spoiler


This build revolves around using The Dancing Duo and Chains of Command.



The sword, upon gaining rampage, "un-equips" itself from you and turns into two high damage, high movement minions that last as long as your rampage stays active.

The chest empowers our Animate Guardian skill, giving it various buffs as well as causing it to create an animated copy of its weapon upon killing a target - and those weapons it animates can also animate even MORE copies of the weapon. The big drawback of the chest is that you can ONLY summon animated minions; thankfully, our sword counts as such and we can use both!

The end resut is a horde of flying weapons that cut through anthing on the screen.

Getting that rampage started and keeping it going is a very important part of the build, and much of this is done thanks to The Writhing Jar flask.



With some Reduced Flask Charges Used on our belt, three of these flasks together can create 18 worms - enough to start off Rampage from scratch. Then all it takes is a single pop of this flask during a dry patch without mobs to keep the Rampage going!

One Small Problem...

The only issue is a bad interaction between these two uniques. The Dancing Duo weapons eat up a very large number of the "kills" - causing our poor Animate Guardian to be unable to land that last hit on things to summon copies of their weapon. This means that the chest really does not give us a lot of positives and even stops us from summoning other kinds of minions to support our swords. For it to be worth it, we would need the Animate Guardian to get all the kills while also having the swords out.

The solution? Well, another unique. Speaker's Wreath.



This helmet causes minions to be unable to kill targets that are not ignited, leaving them at 1 hp. With this on, both The Dancing Duo swords and our Animate Guardian cannot kill a thing, so long as we don't have sources of ignite.

From here, all we need to do is socket the support gem Decay into our Chains of Command body armor. So long as our Animate Guardian skill gem is also linked in the chest, it gives both the guardian and their weapon copies the ability to place a chaos DoT on targets. This DoT can bypass the "Only Kill Ignited Enemies" property of the helmet. Now, where as most DoT effects do not attribute "On Kill" effects to Totems/Mines/Traps/Minions, the Decay skill is different - anything killed by the Decay counts as a kill for whatever applied the Decay.

Now we have swords that can't kill a thing and a guardian and horde of weapons that will get 100% of the kills (minus any your character kills, of course).

Building From There...

Since I am forced into using the Decay skill on my Animated Guardian and their weapons, I decided to lean into the chaos theme. Unlike many builds that focus on gaining a lot of added elemental damage for their minions - largely by supporting them with powerful auras - I decided to go for mostly Phys/Chaos scaling.

On my Animate Guardian, I link up Added Chaos Damage and Void Manipulation to pair with Decay. I use a two-handed weapon with as much flat chaos and as high physical DPS as possible; usually this is very cheap to get. Then, I stack as much added chaos to minion Abyssal Jewels on my tree as I can get. To boost all that, as my active skill I use Wither linked to Cast While Channeling and Decay - this gives some extra flat damage through the curse and then together with Wither boosts the chaos damage targets take by a large amount. Finally, the skill Spirit Offering gives our minions a further 30% of their physical damage added as chaos for that final push to chaos glory.

Scaling Chaos is certainly not a requirement and this basic build can be done many ways. I decided to go for Chaos because it let me drop a lot of investment into aura nodes that elemental-focused builds usually go for - I only run Haste to boost my minions attack and movement speed - and then used that saved mana for Mind over Matter to boost my own defense.

And Staying Alive...

Keeping ourselves alive is just as important - more important? yea, probably... - than how we kill things. For this build, we use a "throw it all at the wall" approach to effective life. A mix between Life, Energy Shield and Mana with Mind of Matter gives us a large pool of resources to take large hits from.

Regaining those resources is a little harder as a summoner. One excellent way this build survives is through the Mistress of Sacrifice node for the Necromancer Ascendancy. By linking Spirit Offering up to our Wither Cast While Channeling, we explode all the corpses on the ground to give ourselves 1% of our life back as ES *per corpse*. This may not seem like much, but while general mapping you will be exploding a lot of corpses with this. Even on bosses, a handy Desecrate on Cast When Damage Taken and even worm corpses from The Writhing Jar flask help out a lot.

The Writhing Jar flask itself is not just useful for Rampage, as each chug of this flask gives back about 900 effective life through life and mana (if quality and well-rolled). Three flasks with three uses each, and you can spam those bad boys in a panic and be just fine.

Bosses can be a little more tricky without a lot of corpses around or ways to constantly refill flasks, but in my experience it has not been a massive issue for most bosses, since your minions draw a lot of focus - even more with a single Abyss jewel to let minions Taunt - and down bosses very fast if you go in prepared with a horde of weapons.



And that's the basics of the build! :)






Passive Tree & Asendancy

Spoiler


115 Point Tree:



Asendancy Points:

These are the points I recommend & the order I pick them up in:

  • Mistress of Sacrafice
  • Puppet Master
  • Commander of Darkness
  • Invoker


It's quite simple to choose, since all the other options are for specific minion types this build is unable to use. Easy! Still, what we do get gives plently of duration - very important for our guardian weapon copies - and plently of other goodies.






Skills

Spoiler


6S (Sword)
BBBRRG

  • Minion Damage + Minion Speed + Concentrated Effect + Meele Physical + Maim + Faster Attacks


  • * I've thought about swapping around something like Minion Speed for Added Chaos, but this has been working well for me.

    6L (Chest)
    BBBRRG

    • Animate Guardian + Multistrike + Minion Damage + Added Chaos + Decay + Void Manipulation


  • * If you put your Guardian somewhere else, you can replace it with something like Minion Speed to 7L the weapon copies.

    4L
    BBBB

    • Wither + Cast While Channeling + Depair + Spirit Offering


  • * Your big "active" button to press. Hold this down to target where your minions go, slow everything, curse everything, ramp up the chaos damage, and proc that juicy Spirit Offering through every single dead body.

    4L
    RRRB

    • CWDT (lvl 1) + Immortal Call (lvl 3) + Inc Duration + Convocation (lvl 5)


  • * This gives a just over 1 second duration IC proc with all the duration on the build. Concovation helps bring your entire weapon horde with you when you take a blow.


    4L
    RRGG

    • Vaal Haste + Increased Duration + CWDT (lvl 1) + Desecrate (lvl 7)


  • * Helps by creating corpses to explode with Spirit Offering when you get hit. The Vaal Haste is about 11 seconds of speed, glory and madness.



  • [hr]

    Gear

    [spoiler=""]

    (If you want to skip explanations and just see the gear I'm currently using, check the "My Gear" section at the bottom of the post)

    I use quite a few uniques in this build:

    * The Dancing Duo



    A wonderful sword indeed! This sword only needs to be 6 socketed and not linked to power up its animated selves. In addition, remember you can buy the baby version - The Dancing Dervish - and upgrade it through the prophecy. I found, personally, that buying a near perfect copy of the Dervish and then upgrading it myself was much cheaper. The item keeps it's stats when upgrading, so your % phys and attack speed will alwatys stay the same!

    * Chains of Command



    The other half of our animated army. Unlike the sword, this does need to be linked, sadly, since I link up my Animate Guardian inside the chest. This causes the Decay support to link to both the Animate Guardian and the weapon copies. You could link the guardian elsewere and leave the chest just six socketed, since it will all still apply to the weapon copies, but with a shortage of links, this saves a lot of space.

    * Speaker's Wreath



    Not much to say, apart from look for a perfect rolled copy! It is very cheap and that Dex and Skill Duration is essential.

    * The Writhing Jar



    I run three copies of this flask. You will want the Reduced Charges Used roll to be very high - 19 or 20% depending on how good your Reduced Charges on belt roll is. I would also not skip out on looking for a low roll for Reduced Amount Recovered (remember: lower is better!) and 20% quality on those flasks. The extra life and mana goes a long way!

    * Essence Worm



    I socket my Haste into this ring to save my entire mana pool for defense. Not required, but very useful.

    * Grip of the Council



    Very optional. I use this item to give an extra boost of cold damage to my minions, letting them also chill things. Recently, I've been thinking of replacing these with a well-rolled rare glove. Still not a bad choice.


    The rest of my rare slots...

    Belt

    • #1 most important stat: Reduced Flask Charges Used! This lets us use The Writing Jar three times each. You will want a high roll; with a 17% roll on the belt I needed a 20% roll on all my flasks to get three uses.
    • High Life + ES. Usually it is not too difficult to get both on the same belt.
    • Without many rares in the build, get as much resists as you can where you can.


    Boots

    • Movespeed is obvious. Even more obvious without a good active movement skill avaliable!
    • Look for a good mix between Life/ES/Mana. All three help the life pool.
    • Without many rares in the build, get as much resists as you can where you can.


    Amulet/Ring

    • Dexterity. If you want to use a high level Haste and Vaal Haste (and avoid picking up multiple +30 nodes on the tree) you will be wanting at least one very high Dex roll.
    • Look for a good mix between Life/ES/Mana. All three help the life pool.
    • Without many rares in the build, get as much resists as you can where you can.


    The jewels...

    I use six Abyss jewels on my build.

    • One jewel with a good Minion Taunt % roll is very helpful. One is all you need.
    • Added Chaos and Added Phys damage to minions are A+ rolls to look for.
    • Life, ES and Mana are all very helpful where you can find them.
    • Don't be afraid to use some of your jewels to help shore up the last bit of Resists you need!


    The flasks...

    With three slots taken up by copies of The Writing Jar, we only have two left.

    • A good Quicksilver is a must, IMO. No active movement skill means you are running around a lot. Any decent Prefix with an Adrenaline suffix is what I like to use.
    • For my last slot, I am currently running a Basalt Flask of Staunching. I find it gives me the most defensive bang for my buck.


    The enchants...

    Though I, personally, have not been able to get any good enchants yet, these are what I would use.

    • Gloves: Probably just Decree of Spite. You don't "hit" or "kill" things, so it has to be upon getting hit. This makes some basic chilled ground.
    • Boots: Regenerate Life and Mana if Hit. This is a nice defense boost, especially since we use Mind over Matter.
    • Helmet: Spirit Offering grants extra chaos damage is probably #1. Animate Guardian damage, Convocation cooldown, Depair curse effect...you have some other decent options.



    [/spoiler]

    [hr]

    Animate Guardian Gear

    [spoiler=""]

    My Guardian Set-up:

    Weapon: Rare 2her

    I look for a high flat Chaos damage roll with as much PDPS to boot. You can find something good for 1 chaos, usually. If you are looking between a few, aim for high APS.

    Helmet: Bringer of Rain

    Ah, the Bringer. For our guardian, it does NOT strip us of our body slot! Tons of life, some great flat damage. It's perfect and cheap.

    Body Armor: Belly of The Beast

    I go for a slightly more expensive option for my guardian's body armor. The % life on belly really helps keep the guardian alive, and the other stats are great, too.

    Gloves: Southbound

    More %life, some added cold damage, and the "can't kill unless frozen" part is bypassed anyways by the Decay support. Also cheap!

    Boots: Kaom's Roots

    Easy to get, tons of life, cannot be slowed. It can be swapped with a good life + movespeed rare, but this is easier to replace.

    [/spoiler]

    [hr]

    Bandit & Pantheon Choices

    [spoiler=""]

    Bandits

    • Kill All (Two Skill Points)


    You don't really need much from any of the bandits, though the mana and resists are tempting.

    Pantheon

    • Major God: Soul of The Brine King
    • Minor God: Soul of Shakari


    With our hyrbid life/mana/es pool, stuns and freezes can be a little bit more of an issue. The Brine King helps with that.

    The reduced chaos taken and poison immunity from Shakari is useful for much the same reason, as large chaos damage bypassing ES can hurt.

    [/spoiler]

    [hr]

    Extras


    [spoiler="Notes on leveling"]

    Sorry, I don't have much advice here. Leveling was quite a pain with the passives I was grabbing for late game and the build not "starting" till level 70 when I had all my uniques.

    My best advice is cheese it with something like Poet's Pen! :)

    [/spoiler]

    [spoiler="My Stats"]

    Current level: 90

    Defense

    • Life: 5,141
    • Enery Shield: 2,310
    • Mana: 1,476
    • Armor: 2090 (14% est)
    • Movement Speed: +38% (upwards of 175% with Haste/Vaal Haste/Rampage/Quicksilver)


    [/spoiler]

    [spoiler="My Gear"]



    [/spoiler]

    [spoiler="Videos"]

    Atziri Run (3.2, Level 90)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNYB_J-B-FI

    Arsenal Map, T13 (3.2, Level 90)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owAjCClpW5c

    [/spoiler]
  • Last edited by Yordle on Apr 23, 2018, 6:22:56 PM
    Last bumped on Apr 26, 2018, 12:08:24 AM
    How are you making sure to ignite everything?
    "
    Completed 9 ChallengesDionSins wrote:
    How are you making sure to ignite everything?


    I make sure *not* to ignite everything :)

    It's a little convoluted, but like I tried to lay out in the concept section, I link my Animate Guardian and the copies of the Guardian's weapons to the 'Decay' Support. This bypasses "can only kill ignited enemies" from my helmet. Usually, DoT effects always count as your character getting the "kill" for "on kill" effects, but Decay always grants the "kill" to whatever applied the Decay - so my Guardian and the weapon copies, letting them multiply without the Dancing Duo sniping all the kills.
    a BIG problem i see in this build is minion Accuracy...
    you probably are wasting 100% More damage for your AW's by not using lycosidae.
    "
    Completed 13 ChallengesIgoref wrote:
    a BIG problem i see in this build is minion Accuracy...
    you probably are wasting 100% More damage for your AW's by not using lycosidae.


    I've thought about that, and I've been meaning to test out Kongor's Undying Rage. It is a lot slower than I would like, but I think the 'hits can't miss' would be really strong, like you say.

    I've not really found damage to be be an issue, as up to/including T15 bosses have died very fast, given I start the fight in a good shape with high rampage and minion count. But for guardians, I'd like to test out a Kongor's and see the difference.
    Last edited by Yordle on Apr 25, 2018, 6:35:35 PM
    "
    Completed 9 ChallengesYordle wrote:
    "
    Completed 13 ChallengesIgoref wrote:
    a BIG problem i see in this build is minion Accuracy...
    you probably are wasting 100% More damage for your AW's by not using lycosidae.


    I've thought about that, and I've been meaning to test out Kongor's Undying Rage. It is a lot slower than I would like, but I think the 'hits can't miss' would be really strong, like you say.

    I've not really found damage to be be an issue, as up to/including T15 bosses have died very fast, given I start the fight in a good shape with high rampage and minion count. But for guardians, I'd like to test out a Kongor's and see the difference.


    its meh. can feel slightly better if you are running attack speed and minion speed with haste tho.
    really your best bet tbh is dropping the DD and running lyco w/ necromantic aegis

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