[3.2] LIVING WEAPONS COMMANDER - CoCMD and Animated Guardian maximization

"Another day in damnation, Bless you in this furrying day exile!" - Elreon, Loremaster.
Elreon wtf.
Joke aside, cut me some slack if i sound like a 3rd grader, I'm not English :)

Hello exiles, this is my first time as a build maker and i would like to share with you the knowledge i gained.

This build uses the new body armour Chains of Command, as it allows us to automate the Animate Weapon process by animating the weapon held by ours Animated Guardian.
This build thus aims to maximize Animated Guardian survivability and overall minions damage.
Pics and vids not coming soon, sorry.

Chains Of Command

-Automatic Animate Weapon
-Minions do a LOT of damage(300k to 500k)
-Melts bosses
-Good clearspeed
-Minions do all the work for us
-UberLab viable(right after Lvl 70) and should be endgame viable too(still testing)
-Can solo most of the content

-Not much life compared to other builds(choices's dependent)
-Not exactly cheap, nor levelling friendly
-Minions need to be "dragged" near packs
-Minions do all the work, we just buff and evade
-Real build starts at Level 70
-Your worst enemies are your partymates :(

Path of Building

Haste version(480k+/360k+ vs Shaper)

Wrath + Hatred version(530k/400k+ vs Shaper)

Build Mechanics

Let me explain some basics first.
The build's logic is to use the effect of the new armour to generate Animated Guardian's Weapons, buff them in every possible way and let them clear packs and bosses while we stay at a reasonable safe distance/manually evade every possible threat.
Our main weapon is the Animated Guardian.
If it dies halfway through the fight/map we are done. Period.
But why is it so important?

Animation chain

Lets get to the core item of the build. This armour, as already stated above, allows us to generate minions on kill, with 2 conditions:

-If the Animated Guardian gets the kill, we are assurred to get an Animated Weapon, thus making the AG the start of the animation chain. This makes the guardian's survivability our top priority, while keeping his damage above an useful treshold.

-If an Animated Guardian's Weapon gets the kill, we have a 10% chance to generate another weapon. But without animated weapons we cannot start the animation chain, making them our second priority.

The armour itself gives some buffs to our minions:
-A damage boost for th AG: 5% increased damage per active Animated Weapon(max 50)
-Splash(melee AoE) and less splash damage(50%) to every "animated" minion

The only downside of the armour is that we cannot have non-animated minions, like Golems, Zombies ecc.
Starting Minion Generation

This twisted and creepy flask lets us instant heal both life and mana and generate 2 enemy worms.
The worms are actual enemy monsters and work exactly like them, granting us the ability to generate additional mobs when there are none and start the animation chain.
Usually the animated guardian is able to kill 2 or 3 of them, but depends on its speed and position after the first animated weapon appears.

Animate Guardian

Our main weapon, but how does it work?

As you can read from the green description, it needs equipment to be created and to work. Basically it is a "golem" made with animated equipment and does not have a duration.

What type of equipment?
-A helmet
-A body armour
-A pair of boots
-A pair of gloves
-Weapons: a two-handed / two 1-handed / 1 one-handed + shield

This means that our guardian has all the stats of the equipment and can "use" all on-hit effects and all curse/Dot type effects if they are not worded as a "granted skill"(Example:"Grants Lvl x skill y")
and there is a catch: if the guardian dies, all its equipment gets destroyed and is lost.
But don't worry about this, i will explain how to effectively equip it without selling your kidneys ;)

Animate Guardian's Weapon

This is a little hard to explain: this skill is granted by the armour and should work like Animate Weapon with 4 major differences:
-Does not require an identified weapon on the ground/inventory.
-Does not consume the guardian's weapon, it just copies and animates it.
-Has a base cooldown of 0.05 second, preventing the guardian to create multiple animated weapons on aoe kills.
-Has a base duration of 20 seconds vs Animate Weapon's 37.5 seconds.

Unlike Animated Guardian, these minions have a duration and will expire after reaching timeout.
With this build they should last about 97 seconds.

Elemental Equilibrium

Elemental Equilibrium
TL;DR: Hit with elemental damage X lowers elemental damage Y and Z resistances by 50%(-50%), while rising elemental damage X resistance by 25%(+25%), after the hit.
We use Firestorm(Fire) to lower Cold and Lightning resistances, because the aura setup provides Cold and Lightning/Speed damage to minions.

But for a better understanding I reccomend reading the wiki link above.

Additional mechanics

In this section I will highlight some additional mechanics granted by the equipment I choose.

Elder Helmet

This "type" of helmet can work as a pseudo 6-links with the 2 Elder's mod:
-Socketed gems are supported by Lvl x Minion Damage
-Socketed gems are supported by Lvl y Minion Life

Granting the same effects as their gem counterpart to whatever gem with the "minion" tag we socket in. This makes running a 6-links Animated Guardian possible.

Ghastly Eye Jewels and Taunt

These jewels were added with the Abyss League and are the best in slot for beefing up generic minions.
In particular, they can give additional abilities to our minions like Taunt On Hit, Hinder On Spell Hit and Blind On Hit.
In this build i went with Taunt On Hit to add another virtual defensive layer by messing up mobs's aggro. Taunt forces the mobs hit to aggro and attack the attacker, thus preventing them to attack the player. Or at least should work like this.

Another type of buff they give is the:
"x% Increased minion damage if you've used a minion skill recently"
meaning that if we've used a skill with the "minion" tag in the past 4 seconds, our minions's damage gets increased by x%.


Puppet Master
Mistress Of Sacrifice
Commander Of Darkness

Gems Setup


Animate Guardian + Melee Physical Damage Support + Multistrike + Ruthless


Body Armour

No link needed, just 6 socket.
Minion Damage Support + Melee Physical Damage Support + Elemental Damage With Attack Support + Physical to Lightning Support + Elemental Focus Support + Multistrike Support


Hatred + Elighten + Generosity + Wrath/Haste

Aura setup with Enlighten. You can choose between Wrath or Haste as second aura.


Immortal Call + Cast When Damage taken + Inscreased Duration + Convocation

Immortal Call setup + Convocation for instant minion recall. Watchout for Convocation level.


Main Hand

Firestorm + Desecrate + Spell Cascade Support
Firestorm: big aoe hit skill for proccing Elemental Equilibrium
Desecrate: corpses generation for Flesh Offering
Spell Cascade works with both Firestorm and Desecrate:
Firestorm: increased aoe and rain spread
Desecrate: creates 3 patches of corpses, instead of 1


Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks + Flesh Offering

Flesh offering lets us activate all the "On Minion skill" effects, both from Ascendancy and equip.





Elder Helmet: lets us run a pseudo 6-links Animated Guardian, raising its survivability and damage
BiS: Elder Bone Helmet - Minions deal (30-40)% increased Damage as an implicit effect(3 Ex as I'm writing this build but they are really well spent)

Chains of Command: the actual core item, and the only REALLY mandatory item. Without this the build doesn't even exist :P

Writhing Jar: AT LEATS "18% REDUCED CHARGE USED" to get 4 uses out of it and get at least 2 of this flask

Animated Guardian

Sorry, I don't have some of them in previous leagues's stashes so I can not hyperlink them as items.

Kongor's Undying Rage
Animated Guardian bread and batter(pun intended). Its strong points are:
-Really high Physical damage
-100% Hit Chance
-Possible Onslaught
-Really cheap

I think it is the BiS for this build because it gives exactly what the Animated Guardian needs:
-Minions get +Armor, + % Block Chance and + 2% Life Regeneration(Really important stat for the Guardian)
-It is really cheap

Asenath's Gentle Touch
I choose this pair of gloves because they grant a Curse On Hit effect with Temporal Chains, not the best in slot but slowing enemies always help and they are really cheap.

Ralakesh's Impatience
BiS for charges generation, as the Guardian stays still while attacking and charges are a REALLY HUGE boost to minions stats. Other strong points are:
-Cold and CHAOS resistances
-Really cheap.

Death's Oath
Last but not the least as it is really cheap, gives all attributes, attack speed, life and resistances, but we lose the Death Aura skill after the rewording changes( it still has the 450 chaos damage per sec debuff but the Animated Guardian greatly out-regenerates it)
It is not the BiS but i will explain why now.

Don't get me wrong when i say that these items are mandatory. After hours of calculations and evalutaion on pros and cons I came up with this setup by following the principle of maximizing the Animated Guardian survivability. All these gears were chosen with a clear in mind: cheap and effective. Mainly this setup will:
-Cap resistances, chaos too
-Grant high life, attributes and general stats for all minions
-Maximize weapon damage per hit
-Maximize Animated Guardian survivability
-Save your kindneys :)

Non-mandatory but still Really Good or Near BiS

Between this with a Victario's Charity and a dual-wield United in Dream setup I prefer the ability to give frenzy and power charges to my minions and it works like a charm.

BiS in my opinion if used with Necromantic Aegis(shield stats applied to minions instead of you) as it gets projected on all minions:
-Frenzy and Power charges generation(for the player too)
-Increased aoe of Aura skills(only for the player as of now)

BiS both for us and minions:
-Much needed strength
-Cold resistance to both us and minions
-Extra Hatred effect

BiS as this type of belt can become better than standard ones with the added abyssal jewel slot, and I currently can use 5 abyssal jewel with this belt.

BiS for minions for sure, but you can trade it with a rare one if struggling with stats and resistances.

As for jewels:
-At least 2 with taunt or blind, like the one in the stygian vise
-the others can be any combination of: life, % minion maximum life, physical damage, increased damage on minion skill

How to play

As any true Commander you will have to charge first in to the battle, followed by your most loyal and well armed soldier and only then your army will rise and follow after you.

Thus said:
1) Summon your Animated Guardian
2) Check if Auras are up
3) Pop some of those tasty worms
4) Charge through packs and maps(beware of traps and not so kind volatile/quick hitting mobs)
5) Repeat 3 to 4 till endgame :)

Side Notes on minion added damage and Elemental Equilibrium

Only physical damage in abyssal jewels if you can.
As for Elemental Equilibirum: only fire damage on player gear
Unless you change auras and hit skill according to your damage.

Side Notes on AG Equipment process

I still don't get it correctly too.
When you want to change a piece of equipment on the Animated Guardian you just need to "animate" the new piece. Pretty strightforward for now as it works exactly as intended for: helmet, gloves, boots and body armour.
But what happens with weapons?
The general rules is: first gear to main hand and second to off-hand and so on, but if i want to change a shield? Here things get messy as it breaks the sequential rule of equipment and when you try to change the main hand or the off-hand weapon it may, and for sure will, not go as expected.
Don't equip expensive weapon/shield if you are not sure how your AG is going to equip them. Try first with scrap gear and when you get the correct order do the final equip.
This does not apply to two-handed as they replace both hands.

Last edited by DarkerThanTheOtherOne on Apr 30, 2018, 7:43:30 PM
Last bumped on Dec 15, 2018, 12:14:39 PM
Best Animated Guardian Buildhelper I found, thx:-)
Is this build still fully working in 3.5 betrayal?

Looking like a interesting mapper
Last edited by Obscureleopard on Dec 15, 2018, 12:15:20 PM

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