[3.3] Stand Your Ground! Aegis , 9.8k ES, 75/75, 78k af, 83/88/82. Shaper / Elder / HC easy mode

Intro

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Like most players, I do enjoy my glass cannon characters, destroying maps with million (or even billion!!) of aoe dps. But eventually, I do get tired of the (more than) occasional deaths.
Especially that I am not especially gifted at playing the game, or rather that I have Leroy Jenkins tendencies.

After all, if I am to play a Hero, a God Killer, why am I supposed to dodge that telegraphed massive attack!? Why am I expected to act like a yellow bellied coward, or worse, like a AD&D rogue? Did Gandalf sidestep the Balrog’s whip? Did Songoku evade Vegeta Galic Gun or Buu’s energy beam? Did Achilles or Achilles flee like chicken when facing overwhelming odds or even Gods?

I hence levelled over the years some fantastic defensive templates. But they all had massive Achilles heel, the main one being “Dodge the damn telegraphed attack! GGG wants you to cry like a baby when you see it”. I tried the 20k ES ones, the massive regen ones, the Aegis ones, the evade ones, the 100K+ armour ones, the IC ones. But they all had multiple Achilles heel beyond telegraphed attacks, Even the legendary 100% elemental conversion flask guy relies on perfectly timed flask usage and would die to a wandering mosquito should he ever fail in his concentration.
With that in mind, I set out on a journey to the mythical land of Path of Building, with the steps of my predecessors guiding me, and in my hands the scriptures of the Aegis Guardian written by the Prophet RPGlitch. My goal: to find the fabled path to passive PvE immortality, one that rewards TRUE HEROS who tank telegraphed attacks and punishes cowards!
And I found the light.

But did I succeed? Well, read on dear scholar, and learn the ways of the Stand Your Ground (SyG) Guardian


Apologies for any errors, typos or misconceptions. It is my first guide and English is not my native language ;)


What Can I expect


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Pros:
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+ Rewards a “Stand your Ground” approach and will punish you if you try to chicken out.
+ Nearly immortal with passive playstyle and your dog, cat or hedgehog playing
+ Even more immortal with active play (flasks and Vaal)
+ Truly PvE immortal with a pro player (but then again, a lvl 1 templar with no pants can probably kill Uber Elder deathless with a pro player)
+ Possibility to push the defence even higher if you are insanely rich (section for rich people included)
+ Decent at PvP (I got to #8 EU PvP ladder, but not top 5)
+ You have a claim at being a hipster build (despite cost) thanks to the use of Grelwood Shank
+ HotGM compatible
+ Hardcore Wet Dream
+ Although very crappy clearer, it is still acceptable if you are no too hooked on current meta. A Crappy player like me can still do a Guardian in 9-10 minutes, including opening all chests and killing all trash.
+ Can kill Shaper (tanking even his beam) and Elder (although your dps may be lacking for phase 2)
+ Can tank most degens (Goddess beam, Shock & Horror beam, labyrinth fire, etc..)
+ can do ALL map mods (although I’d rather reroll no mana regen as it is a pain)
+ can work as an aura bot with some dps



Cons:
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- Insanely expensive. Count 40 ex for base version (prices will vary from league to league and age of league)
- Needs every drop of level and item to really shine, otherwise will still die to odd combos and degens.
- Is still vulnerable to RNG (think double Uber Flameblast or PvP volatile dead Poet Pen)
- Chaos can still cause issues.
- You still die in PvP. Players are more crzative than any defence you can throw at them.
- Cheap version sucks (will tank most content, but you will feel that you are missing on greatness)
Physical degen that is not a bleed can make you cry. I suppose the Talisman degen too.
- Incursions are a big No, you’ll just waste them. Bring a friend, ignore them, or use another characters to do them. You are too slow. You can do Temple easily though.
- When playing PvP, you’ll want to rip your own eyes after each round, having to redo all of your bloody 7 auras



The Theory

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The tldr is: I took RPGlitch's template, and by using Grelwood Shank which has no real drawbacks, I saved more than 20 passive points which I then used with some gem tweeks to be able to have a triple purity setup. This not only allows +6% to +8% max resist, it also freed up resistance slots on my equipment.


Show me the Stats!

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Solo Player stats (more, much more with ultra luxury items)

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• 9.8k ES
• 78k Armour (with EC charges and Fortify, a 16k phys hit should only do around 4k net damage)
• 75/75 block
• 1.56k ES regen per block (nullifying on average 4.6k hits)
• 83/88/82/30 resists
• 1.1k/sec base ES regen (passively in combat). Including Guardian’s “Time of Need”, real regen is around 1.8k ES / second over 5 second
• Immune to bleeding
• Immune to Stun
• Nearly immune to critical hits
• 25% curse reduction
• Every 5 sec, removes curses and elemental ailments
• 156k Shaper DPS (up to 200k if you want less defence)
• With all flasks on, count a burst to about 192k Shaper dps, 89k armour, 89/94/88 resist and 2.4k ES regen / sec over a 5sec rolling window.


I have friends! Really, I swear! Can I help them?
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+ 8%/8%/6% max Resist!
+ Nearly 600 base ES!
+ 4,600+ evade
+2,000+ base armour
+ 85% MORE armour
+ 1.4% life regen
+ 7% Physical damage reduction
+ Immunity to stun to party
+ 10/10 block chance
+ taunting with EC, you can pretend you are in a MMORPG



Videos

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T14 Dominus: https://youtu.be/91dRqwLFcQM
T15 crab: https://youtu.be/p34nn-3mpJE
Hydra: https://youtu.be/VQ0_2J9xq4Q
Minotaur https://youtu.be/VigsFar6n3Y
Shaper, testing limits. 2 deaths for tanking beam while standing in ground degen and not using flasks. Otherwise completely safe, you can tank Bullet Hell, beam, Golden balls, ground degen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apPR_8Qjv28
More to come if I can remember to do it :p


Template

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PoB 93: https://pastebin.com/rSireiMR
PoB 100: https://pastebin.com/s1Hh2Hbu
Best Exotic PoB 100 for the Rich and Beautiful https://pastebin.com/mY2w871U


Equipment

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Torso:
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Shavronne’s

Why? You need it, end of. There are only 2 armours you can wear to protect you from Chaos.
Oh, and you need it 6L if you do not want to slit your veins waiting a mob to die.

For the poor: Solaris Poorica 5L. 1c + cost of 5L


Helmet:
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Vertex

Why? It has nice ES, but it also has a nice +1 to gem which is needed for a lvl 5 Enlighten.
For enchant corruption, you can either go for more dps (SR enchant or burning damage corruption), or more defense (recommended) with a life regen corruption (+2 AoE or +2 aura is acceptable)
For the poor: any high ES helm (but you lose one aura) or maybe Alpha


Gloves:

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Shaper’s touch with +2 to AoE gems

Why? They turn strength into a godsend: ES per STR, and mana per STR which is even more ES! And since STR gives life which give also ES, STR becomes a real nice stat. Andthat’s good since we have a lot of it. +2 to AoE gems is critical to get 2 purity gems to 23!
For the poor: it’s cheap, just buy it without corruption.


Boots:
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Death’s Door, with 2% life regen enchantment

Why? Bleed Immunity, +1 EC and okay-ish other stats
Alternatives: if you haver bleed immunity elsewhere, you could go for massive ES boots with a lot of resists, allowing you even better rings.

For the poor: anything else will do


Amulet:
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Presence of Chayula:

Why? A ton of ES and Stun immunity
For the poor: any amulet if you like stun, or Eye of Chayula if you do not.


Belt and Rings:

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Rare ones, complete your resistances, and get as much ES, Mana, Intelligence, Strength, Life and %increased armour. The specifics will depend on your build, so test on PoB what works best.



Weapon:
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Grelwood Shank

Why? It’s a build defining item, providing Iron Reflexes when stationary (which we are all the time). This alone saves more than 20 passive points compared to similar templates. And as a bonus, it gives 80% increased armour when stationary. Since SR means we are stationary all the time, it's free armour!
Alternatives: suck it up, it’s only 1c and is a build defining item


Shield
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Aegis, with +5% block corruption

Why? Duh, 2% of armour gained as ES per block?
Alternatives: none, it’s a build defining item and costs nothing.


Jewels:
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No choice here: 5 perfect Reckless defence needed to hit 75/75
Watcher’s eye: "% Maximum Mana gained as Extra Energy Shield when affected by Clarity" line needed for more ES, and "8% chance to block when affected by Determination" one mandatory for 75/75

For the poor: Determination watcher’s eye.


Flasks:
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Taste of Hate:

Why? Max cold, phys as cold: makes you even more tanky

Witchfire Brew:

Why? You need the dps: it curses and gives some dps

Ruby and Topaz: for the max resist


Sulphur flask: nice dps, and about 600 ES regen per second
. Sorrow nice when levelling up.

Mods on the magic flasks:
- Anti freeze absolutely needed or you’ll be frozen for eternity
- Anti curse recommended (helps in temporal chain maps)
- Anti ignite recommended



Gems

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In Chest BBBBRG (2 off)
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Scorching Ray 21/20: you need it 21/20, it’s hard otherwise.
Burning Damage 20/20
Elemental focus 20/20
Controlled Destruction 20/20
Efficacy 20/20
Swift Affliction 20/20


In Helm: BBRG (1 off)
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Grace 21/0: 21 provides another 2k armour. Quality is only good if you play with others
Determination 20/0: 21 nearly useless. Quality is only good if you play with others
Vaal Discipline 20/0: 21 benefit really small. Quality only if in party. Vaal gem provides an “Oh shit” button.
Enlighten 4: needed


In Gloves BRRG (1 off):
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Blood Magic 20/0: 21 provides tiny benefit if you can squeeze another clarity level. Quality not needed
Purity of Ice 21/0: 21 mandatory to reach 23. Quality only in party. Vaal version only if you have 5 hands and 43 fingers.
Purity of Fire 21/0: 21 mandatory to reach 23. Quality only in party. Vaal version only if you have 5 hands and 43 fingers.
Clarity: 3/0: depending on your setup, clarity should be between lvl 1 and 6. Make it as high as you can afford to. You must have clarity in conjunction with Watcher’s Eyes for a lot of ES. Quality not needed.


In weapon RGG:
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This is where you put your movement skill. 2 Options recommended (you can have both if you like to switch weapons)
Whirling Blade 20/20
Faster Attacks 20/20
Vigilant Strike 20/20
Advantage of this setup: I like the sound of it versus shield charge. It is very reactive, nearly instantaneous (remember, we are weaker in movement) and allows for a very long fortify that does not miss.

OR

Shield Charge
Faster Attacks
Fortify
Advantage: keep fortify up as you move, better skill to go through maps. Problem: you do not need fortify versus trash mobs, and you’ll need to reapply fortify every 4 seconds, reducing significantly our already low dps.


In shield BB:
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Purity of Lightning 20/0: 21 useless. Quality only in party. Vaal version only if you have 5 hands and 43 fingers.
Enlighten 4: needed



What is left?
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We still have 5 gem slots in boots and shield. Here are some options:

- Tempest Shield: needed for +3% block in order to hit 75/75, and helps to apply EE. You may go without it if you are lucky with corruptions or very rich.
- Orb of Storm: needed for EO and EE and Arcane Surge
- Arcane Surge (level 4): linked to Orb of Storm, free mana regen and 12% More dps
- Enduring Cry: needed if you want to have 4 EC (16% phys reduction). I notice it it not needed, even against the likes of Minotaur or Izaro. Best to have it up though against Uber Elder (any damage saved helps, and the regen is the cherry on top)
- A Golem: choice is between Flame (dps), Chaos (4% phys reduc) or Stone (about 1% regen). Best choice would probable be a blue slot, and switch between Flame and Chaos as needed. Currently using Stone. But honestly, they die when it matters so possibly flame is best to clear trash faster.
- A curse on Hit + Curse setup with Orb of Storm: nice dps increase, except when it matters, for 2 slots.




Pantheon: MUST READ SECTION OR DIE

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- Soul of Solaris with Jorus. This is MANDATORY or you will die. This makes you basically immune to critical hits and negates Reckless Defence. Complete all others after Jorus, they are nice to have.
- Soul of Tukohama: 2% regen and 8% physical damage reduction for free?!


Bandits

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Kill all. Oak maybe during levelling if you are in love with him.


Alternatives

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- Hierophant will work quite nicely. Similar ES, but much less armour. In exchange, can have one more 25% aura (AA or HoA), has immunity to ailments and much more dps. Is also better if you want to use a “hit spell” as it has built in Arcane Surge and leech. Worth trying incinerate with it.
- Occultist: similar ES, less armour, overall much worse on all aspect, but should (not tested) clear much better thanks to explosions and dual curse (need rework of gem setup)
- CI: chaos immunity at cost of 2-3 auras, a ton of armour. Not recommended unless chaos gives you nightmares and you’d rather lose a leg than die to chaos.
- Active playstyle: you can add the Vaal version of Grace and the 3 purities to get a ton of extra eHP, more resistance to elements and even a bit more dps against high resistance targets.


For the insanely Rich

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- Shavronne with +1 max resistance and +1 to gems
- Chayula with +1 max resistance and + to block (allows to get rid of Tempest Shield). Increased effect of auras are also an option. With above, can get to 85/90/84
- Aegis +1% max block and +5% block: allows you to get to 76/76
- Vertex +life regen and +2 to Aoe/Auras. Gives another 4-5k Armour.
- Watcher’s Eye: same, with anti Freeze line. The quality of life this brings is insane as freeze is the single biggest annoyance in this template.


Acknowledgments


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FAQ

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What about UBer Elder?
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I tried once with a friend and died. Why? I thought it would be best to deal with him after waking up. Wrong. I ended up forgetting to use fortify and EC, and panicked during a beam attack. I moved. DO NOT MOVE with this template. I died. Then, I died 2 more times. Guess what happened? I went back there to help my friend, and actually forgot to put my auras back. /facepalm. But otherwise, I was tanking everything, only the beam was making me very uncomfortable. Also, I need to check the value of the ground degen left by the madness propagators, they may be a problem over a long fight.
Looks doable deathless, just mindlessly tanking both Elder and Shaper


How to level?
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I levelled with this, it's ugly when you are not a good player like me. You will die a lot. Getting a solaris and Normal lab will help. Then getting Aegis. But you will still die a lot (or play as a chicken) until you are able to activate the pantheon AND equip the jewels.
For a normal player it should be easy to play deathless till that point.
Strongly suggest to pickup life nodes along the way and respec later.


How High can it go?
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With just more levels and a bit more money, it can get to 11K ES and 90k Armour. With some serious money, add 2% max resist, another 5k armour and a bit more dps


How did you get enough money?
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Start with another character. I started with an Arc Inpulsa prolif character, and spent a month farming every evening, and a bit on week ends.
It is highly recommended to use a software like currency cop, as it will tell you which cards or essence you thought were trash actually have value to sell.
Sell, sell, sell restlessly. Don't hold onto items, undercut the market, your goal is to enjoy the tank in a league, so waiting another week for 2 more chaos is wasted time.
Sell your un-needed currencies! How many time did you really use a divine? Do you really need 1k jeweler? What about those Chayula or scouring? They are worth nothing to you and a lot on the market. You are richer than you think! Convert to chaos or exalts!


What about more dps?
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Get Heart of Flame for 4 points, use a flame golem, keep flasks active.


I am scared to tank the Shaper beam without having trash mobs hitting my Aegis
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Do not be scared. According to the wiki, the shaper beam deals 5,384 fire 4,405 cold and 6,057 lightning damage per second.
Given our resistances, this translate to 2,534 damage per second. Combine with a regen of at least 1k without Time of Need, this means you get a net deficit of about 1.5k per second over 3 seconds for a total of 4.5k. This is less than half your life. And if your regen is higher or you trigger Time of Need, then you will barely feel the beam. The key is not to be afraid and run like a chicken! ;)



Last edited by Zepepsico on Jul 26, 2018, 4:25:06 PM
Last bumped on Aug 29, 2018, 9:40:11 AM
Reserved
Interesting approach , but as you stated as soon as you move you are dead.

In terms of tankiness i like my approach featured at the alternatives at rpgglitchs` thread more, but the damage is just too low. It is really nice to be immortal at pretty much every encounter, but it gets tiresome to kill enemies in higher tiers of maps and spend too much time there :).

Nonetheless i like the creativity of this approach.
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Completed 12 ChallengesLost_Legend wrote:
Interesting approach , but as you stated as soon as you move you are dead.

In terms of tankiness i like my approach featured at the alternatives at rpgglitchs` thread more, but the damage is just too low. It is really nice to be immortal at pretty much every encounter, but it gets tiresome to kill enemies in higher tiers of maps and spend too much time there :).

Nonetheless I like the creativity of this approach.


Just to clarify, moving is not a problem at all in 99% of cases. You still have 75/75, your resists, and 20-30k armour. You also gain some evade %. The only time it can be an issue, is against extremely hard hitting bosses. But those are the ones I actually intend the template to tank!
The template is intended to go against everything we learned in PoE since we started playing, and stop moving when bosses charges a super attack.

As for the dps, a full clear, including chests, of a guardian map is about 9 minutes, probably faster if you play more efficiently. You can easily go above 200k shaper dps with minor tweaks, and go towards 300k if you go opal rings and tweak the equipment.

Thank you for your feedback.
Added a Shaper video where I test limitations of build.
Took 22 minutes, but with 2 experimental deaths. Should be sub 20 minutes, deathless otherwise.

Deaths were completely avoidable, but I was keen to test the limits of "Stand your Ground" approach. The build is only vulnerable to a combination of Shaper Beam while standing on ground degen, AND not using flasks, AND not triggering Time of Need.

Otherwise, the build can easily tank Shaper beam, it can tank bullet hell, it can tank those golden balls with their 20% cold pierce, Shaper Slam is a joke, and ground degen is barely noticeable on its own.

If someone can find a way to squeeze another 5% regen, it should be able to tank the degen + Beam combo.
Funny guide, thanks!
3.4 seems to include a rework of Guardian, hence at this stage it is impossible to say whether the template will be viable for 3.4 or need an overhaul.

Conceptually, if the cart doesn't travel too fast, this may be one of the best template to delve deep (and play for the leaderboard) since there will be a point where glass canon and player skill will face a wall of massive damage, and barring massive amounts of degen, this is one of the tankiest templates that exist.
Last edited by Zepepsico on Aug 11, 2018, 5:00:57 AM
Can you explain me why every guardian play scoarching ray and not example op arc now?
isn't arc much stronger this days?
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Completed 4 ChallengesJarovb wrote:
Can you explain me why every guardian play scoarching ray and not example op arc now?
isn't arc much stronger this days?


Arc is OP if you invest enough in increased damage or critical. This template is starved in offensive points and has nearly no offensive items, and SR benefits from Holy fire (100% increased damage for 3 points) + Breath of flame and/or Heart of flame.
Also, by using arc, you lose the benefit of EE which is massive, since arc hits and SR does not (unless you equip a Malachai ring, but then you lose other benefits).

Other Guardian templates also believe that SR is the only valid choice, but I think the Hierophant variant could benefit from Incinerate.



3.4 killed the build, getting the spell block in its current concept is not possible. Will try to see what could be salvaged for another template.

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