[3.9] Cyclone Summoner - Heralds of Agony and Purity, Summon Holy Relic - League starter

No longer updating this guide
Hi all, thanks for engaging with this guide over the last couple of years. Unfortunately I no longer have the motivation to work on this guide. If you want the most recent recommendation for setup check out KäptnSharky's posts here, although it's from 3.9 before cluster jewels, so you'll want to fit in at least 1 cluster setup.

3.9 PoB: https://pastebin.com/0Ki991Uq

0.x New release details and updates
1. Introduction
2. Videos
3. Skill tree and Path of Building
4. Mechanics
5. Playstyle
6. Gear
7. Gems
8. Leveling
9. Gladiator max block option

0.x New release details and updates

[3.9] - Small numerical minion nerfs, but build is still buffed higher than before 3.8. Some people are concerned about the armour buffs to monsters, note this is largely irrelevant. Highly recommend this build for 3.9 given it's boss league and this build excels at bossing.

Past patches
[3.8] - Loads of new minion things. Use Feeding Frenzy on Herald of Purity. Minion Speed a much better link for Herald of Agony now. Convocation buff is nice. Guardian big buffs. Cyclone changes are irrelevant.

[3.6] - Summon Phantasm on Kill buffed to trigger 10% on hit vs rare and unique enemies. No other changes.

[3.5] - Heralds of Agony and Purity now only scale physical damage, not all damage. This is a nerf to builds that were using sources of flat non-physical damage to minions (eg. abyssal jewels). As we don't do that, there's no change to the build. Note, Agony Crawler's damage is physical with chaos conversion, so this doesn't impact it.

[3.7] - Herald of Agony nerfed by about 25% damage at 40 stacks with the build. Huge quality of life buffs with Cyclone. Absolutely still playable, and recommended build for 3.7.

1. Introduction

Do you want to play a spicy new build which has the following?
- 3 new skills
- 1 new unique item
- Damage while moving
- Ability to tank the darkness for minutes at a time, ensuring you can always explore those hidden Delve pathways
- A summoner that doesn't care about chain
- Ability to do all map mods

Then this is the build for you!!

Credit for the original build concept goes to sViin, who's build is the inspiration for this one.

2. Videos

The below were captured in 3.4 delve league!

Playlist: all Cyclone Summoner videos!

Shaper kill: level 82, made some mistakes and died a couple of times, should have been deathless.

Chimera kill: level 82, Chimera itself is a bit slow because double life mods, but overall smooth map and kill.

T14 Crimson Temple with chain: level 82, this build's minions are untargetable (as far as I can see) with the exception of Sentinels of Purity which you mostly get on bosses! As such, it seems as though chain doesn't do a thing.

Darkness tanking: level 75, demonstration of how insane life gain on hit is in Delves and this build is one of the best around for it.

3. Skill tree and Path of Building

If you don't yet use Path of Building (PoB), you should! PoB assists with build planning and optimisation. You can find more information and a download link here.

Here's the PoB for the build including level 90, 100 and leveling skill trees: https://pastebin.com/0Ki991Uq

Bandits: Kill all.
Pantheon: Lunaris and Gruthkul for physical damage reduction.
Level 90 Skill tree: HERE.

4. Mechanics

This build uses Cyclone to summon and activate powerful minions. With Cyclone, you attack 6.16 times per second. Here's a list of things that happen as a result:
- Two Holy Relics trigger roughly every .62 seconds
- You gain and sustain virulence stacks (very easy to sustain 40) summoning the Agony Crawler
- Summon and sustain Sentinels of Purity (against uniques, but you can also get them from your poison kils sometimes)
- Gain 150 life and 14 mana on hit

5. Playstyle

The best way to get an idea for the build is to watch the videos above.
- Simply pop your non-life flasks and Cyclone through packs - your minions will do the rest!
- You can very easily face-tank high level bosses with this build (eg. I did a Minotaur at level 79 with under 5k hp facetanking).
- The only somewhat annoying map mod for the build is physical reflect as your relics will one-shot themselves. To run this mod, just summon one relic at a time before entering each new pack. The relic and your agony crawler will mop up just fine.

6. Gear

As I mentioned earlier, I spent around 2ex total on gear for this build around two weeks into the 3.4 Delve league. With this in mind, it's a very viable option for a league starter or budget build.

League starting and gear priorities

Get the required items ASAP. Coming Calamity and Victario's Charity will be cheap in the first couple of days. If you cannot get a Geofri's Legacy (should also be pretty cheap, and assuming the prophecy doesn't change in 3.5 requires completion of a tier 3 map), you can use Geofri's Crest for good resists and +1 to socketed gems while looking out for "The Bishop's Legacy" prophecy (a good rare with life and resists is also great until Legacy). After this, look for 6L gloves and Minion Movement Speed (Fear) jewelry. Grab an Essence Worm and Elder life gain on hit claw when you can.

Example gear

Weapon: Elder Gemini Claw with "Life gained for each blinded enemy hit by this weapon" and attack speed. Crafted attack speed is totally acceptable here, and the cheapest way to get this weapon may be to alt-craft it yourself if none are available for trade. Please note, being having a Gemini Claw is critical for the mana gained on hit to sustain Cyclone. Don't worry if you cannot get the Elder Gemini Claw straight away, it's only great once you have your 6 link Elder gloves, until then go for a Gemini Claw with T1 attack speed.

Shield: Victario's Charity. Victario's is best in slot for this build as it gives our minions frenzy charges. Frenzy charges for minions are an insane damage boost. See HERE for more info on how charges effect minions.

Helm: Geofri's Legacy. Legacy gives us the second Holy Relic which is our main clearing minion. Don't worry about the cooldown recovery speed mod, it's largely irrelevant, focus on getting resists here. Top enchants are % increased damage for Holy Relics or Agony Crawler - if you get one of these, you're lucky, but they're by no means required.

Body Armour: The Coming Calamity. Coming Calamity is what allows us to run a 5-6 link Herald of Agony and 4 link Herald of Purity. This item is build enabling and a must-have. Don't worry about getting 6 links, 5 is plenty to take down Shaper.

Gloves: Elder gloves with supported by Poison and Faster attacks. These gloves allow us to run our preferred 6 link Cyclone setup. Until you can get them use a nice rare with life and resists. Prioritise life and resists as secondary affixes in your Elder gloves.

Boots: Good rare with movement speed (25%+), life and resists. Getting some Dex here can be nice too.

Belt: Good rare Stygian Vise with life and resists. It's important to get a Stygian Vise here to socket our Abyssal Jewel. Until you get the Jewel, use a Leather Belt.

Jewelry: Essence Worm gives us Hatred (it's free reservation and there's no downside because Coming Calamity overrides the total values of our heralds). The other ring and amulet should be good rares with life and resists. Ideally, you will also have "Minions have % increased movement speed" on your rare jewelry. These can be crafted with Essences of Fear (Screaming or higher recommended), or simply buy them.

Jewels: 1x Abyssal Jewel with two affixes: minions have chance to blind and chance to taunt on hit. This helps with your survivability and life gain on his with blind. Socket this in your Stygian Vise. If you can only get one mod, go with taunt then work up to the double mod. 4x jewels with 5% chance to poison on hit, life and attack speed (global/with shield/with claw/etc). These are important to get 100% chance to poison on cyclone, but not so critical to get immediately. Work up to these as you get the jewel sockets on tree. 1x Good rare jewel with life and whatever other stats you need (attributes, resists, attack speed, etc).

Flasks: Seething Divine Life, Quicksilver, Silver, Basalt, Quartz. Be sure to get Staunching, Warding and Heat at a minimum.

cyclone mana cost and claw options

If you can craft a total of -5 to mana cost of channeling skills on your gear (2 jewelry crafts should be sufficient) you unlock additional options for your claw. 1 - use an Al Dhih for clearing as the Abyssal Cry on hit will proc and give you sweet pops and pack clear. Be sure to swap back to big life gain on hit claw for bosses (you can do this with weapon swap with a second Victario's Charity or just equipping). 2 - use a higher life gain on hit claw base as you no longer need the mana gained on hit to sustain cyclone.

Higher budget considerations

Energy Shield on hit Watcher's Eye - Drop your Essence Worm aura for Discipline and get an extra 20% effective health gained on hit. This helps a lot for tankiness/survivability. This also works for Vitlity and LGoH Watcher's eye. Discipline is better though if you can afford the jewel.

Rare elder helm with +2/3 to socketed minion gems and supported by Minion Damage to socket Herald of Purity-Maim-Melee Physical Damage-Ruthless/Empower(level 3+) - This setup is useful against bosses who deal large area damage and kill your Holy Relics. Relics generally are good, but not stellar against bosses like Shaper and you often need to resummon them, so having only one (socketed in boots) and stronger Herald of Purity minions suits if you're going to be chaining t16+ bosses. Note, if you use Ruthless you'll want to drop Hatred for Haste or the Discipline + watcher's eye setup.

7. Gems

Gems and options can be found in the PoB. See below for detailed gem descriptions.

Detailed gem information

Gems are listed in priority order.

6L Herald of Agony-Pierce-Minion Damage-Damage on Full Life

This is the core 4L after which you have the following options based on preference.
- Summon Phantasm on Kill: great for additional clear power, you can swap this for minion damage for clear/bossing (now triggers vs rare and unique enemies)
- Vicious Projectiles: huge damage
- Maim: decent damage and maim (consider using if not using maim on Herald of Purity)
- Empower: only really good if you have level 4 or a +1 socketed gems corruption
- Minion Speed: great for additional clear power, you can swap this for minion damage for clear/bossing
- Vile Toxins: good damage and option to swap for Pierce for bossing/clear

Herald of Purity-Feeding Frenzy-Melee Physical Damage-Maim

Summon Holy Relic-Minion Damage-Controlled Destruction-Meat Shield (if you find your Holy Relics dying a lot, swap Minion Damage for Minion Life)C

These three setups are your main sources of damage. Feel free to customise your Herald of Agony setup to the content you're going and personal preference.

Cyclone-Fortify-Life Gain on Hit-Blind (assuming you have double "supported by" gloves)

If you want to use Cyclone before having the double "supported by" gloves, use Cyclone-Faster Attacks-Poison-Fortify/Life Gain on Hit. Additionally, you can get only a single "supported by" gloves and not use blind if you don't have the life gained on hit vs blinded enemies elder claw yet.

Cyclone is how we trigger our minions and sustain life and mana.

Immortal Call (1)-Cast when Damage Taken (1)-Enfeeble (5)

Some nice defensive layers.

Shield Charge-Faster Attacks

Movement for when you're not Cycloning.


Hatred = more hit damage (good if you're Elemental Equilibrium, but you'll need to generosity it or take Avatar of Fire), Haste = increased attacks = higher life gained on hit and minion attack speed - personal preference on this one (I like Hatred).

Flame Dash or Dash

Some nice movement utility you can throw in somewhere - not essential.

8. Leveling

Guardian Ascendancy priority: Radiant Crusade-Unwavering Crusade-Bastion of Hope-Harmony of Purpose.

The skill tree in this build suits itself well to leveling as almost anything. Simply come out of Templar's start along any track you wish, then travel up to Spiritual Command and Spiritual Aid. This will give you enough damage and attack speed to scale any skill.

No matter how you level, be sure to pick these up along the way to level them:
Summon Holy Relic - Act 1 after Breaking Some Eggs
Herald of Purity - Act 2 after Intruders in Black
Herald of Agony - Act 3 Siosa or from a friend

Switching to the build is pretty flexible based on the gear you have available. Be sure to have the following at a minimum once you've switched (after the respec).
- Resolute Technique
- Spiritual Aid
- Spiritual Command
- Tireless
- Gravepact
- A claw with mana gained on hit implicit (Double/Twin/Gemini) and chance to poison and attack speed suffixes (master crafted attack speed is totally fine; don't need poison chance for final build, but it helps keep up virulence stacks before you have the jewels)

If leveling this build at league start I recommend one of the following four options (trees are in the PoB!). Finish the PoB numbered trees then work towards the level 90 tree taking the above required nodes and life.

Be sure your lootfilter includes Double Claws (at least normal, but there's some value in highlighting and identifying magic too).

Arc (totems)

Use Freezing Pulse until you have access to Arc, then Arc with Added Lightning Damage and Controlled Destruction in a +1 lightning gems wand or sceptre. Once you get a 4L BBBR and Ancestral Bond Cluster (take only after you have the 4L) you can use Arc-Spell Totem-Faster Casting-Controlled Destruction. Ascend to Hierophant and take Pursuit of Faith at normal lab. You can continue taking points in Hierophant if you don't want to switch by cruel lab by taking Ritual of Awakening, but it's by no means required.


Use Smite-Ancestral Call-Melee Physical Damage until Dominating Blow-Melee Physical Damage-Minion Damage-Melee Splash. Also use Herald of Purity-Melee Physical Damage-Maim-Minion Damage.


Start the same as the "Melee" build for trees 1-2 and use Smite-Ancestral Call-Melee Physical Damage. Switch once you can respec some points to the Cyclone3 tree and have gear for 4L Cyclone, 4L Herald of Agony, 3L Herald of Purity and 3-4L Summon Holy relic

Summon Raging Spirits

For Summon Raging Spirits (SRS) you have two options. Either to switch to Cyclone early - in which case complete SRS1 then build towards the Cyclone requirements or you can commit to leveling with SRS longer in which case complete SRS2. Here's what TheUberElite has to say for SRS leveling:

TheuberClips wrote:

- Level 1 through 8 is freezing pulse, level an SRS
- Level 8 get SRS, Melee Splash, Minion Damage. Get +1 fire wand/sceptre asap
- Eventually work towards a BBRR helmet 4 link, use recipes to craft +1 minion gems on it. Go SRS - Melee Splash - Melee Phys - Minion Speed (or Minion Damage if you want better damage for bosses or just clear)

9. Gladiator max block option

My friend played a Gladiator version of the build in 3.4 Delve league. Here are his PoB and notes: https://pastebin.com/2rem583h - updated for 3.8

The Gladiator version of the build is much more defensive (and much more expensive). You lose a bit of damage, but thanks to Gladiator's block nodes and some spicy gear you can end up with 82% chance to block attacks and spells at all times. This on top of 6.5–7k life and the massive amount of life gain on hit the build gets makes you practically unkillable, and the damage is still high enough to comfortably clear with relics and kill bosses quickly with Crawler and Sentinels. By far the tankiest build I've ever played, and it honestly does not feel balanced. Also, you get to play a Gladiator summoner! How could you not love anything that ridiculous?

Leveling is a bit clunky. You can use Sunder or another random melee skill of choice until ~60, then swap into the build properly. Take some melee damage nodes when doing this and spec out of them later. I also do not recommend doing this as a starter build. It's too expensive. Do the Guardian version if you want to league start with this.

This guide is a work in progress. Please comment any questions you may have!
Last edited by systemplayerlost on Oct 8, 2022, 8:21:39 PM
Last bumped on Jun 6, 2021, 5:54:44 PM
I'm looking forward to your updated/complete guide today. At level 77, this build chews through virtually everything and anything I can throw at it. Great damage and survivability! Delves are a complete joke.

Thanks for the awesome and unique build!
Ratdaug wrote:
I'm looking forward to your updated/complete guide today. At level 77, this build chews through virtually everything and anything I can throw at it. Great damage and survivability! Delves are a complete joke.

Thanks for the awesome and unique build!

Hey, I'm glad you're enjoying the build so far - how cool is it getting to use a bunch of new stuff in weird ways!

Unfortunately, my net was down for more than 24h over the weekend, so I wasn't able to completely finish the guide - I'll polish it up over the next day or so.

Totally get what you're saying about Delves - check out the video I posted above where I get up to 680 darkness stacks before getting 1 shot by a rare.

Please let me know if there's anything you'd like me to include in the guide while it's under development - otherwise I'm happy to answer any questions here :)

This build looks like it does no dmg but actually pumps


I think you can actually pump out WAYYYYYY more out of this tree/build as well

Heres my notes

1. Gloves can be upgraded to insanity gloves - % more attack speed for an even faster cyclone

2. https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Deafening_Essence_of_Zeal - can be used on a claw to end up with 30% attack speed instead of 18%

3. Amulet can be upgraded to AULS for free hatred

4. Can have a "poachers mark on hit ring" to get extra life/mana on hit
as well as a flat 20 life gained on hit

5. Can go MOM and have a bigger life pool and use the mana on hit to sustain it

6. Have you checked other ascendancy options?
For example scion gets free onslaught and fortify on hit with frenzy charge sustain

Side note -

I made a pathfinder to lvl 90+ and had uber ascendancy with a coming calamity and my herald of agony didnt do any dmg...

So im pretty sure 90% of your dmg is from holy relics not the agony.

Therefore the herald of purity should be 6linked and can be implemented in a +1 all with a lvl 4 empower or +2 duration tabula

If possible Id like you to test and show side-by-side comparison without and without herald of agony.
Last edited by Bloomania on Sep 17, 2018, 1:38:52 AM
+1 following this.
how deep has this build went? in Delves?

Looks good

WOW - really cool build!

where does all the damage come from? 4L HoP + 5L HoA?

really impressive!

It's nice to see that quite a few versions of HoAg builds pop up :)

I hadn't thought about using the Holy Relic for my own build, so I'm off to to try it out and see if I can rearrange my gem setup to eventually fit it in. If you and viperesque need some inspiration for your Gladiator setup, feel free to take a look at my build. You'll find the link to it in my signature.
[3.6] 83/83 Block Herald of Agony Gladiator - Über Elder Viable
[3.1] SRS LL Auramancer in-depth guide

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