[3.5] Dominating Blow Juggernaut - Beginner / League Starter / SSF


Positive: Banners, easier access to bestiary aspects, more crafting options for minions with the new crafting system.
Negative: Lower drop rate for The Scourge and The Brass Dome
Neutral: The change in Herald of Purity (more physical damage instead of more damage) makes elemental variation unnecessary. That's kind of a positive, since physical variation is simpler and tankier.

Why Juggernaut?
Because we can cover our defences from ascendancy and body armour, so we don't have to sacrifice important sources of damage. Also being melee and having to rely on minions, withstanding the damage is the main parameter for dom blow to shine.

-Very Cheap
-Very Tanky
-Good damage (1 to 3 million boss dps)*
-Uber Lab farmer
-Can do all map mods**
-Relaxed playstyle
-Room for MF gear
-Beginner/League Starter/SSF friendly

-Average Clearing
-High dexterity requirement from gear
-Melee summoner, meaning you might have to make adjustments if your minions are dying faster than your summoning rate***.


-Leveled gems
-From cheap gear with no situational buffs, to expensive gear with all buffs active (vaal haste, flesh offering, aspect of the spider, placed banner).
-Assuming all minions you can summon on a boss, are up and attacking. 9 normal sentinels of dominance, 4 sentinels of purity.

Until you start optimizing your gear, your main hit damage will be really low. That means 2 things.

Phys reflect: No problem at all, minions don't have any problems either, even on bosses.
No health and mana regen: For the same reason, your leech will be bad. You need to be more cautious and you might also need to bring a mana flask.

Later on, phys reflect still can't kill you, you might want to avoid it though in tough bosses like shaper guardians, just for minion survivability purposes.

There might be few situations where minions die easily and you can't facetank the boss long enough to keep them up all the time. A perfect example is Hall of the Grandmasters. Possible solutions are vaal breach, The Writhing Jar, or you can try bosses that might be difficult for you, once you have better minion damage.
I've tested this build up to Shaper last league and will post updates considering this issue, as I try harder content this league.

Tree and build decisions:

Budget example:

Expensive example:

High Life Regen Variation:



Helmet: Herald of purity-Minion damage-Brutality-Melee Physical Damage

Chest: Dominating Blow-Brutality-Melee Physical Damage-Multistrike-Maim-Ruthless (Boss) / Melee Splash (Clearing)

Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 20)-Immortal Call-Summon Stone Golem || War Banner / Dread Banner*

Whirling Blades-Blood Magic-Faster Attacks-Fortify

Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1)-Enfeeble (lvl 5)-Convocation (lvl 5)

Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1)-Desecrate (lvl 7)-Flesh Offering (lvl 8)

Ring Slot: Vaal Haste**

*: Dread banner is the more defensive option. Considering damage, PoB does not calculate impale yet, so no idea.
**: Keep Vaal Haste at lvl 10 if you want to lower dexterity requirements.

Why not Minion Damage on chest?
Main hit damage is low, even with optimized gear. Since minion damage is more than enough, we have no reason to lose more on our hit (especially early on), cause this will affect leech and summoning speed on trash packs while no minions are up.

Gem setup
Gem setup is pretty versatile. You can use things like Animate Guardian, Vaal summon skeletons etc. Customize to your liking. Also keep in mind that level 21 gems on Dominating blow and Herald of Purity, make a difference on damage of minions.



Basic rule: We prioritize minion attack speed over minion damage. Although minion damage might give higher dps, we don't benefit much from it on our main hit. Attack speed on the other hand, allows us to summon minions faster on bosses.


Bone helmet with "+ to level of socketed minion gems".

Lab enchant with "+1 to max number of sentinels of Purity" gives almost the same boss damage as the bone helmet implicit. Dom blow enchants help only while clearing, so you don't have to bother with an enchant at all.

Body Armour

The Brass Dome is my personal preference in terms of defences. Other than that, any high armour chest (1k+) with life and resistances will do.

For expensive variation, we want a "+2 to level of socketed duration gems" or "+1 to level of socketed gems" or both corruptions, for max damage.

Stygian vise (for another jewel slot) with life and resistances

This is the most important part when it comes to damage.We want Ghastly jewels with the following stats:

-Minions have #% increased attack/cast speed
-Increased Minion damage if you used a minion skill recently
-Minions deal # to # additional Physical Damage

-Maximum Life
-Minions have #% chance to Blind on Hit with Attacks

If you are satisfied with your HP, you can skip it on jewels and just go for damage. Blind is very useful for our defence, but you need it in only one jewel.
You can just craft magic ones with "+ to maximum life" and "Minions have #% increased attack/cast speed", while leveling.

Cobalt jewels with "minions deal #% increased damage" are also an option, if you can't find any ghastly jewels on league start.

We have 2 unique options. Either 2 x The Scourge or The Scourge and Victario's Charity

Victario's Charity gives more damage when all frenzy charges are up and also more defences. The problem is that we take a big hit in attack speed which means we summon minions slower on bosses. So use either one of those options depending on your gear.

You can use Rare Claws until The Scourge drops in price or you make some currency.
Look for claws with life leech and life gain on hit implicits and:
Good attack speed (1.6 +)
Decent physical dps
Open suffix

Craft "Minions have #% increased attack/cast speed" on crafting table when you unlock it. "Minions deal #% increased damage" is also good.


We need one item with "#% of physical attack damage leeched as mana".
We can get it on rings, amulet, gloves.

We also need a rare unset ring, to socket vaal haste or banners (can skip it if you sacrifice faster attacks on movement skill or have a different gem setup).

Lastly we need "Grants level 20 Aspect of the Spider Skill" on any item you can get it.

In general, we need the following stats:

-Attack speed on items like gloves or rings is good, but don't sacrifice anything important to get it

For expensive variation, we can use Aul's Uprising (Haste). This enables us to use haste as an aura.

Since we don't need any flasks for dps purposes, we can use whatever helps us survive, depending on the situation, or use utility ones. The "must have" modifiers we need on magic flasks are "Removes bleeding" and "Removes freeze and chill". You can roll those on life flasks. Some good options are:

Silver Flask: Gives us attack speed, thus faster summoning on bosses.
Sulphur flask: Creates consecrated ground, which increases our life regen.
Topaz, Ruby, Sapphire flasks: Use any of those depending on the occasion to lessen elemental damage taken.

3.5 My Current Gear

Low Budget
My first set of gear to start mapping. Total cost around 30c on third day of the league. Jewels are self crafted.

Regular Budget

My first upgrade after one week. Total worth of gear and level 21 gems, is around 4 exalted.

PoB doesn't calculate dread banner damage bonuses yet.

Leveling and SSF:
You can level with any skill you want until you get Dominating Blow. Sunder/Ground Slam are good options. Considering skill points, go like this:
-Resolute Technique
-Spiritual Command
-Spiritual Aid
-Sovereignty (You 'll need it once you get an item with aspect of the spider).

Other than that, tree progression doesn't matter. Open jewel slots once you get some good jewels, as they help alot with damage.

Uniques that might help are the following:
-Tabula rasa with a "+2 to level of socketed duration gems"
-Belt of the deceiver
-Earendel's Embrace or Severed in Sleep

Both The Scourge and The Brass Dome, can be farmed from Guardians (Chimera and Minotaur).Until then, you can craft weapons with minion attack speed/damage using:
-New Crafting Table
-Bound Fossil
-Essence of Fear


Last edited by Jdahl22 on Dec 22, 2018, 4:32:36 AM
Last bumped on Jan 26, 2019, 9:56:09 AM
Can i use The Writhing Jar ?
I did this build last league as gaurdian. Withering jars are a must for clear imo. I spammed them to keep minions up.
There are a lot of differences from guardian versions. Withering jar is completely unnecessary for clearing. The only situation that might come in handy is maybe in really tough boss fights with no adds to kill, or if you die and don't want to go back with no minions. The whole point is to build around tankiness so you don't have to worry about going melee to summon.
I am new to the game. I am confused if i am supposed to use any kind of minion or a certain type?
Completed 3 ChallengesKliierQueen wrote:
I am new to the game. I am confused if i am supposed to use any kind of minion or a certain type?

Dominating Blow: An attack skill that summons minions on kill and on hit
Herald of Purity: A toggle skill that summons minions when you hit/kill with any skill.

If you want to try any other type of minion, you can.
Playing this in HC and love it so far. Level 83 and chugging along.

Had some issues with minion survivability, but those have mostly gone away with the leech node and gem levels. We'll see how well it keeps scaling (only through tier 5 maps now).

I went with Victario's Charity and I'm thinking of maybe pursuing Craiceann's Carapace as my goal chest. How valuable do you find the Aspect of the Spider (I'd be replacing it with Aspect of the Crab)?

Current Gear:
Aspect of the spider gives both offensive and defensive bonus. Also, more phys reduction is not probably needed for jugg. If I were to try HC, I would probably try to build around higher regen and higher health pool. So I would go with rare chest and probably more end charges, kaom's way rings etc.

Another option would be to try to balance more between main hit damage and minion damage, so with better leech you could try bloodseeker and scourge.

Edit: Added a high regen variation. Will test at some point and post results.
Last edited by Jdahl22 on Dec 21, 2018, 9:05:51 AM
I played this build on SSF HC. I got to level 92 and downed Elder, Atziri and the guardians. I enjoyed it a lot. Really picked up around 84 when I started stacking more health and increased my attack speed.
I played this build on SSF HC. I got to level 92 and downed Elder, Atziri and the guardians. I enjoyed it a lot. Really picked up around 84 when I started stacking more health and increased my attack speed.

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