[3.5] LL Guardian Support - 12 Auras, Interchangeable buffs, 30s Fortify, Mostly unique items

This guide has spawned mostly out of necessity, as I could not find a guide for the type of Guardian Support I wanted to play. For a few leagues now I've hit 36/40 challenges and then rolled a support to play casually with my girlfriend until the next league arrives.

PoB for those who don't need a written guide: https://pastebin.com/YLesug0D

Mechanics of the Build
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We're able to use 6 blood magic auras without actually being blood magic on the tree, which is pretty cool. We do this by using Aul's Uprising, which gives us a free Purity of Lightning reservation, in combination with the right amount of reduced mana reservation and unique items.

Auras on mana reservation include Dread Banner, Discipline, Clarity, and the three damage auras. In my case my mapping partner is playing a Freezing Pulse Occultist which doesn't need to make use of Hatred, so you can instead opt to use Vitality or Purity of Elements, whichever makes more sense. All of these auras minus Discipline are linked to Generosity for more effect.

Reserving as much of our life and mana as possible leaves us and our allies with a hefty chunk of extra Energy Shield, Armor, % Physical Reduction, and % Life Regen.


Required Items for the Build
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Item Descriptions
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Ephemeral Edge: Used solely for the % increased maximum ES. Compatible with Smite.

Alpha's Howl: Staple in 99% of support builds. Has Reduced Mana Reservation, which the build requires, and provides us with a good place to stick our Purities, helping us reach 83/83/84 elemental resistances.

Prism Guardian: The other aurabot staple. Allows us to run another 3 auras on blood magic without being blood magic on the tree.

Aul's Uprising: Probably the most "innovative" piece of the build. I haven't seen anyone use it for this purpose. Again, this lets us run all three Purities instead of only two. We would run this amulet even if the Purity Reservation was the only affix on it, but thankfully it gives us some decent ES and the added bonus of helping crit builds get closer to max crit.

Shavronne's Wrappings: We use this instead of Victario's because we're lazy and don't want to rely on a flask to prevent us from dying to chaos damage.

Shaper's Touch: Hard to beat. Gives us more ES than a pair of rare gloves and has the added benefit of easily finding a pair with a +2 gems corruption for a great price. The +2 is unnecessary but does boost our damage auras just a bit more.

Skyforth: A nice amount of flat mana on top of it's most important stat - 6% reduced mana reserved. Without these boots we would have to go out of our way to find at least 6 corrupted jewels with the 1% reduced mana reserved implicit on them. Real pain in the ass, and 2-3 times more expensive than Skyforths would be in the end anyway. Stun threshold being based on mana gives us reliable protection against stuns, something most other builds would have to use a Presence of Chayula for.

Bated Breath: Throwaway unique, extremely cheap for what it does. Not worth spending the amount of money required to make a better belt in my opinion. Recharge rate helps a little bit since we rely entirely on ES recharge to sustain ourselves.

Rings: Only 2 rares in the build - preferably 2 unsets so you can squeeze in your Discipline and Dread Banner. +level of gems is a nice bonus, but the only real stats you're looking for here are Dex, ES, Mana, and one Fire Resistance affix to help cap. Try to get Chaos Resistance as well since we can't find it on any of our other items.

Jewels: We run three Grand Spectrum jewels for a big flat boost to our mana pool, as well as three Healthy Mind jewels at various places in the tree to help scale that mana. The Vigil is to give us that big 30 second Fortify so we don't have to worry about it as often. Conqueror's Efficiency gives us the last bit of % reduced mana reserved to make the build function, and Conqueror's Potency rounds out the build by making our auras and flasks slightly better. Check the PoB at the top of the guide to see where you should be placing these jewels.


Required Gems
Spoiler
Purity of Ice - Purity of Fire - Purity of Lightning - Blood Magic (at least level 16)

Vaal Grace - Determination - Haste

Wrath - Hatred - Anger - Generosity

Vaal Discipline

Dread Banner

Flame Dash - Faster Casting

Phase Run - Increased Duration - Chaos Golem (switch out Increased Duration for an Enduring Cry if you would like to more reliably keep Endurance Charges up for the party.)

Smite - Vigilant Strike - Faster Attacks - Ancestral Call (Faster Attacks and Ancestral Call purely for quality of life.)

Clarity - Vitality - Purity of Elements - Generosity (Keep in mind, Vitality and Purity of Elements will not be turned on unless you turn one of the damage auras off.)

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These gems need to be linked into specific gear pieces, so check back to the Required Items section if you're not sure where to place them. Also, feel free to add or remove certain gems if you find them unnecessary. For instance, perhaps you feel you don't need Ancestral Call in your buff setup. Put Dread Banner there instead, letting you replace the unset ring you needed before.


Flasks
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Basically just run whatever combination of defensive flasks you feel like you need. One Quicksilver will likely be necessary to keep up with your carry. Make sure to get burn, freeze, bleed, and curse immunity.


Skill Tree/Leveling/Pantheons
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Any questions regarding the skill tree can be answered by looking at the Path of Building link. The build is functional starting at level 68, as soon as you can wear all the required uniques and travel to all the Reduced Mana Reserved nodes on the tree. If you decide you like the build enough to advance it past level 94, take any remaining efficient jewel sockets and any % increased maximum energy shield nodes you deem necessary.

It is possible to level this build as a solo player. I personally used Storm Brand and took damage nodes until I was able to switch over at level 68. It was actually very smooth. If you have any questions on leveling, try to make them specific and I can answer them in the comments.

Pantheons are player preference, and depend mostly on what content you plan on doing. Lunaris, Solaris, and Arakaali are all fantastic when fully upgraded. Good Minors for the build include Shakari, Gruthkul, and Ralakesh.


Upgrades
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Since the build uses mostly unique items, our only upgrades come from potentially rare and expensive vaal corruptions. Most will be more expensive than I personally deem worthy, but feel free to invest into your character and search for +levels of AoE/Aura gems on certain pieces of gear.

A Clarity "% of mana as extra maximum Energy Shield" Watcher's Eye would also bring us from 8k ES to over 10k ES, but is relatively expensive and only recommended if you plan on pushing the hardest content. Keep in mind that you will need another jewel socket on the tree and you'll also need to unlink your Clarity from Generosity support.

Other upgrades include wild things like using a 6-link aura setup with Enlightens, in combination with corrupted jewels and maybe even a reduced mana reserved lab enchant, but all in all it's not worth the hassle just to be able to run another aura or two, most of likely which can't even be used by other players depending on their build, or entirely unnecessary.


General Playstyle
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For those unfamiliar with how playing a Support functions, you basically follow your carry around while slapping things with Vigilant Strike and Smite when you can. Your biggest priorities are staying in range of your carry and staying alive. Good use of Vaal Discipline is mandatory when playing this build, as it is our only real way to recover ES. Use Vaal Grace when you want to take a break from getting hit by stuff. Spam flasks off cooldown or when you're about to run into a big pack.


Questions/Concerns/Suggestions
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This is my first guide. I haven't gone all out on over-the-top formatting, preferring instead to keep it simple and easy to read. If you have any suggestions in reference to the build or the build guide itself, feel free to comment. If you have any questions regarding anything you've read here today, I'll be answering everything in the comments below.

Hopefully this has helped you. Thanks for reading.
Last bumped on Feb 4, 2019, 6:33:43 AM
reserved.
is there a reason you keep some auras on low lvl and Discipline not in a +2 slot?

Otherwise looks pretty decent, wanted to try out a supporter.
The Ascendant does far, far better, at providing the DPS auras, than any other class in the game (including Necro - which is dead.)
don't move my threads.
"
Lyshmo wrote:
is there a reason you keep some auras on low lvl and Discipline not in a +2 slot?

Otherwise looks pretty decent, wanted to try out a supporter.


The actual character in my profile is underleveled by quite a lot, so the PoB in the original post should be used as the reference for the guide. It should say that Discipline is in a +2 Unset Ring, at least that's what I'm seeing. If you notice any errors I'd love to fix them for you. The same goes for any low level auras you see. In the actual PoB all auras should be as high of a level as possible. The only gem that should be left on a lower level is the Blood Magic Support in the helmet, which can be fiddled with to reserve as much life as possible.
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bvanharjr wrote:
The Ascendant does far, far better, at providing the DPS auras, than any other class in the game (including Necro - which is dead.)


The attack and cast speed granted by an Ascendant version of the build is tough to beat in terms of the boost to DPS it can provide, especially since aura effect increases those per aura bonuses. In comparison, Guardians are able to give the party many more defenses.

They're both great builds at the end of the day, and I'd highly suggest you at least consider turning this guide into an Ascendant version if you're curious. Really it comes down to just being a different flavor and you can't really go wrong with either one.

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