[3.6] Winter Orb Dancing Duo Herald of Purity & Agony Ascendant

Hi everybody,
here is my take on a The Dancing Duo & Herald of Agony build or..

..how to kill Uber Elder while just casting lvl 1 Winter Orb?!

I'll try to keep it as compact and informative as possible. Let's go..

10 things I enjoyed about the build

1. It is very easy to play due to the mechanics of Winter Orb.

2. It was my league starter and works on a relatively small budget.

3. It was the first char with which I could kill Uber Elder despite my poor mechanical skills.

4. It is a minion build that only uses one skill: Winter Orb (although you might want to use Convocation from time to time).

5. It has awesome map clear thanks to The Dancing Duo.

6. You can easily run T16 maps without clicking.. but if you do click it substantially increases your DPS.

7. It is very defensive due to several layers of defenses and the channel and run playstyle.

8. It combines many different aspects of the game, which synergize really well, in particular when it comes to boosting your physical and chaos damage.

9. It combines many advantages of minions and pathfinder builds and is a bit hipster due to using new (Winter Orb) and less common (Herald of Purity) skills in a new fashion.

10. It allowed me to craft a couple of the items myself. It was the first time I got more involved into crafting items (instead of just buying them) and although the results - as you can see - where nothing spectacular they were more than sufficient for the build and the crafting process was very satisfying, especially with all the new crafting options delve and betrayal brought to the table.


The concept of the build.

The main idea is to run the 2 heralds (Herald of Purity, Herald of Agony) with 3-5 support gems and to uses Winter Orb - Poison - Greater Multiple Projectiles to achieve a constant uptime of the Sentinels of Purity and the Agony Crawler.
Additionally, the The Dancing Duo is used which spawns 2 Dancing Derwishes on rampage which constantly use cyclone to attack enemies. It was suprisingly easy to keep rampage up ALL the time with just 2 The Writhing Jar flasks.
We use the pathfinder keystone for an increased uptime of our flask, especially The Writhing Jar, and the juggernaut keystone for the additional tankyness.


Brief overview:


Which items are absolutly necessary?

These are the only uniques you really want for this build to work, in equal, to get and maintain your Dancing Derwishes. Although you could still clear even T16 maps without them just relying on the slower clear potential of your Sentinels of Purity and the Agony Crawler.

How to get these items?

At the point of writing this guide The Dancing Duo costs 10 chaos and The Writhing Jar costs 1 chaos. The items were just a little bit more expensive at the start of the league. Alternatively, you can by the unique sword The Dancing Derwish and the prophecy Dance of Steel (which costs 1 chaos at the moment) and kill the boss of the Arsenal Map (or ask somebody to help you) with the Dancing Derwish equipped, which is what I did. I am not sure whether the DPS (damage per second) of the unique sword is actually linked to the damage of your minions, but I bought a high DPS The Dancing Derwish to be on the safe side. It is important to note that the sockets in The Dancing Duo do NOT have to be linked since they are automatically linked to your Manifest Dancing Derwish skill!

Of course, you ideally want the The Writhing Jar to have the maximum of '20% reduced charges used'.


These items are nice to have as well:

A helmet with one of the following helmet enchantments.

This allows you to socket additional supports into your herald skills and still reserve enough mana for Herald of Purity, Herald of Agony and War Banner. Alternatively, you could use The Coming Calamity, but I prefer the helmet enchantment as it allows you to use a more defensive body armour.

The ring provides you with 4 'free' sockets, which allows you to use more skills, e.g., a Cast when Damage taken setup.

How to get these items?

You can buy any non-unique helmet with one of the helmet enchantments and craft it yourself with either fossils, chaos orbs, essences or alteration orbs depending on your budget. As usual, you aim for high life and resistance mods, a couple of minion mods are nice as well (especially if you got your hands on an elder helmet). In the beginning of the league, the enchantments did cost 10c (Herald of Purity) or 35c (Herald of Agony), but the prices seem to have doubled up to now.

The Hungry Loop costs 1 chaos. I suggest to feed it yourself (with Vicious Projectiles,Vile Toxins,Damage on Full Life,Minion Damage), since it is more fun and cost efficent.

Abyssal jewels are preferred for this build. I suggest to incorporate at least 1-2 jewels with each of the following mods:
- minions have x% chance to taunt on hit with attacks
- minions have x% chance to blind on hit with attacks
In addition, you are looking for mods which either increased your life pool or the (physical or chaos) DPS of your minions.
Note the abyssal jewels I linked are still far from optimal, but I did't manage to link the jewels I have actually inserted into my skilltree.


Other gear choices

Since I run a 5-linked Winter Orb in my body armour, it is desirable to socket one (or both) of my heralds into an elder item for 1-2 additional linked support gems. You should look either for elder gloves with:
- Socket Gems are supported by level x Faster Attacks and/or
- Socket Gems are supported by level x Poison
or for an elder helmet with
- Socket Gems are supported by level x Minion Damage.
Both heralds profit from either the gloves or the helmet. But 5- or 6-linking your second herald is by no means necessary and the difference is hardly noticable even when you clear red maps. This build can still kill Uber Elder if both heralds have only 3 support gems linked to them relatively easy.

Concerning the rest of the gear, you are quite flexible. As usual, Belly of the Beast or Loreweave are some good defensive options for the body armour. Vis Mortis would be a more offensive choice. Personally, I found that The Perfect Form coupled with Matatl's Boots (with the 'chance to Dodge Spell Hits' mod) and a Quartz flask works really well for this build.

Due to our increased flask effectiveness and the pathfinder keystone, this gives us around 57% chance to Dodge Spell Hits nearly all the time, which can still be combined with a Vaal Grace aura.
It is important to note that this build does NOT profit from the 6th link of the body armour AT ALL. It just happened that my first ever self-made 6-link in Path of Exile was created when I just tried to 5-link this beautifull body armour.. ;)

How to get these items?

You can buy a pair of elder gloves with the desired mods for a couple of chaos.
I suggest to buy the The Perfect Form for (a few chaos) and try to 5-link it yourself.
The boots can be either bought or crafted. As usual, you aim for high life and resistance mods in addition to matatl's dodge chance + movement speed mod. You don't need such a beast of boots as linked above. I easily capped my resistances and killed Uber Elder a couple of times with the above boots BEFORE a very lucky leo craft added the 44% lightning resistance to them.

The rest of your gear

The remaining gear slots (ring, belt, amulet) can be used to collect the required attributes (especially dexterity), cap your resistances and increase your life pool.


Defence & Utility

Our best defense are our minions (which taunt enemies due to our abyssal jewels) and the mechanics of the build. More precisely, Winter Orb allows us to constantly focus on avoiding any incoming damage and managing our flasks, while only stopping for fractures of a second to maintain the winter orb stages.
Apart from that, we use several defensive layers:
- Arctic Armour which doesn't reserve mana due to our body armour;
- we have 57% chance to dodge spell hits which is combined with Vaal Grace in tough situations;
- we easily generate endurance charges due to the Juggernaut keystone, which are combined with a cwdt - immortal cal setup.


Pantheon Choices:

Pantheon List

Major God:

- Soul of the Lunaris

This is a beast. The additional physical damage reduction, movement speed, dodge chance and chance to avoid projectiles are very welcome in many situations (including the Uber Elder fight). Not to mention the complete avoidance of chained projectiles, which is very handy for any summoner that uses minions from which projectiles could chain of.

Minor God:

Choose whatever you like or feel to need at your current situation. For Shaper/Uber Elder I suggest the usual:

- Soul of Yugul


Skill-gems & Setups:

Dancing Duo

- Withering Touch, Minion Damage, Minion Speed/Concentrated Effect, Damage on Full Life, Melee Physical Damage, Multistrike

Note that Multistrike DOES increase the attack speed of the Dancing Derwishes even while cycloning, despite not working with the Cyclone gem.
Furthermore, Withering Touch applies a lot of wither stacks to the enemy due to the high attack speed of the Dancing Derwishes. This increases the chaos damage of ALL our minions!

Winter Orb:

- Winter Orb, Poison, Curse On Hit, Greater Multiple Projectiles, Enfeeble/Temporal Chains

Due to Poison and Herald of Agony the added physical damage of Herald of Purity has 80% chance to poison. In combination with Greater Multiple Projectiles, Winter Orb hits around 15 times per second. This allows us to keep up 40 virulence stacks against single enemies with 10 stages of Winter Orb. In addition, Curse On Hit allows us to easily apply our curse of choice. This is just for quality of life. If you are still missing the 5th link in your body armour just remove the Curse On Hit and curse enemies yourself.

Herald of Agony/Hungry Loop:

- Herald of Agony, Vicious Projectiles,Vile Toxins,Damage on Full Life,Minion Damage

The support gems of both of the heralds are chosen based on their damage/mana ratio. Since every support gem increases the percentage of mana we need to reserve, we are looking for high damage increases and low mana multipliers.
Also note that tougher enemies always have a lot of poison stacks due to our Winter Orb setup.

Herald of Purity:

- Herald of Purity,Maim,Minion Damage, Ruthless, Faster Attacks,Poison

As above, the support gems are chosen based on their damage/mana ratio. I want to point out that Maim increases the physical damage of ALL our minions!


- Cast When Damage Taken, Immortal Call, Spirit Offering,

Buisness as usual. Spirit offering further increases your DPS. If you don't have The Hungry Loop you might consider to omit these gems.

Raise Zombie

- Raise Zombie, Blood Magic, Minion Life

You want to raise the big apes from, e.g., Act 2 (Riverwalk) which give frenzy charges to their allies and re-raise them in a high tier map (e.g.,Sshaper's Realm). Due to high effectiveness of charges on minions this substantially increases the attack speed of your minions. Unfortunately, it can be a bit difficult to keep spectres alive in really tough fights (Uber Elder, etc.), so it's up to you to decide whether the effort is worth it. As above, if you don't have The Hungry Loop you might consider to omit these gems.

Aruas, etc.

- Arctic Armour, War Banner, Convocation, Vaal Grace, Vaal Haste

Only use Arctic Armour if you use The Perfect Form for 100% reduced mana reservation.
With some mana reservation nodes from the tree I was able to even fit in War Banner, which is a nice damage and especially accuracy boost for very little mana reservatin.
Convocation is for quality of life and gives you a tiny bit of control over your minions.
It's your choice whether you want to add a more defensive or offensive vaal aura to the build. After deciding that trying to keep my Animated Guardian alive wasn't worth it, I was very happy with Vaal Haste.


Skill-tree & Ascendancy Nodes:

Ascendancy Nodes:

In this order:
- Pathfinder keystone
This node increases the uptime of all our flasks, especially of the Quartz flask and The Writhing Jar.
- Path of the Ranger
This enables us to take points from the ranger area which should be done as early as possible, see skill tree below.
- Juggernaut keystone
Probably my favorite ascendancy, due to the huge defensiveness from the endurance charges and the stun immunity.


The main skill tree looks like this and can be achieved at level 73:


After that you can take nodes (in the order of your choice) which allow you to:
- reserve less mana (reduced mana resevation);
- cast Winter Orb less frequently (increased skill effect duration);
- increase your overall damage (increased minion damage/increased minion attack speed);
- socket in more jewels;
- get more dexterity.
If you do all of that your skilltree will look as follows:



Frequently asked questions:

How do I start rampage?

This depends on the situation:
1. In maps I just pop The Writhing Jar twice and start channeling Winter Orb. Then my Sentinels of Purity and the Agony Crawler quickly kill the first enemies which starts rampage.
2. Before a boss fight (if rampage isn't still up) I cast Winter Orb and pop one The Writhing Jar every 4 seconds. In this way I buy enough time for my flask to refill (due to the pathfinder keystone) and can spawn enough worms to start rampage. Note that this occurs very seldom, since once you have rampage you can basically keep it up for an infinite time and there are only very few situations very you have to fight a tough enemy without any previous mobs which allowed you to start rampage.

How difficult is it to maintain rampage?

It is not difficult at all. Most of the time the Dancing Derwishes maintain themselves. Only in a few situations you have to take things into your own hands. And if you loose rampage you can easily restart as described above. Additionally, since you are only casting Winter Orb (and Convocation at a few occasions) you have a lot of time to 'manage' rampage.

How to level this build?

Your main objective is to reach the 'Spiritual Aid' node which applies your minion damage increases to you as fast as possible. Besides that you can level with any skill you like. If you choose an attack skill you also get the minion attack speed bonus from 'Spiritual Command'. Zombies (Raise Zombies) and phantasms (Summon Phantasm on Kill Support) can also help in the early stages.

Can you tell me a little about the playstyle of the build?

lxsli wrote:
I'm enjoying this build[..] Permaflask makes it fast and you just need to stop occasionally to channel winter orb near rares. Keeping rampage up is fine, I was a bit worried about this initially. Mainly just run around and pick up loot. I've not run a Pathfinder before and having flasks recharge so fast is really cool.

Last edited by limonenovecento on Apr 3, 2019, 9:20:46 AM
Last bumped on Jun 12, 2019, 10:31:17 AM
want to see video how build work.I'm newbie sry for my english

Hey there, thanks for the detailed guide!

The build sounds very interesting, I really want to try it as a league starter next league.

Is this a good league starter?

I know the gear is not expensive from the looks of it, but hungry loop does require several lv 20 gems, what did you do in the beginning stage of the game?

Also, do you happen to have a video showing mapping or Boss (maybe uber elder)?

That would really help the popularity of the build.

want to see video how build work.I'm newbie sry for my english

I wished I could provide video content, but unfortunately my system doesn't allow me to record any videos.

PsychoPedia wrote:
Hey there, thanks for the detailed guide!

The build sounds very interesting, I really want to try it as a league starter next league.

Is this a good league starter?

I know the gear is not expensive from the looks of it, but hungry loop does require several lv 20 gems, what did you do in the beginning stage of the game?

Also, do you happen to have a video showing mapping or Boss (maybe uber elder)?

That would really help the popularity of the build.


I can definitely recommend this build as a league starter and actually consider the low required investments one of its biggest advantages.

With a 6-socketed Dancing Duo, a 4-linked Herald of Agony and a 4-linked Herald of Purity you have more than enough DPS to kill the shaper. Note that you don't need the hungry loop (as you can dismiss less important skill gems like arctic armour, raise zombie - blood magic - minion life, vaal haste/grace, etc.) nor a reduced mana reservation enchantment/the coming calamity nor a 6-link in this case.
All of your other gear slots can be used for defensive purposes (life/resistances/etc.) in the beginning if needed. But, as said, the best defense is the channel-and-run playstyle from winter orb which doesn't need any investment at all.

Coming to maps I had a 6-socketed Dancing Derwish, a 4-linked Herald of Agony and a 4-linked Herald of Purity, in combination with a winter orb linked to gmp and poison (which was than quickly/easily replaced by the above 5-linked winter orb setup).
I bought an arsenal map and completed it as soon as I could afford it (with the Dance of Steel prophecy) to obtain the Dancing Duo. When my support gems were close to level 20 I bought the hungry loop and fed it with the respective support gems.
From this point on I naturally upgraded my gear whenever I found/crafted/bought a better item, mainly improving my defenses. This required a minimal amount of fine-tuning due to the need to manage your mana reservation, but the build easily handled every content I throw at it at any point of its progression.

Last edited by limonenovecento on Feb 25, 2019, 10:48:56 AM
worthless without videos.
Here are your videos

I'm very thankful that this person is talking about this build NOW.


p.s. Wonder if the same build can use the spider bro's in the set of weapons and use a similar box for both sets.


Will there be a league starter/leveling guide section? I'm struggling with a 3l winter orb, and most of my gear is on 3l or 2l right now (I'm lvl 40). I used some armbageddon brand to level, together with herald of purity/agony and raise zombies.
donovankkw wrote:
Will there be a league starter/leveling guide section? I'm struggling with a 3l winter orb, and most of my gear is on 3l or 2l right now (I'm lvl 40). I used some armbageddon brand to level, together with herald of purity/agony and raise zombies.

Hi, I won't do a separate leveling guide but I added a bit information in the FAQ. Your main objective during leveling is to reach the Spiritual Aid node which applies your minion damage increases to you as fast as possible. So your initial skill tree should look similar to this:


After that you can grab any nearby life and minion damage nodes and proceed towards the witch section.

As leveling skill you can basically pick any skill you like. At the moment Soulrend, Bane, Winter Orb or Armageddon/Storm Brand should be nice options.
Zombies (Raise Zombies), phantasms (Summon Phantasm on Kill Support) and sentinels of purity (Herald of Purity) can also help in the early stages.
I think using herald of agony or only relying on minions early on will be quite difficult and/or slow but didn't test it myself.

For more advise you could look for a generic summoner leveling guide.
Last edited by limonenovecento on Mar 13, 2019, 6:27:23 AM
A very interesting build. Thinking about trying it out myself.
Just want to clarify. It doesn't look like the stats of the sword matter for the build. Is that correct? (Edit: it seems like nobody knows for sure :) )

Edit: And also, is there room for a movement skill, and which one would be best?

Edit 2: What exactly is the point of Spiritual Aid's damage being applied to me?
Which of MY damage does it boost? Or what exactly does it do if all the damage is being done by the swords/pets.
Last edited by Yarik85 on Mar 19, 2019, 7:54:41 PM
Viable in HC?

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