[3.5] The Crimson Queen: Phantasm Occultist Summoner | All Map Mods | Endgame viable


This is my guide for The Crimson Queen - a Phantasm Occultist Summoner.

What is the build about?

Basically, my goal was to design a simple Summoner build with lots of synergies for little investment.

It is very simple in its playstyle, with barely any button-pressing, low cost and intuitive use of mechanics.

It uses simple automatic cycles to heal, buff and summon - pretty much on its own!

This build is endgame viable.

Links to videos and PoB:

The videos do contain some endgame footage like Uber Lab, Shaper and his Guardians, but I do not have any solo videos as I usually make them. And I won't do that this time around, either. I simply don't find the time for it, sorry.

You will want flat Life, flat Physical damage to Minions, Minion damage and Minion cast speed on your Abyss jewels.

Make sure to stack resistances, even Chaos, craft Cannot Be Frozen onto your boots and try to get Aspect of the Spider on a gear piece.

You will need a Careful Planning jewel with that corruption if you want to be able to use Aspect of the Spider on top of the auras.

You will need 2 Unset rings to fit every gem.

A 6L chest is not needed, a 5L is just fine. You don't need to link your staff, either. The Phantasm skill is tied to Soulwrest, thus any socketed gems that are applicable will apply when socketed, regardless of links.

In this section I will talk about how the build works, what mechanics it uses and why:

To start things off, I will briefly explain the core mechanics and then explain them more in detail in the sub-sections below.

This build relies on and plays around/with corpses to drive its mechanics.

It uses Soulwrest to summon Phantasms, which are a type of minion that use a Physical projectile spell.

It also uses Mind over Matter and Eldritch Battery to take advantage of Occultist's Vile Bastion keystone to be stun-immune.

This also makes it possible to reserve all Mana and use Energy Shield as your second resource for casting spells and absorbing damage.

It relies on Curse auras for added defensive layers and makes use of those to proc Occultist's Profane Bloom keystone effect to make clearing easy.

Summoning, healing and buffing yourself and your minions happens pretty much automatically and you barely have to do anything.

Why I used Occultist:

Profane Bloom builds the base line of this build. It plays an essential part in both our offense and defense.

Its main effect - being able to apply Curses to Hexproof enemies - is important because our two Curse auras, namely Enfeeble and Temporal Chains, play a big part in our defensive department, and being able to apply them no matter what, lifts some weight off our shoulders in terms of map and monster mods.

Its secondary effect - the corpse explosion - allows us to skip extra projectiles for our minions and just focus on the single target (mostly), as the exploding corpses will take care of large packs.

However, this does have a drawback: corpse removal.

Since this build utilizes corpses, you will occasionally need to cast Desecrate to supply corpses to keep the build going. But it's about playing around downsides and taking advantage of upsides anyway. And this build has far more upsides than downsides.

Vile Bastion is also essential, as it makes us immune to Stun - which is probably the most annoying and deadliest CC in the game aside from Freeze - so, that is a huge deal.

This is achieved by using Mind over Matter and Eldritch Battery in combination with other stuff. You can read more about this further down below.

Core item interaction with mechanics:

The Devouring Diadem and Soulwrest are essential and core items of the build. The Queen's Hunger is optional, though highly recommended.

Devouring Diadem makes it possible to run Hatred, Enfeeble and Temporal Chains auras, and Aspect of the Spider. It also heals us for 400 HP and restores 400 ES for every corpse consumed (up to 10). This can happen every 5 seconds.

It also allows us to automatically start our Energy Shield Recharge, which then cannot be interrupted thanks to Vile Bastion. This sort of replaces the need for Mana regen or similar as you would find it on a traditional build with Mind over Matter.

Since Soulwrest's lvl 20 Summon Phantasm skill will cast every time you consume a corpse, Devouring Diadem will proc this effect every time it triggers. Since this happens automatically, we don't have to do anything to summon our Minions.

Queen's Hunger plays a similar role as Diadem, though to lesser extent. It does help with auto-summoning, as it also consumes corpses by triggering Offerings, which also apply to you with reduced effect and those actually add a lot of average defense.

Though this is more of a gimmick item and not mandatory, I personally enjoyed using it.

Taking advantage of several keystones:

Typically, a traditional hybrid build would invest into Life and Energy Shield and perhaps some Mana (with MoM) to increase eHP as much as possible without investing too much.

I kind of did a similar thing by carefully balancing the amount of Energy Shield and Life needed to make sure that I always have enough Energy Shield left to absorb damage, and I tried to avoid overstacking. This is why this build has ~5000 HP and ~2150 ES.

This also allows us to fully reserve our Mana and still be able to take advantage of the Mind over Matter interaction, as Devouring Diadem grants us the Eldritch Battery keystone. This passive got buffed in 3.5.0 in the sense that it will no longer prevent the Recharge when you spend it to use skills, but it now also has 50% less Recharge Rate.

This isn't much of a problem, as Vile Bastion will regenerate a lot of ES as we kill enemies, and we also use Diadem to proc the Recharge. So, taking damage - basically absorbing damage - will not interrupt our ES Recharge.

Since Mind over Matter shifts 30% of damage taken to Mana, or in our case to Energy Shield, we need a total ES pool equal to 43% of our total HP. Here's a table to reflect that:

Feast of Flesh will restore both HP and ES periodically, and Spirit Offering cast by Queen's Hunger will restore and add a large chunk of Energy Shield every time it triggers. This makes it possible to run No-Regen maps, though I don't enjoy running them, as it takes away some comfort like the 5% Life regen from Soulwrest.

Scaling Phantasm damage:

As mentioned before, Phantasms are Minions that use a Physical projectile spell. The fact that it's Physical damage allows us to abuse Conversion mechanics and the very efficient and easy scaling of Elemental damage paired with Elemental Equilibrium.

Since Minions cannot proc that keystone's effect (since it's our damage), we can use the Hatred aura to add some significant Cold damage to their base Physical damage that scales off said Physical base damage.

We can then use Storm Brand to apply the effect to reduce enemy Cold resistance, as our Lightning damage will reduce their Cold resistance by 50% thanks to the Elemental Equilibrium effect.

Since we don't need to benefit from Hatred, we can then use a Generosity Support to amplify its effects granted to our Phantasms. You can get as much as 62% of their base Physical damage added as extra Cold damage, if you account for passives, the Support gem and a lvl 21 Hatred gem.

On previous Summoner builds that were using that interaction, I'd typically use Orb of Storms for bosses, but Storm Brand makes it so much easier to apply EE and actually comes with some damage as well. You no longer need to get near dangerous bosses and can instead safely fire it from a distance.

To further increase their damage, we run 2 ape Spectres, aka. Carnage and Host Chieftain, to grant everyone Power and Frenzy charges. Minions to my knowledge are classified as allied monsters, thus benefit much more from said charges than a player. It's 4% more damage and 15% increased cast speed per Frenzy charge, and 200% increased crit chance per Power charge. Yup, they are worth it.

Adding defensive layers:

If you know me, you will know that I prefer my builds layered. I've done the same here to a reasonable and efficient extent.

I use 2 Curse auras to protect myself from nearby damage. I used defensive Curses instead of offensive ones, simply because offense isn't what I'm concerned about - it's the defense. The build is fairly squishy without all those extra measures and it deals enough damage that I don't need to worry about it.

On top of those Curse auras I also use Aspect of the Spider, which has 2 benefits: it's an offensive and defensive skill. It slows nearby enemies and amplifies the damage they take. So, in general this is pretty neat to have.

To top it all off, our Curses will also inflict Malediction, which is a debuff of the same name as the Ascendancy keystone, which causes enemies to take 10% reduced damage and take 10% increased damage.

On a sidenote, we also use a Stibnite flask to blind nearby enemies, so that's another defensive layer. The rest of the stuff like Offerings I will leave out, as they don't feel as relevant to mention.

Ascendancies (in order):
  • Profane Bloom
  • Wicked Ward
  • Vile Bastion
  • Malediction

  • Kill all

Pantheons (fully upgraded):
  • Soul of Solaris/Lunaris
  • Soul of Gruthkul/Ralakesh

The choice is yours, really. I personally went for Solaris and Gruthkul.

We focus on a healthy mix of Life, Minion and aura nodes.

Make sure to have all the aura nodes at level 68 (this is when you can start using Devouring Diadem).

  • Summon Phantasm on Kill
  • Minion Speed
  • Minion Damage
  • Controlled Destruction
  • Added Fire Damage
  • Faster/Slower Projectiles

Summon Phantasm on Kill is essential. It raises the summon limit (best is a lvl 21 gem to get a total of 21 Phantasms).

Body Armour:
  • Raise Spectre
  • Raise Zombies
  • Blood Magic
  • Minion Life
  • Fortify
  • Summon Raging Spirit

Blood Magic is essential to make sure the Chieftains always use their Warcries (no Blood Magic = they run out of Mana fast).

Zombies are our meatshields to absorb frontal damage and soak up projectiles.

Summon Raging Spirit does not have to be linked, that's why I said a 5L chest is fine. You will want to use this skill to proc the requirements of the Abyss jewels (#% increased Minion damage if You have used a Minion skill recently), as the Offerings cast by the Queen's Hunger do not count as they are triggered.

  • Hatred
  • Generosity
  • Blasphemy
  • Enfeeble/Temporal Chains

  • Storm Brand
  • Enlighten
  • Temporal Chains/Enfeeble
  • Blasphemy

  • Immortal Call lvl 3
  • Cast When Damage Taken lvl 1
  • Desecrate
  • Spell Cascade

  • Convocation
  • Flame Dash

As with all builds, you don't need to put the exact same gems in the exact same slots. Use what's available. However, in this case the staff, body armour and helmet gems are supposed to go into said gear pieces.

Thanks for checking out my guide! :)

Note: As with all my guides, I keep the freedom of expanding and adding info over time.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™:
☛ ♨ ♂ ✌ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ♂ ♨ ✌ ☚
Last edited by CaptainWARLORD on Apr 17, 2019, 4:23:31 PM
Last bumped on Jul 7, 2019, 5:48:18 PM
Woop! I was doing something similiar with the Diadem. Not a summoner but alas.

Some food for thought:

I think the chestpiece you choose is kinda lackluster - of the three offerings only 1 is really good - meaning out of the 15seconds offerings are up, only 5 seconds are kinda good.

Claok of defiance would make MoM more effective and save talentpoint(s). There are other more summoner specific chestpieces out there that might be better as well.

The chest also competes with Feast of Flesh for corpses. Even with the descrate+spell cascade cwdt its wonky. (the level you put it in is to high btw to benefit from cwdt - but you might just spamcast that? )

So long! :)

€dit: derp! I just saw your video. You pointed some of those things out! :)
Last edited by Cyrix1337 on Jan 29, 2019, 7:30:22 PM
Guide is now updated!

Bump for visibility.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™:
☛ ♨ ♂ ✌ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ♂ ♨ ✌ ☚
wtf this?
I just tossed this together for funzies to see how it worked out.

I'm going to put a bit more time into gear, level up to 80 ish and probably report back. So far, while I like the ideas behind it, i'm finding both the helm and chest being a bit odd.

- Two items automatically destroying corpses seems cool but in practice is a bit clunky
- The 5s delay can be pretty bad at times especially if you're hoping to get a heal
- Two items fighting for corpses means you need to generate your own corpses For any of the higher end content that takes a bit longer to kill
- The chest seems cool at first, but honestly the random offering is very unreliable at best.

I like the concept of this build and hope either there are ways to tweak it to get more value here OR GGG figures out these items aren't quite up to snuff and gives them some buffs or QoL improvement.

One idea I'm working on to improve this build:
- Using GMP Unearth with adding lighting damage to proc EE. Doing this we can get rid of storm brand, create our own corpses more reliably while also procking EE!?
- Adding curse on hit to Unearth + lightning damage to proc EE. We can get +1 curse on the chest armor for a total of 3. We already have 2 curse auras for defense so adding in a 3rd such as elemental weakness or similar seems like a massive buff to damage?
IGN: SoulCinder
PerfectXtreme wrote:
I like the concept of this build and hope either there are ways to tweak it to get more value here OR GGG figures out these items aren't quite up to snuff and gives them some buffs or QoL improvement.

Thanks for the feedback. The chest is optional. I will take a look at tweaking more when I have the time. It's how it usually goes with my builds.

Thanks for playing it.

PerfectXtreme wrote:
One idea I'm working on to improve this build:
- Using GMP Unearth with adding lighting damage to proc EE. Doing this we can get rid of storm brand, create our own corpses more reliably while also procking EE!?

While I understand your idea behind it, there's a reason why I use Storm Brand. EE only lasts like 5s iirc, and Storm Brand attaches for a duration and you can place multiple of them from range. This means you can realiably keep up the debuff. Desecrate + Spell Cascade was enough for me to keep up corpses.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™:
☛ ♨ ♂ ✌ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ♂ ♨ ✌ ☚
Still viable in 3.6? Any change needed? Thanks!

Very nice guide!
idema3d wrote:
Still viable in 3.6? Any change needed? Thanks!

Very nice guide!

Nothing changed.
Proud creator of Hank the Tank™:
☛ ♨ ♂ ✌ www.youtube.com/captainwarlord ♂ ♨ ✌ ☚
Im running this sort of build. However ive went necro and am using skeletons for bossing. I can clear maps by just casting desecrate and moving. As we all know skeles do insane single target dps so bosses are moot. I used to apply my curse and blind and ee with ball lightning. Its pretty safe if and can be done from a distance. The strom brand seemed cool though I may do that for duo curses. It is also very common to find 1 extra curse on the Queens hunger which would be great for your version.
Hello! I have some problems on red tiers map bossing (15-16 tiers) with survival my minions for example today i run Minoutavr map and he's just clear all my minions. How can i deal with that? Zombies have 18,7k hp.

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