[3.16] Vatinas' Spiders + HoP Guardian - CI, 55K armour, 1100 ES on block, millions of DPS

Notes about the 3.16 update

There are quite a few changes this patch, aren't there? Overall, this build shouldn't suffer any nerf, and might even turn out slightly buffed depending on the numerical values of some of the changes, as well as the new passive tree. Check the PoB section for a link to the updated PoB.

Explanation of the changes in our passive tree & gems
A very important change is that the Blue Nightmare and Healthy Mind are unusable in the locations we used to have them, due to the passive tree nodes getting spread further apart.

In order to compensate for the loss of spell block that the Blue Nightmare gave us, we use Tempest Shield, which now reserves 25% mana to be permanently active, and grants us 25% spell block at level 20. On top of that, it makes us immune to shock, which is marvellous.

Another thing I wanted to add is support for Protective Link. This build has always been great for party play, giving nearby allies lots of speed, damage, ES and armour, and Protective Link allows us to give them 75% block chance and life on block. In order to support that, we grab the Powerful Bond notable, with the link mastery that allows us to intercept elemental ailments that our linked ally would receive, since we are immune to freeze and shock, unaffected by chill, and have more than enough protection against ignite. On top of that, the gem we swapped out for Protective Link is Rallying Cry, which was already linked with Increased Duration, making our link very long-lasting. If you want to min-max your build for solo play, just replace the Link gem with Rallying Cry (they have the same colour anyway) and refund the three link nodes in the passive tree - but I recommend keeping them, it's a lot of benefit for party play with very little investment.

Now, here is a quick summary of what changes will affect our build:

* New mana reservation reduction mechanic

"Reduced mana reserved" is being changed to "mana reservation efficiency". A detailed explanation of how it works can be found below, but the short version is: we should be able to reserve less mana than before, so this should be beneficial for us - but it's hard to know for sure before we know the numerical values of the changes.

'Reduced mana reserved' vs 'Increased mana efficiency', the math
As a reminder, until 3.15, if you had a total of X% "reduced mana reserved", and used a skill that would reserve M mana, the mana you'd actually be reserving was M*(100-X)/100. This means two things: 1) Having just a bit of reduced mana reserved (low values of X) barely had any impact at all, and 2) reduced mana reservation was incredibly impactful when you stacked a lot of it (high values of X). For instance, if you had 99% RMR, you would only reserve 1% of the mana you would have reserved without it.

Mana reservation efficiency works differently, in a way that is similar to "faster energy shield recharge": if you're using a skill that reserves M mana, and have "X% increased mana reservation efficiency", the mana you actually reserve will be M/(1+X/100). This means that 1) Mana reservation efficiency will be very impactful with little to moderate investment (low values of X), and 2) Mana reservation efficiency will have diminishing returns when you get a lot of it (high values of X). You can just plot the two formulae I have above as a function of X to see for yourselves how the reserved mana changes in pre-3.16 and post-3.16, but this is a good summary.

* Armour buff & new keystone

Armour itself is going to be overall buffed, meaning that less armour is going to be needed to reach a given amount of physical damage reduction. This means that we'll need less armour to reach the fabled 90% reduced physical damage taken, but doing so will reduce the ES we gain on block, which isn't changing (it will still be 2% of our armour). However, I believe this won't be that impactful for us, because our ES on block is most likely even larger than we realise because we're always on full ES when tanking hits; just like when Glancing Blows was nerfed and went from "50% of damage taken from blocked hits" to "65%", a change which we barely felt.

Besides, a new keystone is being added, which is "made to fit hybrid armour-ES builds" - well would you look at that :P It will grant a percentage of the physical damage prevented from hits recently as ES regen. And blocking physical damage is what we do best! So overall, even if we get less armour, I'm convinced that our overall sustain will be improved.

* Memory Vault nerf

Our favourite helmet is sadly being nerfed; instead of granting our reserved mana as armour, it will now grant 1% increased armour per 50 reserved mana. This will still grant a considerable amount of armour, but said armour will no longer be flat. However, as mentioned above, less armour will be needed to reach 90% phys damage reduction, so we should be fine. I'll run some tests to see if a good rare can be a high-budget replacement when the PoB update drops.

* Tempest shield

Tempest shield now reserves 25% mana, but grants 25% spell block chance at level 20. This easily compensates the loss of the Blue Nightmare in the passive tree, and makes us immune to shock on top of that.

* Passive tree changes & masteries

We get lots of great nodes and masteries! Check the PoB above for a preview.

* Fortify changes

Fortify effect will now scale with the damage of the hit that grants hit, and as you already know if you've played this build before - our cyclone hits wouldn't even manage to hurt a fly. So, unless some other news about fortify, or, more specifically, Fortify Support comes up, we will most likely be dropping the gem. A possible replacement, so we don't lose too much survivability from the drop of Fortify, could be Infused Channelling. We will have to see.

* Skin of the Lords

The Skin of the Lords, the blessed version of our body armour, the Skin of the Loyal, now grants "+2 to level of socketed gems" instead of "+1". This makes it a very interesting substitute to a corrupted Skin of the Loyal, most likely way cheaper, and with a free keystone on there.

* Just for fun: the "link" gems

Not gonna lie, I'm looking forward to granting capped block & life on block to my glass cannon deadeye friend. It's going to take a gem slot, so we probably won't be using a link in our permanent setup, but it can be fun to take out one gem to use it now and then - or when carrying some boss fights and whatnot.

That's about it! Overall, we should have a good league ahead of us.

1.1 - Foreword

This build is created to be rather defense-oriented; it has good clear, great survivability, and good single target.

Our first source of damage is Herald of Purity, which summons four (or five) minions when we hit or kill, and we use Cyclone to continuously summon them. Since we're incredibly tanky, we can afford to do that all the time without taking any risk.

On top of that, we use the dagger Arakaali’s Fang, which lets you raise spiders on kill. Using the Writhing Jar to summon them, they are effectively always up, even in boss fights, and have a very aggressive AI, which makes them great both for clearing and for bosses.

This build got me to my first level 100 ever! :)

This was in Harvest league. I mostly ran T19 maps (T16 maps with three "+1 lvl of area" watchstones) with Niko missions, and delved as deep as I could. I even carried boss fights like Sirus along the way, since I basically couldn't die. It took a while, of course, but considering how safe it was, it wasn't too bad ^^ I had a lot of fun doing it!

1.2 - Videos

Small disclaimer: I know the quality of some of the videos (well, those I recorded myself, that is) is really poor, and that the lag is annoying to watch. I'm really sorry about that, but my old computer was nearing the end of its life, and was doing its best :') I hope you enjoy the videos anyway!

The Maven (3.13)

Awakening level 9 Sirus (3.13)

The Feared (3.13)

The Hidden (3.13)

The Forgotten (3.13)

The Formed (3.13)

Maven-witnessed Uber Elder (3.13)

Witnessing the Feared (Shaper, Cortex, etc.)
The Shaper (3.13)

The Elder (3.13)

Uber Atziri (3.13)

Cortex (3.13)

Chayula (3.13)

The Simulacrum, waves 18 to 20 (3.13)

Lvl 83 Mastermind fight (3.11)

Awakening level 8 Sirus carry (3.11)

Shaper guardians
The Phoenix (3.11)

The Hydra (3.11)
Elder guardians

Short helpful video: Colouring your helmet/boots to have many off-colours

Old videos (Before 3.10)

Awakening level 8 Sirus (by onlyjust5) (3.9)

2 minutes Uber Elder (3.8)

Bonus: Facetanking Abaxoth in a T16, without molten shell

If you want to contribute to the guide, you can record a video of you killing an end-game boss, and I will add it! :)

1.3 - Pros/cons

+ Good clear
+ Good single target (Uber Elder and A8 Sirus down on a 5L)
+ Great survivability with multiple defensive layers: over 7K ES, over 65K armour, 75% chance to block attacks and spells, 1300 ES gained on block, huge ES regen every five seconds, 10K damage shield with Molten Shell, a lot of reduced effect of curses
+ Can do all map mods (although no regen is more comfortable with a mana flask and less armour/chance to block can be rippy versus strong physical bosses like the Minotaur)
+ The minions we use are immortal, or automatically (re)summoned, so there’s no need to worry about them dying
+ Since this build uses almost only unique items, it’s relatively cheap to min-max
+ I don't play hardcore, but I would assume that this build is definitely HC viable, even though leveling will require some classic HC measures

+/- It's a minion build, which feels clunky to some people and relaxing to some others

- This build is quite bad at handling blighted maps, since it doesn't have screen covering AoE.
- This build is not the best at handling Aul, the Crystal King, since his phases are time based and not %HP-based, and we have less damage than a pure glass cannon. I still manage to kill the Auls I find, but I never went past 500-ish depth, so I don't know about deeper.

2.1 - Offensive mechanics (Important to read)

We use two kinds of minions: the Herald of Purity sentinels, and Akaraali’s Fang spiders.

The Sentinels spawn when we kill enemies or hit bosses, so we Cyclone into packs and rely on our Culling Strike Cyclone (among other things) to spawn them during clear, and just Cyclone on bosses to spawn them during boss fights.

Arakaali’s Fang lets you raise spiders from nearby corpses when you kill an enemy. So in order to summon them, the easiest way is to use Desecrate to create corpses (cast it twice to have enough corpses), then use one of your Writing Jars to spawn writhing worms, and kill them to raise the spiders. They will then follow you around killing everything in a one screen radius. Their AI is already very aggressive, so there is no need to support them with Feeding Frenzy.

Finally, we use a Holy Relic supported by Feeding Frenzy support to grant us the Feeding Frenzy buff, giving us more minion damage, and increased minion movement and attack speed. The Relic dies quite frequently, which is why we also support it with Cast when Stunned, allowing it to be automatically (re)summoned even more frequently than it dies (see Defensive Mechanics for more info on the stun).

2.2 - Defensive mechanics (Important to read)

This build stacks up many defensive layers, so there’s a lot to cover, but once again, I promise I’ll try my best to keep it short.

First, we use Skin of the Loyal, which has two main uses: 1) "+1 to level of socketed gems", granting our HoP sentinels a huge damage boost; and 2) "100% increased global defenses", which means 100% increased global ES and armour. This can be upgraded to Skin of the Lords, which, on top of giving us a random keystone, grants "+2 to level of socketed gems", making our HoP sentinels even stronger.

We get a lot of mana, both from the skill tree and gear, which grants us flat ES thanks to the Guardian Ascendancy.

On top of this high ES pool, we get a lot of block chance, enough to reach 38% chance to block both attacks and spells. We use the Aegis Aurora shield, which grants a lot of armour and energy shield, and refills our ES by 2% of our armour on block.

We then use the Glancing Blows keystone, which doubles our chance to block attacks and spells, bringing us to 75% chance to block. The downside is that we take 65% of damage from blocked hits, but that is completely countered by the Aegis Aurora’s ES refill, making us virtually unkillable by hits.

Next, we use Fortify support on Cyclone, which means we’re always fortified. This is important because we always take 50% damage from blocked hits, and fortify helps reduce this damage, effectively increasing the ES refill on block. (Note: Fortify support might not be worth using any more in 3.16 due to the Fortify changes; we'll see how it goes.)

With Anointed Flesh, the small nodes leading to it, the upgraded Soul of the Brine King, and Tempest Shield, we are unaffected by chill, cannot be frozen or shocked, and have increased stun and block recovery and can't be chain stunned. We can still be stunned, but for a very short time and once every 2 seconds only, and the build is tanky enough to take it without dying. We use this frequent, short stun to automatically summon a Holy Relic through Cast when Stunned, which grants us life regen and the Feeding Frenzy buff (see Offensive Mechanics for more info on the Relic).

Finally, we use Molten Shell, which, with the amount of armour we have, can tank 10000 damage in our place, making the Shaper's and Elder's slams and A8 Sirus' meteor so weak they actually heal you. Just activate it before a hit that could get you low, and your ES will be full before you even know it.

2.3 - Gameplay (Important to read)

General playstyle

First, remember you're practically unkillable, so don't be afraid to walk into whole packs of monsters. You might get the occasional one-shot if you're unlucky, but this is really rare.

Walking into whole packs of mobs is not just for style, though. You should cyclone into whatever you want your minions to kill, whether it's trash mobs or a boss. Doing so has 3 uses: 1) Summoning your minions (see next paragraph), 2) Debuffing the enemies (with a curse, for instance), and 3) Buffing yourself (with Feeding Frenzy, for instance).

Summoning your minions

In practice, the HoP (Herald of Purity) sentinels are basically self-summoning: first, they are summoned on kill, which naturally occurs when you're cycloning among packs of monsters since Cyclone is supported by Culling Strike. On top of that, for some reason, enemies that die from damage over time inflicted by your minions count as your kills, which can then summon sentinels. Second, they have a chance to be summoned whenever you hit a unique enemy, which also also occurs a lot if you're playing as you should, i.e. cycloning the boss as much as you can.

As for the spiders, it's a bit more tricky. Spiders are summoned from nearby corpses, when you kill an enemy, and have a duration of around 50 seconds in our case. Therefore, summoning them typically looks like this: 1) Desecrate near you (twice, so you have enough corpses for the max of 20 spiders). 2) Use one (or two) Writhing Jar(s) to spawn worms, harmless entities that count as enemies. 3) Kill at least one worm with Cyclone, which will spawn the spiders.
While clearing maps, you should barely even have to resummon them, as they will most often resummon themselves, similarly to the HoP sentinels. For bosses, however, you will have to resummon them every minute or so - which is not a problem, since you are tanky enough to tank the boss while you resummon them, and you regenerate Writhing Jar charges with your Pantheon.

Key bindings

This build uses quite a lot of different skills that you need to use yourself. Most are only used rarely, so it's not too confusing in practice, but it can get a bit tedious at first. Rebinding your last skill from "T" to another, easier key, like "Space", can help a lot. You can then bind Signal Prey, for instance, to space, which makes gameplay a lot smoother.

Clearing maps

Apart from the fact that you need to summon your spiders at the beginning of a map, there isn't much to say that is specific to clearing. Spiders and sentinels will mostly resummon themselves, as long as you cyclone into the monsters. You can pop your Offering now and then to buff them if you meet a tough rare/map boss, but it's rarely needed in random maps.


First, keep in mind that you will need to resummon your spiders every minute or so. It's really no big deal, you get used to it very quickly, but still. A thing that is very important, but might be counterintuitive at first for a minion build, is that you need to keep cycloning - even versus bosses. Like I said before, this will keep the enemy debuffed, and you, buffed. Besides, you can still dodge while cycloning, and you most often don't even need to dodge because you can facetank most everything.
Another important thing is to Desecrate > Spirit Offering every now and then, since it is a massive damage boost; with all our duration increases, Spirit Offering lasts around 20 seconds.
The only thing that you should be a bit careful about is to be conservative with Writhing Jar charges when resummoning spiders - if you miss your summoning and run out of jars, you'll be left along with your sentinels for a little time, while their charges regenerate.

3.1 - Path of building code

3.16 PoB: https://pastebin.com/7QWvHaqD

Requires the PoB community fork. A download link can be found in the next subsection, "Installing & using Path of Building".

If there are discrepancies between the PoB and the guide, always follow the PoB!

Read the guide and the FAQ (beginning of second post) before asking questions!

I spent a very long time writing and perfecting this guide over the leagues,
and while it's understandable to want to skip it, it's rude and inconsiderate to ask questions that have been clearly answered here. I tried my best to make the guide clear, complete, and easy to navigate, so check the section related to your question, and the FAQ. That being said, if you have a question that's not answered in the guide, or a suggestion, I would be glad to help you out. :)

3.2 - Path of Building tutorial

The PoB community fork is available for download here. Just follow the link, and the instruction there.

The "Community Fork" is an alternative version to the base PoB program, where a lot of community developers have contributed to add very useful features. I very strongly recommend using it for every build.

If you've never used Path of Building, here is a very short tutorial (there are other, way more detailed tutorials you can find on the internet):

On the top of the screen, click "New" to create a new build. Then, on the top left, click "Import/Export build", then "Import from website". This will prompt a pop-up. There, paste the pastebin link that can be found in the "Path of Building code" subsection, and click "Import". There you go, you now have the build!

From there, it's very intuitive - the menu in the top left allows you to switch between the Tree, the Skills (gems), and the Items. On top of that, you have a Calcs tab, which run calculations for you, for things like DPS, minion duration, armour, block... and lots more. If you want to use it, remember to enter your build buffs in Config; I already did for this build, so no need to worry about it here, but keep this in mind if you import another build, or make your own.

4.1 - Items

Note: This section is only about the items, not the gems. The gems socketed in the shown items might have been changed since the item was linked, so don't pay attention to them. If you want information about the gems, please check the next section.

Main items - Weapon, armour, jewellery
Arakaali’s Fang

Arakaali's Fang - Explanation

This dagger allows us to raise spiders, one of our two minion types, which have insane damage considering they only require three gem slots. We use it in our main hand.
Harvest craft: Quality -> Accuracy

There is a Harvest crafting recipe which makes the quality of a weapon not apply to the physical damage, but to your accuracy instead. I makes our chance to hit go from 89% to 91%, which is a nice quality of life upgrade. I recommend applying it to your dagger if you find it.
Trade site links
Any Arakaali's Fang (no important rolls)

Aegis Aurora

Aegis Aurora - Explanation

Lots of armour, lots of ES, and very large ES refill on block. I recommend getting one as soon as possible, and playing with spiders only until you do, as this item is the core of the build’s survivability.


Astramentis - Explanation

Intelligence grants us ES and mana, and therefore even more ES and armour. And this item is especially strong when used with the following item, Shaper’s Touch. Also, some gems (notably Withering Touch) require a lot of dexterity, which we don’t naturally get as Templar, so since we don’t really need any mod on our amulet, Astramentis also helps us get dexterity.

Note that you can use Intrinsic Catalysts to improve the attributes on the amulet, raising the explicit up to 120!
Anointing your amulet

The notable we ultimately anoint is Soul of Steel, which grants us lots of armour and 1% maximum elemental resistance.

Shaper’s Touch

Shaper's Touch - Explanation

Those gloves have several uses. First, we naturally have a lot of strength, which means those gloves grant us a lot of mana and ES. Second, we naturally have a lot of intelligence, which means they grant us a lot of accuracy rating, which is essential to spawn our sentinels.

In end game, we want Shaper's Touch with Despair on hit, which increases our damage by significant amount.
Trade site links
Any Shaper's Touch
Shaper's Touch with a good roll
Shaper's Touch with Despair on hit
4L Shaper's Touch with Vulnerability on hit

NB: Corrupted items can have their sockets modified, be it socket number, links, or colours; if you'd need, for instance, 25 chromas to recolour your item if it wasn't corrupted, you'll need 25 chromas + 25 vaal for the corrupted version. It might be more expensive than buying a 4L, but it can be useful to know!

Rare helmet

Rare helmet - Explanation
On our helmet, we want as much ES as possible. We have an armour & ES mastery that grants us 1 armour per 1 ES on helmet, so a full ES helmet is effectively better than a hybrid ES/armour one. Ideally, you want a Hubris Circlet with a lot of ES, and with the "+1 maximum sentinel of purity" enchant. The rest depends on what you need or can get - some resists, some intelligence, some ES recharge rate, etc.
Helmet enchant
The "+1 maximum sentinel of purity" is, hands down, the best enchant for our build. Try to get a helmet with it as soon as you can, even if it means getting a crafting base you slap a few essences or fossils on.

Body armour: Skin of the Loyal/Lords

Skin of the Loyal/Lords - Explanation

We use Skin of the Loyal/Lords to get lots of armour, ES, and +1 to level of all socketed gems (+2 for the Skin of the Lords).

Note that the Skin of the Loyal/Lords's sockets can't be modified, so you need to buy the right colours, even if it's not corrupted.

The colours we use are 3R 3B, but if it's too expensive, check the price of a 6 white one, it's sometimes cheaper.
Harvest crafting: Quality -> Mana/Intelligence

There is a Harvest craft which makes quality not apply to intrinsic defensive stats (which the Skin doesn't have anyway), and grant mana or intelligence instead. I recommend getting this if you ever find it.
About Skin of the Lords

Skin of the Loyal has a blessed ("upgraded") version, Skin of the Lords. It is basically the same, except that you can only socket corrupted gems, get a free random Keystone, and it grants +2 to level of socketed gems instead of +1. Once all your gems are corrupted, and you can afford it, you can start looking for a Skin of the Lords with one of the following Keystones:

Call to Arms: Huge quality of life if you are using Rallying Cry, making it instant.
Resolute Technique: Good quality of life.
Zealot's Oath / Glancing Blows: Saves us one skill point.
Iron Reflexes: A bit more armour.

Avoid Unwavering Stance! Stuns aren't a problem for us, and we even use it to summon our Relic automatically.

The Stampede

The Stampede - Explanation

Those boots are amazing for this build. It sets your movement speed to 150% of its base value, and nothing will change it - not debuffs from enemies, but also not your flasks, meaning this frees up a flask slot. On top of that, it makes Frostblink's cooldown much shorter, and can be anointed with Safeguard, granting us some elemental resistances, 50 ES on spell block, and the 6% spell block we need to be capped.

If this is too expensive, or if you need more resistances, Rainbowstride can be a good budget option.

Circle of Guilt

Circle of Guilt - Explanation

This ring allows us to use more support gems on our Herald, while also being able to increase the Herald minions' damage if you can afford the right version. It also grants us some flat armour - icing on the cake!

The "increased mana reservation efficiency" roll is crucial. You will need at least 88% reservation efficiency when adding the two rings' roll, or 44% on average. This means, for instance, that two rings at 44%, or one ring at 42% and one at 47%, are enough, while two at 42% or one at 40% and one at 44% are not enough.

You can increase the mana reservation efficiency of a ring above its maximum of 40% by applying fertile catalysts.

Darkness Enthroned

Darkness Enthroned - Explanation

This belt is criminally underrated in my opinion. It can grant even more raw mana/ES than a rare belt in total, more resists, and can increase very useful stats like minion movement speed. Also, Harvest introduced belt enchants, and using this belt allows you to keep or buy an enchant and upgrade your jewels inside freely.
Inside the belt: abyss jewels

Here is what we're looking for on jewels in order of (decreasing) priority.

* The elemental resistances we couldn't get elsewhere. Keep in mind the resistances on the jewels will be increased by 75%!
* 2% chance to block spell damage if you've been damaged by a hit recently on one of our jewels. Since we use Glancing Blows, we take 50% of damage from blocked hits, which means that all hits damage us, and the buff will always be active in combat, bringing us to 75% chance to block spells.
* Flat mana, which grants us a lot of ES and armour.
* Flat ES.
* Minion movement speed.
Belt enchantment

The Harvest league introduced the new belt enchants. There currently is one of them that is useful to us:

* Enemies maimed by you take 8% increased physical damage over time, which grants a lot of damage to our spiders, whose DPS largely comes from poison.

One huge pro of the Darkness Enthroned is that you can enchant it as you wish, and upgrade the jewels inside freely. You can also get a spare one to try to get the enchant(s) you want for 1c.
Trade site links

Darkness Enthroned
Abyss jewel with any mana roll, and spell block (remember to add the resistances you need!)
Abyss jewel with at least 30 mana, and spell block (remember to add the resistances you need!)

The Writhing Jar

The Writhing Jar - Explanation

We use two of those. We need to kill an enemy to raise spiders, and we use this flask to easily kill an enemy. Be aware that the flask charges used are a roll, and that you can buy a cheap one to start with, but you should aim for a good roll when you start min-maxing.

Soul Ripper

Soul Ripper - Explanation

The best way to explain this flask is: Vaal Discipline in a jar. Whenever you kill an enemy, you gain one Vaal soul for Vaal Discipline, but but also one flask charge for this flask. And, if you need to use Vaal Discipline but you haven't had the chance to stack it back up yet, you use this flask, Vaal Discipline gains full charges, and boom, you can use it again.

This flask can be very expensive, and it's not required for the build to work, so don't ruin yourself for it!

Important: The flask charges are a roll, and "higher" does not mean "better"! The roll you want is 1) Higher than 50, and 2) If it's higher than 50, then the lowest possible. So the best roll is 50, but if you can't get 50, then 55 is better than 49.

The reason is that if your roll is under 50, one flask use won't grant you a full Vaal Discipline use, because V.D. uses 50 souls; and the higher the charges of the flask, the longer it will take to charge up, since it can only be used at full charges.

Other flasks

For other flasks, I recommend using a Granite and a Basalt flask. Those grant a lot of armour, and with the "gain # charges when hit" prefix and the "use when charges reach full" instilling orb modifier, they will always be up, even in boss fights. You can then aim for bleed/ignite immunity as suffixes, and you'll be effectively immune to those ailments.

Quicksilver flasks are useless, though, as the Stampede sets our movement speed to 150% of its base value.

A mana flask can be swapped in for no regen maps as well.

Cluster jewels

(Item link will be added soon!)

The addition of cluster jewels did a lot of good for this build. I recommend getting a 4 or 5 passives medium cluster jewel with the notables Cult Leader and Disciples, where you would socket a 2 passives small cluster jewel with the notable Enduring Composure (the above jewel has "Stalwart Commander" as it is what I used before it was nerfed).

Jewel: Fortress Covenant

(Item link will be added soon!)

This jewel grants up to 45% increased minion damage, which is huge. However, it negates all notable in a medium radius, causing them to make our minions take increased damage. But, socketed near Chaos Inoculation, no notables are in range, which means we only get the hughmongous damage. Hurray!

Jewel: Relica Fragile Bloom

This jewel is amazingly strong for us. We get hit all the time, which means we'll always be near max stacks of Fragile Regrowth, which amount to 3.5% of life regenerated per second (converted to ES regen through Zealot's Oath). This is especially useful against damage over time, which is the only type of damage that can sometimes pose a threat to us, so it's a perfect fit.

Jewel: Watcher's Eye

Watcher's Eye: There are several mods that can be very useful for us on a Watcher’s Eye. The most useful ones are +# to armour while affected by Determination and take #% reduced extra damage from critical strikes while affected by Determination. You can also look for #% of maximum energy shield regenerated per second while affected by Discipline for a bit of extra regen.

Off-colouring your items

Check the FAQ if you need some help with off-colouring your items.

4.2 - Gems

* "AWK." means the gem has an Awakened variant that you should use once you get the currency for it.
* "-" means the gems should be linked, "|" means they don't need to.
* For the three groups of four gems, the item I list them as being socketed in is just a suggestion based on the ease to get the required colours. If you want to socket the gems I suggest socketing in our boots in your helmet instead, it's perfectly fine.

> Body armour: Herald of Purity

Herald of Purity - Empower - (AWK.) Melee Physical Damage - (AWK.) Minion Damage - Predator - Meat Shield

Not much to say here, just HoP and whatever gems give it the most damage for an acceptable mana multiplier. Note, though, that HoP scales very well with gem level, which means that going from a lvl 3 Empower to a lvl 4 is a very large damage increase. You can use Ruthless instead of Empower before you get a level 4.

Alternate qualities
Herald of Purity: Divergent grants Cooldown recovery speed for sentinels (the sentinels have a slam attack, which deal very large damage and has a cooldown of a few second; this is the cooldown that is reduced by the quality.)

Meat Shield: Anomalous grants more damage to enemies near you, which the enemies will always be.

> Weapon: Spider supports

Predator | Withering Touch | (AWK.) Melee Splash

Note: you should swap (AWK.) Melee Splash for (AWK.) Melee Physical Damage for bosses.

Alternate qualities
Predator: Anomalous makes the "Prey" mark reduce enemy resistance by 4%. This is a debuff, which means that both the spiders and the sentinels benefit from the chaos damage reduction.

Note: Since you have two Predator gems, one for HoP and one for the spiders, you will have access to two "mark the prey" skills. Both do the same thing, mark the enemy and increase the damage both sentinels and spiders against the marked enemy. However, since one comes from the HoP's Predator gem and one comes from the Spiders' gem, which has the alternate quality. You must bind this gem's mark to the skill bar, since this mark will reduce the enemy's resistances and not the other.

Withering Touch: Anomalous grants the spiders 20% increased duration. This increases three things: the duration of the "withered" debuff (which is the least interesting property for us), the duration of the spiders' poison, which make up around half of their dps (this is a buff!), and, most importantly, the spiders' duration itself. This is one of the most valuable alternate qualities of the whole build, so you should try to get it early.

> Shield: Holy Relic

Summon Holy Relic - Feeding Frenzy - Cast when Stunned

Cast when Damage Taken has a 250% mana multiplier, making the Relic cost over 70 mana, which is why we opt for Cast when Stunned instead. Since we are CI, we get stunned easily, allowing us to automatically resummon the relic this way. Note that the frequent stuns are not a problem for us; we have a lot of block recovery, making them really short, and the Soul of the Brine King prevents it from happening more than once ever 2 seconds.

Alternate qualities
Summon Holy Relic: Anomalous grants the relic 60% increased maximum life. This is a bit of quality of life, but since you resummon it frequently anyway, it's more of a luxury.

Feeding Frenzy: Anomalous grants the relic 1% of life recovered of hit. This is, again, a convenient quality of life, but by no means necessary. Besides, this quality is often very expensive because of how strong it is on some other builds, so feel free to skip it entirely.

Cast when Stunned: Divergent grants 20% extra chance to summon the relic when stunned. It's not necessary, but it can make things a bit smoother.

> Boots: Cyclone & Reckoning

Cyclone - Reckoning - Culling Strike - Maim

Fortify was sadly dropped, due to it requiring a certain amount of damage dealt to be effective. Reckoning is used to have additional procs of culling strike & maim, as well as debilitating enemies thanks to a block mastery we grab and its alternate quality.

Alternate qualities
Reckoning: Anomalous grants us 40% additional chance to debilitate enemies on hit. "Debilitate" makes enemies deal 10% less damage and have 20% less movement speed.

Maim: Anomalous grants us 20% increased effect of maim. This makes the maimed enemies even slower, which is really nice.

> Helmet: Auras, Frostblink & Desecrate

Desecrate | Determination | Tempest Shield | Frostblink

Pretty self-explanatory gems.

Alternate qualities
Determination: Anomalous grants us 5% chance to avoid being stunned. This is increased by aura effect, which means you'll get more than 5% in practice, and also affects nearby allies, so if you're partying up, your friends will thank you. :p

Tempest Shield: Divergent grants us +1% chance to block attacks and spells while holding a shield. Without this quality, we're at 74% chance to block spells, and getting it gets us to 75%; however it's mostly out of perfectionism, there's virtually no difference.

> Gloves: Duration gems

Spirit Offering - Molten Shell - Vaal Discipline - Increased Duration

All those gems benefit for Increased Duration support, and as such should be linked. Spirit Offering is a very large damage increase, Molten Shell can offer short, but very strong bursts of defense, and Vaal Discipline can make us recover our ES very quickly for a duration.

Alternate qualities
Spirit Offering: Anomalous grants us 40% cast speed for Spirit Offering. This makes it way faster to cast, which is very comfortable.

Vaal Discipline: Anomalous grants our minions 5% increased damage while on full Energy Shield. They will effectively always be on full ES, so the buff is almost permanent. However, getting an Anomalous Vaal Discipline is pretty hard, since you need to vaal an Anomalous Discipline and have it become the Vaal version. If you have to choose between a regular Vaal Discipline and an anomalous non-Vaal Discipline, go for the Vaal.
Last edited by Vatinas on Nov 19, 2021, 11:40:57 AM
Last bumped on Dec 6, 2021, 10:56:17 AM

5.1 - Passive tree

I recommend using Path of Building to see the passive tree. However, if you're unable to use it at this time, here is a link for a quick reference (which doesn't feature the cluster jewels).

For the bandits, we kill them all. No bandit bonus is worth two passive points for us.

5.2 - Ascendancies


5.3 - Pantheon


We use Soul of the Brine King to avoid freeze and chain stuns, and drastically reduce the chill effect, allowing us to be unaffected by chill (along with the Anointed Flesh nodes).

The Minor god you should use (nearly) at all times is Soul of Ryslatha. Since Writhing Jars count as life flasks, this will allow you to regenerate their charges if you're out, even in long boss fights like Sirus.

If you're comfortable with managing your flasks while clearing, I like Soul of Abberath to reduce the ignite duration, and ignore burning ground - notably, this can be very useful in Delve. Also, if you plan to run one of those lvl 83 labs, Soul of Ralakesh is useful to avoid bleeding and reduce the damage over time taken from traps.

6.1 - Levelling guide

There is a way to play a modified version of this build as a league starter until you can afford the items you need. This league starter version requires no twink gear, is very easily capped in resistances, and can very easily go up to the beginning of yellow maps with a few 1 alch items only - more than enough to start farming your real items!

Act 1
Once you're done showing Hillock who's the real #nopantslife master, grab Smite as quest reward and buy Raise Zombies from Nessa. Remember to do the Tidal Island quest to get a Quicksilver flask, as well as Ruthless for your Zombies.

Once you've completed the Mud Flats, Nessa will give you Summon Holy Relic, which will be our main damage dealer, and heal you and your zombies as you hit (for now, with Smite).

If you find the currency for it, and have the required sockets/links, you can also buy the following gems according to your preferences: Flame Dash, Minion Damage / Added Fire Damage for your Relic.

In terms of items, try to get ES bases with life on them, as well as some resistances. The armour-ES shields are also a good option due to their elemental resistance implicit. Don't waste your precious scrolls of wisdom or transmutes on your weapon though; the Twilight Strand stick does the trick just fine!

Act 2
After the Chamber of Sins, get Herald of Purity and support it with one or two support gems you might have, like Minion Damage, Added Fire Damage, or Melee Physical Damage once you get it (after killing the big spider in the Western Forest's lair). Be aware though that the more support gems on it, the higher the mana reservation, so I don't recommend using more than two. You will also need to buy Desecrate, after the Chamber of Sins too, so you can summon your Zombies reliably (and your spider later in the game). You might need to get a Jade amulet from Yeena, or allocate a 30 dex node in the skill tree to use it.

Act 3
After "rescuing" Tolman, grab Discipline from Clarissa, as well as Rallying Cry, which will be a good damage buff. From the moment you start using the warcry, the base damage of your weapon will start to matter, so try to find one with decent physical damage. Attack speed is also somewhat important, so start looking out for a weapon with those stats. If you're so stinking rich that the weight of your purse is hurting your back, you can lighten it a bit by buying Determination and socketing it in a second weapon set so it's high level when you start using it.

At level 28, you will be able to use Cyclone. However, as a Templar, you cannot get it from Clarissa; you can either ask a friend with the right class to get it for you, or go do the "A Fixture of Fate" quest in the Library, helping Siosa who will then allow you to buy it. It will allow you to 1- hit enemies (and therefore trigger your Relic's nova) while moving, and 2- hit them really fast. However, you should sill try to use smite every few seconds versus bosses, as it will still provide a sizeable damage boost to your minions.

Act 4
After killing Voll, grab a Stone Golem. It will greatly improve your survivability.

At that point, you should be able to run the normal lab very safely. Grab Radiant Crusade first, which will give you some resistances, damage, and more importantly permanent onslaught for you and your minions.

Act 5
Nothing in particular, just keep looking out for item upgrades and 4 links.

Act 6
This is when you can get a lot of useful gems. Once you've cleared the Twilight Strand, talk to Lilly to get Meat Shield, which will make your Zombies taunt. This will change your life more than you think. Minion Life will help them survive, now that they'll be taking most of the hits.

Be sure to use this break to check if you can grab better damage gems than those you have.

From now on, the story is pretty straightforward, as you don't get any new gems.

Acts 7 to 10
Nothing worthy of noting, just run over the story like the pantsless bulldozer you are.

Right before killing act 10 Kitava, I recommend running the cruel lab (before getting the resistance penalty, even though you should still be easily capped) to get Radiant Faith and start buffing up your ES.

Once you're done with the story, use the few alchs (or chaos, if you're lucky) to get decent items in as many slots as possible; a bit of life/ES, some resists, and a weapon with a bit of attack speed and decent base physical damage will do the trick. The idea would be to have a 4L for Dom Blow (which you should upgrade to a 5L asap), a 3L for HoP, and a 2L for your Holy Relic (Minion Damage), even though the last 2L is really optional.

You should be very easily capped in resistances, and will have zombies that taunt enemies, so mapping should be very safe. Your damage should also be more than enough. You can run the merciless lab whenever you feel like you have the damage and tankiness to do so. You should very easily get to T5 maps, at which point you should start finding enough currency to slowly transition to the full build.

I recommend keeping a close eye on the price of Arakaali's Fangs, since this is the item that makes your damage go from good to insane. However, it might be a bit expensive early on (if I recall, it was 2ex in the first few days of Delirium, down to 30c after a bit less than a week), but it's important enough that it's worth keeping an eye on anyway. Apart from that, you can look to get a Dream Fragments, which should be a few chaos early on, to get a nice amount of mana and cold res, and chill and freeze immunity. The Aegis Aurora will also be a huge acquisition, but is usually worth between 20c and 1ex in the first few days, and goes down to 10-20c shortly after. Upgrade the rest of the items at your own pace.

6.2 - Passive tree progression

In the passive tree, there is no best way to go about this, but I recommend going for Gravepact, then Sanctuary very early on. That will give you consistent damage and good resistances from the get go. You can also grab Discipline and Training to get some life while levelling, and refund it once you transition to CI.

After that, grab Resolute Technique so you have a good hit chance before Shaper's Touch (and I recommend keeping this node until you get those gloves, or your accuracy will be in the gutter).
Then, go for Faith and Steel for a bit of ES and resistances, and Righteous Army for minion damage and life regen.

After that comes a bit of boring part, where you have to travel a lot in the skill tree. However, it's really no big deal since you'll easily have the damage and resistances to progress. Go right from near Faith and Steel, and grab Unnatural Calm for more ES if you have some ES gear already. Then, go for Discord Artisan to be able to use more supports on your herald. If you feel squishy, you can grab Cruel Preparation for some life and resists and refund it later. You can also go for Enduring Bond for some minion damage and duration, which can be very nice for HoP sentinels, as well as Dominating Blow if you chose to use that.

After that, it's pretty much up to your personal preference. If you need to reserve less mana, grab Sovereignty; if you want more ES, go for Insightfulness, etc.

Remember to go near CI before you actually transition, so you can just allocate it when you want to!

6.3 - Item progression

As you might have noticed, every piece of gear in this build has a unique purpose; we have no slot where we just go "eh just get mana or ES or something". As a result, it's perfectly normal if you feel a bit lost as to what to buy first. Here I'll help you get a roadmap of how to go about things. :)

The basics: getting started
Let's say you used this build as league starter, and have to start from scratch. The first question you're probably wondering is when to get Chaos Inoculation. In general, the answer to that question is "whenever you feel like you have enough ES and/or are dying often to chaos damage going through your ES", and this build is no exception. Like I said in the Leveling section, it's important that you path toward CI even before taking it, so it only takes one skill point to actually allocate it; but after that, get some ES on your gear, make sure you have your second ascendancy, Radiant Faith, grab the mana nodes you can, and reserve as much mana as you can. That should get you in a comfortable spot to take CI.

During the story, you should have gotten at least one or two alchs; the first priority is to use whatever you might have to cap your resistances. If you can get some ES or mana as well, that's great, but resistances are the main goal. (In case you're starting PoE, remember that running maps without 75%/75%/75% resistances can have you die very quickly). You should also use that occasion to make sure you can get a decent number of links for your skills. The most important ones are 1) Holy Relic, where you want as many links as possible, 2) Herald of Purity, where you want as much damage as you can fit, and 3) Raise Zombie, where you want to get Meat Shield - Minion Life (and Elemental Army if possible). For Herald of Purity, you should be careful with the mana reservation; each support gems has a "Mana multiplier", which multiplies the mana reservation of HoP. For instance, Multistrike is very strong on HoP, but has a very high mana multiplier (150%), so you want to avoid it. The ideal would be to use damage gems with a pretty low multiplier - for instance, Ruthless is great. So the links will depend on your mana left for HoP, of the colours of links you get, etc. But also remember that the more mana you reserve, the more ES you get from your Radiant Faith ascendancy!

You can either buy gear that already has enough links if you can afford it, or try to socket + link the items yourself if you have a surplus of jewellers / fusings. (Remember though that getting 5 or 6 links yourself is deceptively hard and shouldn't be attempted at this stage, and that the higher the quality of your gear, the easier it is to get sockets and links)

Before the Fang
After going through those basics, you should be in a spot where you can run white / yellow maps comfortably, which means you can start progressing and saving up currency. Here is what I would advise in terms of "What items should we buy first?".

Some uniques should be very cheap, even in the first days of the league: Rainbowstride are great boots; low-ish ES, but mana, resistances, movement speed, and even some spell block. They are very good starter boots. Darkness Enthroned is also cheap, but it requires you have some abyss jewels to socket in it, which means two extra things to buy. If you have 1 alch to spend, get a rare belt with ES / mana / armour / resistances; but if you have a bit more, it might be interesting to get a Darkness Enthroned along with two cheap abyss jewels with the usual mana / ES / armour / resistances.

Apart from those cheap items, your first priority should be Aegis Aurora. The heart of the build, the item that's going to make you beefier than the Minotaur in an 8 mod map. It might be a bit expensive in the first few days or week (around 50c, if I recall), but it's worth every chaos you'll spend on it. Don't be afraid to get a low roll at first if it's cheaper!

The other huge unique you want to look for early on is Arakaali's Fang. The spiders are incredibly strong, and reach their peak power with only 3 support gems and no link needed, unlike almost every skill in the game which need 6 linked socket to do so. They will literally carry you alone until the end game. It might be expensive in the first few days (1 or 2 ex, if I recall), so it might be a good idea to check regularly what the current price is, or even setup a live search. It should go down to 70-ish chaos after a week or two.

After the Fang, before getting most uniques
The first thing you'll want to do is to get at least one Writhing Jar, no matter the roll. It will allow you to spawn spiders at the beginning of maps, and before bosses.

Once you have your spiders, some socket colours (notably, for Cyclone) might be hard to get; there is a trick to get them easily, which I talked about in the FAQ and made a video to demonstrate (in the Videos section). However, this requires you to have some crafting recipes, which you will find in specific maps; so, when you want to get socket colours for Cyclone, feel free to look up where you can find them.

Remember to do this process on a item you're not planning to replace soon, so you don't have to do it all again. I usually do it on my Rainbowstride boots (since The Stampede is a bit more expensive, I tend to keep Rainbowstride for a while).

You should now try to find some decent cluster jewels. For the medium one, 5 passives or less, with at least one of the notables I wrote in the guide; and for the small one, 2 passives, with a notable I talked about as well. The base of the jewel, armour or ES, is up to you or your budget, both are strong (though I, personally, prefer armour).

Now you can start looking at other important uniques, like The Stampede, Skin of the Lords, Shaper's Touch, Astramentis. All of those will dramatically increase your tankiness - and believe me, with the spiders, you won't need more damage for a while.

After getting most uniques
By this point, the "skeleton" of the build is complete. You have all the main mechanics in place. You can start getting the last pieces in place at your own pace, and in the order you prefer.

Getting a Darkness Enthroned with two good jewels should be easily affordable by now, so if you haven't done it, you can do it now; and if you already had, check if you can upgrade your jewels.

A Fortress Covenant amounts to a good amount of damage, and shouldn't cost more than 10 or 20c by now.

Two Circles of Guilt with increased mana reservation efficiency of HoP will give you a good amount of armour, and of course allow you to use more supports on HoP. At first, you should ignore the second mod on the rings, the mod that you really want is "reduced mana reservation". That being said, "physical damage reduction" should be cheap and can help a bit.
Unlike other uniques, you should aim for a good "mana reservation efficiency" roll from the start, since they'd probably be a bit expensive to replace later and the roll is very important. :)

Despair on hit Shaper's Touch should start being affordable, and whill give you a nice damage boost.

You should be able to afford "perfect" cluster jewels by now, that are exactly as I wrote in the guide earlier. Remember you can look to get a bit of resists on their small passives.

You can get more Writhing Jars. I usually play with two, but if you struggle with flask management or lack practice, feel free to go for three. :)

Another very important upgrade is a helmet enchanted with "+1 maximum sentinel of purity". This is an amazing damage upgrade, and is fairly cheap on a Hubris Circlet. If a crafted helmet is too expensive, you can buy a base with ilvl 85 and try to craft it with dense fossils / essences of woe into a helmet with decent ES and craft some resists.

Finally, getting some level 21 / 20% quality gems is a great upgrade. Not necessarily all gems; for instance, Cyclone is useless to have at level 21. But having HoP at 21/20 is crazy good. Some other gems, like Deathmark, benefit a lot from being level 21. Also, a level 4 empower can be a bit expensive (around 5 or 6 ex), but it's absolutely worth it.

Getting the last uniques
By this point you're nearing the min-maxing phase, so keep in mind that you don't "need" do buy what I mention here, it's really just in case you absolutely love the build and want to keep pushing it, but you should be able to do all content even if you stop here.

The main thing that you want to look for is one, ideally two, Circles of Guilt with enough "increased mana reservation efficiency" + "sentinels deal #% increased damage". This is going to be expensive (around 1 or 2ex in the middle of Scourge league), but it's definitely worth it. If you're patient, you can also set up a live search and look for rings with good synthesised implicits; for instance, you can get resistances, armour, energy shield, Determination/Discipline aura effect...

You should also start upgrading the rolls of your items. Astramentis and Aegis Aurora in particular have quite impactful stats, so you should start with those.

The life regen if you've been hit recently enchant on boots is very strong, you might want to try to buy it, or run a few labs yourself to get it. Remember that the amount of life regenerated depends on the level of the lab run to get it; the Uber lab version (2%) is twice as strong as the Normal lab version (1%)!

You can also look for a Watcher's Eye, with the mods mentioned in the guide.

Finally, getting awakened gems is a natural upgrade that is very strong. Awakened Melee Splash is always very cheap, while Awakened Minion Damage can be around 1 or 2ex, but both at great to have.

By this point, you can consider yourself done. You've got everything, you're good. However, if you're still getting currency and love the build so much that you want to keep pushing, here is what you can do.

Crafting/buying a very good helmet is an insane potential source of ES and damage. You can get up to 350+ ES on a Hubris Circlet, and can also aim for the Hunter mod "nearby enemies have -9% to chaos resistance" (or -12% for the elevated version of the mod). Remember to craft or buy a helmet with the HoP enchant!

A level 4 Empower is very expensive at the time of writing (over 10ex in Scourge league), but is a very powerful upgrade.

If you haven't done so already, looking for rings with the right mods and good synthesised implicits can be very expensive, but a very good source of powerful mods.

Finally, it might sound stupid, but getting to a level as high as you have the patience for allows you to grab some very precious passives, like Righteous Army, and is a great way to get even more damage and tankiness without spending the slightest bit of currency. (:

* I get an error message when I try to import the PoB. How do I fix that?

You most likely are using the standard PoB, and not the community fork. Read the PoB section carefully, a link is in there.

* I don't have enough mana to reserve my 6L HoP, Discipline and Determination yet. Should I drop Determination and only use it when I do?

No! Never drop Determination :p It's the key to our survivability. I'd even argue it's even more crucial than Discipline. What you should do is use Discipline from level 24, when you get it, and Determination as soon as you get your Aegis Aurora. By then, make sure you've grabbed the two mana reservation clusters in the skill tree (Sovereignty and Influence), and use HoP along with whatever support gems allow you to use HoP.

Remember that 1) HoP sentinels aren't our only damage source, so having them on a 2/3/4/5L isn't too big of a deal, and 2) more armour = more ES block = more effective survivability!

* Even with the complete build, I can't use all auras, I don't have enough mana. Why?

Make sure that:
* You have all the mana reservation nodes that I have
* Your rings have as much reduced herald reservation as mine (including catalysts!)
* There are no "accidental" support gems on Discipline
* You linked an Enlighten to your auras if the current version of the build uses one
* You have the exact same support gems on HoP as I do, as the mana multiplier of the support gems changes the mana reservation.

If you did all this and still can't use all auras, post on a message on this thread with your PoB, and I'll take a look!

* My minions kill my worms before I can. How do I deal with this?

There are easy ways to deal with this, don't worry.

First, remember that your Relic won't attack if you don't, and your Spiders and Sentinels will attack enemies, so if you're killing trash mobs, just run close to them so your minions go beat them up, and summon your worms easily.

If you're starting a boss fight and need to refresh your spiders before the fight, the way I socketed the gems means that you can weapon swap twice, and all spiders will despawn, leaving you with only the sentinels, which die out very quickly. You're then free to resummon fresh spiders, and a Relic will be summoned as soon as you start getting hit (which, if you've played this build before, you already know is always very soon)

Finally, if you're too lazy to do any of that and there are still minions (or annoying party members) killing your worms, it helps to desecrate under your minions, stand on them, start Cycloning, pop two flasks at once and cyclone in a random direction. In 75% of the cases, you'll still get your spiders this way - but it costs at least 2 flask uses, so don't do that too much against bosses!

* Isn't it useless to stack that much armour?

No, it's not! :) Remember that raw ES does not grant survivability, sustain does, and we replenish our ES by 2% of our armour on block. Which means that stacking armour = stacking ES on block, and that's how we survive. So yes, we could get higher ES, but we'd be much less tanky with, for instance, 9K ES and 30K armour.

* How do I get off-colour son my items?

There's a trick to do that easily, but it requires the following crafting recipes: two, three and four sockets, and two guaranteed colours. I recorded a video showing how to do that, check the Videos section if you want to see how it's done first hand.
First, set your item to 2 sockets, and guarantee two off-colours. Then, set your item to three sockets. The first two sockets will remain the same, so you will keep your 2 off-colours, only the third socket will be random. If the third socket is not an off-colour, go back to two sockets and try again. When you get an off-colour on your third socket, you do the same for the fourth socket until you get it. It's important to get the off-colours first since it costs less jewellers to go between 2-3-2-3-... sockets than between 3-4-3-4-...

* The spiders' PoB dps seems low, is that normal?

Remember there are 20 spiders, so you have to multiply the dps by 20, and add 4 times the DPS of sentinels.

* Where does our block chance come from exactly?

Remember that we only need to reach 38% chance to block attacks and spelld, since Glancing Blows doubles it. That being said, you can go to the "Calc" tab in PoB to see a breakdown of all our sources of attack & spell block.

* Why aren't you using the Bastion of Hope ascendancy?

We are already capped in block chance, so we don't profit from the additional chance to block if we've attacked/casted a spell recently. The only benefit of this ascendancy is the stun immunity, and we use the Soul of the Brine King to avoid chain stuns. Since this build is very tanky, we can afford to get stunned once in a while without immediately dying because of it, even in end game fights like Uber Elder.

* Why aren't you using the Harmony of Purpose ascendancy?

The charges are only shared with party members, so our minions don't get them. The only benefit is the attack speed that frenzy charges grant us, and it's not worth it compared to other ascendancy nodes.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me with the guide and with the build itself, especially the following people:

* Crylios, who pointed out some good ideas ever since I first made this build. (And also he's kinda cool I guess)
* livejamie, who created a CI version that inspired me to create the one featured in the guide.
* Jekallz, who had the great idea to use HoP instead of HoA in the first place, which is now also featured in the guide.
* onlyjust5, who beat an A8 Awakener fight and allowed me to use the video for the guide.
* cence, for funding some of my items in order to allow me to update the guide more quickly every league (and for being a very good friend).
* Dobarn, who brought up the idea of using Stalwart Commander as an alternative to Will Shaper.
* TheScalpel, who thought of a good Watcher's Eye mod to add to the list.
* Pathdegilpaf, who recorded an Uber Elder guardian video and allowed me to add it to the guide.

07/11/21: Changed the guide to include Frostblink instead of Flame Dash, The Stampede instead of Rainbowstride, and Reckoning instead of Rallying Cry.

19/10/21: Revamped the guide aesthetically, and added some new, useful sections, as well as removing obsolete ones.

06/10/21: Added a temporary 3.16 PoB, mainly for the passive tree.

07/09/21: The mana multiplier of many gems was changed after the 3.15 launch. The PoB was (finally) updated with those new mana modifiers.

15/01/21: Updated the guide with new gems, alternate qualities, skill tree, a new flask, and some smaller improvements. All of this is included in the PoB as well.

14/01/21: Updated the Pantheon section.

18/09/20: It's Heist time bois and gurls! Updated the PoB with levelling skill trees.

16/09/20: Added the notes for the 3.12 update; small Glancing Blows nerf and two interesting curses. Will update the PoB, the skill tree, and maybe add some levelling skill trees in PoB when the PoB update comes out, if I have the time.

10/09/20: Added a "gear progression" section, which details how you should go about setting up the build bit by bit (what to buy first, how to handle mana reserved, etc.)

08/07/20: Retired the LL and HoA versions, since the CI and HoP versions are overall better and smoother to play. Further improved the build with the use of Vulnerability, Influence, and a Stalwart Commander cluster jewel.

03/07/20: Added several end game videos, including an Awakening 8 Sirus carry for a friend and the Elder fight.

02/07/20: Added an Awakening level 5 Sirus fight video.

01/07/20: Recorded three 3.11 videos: a Cortex fight, a lvl 83 Mastermind fight, and a short crafting tutorial for off-colouring the helmet.

28/06/20: Updated the guide with a few improvements, including a better skill tree pathing, capped spell block without tempest shield, better cluster notable, a golem, and better gems for HoP. From now on, the LL version is to be considered deprecated, and I am planning to retire it in the coming weeks.

18/06/20: Updated the guide for 3.11, and added a new CI version.

(Pre-3.10 changelog has been discarded)

Thanks to everyone who read the guide, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any question that's not answered in here, feel free to ask on this post or to send me a message. :)

I hope you all have a nice day!
Last edited by Vatinas on Nov 16, 2021, 6:15:16 AM
Very nice build,lvl 80 on HCL atm.
just saying thank you for sharing
yarikx wrote:
Very nice build,lvl 80 on HCL atm.
just saying thank you for sharing

Hi, I'm glad you like the build! It's also interesting to hear from someone playing HC. I hope all goes well :)
Looking for a tanky mapping/bossing char and found your guide. How is it with legion? How much boss kills on 4/5 emblem fights? Does it release all legion on maps?
faraddox wrote:
Looking for a tanky mapping/bossing char and found your guide. How is it with legion? How much boss kills on 4/5 emblem fights? Does it release all legion on maps?


In my opinion, this build is a nice compromise of tankiness, mapping and bossing. I can, however, rarely fully release legions when the layout is not open. I haven't tried to run emblem fights, I'll try to run some tomorrow and give an update. :)
coloring a shavs in 3g2r1b will be a nightmare :(
How you generate endurance and frenzy charges ?
zidkun wrote:
coloring a shavs in 3g2r1b will be a nightmare :(

Indeed! That's why I told about a few methods to circumvent that problem :)

moncompte86 wrote:
How you generate endurance and frenzy charges ?

The screenshot is from a previous version on the build using the Harmony of Purpose ascendancy, which grants changes on hit; I used to think that this would grant my minions frenzy charges, but it only grants them to party members, so I changed the ascendancy to what it is today. :)

Edit: I ran a 4 emblem fight, and the damage of the build is, in my opinion, a bit too low to effectively tackle those fights. I only had the time to kill each general twice. It makes up for it by being unkillable by any general, but if your goal is to farm emblem fights, maybe this build isn't the best. :)
Last edited by Vatinas on Jun 24, 2019, 2:53:10 PM
Kinda of a cool concept and different type of build. Haven't played Guardian in awhile. Was lucky enough to find a 5 link 3G1R1B Shav's for like 90c. Going to have to do a little more currency farming and I'll be able to get the Nightmare and other jewels and be able to start playing.

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