[3.8] Cold Dominating blow/Spiders. 12,5M DPS, Huge tankiness, fast clear, great for boss/Delving.

The build currently killed everyone, ranging from Shaper, Uber Elder, Uber Atziri to all delve bosses save for Aul (still looking for him).

Hello, and welcome to this guide about Dominating blow, and actually, about Arakaali's Fang as well. Anyway, I have to apologize in advance, i'm quite chatty when I write guides, and i'm not really good for formatting. I will do my best, but it will be lenghty. English is not my main language as well, so I have to apologize again for the grammar and vocabulary mistakes I will do.

Introduction (You should still read it):

The association of DB and arakaali's fang may sounds strange at first (Currently, 3 people over lvl 92, myself included, are playing DB + arakaali in Blight. In Legion, nobody did), but it actually makes a lot of sense, as we will see later.

Same for the cold version. As far as I could see (both on this forum and on Poeninja), very few people are actually trying to convert minion damage to cold, despite the enormous dps gain it gives.

Finally, i will talk about a third aspect, more or less known by people, but somehow really underused this league (at least in the guide here)

That's why I wanted to do this guide, because I believe these two aspects can really be beneficial to people playing these skills in particular, and minions in general.

This guide will break down in three main parts. The first part will be about the reasoning behind the build and the generalities, especially about the cold conversion. The second will be about the build with Dominating blow alone, before you do the transition to arakaali fang (Because it has some prerequisites and is more expensive). The third part will be about the final build, DB with arakaali's Fang.

During this guide, I will try to give you an idea of the dps achievable. However, we have a problem, because PoB can't calculate properly our damage (One item is not supported). That's why I will calculate them myself, with an excel sheet, using the figures from PoB, just so you can see where my figures come from.

Videos (I will try to get more of them):
Phoenix with DB alone (I just woke up, and I wasn’t really aware at the start of the video. It get better on the second half). Kill in 8s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1-SsA2nMY&feature=youtu.be

Arakaali DB vs Minotaur in a vulnerability map. Blocked nothing, still survived. Kill in 5s:

Infested Valley (T13) with Reflect elemental damage (I have Avatar of Fire) + reduced block chance, just to show that the "can run anything" wasn't empty talk x):

Red elder with Arakaali: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYGX8A1o-_c&feature=youtu.be

Anyway, let's get started!

0) Pros & Cons:
+ Great clear speed, you are almost spamming whirling blades and still clear everything around you.
+ Can do all mods, even if some may be a bit dangerous. Yes, running a no-leech-no regen-60 less life recovery rate is possible, and actually doesn't impact this build at all. It's not often that an attack build can actually say that.
+ You are almost immortal during clearing, very tanky against boss, as long as you don't forget the freaking bone offering. No bone offering = one less portal and -10% exp.
+ No focus on reduced mana for running 12 auras, you have 3 things reserving mana (one being a low level clarity), and you can call it a day.
+ Most bosses die in 10s or less, guardians included.
+ Is probably Hardcore viable (even if i'm not playing hardcore), due to the low amount of deaths I suffered, and how tanky the build is in general. Maybe some adjustement about life have to be done, but the build doesn't die easily at all.
+ It's a minion build which feels fucking great. You are not hiding behind your minions (even if you can), but you are going at the front, you are hitting stuff, and you have no problems doing so.
+ DB is played by 0,2% of people, you are off meta!
- As said before, you have to keep up bone offering all the time if you don't want to die.
- Not SSF viable, due to how Triad grip (and rumi) are mandatory to the build.
- Dots HURT (They do for everyone, but it's the only thing you really feel with this build).
- Socket starved. Like really. It’s tight with 2 unset rings with the basic build and you actually need the hungry loop once you switch to arakaali.
- Some contradictions about corpses management mechanics in the build. More on that later.

I) General mechanics of the build.

1. Why cold?

This build is built around one specific unique, introduced with 3.8, i mean Triad grip (4 green sockets)

This item, played by 8% of necromancers 92+ according to Poeninja, and less that 3% with its natural supports, hatred and elemental equilibrium, grants an enormous amount of damage to minions.

Let's break it down:
-By having 4 green sockets, you convert 100% physical damage to cold. So basically, your minions are doing cold damage instead of physical (thanks captain obvious)
-If you combine it with hatred+ generosity (+ sovereignty), you add 40% physical damage as cold, and then you gives another 29% more cold damage multiplier. Hatred alone grants 81% more damage (1,4*1,29). It's the main thing which make cold conversion vastly superior to lightning, fire or chaos conversion (and that's why i consider it's an error to do anything else than cold). However, it's not the only thing in favor of cold.
-Instead of hitting 0% physical resistance (well, it actually depends on map mods), you are hitting against 40% elemental resistance (shaper mod). HOWEVER, you have two huge advantages. You can, for one, use elemental equilibrium (-50% resistance) and frost bomb (-25%). So, against shaper, you are actually hitting at -35% cold resistance (actually -49% since we will add frostbite) fairly easily.
-While physical stacks the "increased physical damage taken" (maim, vulnerability, flesh and stone, war banner, pride), cold doesn't. It means than shock from skitterbots is an undiluted 24% more damage (Actually, skitterbots grant 40,5% more damage in the final version), where it would be much lower for a physical build.
-I don't use this, for reasons explained later (and specific to DB build, so for a more generic skeletons/zombie build, it's a real option), but cold damage freeze and shatter, so it helps for mapping and for "on death" enemies.
-If you do the comparaison with another popular pair of gloves, Grip of the council, you quickly see that GotC doesn’t hold the candle either. Let’s say you have hatred. Grip is 20% added cold damage, *1,25 more cold damage from hatred, so 25% added cold damage in total. The 100% cold conversion from triad is also multiplied by 1,25 by hatred, and so it’s 25% “added” cold damage. However, it also allow a much better scaling as seen above since everything you do is cold damage (you don’t try to scale cold damage or cold resistance as much if you mainly do physical damage + GotC, and even if you did, the effectiveness can’t compare with a true 100% cold damage).

Basically, just using hatred + EE + frost bomb + frostbite (50% mana reservation + curse) is a 170% more damage against shaper. And we didn't ever start the links yet. Pride + flesh and stone + vulnerability + maim (on another skill) + war banner (60% mana reservation in total + curse), it's 100% more damage. If we add shock from skitterbots to both, it's 235% more damage for cold damage, against 125% more damage for physical. The difference looks quite clear. The only drawback is the necessity to hit once with lightning or fire damage (avatar of fire) and use frost bomb sometimes. It's really easy to do, we will do that without even thinking about it.

Physical damage has the advantage of brutality (59% more damage), but elemental damage with attacks is not far behind (54% more damage). It doesn't close the gap at all.

Fire and lightning conversion can use EE, fire can use combustion and fire exposure from scorching ray, but the lack of hatred make it very weak compared to cold (and combustion + scorching ray on minion build is very clunky to run, especially with EE). Chaos is cute with wither, but lack scaling outside of it.

That's why I believe that cold conversion is, by FAR, the best way to run minions in 3.8. Neither lightning, fire, chaos or physical can remotely compare with similar investment. The only drawback is how you are stuck with 4 green sockets, when you don't have that much possibilities for it. However, it's quite minor since we can still use every socket.

While 4green sockets is expensive to buy directly, I suggest to buy one at 1-2c, and then color it with the jeweller method (look for it on youtube). It's way cheaper, and you can get one for 10-20c this way.

2. How the build will survive.

The build works around a life on block mechanic and a huge block chance. The main source of it is obviously the slightly unnerfed mistress of sacrifice + bone offering. We complete that with empower and, for a budget version, a +2 shield (so we get 4 levels with the +2 applying to empower as well, totaling around 150 life on block just from the bonus levels), or for a more wealthy character, The Surrender, giving an additional 250 hp/block. This recovery is huge on several aspects, but the main one is how your regen is independant from time. Someone with a lot of %regen or a leeching build will regen a given amount of life per second. They can’t go higher, if they take an higher amount of damage, they die. This build is different. For instance, let’s say you enter an incursion, and 100000 mobs fire at you. You will survive, despite taking 25000 projectiles, because the 75000 blocked projectiles will heal you, much more than the 25000 remaining attacks will damage you. It’s an exaggerated example, of course, but the idea is here. As long as you are not truly one shoted (and unlike many people, I don’t mean “lot of attacks in a short amount of time”, I really mean “killed in one attack”, because I’m not afraid of many attacks in a short window frame), you can’t die. Actually, the more attack you take, the more regen you have.

The Surrender is especially good for the second layer of defense, Cwdt lvl 1 + molten shell lvl 10, which absorb with flask up around 3300 damage. Much better than Bone Armor, can be triggered with a cwdt lvl 1, that's why we give up on Bone Barrier.

Then, the build cap attack block, between the shield itself, bone offering, rumi and tempest shield. The spell block is not bad either, at 47%.

These three things combined has an interesting effect: Mobs attacking you aren't damaing you. Actually, since you heal between 600 and 800 hp/block, they are healing you, except if they do an average damage of 2000+ (which they don't).

Here is a sample (afk in the pack with only flasks up, not even fortify):

Bone offering is back, guys!

3. Map mod gestion:
Some maps mods are easy, some aren't. None are forbidden (well, maybe try to avoid them if you play in hardcore). Let's see what may be problematic:
-Physical reflect (if you don't pick avatar of fire) or elemental reflect (if you have avatar of fire) can be annoying, especially if you forget to keep up bone offering. However, with 75% block chance and bone offering, reflect actually increases your sustain, because damage taken from it can be blocked, and it won't be higher than your hp/block. Also, elemental reflect can destroy your sentinels, so you just have to resummons them more often. Easy to deal with.
-No mana regen. The build sustain its mana by regen (no leech). So a no regen map has an impact. However, it can be played around by disabling clarity (your manapool will be around 200 in this case), and using a mana flask. Writhing jar is actually enough for that, you don't need a real mana flask. Easy to deal with.
-Less maximum resistance. You will take a lot more elemental damage with this mod. Especially dangerous with a "monsters deal 100% damage as X". Yet, the build can be used with a loreweave if you are that worried (even if you are just keeping it as a switch), and is tanky enough outside of that. Be Careful, but no deal breaker.
-Reduced armor, reduced block chance. Probably the most dangerous mod, it reduces your block chance to 45%. Just play a bit more passive. You are a lot squishier, yet not a wet noodle. You can still take some punishment without dying, but it never hurt to be more careful and let the sentinel to tank for you. Be very Careful, but still no deal breaker.
-Cursed with temporal chains: Annoying, but not really dangerous. You will have an hard time to get sentinels with arakaali, but minions aren't affected. The loss in clear speed is just the loss in movement speed/attack speed (with WB). You won't lose damage at all. However, be careful if you do a guardian map with that, it's harder to dodge. Easy to deal with.
-Cursed with vulnerability can make One shot possible if you are really unlucky, but it's very, very rare. Easy to deal with.
-All damage cause ignite: Can be scary with some attacks, that's why I take an anti DoT pantheon (see below). Be Careful, but no deal breaker.
-Everything else has virtually no impact and can be runned without problem.

Anyway, once this is said, we can move on the actual build(s):

II) The Cold dominating blow (Without Arakaali)
1. The pob:
Pob Budget: https://pastebin.com/XTi7ZJKT (Most expensive items, Triad grip, that you should self craft, and vix lunaris (invictus solaris is another option if you prefer immunity to ignite over imminuty to freeze), around 22 chaos. Use a rare shield until then, it's not even mandatory). No lvl 21 gems. Another possibility is a tabula over the 5L armor, but you will be squishier. Your call.
Pob with more expensive and more effective equipment (for DB alone). Still no lvl 21 gems: https://pastebin.com/ayLmYCkP

The pob are based on items I actually used (scaled down for the budget version).

Only few things are really important when looking for the equipment (apart from capping resists and getting as much life as you can everywhere):
-If you don't use avatar of fire (it's actually optional, since hatred-generosity doesn't give you any cold damage), you need a source of lightning or fire damage on rings/amulet/gloves, and you have to avoid at all cost added cold damage.
-If you use avatar of fire, you don't have to care about anything, you are fine.

-You don't need attack speed
-You don't need damage
-You don't need anything. Really. Well, you do need two unset rings, but aside from that, it’s as you want. Even the scourge is optionnal, I played with Ungil's Gauche for a while and it was just fine.
-Helm enchants are nice, but not required. Don't buy them if you are tight on money.
-I REALLY recommend Tribal Fury as anoitment. The half ancestral call is a huge boon. Even if it’s expensive, it’s worth every single chaos you invest in it. If you don’t care about it, then get Ravenous Horde or an HP notable like Golem blood, Herbalism, or Heart of the Warrior.

For people who can’t see the PoB, here are the items I use(d):

Only the second ring is missing since I changed it with the arakaali build.

2. Presentation of dominating blow:
In any case, I'm separating the dominating blow and the arakaali + db build because the second is much more expensive. I'm not intending to show a "15 exa build to crush your enemies" build, but something budget, which can then be scaled up once you farmed enough currencies. Even if I did not started the league with this build, a friend did (in a physical version) and I believe that I could as well. The cold DB alone is perfectly viable, I actually got the arakaali idea only yesterday morning (and played normal DB until then).

Dominating blow is a melee attack which create minion when you kills enemies soon after you "tagged" them. You don't have to kill them with the skill, if your minions kill them, it's fine, you will summon the sentinels, as long as you hit them before they die. Against boss ("uniques"), you have 25% to summon one sentinel each time you hit it. It's high enough so you will have 9 normal sentinels most of the time against bosses. In some case, you can use sentinels from mapping, including magic and rare one, and use them against the boss. In this case, you don't start from nothing. Any summon (be it from enemy kill or from hitting an unique enemy) kill the most ancient sentinel, unlike herald of purity. Keep it in mind, because we will use buff spectres, and it means that summoning too much the sentinels "reset" their buffs.

The sentinel created this way are supported by the supports linked to the skill (and so is the attack itself), and can deal a surprising amount of damage. With the cold conversion, we actually have a LOT of potential supports, depending on what you may want to do (and it gives a lot of freedom).

3. Damage calculation of the budget build:
The DB build alone, on a 5L, with the cold conversion does over 3.5 million damage, just from the 9 normal sentinels. It shouldn't be considered low at all, especially given the figure going around for DB, but it really is compared to what the build can actually do once geared up. It's much higher if you have the rare and magic sentinels (especially with an helmet enchantment).
Here is the detailed calculation (use the budget pob above and check it out):

-Skitterbots does a shock aura with 20% increased effectiveness, doing a 24% shock around them (hence the x1,24)
-Multistrike does 3 attacks, one at 100% damage, one at 122% damage, and one at 144%. The average is 122%, hence the 22% more multiplier
-We don't have more physical damage nor real critical damage, so they are at 0% more damage.

To do this dps, we have to realize three conditions (it's true for all builds, including arakaali):
-Attacking the enemy during the last 5 second (EE)
-Using frostbomb (it lasts 10s in the DB build, around 15 in the arakaali +db build)
-Putting a corpse around (for plague bringer).

The corpse is easily done with desecrate, the attack is easily done with dominating blow, and frostbomb is not the hardest skill to use... Yes, the conditions are that low. However, for the 5L, it requires a swap against the most difficult bosses, since you don't do this kind of damage with melee splash.

4. Damage calculation of the "expensive" build:
So, we do 3,7 damage with a 5L and a budget build, what we can do with a more expensive build? Well, for once, we have another link, so it's 50% more damage. We can get maim lvl 1 on armor, so it's also 15% more damage again. A 6L maim armor is a bit expensive, however. You can get a 6L armor with 100 life for 2 exa right now. It's 4 exa for a 6L armor with 100 life and maim lvl 1.

However, it's worth it:

Over 6millions dps for a dominating blow build. And guess what? For the 5L and for the 6L... We are using fortify, and its quite low damage multiplier.

5. Explanation of everything (Link, choices of skills, spectres).
Dominating blow, especially once converted to cold, has a lot of options for supports:
-Multistrike is probably the most important one. More sentinels during boss fight, the highest damage multiplier out there, and allows sentinels to do three slams per use. Mandatory
-Elemental damage with attacks is also a great choice, given its high multiplier (54%).
-Given how we can't link fortify to the movement skill (whirlwind blades, socketed into the gloves, because these green sockets have to be used), we have to link it to the maim skill. It's not that bad, it's still a 34% more multiplier. But yeah, it would have been better if something else could be used.

Then, you have the choice, now. Everything else is fairly the same, but with differents pro and cons:
-Melee splash is a great support at the start, because your range is quite low, and every hit you do has to hit as many enemies as possible. However, once you can anoit Primal fury (which can be expensive, it's true), you can get rid of it and get another damage support. The sentinels can aoe with the slams, they don't really need it to clear.

Then, you have four damage supports (Minion damage, Deathmark, MPD, Elemental focus). You have to take in account several things:
-Some supports will increase your own dps (EF with avatar of fire, MPD), while the other won't (MD, DM, EF without avatar of fire). It can be an advantage (it helps killing enemies without sentinels), or a drawback (more damage taken from reflect, which can be lethal if you forgot the FREAKING BONE OFFERING (yeah, I did, and i'm still mad at some of the most stupid deaths i got this way).
-Some supports have utility or change things. For instance, deathmark reduce the clearing damage, but give a possibility to focus fire (great against izaro if you want to get additional keys). Elemental focus blocks the freezing and the shatterings of enemies. You may want that (I do), or you don't. Your pick.

I'm actually using MPD + elemental focus myself, because with the life on block, I don't really fear reflect (especially with avatar of fire). For elemental focus, it's a bit more complicated:

Quick explanation of the issues about corpse management:
The build has several contradictory needs about corpses:
-DB consumes them, so you can't use them
-Freeze shatters them, so you can't use them
-Bone offering requires corpses to work. You have desecrate, but it's a bother if you have to use it all the time
-Arakaali requires corpses to spawn spiders.
-Plaguebringer requires a corpse nearby to grants you damage and reduce damage from enemies

That's why, despite freeze being really good, I blocked it on DB with elemental focus. It allows me to keep corpses around for plaguebringer and bone offering (and arakaali later) without having to use desecrate too much

Anyway, that's the maim link. Let's talk about the rest:
-CWDT + molten shell + tempest shield: Your basic CWDT tanking link. Tempest shield gives a bit of block, proc EE at range on enemies attacking you. It's good, but it can be removed (and it will on the arakaali setup). Molten shell can tank a lot of damage if it proc during your flasks. If you don't have flasks up, it's like 900 damage. It's not bad for a 500 damage CWDT, but not really great either.
-Hatred-generosity-skitterbots. Mana reservation. Hatred-generosity is mandatory for reasons explained above. Skitterbots are great as well, with 24% more damage from shock (40,5% in the arakaali setup). It's worth it. The skitterbots can be disabled if you need the room, however. They don't give as much damage as hatred by a long shot. Sovereignty is required to run clarity + hatred + skitterbots, but you can get the aura effectiveness point instead of the reduced mana reserved two points.
-Frost bomb: -25% cold resist for one socket, great way to increase damage. Don't use it during map clear, it's a waste of time. Just during the map boss or blight big baddies.
-Bone offering-empower-increased duration (in the +2 shield for the budget version, very important): The bread of butter of the build. Increased duration extends the duration to around 22-25s, so you don't have to recast it that often. But you will. If you forget about it, the exp loss will remind you for the next time. For the budget version, even an empower lvl 1 grants +2 levels, so it's still good enough while leveling it up. Once you have the Surrender, you can move the link to the boots with Frost bomb, so it can benefit from the increased duration as well.
-Clarity lvl 8. No need to go higher, it gives enough mana regen, and the mana reservation is low enough. Disable it during no-manaregen maps, so you have more rooms while using flasks (mana or writhing jar). However, if you do, don't forget that no more aura will affect you, so you won't have the +20% all res from commander of darkness. If you needed that to cap your resists, use a precision lvl 1 or keep clarity activated.
-Convocation: Summons all your minions to you. You will spam this skill, because you will whirlwind blade all the time ahead. Your minions will lag behind, and if you wait for them to catch up, your clearing speed will be a lot slower. So, just jump into a pack, use DB to tag mobs and use convocation to summon everything to you. The pack will instantly die, and you get new sentinels.

-The gloves: You need 4 green sockets, yet, not many skills are green in a minion build. Since we are still sockets starved, we have to make use of them. I use whirling blade + faster attack, Desecrate (because it's really useful for plaguebringer, bone offering and arakaali) and the 4th slot is free. I use portal, but either a lvl 1 precision (additional aura for commander of darkness) or a dash (so you can pass through cliffs) are valid options as well. Another possibility is culling strike on whirlwing blade for free culling (Thanks to CooterTheWooter for the idea).

-Raise spectre + feeding frenzy + minion life + blood magic: The spectres are here purely for support. They gives feeding frenzy (15% AS, 10% more damage for all minions), since the support sucks on main link for damage, and you will pick the carnage chieftains (act 2, Riverways or Old field) for frenzy charges (12% more damage and 45% attack speed). You want two of them, to increase the frenzy charge uptime. You also want a Death Bishop from the Catacombs (act 3) so you get the frostbite curse (else, you can't curse at all, not enough sockets :/). If you have a lvl 21 raise spectre gem (really great investment, or if you took unnatural strength, despite the fact it currently doesn't work with DB), the 4th spectre will be a host chieftain, so your minions get power charges as well. The damage increase is quite interesting (10% more damage), so a lvl 21 spectre gem is the most interesting investment you can do in the DB build (similar to a lvl 21 DB itself, but it also benefit arakaali once you switch to it). The blood magic support is needed so the chieftains, despite their tiny mana pool, use their mass frenzy often.

I gave them defensive supports because they do die quite often, and it's really a bother to resummon them. So I did that to avoid doing too much. If you feel okay with squishier spectres, feel free to use the sockets for something else. The spectres themselves are a huge damage boost, however, so don't remove them altogether.

6. General gameplay explanations:

Playing with Dominating blow is not that difficult. You will want to start the map with a desecrate and a bone offering, so your defenses are up. Bone offering has to be used very often to keep it up.
Then, you have two choices. You may play with a writhing jar, so you can summon 2 sentinels right from the start, and start from there, or kill the first pack yourself. The second possibility exists, but it may be difficult and RNG based. For instance, in delve, the first pack may be a rare or blues, and it may be difficult for you to kill it yourself. However, it's possible.
In any case, once you got started, you just move with whirling blade, and spam convocation inside a pack while using dominating blow. Against boss, you do that as well, and you use frost bomb to get more dps. You are not required to keep attacking (don't forget that whirling blade will apply EE as well), so you can focus on dodging skills, without losing any dps. If you got a good rare with a nice aura (best are probably the discipline and the haste one), try to avoid tagging another rare to keep the one you currently have.

7. Leveling, ascendancies and pantheon:
During leveling, I suggest to use summon skeleton instead. It’s quite stronger (especially with vaal summon skeleton) since melee with low attack speed and links will feel awful, and it’s also safer. It will carry you up to maps, and if your stuff is not that great, it will also help you to do the eternal lab.
The leveling tree will look like that:
The order of ascendancy is:
-Mindless aggression (3rd if hardcore)
-Commander of Darkness
-Mistress of sacrifice (1st if hardcore)
I don’t think that Unnatural Strength is a good option. While it allows for the 4th spectre much earlier (since you need a lvl 19 gem and not a lvl 21) and gives some life on block with bone offering, it’s only a 3% damage lead over plaguebringer with arakaali, without the -10% damage taken, and without the aoe bonus. If you intend to stay pure DB, it’s better (if you value damage over aoe and tankiness), but if you want to switch over arakaali someday, pick plaguebringer and don’t look back. The 4th spectre is not required, nor are the rest of the bonus.

Major: Lunaris (with the avoid chaining projectile)
Minor: You have the choice. Since dots really hurt, the “best” are either Abberath (anti fire dot), Ralakesh (anti physical dot), or Shakari (anti chaos dot). Since Ralakesh bonus aren’t that effective and anti bleed flasks are common, I ruled it out. Then, it’s between immune burning ground and heavily reduced ignite vs heavily reduced chaos ground and immune poison. Since I felt that ignite was more dangerous to me than poison, I choose Abberath, but it’s really a personal choice here. Obviously, if you use invictus Solaris, pick Shakari. Ryslatha is still great while running the lab, of course.

8. Spectre name, appearance and location:

Get him x2:

III) Switch to DB + Arakaali
1. Why switch to Arakaali?
+ You get a lot more dps
+ The spiders are crazy and very aggressive. The clear speed is further improved because they are quickers and attack further than sentinels.
+ DB and arakaali cover each other weaknesses. For instance, one of the most glaring issue with arakaali is how the spiders despawn when you need them the most (during a boss or in the middle of a pack). With DB, you still have some minions and meatshield to manage the situation. On the other hand, Arakaali allows you to start a boss (for instance elder, elder guardians, shaper, izaro) with a huge starting dps, making it easier on you.
+ DB and Arakaali are scaling on the same things. You need duration for both, Arakaali is not gimped by the cold conversion (their viper strike is just added chaos damage, so you can dismiss it without worry), they benefit from everything you did for DB, and they even benefit from DB rares auras. However, they don’t get anything from Unnatural strength, and that’s why it’s not a really good pick if you want to go arakaali.
- You believe you were socket starved before? Hold my beer, it’s even worse here. You need hungry loop for spectres, else, everything vital can’t be socketed.
- Arakaali’s Fang, as a weapon used for a melee attack, is very slow and don’t feels that good. However, it’s counterbalanced by the fact it gives 40% global attack speed once the spiders are out. It’s still enough to get the sentinels out against a boss.
- It's a little harder to summon spiders when several sentinels are up and screwing around. You will have to move a bit before poping the writhing jar.
- A lot more expensive than DB (even the final version). You need Arakaali’s Fang (1,5 exa), and you need a 4 support hungry loop. You can do it yourself, but it’s time consuming in this case. (Tips, if you worry to auto-level up lvl 19 supports by reflexes (like I did twice :>), equip the hungry loop with the lvl 19-and-close-to-20 support in it, that way, even if you do level it up by reflexes, it’s okay). Items required:

+ However, The Hungry Loop allows to swap some gems around, allowing you to get Bonechill linked to Skitterbots, granting another 16,5% increased damage taken to enemies (I didn’t find a way with the “normal” DB build without losing something else important). Skitterbots doing 24% more damage for 35% mana was really good, but Skitterbots doing 40,5% more damage for 42% mana is ridiculous. And it’s only for cold conversion build :p

2. The Pob
My current pob, taken from my character. No Pob exaggeration, just the plain truth after 10 days of league x)

3. The damage calculation of the build
So, based on the build above, let’s see how much damage we can get:

Yep, that’s right, 12,5 millions dps, requiring you to have only the 9 base sentinels, the 20 spiders, a corpse near the target, and frost bomb. A pretty easy set up with desecrate and writhing jar. Oh, and the spiders are linked to melee splash (and still do 5 millions dps), so you don’t need to switch anything between clearing and bossing x)

4. The gems change

So, integrating arakaali means you need to move the gems around. Since you have to get Melee splash + elemental damage with attacks + (Minion damage/elemental focus/Deathmark/MPD/whatever. Multistrike is imo not a good option since it heavily reduce the first attack damage for clear (90% damage against 150%) and lock the spiders for 3 attacks at the same place for a marginal dps gain against bosses), it means that the gems which were previously socketed there (Hatred/generosity/skitterbots) have to move somewhere else. They will actually enter the helmet. And since the spectres were socketed there, they will move as well x)
EDA + Melee splash + Minion damage into the weapon
Hatred + generosity + skitterbots in the helmet. We can actually add bonechill in it for additional damage.
Spectres + minion life + meat shield + feeding frenzy + blood magic in the hungry loop. The spectres just won’t die in this setup, except if they are tanking 4 or 5 shapers or something.
Convocation (which was in the previous ring slot, remplaced by hungry loop) into the shield at the Storm shield place, which is now removed.

5. The tree changes
Actually, almost none. The only thing you have to do is if you use bonechill. With bonechill, the mana reserved is now a bit too much. You only need one point into a -4% mana reserved around sovereignty (don’t take both, just pick aura effect and 1 mana reserved node, like in the pob), and you are good to go.

6. Gameplay changes
You can start maps/delve by popping desecrate x2 + writhing jar while spamming DB. It will summon 18 spiders (why not 20? No idea either) and 1-2 sentinels, and you will be able to get started fairly well. During mapping, the spiders will often kill stuff way ahead of you, so you will have a more difficult time to get sentinels for “easy maps”. Just spam WB until you get into packs and DB before using convocation. Just… don’t try if you are running a temporal chain map, it’s a waste of time, you won’t be able to hit white before they die from spiders. The clear will not be slower. In delve, you will cap sentinels still all the time.

In any case, if you have questions, suggestions, criticisms or remarks, I’m here to help! I don’t think I did the perfect build, and it may have room for amelioration. But I think it’s fairly solid as it is, right now.

Last edited by Keyen on Sep 23, 2019, 11:09:43 AM
Last bumped on Jun 5, 2020, 12:56:22 AM
Reserved just in case.
Added multiple videos.
Cool take on Necro, cool mix of skills :-)

Might try it out later in the league.
Shield and BO are quite expensive, any budget setup for us broke folks?
Just saw the budget pob link

Last edited by snowmittens on Sep 17, 2019, 1:59:47 PM
I did. The surrender is not mandatory, something like vix lunaris or invictus solaris with bone offering + empower (even lvl 1) in it is a good budget alternative.

(What is BO?)
Bo was typo (meant body armor)

Build is too advanced and expensive for me now

I did play a bit with the budget version but didn't like the complexity of the playable and felt tankiness was lacking at my gear level

For now I'm gonna go for a much simpler and used playstyle of zombies/skeletons/specters

I did learned a few tricks from reading and trying out this awesome build

Thanks again for the time and work putting it up so fast
How do you consistently hit the worms with db? I'm struggling to spawn spiders at the start of maps with db.
Looks like a really fun build. I had a Arakaali and a nice HP/Resists Unset Ring for another build I was gonna try but this looked like it might suit my play-style better. I was able to get the Surrender and a perfect Rumi's by selling off some stuff from my first character this league and am about to be able to equip them. Now just have to work on body armor. Been a blast so far. Feel bad for the mobs. It has been great zooming around your well thought out skill tree to grab the resist nodes (to get ready for maps and gear sorting after Act 10) and stat nodes to level skills without worrying about missing out on important stuff as mobs die so easy. I did pick up another 30 Dex node up North of Quick Recovery to make leveling Gems easier but can allways respec out of it once I get the rest of my endgame gear set.

Quick question. I have been leveling with Zombies, Skeletons, and Raging Spirits in a Tabula with summon Phantasms on kill while leveling my Minion Damage and Melee Splash for the Spiders. I will kind of miss my army when I switch to Dom Blow. If I used a Summon Phantasm Gem in my dagger instead of Elemental Damage with Attacks would I lose a ton of damage? If I were to do this would the Spiders summon Phantasms and the Phantasms summon Spiders? If it affects the damage too much I might just level up another Hungry Loop for Vaal Skeletons since it is so easy to get Resists between the skill tree and Ascendancy. Would Envy from an Aul's Amulet help this build at all? Out of my price range at the moment but like to have goals to work towards.

Thanks for your time. Really enjoying the build so far.
Thanks for the compliment.

For your questions:

-Summon phantasm can't summon spiders, as it will be their kills and not your. It's the same as dominating blow. However, the spiders can and will summon them.

-However, the damage loss is not low, it's around 1,3 million dps. Each phantasm is around 50K dps. And to be honest, you have already 40 minions (20 spiders/16 sentinels/4 spectres), which should be enough to scratch your "I need my minion army" itch :p The screen is already overloaded with minions in my case. I don't think summon phantasm has any meaning here. A vaal summon skeleton in an hungry loop can indeed give a huge dps boost in some case, but you lose another socket and another ring's worth of stats (and life). Your call.

-Aul's amulet doesn't help much. The cold conversion is so strong because you have a lot of cold multiplier in the build (Hatred, EE, Skitterbots-Bonechill, frostbomb, frostbite, Elemental focus/Elemental damage with attacks). None of this works with chaos damage (well, the shock part of skitterbot does, but you get what I mean). I mean, you CAN get it, as you have no mandatory something to get from the amulet (aul gives stats and an healthy amount of life, so it's fine), but its impact will be mostly ignored. It's like 3% dps increase for spiders (who scale much better than sentinels on chaos dps due to the poison from viper strike) and 2% dps increase for sentinels.

-IMO, if you really want to upgrade your dps with a rarer item, it would be with a -9% cold resistance helmet with Dominating blow enchant (so probably with the enchant from the start, then crafted). It's a 6% damage upgrade (more during clear as you don't really use frost bomb), and it really has meaning in such a build (imo). You can craft it with a frigid fossile (and a pristine). It may cost a bit to get there, however. I didn't include it in the build because for one, it's not really needed, the dps is so high anyway, and you mostly have to craft it yourself (and it's not really my domain :p).
Last edited by Keyen on Sep 18, 2019, 5:25:40 PM

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