[Major Damage/Mapping Improvements-Update 7.1.22 PoB/Vid] The Fortified Summoner: HoP MI Champion
README: Update 7/1/22
For those interested or who have tried this build in the past, take a look because it's changed for the better quite significantly. This build has historically had two major weaknesses, both of which have been addressed in this update.
1. Low damage on normal/rare packs, as you have no way of spawning HoP sentinels. This has now been fixed with these gloves:
vastly increasing Sentinel spawn rates while mapping, as well as on-demand sentinels with this flask
Huge mapping improvement.
2. Ever since the mana changes a couple patches ago, the only way to sustain zombie CwC spawns was to use a gemini claw, which only worked if you were hitting things. This limited the on-demand regen from zombie explosions, and locked you in to using claws.
This limitation has been solved with the combination of Divine Flesh and Eldrtich Battery notables, which let you use your ES regen as mana. We can now sustain skelly CwC spawns indefinitely, which completely smoots out gameplay and lets us use daggers/scepters for the tasty +1 physical/spell skill gem mods, which is a massive damage increase as well, and really adds to the growth potential of the build end-game.
Here is my (only semi-optimized gear..the helmet, neck, and dagger are all merely ok) current PoB for consideration. Where the PoB below and the rest of the guide disagree, this PoB takes precedence.
New videos to show mana/mapping
T16 Fungal Hollow
Something you don't see every day: A Champion Summoner!
I made this build because I really enjoy the low-stress ease and dependability of the champion spec, and wanted to see if it could make a MI summoner playstyle work. Turns out the answer is yes!
-A tanky summoner!
-No required Flasks! We have zero reliance on flasks for damage, so run whatever you want for utility
-Endgame viability and consistency; easily get to 90+…we tend to just not die much
-Relatively inexpensive; a few ex will get you to red maps easily
-Skill-swap needed after leveling
-Multiple specific items needed-Not SSF-friendly
-Running with Purity of Fire/Purity of Elements auras is detrimental (group play)
The first half of the build, and the one that does the vast majority of boss damage, revolves around summoning Sentinels of Purity from Cyclone. So far, nothing too crazy. Where we depart the beaten path is instead of using these minions to smack things really hard, we light them on fire and detonate them via the Minion Instability keystone! Because MI detonations deal fire damage and scale off of minion life, this build scales damage by doing three things:
1. Stacking Minion Life and Minion Damage nodes
2. Reducing enemy fire resistance
3. Increasing the spawn rate of Sentinels of Purity, without capping out and re-writing the duration/life of a previous Sentinel.
The other half of the build is exploding skeletons! HoP sentinels only spawn if hitting a rare/unique, so we need a more reliable minion generation mechanism for regular mapping, which we get through CwC-Skeletons. Our arsenal is rounded out with a utility minion, usually either a holy relic or spectral spirits, and optionally, skitterbots and Animate Guardian.
For defenses, this build runs Determination, perma-fortify, +4 endurance charges for armor and flat physical reduction, as well as Divine Flesh with 87% chaos resistance, blind on-hit, Molten Shell, and Defiance Banner. Life recovery is achieved per-hit from your claw, and (more importantly) from the unique shield Maligaro’s Lense, which provides absolutely riduclous amounts of recovery from the death of your MI minions.
This build is extremely tanky and forgiving, and just as importantly FUN to play, with an absolute minimum of the random deaths that are so frustrating in higher level content. We are melee after all, taking large hits to the face comes with the territory!
Sirius Death Beam:
Plus, It's a Champion Summoner, and it can clear all content thrown at it without any weird workarounds like Writhing Jar. Just Cyclone into the thing(s) you want to die, and watch your minions melt the map (and heal you while doing it).
Minion Instability - a Keystone in the upper-left hand corner of the map; this is the talent around which the entire build is based. In a nutshell, any minion reduced to low life will explode for fire damage equal to 33% of their max life! Pair this with the support Infernal Legion, and the high base health of Sentinels of Purity, and we can deal upwards of 600k for every MI hit.
The number of summoned sentinels increases proportionally with our attack speed. This makes faster attack support an absolute must-have for cyclone, and makes increased attack speed on your claw extremely valuable.
NOTE: if you over-cap on summoned Sentinels, the oldest one will be refreshed in both health and duration! This is the worst possible thing that can happen to us as a refreshed minion is a minion that is not exploding, and thus maximizing our sentinel spawn rate while avoiding capping out is one of the main goals of this build.
Elemental Equilibrium – This was nerfed recently, but even so represents one of the biggest single buffs we can get for our MI damage. Basically, we use either lightning or cold damage (added through weapon/gloves/ring) to apply a strong fire exposure of -25%. Critically, playing a Champion puts this keystone in easy reach, unlike most summoner builds that use the witch class.
Worthy Foe - a free 20% damage taken increase straight out of the Champion Ascendancy, and one of the main reasons to pick Champion (outside of Fortify of course).
Necromantic Aegis – Keystone that lets us apply all stats from our shield to our minions. We use this in conjunction with Maligaro’s Lens to lower minion resistances to the point that we can get reliable HoP MI detonations, as well as enjoy the constant regen from said detonations. Huge boost to both our damage as well as our bossing survivability.
Enduring Composure – Cluster jewel notable that gives us an endurance charge ever second if we have been hit. This, along with Doedre’s Elixir (which also counts as a hit) gives us permanent 4 EC which in combination with ~30k armour, gives us great physical damage reduction.
Cluster Jewel passives—Not required for the budget build, but pretty much necessary for the more endgame versions of this build. Cluster jewels provide a good chunk of damage, and just as importantly a huge chunk of ele/chaos resists if you buy good ones, and enable us to boost our max chaos res to 87% which synergizes well with the Divine Flesh keystone we run. If you use the recommended endgame gear, you pretty much must use cluster jewels to get your resists where they need to be. Look for +Elemental Resistance rolls on pretty much all your cluster jewels.
Claws - In addition to having good attack speed, claws provide us with a very nice boost to our regen by life gain on hit, and since the mana changes to CwDT are pretty much required for this build for the mana gain on hit of the gemini claw.
Putting it all together, let’s see what happens when we press the Cyclone button. Cyclone:
-Procs Sentinels of Purity, whose explosive deaths are the main damage source of this build
-Spawns Skeletons, whose explosive deaths are the other main source of damage
-Procs Elemental Equilibrium on hit for a sweet -25% enemy fire resistance, exploited by above-mentioned explosive sentinels
-Taunts on hit for +20% damage taken, and cannot evade attacks (Worthy Foe)
-Applies curse on hit, if you have it on your ring
-Gives us a good chunk of regen from claw implicit, which scales to god-tier regen when moving through large packs, and mana as well.
All while remaining fully mobile, with maintenance skills being Convocation and whichever flasks you use for utility (I generally run fire/lighning flasks, one life flask, taste of hate, and Doedre’s Elixir to get the ball rolling for our endurance charges.
There is a fair bit going on here so I will break down our skill links sources point by point, as well as explaining the role they play in the overall build.
Primary Support Links
This build can run multiple iterations of support links successfully. If using less than the full 6 links for a support, simply socket in according to the order listed.
6 to 7 Link Herald of Purity (Helmet)
Herald of Purity - Minion Life - Concentrated Effect - Infernal Legion - Combustion - Predator
If you are thinking that this is a strange list of supports for Herald of Purity well, you aren’t wrong. Unlike most builds using HoP, we are exclusively use them for their MI detonation. In good gear each Sentinel will have over 150k health, and total health recovery from detonations will be around 2.5k/sec, single target. Add in Zombie detonation for another 2k and you recover your entire life pool every second, in a way that cannot be shut down like life leach and life regen. This setup is only possible because of the unique shield Maligaro’s Lens + Necomantic Aegis keystone, and will be discussed further in the Mechanics section.
Note: this link is best socketed into an Elder helmet with Minion Life+Concentrated effect support, at minimum. You can generally find one for 10-20c if you aren’t picky about life/resistance rolls. +2 or +3 to level of Minion Gems is an acceptable substitute for one of the supports if you are on a budget, and is a great 3rd prefix as it does not increase reservation of HoP. If you can’t find one for cheap, it is relatively easy to fossil craft with bound fossils if you so desire. Alternatively, you can essence craft +30% elemental damage along with minion life and +2/3 to minion gems, which keeps a prefix open for life, and reduces the reservation of HoP.
Endgame helmet would be bone helmet with minion life/conc effect/+3/Hypothermia, with Skitterbots for the chill, but this is only achievable by running Aul’s Uprising so expect to dish out ~20ex for those two items. Expensive, but about double the damage of what you can achieve otherwise. Our helmet is probably the most important items we have, and also present the most opportunity to scale damage.
6-Link Zombies (Chest)
Raise Zombie - Cyclone - Cast while Channeling - Infernal Legion - Minion Life - Fire Penetration
Our secondary damage source, and our only way to do damage when there are no rares/uniques around, comes from Minion Instability (exploding) Zombies. Not only do they do the brunt of the damage when mapping, but they also provide substantial, consistent life recovery through our shield. Cast while Channeling linked to Cyclone gives us our constant zombie generation.
Secondary Support Links:
These links provide utility, defense, and support to our main damage dealers.
Holy Relic - Feeding Frenzy - Culling Strike - Cast when Damage Taken
Holy Relic is a great utility minion in that it triggers Feeding Frenzy, and is a great activator for Culling Strike, as it continuously pulses when we are hitting with Cyclone. It’s also a flying minion and so is un-targetable by most monsters, and so dies less often than other minions.
Note: You can essence craft spectral spirits on to your claw, which are immune to damage and therefore don’t need to be re-summoned with CwDT. They can then be linked to Feeding Frenzy+Culling+Melee Splash and fill the same roll as Holy Relic. This is my preferred method but it can be hard to find a good claw with spectral spirits, a good attack speed mod, and open prefix for the minion life/damage craft, so I regard this as a somewhat luxury upgrade you can go for or not.
Vengeance - Life Gain on Hit
A nice bit of extra life recovery. Could also be used with curse on hit to apply a mark curse if so desired.
Convocation – Ports in wandering minions so they blow up on target, and—probably more importantly, procs our damage increase on our Ghastly Eye jewels (minion damage if you used a minion skill recently). You want to be using this on cd.
Determination – Huge survivability boost, both through the added armor, as well as the “% physical damage reduction while affected by Determination” mod on Watcher’s Eye. Must-have.
Molten Shell – Good survivability cd. Depending on what you are running you may or may not be able to run Vaal Molten Shell in one of your cwdt setups, but I think I prefer just using the regular molten shell anyways as you can have better uptime when you really need it.
Flammability or Elemental Weakness A good chunk of extra damage for our fire-based minion explosions; ideally you would have one of these as a curse on hit implicit from a ring. If you can’t find/afford one, you can use an actual gem on a CwDT link, but the curse on hit is preferred as it is much more consistent. Depending on your setup you might drop this if you can’t get it as curse on hit.
Msc Gems: Currently I am using Defiance Banner and Dash. Depending on the space you have, you can also consider a CwDT – Detonate Dead – Spell Echo link to help keep the floor clean during crazy Beyond maps.
Note: Animate Guardian (Alternative):
Animate Guardian - Elemental Army - Meat Shield - Minion Life
An alternative to Holy Relic, the Animate Guardian when equipped with Garb of the Ephemeral can give us slow/hinder/freeze immunity identical to Jugg’s Unstoppable keystone, as well as crit immunity. It’s debatable whether or not the minion life support is needed, but as loosing an AG will set you back 4-5ex as of the 3.13 league, it’s a good idea to make it absolutely as tanky as possible. I am currently not using this in my build but it does have some nice advantages so it deserves a mention.
Below are the recommended items for each gear slot, as well as budget/luxury alternatives when applicable.
I try to aim for 45% or higher reservation efficiency, but you can get away with lower. This neck is important to let us run Determination+HoP with all the needed links. Aul’s Uprising is no longer a required item for this build, but will let you run skitterbots and so can be considered a luxury upgrade.
Budget Alternative: Rare ammy with life/resists. You will be very limited with your HoP supports if you go this route.
Maligaro’s Lens is one absolutely required unique for this build, and fortunately it is also readily available and dirt cheap. Be picky and look for maxed attack speed and life rolls! The -%Elemental Resistance is key to getting consistent HoP detonations, while the % heal on death combos with Necromantic Aegis to turn our minion’s timely demise into massive sustained regen for us (as long as we are within proximity of the detonation; good thing we are a melee summoner!)
Budget/Luxury alternatives: Lvl 25 Determination implicit
While not technically a required item, a helm with minion life and concentrated effect supports as shown below can be found for quite cheap and acts as a pseudo 6-link for HoP. Very highly recommended if you want to do good damage. Other stats to look for are a good life roll, resists, and an open suffix for resist crafting,
Budget alternatives: Any rare helm. If you can’t find/afford both minion life and damage supports, you can get by with just minion life and “+x lvl to minion gems” prefix, but this should be a very high priority to upgrade.
Luxury Upgrade: Minion life/conc effect helmet along with some combination of +30% elemental damage essence craft, +3 to minion gems, and Hypothermia (only if you have Aul’s and can run skitterbots). Bonus points if you can get it on a bone helmet. This is probably the most important item we have, and presents the most opportunity to scale damage.
Gemini claws provide a nice additional regen, and the mana on hit makes the skeleton mana cost feasible . Preferred mods: Cold or Lightning damage to attacks (if you don’t have it somewhere else), and increased attack speed (preferably 1.85 aps or better). Ideally you then multi-craft on Minion Life/Damage benchcraft (don’t skip this step; it’s a huge chunk of added damage)
Budget option: None
Circle of Guilt: Mandatory roll is Mana Reservation, and I prefer the second roll to be Sentinel Damage. These have come down in price significantly over the last few leagues, so you should have no trouble finding good options.
Skin of the Lords provides a nice chunk of extra damage from our skeletons, saves us a bunch of points pathing up to Minion Instability, and is usually quite cheap vs other 6-linked options. Overall it is recommended if you can find one with the right socket colors.
Budget Alternative: Any rare chest, with as many links as you can afford. look for life, lots of armor (1k+, preferably 1.5k or higher), and resists.
This slot is where you cram in as much life, ele, and chaos resists as possible. Bonus points for leaving an open prefix to craft on minion damage. Also consider getting cold/lightning damage to attacks here, so you don’t need it on your claw.
My preferred belt is a Stygian Vise. Basically just find one with the best combination of armor, resists, and life you can afford. Preferred catalysts are prismatic if you need extra resists, else use fertile.
The movement speed on these boots is night and day vs even a max 35% speed roll rare boots, and in my opinion is completely worth giving up the armor and resists in this slot.
Alternative: any rare armor-based boots with life, resists, and movespeed, but just get The Stampeed instead. Bonus You also get a second anoint with The Stampede, which lets you anoint blind on hit.
Ghastly eye jewels are amazing. They are wonderful. Get them and love them; ideally with all the following rolls: “+xx to Maximum Life”, “Minions have xx% Increased Maximum Life”, and “Minions deal xx% Additional Damage if You’ve Used a Minion Skill Recently”. Look for as close to maxed rolls as possible.
Watcher’s Eye is a fantastic jewel, and required for getting to the %physical damage reduction needed for smooth play at high levels. Required mod is “+x% Additional Physical Damage Reduction while Affected by Determination”, and ideally the second mod will be “+xxx to Armor while Affected by Determination” (although those are quite expensive).
AG is an alternative to the holy relic 4-link, that we use to provide the equivalent of Jugg passive Unstoppable, as well as effective crit immunity through Garb of the Ephemeral. Full AG list: this will elemental and chaos cap, even with the lowering of resistance from Maligaro's Lense as well as provide great regen from Mask of the Stitched Demon + Grave Intentions.
Weapon 1: Aurumvorax
Weapon 2: Springleaf
Helmet: Mask of the Stitched Demon
Armour: Garb of the Ephemeral
Boots: Kaom's Roots
Gloves: any rare with 35% chaos res+15% chaos hybrid craft to cap.
Those are the key gear considerations. For everything else, we want to grab as much health, resists, and ARMOUR as we can get our hands on.
Things to Aim For/Things I’ve Learned
1. Life target:
4k for endgame content. You can get away with less, especially as leveling and in earlier maps, but I find 4k a good target for more difficult content
2. Physical Damage Reduction target:
75-85% sitting in hideout with Determination on.
3. Resistances Target: Res cap at minimum, ideally as high as you can get them to minimize Elemental Weakness map mod
4. Chaos Resistances Target: We run Divine Flesh so we need to get to 87% Chaos resistance. Much of that is gotten through the tree, and the rest through cluster jewels and gear.
5. Rotational Skills: While playing, we are channeling Cyclone while using Convocation on cd. Just hold them both down constantly; you won’t run out of mana using covocation on cd.
7. Cluster Jewels: Cluster jewels provide a good chunk of damage, and just as importantly a huge chunk of ele/chaos resists if you buy good ones. If you use the recommended endgame gear, you pretty much must use cluster jewels to get your resists where they need to be. Look for +Elemental Resistance rolls on pretty much all your cluster jewels.
Unstoppable Hero, Fortify, Conqueror, Worthy Foe, in that order.
Don't forget to upgrade your pantheon!! It is easy, and more than worth it for the extra defenses added.
Ideally: Kill all. If you are struggling with getting to resistance cap you can opt to help Alira, but it's achievable to get the needed resistance off of gear and clusters so do that if you can.
Because we are running The Stampede boots, we actually get 2 anoints.
1st Annoint: One with Evil. 2nd Annoint: Dazzling Strikes for blind, or anything else you want if you don’t care about blind.
3.17 Videos (more to come):
3.14 and older videos
T19 Beyond+Delirium Juiced Grotto
Lvl 8 Sirius
https://youtu.be/gkNWErbHku0 - Note the multiple “Die” beams to the face! This build really can take a hit
20/20 Simulacrum deathless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REHJb6YlZXo
T16 Malformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzsWvusN-24
T15 Acid Caverns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEWJ-bzvlqo
https://youtu.be/H-sk-M6lU4w The HoA variant—my personal preference
https://youtu.be/ymAfR2urOSM The baseline variant— significantly easier to gear for; using Spectres instead of HoA.
https://youtu.be/PYVttgl54PM Sirus Deathless, awakened lvl 5
Talent Trees/PoB's/Damage Potential:
Note: All links are created using the community PoB fork.
Baseline Build – This version of the build uses an increased Determination reservation efficiency ammy in place of Aul’s Uprising, and as a result does not use skitterbots or hypothermia in the helmet. I consider this the “baseline” build, since it is a fraction of the cost of the build using those items.
End Game Build - As you can guess, this build adds in those items missing above. Damage goes up by ~1.5x.
Note: Average damage can be calculated in PoB by the following formula: (HoP Damage)*(Cyclone hits per sec)*0.2 + (Ignite dps) + (Zombie Damage/.35).
Old/Outdated versions of this build
Alternate HoP/HoA PoB:
This variant is pretty outdated now, but I’m keeping it in here for sentimentality and because it’s a lot of fun if you like the HoA playstyle. uses Coming Calamity+HoA for mapping clear. This was the standard build after it went away from using SRS (shown below) up through 3.11.
Really Old SRS PoB
I consider the current HoP-MI version of this build to be significantly better than the old CwC-SRS build as it does between 2-3x more damage when optimized, but for those interested here is the latest SRS PoB.
I used to recommend Dominating Blow while leveling, but with the tree changes over the past couple leagues, there honestly isn’t much overlap between the Dom Blow leveling tree and the endgame tree, so use whatever you want as leveling, and do a re-spec when ready.
Note: The build is functional much earlier than it used to be thanks to the new tree pathings. By level 45 we have all the keystones and required gear available to us, so you can potentially swap over to this build as early as that. Here is what I would call the “minimally viable build” for leveling, prior to picking up Divine Flesh:
Here is the final PoB, sorted by priority according to essential, core, and optional skills. Note the pathing in the middle is changed to accommodate a glorious vanity socket. It's worth looking through a few different gems to make sure the notable Sanctity that we path through is transformed in to something useful, like Hierarchy.
3/15/22 Mid League Update The guide is now updated to 3.17!
Major 3.17 Changes:
1. Transcendence dropped, Divine Flesh added as major ele damage reduction mechanism
2. Chaos resistance bumped to 87% currently to maximize value from Divine Flesh, and trivialize poison mechanics
3. Enduring Cry dropped! No more buff maintenance
4. Zombies dropped, Skeletons added (Zombies not sustainable post-mana nerfs on CwDT)
For an idea of how the revised build performs under typical mapping conditions, here is a quick Chimera map with breaches/ritual etc for your consideration.
3.17 Initial Update: After a 3-season leave, I have a bit of time and wanted to see how the build has faired with all the changes, so I updated the talent tree, tossed together some gear I had over in standard, and ran a quick T16.
Aaand, because I'm having fun, here's a bonus T16 Eradicator encounter+mapping ;)
I've spent a day or two playing around with the new tree, and with the mana cost changes on cwc, I ended up swapping to skeletons instead of zombies for my mapping clear, along with a claw for mana gain on hit. I likely will be able to make some additional optimizations as I play around with pathing, but I am happy with what I have here, especially considering how many keystones were moved around between 3.14 and now.
Running skellies has the side effect of freeing up the hands to be non-unique, making getting res capped much easier. A full update to the guide will be coming soon, but for now enjoy and take a look at the PoB if you are interested!
3.15 League Start Update (note: this was before some nerfs were reverted and so is out of date)
I have a serious lack of extra time this league and so will be getting a late start, but with all the nerf hammers flailing around these days I wanted to see if this build is even viable still, so I did a bit of PoB tweaking and in-game testing in Standard. Here is what I found:
1. Survivability is un-changed. This has always been the hallmark of this build, and it is just as good as ever. We still shrug off hits with ease, zero changes there.
2. Damage has been nerfed. There may be creative new uniques or other creative game mechanics we can exploit in this new league that I'm not aware of, but strictly using the 3.14 build and adapting it to 3.15, we are hit with several significant reservation increases, both in support gems as well as in CwC needing to pay the summon price for every zombie summoned. What I have done, is three-fold.
a. Reduce zombie summon cost. I simply dropped Minion Damage. Minion life is the better support link anyways and is a super-low 120% multiplier so minion damage was the obvious choice.
b. Reduce mana reservation. This was done by dropping Hypothermia support in the endgame build for HoP, as well as Skitterbots.
c. Run a Gemini Claw. This lets us regen mana on hit, and allows us to sustain zombie mana costs on anything except single target. Since single target encounters are dominated by our HoP damage anyways, missing out on some zombie procs is not a big deal (they are meant for mapping not bossing).
All together this is about a 40% dps nerf vs 3.14. While this is absolutely a big deal, from what I've seen many builds are seeing similar hits to damage, so at least we keep the defensive strength that has been the main lure of this build from the beginning. I will paste in the 3.15 versions of the starter and optimized builds below, and will definitely be working to refine them in the next weeks.
Endgame EC PoB:
3.14 Mid League Update
Videos uploaded! Take a look at pg 49 for a couple maps with ultimatums, one of which finishes up with the Trialmaster.
I wanted to summarize my takeaways from this league for those interested:
1. Aul's Uprising is out of reach for most people. We can substitute a rare ammy with reduced Determination reservation, which works just fine except we don't run Skitterbots (and can't use hypothermia in our helmet). Edit: this is not really true. We can invest in Charisma and path down to Sovereignty, and this allows us to use a rare ammy. More on this in a later update.
2. Running Antivenom cluster and getting chaos res on clusters is even more key this league with the chaos clouds in Ultimatum. Don't forget upgraded Arakaali pantheon too, getting chaos res capped vs damage over time is really good.
3. When starting out mapping, 1st priority should be to get a Militant Faith jewel, preferably with ele res implicit. You can run that with either a 5l Loreweave (if you can afford it) or a regular 5/6l rare with as much armor as you can find. If you pick the latter path, expect to need to upgrade to loreweave somewhere around red maps or start dying a lot in ultimatums.
Here is my gear so far:
3.13 saw the introduction of the warcry variant of this build, which ended up being my go-to choice for most of the league. Big shout-out to Bryanking; his work with an EC-necro version of this build is what got me started the idea!
Because of us being easily able to achieve high physical damage reduction from EC alone, Transcendence is able to be used to smooth out elemental damage instead of running the purity auras, which frees up our mana for other things. In summary, the warcry version has double to triple the damage of the traditional build, while having superior elemental damage mitigation and comparable physical mitigation, but is also somewhat weaker vs elemental dot effects as these bypass Transcendence. I think the tradeoff is well worth it but I am leaving both versions in this guide as they are both viable, and the traditional build is less maintenance heavy with not needing to hold down Enduring Cry constantly.
3.12 was a big league for this build in that it transitioned away from HoA and in to MI-Zombies as the mapping damage source. This league, double-Determination watcher’s eyes have become ridiculously expensive, if you can find them at all. Without the extra armor from watcher’s eye we really needed to run an armor chestpiece, which meant The Coming Calamity was out.
While I am sad to see HoA go, it was definitely the right move as we now can squeeze in several important auras into the build, boosting either damage or defense in ways not previously possible. Skitterbots, Aspect of the spider, Flesh and Stone, Purity of Ice/Lightning are all on the table now, and getting life/armor from our chestpiece really helps our survivability.
3.11 saw further refinements to this build; most notably in adapting to the quite dramatic nerfs to a couple key cluster jewels used in 3.10. I am quite happy with the results; overall the build is easier to optimize, and removing cluster jewel dependency is great for the budget-conscious player as well vs the 3.10 version.
Thank you for your interest in this guide! I had a lot of fun making it, and I hope others enjoy it as well. I am always happy to discuss questions; just leave me a message in the thread or PM and I will be happy to get back to you.
Last edited by Peterrabbit_01 on Jul 3, 2022, 4:51:41 AM
Last bumped on Oct 13, 2022, 2:28:19 PM
on Oct 13, 2019, 11:41:44 PM
Interesting stuff. I'd be interested in more details about your gear choices, like Tavukai.
Do you have any idea of the DPS this build achieves ?
on Oct 14, 2019, 9:58:07 AM
Thank you for the interest! I added a quick explanation on gearing, as well as an overview of damage potential in the PoB spoiler. Let me know if you have any questions; I will attempt to be as prompt as possible.
on Oct 14, 2019, 1:45:13 PM
Cool, thanks for the update. Tavukai is obvious indeed I did not get at first that this was a minion instability build xD
Might give it a try in a future league.
on Oct 15, 2019, 3:51:10 AM
Yeah, I realized after you made the comment that I never specifically said it was minion instability; fixed now.
I did find that while srs/instability has plenty of damage potential, the drawback is the delay while they tick down. This is a big part of why spectres/zombies are included; to give the build a healthy dose of instant damage outside of srs ramp. Most mapping pulls involve cycloning into packs, applying EE and flammability in the process, convoking in the middle, and letting the combination of zombies, spectres, and srs wreck everything in sight :) . Anything that is missed in that initial hit is mopped up by instability explosions.
Bosses are actually perfect for Instability, as almost all have either RP in the beginning or some form of proximity pull, allowing you to get the full complement of srs out and ticking down before you engage. The ramp is effectively zero for bosses.
on Oct 15, 2019, 12:30:34 PM
I kind of wanted to do a build like this too. But I thought the whole idea was to use the Aura buffs you can get from the Champion such as Inspirational from your ascendancy and use that to benefit the minions. I see you don't care much for the aura's in this build. Plus you are really close to Spiritual Aid in your tree, it would help with the Cyclone damage, no?
Shaper Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2252008
Last edited by 0piate on Oct 15, 2019, 5:20:30 PM
on Oct 15, 2019, 5:18:11 PM
Thank you CaptainWarlord, some great points as always. At work now so will have to go over them in more detail tonight. I really do like the idea of skitterbots and feeding frenzy; those are two damage modifiers I did not know existed! I remain hesitant to use skellies though; interrupting cyclone channel for casting really mucks up the smoothness of the build. Thanks again!
on Oct 15, 2019, 6:18:33 PM
So I toyed around with this as well, as inspirational seems on the surface to be a great pick. Problem is; it doesn't fit that well with minion instability, which is the main workhorse of this build.
To boost minion instability damage, we can look at 3 main components:
1. Minion life. The higher the life of SRS, the bigger the hit. Pretty straightforward, and you can see basically all minion life nodes in easy reach have been picked
2. Minion damage. This is where you would think things like aura support would come in. Thing is, herald of ash mucks up EE, even with generosity support. Even if it didn't, because we are scaling the instability explosion, the actual attack damage of our SRS and other minions are of only secondary importance. This is why I've put so much focus into minion damage adders on my gear and in the tree, as that does work with instability.
3. Increasing enemy damage taken. This comes in two main components: the first being +% damage taken modifiers (like the Worthy Foe ascendancy talent), and the second is through reductions in enemy fire resistance. The most important source of this is Elemental Equilibrium, and is also why herald of ash can't be used--you can't add fire damage to your attacks or you screw up EE for your minion instability.
Additionally, we are running Flammability+Elemental weakness, +Exposure from my Spectres, and Combustion from SRS, all combine to around a 1.8 damage multiplier on all fire damage (which minion instability is). Huge deal for damage potential. Compared to this benefit, it's hard to justify spending resources on the various auras.
I guess you could run one of the curses with blasphemy for the aura increase, but then I would have to drop Worthy Foe which is hard to argue with as it gives a flat 20% damage taken increase, without having to reserve mana on a blasphemy curse.
Finally, we don't really care about our cyclone damage. Without proper gem and tree supports, it hits like a wet noodle. it's only purpose is to spawn SRS, and debuff the enemy with EE, and curse on hit. Think of the cyclone as the enabler and buffer of our damage, not the damage itself.
Last edited by Peterrabbit_01 on Oct 15, 2019, 7:05:10 PM
on Oct 15, 2019, 6:35:34 PM
I see, looks like a well thought out build, good work.
Shaper Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2252008
on Oct 15, 2019, 9:36:22 PM
Finally got some time to go through your comments, and thanks again! Going point by point cuz that's how my brain works :p
Whispers of Doom: Agreed. looking into PoB it was only about a 10% damage adder. Thanks to your other comments I more than make up this loss. Removed and put toward life.
Endurance Charges: I feel like my endurance charge generation is not consistent enough to really warrant boosting the max number. Ideas for improving generation?
Flame Sentinals: I agree their single target damage is pretty insignificant. They are there for 2 reasons:
1. Mapping: they give some nice instant aoe. Nice but not vital.
2. Debuffing targets. I was already using them for the Exposure debuff from elemental army for a free -10% to resists on targets. Your comment about feeding frenzy got me to thinking though; since the spectres are mostly there for debuff application, why not use them to proc feeding frenzy too? I tested it and turns out ranged minions don't tend to wander off and get themselves killed with feeding frenzy, unlike melee units. Tested it out on Chimera/Shaper and had pretty much 100% uptime. Really good note about feeding frenzy!
Side note: This leaves zombies as just an extra damage source; there may be something better to do with that chest slot. They are extremely helpful for mapping, but not so noticeable on bossing.
MoM/Skitterbots: Let's just say I had no idea whatsoever skitterbots did what they did. Took me a hot second to swap that in; the perfect substitute for the discarded 2nd curse sockets! As I am now reserving basically all my mana (and have more life now too!), MoM is useless. Dropped, and invested the points into that last gem socket.
I'm a little skeptical of PoB's calc on the shocked damage taken modifier, as it's just a toggle in the config and doesn't seem to have any relation to the actual shock applied by the skitterbots, but going from the description it should be a 24% increased damage taken modifier, which puts it well ahead of the curse it was replacing; and got 500 life in the process! Will update the PoB now, and thanks again.
Last edited by Peterrabbit_01 on Oct 16, 2019, 4:06:57 AM
on Oct 16, 2019, 3:58:25 AM