[3.15] The Fortified Summoner: HoP MI Champion [New 3.15 PoB]

3.15 League Start Update
Spoiler
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.

Starter PoB:

https://pastebin.com/u7N0FvAk


Endgame EC PoB:

https://pastebin.com/VugfZwn9

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!


Pros:

-A tanky summoner!
-Can do ALL map mods
-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



Cons:

-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 Basics

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 zombies! 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-Zombies. Our arsenal is rounded out with a variety of utility minions depending on which version of the build you play, including various combinations of Holy Relic, Lightning Golem, Chaos Golem, and Animate Guardian.

For defenses, this build has two variants which will be referenced throughout this build. The warcry variant runs Enduring Cry (EC) with 100% uptime for flat physical %dr, and Transcendence for amazing elemental reduction, while the non-EC build runs 82% elemental resistances, and can easily run between 30k-40k armor for physical %dr.

Both variants run Determination w/ watcher’s eye for flat physical damage reduction, perma-fortify, endurance charge generation, and ridiculous life recovery from Maligaro’s Lense, and regardless of the version, 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!

Shaper Slam:


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).


Key Mechanics

Spoiler

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 800k 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 - our biggest single buff we can get for our MI damage. Basically, we use either lightning or cold damage (added through weapon/gloves/ring) to lower the fire resistance of every mob hit by our attacks by 50%.


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.


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. For example: in 3.13 I am getting 53% Chaos and 138% total elemental resistances from my cluster jewels, on top of +4 to maximum fire resistance. 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 both +Chaos and +Elemental Resistance rolls on pretty much all your cluster jewels.


Claws and Scepters - In addition to having decent attack speed, claws provide us with a very nice boost to our regen by life gain on hit, and should generally be the weapon of choice for leveling, and the default weapon for the non-warcry version.

Scepters on the other hand lack the life/mana gain on hit, but have powerful mods like +1 to spell and physical gems which can greatly scale damage. For this reason, the warcry version of this build should look to be using a Scepter as an endgame weapon. I do think some amount of life gain on hit is valuable especially for challenging content like 100% delirious mapping, so scepter users can opt to run 1x small clusters with Feast of Flesh notable if they want.


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 Zombies, whose explosive deaths are the other main source of damage
-Procs Elemental Equilibrium on hit for a sweet -50% 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 EE, if you have it on your ring
-If using a Gives us a good chunk of regen from Feast of Flesh/claw implicit, which scales to god-tier regen when moving through large packs

All while remaining fully mobile, with maintenance skills being Convocation and Enduring/Infernal Cry, all of which are instants.


Skill Links

Spoiler

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)

Links:
Herald of Purity - Minion Life - Minion Damage - Infernal Legion - Combustion - Deathmark

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/Minion Damage support, at minimum. You can generally find one for 10-20c if you aren’t picky about life/resistance rolls. +2 to level of Minion Gems is an acceptable substitute for one of the supports if you are on a budget. Alternatively, it is relatively easy to fossil craft with bound fossils if you so desire. Luxury upgrade is minion life/damage helmet along with some combination of +30% elemental damage essence craft, +3 to minion gems, and Hypothermia, bonus points if you can get it on a bone helmet. This and our weapon are by far the most important items we have, and also present the most opportunity to scale damage.


6-Link Zombies (Chest)

Links:
Raise Zombie - Cyclone - Cast while Channeling - Infernal Legion - Minion Life - Minion Damage

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. Note that when using with Aukuna’s Mitts (which is a required item), zombies spawn under your curser. This makes it important to hover your curser over the correct area, or your zombies will explode in the middle of nowhere.


Secondary Support Links:

These links provide utility, defense, and support to our main damage dealers. I have split them up into Enduring Cry and Non-EC versions to reflect the two different build options.

EC Version:
Spoiler

3 Link-Weapon:
Lightning Golem OR Chaos Golem - Feeding Frenzy - Cast when Damage Taken

Lightning golem provides attack speed, Chaos golem provides Physical Damage Reduction, regardless of which you choose, you should link it to feeding frenzy for a nice damage increase. We link this to a lvl 20 CwDT for convenience, or use the Trigger a Socketed Spell benchcraft to save a socket.

4 Link Gloves:
Holy Relic - Elemental Army - Culling Strike - Cast when Damage Taken

Holy Relic is a great activator for Culling Strike, as it continuously pulses when we are hitting with Cyclone. Elemental Army is the ideal 3rd link, but requires added fire damage on one of your jewels. Depending on your available sockets, you can drop the CwDT support on this and just manually re-cast relic if it ever dies. It’s a flying minion so it’s relatively tanky, so it’s not a huge deal to just manually recast from time to time.

4 Link Gloves ALTERNATE:
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.

3 Link Boots:
Enduring Cry - Increased Duration - Second Wind - Dash

This link allows for 100% uptime on EC buff, which is crucial for defensiveness. I put cyclone on Q, Enduring Cry on W, and Convocation on E, and just hold them all down constantly during play, but you can also macro them in if you have a mouse/keyboard that supports that. If you are running this link, it also makes sense to have the 4th link be Dash, so it will benefit from Second Wind.

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.


Non-EC Version:
Spoiler

3 Link-Weapon:
Lightning Golem OR Chaos Golem - Feeding Frenzy - Cast when Damage Taken

Lightning golem provides attack speed, Chaos golem provides Physical Damage Reduction, regardless of which you choose, you should link it to feeding frenzy for a nice damage increase. We link this to a lvl 20 CwDT for convenience, or use the Trigger a Socketed Spell benchcraft to save a socket.

4 Link Gloves:
Holy Relic - Elemental Army - Culling Strike - Cast when Damage Taken

Holy Relic is a great activator for Culling Strike, as it continuously pulses when we are hitting with Cyclone. Elemental Army is the ideal 3rd link, but requires added fire damage on one of your jewels. Depending on your available sockets, you can drop the CwDT support on this and just manually re-cast relic if it ever dies. It’s a flying minion so it’s relatively tanky, so it’s not a huge deal to just manually recast from time to time.

4 Link Gloves ALTERNATE:
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.

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.

Dash – Movement ability, not much to say.

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.

Infernal Cry – This is a great support that covers our enemies in Ash, giving a nice chunk of bonus damage. Cyclone into a pack and let it rip! Note that you can only use this in the non-EC version of this build due to Call to Arms.

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.

Purity of Ice / Purity of Lightning – When using the traditional build I recommend running both of these, both for the %max resistance, as well as helping to cap our resistances (we run a lot of uniques so res is hard to come by). Running these, and 2x Molten One’s Mark cluster jewels, we can get our ele resists to 81/82/82, which is huge for survivability. Note! Our shield is dirt cheap, even with corrupted implicits. Getting a +2 to level of aoe gems corruption is key in getting our max res up to 82% for cold and lightning, so keep your eyes out for one.



Gear

Spoiler
Below are the recommended items for each gear slot, as well as budget/luxury alternatives when applicable.

Neck:



Aul’s Uprising is not quite required for the budget build, but is pretty much necessary for the more advanced versions, as we simply don’t have the mana to run Determination and all our other auras/herald without it.

Budget Alternative: Rare ammy with life/resists. You will be limited to just running Determination and HoP reservations.

Shield:



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 for EC version, +2 to AoE corruption implicit, socketed with Determination/Purity of Ice/Purity of Lightning for non-EC version

Helmet:

While not technically a required item, a helm with minion life and minion damage 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.

]

This helmet is actually better than a correctly colored 6link chest due to the added minion life and damage affixes. 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/damage helmet along with some combination of +30% elemental damage essence craft, +3 to minion gems, and Hypothermia (EC version only), bonus points if you can get it on a bone helmet. This and our weapon are by far the most important items we have, and also present the most opportunity to scale damage. Something like the helmet below is about 2x the damage output of the standard minion life/minion damage support.



Weapons:



I prefer gemini claws for the non-EC version, as the on-hit life and mana provides a nice additional regen, and the mana on hit makes no regen maps significantly less annoying. Preferred mods: Cold or Lightning damage to attacks, and increased attack speed (preferably 1.85 aps or better). Ideally you then multi-craft on Minion Life/Damage hybrid, as well as “trigger a socketed spell” to proc your Holy Relic.

Budget option: don’t multi-craft, and just find a claw with an open suffix for the minion life/damage craft. You will then need to proc your Holy Relic with CwDT

For the EC version, running Transcendence lowers our damage intake significantly, and lets us get away with running a scepter, which has the very potent +1 to all Spell Skill Gems (most important), and +1 to Physical Spell Skill Gems (good but only affects HoP damage so less good than the previous). Getting on with these affixes, as well as cold/lightning damage and a good attack speed will be pricy, but well worth it going in to endgame content.

Rings:



Circle of Guilt: Mandatory roll is Mana Reservation, and I prefer the second roll to be Sentinel Damage. % Physical damage reduction is a good substitute, especially for budget builds as they tend to be cheaper, and provide more defense for squishy new characters.
Non-EC Version the endgame build needs both rings to be 20% reduced reservation(24”% after Fertile catalysts) or else you will have to invest in extra reservation on your tree, which is at least 2 wasted points. The non-EC build is more forgiving; as long as both rings have some amount of %reservation you will be fine.

Chest:

EC Version



Loreweave is the best chest to go with Transcendence builds, as it bypasses the -5% max resistance downside of Transcendence. This also means that we get no benefit from any of the purity auras regarding increased max resistances, so they are absent in the EC version of this build.

Non-EC Version



Craiceann’s Carapace is my preferred chest. It has mounds of armor, good life, some resistance, and the all-important bleed immunity. Once you play with this chest you will never want to run anything else. That being said, off-coloring is a real pain.

Budget Alternative: Any rare chest. look for life, lots of armor (1k+, preferably 1.5k or higher), and resists

Gloves



Aukuna's Will gloves lets us spawn Zombies without needing a corpse, and is pretty much mandatory. If you want to go defensive, look for the Enfeeble on hit corruption.

Belt



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.

Boots



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.

Jewels:



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. At least one jewel should also have “Minions deal # additional Fire damage” to allow the Holy Relic to proc Fire Exposure on hit through Elemental Army.



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 for EC Version “+xxx to Armor while Affected by Determination” and for Non-EC Version either freeze or (my preference) shock immunity while affected by purity of ice/lightning.

AG Gear

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

Spoiler

1. Life target:
For EC build: 3k when entering red maps, 4k for endgame content
For Non-EC: 4500-5000 when entering red maps, 5500+ for endgame content

2. Physical Damage Reduction target:
EC: 40-45% buffed with max Endurance Charges+EC buff.
Non-EC: 75-85% sitting in hideout with Determination on.

Note: it may seem odd that the EC build can get away with such lower physical damage reduction, but keep in mind that the number shown in-game is affected by armor for the non-EC version, which is dramatically more effective for small hits than large hits. The EC version on the other hand relies completely on flat % reduction sources, and so will show a lower base % in-game vs the non-EC version

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: As much as you can get. The EC build has the edge here as it has many more cluster jewels to stack chaos resistances on than the non-EC version; 30-40% is possible with good clusters.

5. Rotational Skills: While playing, we are channeling Cyclone while using Convocation and EC/IC on cd. This might sound like a lot of buttons to press, but in reality it's easiest to simply hold all 3 buttons down constantly during gameplay. I bind cyclone to q, convocation to w, and warcry to e and hold them all down, but you can also macro all 3 abilities together if you wish.

6. Cyclone Cost: With The Stampede boots, we will be regenning enough for Cyclone’s 2 mana cost + convocation and EC to be mana neutral for us.

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. For example: this league I am getting 53% Chaos and 138% total elemental resistances from my cluster jewels on the EC version. 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 both +Chaos and +Elemental Resistance rolls on pretty much all your cluster jewels.


Leveling

Spoiler
I recommend leveling with Dominating Blow/Herald of Purity, and then performing a minor respec into the final MI tree once you hit maps. We do this because dominating blow plays well with easy-to-acquire strength gear, making it much less of a hassle to socket as you level. Minion instability; the cornerstone of the MI build, relies on multiple intelligence-based supports that makes finding off-color strength gear a pain.

Note: You can also level as traditional Melee! You will need to do a respec regardless, so feel free to use whatever you want, grab more offensive stats if you want etc. The Dom Blow leveling tree is just trying to minimize the number or regret orbs by sticking somewhat closely to the final tree.

Note 2: The leveling tree below was created before the EC version of the build existed, and as a result paths up to Righteous Army and Purity of Flesh, which are not used in the EC variant. These are great nodes for leveling, but if you want to minimize regret orbs you might avoid that part of the leveling tree if using the EC variant.

Support gems are flexible while leveling, so feel free to mix and match as you like; the supports below are simply arranged in my rough order of preference.

Dominating blow: Melee Splash > Brutality > Melee Physical > Fortify > Ruthless

Multistrike can be a really good link as well, but some people don’t like how it feels. Use it if you like it!

Herald of Purity: Brutality > Melee Physical > Fortify

Ideal leveling setup would be to socket Dominating Blow into the highest linked chestpiece you can find, and Herald of Purity into any 4-link (or even one of your claw 3-links will work).

Leveling trees are shown below, designed to retain as much overlap with the final MI tree as possible. I recommend reaching at least lvl 80 before swapping to the final MI build, and with that in mind I have provided both lvl 80 Domination Blow and starter MI trees. Level 80 is where the MI build really starts to pick up steam, so I recommend some early mapping with Dominating Blow until you have gathered/purchased a good set of starting gear, then making the tree switch around 80.

Dominating Blow Leveling, with leveling path below in artfully-drawn freehand: https://pastebin.com/4VvGbzWZ


And, below is the Lvl 80 Stater MI tree. This has what can be considered the absolute essentials of the MI build, including tree pathing and gear. Use this as a starting point as you gather gear for your MI switch:

https://pastebin.com/8ikLayTy

Scroll down to the Path of Building section for the final MI trees.


Ascendancy:

Unstoppable Hero, Fortify, Conqueror, Worthy Foe, in that order.

Pantheon

Non-EC:
Major: Solaris
Minor: Abberath

EC:
Major: Arakaali
Minor: Abberath

Don't forget to upgrade your pantheon!! It is easy, and more than worth it for the extra defenses added.

Bandits

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.

Ammy Annoint:

Because we are running The Stampede boots, we actually get 2 anoints.
EC Version: Charisma (or Sovereignty if you are on a budget), and either Righteous Army, or Grave Intentions if you run AG
Non-EC Version: Sovereignty and Charisma. If you don’t want to spend the chaos for Charisma you can just manually spec in to the reservation nodes leading up to Sovereignty, at the cost of 4 extra points in the tree.


Videos/Screenshots:
Spoiler

3.13 Videos:

Lvl 8 Sirius
https://youtu.be/gkNWErbHku0 - Note the multiple “Die” beams to the face! This build really can take a hit

The Twisted
https://youtu.be/l15x-XLViE8

The Formed
https://youtu.be/HgwKUjVj2kI



3.12 Videos:

T19 Beyond+Delirium Juiced Grotto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PasObuGi9W8

T16 Crystal Ore:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzXd8N_2nX4

T16 Hydra:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX8KvOcM6CY

Sirius:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGEBAwff1ik

Shaper:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApnoWRbGiI0

T16 Excavation, with Incursions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFs6ciS7y1M



Videos from my 100c challenge: I limited myself to lvl 90 points, and total gear cost of 78c to show the build in starter gear. Want to see how it fairs against T15's and T16's? Check out the videos below.

T15 Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEB727Psw9E

T16 Tropical Island (with a surprise metamorph to boot)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J98NoM33MLs

The Eradicator+Delirium (apologies for the poor framerate)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64CKYo_ZuAk

PoB of the gear/tree used in these maps:
https://pastebin.com/h5Kehrft

For those interested, here is my total cost breakdown for my gear. I did use my existing skill/support gems because I was lazy, but lvl 20 gems are plentiful and cheap, so it won't affect the costs much.




Cost Breakdown:
Rings: 10c for both
Ammy: 1c
Gloves: 8c
Boots: 25c (I think I got ripped off on these)
Shield: 1 alc (lol)
Chest: 19c
Helmet: 5c
Claw: 2c
Belt: 3c
Abyss Jewels: 1c x5

Grand Total: 77.5c



3.11 and older videos, using HoA and SRS
Spoiler


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


Mapping

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.

Bossing

https://youtu.be/PYVttgl54PM Sirus Deathless, awakened lvl 5



Talent Trees/PoB's/Damage Potential:
Spoiler


Note: All links are created using the community PoB fork.

Starter 3.14 Tree, minimal investment

This tree is a good starting point for later leveling and those on a budget, as it doesn’t have any crazy gear or cluster jewel requirements, and has similar survivability as the final endgame tree below. This tree is very similar to the one up in the "Leveling" section, but converted to use Transcendence + EC.

https://pastebin.com/pkTnH8wD


If you don't want to use EC, your starter tree is below (EC is recommend though as it has better survivability).

https://pastebin.com/AtHZ5ix7


3.14 EC Endgame Tree (Recommended)

This is the endgame EC tree, gems, and gear, and should provide a guide in what to aim for as you optimize the build. Pay attention to the rolls on the cluster jewels, as they give a ton of much-needed resistance to this build.

Although both EC and non-EC versions are endgame viable, I will be using the EC version as the damage and mitigation are both superior to the non-EC version, with the relatively narrow exception of elemental damage over time in which the non-EC version comes out ahead.

https://pastebin.com/E4tk2Ubj


3.14 Non-EC Endgame Tree

This is the endgame non-EC tree, gems, and gear, and should provide a guide in what to aim for as you optimize the build. Pay attention to the rolls on the cluster jewels, as they give a ton of much-needed resistance to this build.

https://pastebin.com/wFB9xxsA


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). This assumes a lvl 20 CwC; if you are using an awakened version then .35 changes according to the awakened gem level.

Old/Outdated versions of this build
Spoiler


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.

https://pastebin.com/E8i9Th1e

Really Old SRS PoB
Spoiler

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.
https://pastebin.com/xxJRds6i




League Changes

Spoiler

3.14 Mid League Update
Spoiler

5/9/21:
Videos uploaded! Take a look at pg 49 for a couple maps with ultimatums, one of which finishes up with the Trialmaster.

5/2/21:
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 25, 2021, 2:47:29 PM
Last bumped on Sep 30, 2021, 4:37:24 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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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?
Builds
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2149153
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2245701
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2664371
Shaper Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2252008
Last edited by 0piate on Oct 15, 2019, 5:20:30 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!
"
0piate wrote:
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?


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
I see, looks like a well thought out build, good work.
Builds
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2149153
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2245701
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2664371
Shaper Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2252008
"
In response to your message:

I took a sweep over the build, and I noticed a few things.

Whispers of Doom imo isn't worth it. The lvl 5 Flammability ring barely adds anything.

You could instead grab Quick Recovery for the same 3 points for another 290 HP.

You could also grab another jewel socket near Devotion (2 points) for Life and Minion Life. This is about the same DPS as your 2 Curses, with the bonus of a little more HP or whatever.

You could save another passive point between Spiritual Command and Purity of Flesh. The 4% minion AS can be skipped if you ask me.

You can also scrap a few passives and pick up another 2 Endurance charges instead, if you feel like it. It seems you could use some work on defenses/speed. Damage is already there.

Flame Sentinels barely add anything, both noticable in PoB and your Shaper video. I'd skip them altogether and instead maybe go for skellies with Feeding Frenzy. The buff adds damage and skellies are expendible.

I don't really see the point of going MoM, despite using Gemini claws. MoM requires a free Mana pool of 40% of your total HP to be useful. I'd suggest to rather use Skitterbots or something.

That about covers it, I think. Hope I could help :) Build looks solid. Good job.


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

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