[3.10] Tanky Animate Weapon Guardian [SSF][HC?]
This thread is a build plan that's going to turn into a build guide if all goes to plan. It is untested and purely theorycrafting. Use at your own risk.
Update: The animated weapons die very quickly. I'd give this a miss until they get buffed.
03/03/2020: Added Carrion Golem and thoughts about staffs
10/03/2020: Changed ascendancy nodes and rerouted passives a bit
11/03/2020: Changed gems setup based on patch notes.
12/03/2020: Changed passive trees to drop additional spectre node, duration node, and to get more life.
How is Animate Weapon?
Don't know yet.
Who am I?
I'm Lily, a masochist at heart, thus my love for HCSSF. My proficiency over the past 1700 hours have been mixed, but I have evolved from barely getting past A5 Kitava to reliably hitting maps with most of the characters I give it a solid attempt with.
Do you stream?
Yes! Sort of. I'm not a professional streamer. I'm not even a hobbyist streamer. The main reason that I even set up streaming software was so that I could easily share with one or two friends what I was doing, I didn't intend to build a community.
I don't generally talk on stream. I don't have a camera. It's basically just a window into my current gameplay session, with the added benefit of me interacting in chat about what I'm doing. In this case, it'll let you see how my build is performing, because I'll be playing it nonstop for a while.
Link to my shitty stream
Pros and Cons
These are assumptions based on experience and theorycrafting.
+ HC Viable
+ Built for SSF
+ Good league starter
+ Good clear and boss killing all in one package
+ Breezes through uber lab
- Relies on summon AI
- Probably more
Bladefall for curse, animate the weapons from it, kill.
Path of Building
Animate Weapon: Summons minions to kill shit for you.
Intimidate: Acquired from Guardian, this makes enemies take increased damage, a multiplicative effect. It is however additive with other sources of increased damage taken. We get that from Vulnerability too.
Onslaught: Acquired from Guardian. More attack speed and more movement speed.
Impale makes your minions hits reflect back to the enemy on the next hit. This stacks up to five times, and is effectively a damage multiplier at that point. We use the support and Dread Banner to increase impale chance.
Curse: Vulnerability increases our damage.
Maim is provided mainly by Vulnerability. This allows us to keep Flesh and Stone on sand stance for defence. That said, Flesh and Stone maim does boost damage taken on ememies, so it's worth using if you're not worried about defence.
This guide is written for HCSSF. What this means is that the goal is to have no deaths whatsoever. As such, rather than aim for "good enough" defenses, we kind of go a bit crazy. That said, given that this is a minion build, we go a bit lighter than I usually would.
Life: The more you have, the less you die. Shocking, I know.
Block: Thanks to block, we'll have roughly 30% of attacks not actually take damage from hits. I tend to think of this as a 30% less damage taken from hits modifier.
Armour: Phys damage reduction is a great way to survive in the end game, though we're still vulnerable to spells and elemental damage.
Molten Shell scales very well off armour, and provides protection against all damage from hits. Very strong. We manually cast this to time it best.
Zombies provide cover by taking hits for us.
Flesh and Stone in sand stance reduces damage taken from far away enemies, and blinds nearby enemies. Very strong.
Main Offense spell
Melee Splash or Minion Damage
Multistrike (Faster Attacks for levelling)
It remains to be seen how the new Animate Weapon feels without Melee Splash. If we can get enough blades, it won't be necessary. I think it will be necessary though.
You want to summon Host Chieftain and Carnage Chieftain from A2 with this. They provide power and frenzy charges to your minions. Blood Magic makes them cast more often. Feeding Frenzy buffs everything else.
Blade generator and curser
Curse on hit
Culling Strike can be replaced by another curse if you choose to pick up those nodes on the tree.
Flesh and Stone
Dread Banner gives your weapons better Impale, but we don't need it ourselves. Pride increases damage done multiplicatively, while not being additive with sources of increased damage taken. Flesh and Stone provides good defence in sand stance. We get maim from Vulnerability, so there's no need to use Blood Stance. The increased damage taken from Blood Stance is diluted by our other sources of the same stat.
Zombies and misc
Vaal Molten Shell
We use zombies to provide additional protection through body blocking.
These six gems can be split up over a weapon and shield, or in a 6S staff that isn't fully linked.
Passive trees without PoB
It is very important to note that these passive trees are very much guidelines. If you don't want to use certain passives, that's fine. You do you. This is the build that I personally use.
Levelling trees may come later.
Radiant Crusade - Unwavering Crusade - Bastion of Hope - Time of Need
Lab1 - Normal Lab - I'd do this around level 33-35. Right after you get the crystal veins waypoint in A4 is when I tend to go for it. Radiant Crusade provides Onslaught and more damage, along with Elemental resistances to help you gear while levelling.
Lab2 - Cruel Lab - Unwavering Crusade is basically just more damage across the board.
Lab3 - Merciless Lab - Bastion of Hope provides plenty of block, making both you and your minions less likely to die.
Lab4 - Endless Lab - Time of Need provides 25% reduced curse effect, which combines well with the 20% on our tree. Additionally, every 5 seconds it removes curses and ailments, and regenerates lots of life. It's not as reliable as ailment immunity, so we'll still want some flasks to supplement this.
Good minion nodes for when you have several minions, good defensives.
This is situational, but I usually run Soul of Lunaris and Soul of Shakari.
As this build is made with a pure SSF playstyle in mind, none of the gear in this section is mandatory.
Base items, with the exception of helmet, should always be Armour if possible. This does not apply before reaching end game. Focus on capping resistances, getting life, and armour.
Remember that if it doesn't say Minion, it won't affect Minions. This includes "Global" modifiers, they do not affect minions.
This section will be updated later
Weapon: Convoking Wand with good minion modifiers, or a staff with phys/spell gem levels.
Shield: Rare or none if using a staff.
Helmet: Rare, either Armour or Bone Helmet.
Body Armour: Rare.
Belt: Leather belt or Stygian Vise.
Jewels: Ghastly Eye Jewels.
Kill all. We do not need stats from any bandit.
First things first, make a Shadow. Level it to level 4 and get yourself Ethereal Knives and Animate Weapon. This assumes the skill doesn't move to another quest/shop in the patch.
Then make a Templar and go from there. Pick up bladefall at Siosa in act 3 Library. Get Raise spectre after killing Gravicius in A3, summon Carnage Chieftains from A2 Southern Forest with it.
What if I want to play SC?: Then play SC. This build is perfectly SC viable. It's viable for trade league as well. I don't know what uniques you'd want to aim for, but I'm sure there's some. Evaluate them based on their stats.
Last edited by Lilyliciously on Mar 15, 2020, 11:18:55 AM
Last bumped on Apr 29, 2020, 6:11:54 PM
on Mar 1, 2020, 8:14:31 AM
You got yourself a follower :)
on Mar 3, 2020, 1:27:07 PM
COOl idea. I am making a similar build. Good Luck.
on Mar 3, 2020, 3:35:11 PM
Added Carrion Golem, and added thoughts about using a staff instead of wand/shield.
on Mar 3, 2020, 5:39:24 PM
Exactly the theorycrafting that I was looking for. Doing it for league starter as well.
on Mar 5, 2020, 2:21:59 PM
cool idea man, if i play HC i will prolly try this, but i am also hyped for the the new KB gem + spellsing combos, but my nub ass no way to make a build for HC with it!
on Mar 6, 2020, 5:28:16 AM
KB is certainly interesting, but I do agree that I don't think it'll be as viable for hardcore as this will be.
on Mar 7, 2020, 6:09:30 AM
Really struggle to decide what to play tbh, we play duo-party HC with my friend, but we dont use trade with others, only trade eachother.
So, is this build something that you would suggest for league start with 2 ppl party?
Is the damage/survivability decent? or i should go back to usual cyclone impale champion that i played in meta league..
Metamorph was our first time HC...totally loved the game
on Mar 8, 2020, 8:19:56 AM
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how the build will perform. It is untested and can't be tested until the reworked gem is released.
Summoner builds are inherently tanky due to body blocking. Additionally, we get decent survivability in the tree. I'd say it will likely be tanky.
Damage wise, I think it will do great. AW looks like it'll be good damage, and carrion golem has been good for a while.
I think the answer is that yes, it will be decent. It is not confirmed though.
on Mar 8, 2020, 2:56:50 PM
only thing i see missing so far is Fortify.. whats your plans about this?
on Mar 8, 2020, 5:14:22 PM