[3.15] Brain-dead Dominating Blow Guardian - 2mil DPS on 20c budget, 5mil+ with investment
Overall I'd say we've escaped relatively unscathed. About 34% more mana cost on the 6-link, so you probably need mana leech somewhere to sustain attacks. About 44% less DPS on the sentinels, which is hefty but not game-ending. Other minor changes include the Rumi's Concoction nerf, loss of Second Wind Support, and the higher cost multiplier on Maim Support making mana reservation tougher.
Dominating Blow is a pretty simple skill: you hit an enemy, and if it dies soon after, it's resurrected as a sentinel minion. These sentinels will inherit rare/magic modifiers from the monster as well.
This is most brain-dead build I have ever played. It blows up maps and annihilates bosses. You can practically beat Ultimatums by standing in one spot and holding down Dom Blow and flasks.
Offensively, having 10+ minions who do upwards of 400k DPS each is incredible. While clearing, they spread out in a massive wave and murder packs almost as soon as you see them. For single target, all dozen or so sentinels beating down on a boss will pulverise it in an instant.
Defensively, we have block, Fortify, blind, high chaos res, etc. Plus, your minions are taunting and taking the brunt of the damage anyways.
- Good clearspeed
- Pretty high DPS on a budget
- Solid defenses
- No need to micromanage tons of utility skills
- Scales well with investment
- Steal rare mobs' auras for yourself
- Takes time to summon all your sentinels against a boss with no adds
- Minion jewels are expensive
(3.14) T15 Al-Hezmin map showcase
(3.14) T16 Trialmaster kill
Path of Building:
Build DPS stats (3.15):
- 2mil DPS with basically just a 6-link and a Scourge
- 3mil DPS with minion jewels and a Darkness Enthroned
- 5mil DPS with investment similar to the 3.14 character (~10 exalts)
3.14 character: https://pastebin.com/cbdqdDUV
Character on website (DominatingBlowPun)
Character stats (3.14):
- 9.4mil single target DPS with all sentinels and Frenzy charges
- 5.8k life, 58/28 block with Rumi's Concoction, 71% chaos resistance, basically permanent blind
- 960 life regen per second (PoB only shows 840 because it doesn't calculate Holy Relic), 1400 life leech per second
- About 6ex of jewels and 4ex of other gear
Passive trees, bandit, etc:
These are provided as a reference, feel free to take certain nodes earlier/later if you find you need them at a different time.
For the lv90 tree: Unallocate Spiritual Aid after you get the Scourge, and unallocate the minion leech node next to Sacrifice once you allocate Feasting Fiends on your cluster jewel. See the Items section for more detail on these gear pieces.
Ascendnacies (in order):
- Radiant Crusade: free Onslaught and some elemental resistances. You'll have 5 permanent minions in endgame, so this will be up all the time.
- Unwavering Crusade: more damage and AoE for your sentinels.
- Bastion of Hope: attack and spell block, and a conditional stun immunity that's active almost all the time.
- Time of Need: basically an automatic mini life flask every 4 seconds. Reduced curse effect makes you curse immune once you also take the Sanctum of Thought passive.
- Kill all bandits
- I recommend Soul of Lunaris and Gruthkul
Since we get 44% elemental resistances from passives, you have plenty of room to invest in chaos resistance on gear.
The Scourge is not quite best-in-slot, but it's pretty close, and you can score a good roll for 5c or less.
An endgame upgrade would be a sceptre with Temple minion damage and crafted minion attack speed, the downside being that starting up your sentinels is tougher due to having less weapon DPS and the lack of "minion damage applies to you". I'd only consider this if I was going to multimod it and craft trigger, in order to move the Arcanist Brand setup (see Gems) into the scepter instead and save a socket.
To craft such a scepter, purchase a magic sceptre with the Temple minion damage mod ("minions deal increased damage/minions have chance to deal double damage"), as high rolled as possible. Regal it (any outcome is OK), craft "can have 3 crafted mods", and then craft "minions have increased attack/cast speed" and "trigger a socketed spell when you use a skill".
Whakatutuki o Matua is, in my opinion, a very strong and somewhat overlooked shield. It provides +3 levels to socketed minion gems (which we will use to great effect), a hefty chunk of aura effect, and life regen for you and your allies if you've blocked recently.
It's a lot cheaper to make this yourself, by buying a Matua Tupuna and The Mentor prophecy.
Life and resistances. The ideal enchantment is +1 rare sentinel, as that's basically an extra rare monster aura. This is very powerful in Ultimatums due to the incredible quantity of rare mobs.
If you can get an Elder helmet with "socketed gems are supported by lvl # Minion Life", you can squeeze out another gem socket, but that's not necessary at all.
Life and resistances again. As usual, it's fine to start with a 5-link if you can't afford a 6-link. Or use a Tabula Rasa early and make up for the loss of defenses elsewhere.
Good influenced mods to consider are +1 active gems (Shaper, Warlord), and Consecrated Ground while stationary (Crusader). Elevated +1 active gems also gives up to 10% quality to active gems, which is super OP with Phantasmal Dominating Blow (see Gems section).
Again, life and resistances. You should craft +1 level of socketed AoE gems on either your gloves or your helmet, and socket all your auras in there for a little extra boost.
A potential endgame upgrade is Breathstealer, which is quite strong in dense content such as Ultimatums since you basically have every possible aura up at all times (energy shield, speed, physical damage, life regeneration, etc). You do lose some life and resists, but can get an extra anointment. I'd recommend something like Crystal Skin for +1% maximum elemental resistances.
Life and resists, and 30% movement speed. Good boot enchants are life regen if you've been hit recently, and the attack and spell dodge ones.
Life, resists, and dexterity if necessary. Not much to write home about.
If you can get a Vulnerability on hit (Warlord) or Poacher's Mark on hit (Elder) ring, you can save a gem socket.
Again, life, resists, and dexterity. Ravenous Horde is by far the best DPS anointment. You need to have mana leech somewhere, be it on a ring, amulet, or jewel, since you'd struggle to sustain Dom Blow's mana cost with regen alone.
The Jinxed Juju is a decent unique amulet to consider, granting useful stats such as chaos resistance, aura/curse effect, and damage taken from spectres' life before yours.
Darkness Enthroned is your best in slot belt once you have good Abyssal jewels. Before that, you can use a regular Stygian Vise, or even a Leather Belt with life and resistances.
Fairly normal lineup. You don't get any value out of offensive flasks, so you can go full defensive. As usual, you want bleed and freeze immunity. The other two sufffixes are flexible depending on your needs, but I'd recommend increased armour and shock immunity.
Potentially useful flask enchantments are Enkindling for increased duration on your Quicksilver, and Instilling for use when frozen on whichever flask grants freeze immunity.
The Writhing Jar sounds great in theory for summoning sentinels against bosses, but in practice your other minions tend to kill the worms before you can, so it's not very helpful.
This is probably where the bulk of your money will be going.
- The ideal Abyss jewel has flat life, increased minion damage if you've used a minion skill recently, and other useful stats like minion blind chance or minion taunt chance.
- Your two best Abyss jewels should go into your Darkness Enthroned once you buy that.
- Blind is a very strong defensive layer, so it's worth buying a jewel or two with just blind and life (and maybe added phys for minions) if you can't afford better ones.
- 7% life from a regular jewel gives you more life, but less room for damage. I chose to use just one of them.
- Fortress Covenant has no downsides when socketed into a cluster jewel, since cluster jewels don't interact with radius effects. Quickening Covenant is similarly free, but not much better than a good Abyss jewel.
- The ideal large cluster jewel is 8 passives, with Rotten Claws, Feasting Fiends, and Call to the Slaughter. These are a bit expensive though, mine cost 1.8ex. On a budget, you can buy one with 9 or 10 passives, or fewer notables.
- A good medium cluster jewel to have is a 4-5 passive aura effect one with Master of Command and Replenishing Presence. Another option is a curse effect one with Wish for Death, just for the culling strike.
The main 6-link, with supports listed in order of importance. Swap the last one (Brutality on a 4L, Multistrike on a 5L, Melee Phys on a 6L) out for Melee Splash while clearing.
Phantasmal Dominating Blow grants one extra normal sentinel per 10% quality, which is a significant boost to both clearspeed and single-target damage. It is a bit pricey though, at around 1ex.
All the auras. Only Flesh and Stone and Maim have to be linked, but all four gems should be socketed into whatever item you have the +1 AoE gems craft on (see Gear section).
If you're having trouble with mana sustain, you can drop Maim Support, or purchase an Enlighten Support.
Spectres in a 4L. Meat Shield and Minion Life to keep them from dying, and Lifetap to improve their skill uptime. I recommend a Carnage Chieftain (Frenzy charges), an Arena Master (attack and movement speed), and a They of Tul (attack and spell dodge). You can also consider using Heretical Guardians or Undying Evangelists for proximity shield, though I've found their AI to be a bit wonky.
With how often you resummon sentinels in combat, their charge uptime isn't consistent enough to make Host Chieftains (and Assassin's Mark) worth using.
An Arcanist Brand to trigger utility skills. Make sure the Desecrate is higher up than the Offering in the link chain so that Arcanist Brand activates it first. Unsocket Arcanist Brand if you need to manually cast Descrate in hideout to summon spectres.
Flesh Offering can be swapped out for Bone Offering if you find that your permanent minions are dying too often.
If you can't get enough dexterity to use Poacher's Mark, use Vulnerability instead.
Your movement and guard skill. Place Steelskin on left click so that it's active as often as possible.
Your other permanent minions, which should be socketed in your shield to benefit from the +3 to minion gems. They also proc the Feeding Frenzy buff for your sentinels. Carrion golem only provides a tiny DPS increase for your sentinels due to their high base flat physical damage, so use a Stone golem for defense instead.
General levelling advice:
Start with Purifying Flame (and later Holy Flame Totem) with whatever relevant support gems you can socket in: Added Fire Damage, Controlled Destruction, Combustion, etc. You can also use Scorching Ray to apply fire exposure for a little extra damage.
Once you reach the Library and complete Siosa's quest to unlock all the gems, grab Dominating Blow, Impale, Fortify, Melee Physical Damage, and Melee Splash. As mentioned in the Gems section, use Melee Splash for clearing and Melee Phys for bossing. Swap Melee Phys out for Brutality once you unlock that.
For auras, use them as you unlock them, but feel free to not turn them on if you're having issues with mana sustain. You can use Herald of Purity while levelling for extra minions (and thus extra damage), but those fall off later without support gems and should eventually be replaced with the endgame aura setup.
You don't really need to worry about the other minions (spectres, Stone golem, Holy Relic) during levelling, but they are nice if you have enough sockets for them.
Stats to look out for on gear:
Life and resistances on gear, boots with movement speed, and a 4-link or better for your Dominating Blow. Once you start using Dominating Blow, you'll want a melee weapon with at least reasonable DPS so that you can summon sentinels without too much struggle.
Last edited by jwfiredragon on Aug 1, 2021, 11:56:30 PM
Last bumped on Feb 15, 2022, 3:03:31 PM
on May 2, 2021, 6:51:39 PM
on May 8, 2021, 11:36:07 PM
Looks Interesting. Could you provide an Video please?
on May 10, 2021, 6:55:55 AM
Would this work on SSF?
on May 10, 2021, 7:01:03 PM
I feel like it would be functional, but obviously weaker. You lose out on easy access to the Scourge and all the minion jewels early on, which make up a good portion of the build's endgame power. I tested on my build and I'm at about half the DPS without Scourge and jewels (which is still a passable 4mil with all sentinels/charges).
Scourge is now a global drop, so in theory you can drop it anywhere, but it's harder to target farm. It might be easier to aim for a Temple minion damage sceptre. I'm not big on self-crafting jewels though, so I can't comment on how hard it would be to make your own set of minion jewels in SSF.
on May 10, 2021, 9:12:33 PM
Alright, I've finally gotten around to doing the videos, if you're still interested.
on May 24, 2021, 2:52:14 AM
Is there a reason you do not use animate guardian in your build? It seems like it would fit perfectly in the Spectre 4 link once you got an elder mod to cover one of the gem slots.
Otherwise having an absolute blast with the build, but I struggled in the level 24-32 range with the mismatched gear, switching from Holy Flame to dominating blow.
After that, it's just been melting everything!
on Jul 10, 2021, 7:53:10 AM
I'm gonna be honest with you here, I'm just too lazy to set up an Animate Guardian. If you can get the Minion Life Support Elder mod, you could totally set up like a Leer Cast/Dying Breath/Victario's Flight AG or something like that.
Switching from HFT to Dom Blow wasn't too bad in my experience, I just needed the 4-link and a decent weapon (plus Dread Banner and Herald of Purity). Glad you're enjoying the build though!
on Jul 11, 2021, 1:38:07 AM
Awesome, thanks for the quick reply.
I'm looking at ways to go different directions with the build to squeeze as much damage as possible, so I'm wondering if you have tried this:
Dropping Holy Relic, getting another golem via anointment or some other means and running both carrion and stone?
I'm wondering if there's some missing potential by being unable to let the minions taunt enemies.
on Jul 12, 2021, 8:22:58 AM
Carrion Golem is only like 4% more DPS on my current char, so in content as dangerous as Ultimatum I'd rather have the Holy Relic. If the next league is less rippy it may be worth it to anoint +1 golem on Breathstealer though.
Also, if you have some exalts to burn, you can get a life/minion damage if you've used a minion skill recently/minion taunt on attack Abyss jewel. One or two of those should give you very consistent taunt uptime with how many minions you have.
on Jul 12, 2021, 10:17:14 PM