[Invasion] Sarah the Self-found Solo Summoner

Level 61-62

Ducked back into the Coves to find some vomit birds to revive, and found not only that but also a 19% quality Cold Snap. Put it on weapon switch to level up. If I find an Elemental Proliferation, that might be worth using at some point.

Easy trip through the Cavern of Wrath. No Invasion boss. A random rare guy dropped another Queen's Decree unique sword. I appreciate the RNG giving me summoner uniques, but I'd really rather be getting rares with good life and resists, thanks.

Bunch of frogs jumped on the minions and wiped out half of them just outside the entrance of the Cavern of Anger, so I left and reset rather than risk being jumped on myself. Got all the way to Merveil only to find that Alpha Paradisae spawned right by her. Gave the fight a go, trying to kill him first, but no luck. The horde killed Merveil first, and once she got to second form and summoned squids that he was eating, it was clear this wasn't going to happen. So back to the waypoint to reset (fortunately Cavern of Wrath instance was still up). This time the All-Seeing Eye was right inside, and he nearly killed me with a couple of shock stacks and arc...reset again. Finally, a workable zone...Spinesnap in the tunnels, who was killed after a couple of zombie re-raisings; and then Merveil by herself, who lasted a whole 24 seconds against the horde.

Waded through the monkeys in the Southern Forest to get to the Forest Encampment. No invading boss again. Decided to go south first and waded through more monkeys (and devourers, and various forest dudes) through the Riverways to the Blackwood. No Invasion boss there either.

Bladeback Guardian made an appearance just inside the Blackwood. I know his pattern well enough now, dropped the skeleton totem to keep him occupied and killed him off with raging spirits cast from just outside the incinerate nova rage. Wandered the long way around through the rest of the zone, but finally found the gate to go west.

Got to level 62 in the Western Forest just before finding Alira's compound. Picked up Grave Intentions, so zombies are now at the maximum 8 (barring finding a way to use some uniques). Killed off the witch, got the end of the zone, killed off the guards, and opened the passage. Used the extra point to get a life/mana node just to the right of Grave Intentions. Here is the current tree.

Drops on all those bosses were pretty poor, but I found a white 4-link Magistrate Crown and rolled it into a rare. +1 to minion gems, 19 strength, 21% fire resist, and 31% cold resist...I'll take it! Lost some life but I'm still over 2000, and the slight increase in armor/ES is a nice bonus.

Good time to go back and hit the Ship Graveyard Cave. Proceeded (very slowly) through the hordes of flicker striking ghost pirates. Hit a very rough patch about 3/4 of the way through with the All-Seeing Eye, a rare skeletal bear with ancestral power, and a hexing shrine all spawned together. Did a lot of running back to get more zombies, which also worked to pull them away from the shrine, until finally the bear went down and the zombies stopped dying to those searing totems. The Eye was an easy kill after that. No issues with Stranglecharm. Went back up top and ran smack into Spinesnap, yet more zombies sacrificing themselves until he was down. Fairgraves was his usual pushover self. Spent the skill point on a second life/mana node.

Found a Loricated Ringmail with BBRG links, 24 intelligence, 25% cold resist, and 40% lightning resist. That's an improvement, and it now contains Summon Spectre-LMP-Minion Damage-Fire Penetration, which should be very good once I can get Flame Sentinels/Voidbearers/Tentacle Miscreations. Those extra resists now let me move some other gear around: new gloves with +62 life, 27% rarity, and 33% fire resist and an different amulet with 14% to all resists plus another 7% fire resist. This is probably a good time to show all the gear currently in use.

With that setup I have 2087 life, 359 ES, 13% armor physical reduction, 14% evasion chance, and 77/77/77/-32 resists.

Time to finish off Act 1 by clearing the Fetid Pool. Walked in, cleared about halfway up the left side, and ran smack into M'gaska, the Living Pyre. The raging spirit totems he summons I could live with, but that giant fireblast is lethal to a minion horde. Darn thing took up almost my whole screen. Ran away and reset the zone. Mammothcage this time, much more manageable. Got my two respec points, and that's the end of the Act 1 quests.
Last edited by ineffablebob on Apr 7, 2014 1:23:27 PM

Glad you're enjoying it! Note that there are some better passive build options if you're not going to be self-found. For instance, you can save a few nodes by connecting the two sides of the tree through the big ES wheel below the witch start instead of going way up top, if you will have the ES gear to make those nodes worth taking. There's some good ideas in various build posts, mainly in the witch and scion forums.

Well, I am playing mostly self-found. I used a few early flasks that my archer found, but I had no good-for-summoner stuff. I don't mind going the long way around, it gives me a better of idea what's around there as I rarely play any witch builds.

I'm up to 28 now having found very little resistance gear. Everything is low-20's right now, but I believe that I will find better gear soon. Really. I believe it. :)
I was lucky early on to get those "cannot be frozen" boots as well as Vaal Summon Skeleton and Vaal Fireball gems. Those have carried me through most of the boss/invasion boss/rogue exile fights. But, oddly, I have found no totem gems. None. At this point I usually have at least 2 on any of my characters that don't really use them. Ah well, I'm making do.

I've definitely benefited from this write-up. The description of your tactics, build, and progression have helped me develop my character better as I've gone along. Dropping this, pathing to that, running away...good stuff.

Oh, hey...didn't you say earlier that you had specced out of Minion Instability? I see it's still there in your latest tree.
Last edited by Barkskin on Apr 7, 2014 7:44:21 AM
Completed 13 ChallengesBarkskin wrote:
I've definitely benefited from this write-up. The description of your tactics, build, and progression have helped me develop my character better as I've gone along. Dropping this, pathing to that, running away...good stuff.

Excellent! Glad it's helping.

Completed 13 ChallengesBarkskin wrote:
Oh, hey...didn't you say earlier that you had specced out of Minion Instability? I see it's still there in your latest tree.

Whoops, you're absolutely right. That'll teach me to modify a prior tree when posting the new one, instead of just copying the actual tree off my character's info. Fixed the link in the post above.
Last edited by ineffablebob on Apr 7, 2014 1:25:45 PM
Level 62-63

Out the northern gate of the encampment into the Old Fields. Revived a couple of invading goat lightning shamans, since nothing better was available. Bladetooth made an appearance; apparently old dogs can indeed learn new tricks, as he used Immortal Call in the middle of the fight this time. Didn't help him. Went through and grabbed the Crossroads waypoint, then continued on up to the Broken Bridge. Followed the road without seeing an invading boss, and handed Kraityn his ass in short order. He's enough of a wuss against the horde to begin with, but when you double-curse him, he's really overmatched.

Back to the crossroads and into Fellshrine. Followed the road through without incident, other than losing about half my life to the zombie death cloud after the horde tore through a group of invading Sutured Abberations. Definitely have to pay more attention to that, especially in the Chamber of Sins which is coming up next. Found the Crypt and grabbed the waypoint with no further issues.

Crossroads again, heading left this time. Found the Chamber of Sins entrance without seeing anything more dangerous than Calaf. Walked through the first doorway inside, and was immediately hit with a firestorm and multiple fire bombs that wiped out all eight zombies. I assume that was Curator Miem, but I didn't stick around long enough to find out. Grabbed more zombies then reset the zone, and this time made it through to level 2. Got rid of Plague Retch and didn't see an invasion boss. Found a better shield along the way, 228 evasion and 88 ES, plus 31 life.

Chamber of Sins level 2 had invading chimerals, of both the croaking (frogs) and plumed variety. Slight upgrade to spectres with the plumed ones; they're no flame sentinels, but at least their barrage is a fast attack that makes use of LMP. Found the way to level 3 without seeing either the invading boss or the unique spider, which suits me fine. I did see a corrupted zone, but I don't think I'll go into any of those in Merciless (unless I live to 90) because it's just too risky with all the powers the bosses get at these levels. Got to level 63 along the way and took that last life/mana node in the current cluster (now at 2212 life, 888 mana). In the last room before the stairs, a random monster dropped Faster Attacks. The zombies thank you, random monster! Spent some chromatics to get BBRG on the helm which is now host to Summon Zombie-Minion Damage-Added Fire Damage-Faster Attacks. Now I just need a Multistrike to replace that fire damage.

Chamber level 3 was inhabited by more invading chimerals and the usual spark-spamming skeletons. If you really want to ruin a spark-spammers day - and I recommend it, good fun - drop permanent Temporal Chains on them. A few sparks is a lot less scary than a roomful. Ran into Rancor and killed him without incident, although I did have a bad moment when he teleported right on top of me. Hit the evasion flask and ran away without getting hit, and after that he stayed in the horde until they killed him. In that same room, another gem drop...Cast on Death. Got the last one of those in the Chamber of Sins, too. Guess the RNG felt it had to balance out that earlier Faster Attacks drop with something useless. Fidelitus had no chance, especially after being cursed. Got the gem and headed back to town. Again with the crappy wand from Greust, sold it back to him.
Level 63-64

Farmed Fellshrine a little to get to 64, so I'd have another level before entering the spider lair (since the boss can be dangerous with all his little spiders distracting the minions) or the crypt (since the second floor is level 61). I could go higher without hitting the XP penalty, but to be honest, Fellshrine is way too boring for that when you can't speed through for fear of finding an Invasion boss by running into it face-first. Did 6 runs following the road through. Some moderately interesting encounters:

Junglemare - Saw a giant monkey and was prepared to run away, but it wasn't Simi. Junglemare is much easier since there's no Soul Eater to worry about. No special tactics necessary, just curse and watch the minions go to town.
Wiraqucha, Ancient Guardian - Fought him for a while, but once there were enough copies that I couldn't find the original any more, decided to give it up. The occasional smoke cloud wasn't helping either.

Grabbed the 6% life/4% chaos resist node up by Purity of Flesh with the skill point at 64. That's pretty much the last of the easily accessible life nodes, although I could get three more of those life/mana nodes if I decide it's necessary later.

Figured I might as well run the Crypt while I was right next to it. Found an Empower gem on the first floor; that should level up about the time I hit level 73, if I live that long. Ran into Kall Foxfly later in the zone; had to kite him away from a cannot-die aura rare nearby, then he was fairly easy. With Kall taken care of, I'm down to only two invasion bosses on the challenge list: Bolt Juggler and Judgement Apparatus.

Spotted Guardian of the Mound in level 2. Normally that's an automatic run-away, but in this case the layout of the level was such that I could stay behind a wall and still throw spirits at him. Kept the skeleton totem up to keep him busy and threw spirits until he fell over. Had a really annoying rare necromancer with cannot-die that kept running away; had to pull the minions back several times so his friends would follow them out of the aura, kill them, raise zombies to destroy the corpses, repeat. Finally got to the Archbishop and took him out with the standard totem-on-the-stairs trick.

Found a slightly better armor with +75 life and a bit more energy shield. Had to use up almost all my fusing orbs before it would 4-link, but got it eventually. Now at 2516 life and 465 ES.
Level 64-RIP

Headed out to the Den, picking up a couple of goat lightning shaman spectres on the way. Laid the smack on my old buddy Harbinger of Elements along the way. Bunch of invading devourers in the Den, which is always annoying, but I noticed some of them actually popped up and attacked minions before hitting me. Perhaps I'm doing something different, or maybe the 1.1.2 patch changed something; whatever it is, I'm pleased to see it. Kamaq Soilmaker was the invading boss, and he also attacked a skeleton first, for which I am duly grateful. He died pretty quickly; most of the time was spent waiting on him to pop back up after he went back in his hole. Kamaq was nice enough to drop a unique, but unfortunately it was the Last Resort. Found the beast and got a ring from Yeena...which was horrible.

Time to spider. Was pleased to see invading Avian Retches in the Blackwood, and even more pleased to see invading Voidbearers a minute later. Good spectres, the fire dogs. Found Bladeback Guardian and killed him, and one zombie even survived his incinerate nova...leveling up this Purity of Elements must be helping.

Walked into the spider lair and immediately came across a room of blue devourers and carrion queens. Walked right back out and reset in hopes of getting a better roll on the invading monster types. No such luck, but at least the second version of the map didn't have a huge pack of blues right up front. Found the Harbinger of Elements again and killed him; bit more difficult this time because he was stuck in a corner where only about half the minions could hit him, but not dangerous. The Weaver fight went well, although it was a bit tricky as usual to stay away from her Ethereal Knives attack. Temporal Chains helps a lot with that. Silk gave me yet another useless wand for the quest reward.

Walked out in the Riverways and proceeded in search of the tree. Saw some projectiles coming so dropped a skeleton totem and moved down and right to curse whatever was out there...and died. Immediately. Didn't have time to hit a flask, never even saw whatever was out there...until it wandered over to my corpse.

That would be a Judgement Apparatus.

I have to assume the boss and several of his minions hit me at once, because I had no opportunity to do anything; either that or there was some really poorly timed lag. Tore through 2516 life and 465 ES so fast that I never saw my life go down, despite my seven level advantage. One second I was about to drop a curse, the next I was dead. I'd hate to see the version of this guy that existed before the Invasion boss nerfs!

Well, it was an enjoyable run. Went better than I'd expected when I first started, to be honest. I didn't really expect to get out of Merciless, but some pretty decent drops and a lot of patient grinding were enough to get into the sixties. That'll be the end of this journal for now, though I might try another version of Sarah later on in the league season.
Commiserations, have enjoyed reading this.

Coincidentally I started my Invasion summoner about the same time this thread began, but I've been taking it slower (currently level 44 about to face Cruel Merveil).

RIP Sarah.

RIP Sarah.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

Rip, but sarah's tale will live on forever on these forum boards, thank you for that.
It is not easy to realize the monster in yourself, truly it is not easy to create purposefully.
It is easy to realize the virtue in yourself, truly it is easy to destroy.
Contemplate which is worth your time.
Damn, I was so looking forward to reading more too. That was a really messed up way to die too. The off-screen deaths are just unfair. I was hoping it'd at least be a fair fight. I think that nothing should be able to kill you from off-screen until you've at least seen it. Anyway, thanks for giving me the best entertainment that I've experienced in my whole time on the forum.
Arguing on the Internet: What's the point when you can't punch them in the face when they really piss you off?

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