I've had a few people message me in game after seeing my character on Poeninja, so it's been requested I make this guide. I hope it helps anyone interested!
- This is a tanky Zombies/Golems Summoner, with a focus on stacking ES/Armor and high survivability over high damage.
- The build was planned with the sole purpose of hitting level 100 – without buying any experience by running lame 5-ways.
- The concept is centred around becoming immune to whatever I can, laying on as much defensive layers as possible, and getting enough damage to feel comfortable.
- The core three uniques helping me survive are Aegis Aurora (of course), Incandescent Heart and Viridi's Veil.
- If you enjoy a near-walking similator build that strolls through scourge and delirium in style, this build may be for you.
- If you want a giga-chad clear speed, button mashing, screen exploding, PoB Shaper DPS Warrior build, then build may not be for you.
- The build is not overly expensive to start, but will require some funding to get up and running. There are required uniques involved to play it as shown in this guide. Overall, I would say it is a medium cost build.
- Currently, I am 99 and pushing towards that 100! Averaging 0-1 death a level in the late 90s.
- The Formed, The Twisted, The Forgotten, The Hidden all went smoothly. Maven/Feared I have not bothered with, as it was not my goal.
- Simulacrum Wave 25~ or so. I simply don't have enough DPS to deal with the bosses if I get unlucky in late waves.
- T16 maps run juiced at 60% delirious, beyond, 200+ scourge. Could push further, but want my EXP haha.
- Lots of T16 Blight maps – very fun on this character!
- Devle 300+ and feeling really comfortable.
- Various other bosses, such as Shaper and Delve bosses, though it's not been my focus.
- 35/36 Challenges (soon to be 36!)
- The character is very well rounded in that it does ok at most things, but is not “the best” at them, either.
I want to start by explaining defensive side of the build (the main focus).
A list of what this build gets:
- 7k ES pool
- Unaffected by Curses
- No extra damage from Critical Strikes
- Enemies are Unlucky when hiting me
- Immune to Chaos Damage
- Immune to all Ailments
- Unaffected by Burning Ground
- Immune to Corrupting Bleed
- (Basically) Immune to Bleeding
- (Basically) Unaffected by Stun
- 76% Max Lightning / 80% Max Cold Resistance
- 75%/72% Block and Spell Block w/ Glancing Blows
- 40k Armor before Flasks, 60k after
- 800 ES on block before Flasks, 1200 after
- 25% of Elemental Damage taken as “Chaos” (aka gone)
- 8% of Physical Damage taken as “Chaos” (aka gone)
- 10% reduced Physical damage taken with my Minions alive
- 20% reduced Elemental damage taken with Flasks up
- 10% reduced damage from Damage over Time
- Enemies near a corpse deal 10% reduced Damage
- Fungal Ground causing enemies to deal 10% less Damage
- Enfeeble causing enemies to deal 9~48% less Damage
- Enemies are chilled with 12% value
- Bone Armor guard skill absorbing 2209 damage
- 5200 ES Recharge / Sec
- 500 ES Regen / Sec with Flask
- Divine Shield (3% of Physical Damage prevented recently as ES Regen)
All those layers together keep me very comfortable in even crazy Scourge, Delirium and high wave Simulacrum fights.
The goal was to be able to AFK something like an Infused T16 Beachhead map and not die – and I can say, that is a success.
To break down how I get all those defensive layers, the most important part are these three unique items:
Aegis is a staple item in many tanky builds, and for a good reason. The massive amount of ES I can get back on block is my main way to recover ES since minion builds have a hard time recovering without easy access to leech, on kill or hit effects.
Virdi's Veil is a MASSIVE item that, paired with two magic rings, makes me immune to crits and curses – two huge, nasty killers out of the way – and enemies being unlucky is just icing.
Incandescent Heart is a very simple, easy to get chest that cuts elemental damage I take by 25% since I am immune to chaos and it converts 25% of all elemental hits to chaos.
All three items pack a lot of Armor and Energy Shield, so I made sure to grab ones with very high rolls and get 29~30% quality on them to boot.
The corruption on Aegis for 8% of physical damage taken as chaos is also a huge boon, though not a cheap one to start off with and is not required.
By skipping offensive auras, I can also fit Discipline, Determination AND Purity of Elements into this build, giving me massive chunks of my ES/AR and ridding me of pesky ailments.
My flasks are a huge defensive layer not to be overlooked as well. All are rolled with “Gain 7 charges when you are hit by an enemy” paired with “Used when charges reach full” to keep near 100% uptime.
A flat 20% reduced Elemental damage taken on the trio of Sapphire/Ruby/Topaz with a Basal for even more armor, and a Quicksilver (cause I'm pretty slow without it up…) is wonderful.
Honestly, the suffix rolls on them are not as important. 3% life regen, extra armor, and stun and block recovery are the big three, with stun avoidance and movement speed on the other two.
Another big bang of defenses is the reduced/less damage trio of my asendancy causing enemies near corpses to deal reduced damage, enfeeble causing enemies to deal less damage, and Fungal Ground from the Sporguard body armor on my Animate Guardian causing enemies to deal less damage.
Everything else on the list comes from various other things, such as a jewel with Immune to Corrupted Blood, but all comes together to finish off my defensive layers.
Even though I focus HEAVILY on defense for this build, it's not exactly “ZDPS”, either.
I am no expert in setting up a PoB – especially figuring out minion DPS – but I estimate that my build is doing around 4.5 milion Shaper DPS.
This comes from the wonderful combo of:
- 12x Zombies
- 4x Carrion Golems
- 4x Spectres
- 1x Animate Guardian
- 3x Grave Spirits (Commandment of the Grave)
All my minions are supporting each other AND doing damage in this build, rather than one being the focus with others as pure support.
It is also almost all pure Physical damage, meaning I don't need to worry about resistances, and with 35% “overwhelm” effect, armor on monsters is not a huge deal.
My Zombies provide Feeding Frenzy and Intimidate, while also stunning enemies.
My Carrion Golems provide a MASSIVE base physical damage buff.
My Spectres and Animate Guardian maim enemies for increased phsyical damage taken, as well as their own unique buffs and debuffs.
My Grave Spirits….mostly look cool, and I think chill (sometimes).
The Carrion Golem, in particular, gives my zombies around 25% of their damage JUST from their buff. It becomes this strong because they are level 32 with around 300% increased Buff Effect.
That means their buff is around 216-328 base physical damage for all my other minions.
From sources such as War Banner, Maim, Intimidate, Animate Guardian's Helmet, and a Demon Harpy Spectre, I also debuff enemies to take a LARGE amount of increased phsyical damage.
Both my Zombies and Carrion Golems are set to “Aggrestive” and have large amounts of movement speed to zip around and clear things as I stroll by.
Spectres / Animate Guardian
- Carnage Chieftan (Act 2 “The Old Fields)
- Host Chieftan (Act 6 “The Riverways)
- Demon Harpy (Scourge AKA “Krangle-land”)
- Pale Seraphim (Scourge AKA “Krangle-land”) <- skip if only 3 spectres
- Helmet: Rare Elder Helmet w/ “Nearby Enemies take 9% increased physical damage”
- Chaos Resistance and Life are good extras.
- Body Armor: Sporeguard (Unique)
- This gives Fungal Ground where the AG is standing, for 10% less damage from enemies.
- Gloves: Southbound (Unique)
- Just for some life. I tried Gravebind for all kills to count from AG so Sporeguard makes more ground and pops, but it is bugged.
- Boots: Vicatrio's Flight (Unique)
- Enchant these with 2% Life Regen from Uber Lab if you want even more beef for your AG!
- Weapon: Dying Breath (Unique)
- The area on this is huge, buffing our minions damage and our two curses on enemies stronger. Kingmaker feels bad with small AoE and nerfed Fortify.
- Virdi's Veil is my only choice here. It is simply too strong in this build in every way.
- This is not a bad item to divine, so aim for a good base AR/ES (the item base itself, not the % roll) and a good enchant, then divine to +2 gems with decent AR/ES % and all res.
- You have MANY enchant options for this item! I went with 150% Carrion Golem Buff Effect, but some other ideas are Flesh Offering Attack Speed, Zombie damage, or even Curse Effect with Bane.
- Aegis is the only choice here as well. It is very core to the build.
- Try and get very high AR/ES base and rolls! All the AR/ES you can get will help.
- A corruption with “%phsyical damage taken as chaos damage” is VERY nice, but not required.
- You can get some nice Scourge mods on a shield, such as Energy Shield when you block, and downsides like -Chaos Res or Inc Crit Damage Taken don't hurt the build at all.
- Incandescent Heart is STRONGLY suggested, but not required. A VERY good AR/ES chest with influenced mods can be very strong, too.
- The only roll that matters is the AR/ES roll. Like I've been saying, aim high on the base AND % roll!
- You could go for some crazy strong corruptions, like +1 all gems, 1% max res, etc. etc. but the scourge mods seem just “ok” (extra AR or ES rolls are nice).
- Eyes of the Greatwolf is not required, but a very simple item that I find works really well.
- A +2 zombie with high Global Defenses roll is the only type you will want to aim for here. It gives a large boost to ES and AR, while giving one more zombie than a rare amulet.
- A good rare amulet with +1 zombies, or a good talisam with +1 zombies implicit are both options.
- Rainbowstride was simply an item I picked for how avaliable it was with a +1 zombie scourge mod on it. It also has spell block and all ele res, something I had trouble finding enough of.
- A rare boot can provice more ES, or even go for a good AR/ES base, with more movespeed as well. Lots of good influence mods as well to look into.
- If you are looking into rare boots and not corrupted/scourged ones, any number of defensive boot enchants, such as movespeed or regen, are a nice boost.
- Very simple: Two magic rings, each with the “Flawless” Tier 1 roll of +3 to Level of Socketed Gems, and a crafted Minion Movespeed roll with speed catalysts.
- There is simply not much else I would need off a ring, with resists capped from other sources.
- Replacing one (or both) +3 rolls with a T1 flat ES roll works as well if finding or rolling +3 to gems is hard.
- I have both rings enchanted for “Your Scout Towers have 25% Increased Range” for soloing blight maps.
- A Convoking Wand with +1 to spells / 1+ to minions, an open suffic to do the Trigger craft. Anything else is basically gravy.
- To “self craft” this: 4 socket resonator w/ Corroded, Shuddering, Jagged and Metalic fossils. Something like a 1 in 12 to hit the +1/+1, but usually without open suffix.
- The +1/+1 is just to get Zombies and Spectres to the breakpoint of gem level 25 for +1 zombie and +1 spectre.
- A rare sceptre from the Temple with Minion Damage / Chance to deal double damage and crafted Minion Attack Speed will generally give you more damage per minion and is dirt cheap.
- Basic ES gloves. Very simple. I hit mine with a Warlord Exalt for Avoid Stuns, but it is not required.
- An open Suffix to craft Dex is very helpful, since the build is Dex starved.
- Crystal Belt base with a high ES and AR roll and any decent amount of Strength. The % ES was a very nice bonus and helps a lot.
- Again, an open Suffix to craft Dex is very helpful here.
Jewels / Cluster
- 2x Eminence and 1x Might to give +2 golems from Anima Stone.
- The corruptions on these are very, very helpful. Anti-corrupted blood is a near must at late levels! 2x Reservation Efficency lets me use War Banner and still trigger skills off mana.
- Fortress Covenant is put into the Cluster jewel so the negative effect does not happen.
- Any Large Minion Damage Cluster, 8+ small passives.
- The main thing I looked for was rolling 35% increased effect of small passives + 3% minion attack speed, for 13% minion damage / 4% minion attack speed PER small passive.
- I avoided rolling any notables, since they were not very good for me.
- This was a late game pick-up and is not required. I would only switch to this in the late 90s, personally.
- Rolling ES or AR on small passives would be amazing. The Life and Res on mine actually does nothing for my build.
- 10+ small passives would be best, since I could unassign some 16% minion damage passives for points in the cluster.
- Gain Charges When Hit / Used When Charges Reach Full is the winning combo here.
- Aim for 5+ Charges When Hit, you do not *need* 6 or 7.
- The suffixes here are less important, but getting %armor during flask effect and a high stun/block recovery roll will help out a lot.
- Looking for “miss-matched” suffix rolls can help the cost. Movespeed on a Basalt and Armor on a Quicksilver, for example, will be often cheaper than the opposite.
6L (Body Armor)
Raise Zombie + (Anomalous) Feeding Frenzy + (Awakened) Multistrike + (Awakened) Melee Physical Damage + (Awakened) Brutality + Ruthless
Summon Carrion Golem + Empower + (Awakened) Minion Damage + (Awakened) Bruality
Animate Guardian + Raise Spectre + Minion Life + Maim
Bane + Enhance + (Anomalous) Vulnerability + Enfeeble
Desecrate + (Divergent) Flesh Offering + Inspiration
Purity of Elements + War Banner + Frostblink
- Kill All
- Major: Arakaali
- Murgeth Bogsong + Arachnoxia Upgrades
- Minor: Abberath
- Mephod, The Earth Scorcher Upgrade
- Normal -> Mindless Aggresion
- Cruel -> Unnatrual Strength
- Merceless -> Bone Barrier
- Uber -> Plaugebringer
I am no PoB expert, so this will just be a basic rundown of my current tree and gear
Generally, just level as a basic summoner, or any other flavour of leveling.
I just slapped zombies into a Tabula with skeletons in a Lifesprig and it felt fine. Minions are strong enough to carry you until you can start equiping your key uniques.
The switch to CI I made at around 50 after buying a few pieces of decent starter ES gear. I died a few times around the swap while leveling, but it wasn't a huge deal.
The build works really well WITHOUT all the mix-maxing I have done.
I had no corruptions, scourge modifiers, GG flasks, Awakened gems, etc. until the mid 90s and it felt just as good with the core uniques and 5k ES.
A +2 to gems wand with trigger crafted on it is a huge QOL improvement and the bonus spectre and zombie is really nice, so make that your first big purchase if you can.
9 zombies, 3 golems, and just ok armor and ES is enough to help you farm the rest. I started the build with around 2 exalts or so after giving up on a level 93 Cyclone Raider and it was fine.