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Path of Exile Pure Summoner Witch Build

Path of Exile Pure Summoner Witch Build by DarkenDragon

now I know that theres a ton of summoner builds out there, and im not trying to say mine is better than another, and this is probably gonna be very similar to someone else. but I wanted to make this because I've been repeating myself on many posts about options, and I think thats what most builds out there lack. im gonna explain the different options you have base on the choices you pick.

also this guide,The Summoner Compendium, does a great job at giving an idea of the mechanics of the summoner which I wont really go over too much. instead this will be a more indepth guide for a pure summoner who relies on their summons to do the bulk of the damage.

here i'll post 2 different core passive trees which you'll be able to expand on afterwards. the reason for 2 is based solely on if you want to get CI or not.

Core Choice Reasons
the only major difference here is the first few shield points, those delay points are going to be very vital in a CI build and to be efficient you can get those early on to avoid respec points being used. though if you dont mind, you could always go down the hp core path and when your ready to take CI or when you require to get additional energy shield points you can get them and then refund the 4 points in that dex path. (we want to avoid as much loops as possible)

as you can see, I went for purely the minion nodes and avoided any spell damage or any other defenses. the reason for this is because for a pure minion build, your first priority should be to build up your army and make your army survive an attack. many times I hear how lowbies complaining that their minions die in 1 shot many times and unable to do any damage. well the nodes will help along with making sure you level up those gems. some of the keystones are optional depending on your style of play. i'll explain those later on.

the other reason why I chose to skip any defenses and offensive nodes is that the minions will be taking majority of the damage since theres so many of them and thus the enemy will have a higher chance of choosing to attack them than they have to attack me. you just need to make sure you can survive a single hit and can replenish that life. and the offensive nodes wouldnt help much due to minions not sharing any of your stats.

Skill gemming:
In this game, all your skills come from your gems, and planning out your gems are an important part of your build. every piece of gear will have different amount of gems and such.

for planning purposes we'll assume we have the highest amount of gem for each gear piece and the best links possible as well. since we cant always get the perfect sockets, i'll also list each gem in priority so that if you do not have enough slots, or the best links, you wont have to worry.

also in this game, Chest and 2 handed weapons have a potential 6 gem slot. head, boot, and glove have 4 gem slots, and 1h weapons and shields have 3 gem slots. most of the time you'll be using a wand and shield, but there is a unique 2 handed sword that if you can get might be very useful. but for now i'll just assume 1x6 slotted gem, 3x4 slotted, and 2x3slotted.

Zombies and Specters
This will take up your 6 linked chest piece since this is your bread and butter abilities.

Raise Zombies + Raise Specters + Minion Life + Minion damage + 2 weapon supports

Raise zombies and specters are gonna be your main army force and you want them to be durable and also deal good amount of damage, the reason I didnt add minion speed is because these will be your back and mid line attackers, your front liners are gonna be skeletons who needs to be at the front and the speed might mix them in. the 2 weapon support is basically up to you and yes almost all weapon supports work for minions and will apply to their attacks. the 2 I would highly suggest are Fast attack and culling.

Fast attack to help them attack faster and thus do more damage
Culling to give them the effect of instant killing an enemy when the enemy is below 10% health (great for high health and durable enemies) and a slight damage boost but at a slow reduction (fast attack should negate this)

other reasonable ones are
add <elemental> damage to give them an elemental attack per strike, though i'd refrain from cold since shatter will reduce the amount of corpses to use
blind to help your minions take less damage by blinding the enemy to reduce their attacks
chance to flee to again reduce damage they take cuz the enemies are busy running away.

or you can just have zombies here, and make specters it's own. this way you can also include add Physical Melee damage to the zombie, and the specters can benefit from the ranged supports as well such as the greater and lesser multiple projectiles and fork, that is if you end up creating a specter from a ranged unit. though the specter would end up with only 3 supports, unless you get a 6link 2 handed weapon like the unique sword.

This will take up 1 of your 4 linked Items.

Summon Skeleton + Spell Totem + Minion Damage + Minion Speed

Now the spell totem is completely optional but if your going pure summoner, this would be the most efficient way of doing things. if you dont want Spell totem due to the str requirments or you just dont like it, you can replace it with minion life, or any of the other melee weapon supports.

the reason I chose speed is because skeletons are on a borrowed time, they will die after a certain amount of time. so any movement they do will be wasted time. so with movement speed they'll get to their enemy quicker and do as much damage as possibile before their time runs out. also the reason why I didnt use minion life was because they are on borrowed time so if they are able to survive longer than they get damaged to low health, then they will not explode and instead just disappear. but you might think, well higher health means higher damage. yes and no, yes it will improve it's damage with minion instability, but since they do 40% less elemental damage, this means the minion instability damage will only go up by 60% the 33% of the health gained. which you can expect is a very small increase.

but if you decide not to go with a spell totem and you wish to have your specter on its own to have ranged support gems, you can replace the specter with the skeleton so that both skeleton and zombies have the same support gems

This will take up either a 4 slot or 3 slot depending on the amount of auras you wish to have

basically your auras + Reduced mana + Increase area of effect

These 2 support gems are completely optional, though the reduced mana will help give you more mana to play with other auras and spells, and increased area of effect will help garentee your minions will have the effect of your auras. but then your auras will naturally increasse in size as it levels, and you can get the passive to increase the aura.

here I would choose anywhere between 2 - 3 auras, anything beyond that may leave you manaless and thus un able to summon things.

I feel 1 of them should be defensive, the other should be offensive and if you choose a 3rd one, that'll be up to you.

for offensive you have Hatred, Anger, Wrath, and Haste.

Hatred I feel is the weakest since the cold damage will make the enemies susceptible to shattering thus reduced your corpse count for replenishing your army, though in normal play this wont be too effected since there are just so many bodies to go around, but in a boss situation your gonna want all the corpses you can get.

Anger is a nice aura to get since it is a flat mana reserve, and it does good damage and a small aoe on targets hit. This is best when fighting in regular fights with large swarms of enemies

Wrath is also another flat mana reserve aura that will give you lighting damage, which also means it has a chance to cause shocks, which will in turn increase the damage the enemy will take from all sources making all your minions do bonus damage to that target. this is great in boss fights or when there are limited amounts of enemies to fight.

Haste is also an excellent choice if you can get the dex to support it. if you dont then dont bother with this aura. it'll increase your minions attack speed and movement speed to help dishout as much damage possible before they die.

for defensive its a different story. you have the 3 primary defenses of determination (armor) Discipline (energy shield) or Grace (evasion) since you wont have high values of str or dex, you'll most likely only be able to use discipline, it'll give your minions a good chucnk of energy shield to help absorb that intial blow and since enemies might switch targets or end up dying, their shields can be replenish quickly not too long after. giving them another set of buffer damage for the next fight or the next minion that attacks them.

Purity is also another great defense aura to use since it'll provide your minions a great boost in elemental resistance to withstand the damage the enemies will dish out in the later stages of the game when elemental damage is very common.

I would avoid the utility auras such as vitality and clarity, this is because they are more selfish auras than to help your minions, since vitality is based on minion health and thus they will heal very slowly and the difference wont be all that noticeable and the clarity will only provide mana regen which minions will not have any. if you need additional mana regen, spend the points in your passive tree or look for gear with it (our gear modifier choices are very small so this shouldn't be a problem)

another note, and probably the biggest, collect all the gems, even if your not using it or if I said it was a bad choice. the reason being is that if your playing in a party, chances are many players will have the auras your running. if that is the case, let them run it, instead you can switch your aura for something else and thus have more types of auras in your group. though keep in mind you will also need gear with the correct gem colors in it for this to work, so you might want to either invest in a lot of chromatic gems, so you can switch the colors as needed, or you can grab multiple gears with different colored slots in it.

This will be your last 3-4 slot gear item.

Curse 1 + Curse 2 + Increase duration + Reduce mana
now you choose which Curses you wish to use. though remember you can only use upto 2 curses (1 if you didnt get doom whisper, if you do you can stick in increase aoe)

the 2 most versatile curse you can use is
Enfeeble to reduce your enemies' hit chance and damage to reduce their damage to your minions
Vulnerability to increase physical damage they take and more suitable to stuns and reduce their regeneration

other good choices are
flamibility to increase the fire damage they take if you have anger and also from minion instability.
Conductivity to increase the chance to shock and reduce the lighting resistance, great if your using wrath.
Temporal chains to slow enemies down and to cause the other curse to last longer (great substitute for enfeeble)

I would avoid getting
Frostbite since As I've mentioned already I just dislike shattered corpses
Elemental weakness since the specific elemental weakness types provides more and usually you'll only have 1 type of elemental damage.
critical weakness since your minions will most likely have the lowest amount of crit chance already so the extra crit chance isnt going to change much at all.
and warlord's mark since the leeching is all percentage of the damage, and your minions dont do all that much damage, they only do large damage in groups thus the amount leeched will be too small to notice

another thing to note that specters who naturally have curses on them will also use their curse and this will apply to the 2 curse rule of doom whisper so this will free up a gem slot for another support

spell damage
here is where you'll fill out your wand and shield gems (unless you used it for your aura or curse)

normally you'd want an attack for yourself. and really it can be anything you want. it doesnt even matter. the purpose of these 2 skills are to just help your minions out if you have no other tasks to do, or your against a boss who happens to love to aoe and your zombies just die too quickly with no corpse to replace them with.

one of the suggestions I would make is if you were able to get the ancestral bond, you can choose to put a spell totem here with any spell attack, be it firestorm, arc, spark, or fireball (again i'd go against cold spells but then its up to you) so that the totem can spam that spell for you while you dealt with maintaining your summons and minions making sure everything is cursed and you have the max army size up. or if you dont get ancestral bond, you can get this instead of the skeleton totem.

I would suggest getting a single target spell and an aoe spell so that its well rounded and remember this wont have much damage on it since we're opting to not take spell damage passive nodes, and we're not optimizing with elemental nodes.

since getting the perfect mods on gear isnt always easy, I suggest letting whatever elemental damage boost you get from your gears will determine what spell you would take, but keep it the same with whatever curse you use.

wow didnt realize how long i've been writing for, i'll continue the rest of this guide at a later time. but for now, this should be a great start for any new players trying out the pure summoner's path

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post!
I am building a summoner witch too, and this post gave me a lot of tips.