Dominating Blow

BalorMage’s Dominating Blow Guardian

Intro

This is a zero budget, league start and hardcore viable build guide designed for all players veteran and new. If you’re a seasoned player and just want the POB link, you can find it below. If you require a more detailed guide then read on!

Videos

Changelog

v1.0 – 11/03/2020

  • Guide created

Overview

The written portion of this build guide is designed for new players who feel like they need some hand holding. As such some things that veteran players and experienced racers might do in the early levels have been left out as to not be too complicated. That being said, this should still be a smooth and quick leveling experience.

This build is a little more advanced than the other build guides, involves more important gems and a bit of balancing man reservations and such. We have done our best to cover this but if it is your VERY FIRST league I would suggest running one of the other guides rather than this one.

Path of Building

Not sure how to use Path of Building, or what it is? Engineering Eternity has a brilliant guide that you can check out here https://exiledguides.com/home/poe-tools/path-of-building/

Pastebin Import: https://pastebin.com/w6G6HFzv

Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon

Level 90 Tree

Link to tree

Ascendancies

  • Normal Lab: Radiant Crusade
  • Cruel Lab: Unwavering Crusade
  • Merciless Lab: Bastion of Hope
  • Eternal Lab: Time of Need

Pantheon

Major – Soul of the Brine King
Upgrading all of this pantheon is a low priority, as the most important part is given to you by default.
Minor  Soul of Shakari
Capture Terror of the Infinite Drifts

Gem Setup

Main Skills: Herald of Purity & Dominating Blow

  • Herald of PurityBrutality SupportMultistrike SupportMelee Physical Damage Support– (Minion Damage from the helmet)
  • Dominating BlowMultistrike SupportBrutality SupportFortify SupportFeeding Frenzy SupportMaim Support

4 Link: Support Spectres

  • Raise SpectreElemental Army SupportBlood Magic Support Meat Shield Support

Other skill gems:

  • Tempest Shield (level 8) – Cast when Damage Taken Support (level 2) – Vaal Molten Shell (level 10)
  • War Banner / Vulnerability / Convocation
  • Flame Dash / Summon Holy Relic / Summon Skitterbots / Clarity (Levelled as high as you can go while still being able to preform attacks and flame dash)

Gear, Flasks and Jewels

Gear

Gearing for this build is mostly about links, all your rare gear should just be as much life as you can get while capping resistances.


Elder Helmet:

  •  +2 /+3 to socketed minion gems.  
  • Any level of “Socketed Gems are Supported by Minion Damage”.

Uniques:

(Refer to the Mapping section for more information about these items)

Flasks

  • Seething/Bubbling Divine Life Flask
  • Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline  (This is for speedy speed)
  • Quartz Flask
  • Granite Flask
  • Basalt Flask

On these flasks, we will need to roll some affixes when we reach maps.  It doesn’t matter which of the last three flasks has which affix, as long as all three affixes are covered.  
-Staunching, for bleed
-Warding, for curses
-Heat, for freeze
This combination will mean you cannot bleed, be frozen, or be cursed while your flasks are active. This is very helpful and strong, especially with certain map modifiers.

*Note* The Quicksilver Flask could also have any of these suffixes initially if you are okay moving through maps a little more slowly. This is just the ideal setup; what’s really important is you have the Enduring mana, Staunching, Heat, and Warding on utility flasks by the time you enter maps – in that order

Jewels

Primary jewel stats:

  • Life
  • Minions Have chance to taunt
  • Minions have chance to blind

Secondary jewel stats:

  • Minions have increased movement speed
  • Minions have attack speed
  • Minions have # to # increased physical damage

Leveling

There are some good general leveling guides that can be found here for specifics on how to get through the acts: https://exiledguides.com/home/beginner-guides/leveling-guides/ 

Got GemSourceQuest
SmiteRewardEnemy at the Gate
Frost BlinkRewardBreaking Some Eggs
Summon Holy RelicRewardMercy Mission
Ancestral Call SupportNessaMercy Mission
Raise ZombieNessa Enemy at the Gate
Added Fire Damage SupportReward The Caged Brute
Flame DashRewardThe Caged Brute
Minion Damage Support NessaThe Caged Brute

After killing Hillock, choose Smite as your quest reward. While this isn’t specifically a minion skill,  it will be used from here until level 28 to supplement our minions.  Remember you’ll need to use melee weapons with this skill (sceptres are the best option).

Check Tarkleigh for movement speed boots (you can use the search function at the bottom right of the trade window with Ctrl+F and type “move” to search his inventory quickly – this will highlight anything with movement speed).

As we move through the first act, keep an eye out for 3-links dropped on the ground (or from the vendors in town) with the colours Blue Blue Blue. These links can be in any gear slot, though we try to avoid wearing body armour if possible for the first few acts (for speed), and we do prioritise movement speed on boots ahead of sockets or links.

After completing the quests ‘Mercy Mission’ and ‘Breaking Some Eggs’, return to town at the next way point. Pick up Frost Blink and Summon Holy Relic as your quest rewards, along with a Quicksilver Flask. Purchase Ancestral Call Support and link it to Smite, this will increase our clear speed.

Holy Relic is our first useful minion, it provides extra damage whenever you hit something with smite, as well as some flat life regeneration for both you and your other minions.

If you have a spare Scroll of Wisdom, also buy a Raise Zombie from Nessa. Our Zombies may die occasionally at this point, but as we invest more points into minion regen and level the skill gem, they will become tougher.

Once you’ve killed Brutus, select Flame Dash as your quest reward. Don’t forget to left click Flame Dash on your bar and set it to ‘always attack without moving

Select Added Lightning Damage Support and buy 2 Minion Damage Support from Nessa and link these to your Raise Zombies gem (you only need to link one Minion Damage Support gem to your zombies, the second can be put anywhere in your gear to start levelling it, bonus if you can link it to Holy Relic, but not necessary).

Note: Zombies have a built in AOE slam which means we don’t require Melee Splash for good clear. Also, our own Smite is good for clear anyway.

Complete the passive point quest ‘The Marooned Mariner’ (in the Ship Graveyard). Grab the way point in the Cavern of Wrath and kill Merveil!

Gem links at the end of Act 1:

  • Raise ZombieMinion Damage SupportAdded Lightning Damage Support
  • SmiteAncestral Call Support
  • Flame Dash
  • Holy Relic -/ Minion Damage Support
Tree at the end of Act 1
Tree at the end of Act 1
GotGemSourceQuest
Herald of PurityRewardIntruders in Black
Melee Physical Damage SupportRewardSharp and Cruel
Minion Speed SupportYeenaSharp and Cruel

In this build we Kill all the Bandits for the 2 passive skill point reward. If you haven’t already got a 3 linked item that is RedRedBlue, make sure you’re watching for these, as we’ll need them later this act.

Once you’ve completed ‘Intruders in Black’ (in the Chamber of Sins), Gruest will reward you with Herald of Purity link this with the spare Minion Damage Support gem you picked up in Act 1. While in town, purchase Summon Skitterbots from Yeena.

Once you complete the quest ‘Sharp and Cruel’, choose Melee Physical Damage Support as your reward and link it to your Herald of Purity gem. At this point you can also purchase a spare Melee Physical Damage Support gem (for the next act). Also buy a Minion Speed Support and swap it with Added Lightning Damage in your Zombie links.

Ideally by the end of this act we have links for our damage abilities, along with other things:

  • Raise ZombieMinion Damage SupportMinion Speed Support
  • Herald of PurityMinion Damage SupportMelee Physical Damage Support
  • Smite Ancestral Call Support
  • Flame Dash
  • Holy Relic
Tree at the end of Act 2
Tree at the end of Act 2
GotGemSourceQuest
Feeding Frenzy SupportRewardFixture of Fate
Fortify SupportVendorFixture of Fate
Summon SkitterbotsVendorFixture of Fate
Maim SupportVendorFixture of Fate

Kill General Gravicius and complete ‘Sever the Right Hand’ to receive Dominating Blow.

Very soon, Dominating Blow will replace Smite and should be in at least a 3 link, Red Red Blue. Most builds will not bother with the library quest ‘A Fixture of Fate’ however, a Templar minion build benefits from the ability to buy every gem this early, so don’t skip this quest! (It’s the one where Siosa asks you to find 4 pages).

After completing A Fixture of Fate, select Feeding Frenzy Support as your reward and purchase Fortify Support , Maim Support and Summon Skitterbots from Siosa.

TIP: unlike most other vendors, you’ll need to have the currency in your inventory to buy things from Siosa, not just your stash, so it’s useful to have the currency on you (there is however a waypoint very close to the vendor). At the time of writing, Fortify costs 1 Chance Orb and Maim costs 1 Orb of Transmutation.

From this point out we are looking for 4 links for both our Dominating Blow, and Herald of Purity. Once we have both of these on 4 links, we can drop our Zombies. The links we’re looking for both of these are 3 Red1 Blue

The ideal links here will list what you can change into once you have 2 x 4 links.

  • Dominating BlowFeeding Frenzy SupportMelee Physical Damage SupportFortify Support
  • Herald of PurityMelee Physical Damage SupportMinion Damage SupportMaim Support
  • Raise ZombieMinion Damage SupportMinion Speed Support (If you still have space)
  • Flame Dash / Holy Relic / Summon Skitterbots
Tree at the end of Act 3
Tree at the end of Act 3
GotGemSourceQuest
Multistrike SupportRewardThe Eternal Nightmare

During Act 4,  we will pick up some ‘reduced mana reservation’ nodes on the tree, and unlock Multistrike Support. This is the last big gem setup change for a while.

Complete your Normal Labyrinth and ascend to Guardian during this act (generally the best time to do this will be after killing Kaom and Daresso but before killing Malachai). Take Radiant Crusade While there is at least one nearby Ally, you and nearby Allies deal 10% more Damage
While there are at least five nearby Allies, you and nearby Allies have Onslaught
+20% to all Elemental Resistances
for your first ascendancy. 

This will be a very noticeable increase in power, as well as the survivability of your minions. This should also allow us to retain our zombies for the next few acts without a problem,  though we will eventually drop them so don’t get to attached!

From this point on you should only hold onto Raise Zombies until the gem links become to much to handle. Simply drop them completely as they are not part of the end game build and we will eventually not have room for them at all.  When you complete the quest ‘The Eternal Nightmare’ select Multistrike Support as your reward.

Ideal gem setup at end of Act 4:

  • Dominating BlowFeeding Frenzy SupportMultistrike SupportFortify Support
  • Herald of PurityMelee Physical Damage SupportMinion Damage SupportMultistrike Support*
  • Flame Dash / Holy Relic / Summon Skitterbots

*NOTE:  If you find yourself without enough mana with this setup, replace Multistrike with Maim for the Herald of Purity links.

Tree at the end of Act 4
Tree at the end of Act 4

Nothing really changes in this act. An important note is helmets can roll +1 (and later on +2) to level of socketed minion gems, so from this point on we should pay extra attention to 4 linked helmets that might fit our Herald of Purity colours. (Minions scale exceptionally well with extra levels so gaining an extra level for Herald of Purity is invaluable.)

Tree at the end of Act 5
Tree at the end of Act 5

Be sure to complete Fallen from Grace here – Lily sells all the same gems as Siosa, but you don’t need the currency in your inventory, making it more convenient.

Tree at the end of Act 6
Tree at the end of Act 6

Nothing special happens here, keep progressing through the quests. Find better gear along the way, follow the passive tree. Keep an eye out for linked gear with the right colours if you are missing any.

Tree at the end of Act 7
Tree at the end of Act 7

Nothing changes here, again pick up any left over socket links you’re missing and start looking out for decent life/res gear as we move closer to maps. Be on the lookout for 5 linked chests here.

Do your Cruel Labyrinth at some point during this act, and choose Unwavering Crusade Nearby Allies deal 30% increased Damage
Nearby Allies have 15% increased Attack, Cast and Movement Speed
Nearby Allies have 30% increased Area of Effect
Nearby Allies Intimidate Enemies for 4 seconds on Hit
Nearby Allies Unnerve Enemies for 4 seconds on Hit
as your second ascendancy nodes. This is once again a massive buff to both our damage and clear speed.

Tree at the end of Act 8
Tree at the end of Act 8

At this point, make sure you’ve completed any passive point side bosses you may have missed or skipped. Keep an eye out for map worthy gear upgrades, especially jewellery.

One of the first uniques we want for this build is a ring, so If possible try to have a single ring that you could drop and still be resistance capped. (The unique ring will not be available on day 1, but should start showing up regularly on trade from day 3 onward)

Tree at the end of Act 9
Tree at the end of Act 9

By the end of this act, we can get away with a 4 link chest, however we will need to find or buy a 5 or 6 link (A Tabula Rasa is fine to start with) eventually (probably during white maps).

This is our last chance to fix up resistances, so keep an eye out for more gear. Important stats are:

  • higher movement speed boots
  • elemental resistances
  • life

If we happen to come across an additional 4 linked item during this act, we can start using support spectres. (Don’t go out of your way looking for the item, as you’ll almost definitely find one in early maps). If you happen to get the full 4 link you will raise Carnage Chieftain spectres, which grant you and your allies frenzy charges – these can be found in The Ashen Fields in Act 7.

Do not bother with this until you have the correct 4 link set up though, as the spectres will not survive long enough, or use their frenzy charge skill often enough without the proper links: Raise SpectreElemental Army SupportBlood Magic SupportMeat Shield Support

Complete your Merciless Labyrinth and choose Bastion of Hope before killing Kitava. This should increase our survivability due to the spell block and block chance. At this point, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to equip a shield in your offhand – a great unique choice that is often cheap is Ahn’s Heritage – it can also provide additional maximum resistance.

Tree at the end of Act 10
Tree at the end of Act 10

Make sure to check and fix your resistances, then proceed to maps and the end game story line!

Mapping

There are a few key items that enable this build to start pushing higher maps.  One is a unique claw The Scourge, this drops from Shaper guardians so unless you are farming those early on days 1-3,  you’ll want to buy this from trade.

Our next upgrade involves turning our Herald of Purity into a 5 link. In order to do this, we need an elder helmet that has the modifier “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level XX Minion Damage”. The catch is, adding this extra link means we won’t be able to afford the mana reservation of HoP, so we’re going to need a unique ring ‘Circle of Guilt’ to reduce the mana reservation. 

Helmet:

The elder helmet will likely be self crafted, you can do this with any Elder helmet and a Bound Fossil. The rolls we are after are:

  •  +2 (and if you can afford to buy a ilvl 86 helmet, then +3) to socketed minion gems.  
  • Any level of “Socketed Gems are Supported by Minion Damage”. (The difference between a level 16 minion damage and a level 20 minion damage is almost non existent. )
HoP Helmet
Example of a well rolled helmet

Ring:

There are a few different modifiers this ring can have, we need one with the following mods:

  • Herald of Purity has (30–40)% reduced Mana Reservation. NOTE: This needs to be at least 37% – you can buy it lower and divine orb it. Fertile Catalysts can also add quality which will make the value higher.
  • Sentinels of Purity deal (70–100)% increased Damage

Note that the implicit values of the ring are random, there’s nothing you especially need in the implicits, so buy whatever you can afford (other the mods that best synergise with our build will be the more expensive rings).

Example of Circle of Guilt ring
Finished Dom Blow Tree
Finished Level 90 Tree