Dominating Blow

BalorMage’s Dominating Blow Guardian

Intro

Videos

Changelog

v3.0 – 18/09/2020

  • Updated tree and Path of Building for 3.12 (Heist)
  • Added section for alternate gem quality

v2.01 – 22/06/2020

  • If you’re having issues with getting the army out quickly, try Melee Splash instead of Fortify or Maim or Brutality. Awakened Melee Splash is cheap too.
  • Beware Baran and his mobs! They will make your minions appear to be made of paper.
  • Spectres are proving to be quite the liability and you’ll do fine without them. Try carrion golem or stone golem

v2.0 – 18/06/2020

  • Guide overhauled for 3.11 (Harvest League), including:
    • Updated tree (and leveling trees)
    • Added cluster jewels
    • Updated with new warcry skills

v1.0 – 11/03/2020

  • Guide Published

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.

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/mispeM7g

Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon

Level 90 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 or Melee Splash (optional)
  • 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 / Rallying Cry or Enduring Cry (depending on whether you want offense or defense)

Alternate Gem Quality

  • Herald of Purity – Alt quality 2. Summoned Sentinels have 20% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate
  • Dominating Blow – Alt quality 2. Summoned Sentinels have 20% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate
  • Dominating Blow – Alt quality 3. Maximum 2 Summoned Normal Sentinels of Dominance
  • Feeding Frenzy Support – Alt quality 2. Supported Skills have 10% increased Minion Movement Speed
  • Summon Skitterbots – Alt quality 2. Minions have 10% increased Effect of non-Damaging Ailments on Enemies
  • Vulnerability – Alt quality 1. 10% increased Effect of Curse
  • Melee Splash Support – Alt quality 2. Supported Skills deal 40% more Damage to surrounding targets

Gear, Flasks and Jewels

Gear


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 the 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).

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 life regeneration and level the skill gem, they will become tougher and stop dying.

Note: Zombies have a built in AOE slam which means we don’t require Melee Splash for good clear.  And would prefer to give them minion speed or minion life or melee physical from act 2.

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

  • Raise ZombieMinion Damage Support
  • SmiteAncestral Call Support
  • Flame Dash
  • Summon Raging SpiritMinion Damage SupportMelee Splash Support
Tree at the end of Act 1
GotGemSourceQuest
Herald of PurityRewardIntruders in Black
Melee Physical Damage SupportRewardSharp and Cruel
Minion Speed SupportYeenaSharp and Cruel

Once you’ve completed ‘Intruders in Black’ (in the Chamber of Sins), Gruest will reward you with Herald of Purity. This will be our main single target damage sorce eventually but we will not start activly using it untill we get Dominating Blow later on, so for now just level this somewere.

  • Raise ZombieMinion Damage SupportMelee Physical Damage Support
  • Summon Raging SpiritsMinion Damage SupportMelee Splash
  • Smite Ancestral Call Support
  • Flame Dash
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.

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, as he has no access to your stash – so it’s useful to have the currency on you when you go to do the quest. There is a waypoint very close to the vendor, however. At the time of writing, Fortify costs 1 Chance Orb and Maim costs 1 Orb of Transmutation.

**Note: This is also where our playstyle changes to what it will be forever. As we drop SRS In favor of using Dominating Blow and Herald of Purity. This is where the build starts to feel like itself, and really begins to pick up.

  • Dominating BlowFeeding Frenzy SupportMelee Physical Damage SupportFortify Support
  • Herald of PurityMelee Physical Damage Support Minion Damage Support Maim (If your mana allows, otherwise leave off maim)
  • Raise ZombieMinion Damage SupportMinion Speed Support (If you still have space)
  • Flame Dash / Summon Skitterbots
Tree at the end of Act 3
GotGemSourceQuest
Multistrike SupportRewardThe Eternal Nightmare

During Act 4, we unlock Multistrike Support. This is the last big gem setup change for a while. We should keep this gem and level it somewhere in our gear, as we cannot afford to use it till the end of act 5 – but it will be a massive damage increase at that point!

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
with your first ascendancy points. 

This will be a very noticeable increase in power, as well as improving 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 too attached!

Ideal gem setup at end of Act 4:

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

Tree at the end of Act 4
Tree at the end of Act 5

Ideal gem setup at end of Act 5:

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

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 far more convenient.

Tree at the end of Act 6
Tree at the end of Act 7

Complete the 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
with your second ascendancy points. This is once again a massive buff to both our damage and clear speed.

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 unique ring, called Circle of Guilt. So, if possible, aim to have a single ring that you can 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 about day 3 onwards..)

Tree at the end of Act 9

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

Somewhere during Yellow map progression, these specters begin to start dying regularly, this means we need to either drop them completely or replace them with some useful tanky specters. My Suggestions are Arena Master specters (bangers), a Drox (yellow) influence map only minion who is actually tanker than we are. These can be found in any Drox map, they will only spawn from the portals that the Drox minions spawn out of. If you are interested in the second kind of specter (So we can use 1 of each). My suggestion is ‘They of Tul’ who are not named in game, but are any rare mob from a Tul breach in a map, or a Tul Breachstone. These put out big swirly area of effect around them they give us dodge chance and reduced damage taken.

Complete the 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 off-hand. A great unique choice that is often cheap is Ahn’s Heritage – it can also provide additional maximum resistances. We will be replacing this with an Armour base shield that gives % of life on block (a Shaper mod) when one becomes available, however.

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 to 3,  you’ll want to buy this from trade.

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 to socketed minion gems (if you can afford to buy an ilvl 86 helmet, then +3).  
  • 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 negligible.)
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 (15–20)% reduced Mana Reservation. NOTE: This needs to be 20% – but you can buy it at a lower roll and use divine orbs. Fertile Catalysts can also add quality which will make the value higher.
  • Sentinels of Purity deal (40–60)% 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 (the mods that best synergise with our build will also be the more expensive rings).

Example of Circle of Guilt ring
End game tree (after obtaining a HoP ring)

Further Improvements

Once you obtain a second Circle of Guilt ring, and some appropriate cluster jewels (the details of these are in path of building), you can respec your tree to gain more offensive and defensive power.

Tree for high tier maps (2 HoP rings required)