Disclaimer 1: The build requires the Replenishing Remedies Amulet anointment, your Animate Guardian to be level 19 at least, before starting the build, as well as the following unique items to function in its full form :
Disclaimer 2: This build should not be taken into Trails of the Ancestors, as the league mechanic is extremely deadly to Animate Guardian and this build cannot function without its AG. This is sad, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It still functions as a mapper, but it should be kept out of the league mechanic.
The Chains Of Command Animate Weapon Build has been one that many of us have wanted to make work since the introduction of Chains of Command. Having been introduced alongside Bestiary League, the play style was truly out there and the concept of buffing up your Animate Guardian, putting insane weapons on the line to make him & the Animate Weapons deal huge damage gave us a truly unique way to play the game. The build in its initial form felt rather clunky and was too difficult to really make work. All of this changed with the introduction of Gravebind in 3.16. Having played & heavily tested the build myself, I am more than happy to say that I can finally bring this concept to life. With 3.19 this insane build is taking to a whole new level with the introduction of going poison which in my opinion is the absolute best and most enjoyable way of playing with minions.
This build is also available in a video format, which can be seen below. The video covers gameplay as well as the major interactions we make use of with Chains Of Command.
Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information.
In this section, I will outline the pros, cons, and general play style. This will allow you to determine if this is the right build for you!
+ Profane Bloom – The pops created by Profane Bloom are both extremely satisfying to watch, and is fantastic at clearing corpses to avoid on-death effects like porcupines.
+ Clear Speed – The Animate Weapons move through monster packs efficiently and your clear speed is only limited by your movement speed & convocation
+ Unique Play Style – Putting a The Wasp Nest on your Animate Guardian is outlandish to say the least, and this build makes it work in style.
– Risky – If you’re not comfortable with the Animate Guardian this build is NOT for you, if he dies you HAVE to purchase new gear for him to be able to play the build.
– Unique Play Style – Due to the nature of this build’s play style, it is a build that not everyone will find enjoyable. I strongly recommend watching the gameplay video before starting this build.
– Gem Levels are necessary – Without a level 19 Animate guardian, he may become squishy and losing it means you have to re-equip it with new gear, including the weapon.
– Bossing can be difficult – while the pure boss DPS is high, your animate weapons may be prone to dying often against larger hits, this means your effective damage uptime can be lower on bosses, when the stars align, this is not an issue you often encounter and bosses mostly blow up immediately.
The unique components of Chains of Command make an Animated Weapon summon of the weapon that your Animate Guardian holds on kill. We equip our Animate Guardian with a The Wasp Nest or high PDPS weapon, alongside the aforementioned Gravebind to ensure that each kill happening around your Guardian is considered to be his. To get the ball rolling, 1 The Writhing Jar is mandatory, and 2 can help make it feel smoother.
Once the initial summons have been created, you are free to run through the map casting your movement skill of choice and convocation as everything around you blows up in spectacular fashion.
You can sustain your The Writhing Jar with flask nodes on the tree.
Damage Scaling And Defensive Layers
Scaling the damage with Chains Of Command relies heavily on the weapon used by the Animate Guardian in the low budget version that is the The Wasp Nest as we are looking to focus our damage output with poison stacks. To further this damage we are utilizing Wither that we are casting ourselves as we can ramp up the efficiency of the increased chaos damage taken the enemies will receive if we cast it ourselves. Higher budget versions of this build will change the weapon to better variants such as The Dancing Dervish which can very likely be more than affordable for the low budget version as well, however, do keep in mind that you do need better gear on the Animate Guardian when wielding a 2H Sword compared to being able to wear a shield with the Wasp Nest.
The defences of this build include using Purity of Elements for Elemental Ailment immunity, Determination for huge values of Armour. With this setup, we achieve roughly 80k effective hit pool for physical damage, and roughly 50k of elemental & chaos damage. Depending on which utility flasks you decide to use, this may be increased further.
PoB And Passive Skill Tree
All my guides use Path of Building. We have a simple guide for you that shows how to import my build into Path of Building, you can find the guide here
- Here’s the low budget PoB including gear information for the Animate Guardian as well as covering LvLing trees & skill-sets based of acts to help you navigate through the campaign easier: https://pobb.in/GdSUk3lZQy9k
- The medium & high budget PoB can be found here including similar information as with the low budget PoB except it is not displaying any of the LvLing trees or help with the campaign: https://pobb.in/0MqDyCPC3AXr
The gear for Chains Of Command is rather self-explanatory, our Chains of Command is mandatory for the build, and it does not need to be 6-linked as the sockets will all apply to the skills provided in the body armour in the same way that the Whispering Ice staff works. Also making sure you get The Writhing Jar & flask recovery nodes on the tree which makes the build function smoothly.
|Item Slot||Item Name||Rarity|
|Head||+ Level of all minion skill gems, Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Amulet||Life then Res/Attributes as needed + Replenishing Remedies anointment||Rare|
|Chest||Chains of Command||Unique|
|Gloves||Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Boots||Life & Movement Speed then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Rings||Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Weapon||Increased minion damage, Attack speed, and Trigger Socketed Spell craft||Rare|
|Shield||Lioneye's Remorse or a rare shield with high life & preferably armor||Unique/Rare|
Animate Guardian Gear
|Item Slot||Item Name||Rarity|
|Head||Crown of the Tyrant or Leer Cast||Unique – Leer cast is the lower budget option.|
|Chest||Doppelgänger Guise or Ambu's Charge or a Belly of the Beast||Unique – Ambus charge or Belly are the cheap and affordable at all points of the league|
|Weapon||The Wasp Nest or The Dancing Dervish||Rare weapon with high pDPS, poison damage, high attack speed can outperform these but will come at a greater cost|
Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Reccomendations
You can read about the Ascendancy, Bandit choice, and Pantheon Power recommendations for this build on our dedicated page.
I highly recommend following the Absolution Sentinel for levelling, as both builds pick up similar notables, allowing for minimal respeccing to take place. Below you’ll find a generic TLDR starter approach.
The build will not function without the setup mentioned in the disclaimer at the top of the guide.
Levelling this build with Herald of Purity alongside Absolution from lvl 16 & 12 respectively is entirely doable, being the fastest way to level as a minion build. Combining this with Raise Zombie when you have access to Vitality will make for a smooth levelling experience.
Before You Enable Minions
Before you are able to utilize minions for your levelling experience you will need to make sure they function for actual clearing, this ultimately comes down to unlocking Absolution at level 12.
- Stormblast Mine for single target
- Freezing Pulse for clearing
- Frost Bomb for clearing when you get it instead of the Freezing Pulse
Once you reach level 12 you are able to pick up the Absolution skill and level with the ability all the way. Any links providing extra damage for the minions would be preferable early on:
- Minion Damage Support
- Added Cold Damage Support
- Added Fire Damage Support
- Added Lightning Damage Support
In Act 3 Library you’re able to pick up Physical to Lightning Support which enhances the damage significantly, auras doesn’t come in play till Act 3 either, at which point you’ll want to run Wrath & Zealotry depending on if you’ve taken the reduced mana reservation nodes or not. Mana will be sustained via a mana flask till you are able to pick up the Energy Shield leech node & Eldritch Battery.
For more general levelling advice, we recommend the following guides.
- Our step-by-step levelling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the levelling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for levelling, which helps you gear up your characters for the levelling process.
- Our beginner levelling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
To guarantee that my guides are tools you can utilize to enhance your experience in Path of Exile, you may have questions. Please join the PoE Vault discord and they will attend to them as soon as possible.
As much as I love making build guides, it is very crucial in a game like Path of Exile that you play the game the way you enjoy playing it. With that said, if you’ve made any tweaks to the build compared to what I’m showing in this guide I would love it if you shared this in my discord It’s an effective way to show other approaches and it helps me grow as a build guide creator!
I hope you found the build guide useful and I wish you all many Divine Orb drops!