Dominating Blow Guardian Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

Vvckd

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Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

Introduction

The Dominating Blow Dominating Blow Guardian is an interesting type of summoner that can create an army of minions via dominating foe’s minds and raising the dead. Dominating Blow Dominating Blow is a skill that creates an apparition of the fallen enemies that fights on your side for decent duration. You can raise normal, magic and rare monsters; rares are especially powerful since they can buff your whole army (and yourself) with strong auras. The build achieves a decent life pool, good amount of Life Regeneration, and great damage potential for endgame.

Build Summary

The build does not require any items to start playing and is a great league-starter. There are some endgame items you should aim for, but they are not particularly expensive or hard to get. The Scourge The Scourge will scale both yours and your minions’ damage, while allowing you to have decent attack damage. Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast will provide great amount of life.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Satisfying “snowballing” playstyle
+ Great single target potential

Cons

- Mediocre mobility
- It is hard to get your whole army of minions summoned every time you change zones, for example bosses in new areas

Playstyle

Offensively, hitting enemies with Dominating Blow Dominating Blow will summon additional minions that will deal a great amount of damage. Herald of Purity Herald of Purity, Raise Zombie Raise Zombie, Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic, and Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem will all help out by dealing a ton of damage. Hitting with Smite Smite every once in a while will provide a damage buff for all of your minions.

Defensively, as in every summoner build, you will be able to use your minions as a “meat shield”. Your great life pool, a lot of Life Regeneration, Armour, Block Chance, and Endurance charges will help you survive tough hits.

For playstyle, staying offensive, keeping your army alive and leading forward is what you should be doing mainly. Killing a pack of monsters in every new zone will be enough to start your minions’ rampage.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree you should aim for. Our goal is to efficiently pick life, minion nodes, increased duration nodes and Resolute Technique.

For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast
Gloves Command of the Pit Command of the Pit
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon The Scourge The Scourge
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

The Dominating Blow Guardian can be very easily by using Smite Smite as a main skill early on. Although you can transition to Dominating Blow Dominating Blow at level 28, we recommend using Smite until maps for smoother leveling experience.

Leveling Trees

With this passive skill tree you will allow you to get a general idea of what is important to pick up early on.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following Smite Smite link. You should also pick up the Raise Zombie Raise Zombie skill gem.

  1. Smite Smite
  2. Maim Support Maim Support
  3. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  4. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should add Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic, which will allow you to sustain your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie from early on.

By level 8, your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie link should look like this.

  1. Raise Zombie Raise Zombie
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash or Leap Slam Leap Slam for additional mobility. You can also make use of Clarity Clarity for the additional mana regeneration.

At level 16, you should add Herald of Purity Herald of Purity, use the following link.

  1. Herald of Purity Herald of Purity
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  4. Maim Support Maim Support

By level 18, you should replace the Maim Support Maim Support gems with Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support.

At level 28, you can finally transition to your signature skill, Dominating Blow Dominating Blow.

  1. Dominating Blow Dominating Blow
  2. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  3. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  4. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Maim Support Maim Support

At level 38, you should replace Ruthless Support Ruthless Support with Multistrike Support Multistrike Support.

FAQ

Why would I play the Dominating Blow Guardian over any other summoner build?

This particular build may be a bit slower compared to other summoner builds, but has an insane damage potential when all of your buffs and minions are up. Also, summoners in general hardly recover when they get hit, simply because they only rely on their minions and do not Leech Life or have a great amount of Life Regeneration. This is where the Dominating Blow Guardian, with his great recovery via the Time of Need ascendancy node, great Life Regeneration, and some Life Leech via the Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise unique flask really shines.

Conclusion

The Dominating Blow Guardian allows you to be an active aggressive summoner that leads his crusade.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build plays out as before and remains solid.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build received a huge buff with the changes to Guardian, the Sentinels spawned via Herald of Purity, Dominating Blow and the new minion passive nodes.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7. Improved Gem and Gearing sections along with replacing old passive skill trees.

  1. Posts
    8

    Hiya Vvckd!

    This is a great build! I always wanted to have a boy summoner. I love his accent, although I could do without the religious spewage cringe Anyway, he’s leveled so fast I can’t keep up. He’s already 30, and that Dominating Blow is a blast. One way to take aggro off you on a pack of mobs haha. But eesh, it don’t like letting me keep my mana. No worries, I’m sure I’ll have plenty later on.

    I got lucky and as soon as I entered The Slums, The Screaming Eagle dropped off some random rare. I was speechless! I’ve managed to get lucky on coloring some slots for one set of summons, and I got a Tabula Rasa for now. Still some coloring and slotting to do, but he’s pretty solid for now. [She says as she’s still in Act III].

    Appreciate you pointing me here. Just wish I could squeeze in my Summon Phantasms somewhere. They’re in my 6L for now until I get Multi Strike, but they sure add some nice ranged support. Thanks for all the hard work you do here making builds so easy to follow. It really helps those of us who can’t do it themselves. Kudos my friend!

  2. Vvckd

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    On 09/04/2019 at 2:27 AM, Rhaevyn said

    Hiya Vvckd!

    This is a great build! I always wanted to have a boy summoner. I love his accent, although I could do without the religious spewage cringe Anyway, he’s leveled so fast I can’t keep up. He’s already 30, and that Dominating Blow is a blast. One way to take aggro off you on a pack of mobs haha. But eesh, it don’t like letting me keep my mana. No worries, I’m sure I’ll have plenty later on.

    Hey, Rhaevyn

    Glad to hear you like the build, ye you will have some mana problems early on, Clarity Clarity can help a bit. Phantasms are cool but I never really played around them too much, there is a unique staff called Soulwrest Soulwrest, which allows you to make a pure Phantasm build, but this is another topic.

    Edited by Xencaye on April 9th, 2019

  • Posts
    8

    I made it work. For now. Got them [phantasms] in another piece of gear for the random stuffs like the golem. And man is this holier-than-thou zealot of mine LUCKY. I just got LeHeup of All! I’m stoked. Still have to work on resists, but that’s the part I’m still learning. If I spend all that time trying to craft my own stuffs then he’ll just outgrow it, so, like when do you do it? Make a plan to make new stuff every 5 or 10 levels? What is your formulae for this? I had a white ring (forget which) that had a base stat I wanted to work from. I added life to it and… the ring became level 32 LOL! I was only in the teens at the time. The crafting bench doesn’t tell you squat. Guess I’ll need a day of studying crafting so I can know what I can actually use when.

    Anyway, really having fun with this guy. He’s still a bit squishy. I find I’m always holding my breath when I go in for the DB because packs of mobs (especially blues!) are so yummy to DB but OMG they hurt. ;) — oh, and I dropped Clarity, I needs mah MANA and 50% reserved?! No thanks. And you should really give the phantasms a go, they’re quite useful and at least they actually attack the mobs, not like the meat sack zombies who slouch 2 feet away SMH

  • Vvckd

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    On 09/04/2019 at 7:08 AM, Rhaevyn said

    I made it work. For now. Got them [phantasms] in another piece of gear for the random stuffs like the golem. And man is this holier-than-thou zealot of mine LUCKY. I just got LeHeup of All! I’m stoked. Still have to work on resists, but that’s the part I’m still learning. If I spend all that time trying to craft my own stuffs then he’ll just outgrow it, so, like when do you do it? Make a plan to make new stuff every 5 or 10 levels? What is your formulae for this? I had a white ring (forget which) that had a base stat I wanted to work from. I added life to it and… the ring became level 32 LOL! I was only in the teens at the time. The crafting bench doesn’t tell you squat. Guess I’ll need a day of studying crafting so I can know what I can actually use when.

    When it comes to upgrading gear pieces, I’d say try having around 300hp per Act, aka at least 1,5k in Act V etc. Having capped or near capped resists is always important obviously. When it comes to the squishiness, try using Jade, Granite or Basalt flasks for additional damage mitigation, it will help a lot for sure.

  • Posts
    8

    UPDATE!

    So, I finally went to the POE trading site and wow, I don’t know why I didn’t go there sooner! For very little currency I got myself kitted out very well for my level, as far as grabbing stuff with good resists (with the amount and colors of sockets I wanted on each) and a nice weapon. I’m now at at least 75% to all plus 20% to Chaos at level 60 as of this writing. (I know, enjoy it for now till I get to part 3… joy).

    I also changed the build more to my liking incorporating your passives with my gem choices and OMG he’s brutal. If this build actually works in end game I may share it with you and have you make a guide for it since you’re so good at structuring and formatting yours. I’m a good writer, but I’m still such a noob I wouldn’t explain things correctly.

    I’ll keep you posted!

  • Vvckd

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    On 11/04/2019 at 3:23 AM, Rhaevyn said

    UPDATE!

    So, I finally went to the POE trading site and wow, I don’t know why I didn’t go there sooner! For very little currency I got myself kitted out very well for my level, as far as grabbing stuff with good resists (with the amount and colors of sockets I wanted on each) and a nice weapon. I’m now at at least 75% to all plus 20% to Chaos at level 60 as of this writing. (I know, enjoy it for now till I get to part 3… joy).

    The build will work in endgame do not worry about that, keep progressing :)

  • Posts
    8

    Hehehe, you don’t know how much I changed it ;)

  • Posts
    1

    Nice guide. Decided to burn some currency and waste a little time. Doing this but adding in Arakaali’s Fang as weapon to see how it does.

  • Vvckd

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    On 06/08/2019 at 8:58 PM, Quinn241 said

    Nice guide. Decided to burn some currency and waste a little time. Doing this but adding in Arakaali’s Fang as weapon to see how it does.

    Sounds great!

  • Posts
    5

    Hi,
    thanks for your build – just to add, I will ask:

    Shield using rare? Priorities?

    Thank you.

  • Posts
    1

    can The Baron be used as a helmet in this build?

  • Vvckd

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    On 24/09/2019 at 3:15 PM, Kilito said

    can The Baron be used as a helmet in this build?

    Hey, yes you can, but this will require significantly more game knowledge on your end, since this will require completely different passive skill tree and gear.

  • Posts
    1

    Harmony of purpose does not provide minions with charges, only other players. That being said I think it’s still the right choice.

    Carnage and host chiefs out of act 7 ashen wood do a good job of supplying the horde with charges. I dumped zombies in favor of spectres for them.

    Edited by bigpoo on October 6th, 2019

  • Vvckd

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    On 06/10/2019 at 3:18 PM, bigpoo said

    Harmony of purpose does not provide minions with charges, only other players. That being said I think it’s still the right choice.

    Carnage and host chiefs out of act 7 ashen wood do a good job of supplying the horde with charges. I dumped zombies in favor of spectres for them.

    That works well, good job.

  • Posts
    1

    Hey, finally got The Scourge The Scourge but suddenly i cant cast smite when i have it equiped. I have smite gems in my chest piece. Nothing is highlighted red and I have the stats required for it. Have no idea what is causing it.

  • Vvckd

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    On 10/10/2019 at 11:08 PM, Elly said

    Hey, finally got The Scourge The Scourge but suddenly i cant cast smite when i have it equiped. I have smite gems in my chest piece. Nothing is highlighted red and I have the stats required for it. Have no idea what is causing it.

    Hey, you should drop Smite Smite early on when you replace it with Dominating Blow Dominating Blow. Smite cannot be used with Claws.

  • Posts
    1

    While this build is okay, there are so many flaws that could have been improved upon.
    You pick up way too many inefficient minion nodes on the skill tree (while you don’t pick up the % resist ones around indomitable army?)
    You could go to spectres for power/frenzy charge Monkeys or rallying cry hellions and +1 zombies ? Or just get 4/5 dps spectres?[If you just get a chest piece with +1 spectres]
    Also, Minion Instability is right there and is quite great with Dominating Blow…
    You could talk about golem gems and The Anima Stone The Anima Stone which would give you 3 golems for either regen or just Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem which would give your army a whole bunch of extra damage. Also, these put out way more damage than zombies btw! You could even bump this up to 4 golems if you decide to use Clayshaper Clayshaper.
    About your The Scourge The Scourge pick, since you get the passive of the increases and reductions here, you could potentially drop it on the passive tree.
    Honestly though, i would personally also consider to use a Soul Taker Soul Taker which would give you more damage and allow you to reserve pretty much all of your mana.
    That way you could drop the ‘Harmony of Purpose’ passive (which is pointless for minions as they are not party members) and just get ‘Radiant Faith’ for like 150-200 base es extra and then go hybrid instead of wasting so many passives pathing to extra life nodes…
    Also, ES/Mana on gear becomes a big plus!
    Or just go with a Kingmaker Kingmaker for an extra 6L tbh… (non staff 2h still benefits from the 50% block passive from guardian btw)
    Also, why a rare shield? There are some ally/minion shields out there, including for instance Whakatutuki o Matua Whakatutuki o Matua or perhaps a Victario's Charity Victario's Charity or Prism Guardian Prism Guardian if you plan to go more into the aura path. If you go with % reduced off of tree you could probably get like four 50% auras running for your minions just off of mana alone.
    Speaking of auras btw, Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic ??? Your minions can’t taunt is quite a big one given current meta… Also, if you went with the % minion resist/phys% they wouldn’t really need any extra regen from this tbh…
    If it’s for your regen, then you might as well just slap a Meat Shield Support Meat Shield Support on those zombies and have them be your shields for a more defensive playstyle + it will allow you to actually hit monsters and scale off of dominating blow minions instead of others. (As zombie/golem/spectre will probably kill most of them before you walk up to hit…)
    And possibly use an offering skill for either offense or defense in this build since you have so much % increased duration anyway?

    So yeah, a lot to consider, like i said at the start, the build isn’t bad, just far from optimal. (i’ve looked into it quite a bit since i had a similar idea as it sounds quite fun)

  • Vvckd

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    On 12/10/2019 at 6:50 PM, SylveonIsMyBae said

    While this build is okay, there are so many flaws that could have been improved upon.
    You pick up way too many inefficient minion nodes on the skill tree (while you don’t pick up the % resist ones around indomitable army?)
    You could go to spectres for power/frenzy charge Monkeys or rallying cry hellions and +1 zombies ? Or just get 4/5 dps spectres?[If you just get a chest piece with +1 spectres]
    Also, Minion Instability is right there and is quite great with Dominating Blow…
    You could talk about golem gems and The Anima Stone The Anima Stone which would give you 3 golems for either regen or just Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem which would give your army a whole bunch of extra damage. Also, these put out way more damage than zombies btw! You could even bump this up to 4 golems if you decide to use Clayshaper Clayshaper.
    About your The Scourge The Scourge pick, since you get the passive of the increases and reductions here, you could potentially drop it on the passive tree.
    Honestly though, i would personally also consider to use a Soul Taker Soul Taker which would give you more damage and allow you to reserve pretty much all of your mana.
    That way you could drop the ‘Harmony of Purpose’ passive (which is pointless for minions as they are not party members) and just get ‘Radiant Faith’ for like 150-200 base es extra and then go hybrid instead of wasting so many passives pathing to extra life nodes…
    Also, ES/Mana on gear becomes a big plus!
    Or just go with a Kingmaker Kingmaker for an extra 6L tbh… (non staff 2h still benefits from the 50% block passive from guardian btw)
    Also, why a rare shield? There are some ally/minion shields out there, including for instance Whakatutuki o Matua Whakatutuki o Matua or perhaps a Victario's Charity Victario's Charity or Prism Guardian Prism Guardian if you plan to go more into the aura path. If you go with % reduced off of tree you could probably get like four 50% auras running for your minions just off of mana alone.
    Speaking of auras btw, Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic ??? Your minions can’t taunt is quite a big one given current meta… Also, if you went with the % minion resist/phys% they wouldn’t really need any extra regen from this tbh…
    If it’s for your regen, then you might as well just slap a Meat Shield Support Meat Shield Support on those zombies and have them be your shields for a more defensive playstyle + it will allow you to actually hit monsters and scale off of dominating blow minions instead of others. (As zombie/golem/spectre will probably kill most of them before you walk up to hit…)
    And possibly use an offering skill for either offense or defense in this build since you have so much % increased duration anyway?

    So yeah, a lot to consider, like i said at the start, the build isn’t bad, just far from optimal. (i’ve looked into it quite a bit since i had a similar idea as it sounds quite fun)

    Hello there. With this specific build guide I managed to create a Guardian that has the foundational things for every player to look upon. If you’ve played enough of summoners already, you would have figured out that summons are way too tanky at the moment and you do not really have to heavily invest into that. Just the zombies are able to go over 60k Life, with the same investment prior to 3.8, you were able to create zombies with like 15-20k Life. This is why I chose not to pick the resistances since there are enough on other passive nodes already.

    You can definitely choose to invest into Spectres, but in my opinion this is not just another Spectre build, for which you get +1 Body Armour and destroy the whole content just with spectres. I wanted to mainly focus on Sentinels from Herald of Purity Herald of Purity, Raise Zombie Raise Zombies and Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic. Victario's Charity Victario's Charity in combination with Necromantic Aegis is a very strong combination, but it takes away your defensives Shield capabilities.

    If you want your Minions to taunt it is fine to drop Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic, the character is melee-based any ways and you have to stay in the fight any ways.

    After all, thank you for all of your suggestions, from them I can see you are experienced PoE player and have good game knowledge. Some of the changes drastically affect gameplay and are based on personal preference, which I am all-in for. Seeing players improvise and do their own thing is always great and is the most fun part of making a build.

  • Posts
    1

    Hey ! Thanks !
    I’ll try this build on Metamorph ! :)

  • Vvckd

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    On 12/12/2019 at 12:36 PM, Grenouille said

    Hey ! Thanks !
    I’ll try this build on Metamorph ! :)

    Hey, glad to hear it, I am pretty sure you will have a lot of fun!

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