Ultimatum League Update
Editor Note: This guide was updated before Path of Building pushed its 3.14 update – however, the Path of Building is set up to work in 3.14 and will be migrated / updated as soon as possible. Should that be later than league start, worry not, it HAS been updated even though it uses an older version of Path of Building
So, new League, new Golem nerfs. Objectively speaking most likely justified. Golems have reigned supreme for a record time in Path of Exile at this point and probably, again, will remain to do so. So, a couple of things changed. First of all, they’re now a little bit less clear-speed focused, which is fine, cause a minion build with 30M boss damage shouldn’t rival top tier clearing builds. On top of that, we’re going to have to swap a jewel around because of the cooldown changes but most impactfully they were nerfed by 11% overall again. Honestly, after I did some napkin math the other day, when I read patch notes, they’ll probably still be insane and will most likely be nerfed again in 3.15.
This build, however, is the lower budget – more versatile and accessible version of the build. It is fine by all means but to get it to where it was last league, it probably needs a tad more investment. Situations where you buy 1 stat cluster jewels and some random Level 60 gear and beat the entire game probably are a little less so true. However, the build still packs over 10 million DPS on a budget and easily goes south of 20 million with more optimized setups.
Combine that with the safety of Minions and the ridiculously strong Elementalist Ascendancy you’re still in for a treat if you’re playing this build.
A Golemancer is something I felt like we really needed to cover and have in our arsenal of guides for you. Especially after the release of Summon Carrion Golem in 3.8.0 Blight League it pushed up the effectiveness of Golems by a decent chunk.
Going from having to make a choice between either clear speed with Summon Flame Golems or Boss Damage with Summon Stone Golems before made Golems almost always a one-dimensional build. Carrion Golems offered a way out of that. While Flame Golems still will be clearing better and Stone Golems can definitely compete for Single Target Damage, the Summon Carrion Golem does both of them really well making it a really well-versed all around build!
This is the main reason why the build went from rarely encountered to a top tier meta pick in 3.10 Delirium League and ever since.
I’d be surprised if you played 3.12 Heist League and never encountered a guy running around with Golems in your or their hideout when trading. The build is all over the place and rightfully so. There are two variants of the build, the Low-Life one which relies on a lot of Energy Shield Regen to out regenerate most of the incoming damage and the one we are covering which is an Elementalist Life based version. Since the other variant is a Necromancer, it doesn’t allow for extra Golems over the Carrions they use to do Damage. This means it is missing out on bonusses from Stone and Chaos Golem which are amplified through the Golem Jewels. These are what makes the build feel incredibly tanky and nice to play. Both of these, in an ideal setup, offer you about 900 Life Per Second and 24% Flat Physical Damage Reduction (which otherwise rarely exists on items as it is incredibly strong as a Defensive mechanic).
Obviously, depending on popularity in a League, flavor of the month builds do come at a little step-up in entry cost. Golem builds generally rely on The Anima Stone to gain an extra 2 Golems to get their maximum Golems up. Since you are using 2 utility Golems, additional sources of Golems are really big for you and you really want one of these as soon as possible. They, however, are not insanely cheap. You can circumvent this when you are still farming up currency by running double Clayshapers over the endgame options in Cold Iron Point. The issue there is that Cold Iron Points are your main source of Damage and you wont feel as overpowered until you have those in your setup. Getting all of your Primordial Jewels is definitely a major upgrade and should be considered something you want to get as soon as possible!
Pros and Cons
+ Clears the early-game content very reliably on a budget
+ Whenever you upgrade it to medium budget it becomes insanely overpowered
+ Incredibly tanky & reliable for end-game bossing
+ Can be played in SSF, as the Primordial Jewels can be farmed through cards
– Requires you to drop a lot of damage to circumvent the lack of Primordial Jewels
– Whereas the clear is very respectable, it is still a minion build and so is not as fast as some other builds
Map Modifiers to be Avoided
The only thing the build cannot run is Physical Reflect, as your minions will kill themselves.
Echoes of the Atlas Expansion Updates
As everyone expected, Golems got the bat in 3.13. However, considering how ridiculously broken they were before these changes, I’m honestly surprised by how little they got hit. First of all, there’s the tweak to the Ascendancy, which removed the “Increased Golem Damage per Summoned Golem”. That change by itself is a loss of 120% increased damage which isn’t good but it is very easy to overcome. Next up, there’s the Patch Notes stating “Carrion Golems deal approximately 20% Less Damage at all levels” which in the worst case means exactly that (but in a better case means the Gem got nerfed, which will equate to it being less than 20% overall). This means that on very reasonable Minion Gear (Decently Geared Animate Guardian, All Primordial Jewels which will be a lot cheaper now and some very very bad Cluster Jewels) this build still packs .
That is not all though! Assuming you have now learned that we’re fine on damage both on the low and top-end, let’s talk about how much defenses the new Elementalist gives you! Sadly, the build is a little bit socket starved so you can’t optimally make use of the new Shaper of Winter notable but as you use the Profane Proxy your Skitterbots no longer provide you with any chill. Therefore, we’ve freed up a socket in the Cast when Damage Taken Link to add a Bladefall which will apply a 15% Reduced Action Speed to enemies (including bosses!). This is an incredible jump in defensive power versus bosses mainly! You get to decide for yourself if you want to cast Bladefall manually or keep it low level so it procs off of Cast when Damage taken.
Last but not least, Elementalist now offers you Bastion of Elements. This notable grants you Primal Aegis which acts as a buffer for your Health Pool versus Elemental Damage! Coincidentally enough, that is exactly what you need as an Elementalist wearing Brass Dome. Your Physical Mitigation was always naturally going to be fairly high where as your Elemental Mitigation was a bit lacking. Getting an extra 65% Effective Health Pool versus that is pretty strong!
Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths
The way any Golemancer, and thus also our Summon Carrion Golem build plays, is very similar. You summon all of your Golems (4x Carrion, 1x Stone, 1x Chaos) and you’re ready to go! Additionally, you want to use an Animate Guardian setup to offer your Minions Fortify, Critical Strike Multiplier and Culling Strike. On top of that, an Animate Guardian can also provide a 9% More Physical Damage dealt through its helmet, which equates to an insane amount of damage buffs. Be careful when using this though, as you need to equip it with enough defensive items to make sure it doesn’t die. Should your Animate Guardian die, you lose all its items which can add up rather quickly!
Next up, you’re using Raise Spectres to summon Carnage and Host Chieftains, which cast a buff that gives all of your Minions Frenzy and Power Charges, which again amplifies their damage by a lot.
While all of that is big for your damage, one of the biggest things that buffed Golems to a tremendous extent were Cluster Jewels added in 3.10 Delirium League. Now, don’t you worry, we don’t require insane Cluster Jewels or anything to make this build do what it does best: . First of all, the addition of the Renewal notable on Cluster Jewels is absolutely insane for any type of Golem Builds.
Golems innately scale very well to really high base damages anyway, so getting them to deal double damage is really strong. Besides this notable, there’s a couple of other notables you wouldn’t mind having, but if you’re just stacking these, you’ll do fine and you don’t have to worry about getting super expensive jewels.
In addition to Renewal being absolutely insane for Golems, it also made sockets more available and since this build wants to run as many Primordial Jewels as possible, it used to path all around the world to find as many sockets in the tree as possible. With Cluster Jewels giving you an extra socket per Cluster, it made it so efficient to pick up Clusters that basically everything else on them was free.
Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links
You can find an optimized Path of Building here here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.
If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a PoePlanner for you. Do note that PoEPlanner does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.
More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated 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.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Head||Rare Bone Helmet with +3 to Minion Gems & Minion Life Support|
|Amulet||Citrine Amulet with +2 to Gems (Intelligence & Physical Gems) & Maximum Life|
|Chest||The Brass Dome|
|Gloves||High Life & Resistances|
|Boots||Two-Stone Boots with High Movement Speed, Resistances and Life|
|Belt||Leather Belt with High Life, Strength and some Resistances|
|Rings||1x Profane Proxy and 1 Resistance Base Ring with High Life, Dexterity and Resistances|
|Weapon||2x Cold Iron Point|
Questions & Support
I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.
If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.
Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will be providing you a way to level up with Summon Carrion Golem. If you are looking for the most optimal way to level a character to maps, we refer you to the following guides.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
In order to level this build as a Summon Carrion Golem build, you need to make your way to level 34 to be able to use the gem.
Getting to Brutus & Merveil
For starters, create a Witch in whichever league you want to start.
You will want to start out by buying an extra wand from the vendor. On top of that, pick up a Explosive Trap as a quest reward. After you’ve run the Mud Flats, you’ll proceed to kill Hailrake in the Tidal Island with Traps.
Level 12 and Onwards Setup
Assuming you have more sockets available now, you can add a Summon Skeletons setup so you can also spawn some skeletons if you so wish.
In Act II you also want to start running a Summon Skitterbots to amplify the damage your minions are dealing. Make sure you’re picking up a Flame Dash and a Flesh Offering too for a movement skill and some DPS buff for your minions.
Post Act II
You’re going to want to add in a Desecrate in your setup so you can guarantee corpses to cast Flesh Offering on. If you want to spend a little Orb of Regret you can pick up the Sacrifice node in the tree to make your Summon Raging Spirit last a little longer which will make them more reliable. Should you be getting a 4-Linked item somehow, you can add in Elemental Focus Support to make them deal even more Damage.
Post Act IV – Setting up Golems
This is your setup for when you have acquired your Golems at the end of act IV.
Make sure you pick up the Instability Notable as it provides you a really big boost to SRS DPS for as long as you’re using it