Thanks! Yeah I already dropped MoM after running with it for a couple levels. I never liked it so I don’t know why I thought this time would be any different. I’m using Purity of Elements + Haste right now but I’ve been considering going BM, not sure how that would work though. I have to admit that I love being res capped with absolutely garbage tier gear lol.
Good tip on Advancing Fortress, I totally missed that property when I checked it out earlier.
Couple more questions - do you find zombies sufficient for damage in combination with Solar Guards, especially if they’re built for GMP (I assume you don’t slot in Slow Proj for bosses)? I’m only up to t7 so far with plenty of skill gem levels to go, but the damage doesn’t seem THAT bad, even when specced for aoe. For tougher bosses like Shaper I’d probably have to fit in skellies I guess. Also, have you tried using Pierce as 5th link for Solar Guards? I’m trying it now and it feels great, better than Ele Focus even (links are echo, minion dmg, gmp, pierce). And finally, how many Reckless Defense jewels do you usually take, especially if you’re playing without Mistress of Sacrifice?
edit: Bonus question - do you take Elemental Equilibrium or not? I’m finding it pretty good to be honest, but with skellies I could probably drop it since they do phys dmg and would be the main source of single target damage anyway.
Skeletons have gotten better in the last few leagues, certainly, so I see where @fdsaion is coming from. Using skeletons requires some investment, though - at least a couple of support gem slots if you want decent damage from them, at least one jewel slot (and usually more), and you have to take time to cast them on a regular basis. Zombies require no supports (though I usually give them Fortify, shared with my golem, to minimize resummoning) and no jewel slots, and you don’t have to do anything in battle for them other than occasionally Convocation when they get stuck on the wrong side of some terrain. In either case, skeletons or zombies, fitting in a jewel with minion chance to taunt on hit will make them much better tanks.
I wouldn’t go Blood Magic. Your mana costs as a summoner are dirt cheap, since the biggest cost stuff is summoning zombies/spectres and that’s out of combat anyhow. You’re better off either keeping the auras, or using MoM for the eHP. Purity of Elements is nice for gearing, as you mentioned, and it’s also helpful in keeping the spectres from croaking when you get to heavy elemental damage bosses (Hydra and Shaper come to mind). Even better if you took Commander of Darkness.
I’ve never bothered switching in Slower Projectiles, but it would make sense against tough bosses where adds aren’t a big deal. I’m too lazy to gem swap. :) And I took down the Shaper with no skeletons on Niekramant last league, so it’s certainly possible. Though I should point out that was with Vanguards, not Solar Guards.
As for zombie damage, they’re not gonna do much against bosses, and even with no offensive support gems they can clear trash mobs. So there’s no need to really consider zombie damage in your aura/jewel/gem planning. All you really want from them in boss fights is to provide extra targets so the boss is less likely to hit the spectres.
Never tried it, but for clear speed I can see how Pierce would be a winner. I’ve never used it largely because clear speed hasn’t been an issue when using Solar Guards, so Pierce always felt like overkill while Elemental Focus would speed up taking down rares and uniques. But hey, if it’s making a difference, more power to ya!
You’re going to have a tough time capping block if you skip Mistress of Sacrifice (and use Bone Offering instead of Flesh Offering). Three is probably the ideal number of Reckless Defense, for 12% block (assuming you can get 4% jewels).
If your primary damage source is spectres, absolutely take EE. Makes a huge difference when all that damage is fire-based. For skeletons, it’s still pretty good if you’re running sources of elemental-on-top-of-physical (Hatred, Grip of the Council). I used it on both Charming Ossifier (skeletons) and Niekramant (spectres). You could drop it for a pure physical skeleton build, but it’s only one skill point on the way to Gravepact/Shaper/Constitution so it seems like a no-brainer if there’s any elemental damage on your build at all.
"In Path of Exile: Delve, you will delve into the Azurite Mine’s infinite depths to extract treasure and discover its subterranean secrets.
Our latest expansion features an infinite dungeon and socketable currency items, as well as a bunch of new unique items, skill gems, balance changes, graphics engine improvements and more!
The Azurite Mine is Path of Exile’s first infinite dungeon. The deeper you delve, the harder the game gets. In Delve, you’ll find encounters that are much harder than end-game Maps. Your progress is only limited by the power of your character build. The Depth Ladder tracks who has delved the deepest into the mine.
Path of Exile: Delve will launch on August 31st (PDT) on PC and September 3rd on Xbox One."
My first thought upon reading the first couple paragraphs was “really, they made a whole league around a repeating escort mission? no thanks.” But upon further research it looks like it might actually work, and I’m now at moderate hype level.
I switched to standard for the flashback because I hadn’t seen much endgame this league; currently level 91 Ascendant trying Elemental Hit for the first time. Last time I checked I had 22 deaths. The joys of standard, opening an abyss and a breach while in a beyond map and watching the carnage unfold.
I didn’t use EH at all during the league so that it would be fresh if they did another long race. Also in SSF so I can’t do the super overpowered conversion tricks so it just feels like a strong skill rather than stupidly broken.
35 challenges down. Guess it’s time to try Uber Elder again. Last couple times I tried I just didn’t understand the fight mechanics well enough to keep up. I’ve upgraded my dps significantly since then and gotten better at the Shaper solo fight, so hopefully I’ll have better luck. Other option would be to try to get the omnitect challenge, but I’ve only had the lightning room tier three twice, and I fat fingered the challenge for it both times (I really suck at bullet hell).
This has definitely been my best league for progression, by far. Really looking forward to the endless dungeon in Delve to push further.
They made new stuff that a summoner can use so I’m using it. Revamped Dominating Blow, Herald of Purity, Summon Holy Relic. Supported by the usual assortment of zombies and spectres. As a Scion, which I’m sure isn’t optimal since those are designed for Guardian, but I didn’t look too closely at the options before I started. I’m sure she’ll peter out around mid-tier maps, but thus far it’s been fun up into A7. Haven’t bothered shopping for anything so effectively SSF to this point, and she’s steamrolling everything despite crappy gear.
Only death so far was in the Delve when I was experimenting with flares. Not a fan of the flare and dynamite mechanics, but the “follow the cart around and kill things” part of the Delve is fine.