1.5.6 dual Summoner mini-guide: tier 1 honeymoon in Australia, maybe

Hello there!

Cue introductions:

This mini-guide will be unique in a few different ways. For one, it will be dual, as the title suggests; you don’t get one build, but two that synergize and (somewhat) depend on one another. Two, those two builds are location-dependent, again as the title suggests. Three, they have a unique level limitation, with all the challenges that come with that factor.

So first, disclaimers.

Disclaimer: As 2038 progresses, much of the info in these guides is very likely to, or even bound to, not apply in the future.

Disclaimer #2: These builds are rather gear-dependent, and are very location-specific. Finally, they’re specifically for lv34, and build around that limitation. Please keep this in mind as you plan ahead.

Now then!

Why Australia, maybe? And why tier 1?

For the drops, of course! Tier 2 you may always farm at your leisure at lv50, but tier 1 offers some unique drops for your new characters; enablers like Blue Sunshine’s Hand Cannon or Pennywise One that might make their playthrough faster or more fun. There are also some you may even consider using on your endgame characters, such as Harrowing Truce for its massive hp bonus and Mind Power userate. That’s the one my endgame build is using now, for that matter.

And also for the fun of the challenge. I know that’s the primary reason why we’re doing it.

The level question

First, this question requires some explanations, and it’s crucial for this guide. It is, put simply, what level you should choose to run it as. The factors that affect this choice are the following:

  • Tier 1 level brackets. The player level you choose needs to fall in line with tier 1 item levels; remember that the dungeon scales to your level +5.
  • Item levels. Speaking of, another factor will be the level of Uniques or other items your build needs. Some classes and builds may do fine with, say, lv25 items, while others may need those lv30 midgame items to take off.
  • Skill levels. Finally, you must ensure your skillset is somewhat fleshed out at your level of choice. The lower your level the easier your enemies will be, but you will also have fewer skill options yourself. Lv30 is a typical level threshold for most classes, as that’s when they get those class-changing skills like Multishot – unless you can rely on gear to get them.

Speaking of, +skills on items are also extremely valuable in this context. For self-evident reasons, hopefully.

So for this guide, we went for lv34. That’s because that’s when we ensured our Summoners could spend enough points on their Toxic Elementals, as well as get their lv30 skills like Master of Venom and Elemental Drain. Not-so-coincidentally, that’s also exactly when we could wear Grace’s Lucky Garb, which buffs Master of Venom further on top of other healthy (heh) bonuses.

The other build challenge

Finally, this is those builds’ other challenge; how will those builds look once the Australia honeymoon is over. Here, we had to take proper care to ensure both builds are highly functional outside of this one area and this one party. Well, duo.

While complete success here may not be an option, both are still very viable indeed. At the very least, they can both beat Quavontavius for the Retrainer, should you wish to shed them on your ascension to the endgame.

Build #1: the damager

Without further ado, then, this is the first build. It has one job, and its job is to inflict pain. Cue theme song:

Since the planner is slightly off, let’s transcribe and explain. A +AS helmet is a given, of course.

4/5 Fires, 1 Master of the Flame

These bad boys deal splash damage now, and can ignite crowds. 1 point in Master for +splash for them and +damage for all, which AS buffs.

2/5 Spectral, 1 Master of the Arcane

This one we’re mostly using for the Nova, but you can do without if your power pool suffers. 1 point in Master for the sfx bonus to all, really – AS buffs this.

4/5 Storms, 1 Master of Lightning

Skipping Forces, as the other build handles tanking, we go for Storms for more damage. As we do, 1 point in Master gives all our Eles some shield penetration.

4/5 Toxics, 5 Master of Venom

Finally, the last damage-dealing Eles with fields for Brom’s Curse goodness. We’re (almost) maxing Master (5 + 3 + 1) for more poison.

1 Ele Nova, 1 Master of the Elements

The build’s primary AoE comes in Nova. 1 point suffices here, as we’ll cover below, though you may go for more. Pinching Master for the AS benefit while we’re at it, as any cost reduction helps at our level.

3/10 Warper

The Demon of choice for damage (sorry Reaper!), Warper stays at 4 (3 + 1) but may be maxed via cast sets.

2 Afterlife, 2 Drain Life, 2 Brom’s Curse, 1 Elemental Drain

Finally, this whole line mostly intends to grab Ele Drain to max it via cast set. However, Brom’s is also very valuable, and Afterlife also helps clean up those corpses to let the map run more smoothly.

If you can grab Ele Drain through other means, like rings or Balbi’s Ring, you may ditch this whole line. After all, the other build can make better use of it.

Gear

On to gear then, our choices are a bit limited. In all cases, +minion damage is of course our primary concern.

  • Helmet: any +AS helmet will do.
  • Shoulders: Dense Macabre Spaulders work very well, with their valuable +power and +WILL.
  • Torso: Grace’s Lucky Garb gives us Master of Venom, great minion health (which you can also augment again), and +power %. Does need a +minion damage augment, however.
  • Belt: any belt with +minion damage will do. An interesting (but damageless) choice here is Balbi’s Ring for the +skill value, but beware the hidden power regen penalty.
  • Legs: any legs with +minion damage, really. Otherwise you can get (and augment) Harrowing Truce for hp % and Mind Power userate for your Curses. Nagahaku’s Optional Jeans are also an option (heh) – remember those can get a second +minion damage augment.
  • Gloves: Temet Clasps will work well here, as they also come with +WILL.
  • Boots: any boots with +minion damage will work. Movement speed is also always valuable.
  • Ring: Fulcrum’s Scales with +minion damage will work well here. If you don’t mind the skill and damage loss, since the latter doesn’t scale very well, Auctioneer’s Arcane Ring is also great for buffing your Curses’ duration (and igniting things in tandem with the Bellyful Bully achievement).
  • Dye: Wasp is excellent here, of course. Still, you may choose another that suits your tastes and needs.
  • Weapons/foci: the curious part, this build uses guns. Specifically, two Seferoth’s Supernovas for max Nova, +power, and AoE ignite. You may of course prefer any guns with +minion damage instead, or focus items for Darkform and spells – although you will need a point in Darkform to dual-wield foci. Vicar’s Axis and Korosukuma’s Claw are two very notable options here, the latter of which also comes with Swarm (which +minion damage now buffs too – just beware the power cost and buff radius with mods).

Finally, the above setup requires 2 cast sets:

  • 2 weapons/foci with +3 Warper each. Remnants is a good choice here for the free Circle and +damage (and slots), but they require a point in Darkform to dual-wield.
  • 1 weapon/foci with +3 Ele Drain. Anything works here, and you may even leave this role to the other build entirely.

Should you want little gear dependency, you may simply max Warper yourself and ditch the Drain. That’s what your tank is for, hm?

Rotations(?)

Gameplay-wise, this build doesn’t have much on the way of rotations. Simply keep the basics in mind:

  • Use Ele Nova when it’s available and your tank has gathered a hefty pull.
  • Keep an eye on your Warper’s health. If it falls low, dismiss it when you get breathing room and resummon it – we can’t afford to use Blood Link for this purpose.
  • If you got the Afterlife tree, use Afterlife when you need it or too many corpses have stacked up, and use Brom’s as needed if your tank forgets to use it. Also keep Ele Drain on the bosses at all times – if your tank doesn’t.

Build #2: the tank

Speaking of, this build is all about tanking and staying alive. Cue theme song:

Still, it has some room for damage too, so we won’t entirely neglect that – it needs to be able to clear base content once the honeymoon is over.

Again, with a +AS helmet for granted, here are the transcribed and off-planner skills:

2/5 Fires, 1 Master of the Flame

Starting with some offense, since the first point is pre-invested. We get 3 Fires via AS, and 2 MotF for some handy bonuses.

2/5 Storms, 1 Master of Lightning

Same as before, those give us some more offense and MoL gives our Eles shield penetration.

4/5 Toxics, 5 Master of Venom

Also same as before, those will give the build an extra punch and synergize with Brom’s. Grace’s and AS let us pump MoV to 9/10 for more consistent poisons.

1 Ele Nova, 1 Master of the Elements

Since we’ve gotten some decent Ele numbers, Nova can only help us more. MotE is also pinched again for AS benefits, as power is more limited at lv34.

3/10 Carnagor, 1 Meatshield

Finally, something substantially different! The Carnagor is this build’s dedicated tank, so much so that we don’t need Forces. Not that Forces with pumped MoG aren’t amazing, they are – but we don’t have the points.

1 Attunement, 2 Blood Link, 1 Summoning Circle

And the differences continue! Attunement, buffed by AS, gives us some much-needed WILL. Blood Link lets us heal the Carnagor, and Summoning Circle buffs its hp and hp regen more.

1 Darkform, 1 Dark Lord

More differences, Darkform offers massive benefits to this build. It lets us pump our hp for survivability, it benefits Drain Life and Brom’s, and it lets us dual-wield some very nice foci.

Since we’re going this way, we’re also pinching 1 DL for the free Shadows. Just remember to have some thorns to proc them if you’d rather not engage enemies in melee.

2 Afterlife, 2 Drain Life, 2 Brom’s Curse, 1 Elemental Drain

Finally, ending on a similar note, you may opt for this tree for all its goodies. Drain Life and Brom’s will scale to your max hp, and Ele Drain will let your combined armies land their sfx more reliably.

Gear

On to gear then, our choices here are even more limited. That’s because this build requires more affixes, and can also benefit from more cast sets (yay…). As for stats, our primary focus is defense, so we need:

  • Personal stats, preferably +STA and +WILL
  • +hp and/or +hp%
  • +minion health and +minion armor
  • Some armor and/or TAV

Thankfully, some of the other build’s options also work here. Also worth noting, any Legendary piece with our stats of choice can work as well. So, slot by slot, we can use the following.

  • Helmet: any +AS helmet will do.
  • Shoulders: Dense Macabre Spaulders work for us too; +power and +WILL, and +minion health for the Carnagor.
  • Torso: Grace’s Lucky Garb is lovely for us too; Master of Venom, massive minion health, and +power %. This build cares more for its +minion health being stackable.
  • Belt: any Legendary belt will do, but Draco Blue Helios is decent for its sfx defenses, +WILL, and +minion armor. You may also consider Balbi’s Ring for the +skill value, but this build can afford the hidden power regen penalty even less.
  • Legs: here too we can use Legendary pieces. If not, Harrowing Truce is even better for this build; massive hp % and Mind Power userate for Meatshield and Curses. Alternatively you can consider the decent Bonelimbs.
  • Gloves: Temet Clasps will also work well for us; +WILL and +minion hp.
  • Boots: any Legendary boots with our stats of choice will work. Hu’s Shoes are a rather decent option due to sfx defenses and +WILL, or you can try Liisa’s Leeways for some… leeway with stats.
  • Ring: Fulcrum’s Masterwork Scale is absolutely massive for this build if you can use it. Otherwise, any regular ring with our stats of choice will work. For this build you may also use Auctioneer’s Holy Ring for phase defense and +buff for Meatshield duration.
  • Dye: You have a few different options here, such as Cold Steel for personal defense and Biohazard for more minion health. Personally we went for Pulsating Chronometer for the personal hp.
  • Weapons/foci: here is where things get weird, as this build can benefit from many different foci options. You may take Existential Cores for the +stats, as they help with both hp/power and feeds. Tuskulls are absolutely amazing too, as they give armor, lots of hp, and points in Drain Life and Brom’s. Claws of Destiny are great too, for +minion armor and –Command cost, even if +Spirit we can’t use. In short, you have a wealth of options here, especially since we don’t care for inflicting damage ourselves.

Finally, this build can benefit from many cast sets, which you can choose depending on your tastes and needs:

  • 2 weapons/foci with +3 Carnagor each. Any foci will do, but Remnants is a great choice due to its points in Circle.
  • 1 weapon/foci with +3 Ele Drain. Any foci will do for this, unless you choose to max it through hard points.
  • 2 foci with +3 Darkform each. This optional cast set will pump our hp higher, and benefit our hp-based spells in turn.

Rotations(!)

Now this build actually has what resembles a rotation. The basic one is simple:

Pull with Meatshield > use Ele Nova > use Blood Link if needed > replenish health with Drain Life(/Afterlife) if Brom’s is not up.

You may expand this to your liking, of course. Next, you need only care for few things:

  • Keep Brom’s up at all times, except for when there’s no enemy within range.
  • Keep Ele Drain on bosses at all times.
  • If you find this strains your power pool too much (and injectors aren’t your thing), you may grab a point in Blood Surge and incorporate it into your rotation.

FIN

So this should be it. Once you’ve grabbed your valuables, and forged and augmented them to your liking, the honeymoon may conclude. Cue end song:

And with this, I wish you pleasant journeys in maybe, possibly Australia. Sans spiders, thankfully.

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