With the addition of the Poison Tree to the Summoner and my experience using that on the melee Summoner i figured there could be a build that uses these skills as main skills and supplementing these with a few eles. I was never a friend of too many different eles because the constant recasting is annoying to me, so this seemed to be a good middle ground. Also the new spiritualism affixes and minion damage on swarm looked like the poison skills could be made very good damage skills.
Giving a skill tree is kinda scuffed for the summoner atm because the skillplanner doesnt have all the new skills implemented. Therefore i go through them one by one. What i try to achieve is giving the poison attack skill good damage while still having enough points left to have good eles and demons.
So even with a +1 Helmet we will run into restrictions.
Poison tree: 0 points
Yeah you read right. A poison summoner with no points in the poison tree. Well, we are uisng at least 1 Slipnaught and that comes with all the poison tree skills. Venomous spirit only gets a 10% increase per skillpoint which is not THAT much (but enough to put any not used points in there if you want) and Swarm only gets more poison duration which is not its main part of the damage.Also skilling through to Swarm requires to put a few points in Venom Armor aswell which are not neded and pretty much wasted.
My slippie Has 3 points in Venomous and 3 points in Swarm and i auged another 3 in Swarm (but thats not so important).
Dark Form tree: 1 point into Dark Form. We dont use Dark Minions and only get the bonuses for being in Dark Form.
We max out the Warper as good as possible (take into account 2 +3 weapons on a cast set) and have one of the activation skills with 3+ points as these are strong against Bosses (i maxed it). Against what most people use i chose spectral strike which i only use against bosses and there it still phases good and it at least seems to me that it increases the attack rate (Warper gets more stuff out).
We also max the attunement Skill as it gives Willpower and we need alot of Mana and it also increases Demon Damage. We also use at least one Remnants of Gregas to cast the Warper so that he gets the regen bonus (very important). The warper is pretty sturdy and can evade attacks by going invisible.
We get our three Elementals main skill (Fire, Spectral and Force) maxed with +1 and their support skill to at least 5-8. Having only 3 Eles also has the advantage of a lesser drain on our Mana pool.
We are very scarce on points thats why i chose the fire ele as the ranged one. The addition of splash is pretty good and the Mastery skill gives damage to the other eles while the other two ranged ele’s passive skills are more on the defensive side.
Force Ele with Mastery 5+ brings all the Eles back to pre patch health and makes the Force Eles themselves so sturdy that you barely need to recast them. EG they last for at least one Cata Level so you can even cast them with our second minion damage set which doesnt make alot sense for eles that die all the time.
I have maxed Ele Nova. But i would max it in the end only because while leveling you might not have enough mana to spam it. Even more so for Spectral strike.
So as a summary: We have still most points in the Elemental and Demon Tab but we use poison skills on a spam level and make sure they hit hard via our Gear. Elementals are restricted to 3 with Force and Spectral having to be recast less than the Fire to reduce complexity and we occasionally use Elemental Nova. Warper is our best Damage support especially when activating his skill. Force Eles Block and with the cast set also do surprisingly good damage while Spectral supports with phase and Fire kills flyers.
2-3 points in Ele Defense is allways good for survival in Catas.
At least 3 Points into Power points and Power reg - i max it. We cant have enough Mana.
The rest can be damage related.
One could also go totally big on the poison tree as you can spare a few points by not maxing Ele Nova, Spectral strike and take the Masteries only to 5 points. But i figured we are still a summoner and the investment in Minion damage should also pay off.
In fact there are alot more variants and i have tried out a few. EG the spared points in the Ele and Minion tab can be used to skill through the Ele Drain tree which is also very usefull.
You could spend a point in Dark Lord and be able to spawn 4 Dark Minions either via meleeing or with thorns on your gear. Even though it is just 1 point, i decided against it. The 4 Dark Minions are another thing to care for, they clutter things up and i like that i have a limited amount of Eles around. You lose around 50 dps against Cata1 boss which is something but i rather not.
This is a little bit more important than on my other builds becasue we need to make sure that we do most damage with our poison skill while still balancing out minion damage. So this one needs alot of lucky augs if you want him to be perfect.
Helmet: Very important piece of Gear and sadly we need a +1 Dark Visage as it simply gives the most damage of the Helmet options. Its CritDan Roll also needs to be fairly high. Getting one with minion damage AND +1 is nothing to think about long as it won’t happen.
Shoulders: We go Noraks Annorak. It comes with a big damage boost for our Poison skills with Evocation Damage and can additionally roll Spiritual Damage also affecting our Poison skills - we need that. If we can get a Minion damage aug on it we are in heaven (i dont haveit atm). The other stats are also usefull like Minion Armor, Shock resist and Power reg.
Here also we have one very important unique and it would also need an aug and that is Heart of Darkness. Its max 20% spectral damage is unrivalled. It needs a minion damage aug tough and that is hard to get. I currently dont have one with a minion damage aug (but i amtrying hard to get it) andinstead i run with a Feral with alot of stats and Minion Damage.
Arms: There is no really best in slot unique available. Gehennas with a high physical damage roll and minion damage aug would good.
Double edged ferals with spiritualism affix and minion damage aug are probably better (though i never seen those so far). I currently run ferals with stats and minion damage.
We could go Balbis with spiritualism inherent or Helion Hasp depending on the total Minion Damage we have. If you are lacking Minion Damage in some slots as i do then i rather rely on the massive Minon Damage affix on the Helion Hasp even though a good Balbis gives more damage for the poison skills.
For the leg there is one very good unique available (thx Bryan for the hint) and that is Harrowing Truce. It comes with Evocation damage and a wopping Mind Power userate. The latter affects Swarm and with it your rotation of Venomous Spirit and Swarm is more fluid (you can do 2 Venomous and then Swarm instead of 3). The big downside is that it is another item that needs a minion damage aug.
I am currently using a good feral with minion damage.
Nadjas are good straight out of the Box and they come with minion damage. Good and maybe better in the super endgame are Nightstriders if you can get a Minion damage aug on them (you can get a second Minion damage aug on Nadjas though).
With Nighstriders you are faster due to the Sprint skill and dont need to put a point into Blink. You also get more critchance. Nadjas is allround good. It can come with shield pene and gives power reg wich is important for us and probably better in general use.
Due to the lack of skillpoints we need a good Squadros prism or Fulcrums (depending on your total minion damage) with good skills and high damage rolls. I happened to get one with a missing mastery skill (lightning) which is awesome.
Dyekit: we don have maxed crit and we dont apply FX so the best thing is to put a wasp dye in and gain Minion Damage.
Here we go into the real Sumvokerside of things. We dont use Masters Hand and we dont use any type of Darkform related stuff. We go big dick on damage. Slipnaught is set because of the poison skills on it and it happens to be one of the best damaging foci anyways. It should have four slots and is being stuffed with eledamage. The second one should be a 4slot focus with a high spiritual damage roll and again as much eledamage slotted as possible.
The combination of Masters Hand and Slipnaught is possible but it lacks damage on the poison skills. I have experimented with it and ditched it. But you might come to other experiences depending on your playstyle.
On the cast set we have 1 or 2 Remnats of Gregas with full minon damage slotted for casting our Warper and sometimes our Force eles.
With this build i see myself as a Spellcasting Summoner hence the title. I spam offensive spells actively instead of waiting for my minions to wittle things down. So on the active side we have Venomous Spirit and Swarm on a suitable rotation and we weave in the other two summoner related active skills Elemental Nova and Spectral Strike. We have emphasized on Willpower and Power reg but we still need to have an eye on power pots because we can drain Mana super fast. Also the fire eles and the spectral one need to be recasted as they will die now and then.
Against bosses we burst with elenova and spectral strike. I happened to have Elemtal Drain on one of my Foci, so i cast this on the boss too. With that Cata1 instanlty burns and phases. My current Sumo is far from optimized. He is lacking a few Minion damage rolls and has no Dark Heart and only 3 slot foci but he is still capable of taking down the Cata 1 Boss quickly by scratching the 1k DPS mark. So there is super good portential to get even better.
Thats it again! Have Fun!