Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Path of Exile: Summoner Build

When I started my current character in the new league my plan was to pretty much do the same thing I did last time, except to go life instead of energy shield. My thinking was that this would give me more armour to survive hits and would let me use instant healing flasks to survive some of the fights I'd just watch myself die on last time around. So I did pretty much the same build just with some random life nodes along the way, and I spend a bunch of respec points intentionally in order to be slightly more power from levels 30-60. After all, I knew my end game, so I wasn't going to need them for anything else...

Well, it turns out things aren't quite that simple. I don't really have more armour since, at least for now, I'm still stuck with plenty of energy shield gear to get the right colour sockets. Perhaps more importantly I'm sitting on 4 worthless gear slots (my minions wear my shield and I have the magic find gloves/belt/boots) so my ability to actually get a bunch of armour is pretty compromised. Having access to flasks has definitely saved my life several times so far, so I like that part. But getting more health is going to be hard, and I really don't have enough as it is.

One thing I could be doing, to get more armour, is to do the thing I think pretty much everyone should do but which I never really considered on a summoner... Going way down to the bottom of the tree to pick up the iron reflexes node. This lets me use grace as an armour aura and also puts me really close to the mind over matter node. Couple that with eldritch battery, which I am beside, and I can actually use energy shield as a kind of life that I can flask up during fights.

The problem is I'm 13 nodes away from getting that done, and that's not even counting the 5 nodes I need to invest in auras so I can reasonably use grace at all. I'll get 23 more skill points as I level, but that takes me to level 100 and that's not very plausible. I want to be able to survive in higher level maps right now, not after I've farmed them for months. So I need to rip a bunch of nodes out of my tree, and I don't exactly have nodes to get rid of. The builds I saw without all the minion damage nodes are starting to make more and more sense...

I do have a couple of easy cuts if I go this route. I can get rid of the curse master section of the tree. That's 5 points to get a second curse and it's not super important to my build. I have it because I had it last time. I can also cut the two 30 dex nodes since I have to pick up nine 10 dex nodes if I do this. I can save 2 more points by changing the set of nodes I use to circle the tree. Note that I already spenta bunch of respec points making this change the other way once, so I'm really sad if I have to do it and will need to use a bunch of orbs of regret.

Mistakes were made is what I'm saying. It seems to be my Path of Exile motto.

That gain of 9 points puts me 6 away from getting iron reflexes and getting on the way. I can reasonably gain a few more levels on lower level maps. But I probably need to rip out a few more minion nodes. I saw more because I've already taken 4 of them out! Minion instability was bad once I started running super minions. And I took out the 2% block nodes because those felt pretty weak. But I guess the thing is I can take the nodes I rip out later on in my high 80s to ramp the damage back up again, right? So the goal is probably to find the weakest of the minion nodes?

10% damage and 1% life leech is probably the worst one. I don't know how much the life leech matters but I'll still have 3% so I'm only losing a quarter of the life leech. 6% attack and cast speed is probably pretty bad too. I'm sticking support gems to make that stuff better on them anyway, so they're a drop in the bucket.

Actually, I have a 30 strength node I don't really need until I get a much higher level vitality gem and I can probably put on gear to cover that gap instead. So I can rip it out too. Which means I'm pretty much there, if I want to be.

So now I need to decide if I want to get there. Do I want to throw away double curses to dive into iron reflexes? The alternative I guess is just picking up some more life nodes and staying the course. I really like the idea of trying out a eldritch battery/mind over matter/almost all the aura nodes build. But if it doesn't work out I'm really screwed in terms of respec points. There would be no going back. well, or it would be really expensive to go back...

I like having 2 curses, but right now I'm not casting any curses most of the time. And I am having trouble getting up to some bosses in order to curse them. I feel like maybe mind over matter might be good enough to make that happen.

And what's the worst that happens? I could just level a new summoner anyway. The real power spike for a summoner is when they get a max level zombie gem, and I can just trade that over!

I'll need to sleep on it, but I think throwing some regrets away and trying something new is probably going to be fun if nothing else...

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