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Domination Blow Herald of Purity Guardian build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Domination Blow Herald of Purity Guardian build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Try one of the best Minion/Starter builds for Patch 3.13 based on the extremely tanky Guardian Class

Dominating Blow
Herald of Purity
Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.13

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Guide notes
September 22, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.12
Major changes:
-Patch 3.12 didn't bring anything new to this build, however, we have thoroughly reworked it to offer more damage and better defenses
January 21, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.13


One of the biggest changes that were introduced in Patch 3.4 and the Delve League is related to the Guardian Ascendancy Class and Minion Passive Skills. Guardian emerges as one of the primary Minion-based classes, with powerful nodes that grant Attack Speed and Minion Damage bonuses to the Minions and the user as well. By benefiting from the same Passives twice, Guardian can maintain very high DPS even with a very low budget-gear. And we new powerful Cluster Jewels and Item modifiers, you can dish out Millions of realistic DPS while maintaining very high defenses.

This build has been thoroughly reworked for the current Patch 3.13 and the Ritual League. With the nerfs to Redemption Sentry Spectres, this Guardian gets very close to the highest Tier of Minion builds, so if you are looking to play this type of character, you may as well try it out. With the changes to Minions and new Minion Skill Gems, this build has received significant buffs to clear speed and Damage. The raw DPS went up about 30-40% and our Sentinels of Purity are now aggressive and have greatly reduced Cooldowns. With Feeding Frenzy, even Melee Minions can offer amazing clear speed.

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1. Gameplay

Our Dominating Blow Guardian is a combination of a tanky Melee fighter with and a Minion build. Hitting and killing enemies with Dominating blow will Summon up to 18 powerful Minions to fight for us. By using The Scourge Claw, we can also spawn additional Spectral Wolves which deal a moderate amount of extra damage (and well, it is cool). On top of extremely high DPS from our Minions, this build offers very solid defenses thanks to Guardian's Ascendancy class. You should have approximately 6,000 Life, 80% Physical Damage mitigation, 75% Chance to Block Attacks (and Spells really close to that as well), and extra Endurance Charges from Enduring Cry. The only downside to this build is Mana Management. But if you can get a Gemini Claw with some reasonable DPS and Minion Damage bonus, it will be one of the smoothest builds you are going to play.

0:08 Tier 16 Cage
0:30 Tier 16 Pit of the Chimera
1:15 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
1:43 Tier 16 Vaal Temple
2:11 Tier 17 Shaper

This video was recorded on a level 92 Guardian in Patch 3.12 equipped with the Scourge Claw and two Circle of Guilt Rings. It ended up dishing out some insane DPS numbers, but we could have tweaked the Mana management a bit

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • rock-solid defenses with over 6,000 Life and approximately 80% Physical Damage mitigation
  • amazing single-target DPS and AoE clear speed
  • excellent League Starter build with no specific unique items required
  • Minions are very easy to play and perfect for most of the new League's mechanics
  • mediocre mobility
  • Mana management


3. Leveling tips

We recommend leveling up our Dominating Blow Guardian with any high Physical DPS weapon of your choice. Since Minion Passives will apply to any weapon type you come across, it makes it much more convenient and also, a great addition for SSF players. At low levels, you can use a wide variety of skills including Raise Zombies, Ancestral Warchief, and any Melee attack that works with your currently equipped weapon. You should focus on adding as much raw Physical Damage bonuses as possible on your gear and rely on Life Passive nodes to keep you alive.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Smite setup
Smite Smite - a great Attack for Minion builds which adds additional Lightning Damage both to you and your Minions. When you replace it with Dominating Blow at higher levels, you can still keep it around for the extra Lightning Damage from its Aura
Melee Physical Damage Melee Physical Damage Support - increases Physical Damage of Supported Skills
Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Support - greatly increases your clear speed by making Smite attack two nearby additional targets
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Dominating Blow setup
Smite Dominating Blow - you can start using Dominating Blow after level 28. Killing enemies with Dominating Blow debuff will spawn powerful Minions to fight for you
Melee Physical Damage Melee Physical Damage Support 
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - adds Splash effect to your Dominating Blow, which makes you Hit additional enemies
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - one of the best Support Gems for this setup which adds extra Attacks in a quick succession
Raise Zombie setup
Raise Zombie Support Raise Zombie - one of the first Minion skills available in PoE. With Smite Aura's DPS bonus, on top of tanking some of the damage, Zombies will also greatly increase your damage output
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - increases Zombies' Maximum Life
Minion Speed Support Minion Speed Support - increases Zombies' Attack and Movement Speed
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - direct increase to Minions' DPS
Utility Gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - increases your Melee Damage while active
Punishment Punishment - the best Curse for this build (though we go for "free" Vulnerability Aura later on)
Carrion Golem Carrion Golem - the best Golem for Minion builds which increases your Minions Damage
Herald of Ash Herald of Purity - grants extra Physical Damage to your Attacks. During the leveling phase it's mainly used for that purpose and it's not advised to Support this Gem with other recommended Gems to not Reserve too much of your Mana
Dash Dash - recommended Movement Skill for this build


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Retribution 2) Spiritual Command 3) Sacrifice 4) Spiritual Aid 5) Gravepact

60 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Enduring Bond 2) Constitution 3) Devotion 4) Large Cluster Socket

Recommended leveling items:

BlackheartBlackheart - great Physical DPS leveling Ring. You can use it from level 1
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
5% increased Physical Damage
Adds 1 to 3 Chaos Damage to Attacks
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(2-4) Life Regenerated per second
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - very solid belt for Melee builds. Can be used until late game and in low-level maps
(25-35) to Strength
(15-25)% increased Physical Damage
You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
+(30-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies are Intimidated

QuecholliQuecholli  - a powerful Melee weapon which adds extra AoE explosions 

30% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 5 to 25 Physical Damage
+(25-50) to all Attributes
+10 Life gained on Kill
Enemies killed explode dealing 10% of their Life as Fire Damage

Chober ChaberChober Chaber - one of the best weapons for this build on early levels. It provides decent Physical DPS for Dominating Blow as well as increases the levels of all the Gems in your Herald of Purity setup

30% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
+1 to Level of Socketed Melee Gems
+1 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
(200-220)% increased Physical Damage
25% increased maximum Mana
Minions have (20-40)% increased maximum Life
15% increased Skill Effect Duration
20% reduced Strength Requirement

SkullheadSkullhead - again very powerful item for this build. It can be used during the early mapping phase as well

(60-80)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(50-70) to maximum Mana
+(10-20)% to all Elemental Resistances
Minions have 10% Chance to Block
Minions have +(300-350) to Armour
Minions Regenerate 2% Life per second


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree
115 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Radiant Crusade
  2. Unwavering Crusade
  3. Bastion of Hope
  4. Time of Need


Major God: Soul of Lunaris 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Dominating Blow
(In Body Armour)
Dominating Blow Dominating Blow - primary Attack skill in this build. It will deal a moderate amount of damage and also spawn powerful Minions when you kill enemies affected by its' debuff
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Ancestral Call Support Melee Splash Support - deals damage and applies the Dominating Blow debuff to all nearby enemies. Unlike Ancestral Call, there is no limit to how many enemies you can debuff with each attack
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - causes Supported Melee Attacks repeat additional times with greatly increased damage and speed. It will affect both your Dominating Blow Attacks, but also the damage of your Minions created by it
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - the highest damage multiplier for your Minions
Brutality Support Brutality Support - greatly increases Physical Damage but makes supported Skills deal only Physical Damage
[DPS] Herald of Purity setup
(in Elder Helmet with Minion Damage Support)
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - Physical-based Herald Skill that grants extra Physical Damage and summons Sentinels of Purity when you kill enemies. Sentinels of Purity are Minions that benefit from all the Support Gems in this setup and Minion Passives on your Skill Tree
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
Brutality Support Brutality Support
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Gems granted by the Elder Helmet:
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
[UTILITY] Flame Dash/Warcry
Flame Dash Flame Dash - the recommended Movement Skill for this build. It's quite fast to travel, though if you prefer you can also use Dash in its place
Second Wind Second Wind Support - adds extra charges to linked Spells and increases their cooldown recovery speed
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - a Warcry Spell which generates Endurance Charges and grants quick Life Recovery
[UTILITY] Aura/Curse
Pride Pride - the best Aura for this build which increases the damage of all your Minions significantly
Vulnerability Vulnerability - recommended Curse for this build which makes affected enemies take increased Physical Damage. You should use it manually, and in most cases, it's only useful against Bosses. You can also get it via Rare Ring affix, so in such case skip it in this Gem setup
Generosity Support Generosity Support - greatly increases the effectiveness of linked Auras (Pride in this case) but makes it only apply to your Minions
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Carrion Golem
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically cast Supported Spells when you take enough damage. Keep this Gem at level 10 in this setup
Immortal Call Immortal Call - powerful Guard Spell which greatly reduces your incoming damage. Keep it at level 12
Flesh Offering Flesh Offering - the best Offering Spell for this build which increases your Minion's Attack and Cast Speed. It will be also triggered automatically if you don't upgrade it above level 14
[UTILITY] Other Minions
Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem - this is the best possible Golem for this build which grants very high added Physical Damage to your non-Golem Minions
Raise Spectre Raise Spectre - you can also Summon up to two Spectres in this build, and we recommend getting Carnage Chieftain from Act 2's Old Field. They will generate Frenzy Charges for all allies
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - increases defenses of linked Minions, allowing them to stay alive for much longer
Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support - grants a chance for Minions to grant you the Feeding Frenzy buff which increases damage and speed of all your Minions including Sentinels of Purity and Dominance
[UTILITY] Convocation
Convocation Convocation - resummons all your Minions to your current location. It's a very convenient Spell to use for all Minion builds as it allows you to progress much faster through Maps

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5. Gear Setup

Our Dominating Blow Guardian build has no specific items requirements. It can be played with any random Rares as its' core damage comes from Passive Skills, Guardian's Ascendancy, and Skill Gems. Below you will find all the recommended items, but as stated, you can replace any of the items below with Rare gear with similar attributes.

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Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Minion Damage
  4. Armour Rating
Bone Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - one of the best choices for this build which increases Minion's Damage with the rare Implicit modifier. You should try getting an Elder Helmet with extra Minion Damage Support for your Herald of Purity setup
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
Socketed Gems are Supported by level # Minion Damage
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take #% increased Physical Damage
+3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
Helmet enchantment:
Dominating Blow can summon an additional Rare Sentinel of Dominance
+1 to maximum number of Sentinels of Purity
Astral Plate(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - the best in the slot. It can give you a ton of extra defensive Attributes, and if you get one with Reduced Mana Cost of Socketed Attacks, it will make your playstyle much much smoother
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life%
Elemental Resistances
High Armour Rating
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
Belly of the Beast(Body Armour) Belly of the Beast - a very solid option which adds a lot of Life and some extra Resistances
(150-200)% increased Armour
(30-40)% increased maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
50% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
Extra gore
Scourge(Weapon) Scourge - a great and budget-friendly Weapon for this build. It offers a very high Minion Damage bonus and extra Life Leech, though Gemini Claw will make this build much more convenient to play
2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
Adds (35-50) to (100-125) Physical Damage
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
Minions have (10-15)% increased Attack Speed
10% Chance to Trigger Level 18 Summon Spectral Wolf on Kill
Increases and Reductions to Minion Damage also affect you
70% increased Minion Damage if you have Hit Recently
Gemini Claw(Weapon) Gemini Claw - this is the top recommendation for the Weapon slot. Just get one with high Attack Speed and craft Minion Damage bonus on it (obviously the higher base Physical DPS it has, the better). The Life and Mana Gained on Hit make your game so much better
Min. requirements:
2.00 Attacks per Second
Minions deal 50% Increased Damage
Optional affixes:
High base Physical DPS
Lioneye's Remorse (Shield) Lioneye's Remorse - grants solid defensive bonuses. At the same time, it's very cheap and easy to obtain. However, the lack of a Reduced Mana Reserved bonus here, you may be unable to use Pride Aura
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(200-250)% increased Armour
20% increased Stun and Block Recovery
+(160-180) to maximum Life
5% reduced Movement Speed
-25 Physical Damage taken from Projectile Attacks
+5% Chance to Block
Tower Shield (Shield) Rare Shield - aim to get high defensive stats and Mana Reservation Cost reduction for your socketed Auras (otherwise you may be unable to comfortably use Pride)
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Socketed Gems have 15% reduced Mana Reservation
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
High Armour Rating
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - with high defensive stats, Life, and Movement Speed bonus
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you've Killed Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - with Stygian Vise being the best base for its extra Abyssal Socket
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Armour Rating
Maximum Life%
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - the best and most viable option for this build. Just get extra Life, Attributes, and possibly Minion Damage bonus
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
40 Dexterity
Minions deal 30% Increased Damage
Optional affixes:
Recommended Anointment:
Ravenous Horde
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Non-Channelled Skills have -# Total Mana Cost
Optional affixes:
Circle of Guilt (Ring) Circle of Guilt - the best possible Ring for this build. You are aiming to get one with Herald's of Purity Reduced Mana reserved, and increased Sentinels of Purity of damage. If you have two of those, you should be easily able to use Pride Aura with enough remaining Mana pool
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
+(10-20) to all Attributes
Adds (8-10) to (13-15) Physical Damage
+(350-400) to Armour
<Two Random Herald of Purity modifiers>
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - you should get one Large Cluster Jewel with Minion Damage bonuses (most of the Passives will work just fine) with 2 Sockets for Medium Cluster Jewels - those provide extremely important Cooldown Recovery Speed for your Minions
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Call to the Slaughter
1 Added Passive Skill is Feasting Fiends
1 Added Passive Skill is Renewal
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - you should get at least two Medium Cluster Jewels with Disciples Passive. It reduces the cooldown of your Sentinels' (both Dominance and Purity) abilities, greatly increasing your DPS output. The best second Passive will be Cult-Leader
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Cult-Leader
1 Added Passive Skill is Disciples
Small Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - you can use two of these. Fettle Passive will provide the best bonus here, increasing your Maximum Life
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Fettle
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and Minion Damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Minion Damage
Optional affixes:
Abyss Jewels(Jewel) Rare Abyssal Jewels - can provide high flat Life and added Damage for your Minions
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Minions deal additional Physical Damage with Attacks
Optional affixes:
Minions have increased Attack Speed
Minions have increased Movement Speed
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - great defensive Flask which increases your Armour and Chance to Block
+3000 to Armour
+(14-20)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(6-10)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Basalt Flask of Warding (Curse Immunity)
  4. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
Rumi's ConcoctionDivine Life FlaskSulphur FlaskBasalt FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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If you have any other build requests, please leave that in the comments below.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.