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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 most interesting Minion builds for Patch 3.8 based on the reworked Guardian Ascendancy Class and Herald of Purity Skill

Dominating Blow
Herald of Purity
Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.8

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Guide notes
September 9, 2019
-Updated for Patch 3.8
September 28, 2019
-Added updated gameplay video


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 user as well. By benefiting from the same Passives twice, Guardian can maintain very high DPS even with a very low budget-gear. On top of that, Minion build is a perfect choice for the Delve League's mechanic. 

We have refreshed this build entirely for Patch 3.8, 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 became aggressive. You should notice that the behavior and targetting of Melee Minions was their main downside previously. 

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds at Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

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, feels 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 with Bastion of Hope Active, and maximum Endurance Charges nearly at all times

0:06 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
0:34 Tier 16 The Constrictor
1:09 Tier 16 Pit of the Chimera
1:45 Tier 15 Overgrown Ruins

This video was recorded on a level 88 Guardian equipped with the Scourge and The Surrenderer Shield

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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


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 Zombie, 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 - newly introduced in 3.4 Melee Skill that fits perfectly in this build. On top of dealing regular damage to your target, it casts an Aura which adds additional Lightning Damage both to you and your Minions. When you replace it with Dominating Blow at higher levels, you should 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
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
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
Shield Charge Shield Charge - recommended Movement Skill for this build


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

37 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Retribution 2) Spiritual Command 3) Sacrifice 4) Righteous Army 5) Gravepact

62 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Enduring Bond 2) Heart and Soul 3) Lord of the Dead 4) Cruel Preparation 5) Ravenous Horde

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 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. Harmony of Purpose
  4. Bastion of Hope


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
(preferably in Elder Gloves)
Dominating Blow Dominating Blow - primary Attack skill in this build. It will deal a moderate amount of damage and also spawn additional 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
Maim Support Maim Support - Melee Attacks with Supported Skills will Maim the target causing it to have reduced Movement Speed and receive increased Physical Damage
Support Gems granted by the recommended Elder Gloves:
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Chance to Bleed Chance to Bleed Support - adds extra Physical Damage and increases Chance to inflict Bleeding. This isn't that important in this setup, but if you can afford the extra Support on Elder Gloves then just go for it
[DPS] Herald of Purity setup
(in Coming Calamity)
Sunder 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
Feeding Frenzy Feeding Frenzy Support - new Minion Gem which increases their DPS and makes them more aggressive. This is a must-have for most of the Melee Minions including Sentinels of Purity
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
Brutality Brutality Support - greatly increases Physical Damage but makes Sentinels Purity deal only Physical Damage
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - makes every third Attack Hit much much harder
[MOBILITY] Shield Charge
Shield Charge Shield Charge - the recommended Movement Skill for this build. On top of being fast, it grants the Fortify buff
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Fortify Support Fortify Support
[CURSE] Vulnerability
Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support - makes supported Curse work as an Aura around you
Vulnerability Vulnerability - recommended Curse for this build which makes affected enemies take increased Physical Damage. Use it as an Aura if you have Impresence Amulet, otherwise, stick to low-level CwDT Setup to apply it
(in Essence Worm)
Rallying Cry Pride - the best Aura for this build which increases Physical Damage taken by nearby enemies. The best way to use Pride in this build is to socket it inside Essence Worm
[UTILITY] War Banner
War Banner War Banner - increases Physical Damage taken by nearby enemies, and increases your Minion's Accuracy Rating
[DPS] Spectral Wolf's Support Gems
(in Scourge unique claw)
Ancestral Warchief Melee Physical Damage Support
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
Brutality Brutality Support
[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
Immortal Call Immortal Call - powerful Guard Spell which greatly reduces your incoming damage
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support
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

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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
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Minion Damage (Bone Helmet's implicit)
Helmet enchantment:
+1 to maximum number of Sentinels of Purity
The Coming Calamity(Body Armour) The Coming Calamity - the best in the slot. It makes Herald of Purity always Reserve 45% allowing us to keep sufficient Mana Pool and use War Banner
+2 to Level of Socketed Herald Gems
(80-100)% increased Energy Shield
35% chance to avoid being Stunned for each Herald Skill affecting you
Mana Reservation of Herald Skills is always 45%
Belly of the Beast(Body Armour) Belly of the Beast - a very solid option, however, will work only for up to five links with Herald of Purity because of Mana Reservation costs
(150-200)% increased Armour
(30-40)% increased maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
50% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
Extra gore
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - will do the job just fine on lower levels, however, it may be impossible to use it for a six link setup, as Herald of Purity will surely Reserve too much Mana
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
1200 Armour Rating
Optional affixes:
+1 to level of Socketed Gems
Elemental Resistances
Scourge(Weapon) Scourge - the best in the slot. Grants high bonus Minion Damage, Life Leech, and has high Attack Speed allowing you to quickly resummon Sentinels against Bosses
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
Lioneye's Remorse (Shield) Lioneye's Remorse - grants insane defensive bonuses. At the same time, it's very cheap and easy to obtain
+(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 - just aim to get the highest Life, Elemental Resistances and Armour Rating
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
1500 Armour Rating
Optional affixes:
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - with high defensive stats, Life, and Movement Speed bonus
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
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:
80 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Armour Rating
Sidhebreath(Amulet) Sidhebreath - a very decent Amulet, however, will require you to manually apply Vulnerability Curse. It's the budget-friendly option
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+25% to Cold Resistance
0.2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Minions have (10-15)% increased maximum Life
Minions have (10-15)% increased Movement Speed
(15-10)% reduced Mana Cost of Minion Skills
Minions deal (10-15)% increased Damage
Impresence(Amulet) Impresence(Physical) - makes our gameplay experience much better removing the need to manually apply our Curse
+(10-16) to all Attributes
Adds (12-16) to (20-25) Physical Damage
+(400-500) to Armour
+(50-70) to maximum Life
(30-40)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
Vulnerability has 100% reduced Mana Reservation
Gain Maddening Presence for 10 seconds when you Kill a Rare or Unique Enemy
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
100% Total Elemental Resistances
35 Dexterity
Optional affixes:
Added Physical Damage to Attacks
maximum Mana
Essence Worm (Ring) Essence Worm - allows us to use Pride without the Mana Reservation Cost and with increased Gem level
Has 1 Socket
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems Reserve No Mana
40% increased Mana Reserved
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Elder Gloves
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
40 Dexterity
Socketed Gems are Supported by level# Faster Attacks
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Socketed Gems are Supported by level# Chance to Bleed
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and Minion Damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Minion Damage
Optional affixes:
Abyss Jewels(Jewels) Rare Abyssal Jewels - can provide much higher Minion Damage bonuses when compared to Cobalt Jewels, however, they will be also more expensive
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. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  3. Ample Basalt Flask of Iron Skin (increased Armour Rating)
  4. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
Lion's RoarDivine Life FlaskDivine Life 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.