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Herald of Agony Juggernaut Build

Herald of Agony Juggernaut Build

A Minion-based Juggernaut Build that uses Herald of Agony

Herald of Agony
Juggernaut Build

Updated for Patch 3.19

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Guide notes
December 17, 2021
-Build created
December 26, 2021
-Added gameplay video
September 19, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.19
Build Overview



Boss DPS:



Juggernaut's Herald of Agony heavily relies on its Minion - the Agony Crawler. This single Minion is a source of all its damage - it uses its own abilities such as Mortar, Tail Spike, and Cleave. The Crawler will primarily use his ranged ability that can kill most enemies with a single Hit, the Melee abilities are more prominent during Boss fights. When Helard od Agony is activated you can stack a buff called Virulence - The more Virulence you have the more powerful the Agony Crawler becomes. You gain one Virulence stack on Poisoning Hit, that's why using Cyclone and Ball Lightning while Channeling is the best way to generate them as this Attack and Spell combination has the best hit rate out of all Skills. Poison Chance can be easily provided by Chance to Poison Support Gem and Herald of Agony - that's 80% which is enough. Now the Maximum amount of Viuralence you can have is 40, but you can extend this limit with Pure Agony Notable found on Medium Cluster Jewels, a 60 is a reasonable amount - it expires quicker the more you have. You could extend it to 70 with 6 Notables, but it's a goal not worth pursuing.

The reasons to play Juggernaut over Ascendancies more adapted to Minions are his defenses. When all your Damage that comes from Cluster Jewels, Support Gems, and Items is enough to kill endgame bosses in seconds it's better to focus on surviving. Your Elemental Resistances can easily reach over 75%, Physical Damage reduction at 90%, and Chaos Resistance capped too at over 80% will ensure your survival. Your Life should stay at over 6k at all times, and with Endurance Charges Synergy it should stay high most of the time. As your Herald plays such a significant role, take Lone Messenger Keystone and supplement it with other passives such as Cult-Leader and Invigorating Portents. The build requires many Specific Cluster Jewels, Cold Iron Point, Circle of Nostalgia, Calamitous Visions, and The Golden Rule. These items should be affordable.

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1. Gameplay

This is a very easy-to-play Minion build with just a few active skills to use. Basically, you could even progress quickly with only 1 button, spinning Cyclone which triggers Ball Lightning to quickly build up Virulence stacks and power up your Agony Crawler. You can also use Flame Dash for extra mobility, Withering Step to grant Elusive, and debuff enemies with Withered, increasing Chaos Damage they take. You should also use Molten Shell as the best Guard Skill for this build, as it offers the best damage mitigation for high Armour Rating builds. You can also use Enduring Cry for extra Life Recovery and Endurance Charge generation. Being an instant cast spell in this setup, it's very convenient to use it while channeling Cyclone. All other Spells which include Holy Relic, Sniper's Mark, Desecrate, and Spirit Offering will be triggered automatically by Cast When Damage Taken Gems. Since you are going to take a lot of damage from Poison on you from the Golden Rule Jewel, they will be triggered frequently enough. When using Lone Messenger, you will be unable to use any Auras, so depending on your Mana Pool you may be able to use Tempest Shield for extra Spell Block Chance, as it has Duration/Spell Tag and is not considered an Aura. 

Full gameplay video:


This video was recorded on a level 92 Juggernaut wearing two Circle of Nostalgia Rings, Lioneye's Vision, Cold Iron Point, and Saffell's Frame. The Agony Crawler's default attack hit was at approx. 600k at maximum Virulence (resulting in hard to calculate, several millions of DPS)

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • Deals a lot of DPS
  • decent clear speed - Clawler's Projectiles shoot at a wide-angle and Pierce enemies
  • one of the most defensive builds thanks to the high Maximum Life tons of Armour. and all Resistances capped at 80%+
  • does not perform very well in closed spaces and against Proximity Shields
  • Jewels can get expensive


3. Leveling tips

The build needs some respecing as the final form of it can't be played below a threshold that keeps you from fully taking advantage of the mandatory Unique Items. Level 62 is the bare minimum - that's the Cold Iron Point requirement. You will need access to the two Large Jewels Socket and enough Points to get to the Notables required and have a decent Maximum Life and Attributes. Start as a generalist, pick a Melee Attack such as Sunder, Maximum Life, and Attacks passives. You can use most of the Unique weaponry during early acts.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Sunder setup
Sunder Sunder - Slam Attack that can be used with most weapons, it's versatile and you can swap it for any other Attack you prefer
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - increases your Physical Damage
Ruthless Support Ruthless Support - every third Attack is much stronger
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage to your Attacks based on your Physical Damage
Totems setup
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to summon both Totem types at once
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - grants Melee Damage while Totem is active
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - grants Attack Speed while Totem is active
Maim Support Maim Support - Attacks Maim opponents reducing their Movement Speed
Auras, Curses, and Leap Slam setup
Leap Slam Leap Slam - a movement Skill allowing you to jump over obstacles
Punishment Punishment - Debilitates opponents and increases their damage taken when on Low Life. When receiving the killing blow, cursed enemies explode improving your clear speed
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - increases your Physical Damage and creates Minions


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

28 Points Passive Tree
Head for the Resolute Technique, pick Born to Fight and Bravery

70 Points Passive Tree
Now allocate Endurance Charges, more maximum Life, Fortify Mastery, and offensive passives corresponding to the type of your weapon and attack types


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - more Damage with Attacks, Attributes, and Elemental Resistances
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - a Helmet to give you a lot of Elemental Resistances
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - allows you to six-link a setup from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Meginord's GirdleMeginord's Girdle - great early game Belt for Physical Attacks
+(25-35) to Strength
+25 to Strength
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage to Attacks
10% increased maximum Life
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
25% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
RedbeakRedbeak - One of the best level 1 weapons for any Attack build
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
100% increased Damage when on Low Life
50% increased Physical Damage
Adds 2 to 6 Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+(20-30) to maximum Life
Gain 2 Life per Enemy Hit by Attacks

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

91 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Unflinching
  2. Unbreakable
  3. Unrelenting
  4. Unstoppable


Major God: Soul of Arakaali: 10% reduced Damage taken from Damage Over Time

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] Herald of Agony setup
Herald of Agony Herald of Agony - A Herald Skill that creates the Agony Crawler Minion. Keep Hitting enemies and causing Poison to gain Virulence and stack up the damage. You can use Divergent Gem to reach a 100% Chance to Poison easily if your stack generation is lacking
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - Minion deals more Damage, a straightforward choice
Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support - Crawler can't be damaged so it's always on Full Life, another obvious choice
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds extra Fire Damage to your Crawler's Attacks, and if you can afford the Awakened Gem it will also add 1 extra level to it. If you're not using Lioneye's Vision, replace it with Pierce Support. Pierce Support.
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support  - increases Physical and Chaos Damage of the Crawler's Projectiles
Empower Support Empower Support - Herald of Agony Gem Level is important, the best way to increase your DPS is to increase the Gem Level
Gems granted by Lioneye's Vision
Pierce Support Pierce Support - projectiles shot by your Agony Crawler will Pierce enemies, greatly boosting your clear speed
[UTILITY] Ball Lightning Cyclone setup
Cyclone Cyclone - a Channeling Attack with a very high Attack Rate, the damage is not important in this setup
Ball LIghtning Ball Lightning - Spell that Hits very frequently causing you to stack Virulence faster. Use a level 1 Gem to lower its' mana cost
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - more Projectiles for more efficient Hits with Ball Lightning
Cast while Channeling Support Cast while Channeling Support - Ball Lightning is cast automatically as you use Cyclone
provided by Item
Chance to Poison Support Chance to Poison Support - additional 40% chance to Poison on Hit, your Hits have to cause Poison for this build to work
[UTILITY] first CwDT setup
Molten Shell Molten Shell - Guard Spell that prevents a portion of Damage from affecting you, it's more efficient the more Armour you Have, which you should possess a lot
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - A Mark type of Curse that makes enemies take more Damage from Projectiles, and makes them split after Hit to reach additional targets. You can Cast it manually, via Cast when Damage Taken, or with Mark on Hit Support Mark on Hit Support Gem.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - this setup should be triggered automatically, keep it at a maximum Level
[UTILITY] second CwDT setup
Summon Holy Relic Summon Holy Relic - Holy Relics is a Minion that Regenerates your Life and serves additional Purposes in this specific Setup
Feeding Frenzy Feeding Frenzy - makes Holy Relic Aggressive so that it attacks enemies further away, it makes your Agony Crawler deal more damage, have more attack, cast, and movement speed
Withering Touch Support Withering Touch Support - Holy Relic applies a stack of Withering Touch which reduces Chaos Resistance for the opponent; can stack up to 15
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - this setup should be triggered automatically, keep it at a maximum Level
[UTILITY] Enduring Cry
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - quickly Regenerates your Life, grants Physical Damage Reduction, and Endurance Charges. Has to be cast manually
[UTILITY] Convocation
Convocation Convocation - if your Minions wander too far away to can't keep up with you, use Convocation to recall them back to you
[UTILITY] Tempest Shield
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - use it for Extra Spell Block Chance and to cause arc on Block to Hit opponents
[UTILITY] Withering Step
Withering Step Withering Step - Grants you Elusiveness, Phasing and causes Withered Debuff
[UTILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - a Movement Spell to quickly avoid attacks and move faster


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6. Gear Setup

In most cases, regular defensive affixes such as Maximum Life and Resistances are enough. The only source of the damage is the Agony Crawler and so you don't need to increase your own offensive stats. You can try to get the increased Gem Level for Agony Crawler from global modifiers on Amulet, and some Attributes such as Dexterity and Intelligence. You should use Aspect of the Spider, it can be crafted in as a Suffix on one of your rare items.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. to cap your Elemental Resistances
  2. Maximum Life
  3. Level of Herald of Agony Gem
  4. Dexterity and Intelligence
  5. Minion Damage
  6. Minion Attack Speed
  7. Armour
  8. Chaos Resistance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Bone Helmet is the best base, it increases your Minion's Damage. Get an Enchantment that reduces Mana Reservation for Herald of Agony if you can. If not you will have to get it on your Rings.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+2 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems (if you're planning to socket Herald of Agony setup here)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Minion Damage
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
Herald of Agony has 75% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
Cold Iron Point(Weapon) Cold Iron Point - +3 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems is the best way to increase your Clawler's Damage
30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+3 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems
Deal no Elemental Damage
Saffell's Frame(Weapon) Saffell's Frame - increases your Maximum Elemental Resistance, a crucial factor in Survivability, but you can no longer Block Attacks
+4% to all Elemental Resistances
(15-20)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
(20-30)% increased Spell Damage
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
+4% to all maximum Resistances
Cannot Block Attacks
Lioneye's Vision(Body Armour) Lioneye's Vision - It's probably the best choice since after socketing your Herald of Agony setup here, Clawler's Projectiles will Pierce enemies. It saves you one Support Gem slot.
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 15 Pierce
(200-250)% increased Armour
+(60-100) to maximum Life
0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
+160 Dexterity Requirement
Enemy Projectiles Pierce you
The Brass Dome(Body Armour) The Brass Dome - A good candidate for Body Armour, it further decreases the Elemental Damage you Take by increasing The Maximum Elemental Resistances, and the immense amount of Armour works well with Unbreakable.
(350-400)% increased Armour
+(1-5)% to all maximum Elemental Resistances
Strength provides no bonus to Maximum Life
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - a regular pair with Movement Speed, Elemental Resistances, and Maximum Life is good enough
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Life Regeneration Rate
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Max Life, Resistances, and an Elder mod to cause your Cyclone and Ball Lightning to have a higher chance to Poison on Hit are what you're looking for
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 18 Chance to Poison
Optional affixes:
Culling Strike
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - focus only on Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, there are no other good modifiers on Belt
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Try to score a high Max Life mod with decent Resistances, and some Attributes on top of that. You can additionally find some mods to increase your Helard of Agony Gem level.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Intelligence and Dexterity
+1 to Level of all Chaos Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
Recommended Anointments:
Ravenous Horde
Circle of Nostalgia(Ring) Circle of Nostalgia - It's the Ring that can increase the effects of your Herald Skill - look for mana efficiency mods, and Agony Crawler's increased Damage
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
+(20-30) to Strength
Adds (20-25) to (26-35) Fire Damage
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
<Two Random Herald of Ash modifier>
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - increase your Maximum Life, get missing attributes, Resistances, and Minion Damage

Recommended affixes:
7% increased maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Minions deal 15% increased Damage
Minions have 5% increased Attack Speed
Minions have 5% increased Cast Speed

Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Abyss Jewels - Ghastly Jewels are made specifically for Minion Builds, you can often get some great mods here
Recommended affixes:
Minions deal increased Damage
Minions have increased Attack Speed
Minions have increased Cast Speed
Minions deal additional Physical Damage
Minions deal additional Chaos Damage
Calamitous Visions(Jewel) Calamitous Visions - as your only source of Damage is a Herald Skill you should use this Jewel to increase its effectiveness
Adds Lone Messenger
The Golden Rule(Jewel) The Golden Rule - you're causing a lot of Poisons that don't actually do much on their own, but you can still use them to increase your Chaos Resistance by up to 100%
(30-40)% increased Armour while Bleeding
Bleeding you inflict is Reflected to you
+1% to Chaos Resistance per Poison on you
Poison you inflict is Reflected to you if you have fewer than 100 Poisons on you
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - Large Jewels serve a primary function by giving you more space for Medium Cluster Jewels, there are great passives despite the fact that your Crawler is completely immune to damage
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Call to the Slaughter
1 Added Passive Skill is Feasting Fiends
1 Added Passive Skill is Rotten Claws
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Get Pure Agony on every single Jewel of that type. you can find it on a base "Added Small Passive Skills grant: Minions deal increased Damage while you are affected by a Herald".
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Pure Agony
1 Added Passive Skill is Invigorating Portents
1 Added Passive Skill is Cult-Leader
Forbidden Taste(Flask) Forbidden Taste - With your Chaos Resistance at over 80% you can safely use this Flask to regenerate Life
+10% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Recover (75-100)% of Life on use
25% of Maximum Life taken as Chaos Damage per second

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Mana Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Quicksilver Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Silver Flask with random ailment removal
  4. Granite Flask with increased Armour
Mana FlaskForbidden TasteQuickilver FlaskSilver FlaskGranite Flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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

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