So I ended up pulling the trigger on starting up a Golemancer Elementalist. I had progressed her to level 73 and was about to beat act 9 when the game crashed. In turn, I decided to take a break and just meditate over the leveling experience thus far.
The Golemancer is a very bizarre class in that you can’t really start it up until early-mid game due to not being able to access the key golem gems and more importantly, certain items (like the Clayshaper). Not to mention this build can be fairly costly due to dependencies on unique gems such as the anima stone and primordial harmonies.
I already had a few of the key items, including 3 primordial harmonies and a primordial might. It sounded interesting and I only needed to purchase a primordial chain and eminence to get it running. Of course, I converted the might and harmony stone after getting the eminence stone since it was a cheaper option than buying out the anima stone outright. Also, I had two Clayshapers lying around, which made gearing this build pretty easy.
or so it seemed.
There’s a lot of problems in getting this build running early on. First let me talk about leveling. The suggested path is to do minions like zombies and SRS until you can begin using your Flame Golem and a few items like the Primordial Chain. The problem with zombies and SRS is that it’s horribly slow. Clear speed is really abysmal with AoE being pretty much non-existent, squishy zombies and nothing really great for movement since you’ll probably end up using a wand.
Once I got to level 34, I immediately switched over to Flame Golems and began equipping my primordial pieces. It wasn’t an easy transition since my gear and attributes were all over the place. I think I died once just around that time (maybe after) since I was focused on hitting level 38 for a few key new gems (like GMP and spell echo). But that death might’ve been more due to SRS and zombies in a Delve, which just made me frustrated and all the more eager to switch.
At level 41, I was able to finally equip that Clayshaper. But there was a massive issue: lack of strength. I cheesed it a bit by using a unique gem to convert my intelligence over and equipping a Meginord’s Vise for a while. After that, I constantly had to swap around gear, especially as I was preparing to take on Kitava and get penalized.
Luckily, being an Elementalist has saved me a bit due to the Ascendancy points giving back some all resist. Once I completed the first lab, things started to smooth out a lot more. The extra golem definitely was a difference maker as well as the resists. Also, getting rid of my wand in favor of a Clayshaper allowed me to go Shield Charge for movement, using a Flame Dash on the side to bypass broken up areas.
Pretty much at this stage, it’s become a cake walk. Your flame golems just annihilate everything in your path. You charge into a group, get Fortify, put up some potions for armor, etc. and maybe toss down an Orb of Storms with some curses attached while your golems handle the rest.
Luckily, I had a ton of decent leveling gear where I am now able to ditch my Tabula Rasa and other lower level uniques in favor of a few Elder items and a crazy +2 support gem helm that gives me an effective 6 link. In addition, I started moving more gear over to use Energy Shield. In turn, my ehp is over 6k.
I have thought about moving to a Shavronne’s Wrappings just to get the benefit of not getting hit as hard by chaos damage. Then I can try investing more into energy shield. I could go CI but I don’t think it’ll help much. Also, I might have to purchase more Primordial Harmonies since this build recommends stacking them.
The thing I’m wondering is how will Merciless and Uber lab feel with this build. I think Izaro won’t be too bad so long as I can avoid his major slams and dodge his missile type of bombardments. But I’ve never played with a character this dependent upon energy shield. I could also do Mind of Matter since this build isn’t a heavy mana spender. In fact, MoM might be a bit better just because it simply boost your health pool that much more. The only mana reservation skill used is Anger (although Purity of Elements can be used too); but that’s mostly used in conjunction with Grace to provide to your golems.
Another thing I mucked around with was my Might of the Meek. I found one and considered using it for my Scion. However, I learned that the bonuses just apply to the small nodes that you allocate. While the radius is large, I was disappointed that you couldn’t get all the bonuses within the radius, not just the active ones.
At any rate, I’m pretty happy thus far with this build. It’s pretty simple once you get the basics working. There are a few more intricate parts later on once you get your full ascendancy from what I can tell such as adding lightning and ice golems among others. But for now, it’s a blast just speeding through content.