I really enjoy the idea of an Elementalist in Path of Exile; a witch focused on manipulating the elements of the world to cause great damage. The Elemancer portion of the Elementalist ascendancy probably makes the idea of an Elementalist appealing to me in how you use your golems as buffs. So how does a Fireball hybrid caster feel in comparison?
The idea of the Fireball hybrid using the Elemancer ascendancy is to employ golems as defensive buffs in part with your stone and chaos golems acting as a huge damage mitigation pieces. I use a lightning and flame golem as well for some damage. In the case of the lightning golem, I use a Culling Strike support gem. For my flame and chaos golems, I use Minion Life and Elemental Army support gems. The reason I go with an Elemental Army is to give my flame golem exposure on hit.
For my stone golems, I use 6 from my helmet slot which I have a Minion Life and Damage support skill built in. Then for the remainder of the gems I use Melee Physical, Impale and Multistrike.
These compliment my Fireball skill where I’ve invested in fire over time and some other elemental damage modifiers on my skill tree. But the overall idea with this build is to use Stone Golems as both a massive single target boost along with their high regeneration buff. Since Stone Golems do poor area damage, Fireball handles the main clear. In this manner, I’m getting a more balanced damage dealer.
Now, I have to invest into golem gear too with a Primordial Chain, Anima Stone, Primordial Harmony and Primordial Eminence. Also, I plan to add either another Primordial Eminence or Primordial Might for making my golems aggressive. And my cluster jewel in part uses Primordial Bond for improving the buffs that my golems provide.
I do have a wand with a lot of fire/burning damage built in along with the ever crucial Trigger Socketed Skills craft. That one I use with Wave of Conviction, Flammability and Armageddon, all of which adds more penetration and ignite potential to my abilities.
At the moment, my character is level 80 but I think that I might invest more into fire damage such as Arsonist and possibly Heart of Flame. However, I think Gravepact might come in handy along with Spiritual Aid just to boost my Fireball damage.
The two main problems with this build that I’m finding are deciding where to put my points and the need to invest into the survival of my golems. I feel that two more Primordial Harmony jewels will give enough survivability to my golems. I do not want to invest into Indomitable Army and feel that aiming for more jewel slots could be better with another Primordial jewel.
Two additional problems with this build are being dexterity and mana starved. The dexterity part is really annoying as I’ve had to sacrifice points to get back dexterity while mana mostly is an issue from Fireball’s cost. I cannot use a -9 mana reduction ring because I employ Pyre and Berek’s Respite. Both add a tremendous amount of damage and Pyre ends up helping to negate on death effects.
The only other piece of gear I can optimize for at this time is a better shield with mana reservation reduction. With that type of item (along with a mana reservation reduction for something like Malevolence as a helmet enchant), I could probably add Anger or Herald of Ash into my shield.
Overall, I’m not sure how to feel about this build. I like that it has character but the real problem is that Fireball by itself really sucks without a lot of backup. The area clear only works once you get Ignite Proliferation and GMP. But I found myself missing a lot for a while. Single target with Fireball is pretty mediocre and spamming Fireball blows because it’s slow to cast. The only saving grace came once I obtained a Trigger Socketed Skill wand but even then the damage is really hit and miss.
I think part of the problem is Ignite being flaky. The other problem is that single target casting just is horrific in this game with bosses teleporting around so much. I considered using Spellslinger but couldn’t think of a good combination to make that work.
The golem part is stupid even though I enjoy having minions running around for a good portion of my work. But I think that depending on golems for a skill’s pitfalls is more of a crutch. The fact that I’m using Stone Golems over Flame Golems highlights other issues for a build like this. Intuitively, I should be using more Flame Golems to compliment my fire damage or making the single target aspect more compelling.
Now, I could try a different helmet where I have Minion Damage and something like a Burning support. Then use an item like a Kaom’s Heart. But Stone Golem regeneration is too good and single target is pretty damn good for little investment. In a lot of Stone Golem skill trees, I notice that only Gravepact is really worth picking up. Everything else is emphasized on Primordial jewels or some of the new cluster jewels.
Either way, I’m going to play around with this build a little more. I think there’s some possible tweaking I can do.