Tips for a summoner witch

#1cjnoonePosted 2/4/2013 4:16:44 PM
If making a summoner witch, is it better to start off stacking defense(ES, etc), or offense(pretty much beelining for MI)?

Also, any other tips?
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#2LuigiisTeepeePosted 2/4/2013 4:44:30 PM
Summoner starts off pretty slow, so make sure you supplement the lack of early viability of minions with something (I use fire for example).
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#3Ryyaann_Is_BandPosted 2/4/2013 4:52:04 PM
I hear Summoner's minions sucks s*** until Cruel, then they get OP only to suck s*** again in Merciless.

That's just the data I've gathered after reading many Summoner threads
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#4sincrest8919Posted 2/5/2013 2:05:57 AM
Ryyaann_Is_Band posted...
I hear Summoner's minions sucks s*** until Cruel, then they get OP only to suck s*** again in Merciless.

That's just the data I've gathered after reading many Summoner threads


My witch is a summoner and I have had no problems doing all of merciless and I farm maps with ease.
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#5James MasonPosted 2/5/2013 2:36:52 AM
I'm a lvl 51 Summon... Shadow... Played the whole game solo so far... Just Killed Brutus in Merciless.

My two cents :

On Normal and Cruel, I mostly played this guy as a Meleemancer, using Viper Strike to innoculate poison while setting up Fire Traps and overall using the minions as damage buffers. I'm the general taking key targets alongsides my enemy... It's surprisingly viable and Fun. I always played my D2 Necro that way till Nightmare or so, but in this game ,you get really cool abilities so it's even better.

You won't have too much problem with Minions in ACT 1 asides from those Fire Trap Dogs and the Jumping Goatmen , while there are sections of ACT 2 (Suicide Bombers) where they die alot. Minion Instability is mandatory for any of these situations.... Still, summons do need to be constantly respawned after every fight , which gets tedious.

ACT 3 Normal is where it gets the worse. Enemies deal alot of high elemental damage and your army will constantly get one-shotted. Those Bugs that Explode (Although if you freeze them with freezing pulse before they get close you can avoid), those Alchemists throwing yellow stuff in the sewers, most areas will have at least one mob that totally decimates your army... In my case, it's also the point where I stared to run into massive mana issues (Then again Replacing your whole army every fight will do that) while having neglected my HP for so long meant I was a sitting duck more often than not ... Growing Pain aplenty.... Almost felt like quitting this character and I complained alot about the Summons being underpowered on the forums then.

I suppose a witch would have less mana issues , as the starting point has mana nodes and mana regen nodes... But I had to get some mana nodes and mana regen at that point... Plus I stated stacking gear with mana regen... Which i'm still wearing up to this day. Part of the issue is the fact I overleved Clarity... Which Reserves 200 of my mana... Which is alot when your mana pool is like 300.

As for Summon survivability, there's only one real solution... Level the gems up... Strangely, the survivability ratio is almost solely dependant on the gem's level. I believe it's at about lvl 8 or 9 that there's a huge HP gain on minions... My Zombies had like 300 HP and I gained a level and they had 800 HP... Ever since , it's been getting bigger and bigger.... With My Zombies have 3.5K Life as of now and being quite good at tanking.

So basically, the key to success with summoner is getting your Summoning Gems as soon as possible, leveling them up as fast as you can, and supplementing them with Minion Life and Minion Damage to round up the package. The faster you can get these three linked and leveling, the smoother your playtrough should go. In my case, I started hunting for spare Minion Life and Minion Dmg nodes at ACT 3 Normal... Didn't cost me that much (a couple alch) and I was on my way to greatness hereafter...

Case in point, I solved my mana issues, added more HP, leveled my gems, and by the time I reached Cruel AC1 , I could solo bosses and mobs just fine. Had no notable problems with ACT 2, while ACT 3 had some tough parts ,but overall I did quite good.

To Be Continued
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#6James MasonPosted 2/5/2013 2:50:02 AM(edited)
When I started Merciless, It was time for me to ditch the meleemancing and go for a support caster role... As I lacked both the DMG input and survivability to take hits anymore. Luckily, I had prepared for that by keeping spell gems in my secondary weapon slots all along, so I switched to a high dmg wand, dropped the melee and went for curses/firestorm//ice wall/Lesser Projective Artic Breath and Freezing Pulse.

Since my summons are getting durable, I only have a few to resurrect every now and then (I try to resummon a couple zombies to replace the decaying ones every fight). I'm running the discipline aura to give my minions Energy Shield, which in turns means less resummoning... Eventually, i'll add some form of life on hit to them if I can, maybe even use Necromantic Aegis if I find a good survivability shield for my minions. I have Added attack speed on them to increase their dps. Build is surprisingly viable, kills pretty fast and is somewhat secure. I say somewhat because I have terrible Resists and my HP is definitively below average so far, meaning I did get two shotted by a couple of enemies so far... I also didn't get the nodes that increase the aura radius, meaning if I want my minions to get their energy shield, I gotta stay a little too close to them for my tastes.

In the end, I'd say I kinda discourage starting as a Shadow... That's 5 Semi wasted points at the start, but mostly, since you don't get the 40% Regen node + The Mana Nodes + Lord of the Dead from the start , you run into more issues and it's probably less smooth sailing that as a Witch. In early game, I often felt about 5 levels behind the mobs I was facing, probably due to spending 5 points from the start to get into the witch's area...

It's also harder to get the quest rewards you need, as you'll get all those Dex spells offered to you all the time... But I wanted the D2 Necro, and I didn't think the Witch looked the part... In any case, Shadow Necro is viable, as i'm lvl 51 and my build will definitively be done at LVL 80 or so.... Probably even before.
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The wind carried screams from the west. I could not help but smile - Kain PSN : Stealth_Cobra | MGO ID : Killed by Konami's Greed
#7Maxi_AdelheidPosted 2/5/2013 4:34:12 AM
James Mason posted...
I'm a lvl 51 Summon... Shadow... Played the whole game solo so far... Just Killed Brutus in Merciless.

My two cents :

On Normal and Cruel, I mostly played this guy as a Meleemancer, using Viper Strike to innoculate poison while setting up Fire Traps and overall using the minions as damage buffers. I'm the general taking key targets alongsides my enemy... It's surprisingly viable and Fun. I always played my D2 Necro that way till Nightmare or so, but in this game ,you get really cool abilities so it's even better.

You won't have too much problem with Minions in ACT 1 asides from those Fire Trap Dogs and the Jumping Goatmen , while there are sections of ACT 2 (Suicide Bombers) where they die alot. Minion Instability is mandatory for any of these situations.... Still, summons do need to be constantly respawned after every fight , which gets tedious.

ACT 3 Normal is where it gets the worse. Enemies deal alot of high elemental damage and your army will constantly get one-shotted. Those Bugs that Explode (Although if you freeze them with freezing pulse before they get close you can avoid), those Alchemists throwing yellow stuff in the sewers, most areas will have at least one mob that totally decimates your army... In my case, it's also the point where I stared to run into massive mana issues (Then again Replacing your whole army every fight will do that) while having neglected my HP for so long meant I was a sitting duck more often than not ... Growing Pain aplenty.... Almost felt like quitting this character and I complained alot about the Summons being underpowered on the forums then.

I suppose a witch would have less mana issues , as the starting point has mana nodes and mana regen nodes... But I had to get some mana nodes and mana regen at that point... Plus I stated stacking gear with mana regen... Which i'm still wearing up to this day. Part of the issue is the fact I overleved Clarity... Which Reserves 200 of my mana... Which is alot when your mana pool is like 300.

As for Summon survivability, there's only one real solution... Level the gems up... Strangely, the survivability ratio is almost solely dependant on the gem's level. I believe it's at about lvl 8 or 9 that there's a huge HP gain on minions... My Zombies had like 300 HP and I gained a level and they had 800 HP... Ever since , it's been getting bigger and bigger.... With My Zombies have 3.5K Life as of now and being quite good at tanking.

So basically, the key to success with summoner is getting your Summoning Gems as soon as possible, leveling them up as fast as you can, and supplementing them with Minion Life and Minion Damage to round up the package. The faster you can get these three linked and leveling, the smoother your playtrough should go. In my case, I started hunting for spare Minion Life and Minion Dmg nodes at ACT 3 Normal... Didn't cost me that much (a couple alch) and I was on my way to greatness hereafter...

Case in point, I solved my mana issues, added more HP, leveled my gems, and by the time I reached Cruel AC1 , I could solo bosses and mobs just fine. Had no notable problems with ACT 2, while ACT 3 had some tough parts ,but overall I did quite good.

To Be Continued


I see....so the minions get exponentially higher HP gain per gem lvl as opposed to linear gains. Guess I need to babysit my fire/summoner witch until I get to higher higher lvls.
#8xChaosLordxPosted 2/5/2013 4:52:01 AM
Once you get skeletons + spell totem is really when the summoner build starts to shine. That is what saves your bacon in the tougher situations where you don't have enough bodies to raise zombies. Spell totem + Skeleton + minion life + minion damage => 4 slots.

The great thing about summoner, is they don't need 5L and 6L, which can narrow the costs for your gear substantially. The difference in price between great rare rolls that are 4L and great rolls that are 6L, is huge. This is because you are gonna waste a few hundred fusing orbs on average to get a 6L. And for a lot of builds its not even worth the effort. If you get super lucky and find a 6L with good rolls, congrats, otherwise don't even bother.