I should note before anything else that this build is being played on hardcore. So certain decisions I make are for that reason, and my piloting is extra safe for that reason as well – particularly because I don’t have a backup Mythical Black Scourge.
While playing a self found (except for Mythical Necrolord’s Gaze) fresh start character based around keeping Primal Spirit up all the time, I picked up the Heart of the Sand King amulet noticing it existed, then found out how much bleed damage I was doing later, which was surprisingly high. Ended up making a build around it and it’s surprisingly effective in campaign.
Now that 1.1.2 is out, the build is even more effective than before with a lot of changes benefitting it massively, and has sort of become a project of mine to optimize to it’s fullest extent. In HC I’ve cleared 170, killed Callagadra, farmed a bunch of kaisan amulets, and cleared SR 75.
SR 75 clear: https://youtu.be/w8NSMElZeXE
Note that pylons are used and so are consumables. Is it possible without them? Absolutely 100% yes, and it’s probably even more than possible to farm SR75-76 in SC on this.
More videos are contained in the relevant sections. I unfortunately don’t have any crucible videos saved at the moment, but there are SR + callagadra videos.
Grim Tools Variants
Primal Spirit centric Oleron/Dryad: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/nZo4q8oN
This has become my new favorite version of the build. Oleron returns with much better sustain than before. Incredibly, this build still performs well without having shepherd’s crook. This allows this build to get way higher DA with the use of DA augments in place of the Mogdrogen’s Blessing when desired (which is great for SR). Most of the reason for this build performing as well without shepherd’s crook is also that freedom to use Mogdrogen’s Blessing without worrying about low DA, and the fact that it doesn’t need an Ateph’s Will to cap pet bleed resistance.
Dryad is used to give the build more sustain with a low cooldown heal that also has a high proc rate. The reduced poison/bleed duration is actually also very noticeable, surprisingly. Bonus for having movespeed + slow res on the way there.
This version performs slightly better offensively than the falcon swoop/giant’s blood setup, and I’m not sure how to feel about the defensives. Both builds are great, and I think it ultimately comes down to preference.
It is worth noting that the offhand isn’t BIS affixes, and that a good CDR roll (ideally 18) is VERY important. Also worth noting – on Grim Tools, the chaos resistance is high because every piece of gear that I have on with chaos resistance low rolled, and the aether resistance is low because those are high rolls. Adjust your augments accordingly with the rolls you have in game to balance out overcaps if you can.
No Greens + No Conduit Oleron/Dryad: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NOkvPoN
Untested, but it seems unlikely that this would be better than the above, and certainly loses defensives in comparison except for the stun resistance. But it does have the bonus of not needing any specific rolls on gear, and has good base stun resistance. Also doesn’t use a conduit, so you don’t have to worry about the resistance bonus there.
Falcon Swoop/Giant’s Blood setup (original 220.127.116.11 build): https://www.grimtools.com/calc/lV7BMOw2
I switched to this version instead of the original oleron setup in 18.104.22.168 because it still dealt great damage while being a decent bit safer. In comparison to the original Oleron version, it gained Primal Instinct, Bysmiel’s Command, and most importantly, Giant’s Blood was added as a proc for safety.
The augments on the faction ring is flexible – feel free to use Mogdrogen’s Blessing for more damage if you wish. I had the DA augment on at the time because I was doing shattered realm and prioritized safety.
Unfortunately perma Primal Spirit was dropped in comparison to my original build, but Briarthorns hold their own. Ability to go Primal Instinct is awesome and helps quite a bit as it means I have damage happening at every point in time, and it also helps the AoE – particularly if I let them do their own thing instead of using pet attack all the time. It also helps with the Primal Spirit downtime in that it gives you something else to attack for you.
With this setup, keep a second faction ring with a Keeper’s Binding Dust next to your Nosferattis for when something with Mind Control shows up. Because of the way this is set up, the vitality res of the pets went down a bit. This is why the faction ring is equipped on the right – because the vitality resistance of the pets when Shadowfiend Cord isn’t on is somewhat low.
“I got unlucky with my conduit res roll” version: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/M2gl4gBV
Ideally you get pierce/aether/chaos res on your conduit, but if not, don’t worry – you can still play the build with a couple changes.
Original Primal Spirit focused Oleron with Heart of the Sand King: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2BzLmB2
This was my first build in Forgotten gods, and has been updated for 22.214.171.124. This is pretty much the best DPS you’re going to get – but it comes with a cost of not having a devotion to help sustain. This is probably the “glassiest” version of the build.
My main idea was to make a build focused on keeping primal spirit up 90% or higher of the time. This build has a very low down time on primal spirit. As a result you want CDR anywhere you can. A good CDR roll on offhand is also very important, as your best proc is bound to primal spirit due to it’s high attack speed + weapon damage.
Budget Version: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNY4D0eZ
All faction gear and MIs that aren’t rolled. I have not tested this but did something similar when I restarted from nothing in FG, and managed to farm up to a full build – but it took a while. It’s very slow and you will have some struggles, but it gets the job done in campaign – wouldn’t take it into crucible or far into SR, though. I’d imagine it might be a bit better now that Ground Slam actually does decent AoE.
Feel free to skip this section, as it’s being written for both myself and other theorycrafters/builders interested in why I’ve picked certain gear.
Mythical Rifthound Legwraps
Originally meant as a means to help make it easy to cap aether res for both us and the pets, this ended up being used in the final build due to the +2 Ground Slam giving us more bleed damage. This lacks offensive stats other than that, but makes up for it in that we don’t need as many mender’s powders in the end. Should be noted that the DA is pretty useful too, as that’s in a bit of short supply.
Mythical Black Scourge
Originally chosen for being what I felt was the best pet weapon for this build with %CDR on it for primal spirit uptime, this ended up being used in the end as well because it combines well with the above legs to give pets high aether/chaos res. This combination means less mender’s powders, equating to more damage or defensives overall.
Interestingly, the weapon actually sometimes procs. I’m curious to know more about the mechanics of on death effects proccing when utilizing dots on both the player and the pets, because this was extremely surprising to see.
Cataclysm’s Eye vs Bound Wraith
I actually went back to the Bound Wraith when I returned to the oleron setup. The big thing about Bound Wraith is it improves your primal spirit uptime, and when you have it bound to an offensive devotion, you almost never want it to be out of the fight. Worth noting that Primal Spirit also has extremely high base OA, and the offhand gives it even more attack speed on top of it’s high attack speed – so it procs 100% on crit devotions almost immediately when they come off cooldown. It also has the highest weapon damage. All this combined makes the Bound Wraith the best offhand to use in the Oleron setup in my opinion, unless you’re using Mythical Will of Bysmiel.
Cataclysm’s eye is used in the no greens setup due to it’s skill bonuses making everything more well rounded, as well as the resistances. Ultimately I would argue that it’s the best generic pet offhand you can get – that is to say, when the offhand isn’t build defining.
The briarthorn offhand gets an honorable mention but I didn’t feel the impact of using one that much, even with decent rolls.
Conduit of Wild Whispers (bleed damage Mogdrogen’s Pact) vs Mythical Heart of the Sand King and other options
After revisiting Heart of the Sand King, peak DPS numbers on the Oleron setup are quite a bit better – upwards of 15% higher bleeds. The physical damage difference is negligible. Heart of the Sand King ends up being the best DPS option you can get for the build. However, the defensives of the amulet are REALLY weak – we basically only get elemental resistance out of it and extra Primal Bond levels. These numbers are also based off of highest DPS at any given time, not calculated over like 15 seconds so to speak (using Grim Internals to monitor). Overall the actual DPS is probably only slightly better, and I prefer the conduit for the better defensives. It is worth noting, however, that Heart of the Sand King is a farmable MI that drops from a specific boss.
Mythical Will of Bysmiel serves as a decent alternative in the primal spirit centric builds for no green setups.
The Devouring swarm conduit is also a great option that I have not yet tested, though I suspect would not be much better. Certainly would make a good alternative if you don’t have the bleed conduit.
Mythical Shadowfiend Cord vs Nosferattis
Nosferattis offers bleed damage, but not much else. Shadowfiend Cord is superior both offensively and defensively except when Mind Control is a factor and in terms of player resistances. As such, Nosferattis should only be kept in inventory to swap to when needed (Bolvar/Sentinel/Karroz/Loghorrean), as it is far weaker.
Primal Instinct vs Mogdrogen’s Ardor
If you have 120+ movement speed and your pets are overcapped on aether/chaos resistance without you being near them for oak skin, Primal Instinct tends to win out slightly unless you really need the skillpoints. The relic procs quite often. Also with this, the less you need to use pet attack, the better – as it will naturally spread out the swarmlings a bit, which is nice due to their low movement speed.
With Mogdrogen’s Ardor, you fix your movement speed a fair bit if it is low, and the resistances help a lot with removing the need for mender’s powders. You really want your pets to be aether capped WITHOUT oak skin, that way theres both some overcap, and they can be capped without you being near them.
The Oleron setup uses Mogdrogen’s Ardor, while the builds without Oleron use Primal Instinct.
Pet augments – Mogdrogen’s Blessing, Rotgut Venom, Mender’s Powder, and more
This is an interesting one because we’re getting so much pet res from gear, which leaves our options far more open than they would be on most pet builds.
Mender’s Powders should ALWAYS be used until aether/chaos res on pets is capped at bare minimum, imo, unless it’s crucible. This should also be before Oak Skin is taken into account.
Rotgut Venom should be used until you have at least 2700 DA imo. In SR, I use at least one, but you can get away without it – I just like having higher DA. My personal preference is actually going for 2800 at least.
Irrah’s Venomtongue is a new augment that I have yet to test. Same defensive stats as Rotgut Venom, but offers damage instead of attack speed, as well as some flat poison damage. I suspect this is better in the cases that we need to kite, which is SR boss rooms in general, simply because it should mean our dot damage is higher in general. If the flat damage was bleeding, it probably wouldn’t even be a contest.
Mogdrogen’s Blessing is the best DPS option you can get. Simple as that. If all other bases are covered, this is what you use.
Ateph’s Will – used when pet bleed res is needed to be capped. Get bleed res to 48 at least to have your pets be capped with your Briarthorn around.
Sandclaw Scale– a new one that honestly is something I need to look into more. HP + aether res for us, crit damage + HP for the pets. These are used in cases where you need Aether resistance to cap out. They can also be used similarly to replace armor augments with 30 DA, which makes them quite similar to Rotgut Venoms, but with crit damage instead of attack speed. One is used in the old Oleron build.
Survivor’s Ally – low damage, but useful if you’re ultra desperate for more elemental res. Mentioned simply because I needed it once, and is used in the no greens oleron setup. I always find that you should have around 30 overcap elemental resistance at minimum, with any more you can get being nice.
Full SR video of 70-75 in HC – Oleron/Dryad build: https://youtu.be/DaaLIahklO4
To answer ahead of time: If you are playing SC you don’t need the amount of defensives and such that I have in this. You don’t need consumables necessarily either, nor are the pylons entirely 100% required. This is just all done for safety.
This build was struggling in the 55-59 range, but now that it is past log arena hell, it is doing great. CC resistances are heavily desired, though. If you see the yellow pylon, pick it up and don’t think twice.
Full SR video of 49-50 in HC with the Falcon Swoop/Giant’s Blood setup (game version 126.96.36.199): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M17ORRQec7I&feature=youtu.be
I’m aware it’s not so much the trend to post full videos, but as this is hardcore, the clear on trash is just as important because any death is game over. Consumables used for safety. This was my first attempt of 45-50 on HC ever, so was pretty tense.
At the moment, I usually aim for at least 2800 DA for SR, and will adjust augments based on mods. If you’re lazy and don’t like dying (or are playing HC), just use 2 DA augments.
For mods, I leave instantly and reset if I see -100 DA, +60% crit damage, or pet taunt resistance modifiers. The +50 OA, 6% OA modifier is annoying but with consumables isn’t the worst – with a couple extra damage mods alongside it I will leave on that too, though. The taunt resistance modifier wasn’t something I expected to be so noticeable, but it is.
Moosilauke is a massive problem, especially if you’re using one of the non-primal spirit focused builds. You should always use hoarfrost ointments because Moosilauke can chain freeze you to death if you don’t. Even with yellow pylon for CC res he often chain freezes minions to a slow and steady death though. This is made worse by the fact that crystals are straight up bleed immune and you can’t do ANYTHING about it – they have 1000% bleed duration reduction. Only the primal spirit is freeze immune.
It is also important to learn to use skill bar swaps to resummon pets. They WILL die.
For pylons: The only one that really adds consistency is the Yellow Pylon for CC resistances. With this, situations become way less dangerous.
Yellow – always take if available imo, the damage drop is worth the added safety
Red is basically always good on this setup for the damage.
Green is insanely good and gives your pets unbelievable tankiness – it’s a little shocking how much the overcaps help them. Try it and see for yourself.
Turquoise (Shrine of Death) should only be taken if you have the green pylon already imo.
Dark Blue can be skipped freely, it’s arguably the weakest for us (armor)
Be sure to keep Nosferratis in inventory in case of Karroz, Sentinel, or Bolvar showing up. All 3 of them have mind control and you will want to immediately swap to this belt if you see them until they are dead. Mythical Shadowfiend Cord is offensively and defensively better in all other cases.
After finally making it out of 45-60, the build performs fantastically. It is still not comfortable without the yellow pylon for CC resistances, and I’d like to find a way to fix this (mostly trap resistance), but it at least confirmed that the range of 55-60 that i was stuck at for ages was just because of the loghorrean arena.
15:30 HC Callagadra (Oleron variant, pre-1.1.2 buffs): https://youtu.be/wPfm6MJiG6Y
Mostly defensive consumables used which weren’t needed – you could do the same time without any consumables other than energy potions. Could push the time to be faster with better rolls, my medal and amulet were both below average rolls. Also the offhand isn’t the ideal BiS one + mine is only 16% CDR.
This can go faster now with the buffs that have happened and I wouldn’t be surprised if the more defensive setup is able to handle him in about the same time as well. The fact that the pets are still dealing damage after being dead is gigantic for doing this boss, because they WILL die.
Be sure to overcap your pierce res (and bleed res if necessary) for this fight.
Maybe more super bosses coming soon.
Crucible with Falcon Swoop/Giant’s Blood: A bit under 9 minutes with 3 buffs + banner playing very safe. Didn’t drop below 90% the whole run. I suspect with better or more aggressive piloting, you can push 8 minutes or lower. Same with having more offensive augments (I can’t remember which ones I was using in the run honestly, lol).
I recall sigatrev saying he had a ~7:30 run with a setup very close to mine which had no falcon swoop, so I suspect the 9 minute run might just be me piloting safely/badly, or using defensive augments, or both.
Pre 1.1.2 I did 10-11 minutes with 4 buffs no banner on the original Oleron setup. Lack of banner was me being out of date on what people do in crucible now for runs. No idea how this would fare now – it’s been buffed pretty nicely since then.
It’s quite clear that this isn’t the best pet build for crucible – and I think that’s fine. It is very effective at doing everything else, and arguably more defensive in other situations. Perhaps someone can prove me wrong, though – I might just be piloting way too defensively.
Primal spirit getting stuck: sometimes the primal spirit will get stuck running in place against a mob. In order to fix this, you need to select it (use a keybind to select that pet, click the portrait, or ctrl+click the pet itself) and move it elsewhere or just have it attack something else. Simply using pet attack without selecting it will not do anything. This usually only happens in tight spaces, so you don’t have to worry about it too often, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
Farming Bound Spirits: Make sure you do not help the wraith in the Tomb of Ugdall southeast of the barrowholm rift. He is the easiest enemy to kill with a decent drop rate of the spirit offhands, and also the fastest to get to. Wraiths on the way there can drop Bound Spirits as well. Just hope you don’t get an Enslaved Wraith instead. This is where I managed to find my offhand.
Moving pets without moving primal instinct / bysmiel’s command pets: If you bind a key to select all pets and press that, the next left/right click you do will only send all pets that you see in the top left view to the location you clicked. This means that the bysmiel pet and the swarmlings will continue doing what they are doing, which generally results in better aoe – mostly because of the swarmlings, as they are very slow. This is unfortunately quite hard to get used to, and I wouldn’t recommend trying too hard to use it, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
This build was just a fun campaign build thing that ended up being my main build – and certainly the one I’m most proud of so far.
Special thanks to Sigatrev and Maya both, for not only inspiring me to push this as far as I can, but for also making some of the best pet builds on the forums. I’d be lying if I said I came up with everything I did myself.