UPDATE: I have posted a new version of this build that is simply a lot better due to a greater number of Pets and full Physical to Cold conversion.
Hello everyone! This is my first build submission here in the forums and this is my second character ever. Sorry for any typos or grammatical errors. English isn’t my main language.
This is a Pet build revolving around the Bane of the Winter King legendary weapon. I found it while leveling my first character. It looked really cool and instantly i decided that i was going to make a build around it. Since my first character was also a Pet build and i got a lot of help and good advice from the folks here in the forums (Maya’s guide also helped a ton), i decided to use the same concept as the weapon has bonus to Pets. However, when i decided to take a look around the forum and the compendium to find some inspiration as how i would proceed, i found nothing. There were a few non-pet builds but nothing for Pets. So, i decided to try and see if i could come up with something interesting.
All buffs are on (except temp ones).
This is the result. It’s a fun build that plays very differently from the usual Pet builds. The character fights alongside the Pets and helps with debuffs, crowd control and resistance reduction. It also dishes out a decent amount of damage and can help kill things faster. The build is fairly resilient with 2k armor (100% absorption), 40% Physical Resistance (48% while attacking), overcapped resistances (weakest is vitality), one defensive devotion proc (Wayward Soul), 9% life leech (15% with blood pact + AOE heal), 17% deflect and dodge, 19% damage absorption (Primal Bond), 10000 flat damage absorption (boots), 20% fumble, 28% impaired aim and 20% damage reduction (from Gavel of Justice).
The end game goal of the build is to utilize the Mythical Bane of the Wnter King and Nature’s Call Regalia set (also known as Beastcaller). The weapon provides an aura called Heart of the Winter King that partially converts pet’s physical damage to cold damage. It also provides some other useful bonuses like 10% phys res for the player and pets and increases the cold RR from Veil of Shadow. With the Beastcaller set, you get a ton of extra damage from the second Briarthorn and the taunt capabilities of Ground Slam are amplified as enemies tend to split their attention between both Briars constantly. The boots provides a very strong shield and the gloves give a good amount of health and provides defensive ability for the Pets.
Another very important factor is the amount of +skills available to the build. The sword gives +2 to Shaman and Nightblade and that is pretty good. You will also be able to obtain another +1 to Shaman from the amulet (Zaria’s Pendant) and the belt (Chains of Brandis). That is a total of +4 to Shaman skills and that makes all of the 1 point skills very useful. Don’t try too hard for Pet stats in these items. Look for affixes that fill holes in your resistances.
The next thing is the Relic. I made a pretty unique choice. Instead of going for the usual Pet relics, i decided to use one that provides a very useful skill with several upsides. The Arbiter relic is pretty underrated in my opinion. The skill it provides (Gavel of Justice) is a very strong Forcewave that scales with both elemental and physical damage. It has a 16 meter range, 3 second stun (very useful for disabling weak enemies and casters/long range attackers) and it applies a 20% damage reduction debuff to enemies for 4 seconds. The cooldown on the skill is pretty short so you can pretty much stun lock vulnerable enemies and those who can’t be stunned will suffer a permanent 20% damage loss. Also, it has 190% Weapon Damage which makes the Viper devotion pretty strong. Lastly, it has a level 35 requirement which means you can start using it very early.
On the Shaman side, Summon Briarthorn is your main skill. The Pet is a very strong physical attacker, deals a fair amount of bleed damage, can taunt enemies (when Ground Slam reachs level 17) and provides an aura that gives physical and bleed resistance, offensive ability, damage and retaliation damage (not really relevant). Conjure Primal Spirit is your boss killer. It is a murder machine that has very powerful and fast attacks and a fairly long cooldown. Savagery is used as your main attack and for the extra 8% physical resistance from Might of the Bear. The Brute Force line is used for extra damage and as alternate triggers for devotions. Mogdrogen’s Pact for the extra health and resistances. Devouring Swarm is used for devotion. Primal Bond for damage absorption, extra damage and bonus to pets. Wind Devil is used for devotion and for the RR on Raging Tempest. Lastly, Wendigo Totem is the unsung hero. It is used for devotion, healing, life steal and to prevent Pets from dying. Briarthorns are almost unkillable in the late game thanks to it.
From Nightblade, you will take Pneumatic Burst as a good heal on demand skill that also improves your defensive and offensive capabilities. Ring of Steel is used mainly for Circle of Slaughter as it provides a 20% fumble debuff at 3 points. Veil of Shadow turns you into a walking debuff/RR machine. Phantasmal Armor for resistances. The rest are simple single points for some extra stats.
I don’t have an actual leveling guide because i did everything on the fly. The devotions changed in the late game which also changed how i would approach the leveling process. So, i will provide just some suggestions as where to focus.
Start with the purple crossroad. Now, there’s 2 options. You can either go for Shepherd’s Crook or Falcon. Crook is one of the main Pet buffs while Falcon provides what i call the “Briar Shotgun”. It is a long range cone skill that inflicts physical and bleed damage. It launches multiple projectiles and, when the Briarthorns attacks, it becomes a nuke that demolishes whatever target that was hit by all the projectiles. Taking Falcon will open the green devotions so i suggest you start there.
When you are done with Falcon, you can go for Crook to start leveling it and then move on to Toad. Toad opens Rowan’s Crown which is important for the RR skill. Afterwards, you should go for Chariot of the Dead for the OA and defensive proc. Then take Viper for the %RR. Take Bysmiel’s Bonds next then proceed to Wraith. This will unlock Mogdrogen the Wolf. Take it then place 5 points in Huntress (take Rend). You can take the purple crossroad out and place the remaining points in Murmur (i took the left node after Rumor for the Vitality Resistance).
TL, DR: Purple Crossroad → Falcon → Shepherd’s Crook → Toad → Rhowan’s Crown → Chariot of the Dead → Viper → Bysmiel’s Bonds → Wraith → Mogdrogen the Wolf → Huntress (5 points for the skill) → Take out the Purple Crossroad → Murmur (Left node after Rumor for Vitality Resistance)
The build isn’t really suited for most of the high level content. I managed to beat Lokarr and SR 65. Both were fairly difficult. The build can also clear all the Key Dungeons fairly easily. All Nemesis, Rashalga and Kra’vall are also doable. I tried to beat Mogdrogen and Ravager but i failed. I haven’t tried Crucible. If you are looking for a good build to farm end game content then this isn’t recommended. It’s more of a fun alternative to the usual style of Pet builds. Videos below. All videos have Time Stamps. Lokarr kill in the second video.