Grrr. Pet Cabalist Vs. Ekket'Zul, Progenitor of Darkness

I’m stuck and I’m hoping someone with more experience can help me figure out what I’m doing wrong. I have my first character to level 100, a pet Cabalist, and I’m absolutely stopped at the Voids Edge and the boss Ekket’Zul, Progenitor of Darkness in Ultimate. I continue to die over and over to this guy, and I’m not really sure why. It seems like I’m barely through the door and I’m dead. This has become very frustrating and I would like to move on with this character. At this point I’m uncertain if the issue is gear, build, tactics, or simply lack of experience. Possibly all of the above.

Here’s my current build:

Now, the answer might be as simple as you are undergeared, farm more. I can certainly do that since I’m not having great trouble with things up to this point, but I’m not a huge fan of continuous Crucible runs and farming is slower in Campaign mode. I’d also like to know some tactics that might work against this particular boss for a skeleton pet build, because what I’ve tried sure hasn’t worked. I’ve read a number of post saying he isn’t that tough, so I’m obviously missing something.

I’ll also take gear suggestions, but understand, this is the best of what I’ve found so far that gets me resists and other necessities. The belt is one I stuck on to improve chaos resists, for example. I do have the Necrolords shroud, overlords grip and the blueprint for the lost souls helm, but that’s really about it. Also, anything without components is either because I don’t have a blueprint for the one I want or don’t want to waste it on a very temporary piece of kit. Any help greatly appreciated, Thanks

That relic seems pretty bad to me. Swap it to bysmeil’s domination for better stats, physique and a boost to pet damage (it also offers + physical resistance on active, which you probably really need it…). You probably also need radiance aura to max out ele resist on pets too.

Your HP is very low but i guess that cant be helped with your current gear. Although necrolord shroud does give a +10% hp aura which can be useful. You have to kite him if you are undergeared since his volcano will one shot you and likely the entire pet team.

Theres also reaper of the accursed which give you another circuit breaker when you are at 40% health. It also provides a massive boost every time you use call of the grave.

I’d scrap the revenant since it has no place in a pure summoner build. The life leech on pets is abysmal and the active does not scale towards your pet bonuses. Go for tree of life for Hp boost or with your current set up - the spring maiden for a physical reduction + pet taunt.

Thanks for the reply and advice. I’m not sure why it’s showing up this way, but I actually uses Claw of Hagaraz and a Mythical Reaper of the Accursed as my default weapons. I obviously forgot to unequip the Ravager barb and Shield when I created the Grimtools link, (I’m still learning how to use them - a really amazing tool though). they can be seen on weapon switch. For deathchill relic, I think its the best one I have plans for if i remember correctly. For constellations, I picked revenant for the extra potential summons and slow, but I’m not sold on it either since it seems to proc very little. I’ll take a look at those you suggested particularly Maiden, thanks,

Are you going for Dirge of Arkovia by any chance? Generally speaking cablists have 3 end game relics to go for:

Bysmiel for massive consistent pet damage.
Dirge for a meat-shield pet (the AI is abit buggy though).
Primal instinct for highest potential damage but is not consistent.

I prefer Bysmiel because the stats on it, Physique gives HP and DA, both of which you lack right now. The passive trigger is very nice for survival since cablists typically lack physical resistance, which believes or not is the main cause of death in the expansion bar some nemesis abilities or life reduction.

Also Barrowhelm’s blue ring is very very useful, it gives health +pet crit damage. I personally think it is better than Voidwhisper because Voidwhisper passive is very bad. You dont have any chaos resistance shred except from devotions which can be unreliable in somecases. You do have an on-demand physical shred in the form of curse of fragility however. The 100%physical to chaos conversion will likely gimp your damage.

With your current devotion set up i did abit of experiment. I think tree of life is probably easier, but is up to you.

I’ll add just a couple of things to what is said, to which I already agree with mostly, with one or two exceptions, namely If you can’t get an endgame relic, Deathchill is pretty decent. Currently, I’m using a shitty relic (Impurity) but just for the maxed skellies I get with the +skills until I can get better, one that sepheltius suggested. No blueprints for me yet though.

Agree that Wendigo Oppressor Seal (barrhowholm honored) is awesome, I bought 2 of them and still use them.
There are also a few good armor slots from the Coven you can buy, no farming needed.
I also purchased Stormbringer of Malmouth from Malmouth Resistance once I hit Revered, that thing is very nice. It’s easy to “farm” for their favour.

One suggestion: Try to invest a lot more in CoF and Vulnerability. You have almost nothing there. That will GREATLY increase the damage your pets do. Not sure what you are using Siphon Souls for, I would spend the points elsewhere. And might as well throw one point into Spectral Wrath for the extra debuff. Investing more into CoF, Vuln, and also into Decay or Rotting Fumes might help debuff bosses more, not sure how effecively the last two do however.

Hope that helps!

You may want to look into getting three Mogdrogen’s Blessing those should greatly cut down the length of the fight which might be enough…

Also, you get next to zero benefit from your gloves and belt. Get some nice high health/resistance items there.

Thanks for all the advice. Regarding the relics. I don’t have the blueprints for all the parts to either Bysmiel (missing scourge) or primal instinct (missing nemesis and ancestor). I am working toward one of the three mentioned. I just need all the parts. I don’t have the plans for the third at all yet.

regarding Siphon Souls. I was using it to proc hungering Void, but in practice this is a really bad idea since, if I’m close enough to leech, I’m probably already dead. In general I think it’s clear I need to tinker with the constellations a bit. I’m not able to effectively make use of all of Dying God at this point and revenant did not work as I’d hoped, so those will need changing somewhat. I liked the idea of Hungering Void, but using it has been problematic to say the least. Moving to tree of life means finding 3 more Order and 1 more Primorial which means I’ll have to move a few things around. but, that’s what GrimTools is for. Skillwise, adding more to COF is probably also helpful at this stage. so i’ll be re-arranging skill points as well it looks like. I’ll probably also look at reworking the hot bar to be a little more efficient in the heat of the moment- that may also be a factor in my regular death’s to Ekket’Zul.

I also somehow missed the wendigo oppressor’s seal, So I’ll be getting that soon. I’m currently at revered status with everyone I need to buy from (except those Kymon dudes who don’t like me for some strange reason…).

Re: Stormbringer of Malmouth - It looks like Ekket’Zul is pretty resistant to lightning and elemental damage in general, and while I like the idea of the stormbringer, it doesn’t necessarily help me with my immediate problem of getting by Ekket’Zul. It looks like it provides a truckload of damage, but if most of it is resisted…

I do have some materials, so I can build some things and test them out. I can’t be worse off then I am now :wink: I’ll keep plugging away at it though, Thanks again for the thoughtful replies.

Certainly worth a try, Thanks. I’d be trading defense (mender’s powder) for offense but clearly defense is not helping me at this point.

I realize the gloves and belt are not optimal, but they provided resists (chaos and fire) that I hadn’t capped specifically for the Ekket’Zul fight. perhaps I’m worrying too much about resists and should just get more health and dodge better. Thanks

I would like to say thanks to those who’ve been helping me out with my quest to get past Ekket’Zul. I finally made it with some of the changes suggested here. the changes were small (gloves, ring, skill point changes and moving devotion procs to different skills) but significant enough for me to pass with only a couple of deaths. So thanks to sephelutis, Onmastikon and Silben for taking the time to look and comment for me.

changed build for the curious:

Glad to hear you got through :smiley:

Some comments on the final build:

Max Vulnerability and spectral wraith, they really do give you a lot of Vitality RR.
Put 1 point into dread, that extra 2 meter cast range is quite useful.
Get rid of Foul eruption. You need to kill something with ravenous earth for it to have any effect.

Get rid of Revenant. It’s mostly useless to you.
Take manticore. The RR is super useful and applies to all your damage.

Ditch that Void whisper band… I know it’s hard, one dropped for me a few days ago and I have been dying to use it…but for sure converting damage to chaos will mean a DPS loss.

Not sure if you have it but Wrath of the Beast Tincture is awesome for those do or die situations.

I’d say, on Level 100 you should have at least some Legendary and Mythical legendary gear. The latter modify a lot of good skills. And you don’t need crucible to farm things, just play the campaign, do some challenge dungeon runs, you will get plenty drops, and what you don’t need you can just blow up for components which you can use with the Celestial Smith. Honestly, most of the gear for my pet Cabalist was dropped for other characters of mine which I put in the transfer stash. :slight_smile:
Skill-wise, I dunno why you call this a pet cabalist, you barely put any points into the Hell Hound and Blight Fiend. I’d say, drop Bone Harvest and Ravenous Earth, max the pets instead. If you want a damaging attack skill, use Reap Spirit, since it is damage plus a pet too. My Cabalist has that as a right click and pet attack for left click. If you are making a build where the pets do the damage, why do you need that many points into a direct damage skill?

Also, get more minions. Empowered Black Grimoir of Ognapesh adds a super tough Revenant that has buffs that protect your other minions and a damaging flame aura. Swap that rather useless relic too - none of the pets do cold damage. Use Dirge of Arkovia, that is the best relic for a pet Necromancer - the Skeletal Golem is tough, has a skill that immobilizes enemies, not to mention how the relic boosts pet damage and speed.

Devotion-wise, why Solael’s witchblade? You don’t have chaos damage spells. Swap that for Bysmiel’s Bonds, that gives pet boosts and a temporary but useful pet. All my pet builds have that constellation, it is simply too good to leave out. I’d also skip Revenant, it has not enough pet benefits and the skeletons are too short-lived to matter. Use Manticore instead, that boosts the Blight Fiend to insane levels, especially his poison nova. And Ulo… what use is that constellation for a pet build? It adds a few resistances but little else.

I’m pretty sure it’s because of flame torrent, and maybe that Voidwhisper ring too. Flame torrent is awesome on skeletons.

Excellent points, thanks.
Re: your suggestions. I do plan to ditch Revenant, I’m just looking at what to replace it with, manticore is a good suggestion though, but so is tree of life. it will take some unwinding, though, so I’m going to play with it on grimtools (which is becoming my new best friend)

So…Void Whisper. you are right it is hard, but I didn’t realize that it is actually costing me DPS. but as fate would a have it a second one dropped for me as if to say "let that one go, you’ve got a spare :wink: ) I’ll probably add a second Wendigo Oppressor Seal while I look for something else.

Skillwise, the points I recently added to CoF Vulnerability have certainly helped (as has shifting my skill bar around to cast more reliably) so adding more would help. I’ll aslo take a look at foul eruption. I’m not sure I understand how it work. I though that any slain corpse regardless of source within it’s area of effect would errupt with fumes. Its not clear from the description its only corpses created by Ravenous earth. Fortunately it is very easy to respec skills.

I should have been more careful in what I said earlier, as this is the build that “finally” got me through but not the final build. this is clearly a work in progress. If nothing else, this exercise how much I don’t know yet, and I’m looking forward to figuring it all out. Thanks again

I do indeed have such gear, it just isn’t useful for this character. this is my only level 100 character, and was intended to be the one who farms items to put in the stash for later builds. He’s just not having much luck for himself.

I’ll probably do as you suggest and make some dynamite and start blowing up all of those Mythical Massacre axes I keep finding littered everywhere :smiley:

I probably should call this a skeleton build, since that’s what I wanted to focus on, but this is my first experience with the new necromancer, and I wasn’t sure how much support from me in the form of direct damage my pets would need, so I hedged my bets and added some spells like bone harvest and ravenous earth which also proc some devotion skills. Now that I’m taking a much more critical look at devotions, those skills may change. But I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable letting the summons do all the work. I expect he will end up a bit of a hybrid when all is said and done.

That would mean giving up my Mythical Reaper of the Accursed and the circuit breaker it provides. not sure I’m ready for that. I do have a Black Grimoire, so I might try it, thanks

Love to, except no blueprints. Deathchill is the best of mediocre options until i find something better. At least the aura adds some vitality and cold damage to all the summons.

Devotions in this build can certainly use work, and Bysmiel’s Bonds is on the list. Honestly, I got a little lazy since this build breezed through the original content with few issues. The cracks began to show with the more difficult expansion content, and so I find myself in this thread getting help from those more knowledgeable then me. Thanks for the reply and the suggestions.

You should check this Night King skeleton cabalist build:

Of course you dont have 100% follow it, but it gives some good ideas stat and gear wise what to focus on.

Thanks, I have actually been reading this. It packs a ton of information for someone like me whose knowledge of actual game mechanics is lacking. I’m sure I’ll be able to make use of a lot of what’s there in addition to the help I’ve already been given. As I said in an earlier reply, this will probably end up being a hybrid pet build since I can’t let the summons have all the fun :slight_smile:

I continue to be impressed by the community here’s knowledge and willingness to share. At a time when there are so many seemingly toxic online communities, this is a welcome change and a nice bonus to a game I’m really starting to love.

Thanks again

His volcano deals ridiculous amount of damage, just reposition yourself so you wont get hit.

Yeah, so… “feet of clay” was also a large part of my original problem. :wink: I think I’ve fixed that, but we’ll see.

Hey you’ve already solved your problem, and that’s great, and gotten some more feedback that’s helpful, so it’s all good. Just wanted to add 2 more things that might be interesting:

Thing 1: if this here ( is correct, that boss is practically immune to fire but of all his resistances, he is most vulnerable to lightning. Lightning conversion would thus not be a source of problems here. Hence, that purchasable (revered Malmouth faction) off-hand I had recommended earlier might really be something for you.

Thing 2: I would take this advice from BB_Shockwave with a few grains of salt.

I don’t think the context of everything that was discussed before has been taken into account (you already talked about gear constraints). If you have been reading Da Shiv’s excellent guide, then you already know that at least the advice to invest more points into Hell Hound and Blight Fiend is not what The Dark Knight (if that’s what you want) is about. Also, you are not taking Bone Harvest or Ravenous Earth for damage, but as debuffs and proccers; Decay and particularly Soul Harvest are great for you. (You really want to invest more in your curse, since RR is great. Speaking of RR, the Manticore does provide great RR, but at a fairly steep opportunity cost; additionally, the buffs it provides to the BB poison nova are not “insane” at all, but about +100%, which is very little considering you already have at least +1000% to all damage etc. Da Shiv uses Viper, which can also proc off anything that does %WD, hence Bone Harvest. But of course you won’t be following Da Shiv to the letter, especially since all that gear is hard to find. In the meantime, I would recommend buying a second Barrowholm Wendigo ring until you find whatever it is you end up with. At the least it will put your Skeletons to 26/12 (max level overcap) and THAT is something you will notice, I bet you. The ring costs almost nothing, so why not try it? (By the way, I don’t have revered with Barrowholm yet so I lack those augments, I also lack any AoM seal components, just no luck in finding any decent blueprints, and still rocking all standard Ultimate content with thus stuff I bought myself from vendors or found randomly… no überbosses or such nonsense yet, but that’s to be expected).

Wow. I so totally misread those resists the first time i looked at it (smacks forehead). OTOH, I will start farming for Enslaved Wraiths (i think) to make one, now that I understand a little better. so I do appreciate the suggestion.

While I won’t presume to speak for him, his comments seem more applicable to a Conjurer than a Cabalist in general.

I have and that thread has been an invaluable resource whether on not it is ultimately where this build ends up. The biggest take-away from that entire thread is that I need to stop treatiing the skeletons as damaging meat shields, and think of them as damaging WEAPONS.

So constellations are still a source of concern, and I will be resetting those courtesy some clarity (potions or tonics I forget which one) I have a number at this point. Da Shiv’s thread has a number of excellent suggestions on that subject, so I will probably start there. either the main one listed or Max Pet DPS Devotion Path

Done. :smiley: and yes I noticed :smiley:

Well, I’m also not having much blueprint luck, and I’m about to see if I’ve learned anything in my short bit of research since I’m about to hit:

Bollag, Keeper of the Gates

Whose ridiculous charge attack annoyed me to no end on elite.

whatever happens, I’m enjoying the process as much as anything at this point. Thanks for continuing to check in to this thread and for your useful advice.