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 Post subject: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:01 am
Posts: 32
Hello,
I have recently seen many summoner Druids playing through Normal and into Nightmare. I have also had a friend who has run one on 3 ladders of this game. I repeatedly see the summoners use HoW summon instead of an Oak Sage summon. My friend has always chosen Oak with the detailed explanation of summons are pocket tanks and they are their to control.

What is everyone's thoughts on a Summon Druid build. I would think that survivability of the summons as well as team survivability would be more important than a small damage boost from HoW. The damage from a Summon Druid build comes from the merc of choice. (usually A1 merc) Why do I keep seeing this mistake as I see it?

I guess i'm trying to see the mentality of a 40+ HoW instead of a 40+ Oak sage. 175% life increase is hard for me to pass up.


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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:28 pm 
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HoW also gives dr% and a nice def boost for all summons, so they get hit less, and take less damage when they do get hit.

It's rare that you can't hold something spamming wolves and the damage boost is a major improvement on grizzlys/wolves already hefty base damage + lower attack delay than they had before.

A pure sumon druid should really have both maxed, as you will occassionally run into another druid and benefit from 2 fully maxed spirits instead of just 1. Unless you are fighting an act boss, you are more than safe enough without oak. So you can switch to HoW to improve performance rather than increasing health that's not being drained anyway. Vines are more than enough for HP management in those cases.

If things do start to go bad, you can just pop oak till you have a handle on the situation then swap back to HoW again.
You should be using spirits the same as a paladin uses auras, chop and change depending on the situation and other party members needs.

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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:38 pm 
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What you say makes sense. I've always seen them be resistant to running Oak if they wanted to run HoW. I've yet to see one that didn't fight to not put up oak. Even for boss fights.

In addition I've always thought that summons have an unusually hard time with magical based damage instead of physical, poison especially so. I would think that for keeping them up easier they would auto go for Oak or SoB. In any case I appreciate the feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:35 pm 

Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 7:36 am
Posts: 87
I've been running summon druids for the 4-5 years that I've been playing here on hardcore mode. Usually a fury hybrid and sometimes pure summon. On top of that my long time teammate plays a summon druid every ladder. So I can offer you our take on the build.

There are two mercs that you can utilize as a summon druid: a1 or a3 cold. However, I am yet to see anyone but the two of us run a3 cold mercs. With sazabi sword or frostwind each yielding -60 cold resist you can imagine how much pierce you can stack up on the a3 varient. As a result, each blizzard cast annihilates entire packs of monsters.

Either merc works extremely well and I cringe every time I see a druid running HOW. It is a waste of a spirit unless a second druid has a max oak to run for the party. I've even ran into a summon druid this ladder (on hardcore) that refused to put up oak even though we had none. Needless to say that druid died somewhere in NM.

The defense on HOW is literally insignificant for summons. Your summons are an infinite resource and as purerage said wolf spam can hold just about anything - so why do you need them to get hit less? The amount of damage they take simply does not matter because the cooldown out paces the rate at which they die.

As to the damage portion of HoW, a druids summons aren't the damage dealers so this is a silly argument.

Let me put it this way, if you want to deal good physical damage with your build then you are better off using a 2hander on switch and maxing fury or werebear while running max oak. HoW is an ignorant choice for druids with the exception of a second druid in the party. Your friends assessment of them simply being tanks to hold the line is 100% accurate.

Preferred Build:

20 oak
20 lycan
20 dire
20 grizzly
20 fury or werebear
1 point carrion vine, maul, feral rage, and shockwave


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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Shouldn't be getting hit as summoner and you cant tele + merc while shifted so lycan is a bit of a waste. If you are meleeing, fair enough but thats a melee druid with summons (that you may aswell leave 1 pointed), not a dedicated summoner.
If you are meleeing then you will want oak alot more.

If you are using an a3 merc as main damage source then you wouldn't use HoW, thats obvious.
Maxed oak is common on every druid build, maxing HoW means you are making the most of other druids spirits instead of putting 20 of their points to waste.

I pretty much always pick and max a secondary spirit and switch them as needed.
If playing with chars that have no native lifebuff then i'll run oak. If solo or with another druid/barb I'll run HoW (unless its an act boss without a second druid). Especially for soloing, I hate having an oak up when the extra life is doing nothing but lower summons damage.
The ED% has a drastic effect on your summons damage too due to their decent base damage.
Seen 2 summon druids absolutely tear bosses apart with just 2 grizzlys (counters destroy merc). Summons AI delay was halved 1-2 patches ago. Would take 3-4 times longer if both only maxed Oak.

Ps. I'm not saying you should always run HoW because its better than oak. You should be using it when partied with any other druid or oak isn't needed though and having it maxed means you are making the most of both spirits.

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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:19 pm 

Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 7:36 am
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If you are trying to refute my post as it appears, reread my opening statement Kev.

JarL wrote:
I've been running summon druids for the 4-5 years that I've been playing here on hardcore mode. Usually a fury hybrid and sometimes pure summon. On top of that my long time teammate plays a summon druid every ladder. So I can offer you our take on the build.


I standby the fact that a pure summon is a waste of points and oskill tele is also a waste of potential. Summons only require a minimum of 60 points freeing you up to max lycan and fury or werebear.

I've been playing the build for 5+ years and people still remember my original fury druid, Immortal, that popularized the build. Maxing fury or werebear vastly outperforms max HoW if you want physical damage.

I'm not sure how your example of TWO summoners destroying a boss with HoW is even relevant. That completely ignores the other 90% of the game (clearing trash) that summons do at a tedious rate and a 40k-50k before DS weapon would trivialize the summons on trash and bosses.

Not to mention with the removal of skillers and change to +all class skills instead of +tree skills hybrids are infinitely more powerful than back in the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Quote:
40k-50k before DS


Like I said, thats more of a melee druid that dumps un-needed points into wolves.

I'm not trying to refute your post, ^^. All I'm saying is, HoW is good when you have another oak or when you are farming trash mobs/sub bosses. As you pointed out, druid summons lack stopping power with oak up. My point is, you may aswell throw HoW up in those situations to tripple or quadruple their damage. You can farm sub bosses using HoW too. You are in very little danger, so why not increase kill speed? Even safer these days too since it gives a nice damage resist bonus.

HoW has had pretty nice buffs over the last couple of years, certainly not a waste of points IMO. I like having the option of 20%DR + oak + damage + def + ar for the party when there are 2 druids instead of 1 oak and 1 useless oak/weak HoW/weak SoB

SoB is the only spirit still lacking for me. I'd never consider maxing it still, even for 10% all absorbs. Ele/pois pierce would maybe tempt me to max it, but theres already plenty of that from gear i guess. Great 1 pointer still.

Difference of opinion != an argument. I respect your opinion even if we disagree.


Ps. hmm maybe have a concept someone can work with if it goes down well. I'll make a new post in suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:55 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
An aura that gives 20% DR and 700% ED/AR/DEF is worth having, in my experience at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Summoner Druids Spirit Inquiry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:22 pm
Posts: 116
I play SC only so ofcourse my priorities are a bit different but, Teleporting around with maxed HoW and an A2 merc with an Eth CCB is a very fast trash killer. Oak is over-kill most of the time imo unless party members need it. Even if you run into a nasty spot you can always tele back and spread them out a bit. If you want to kill some of the tougher non-act bosses HoW makes all the difference in the world if you prefer to spam cast wolves vs. spamming pots at you merc. Not to mention most other druid builds max oak as far as i've done/seen. Summon Druid seems like a rare oppertunity to get the other spirits maxed. This ladder I teamed up with a Summon Necro and the killing speed is absurd with Maxed HoW and maxed Amp.


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