My Summon Support Druid

Hello forums,

After reading the forums and after a few nonladder tests and conversations, I would like to share what has worked wonderfully for me as a Druid Summoner. We all know that the summoner at base is mediocre at best. They are durable to be sure but sure won’t win any DPS races. But I adore pet classes in games and was determined to make it work. After many different builds on NL I decided on a perhaps different angle of play for the Summon Druid. It has worked wonderfully for me, and I can actually solo p3/p4 TZ’s and can even solo dclone/ubers, and I don’t even have any +skill GCs yet.

Stats - the same usual “enough STR and DEX for gear, zero into Energy, rest into VIT”
Skills -
Summon Tree
20 Raven
20 Spirit Wolf
20 Dire Wolf
20 Grizzly
1 Oak Sage
20 Heart of the Wolverine
1 Poison Creeper
1 Carrion Vine

1 Werewolf
1 Lycanthropy
1 Feral Rage
1 Rabies
1 Fury


  • with 2 points left over to put where you like. I put mine into lycanthropy for more life/duration.

So, pretty standard Summoner, but with this setup you can stay in human form for teleport, but you can also shift into Wolf and melee a bit, prevent bosses from healing, and applying crushing blow. My fury damage is 3800, so while it isn’t impressive by any means, it is enough to make a noticeable difference. But where this all comes together is in the gears and aura stacking.

I won’t go into a full gear breakdown, but the most important bits are -
Beast Axe offhand - level 9 Fanaticism Aura
Might Merc with Pride Cryptic Axe - level 20 Concentration Aura/level 10 Might Aura

So here is the + damage% stacking -
Level 9 Fanaticism - 29% Attack Speed/80% Attack Rating/186% Damage
Level 10 Might - 130% Damage
Level 20 Concentration - 345% Damage
Level 20+ Heart of the Wolverine - 195% Attack Rating/188% Damage

In total that is +849% Damage.

I cannot list what my pet damages are, but my Merc’s damage goes from 1800 all the way to 3800. I also team with two WW barbarians, and their damage boosts from 1.8 to 4000, on one of them, and from 4500 to just over 10,000 on the other, or almost doubling their total net. (at least what’s listed on their sheet.)

Now before, you couldn’t stack all that, at least not alone. You would usually have to have something with Amplify or Decrep somewhere for physical immunes, but now with the Bone Breaker GC you can stack an additional damage buff, and it’s made a lot of difference. Even with all this damage buff it is no trapper or sorcerer, but it isn’t slow either, and is certainly far tougher than glass cannon builds. And bosses, even the ubers so far have all been pushovers.

Anyway with that much +damage, even my Dire Wolves bite’s are noticed. And it is especially good on bosses, as the Grizzly can tank better than most players, the ravens have a nice big damage, plus all the pets damage, and you can also shift into wolf form and use Beast as well, which is great for Ubers as Beast actually has prevent monster healing, and has crushing blow to boot.

I have tried different versions of this, such as the werebear maul+shockwave, staying pure summoner, even mixing both wind or fire in with summoning, and wolf seems to be the best for me. It doesn’t take many points to make fury work, and with enough +skills its actually pretty good. You are no pure fury wolf by any means, but you can jump back behind the wall of pets as well, or even telestomp and then change into wolf. Some bosses die so fast I don’t bother shapechanging.

This take on Summoning Druid is one of my favorites, simply because of the massive buffs it brings, and you can drop grizzly to tank any real threats like Souls, the Council, and so on. Even in p8 games the grizzly was tanking souls like a champion, and the Souls aim for the nearest thing. Even the super geared sorceress seemed to appreciate having a nice big massive ball of enemies and not having to tele-dodge around.

Anyway I just felt like sharing what is working great for me, and feel free to ask any questions.

Nice share. My main (and only) high level character is a druid summoner. My build is a variation of this but broadly speaking the skill points are allocated at the same places with a few exceptions.

Question for you ? how survivable are your summons without oak sage? i get that HOW really ramps up the damage but the trade off doesnt hurt ? or are the two barbs you play with make up for it?

Well, surviving was never really an issue. Damage was the main issue, which is why I level dipped into wolf to help speed things along. Now I can sit back and watch or help out.

A big part that worked for me was keeping grizzly ready, when I run into a pack I drop grizzly into the midst of them. The AI in this game is quite ancient and seems to target whatever is closest. So if you are getting shot by skeleton archers, souls, succubi, drop grizzly near them and magically they will all suddenly ignore you and target your big chungus.

And given that my big fuzzy has around 6k hitpoints now, he is far tougher than I am. And if the rare thing happens and he takes hits, you can just resummon him, even move him as needed. And with him taking the hits, it makes it easier for your merc and other pets. Now my bear rarely dies. And if he does, he is cheap to recast and the enemies have to start all over again.

The rest of the pets? Durable. Not bear level, but I rate them better than the necro skeletons. The only 2 pets that are squishy are the spirit and carrion vine which shouldn’t surprise anyone, and those are even cheaper to recast.

So my advice is, play like a fury druid with 1 point in everything, but focus on summons with skill points, and get as much +skill gear as you can. Starting out you will want a typical fury weapon like ribcracker to get in and get some hits, but dont be afraid to back off either. Your pets will remain like a wall giving you all the room you need for breathing space, which is a very nice option that full fury druids dont have. This is also where the trapsins, sorces, bowzons and so on hide - behind your big meatshields.

I have played both necro and druid summoner. The pets themselves do about equal damage, with the druid edging out with the bear and ravens actually hitting decently. The dire wolves can be meaningful too, but takes a bit of work to get there. The big difference is your pets are pretty much immortal as a druid, being able to recast and even reposition them as needed without enigma, which makes Druids budget friendly moreso than Necros.

Hope this helps!

I see!

I might re-spec my druid to use HOW not sure yet.

My current build uses :

-Primary weapon Brand runeword

  • Secondary weapon heart of the oak runeword


-Jallal’s maine

-Arkaine’s valor

-1 Bul kahtos 1 stone of jordan

-Mara’s kaleidoscope

-boots and belt for resists

-8x summoner skill grand charms

-DRuid torch


The whole point is to get as many + skills as possible (still looking for and arach mesh).

My point allocation goes as follows :
1point lycanthropy, 1 point werbear, 1 point maul, 1 point raven , 20 Spirit wolves, 20 dire wolves, 20 grizzly , 20 oak sage, the rest (about 17 points i think) I put in armageddon for some aoe which the werbear lacks.

My act two merc has might aura + pride runeword + bramble for thorns aura.

The whole Idea of this build is to get as much + skills as possible since the summoming tree’s synergies are applied to + skill items which is great.
Then just like you I try to boost damage as much as possible.
Might and pride give a great buff to dire and grizzly and myself and I add the amplify damage from brand.
The reason why I take werbear instead of werewolf is because Brand procs amp damage based off damage recieved instead of damage given and werbear has great defence and hp.

Basically as a werbear and with my skill and gear allocation im at 6k health with 75 all resists so I can run into mobs with a measure of safety as long as im not completely careless. The mobs attack me, proc amp damage and immediately increase my summon’s damage except for spirit wolves.
Brand is kind of the most important piece of my build because it not only increases damage from dire wolves and grizzly but also my own damage, that of my merc, and since im in the middle of the fighting my armageddon gets to hit a lot of targets especially in mob dense areas and so the physical damage portion from armageddon gets amped as well. On top of that the returned damage from thorns if im not mistaken is also amped.

Reason why I asked you about pet survivability without oak sage is because i’m still tinkering with the build.
Im thinking of ditching armageddon, putting those points into werbear and lycanthropy or ravens and switching from oak sage to heart of wolverine. Not sure yet if it will work for me since my strategy revolves around getting hit to proc amp damage. I need to check if lycanthropy alone (it would reach around level 30 I think ) would make me tanky enough for that strat to work !

Im sure some people will wonder why I dont max ravens given their insane damage but…I just dont like that 5 birds deal more damage then everything else in my build…im a summoner druid not a bird man lol. Maybe eventually I’ll do it and actually like it I dunno yet :laughing:.

Anyways since you shared your own build I thought I would do the same.

On a sidenote, I like that spirit wolves deal cold damage but I think they should have a unique mechanic where they convert physical damage into cold. That way every aura and curse buffing the other summons would buff them too.
Hope blizzard listens to this.

Okay, you have a lot better gear than I do overall, here is what I use, going off memory here since I am not online at the moment.

Personal Gear -
Blue +2 skills druid helmet
Vipermagi chest
Spirit Shield
Beast Axe
Teleport Staff on weapon switch for Telestomping
+3 summons Blue amulet
Ravenfrost Ring
Other ring with MF
Gore Riders boots
MF Gloves

Merc Gear -
Tal’s Helm

Druid Torch
1 Summon GC

So overall you have much better gear and more +skills than I do. So I think it’s a skills and playstyle thing.

Looking at your skill list, you only have 1 point in ravens, where ravens is actually the pet with the most damage. It doesn’t look like it but it builds up, fast. My ravens hit for around 3k and hit about 40 times each. Plus they are auto hit, so its fire and forget. But you can cast it at an enemy and the entire flock will attack that enemy, letting you “snipe” problem foes with the skill.

The choice for bear vs wolf shapeshift is a personal one. You are more durable than I am, but I do more damage than you, especially with crushing blow on bosses. Amplify damage is good, but not as good as the aura damage stacking. (I took the time to test that on NL while waiting for the ladder to start.) Plus if you get the Bonebreaker GC, it does apply to pets, so you never have to worry about physical immunes either. The issue with Brand is it doesn’t rely on you striking, but getting stuck. There are other, better ways to apply amp or decrep curses if that is what you are after.

Bramble is sort of a mixed bag as well, and might be why your merc is getting tossed around. The thorns damage is nice, but even when I stacked it with a maxed spirit of barbs on NL it wasn’t all that good. IIRC my total thorns was 1200-ish? Which sounds good on paper, but not in practice. It simply isnt enough damage to be viable. but if you want an entirely passive playstyle that certainly helps, but it will be slower than you actively fighting.

So here is what I suggest you change -

  1. Take those points from Elemental and put them into Ravens. Ravens are fantastic for ST damage, and they get big numbers fast and actually benefit the most from skill tree synergies. My ravens were 3500 or so on non-ladder.
  2. You can keep bear form if you want to, but level dipping into maul and shockwave does little to add to your damage, where 1 point into feral rage and fury does help damage by quite a bit. Even with 1 point all my bonus damage from aura stacking nets me a 3800 fury on hit, with crushing blow, open wounds, and so on. But on the flipside, I have 2k health where you have 6k. Though with my build there are actually 2 spare points, so you can throw one into bear for both a damage and tanky options depending on activity and circumstance and swap between them as needed. So I may do that myself.
  3. Change 20 in Oak Sage to 20 Heart of the Wolverine. I mean, going by your damage buffs vs mine, (assuming you have a 20 concentration) I have 360% more damage, 29% attack speed, and 270% attack rating more than you, simply by having a beast and HOTW. And your HOTW will be stronger than mine, due to having more + skills than I have.

After looking at your overall build, I think your main issue is lack of damage. The only two “hitters” at all in your team is your merc and your bear. You have no Ravens, and your Dire Wolves might struggle too. Trying to boost Spirit Wolves is kind of a fools errand, since even at max rank their damage is low. But I actually like their cold damage, because it slows bosses. And even if their damage was made into physical, you are still looking at most a wolf with 1000 or so damage.

Anyway, I think your issue is damage. I am guessing the fights take so long they wear you defenses down. Now I can’t promise the changes will make hell easymode for you, but it is easymode for me and your gear and +skills are better than mine. The only thing I have thats better than yours is the weapon, overall your gear surpasses mine. And I skip through Terror Zones currently.

Ahah I love the exchange !

Ill provably test it out with HOW instead of oak sage.
If your gear is not as good and still your summons can tank in hell I guess making the switch won’t hurt !

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I’m playing summoner in SSF HC right now offline and so far in NM Spirit of barbs + Thorns from Edge is working ok, will see how it goes in hell (probably bad :smiley: )

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I hope they rework spirit of barbs and thorns aura i think the necro has something with a similar effect as well?

Anyways I hope patch 2.6 adresses these 3 skills

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yes, the necro has iron maiden but it works a bit differently.

with iron maiden → the monster needs to hit you in order to take damage.
with spirit of barbs → the monster takes damage even if they miss you or you block.

as a concept the spirit of barbs is fine, but the damage numbers are kinda meh even for normal and nightmare.

maybe also add some poison damage on top of the physical damage returned and make it synergize with poison creeper ?

I leveled a druid based on your playstyle to 75, using the black runeword for crushing blow pretty fun so far

I’ve tried all three spirits with a druid summoner, and none at all. I’ve found the Heart of Wolverine to be the least useful of the three. Spirit of Barbs actually isn’t too bad, especially with a thorns merc, but you do have to resummon your dogs much more frequently. The trouble with HoW is that it only assists your bear and your dire wolves. Oak Sage assists everything.

I’ve now reached Lvl 89 solo in hardcore on the realms with an Oak Sage, and a wearbear who doesn’t fight. This is about as far as you can go alone, so I/m getting him into some Baal runs. His gear isn’t special at all, but he has 4300 life without any BO, but as has been pointed out, his killing speed is slow. I feel if he were to start fighting against Lvl 90+ enemies, not only would his attack rating be appalling, but he’d get the crap beaten out of him. Maybe there is godly gear that might help but I haven’t been so lucky.