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”
20 Spirit Wolf
20 Dire Wolf
1 Oak Sage
20 Heart of the Wolverine
1 Poison Creeper
1 Carrion Vine
1 Feral Rage
- 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.