Thorn Totems

Hello travellers!
I’m playing thorn totems, almost finished normal mono, lvl 79, with spriggan form, druid, entangling roots. It’s going very well, but I’ve got a question for those who have played a similar build and already found the optimal Thorn Totems tree.

As I see it the basics is taking all the additional totems, and the single thorn + 1 pierce for AoE confort. From there, I see 3 potential damage options:

  • Maxing Ancient Power, On Astral Winds, Torrent of Thorns & Lethal Thickets. That’s where I’m at now (got +1 on the helmet).
  • Going for poison chance & Nightshade Briar. This seems costly to me in points, and it results in “only” a single 120% multiplier (with ramp-up). If I’m not mistaken, having multiple separate damage multipliers is usually better than a single very high one.
  • Going for Impale, and Shred Armour. I don’t know how “double damage” works in LE, can it just be considered as an additional multiplier? And how effective is armour shreds, considering I don’t really have any other sources of it.

What I’m thinking right now is dropping 3 points of Ancient Power, to add 1 in Impale and 2 in Shred Armour, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it, and re-levelling would take some time and give me quite a power drop.

I play the same build and just tried some stuff out on the arena puppies (which is always a great place to test stuff). My gear is really bad with the druid but what i see:

  • DOUBLE DAMAGE” really means double damage in the end calculation (didnt expect that either) either it is a normal hit or crit. With a chance of up to 50% per hit this equals in theory “50% MORE DAMAGE”. (e.g. unbuffed / homanform: my white hit around 1.3k and procs at 2.5k; same for crits around 4k and 8k when it procs / with entangled roots I even get up to 14k currently)

  • IMPALE” could have a grate effect against bosses and may I test this one time

  • ANCIENT POWER” and “ON ASTRAL WINDS” may could be counter productive the more gear you get because of their malus. Maybe other options would be viable, because on gear you can get up to +1500% increased damage so that these 10% for 7 Points are not as attractive anymore.

  • POISON” is really hard to say because as far as i know poison damage and poison alignment are two different thing. So thorns totems maybe only benefits from additional damage over time but not from any poison or even spell damage effects. But im absolutely not sure here. and also vines already do tons of poison stacks and the dmg is pretty low and not impactful without increased dot dmg which is missing if you skill for burst dmg.

My idea to try would be focusing on “impact” damage and not additional dots:

  • get “IMPALE” and maybe 1 point in armor shred (with 9 totems it should still proc good)
  • get high dmg % increase and crit damage increase
  • get added totem crit chance via idols
  • get all added minion and totem damage (there is some gear for totem seperately)
  • get +4 level thorn totem (for more skills)

Btw. summon spriggan and wolves are great additions because they can even increase thorn totems damage and other passive effects if you arrer not already using them.


Hi Immatoll, thanks for the reply! A few random thoughts based on yours.

  • The poison node is not really to do poison damage, but to benefit from the “totems do x% more damage per poison on the enemy (capped at 120%)”.
  • I also play 2 wolves + the spriggan. They are great, but with the spriggan especially I find in 90+ monolith and some bosses it sometimes dies, which is a huge pain.
  • I do want +4 thorn totems but I can’t even manage to get +1 for now. Got many Druid skills +1 shards, but I found very little +1 thorn totems :frowning:

Thanks for all the tips, they seem very sound, I’ll try a few things once I’ve unlocked empowered monos :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi thomzon,

about your answers:

  • you are absolutely right about the poison. Maybe a reason why the planner is end you above uses serpents milk (which is not really neded because vines already make poison too to hit that 30 stacks). Did not realize it is MORE and not increased damage. This makes the point actually pretty strong because it is another “real” multiplier. Still wonder how strong additional armor shred could be on the long run too.
  • you could also play with eterras blessing instead of the wolves. I spend my spriggan the solo companion passives from druid/beastmaster so he gets a lot of extra hp / defense and now never dies. having him alive for all the aura bonusses is much more worth it than having the wolves and him always die. And its dmg in maps ist mostly irrelevant. Eterrras blessing activates via thorn shield and has a crazy amount of selfhealing, cleanse and healing over time.
  • yeah they will be very rare. I want to swap some day to werebear maybe but its still a great build to keep going.

Thanks for the follow-up!
I am testing armour shred right now, and it seems like a nice boost for big bosses as the amount of stacks goes up very quickly (especially if you put more than 1 point).

Damage per poison is not worth IMO, it’s 120% more multi for 7 points (17% more per point), and you need to get poison chance somewhere, and to ramp up poison to get the damage boost (useful only on high HP mobs).

Correct. For maximum DPS distribute point between Ancient power, Impale and On astral winds (I would prioritize first two, because On astral winds reduces totem range).
I also advice to take Winged thorns, extra range is huge QOL. With this node it is possible to clear wells and beacons super fast by placing totems in the middle.

Their damage multiplier is multiplicative, so they don’t depend on gear.
Cast speed reduction on Ancient power is countered by Titan’s Bane cast speed, that is taken for single target DPS.

To further boost DPS use Ferebor’s Chisel (make sure you have enough int and crit chance to have 100% crit) and Death Rattle for crit multi. Ferebor’s Persistence is also good for int and set bonus.

Adjust loot filter and use runes of shattering/removal on items with thorn totem affixes, shouldn’t be a problem.

I also advice to take Shaman passive Ancestral speed with two Idol Primalist Chance To Gain Haste When You Summon A Totem. With good rolls on idols that will give 100% chance to gain haste for 3 seconds when placing a totem.

This can be fixed with Eterra’s Blessing. Take Rosebloom node to cast whenever Thorn Shield is casted, and Swift recovery to heal downed companion. Now you can can revive it with thorn shield from far away, and not stand on top of it. You can spec into other nodes for increased healing and use thorn shield to heal yourself and cleanse ailments.
Also I believe spriggan aura is working even if companion is downed, and continues to do so until it completely disappears. I’m at 150 corruption and my spriggan dies only during bosses, everything else just dies too quickly to do any damage. I also have Druid passive for 75% more companion health and single companion, with a bit of increased health on gear.

Oh damn you are so right. Have not realized it is actually saying “MORE” dmg “ANCIENT POWER ” and “ON ASTRAL WINDS ” too. Damn this game is so crazy with its wording and dmg calculation. Hope one day we get a proper ingame calculation or dps meter on the puppies one day.

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All skill nodes are more unless they are global modifiers when they are usually increased.

Good point. :sweat_smile:

Is there a solid build guide for 0.9 to follow? I’m at monoliths with my druid and I found a lot of build uniques to take this into empowereds but I’m combing through old guides and not sure what’s cohesive for it.

to keep spriggan alive:
Drop wolves, take passives that limit you to one companion, but increase its health and damage.
Use a Relic that has minion life leach as implicit.

I find the 120% more damage if enemy has 30 poison stacks to be VERY strong, ramp up time is very short, as vines also poison.

As for weapon, a staff with tier 5 minion spell damage, and tier 5 minion physical damage will give 400% increased damage. Hard to beat that.