I've read various builds and it seems like summoning/elemental is not very common. I considered a summoner/shockwave but I'd really rather just summon my guys and AOE elemental attacks while they do their melee. I think it would be more fun and work better against physical resists in hell.I don't know if I should go down the elemental tree to max hurricane, and if I do if it will even be good in hell without synergies, since the rest of my points will be in the summon tree. Or maybe a different elemental skill that will do more damage without synergies (I really don't know which one would do more, but hurricane would be nice for the cold). So any advice on the ideal elemental skill that would go with a summoning build would be appreciated. Or to know if it's even viable at all.
Do not go for hurricane or armageddon if you plan to focus on summoning. These points will be totally wasted. Even a 100% synergized hurricane (all possible synergies maxed out) doesn't do much in hell difficulty. Therefore, an unsynergized hurricane will be like it doesn't even exist (btw, hell difficulty monsters get chilled from the hurricane for about a quarter of a second, so it will do no damage and not slow them at all, therefore it doesn't exist). Armageddon does very little damage and doesn't hit what you want, when you want it to.
As a backup for your summons, I would go with fissure, which does decent fire damage even unsynergized (although it's obviously not super, it's enough to get by vs physical immunes). If you have 40 spare points to put into the elemental tree, I would suggest 20 points in fissure and 20 points in one of its synergies (either volcano or firestorm.... both work well against single monsters, but firestorm requires you to be in melee range, so i'd say max volcano as the synergy). If you back this up with a bow that does elemental/magic damage or gimmershred (unique flying axe that does fire/cold/lightning damage), you will be comfortably dealing with PI's while your summons and merc fight off the regulars with the help of might, HoW aura, and, of course, yourself. Add in a Reaper's Toll for the merc to help out your summons, or use something with a percentage chance to cast amp damage (like lacerator or atma's scarab amulet) for additional help.
If you want to do a primarily elemental build with decent summons as meat shields, I would suggest looking at AlterEgo's fire summoner guide in the strategy compendium, which advocates maxing volcano, fissure, and molten boulder, using volcano as your main attack (50% fire, 50% physical damage). With this build, you get better elemental skills and summons that basically only act as meat shields. I've taken AlterEgo's build through hell, but I was highly, highly twinked (enigma, ravenlore w/ pfire facet, hoto, spirit shield, arach, soj, raven frost, magefists, mara's, torch, anni, a couple natural gc's, summon gcs, and aldur's boots), so I can't comment on feasibility if you don't have the riches (I've since converted to SP, so I have none of that anymore =P). Hope that helps! I'm thinking about starting my own summoner as well.
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