- he gets huge amounts of life, with just one skillpoint invested and a few +skills
- he is recastable at any time: put him where you need him
- he has high target priority, so monsters go for him
- he slows down monsters quite a bit (as in "makes them move slower", not just stalling them)
These four things make him a great tank, almost unkillable by anything less dangerous than an extra fast extra strong fanatism Lister. :lol:
- some monsters such as Baal cease to do complex things such as teleport, cloning or making tentacles when slowed enough (Gumby+Decrep+Cold mages, for example)
I always throw him into the middle of any bosspack that could be slightly dangerous, or as distraction for archers, or simply to stop monsters from advancing any further. He's also a great personal bodyguard: when I charge into a room with monsters I move into a reasonably safe corner, and cast Gumby in front of me to soak up whatever attack comes my way.
Like doing pindle? No problem: cast Gumby ahead to stop their initial charge, let them beat him a bit (might turn him yellow or even red, but who cares... and they get slowed down...) and wait for your skellies to arrive.
With + 5 to all skills(which is ..... decently attainable)
Clay will have equal/more hitpoints than Fire, and will keep getting more than fire per lvl of clay.
Clay is the ONLY golem I know of to increase life with each point in it or from + skills. All others have a base life last I looked in every difficulty.
Clay is easy on the mana to recast, with a lvl 10 clay golem, I think its still cheaper than a lvl 1 Fire Golem. Clay has no reagent like iron, so it can be placed strategically. Clay has no link to you like Blood where when blood is getting owned, you are as well.
Blood + IM no longer works as it used to, and I dont believe thorns/IM is effective as it used to be either, but I could be wrong.
Iron is great if you can make it out of a great item(or a resist item such as the shield). Hes rather durable, especially if made from the resist items mentioned. However he can and still DOES die. Fanatic boss packs kill him. There is alot of loss when you lose Iron, but he is a great golem.
Blood is nice when you dont want to use potions in normal and have alot of minions, you can just pop blood out when low on life, it leeches and your full, then summon another golem. Other than that.. I have no use for Blood.
Fire is just SICKLY expensive to cast for a rather disappointing Golem.
Its fire damage is decent, but by the time you need it for immunes, its just not gonna do much to a Phys immune(tho I do summon a fire golem at times on ancients or other not crowded areas without corpses for CE to help in the damage). Maxing it results in a decent fire damage golem who is immune to fire, with less hitpoints than clay and that costs your entire mana orb to cast.
It is IMMUNE to fire, and it also absorbs fire dmg... HOWEVER, since it is immune to fire, it never absorbs fire damage, it will never heal itself from fire damage being done to it, unless you can find a conviction boss that breaks its immunity.. Yes its rather dumb, we know.
Clay is relatively cheap to cast, can be recast where its needed easily, has no hurt to you as blood does, has more life than any other golem with a few + to clay golem or all skills, and is just overall more useful.
Oh.... we forgot the most important part of clay. Any monster clay hits or that hits clay, is slowed for a few seconds. With a lvl 5 clay golem, this slow is devastating to see in effect. Combined with Decryptify curse, this makes all bosses except Diablo Trivial completely, as they will not cast at all, only sit there and melee.
Fire - Immunes in hell when low crowds and one immune only(therefore no Corpse Explosion) to help the merc who probably has some ele damage already or your bone spears/mages. This is best for High HP Phys immunes that you have control over the encounter(best example is Ancients)
Iron - Great for magic heavy areas if made from the right socketed resist item/etc, can still be lost due to lag, fanatic enchanted packs, etc.... or Iron Maiden. Also can be made from Crushing blow items to lessen time to destroy Bosses and Super Uniques.
Blood - Great for act 1 normal and maybe thru act 3 normal where you are in control, but lost HP due to an elemental attack and want to get HP back without using a potion.. Pop it out, it leeches, resummon Clay.
Clay - Slows down almost every monster in the game, thus making its HP worth more than any other golem except vs magical ranged attacks. Is easy to recast, and with decent gear has more Life than any other golem.
There is an excellent Golem guide in the stickey section which tells you pretty much everything you could need to know.
For my two cents: Clay Golem
Cheap to recast for tatical positioning
He gets killed? Resummon
He's getting the snot beaten out of him? Excellent - he is distracting monsters/bosses from you and your skellies while also slowing them.
Find yourself surrounded by foes? Cast him and let him take the flak.
Cast CG over the boss, the boss will then focus only on the CG, leaving your skellies alone, cast Decrepify and have a couple of Ice Mages about and you will find most bosses pretty much stand there doing nothing apart from getting the occasioal hit on the CG (which is good as it keeps them slowed!). You can also use him to get certin bosses (Diablo/Baal) to face towards him and away from your army when they cast Red Lightening or a directional fire attack.
All this for a single skillpoint in Clay Golem (assuming you want summon resist...)
With all the more-than-one-point dilemnas I always suggest the same thing. Wait until you get your end game gear on and see how you feel about it then. 7-10 plus skills aren't hard to come by as a summoner and that's plenty to make your CG a good tank that rarely dies in Hell and is easily resummoned when it does. The only reason to add more to CG is to crank up his slow ability IMO, but it's typically good enough around level 10 anyway. He should tank just fine.