The only skills that net you a DPS increase while in greatsword are Gravedigger and possibly Nightfall, the other ones are losses. Death Spiral has some horrendous aftercast time that puts its total time to ~1.4 seconds and the burst of vuln isn't likely to help with that. It takes a little more than 2 seconds of being in reaper shroud to stack that equivalent of 12 vuln .
(EDIT: oops, meant to specify this was assuming soul reaping, which isn't being used here though. Like Phenn said, I have no idea why you would really on shroud for damage when you don't use soul reaping, but I guess in this case Death Spiral could be a DPS increase, though I'm not sure about that. In any case, GS 5 certainly wouldn't.)
Your information about about how reaper shroud damage scales is also incorrect. Reaper shroud always uses exotic hammer damage regardless of currently wielded weapon type. You can test this yourself by observing that there is little difference in tooltip damage between equiping and ascended and exotic weapon of same stat distribution (in fact, should be 0 difference if you use an exotic and ascended weapon that have no power stats to compare), and then deriving the coefficient to verify that (for example) Life Rend is .61.
I'm going to assume the rest of the skills/traits/sigils were chosen in order to help with survivability for those who are relatively new to the game and/or profession.
I play-tested Reaper MM...kinda like the build i linked above. I used the default celestial/Traveler armor and left the Force/Health Steal runes on the staff and GS.
I think my max # of minions was @14. This requires good use of 'Rise' to maximize the spawn on 5 minions and minimize the CD. I used Flesh Golem as my Elite, although the 4x spawn from Wrath Form may be more efficient and maxing out minions. But I like my minions to be utilities as well...so I willprobably keep the Flesh Golem.
I used Blood Fiend as my heal, though I understand there is some question on if it is worth it or not...I'm just not sure what might be better...'You're Soul is Mine!' looks interesting...though I think the Signet might be best...thoughts?
It will be intersting to see what a full cleric set of armor will do to Minion survivability...the pop-ups from 'Rise!' and the Trait died rather quick to AoE...but again, I did not have Cleric gear on.
I know we have talked about pack runes...any thoughts on Ranger Runes? Do they still even work with Minions?(wiki says they do, but not sure if it has been updated since they tweaked them a couple patches back.)
If you want to play minions, I don't see why you wouldn't take blood fiend. Ever since they fixed minion AI, blood fiend has actually been pretty comparable to the signet even in the standard zerker necro build in my opinion. As for ranger runes, I'm pretty sure they do work.
All in all, I'm not sure what minion master is shaping up to look like in heart of thorns. For PvE right now, full zerker is actually okay since they fixed minion AI. Now you aren't just strictly worse version of the meta zerker necromancer build, and actually do comparable damage while offering other kinds of utility. And because most minions now heal outside of battle, it isn't as vital to keep healing them in combat.
Full clerics is probably more reserved for pvp, and just for fun while playing to a theme. For pure efficiency and effectiveness in pve, I think berserker with pack runes to buff the minions (though I'm not sure on the math if this is worth it or not) is a good way to go.
Yea, minion AI seems totally fixed as far as I can tell right now.
Additionally, all minions that you cannot kill on command (Flesh Golem, Bone Fiend, Shadow Fiend) regenerate out of combat. I'm not sure if that is new or not (I know Flesh Golem already did), but that was also a nice thing to notice.
Vampiric Aura works well with them too, and allows them to survive battles without any healing. I haven't tested pack runes with them in pve yet, but I'd assume it works awesome.
I think if I were to run anything specific for minions, it'd probably be your first build. Just can't say anything on reaper yet cause for sure we all know things are bound to change.
I'd say go staff, dagger/warhorn, and then stats of gear would just be what theme you want to build to. If you want to stick to a concept of a rolling mobile army, I'd say stick with healing focusing gear (cleric's and such).
But if you want to be more effective while still using minions, the choice is definitely just zerker gear with pack runes or maybe.
I'd say the former build (cleric's) combined with either healing power/life steal or pack runes/sigils would make a pretty nice bunker build in PvP, as it's almost exactly what is suggested on metabattle.com.
What is wrong with them tho. and already got fiery wrath in first slot?
Revenge of the Fallen creates a moral hazard problem. You never want to be downed, so why make it better for you to be downed and create that mindset that it's less bad? In essence, it's a wasted trait that isn't utilized most of the time for skilled players that don't get downed, creates bad incentives to be downed, and has a negligible effect even when you are downed.
As for Radiant Retaliation, retaliation does very little damage overall and given the sources of damage for guardians, you would presumably have very little condition damage as well. I'm assuming the entire point of you taking this trait is to increase your damage, but let the math stand that Right Hand Strength provides magnitudes more damage than the poor scaling of retaliation's already poor base damage.
Finally, it should be stated that condition damage simply doesn't scale well on guardian because guardian has very little outlets to apply condition damage (no bleeds, no poison, no torment, no confusion). Because burning doesn't stack in intensity, the damage that burning can apply is extremely limited. Trading off going power for condition damage has no upsides because you aren't any safer either, you simply do less damage. So I would recommend changing both traits in the Virtues line as well.