GhazzyTV's Poison Animate Weapon Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Affliction 3.23)




Animate Weapon Animate Weapon has always been a personal favorite build of mine and with the addition of Transfigured Gems we can fully sustain ranged versions of these bad boys. On top of this we’ve gotten blade-oriented changes removing the restriction of being forced to have identified (or white) weapons on the ground to summon, they are now functional for instanced boss fights such as Uber Elder, Shaper, or Sirus. It’s one of the cheapest summoner builds that can reach multiple millions of Shaper DPS without clearing out your currency tab in the process.

Below, you can see the build in action from my YouTube guide. Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, and you should always refer to this guide to make sure you have the updated information. Also keep in mind that even if the game-play remains mostly the same the latest version of this build will be utilizing poison as the main source of damage output!

Do note that this video does NOT show any gameplay footage as we have JUST received the 3.23 update information and I will be playtesting this build as a league-starter live on stream as the league launches! An updated video will come once the playtesting is finished!

Build Overview

In this section, I will outline the pros, cons, and general playstyle. This will help you to determine if this is the right build is for you!


+ Beefy – Despite being a minion build, it packs a very comfortable eHP # as well as mitigation, allowing it to function in Hardcore very well.

+ Bosser – Minion builds are in a current state of bliss where bosses absolutely melt with the damage output available.

+ Nostalgia – In my personal opinion, this is the closest you’ll get in PoE to the classic Diablo 2 “Skellymancer” playstyle.


League Starter – Since the Transfigure Gems are new as of 3.23 we don’t know how easy it will be to get the Ranged version of Animate Weapon Animate Weapon which is why we are currently not recommending this as a league starter build. You also will be forced to either level the build using the melee version of the Animate Weapon or to utilize another minion build till you get your hands on the Transfigured Gem.

Ramp-Up Time – The build requires you to re-summon weapons from either identified weapons or from blades created by Bladefall Bladefall in every new zone you enter. Luckily, the duration of the weapons are extremely long so when you’re in the end-game mapping you don’t have to summon them very often making you averagely spend less time summoning on this build compared to other popular minion builds such as Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit.

Minion Build – Since your minions are doing the heavy lifting, defensive layers such as leeching are not possible in this build. You’ll have to make sure to keep your distance from large packs of enemies or bosses.

Damage Halts – If playing super low budget, you might encounter bosses with heavy AoE damage and, if the map modifiers are nasty, there’s a risk that your entire army gets wiped out, forcing you to re-summon your minions again. This is a very rare situation to find yourself in and gets automatically solved by the level of your Animate Weapon gem.


Despite being a very generic minion-oriented build, this build does offer a niche playstyle since Bladefall Bladefall was reworked to leave blades on the ground. These can be used as ammunition for Blade Blast Blade Blast or, in this case, as ammunition for our Animate Weapon Animate Weapon. The good thing about this change is that we can summon an entire army in instanced fights such as Sirus, Uber Elder, or Shaper and we no longer have to hope for identified weapons to drop when clearing a map just to sustain your army. Important to point out that despite the blades on the ground being actual blades the transfigured Animate Weapon will turn them in to actual ranged weapons.

However, the downside of this is that you are forced to use an ability to create the blades in the first place, which can be a nuisance. Thankfully, the duration the build brings to the Animated Weapon means you aren’t forced to re-summon them too often. It’s good practice to summon new weapons occasionally while clearing a map so that you never risk losing all your summoned weapons at the same time.

Damage Scaling & Defensive Layers

The build pumps up a beautiful high effective HP count. You’ll be getting high block chance for both attacks and spells, in higher budgets we are even capping spell suppression. With proper flasks you solve the lack of armor the gear provides and with block cap + a recover life on block shield we will reliably sustain the eHP. The build not only packs a nice punch but feels very reliable even for Hardcore.

The damage scaling is very straight forward in this build, as it is ultimately a very generic minion-oriented build.

With an army of minions preventing stray projectiles from reaching you, you can utilize modifiers such as Blind and Taunt on Hit from Ghastly Eye Jewel Ghastly Eye Jewel, which diminishes the threat enemies pose to you.

PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links

All my guides use Path of Building. We have a simple guide for you that shows how to import my build into Path of Building, you can find the guide here

The PoB for this build covers the details of LvLing and end-game setup for the low budget:

For medium budget you’ll use this PoB: keep in mind that this PoB has a different configuration set in the custom modifier box that reflects the higher budget version of the Animate Guardian
The high budget version is VERY expensive and looks like this: Similar to the medium budget PoB this one includes more advanced tweaking in the configuration to present the actual performance of the build.

You can find more information about this, as well as about the gem links for the build, on our dedicated page.

PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Link Page

Affliction League Specific Notes

Below you’ll find notes about the specific mechanics surrounding the current league; Affliction 3.23 League.

Affliction Ascendancy

The recommendation is to start with the Warden of the Maji in which we more or less only have use of 1 of the nodes which is Oath of the Maji allowing us to avoid putting gems in our boots for a significant increase in speed as we clear the campaign and early maps.
After this we don’t care for the other nodes but we do want to keep our eyes open for proper Charms that will allow us to move over to the Wildwood Primalist. This is something you’ll do either when you have charms and you’re ready to do the switch or when you become so socket starved as you progress that you no longer benefit from the Maji anymore. The type of Charms we utilize can be a large variety of modifiers a full comprehensive list of these can be found here: My personal recommendation is to aim for the “Onslaught” providing one (Guardian’s prefix) which is located on Intelligence or Strength based Charms, this will give you and nearby allies if 5 or more are in range the 20% attack, cast and movement speed increase! Second priority would be any sort of attributes and/or Spell Suppression which will help alleviate pressure on your gearing. This will fit on all budgets for this build.

Affliction Spectres

The recommended Spectres in this guide will work perfectly fine, however, Affliction league is offering a very specific mechanic that allows us to purchase corpses from a vendor, these range from different qualities and different type of monsters. As this entire topic is a very complex one I’ve decided to instead list the recommended options that could replace the original list in the guide should you chose to. Since these bad boys are a bit harder to get your hands on or can be expensive it’s hard to pin-point what budget they fit in. They are also not shareable. That said, feel free to join my in-game global channel by typing “/global 6666” in-game in which you can receive help with any questions just as much as in my stream channel over at twitch or the PoE-Vault Discord server for direct assistance with any guides.

  • Hulking Monstrosity – These provide an insane buff of damage increase and if you get a “perfect” quality one it will also make your minions deal 20% of their physical damage as extra lightning!
  • Perfect Guardian Turtle – These can directly replace the need to run your Determination aura and instead offer you the possibility to add other auras not in the build guide such as Purity of Elements Purity of Elements which further boosts your defensive scaling.

There are plenty of other options most of which I talk about in this video that I’d recommend taking a look at if you want to try some different combinations our yourself:


A lot of the end-game gear can easily be crafted.
You can read more details about our gearing recommendations on the dedicated page. You’ll find a summarized version below.

Gear, Jewel & Flask Page

Item Slot Item Name Rarity
Head Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Amulet Life then Res/Attributes as needed or a The Jinxed Juju The Jinxed Juju Rare
Chest Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa Unique
Gloves Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Boots Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Belt Darkness Enthroned Darkness Enthroned Unique
Rings Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Weapon +1 level of spell or minion skills 1H weapon Rare
Shield The Surrender The Surrender (or a rare with life recovery on block) Unique/Rare

Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon Recommendations

You can read about the recommended Ascendancy, Bandit choice, and Pantheon Power recommendations for this build on our dedicated page.

Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon Choices


Leveling is normally faster with Summon Raging Spirit or Absolution however, I’m a big fan of using the same skill for leveling as I’m planning to use for the end-game if possible, this build almost provides that possibility with one small note: The Animate Weapon Animate Weapon will only provide ranged minions when you have the Transfigured version: “…Of Ranged Arms”. This means that to level this build up using the same ability you’re expected to use in the end-game we will have to use the melee version of them till you get your hands on the correct gem.

The PoB covers leveling more in detail and below here in the written guide you can find an initial TLDR to get started. Do note that the PoB is showcasing the faster leveling approach and below I will list the details you need to think about whilst leveling if you decide to use the Animate Weapon Animate Weapon to level with which is an option to start at level 28.

Before You Get The Gem

Before you are able to utilize Animate Weapon for your leveling experience you will need to make sure they function for actual clearing. Your minions will require the ability to regularly create blades on the ground for summoning. This means you are able to level with the Animate Weapon as early as level 28 since the only ability generating the required blades to reliably summon your army is Bladefall Bladefall which is a level 28 gem that you can purchase in Act 3 after defeating General Gravicius. The skills listed below are the ones I prefer to use till I hit level 28 and forward:

Once you reach level 8, you are able to receive or purchase Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support which allows us to start using Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit as our main source of damage replacing the Rolling Magma, if you have access to a third link you’ll want to use Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support. Do keep in mind that if you have 3 Blue colors linked on an item and not 2 Blue and 1 Red you can replace the Melee Splash with Infernal Legion Support Infernal Legion Support.
As you drop more gear and/or purchase items from the vendors in town you can improve your Holy Flame Totem damage output with any of the following support gems:

Do keep in mind that if you feel like you’re lacking single target damage versus any boss during the acts, you can always change your Melee Splash to a red damage support gem such as Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support or Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support. In case of 3 Blue links you’ll replace Infernal Legion with Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support.

At level 13 you’ll have reached the notable in your skill-tree called “Sacrifice” this node will single handedly help keep utility minions such as Raise Zombie Raise Zombie alive. They do die here and there early on and I do recommend using them at least when you reach Act 2 as you can link them together with Minion Life Support Minion Life Support to further boost their survival. In Act 3 you’ll want to make sure you do the quest located in The Library “Siosa” which is located next to the area before you enter the tower to fight Dominus. After finishing the Siosa Library quest you get access to Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support which you’ll link with your Raise Zombie and you will prioritize this gem over the Minion Life as this will provide a ton of extra damage output for your main damage skill.

At this point you’re left with 2 options, you either continue using Summon Raging Spirit up to level 28 or you replace it with Absolution Absolution. The support gems are very easy as you’ll continue using Minion Damage and any of the damage providing ones we’ve used for the Holy Flame Totem depending on your available linked colors. This normally changes in Act 3 but our goal here is to switch to the Animate Weapon leveling if you are fine with a bit slower progression but being able to use the same skills this early as you’re expected to in the end-game!

Aura wise we will only be utilizing Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots which you pick up in Act 2.

Level 28+

Once you hit level 28 and have killed General Gravicius in Act 3 you can purchase Bladefall Bladefall which will allow you to create Lingering Blades on the ground that is used to create the weapons from the Animate Weapon Animate Weapon skill. You don’t ever need to level the Bladefall gem up as it’s only purpose is to create these blades for you and higher level means higher mana cost as well as increased attributes requirements to use the skill. The Animate Weapon skill itself is purchasable from the gem vendor in Act 1. At this stage of your progression you’ll want to make sure you have 1 or even 2 mana flasks as it can cost a bit of mana to summon the blades, this means we won’t be reserving the majority of our mana for auras to make this process smoother. You are now free to follow the structure of the low budget PoB whilst avoiding extra auras to keep your mana pool widely open to handle the cost of summoning your weapons. The cost issue of summoning your weapons is completely solved when you’re high enough level to pick up the keystone Eldritch Battery which makes your skills cost Energy Shield instead of mana, important to point out that you will need Energy Shield base gear to sustain this cost change of course!

This leveling strategy is essentially the build you’re now playing till you get your hands on the Transfigure Gem “…Of Ranged Arms” to finalize your progression in to the actual build.

Support gems used for the melee version of Animate Weapon as you’re leveling should look like this:

For more general leveling advice, we recommend the following guides.


To guarantee that my guides are tools you can utilize to enhance your experience in Path of Exile, you may have questions. Please join the PoE Vault discord and they will attend to them as soon as possible.

Final Notes

As much as I love making build guides, it is very crucial in a game like Path of Exile that you play the game the way you enjoy playing it. With that said, if you’ve made any tweaks to the build compared to what I’m showing in this guide I would love it if you’d posted it in my discord! Sharing this information is an extremely effective way to help other players and it helps me grow as a build guide creator!

I hope you found the build guide useful and I wish you all many Divine Orb Divine Orb drops!

For any questions or support please join our Discord (PoE-Vault Discord)