Archmage Cremation Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Heist 3.12)

Octavian0

27


Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links

Gear, Jewels, & Flasks

Ascendancy, Bandits, & Pantheon Powers

About the Author

Hi! I’m Octavian, I’ve been playing Path of Exile since Warbands league (back in 2015) with more than 11,000 hours logged so far and I’ve jumped around to pretty much every game-mode the game offers. SC trade, HC trade and Solo Self-found both SC and HC – I generally try to make builds that have well-rounded options for approaching the game from any of these angles, but my preference for tankier, higher single-target builds does shine through in what I make. If you like this guide or have any questions related to it, be sure to check out my stream where I’m live almost every day. Enjoy the guide!

Introduction

Cremation Cremation is an intensely powerful single-target skill that shreds through bosses on a budget and has such potent damage potential that it allows the user to invest quite a bit into survivability while still outputting good bossing damage. It also has the benefit of being a skill with quite a bit of lingering damage, since the bulk of the damage it does comes from the projectiles which fly out from the geyser for the 8 seconds (minimum) after you cast it. This behavior lends it very well to the usage of Archmage Support Archmage Support, which provides massive amounts of lightning damage at the cost of incredibly high Mana cost – something which you don’t mind as much when you don’t have to recast often because of Cremation’s persistent damage.

For those of you unfamiliar with the skill itself, Cremation Cremation targets a corpse, causing that corpse to explode and deal Fire Damage in an area around it. Molten projectiles then spew out of the ground where that corpse was, flying outward in an area around the source in a spread that is determined in part by your Area of Effect scaling. Those projectiles explode when they land, doing damage to everything around them – importantly, each projectile from one geyser can individually damage the same enemy, meaning that the geyser provides a continual source of high damage on anything near it. Crucially as well, reducing your area of effect will cause the projectile spread to tighten, meaning that you can get even more significant overlap on a single target, which is where quite a lot of our ability to do massive single-target damage comes from. A cap of three geysers at once prevents you from infinitely stacking projectiles on the same boss, but three is more than enough – and if it isn’t there’s a Helmet enchant for a fourth!

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Easy Leaguestarter

+ High single target damage

+ Tanky!

Cons

Multi-button playstyle

Can’t offscreen

Playstyle

Clearing

For clear, this build does lack a bit comparatively to other corpse-oriented skills such as Volatile Dead Volatile Dead or Detonate Dead Detonate Dead, as there is the delay in damage from placing your corpse, exploding it, and then having projectiles land. That said, with enough movement, attack, and cast speed you can get this feeling extremely smooth, and the upside is that you ought never to be lacking in damage or survivability.

This build is certainly oriented towards a more Hardcore playstyle, however, as it does sacrifice mobility in a couple places for tankiness. The actual moment-to-moment gameplay consists of throwing a Desecrate Desecrate (linked to Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support for quality of life) ahead of you, popping one of the corpses, and zooming to the next pack while Cremation Cremation deals with whichever unfortunate souls happened to be near your geyser. Popping Arcane Cloak Arcane Cloak manually for tougher enemies and more dangerous packs of monsters is my preference, but it can also be automated by tossing it onto your left mouse button. For really tough enemies, stopping to cast your Curse or using the new Sigil of Power skill to get a further damage boost ought to handle them quickly.

Bosses

For bosses, the playstyle gets a little different. Any boss that gives you time to set up your damage is in extra trouble, as that means you can swap in Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support and stack Intensify Support Intensify Support stacks in order to land as many projectile hits onto them as possible – something which got buffed in the Heist league patch with the changes to Intensify meaning that the AoE gets pulled in even tighter if you get the node on the tree which grants an additional Intensify stack.

Cremation Cremation will maintain the tighter projectile spread and damage bonuses from Intensify Support Intensify Support stacks even if you move, however recasting your geysers will result in replacing the oldest one with a new geyser without the damage benefits. The main value of this trick lies against bosses like Conquerors that give you the free time to set up and burst them for a few moments at the start of a fight, often cutting them down to half or less health before the fight properly begins (if not outright killing them on min-maxed versions of the build).

Passive Skill Tree

The passive trees are all contained within this Path of Building link .

In case you are unfamiliar, I’ve provided a visual tutorial below that will show you how to swap between passive trees in Path of Building. The Path of Building provided has leveling trees for various stages of leveling, but not separate HC and SC trees – this is because I don’t have anything I would cut for more DPS in SC, and the build is perfectly HC viable. The gear in the Path of Building highlights the most important stats you’ll need in each slot, and does not accurately reflect resistance and stat needs you may have – be sure to cap your res and meet your stat requirements!

Use this drop-down menu to access different variants of the passive tree depending on what you’re after.

Select the tree you’re interested in!

If you’d prefer to use the PoePlanner to access the passive tree, the endgame version is available here. Please note that PoePlanner does not support the use of Thread of Hope Thread of Hope. There is meant to be one in the jewel socket immediately to the left of Templar, a large radius ring which allows us to pick up Spiritual Aid, Righteous Decree, Sanctuary, and Discipline and Training, as shown in the screenshot.

Leveling trees are listed below in the Leveling section. Find out more about the passive skill tree on the Passive Skill Tree page.

Passive Skill Tree Page

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power choices are all provided on the specific page.

Ascendancy, Bandits, & Pantheon Powers

Gem Links

The Gem Link page contains all the info you’ll need on your skill gem setups for this build.

Gem Links

Gear

This build’s itemization is covered in depth on the gear page. If you just want a quick cheat sheet to look over, I’d suggest looking through these graphics which has references for low budget, big budget, and massive budget versions of gear in each item slot. For full information on each one, be sure to check out the gear page.

Gear, Jewels, & Flasks

Leveling

This passive tree is an example of the passive tree you’ll want to shoot for while leveling.

Sadly, you won’t be able to use Cremation Cremation immediately. I’d suggest starting with Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse and Frost Bomb Frost Bomb to get through the very early portion of Act 1, and swapping over to Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine and Orb of Storms Orb of Storms to progress through Act 2 and the first half of Act 3. Using a Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem in a one-link can help with bossing, since the Consecrated Ground it generates will provide a small buff while fighting early bosses. Be sure to throw your Stormblast Mine Stormblast Mine while standing inside of your Orb of Storms in order to maximize the damage from it.

For your mines link, you will want:

For Orb of Storms Orb of Storms, you will want:

When you get to Act 2 and complete the Baleful Gem quest, you’ll want to pick up Herald of Ice Herald of Ice and Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder.

Rush Elemental Overload as soon as possible after picking up the Life just above Witch and a couple points into Lightning Walker.

Early Gearing

I would suggest crafting a couple of Wands with the flat damage recipe at level 20.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to do this, vendor a Magic Wand with a Rare Sapphire Ring Sapphire Ring, Ruby Ring Ruby Ring, or Topaz Ring Topaz Ring and an aOrb of Alteration Orb of Alteration. The kind of ring you use determines the kind of damage you get, I would suggest using a Ruby Ring Ruby Ring so you get Fire Damage to spells. Save a couple essences or Alchemy Orbs you get so you can do this recipe, as it will provide quite a bit of early damage.

When you kill Gravicius in Act 3 is when you can swap over to a Cremation Cremation setup, and the gem link progression that you’ll want for when you swap is detailed on our skill gem page. You won’t be swapping out of your Heralds and into Archmage Support Archmage Support until Cruel Lab at the earliest, however. I’d suggest focusing on some of the cast speed nodes on the tree as you’re making the swap over to Cremation , as it plays a large role in making the skill feel smooth to play.

Focus on getting Life and Mana rolls on gear wherever possible, prioritize Movement Speed on your boots (if you can get a Wanderlust Wanderlust, all the better) and try your best to cap your Elemental Resistances, particularly as you reach past Act 5. Keep an eye out for Dexterity rolls on gear as well, and get your hands on a Jade Amulet Jade Amulet early on to help prevent Dexterity issues. If you have the regeneration to handle it, a Blood Rage Blood Rage can be really useful as you get into the later acts to give you a bit of extra oomph while clearing.

Identify a lot of Wands and Sceptres as you get close to swapping to Archmage Support Archmage Support, as this is where you’re most likely to find a good Mana roll early on to supplement your damage. Pick up Mind over Matter after Cruel Labyrinth as well.

When you reach The Blood Aqueducts, you’re likely going to want to pause your progression and farm here for Humility Humility cards. Archmage builds are extremely reliant on a six-link to scale damage into the endgame, to the point where I would much rather have a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa over a 5-link even in a HC setting, so I think it’s worth it to farm one here. If you choose not to, you could potentially complete Residence as your only T2 map and try to farm a 6-link there through The Dapper Prodigy The Dapper Prodigy, but if luck treats you badly you might get a Body Armour base that will not easily roll the correct colors.

Misc

Other useful tools for scaling boss damage while leveling include

If you have any further questions about leveling, I’m happy to answer them! Cremation Cremation is a little bit of a late bloomer, so don’t be too worried if the leveling process feels a little slow in the middle acts. I’m going to be league-starting this build myself in Heist, so feel free to stop by and ask me any questions on my stream, or just leave a question down in the comments below!

Changelog
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    Build added.

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  1. Posts
    1

    Hey, thanks for the guide!

    just curious – you mention sniper’s mark and sigil of power, however these are not in the PoB; would we be changing a ring to unset for the sigil?

    ele weakness & faster casting is included a 2-link setup; would you use the curse for clearing (self-cast?), and then swap to the mark for bossing?

    also, tempest shield doesn’t have a spot in your automatic trigger, is this something you would self-cast?

    lastly… thoughts about fevered mind? (necro or templar area i guess if we don’t have the sirus jewel early)

    Sorry about all the questions, looking to start with the build and just wanting to improve my understanding with it a bit~ ..

  2. Posts
    2

    My pob errors when importing the link. Does the pastebin need to be re-exported?

  3. Octavian0

    Moderator

    Posts
    13

    On 18/09/2020 at 2:27 PM, viscrid said

    Hey, thanks for the guide!

    just curious – you mention sniper’s mark and sigil of power, however these are not in the PoB; would we be changing a ring to unset for the sigil?

    ele weakness & faster casting is included a 2-link setup; would you use the curse for clearing (self-cast?), and then swap to the mark for bossing?

    also, tempest shield doesn’t have a spot in your automatic trigger, is this something you would self-cast?

    lastly… thoughts about fevered mind? (necro or templar area i guess if we don’t have the sirus jewel early)

    Sorry about all the questions, looking to start with the build and just wanting to improve my understanding with it a bit~ ..

    Sniper’s Mark wasn’t in Path of Building at the time of making the build, so I used elemental weakness as a stand-in. Sniper’s is better for single-target, and I would suggest self-casting it for bosses.

    Fevered mind is not particularly good, I don’t recommend it since the change.

    Tempest shield is the fastest casting skill in the game, so it’s fine to self-cast. I don’t mind it. If you want to press fewer buttons though, it can go in your trigger weapon instead of blade blast, and you just lose out on unnerve.

  4. Octavian0

    Moderator

    Posts
    13

    On 18/09/2020 at 5:11 PM, javrin said

    My pob errors when importing the link. Does the pastebin need to be re-exported?

    You might not be using the community fork version of PoB. It has more features and is more consistently updated. Instructions to install it can be found here

  5. Posts
    2

    I am using trying dev and master builds as well as the release: https://github.com/PathOfBuildingCommunity/PathOfBuilding/tree/dev

    Uninstalled/reinstalled the v1.4.170.8 PathOfBuildingCommunity release and it works great, thanks!

    Edited by javrin on September 18th, 2020

  6. Posts
    1

    sorry for what’s probably an obvious question: where do sniper’s mark and sigil of power fit into this build? the rest has been working amazingly so far!

  7. Octavian0

    Moderator

    Posts
    13

    On 22/09/2020 at 2:03 AM, zabdiel said

    sorry for what’s probably an obvious question: where do sniper’s mark and sigil of power fit into this build? the rest has been working amazingly so far!

    Sniper’s Mark and Sigil of Power can both be on one-link setups, they’re very powerful without any support gems. Use sigil of power for a bossfight and stand within it to cast your cremations – you can step out of it afterwards and the cremation geysers will maintain the damage bonus unless you recast them.

    Sniper’s mark is even more straightforwards – simply cast it on the boss and whenever it expires, cast it again. It will scale your single-target damage a ton. I wouldn’t worry about using it on much aside from bosses, or maybe the occasional big einhar beast or tanky syndicate member. It has some flask gen as well, for good measure. Just an excellent bossing tool.

  8. Posts
    4

    stupid question, but why bone offering?

  9. Posts
    1

    On 23/09/2020 at 11:37 AM, Faust said

    stupid question, but why bone offering?

    Not a stupid question, it’s pretty weird at first glance. It’s there because of the Necromancer’s ascendancy ‘Mistress of Sacrifice’. Gives you a +26% block chance and +25% spell block chance, an excellent defensive boost.
    So don’t bother with it until after merciless lab :-)

    EDIT: Mistress of Sacrifice got nerfed (understandably), it ‘only’ gives a +17% (spell) block chance with Bone Offering now.

    Edited by ap0calypse on September 23rd, 2020

  10. Posts
    4

    so if I got it right, for multiple mobs you go in like, desecrate, stand still, up to 3 (or 4) cremation, arcane cloak and tempest shield (if not on already) and then spam bone offering without moving to keep intensify up, right?

  11. Octavian0

    Moderator

    Posts
    13

    On 23/09/2020 at 7:04 PM, Faust said

    so if I got it right, for multiple mobs you go in like, desecrate, stand still, up to 3 (or 4) cremation, arcane cloak and tempest shield (if not on already) and then spam bone offering without moving to keep intensify up, right?

    Generally speaking you don’t need to do more than desecrate, cremation, move on for a pack of monsters while clearing. Only for bosses or tough rares will you need to use your other tools. Cremation also maintains the intensify bonuses it had when cast even if you move, so you need only be stationary while building intensity stacks and initially creating your geysers, and only need to re-acquire them if you re-cast.

  12. Posts
    2

    Thank you for the great guide! Started following it and it plays very smoothly. I have one question regards the endgame build, in pob for the endgame tree and item variation there seems to be lack of resistances ,is it suppose to be like that?

  13. Vlad

    Moderator

    Posts
    139

    On 24/09/2020 at 1:48 AM, Alizalanic said

    Thank you for the great guide! Started following it and it plays very smoothly. I have one question regards the endgame build, in pob for the endgame tree and item variation there seems to be lack of resistances ,is it suppose to be like that?

    From the main page of the guide: “The gear in the Path of Building highlights the most important stats you’ll need in each slot, and does not accurately reflect resistance and stat needs you may have – be sure to cap your res and meet your stat requirements!”

    Maybe that answers it… though Octavian can clarify of course. Seems it’s intentional, so you can pick up the resists any way works best for you. Good luck!

    Edited by Vlad on September 26th, 2020

  14. Posts
    3

    What minion is in this build? Your passive tree grabs some minion skills and then you also run bone offering, but I don’t understand why. Really loving this build just hit level 50 and have my tabula only issue I’m having is elemental resistance but this thing murders bosses.

  15. Posts
    1

    On 29/09/2020 at 6:33 AM, Skunksoup said

    What minion is in this build? Your passive tree grabs some minion skills and then you also run bone offering, but I don’t understand why. Really loving this build just hit level 50 and have my tabula only issue I’m having is elemental resistance but this thing murders bosses.

    No minions here. The tree takes Spiritual Aid, which makes minion damage nodes affect you. Similarly, Mistress of Sacrifice from the Necromancer ascendancy branch makes Bone Offering affect you too, at 50% effect.

  16. Posts
    3

    Why do you want to keep wave of conviction at low level. And what level do you suggest?

  17. Posts
    1

    Great build so far, very tanky , i am doing red maps atm, feels ok, thanks for the time you spent explaining build, better
    than a lot of streamer outhere (not thinking of anyone in particular …like mbx :P

    Anyway i have a question , currently trying to get an boots with chance to avoid elemental ailments, if my overall chance reaches like 94% do you consider that as immunity and i can move one to buy dying sun or i really need 100% ? cause really looks hard to reach 100%

    30% from tree got 30% from chest and 34% from boots (i know i can get 35% max on this item but hard..)

    am i missing something ?
    my caracter if you wanna take a look
    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Archon_Phoenix/characters

    big thanks for the help

  18. Octavian0

    Moderator

    Posts
    13

    On 30/09/2020 at 5:57 PM, Skunksoup said

    Why do you want to keep wave of conviction at low level. And what level do you suggest?

    Level 1 works fine. You don’t want wave of conviction doing significant damage or else you will kill yourself on physical reflect maps, so keep it low level. The debuff it provides is just as strong at whatever level you leave it at.

  19. Octavian0

    Moderator

    Posts
    13

    On 01/10/2020 at 6:36 PM, HElpmeObiOne said

    Great build so far, very tanky , i am doing red maps atm, feels ok, thanks for the time you spent explaining build, better
    than a lot of streamer outhere (not thinking of anyone in particular …like mbx :P

    Anyway i have a question , currently trying to get an boots with chance to avoid elemental ailments, if my overall chance reaches like 94% do you consider that as immunity and i can move one to buy dying sun or i really need 100% ? cause really looks hard to reach 100%

    30% from tree got 30% from chest and 34% from boots (i know i can get 35% max on this item but hard..)

    am i missing something ?
    my caracter if you wanna take a look
    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Archon_Phoenix/characters

    big thanks for the help

    100% is pretty important for maps with shocked ground or chilled ground, as those will get through and affect you even if you have 99% chance to avoid.

  20. Posts
    3

    So I’m level 79 now. Am I still supposed to be using heralds or was that just for leveling?

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