Basic Zombie Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Delirium 3.10)

Vvckd

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This build is not updated for the current patch, but we have evaluated it and we consider it to still work as intended. You can try it out, but you may find slight differences between this guide and the current game state. Although viable, this build is not considered strong enough to be an optimal play choice during this league.

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:

Introduction

The Basic Zombie Necromancer is a summoner that only relies on heavily investing into Raise Zombie Raise Zombie in order to both clear and deal single target damage. The clunkiness of summoner builds comes from mostly trying to build different types of minions in order to use ones for clearing, some for single target and maybe even have some other type of minions simply for the utility they provide. Not to say that is an inefficient way to play a summoner, but all the different skills you have to use can be overwhelming at times and may not suit everyone’s playstyle.

The following build guide uses a simple army of zombies in order to deal with any content the game has to offer. In the Blight league, we are getting some new tools that are very useful for summoners, which fixes the main issues with this type of build, and mainly minion AI and targeting. In the past, sometimes your zombies would not attack at all and only run around you while nearby monsters are approaching; by making your zombies aggressive via the new Feeding Frenzy support gem, this minion AI problem will be fixed, and your zombies will also not feel as clunky, as they will gain a lot of extra speed, which will improve the clear speed significantly.

The other main problem (of the past) with summoners is targeting; before, you were simply not able to control your minions and they would attack whatever they wanted, which is not efficient at all simply because in some fights you need to prioritize and eliminate different targets before others. The new Deathmark support skill grants you the Deathmark skill, which allows you to mark a target for your minions to prioritize.

Build Summary

The build is not expensive at all and can be a great league-starter. We focus on acquiring gear with Life, resistances, and needed attributes. For this particular guide, we choose to use a Two-handed weapon, in which we will have our Raise Zombie Raise Zombie in basically a 7-Link.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great boss killer
+ Fun to play

Cons

- You need to use multiple skills in order to empower your minions and to overall be efficient

Playstyle

Offensively, Elemental Equilibrium can be very useful if you use added damage and converting part of the physical into elemental damage for your minions like Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support and Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support while cursing with Ball Lightning Ball Lightning. Make sure to keep Flesh Offering Flesh Offering up at all times. The Triad Grip unique gloves allow you to fully convert your minion’s damage to different type, we recommend fully converting to Cold and cursing with Ball Lightning Ball Lightning, this will allow your minions to deal tons of Cold damage and Freeze and Shatter enemies; keep in mind it might be hard to make these Gloves with 4G sockets early on.

Defensively, staying behind your minions will ensure they block incoming projectiles. The build also reaches a good amount of survivability via decent Life pool along with defensive utility flasks. Use Convocation Convocation when you are all by yourself in order to summon your army to defend you.

For playstyle, you are mainly rushing forward while your zombies obliterate any nearby packs of monsters. When you encounter tougher enemy simply make sure your Flesh Offering Flesh Offering is up and active, hit the target with your offensive skill of choice in order to apply curses and Elemental Equilibrium and use the Deathmark skill on them.

Passive Tree

Here is an endgame version of the passive tree.

For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.

Passive Tree Page

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheons Page

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Gem Link Page

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Rare Body Armour
Gloves Command of the Pit Command of the Pit
Boots Bones of Ullr Bones of Ullr
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Queen's Escape Queen's Escape

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

Leveling Trees

Here is a passive skill tree that will get you comfortably into maps.

Useful Leveling Uniques

As you begin a new character there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 8, replace your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse with the following Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit gem setup.

  1. Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit
  2. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility. You should also pick up a Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons gem, which can be useful in boss fights.

At level 12, you should add Flesh Offering Flesh Offering.

At level 16, you should add Desecrate Desecrate.

By level 18, your Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit link should look like this.

  1. Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit
  2. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 24, pick up a Convocation Convocation gem, this will become useful once you start using your zombies. At this point you should also have picked enough minion Life Regeneration and elemental resistances in order to sustain zombies, at this point you should start using the following link.

  1. Raise Zombie Raise Zombie
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

FAQ

Why would zombies over any other minion?

Spectres are great when it comes to clear speed, but they rely on being fed from Unending Hunger Unending Hunger. When it comes to tough single boss encounters spectres lack in single target damage, while zombies melt bosses in matter of seconds. Skeletons on the other hand have insane single target damage potential and good clear speed, but you have to swap Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support and Multistrike Support Multistrike Support, the other issue with Skeletons is that they sometimes die in a single AoE hit and you have to resummon your whole army. Zombies do not need gem swapping because of their slam ability, easily reach over 20 000 Life, have good Life sustain via minion Life Leech and Life Regeneration and deal excellent single target damage.

What map mods should be avoided?

No Regeneration and Chain can be a big problem and should be skipped. Reflect mods can also result in your zombies killing themselves.

Conclusion

The Basic Zombie Necromancer is a summoner type of character that only relies on its Raise Zombie Raise Zombie in order to deal with any type of content; having only one minion type results in a simple and satisfying summoner playstyle that many can enjoy. The build has been able to do Shaper guardians, Shaper, and red Elder with ease. The damage is enough for Uber Elder for sure. Over all the build is simple, fun, budget-friendly and endgame viable.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build got nerfed a bit but still remains strong.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build gets nerfed but still plays out well and can do end game content.

  •   

    Updated passive skill trees for Blight 3.8.

  •   

    The build is overall buffed with the changes in Blight 3.8.

  •   

    Updated ascendancy recommendations for Blight 3.8. The build is getting even stronger with the new changes to the gems, passive tree, itemization and the rework of the Necromancer ascendancy class.

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  1. Posts
    2

    Patch notes: Violent Dead: Can no longer drop or be obtained from quests. Does this kill the build?

  2. Vvckd

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    On 05/09/2019 at 2:33 PM, Goldfinger said

    Patch notes: Violent Dead: Can no longer drop or be obtained from quests. Does this kill the build?

    Not at all, this is compensated with the Slam cooldown reduced from 5 seconds to 4, there are also nodes on the passive tree and Necromancer nodes that increase minion’s AoE drastically; another thing worth mentioning is that a great amount of Cooldown Recovery for the Slam is added to the Raise Zombie Raise Zombie gem itself. Now with our minions being able to gain Unholy Might and Onslaught on kill (via Grave Intentions and Ravenous Horde), the build looks even stronger than before. Fixes to AI via thinkgs like Deathmark Support and Feeding Frenzy Support complement the build even further.

    Edited by Vvckd on September 5th, 2019

  3. Posts
    2

    Thanks, any recommended jewels to replace them with, or just go with rares?

  4. Vvckd

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    On 05/09/2019 at 5:32 PM, Goldfinger said

    Thanks, any recommended jewels to replace them with, or just go with rares?

    Just having decently rolled rares will definitely do the work, you can also choose to stack more Strength via Brawn Brawn and Efficient Training Efficient Training.

  5. Posts
    1

    Starting from lvl 1, which skills should i pick first? all i can see is all the skills for when you are max lvl, i have no idea which branch i should go for first to make my leveling as smooth as possible, help please :D

  6. Vvckd

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    On 10/09/2019 at 3:41 PM, dynablade said

    Starting from lvl 1, which skills should i pick first? all i can see is all the skills for when you are max lvl, i have no idea which branch i should go for first to make my leveling as smooth as possible, help please :D

    Hey, I am assuming you are talking about the passive skill tree. Here is an example of a very early passive skill tree that allows you to start using Zombies as soon as possible, it will also require you to respec few points later on, which should not be a problem at all.

  7. Posts
    3

    Is violent dead still a good option for the build? despite not being needed anymore the bonus to slam damage and minion damage seem usefull

  8. Vvckd

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    On 12/09/2019 at 6:01 PM, DonutMuncher said

    Is violent dead still a good option for the build? despite not being needed anymore the bonus to slam damage and minion damage seem usefull

    Hey, Violent Dead Violent Dead does not excist in the game any more, the Jewel got removed, most of its benefits were added to the Raise Zombie Raise Zombie itself.

  9. Posts
    3

    oh. I should maybe actually read patch notes lol. thanks for the reply

  10. Vvckd

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    On 13/09/2019 at 4:24 PM, DonutMuncher said

    oh. I should maybe actually read patch notes lol. thanks for the reply

    No problems, always glad to help.

  11. Posts
    9

    I think Violent Dead jewel should be removed from guide to prevent confusion then.

  12. Vvckd

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    On 14/09/2019 at 11:38 PM, Kaelos said

    I think Violent Dead jewel should be removed from guide to prevent confusion then.

    Hey, fixed now, thank you!

  13. Posts
    9

    The Violent Dead jewel has NOT been removed from the game; it just no longer drops, or is given as a quest reward. So the question is still relevant to those of us who have them, or can pay the (now) exorbitant prices to get them. Are they better than other options?

  14. Vvckd

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    On 16/09/2019 at 2:01 PM, Venomous said

    The Violent Dead jewel has NOT been removed from the game; it just no longer drops, or is given as a quest reward. So the question is still relevant to those of us who have them, or can pay the (now) exorbitant prices to get them. Are they better than other options?

    Hey, if you are playing Standard or Hardcore Violent Dead Violent Dead is definitely worth picking up.

  15. Posts
    3

    Hey, another question. For HC blight, would it make more sense to go for Commander of Darkness over Plaugebringer? The extra 20% ele res for free looks interesting (makes getting res capped possible with just 1 25% all res item), and since you recommend an aura it would be possible. Also gives 30% damage as well.

  16. Vvckd

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    On 24/09/2019 at 5:16 PM, DonutMuncher said

    Hey, another question. For HC blight, would it make more sense to go for Commander of Darkness over Plaugebringer? The extra 20% ele res for free looks interesting (makes getting res capped possible with just 1 25% all res item), and since you recommend an aura it would be possible. Also gives 30% damage as well.

    Hey, Commander of Darkness is definitely a good option if you struggle with resistances, go for it!

  17. Posts
    1

    what attunement should we put on our amulet, and i never see a video in any of these guides

    Edited by jamouyi on October 19th, 2019

  18. Vvckd

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    On 19/10/2019 at 8:54 PM, jamouyi said

    what attunement should we put on our amulet, and i never see a video in any of these guides

    Hey, if you manage to annoint Ravenous Horde you will free up a lot of points, which can be invested elsewhere.

  19. Posts
    2

    Why frostbite when I do not see any cold damage?

  20. Vvckd

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    On 23/12/2019 at 9:42 PM, WitchyWitch said

    Why frostbite when I do not see any cold damage?

    Hey, this is done because it would be beneficial if you are running things like Hatred Hatred. You can swap it with any other curse you prefer.

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