Cast While Channelling Volatile Dead Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

The Cast While Channelling Volatile Dead Necromancer is a caster that channels low cost Incinerate Incinerate in order to trigger Volatile Dead Volatile Dead via the Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support gem.

We choose to build the character as a Hybrid, meaning that we scale both Life and Energy Shield in order to build a decent Life-pool. The build’s main idea synergizes extremely well with the Necromancer’s ascendancy nodes. We do not scale Ignites or Burning damage in any way; we only rely on the instant damage we deal with Incinerate Incinerate and Volatile Dead Volatile Dead. The build can become surprisingly tanky in the endgame while also maintaining respectable damage output even on a low budget.

Build Summary

The build does not require any initial investment, but scales well with gear. A simple Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa can carry you up to red maps. With some currency investment you will be able to reach high levels of Detonate Dead via things like level 4 Empower Support Empower Support and Weapons/Shield that provide additional levels to the gem. Ideally, you would want a Shaper-based Staff with “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Cast While Channelling”, which will essentially result in a 7-Link. The build is also able to stack a large amount of Chance to Block Spells and Attacks, which is why Rumi's Concoction Rumi's Concoction is a great flask choice.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Budget-friendly
+ Very easy to play, can stay in place and face-tank even some endgame bosses

Cons

- Cannot do Elemental Reflect
- Requires the use of multiple skills

Playstyle

Offensively, you should spawn corpses beneath the feet of monster packs with Desecrate Desecrate and then start channelling Incinerate Incinerate.

Defensively, the Detonate Dead Necromancer reaches respectable amount of survivability via Block, Spell Block, and Life Regeneration. Since we are using Necromancer’s Mistress of Sacrifice we are able to benefit from Bone Offering Bone Offering, which should be casted every so often to keep up the buff.

For playstyle, you will have a lot of buttons to press depending on the situation you are in. Bone Offering Bone Offering will give you a great amount of defense in tough situations, and in combination with Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell these skills can make you very hard to kill. Dealing with higher levels of content will result in more damage output because of how Volatile Dead works. Leap Slam Leap Slam is a great mobility skill that will get you out of sticky situations.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Witch – Necromancer)

  1. Essence Glutton
  2. Plaguebringer
  3. Corpse Pact
  4. Mistress of Sacrifice

Essence Glutton solves the Mana problems of the build while also providing some sustain via the Energy Shield perks.

Plaguebringer provides a good amount of increased area of effect along with 10% more damage done to nearby enemies, as well as causing nearby enemies to deal 10% less damage.

Corpse Pact is the biggest damage boost that you will get from the ascendancy.

Mistress of Sacrifice allows us to benefit from the offering skills. We mainly use Bone Offering Bone Offering for the additional Attack and Spell Block it provides.

Passive tree

This is the endgame version of the passive tree.

We focus on picking up all the strong Area nodes along with Life, Energy Shield, Minion Damage (because we spec into Spiritual Aid) and some strong Staff Block nodes like Whirling Barrier. The build utilizes Elemental Overload very well, with all of the hits we apply each second we are easily sustaining the buff while we are offensive.

Bandits

Considering the build does not benefit from helping any specific bandit, we choose to kill them all for the two additional passive skill tree points.

Pantheons

Major: Although all Major Pantheons are beneficial for the build, Soul of Arakaali is the best choice when fully upgraded.

Minor: Same as Major Pantheons, there are many Minor ones that can be used. Choose one based on content you are running and personal preference.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

The Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support is your signature gem setup, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. Desecrate Desecrate is the second mandatory skill that allows you to spawn corpses which will then be used for Volatile Dead Volatile Dead. For mobility, you should use Leap Slam Leap Slam. For Mana reservation, you should use buffs like Discipline Discipline and Anger Anger, if you are feeling comfortable with a low amount of mana unreserved you can also squeeze in a Herald of Ash Herald of Ash for the extra damage.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Cast While Channelling (6-Link)

For our channelling skill we choose to use Incinerate Incinerate; in combination with Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support and Volatile Dead Volatile Dead we are able to summon an army of heat-seeking fireballs that deal tons of damage as long as there are corpses nearby to consume. We recommend one link that works great for both clearing and single target.

  1. Incinerate Incinerate
  2. Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support
  3. Volatile Dead Volatile Dead
  4. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  5. Combustion Support Combustion Support
  6. Immolate Support Immolate Support

Desecrate (4-Link)

Desecrate Desecrate allows us to spawn multiple corpses, which we can then detonate. This is the second gem setup that is mandatory for the build.

  1. Desecrate Desecrate
  2. Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support
  3. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  4. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

Leap Slam (3-Link)

Leap Slam Leap Slam will provide you the additional mobility you will need.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Bone Offering (3-Link)

Bone Offering Bone Offering allows us to benefit from the buff via Necromancer’s Mistress of Sacrifice.

  1. Bone Offering Bone Offering
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  3. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell should be used after using a Granite Flask Granite Flask in order to gain a very strong defensive shield for a relatively long duration. For the endgame, you would ideally want to use Discipline Discipline, Anger Anger and Herald of Ash Herald of Ash. A golem of choice can be used for the buff it provides, we recommend Summon Flame Golem Summon Flame Golem for additional damage or Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem for the Life Regeneration.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

An Energy-Shield-based Helmet with Life is best in slot. For lab enchant, we are looking for “Bone Offering grants an additional +9% Chance to Block Attack Damage”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 90)
  3. +#% increased maximum life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Energy Shield (at least 150)
  5. Nearby Enemies have #% to Fire Resistance (Scorched Fossil Scorched Fossil)

Body Armour

A well rolled Vaal Regalia Vaal Regalia is best in slot. The “Gain #% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield” synergizes extremely well with every Hybrid-based build such as this one. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 100)
  3. Gain #% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield
  4. Energy Shield (at least 300)
  5. +#% increased maximum life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)

Gloves

Well rolled rare Gloves are best in slot, ideally you would want Fingerless Silk Gloves Fingerless Silk Gloves for the additional damage. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. Energy Shield (at least 100)
  4. +# to Dexterity

Boots

Well-rolled rare Boots are best in slot. For labyrinth enchant, look for “#% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. #% increased Movement Speed (at least 25%)

Belt

A well-rolled rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise is a great Belt choice. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. # to Energy Shield
  4. #% increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil Prismatic Fossil)

Amulet

A well rolled rare Amulet should be used. Impresence (Fire) Impresence (Fire) can be used in order to run Flammability Flammability on Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 50)
  3. #% increased Spell Damage
  4. +# to Dexterity

Rings

Well rolled rare Rings are best in slot; preferably you would want to use Opal Ring Opal Ring. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. +# to Dexterity

Weapon

A Shaper-based Staff is best in slot for the build; “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Cast While Channelling” is the mod we are looking for. The rare affix priority is:

  1. “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Cast While Channelling”
  2. # to Level of all Fire Spell Skill Gems
  3. # to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
  4. #% increased Spell Damage
  5. #% increased Fire Damage

Flasks

Cinderswallow Urn Cinderswallow Urn is a unique flasks that synergizes very well with the build and should be used if you have the currency for it. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise will provide a lot of damage to the build. The usual instant or half-Instant Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask flask should be used, and ideally you would want to roll it with Bleeding removal (Staunching). The Wise Oak The Wise Oak will allow you to penetrate more Fire resistance. Other utility flasks can be used based on personal preference; we recommend having Basalt Flask Basalt Flask + Granite Flask Granite Flask for additional defense and a Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask for the additional mobility. You should have Curse and Freeze immunity rolled on your utility flasks.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

There are no specific jewels that are required for the build. You should mainly focus on regular rare Jewels with Life and damage.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. #% increased maximum Life
  2. #% increased Energy Shield
  3. #% increased Fire Damage
  4. #% increased Spell Damage
  5. #% increased Area Damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. +# to maximum Life
  2. +# to Energy Shield
  3. #% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
  4. Adds # to # Fire Damage to Spells

Leveling

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

The Cast While Channelling Volatile Dead Necromancer can be leveled with its signature skill as soon as you are able to start using Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support at level 38.

Leveling Trees

This is the early passive skill tree for the build, which will allow for smooth leveling experience.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

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.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

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 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility. Clarity Clarity will solve your Mana problems early on.

At level 16, you should add Herald of Ash Herald of Ash for the additional damage. At this point you are able to transition from Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse to a self-casting Volatile Dead Volatile Dead. You should start using the following two links.

Detonate Dead

  1. Volatile Dead Volatile Dead
  2. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  3. Combustion Support Combustion Support

Desecrate

  1. Desecrate Desecrate
  2. Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 24, you are able to use Anger Anger and Discipline Discipline.

Finally, at level 38 you are able to start using your signature gem setup, which is the combination of Incinerate Incinerate, Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support and Volatile Dead Volatile Dead.

  1. Incinerate Incinerate
  2. Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support
  3. Volatile Dead Volatile Dead
  4. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  5. Combustion Support Combustion Support
  6. Immolate Support Immolate Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

You will one-shot yourself to Elemental Reflect. No Regeneration should also be avoided.

Conclusion

The Cast While Channelling Volatile Dead Necromancer allows you channel a wave of Fire while being stationary and consume corpses in order to create heat-seaking balls of fire that deal tons of Fire damage. The character is essentially a Fire caster that stacks up a lot of Life, Energy Shield and Block chance while also doing percent of corpses’ maximum Life, which scales extremely well into the late game.

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