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:
The Dark Pact Necromancer is a very different summoner build compared to others out there. It mainly relies on summoning Skeletons with a high Life pool and then draining it out by using Dark Pact on them. With this build, we also manage to pick Soul Weaver and have 3 strong spectres, which greatly augment our single target damage potential.
The build picks up all the efficient minion nodes along with a lot of Life on the passive skill tree. The Necromancer ascendancy is chosen because it greatly benefits the build by both making spectres even stronger, allowing you to summon 3 Skeletons with a single cast, and providing a lot of extra Dark Pact damage via Mistress of Sacrifice.
Although the build does not require any initial investment, it would be nice to have several recommended items. From Dust allows you to summon up to 5 Skeletons. The Covenant will allow you to socket in your Dark Pact and run it essentially on a 7-Link with Blood Magic, which will solve all of your Mana problems. And last but not least, having a Helmet with +2 or +3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems will result in a great Life pool of your Skeletons, which will result in a lot of extra damage for your Dark Pact.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Good balance between single target and clearing
+ Reaches respectable Life pool
+ Different and fun play style
+ Can do Reflect mods
- Requires the player to make quick decisions when it comes to using different spells in different situations; needs time to get used to
Offensively, using Summon Skeletons into packs of monsters and chaining your Dark Pact is what you should be mainly doing. Flesh Offering will provide a lot of speed to your minions and you via the Necromancer ascendancy, and this skill should be up all the time. You should move around with Shield Charge. Vaal Summon Skeletons comes in very handy against tough bosses.
Defensively, staying behind your minions is mandatory. The build does not rely on leech mechanics or any other kind of Life sustain besides your Life flask and Life Regeneration. The main way of mitigating damage is by not taking it at all. You will also achieve a decent Life pool, which will let you tank some hits in hairy situations. Steelskin can be used when the incoming damage is predictable.
Here is what you need to do in order to summon the specific spectre you want and keep in your Desecrate “corpse pool”.
Desecrating the Proper Corpse
The first thing you want to do is add the corpse of the monster you want to raise in your Desecrate corpse pool. Go into the zone your particular chosen monster spawns, there you will need to spam Desecrate on the ground until you see the corpse of the monster you are looking for. Then raise it with your Raise Spectre gem, hold “A” key in order to target corpses. Once this is done your Desecrate will be able to spawn the corpse of this monster in every zone you go.
The Dark Pact Necromancer focuses on picking as much minion Life and damage as possible. Besides that the build can achieve over 200% Increased maximum Life on the passive skill tree, along with 5 Jewel sockets.
For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill 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.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our 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.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Boots||Bones of Ullr|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
The Dark Pact Necromancer can be very easily leveled if you use several leveling items. The combination of Dark Pact and Summon Skeletons is not very reliable early on, this is why we recommend using Raise Zombie or Summon Raging Spirit. Once you do your Cruel labyrinth, you can start using recommended endgame gem setup in the gem section of the build guide.
This is what your early passive skill tree should look like. Early on we focus on picking some minion Life Regeneration in order to make zombies die harder and be more reliable.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Matua Tupuna and The Baron can be used in combination with Raise Zombie for a very smooth leveling experience. Lifesprig will carry you up until level 23.
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.
Using 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 in Lifesprig.
At level 4, you should add Steelskin for additional damage mitigation.
At level 10, you should add Flame Dash for additional mobility.
By level 18, your Freezing Pulse link should look like this.
Are there any map mods the build cannot do?
No Regeneration maps cannot be done, or they will be painful to say the least. “Chain” maps can be done once you update your Lunaris Pantheon, but your minions still might die. Your spectres should be fine doing Elemental Reflect. Besides that, there is nothing else worth mentioning.
How is the endgame potential?
The Dark Pact Necromancer has great endgame potential when properly built. You will have enough damage to do all endgame content. The survivability and mainly Life sustain is what might be lacking in the build.
The Dark Pact Necromancer relies on summoning Skeletons with very high Life pool, which is then drained by the Dark Pact skill in order to deal great amounts of extra Chaos damage. The build also makes great use of Raise Spectre for additional single target damage. This character can achieve more than 7k Life, along with great clear speed and single target damage output.