Dark Pact Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Expedition 3.15)

GhazzyTV

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INTRODUCTION

This build is the golden peak of how a hybrid build works in Path of Exile. It works wonders as a league starter but in SSF it still requires a source of chaos damage leeched as life which is either from Delve dropped rings or hunter influenced amulet, it’s still “alright” but for end-game you can’t survive without a source of life leech. You can level with Dark Pact Dark Pact once you are able to pick it up which is done at level 28 allowing you to use the same abilities whilst leveling as you will be for the end-game.

Since this is a very niche play-style I would strongly recommend watching the video linked below to see if it’s something you’d find enjoyable to play.

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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, and you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated version.

BUILD OVERVIEW

In this section I will outline the pros, cons, & the general play-style. This will allow you to determine if the build is for you or not!

PROS

+ High Sustaining – Due to the nature of the hybrid approach we use in this build you will consistently be over-leeching your life pool as well as having energy shield leech.

+ League Starter – The only mandatory item is to have a source of chaos damage leeched as life which is accessible very early on and is very cheap as well.

+ Bosser – The damage output this build can achieve even in low budget is completely absurd.

+ Unique Play Style – You will summon skeletons and then cast Dark Pact which is chaining between your skeletons which not only offers a unique play-style but also a unique approach in terms of gearing.

CONS

Unique Play Style – Due to the nature of this build’s play-style, it is a build that not everyone will find enjoyable (I strongly recommend watching the gameplay video before starting this build)

Cluster – For end-game it is crucial that you get yourself a medium cluster jewel with minion life to get the node Blessed Rebirth, this is very easily crafted and/or super cheap to purchase but is absolutely required for the higher end-game content to avoid having your skeletons die before you get to dish out some damage with your Dark Pact

PLAY-STYLE

The play-style is based around summoning your skeletons on the field and then directly connect that with casting Dark Pact which will chain between your skeletons and deal massive amounts of damage.

DAMAGE SCALING AND DEFENSIVE LAYERS

The build focuses on achieving an over-leech state for your life pool whilst having nodes on the tree allowing for high sustain of energy shield leech. On top of this we have a layer of skeletons in-front of you which enemies will target rather than yourself. The way we deal damage is to cast Dark Pact on our skeletons which will make the spell chain between the skeletons and each chain can hit the same target(s) per chain making Chain Support Chain Support an incredibly strong support gem. Since Dark Pact deals a base chaos damage based of the max life our skeletons have, we will want to ramp up minion life across our skill-tree as well as support gems & gear.

The defensive layers on this build is VERY tricky to grasp, the easy part is the high block chance against both attacks & spells. However, we are using Petrified Blood Petrified Blood which works in this way:
Our life is cut in half putting us at “low-life” this allows for the use of Pain Attunement increasing our damage dealt. The only way we can go above 50% of our life is with the use of a life flask, upon doing so all our spells gains a life cost on top of the mana cost to cast, this goes away when we are back down to 50% of our life. As long as we don’t reserve our life pool this will create an over-leeching state of our life pool if we leech life as we never hit 100% life. Any damage over time effect(s) we take will then be countered by the fact that we are consistently leeching HP.
Besides the nifty mechanic on forcing us down to low-life it might sound daunting that we just lost 50% of our life, but Petrified Blood takes away 40% of all hits we take then proceeds to put a life degeneration based of #% of that over the next 4 seconds, this ultimately means that some damage is completely mitigated and the remaining damage we take as a degen is countered by us consistently leeching. This combined with high Energy Shield which we are sustaining with nodes on the tree providing leech to energy shield allows us to reliably be very tanky with a very high effective life pool.

A quick note on this defensive layer is that chaos damage over time can be somewhat scary with low chaos resistance making that a desired stat to have if possible on your gear.

PoB AND PASSIVE SKILL TREE

The PoB community fork created by Localidentity is the only version being kept up to date, so make sure you have the correct version: PoB Community Fork.

Here is the Dark Pact Necromancer Low Budget PoB:, and for a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link.

For high budget approach I would suggest taking a look at this link: Dark Pact Necromancer High Budget PoB

You can find more information on our dedicated page.

Dark Pact Necromancer PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links

GEARING

A lot of the end-game gear can easily be crafted, to learn how to craft as well as learn how to craft specific items check out my crafting guides here.

You can read more details about our gearing recommendations on the dedicated page, but for now you can see a summarized version below.

Dark Pact Necromancer Gear, Jewels & Flasks

Item Slot Item Name Rarity
Head Life then res/attributes as needed (For high budget you can get a helmet with “+ level of socketed minion gems) Rare
Amulet Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Chest Life then Res/Attributes as needed (or a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa Rare/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
Weapons Rare with + level of minion and/or spell skills Rare

ASCENDANCY, BANDIT & PANTHEON RECOMMENDATIONS

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

Dark Pact Necromancer Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon Powers

LEVELING

You can easily level with melee skeletons till you reach level 28 for the Dark Pact skill (Keep in mind that you have to do Siosa quest in the Library of Act 3 to purchase the skill gem) and then start casting that on your skeletons instead. An important note to remember when playing this build is that mana problems are very common, there are a few solutions to this that are both easily accessible and cheap. One solution is to use a mana flask during the campaign acts and later get an “Enduring” prefix rolled mana flask. Another easy solution is to in the end-game bench-craft “Skills Cost no Mana while Focussed” which has a short cool-down but lasts 4 seconds allowing you to spam your spells during this window rather than your mana flask.

BEFORE YOU ENABLE SKELETONS

The best way to start of leveling would be to equip yourself with a bow and use Caustic Arrow Caustic Arrow linked with Pierce Support Pierce Support ( You can get the Pierce support gem by creating a level 1 Ranger and dump the gem in the the stash after Hillock is dead).

Once you reach level 8 you are able to purchase Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support which we will use together with Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons all the way to level 28, the links you should use are the following:

Do note that if you feel that you’re lacking single target damage whilst you’re leveling you can always switch out the Melee Splash for any other red gem granting damage, such as Added Fire or Ruthless Support Ruthless Support.

The Aura decision comes in Act 2, which is when we enable Herald of Ice Herald of Ice, Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder & Herald of Ash Herald of Ash. These auras will later be replaced with Zealotry Zealotry when we enable Dark Pact

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

QUESTIONS?

To guarantee that my guides are tools you can utilize to enhance your experience in Path of Exile, all you need to do is post your question in the comments and I will personally 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 if you’d posted it in the comments! It’s an effective way to show other approaches and it helps me grow as a build guide creator!

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

Changelog

  • Build was checked and updated for 3.14 Ultimatum (no major changes needed).

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  1. Posts
    2

    Thank you for the guide. I have a more in-depth question about the playstyle of the build:

    When you have your skeletons up and you are fighting for example a boss with a high HP pool – do you press and hold the Dark Pact button for maximum DPS (when you can afford to stay still of course)? Are the chains overlapping and reaching maximum DPS while you are holding the skill or you may lose damage by doing so?

  2. GhazzyTV

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    @YYakovliev:

    My pleasure sir!

    Yes I hold it down and re-summon skeletons as they are dying (either from Blessed Rebirth ending and boss hitting them or from my DP consuming their life) the chaining keeps bouncing and can hit the same target multiple times so you just skyrocket your dmg output.

    The idea with the build is not to face-tank things but taking damage should not be a problem outside of one-shots due to how insanely well it sustains itself. With merely half-decent gear you can face-tank Sirus beams in the first 3 phases (not the quad one of course) due to the sustain :)

    Here’s the 3.13 Update Video: https://youtu.be/99SND75LI1g

  3. GhazzyTV

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    615

    @YYakovliev:

    My pleasure sir!

    Yes I hold it down and re-summon skeletons as they are dying (either from Blessed Rebirth ending and boss hitting them or from my DP consuming their life) the chaining keeps bouncing and can hit the same target multiple times so you just skyrocket your dmg output.

    The idea with the build is not to face-tank things but taking damage should not be a problem outside of one-shots due to how insanely well it sustains itself. With merely half-decent gear you can face-tank Sirus beams in the first 3 phases (not the quad one of course) due to the sustain :)

    Here’s the 3.13 Update Video: https://youtu.be/99SND75LI1g

  4. Posts
    2

    Thanks for the detailed answer. One more question:

    With the nerf of spectre levels, do you think that the build will have trouble of keeping the support spectres alive? Or the fact that we actually stack minion life will make them tanky enough? I am talking in a 100% delirius environment foe example. Thank you once again and have an enoyful league.

  5. Posts
    1

    I’m thinking of running this build as my Ritual starter, but I’m curious about about a couple of things:

    How does it run on a 4L in early to mid tier maps? And how squishy are you without the % chaos damage to life leech amulet?

    Basically I’m a bit worried about having the currency to get a tabula and beefy enough life + res gear to make up for running 2 uniques (and a potentially not perfect hunter influenced item) in the very early league scenario if I’m not a master at generating $$$.

  6. GhazzyTV

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    @YYakovliev:

    This build is the one I fear the survival of utility spectres with the least due to the massive HP scaling of minions indeed.

    @Herjann:

    Normally I go with a Life Leech gem til I get a chaos leech modifier on a rare item, I see this is not properly mentioned in the guide. I will attend to this asap! Also, Tabula can easily be farmed either from Mud Flats Ritual farming, Divination Cards or accumulating enough currency to buy one.

  7. Posts
    1

    Hi there
    First of all, a great guide that I really enjoy playing in the new league
    My question
    I saw in your video that you don’t use Dicipline or Zealotry
    Is there any reason for that?
    Because you recommend it in the guide
    Thanks in advance

  8. Posts
    1

    Hey! This is my third league and I have been having loads of fun with this build. I’m looking to upgrade my ring but I am having trouble finding the shaper mod “Curse enemies with level 8 assassins mark on hit”. It looks to me like its removed from the league but like I said I’m still noobish so I may just be overlooking something.
    If it is removed do you have a suggestion for what I could replace that mod with?

  9. Posts
    9

    Great build, I can’t see it in the video, and I have issues accessing pastebin for past week for some reason, I can’t see where do you get chaos res from and where do you get some of spell block since I get to 63% with Glancing, Rumi, and Bone offering so I’m missing 10% or so to get to cap, keep up the good work and thanks in advance!

  10. GhazzyTV

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    @Keglerauge:

    Hey, glad you like it! The video is not always 100% updated, it’s mostly there to show the game-play. The forum thread is the most updated version and will always be kept up-to-date for the community every league!

    @Chippaye:

    Hey, Awesome to hear! It’s a shaper suffix requiring item level 80+ and still very much exists!

    @Vadermage:

    Perfect spell block rolled Rumi’s with the nodes & lvl 20 Bone Offering should bring you to 72%! Chaos resistance will generally be rather low unless you bother getting some on your gear.

  11. Posts
    9

    Sorry to bother you once more @GhazzyTV but did the update passive tree keystone positioning affect the thread of hope part of skill tree?

  12. GhazzyTV

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    615

    @Vadermage:

    Not bothering, if you ever have questions always fire away!

    Yes sir, it did hence why we are manually speccing in to GB as you can see in the PoB links! :)

  13. Posts
    9

    That’s the issue PoB doesn’t work for me cos pastebin is banned in mine country apparently which is really weird lmao

  14. Posts
    1

    I am 2 days in on this build, loving it so far – LOTS of damage my god. The problem i’m having is survivability, seems pushing red maps is just a no go until you have life leech. Very sad I didn’t notice the comment about the life leech gem before I bought a skin of the loyal to upgrade from tabula.

  15. GhazzyTV

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    @masterofone:

    Glad you like it so much!
    Life Leech support is a last-resort but sorting any sort of chaos dmg leech as life from jewellery becomes very important around yellow tier maps and forward.

    I’ll have a round at the guide to see if I can mention this in a better spot to make sure people don’t miss it for future references!

  16. Posts
    9

    I kinda sorted the build, I think, mixing a bit from video and from PoB since I managed to get the tree somehow, I’m now running at 4.2k HP 1.7k ES with Bone armor and AG with Kingmaker, tho sometimes I get random oneshoted on T8 or T9 plus, tbh I’m still missing watchers eye and last 10 sp are going into cluster, but I luv the build, so much fun, haven’t had this much fun in PoE in a while, gz on sortin it out!

  17. GhazzyTV

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    615

    @Vadermage:

    Well, you shouldn’t be one-shot at that tier, let’s fix it!

    Let me know, I would like to address you being one-shot issue as that shouldn’t happen! :)

  18. Posts
    2

    At what point do you consider a +2 wand better than a generic caster wand with spell damage and crit? Having a hard time gauging which +2 wands are worth switching to as I craft them, even with PoB.

    Love the guides by the way!

  19. GhazzyTV

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    615

    @Awesotastic:

    You actually have to check POB consistently to determine the ugprades there. Make sure you don’t forget to adjust the skeleton life in POB as that is the biggest source of scaling our base dmg with this build!

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