Dark Pact Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Scourge 3.16)

GhazzyTV

282

INTRODUCTION

This build utilizes the new “recoup” mechanic, which recovers a set % of damage we’ve taken from hits over a 4 second time frame, and aims to recover 50% of this damage. The recoup mechanic combined with Petrified Blood allows us to mitigate huge amounts of incoming damage and regenerate more health per second than the damage we’re taking over time. The build is designed to be a pure hybrid build where we are going to invest in Energy Shield Leech mechanics to sustain a high pool of Energy Shield. You can level with Dark Pact Dark Pact once you are able to pick it up at level 28 allowing you to use the same abilities whilst leveling as you will at endgame.

Since this build has a very niche playstyle, 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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information.

BUILD OVERVIEW

In this section, I will outline the pros, cons, and general playstyle. This will allow you to determine if this is the right build is for you!

PROS

+ High Sustaining – We are setting up the build to essentially passively counter damage taken by recoup by boosting regeneration of our Life pool and benefiting from Energy Shield leech mechanics to sustain our Energy Shield pool.

+ League Starter – The build lacks specific mandatory uniques and therefor works very well in league start scenarios as well as in SSF.

+ 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 offering not only an unique playstyle but also a unique approach to gearing.

CONS

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

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

PLAYSTYLE

The playstyle is based around summoning your skeletons on the field and then directly connecting them by casting Dark Pact, chaining between your skeletons and dealing massive amounts of damage.

DAMAGE SCALING AND DEFENSIVE LAYERS

The build uses the new mechanic that recoups damage taken from hits. We will have 50% of incoming damage taken recovered as life back to us over a 4 second time frame which we will combine with the effects of Petrified Blood. We will also leech our damage dealt to our Energy Shield to properly sustain a high amount of both Life and Energy Shield. On top of this, we have a layer of skeletons in-front of you that enemies will target rather than yourself. Our primary damage is dealt by casting Dark Pact on our skeletons causing the spell chain between them. 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 on the max life our skeletons have, we will want to ramp up minion life across our skill-tree as well as via support gems and gear.

The defensive layers on this build are VERY tricky to grasp. The easy part is building for high block chance against both attacks and spells. Chaos damage over time can be especially scary with low chaos resistance making that a desired stat to have if possible on your gear. With this build, we are using Petrified Blood Petrified Blood which works in this way:

Our Life is cut in half putting us at “Low Life,” allowing for the use of Pain Attunement and increasing our damage dealt. The only way we can go above 50% of our maximum Life is with the use of a Life flask. Upon doing so, all of our spells gain a Life cost on top of the mana cost to cast. This requirement is removed when we are back down to 50% of our life.

While Pain Attunement requiring Low Life may seem daunting, Petrified Blood allows us to hit that benchmark while maintaining a similar effective health pool by preventing a portion of damage from hits and transferring into a damage over time effect. Thanks to our build recouping 50% of damage taken from hits as life, though, we can easily handle the degen. Combined with high Energy Shield, which we sustain with Energy Shield Leech, we end up with a very high effective health pool despite our Low Life status.

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:. For a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link:.

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

You can find more information on our dedicated page, along with all the recommended gem links.

Dark Pact Necromancer PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links

GEARING

A lot of the endgame gear can easily be crafted. For a general overview of crafting and to 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. You’ll find 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
Weapon Rare with + level of minion and/or spell skills Rare
Shield High life, ES base preferably with Spell crit chance Rare

ASCENDANCY, BANDIT & PANTHEON RECOMMENDATIONS

You can read about the 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 generic spells until you reach level 28 and gain access to the Dark Pact skill. While leveling, be sure to complete Siosa’s quest in the Library of Act 3 to purchase Feeding Frenzy for our skellies 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 and 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 endgame bench-craft “Skills Cost no Mana while Focused” which has a short cool-down but lasts 4 seconds, allowing you to spam your spells during this window rather than your mana flask. Alternately, you can choose to solve mana issues by purchasing a Replica Conqueror's Efficiency Replica Conqueror's Efficiency and slot that in a jewel socket in your tree.

Act 1 – 3

A baseline effective way of leveling in the early acts is to utilize Freezing Pulse, Stormblast Mines, Frost Bomb, Frost Blink and Orb of Storms. A useful method of dealing with tougher enemies, such as Brutus, is to include a Holy Flame Totem which not only deals damage but also works as a decoy for the boss(es) to hit rather than yourself.

For levels 1-8, you will use the following gems:

Once you reach level 8, you are able to get support gems in the form of Added Lightning and Added Cold. This is where Stormblast Mines starts to take over and become the main source of your damage as you progress through the Acts.

The Aura decision comes in Act 2, which is when we can enable Herald of Ice Herald of Ice, Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder and Herald of Ash Herald of Ash. These auras will later be replaced with Zealotry Zealotry when we enable Dark Pact in Act 3.

Act 3+

In Act 3, you’ll want to reach Siosa in the Library, who allows us to purchase any and all gems we might lack from previous gem vendors. At level 28, we’ll be able to switch to using Dark Pact which, while not the fastest way of leveling, will allow us to play the build the way it was intended and will require the least amount of respecs on the tree. With this shift, the gems and auras we’ll be using will completely change and are now as follows:

The Aura changes will be to remove all heralds and replace them with Zealotry Zealotry. In some cases, you might want to consider still using one or two of the previous heralds if possible with your mana. Opening up your mana pool helps a lot to sustain the mana problems normally solved with mana flask(s) (preferably with an “Enduring” prefix). Avoid reserving too much mana and preventing your ability to effectively deal damage.

Since we are targeting our skeletons with this strategy, we will need to actually use skeletons (DUH!):

At this point of your progression you simply just need to follow the endgame tree and gem links to further enhance your character throughout the Acts and into the hardest endgame content.

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 it if you share 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 is now updated for 3.16 Scourge League!

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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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    866

    @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

    Moderator

    Posts
    866

    @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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    866

    @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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    866

    @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

    Moderator

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    866

    @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

    Moderator

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    866

    @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

    Moderator

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    866

    @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

    Moderator

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    866

    @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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