Dark Pact Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

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 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.

Build Summary

Although the build does not require any initial investment, it would be nice to have several recommended items. From Dust From Dust allows you to summon up to 5 Skeletons. The Covenant The Covenant will allow you to socket in your Dark Pact 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

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Good balance between single target and clearing
+ Reaches respectable Life pool
+ Different and fun play style
+ Can do Reflect mods

Cons

- Requires the player to make quick decisions when it comes to using different spells in different situations; needs time to get used to

Playstyle

Offensively, using ###item:summon-skeleton### into packs of monsters and chaining your Dark Pact Dark Pact is what you should be mainly doing. Flesh Offering 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 Shield Charge. Vaal Summon Skeletons 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 Steelskin can be used when the incoming damage is predictable.

Raising Spectres

Here is what you need to do in order to summon the specific spectre you want and keep in your Desecrate 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 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 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.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Witch – Necromancer)

  1. Mistress of Sacrifice
  2. Mindless Agression
  3. Bone Barrier
  4. Plaguebringer

Mistress of Sacrifice allows you to apply a great offensive buff on you via Flesh Offering Flesh Offering.

Mindless Agression provides a great amount of movement speed and offensive stats for your minions.

Bone Barrier is an amazingly strong defensive ascendancy node, which improves your physical damage mitigation by a considerable amount along with a Life multiplier for your minions.

Plaguebringer allows you to greatly utilize Desecrate Desecrate in order to gain even more damage output while at the same time reducing enemies’ damage by 10%. The increased area of effect on your minions also helps while clearing.

Note: Plaguebringer can be replaced with Unnatural Strength in order to raise the Life pool of your Skeletons, which will result in higher Dark Pact Dark Pact damage.

Passive Tree

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.

Note: For leveling passive skill trees prior to the absolute endgame, refer to the leveling section of this build.

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: Soul of Lunaris will give you immunity to damage from Chained projectiles. Projectile Chain mods on map can be lethal to most summoners.

Minor: For minor god powers there are many valuable choices; we recommend Soul of Ryslatha for the additional Life flask sustain.

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 have killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Dark Pact Dark Pact is your main skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. The main skill is used in combination with ###item:summon-skeleton### and its Vaal version. For mobility, use Shield Charge Shield Charge and Flame Dash Flame Dash. Flesh Offering Flesh Offering and Bone Offering Bone Offering can be swapped based on the content you are running. Raise Spectre Raise Spectre is used in order to summon powerful spectres that excel at dealing great amounts of single target damage. Summon Chaos Golem Summon Chaos Golem and Animate Guardian Animate Guardian can be used for the additional utility they provide.

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.

Dark Pact (6-Link)

Dark Pact Dark Pact is a spell that we self-cast in this particular build in order to drain the Life of our Skeletons in order to deal damage around them. The skill deals 6% of Skeletons’ maximum Life as extra Chaos damage, this is why it is very important to reach high Skeleton Life in order to deal tons of damage with Dark Pact. Ideally, you would want to socket in Dark Pact in a 6-Linked The Covenant The Covenant, which will allow you to now worry about Mana and essentially have a 7-Link. We recommend two different links for clearing and single target.

For clearing, use the following link.

  1. Dark Pact Dark Pact
  2. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  5. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support
  6. Empower Support Empower Support

For single target, use the following link.

  1. Dark Pact Dark Pact
  2. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  5. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  6. Empower Support Empower Support

Summon Skeletons (4-Link)

Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons should ideally be used in a +# to Level of Socketed Minion Gems Helmet, which will boost Skeletons’ Life by a great deal.

  1. Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons
  2. Minion Life Support Minion Life Support
  3. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  4. Empower Support Empower Support

Raise Spectre (4-Link)

Raise Spectre Raise Spectre are used in a 4-Link in order to boost our single target damage by a great deal, We recommend using Slave Drivers in The Control Blocks (Act V).

  1. Raise Spectre Raise Spectre
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support

Shield Charge (3-Link)

Shield Charge Shield Charge is the mobility skill that should be used all the time.

  1. Shield Charge Shield Charge
  2. Fortify Support Fortify Support
  3. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

Other Gems

Convocation Convocation will summon all your minions next to you, which is very useful when you need to reposition quickly. You can choose between Flesh Offering Flesh Offering and Bone Offering Bone Offering depending on the content you are doing. Flame Dash Flame Dash helps out if you need to jump over terrain. Summon Chaos Golem Summon Chaos Golem is used for the additional physical damage mitigation. For auras, you have a lot of freedom, we recommend Haste Haste. Steelskin Steelskin can be used for additional damage mitigation.

Animate Guardian

Animate Guardian Animate Guardian is a minion skill that allows you to equip items on a minion. Essentially, with this skill we are building a mini aura bot with the following items: Leer Cast Leer Cast, Dying Breath Dying Breath, Victario's Flight Victario's Flight. For gloves and body armour, use anything that has life and resistances on it. If the Animate Guardian dies, the items are lost and you have to acquire them again in order to summon him.

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

A rare Bone Helmet Bone Helmet is best in slot; you would preferably want an item level 86, because it can roll +3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems. When it comes to the labyrinth enchant, any Dark Pact Dark Pact enchant is useful. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. +2/3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems

Body Armour

The Covenant The Covenant is best in slot for the build, you can use a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa or any rare Body Armour prior to it. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)

Gloves

Well rolled rare Gloves are best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. # to Dexterity (at least 25)
  4. % Increased Minion Damage (crafted via crafting bench)

Boots

Bones of Ullr Bones of Ullr will carry you a long way. A better but more expensive option is well rolled rare pair of Boots. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +1 to maximum number of Spectres (Bound Fossil Bound Fossil)
  2. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  3. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  4. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  5. % Movement Speed (at least 20%)

Belt

A well rolled rare Belt is best in slot, preferably Stygian Vise for the additional utility via the Abyssal socket. For clear speed you can also choose to use Bisco's Leash Bisco's Leash. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)

Amulet

Look for well rolled rare Amulet with the attributes you need. The Rare affix priority is:

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

Rings

Same as the Amulet, here you should also try to fill attribute gaps. Use Unset Ring Unset Ring if you are too socket-starved. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 50)
  3. # to Dexterity; Strength

Weapon

Here you can choose between Brightbeak Brightbeak for additional mobility via Shield Charge Shield Charge, or a well rolled 1-Hand for additional Minion Damage. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. Minions Deal #% Increased Damage (Incursion mod)
  2. Minions Have #% Increased Attack and Cast Speed (crafted via crafting bench)
  3. % Increased Attack Speed (for faster Shield Charge)

Shield

We recommend using the unique shield Ahn's Heritage Ahn's Heritage in combination with two Fragility Fragility Jewels. This shield has very high Block Chance, along with decent Life and most importantly, 3% to all Maximum Resistances while you have no Endurance charges. Victario's Charity Victario's Charity is also a decent option. Any other shield can be used based on personal preference. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil; Elder Prefix)
  4. % to all maximum Resistances (Shaper Prefix)

Flasks

Half-instant Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask flask should be used, preferably with Bleed removal Suffix. Silver Flask Silver Flask flask will improve your overall speed. Based on personal preference, you can run any utility flask you want. We recommend having at least Basalt Flask Basalt Flask. Rumi's Concoction Rumi's Concoction will increase your Block Chance by a considerable amount while the flask is up. Make sure you 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

As mentioned previously, having two Fragility Fragility is mandatory when you choose to use Ahn's Heritage Ahn's Heritage. From Dust From Dust will allow you to summon a total of 5 Skeletons with a single cast. A rare Hypnotic Eye Jewel Hypnotic Eye Jewel that adds some Fire or Cold damage to your Spells will allow you to properly proc Elemental Equilibrium and greatly reduce enemies’ Lightning Resistance, which will make your Slave Driver spectres hit like a truck even on a 4-Link.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Minion Damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Maximum Life (at least 35)
  2. Minions have #% Chance to Blind on Hit
  3. Minions have #% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you or your Minions have Killed Recently
  4. % increased Minion Damage if you’ve used a Minion Skill Recently

Leveling

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

The Dark Pact Necromancer can be very easily leveled if you use several leveling items. The combination of Dark Pact Dark Pact and ###item:summon-skeleton### is not very reliable early on, this is why we recommend using Raise Zombie Raise Zombie or Summon Raging Spirit 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.

Leveling Trees

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 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. Matua Tupuna Matua Tupuna and The Baron The Baron can be used in combination with Raise Zombie Raise Zombie for a very smooth leveling experience. Lifesprig 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.

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 in Lifesprig Lifesprig.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should add Steelskin Steelskin for additional damage mitigation.

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility.

By level 18, your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link should look like this.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support

At level 23, you can equip Matua Tupuna Matua Tupuna and start using Raise Zombie Raise Zombie.

  1. Raise Zombie Raise Zombie
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support

At level 24, you should add Convocation Convocation for the additional utility. You can also add Hatred Hatred or Anger Anger for additional damage.

At level 28, you can move your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie setup into The Baron The Baron. At this point the gem link should look like this.

  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

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.

Conclusion

The Dark Pact Necromancer relies on summoning Skeletons with very high Life pool, which is then drained by the Dark Pact Dark Pact skill in order to deal great amounts of extra Chaos damage. The build also makes great use of Raise Spectre 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.

Changelog
  •   

    Updated passive skill tree for Blight 3.8.

  •   

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

  •   

    Updated ascendancy recommendations. With the rework of the Necromancer the build is only getting better and stronger. Skeletons are able to reach higher Life numbers, which results in a better damage output. The Necromancer nodes are better for the build in both offensive and defensive aspects.

  •   

    Build added.

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