Detonate Dead Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

The Detonate Dead Necromancer is a caster that detonates corpses in order to deal massive amounts of Fire damage. The Detonate Dead Detonate Dead skill itself deals a flat amount of Fire damage along with a percent of the maximum amount of Life of the corpse, which means the damage of the build is heavily dependent on the levels of the Detonate Dead gem along with the maximum Life of the corpse (which is mainly determined by the level of your Desecrate Desecrate gem).

The Necromancer ascendancy synergizes very well with the main idea behind the build, which is dealing tons of Fire damage with the Hit portion of the skill. We do not scale Ignites or Burning damage in any way; we only rely on the instant damage we deal with Detonate 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 Nycta's Lantern Nycta's Lantern or 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.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Budget-friendly
+ Fun and active playstyle

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 detonate them with Detonate Dead Detonate Dead. Against tougher enemies you can utilize Vaal Detonate Dead Vaal Detonate Dead. Intensify Support Intensify Support will allow you to deal great amounts of single target damage without having to gem-swap between clearing and single target.

Defensively, the build can make a great use of Vaal Molten Shell Vaal Molten Shell. The Detonate Dead Necromancer reaches respectable amount of survivability via Block, Spell Block, and Life Regeneration.

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 Detonate Dead works.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Witch – Necromancer)

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

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.

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

Passive tree

This is the endgame version of the passive tree.

We focus on picking up all the strong area nodes, Life and Mana. The build does not use any build-enabling keystone notables, which means you do not have to rush any particular part of the tree and have the freedom to choose between damage and Life on your way up.

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

Vaal Detonate Dead Vaal Detonate Dead is your signature skill, 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 detonated. For mobility, you should use Flame Dash Flame Dash. Storm Brand Storm Brand will allow you to reliably proc Elemental Overload. For Mana reservation, you should use buffs like Clarity Clarity, Arctic Armour Arctic Armour and Herald of Ash Herald of Ash.

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.

Vaal Detonate Dead (6-Link)

Vaal Detonate Dead Vaal Detonate Dead is a Fire-based spell that allows you to detonate the corpse of a fallen foe or a corpse you have spawned with Desecrate Desecrate. The Vaal version of the skill allows you to start a chain reaction of detonations, which can result in great amounts of extra damage. We recommend one link that works great for both clearing and single target.

  1. Vaal Detonate Dead Vaal Detonate Dead
  2. Intensify Support Intensify Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Empower Support Empower Support (level 4)
  5. Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support
  6. Inspiration Support Inspiration 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. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  4. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

Flame Dash (3-Link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash will provide you the additional mobility you will need.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Storm Brand (3-Link)

Storm Brand Storm Brand will allow you to reliably trigger Elemental Overload with the following link.

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Other Gems

Bone Offering Bone Offering should be often used in order to keep up the defensive buff it provides. Clarity Clarity can solve your Mana problems, while Herald of Ash Herald of Ash and Arctic Armour Arctic Armour will improve your character both offensively and defensively. 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.

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

Geofri's Crest Geofri's Crest is a budget-friendly Helmet, which will also benefit your Empower Support Empower Support; this Helmet can act as a pseudo 5-Link if you do not have anything better. A well rolled rare Helmet is best in slot. For a labyrinth enchant, look for “Detonate Dead has a 45% chance to detonate an additional corpse”. 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. Nearby Enemies have #% to Fire Resistance (Scorched Fossil Scorched Fossil)

Body Armour

Carcass Jack Carcass Jack is a great choice when it comes to Body Armours. A simple Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa can carry you a long way. Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart can be equipped if you manage to socket your main link in your Weapon or Helmet. You can also use a rare Body Armour. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 100)
  3. +#% increased maximum life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil or Elder mod)

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. +# 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. #% increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil Prismatic Fossil)

Amulet

A well rolled rare Amulet should be used. 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

You can use your Detonate Dead Detonate Dead in Nycta's Lantern Nycta's Lantern, which can carry you even up to red maps. For the endgame, you have the option to either use a one-hand and Shield or a Staff; in both cases we are looking for additional levels to our Detonate Dead. The rare affix priority is:

  1. # to Level of all Fire Spell Skill Gems
  2. # to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
  3. #% increased Spell Damage
  4. #% increased Fire Damage

Shield

A well-rolled Shield is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. # to Level of all Fire Spell Skill Gems
  4. #% increased Spell Damage (at least 40%)

Flasks

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 Fire Damage
  3. #% increased Spell Damage
  4. #% increased Area Damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

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

Leveling

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

The Detonate Dead Necromancer can be leveled with its signature skill as soon as you are able to equip Desecrate Desecrate at level 16.

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 and Arctic Armour Arctic Armour for the additional damage and defense. At this point you are able to transition from Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse to your signature skill – Detonate Dead Detonate Dead. You should start using the following two links.

Detonate Dead

  1. Vaal Detonate Dead Vaal Detonate Dead
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Combustion Support Combustion Support

Desecrate

  1. Desecrate Desecrate
  2. Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge 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 Detonate Dead Necromancer allows you to detonate corpses of the dead in order to deal great amounts of Fire damage. The character is able to clear high level content on a budget and requires active playstyle.

Changelog
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