Lich Queen Skeleton Summoner Build Guide (PoE Sentinel 3.18)
Due to the latest balancing changes, we do not recommend playing this build anymore, as it does not meet the high standards we apply to our guides in terms of fun and performance. We are leaving it up as a reference and it might be revived in a later patch.
This build has existed within the PoE community for over four years and has been the baseline standard for most of my Summoner builds. It focuses on the use of spectres for clearing along with the help of melee skeletons to provide great single target DPS. This build truly shines on a low budget approach. Since this build uses spectres only for the sake of clearing, we are granted a large variety of options with very little difference in clear speed. In this guide, I will go through my preferred choices.
Spectres in general can be a bit tricky, as minion builds are generally the most complex genre of builds in Path of Exile. The purpose of this guide is to walk you through everything you’ll need to know and then some.
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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information. In this case, the video shows the use of Zombies over Skeletons, so while it does deviate slightly from this guide it still effectively shows the general functionality of the build.
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!
+ League Starter – This build performs very well as a league starter as the unique items used are very common and cheap.
+ Bosser – Minion builds are in a current state of bliss, where bosses simply just melt from the damage output available.
+ A Lot Of Variety Options – Since we are utilizing spectres for clearing purposes, having our skeletons deal with the single target, there are multiple spectre choices one can make based solely on personal preference.
+ Insanely High Roof For High Budget Options – Upgrading this build is very easy, straightforward, and offers many options ranging from low budget investments all the way up to mirror tier gear pieces if you so wish and can afford.
– Minion Build – Since your minions are doing the heavy lifting, defensive layers such as leeching are not possible in this build. You’ll have to make sure to keep your distance from large packs of enemies or bosses.
– Socket Starved – To play this build optimally, you’ll generally be extremely socket starved, leaving very little room for utility options.
– Act Leveling – Using Spectres to level with during the campaign Acts requires specialized twink gear to function, so will be using other methods to level with until reaching level 65-70. However, leveling with skeletons is perfectly fine.
Until you’re able to get a “Trigger Socketed Spell When You Use A Skill” bench-crafted weapon, you’ll be self-casting Desecrate, an Offering, and a Curse. You don’t want to face-tank bosses. Instead, let your minions do the tanking for you while melting the boss with their damage.
DAMAGE SCALING AND DEFENSIVE LAYERS
Depending on how you wish to play, you can build very defensively or offensively based solely on your choices. The most important decision you’ll make is to decide on your choice of Offering. I prefer Flesh Offering, but utilizing Bone Offering is certainly viable strategy as well.
- Flesh Offering increases your clear speed as well as damage output significantly
- Bone Offering allows you to very easily reach the attack and spell block cap if you include Mystic Bulwark node on the tree as well as Glancing Blows.
Offensively, this build entirely focuses on your skeletons and all additions to the build are designed to increase their efficiency. Optimally you would want to get a Shaper/Elder helmet to move away from a 6-Link chest and instead use a 7, 8, or even a 9-Link set-up in your helmet for higher budget versions.
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 Lich Queen Low Budget PoB, and for a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link.
You can find more information on our dedicated page, along with all the recommended gem links.
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.
|Item Slot||Item Name||Rarity|
|Head||Life then Res/Attributes as needed (High budget will want Shaper/Elder with Socketed gems are supported by: Minion dmg, Hypothermia as well as +# level of socketed minion gems modifiers)||Rare|
|Amulet||Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Chest||Life then Res/Attributes as needed (High budget can get a Delve dropped chest with “+1 to maximum spectres”)||Rare|
|Gloves||Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Boots||Bones of Ullr or Rare with: Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Unique/Rare|
|Rings||Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|Weapon||Trigger Weapon with Minion damage and/or + level of all spell and/or minion gems||Rare|
ASCENDANCY, BANDIT & PANTHEON RECOMMENDATIONS
You can read about the Ascendancy, Bandit choice, and Pantheon Power recommendations for this build on our dedicated page.
The current meta of leveling through the Campaign Acts 1-10 is to never use minions. However, this guide is not designed to guide you to finish Kitava in two hours. With that said, the following suggestions for leveling ensure you won’t have to use any Orb of Regret to change your build when you are ready to enable the spectres.
BEFORE YOU ENABLE MINIONS
Before you are able to utilize minions for your leveling experience you will need to make sure they function for actual clearing, specifically by being able to hit multiple targets. This can be taken care of as early as level 8, when you can get Melee Splash Support. The skills listed below are the ones I prefer to use till I hit level 8:
- Stormblast Mine for single target
- Freezing Pulse for clearing
- Frost Bomb for clearing when you get it instead of the Freezing Pulse
Once you reach level 8, you are able to purchase Melee Splash Support, which costs 1 Orb of Transmutation, and link it with Summon Skeletons. With this approach, your links should be as folllows:
Do keep in mind that if you feel like you’re lacking single target damage versus any boss during the Acts, you can swap your Melee Splash Support gem for a red damage support gem such as Added Fire Damage Support or Melee Physical Damage Support. Once you get a 4-Link, you can go for the melee physical and, if needed, you can change the Splash for Multistrike Support for single target damage. I recommend enabling Feeding Frenzy Support at level 31 as its 4th link gives your skeletons a charge-like ability which makes clearing a lot smoother.
Aura decision comes in Act 3 which is when we enable Hatred for optimal damage output.
For more general leveling advice, we recommend the following guides:
- 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.
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.
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 drops!