This build has been in the PoE community for over 4 years and has been the baseline standard for most of my summoner builds ever since. It is using spectres for the sake of clearing with the help of melee skeletons for great single target DPS. On a low budget approach this build truly shines. Since this build only uses spectres for the sake of clearing we are provided with a large variety of options as the difference is very small in terms of clearing between the top choices and I will therefor go through my preferred choice for you in this guide.
Spectres in general can be a bit tricky. One should not forget that minion builds are the most complex genre of builds in Path of Exile. This guide will walk you through everything you 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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, and you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated version. In this case the video is showing the use of Zombies over Skeletons so it deviates slightly from this guide but shows the generic approach of the build.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ghazzy clocked over 25K hours in PoE, with the main focus of creating helpful content for new players & veterans alike in the form of guides in general for the community. He hosted the Build Creation Panel at ExileCon 2019 and now creates guides here on PoE Vault for your pleasure. You can follow him on Twitch, YouTube or Twitter. You can also join his Discord Community.
This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for.
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!
+ League Starter – This build performs very well as a league starter option as the unique items used is very common & cheap.
+ Bosser – Minion builds are in a current state of bliss where bosses simply just melt with the damage output available.
+ A Lot Of Variety Options – Since we are utilizing spectres for clearing purposes and have our skeletons deal with the single target, there are multiple spectre choices one can make based of personal preference.
+ Insanely High Roof For High Budget Options – Upgrading this build is very easy, straight forward and offers a lot of options ranging from lower budget investment to make the build better all the way to mirror tier gear 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; this means you don’t want to be having any kissing sessions with packs of enemies or bosses.
– Socket Starved – To be optimal with this build you’re going to be extremely socket starved, leaving very little room for utility options.
– Act Leveling – Using Spectres to level with during the campaign acts requires twink gear to function. This means we will be using other methods to level with til level 65-70. However, leveling with skeletons is perfectly fine.
Before you get yourself a “Trigger Socketed Spell When You Use A Skill” bench crafted weapon, you’re going to be self-casting Desecrate & an Offering skill on top of your Elemental Equilibrium abilities. This can feel somewhat clunky until you get such a weapon, but once you do, you will pretty much only be casting your EE ability & Convocation, when required, making the build fly through maps.
Normally you don’t want to face-tank bosses, but instead let your minions do the tanking as they melt super fast.
DAMAGE SCALING AND DEFENSIVE LAYERS
Depending on how you wish to play this build you can be very defensive or offensive based of your choices. The most important decision is deciding on your Offering choice:
- Flesh Offering increases your clear speed as well as damage output significantly
- Bone Offering allows you to very easily reach the attack & spell block cap if you include Mystic Bulwark node on the tree as well as Glancing Blows.
Offensively, this build is entirely focusing on your skeletons, so all other additions to the build is 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 them. This is obviously for higher budget versions!
CURRENT LEAGUE TIPS & TRICKS
3.13 Ritual League will be very smooth to handle with this build as our minions are doing all the damage allowing us to dodge enemies freely without loosing any damage output.
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.
You can find more information on our dedicated page.
You can read more details about our gearing recommendations on the dedicated page, but for now you can see a summarized version below.
|Item Slot||Item Name||Rarity|
|Head||Life then res/attributes (High budget wants 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||Grip of the Council||Unique|
|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 DMG and/or + level of all spell and/or minion gems||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.
The current meta of leveling through the Campaign Acts 1-10 is to simply never use minions. However, this guide is not designed to guide you to finish Kitava in 2 hours, It is a build guide. With that said the following suggestions for leveling makes sure you don’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 this means giving them tools to use for hitting multiple targets. This means you are able to level with minions as early as level 8 as that’s the restriction before you can get Melee Splash Support. The skills listed below are the ones I prefer to use til 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 cost 1 t Orb of Transmutation. This can then be combined with either Summon Skeletons. Starting with the Skeleton approach the links should look like this:
Do keep in mind that if you feel like you’re lacking single target damage vs any boss during the acts, you can always change your Melee Splash a red damage support gem such as Added Fire Damage Support or Melee Physical Damage Support. Once you get 4-Link I would go for the melee physical and later you can change the Splash for Multistrike Support instead for single target. I would arguably enable Feeding Frenzy Support at level 31 as the 4th link as it gives the skeletons a charge-like ability making clearing a lot smoother.
Aura decision comes in Act 3 which is when we enable the 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 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 drops!